I asked the air marshal question Christmas Day after the failed terrorist attack. For some reason I figured there would be marshals on every inbound international flight, but it is not the case. President Obama has ordered all international inbound flights to have air marshals within 25 days.As noted, I questioned (Exit Question 3) the air marshal situation on Christmas Day. Today, after significant action by the Yemeni government to take a hard stand on terrorist outposts within their borders, Obama – as reported in an ABC News exclusive – has ordered a big ramp up to immediately get marshals onto flights.
But many are questioning if something more serious is happening.
… Obama has ordered a “surge” of federal air marshals to be in place by Feb.1 in what officials said was a “race against time,” with other suicide bombers believed to be in the terrorist pipeline, although there is no specific imminent threat, federal officials told ABC News.
Under a preliminary plan, the officials said the already existing federal air marshal force of more than 3,200 personnel would be deployed almost exclusively to overseas flights flown by U.S. carriers.
Domestic high-risk flights will be covered by agents from other federal law enforcement agencies who were trained as air marshals in the wake of the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks.
“The rush is to get our people in place before they get theirs launched,” said the senior law enforcement official.
“We are going to try to cover every single U.S. flag carrier flight from overseas into the United States,” the official said.
AP over at Hot Air notes the use of “race against time” and “no specific imminent threat” in the same damn sentence in the first paragraph in the ABC News release.
Update: AJ over at Strata-Sphere picked up the story today.
The fact this action was publicly announced means some fear they need to do as much as possible to stop any future attacks, including letting the attackers know we are responding – probably in the hope they will suspend their activities.
If this is what is being leaked out, the soon to be released report cannot be good.