- The Washington Times - Friday, April 21, 2006

The U.S. Transportation Security Administration has warned owners of private jets and airport managers to upgrade security in response to a message posted in Arabic on a Web forum urging Muslims to destroy U.S. aircraft.

The Arabic message, “Destroy All American Aircraft,” called on Muslims to identify and destroy American private civilian aircraft worldwide. It advised readers how to identify U.S. aircraft and provided the tail number of a plane it said was used by the CIA.

“It is the duty of Muslims to destroy all types of private American aircraft that are of the types Gulfstream and Learjet and all small jet aircraft usually used by distinguished (people) and businessmen,” the TSA quoted the April 13 message as saying.

The TSA warning, issued Thursday, did not include specific information about possible targets, but urged aircraft and airport owners to secure unattended aircraft to prevent unauthorized use and to verify the identification of crew and passengers.

“TSA reminds general aviation aircraft and airport owners and operators to review the security measures contained in the TSA Information Publication … and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association’s Airport Watch Program,” the warning said.

It also called on private operators to verify that baggage and cargo are known to those on board, encourage employees to wear proper identification and challenge persons not wearing proper identification.

The warning suggested increased vigilance for unknown pilots and clients for aircraft rentals or charters, suggested that the owners and managers be alert to and report persons masquerading as pilots, security personnel, emergency medical technicians or others using uniforms or vehicles to gain access to aviation facilities or aircraft.

“The theft of any general aviation aircraft should be immediately reported to the appropriate authorities and the TSA General Aviation Hotline at 866/GASECUR (866/427-3287),” the warning said.

“In addition, persons should report any suspicious activity immediately to local law enforcement and the TSA General Aviation Hotline.”

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