View Full Version : Security Diversion 12 May 05

12th May 2005, 22:41
From BBC this evening 12 May

Air France Paris - Boston diverted to Bangor to offload PX on 'terror watch' list;


Are AF being treated differently to BA & KLM???

PZU - Out of Africa

13th May 2005, 00:45
BBC Jet diverted over US terror fear (http://bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/americas/4542117.stm) Thursday, 12 May, 2005, 21:50 GMT 22:50

"An Air France flight from Paris to Boston has been diverted to another US airport because US authorities wanted to intercept a passenger on board. The plane was ordered to land at Bangor airport in the state of Maine. Information about the passenger emerged while the plane was in the air and it was diverted from Boston "out of an abundance of caution", officials said."

Let us hope that the good citizens of the USA pay the full costs of the diversion to the shareholders of Air France.

13th May 2005, 09:50
Let us hope that the good citizens of the USA pay the full costs of the diversion to the shareholders of Air France.

And why on earth would they do that? anybody that's on the black list should be banned from all airlines over the world, why that hasn't happened yet is a mystery to me.

Next the Uk will pick up the tab for a missed approach on Heathrow... or even better> for the fuel required to hold, due to the fact that the country won't upgrade it's airport to traffic requirements....


fly bhoy
13th May 2005, 10:19

The problem is, as happened yesterday, its not the actual black listed person who's on the flight, just someone with the same name.

I'm fairly certain that cat stevens isn't a terrorist (although his music could be considered a certain form of terrorism I suppose;) :p ), but because he changed his name to one which the US system black flags, a perfectly decent, law abiding citizen (along with the rest of the pax) are turned back somewhere over canada. A thoroughly ridiculous process IMHO.

I'm afraid we can't ban everyone with the name osama, or saddam just because of crimes committed against the US by someone with the same name, or else people called adolf or timothy would struggle, amongst others!!! I think its time the US rethought the whole process.


13th May 2005, 11:36
I understood that the reason the flight was diverted was not because some poor bastard had a similar name to an unwlecomed vistor to the US but rather because his true identity was not properly cleared before departure.

Until such procedures are complied with or changed there will be future similar diversions as well.

I'm sure that neither the airline involved or Homeland Security would want to repeat such incidents so the resolution lies in working out this problem between those involved rather than a debate of the unkown facts on a rumor board.

13th May 2005, 13:02
It seems it was not even an exact name match but a date of birth match. So Air France is not to blame for flying a passenger who is on the no-fly list because they failed to match the name.. From today's Washington Post.

The family is Egyptian, and presumably had visas, anbd pre-clearance from the United States Government to enter the United States. And given that it was a family of four , including a ten year old and infant daughters, one does wonder why the plane needed to be diverted to Bangor rather than proceeding direct to its Boston destination, where the matter of identity might have been pursued.

Tom Ridge, the former Secretary of the Homeland Security Department was quoted this week as saying some of the terror alert threats were based on flimsy intelligence. Some of this very much seems to be a Pavlovian cover-your-butt response.

The Department of Homeland Security realized mid-flight that a passenger's Middle Eastern name was spelled only slightly differently from the suspected terrorist on the watch list and his date of birth matched exactly, according to a government source familiar with the incident. But by that point, the source said, the Airbus A330-200 was three hours from landing in the United States and officials decided to divert the plane. After detaining and questioning the male passenger and three family members, officials concluded it was not the same person as the suspected terrorist on the list.

"After a thorough interview and review of the facts on the ground by Customs and Border Protection, the individual in question was deemed admissible to the United States," said agency spokeswoman Christiana Halsey.

Air France Flight 332 was delayed for 1 hour and 40 minutes in Bangor, as law enforcement officers escorted the passenger and his wife and two children off the plane. The plane departed without them, landing safety in Boston at 4:40 p.m., the airline said. The man and his family were placed on another scheduled commercial flight from Bangor to Boston by early evening..

13th May 2005, 13:44
A date of birth? More like: we haven't stopped anyone for a while and we need to justify our existence, so...oh look, there's a non-US carrier and someone with a Muslim-sounding name. Bah.

13th May 2005, 13:56
At this stage it seems to me that there has been a number of such incidents, have I missed something...but how many of these people have been charged before the courts or even extradited back to the USA...the answer I believe is not a single one!!!

Now if the powers that be in the US, want the rest of us to understand and assist them in what they are doing, its about time they got their act together and identified those that are not wanted correctly

How many times has a US carrier been told to not enter US airspace..?

Reports indicating that the Air France flight was delayed by 1 hour 40 minutes, give the impression that it was only a short stop, but I wonder, how many Air France passengers, including US citizens missed their connections, and who will pay for all this, If the US government had to pay all the associated costs evry time they make a wrong calling, It would ensure that diverting / refusing flights would be done with more precise intelligence

13th May 2005, 16:10
As is well known, of course, terrorists will always travel using their own names and quoting their actual date of birth. :rolleyes:

13th May 2005, 17:11
Of course they do, and they all have "Terrorist" listed as their occupation on their passports, too. :}

Onan the Clumsy
13th May 2005, 17:31
As is well known, of course, terrorists will always travel using their own names Well if they don't then what's the point of having a watch list to begin with?

