New suicide hijacking warnings issued to airlines...


New Member
WASHINGTON (July 29) - The Department of Homeland Security has told airlines and law enforcement agencies that al-Qaida may attempt new suicide hijackings sometime during the next few months.

The vague warning came from information gleaned from interviews of at least one al-Qaida prisoner as well as intercepted communications, said one intelligence official, speaking on condition of anonymity. The information was developed in the last few weeks.

``We continue to investigate this information to determine its level of credibility,'' said Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the Department of Homeland Security.

There was no specific information on any potential targets, nor did officials know who in al-Qaida might attempt any attacks. The officials said al-Qaida could launch strikes in the United States or Europe. There was no specific date, only a general sense that an attack could take place in the late summer, officials said.

``The intelligence community continues to receive information about al-Qaida's interest in using the commercial aviation system,'' Johndroe said. ``Because of this the Department of Homeland Security issued an advisory this weekend to the nation's airlines and law enforcement personnel.''

The warning was not provided to the general public, but officials acknowledged its distribution in response to queries.

``We advised airline and law enforcement personnel to take a look at all their practices and initiate additional measures they may feel are necessary,'' Johndroe said.

The information points toward a Sept. 11-style attack using hijacked planes as weapons, rather than a traditional hijacking, officials said.

The national terrorist threat level remains at yellow, signifying an elevated risk of attacks. There was no immediate sign that officials would raise it to orange, signifying a higher risk. The highest alert status is red.

07/29/03 09:51 EDT

Copyright 2003 The Associated Press. The information contained in the AP news report may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or otherwise distributed without the prior written authority of The Associated Press. All active hyperlinks have been inserted by AOL.
Pentagon Abandons Terrorism Betting Plan

By KEN GUGGENHEIM, Associated Press Writer

WASHINGTON - The Pentagon (news - web sites) will abandon a plan to establish a futures market to help predict terrorist strikes, the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee (news - web sites) said Tuesday.

Sen. John Warner (news, bio, voting record), R-Va., said he spoke by phone with the head of the agency overseeing the program, Tony Tether, "and we mutually agreed that this thing should be stopped." Tether is the head of the Pentagon's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as DARPA.

Later, in an interview, Warner said that DARPA "didn't think through the full ramifications of the program."

"The head of DARPA inasmuch stated that to me by phone and he on his own initiative is looking to frankly stop all engines on this matter today," the senator said.

Warner announced the decision not long after Senate Democratic Leader Thomas Daschle took to the floor to denounce the program as "an incentive actually to commit acts of terrorism."

Warner disclosed the change in plans during a confirmation hearing for retired Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, nominated to be Army chief of staff.

"This is just wrong," declared Daschle, D-S.D.

Warner said he consulted with Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Pat Roberts, R-Kansas, and Appropriations Committee chairman Sen. Ted Stevens (news, bio, voting record), R-Alaska, and they agreed "that this should be immediately disestablished."

He said they would recommend that the Pentagon not spend any funds already in place for the program and said they would pull the plug on it during House-Senate budget conference committee negotiations later on this year.

The little-publicized Pentagon plan envisioned a potential futures trading market in which speculators would wager on the Internet on the likelihood of a future terrorist attack or assassination attempt on a particular leader. A Web site promoting the plan already is available.

When the plan was disclosed by two Democratic senators Monday, the Pentagon defended it as a way to gain intelligence about potential terrorists' plans.

Earlier, Warner had said that his staff was looking into the program and would report on it later Tuesday. Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (news - web sites), D-N.Y., said she was appalled to hear of plans to set up "a futures market in death."

Other Democrats expressed similar alarm.

"The idea of a federal betting parlor on atrocities and terrorism is ridiculous and it's grotesque," said Sen. Ron Wyden (news, bio, voting record), D-Ore., one of two lawmakers who disclosed the plan Monday.

The program is called the Policy Analysis Market. DARPA said it was part of a research effort "to investigate the broadest possible set of new ways to prevent terrorist attacks."

Traders would have bought and sold futures contracts — just like energy traders do now in betting on the future price of oil. But the contracts in this case would have been based on what might happen in the Middle East in terms of economics, civil and military affairs or specific events, such as terrorist attacks.

Holders of a futures contract that came true would have collected the proceeds of traders who put money into the market but predicted wrong.

A graphic on the market's Web page Monday showed hypothetical futures contracts in which investors could trade on the likelihood that Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat (news - web sites) would be assassinated or Jordanian King Abdullah II would be overthrown. Although the Web site described the Policy Analysis Market as Middle East market, the graphic also included the possibility of a North Korea (news - web sites) missile attack.

