Saturday, January 01, 2005

Airplanes and Airports still rank high on “Terrorist Wish List”

by Randy Taylor Northeast Intelligence Network

There has been much scuttlebutt and many rumors flying around about terrorists still planning to target airports, airplanes and passengers. A report surfacing earlier this month in the Spanish Press indicates that the State Security forces in Valencia, Spain have been on extremely high alert status after the British Secret Service passed along a report that there are currently nine suspected terrorists from North America who plan to board an airliner and use electronic immobilizers to commit a terrorist act sometime before, during or after the Christmas and New Year Holidays. It was reported that their most likely target for this terrorist act will be either inside of the United States or the United Kingdom. Originally the terrorist cell had thirteen members dedicated to this plot.

Four of the original thirteen terrorist suspects have already been arrested and upon further investigation have apparently given the authorities reason to believe that the other nine will attempt to proceed with their plans to commit an atrocity very soon. These four were arrested in Amsterdam at the Schipol Airport and a full investigation was mounted immediately which has resulted in High Alerts being issued to find the nine remaining terrorist suspects.

The four suspects that were arrested were all North American citizens of Arabic origin aged between 18 and 24 and it was noted that they were unshaven. Each were traveling on single tickets, paid for in cash and they were carrying guns and pepper spray along with photographs and CD’s (contents of the CDs and photographs were not made public).

It has been the contention of this writer, almost to the point of argument with others that the airports, airliners and passengers within these are and will always remain prime targets to the terrorists. Many have argued with me that the security in and around the airline industry makes this scenario very unlikely and always throw into the argument that since they hijacked planes once, they are less likely to do it again.

I think that thought process is not only ridiculous but incredible irresponsible and dangerous. When Al Qaeda’s nineteen agents of death hijacked those airplanes in 2001 they set a precedent within the world of terrorism. They forced the complete shutdown of the entire airline industry within minutes, kept the skies closed for several days and the reality is that the airline industry has never recovered from this frightful chain of events. If the terrorists can succeed in pulling off another 911 like event, they may cripple the industry with a fatal blow. The airline industry is very unstable right now from a financial standpoint, people are still wary of flying, there are constant security breaches by the hundreds every single day at airports around the globe and it doesn’t seem to be getting much better. Airlines are at the brink of bankruptcy and the terrorists know this.

To attack the airline industry again isn’t a question of whether it will happen, it is a question of when it will happen. To attack our airliners again will also be a slap in the face for the simple fact that we have spent billions of dollars trying to make the planes, airports and passengers safer and with another attack on the airline industry itself, the billions will seem to have been wasted in the eyes of many. Think about it. Al Qaeda was smart enough to realize that by striking the airlines they would ultimately cripple the airlines or at least make it very difficult for the airline industry to survive, let alone do well or be profitable. They have and always will consider our economic resources to be our greatest assets, so they will always target those assets. The WTC itself was indeed a symbolic target, but the towers themselves didn’t cripple the economy anywhere near the extent that the four airliners being lost did.

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