Interesting new terrorism hi-jacking tactic?


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Preacherman
June 16, 2006, 08:19 PM
The BBC has reported (http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/5087638.stm) on the trial of seven men accused of planning to hi-jack an airliner.

What's interesting is their plan to overcome the presence of any air marshals or other armed opposition on the plane (see, it is gun-related! :D ). The news report states the following:

The jury in the trial of seven men accused of plotting a bomb campaign in the UK has heard of a plan to hijack and crash a British Airways plane.

The alleged plot was heard in a bugged conversation recorded by the security service, MI5, and played to jurors.

A voice says: "The beauty is they don't have to fly into a building, just crash the flipping thing."

Prosecutors say Omar Khyam was speaking to Jawad Akbar. The men and five others deny conspiring to cause explosions.

The voice said to be Mr Khyam's discusses a plot to use 30 "brothers" prepared to commit suicide on a British Airways plane.

<snip>

The voice, said to be Mr Khyam's, says: "Imagine you've got a plane, 300 people in it, you buy tickets for 30 brothers in there.

"They're massive brothers, you just crash the plane.

"You could do it easy.

The voice said to be Mr Akbar's then says: "To find 30 brothers willing to commit suicide is a big thing."

<snip>

Describing the plot as a "good idea" the first voice then adds: "If you spoke to some serious brothers, to the right people, you'd probably get it, bro'... whether they were from abroad, you'd get it.

"Thirty brothers on a British Airways flight... as soon as an air marshal gets up and shoots one the others just jump him."

So . . . to overcome an air marshal, simply recruit more hijackers! Interesting thought. I wonder if the passengers would resist en masse, as some have speculated, or surrender to a massed attack?

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PlayTheAces
June 16, 2006, 08:33 PM
Interesting, but I don't think overcoming the air marshall in itself would do it. They'd have to gain access to the cockpit, or do enough physical damage to the aircraft to disable it. After 911, I don't think the other passengers would just sit around and watch, either. Be a bloody free for all.

This brings up a question though - what safeguards are in place to keep a bunch of bozos from taking away the air marshall's weapon? Are they using high tech weapons that require a chip or some type of authentication in order to fire?

Biker
June 16, 2006, 08:43 PM
I can't imagine an Air Marshall *not* emptying his weapon against a group of attackers. It's been awhile since I've been on a plane, but how many at a time can come at him?
When a Tiger is at the hole, he can hold off a 1000 rats.

In any case, gathering 30 terrorists would be a difficult proposition and I suspect that the passengers would still fight back.
High risk low return for the Ts.

Biker

Warren
June 16, 2006, 09:09 PM
The passangers would have to resist.

Maybe you die if the fight, but you will certainly die in the crash.

I wonder if all the struggling would upset the plane at all. The body weights of 250 or so people all being flung about hither AND yon might cause that sort of thing.

Standing Wolf
June 16, 2006, 10:09 PM
More self-inflicted geniuses heard from.

MechAg94
June 16, 2006, 10:25 PM
I doubt shifting weight would make too much difference. Turbulence would bother the pasengers more than people running around would bother the plane.

The pilots could put on their oxygen and decompress the plane; go in for a landing. They could also do some of their own shifting throwing any fighters all over the place.

I think they would be better off trying to open the emergency door in flight or something(if that is possible).

taliv
June 16, 2006, 11:15 PM
maybe i need to adjust my stereotypes, but "flipping" sure seems like an odd adjective for band of terrorists plotting a suicide attack


also, the more people they attempt to recruit, the more likely they are to get people on watch lists

Atticus
June 16, 2006, 11:40 PM
[QUOTE][maybe i need to adjust my stereotypes, but "flipping" sure seems like an odd adjective for band of terrorists plotting a suicide attack/QUOTE]

Well...they ARE religious men you know:barf:

carpettbaggerr
June 17, 2006, 01:19 AM
"The beauty is they don't have to fly into a building, just crash the flipping thing You're right, the slang just doesn't sound like it would come from someone named Omar Khyam or Jawad Akbar. But with conversion, and name changes, who knows? I'm pretty sure Kareem Abdul Jabbar, and Muhammad Ali don't speak Arabic either.

