Anti-terrorism policy debate
and airport security strategy

The Editor says...
When you run the gauntlet at the airport, you probably say to yourself, "There must be better ways to keep airplanes safe."  Of course there are.  But the techniques being used by the U.S. government are designed for full employment of (soon to be) unionized rent-a-cops, and a flashy show of force, rather than efficiency.

Here's my simplistic solution:  Live pigs on every flight, running up and down the aisles.  You see, the people who fly airliners into office buildings don't want to be showered with pig blood right before they die.  Problem solved.

Require dash cams in aircraft, pointed inward.  You all must have seen the news "Dashcams capture dramatic footage of Taiwanese plane crash".  Gee, one of those things pointed inward could perhaps help answer which pilot pushed which button.  Well why aren't cockpit image recorders standard along with cockpit voice recorders yet?

Terrorists in Iraq, Syria 'gaining strength,' Obama admits as administration considers increasing airport security.  The President said the U.S. still faces a 'serious' security threat but that the country is improving its intelligence efforts to better combat it.  The Department of Homeland Security, FBI and other agencies have been weighing action against the possible threat of a new generation of hard-to-detect bombs being smuggled on commercial planes.

Two plane hijackers 'beaten to death by passengers' in China.  Two men who allegedly tried to hijack a plane in China were beaten to death by passengers and crew.  The Global Times newspaper reported that two of the suspects died in hospital from injuries they suffered during the ensuing fight with passengers and crew on board.

Chinese Airline Passengers Demonstrate "Let's Roll" To Terrorist Hijackers.  Six hijackers were in for a surprise last week when they tried to commandeer a Tianjin Airlines jet bound for Urumqi, China.  The passengers overpowered the gang, apparently killing two, and averted disaster.

Kung fu training for cabin crew.  A Hong Kong airline is making all its cabin crew take kung fu lessons to help them to deal with drunk and unruly passengers.  Hong Kong Airlines said all staff had been invited to undergo training in wing chun — a form of kung fu used in close-range combat — but it was only compulsory for cabin crew, the Sunday Morning Post reported.

Hezbollah International Airport.  After an airport worker opened fire on U.S. airmen at Frankfurt's airport, killing two, there is once again attention on the vulnerabilities of airlines and their passengers to airport workers who embrace terrorism.  While European airports must get their acts in order, they are only the tip of the iceberg.  Rafik Hariri International Airport in Beirut may look more like its European counterparts than other Middle Eastern airports, but since 2008 it has been under the control of Hezbollah, a terrorist group.

TSA head urges complete airport security overhaul.  Even the current head of the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) now admits that airport security as we know it is largely a failure.  In light of the fact that reactionary security changes have done nothing to thwart supposed terrorist plots and everything to target innocent Americans, some government officials, as well as TSA administrator John Pistole, are now recommending that the airport security paradigm be altered to become a more "intelligence-based" system rather than a technology-based one.

Airport 'Security'?  No country has better airport security than Israel — and no country needs it more, since Israel is the most hated target of Islamic extremist terrorists.  Yet, somehow, Israeli airport-security people don't have to strip passengers naked electronically or feel strangers' private parts.  Does anyone seriously believe that we have better airport security than Israel?  Is our security record better than theirs?

Why They Don't Need To 'Touch Your Junk' At Israeli Airports.  Fighting against terrorism, an evil which rejects all the basic moral and legal norms of civilized society, is inherently difficult for liberal democracies such as the United States.  It forces us to find the right balance between the protection of civil liberties on one hand and the prevention of violence on the other.  It is clear that the latest TSA policy which gives passengers the Hobson's choice of losing your dignity or staying home is not "balanced."

The enemy is inventive and imaginative. Our response is neither.  The decision to make us all take off our shoes was the official response to the scrofulous "shoe bomber" Richard Reid.  The ban on liquids and precisely specified quantities of gel was the best we could do by way of post-facto thwarting of a London-based scheme to mix liquids in-flight and cause a mid-air detonation.  The decision to inquire more closely into our undergarments was the official response to the "underwear bomber" Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab.

Breaking the Siege Mentality of Airline Security.  There is a very simple reason why we need airline security.  Because we have Muslims living in the United States, and traveling to the United States.  Unlike the old leftist terrorists, Muslim terrorists like to kill everyone on board and use the planes as weapons too.  That makes the consequences of allowing them to succeed completely unacceptable.  But we have spent so much time talking about the consequences, that we refuse to admit what the problem is.

Aviation security insecurity.  The effectiveness of the Israeli system is perhaps best evidenced by the story about shoe-bomber Richard Reid.  Six months before his arrest for attempting to set off a shoe-bomb onboard a U.S. aircraft in December 2001, Reid boarded an El Al flight to Israel to test its system. … After Reid's arrest for the U.S. attack, a notebook in which he wrote extensively was found to contain reference to his testing the El Al system and finding it too good to penetrate.

