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The 6 Imams and air safety
Posted by: McQ on Wednesday, December 06, 2006

I've been watching this story develop over the past few days with growing amazement. Trying to glean the facts from among the multitude of stories about humiliation, injured pride and alleged violations of civil rights has been difficult at best.

As I understand them, however, there was certainly enough cause for alarm raised by their actions that it appears the air-crew acted properly by asking them to leave the plane.
After boarding, they did not take their assigned seats but dispersed to seats in the first row of first class, in the midcabin exit rows and in the rear—the exact configuration of the 9/11 execution teams. The head of the group, seated closest to the cockpit, and two others asked for a seatbelt extension, kept on board for obese people. A heavy metal buckle at the end of a long strap, it can easily be used as a lethal weapon. The three men rolled them up and placed them on the floor under their seats.
If you've ever been on an aircraft prior to take-off you know that when someone takes your assigned seat you don't simply walk off and try to find another one. So when the 6 did this dispersal, it would have immediately become clear to the air-crew if through no other means than passenger complaints.

The second point about the seat-belt extensions, given that the first was immediately known (although I'm still at a loss as to how the seat problem was settled), would have further raised the suspicions of the air-crew.

First you have a group of people that have purposely attempted to recreate the seating pattern used by the hijackers on 9/11. As one expert said, if nothing else, it would signal a security probe, and air-crews are trained to spot that sort of thing. That, followed by the request for seat-belt extensions for people who don't need them and which were then rolled up and put under their seats would take the security status from amber to red if I were in the air-crew.
Mr. Shahin told television reporters that he needed the seat-belt extension because he weighs 280 pounds. However, the police report lists his weight as 201 pounds. Weights listed for the other imams ranged from 170 pounds to 250 pounds.
As is obvious, at those weights none of the imams required an extension. And as the first paragraph cited notes, these extensions can be used as weapons. Not reported though is the fact that they can also be used to block off access by linking them across the isle with another seat belt.

So whether they were praying or not at the point that these two acts took place is really irrelevant (although that is what this bunch is trying hard to make the focus of all of this).

Last but not least, although they deny such language, they were apparently overheard by someone who could understand what they were saying:
And lest this entire incident be written off as simple cultural ignorance, a frightened Arabic-speaking passenger pulled aside a crew member and translated the imams' suspicious conversations, which included angry denunciations of Americans, furious grumblings about U.S. foreign policy, Osama Bin Laden and "killing Saddam."
The point, of course, is these 6 provided ample cause for the air-crew to be more than suspicious of their activities and their intent. And given those suspicions they'd have been derelict in their duties had they not acted.
We have a new, inviolate aviation standard after 9/11, which requires that the captain cannot take that airplane up so long as there are any unresolved issues with respect to the security of his airplane. At altitude, the cockpit door is barred and crews are instructed not to open them no matter what is happening in the cabin behind them. This is an extremely challenging situation for the men and women who fly those planes, one that those who write federal aviation regulations and the people who agitate for more restrictions on a captain's authority will never have to face themselves.

Likewise, flight attendants are confined in the back of the plane with upwards of 200 people; they must be the eyes and ears, not just for the pilot but for us all. They are not combat specialists, however, and to compel them to ignore all but the most unambiguous cases of suspicious behavior is to further enable terrorists who act in ways meant to defy easy categorization. As the American Airlines flight attendants who literally jumped on "shoe bomber" Richard Reid demonstrated, cabin crews are sharply attuned to unusual or abnormal behavior and they must not be second-guessed, or hamstrung by misguided notions of political correctness.
These are critically important points. Based on the facts of the case we must resist all of these emotional appeals about humiliation and Islamophobia. In fact, this air-crew should be commended. It is said the sea is unforgiving of mistakes. Well nothing is more unforgiving than the air, especially when you have catastrophic failure at 35,000 feet due to an explosion or slam a multi-ton, fuel-laden aircraft into a building full of other innocents beside the 200 on board the aircraft.
The Air Carrier Security Committee of the Air Line Pilots Association investigated the incident and said, "The crew's actions were strictly in compliance with procedures and demonstrated overall good judgment in the care and concern for their passengers, fellow crew members, and the company."

"The decisions made by all the parties were made as a result of the behavior of the passengers and not as a result of their ethnicity," the report concluded.
I'm still not sure of why these 6 acted as they did, but I'm now pretty sure that the facts reported are correct and that the air-crew acted responsibly and properly.
 
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Comments
I wonder if these Imams are the "moderate" muslims Poet Omar is always going on about.
I’m still not sure of why these 6 acted as they did
Because they wanted to advance their political agenda by crying victim. Seems pretty obvious to me.
 
