Well, contrary to what we had hashed out here and in Jetblast, it appears that northwest 327 in 2004 (The "musicians") was a real probe, and not just passengers acting hysterically at the sight of middle eastern passengers sharing a plane with them.
One thing the report does not say is that it was a terror probe, read the terms of reference, it was not asked to examine that. You may believe it was, but to do that you would have to think the terrorists to be stupid and ham fisted (to draw attention to themselves) which I believe is a dangerous assumption. Paranoia, by definition, does not have to be proven, in the current climate if your not whiter than white you must be guilty (of something,) and you represent a danger to the free(?)world.
Bizarre and scary report. Glad to see communications channels are working well: 19 July 2004 FBI: The FBI started its investigation into Flight 327 after a Flight 327 passenger wrote an article and appeared on the MSNBC Scarborough County television show.
Thanks Wino - and can I have my confiscated toothpaste back now?
It might be more convincing if the Homeland Security Department hadn't repeatedly demonstrated how desperate it is to come up with any evidence of Muslim terrorist activity, repeatedly announcing threats and arrests that come to nothing. In any case, there are some obvious flaws: is it really likely that, following 9/11, terrorists would use 13 men for a dry run? And I see no report on whether or not the men really were a band who played in California that Summer. Doesn't that seem like relevant information? As for the alleged 'suspicious behaviour', the other passengers and crew were understandably nervous, and as was said at the time, might well have interpreted normal activities as suspicious. All that changing of seats has an obvious explanation (the promoter hands out the tickets at random, friends join up later), but if I had been on board it would have made me jumpy, too. It's no surprise that it's Fox and the Washington Times (does Reverend Moon still own it?) that hype the story now. Somebody has to try and keep us all alarmed, after all.
Actually, I got the opposite message that you guys got out of it.
It looks like the government is sweeping all this stuff UNDER the carpet to make things appear more normal than they are.
When doing dry runs and stuff, you don't necesarily want them to go perfectly, especially if you are looking for holes in the system, even more so if you are trying to desensitize the system over all which it is easy to argue has happened already.
The government decided it was NOT a probe BEFORE they read the report of what really happened on the flight. Afterwards they just tried cover their buts on the first decision, quite unsuccessfully.
The inspector general's report clearly states that both DHS and FBI investigations into this "incident" concluded that it was not terrorist related. I would be very interested in knowing how Wino concluded otherwise.
Probably by conflating the report and the Times' editorial/commentary.
The report states the FBI et al concluded there was no terrorist activity, which if you go back to the original story, coincides with the on-scene FAM's assessment.
The 'confirmation' appears to come from some former FAMs (including one who had been fired from the job ) so you can assign as much credibilty to that as you deem appropriate. Setting up a music gig involving 15 individuals seems rather an elaborate 'probe' to me, surely 2 or 3 ought to do ?
The actual report reads to me like a bit of internal willy-waving, but does point out some serious lack of inter-agency coordination. Which was the point, I believe.
I particularly liked the bit about one of the men rushing towards the pointy end and swerving at the last moment to go into the loo. I imagine most nevous flyers sit in their seat until the loo is empty then rush to get there before someone else?
I note that allthough the investigators spoke to the crew and some "concerned" passengers they appear not to have contact the 13 musicians or the manager who as a US resident.
It appears that the event was not really investigated untill after the "musicians" had left the country and when they did a thorough investigation they found several other incidents involving the same people had happened previously.
I think I read this report more thoroughly than you guys did...
The FBI conclusion reads more like no blood spilled, no terror involved... They blew the whole thing off initially.
BEARDY... You seem excessively damming of this article and WINOs comments... No chance you were one of the 13 by any chance ??
"The report also says that a background check in the FBI's National Crime Information Center database, which was performed June 18 as part of a visa-extension application, produced "positive hits" for past criminal records or suspicious behavior for eight of the 12 Syrians, who were traveling in the U.S. as a musical group. "....
That alone reveals some serious failings in the US immigration dept...
I have no major problem with the article (which after all is written by a self-interested journalist) nor the investigation, but I do with the assertion that the report is a cover up. Read the title of his thread which is only justified by paranoia and the love of a good conspiracy theory.
Appendix C makes no mention of "several other incidents involving the same people". I suggest you read it again. Perhaps more thoroughly this time.
And perhaps without reference to the Times, journos 'analysis' or ex-FAMs 'opinions'. The database 'hits' were all immigration related (#5 below). The or criminal activity categorisation is pure invention, or should I say invective.
Per the FAM supervisor, the FBI ran a check of the promoter on the FBI's ACS System and learned that he had been involved in a similar suspicious incident on January 28. No other derogatory information was found. All 13 men were released. Documents provided by the FAMS include a list of databases queried with regards to the suspicious passengers. The databases mentioned are as follows: I; Treasury Enforcement Communications System II (TECS II) - Foreign travel records found; no derogatory information found. 2.NCIC– Negative results found. 3.CCDI– Visa and passport records found. 4.National Automated Immigration Lookout System (NAILS) – showed the P3 visas expired (06/10/04) 5.CRP's Automated Targeting System – Passenger (ATS-P) – Foreign travel records found. 6.TSA – No Fly List / Selectee List – No exact match found 7.TIPOFF – no exact match records found 8.CBP's National Targeting Center (NTC) activity log –No record found; NTC was not contacted on 06/29/04. Note: We asked the FAMS whether they could provide the exact time and date when those databases were queried. A FAMS official said the databases were queried subsequent to an article written by a Flight 327 passenger.
In other words, the main impetus for this was to shut the harpy Annie Jacobson up ?
Oh, and before someone starts "negative results found" means no results found, not bad results found. Easy to misinterpret if one is so inclined
I still feel uneasy about this incident and I'm shocked that it wasn't investigated more thoroughly at the time. When you see the innocent grandmothers, war veterans and professional aviation personnel who have been harassed over the years, it defies belief that this group was allowed to go before a thorough background check was made. I believe that increased security hasn't driven terrorist away from aviation as a target. On the contrary, it's challenged them to prove what a sham it really is and score an even bigger propaganda coup. One more major act of terrorism connected to flying in the USA will kill the industry with the ensuing paranoia.