This Shouldn’t Be A Surprise To Anyone

On September 6, I posted an article about Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, an airline mechanic in Florida who attempted to sabotage an airplane before it took off. Thank goodness his actions were discovered before the plane took off and the problem he created was corrected. He claimed that his actions were the result of a union wage dispute and that he was looking for overtime pay. The article I wrote states that I suspected there was probably more to the story. Well, there is.

The Tampa Bay Times posted an Associated Press story today that reported the following:

An American Airlines mechanic accused of sabotaging a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard at Miami International Airport was denied bond by a federal judge Wednesday after prosecutors suggested he may have links to a Middle East terrorist organization.

Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a 60-year-old veteran employee, told investigators after his arrest earlier this month that he disabled the system because he was upset over stalled union contract negotiations with the airline and wanted to generate some overtime for maintenance on the plane. He said he meant no harm to anyone, and the July 17 flight was aborted before takeoff after an error alert appeared on the navigation system.

But federal prosecutors revealed new information about possible motives that prompted Magistrate Judge Chris McAliley to keep Alani behind bars, ruling that he posed a danger to the community and a flight risk.

“I have evidence before me that suggests you could be sympathetic to terrorists,” McAliley said, calling his alleged tampering with the aircraft “highly reckless and unconscionable.”

His arraignment on a sabotage-related charge is scheduled for Friday; if convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison.

At his detention hearing, prosecutors said that since his arrest investigators with the FBI-led Joint Terrorism Task Force have learned that Alani lied about taking a trip to Iraq in March to visit his brother, and that he told a fellow American Airlines employee in June that his brother had been kidnapped and was a member of the Islamic State extremist group.

I am grateful for the federal investigators that uncovered the truth. I also wonder how Mr. Alani didn’t think that an error message would show up before takeoff. Possibly he thought the error message would not be noticed or would be ignored. Either way, I don’t have a lot of confidence in Mr. Alani as a mechanic.

We Need To Tighten Security At Our Airports

The Gateway Pundit posted an article today with the following headline, “American Airlines Mechanic Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani Charged with Sabotaging Plane.”

The article quotes a Miami Herald report:

An American Airlines mechanic was arrested Thursday on a sabotage charge accusing him of disabling a navigation system on a flight with 150 people aboard before it was scheduled to take off from Miami International Airport earlier this summer.

The reason, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in Miami federal court: Abdul-Majeed Marouf Ahmed Alani, a veteran employee, was upset over stalled union contract negotiations.

None of the passengers and crew on the flight to Nassau were injured because the tampering with the so-called air data module caused an error alert as the pilots powered up the plane’s engines on the runway July 17, according to a criminal complaint affidavit filed in Miami federal court.

I suspect there may be more to this story than is being reported. Thank God for the electronic system that notified the pilots that there was a problem.

Hopefully This Was Not A Practice Run

The problem with terrorists is that they are always probing–looking for new ways to create problems for the rest of us. One reason the attacks of 9/11 were so successful is that no one actually believed terrorists would fly planes into a buildings. Now we know that this is not unthinkable. Americans have also learned that terrorists often do practice runs to test our security in various areas. Terrorists also engage in ‘lawfare’ to create court cases that result in changes to security rules and make it easier to attack us in the future. There was an incident on Friday on a flight from Los Angeles to Hawaii that might cause our security people to sleep a little less soundly.

MSN News posted a story this morning stating that on Friday two Air Force fighter jets were scrambled to escort an American Airlines jet into Honolulu International Airport after a disturbance involving a Turkish passenger aboard the plane was reported.

The article reports:

Federal authorities were preparing a criminal complaint to charge Turkish national Anil Uskanil, 25, with interference with a flight crew, Federal Bureau of Investigation special-agent-in charge Paul Delacourt said at a Honolulu news conference.

Delacourt, when asked by a reporter if Uskanil tried to break into the cockpit, said the Turkish man was in the aisle of the plane and it was “unclear what his motivation was”.

Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) police said separately that Uskanil had been detained, questioned and released hours earlier after he was caught by security there going through a terminal concourse door leading out to the airfield.

Los Angeles airport police spokesman Rob Pedregon said Uskanil was a ticketed American Airlines passenger with a boarding pass who had cleared security screening but claimed that he lost his way because he was tipsy from drinking.

As he did not appear to meet the criteria for public drunkenness, police let him go with a citation for misdemeanor trespassing, Pedregon said. He was escorted to the street in front of the terminal when released, Pedregon said.

Because the LAX incident occurred at about 2:45 a.m. Pacific time, nearly three hours before the first flights of the day, he would have had ample time to get through security again and catch a plane to Hawaii as scheduled.

This is how someone could probe airport security–go through a door they were not supposed to go through to see what happens next and then claim to be drunk and lost. This is not a comforting story. However, one of my sons-in-law just reminded me that Americans will not allow an airplane to be hijacked again–we have learned our lesson. The article states that the man was subdued by an off-duty law enforcement officer and others aboard the aircraft. The only way to prevent future hijackings is for everyone on an airplane to take responsibility for the safety of the plane. If you are young and fit, you can attack a potential hijacker. If you are older or not fit, you can throw something. There are many ways to stop a potential hijacker. Meanwhile, we have to be alert to probes of the security at our airports and on our airplanes.

Starting A Trade War With Carbon Credits

 

An Icelandair Boeing 757-200 takes off from Lo...

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CNS News is reporting today that starting January 1, all American airlines flying into European airports will be be liable for charges for emitting greenhouse gases blamed for “global warming.”

The article reports:

Under an E.U. directive that comes into effect in just 10 days, airlines using European airports will be allocated tradable allowances covering a certain amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) emitted each year, based on historical emissions data. CO2 emissions beyond the allowance must be paid for, and airlines can trade permits among themselves depending on how much carbon they produce.

Proponents say aviation accounts for three percent of total greenhouse gas emissions.

Please read the sentence above again.

If you are a believer in global warming, there is an aspect of this you need to keep in mind. Paying an extra $10 to $52 a ticket to fly to Europe actually has no impact on pollution–it is a way for someone to collect money from your activities. If the surtax decreases the number of people flying to Europe, it means fewer people in each plane, thus each person in the plane has a bigger carbon footprint–not a smaller one! It is the equivalent of your going up to someone and saying, “If you pay me five dollars, I won’t take a shower today and that will help the planet.” It won’t make a significant difference, and depending on what your daily activities are, it might even make your corner of the planet a little less pleasant.

Global warming, unfortunately, is about redistribution of wealth. The science is not settled and the people pushing the panic button have an agenda other than the welfare of the planet. As I have stated before, one of the best sources on the current science of climate change is wattsupwiththat. It is a very scientifically oriented site and is quite often well over my head, but there are great charts and graphs explaining what is actually going on with the earth’s climate–both now and in the past.

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