View Full Version : Cheering Gatwick baggage loader the local Bin Laden organiser?

Random Electron
30th Sep 2001, 13:16
Any one at LGW got more on this one?

My despatcher yesterday recounted the baggage handler who, on returning to his staff room for a break, saw the WTC atrocity unfolding on the TV. Whereupon he started punching the air and cheering.

He was 'assisted' off the premises by his workmates, sent home by his employer, and now we are paying for a Police guard on his house, in case anybody torches it.

I am told it is thought he is the local Bin Laden contact.

This character would have had access to aircraft cargo holds of American Airlines, Continental, North West, US Air and who else from the USA who serves Gatwick.

If this is true, how much vetting is done on ID card applicants?

[ 30 September 2001: Message edited by: Random Electron ]

bagpuss lives
30th Sep 2001, 14:20
Dunno how much is actually done on ground staff but in ATC it's pretty damned strict.

Before working for my current employers I was employed by the UK "security services" shall we say with an above TOP SECRET security clearance level. On completing my security forms for NATS I still had to wait for many many weeks for my clearance (surely to a lower security level?) to come through - mainly due to my Irish background. Which I found both bizarre and quite comforting :)

I think the problem is that there is only so much information that can be discovered about a person in a standard "vetting" process, without reverting to Positive Vetting. In other words without actually interviewing your teachers, family, friends and following you around for a week or so without you knowing it - which is what "they" basically do should you ever require top security clearance levels.

I wonder how long it will be before this is introduced for a whole host of jobs - including our own.

Not sure about ground staff though. It is a very very expensive and lengthy process and the bean counters may not be happy with the numbers of people who would require it at this cost. You imagine all of the personnel at an airfield who may come into contact with an a/c or its pax and baggage.

In this case, just because he was "allegedly" a local Taliban supporter or informant or whatever, this is unlikely to have been reflected in his files unless he had lived over there or something and not been on the UK electoral role and he may not even have been "flagged" by the security services for special attention if he had kept his nose clean and his head down. It is not an offence after all is said and done - unfortunately perhaps. So a more positive or developed vetting process still may not have picked this "delightful" chap up.

I wouldn't be surprised if no checks were done anyhow.

I used to work at another airfield (NOT Manchester I stress!) on the ground handling side and was employed with absolutely no security vetting process being carried out whatsoever. I could have been Bin Liner himself! And the airfield in question had many many mnay flights to sensitive areas of which I had total and sometimes solitary, unguarded access to aircraft, freight and baggage 24 hours a day.

A bit worrying really :(

30th Sep 2001, 14:32
Sounds like a wannabee..if he/she were the real thing...drawing attention to themselves would be self-defeating..no?

Random Electron
30th Sep 2001, 16:13
Thanks niteflite01, you obviously have more of an insight of these matters than most of us.

Ironbutt57, these people don't seem too worried about 'self defeat', so long as they end up martyrs?

30th Sep 2001, 16:32
Don't happen to know the guys name do you?

Random Electron
30th Sep 2001, 20:11
Will try to find out.
He works for the handling agent that is not Servisair.

30th Sep 2001, 20:35
Now just you all hold your horses for one minute !

No matter what this chaps beliefs are, i.e. if he wants to misguidedly follow a religious nutter that's his look out, but PPRuNe will not be party to some kind of lynch-mob mentality.

And let me be blunt - if I or any of the other moderators see any name published with respect to this thread, we will follow it up by passing the posters IP address to Special Branch, such that they can follow it up with your ISP and in line with the law pertaining to the Prevention of Terrorism and / or Incitement.

Also, we here at PPRuNe HQ will 'pull' this thread just as soon as any such name / shame attempt is made.

Thus it won’t do you any good to attempt such a post - geddit ?!

However, if you really want to do something positive, do feel free to pass this blokes name to LGW Police / Special Branch, along with any concerns / evidence that you have in support of that concern, such that they can follow it up via official channels.

30th Sep 2001, 23:04
My interest is not to name and shame. I know a lot of Islamic people including some fundamentalists personally and I am curious as to whether it is somebody who I know. A private e-mail will be welcome.

bagpuss lives
1st Oct 2001, 00:18
Just wanna add more to what CrashDive has said and warned.

It would be most unwise to say the least to post this chaps name on here. I can't stress that enough - please trust me.

Dare I say it but we should all remember that cheering the events on 11th is not in any way illegal and therefore this bloke, as far as we know it, has done absolutely nothing legally wrong. And it may be slanderous or whatever it is to suggest otherwise.

Morally is a different matter obviously.

I'm sure by now SB and the relevant authorities are aware of this persons identity and if he is as actively involved as some on here suggest then he will, without a shadow of a doubt, be hauled in for a wee chat in the coming days if not hours.

If he only has a police guard outside his house as you say then that would suggest strongly to me that the "security services" (and I use the inverted commas intentionally) don't see him as any kind threat or worry or being involved in any way - other than obviously being a nutcase of the highest order of course.

