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“We will bring this plane down”: Flight 804 Downing Raises Airport Security Questions

Yesterday, we posted on the NatSecDailyBrief about the ACARS-Inmarsat data reports on smoke detected aboard the ill-fated EgyptAir  MSFlight 804.  We noted comments by a commercial pilot on an Aviation Herald article speculating  that there could have been an internal explosion in the nose of aircraft possibly affecting the avionics and fly by wire computer system. That might have caused the downing.

Watch this U.K. Telegraph of Debris recovered from MSFlight 804.

Note what the U.K. Telegraph reported in its blog on the downing  of  MSFlight 804:

Data from the final moments before EgyptAir flight MS804 crashed into the Mediterranean suggest an “internal explosion” tore through the right side of the aircraft, a pilot said last night.

Investigators trying to determine whether the A320 was brought down by terrorism or a technical fault are poring over a series of warnings indicating smoke filled the cabin shortly before it disappeared from radar.

French authorities confirmed that smoke detectors went off aboard the flight a few minutes before it crashed but said it was not clear what caused the smoke or fire.

A commercial pilot with a major European airline told The Telegraph that other parts of the data log suggested that windows in the right side of the cockpit were blown out by an explosion inside the aircraft.

“It looks like the right front and side window were blown out, most probably from inside out,” said the pilot, who flies an A330 similar to the crashed A320 and spoke on condition of anonymity.

[…]

Until investigators find the aircraft’s black boxes, which are still missing in the Mediterranean, the ACARS offers the best sense on what was happening aboard.

Three different warnings showed there were faults in the windows next to the co-pilot, suggesting they could have been blasted outwards by an onboard bomb. That does not mean the explosion came from the cockpit but indicates the right side of the plane was more badly damaged than the left.

The pilot suggested the smoke detectors may have been triggered not fire but by fog which filled the cabin as it lost air pressure in the moments after the explosion.

[…]

According to the Wall Street Journal, people “familiar with the matter” say that the alerts could be an indication of a problem with the flight control system.

While not ruling out a bomb, Bob Mann, a US aviation expert, says the latest data indicate a number of possibilities. “The data could indicate rapid decompression or smoke and a progressive loss of flight control systems.

Note how difficult the French security investigations are looking into the backgrounds of the more than 85,000 workers at the Paris airports and the short interval of conducting the security  sweep on Flight 804:

Although no terrorist group has claimed responsibility, French detectives are examining a pool of around 85,000 people with “red badge” security clearance that gives them access to restricted areas of Charles de Gaulle airport.

The task is complicated by the fact that many work for sub-contractors and turnover is high. Screenings are often limited to checking an employee has no criminal convictions and does not appear on a terror watch list.

Last December around 70 red badges were withdrawn from staff at Charles de Gaulle who were found to have praised the attacks in Paris, prayed at mosques linked to radicalism or showing signs of growing religiosity like refusing to shake hands with women.

A French trade union also warned that short stopovers like that made by Flight 804, which was on the ground a little over an hour, gave little time for security staff to carry out thorough security checks.

Then there were the New York Times reports about graffiti daubed on the aircraft in Cairo back in 2013 saying, “We will bring this plane down”:

It has emerged that the crashed aircraft had once been daubed with graffiti by vandals who wrote: “We will bring this plane down”.

The New York Times reported that the vandalism was done two years ago and was a protest against Abdel Fattah El-Sisi, the Egyptian president who seized power in a coup, rather than a jihadist threat.

The airline went on to fire a number of staff with alleged Muslim Brotherhood sympathies in 2013 as part of a general purge of suspected Islamists after the military takeover.

And in the weeks following the Paris attacks in November, French police said Arabic graffiti such as “Allahu Akbar” (God is great) were found daubed on EasyJet and Vueling planes at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris and at Lyon airport.

It also emerges that EgyptAir was exempted from a trial of the new French security system for vetting passengers:

Charles de Gaulle airport will begin testing a passenger screening tool known as the passenger name record (PNR) next week. The system, already in use in Britain, identifies passengers whose profiles indicate a potential risk. It cross-references names, addresses and means of payment with police crime and terrorism files.

However, EgyptAir will not be among the eight airlines that will take part in the trial, which the interior minister, Bernard Cazeneuve, says is long overdue.

