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TA-ANALYSIS: Terrorists Attempt to Blind Pilots by Laser

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posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 10:45 AM
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The FBI and Homeland security are issuing warnings that terrorist may have adopted a tactic of blinding airline pilots in an attempt to crash the plane. The attempts to date have occurred in numerous cities. The lasers are fired at the planes usually during landing; when the flight crew is actively trying to land the plane, rather then during cruise when the autopilot is controlling the plane.
 



www.denverpost.com
Colorado Springs - The FBI is investigating reports from two pilots that their cockpits were filled with laser light on approach to the Colorado Springs airport.

The Department of Homeland Security issued a bulletin in November warning law enforcement agencies that terrorists have explored using lasers as weapons, but authorities know of no specific terrorist plan to blind airline pilots.

"We do not have any specific or credible information suggesting that this type of plot is underway in the United States," said Valerie Smith, spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security.


Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


It seems that the technology required to pull off such an attack is relatively easy to obtain. Lasers with enough power can be purchased from the internet.

While there is one report of a member of a flight crew being temporarily blinded, there are no incidents when the plane was in danger of crashing.

We know that they still consider commercial aircraft to be a target. So will terrorists continue with this tactic until they are successful, or will they give up when it proves not to be?

Related News Links:
asia.news.yahoo.com




posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 11:26 AM
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Sure these are terrorist, or copycat scriptkiddies with their internet ordered lasertoy? or perhaps even homeland security doing a relatively harmless prank to keep all noses focused on the war against terror????

On another note: (pun intended),

How about some sort sort of ultrasound beam or a saser, to project a beam of sound into the engines, the sound should be modulated to induce resonance and increasing vibrations in the turbinefans.


[edit on 30-12-2004 by Countermeasures]



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 06:06 PM
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www.local6.com...


This link documents 6 cases recently. This is not kids and toys, this is a serious issue that needs ALOT more research. There have got to be topographical maps that can be found of that area at that time. We have that technology, where are the pics of the surronding areas? Could you alter the pic to look for a laser's spectrum for display? Sorry, just a rant, but you won't find my a$$ on a plane.


[edit on 30-12-2004 by esdad71]



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 06:15 PM
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Actually the lasers in question are not very powerful to reach a cockpit from such a distance, in order for something like that to happend it has to be a very powerful beam indeed that can be programed to mantain its aim even when the airplane is on the move, and something like that is definitly no sold on E-bay.

With such a powerful laser is bound to be an easy way to find a location all you has to do is follow the beam.



posted on Dec, 30 2004 @ 06:17 PM
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A coordinated attack in which several jetliners crash-land at airports would be a significant terrorist victory. Done properly, such an attack could bring U.S. air travel to a screeching halt.

Considering the low cost and risk of using such a tactic, it is easy to see why it would appeal to terrorists.

However, I get this funny feeling that these incidents are decoys -- although they may indeed try to follow through with an attack using lasers.

What makes me suspicious is that these incidents are coming in dribs and drabs, and that blows the element of surprise. Al Qaeda is big on surprise as a tactic, so this seems fishy.

While some of these cases may be copycat kids with lasers and an attitude, I think most of these incidents do indeed involve terrorist agents.

But unless I am very much mistaken (and I most certainly can be), the next major Al Qaeda attack will kill a lot more people than a laser-blinding attack would, and will involve unconventional weapons. And it will be a surprise.

An ill wind blows, a dark wind, a poisoned wind...



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 09:57 AM
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Why the focus on Al Qaeda?
We've all come to focus on Al Qaeda as the terrorist boogeyman that is threatening us. But what if this isn't an Al Qaeda operation at all? What if this is the work of homegrown terrorists? Their are anti-government militias around the country who may be able to pull off such a thing. An American may have better luck nowadays of purchasing the military surplus laser that seem to be used in these attempts.

I think we need to be looking at a native source of this threat, not international.



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 10:01 AM
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So just to be on the safe side, why doesn't the FAA issue Laser Eye protection? Or is that to simple a solution?

www.professionalequipment.com...



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 10:11 AM
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Originally posted by NetStorm
So just to be on the safe side, why doesn't the FAA issue Laser Eye protection? Or is that to simple a solution?

www.professionalequipment.com...

Oh c'mon now. You expect the Federal Government to accept a simple solution?
They would require at least a seven year study on mice first, then a ten year trial on monkeys before they coulds accept the data as valid.

Your link though, is to a set of googles that would be used to enhance the visibility of those laser level deals. Has that been shown to be effective in protecting the eye? Will it protect against the green laser that these incidents involve?



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 10:16 AM
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Originally posted by phreak_of_nature

Originally posted by NetStorm
So just to be on the safe side, why doesn't the FAA issue Laser Eye protection? Or is that to simple a solution?

www.professionalequipment.com...

Your link though, is to a set of googles that would be used to enhance the visibility of those laser level deals. Has that been shown to be effective in protecting the eye? Will it protect against the green laser that these incidents involve?


Came up under Laser eye protection, so I assume it will I know mine do...
here are others though.
www.lasermet.com...
My point is, as you said, we often overlook the simple solution and create complex solutions where there should be none



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 12:20 PM
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Originally posted by NetStorm
So just to be on the safe side, why doesn't the FAA issue Laser Eye protection? Or is that to simple a solution?

www.professionalequipment.com...


That would seem to be the logical answer however, before they can give them the right glasses, they have to determine the Optical density (OD) of the LSE for the wavelength being used. Not all lasers are the same each emits a unigue signature of its own.



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 02:05 PM
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Ya know, I was thinking this morning while watching this story on Fox, that the simple solution would be to "laser proof" the cockpit windows. Then you don't have to rely on pilots actually wearing the glasses, and you could probably add several different layers to protect from the different types of lasers, i.e. red or green.

