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Are the Terror False Alarms Actually Terror Feints?

Rick Moran has an interesting post at his blog Right Wing Nut House in which he discusses the possibility that the recent activity in airplanes being diverted due to passengers' suspicious behavior could be terror feints. Here's a portion:

In the last several months there have been numerous incidents involving suspicious behavior of passengers or threats that have been phoned in or found scrawled on air sickness bags. And counterterrorism experts say that even though most of these incidents are explainable because of heightened security fears, there are just too many of them to dismiss out of hand. In fact, these experts believe that some of these incidents could have been "feints" by terrorists:
"We are constantly being probed by terrorists," Mr. Hagmann said. "We are going to have a limited number of incidents that are just a ploy, a nonevent as a result of misunderstandings or innocuous activity. You can expect that and factor that in. But the extent we are seeing today--the numbers are well beyond the norm." At least 23 incidents worldwide since the Aug. 10 arrests of two dozen suspects have led to 11 emergency landings or flight diversions, four of them escorted by military jets, and 16 arrests. The majority of disruptions occurred on domestic and inbound international flights. The number of publicly reported security incidents peaked on Aug. 25, with eight incidents on that day, Mr. Hagmann said.

Judging by that shocking number of incidents on August 25 as well as the other reported events, one would have to conclude either we have the biggest bunch of bedwetting scaredy cats running our airline security or that something very, very bad may be in the offing. And, of course, those numbers don't include incidents that are not publicly reported.

Rick also notes that in the past two weeks, air marshals have had to reveal their cover twice when they previously did so only once since 9/11.

Read the rest of Rick's post. He makes many interesting points.


Comments (15)

Experts? My ass... Hagmann ... (Below threshold)
Lee:

Experts? My ass... Hagmann is a right-wing tin-foil wearing consiracty theory hack - just another war profiteer.

Disruptions of this kind ar... (Below threshold)

Disruptions of this kind are an economic problem for all concerned. If you have enough of them, people can get desensitized and disregard the "big one" when it happens.

This is also the low cost v... (Below threshold)
yetanotherjohn:

This is also the low cost variant of a terrorist attack. Not as big of disruption, but then you also don't need as much Jihadi spirit to call in a bomb threat from a public phone.

Another alternative is that these activities were meant to be the desensiting activity before the London attacks.

They are playing a game of ... (Below threshold)
Scrapiron:

They are playing a game of cat and mouse. They will find out which works and that is the one they'll use during the next attack. Everyone that causes a problem or threat on a flight should receive a minimum of 20 to life. See how many are willing to play the game.

I think the point about whi... (Below threshold)
_Jon:

I think the point about which routes have been targetted is important. A distraction, if you will.

With two set of arrests for explosives in Europe recently, I wouldn't be suprised to see a major European attack.

If these are indeed 'feints', then it would be clever to seem to attack America, then go after an ally who may let their guard down.

I have had an uneasy feelin... (Below threshold)
Charles Bannerman:

I have had an uneasy feeling about this upcoming 911 for a long time now. I think thees incidents really are probing for weak spots as a couple of other commentors have said.
If I were a terrorist, I would divert people's attention to the airlines, which they have done, and then I would hit something like a tunnel or a bridge.
Airline security has been Code Red for a while now and they seem to be keeping that pot boiling for some reason.
Of course we can't effectively gather the intelligence we need thanks to the NYT.
Chuck

I love how Wizbang's pet tr... (Below threshold)

I love how Wizbang's pet troll's link starts with:

The neutrality of this article is disputed.
Please see the discussion on the talk page.

Nothing says rebuttal like a disputed Wiki article.

Damn! I thought we was rid ... (Below threshold)
jhow66:

Damn! I thought we was rid of old "pucker puss" (lee lee).

More from Wikipedia - en.wi... (Below threshold)
Lee:

More from Wikipedia - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talk:Northeast_Intelligence_Network

For additional information on Hagmann one only has to consult google. There are PLENTY of stories out there as he is the running joke in the intelligence community. He consistently plays off of those poor souls who are troubled with paranoia and conspiracy theories by twisting items found in the mainstream news. He lines his pockes from those who wear tinfoil hats and await the end of days in cement bunkers.

This guy is a genuine asshat hero - to guys like Scsiwuzzy at least.

Actually, Lee, I never expr... (Below threshold)

Actually, Lee, I never expressed an opinion on Hagman. Only your debating skills. However, I think he is long on rhetoric and short on evidence, 90% of the time.
I'll also note that you are quoting from the discussion page, not the wiki article in your latest bit of "evidence".

I'm glad you're in agreemen... (Below threshold)
Lee:

I'm glad you're in agreement with me SCSIwuzzy - maybe the're hope for you after all.

I have no idea why is comes... (Below threshold)

I have no idea why is comes as a shock to some (or worthy of denial by others like al-Lee) that Islamic fascists would act any differently than criminals casing a bank they plan on robbing.

Even the bust of the liquid-explosive terrorists in England revealed they were planning "dry runs" to take their plans to the next level.

Frankly, I'd be very surprised if terrorists were NOT constantly testing both our security and our reactions.

Remember, prior to 9/11 the hijacking of a Air France flight 8969 by Islamist terrorists of Bin Laden ... one of the reasons it failed was the hijackers were personally unfamiliar with flying a plane .... with the failure of that hijacking, they adjusted their strategy, now pursuing training so they could just murder the flight crews and take over for themselves.

Why in the world would anyone be so stupid (lee?) to think they aren't still looking for new ways to murder? Islamism is a death cult.

I've wondered the same thin... (Below threshold)
pjaykc:

I've wondered the same thing--if these actions are deliberate.

Oh good, another yarn from ... (Below threshold)
mantis:

Oh good, another yarn from Rick "Get a brain" Moran. Interesting that central to his piece is Annie Jacobsen's ridiculous "Muslims on a Plane!" saga which of course turned out to be just her deluded paranoia about a McDonald's bag. Moran uses also buys her link to another story, this time of very questionable origin (an unnamed "Islamist website"), which also details nefarious "restroom runs". Ooh, scary. Anyway the rest of Moran's information comes from the conspiracy theorist Northeast Intelligence Network (via the Moonie Times), who specialize in making claims like secret US underwater nuclear detonations in the ocean and missile attacks on planes out of LAX. And what do you know but their founder, and the speaker in the portion of Moran's idiocy quoted here, Douglas Hagmann, is a regular on Coast to Coast. Tough to fit in all that solid anti-terrorism news among the bigfoot sightings, EVP stories, and alien abduction recountings, but they manage to do it.

Amongst the ridiculous conjecture Moran gives us this:

Judging by that shocking number of incidents on August 25 as well as the other reported events, one would have to conclude either we have the biggest bunch of bedwetting scaredy cats running our airline security or that something very, very bad may be in the offing.

No, the TSA & FBI are overly careful, because it's better to check out every possible incident than to miss something and have another attack. People like Moran, Jacobsen, Malkin, Ham, and others who jump right on these stories as an excuse to prattle on about Muslims under your bed are the "biggest bunch of bedwetting scaredy cats". At least the Muslims under there will get dripped on. But that might make them mad and then they'll throw away their empty McDonalds bags! The horror!

Lee and Mantis:Wha... (Below threshold)
epador:

Lee and Mantis:

What is it you don't need to know which way the wind blows?

[might be important information to determine if you are downwind or not of certain terrorist events, or venting by flatuous individuals]

We can speculate what the activity means, but I think its foolhardy to suggest it is meaningless.




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