Air Security's Latest "F".  [The December 2005] 9/11 Commission report giving airline passenger-screening an "F" is a kick to the gut.  Why do our airports remain vulnerable?  It's not lack of resources:  The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) earned that "F" despite spending nearly its entire $5.5 billion budget last year on passenger and baggage screening.

Playing Catch-up on Aviation Security.  We're already spending $6.2 billion on the TSA this year, and look what that's getting us.  In December 2005, the 9/11 commission gave the United States a grade of "F" in our efforts to improve airport security passenger screening and a "D" in cargo and baggage screening.  We clearly haven't implemented the changes needed since 9/11, and if we think more screeners and money will solve the problems, we sadly aren't learning anything from the recently thwarted [liquid explosives] scheme.

Better Safe than Sorry.  When eggs of silly putty are being confiscated from seven- year-old kids prior to boarding an aircraft, because the material could potentially or theoretically be used in a bomb, it is reassuring that Muslims engaging in overt behavior are being subjected to scrutiny as well.

Red-headed, freckle-faced women beware!  Racial, ethnic, gender and behavioral profiling are all tools that can and should be used to combat suicidal fanatics who have no regard for human life.  Our country has not explored the benefits of behavioral profiling as much as the Israelis have, but we need to do so.

Profiles in Correctness:  There is no harm in acknowledging that the sort of person who is likely to be a terrorist is not just any citizen who happens to walk into an airport, but someone with specific, comprehensible characteristics of age, national origin, sex, religion, and behavior.  So far as we are aware, no jihadist plots have been perpetrated against Americans by little old ladies from Dubuque, but several terrorist attacks — in particular, 9/11 — have been carried out by young Muslim men of Middle Eastern origin.  No, not all young men, not all Muslims, not all people from the Middle East, are jihadists or potential terrorists.  Of course not.  But common sense, and the overwhelming preponderance of evidence, should make it obvious to airport security personnel where to concentrate their energies.

Profiling petulance:  It is clear, whether we like it or not, or want to say it or not, that there is a strong correlation between committing terrorist acts and being a Muslim, and being black and high rates of crime.  That means if one is trying to deter terrorism and in some cases capture a criminal, he would expend greater investigatory resources on Muslims and blacks.

Why Britain Stopped the Terror Plot:  The Homeland Security Department has neither the legal nor technical tools to match the British capture of terrorist operatives before they were about to blow up passenger airliners.  Officials said U.S. law would not have allowed the FBI to conduct the type of surveillance that led Britain to uncover the al Qaeda cell and capture what could be the network's chief.  They said the department also does not have the funding to detect new types of bombs used by al Qaeda.

Improving our odds against terror:  The American response to tightening up after London has been reflexive and idiotic:  random bag checks in the New York subways.  Random meaning that the people stopped are to be chosen numerically.  One in every 5 or 10 or 20.  This is an obvious absurdity and everyone knows it.  It recapitulates the appalling waste of effort and resources we see at airports every day when, for reasons of political correctness, 83-year-old grandmothers from Poughkeepsie are required to remove their shoes in the search for jihadists hungering for paradise.

Risk Analysis and the War on Terrorism.  Screening lines at airports are perhaps the most familiar reminder of post-9/11 security.  They also exemplify what's wrong with the current approach.  Many of the routines and demands are silly, eroding rather than building confidence in the security regime of which they are part.

Security for Whom & Against What?  Anyone who has flown on commercial airlines since 9–11 knows that America has changed dramatically.  Invasive and humiliating searches have become routine procedure.  Long lines, delays, metal detectors, explosive residue detectors, partial disrobing, wanding, pat-downs, multiple I.D. checks, intrusive questioning about your destination  — all part of the price of security in the war on terror, right?

What idiots!
Controversial Muslim group gets VIP airport security tour.  The Department of Homeland Security took a Muslim group with known past ties to terror organizations on a VIP tour of security operations at the nation's busiest airport at the same time British authorities were working to break up a plot to blow up U.S. airlines.

Houston airports will search faces, too.  A controversial method of screening airport passengers by observing their behavior and facial expressions will be coming to Houston, local authorities said Thursday [8/17/2006].  Based on a federal program, local security personnel at George Bush Intercontinental and Hobby airports will be trained to look for a telltale sign in, for example, a traveler's scowl or when a passenger fidgets with luggage.

Missiles may be next big threat to U.S. airliners.  The nation's airline industry is a shoulder-launched missile attack away from plunging into a financial tailspin, one that could trigger $1 trillion-plus in financial losses in this country.  Five years after the devastating attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. passenger jets still have no response to a shoulder-launched missile that can be purchased on the black market for as little as $5,000 and can hit a target more than a mile away.

The Editor says...
If you ask me, shoulder-launched missile is very likely the cause of the TWA 800 crash.

Five Fixes for DHS:  There are five steps that should have been taken within a year of 9/11 that are still not complete.  These steps are fundamental to building the security infrastructure that the nation needs for the long term.

