October 10, 2013

Airline Union Reports 9/11 Type "Dry Runs"

Yeah, I don't know what to do with this. I actually don't think dry runs are that common. The reason? Dry runs are an invitation to detection. The more you "practice" the more you draw attention to yourself and therefore the probability of getting caught.

That's espionage 101, so no, most "experts" won't tell you dry-runs are common before an actual attack.

At least, al Qaeda wouldn't use dry runs. Al Qaeda has learned since 9/11 and wouldn't do something so dumb. Al Qaeda is much more focused on encouraging homegrown lone-wolfs to act without any backup or coordination.

Again, the more people involved in a plot the more likely you will get caught.

But that doesn't mean other, less sophisticated, terror organizations wouldn't try dry runs.

But, again, it's pretty straight forward stupid to get the plotters on a plane, act strangely enough to draw attention, and then not actually carry out the plot. If you might get caught then the smart move is to go ahead and try to carry out the plot.

This doesn't rule out dry runs altogether, it just means that it's probably not the best explanation.

A better explanation might be either cultural misunderstandings or another "flying imams" case. You'll recall that in 2006 a bunch of Imams got on an airplane and did some unusual things prompting their removal from the plane. That wasn't a dry run, it was a bunch of assholes trying to get themselves kicked off a plane so they could cry "Islamophobia".

There are far more assholes in the world who want people to think Muslims are regularly victimized in the US than there are terrorists. CAIR, the MAS, and the ISNA have to have victims in order to "raise awareness" and, more importantly, funds. If Muslims aren't victims then there's no use for a Muslim "civil rights organization".

As much as I hate to say this, though, there is such a thing as an Islamophbe. Some people really do have an irrational hatred/fear of Muslims. But I think Islamophbia is like racism: there are actual racists, but so few of them them that to claim the phenomenon is widespread is absurd.

So we're left with the final explanation which is just that when Arabs or others who appear to be Muslim act out of the ordinary sometimes we try to make sense of it by thinking they are .... terrorists.

Now, this isn't necessarily Islamophobia. Because it is rational to fear Muslims being terrorists more so then any other group. (see here)

If you're Muslim, I'm sorry. I don't mean to taint you with the sins of others, but that's just how humans work. We group people together by common characteristics. You personally are not responsible for what others do and the bad name they give you, but it is simply human nature.

Do not mischaracterize my argument by claiming I am endorsing the mistreatment of people. I'm not, I'm simply saying that if an airline worker sees a bunch of Arabs acting strangely then of course they are going to process that information differently then if they see a bunch of white guys or black guys acting strangely.

You will be under heightened scrutiny while traveling on airplanes. There's nothing you can do about that short of a) reforming Islam to the point that violent factions within it are so rare that it won't taint you; b) changing human nature such that we no longer think of people in terms of groups, but always and exclusively as individuals. We've seen what regimes that try to change human nature have done in the past so that wouldn't be the route I'd recommend. Besides the impossibility of the project it would also render humans stupid.

The fact that some prejudices are irrational does not mean that all prejudices are irrational. And the fact an individual does not necessarily represent group views does not void the truthfulness of statistical information about groups. If this weren't the case then all modern social science theories would be vain.

Anyway, I've waxed on far longer than I wanted to. Here's the story:

A memo obtained by the 10 News investigators from the union that represents pilots for US Airways says that "there have been several cases recently throughout the (airline) industry of what appear to be probes, or dry-runs, to test our procedures and reaction to an in flight threat."

Koch says, "What most security experts will tell you that if a dry-run is occurring, the attack will shortly follow." ...

Crew members say that shortly after takeoff, a group of four "Middle Eastern" men caused a commotion.

The witnesses claim one of the men ran from his seat in coach, toward the flight deck door. He made a hard left and entered the forward bathroom "for a considerable length of time."

While he was in there, the other three men proceeded to move about the cabin, changing seats, opening overhead bins, and "generally making a scene." They appeared to be trying to occupy and distract the flight attendants.

Like I said, this could be any number of things.

Thanks to Hot Air

By Rusty Shackleford, Ph.D. at 03:14 PM | Comments |