It's always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

Astin

New Member
It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

Suspects in Missile Sting Set for Court
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By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - A suspected arms dealer who thought he was selling a shoulder-fired missile to a Muslim terrorist bent on shooting down an airliner actually was the target of an international sting operation that resulted in three arrests, federal officials say.


AP Photo



Authorities in the United States, Britain and Russia cooperated in the investigation, which began months ago with a tip that the dealer, a Briton, was seeking weapons to buy in St. Petersburg, Russia, several U.S. law enforcement officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.


The probe culminated Tuesday in the arrest of the alleged arms dealer at a hotel in Newark, N.J., where, officials said, he had flown from London to close the deal on a sophisticated Russian SA-18 ILA missile capable of bringing down commercial airliners.


The Muslim extremist who wanted the missile actually was an undercover FBI (news - web sites) agent and the weapon was an inoperable copy brought from Russia to the United States aboard a ship to make the deal seem real, officials said.


Two other men, believed to be involved in money laundering, were apprehended about the same time as the British suspect at what was described as a gem dealership on Fifth Avenue in New York City, according to a federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.


The names of the suspects were not immediately made available because the arrests and charges were under court-ordered seal. However, the law enforcement official said the British suspect is Hemat Lakhani. He will be charged with material support of terrorism and weapons smuggling, the official said.


Lakhani is not believed to be connected to al-Qaida or any other known terrorist group, federal officials say. Authorities also stressed that there was no specific, credible threat to shoot down an airliner in the United States.


But one official said the understanding between Lakhani and the undercover FBI agent was that the missile needed to be capable of bringing down a commercial airliner.


Evidence against Lakhani includes hours of audio and videotapes in which he discusses the plot, speaks favorably of Osama bin Laden (news - web sites) and refers to the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks as "a good thing," according to another federal law enforcement official who spoke on condition of anonymity.


All three suspects were expected to appear Wednesday in federal court in Newark, officials said.


Justice Department (news - web sites) officials had no immediate comment on the case.


The investigation began when Russian authorities s passed on a tip about the reputed arms dealer's activities to the FBI, which was permitted to work inside Russia, U.S. officials said. British officials, including the MI5 domestic intelligence agency, helped track the man's whereabouts.


The investigation also involved the Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Secret Service (news - web sites).


The chief spokesman for Russia's Federal Security Service or FSB, the main successor of the KGB, said the operation was a result of close cooperation among the secret services of the United States, Russia and Britain, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.


"This action marks a new stage in the development of cooperation between the special services of these countries," ITAR-Tass quoted FSB spokesman Sergei Ignatchenko as saying. He said it was the first such operation since the Cold War.


Concerns about terrorists using shoulder-fired missiles to shoot down commercial airliners increased in November when two SA-7 missiles narrowly missed an Israeli passenger jet after it took off from Mombasa, Kenya. Officials concluded that al-Qaida probably was behind the attack, which coincided with a bomb blast at a nearby hotel.


Hundreds and perhaps thousands of shoulder-fired missiles — heat-seeking rockets that can hit low-flying aircraft within three miles — are said to be available on the worldwide arms market. Older missile launchers can be bought for as little as several thousand dollars.





Chechen rebels have used Igla shoulder-fired missiles against Russian military aircraft. Last week they used a missile to shoot down a Russian helicopter, killing three of the crew. And last year the rebels shot down a Russian troop-carrying helicopter, killing more than 100 people.

The Homeland Security Department has asked U.S. high-tech companies to look into developing anti-missile technology for commercial planes.

Rep. John Mica (news, bio, voting record), R-Fla., chairman of the House aviation subcommittee, said Wednesday the technology is available to provide a defensive system "at a fairly reasonable cost and we have moved that program forward."

"We don't have to put it on every plane, but we should have a system that's converted to commercial use," he said on CBS's "The Early Show," noting that a single piece of baggage screening equipment can cost almost $1 million "and we're talking about $800,000 to $1 million" per plane for a defense system.

"It should be on all new aircraft and some select other planes that carry large numbers of people, just like we do (with) air marshals," Mica said.

Sen. Charles Schumer (news, bio, voting record), D-N.Y., is backing a bill introduced by Sen. Barbara Boxer (news, bio, voting record), D-Calif., that calls for outfitting all of the roughly 6,800 planes in the U.S. commercial fleet with anti-missile defenses. The cost is estimated at $10 billion.

"The danger of an airliner being shot down by one of these missiles is now staring the Homeland Security Department in the face," Schumer said. "The fact that DHS is planning to take at least two years to develop a missile defense prototype to outfit the U.S. commercial fleet verges on the dangerous."

Meantime, the United States has sent experts to domestic airports as well as to airports in Iraq (news - web sites) and major capitals in Europe and Asia to assess security. The investigators are trying to determine whether the airports can be defended against shoulder-fired missiles
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

And the SA-18 Grouse is one MANPAD you don't want to be on the wrong side of. Bad-a$$ compared to it's older bretheren....
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

Yeah but could the media say that airlines are going to, put a missle defense system on there airplanes. They always tell people the bad news and make ppl scared to fly, then they complain about how poorly the airline market's doing.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

[ QUOTE ]
Yeah but could the media say that airlines are going to, put a missle defense system on there airplanes. They always tell people the bad news and make ppl scared to fly, then they complain about how poorly the airline market's doing.

[/ QUOTE ]

IRMD systems for airliners will need to be widely refined and will be costly. Most of the existing automatic systems that are being considered today won't work well for an airliner application.
 

vipermcg

New Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

I could be wrong, but I dont see how an anti missle system would work, say, If a terrorist took a boat out into Jamaica Bay, and tried to pick off a plane landing on runway 31, like 100 feet above him.
 