Are We Looking for Answers in the Wrong Place?  This week, the media focused its aviation security interests on the problem of missing security-personnel uniforms and badges recently reported in Canada.  Just how our friends to the north learned of the loss of over eleven hundred uniforms and badges is not clear but it has been reported that at least one uniform was offered for sale on E-bay; hopefully that was not how the problem came to the attention of Canadian authorities.

This is just Canada's problem... or is it?
Unarmed and dangerous.  [Canadian] Border guards, tired of being ignored, are now leaving their posts each time there is a report of a violent offender from the U.S. heading to their crossing.  Part of the border abandonments are union-driven work stoppages to make a point.  But even if you don't like the union's tactics, no sane person can honestly expect border guards to confront gun-toting thugs with snowballs and good graces.  Last month, a new government took office with a promise to finally allow border guards to carry guns.

Air marshals ousted over job injuries.  Marshals say medical staffers are quitting the Federal Air Marshal Service (FAMS) out of frustration as hundreds develop illnesses related to their heavy flying schedules such as barotrauma, decompression sickness that causes ruptured eardrums and sinus conditions often requiring surgery.

Flight marshal numbers disputed.  Flight reports by the Federal Air Marshal Service show that federal agents were on less than 10 percent of the nation's flights in December [2004], a number several air marshals say was inflated to make it appear to Congress that commercial air travel is better protected than it is.

Skewed air safety priorities.  While one could perhaps envisage a scenario in which shooting down a commercial passenger aircraft would be the lesser of two evils, would not shooting a single terrorist be clearly preferable?  Would it not be better to arm airline pilots rather than scrambling F-16s to shoot down the entire aircraft?  Yet, even though Congress has mandated the arming of airline pilots, the administration continues to drag its feet in carrying out this vital and reasonable measure to protect air passengers and crews.

ACLU Claims Profiling at Boston's Airport.  The head of the ACLU's racial profiling unit filed a lawsuit yesterday [11/10/2004], charging state troopers with harassing and detaining him at Logan International Airport for no reason other than his being a black man.

Civil rights before safety:  The counterterrorism community must ignore the whining by Amnesty International USA condemning the profiling of Muslims - especially with evidence proving the strategy works and the likelihood of mega-terrorism.

Unfriendly Skies.  Courageous federal agents are warning against airport security weaknesses that existed prior to 9/11, and still exist today.

Pilots Unarmed:  Pilots are protesting against government policy.  The reason: almost a year after Congress authorized pilots to bear arms, the Transportation Security Administration is making it almost impossible for pilots to actually do so.

See also Guns in the Cockpit:  The debate over arming the pilots.

U.S. Senator Zell Miller, D-GA, Floor Statement in Support of Arming Pilots.  Why is it that somewhere between banning nail clippers and shooting down the plane there is no room for allowing a trained pilot to use a handgun to defend the cockpit?

Protecting the cockpit:  The secretary of transportation's politically correct pledge that there will be no ethnic profiling of airline passengers has led to ridiculous and potentially dangerous situations.  Those from the same demographic group as the hijackers are ignored while little old ladies are subjected to humiliating searches.

Air Traveler ID Requirement Challenged:  Secret rule demanding "Your Papers Please" claimed unconstitutional.

More information is available about the proposed National ID Card.

El Al:  The Airline That Gets It Right.  Our domestic airlines look for bombs and weapons.  El Al looks for terrorists.  And they make no apologies in the process.  Moreover, no one seems to complain.

We need to profile:  Let's look at our DOT and FAA mandates for air security.  By their actions, they assign an equal probability that anyone who boards a plane is a potential hijacker, and that includes pilots and crew, the aged and infirm, and children and babies.  That's why they do body scans, make people take off their shoes and confiscate scissors, fingernail files, cork screws and other items on their "prohibited" list.  This vision of anti-terrorism is both stupid and costly.

Political correctness: the sequel.  Five young men supported by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the Arab-American Anti-Discrimination Committee filed lawsuits in three federal courts against America's four largest airlines.  Their complaint:  They were unfairly discriminated against by the airlines when "amateur profilers" misidentified the young males as "suspicious" Middle Easterners who might be Islamic extremists.

Profiling Needed:  Most security resources should be spent scrutinizing Caucasian males, particularly those with a Middle Eastern appearance.

Captains to FAA:  Focus on cockpits:  They argue that no matter what changes are made on the ground, terrorists will still find a way to sneak aboard commercial flights with weapons.  The key, they say, is preventing them from breaking into the cockpit and taking over the flight controls once they're aboard.

Three Cheers for Captain 'X'!:  He's President Bush's least-favorite pilot.  But we should all applaud the embattled Captain "X," unnamed pilot of American Airlines Flight 363, who refused to allow a suspicious, belligerent, armed passenger to fly on his plane, Christmas Eve.

If the profile fits ...:  When there is a 100 percent chance, it ceases to be a profile.  It's called a "description of the suspect."  This is not a psychological judgment about an ethnic group — it is an all-points bulletin:  Warning!  The next terrorist to board a commercial flight will be an Arab or Muslim male.

