What does a woman in Mexico tweeting about non-existent school shooting attacks and a government warning about a plot by al-Qaeda to use small, explosives filled aircraft to attack U.S. targets, have in common? They are both efforts to create fear and panic, and to cause us to spend more money to chase our tails.
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Industry reps tell me that the neither the FBI nor DHS have issued guidance or warnings about this latest threat and from the language of the L.A. Times article, it reads similar to previous threats from General Aviation that have been issued.
In the Mexico City incident, individuals falsely tweeted about schools being attacked by gunmen, sending many people into a panic that shut down emergency telephone lines. In the “GA Threats” article, al Qaeda may be trying to achieve the same panic effect. Just by sending out some information that a plan to use GA explosives-laden aircraft to attack U.S. targets is in the works, or even the final stages, while likely not to cause widespread panic, adds to the overall fear factor. It may just fuel a community fire or political fires to put more regulations and restrictions on the GA industry, which alone adds $100 billion in economic impact to the United States.
While regulating general aviation aircraft, or causing higher security requirements (and thus, more cash to be spent) on “securing” general aviation may seem to be a small inconvenience to those outside of the GA industry, it’s one more expense, it’s one more “fear” for us to worry about, it’s one more pinprick, that is slowly eroding our economy and our civil rights.
In 1776 a group of individuals signed a Declaration of Independence. That document proclaimed freedom from oppression. At the time, the oppression was from a specific source. The Declaration though did not come with an expiration date, nor was it specific to one entity doing the oppression. It was a declaration from all forms of oppression, including al Qaeda and any other group or individual that seeks to deny our God given right to choose our destiny.