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July 16, 2004
ANNIE JACOBSEN, author of the "Terror in the Skies" story linked below, will be on the radio tonight according to reader Sandy Pedersen: "Jacobsen is going to do an interview with John Carlson on KVI in Seattle at 16:00 PDT today (16 July). They have an internet feed at 570kvi.com."
UPDATE: Liveblogged here.
ANOTHER UPDATE: So what does all this mean? Beats me. Jacobsen's story appears to be true, but the authorities say that the mystery Syrians check out. Assuming they're right about that -- which they may not be, but they're in a better position to know than I am -- the upshot is that we've got an object lesson in potential problems with security, in time to do something about it. It's also a useful reminder to the rest of us that we need to keep our eyes open, and not slip back into a September 10 mindset. Is there more to this? I don't know. Maybe we'll find out with further inquiry. Odds are that this incident doesn't amount to anything -- but note the other stories in the post linked below. It's time to pay more attention to this stuff.
MORE: Hugh Hewitt:
I hope someone has pushed this story in front of Tom Ridge, John Ashcroft, and yes the president and vice president, along with a cover memo saying: "Boss, if a similar situation develops and a 'Syrian band' takes an airplane down --or worse, commandeers it in a replay of 9/11-- the fact that this was a widely reported and discussed incident will be a damning indictment of the government's incompetence or worse, indifference. We need a detailed policy on such situations that is agreed upon and communicated throughout the aviation network, and we need it yesterday. We still haven't got such a policy on the suitcase drill, but this one is even more urgent as we control this issue and we can't dictate to every city what to do if empty suitcases start turning up. Not to respond rapidly, effectively, and formally will be on all of our heads, appropriately so, if this sort of thing really does turn out to have been a 'dry run.'"
He's right. I hope the right people notice.
STILL MORE: This piece by Bruce Schneier on handling terrorist subjects is, sort of, related. And worth reading. And note that the earlier post has been updated quite a bit.
MORE STILL: Patterico says that the government is making the problem worse, not better.