The ACLU Is Going to Get People Killed With This Nonsense.  We now have lawsuits against four American airlines seeking damages because the airlines did just what they should have done.  They profiled!  The five men who brought these lawsuits are all of Middle Eastern or Asian descent.  The airlines aren't giving the specific reasons why these particular men were taken off these particular flights.  The plaintiffs want us to believe it was simply because of the color of their skin.  If that is the case, then how in the world did they manage to get on later flights?

A Recipe for Safer Skies?  Looks like the White House has already traded in its recently adopted motto, "Let's Roll," for a new slogan:  "Let's Roll Over."  With a submissive stroke of President Bush's pen, nearly 30,000 airport screeners gained lifetime public employment this week.  President Bush wanted a more limited government role, but he immediately gave in to Democrats' insistence on mass federalization of the entire airport security workforce.

Is It Safe To Fly Yet?

America's wake-up call:  We have to wonder if the Clinton administration's cover-up of the cause of the crash of TWA Flight 800 emboldened the perpetrators of these attacks to carry out their kamikaze missions.  The evidence that TWA 800 was downed by missiles is overwhelming.  Hundreds of eyewitnesses either saw a missile rise from the surface of the ocean or spotted a missile in the sky heading for TWA 800.  Radar picked up a missile track.  But all of this ended up being disregarded by the FBI, the CIA and the National Transportation Safety Board.

Waste And Abuse at Homeland Security:  Following the spending on programs purportedly designed to make our commercial aviation system secure, one is startled by two facts:  (1) The staggering amount of money that has been spent to rebuild the nation's aviation security program after 9/11; and, (2) How the enormous expenditures made in the attempt to hire effective federal workers to replace existing ineffective private sector workers, and to install new electronic equipment to protect the system from on-board weapons and explosives has failed to accomplish either.

Fear factor and Fortress America:  This raises the questions of whether we can hope to make ourselves "safe" — if by that we mean no more terror attacks — and if it is worth the price of transforming ourselves into an armed fortress.  Changing America is a primary objective of the terrorists.  If we change ourselves, have they won?

How Hard Is It to Fly a 757 or 767?

Pushing the Envelope — of Mediocrity:  It's all just an opportunity, to some:  forget homeland security.  Forget stopping terrorists before they strike.  The objective is to unionize as many people as possible whenever and wherever possible.

DHS Decided It's OK to Allow Some Terrorists to Board Planes.  Even if Umar Farouq Abdulmuttalab had never boarded that Christmas flight from Amsterdam to Detroit wearing explosive underpants, a passage on page 17 of a report published in July by the inspector general of the Department of Homeland Security would still be eye-popping.  "Not all known or reasonably suspected terrorists are prohibited from boarding an aircraft, or are subject to additional security screening prior to boarding an aircraft," says the passage.

Ditch the 'smoking gun' standard, Mr. President.  Does Mr. Obama need another 9/11 to wake up from his Hawaiian dream world? ... The administration has been taking an extremely lackadaisical approach to securing our nation from all enemies, foreign and domestic.

Airline bombing revealed total dysfunction of U.S. intelligence.  In advance of yesterday's report on the failed Christmas Day terror attack, the White House national security chief warned that the revelations would generate "a certain shock" among Americans.  That was an understatement of epic and outrageous proportions.

Airport Security Begins Away From the Airport.  It's long past time that someone in Washington, D.C. stated the obvious:  we're the good guys, trying to defeat the bad guys.  It's amazing how such a basic understanding of war gets mangled by elitist, PC-worshipping intellectuals for whom choosing sides is tantamount to jingoistic bigotry.

TSA "Security": Yet Another Federal Disaster.  In view of the fact that we just can't seem to get away from terrorists bent on blowing us to smithereens, perhaps we should ask ourselves:  what is the safest airline in the world to travel, and the safest airport in the world to travel out of?  If we can answer these questions, and study what those people do, perhaps we can learn how to do it ourselves.  And those answers are...

Specific incidents:

AirTran Flight 297 and United Airlines Flight 227

So, was this a language misunderstanding or terrorist dry run?  Look up the date.  Flight 297, Atlanta to Houston.  If this wasn't a dry run, I don't know what one is.  They wanted to see how TSA would handle it, how the crew would handle it, and how the passengers would handle it.  I'm telling this to you because I want you to know.  The threat is real.  I saw it with my own eyes.

Security Incident Aboard AirTran 297 Suggests Terror "Dry Run".  On November 17, an incident took place aboard AirTran Flight 297 scheduled to fly from Atlanta Hartsfield Airport to Houston that the media does not want to cover and everyone from the airline to the TSA and other government agencies want to keep very quiet.

Was Air Tran Flight #297 a terrorist dry run?  Like Climategate, there is another story the national mainstream media has either missed or largely ignored, and that is the story of what really happened November 17th on Airtran's Flight 297 from Atlanta to Houston.  Much confusion remains about exactly what transpired that afternoon on a plane preparing for takeoff at Hartsfield International Airport.

