Another 9/11 rehearsal by 14 Middle Eastern men?

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.

  1. “Terror In The Sky” — something doesn’t sound right…

    Anne Jacobsen’s story, “Terror In The Sky” from and is being scrutinized pretty heavily across the blogosphere today.The gist of the story is that Anne, her husband and son recently flew cross-country from Det…

  2. I have felt secure about flying post 9-11 because of the “General Militia of Flight 93,” the reaction of the passengers and crew to the �Shoe Bomber,� and the assurance given to a friend who is a flight attendant that several pilots have said they will not allow their plane to be commandeered by hijackers. Even though everyone lived happily ever after in Jacobsen’s story, it still shook my feeling of security.

  3. george baas…
    “See her website. She has visions
    and it worked for her since she was
    a kid.”
    Um… buddy, before you post things, maybe you should READ about the topic first. It has already been determined that it is, in fact, a different person. I bet that there’s even two or three people in this world that share your name!

  4. Who’s George Baas, and what’s he got to do with this story?

  5. Has everyone gone crazy? Do you think that after September 11th, 14 Syrians are going to get on a plane together to hijack it? Paranoia runs deep. Forget political correctness. They got on that plane through the same channels that everyone else did. Please fight the urge to believe that they are terrorists simply because they are middle eastern males. Is it really rational too believe this is a terror plot because they are talking to one another? People do that. They also pee (some people more often than others). I find it infuriating that people are willing to trample on the civil rights of those “other people”, as long as their own rights are not affected. We have become ever more sheepish. It’s embarassing. Stop living your lives in fear and start living. I have bad news. We all die someday. Its goodness and living well that matters.

  6. I did not intend to insult your readers. I am sorry about that. However, please extend the same right of free speech to me that you’ve extended to the other writers, even if you don’t agree with what I have to say. It is still America, and free speech is paramount. Don’t deny me that right, because I would not try to deny you yours.

  7. Joe,
    You have no free speech rights here. You have free speech privileges. This is my site. While I welcome opposing viewpoints, I don’t have to tolerate the electronic equivalent of a houseguest who empties my fridge, blows his nose on my curtains, kicks my dog, and leaves my toilets clogged … and then gets indignant when I show him the door.
    Not. Going. To happen.
    Don’t make the mistake of thinking that just because the government typically can’t restrict your speech, I (a private citizen) can’t restrict your speech when you’re using my site software, my writing, and my bandwidth to promote your views.
    Having said that, I hope you’ll notice that I haven’t exercised my right to revoke your privileges. You strike me as a principled opponent deserving of respect, so you’ll get it as long as you give it.

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