Monday, March 05, 2007

American Airlines Terrorist Dry Run?

h/t: Little Green Footballs
American Airlines Flight 62: A Terrorist Probe?

This is not meant to scare, but it probably will. Consider yourself informed and warned that the threat is real. This crew reported that they were not prepared that something of this nature could be happening to them.

Flt 62, Paris to MIA [Miami], a few weeks ago. 2 maybe 4 mid-eastern types causing minor disturbance from the get-go. Nothing that the FAs [flight attendants] couldn’t deal with, but, in hindsight, they seemed to be pushing the envelope. Cross-cabin activity, hanging out in the forward galley, complaining about everything, etc. Mid-Atlantic, the FO [First Officer, or Co-Pilot] called to return to the cockpit after his crew-rest break. One of the perps [perpetrators] was in the forward galley, was instructed by a FA to go aft, but didn’t. As the cockpit door opened, another perp suddenly appeared from around the galley, dropped his shoulder into FO while the first one got in the way of the FO’s attempt to block the I’m not for the movie.

FO (one of our first FFDO’s [Federal Flight Deck Officers*]) was about to pull his flashlight to use as a weapon in a counter attack, but thought better of it not knowing how many more perps he might have to fight, called “lockdown” to the FB [secondary “B” First Officer], inside the cockpit, who slammed the door. As soon as the perps heard the word lockdown, they retreated to their seats.

I’m not doing justice to the story, but, if not an attempt on the cockpit, this was a serious probe.

Crew considered divert, but since the threat diminished and seemed to be contained, they pressed on towards MIA. Flight was met in MIA by FBI, FAMS [Federal Air Marshal Service] (none aboard, by the way), AA [American Airlines] Security suits, etc. During the de-brief, which lasted several hours, the FAMs told the pilots that they would have “dropped” both of the perps with the first shove near the cockpit door. Perps claimed to not understand English, were detained for 4 days and deported, back to Paris, when they are free to attend Sunday school, tell their buddies of their Adventure and plan their next move.

Enjoying the story so far? It’s good we can’t carry guns on Int’l [International] trips, eh?

Upsetting is that we all have to learn of this, by happenstance. Why didn’t you and your last crew know of this? We took a delay yesterday while this FB detailed the entire event to my crew. Believe me, there were no disbelievers that the terrorist threat is real in my crew by the time we boarded.

I’m more than upset that this is still a secret! The FB is a man I’ve flown with often, trust completely and attended FFDO (Federal Flight Deck Officer) training with a year ago January. I hope I’ve presented his story accurately, but am certain that the basic details are very close.

Hm, why weren't the passangers asked for help? I know you're absolved by law if you're asked for help in subduing another belligerent passenger, and I'm sure there were at least a FEW people on board who were pissed off enough to knock the ever loving crap out of those asses. There still is a threat. As long as Islamic countries live in the third world, and continue to allow their extremist factions to literally interpret the koran, so as to cry jihad on the western world, there will always be a terrorist threat.

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