Another flight disrupted by a group of Muslims.  It happened again on Wednesday, December 9, 2009, less than a month after the incident aboard AirTran Flight 297.  United Airlines Flight 227, scheduled to depart Denver International Airport at 1:50 pm Wednesday for Los Angeles was disrupted when several passengers who were described as Middle Eastern in appearance, confirmed by this investigator to be a group of Muslims traveling together, were removed from that aircraft due to suspicious behavior that originated in the terminal and continued to the airplane.

Terror Test-Runs on Airlines?  After my article on the biazarre incident on AirTran Flight 297 was published, one reader going by the initials VHG said something that immediately caught my attention.  The comment referred to an apparently similar occurrence that happened on United Airlines flight #227 in Denver on December 9th, only two days before my article appeared. ... Chris Vanderveen from in Colorado interviewed passengers from the plane that was reportedly delayed because of the suspicious behavior by a group of men during pre-flight preparations.

AirTran Flight 175, 1/1/2009

Flashback:  AirTran Flight 175.  It was January 1, 2009 when passengers aboard an AirTran flight 175 departing from Reagan National Airport became alarmed by a conversation they overheard between two other passengers, dressed in Muslim attire, talking about the safest place to sit on board an aircraft in the event a bomb was aboard.  The two Muslim passengers were among a party of nine traveling together from Washington DC to Orlando, Florida to attend an Islamic conference.

The Minneapolis Incident on 11/20/2006

Note:  The newest material in this subsection is at the top.

Updated 10/24/2009:
'Flying imams' rewarded for ominous airline 'stunt'?  It's a jubilant night over at CAIR.  The nation's self-proclaimed foremost Muslim civil rights group, the Council on American-Islamic Relations, is celebrating what it calls a "victory for justice and civil rights" and an end to the fear of "flying while Muslim," thanks to a legal settlement reached earlier today [10/21/2009].

Flying Imams Victory.  A suspect Islamist group is gloating that a cash settlement in the so-called Flying Imams case is a "victory for civil rights."  If it's a victory, it's one for future hijackers.  Three years ago, six Islamic clerics sued US Airways and Minneapolis airport police for discrimination and false arrest after they were bounced from a Phoenix-bound flight for behaving much like the 9/11 hijackers.  Some yelled "Allah, Allah, Allah," and changed their seats while asking for seat belt extensions they never used.  Though situated throughout the cabin, the six men appeared to be acting in concert.  Witnesses also said they loudly cursed the U.S.

CAIR's 'flying imams' strategy:  Sue everyone.  When terrified passengers reported suspicious behavior on the part of seemingly unruly Muslims onboard the a US Airways Minneapolis-to-Phoenix flight, what they did "was uncalled for, it is pure discrimination, and pure prejudice on the part of those who reported the case, pure prejudice, and discriminatory attitude on the part of those who decided to inform the authorities to come and arrest them," insisted Nihad Awad, the national executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

Updated 10/22/2009:
Imams settle lawsuit over removal from 2006 flight.  Six imams taken off a 2006 US Airways flight after passengers reported what they considered suspicious behavior have settled their discrimination lawsuit, saying they considered it acknowledgment that their removal was a mistake.

Updated 7/26/2009:
Judge clears way for lawsuit by 6 imams arrested at Minneapolis airport.  In a strongly worded ruling, a federal judge on Friday cleared the way for a lawsuit by six Muslim men who claim they were falsely arrested on a US Airways jet in Minneapolis three years ago to move forward.  "The right not to be arrested in the absence of probable cause is clearly established and, based on the allegations ... no reasonable officer could have believed that the arrest of the Plaintiffs was proper," U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery ruled Friday [7/24/2009].

Updated 4/10/2008:
US Airways to Imams:  Tell it to the Jury.  Audrey Hudson reports in today's Washington Times [1/4/2008] that US Airways and Minneapolis airport officials want a jury trial in the civil rights lawsuit filed against them by six Muslim clerics removed from a flight for acting suspiciously. This is a good move for aviation security.

Updated 11/23/2007:
Clinton Judge Keeps Flying Imams Aloft.  A federal judge had a chance to add a layer of protection for the American people.  But she missed it, and in the process might have become the useful idiot of a terrorist setup.

Judge rejects defense arguments to dismiss imams' lawsuit.  A federal judge on Tuesday rejected most defense arguments to dismiss a lawsuit filed by six Muslim imams who were arrested last November on a U.S. Airways jet in Minneapolis after passengers reported they were acting suspiciously.

Keeping The Flying Imams Airborne.  Despite overwhelming support in and out of Congress, legal protection for airline passengers who report suspicious behavior is being blocked by Democratic leaders.  Wasn't one 9/11 enough for them?

John Doe vs. flying imams:  Imagine you're waiting to board a plane and you see fellow travelers acting strangely and muttering words that you don't understand.  Maybe they're Muslim, maybe they're not.  You're afraid that they are up to no good.  What do you do?  Nothing.  If you report the behavior, you might get sued.