As for the hijacking, I don't think 30 against 300 would have a chance. Even if they were NFL linemen, I believe they'd be beaten to death in short order. And that's if they could get 30 'brothers' who didn't mind committing suicide.

taliv
June 17, 2006, 01:29 AM
(for the record, it wasn't so much their names/religion that makes it seem odd. it's the fact that they're talking about trying to kill themselves along with 300 other people by crashing a plane. if it were a bunch of presbyterians from Iowa, the entire recorded conversation would still be... far enough outside my expectations to generate a good deal of skepticism)

Parker Dean
June 17, 2006, 02:01 AM
The voice said to be Mr Akbar's then says: "To find 30 brothers willing to commit suicide is a big thing."

Oh, really? Verrrry interesting.....

Double Naught Spy
June 17, 2006, 02:22 AM
Interesting new terrorism hi-jacking tactic?

Nope, just a variant. In the past, teams of hijackers have worked together on planes. The did not need particularly large numbres to do the job, in part due to the lack of threat to them on planes. Armed guards and aggressive passenger were few and far between. Hijackers took as many accomplices as was needed to get the job done. Now, they perceive needing more.

After 911, I don't think the other passengers would just sit around and watch, either. Be a bloody free for all.

I doubt it. Brit. Air passengers, if not American, may react as they would if 9/11 had not happened. Many are afraid to act.

I wonder if all the struggling would upset the plane at all. The body weights of 250 or so people all being flung about hither AND yon might cause that sort of thing.

Shifting passenger weight might affect the plane's flight and handling, but not enough in a manner to crash it.

As for the hijacking, I don't think 30 against 300 would have a chance. Even if they were NFL linemen, I believe they'd be beaten to death in short order. And that's if they could get 30 'brothers' who didn't mind committing suicide.

Sure they would have a chance. Plus, there is virtually not chance all the passengers will react. Not all did on the plane that crashed in Penn.

Note, the hijackers don't have to control the plane forever. A team of 30, say 25 working defense, could delay passenger aggression long enough to accomplish the desired goal by the last 5. What if all they wanted to do is to gain access to the wiring or hydraulics running along the fuselage

Finding 30 brothers would not be a problem. They had that many or more for 9/11, just not all on the same plane.

Well...they ARE religious men you know

So are we. What's the point? Then again, not all may be terribly religious. Some may simply hate Americans or westerners.

wheelgunslinger
June 17, 2006, 02:31 PM
If this were tried, I believe that a lot of panic and disorientation would ensue with the passengers. At the point the Air Marshall emptied his weapon into the faces of the aggressors, passengers would have their lines of battle drawn for them. That is to say, it would become very obvious which side the attackers were on, and passengers would either act or not act.
Hopefully, in a plane loaded with 300 people, there would be at least 30 men or women of some defensive capability to at least hold the would be hijackers at bay, if not overcome them. In a perfect world, there would be more, but I'm hard pressed to think that out of a random selection of 300 or 270 passengers, more than 10 percent would be fit and skilled enough to go up against 30 men committed, philosophically and physically, to the carefully crafted idea of taking that plane down.

Of course, keeping the interaction at a level of H2H would be a better idea than shooting or opening the E door, so that you didn't decompress the plane 5 miles up.

Given the size of the aisles, location of key passengers who had the ability to stem the tide of the assault, location of the Air Marshal, and location of the bg's, it seems like it's a fairly tough scenario to speculate on with any degree of certainty.
But, the size of the aisles alone may give any willing passengers the same degree of advantage as the aggressors, which could result in a little Thermopylae in the sky that could hold out long enough to land and put thirty more heads on the pikes of CNN and Fox News.
though it is doubtful that 30 brothers could successfully plan and execute this caper without big brother knowing about it, if they could it'd be a tough one to have dumped in your lap.
The only thing that is certain is that if your plane is in the process of being hijacked, you must act to prevent it in as intelligent and strategically viable way as possible. And, that's all you can really do.

c_yeager
June 17, 2006, 04:46 PM
I suspect that any domestic flight that includes 30 middle eastern men, most of them non-citizens, some of which would inevitably be behaving oddly, would probably get assigned more than one air marshal.

