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February 16, 2007

9/11 Changed Everything
Posted by Jim Macdonald at 01:03 AM * 0 comments

From today’s headlines:

Passengers subdue armed hijacker

LAS PALMAS, Spain (CNN) — A man armed with two pistols hijacked an Air Mauritania flight Thursday but was subdued by two passengers, a Spanish official said.

Old-style hijackings are a thing of the past. Finito. Done. No more. The one and only thing that 9/11 changed was the rules of that particular game.

It used to be that if you were on a hijacked aircraft you stayed in your seat, did what the hijacker said, and the worst you’d usually face would be some very boring and uncomfortable hours sitting on a runway somewhere while the FBI’s Hostage Negotiation Team chatted with the hijackers.

Then came 9/11, and before it was over there was a new model: It evolved before the morning was over, before the government could act. If there’s a hijacking, everyone dogpile the hijacker(s). It doesn’t matter if they have machineguns—they have to reload sometime.

The elaborate security screenings that we have to undergo now are to protect us against a tactic that will never work again.

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