I_Money

Moderator
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

It almost happened in Kenya last year - unfortunately the equipment is easily avaliable in many countries with Gorilla warfare.
 

CK

Well-Known Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

[ QUOTE ]
[ QUOTE ]
Yeah but could the media say that airlines are going to, put a missle defense system on there airplanes. They always tell people the bad news and make ppl scared to fly, then they complain about how poorly the airline market's doing.

[/ QUOTE ]

IRMD systems for airliners will need to be widely refined and will be costly. Most of the existing automatic systems that are being considered today won't work well for an airliner application.

[/ QUOTE ]

Oh I thought I read that the goverment was going to pay to install them, but I could have read it wrong. Or maybe it just fell through.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

[ QUOTE ]
I could be wrong, but I dont see how an anti missle system would work, say, If a terrorist took a boat out into Jamaica Bay, and tried to pick off a plane landing on runway 31, like 100 feet above him.

[/ QUOTE ]

The biggest problem with the automatic flare/IR systems, like the C-130s use, if they're optimized for combat. They sense some sort of IR energy, and begin kicking out flares for defense. Now, if an America West 737 on takeoff from PHX Sky Harbor in the middle of summer gets sun/heat reflections from the many cars parked in long-term lots on the outside of the airport, and begins kicking out 2000 degree self-defense flares at 100 AGL, that all hit the ground/cars/people, etc. That wouldn't be a good thing. With the C-130 taking off in a war zone, flares being kicked out are not really a problem. Too much chance for collateral damage in a civil setting.
 

PFactor

New Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

Thank God they busted these A*******! I read so many negative things about our inteligence community, let's acknowledge thier success and hope they continue to catch the bad guys.
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

The airlines are resisting decoy/chaff add-ons because of the huge expense. It probably won't happen unless a US airliner is shot at or shot down.

My question is: would the technology even work? The device would have to detect the missile and release the countermeasure automatically because the pilots wouldn't have time to react while taking off or on approach. I could be wrong, but even if the decoy is launched, isn't a hard bank required to avoid the exploding missile warhead? Plus, with such gigantic heat signatures on both sides from the aircraft engines, how could a decoy system effectively shield them from a missile "lock"?

It's my understanding that all shoulder-launched AA missiles are infrared. Are there any SLAAMs that use radar guidance? Would that mean that an airliner would need ECM as well?

This is a tough and expensive issue for a business that is already deep in the red.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

[ QUOTE ]
The airlines are resisting decoy/chaff add-ons because of the huge expense. It probably won't happen unless a US airliner is shot at or shot down.

My question is: would the technology even work? The device would have to detect the missile and release the countermeasure automatically because the pilots wouldn't have time to react while taking off or on approach. I could be wrong, but even if the decoy is launched, isn't a hard bank required to avoid the exploding missile warhead? Plus, with such gigantic heat signatures on both sides from the aircraft engines, how could a decoy system effectively shield them from a missile "lock"?

It's my understanding that all shoulder-launched AA missiles are infrared. Are there any SLAAMs that use radar guidance? Would that mean that an airliner would need ECM as well?

This is a tough and expensive issue for a business that is already deep in the red.


[/ QUOTE ]

See my previous post on the basics of auto-IRMD systems.

Agree cost is a huge issue. Figure airlines wouldn't spend the money especially in today's financial times.

Would work against older MANPADS. Anyone's guess on the newer ones like the SA-18, a fine weapon.

For a manual-flare system, one crewmember would have to be dedicated lookout. All for not since most MANPAD shots would be far outside the field-of-view of an airliner anyway.
 

Center_Mid

Well-Known Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

Damned USAF acronyms. I learned to use SLAAM in my brief time in the military for "shoulder launched anti-aircraft missile". What does MANPAD stand for?
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

[ QUOTE ]
Damned USAF acronyms. I learned to use SLAAM in my brief time in the military for "shoulder launched anti-aircraft missile". What does MANPAD stand for?

[/ QUOTE ]

They're the same thing, really. MANPAD, MAN Portable Air Defense missile system, is the latest catchy acronym.
 

pavelump

Well-Known Member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

There's a bar in Chicago called the MANHOLE... Is that the same sort of thing?

 

Minuteman

“Dongola”
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

Well, its not impossible to include the IRCMs on civil transports. I'm guessing that's what those green "thingies" are at the back end of the engine spars. There are similar "thingies" on the other side and by the APU exhausts.



I wish I had a better idea of what kind of (in)competence is out there trying to blow us up. On the one hand you've got four groups that simultaneously hijacked aircraft at the same time after receiving international funding for several years. And then there are these other fruitloops that don't want to bother with learning how to takeoff or land and is too much of a mouthbreather to keep a match lit long enough to give himself a hotfoot.
 

MikeD

Administrator
Staff member
Re: It\'s always something w/ this industry. This would suck.

[ QUOTE ]


I wish I had a better idea of what kind of (in)competence is out there trying to blow us up. On the one hand you've got four groups that simultaneously hijacked aircraft at the same time after receiving international funding for several years. And then there are these other fruitloops that don't want to bother with learning how to takeoff or land and is too much of a mouthbreather to keep a match lit long enough to give himself a hotfoot.

[/ QUOTE ]

AF1 has it's own unique set of defenses.

Yeah, the 9/11 hijackers were pretty much a group of whackos. From a purely military standpoint however, the operation was brilliant insofar as the planning, coordination, execution, and exploitation of the US airlines, the airport security system, and the train of thought towards handling hijackings at the time.

Doubt it would work a second time.
 
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