It would be extremely foolish of us and indeed PPRuNe Admin to be seen to be commenting any further on this "case" and inciting any trouble that may occur to any named (or even hinted-at) individual, especially in the current security state and situation.

Believe me..................

The eyes and ears of the media aren't the only ones out there, taking an interest in all things PPRuNe (and elsewhere) right now.

Random Electron - you asked about the vetting for the issue of ID to ground personnel - I would suggest to all others on here to strictly stick to that question and don't be tempted into the darker areas that this topic raises.

Sensible - I would not even be seen to ask for that information privately if I were you. Those that watch may wish to know why it is you want to know - and if this nutcase comes to grief (as he probably will do in some way) then your name will be mentioned in connection. Not worth it is it?

If this man is connected in any way to anything remotely terroristic he will be dealt with in the proper, forceful and above all legal way. If not then leave those that wanna be "loonies" to be just that and let's not land the lovely PPRuNe people any further.

Now - does anyone know to what level ground staff are security vetted before they are issued with a pass?

1st Oct 2001, 01:21
Random, w.r.t. 'Have you noticed that I have not even mentioned this blokes employer????'

Don’t take us at PPRuNe HQ for a bunch of fools, i.e. as you and I both know, there are very few handling agents at LGW, and as such it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to piece 2 + 2 together (and get 5) !

Accordingly let me reiterate what I've said above (and if it upsets your sensibilities, please instead see it as wise counsel) - but continuing to use PPRuNe to elicit information about employees at airports (for what ever reason) and / or asking for direct correspondence / email information w.r.t. their names et al is I'm afraid sailing very close to the wind (at this present time) and is not something which we at PPRuNe can sanction.

As has been said above, if you have pertinent information please pass that onto the Police / Special Branch / security services / etc - if not, then leave well alone.

2nd Oct 2001, 01:10

That post is cheap and unworthy.

It isn't even worth saying why.

2nd Oct 2001, 02:18
I appreciate that at the moment even the word Islam invokes hysteria. I must point out that there are many Islamic people amongst us in the West. There are fewer but nevertheless a substantial number of Islamic Fundamentalists included. Just because a person is an Islamic Fundamentalist, it doesn't mean that person is automatically a terrorist or even supports terrorism. The report of the guy at LGW celebrating the destruction of the WTC may well be just be a passive supporter. With the present civil liberties in the UK, it is not a criminal offence to be a supporter of a cause, only if that person is actively involved in terrorism otherwise a large proportion of the American and UK population would be in jail for dropping donations into IRA collecting boxes - yes the IRA collects money in London! Quite honestly, I'm quite bored with all the hysteria, I wish that the public in general would educate themselves about Islam and especially Fundamentalism before we alienate every Moslem throughout the world because of our ignorance. This is a free country and I suspect that there may be a few cheers if the USA employs military force against the Talliban and in doing so kills many ordinary Afghan citizens. Does anybody suggest that we report those people to the Special Branch for punching the air or similarly supporting "retaliation"?

2nd Oct 2001, 02:29
Scan, here at PPRuNe I've been using my CrashDive handle for something in the order of five years.

Now I originally choose it because I felt that it nicely summed up how - at that time - my aviation career / life seemed to be going, i.e. I was in a crash dive of despair.
(Nb. You can ask anybody from Danny, to PPRuNe_Towers, or Hamrah to corroborate those circumstances and / or my handle).

However, whilst my fortunes have since changed - considerably for the better :) - I continue to hang onto that handle as my reminder of those less than happy times; you might like to see it as my 'sack-cloth' of reality that, in aviation especially, things can (and do) go bad real quick !

Thus, like much of life (and death), you should take what you perceive into context, whilst all the time hoping for the best, but expecting the worst, and taking what comes.

Ps. Perhaps you'd like to vet a few of the 'handles' of some of the +500 per week PPRuNers who register anew - before you out-of-hand condemn mine !

PPs. Unwell_Raptor, thank you most kindly for what you wrote (as well as what you didn't) above.

2nd Oct 2001, 02:50
As you're here, CrashDive, may I butt in briefly from the Mil Forum.

You guys who look after this BBS have got it tough right now and it is much appreciated by most of us.

I hope you are keeping an eye on the Mil Forum where we're starting to get those "innocent" invitations to divulge classified information or speculate on UK Forces Military capability.

There are a couple worthy of a hatchet job right now in threads about the Leuchars Airshow and "AD over London".

Any chance of an intervention?

2nd Oct 2001, 05:20
People, can I just endorse what Crash dive has said. If you have any information please don't assume that the Police have it. Your information maybe a vital missing piece. Everyone in this industry has a responsibility for security and if you get information please pass it through the appropriate channels. It will enable the wheat to be sorted from the chaff and the appropriate action taken.

[ 02 October 2001: Message edited by: Aeropig1 ]