Terrorist Dry Run on Flight to Milwaukee?

LGF links to an article at the The Aviation Nation that quotes TSA Incident Report #177 re a flight from Washington DC to Milwaukee:

(U//FOUO) Suspicious Activity Onboard Flight to Milwaukee

(U//FOUO) On 24 October 2007, crewmembers aboard a Reagan-Washington National to Milwaukee General Mitchell International Airport flight reported to a Federal Flight Deck Officer (FFDO) flying in non-mission status that they noticed suspicious behavior by four passengers.

One of the subjects entered and exited the rear aircraft lavatory three times and failed to comply with crewmembers’ verbal instructions. The FFDO seated himself near this subject to observe his behavior. Shortly afterward, two more of the subjects moved into the aisles and entered both lavatories. After one of the subjects vacated the rear left lavatory, the FFDO searched it, noting that the mirror above the sink was not properly latched.

He exited the lavatory and a fourth subject was waiting second in line with a passenger in front of him. The FFDO offered the fourth subject access to the right lavatory, but the subject declined, claiming the right lavatory was dirty.The FFDO noted the right lavatory was clean, and the subject reluctantly entered the right lavatory and remained there for an extended period of time. (TSA/SD-10-3849-07)

(U//FOUO) TSA Office of Intelligence Comment: Although there is no information that the aircraft was being specifically targeted for a future terrorist attack, the actions of the four passengers are highly suspicious. FFDO confirmation of possible tampering of the lavatory mirror in one of the lavatories could be indicative of an attempt to locate concealment areas for smuggling criminal contraband or terrorist materials. In this case, it appears the left lavatory was the sole area of interest for the passengers. One subject’s excuse that the right lavatory was dirty when it was confirmed to be clean shows the four passengers had a specific, operational objective. Although unconfirmed at this time, this incident has many of the elements of pre-operational terrorist planning.

Source: TSA Suspicious Incidents Report #177

The site also ask an interesting question:

…one wonders when TSA Suspicious Incident Reports #1-#176 occurred — and what information they contain?

2 Responses

  1. Ah, there’s the rub with analyzing intel and/or ‘foreign’ behavior…
    Last time I flew back from DC I sat next to a woman who was sooooo fishing for a discrimination lawsuit it was comical. …long, flowing, black robes with a nijab, Koran prominently displayed and frequently read aloud, spontaneous bursts of noise due to ‘pain’ while holding her head…etc.
    The flight attendants hovered (I got everything I wanted and never hit the call button once), two passengers quietly moved to other seats, and most of those around us were obviously nervous and fidgety at take-off.
    Who knows, the guys in the example above could have been casing the bathrooms…
    Didn’t mean to go off – I just had to tell my silly (true) story somewhere where it somewhat related…

  2. Isaac: Thanks for the interesting story!

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