What hap­pened on AA Flight 1561

The Washington Times Weekly - - Commentary - Michelle Malkin

If you lis­ten to the pas­sen­gers and crew who flew on Amer­i­can Air­lines Flight 1561, there’s no doubt about what hap­pened on their har­row­ing trip: A Ye­meni man shriek­ing “Al­lahu ak­bar!” at the top of his lungs more than 30 times rushed the cock­pit door twice in­tend­ing to take down the plane and kill ev­ery­one on board.

The clammy, sweaty lone male pas­sen­ger ex­hib­ited clas­sic symp­toms of what Mid­dle East scholar and au­thor Daniel Pipes has dubbed “Sud­den Ji­had Syn­drome”, a seem­ingly ran­dom out­break of threat­en­ing be­hav­ior or vi­o­lence by a hys­ter­i­cal Mus­lim ad­her­ent who had not pre­vi­ously ex­hib­ited signs of Is­lamic rad­i­cal­iza­tion. It took at least four men to tackle and re­strain Rageh Ahmed Mo­hammed al-Murisi. “There was no ques­tion in ev­ery­body’s mind that he was go­ing to do some­thing,” pas­sen­ger An­gelina Marty told the San Fran­cisco Chron­i­cle.

And no, that “some­thing” did not mean en­list­ing his fel­low fly­ers in a midair flash mob per­for­mance of the “Hal­lelu­jah Cho­rus.”

Not ev­ery­one was so grounded in re­al­ity. Bleed­ing-heart sym­pa­thiz­ers se­ri­ously spec­u­lated that al-Murisi had sim­ply mis­taken clearly marked lava­tory doors for the clearly marked cock­pit door (be­cause, you know, it’s nor­mal to shout “God is great” re­peat­edly just be­fore re­liev­ing your­self as your plane is about to land). Some fed­eral authorities and me­dia white­wash­ers pro­claimed that al-Murisi’s mo­tives were “un­known.”

If only al-Murisi had been scream­ing phrases from the Con­sti­tu­tion. The Se­lec­tive Mo­tive De­ter­mi­na­tion Ma­chine, the same one that rushed to pin the Tuc­son mas­sacre on the Tea Party, the GOP and Fox News with­out a shred of ev­i­dence, would have kicked in to full gear.

On May 18, a San Fran­cisco judge de­nied al-Murisi bail. Un- bur­dened by the par­a­lyz­ing prissi­ness of po­lit­i­cal cor­rect­ness, fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors noted that “Al­lahu ak­bar” was the same re­frain in­voked by the 9/11 hi­jack­ers over Shanksville, Pa., and by the would-be Christ­mas Day bomber over Detroit. Not to men­tion Fort Hood ji­hadist Nidal Hasan, the Frank­furt, Ger­many, ji­hadist who killed two U.S. air­men on a bus in March, the young Port­land, Ore., Christ­mas tree light­ing bomb plot­ter, ev­ery last sui­cide bomber across Europe, Africa, South Asia and the Mid­dle East, and ev­ery last evil al- Qaida be­header broad­cast on video over the past decade.

So how, de­spite a mas­sive trans­porta­tion and home­land se­cu­rity ap­pa­ra­tus, did al­Murisi get into this coun­try and get on a plane?

He had no keys, no lug­gage, $47 cash, two cu­ri­ous posted checks to­tal­ing $13,000, and a trove of ex­pired and cur­rent state IDs from New York and Cal­i­for­nia, where rel­a­tives said he had not no­ti­fied them that he was com­ing.

He is young, male, brought no fam­ily with him, had no job or other dis­cernible in­come, and hails from the ter­ror-cod­dling nation of Ye­men.

Yes, the same Ye­men that is Osama bin Laden’s an­ces­tral home, har­bors al-Qaida op­er­a­tives who are burn­ing the “torch of ji­had,” and is deemed a “spe­cial in­ter­est coun­try”

At least the heroes of Flight 1561 who re­fused to sit silent learned the proper 9/11 les­son.

whose cit­i­zens war­rant in­creased scrutiny by DHS when they cross the bor­der il­le­gally.

As I re­ported last month, a fed­eral watch­dog re­vealed that TSA’s coun­tert­er­ror­ism spe­cial­ists failed to de­tect 16 sep­a­rate ji­had op­er­a­tives who moved through tar­get air­ports “on at least 23 dif­fer­ent oc­ca­sions.” Neutered by Is­lam­o­pho­bia-pho­bia and an “overtime over se­cu­rity” men­tal­ity, our State Depart­ment con­sular of­fices’ and air­line se­cu­rity bu­reau­cracy’s stance to­ward the al-Muri­sis slip­ping through their snaking lines is:

Noth­ing to see here; move along.

At least the heroes of Flight 1561 who re­fused to sit silent learned the proper 9/11 les­son. “I swore to my­self that I would never be a vic­tim” af­ter the 2001 at­tacks, pas­sen­ger Larry Wright, one of the men who brought al-Murisi down, told re­porters last week. The only ef­fec­tive home­land se­cu­rity be­gins and ends with a cul­ture of self-de­fense.

Just as there are no athe­ists in fox­holes, there are no “see no ji­had, hear no ji­had, speak no ji­had” delu­sion­ists on air­planes with Al­lahu ak­bar-chant­ing fly­ers beat­ing down doors.

Michelle Malkin is the au­thor of “Cul­ture of Corruption: Obama and his Team of Tax Cheats, Crooks & Cronies” (Reg­n­ery 2010).

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