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Posted: 12/29/2003 5:47:22 AM EDT
story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=514&e=1&u=/ap/20031229/ap_on_re_us/airline_security


WASHINGTON - Amid a heightened state of alert for terrorists, the U.S. government said Monday it will require international air carriers in certain cases to place armed law enforcement officers on flights over the United States.





The Homeland Security Department said the directive, which is effective immediately, will further enhance security on commercial and cargo aircraft flying to, from and over the United States.


"We are asking international air carriers to take this protective action as part of our ongoing effort to make air travel safe for Americans and visitors alike," Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge said in a statement.


"I have said that we will take specific steps to increase security whenever necessary, and with this action we are doing just that," he added.


Homeland Security spokesman Dennis Murphy said the move will apply to specific flights "based on specific information" whenever it surfaces.


"We will then notify the carrier that based on information we received, we require a law enforcement officer to be on the plane," Murphy said. The directive contemplates that armed officers from the country of the airline's ownership would be aboard.


A senior intelligence official said earlier this month that analysts were particularly concerned about the threat of Sept. 11-style attacks, in which terrorists would use hijacked airliners as weapons.


The directive comes in the form of three emergency amendments to air security regulations involving cargo planes, passenger planes and airliners passing over U.S. airspace.


There are thousands of international commercial and cargo flights daily involving U.S. airspace and hundreds of international carriers.


Britain said Sunday it tightened security for trans-Atlantic flights and suggested it might put armed sky marshals on some planes. The United States already places armed security officers on certain flights.


"The last few days have seen the United States increase their general threat and security levels, and what we are proposing is a proportionate and appropriate level of response at a time when the threat to both our countries and around the world remains real and serious," Britain's top law enforcement official, David Blunkett, said.


The Bush administration raised the terrorism alert level to orange, or high, on Dec. 21 and Air France canceled six flights between Paris and Los Angeles on Wednesday and Thursday, following security discussions between U.S. and French officials.


"What we are saying here is we expect this level of cooperation from all nations," Murphy told The Associated Press. "This step is in case we might not get that same level of cooperation that we've received thus far from our closest allies. We anticipate the same level of cooperation from all air carriers that fly to and out of the U.S."


In a news release, the Homeland Security Department said it will continue to conduct checks on passengers and crew of flights entering and leaving U.S. airspace, and will analyze threat information related to those flights.


When intelligence information warrants, it said, the government will direct additional security requirements for specific flights, including protection by law enforcement officers where warranted, it said.

