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Where, oh where, is missing airliner?

By Walter Geiger At this writing, authorities from multiple governments and navys are concentrating their search for the missing Malaysian airliner in an area of the Indian Ocean where sophisticated equipment has picked up pings consistent with those emitted by aircraft flight recorders known as black boxes. The plane has been missing for over a month. The families of those onboard ‘“ 227 passengers and 12 crew members ‘“ have been put through hellish, longterm turmoil and they are angry. Many allege a coverup by the airline and the Malaysian government. Perhaps the plane will be found in the three mile deep water hundreds of miles off the west coast of Australia but there are doubts. It is known that two Iranians were on the flight and they were traveling on stolen passports. Authorities were a little too quick to dismiss them as suspects, the families allege. And, who can blame them? Everybody has a theory. Media mogul Rupert Murdoch thinks the plane was hijacked and flown to northern Pakistan near where Osama bin Laden was taken out by Navy Seals. Everybody who has ever flown a Boeing 777 seemingly has been interviewed by some media outlet. Their theories run the gamut but a signifi cant number seem to support the hijacking scenario. Even rocker Courtney Love issued a drawing on social media where she scrawled an outline on a satellite image, noting what she thought was wreckage and an oil slick. Not surprisingly, her theory was quickly debunked. I guess Bono will be next up. Maybe he will do a concert from a barge at the search site for the souls of those onboard ‘“ pay per view, of course. If you want realistic scenarios, keep an eye on the Israelis. Israel’s formerly state-run airline El Al last had a hijacking in 1968 ‘“ the only successful hijacking of an El Al flight ever. After 40 days of negotiations, everyone, including the Palestinian hijackers, walked off the plane alive. Five months later, terrorists from the same Palestinian terror group attacked an El Al airliner at the airport in Athens, Greece, killing a mechanic. Three days later, Israeli commandos hit the Beirut airport, blowing 14 airplanes on the ground, putting Lebanese International Airways out of business permanently. The Israelis don’t play around with terrorists. They believe in ‘˜an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth’ retaliation though they often take more eyes and teeth than they lost. U.S. security could learn a lot from them. The Israelis are among those who think the plane was hijacked. They fear a 911 style airliner attack on the Azrieli Towers ‘“ a triple skyscraper complex that soars above the Tel Aviv skyline and have instituted a series of security measures to prevent it. No one knows what those measures are. Had the distasteful Piers Morgan asked, he would have been rebuffed and that is as it should be. For the sake of the families onboard, I hope the airliner is found and they get some answers. However, I think Israel’s hijacking scenario seems much more likely. A 777 loaded with explosives could cause a lot of damage whatever its target ‘“ buildings, bases, aircraft carriers. Imagine being the guy who had to make the call to shoot down the jet were it used as a weapon with the hostage passengers onboard. Walter Geiger is editor and publisher of the Herald Gazette.

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