Sunday, December 28, 2003

Planes with explosives found at Saudi airport

LONDON — Saudi security forces have seized light planes packed with explosives near Riyadh's King Khalid airport, foiling a plot by suicide pilots to blow up a Western airliner on the runway, a British newspaper said today.

Two pilots apparently intended to crash the planes into a Western jet on the tarmac, Patrick Mercer, homeland-security policy chief for Britain's opposition Conservative Party, was quoted as saying in the Mail. British Airways was believed to be the likely target.

In light of this, it's hard to avoid the conclusion that there were terrorists on the French airlines today. It's worth thinking through this tactic before it hits us in the face. The easiest way to stop it would be to refuse to let non American airlines (except maybe for a handful of the securest countries) fly airplanes to United States airports. If they do the same to our airlines, the result could be devastating economically. I sure hope somebody in the Bush administration is up for a quick and tough round of negotiations.

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