Saturday, October 30, 2010

Due Caution Rewarded

Sounds peculiar does it not, that an Emirates flight would not respond to in-flight enquiries? As though the captain and crew had knowledge that something was not quite right, and that to open themselves to enquiries might result in embarrassment.

Not, though, if they suspected, one might imagine, that they were carrying in their cargo a lethal message of which they comprised the personally-lethal suicide component. Should the concealed explosives on board have been meant to be detonated while in flight, that is.

So NATO called Canadian CF-18 fighter jets into action from Canadian Forces Base Bagotville for tracking duty, more or less escorting the "aircraft of interest" as it negotiated the wide blue skies that the United Arab Emirates are so dedicated to opening even wider, on its way toward its destination within the United States.

Over American airspace, the tracking and escort duty was delegated to two U.S. F-15s from the 104th Fighter Wing at Barnes International guard base in Massachusetts.

And as it happened, the cause for concentrated attention on the cargo aboard Emirates Airlines Flight 201 from the United Arab Emirates, carrying cargo from Yemen was soon enough unveiled, as packages of a suspicious nature were removed; one from the plane in question, another from a plane in Britain and yet another still in Dubai.

Destined for synagogues (or, as President Obama put it, Jewish places of worship), in Chicago. Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula has been busy. From Yemen, which source it would appear makes the Saudis, due to unfortunate proximity, and lethal antipathies, extremely nervous.

Suspicious activity has since been reported as having been witnessed at Sana'a International (El Rahaba) airport in Yemen. Where unauthorized and uniformed boys were hauling bags away from X-ray machines, and porters were removing them to the personal baggage terminal. Further sourced information was that all women on the Yemen-to-Dubai flight wore full face coverings even as they moved through security.

It has also been reported that women in Yemen have been arrested, a mother and daughter, as being the source, if not the inspiration of the suspicious bags being moved onto various flights. With additional bags and explosives intended for other flights. All now in a state of apprehension.

U.S. intelligence was evidently alerted by their Saudi counterparts, of an explosives-plot emanating from Sana, Yemen. The intelligence data was complete enough so that American agents knew where to look and what to look out for. Which meant they were able to single out copier cartridges as having been transformed to explosives, to be detonated by cellphone.

Forensics examinations have thus far been successful in identifying the explosives, and in matching them with similar explosives used in an earlier, Christmas-day attempt to blow up an in-flight airliner. For which al-Qaeda earlier took proud responsibility.

American Islamist Anwar al-Awlaki must be chuckling to himself in utter delight. The plot may not have succeeded in its intent to destroy American synagogues and take the lives of accursed Jews, but it most certainly has caused an international furor and great consternation, let alone having succeeded in its foremost intent; to create an aura of terrorism.

His inspiring role for the Christmas Day plot and his encouragement and direction to the U.S. Army psychiatrist who succeeded in murdering 13 American Forces personnel at a medical facility at Fort Hood Texas must be another huge source of immense satisfaction to him.

On the other hand, he might not be quite so ecstatic about the failed plot were he to realize that Jews, regardless of where they live - Israel or anywhere in the diaspora - are so accustomed to being singled out, slandered, threatened and placed in danger that they have developed a different kind of attitude over the course of their recent history.

Ask the Jews in Chicago whose synagogues may have been among those targeted. Rabbi Michael Balinsky of the Chicago Board of Rabbis calmly asserts: "It's obviously disturbing, but certainly the Jewish community will proceed as it proceeds. We'll just exercise caution."

Come to think of it, perhaps that's also what Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his Cabinet were exercising, when they refused to submit to the demand from Dubai that Emirates and its sister airlines of the UAE be allowed more frequent flight opportunities in and out of Canada.

Labels: , , ,

Follow @rheytah Tweet