Hit & Run

Mysterious Syrian Band Identified

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That purportedly suspicious band of Syrians on a June 29 Detroit-L.A. flight that caused a wave of terror about potential terror in the blogging world has been positively identified on National Review Online. Clinton W. Taylor does some deducing and makes some phone calls and discovers that, in fact, these guys were perfectly normal passengers, the backup band for Syrian singer Nour Mehana, on their way to perform at the Sycuan Casino & Resort, near San Diego.

Strangely, after explaining that these guys were perfectly innocent musicians, Taylor still concluded that there was something wrong with the fact that

rather than land the plane in Las Vegas or Omaha, it was allowed to continue on to Los Angeles without interruption, as if everything were hunky-dory on board. It certainly wasn't. If this had been the real thing, and the musicians had instead been terrorists, nothing was stopping them from taking control of the plane or assembling a bomb in the restroom.

Wait--what about Annie Jacobsen, whose breathless account of her nerve-wracking experience watching these musicians run amok with their standing and bathroom-going started it all? What if she had instead been a terrorist? By the same logic, nothing was stopping her from taking control of the plane either, or assembling a bomb in the restroom.

In fact, even today, the skies are filled with people who, just like on that flight, are not terrorists and have no intention of taking control of a plane or assembling a bomb in it. Yet they are, as NRO points out regarding Jacobsen's sub-Shatnerian nightmare at 20,000 feet, blithely allowed to continue on to their destination without being brought down in some other city instead. I can only thank NRO for bringing that problem to our attention.