Even if that didnt happen there is still the locked door to deal with, not to mention the other 270 passengers who might be a little miffed at the plan. That would be one messy airliner at the end of the day. No matter how you cut it the situation is essentially 30 self-identified and active terrorists against one armed air marshal and 270 randomly selected Americans, all contained in a small aluminum cylinder. That would be one hell of a pay-per-view event.

Justin
June 17, 2006, 04:57 PM
"The beauty is they don't have to fly into a building, just crash the flipping thing."

It's obvious these guys were looking to recruit terrorists with skills. You know, numbchuck skills, bo-staff skills, computer hacking skills...

smince
June 17, 2006, 06:38 PM
From John Farnam's site, 13 Jun 06 from a Marshal:

"We're had bad publicity lately, as you probably know. We FAMs desperately want to remain in deep cover, blending in seamlessly with the general, traveling public. We don't 'activate' except in the event of a skyjacking attempt. Our job is to precipitously shoot to death skyjackers before they can jeopardize the aircraft. Until then, it is critical that we remain invisible. We're not there to make arrests! No one, not even crew-members, know our identity, and that is exactly the way we want it. That is also the way we want to keep it! Unfortunately, our weak-knee 'management,' unwilling to stand up to pressure from airline industry executives and others, is trying to turn us into semi-uniformed, 'courtesy police!'

Airline executives want us all in coat and tie, even when it causes us to stand out on many flights. They also want us to routinely break cover and get involved with unruly-passenger incidents. They even want to issue us baton s! They call it 'semi-covert,' a ridiculous contradiction of terms on its face.

AQ's current plan for airline takeover is to first identify FAMs, which will be no problem now. Four terrorists will be assigned to each FAM. Once airborne, they will suddenly and simultaneously rush the FAMs, pin them in their seats, immobilizing arms and legs, take their pistols, shoot them, and then take over the aircraft at their leisure. None of the foregoing is classified. It is all common knowledge, available from dozens of sources.

We FAMs are concerned with this current, dangerous trend. We want Congress to can our current gaggle of so-called 'managers,' replacing them with people who actually have a clue as to what we're supposed to be doing. Our program, and its mission, are in real trouble!"

rudolf
June 17, 2006, 09:22 PM
I just hope 30 young muslims boarding an airplane would get the same reaction as 3 old men hanging around a kindergarten and watching the children.

Nail Shooter
June 17, 2006, 10:03 PM
Biker
Senior Member
*
"...I can't imagine an Air Marshall *not* emptying his weapon against a group of attackers..."

True, but my mind is running wild here.

So the A.M. empties his weapon and gets the now run dry weapon taken away from him. I wonder if the A.M. has any spare mags fully loaded on him that could also be taken away to reload the gun now held by a terrorist. Is the wall and door that separates the cockpit from the passenger compartment bullet proof? Many terrorists on board might be a bad thing even w/ armed protection on board.

NS

meef
June 17, 2006, 10:11 PM
rudolf:I just hope 30 young muslims boarding an airplane would get the same reaction as 3 old men hanging around a kindergarten and watching the children.
HEY!

That sounds like racial profiling, and I want it to stop!

NOW! :mad:









:D

geekWithA.45
June 17, 2006, 10:42 PM
Basically, I've made it a habit to mark the air marshalls, when present.

Given this and Farnam's post, I've bumped up covering the AM's back in priority.

At the end of the day, anyone and EVERYONE who flies must be prepared to maximally resist, no matter what.


Emphasis on PREPARED....which is 90% mental, and 10% selection of various innocuous sharp and pointy objects which are not even concievably on the banned list.

Even if our enemies should muster 30 on a plane of three hundred, they're still outnumbered 10:1.

DBR
June 18, 2006, 02:51 AM
My thinking "out of the box" solution for hijacking is to allow the pilots to saturate the passenger compartment with an anesthetic and knock everyone out. Yes it may put a few weak passengers at some health risk but it would be much less than risking an F16 shoot down.

