Extremists May Target Private US Planes - TSA

April 21, 2006

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The US Transportation Security Administration has warned aircraft owners and airport managers that Muslim extremists may be targeting private American jets and urged them to boost security.

"On April 13, 2006, a message posted in Arabic on an Internet forum explained how to identify private American jets and urged Muslims to destroy all such aircraft," the TSA said in an advisory issued on Thursday.

The TSA quoted the Arabic message as saying: "We call upon all Muslims to follow and identify private civilian American aircrafts in all airports of the world."

"It is the duty of Muslims to destroy all types of private American aircraft that are of the types Gulfstream and Lear Jet and all small aircraft usually used by distinguished (people) and businessmen," it quoted the message as saying.

It said the message explained how to identify private US jets and also provided the tail number of a private plane believed to be used by the CIA.

The TSA and other law enforcement organizations regularly issue advisories when they have information of a potential threat though there have been no major incidents since the September 2001 hijacked plane attacks on New York and Washington in which about 3,000 people were killed.

The TSA urged plane owners and operators to boost security measures and secure unattended aircraft and verify identification of crew and passengers.

"Be alert/aware of and report persons masquerading as pilots, security personnel, emergency medical technicians or other personnel using uniforms and/or vehicles as methods to gain access to aviation facilities or aircraft," the TSA advised.

It said the theft of any private plane should immediately be reported to law enforcement and TSA.