Tags: Fear | WMD | Airliners | Fuels | Worries

Fear of WMD on Airliners Fuels Worries

Sunday, 01 February 2004 12:00 AM

According to the report, the WMD intelligence was a factor behind cancellation of six international flights, however, information available to officials about the possible new tactic remains vague.

"There is some sketchy information that inserts [weapons of mass destruction] in connection with aviation," one intelligence official said.

Intelligence officials reportedly described three possible modus operandi:

The Department of Homeland Security has decided not to deploy special hazardous material units -- as long as the flights in questions are canceled, said the report.

Aviation sources told the Post that the Transportation Security Administration ordered that the cargo on specific flights be screened before takeoff and after landing.

As it is, very little of the cargo carried on passenger planes is routinely physically inspected.

Meanwhile, a few of the nation's key airports have the capability to detect radiological materials -- typically through an agreement with local law enforcement personnel who specialize in the devices.

According to the Post report, the detection of biological agents aboard planes is more difficult than radiation to address.

Intelligence officials have indicated that al-Qaeda is anxious to mount a spectacular attack to show followers, potential recruits and donors that it remains strong and dangerous.

Despite the cancellations and WMD fears, a Department of Homeland Security official said there was no plan to raise the nationwide threat level from yellow. Officials indicate that they would deal with the novel threat by canceling suspicious flights.

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According to the report, the WMD intelligence was a factor behind cancellation of six international flights, however, information available to officials about the possible new tactic remains vague. "There is some sketchy information that inserts [weapons of mass...
Fear,WMD,Airliners,Fuels,Worries
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2004-00-01
Sunday, 01 February 2004 12:00 AM
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