Jeff
June 18, 2006, 03:59 AM
In the interest of increasing the signal and reducing the noise, this post has been removed.

SnakeEater
June 18, 2006, 04:06 AM
How about a A.C.P. (Airline Carry Permit)? Offer a training course, say 40hrs long, that once completed gets you a permit to carry a pistol onboard. I believe a little training on aircraft particulars would be a wise move before allowing just anybody to carry airborne. I'd assume that eventually every flight would have a least a few A.C.P.'s onboard and that would be a serious snag to any terrorist plan.

Like my acronym? A.C.P.:D

Diamondback6
June 18, 2006, 04:26 AM
I've long argued that the ability to tell a would-be Tango POS "I'll see your boxcutter and raise you a Colt .45 with your name on it..." would be the ultimate in Transportation Security Assurance. I suggested something like the ACP program a while back, here:
http://www.thehighroad.org/showpost.php?p=2421223&postcount=75

Good idea then, good idea now. I'd say 20 hours should be adequate, SnakeEater, make it a one-week class and 20 allows half each day for homework and study.

And already having a CPL should count as some of the range training already done.

LAK
June 18, 2006, 06:32 AM
BikerIn any case, gathering 30 terrorists would be a difficult proposition and I suspect that the passengers would still fight back.
High risk low return for the Ts.

If you believe our gov - finding that many who are willing to die is not that difficult based on the numbers proposed out of 09/11.

------------------------------------------

http://ussliberty.org
http://ssunitedstates.org

Olys45
June 18, 2006, 07:15 AM
I think they would be better off trying to open the emergency door in flight or something(if that is possible).

Nope not possible due to the doors opening inward and the plane being pressurized. Even if you could get the door open, most people do not know how cold it is at altitude.
When I fly on the a KC-135, I have to be carefull on where I place my drink. I have had them freeze almost solid in less than an hour before. This is with a pressurized cabin and some "heat" being on!

Parker Dean
June 18, 2006, 04:21 PM
If you believe our gov - finding that many who are willing to die is not that difficult based on the numbers proposed out of 09/11.

Which was why I found the quote from one of the recorded terrorists interesting. Apparently finding radicals that are also in a hurry to meet Allah isn't as easy as it's made out to be.

ceetee
June 18, 2006, 07:18 PM
Given the size of the aisles, location of key passengers who had the ability to stem the tide of the assault, location of the Air Marshal, and location of the bg's, it seems like it's a fairly tough scenario to speculate on with any degree of certainty.
But, the size of the aisles alone may give any willing passengers the same degree of advantage as the aggressors, which could result in a little Thermopylae in the sky that could hold out long enough to land and put thirty more heads on the pikes of CNN and Fox News.


Yes, but...

Assuming that the thirty terrs coordinate their assault, and all act on cue, en to fifteen will immediately head for the first-class area, and the open bay directly behind the cockpit. The remaining half or more will either: A) Remain covert until needed as a rear-assault force, or B) Take up positions at the bottleneck between the first-class area and coach, in order to make a first skirmish line. In this instance, we may find the good guys on the wrong side of the seige.

BTW, isn't British Airways the airline that wanted to refuse the FAM's the right to carry while aboard?

22rimfire
June 19, 2006, 12:32 AM
Every time I read post about FAMs I am amazed about all the speculation, conjecture, and absolute erroneous information out there. I love it. :D

If anyone really cares about this stuff I suggest reading:

49 USC ss 44903, 49 USC ss 114, 49 USC ss 46502, 49 USC ss 46505, 49 USC ss 46501, and certainly 49 USC ss 44917, there are a lot of other title 49 codes that are applicable but this is what comes to mind right now.

Cheers

M

bogie
June 19, 2006, 09:10 AM
Guys, I'm guessing this is more disinformation... The guys know they hurt the airline industry BAD. I doubt that we're going to be seeing any more improvised cruise missiles, however, because passengers won't stand for the BS...

I'm guessing that they'll hit something else. There's a LOT more targets out there that are softer than airplanes. If I could get 30 committed martyrs organized, sheesh... Be able to take down a LOT more than 300 civilians...