The system is to become fully operational by the end of the year in France, which has received nearly £14 million in EU aid to finance its introduction.  It can detect passengers who have travelled to countries such as Syria and Yemen, with their return dates.

The evidence keeps piling up that supports the  comments of ex-CIA director Ambassador Woolsey and  investigations by the Lisa Benson Show National Task Force for America that international airports, including those in the US,  are not secure.  That is particularly acute given the difficulty of profiling airport workers with security access to aircraft on the tarmac and now we learn vetting passengers from terrorist hot spots.

EDITORS NOTE: This column originally appeared in NatSecDailyBrief.

Deceptive Reporting on Donald Trump Exposed

AUSTIN, Texas /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Brad O’Leary, publisher of TheOLearyReport.com, former NBC News Radio/Westwood One talk show host, author of the The United States Citizens’ Handbook and former feature writer for USA Today Weekend magazine. Brad is calling out online publication BearingArms.com about contributor Bob Owens’ deceptive post. Find Brad’s response below and on TheOLearyReport.com:

A newspaper in the UK, called The Telegraph, is trying to fool people by claiming expertise on the Second Amendment.

They begin their article as if they are supporters. They do not remind their readers that the Second Amendment came about because the British Government tried to disarm our American colonists in our Revolutionary War, which was the spark that started the Revolution.

They do not tell their readers that the Second Amendment was based on British freedoms guaranteed in the Magna Carta.

Nor do they admit that a few years ago when the British Parliament stripped British citizens of those same rights, that they as a newspaper completely supported that effort.

Nor did they tell their readers that every reporter and researcher working on the story is a committed anti-gunner. You might say that I am guessing at this and I am.

When the American newspaper USA Today did a week of front-page new stories on gun-ownership in America, they began the first story with an apology. They usually try to have reporters who are balanced in their opinion, but they could not find a single reporter on their paper that supports the ownership of guns or had even fired a gun. If that is what happens in America, I consider it to be proof that in England it would be worse.

The Telegraph article ranks four tiers of supporters, with the lowest tier being against the Second Amendment. I do not object to whom they put in that lowest tier, but I object to whom they put in the third tier. They listed four Republicans who they claim hardly support the Second Amendment, Kasich, Trump, Carson and Christie. That would be really wishful thinking on the part of a bunch of gun-banners pontificating on freedoms that they stripped themselves of in the hope influencing Americans, who might follow and strip themselves of the same freedoms.

The most outrageous person that they put in that group who should be ranked in the top tier of Second Amendment supporters is Donald Trump. Before you gasp and tell me that is not what you have heard in the American media coverage, let me tell you some things that they could have told you but they haven’t:

  1. Donald Trump is the first presidential candidate in the history of American politics who said that he would sign concealed-carry reciprocity when Congress passes the Bill. It is true that the other candidates have made clear what they think about concealed-carry based on what they did in their own states or are willing to do in Congress but none have said that I will sign reciprocity Federal Bill into law.

Now I cannot tell you the ins and outs of how far all the other candidates go to support the Second Amendment but Trump has left no doubt that:

  1. He would allow military troops, bases and recruiting centers to be armed.
  2. He would see that the Federal government and FBI create an instant, accurate and fair list of criminals, including mentally defective people to deny them of ownership of guns.
  3. He would not sign into law any gun and magazine bans.
  4. He would enforce all of the Federal gun laws on the books and bring back a NRA supported Federal Law enforcement program called Project Exile, which was opposed by Rahm Emmanuel, Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama and Eric Holder. They want guns banned. They do not want felons, drug dealers, rapists and murderers who use a gun in the process of a crime to be incarcerated for five years in Federal prison because they think it is a waste of Federal money.
  5. He wants to fix a broken mental health record system. And that effort is opposed by the American Psychiatric Association and by the board members of the legal drug cartel known in America as the pharmaceutical industry, who would prefer that Americans lockup their guns in a safe than lock up the drugs that are in their medicine cabinet.

Why would we (and you) allow gun-banners and extremists like the managers and reporters of The Telegraph spew ignorance and deceive readers by disseminating their deceptive “researched” information sourced from so called Conservative or pro-gun sources who are actually their own insiders pretending to be pro-gun experts?!

RELATED ARTICLE: Why gun laws miss the mark – The Orange County Register