Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Jet Plane Stolen in Florida; Lands in Atlanta: Trial Run for Terror?

Again, I find myself praising Michele Malkin for providing valuable information and links so I can help inform my own readers on incidents that could reasonably be suspected as being terror-related. There have been many in recent days and it's actually becoming hard for one to keep track, so I'm certainly glad I have this blog, TCS.

From Ms. Malkin's post, entitled "A STOLEN JET IN GWINNETT COUNTY" (scroll down to find it), we're alerted to the following information:

The jet, of the type pictured above, was stolen in St. Augustine, Florida and landed, with no trace of the thief, at Gwinnett County Airport-Briscoe Field in Lawrenceville, according to the, via Malkin:

Crime scene technicians scoured the interior of the Cessna Citation 7, a 10-passenger aircraft owned by Pinnacle Air of Springdale, Ark., after airport personnel located it on the tarmac about 1 p.m. Monday. The flight crew responsible for the plane was on a chartered flight to St. Augustine. Crew members discovered the jet was missing when they went to check on it Monday morning, said Sgt. D. Mattox of the Gwinnett County Police Department.

Whoever stole the jet didn’t file a flight plan, which authorities said is somewhat unusual for that size of aircraft. The jet suffered damage to the front edge of one wing, but it was not disabled. Police believe the suspect is an experienced pilot who has flown through Gwinnett in the past.


“It had to be somebody that knew or had experience with this type of aircraft,” Mattox said. “You can’t just walk over from one of these smaller planes and fly this.” Mattox said planes are easy to steal if you know how to fly them, because they usually don’t require a key to start the engines.


The Gwinnett Police Explosive Ordnance Disposal Unit and the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force were also dispatched to investigate the theft as a precaution, but Mattox said there was no indication terrorism was involved.

Ok, so Mattox has to say that there's "no indication" of terrorism here.

But we, the people, can certainly absorb the actual facts and put them into perspective with respect to other suspicious incidents recently reported here on TCS and many other sources, mainly in the blognet. We can also remember the hijacked planes of 9/11 and put this event into perspective with respect to that.

My analysis:

It is certainly plausible and probable, in my view, that the theft of the plane in question could indeed have been used as a sort of test by a terrorist. See how easy it was to steal a jet of that size, undetected, fly it undetected and land undetected, walking away undetected?

If indeed this was a terrorist trial run, it was a resounding success, unfortunately, and that is cause for alarm. Very ominous indeed. Imagine next time that happens, instead of landing at an airfield, the pilot directed the plane right into a massive crowd at, say, a football stadium of tens of thousands of spectators... see how easy it is?

It must not be easy at all! And this principle must also apply to Canada! Does it, in practice? I doubt it.

Time to tighten airport security further, this time on the runway.

By the way, you can also find from Laura Mansfield, via Malkin, that Briscoe Field is where Mohammed Atta, the 9/11 ringleader, as well as two other terrorists, trained to fly.

Think about that.