Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Terrorist Plot Prediction -- Airports are the Target

FBI agents just raided the residence of a man suspected of making bombs in a plot that spans from NYC to Denver, Colorado. What's their target? It's the airports and airlines. Why do I say that? Well, there's a number of reasons.

First, it's still a very easy target. TSA doesn't have their stuff together enough to stop a grand scale attack even in the meandering lines at the Denver International Airport (DIA). I just finished writing a chapter about the Israeli airport security paradigm in my forthcoming book, "The Work of Death--for God, Family and Country." We aren't as close as we should be when it comes to having safe airports. As a former air marshal, I always felt DIA was one of the better targets for an IED attack because of the way the people are all piled together in tight lines. And, hey, there's no real security before the metal detectors and bomb sniffers anyway. It's a perfectly easy target.

Secondly, attacking the airlines would not only cause mass chaos and terror, but it would be an ideal way to shock the country into further economic difficulty. If you think the airlines had troubles after 9/11, another attack would put several airlines out of business. Would the government use our tax dollars to bail them out? (Cringe) I rue the thought.

Thirdly, hitting the airlines have always been a great emotional and psychological target. The average American would feel that the government simply wasn't able to stop terrorists from striking again. They'd feel--we'd all feel--frustrated that the millions of dollars and bureaucratic levels of government created to help airports since 9/11 were all a giant waste.

Imagine blowing an airliner from the sky--now that would be spectacular. That's what terrorists want. And, they'd probably record it too so the news reels would play it over and over and over.

It wouldn't be that difficult for a dedicated terrorist to sneak some explosives on a plane, particularly one who's very familiar with the airports and who blends in. Consider this:

According to the FBI, agents from the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) searched the home of Najibullah Zazi, as well as the nearby residence of his aunt, Rabia Zazi, near the Denver International Airport, where he picks up and drops off passengers as a driver for ABC Airport Shuttle. Yikes! Talk about prior planning in preparation for a bombing!

According to an AP report, Zazi was born in Pakistan but moved to the United States at an early age and grew up in Queens. He moved to Colorado several months ago, she said. He flew out to NY this weekend; that's when the FBI moved in on both sites. They also put out warnings for people to be on the lookout for people with burns on their hands or face from making liquid, hydrogen peroxide-based explosives.

Hummm...this sounds strangely familiar. Sound like the London Bomb Plot? How about the Bojinka Plot? I'm not going to go into detail with either right now, but suffice it to say, I've dealt with terrorism issues before. Because of our law, it's difficult to arrest or even detain suspected terrorists, but it doesn't mean they're innocent. Now, I've witnessed government mess-ups first hand, but on this one, I think they're right on the money...or on the bomb trail, to be literal. The 24-year-old man who claims he's not a terrorist, doesn't have me convinced.

Check out the news video here:

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