Passengers Sued Over Imams' Removal.  Six Muslim men removed from a plane last fall after being accused of suspicious behavior are suing not only the airline but the passengers who complained -- a move some fear could discourage travelers from speaking up when they see something unusual.  The civil rights lawsuit, filed earlier this month, has so alarmed some lawyers that they are offering to defend the unnamed "John Doe" passengers free of charge.

Imams narrow target of 'Does'.  A group of imams suing US Airways for discrimination amended their lawsuit this week to target only the "John Doe" passengers who they say are racist and falsely accused them of behaving suspiciously.

Imams sue over removal from plane.  Six Muslim imams ordered off a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport last November have filed a discrimination lawsuit against the airline and the Metropolitan Airports Commission, claiming they were removed from the plane because of their race and religion.

Imams' suit might put a 'chill' on security.  Six imams who are suing an airline and an airport for removing them from a flight also have aimed the lawsuit at passengers who the imams believe reported some of their activities.  The suit filed this week in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis names as defendants "John Does" who "contacted US Airways to report the alleged suspicious behavior" of the imams before the Nov. 20 flight — an inclusion some lawyers, who are not connected to the litigation, say will have a "chilling effect" on airline security.

US Airways Passengers Who Reported 'Suspicious' Imam Activity May Be Sued.  Six Muslim imams who were forcibily removed from a US Airways flight last year and are now suing the airline for discrimination may also be suing some passengers who were aboard the flight.  In the lawsuit filed last week, the imams say that unnamed "John Doe" passengers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport reported that they engaged in "suspicious" behavior — praying in the terminal — before they boarded the plane on Nov. 20.

[Praying in the terminal is one thing.  Making a big show of it is something else.]

Shariah in Minnesota?  By piggy-backing on our civil rights laws, Islamist activists aim to equate airport security with racial bigotry and to move slowly toward a two-tier legal system.  Intimidation is a crucial tool.  The "flying imams" lawsuit ups the ante by indicating that passengers who alerted airport authorities will be included as defendants.  Activists are also perfecting their skills at manipulating the media.

Flying Imams Revisited:  Part of Greater Islamic Strategy?  Were the antics of the six Flying Imams merely additional tactics in the Islamic overall strategy of installing Shari'a law in the USA?  It would appear so, according to some self-avowed moderate Muslims and the results of other recently exhibited actions by US Islamists and their followers.

The Flying Imams' Cheap Suit.  Word is the Imams will sue the passengers in their own cute way of squelching future free speech, by warning future passengers snitching will get you in trouble.  I've written about major corporations adhering to the "separation of church and state" mantra where Americans are concerned, yet seemingly bend over and give Muslims everything they wan't including time to pray during the workday.

Flying Imams Revisited:  Part of Greater Islamic Strategy?.  Increasingly throughout America, Muslims are demanding special accommodations for their claims that all tenets of Islamic practice are non-negotiable, therefore above our national legal system.

Twin visions.  Last fall Muslim cab drivers at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport refused service to alcohol-toting passengers.  A national debate ensued:  Should civil-rights laws protect such religious convictions?  Or was this merely a political stunt to test the elasticity of American pluralism?

CAIR representing Flying Imams against airline and passengers.  The suit stems from an incident that occurred on a US Airways' flight in November 2006, from Minneapolis to Arizona, on which six Islamic Imams were reported to have stood up on the plane and prayed loudly, took seats that were not assigned to them (reminiscent of the 9/11 hijackers' locations) and requested seatbelt extensions (which can be used as weapons) when they were neither required nor justified.

The right to report suspicious activity needs safeguarding.  Last week, we learned that federal authorities have foiled a plot to kill American soldiers at Fort Dix, N.J. The FBI uncovered the plan after an alert Circuit City clerk passed on suspicious video footage that the alleged conspirators had asked him to transfer onto a DVD.  The clerk's action was just the kind of citizen vigilance that a new bill before Congress is designed to encourage, and to shield such citizens against intimidation.  The bill was inspired by a lawsuit filed in federal District Court in Minneapolis in March by the now famous "Flying Imams."

Editor's note:
In case you have just heard about this case for the first time, here is the background information:

Six Imams Removed From Flight for Behavior Deemed Suspicious.  Six Muslim religious leaders were taken off a US Airways flight in Minneapolis on Monday evening [11/20/2006] and detained for several hours after some passengers and crew members complained of behavior they deemed suspicious, including prayers at the gate.

Muslim Imams:  The New Rosa Parks?  What were they doing to get removed from the flight? Some reports suggested that they were merely praying.  However, there were indications that this was not a straightforward case of prejudice and profiling.  Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport official Patrick Hogan said that "there were a number of things that gave the flight crew pause" about the imams.

Flying while Muslim:  Taken individually, the things the six men did — praying, talking about Iraq, asking for seat-belt extensions — may have passed without notice.  But their behavior Monday night at Gate C9 at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport was enough to trigger one airline passenger to jot a two-sentence note that would get the men kicked off one flight and eventually barred from another.