Written By: shark
URL: http://
Sue them personally for the damages they caused the airline and the other passengers!

That might help discourage others who are similarly inclined to make life more uncomfortable for our citizens!
 
Written By: RAZ
URL: http://
"I wonder if these Imams are the "moderate" muslims Poet Omar is always going on about."

Oddly enough, that was one of my first thoughts; are they the moderates, and, if so, how do we enroll them in the struggle(dare I say jihad?) against extremism and terrorism.
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I’m still not sure of why these 6 acted as they did
Well, there’s the possibility that if they could have gotten away with it they’d be with Allah right now enjoying their 72 virgins.


I don’t get how not sitting in your assigned seat entitles you to complain about your subsequent treatment. Funny thing, I get on a plane and try to sit in 1st class when I paid for coach and they get all uppity with me about it every dang time. And I usually fly American too.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
Well, there’s the possibility that if they could have gotten away with it they’d be with Allah right now enjoying their 72 virgins.

Nah, they’re imams. They’re plenty willing to preach martyrdom, but practicing it is strictly for the brainwashed cannon fodder.
 
Written By: Achillea
URL: http://
I wonder if these Imams are the "moderate" muslims Poet Omar is always going on about.
Oddly enough, that was one of my first thoughts; are they the moderates, and, if so, how do we enroll them in the struggle(dare I say jihad?) against extremism and terrorism.
Nah, they’re imams. They’re plenty willing to preach martyrdom, but practicing it is strictly for the brainwashed cannon fodder.
And when we post comments with some substance, the Poet will happily respond. Didn’t mommy teach you that when you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. :)
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Assuming the part about them taking all the wrong seats is correct (unless this was Southwest, but they don’t have 1st class either), well, no one does that without being noticed, esp. in 1st class. I fly all the time and you just can’t do this. Furthermore, in my 100+ flights, people occasionally swap seats, but only after asking the attendants, asking another passenger to swap, or waiting to see if the plane is empty enough.
 
Written By: Unknown
URL: http://
I just wonder if it’s not part of some grander scheme to desensitize flight crews to odd behavior in advance of another event. If they make it so the airline staff are afraid to confront Muslims acting up for fear of "offending" them or due to a sense of familiarity with the odd behavior, a later group can have a head start the next time they want to do more than just act wierd.

 
Written By: cryptical
URL: http://
Desensitize them thru fear of being sued, losing job, and loss of pilot’s license, especially if John Conyers (D-Dearbornistan) has his way.
 
Written By: SDN
URL: http://
"I wonder if these Imams are the "moderate" muslims Poet Omar is always going on about."
Well, they claimed to be moderate:
Shahin and his fellow imams, who were educated in Sudan and Saudi Arabia, says he and the imams are all moderates who love the U.S. and denounce terror.
But I know Omar denounces CAIR, so he may not agree:
Shahin’s group, the North American Imams Federation, represents more than 150 mosque leaders across the country. It works in concert with the Council on American-Islamic Relations,
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
But I know Omar denounces CAIR, so he may not agree:
Absolutely right, Don. CAIR and MPAC are well-known Saudi Salafist front groups. While I’m sure not every single member is a Salafist, the leadership is not to be trusted.
 
Written By: The Poet Omar
URL: www.asecondhandconjecture.com
Speaking of air travel, here is a little tune some of the less respectful here may find amusing.

http://www.animatronics.org/strangers/strangers.htm

"And when we post comments with some substance, the Poet will happily respond."

Lighten up. It is not necessary for every comment to have substance, although I think there was a little in these remarks. Do feel free to join in, maybe even say something disrespectful about the religious figure of your choice. Heard any good Pope jokes lately?


 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
I’m still not sure of why these 6 acted as they did
Nor IF they acted as you think they did. It’s an editorial making claims without even bothering to source them. Where did the author learn of this behavior? Who knows. Maybe his neighbor was on the flight.

It’s certainly not journalism as anyone who’s spent years whining about the media would surely agree.
but I’m now pretty sure that the facts reported are correct
Great, get back to me when you have a link to someone reporting these facts.
 
Written By: Davebo
URL: http://
Absolutely right, Don. CAIR and MPAC are well-known Saudi Salafist front groups. While I’m sure not every single member is a Salafist, the leadership is not to be trusted.
Every group has good people in it. In the USSR there were good communists, in Hitler’s Germany there were good Nazis. The organizations were still evil.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Considering that Omar Shaheen’s early post 9/11 outreach, involved denying the
real perpetrators of the event; that the Islamic Center of Tucson, was founded
by Wael Julaidan, a founding member of Al Queda; one is right to have notes. The
only quibble, if there is one, was whether there was an ongoing operation that
was foiled. One doubts that; more likely the imams served as spotters and force
multipliers; not as martyrs
 
Written By: narciso
URL: http://
Davebo,

That was an Op-Ed. But the facts are coming out (hence the Op-Ed).

