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The Collective
Friday, December 25, 2009
By Steven L. Taylor

One of the reasons (if not the main reason) that the 9/11 attacks worked as well as they did (well, three of the four attacks) was that the paradigm in effect regarding airline hijackers was that hijackers want to go somewhere, so passengers and flight crews should cooperate.  That paradigm shifted quickly and violently between the two attacks on the WTC/the attack on the Pentagon and the passenger revolt on United 93.  Once it became clear that hijackers and the like on flights were a danger that required direct intervention, the ability of attackers to operate under the old paradigm was gone forever.

While the details of today’s attempted attack/whatever it was are fuzzy, I was struck by the following (via ABC News: Man Attempts to Set Off Explosives on Detroit-Bound Airplane):

Delta spokeswoman Susan Chana Elliott said that "as the plane was getting ready to land" in Detroit "a passenger caused a disturbance" by trying to ignite what was initially reported to be firecrackers.

The man was "subdued immediately," Elliott said. Northwest is a wholly owned subsidiary of Delta.

"There was one guy, who sat on the other side, the right side of the wing because this was on the left side of the wing, and he jumped over the other people and he took care of it," said passenger Peter Smith.

Either the man was a passenger or an Air Marshall—either way, his actions are indicative of the paradigm shift noted above.

Also:  this sounds rather remarkably similar to the Richard Reid event from several years back.

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Filed under: US Politics, War on Terror | |
The views expressed in the comments are the sole responsibility of the person leaving those comments. They do not reflect the opinion of the author of PoliBlog, nor have they been vetted by the author.

4 Responses to “Paradigm Shift in Action?”

  1. Opus #6 Says:

    That man is one of our regular troops. He is an American. Ready to spring into service of his country at a moment’s notice. TERRORISTS BEWARE!

  2. Detroit Terror Plot Says:

    [...] Steven Taylor identifies a “paradigm shift in action.” One of the reasons (if not the main reason) that the 9/11 attacks worked as well as they did (well, three of the four attacks) was that the paradigm in effect regarding airline hijackers was that hijackers want to go somewhere, so passengers and flight crews should cooperate.  That paradigm shifted quickly and violently between the two attacks on the WTC/the attack on the Pentagon and the passenger revolt on United 93.  Once it became clear that hijackers and the like on flights were a danger that required direct intervention, the ability of attackers to operate under the old paradigm was gone forever. [...]

  3. PoliBlog: A Rough Draft of my Thoughts » Responding to the Terrorist Attempt Says:

    [...] note (along the lines of my posts from the other day): Seems to me that what this, Flight 93, and the Richard Reid incident have [...]

  4. The Gitmo Connection to the Underwear Bomber | The Moderate Voice Says:

    [...] Paradigm Shift in Action?/Paradigm Shifts Continued… [...]

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