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Why do terrorists attack planes?

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posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 12:34 AM
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Terrorists attack aircraft for one reason and only one good reason as to why. I know this may have already been stated, but I'm going to state it again. Aircraft are one of the easiest targets to attack in the first place. You have a lot of people in one place and really no way to stop the attacks from happening. The one way that could be done to stop a hijacked aircraft from hitting it's target is to shoot it down. If you do that though, you are basically commiting a murder to prevent even more people from being murdered.

That is why terrorists have hardly targeted aircraft since 9-11. They figured out that they weren't going to be able to kill scores of people on an aircraft. That is why terrorists everywhere have started to target train stations in Europe for the last two major attacks. I mean, you bomb a train station anywhere at rush hour, you are talking about hundreds of casualties easily. Don't believe me, just look at how many were killed in Madrid in March of 2004.

If they really wanted to effect the economy, they need to target the things that will really slow down the economy. That is, target what moves more than just people and a little bit of cargo here an there. I can gurantee this, you target three to five major railroad mainlines in multiple places, you have basically ground our economy here in the United States to a halt. It would only take a few hours to wreck the economy over here and maybe a few days to wreck it around the entire world.




posted on Nov, 13 2006 @ 08:18 PM
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I have been reading up on the topic in the previous posts and here are my 2 cents (though some points are repetitive)


Hijackings
Mobility: An aircraft offers a terrorist unsurpassed mobility at the cost of lesser technological hurdles. Not only can the terrorist fly to any part of the world if he/she is so inclined, the logistics of doing so are simpler too. For instance take the compact shape of an aircraft, its refueling procedure and output generated and compare it with a ship, its diversely spread machinery and output generated (in terms of speed and ability to change transportation channels).

Communication: By this I mean communication not only with the authorities but also with the masses. By flying over different countries and jurisdictions a hijacked aircraft generates event centered media attention in each new location. There is a general mobilization of troops everywhere a hijacked aircraft lands, thus adding to the media drama. Plus in todays globalised environment, there are often people of multiple nationalities aboard an aircraft, thus automatically generating media attention in thair native countries.

Counterterror difficulties: Assualting an aircraft is the most difficult of hostage rescue scenarios as the operating space is very limited (disadvantaging mostly the assaulting troops) and the windows of opportunities are very small. e.g. you have to undertake an operation when the aircraft is grounded, unlike in ships or trains or buses where assaults can take place in transit. Further more no nation wants blood of foreigners spilt on their territories so the terrorists benefit from jurisdictional disputes too (e.g. foreign countries may place restictions on rescue ops).



Sabotage
Destructive potential: While placing an explosive device or rendering an essential feature of an aircraft inoperable has become very very tough to achieve these days, achieving them produces rather extensive results. Even a small charge can be fatal for every passenger on board, if detonated midair.

Media coverage: as mentioned earlier, when an aircraft is hijacked a lot of attention is generated by the event and an explosion whips up frenzy like nothing else. A succesful strike also points towards the resourcefulness of the terrorists as they have successfully defeated the extensive security infrastructure of the state. Victory (however temporary it may be) of a non-state actor over a state is news indeed.



[edit on 13-11-2006 by Elven Sniper]



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