For two years, journalist Annie Jacobsen has warned of terrorist plots to assemble bombs in midflight. And for two years, Homeland Security officials have dismissed her as a nut. Now with the US terror threat at Level Red, Jacobsen doesn't look so crazy.
The Homeland Security Department's inspector general yesterday released a summary of its 22-month probe into Syrian nationals suspected of practicing to hijack a plane during a Detroit-to-Los Angeles flight, but its findings will remain classified . . . "The government is using its secret red stamp and no one is left to protect the flying public," said Annie Jacobsen, a passenger who wrote about her experience on the flight at womenswallstreet.com and in a recently published book, "Terror in the Skies."
We'll all have to wait a weekend before we read Homeland Security's explanation for its (mis)handling of Northwest flight 327:
Not today. It was delayed one day. Now scheduled for a Monday, April 24 web posting: www.dhs.gov/oig The report (unclassified summary) will be accessable by clicking on "Management Reports". Thanks for checking. xxxx
Check back with BrutallyHonest.org on Monday for Annie's comments on the summary and other recent findings in airline security.
A terrorist "dry run" prompts a federal investigation--and cover up? Annie Jacobsen guest-blogs at BrutallyHonest tomorrow. Here's a sample of what's in store:
I must be brutally honest here, how did the terrifying events on Northwest flight 327 -- on which I was a passenger along with 14 Syrian men posing as musicians -- transform, in the eyes of Homeland Security, from a non-event to a top-secret one? The government's 22-month long investigation of flight 327 gets released on Friday -- except you can't read it because its too sensitive for civilian eyes.
The Department of Homeland Security has finished its investigation of how it handled (or mishandled) alleged terrorism on Northwest flight 327 in June 2004. The results are confidential. Is anyone surprised?
Annie Jacobsen caused a global stir when she broke the story about 14 Syrians with expired visas who acted as though they were building a bomb on flight 327. It is largely due to her aggressive reporting that DHS investigated the case at all. In Terror in the Skies, Annie writes abour her harrowing experience on that flight and her subsequent findings in the shrouded world of airline security.
Annie Jacobsen on the resignation of the lackluster director of the Federal Air Marshal Service, Thomas Quinn:
Director Quinn has been no stranger to bad press during his time at the helm of the agency, but this past November-January was a particularly rough season. To an agency that counts on remaining unseen, unheard and undercover, the public spotlight is not a welcome beacon. In November 2005, writing for WomensWallStreet.com, I revealed that Quinn maintained two corporations—both in forfeited franchise tax status—which could put him at odds with government conduct codes. (Quinn originally denied having these corporations but, according to FAMS spokesman Dave Adams, after reading my article, "his [Quinn's] memory was jarred.") In December 2005, the Christian Science Monitor reported on numbers that the FAMS had been working hard to conceal: possibly fewer than 3,000 air marshals cover some 25,000 daily flights. And Vanity Fair, in its February 2006 issue, published an unflattering portrait of the director, including the fact that "the man in charge of one of America's key countermeasures to attacks carried out largely by Saudi nationals worked for the Saudi Arabian royalty" before he became director. Rebellion in the ranks was taking hold, and information was making its way into the public eye.
The 9/11 Commission Report points out that tragedy struck because federal agencies refused to share critical information with each other. Recent events in the aviation world—starting in Kenya, leading to New York and ending tragically in Miami—illustrate that to this day not everyone is getting critical information.
Norman, Oklahoma, is mentioned in the intelligence report prepared by the House and the Senate on the 9/11 terrorist attacks; this report, which Congress has declassified, references known terrorists' activities in Norman, Oklahoma, no less than 17 times. In examining this and other U.S. government documents, a disturbing portrait emerges: Norman, Oklahoma, has been associated with terrorist activity ever since Osama Bin Laden's personal pilot, Mohamed Ihab Ali, went to Norman to take flying lessons back in 1993.