Thursday, December 08, 2005

Confidence in Air Marshals Increased

Don't expect any critical after-action reports from this blog after two federal air marshals aboard an airliner at Miami International Airport shot and killed a passenger who claimed he had a bomb in his backpack.

According to most early news accounts, the air marshals shot the man after witnesses say he said he had a bomb on the plane, then ran from the plane and onto the jetway, and reached into his backpack despite orders by the air marshal not to.

As it turns out, the passenger, identified as 44-year-old Rigoberto Alpizar, did not have a bomb in his bag. According to Alpizar's wife, who was aboard the flight with him, Alpizar was bipolar and did not take his medication.

Witnesses have said that both Alpizar and his wife demonstrated "frantic" and "erratic" behavior prior to the incident.

The two agents, despite having to fire multiple shots, successfully stopped what looked like a suicide bombing in progress and did so in a way in which no other passengers were hit.

Hats off to the two air marshals. My confidence in their training and tactics has been validated.

People do seem to act weird around cars and planes anyway...if it is helpful, take a look at this piece on how to protect yourself from air rage.


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