That graphic apparently was removed from the Web site hours after the news conference in which Wyden and fellow Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan (news, bio, voting record) of North Dakota criticized the market.

Dorgan described the market as "unbelievably stupid."

"Can you imagine if another country set up a betting parlor so that people could go in ... and bet on the assassination of an American political figure or the overthrow of this institution or that institution?" he said.

But in its statement Monday, DARPA said markets could reveal "dispersed and even hidden information. Futures markets have proven themselves to be good at predicting such things as elections results; they are often better than expert opinions."

According to its Web site, the Policy Analysis Market would be a joint program of DARPA and two private companies, Net Exchange, a market technologies company, and the Economist Intelligence Unit, the business information arm of the publisher of The Economist magazine.

DARPA has been criticized by Congress for its Terrorism Information Awareness program, a computerized surveillance program that has raised privacy concerns. Wyden said the Policy Analysis Market is under the supervision of retired Adm. John Poindexter, the head of the Terrorism Information Awareness program and, in the 1980s, national security adviser to President Reagan.

The Web site does not address how much money investors would be likely to put into the market but says analysts would be motivated by the "prospect of profit and at pain of loss" to make accurate predictions.

Trading is to begin Oct. 1. The market would initially be limited to 1,000 traders, increasing to at least 10,000 by Jan. 1.

The Web site says government agencies will not be allowed to participate and will not have access to the identities or funds of traders.

The market is a project of a DARPA division called FutureMAP, or "Futures Markets Applied to Prediction."

"The rapid reaction of markets to knowledge held by only a few participants may provide an early warning system to avoid surprise," the FutureMap Web site said.

Dorgan and Wyden released a letter to Poindexter calling for an end to the program. They noted a May 20 report to lawmakers that cited the possibility of using market forces to predict whether Israel will be attacked with biological weapons.

"Surely such a threat should be met with intelligence gathering of the highest quality — not by putting the question to individuals betting on an Internet Web site," they said.

Wyden said $600,000 has been spent on the program so far and the Pentagon plans to spend an additional $149,000 this year. The Pentagon has requested $3 million for the program for next year and $5 million for the following year.

Wyden said the Senate version of next year's defense spending bill would cut off money for the program, but the House version would fund it. The two versions will have to be reconciled.
I think they're almost begging for Art Bell-style conspiracy theorists with this stuff.

Nothing says, "Soon to be a Oliver Stone" movie than the two press releases!
right after the election.

[/ QUOTE ]

Well I dunno I think "election" is a kind of stretch ... more like legal coup.

And I think, Doug, had Stone made a movie that followed the past two years - no one would believe it!
I actually thought that "futures" idea was pretty good. It would encourage people to give information and probably be an economy boost as well.

Poor taste? Yeah like America cares about poor taste. Watched TV lately?
I've heard that this is really a counter-intel gimmick intended to capture terrorists by either (1) suggesting targets to them (thru the market) and then tracking the "method pipelines" through which such targets could be attained, or (2) falsely manipulating the market to show a strong possibility of one event or another and then monitoring the increased communications by terrorists confused by the false info in the hopes that they unwittingly give up useful details and intel.

My guess is that the "market" will continue secretly despite the Pentagon's public disavowal.
$5 says TSA drops the proposed jump-seat "test" allowance.

Which in and of itself pisses me off. TSA makes themselves sound like they're coming up with some revolutionary idea of "allowing" people to ride in the cockpit jumpseat.
Seriously, when the • did we turn into 1930's Germany!?

[/ QUOTE ]

I'm glad someone else finally noticed. I've been getting a lot of blank stares from people when I remark that "...if you don't think the facists aren't running the government, you're not paying attention."
That is kind of a long article. Something about gambling?
I'm in, but could somebody just give me the jist of the game?

As for the election comments, I think they should've boxed for the tie-breaker.
It's not a game. It's actually what some govn't doofus had planned.

Great, here's a big threat but a bunch of elected officials is going to save us from them.. Riiiiight.

I think UAL flight 93 was America's wake up call: the bozos aren't going to protect us, it's up to each of us, separate and apart from some Senator, that is going to protect the nation.

Besides, they're too busy manipulating the futures market and creating pork barrel budgets under the auspices of Homeland Security!
You forgot "while racking up a $1 billion tab each WEEK to sustain the military occupation of Iraq"
I gotta ask this. Just what the hell did the Homeland Security folks expect to accomplish with this? Duh! Of course there is a threat of another suicide hijacking attempt! There has been since the terrorist attacks, and before that.

So just what did this accomplish, since there was no specific date or time or airline?