Double Naught Spy
June 19, 2006, 09:38 AM
Something I have found interesting from this thread, and maybe I am missing salient information here, but it seems like there is the assumption that there are one or more air marshalls that will definitely be on the plane. Is that something we can actually expect, or is this just wishful thinking? Just how many flights are air marshalls on these days?

wheelgunslinger
June 19, 2006, 10:02 AM
CeeTee
Yes, but...

Assuming that the thirty terrs coordinate their assault, and all act on cue, en to fifteen will immediately head for the first-class area, and the open bay directly behind the cockpit. The remaining half or more will either: A) Remain covert until needed as a rear-assault force, or B) Take up positions at the bottleneck between the first-class area and coach, in order to make a first skirmish line. In this instance, we may find the good guys on the wrong side of the seige.



CeeTee, that's exactly my point. My post was a bit of a daydream of what might happen in a best case scenario for the passengers. But, murphy's law and all, you could count on many would be defenders to balk at the first sight of blood, a deceased terrorist or even passenger, or to freeze altogether and do nothing. And, then, you'd be on your own if you decided to act.
Assuming that they have such a well planned assault as you described, I'd still be dead before the plane hit the ground since there's no way I'd just sit there and watch.
Though, I like the idea of the ACP strategy. It would add a whole new dimension of safety to air travel in America.
Given that the terrorists got a lot more mileage from the destruction of the twin towers than from hijacking flights, I'd be inclined to agree with the idea that there are much easier soft targets that 30 martyrs could take out. After all, we can all instantly bring to mind images of people falling from the twin towers or the bombed out front of the federal building. And, for a lot of us, the Marine barracks in Beirut isn't a forgotten image either.

BHPshooter
June 19, 2006, 08:20 PM
We're forgetting something important here: This is a British Airways flight the hijackers are proposing to attack.

Something we're also forgetting is that not all Muslims are Arabic.

There are many Muslims in Great Britain that are Anglo. Many. The racial profiling -- although effective in some ways -- won't work with Islamic radicals.

Yes, you always hope that some will resist, but look at Sept 11 -- only 1 of the 4 planes had any known resistance. Yes, it may be that they didn't have time to react, but I have my doubts about it.

Even us bold and mighty Americans don't have that great a track record when it comes to resisting aircraft hijack attempts, sadly. :( I still maintain hope that Americans would stand up, and at least do what the folks in PA did -- go out it true Die Hard "Yippee kay-ay" fashion... but I think any hijack attempt has a high probability of ending up messy.

Wes

Crosshair
June 20, 2006, 02:20 AM
It would probably be easier to give 30 people small bombs and send them on different flights on the same day. Good chance that several, if not most, would get through security if they did any decent amount of planing.

bogie
June 20, 2006, 09:39 AM
Guys. Lose the paradigm.

Airplanes have been hit, and are now harder targets.

If I had 30 committed martyrs, I'd have 15 sniper teams cruising around 15 major cities.

I'd have 30 drive-by shootings at 30 wal-marts.

A bunch of hijacked and utilized 18 wheelers, loaded with propane, fertilizer, etc...

I'd have a half-dozen shopping malls turned into slaughterhouses.

A dozen churches sealed and burned during services.

15-20 van/car/truck bombings per day in urban areas.

3-4 grade schools.

We're concentrating too much on what is happened, and not enough on general situational awareness. I mean, sheesh - there are people out there who think that a Cessena 182 is a viable flying bomb, able to destroy skyscrapers... And my bud's, by the time we're both in it, doesn't have weight capacity for a full tank of gas.

jason10mm
June 20, 2006, 02:11 PM
30 martyrs isn't that hard to find, but 30 who can coordinate, train, and gather IS. 30 that can all board a plane without flagging security to go on a death trip should be almost impossible. Weren't there lots of suspicions abouut the 9/11 guys in their training runs and even on the final flights? That was just 5 guys, imagine 6 times as many nervous, sweating, suspicious looking athletic guys. DEFINITELY going to make the plane nervous. No way could they get 30 gray men on one flight, and if they had such a force, they would be much better used elsewhere.

