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TA-ANALYSIS: General Aviation Terrorism Threat

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posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:28 AM
The threat of terrorist using general aviation aircraft to attack targets within the United States has been overlooked for years. DHS officials were made aware of the threat by information uncovered in Pakistan. Very little has been done to combat the threat of small aircraft attacking targets.
The threat of terrorists using small planes to attack American targets does exist and requires immediate action by the government, according to a Washington think tank that is nearing completion of a study of general aviation's vulnerabilities.

''It's a threat that can't be ignored any longer," said David Heyman, the director of the homeland security program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.

Heyman said the nonpartisan research group has been working with the federal government on the study this year to evaluate intelligence out of Pakistan that presents specific scenarios in which Al Qaeda has looked at using small planes and helicopters for attacks on American soil. He said this intelligence was actually discovered ''several years ago" but is now beginning to get attention.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I have personally been in situations where I have been able to board commuter flights without a single security measure being taken. I have been on planes where the cockpit door is little more the reinforced cardboard. These types of commercial flights would be easy to commandeer.

I also know of small regional airports within a very close distance to refineries, and other important infrastructure targets.

These are not things that can be taken lightly. We weren't paying attention to the threat last time. Our enemies will be watching for areas we aren't safe-guarding, and use them against us.

Tampa Crash Spotlights Gaps In Air Defense
Originally published on Jan. 9, 2002
TAMPA - Teenager Charles Bishop's copycat flight in a stolen Cessna into the side of Bank of America Plaza underscores a lingering hole in America's ability to protect itself from sneak attacks.

Even though he flew through MacDill Air Force Base airspace Saturday, Bishop was pursued only by an unarmed Coast Guard helicopter.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

[edit on 8-26-2004 by Valhall]

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:39 AM
Security seen lacking in general aviation; Al Qaeda plans cited.

August 26, 2004
By Karen Schaler, Globe Correspondent

The threat of terrorists using small planes to attack American targets does exist and requires immediate action by the government, according to a Washington think tank that is nearing completion of a study of general aviation's vulnerabilities.

link to story, john

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 11:40 AM
This totally needs to be taken into consideration. I live in Southern MD and there are about 10 airports down here where anyone and anybody can board a plane without any security precautions. And the bad thing is that Pax River, located in St. Mary's County is one of the biggest Naval Bases in the Nation. Also, Calvert Cliffs Nuclear Power Plant is also in Southern MD and is very vulnerable to attacks.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 12:48 PM
Just wanted to point out one thing...this is not to diminish your very fine points on the laxness in security surrounding commuter flights, but "general aviation" refers to privately owned aircraft. Commuters would still fall under commercial aircraft.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 12:56 PM
Perhaps I am confused then. The article had the following wording that drew me to conclude some commuter flights would be included.

After the Sept. 11 attacks, officials discussed improving security measures for general aviation, which accounts for 77 percent of domestic flights. But the Federal Aviation Administration said security rules for private and charter planes weighing less than 12,500 pounds were not changed.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 01:00 PM
Yeah, you're misreading. "Private and charter" do not fall into commercial but general aviation. Commuters (unlike charters) do fall into commercial.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 01:02 PM
Yeah, small aircraft are so easy to fly under radar and some of them can cary quite a big payload.

If nukes are going to be delivered in any way in the US, I'd think a small aircraft would be the most propable method of deployment.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 01:07 PM
If you are worried that a single engine aircraft such as a Cessna 150 could be used as an aerial torpedo you have every right to feel this way. Can we stop this from happening? The answer is no.
I personally believe the aerial threat will come from an ultrlight or crop duster type aircraft. The ultralight will be used in a suicide mission packed with high explosives and the crop duster will spray bilogical agents upon a populated civilan community. Makes sence to me, what are your opinions.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 02:12 PM
The major concern I have, and this is mostly personal due to my location, but I am concerned about small single engine aircraft being crashed into refineries. Most of the things you need for a big explosion are already at the target.

There is a regional air carrier that flies in and out of Roswell, Mesa Air, that operates twin engine Beechcrafts. There is no security at the airport, and the planes have more of a cockpit divider then a door. Mesa operates these same planes through out the west, and they operate as Mid-West Air in the mid west. While they only carry about 16 passengers, the planes themselves could be highly destructive with the right ground target.

posted on Aug, 26 2004 @ 03:33 PM
There is no doubt in my mind that small aircraft could be used in an attack.

There is also no doubt in my mind that a helicopter, bus, limo, train, car, boat, van, wiener mobile or carrier pigeon could be used in an attack as well.

While this is no joking matter, the fact is another attack could come a million different ways. Instead of making sure that we have armed troops and police guarding and surveilling every square inch of land and object in America, we need to understand that we are, and always be vulnerable. This paranoia will choke us mentally and financially until we no longer have the resources to defend ourselves. Remember: The world was changed ultimately by 20 men and a set of box cutters. We are never "safe", but we should not live in constant fear either. Not healthy. Not fun.

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