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July 22, 2004

Fly the Terrorist-Friendly Skies: Aircrews Confirm Muslims "Probing" Security

Gee, you'd almost think the mainstream media deliberately suppresses stories it doesn't like until forced to notice them or something:

Flight crews and air marshals say Middle Eastern men are staking out airports, probing security measures and conducting test runs aboard airplanes for a terrorist attack.

At least two midflight incidents have involved numerous men of Middle Eastern descent behaving in what one pilot called "stereotypical" behavior of an organized attempt to attack a plane.

"No doubt these are dry runs for a terrorist attack," an air marshal said.

Pilots and air marshals who asked to remain anonymous told The Washington Times that surveillance by terrorists is rampant, using different probing methods.

"It's happening, and it's a sad state of affairs," a pilot said.

Recent incidents at the Minneapolis-St. Paul international airport have also alarmed flight crews. Earlier this month, a passenger from Syria was taken into custody while carrying anti-American materials and a note suggesting he intended to commit a public suicide.
A third pilot reported watching a man of Middle Eastern descent at the same airport using binoculars to get airplane tail numbers and writing the numbers in a notebook to correspond with flight numbers.
"It's a probe. They are probing us," said a second air marshal, who confirmed that Middle Eastern men try to flush out marshals by rushing the cockpit and stopping suddenly.

They seem to be profiling us.

I'm curious, by the way. Is this story a "well-orchestrated leak" designed to "distract" us from Abu Ghraib, or was it the Plame investigation?

Maybe the media could just do us all a solid by giving us one day a week where they print nothing but such "distracting" stories. That is, so we can read about trivial news like Sandy Berger stealing top-secret documents and Arab men "probing" airline security without feeling guilty about ignoring "real news," like how youthful and handsome John Edwards is.

Update: MeTooThen makes a point I wanted to:

Remember that just a mere few days ago, this story was first ignored by the MSM (save, of course, the WSJ), then it was dismissed, then it was vetted, and at each step it was the blogosphere that gave this story "legs."

As it turns out, Ms. Jacobsen's story was true, i.e., 14 Syrian men who were flying together, en route from Detroit to LA, were acting strangely, or at least suspiciously, and that the appropriate authorities both onboard and on the ground, "scrubbed" those involved.


If anything, this event has been a victory of sorts for the blogosphere and the campaign to end the tyranny of political correctness.

Or at least one can hope.

The blogosphere has thusfar only injected a small number of stories into the national consciousness, and several of them (Plame, AWOL, Trent Lott) were the sorts of stories that liberal reporters want to report anyhow; it just took a tiny nudging from conspiracy theorists like Joshua Michah Cougar Mellancamp Marshall to get the ball rolling. (The NYT/Blair story cuts against a liberal institution, but I don't count that, because the story was just too big to ignore; plus, while every liberal reporter loves the NYT and wants to work there, they're also madly jealous of everyone who does work there. So they had a big personal interest in pummelling the Times over Blair.)

This story is a muddle. The liberal media can write it up as an indictment of the Bush Administration, but to do so, they'd have to report that Al Qaeda is still planning to kill Americans and that, thusfar, whether due to luck or vigilance, we've been able to thwart them. They'd also have to at least implicate the whole idea of ethnic profiling, and they sure as hell don't want to go there.

Muddle or not, this is the first big story, pushed almost exclusively by conservative bloggers, that's been moved from the Internet to the mainstream.

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posted by Ace at 06:13 AM

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