From INVESTOR’S BUSINESS DAILY:
The police report detailing the US Airways flap gives us serious pause. The imams acted more like provocateurs than victims. At the gate before boarding, they angrily cursed the U.S. Then they bowed to Mecca and prayed "very loud," chanting "Allah, Allah, Allah," according to the gate agent and another witness.
One even "pretended to be blind" to gain access to another passenger’s seat, according to a flight attendant.
When the story first broke, the imams denied they chanted "Allah." Yet, several witnesses in the police report say they did. The imams also claimed they were handcuffed and harassed by dogs. "Six imams. Six leaders in this country," Shahin complained. "Six scholars in handcuffs." But the police report puts the lie to both those claims, too.
This one is good:
Shahin himself has ties to terrorism. He served (unknowingly, he now says) as an agent and fundraiser for a Hamas front. He ran a mosque in Tucson, Ariz., attended by several al-Qaida operatives including the hijacker who flew the plane into the Pentagon. And he now runs an imam federation that counts an unindicted co-conspirator in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing among its trustees.
Hamas and al-Qaida? They get along?
One of the imams kicked off the US Airways flight, an Egyptian native, praised sharia law, according to a passenger who sat next to him.

 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Okay, this sounds suspicious, but here are my question:

-They must have been frinked. Did they have any exlosives or toher dangerous substnces? Since they were released, it doesn’t look that way.

-If they got the seat-belt expensions in order to attack, would they have really hoped to beat all the crew and passendgers into submission? I understand it’s darn hard to get into the cockpit, and the pilot is armed.

-Why weren’t they just ordered to stay in their assigned seats?

-If they had some dark designs for this flight, why were they so atupidly intent on drawing attention to themselves?

=Why aren’t more of us studying arabic, so that we know what’s actually being said in situations like thin?
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
The arabic speaker might very well have been one of the "moderate" muslims we often wonder about. Keep that mind everybody.

 
Written By: Harun
URL: http://
-They must have been frinked. Did they have any exlosives or toher dangerous substnces? Since they were released, it doesn’t look that way.
No, but then the guys who carried out 9/11 didn’t have any either.
-If they got the seat-belt expensions in order to attack, would they have really hoped to beat all the crew and passendgers into submission? I understand it’s darn hard to get into the cockpit, and the pilot is armed.
Compared to box cutters (which worked on 9/11), I think the seat belts were reasonable weapons.

The pilot has the option of obtaining a gun if they go through special training (no thanks to the Bush administration—one of the few times I’ve agreed with Senator Boxer).
-Why weren’t they just ordered to stay in their assigned seats?
Perhaps they were. But then, people often don’t speak up.
-If they had some dark designs for this flight, why were they so atupidly intent on drawing attention to themselves?
The theory is that it was all a publicity stunt. They wanted to get themselves in trouble and then cry "Discrimination!". Imams don’t typicaly do the suicide thing themselves, they send others to do that sort of thing. If you go to the link I posted, down at the bottom is a timeline that suggest the imams were engaging in deliberate media manipulation.
=Why aren’t more of us studying arabic, so that we know what’s actually being said in situations like thin?
Are you claiming that Arabic speakers need to be monitored? Perhaps you need some CAIR sensitivity training.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Great, get back to me when you have a link to someone reporting these facts.


Davebo, more facts:
Three parallel investigations into the removal of six imams from a US Airways flight last month have so far concluded that the airline acted properly, that the imams’ claims they were merely praying and their eviction was racially inspired are without foundation.


 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
DON: "Are you claiming that Arabic speakers need to be monitored? "
—————-
NO.
I’m suggesting that if more non-arabs spoke arabic, they would be able to tell when a strange bunch of men are discussing something threatening and when they are discussing the dinner menu.
 
Written By: Laime
URL: http://
"They wanted to get themselves in trouble and then cry "Discrimination!""

But that would be dishonest! And manipulative!
How dare you accuse Muslims of being liars, especially holy men!?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
NO.
I’m suggesting that if more non-arabs spoke arabic, they would be able to tell when a strange bunch of men are discussing something threatening and when they are discussing the dinner menu.
Sounds to me like you support racial profiling. You need to report to CAIR, for proper indoctrination. Do so quickly, before the problem gets worse; you could end up registering Republican or even worse.
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://

 
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