Dry Run: Al-Soofi And The Jihadi 'Unmanned' Aerial Drone
As details emerge from the case of a terrorist dry run involving US airliners, the terrorists' probing of security systems reveals the tactic. Unlike the 9/11 tactic of hijacking non-stop coast to coast flights laden with fuel and driving them into buildings, the new approach appears to be the jihadi equivalent to unmanned aerial drones. Unmanned, that is, by the terrorists - as was the case in the Lockerbie bombing of a US-bound 747 over Scotland. ABC News reveals that the terrorists used connecting flights in Chicago where they went to Amsterdam on one flight while they sent their slipped luggage to Washington, DC's Dulles airport.
Once in Chicago, officials say they learned al Soofi checked his luggage on a flight to Washington's Dulles airport for connections on flights to Dubai and then Yemen, even though he did not board the flight himself.
Instead, officials say, al Soofi was joined by the second man, Al Murisi, and boarded the United flight from Chicago to Amsterdam.
They apparently did not have assistance from a planted mole baggage handler at the airport, but instead checked their luggage as any other passenger.
The question is, if the bomb configuration sans explosives made it through whatever screening was performed, would the presence of an explosive have made a difference? The flight to Dulles was not unloaded of al-Soofi's luggage until it had landed, refueled, reloaded and left the gate for its connecting destination of Dubai.
The flight was ordered back to the gate at Dulles only after it was learned that Ahmed Mohamed Nasser al-Soofi and his cohort Hezem al-Murisi were not on the Dubai-bound flight with their loaded luggage. It is important to note that this was not noticed or acted upon at Chicago, the first leg of the luggage sans its terrorist owners.