Course since they spent all that money on cockpit doors, there must not be anything left for window tinting.



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 02:28 PM
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Originally posted by phreak_of_nature
Ya know, I was thinking this morning while watching this story on Fox, that the simple solution would be to "laser proof" the cockpit windows. Then you don't have to rely on pilots actually wearing the glasses, and you could probably add several different layers to protect from the different types of lasers, i.e. red or green.

Course since they spent all that money on cockpit doors, there must not be anything left for window tinting.


Hmm as I stated above it is not that simple.


They have to determine the Optical density (OD) of the LSE for the wavelength being used first. Not all lasers are the same each emits a unigue signature of its own.


One also has to remember that that would make the windows tinted all the time, making night landings harder to see the runways.




[edit on 12/31/2004 by shots]



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 02:42 PM
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This must surely involve the use of some fairly sophisticated,and therefore expensive, hardware if it is able to track an aircraft at a high altitude, travelling several hundred mph and still maintain and focus it's beam on the small area of a cockpit window.


A beam would not necessarily show up unless there was thin cloud, mist or fog to show the path of the beam. It's not like there's a visible line of light to follow. Take a look at any firearm laser sight or boardroom pointer and you'll see there is just the impact point visible and not the beam itself.



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 03:02 PM
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I wonder if the lasers are being used to light the plane for a laser guided surface to air missile. Perhaps it is Russian and they cant read the directions, or it came without a targeting laser they are trying to find the frequency of a laser with a enough range to work with a laser guided missile. Hence the multiple attempts to see if will work before implementation. A missile could be set up on the roof top of many a squalid neighbor hood that border many airports and would not need to be located in the same vicinity as the laser. Not to be accused of racial profiling, but many of these neighborhoods have Middle Eastern store owners.

Further, two vans for transport of each piece of deployed equipment should be enough. We are looking at fanatics who would either not be caught alive and take as many civilians with them as possible, or do not care if they are captured. Both scenarios in there eyes further their cause.

In closing, flashing a pilot has little use as a terrorist act, and there is the simple possibility of filtering out the suspected light waves, this is what sunglasses do with UV rays everyday. Still even on approach, flashing does not seem an applicable or logical terrorist scenario, where a missile, though a bit far fetched is possible. The United States didnt think they were going to fly into the World Trade Center either.



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 03:52 PM
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Originally posted by shots
Hmm as I stated above it is not that simple.


They have to determine the Optical density (OD) of the LSE for the wavelength being used first. Not all lasers are the same each emits a unigue signature of its own.


One also has to remember that that would make the windows tinted all the time, making night landings harder to see the runways.

When I used the phrase tinted windows, I wasn't actually implying that they darken the windows.
I believe that they could create a film, or chemical treatment that would not darken the windows, but simple defuse the different laser light wavelengths to the point were they would not be harmful to human sight.



posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 03:59 PM
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You know I agree that it has to be some sofisticated hardware to do any type of damaged.

My son had a laser beam for christmas a while back, and that thing is not powerfull enough to blind anybody from a far away distance.

And the one he has is exactly the type that the news showed on tv, claiming to be the ones being used.


XL5

posted on Dec, 31 2004 @ 04:02 PM
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Laser goggles would not work at all if it were a real attempt to blind the pilot. There is too many wavelengths (colours) of laser beams to block and it goggle would look very dark by the time it protected against all high power blinding lasers and would cost $250-300.
Yag:1064nm (IR) -532nm (green), Ruby:694nm (deep red), 30+mW diode laser:630nm-670nm (reds) and all the 5 or more "colours" (including blue:350nm) covered by "white" krypton lasers. All those colours would not be able to be seen anymore when the goggles that block them are used.

Also, high powered lasers can be found every where, they are cheap as well. You just have to know what you want and where to get them, they can be bought for as little as $100. Anything over 10-15mW can blind.



posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 09:04 AM
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Lasers with enough strength can easily be found at party supplies and music equipment stores, not just the internet. It's sad when life has come down to people willingly trying to murder anyone.



posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 10:52 AM
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Thinking this through a simple handheld laser could not be held steady enough to keep its beam on a cockpit window at the range, speed and altitude these aircraft have been flashed at ruling out the casual teenager or deranged adults use of an over the counter laser.

One little tiny tick or movement by the operator even the act of breathing at lets say 2000 yards and the beam would move something like 30 feet.

To enable a handheld unit operator to maintain a steady aim would require the addition of a stabilizing gyro in the laser unit.

The added expense and sophistication required for a steady aim makes the use of "toy" lasers doubtful.

I think Bubba123 may have hit upon the true utility of the laser as a targeting guidence device.

Using laser guidence just about ensures a hit by a missile fired by an inexperienced or hurried operator who has exposed themselves dramatically by firing the missile. A laser operator on the other hand is much harder to detect remaining away from area the missile was launched from while the missile gets terminal guidence to its target.

Military grade laser target designators are the available units that come to mind having the required capability.

[edit on 1-1-2005 by Phoenix]



posted on Jan, 1 2005 @ 11:06 AM
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Lasers are used very extensively in common industries. Many factories employ diff kinds of lasers and some are very powerful (used for counting pills to cutting steal). Where I work, replacement units are very affordable and keep getting smaller and cheaper. Anyone can purchase one.

As for filtering the glass (Cockpit), commercial glass products are already available. One was demonstrated on "Home & garden" TV channel the other day in which the glass is totally clear, then with the flip of a switch, becomes non transparent. This could probably be adapted to a Laser detector (also available to factory industries) switch to quickly "Switch" the glass.



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