SAM Missile Update: If you read nothing else, read this.
Well, had my moment in the sun, now back to work. And unpleasant work it is this morning.
The Washington Times (found via The Corner) has a report today that goes beyond yesterday’s CNN piece indicating that al Qaeda might have surface-to-air missiles that could be used against U.S. airliners and says that “new intelligence indicates that Islamic terrorists have smuggled shoulder-fired anti-aircraft missiles into the United States.” (emphasis mine).
The CNN report, which I mentioned here, contained no indication that these weapons might already be in the country.
This is very, very not good. I’m going to keep thinking long and hard about what I would do, if I were Bush or Ashcroft or Ridge right now, to stop what I fear is going to be another terrible loss of life. I will confess to you that right now, I just don’t have an answer. But please, if you’ve got an idea — send it to me. This is not an idle intellectual exercise: this is for real, and as intelligent, informed citizens of this country we damn well better be doing our part to think creatively about how to stop these monsters — because our diversity of mind and thought is our greatest strength. Let’s not squander it.
Update: VodkaGuy has a more reasoned assessment of the threat over at his place. He points out that modern airliners are pretty stable craft, and as such, might be able to withstand losing an engine to a SAM strike.
I’d like to believe that, but I question whether a SA-7 (which apparently is the type of missile most likely to be used) would outright destroy the wing of the plane, as well as the engine. Anybody with a better military background than VP and myself care to chime in here?
Update Again: VodkaGuy got back to me in email near instantaneously, and indicates that a SA-7 warhead is much too small to wreck the wing. This is good news.