Six imams removed from Twin Cities flight.  Is it fair for people of Middle Eastern descent to expect others to ignore the fact that it is Middle Eastern men who have declared jihad on America?  I suspect terrorists actually exploit America's hyper-multiculturalism.  What enemy wouldn't exploit the security policies of a country that is so worried about offending people that it body-searches little old ladies while allowing young Arabs bearing backpacks to board planes unchecked.  (I'm not making this up; it happened on a flight of mine.)

Some Muslims call airport detention bias.  The police report listed the incident as "Security-Other," but some saw the detention of six imams at the airport here as a case of "Flying while Muslim" — the idea that Muslims come in for extra scrutiny when they fly.

The Editor says...
Muslims are the very people who should be the objects of great scrutiny, especially at airports.  If there has been extra scrutiny on September 11, 2001, the country would have been much better off.

Pretty obviously, these six men were trying to get tossed off the plane in an effort to portray themselves as victims of profiling and discrimination.  This in turn will make it more difficult to take similar action the next time.  Eventually, with everyone properly conditioned, Muslims will be able to walk onto any airplane without being challenged, and we'll be right back where we were on September 10, 2001.

This case reminds me of the incident on Northwest Flight 327, which was apparently a dry run for a terrorist attack.

Note to Muslims:  Please consider leaving the United States.  We'll all be happier in the long run; and besides, why would you want to stay in a country against which you have long ago declared a holy war?  If you must stay in the U.S., please don't even go near the airport.  And if you insist on traveling by air, please find a way to act like normal people for the duration of the flight.

Since 9/11/2001 a lot of expectations have changed at the airport.  Suspicious people deserve to be thrown out of the airport.  Muslims are the primary cause of airline inconvenience, not the victims of it.

Profiling — yes!  The removal of six Muslim Imams from a US Airways flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport is an example of profiling at its best. … There are some who say that US Airways should apologize.  Apologize?  [Emphatically] No!  Instead, they should award the captain of the plane a medal for due diligence.

Would you let your child take this flight?  You are sitting in the concourse of an airport, preparing for your flight, when out of the corner of your eye, you spot six Arab men praying loudly in Arabic.  "Okay," you say to yourself, "that's a bit disquieting.  But praying isn't terrorism."  You glance at your watch.  It's time to board the plane.  Sure enough, there's the boarding announcement.  Suddenly, you hear the six Arab men chanting loudly.  "Allah! Allah! Allah!"  "Okay," you say to yourself, "maybe they're still praying."

On a Wing and a Prayer:  Grievance theater at Minneapolis International Airport.  Allahu Akbar!  Allahu Akbar!  Allahu Akbar!  Allahu Akbar!  Those are the words that started it all.  Six bearded imams are said to have shouted them out while offering evening prayers as they and 141 other passengers waited at the gate for their flight out of Minneapolis International Airport.  It was three days before Thanksgiving.  Allahu Akbar:  God is great.

Are the planes safe?  The hubbub raised over six Islamic imams being removed from a US Airways flight in Minneapolis for suspicious behavior is the latest in a string of incidents underlining one consistent thread in the war on terror:  Muslim terrorists have never given up on the tried-and-true idea of hijacking airplanes and blowing them up to kill and demoralize the infidels.

I knew it!  This whole thing was just a shakedown.
Ousted imams want airline settlement.  Five of six Muslim imams who were taken off a US Airways flight in Minneapolis last month want an out-of-court settlement from the airline for the ordeal.  After the Nov. 28 incident, the airline offered to meet with the group of clerics Dec. 4, but the men declined and instead sought legal help from the Council on American-Islamic Relations in Washington.

The real purpose behind the imam publicity blitz:  On Dec. 1, a curious report on the grounded-imams incident at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport appeared on the website of the Iranian Quran News Agency. … The report echoed statements made by the imams themselves.  Omar Shahin, their spokesman, has portrayed the incident in a way that's consistent with a lawsuit and a public relations offensive.

CAIR:  The Other Fifth Column.  CAIR is encouraging Muslims to file civil rights complaints and lawsuits if they "feel" they are being discriminated against by US airlines.  Citing what it called the "airport profiling" of six imams removed from a recent US Airways flight, CAIR said Muslims traveling this month to the holy site in Saudi Arabia need to be aware of their rights.

Imams should have been arrested.  "Those six people should have been arrested and prosecuted for pretending to be terrorists," Gingrich said.  "And the crew of the U.S. airplane should have been invited to the White House and congratulated for being correct in the protection of citizens."

The Imam Scam and the Democrats' House of Games.  Since [9/11/2001], it's doubtful that even the most ardently PC liberal has boarded any airplane without carefully evaluating all fellow passengers — and not to evade inebriated conventioneers.  It is that same indelible angst of their brothers' making which a group of Muslims exploited last month to perpetrate a hideous apparent hoax.  And the soon-to-be empowered Democrats and their gullible accomplices in the media proved the perfect patsies for this odious plan to make the skies ever more dangerous for Americans.