This stuff sounds like the musings of a wanna-be terrorist team. Probably could cause some damage, but nothing on the scale of 9/11.

Jay Kominek
June 20, 2006, 03:00 PM
As for the hijacking, I don't think 30 against 300 would have a chance. On your average flight, how many of the 300 are 1) the elderly or infirm 2) children 3) too daft to figure out what is going on 4) just plain not going to raise a hand even if they can and realize they should? How many of them will have aisle seats blocking in what people are willing to resist? How many of the defenders will fight one another because they're not sure who the bad guys are? No, I think you could reach a number of terrorists such that resistance wouldn't be as effective as we'd like to imagine it would be. And I think 30 is above that number.

That said, I agree with bogie's assessment. If the terrorist planners have any sense, they'll do something besides planes. It was impressive once, but they've been made a more difficult target, and the training is long and specialized. Any of bogie's ideas require less effort and are going to get you a better victim to terrorist ratio than 10:1.

Correia
June 20, 2006, 03:42 PM
Bogie is right. If you have 30 committed, suicidal, whack jobs in one place, they would pull another Beslan.

Boom-stick
June 21, 2006, 08:09 AM
I think you may find that British Airways, don't even have Air Marshalls

Just a thought.

Boom.

Cromlech
June 21, 2006, 08:35 AM
Jeff wrote: We're forgetting something important here: This is a British Airways flight the hijackers are proposing to attack.

What do they need to intimidate the passengers and overcome the plane? Probably an uncooked piece of spaghetti is scary enough for the spineless toffs to resist.

Thank you for contributing so much to this discussion. :rolleyes:


As has been previously stated, It is not very likely that they would try another hi-jacking, as it is quite likely that they would be found out and arrested. Then the extremists would be down by 30 dedicated 'brothers'. I think that it is more likely to be bombings and mass shootings. Maybe some kind of homemade chemical agent will be used in the future.

Just_a_dude_with_a_gun
June 21, 2006, 10:03 AM
Nothing new.

In WWII's South Pacific theatre and the Korean war, and the Iran/Iraq war, it was called "human wave".

DonP
June 21, 2006, 12:26 PM
I might be wrong here, but I think the era of passengers sitting quietly and doing as they are told by hijackers, with or without FAM's involved, ended in that field in Pennsylvania.

From 270 other passengers I'm pretty sure there would be enough people that would stand up and be counted "in extremis" to plug up the aisles and make a stand of it.

Remember how long the Spartans held a narrow defile at Thermopylae against 100,000 Persians and think of those narrow MD80 aisles. Even a handful of determined unarmed passengers could probably hold off a crowd until they set the plane down.

Then you might (or might not) have a pilot with a 1911 on the other side of that hardened door too.

romma
June 21, 2006, 01:26 PM
My trip to Atlanta on the 4th of July,2002 . I was heading to a convention with a friend and that same weekend there was another convention for Pacific Rim Islamists or some such thing.. Anyhow, I try to be open minded and I am not racist but when I arrived at the boarding area, there were no less than 50 or so people :what: that sent alarms off for me. My friend asked why I was laughing in quiet hysterics, when the pilot of the aircraft turned around and asked me personally If I didn't think there was a "disproportionate amount of folks of middle-eastern decent on board..." I kept my eyes peeled towards the cockpit ready to spring the entire flight...

Boom-stick
June 21, 2006, 01:27 PM
We're forgetting something important here: This is a British Airways flight the hijackers are proposing to attack.

What do they need to intimidate the passengers and overcome the plane? Probably an uncooked piece of spaghetti is scary enough for the spineless toffs to resist.

I'm pretty sure calling us Brits 'spineless toffs' breaches at least one of THR rules:neener:

and what you'd probably find, is that a uncooked piece of spaghetti would more than likely cause complete outrage & bring the plane down anyway:D

30 cal slob
June 21, 2006, 02:09 PM
30 middle eastern guys acting funny?

well, you can talk all you want, i can tell you what I would do.

i'd get off the !@#$ing plane and claim my luggage, that's what I would do.

:neener:

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