By Douglas J. Hagmann
31 December 2009: On August 1, 2001, Hollywood actor James Woods witnessed four men of Middle Eastern appearance engaged in suspicious behavior on a transcontinental flight from Boston to Los Angeles. Mr. Woods’ first public recounting of his observations was five months after 9/11 on The O’Reilly Factor. During that February 15, 2002 broadcast, Mr. Woods stated that the suspicious behavior of the four men “would have been blatantly obvious to the most casual observer.” Investigation ultimately confirmed that the actor witnessed a “practice run” for the 9/11 hijackings. He ultimately learned that all four men he observed aboard his flight were terrorists who took part in the murderous hijackings on 9/11 – and that they were not all on the same plane during the actual hijackings.
Fast forward to Christmas Day 2009, when Islamic terrorist Umar Farouk Abdul-Mutallab carried PETN onto Delta-Northwest flight 253 and attempted to detonate the explosive package using a catalyst in a syringe. As some “assembly” was required, Abdul-Mutallab used the lavatory prior to his attempt at mass murder. Note carefully witness accounts glossed over by the media, downplayed or denied by officials, such as a second person allegedly taken into custody while another aboard the aircraft reportedly took video.
Intelligence analysis confirmed that Islamic terrorists always use such practice runs, often dubbed “dry runs” or probes to assess operational logistics and various aspects of airline security. Knowing that and having better hindsight after 9/11, why haven’t we seen media reports, DHS, FBI or TSA acknowledgement of such probes prior to the Christmas Day bombing attempt? Was there a practice run for flight 253? What about the second person reportedly arrested, and reports of a bomb sniffing dog hitting on luggage in the possession of a man a witness described as a 30 year-old male, possibly from India, while the passengers were being held for individual questioning by the FBI?
Answers to some of these questions might be found in the statement obtained by this investigator on behalf of Canada Free Press and the Northeast Intelligence Network from a passenger aboard the very same flight from Amsterdam to Detroit exactly one week before Christmas Day. While filling in on the Schnitt Radio Show, nationally known talk radio host Pat Campbell received a call from Howard, a passenger aboard flight 253 one week before the attempted bombing. Howard recounted the odd behavior of two passengers during the flight, one well dressed man in his mid 30’s and a female of European origin. While Howard reported the incident, there appeared to be little official interest in his observations.
Howard provided his contact information to Pat Campbell, who in turn provided his contact information to this investigator. The information obtained by this investigator is contained in this report [PDF format]. While it is possible that the observations documented in the report could have a rational explanation, the events must be considered through the template of the actions we know took place aboard the Christmas Day flight.
Through the documentation provided by Howard, this investigator verified he was indeed a passenger aboard that flight. Further, the description of one of the passengers is indeed consistent with the as-yet unidentified male witnessed at the terminal.
The meaning of this is simple: the security of our airlines are being probed and probed heavily by al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists. Failing to admit and make public this tactic is endangering the lives of everyone flying this holiday season – and beyond. We have been proven ineffective in our fight against such probes not by the savvy nature of the terrorists, but by the neutering of our pre-flight security for fear of ethnic and religious profiling and outright failure to identify our enemy and provide an honest portrayal of their objectives. We are advised to report suspicious activity, yet are ridiculed and even threatened with predatory lawsuits when we do, as in the case of USAir Flight 300 in November 2006.
The time to identify threats to our citizens aboard our aircraft is on the ground, not at 35, 000 feet, and certainly not in a forensic lab in some makeshift morgue. Had things happened differently above Detroit on Christmas Day, it is likely that government officials, the media and others would be lamenting the continued problems associated with center fuel tank explosions, citing TWA Flight 800 as the last example.