Link Posted: 12/29/2003 5:52:34 AM EDT
[url]http://www.nypost.com/news/regionalnews/14698.htm[/url] December 29, 2003 -- A Brooklyn man blew away an intruder who broke into his apartment yesterday in an apparent robbery attempt, authorities said. The would-be crook broke into the first-floor apartment at 600 E. 16th St. in Flatbush at around 6:45 p.m., and ran into the tenant in the bedroom, police sources said. That's when the intruder pulled out a fake gun - and the resident responded by shooting him one time in the face with a real 9mm handgun. The burglar was pronounced dead at the scene. A second suspect was arrested last night, but police said it was unclear what his role was. Cops said the shooter was at home with his girlfriend when the robber broke in, possibly through a window. He called 911 after killing the intruder and was taken with his girlfriend to the 70th Precinct station house for further questioning, cops said. It was not clear whether he had a permit for the gun, but he was not immediately charged. Police said the 29-year-old dead man, whose name was withheld pending notification of relatives, was driving a gray Acura with a Massachusetts license plate. His girlfriend, Liline Augustin, 25, said he was a construction worker who used to live in the building. She said they have a 1-year-old son. "All I know is that I got a call that he was shot and I came down here to see what happened," Augustin said. "I've known him for five years. He's never done anything bad. He's known for being a really good person." The building's superintendent, Carl Jagdal, 44, said the tenants in the apartment the man was trying to rob "seem nice," but "you never know. "People say hello and goodbye all the time, but you don't know what happens behind closed doors." Neighbors said the burglarized couple have two children who were not home at the time of the shooting.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 5:59:40 AM EDT
The Government wants you to believe that guns IN THE HANDS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS stop crime. Guns in the hands of LAW ABIDING [S]CITIZENS[/S] SUBJECTS are the root cause of crime. It’s one of the reasons I’m convinced that TSA/DOT is dragging their feet on arming flight crews. The first time a NON GOVERNMENT [s]citizen[/s] subject in the form of a Captain or First Officer blows away a terrorist in their tracks you’ll see the Feds do a spin job of epic proportions to downplay the role that armed citizens with a handgun played. I’m convinced the Government would rather blow away a 747 with an AIM-120 than let a flight crew terminate a terrorist with extreme prejudice.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 7:05:16 AM EDT
I'm concerned about arming flight crews. It seems to me that they already have something to do, fly the plane. Arming pilots makes them primary targets. Any takeover plan will include killing the pilots as a mandatory opening move. Even if they survive the initial assault they will be forced to choose between flying the plane and battling against the hijackers. I like the idea of sky marshals (plural) on planes. Let Abdul and his buddies whip out box-cutters and see how far they get when two (or more) federal agents draw down on them. I'd be happiest if they would let folks like me (CCW holders) carry. That's not going to happen so sky marshals are the next best thing.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 7:15:01 AM EDT
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 7:19:24 AM EDT
arm them all
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 7:32:41 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Delta_3_63: I'm concerned about arming flight crews. It seems to me that they already have something to do, fly the plane. Arming pilots makes them primary targets. Any takeover plan will include killing the pilots as a mandatory opening move. Even if they survive the initial assault they will be forced to choose between flying the plane and battling against the hijackers. I like the idea of sky marshals (plural) on planes. Let Abdul and his buddies whip out box-cutters and see how far they get when two (or more) federal agents draw down on them. I'd be happiest if they would let folks like me (CCW holders) carry. That's not going to happen so sky marshals are the next best thing.
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I agree that Sky Marshals are the best first line of defense but we'll never get enough of them to cover all of even the most likely aircraft to be used in an attack. As for "distracting" the crews, not really. From pushback through 18,000 feet is busy as is from 18,000 to the gate. Once above FL180 things get quieter (unless you're dealing with crappy weather). Besides, if the BG's stick to the previous MO the flight crew is expendable from the word "go". No crew will deliberately fly their aircraft into a target so they’ll be killed/incapacitated ASAP. As the training tapes and manuals that have been captured show, if you are a target of terrorists they have no intention of letting ANYONE get out alive, including themselves. You’re going to die unless you kill them first. Period, end of story. Get the crews armed and give them a fighting chance. Oh, I love the idea about CCW'ing passengers too. Pigs will fly out of my butt before .gov would even allow the thought of that to cross its "mind". Mere mortal subjects aren’t to be trusted with guns, ever, under ANY circumstances.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 10:15:12 AM EDT
I hate it when people talk about what they do and don't want the flight crews to be doing and/or "worrying about" while in the cockpit. The pilot in command is the final word on the plane, and if he wants a belt-fed M60 in the cockpit, I say give it to him. As an aside, when I fly, I always bring my Glock to tuck in the map pocket, and I usually have my AR with a few 30's with me, just because I can. I refuse to fly commercially until this TSA sillyness comes to an end.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 10:27:30 AM EDT
Originally Posted By Airwolf: The Government wants you to believe that guns IN THE HANDS OF GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS stop crime. Guns in the hands of LAW ABIDING [S]CITIZENS[/S] SUBJECTS are the root cause of crime.
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Precisely.
Link Posted: 12/29/2003 11:04:38 AM EDT
Originally Posted By PeteCO: I hate it when people talk about what they do and don't want the flight crews to be doing and/or "worrying about" while in the cockpit. The pilot in command is the final word on the plane, and if he wants a belt-fed M60 in the cockpit, I say give it to him. As an aside, when I fly, I always bring my Glock to tuck in the map pocket, and I usually have my AR with a few 30's with me, just because I can. I refuse to fly commercially until this TSA sillyness comes to an end.
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You have some valid points. I respectfully disagree though. I am also a pilot (not current at this time). I always packed my trusty S&W when I flew our companies' Mooney M20K. But that was not commercial. I suppose that if pilots are trained, then it's okay. But I would rather have the Airmarshal do the job of defending the airplane, or even "joe passenger". Besides, terrorists would be more likely to take over the plane while the pilots are busily engaged in the process of take-off/climb or descent/landing. That's not the time for the pilots to be worrying about what's going-on in the cabin.
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