13th May 2005, 19:10
I was just thinking...

Do you think if we diverted all Air France flights they'd stop coming? Maybe it's worth a try.

Darth Nigel
13th May 2005, 20:06
(pointedly ignoring BenThere's well-intentioned attempt to stir the pot)

I think the main purpose of the "watch list" is the same purpose as the very prominent security presence at the airports, and all the misery about US demanding biometric info on passports and all the other crap.

It gives a very public impression that "the government is doing something" and maintains/promotes the impression that "we are at war against an ever-present threat".

This is useful because:
(a) It maintains the population in a low-level state of fear, which causes an increase in Jingo-ism masquerading as patriotism.
(b) It allows the "government" to pass all kinds of strange laws/riders tacked onto other bills, while avoiding some of the real problems that face the country
(c) It provides another source of welfare/unemployment insurance, in that a massive bureaucracy (such as TSA or DoHS) can be formed, and staffed by the sort of people who would otherwise be bewildered by the cash-register at the local Burger King -- indeed a common term for the people working the security desks at the airposts is "Burger-King Rejects"
(d) It provides ample opportunity for dishonest politicians and their friends to funnel public money into private pockets under the banner of National Security
(e) It provides an opportunity to economically bully nations or people that have offended, as a juvenile retribution that is an increasingly popular way of getting votes, especially amongst those with pick-up trucks and dogs.

I'd also like to think (because I do believe that Americans are decent, intelligent and brave people despite increasing evidence to the contrary) that it distracts public attention from the real security work that is being done, and that somewhere dark there are some real smart people tracking down the real terrorist scum (of all races, creeds, religions and skin-colors) and working to ensure a bad end for them. Thus the very publicly inept "security" is dis-information.

13th May 2005, 20:16
I would like to think that you are correct Darth N, but given a recent experience that I had with the TSA I would doubt it.
Beaurocracy (sp?)without accountability.

13th May 2005, 20:24
The Truth is coming from your mouth!

Grandpa has spoken!

Onan the Clumsy
13th May 2005, 20:36
indeed a common term for the people working the security desks at the airposts is "Burger-King Rejects" :ugh:

There are some pretty hot ones though (or maybe it's just the uniform)

14th May 2005, 05:07

(taking the bait)...I guess in the years before your independence, if you were around then, your attitude to the French would be just the same, or would it..???

14th May 2005, 14:44
Actually, I'm something of a Francophile, lived there, try to learn the language, etc.

I couldn't resist the big, slow, hanging curve and took a swing.

Vive La France. They do need to play by the rules of the country they fly into, though. Americans are rightfully concerned about the people on airplanes. Whether we're going about it in the right way is another, much longer debate for which I don't have time today.

And I do respect the role France played in America's independence, revere LaFayette, and cherish the Statue of Liberty.


14th May 2005, 22:18
And another mouthfull of French Fries!

(Le vin est offert par la maison)

15th May 2005, 00:24
Flame says:

How many times has a US carrier been told to not enter US airspace..?

Quite a few times, one sunny Tuesday morning four years ago.

Reports indicating that the Air France flight was delayed by 1 hour 40 minutes, give the impression that it was only a short stop, but I wonder, how many Air France passengers, including US citizens missed their connections...

Now this is a bit offtopic, but how many air travelers use JFK as a transfer point these days? Everyone I know avoids JFK like it were the plague - delays at JFK are so notorious another 1:40 isn't likely to make much difference.

BOS, ATL, CVG, DTW are all preferable to JFK as connections.

20th May 2005, 05:53

"Quite a few times, one sunny Tuesday morning four years ago"

If I am not mistaken, you are referring to the despicable acts of Sept 11 2001, and if so...were you not aware that all of these aircraft were already in US Airspace..?? (as in my original question)

20th May 2005, 23:12
Diversion of security:

Luis Posada Carriles...

Venezuela wants this man to stand trial over the bombing of the Cuban plane in 1976 that killed 76 people. The 77-year-old former CIA collaborator was charged on Thursday with illegal entry into the US - weeks after he smuggled himself into the country. US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Thursday charged Mr Posada with "entering the United States without inspection in violation of the Immigration and Nationality Act".

In addition, the US says it will not deport Mr Posada Carriles to any country that would hand him over to Fidel Castro's regime in Cuba. Does that include Guantanamo? :rolleyes:

21st May 2005, 12:17
No, Gitmo is under US sovereignty, a bit like Gibraltar.

The fear is if we give him to Chavez, he'll be sent straight to Castro for a summary execution. The best course is to send him to Italy where he is also wanted for trial.

Speaking of Italy, the last thing the US wants to do is offend Italy, a stalwart alliance already strained. I think if a United flight had a suspected no-fly on board, it would be diverted, too.


The suicide planes on 9/11 were indeed in US airspace. The hundreds of flights in the air with them, many en route from Europe, were all diverted. Many landed short in Canada, where they remained until the airspace opened up again.