Now The Flying Imams Want Money.  What A Surprise.  Do you remember the six flying Imams at the Minneapolis Airport a few weeks ago?  These clowns made a big deal of praying at the gate before boarding.  They were heard making anti-American comments by Arabic speaking passengers.  They adopted the same seating pattern on the airliner that the 9/11 hijackers used.  They asked for seat belt extensions they neither needed nor used.

Flying, Fibbing Imams Exposed By 'Investor's Business Daily'.  One of the Imams, Omar Shahin, has ties to Islamic terrorism.  He served as an agent and fundraiser for a Hamas front group.  He ran a mosque in Tucson, Ariz., which was attended by several al-Qaeda operatives -- including the hijacker who flew an airliner into the Pentagon on 9/11.  Shahin also teaches at an Egyptian accredited Islamic school that is tied to the Muslim Brotherhood.

Deeper Terrorism Ties Found In Flying Imam Flap.  Katherine Kersten, a reporter for the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, has published an in-depth exposé of the suspicious terrorism ties of a key imam who was pulled from a US Airways flight for questionable behavior last month.  The imam, Omar Shahin is the spokesman for the six Muslim clerics removed from the plane and is president of the North American Imams Federation.

Political Correctness Gone Mad:  Chalk up another victory for the terrorists' Fifth Column — the Council on American-Islamic Relations.  After much prodding and capitalizing on phony incidents of racial profiling, CAIR has achieved something few Americans have achieved — they got airport security officials to back off.

See suspicious acts?  Feel free to report them.  I flew to California and back last weekend.  Sitting at LAX waiting to board my return flight, I heard the usual announcement, advising me to be attentive to my luggage and to report any suspicious behavior.  Suspicious was never defined.  Nor do I think it needs to be.  To me, suspicious would include anything reminiscent of 9/11, the day that 19 young Muslim men cut throats and crashed airplanes.

Not the Flying Imams.  Minneapolis attorney Gerry Nolting offered to represent any John Does for free.  As he told me, the FAA relies on passengers to report suspicious activity to protect the flying public.  Suing the John Doe passengers, he noted, would have "a chilling effect" by signaling to passengers that if they report suspicious behavior, "you'll be the next defendant."  Meanwhile, the whole episode had some observers wondering about this post-9/11 controversy.

CAIR's 'Flying Imams' Suit Harms Security, Public Vigilance, Experts Say.  Litigation threats against vigilant citizens who report suspicious activity could impede intelligence-gathering efforts and empower terrorists, counter-terrorism experts and security officials warn.

US Airways seeks imam-suit dismissal.  US Airways is asking a court to dismiss a lawsuit filed by a group of Muslim imams, saying the airline followed government guidelines when it removed the men from a flight because of suspicious behavior.

Imams Drop Fellow Passenger From Discrimination Lawsuit.  Six imams who were removed from an airplane after drawing the suspicion of a fellow passenger have dropped the passenger from a discrimination lawsuit they filed in federal court over the incident.  The imams' inclusion of the passenger in the suit had prompted Congress to pass a law protecting passengers who report to authorities what they regard as suspicious behavior from being sued.

Imams drop passengers from lawsuit.  A federal court today accepted a request by a group of imams to drop all claims in a federal lawsuit against "John Doe" passengers for reporting the Muslim men's suspicious behavior, which led to their removal from a US Airways flight last year.  The lawsuit, filed in a federal court Minnesota, still targets US Airways and Minneapolis airport workers.

Similar (if not related) incidents:

The Need To Control Air Passengers Who Are Threatening To Others.  Perhaps you have heard of the "Flying Imams" lawsuit, brought on by an incident on U.S. Airways in November 2006. … Now comes news of two similar suspicious incidents.

Muslims may call for airline boycott.  A group of Muslims is threatening to lead a boycott of Northwest Airlines over what they say is a pattern of profiling against Muslim passengers.  About 40 pilgrims were prevented from boarding a connecting flight in Germany to Detroit on Jan. 7 while returning from a trip to holy cities in Saudi Arabia.  The Muslim group … called for Northwest to apologize, compensate them, and discipline the employees they said profiled them, otherwise they may call on all Muslim organizations to boycott the airline.

Northwest Airlines apologizes to Hajj pilgrims.  Northwest Airlines apologized on Wednesday to 40 American Muslims who were barred from a recent flight to Detroit, but denied it discriminated against the group, which was returning from a Hajj pilgrimage.  Northwest said the pilgrims failed to check in one hour before their transatlantic flight from Frankfurt, Germany, to Detroit was scheduled to depart, as is required.  The passengers arrived in Frankfurt via a charter flight from Mecca, Saudi Arabia, and mistakenly believed they were cleared to board the Northwest flight, but were not.

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Updated February 24, 2015.

©2015 by Andrew K. Dart