October 17, 2003
What's in your "Go Bag"?

The FAA has embarked in a sweeping review of its security procedures and has ordered new inspections of the more than 7,000 aircraft in the nation's commercial airline fleet, officials announced today.

This is in response to a mechanical crew's discovery on Thursday evening of a small bag containing boxcutters and other potentially dangerous paraphernalia found on two different Southwest Airlines flights. Also included in each bag were notes that made clear that the bag's purpose was to highlight weaknesses in the current system of searching passengers before they board planes, and to show that weapons could still be brought onto commercial aircraft.

"In addition to the box cutters and notes, the bags contained bleach and modeling clay, according to a senior law enforcement official speaking on condition of anonymity. The clay was formed to mimic a plastic explosive, while the bleach could have been used to demonstrate how a dangerous liquid could be smuggled aboard an aircraft. It could also be thrown in a person's eyes to temporarily blind them.

The notes also included the exact date and location the items were placed on board the planes, the official said."

Following the description of the bag's contents above, a completely unnecessary (and very asinine) concluding element in the New York Times' reporting of this incident attempted to stave off fears of renewed terrorism:

"Government officials played down the possibility of a terrorist connection, though FBI spokeswoman Susan Whitson said members of the bureau's joint terrorism task forces are involved in the investigation.

Harbin said Southwest does not believe the items found were connected to a plot to hijack the airplanes."

Who would ever, in their right mind, suspect that this was anything but the work of someone clearly trying to help by revealing errors in the way we've been combatting terrorism, much like the unique breed of benevolent hackers who break into government websites and then alert site administrators of their security weaknesses?

It's reassuring to know that members of the FBI's terrorism task force are involved in finding whomever planted this terrorist "go bag". Let's hope this concerned citizen gets life in Gitmo.

Posted in a Grave fashion.

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