View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Thursday, July 22, 2004

Terror in the Skies - More Questions 

Band or Terrorists?

But isn't it possible they were both? It's not like Jihadi is a full-time profession for most people. Recent history suggests that guys in the field get one operation and then qualify for either long-term disability or probate.

The Washington Times article appears to accept that possibility, and even the Carrot Top-loving Cullen says that "some came in from Detroit, others from Lebanon." Who was already in the country, and for how long? When was this particular band put together? Ad-hoc arrangements happen all the time, and could be an excuse for infiltrating people into the country. One-way tickets? They were planning to defect, maybe, and got cold feet?

The guys who got up after the landing announcement, were they the guys from Lebanon, or from Detroit, who might be expected to know enough English? If these guys didn't know enough English to stay put, where was their guide or docent? Wouldn't TSA send someone out to look for the guy at the top of the escalator with the hand-lettered "Mehanna" sign?

They were confident enough to come here in the first place, but didn't say anything to their agent about being detained at the airport? What explanation did they have for being late? Obviously, Cullen knew what flight they were on and when to expect them. Did he think they swung by Knott's Berry Farm on the way in?

Look, people's lives have all sorts of inconsistencies and spur-of-the-moment events. But large groups of men, from suspicious countries, traveling abroad, tend to try to adhere to schedules and protocol. Some of these questions are along the lines of "how clueless can you be, Mr. Cullen?" But some of them still bear a little detective work.

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