In “Terror in the Skies, Again?“, a reporter for Womens’ Wall Street named Annie Jacobsen relates her terrifying experiences on a cross-country flight with fourteen people who weren’t Hindus.
On June 29, 2004, at 12:28 p.m., I flew on Northwest Airlines flight #327 [ed. note: check right side of page 37 on this] from Detroit to Los Angeles with my husband and our young son. Also on our flight were 14 Middle Eastern men between the ages of approximately 20 and 50 years old. What I experienced during that flight has caused me to question whether the United States of America can realistically uphold the civil liberties of every individual, even non-citizens, and protect its citizens from terrorist threats. [emphasis added]
After seeing 14 Middle Eastern men board separately (six together, eight individually) and then act as a group, watching their unusual glances, observing their bizarre bathroom activities, watching them congregate in small groups, knowing that the flight attendants and the pilots were seriously concerned, and now knowing that federal air marshals were on board, I was officially terrified.
Suddenly, seven of the men stood up — in unison — and walked to the front and back lavatories. One by one, they went into the two lavatories, each spending about four minutes inside. Right in front of us, two men stood up against the emergency exit door, waiting for the lavatory to become available. The men spoke in Arabic among themselves and to the man in the yellow shirt sitting nearby. One of the men took his camera into the lavatory. Another took his cell phone. Again, no one approached the men. Not one of the flight attendants asked them to sit down. I watched as the man in the yellow shirt, still in his seat, reached inside his shirt and pulled out a small red book. He read a few pages, then put the book back inside his shirt. He pulled the book out again, read a page or two more, and put it back. He continued to do this several more times.
There were 14 Syrians on NWA flight #327. They were questioned at length by FAM, the FBI and the TSA upon landing in Los Angeles. The 14 Syrians had been hired as musicians to play at a casino in the desert. Adams said they were scrubbed. None had arrest records (in America, I presume), none showed up on the FBI’s no fly list or the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorists List. The men checked out and they were let go. According to Adams, the 14 men traveled on Northwest Airlines flight #327 using one-way tickets. Two days later they were scheduled to fly back on jetBlue from Long Beach, California to New York — also using one-way tickets. [emphasis added]
These knuckleheads weren’t even screened, because there’s a federally-imposed limit on how many Arabs an airline can pull aside and search: two per flight. At most, two were pulled aside. The other twelve waltzed aboard untouched, with their precious, fragile feelings intact. None were arrested afterward, either, since they didn’t actually hijack the plane.
If this really happened, we’ve got big trouble. Why didn’t the pilot land immediately, with a fully armed F-16 flying in formation on each wing? Why are any Syrians still in our country? Why is this still an issue after 9/11, for Heaven’s sake? When will our government’s bureaucrats learn that Islamists are deadly serious, and are much more dangerous than ACLU lawyers in mid-hissyfit?
President Bush, if a bunch of Muslims hijacks another plane and does something very bloody, we Americans aren’t going to listen to any politically correct excuses for not screening out the passengers who matched the obvious threatening profile. We are going to demand some downright draconian measures, and your job will be in serious jeopardy.
Get on the ball, sir. Yesterday.
More at Instapundit … and believe me, you definitely ought to check this out.
Hat tip: Hugh Hewitt and Leaning To The Right
UPDATE: Looks like it’s confirmed. Michelle Malkin spoke with the air marshal quoted in Jacobsen’s article, and he confirmed that things went down as described.
UPDATE 2: Looks like the Washington Post had this story a week ago, and spiked it.