The hot-foot follies- The Sunday

The hot-foot follies
- The Sunday TImes of London reports that when hot foot Richard Reid tried to fly to Israel, the El Al security officer in Amsterdam wanted to stop him: “It took an alert El Al security guard seconds to see that Richard Reid betrayed the tell-tale signs of a terrorist suspect.” But Israeli officials wanted him to go to track him and find out whom he was going to see. They sat him next to an armed guard. Love that El Al.

– It’s clear that there must be better communication among law-enfocement officials. The Times story says that if Israeli officials had shared their concerns about Reid, it might have kept him off future flights. A top Brit cop yesterday also called for better sharing of intelligence about suspicious individuals. Amen.

– Be warned: British Air and Virgin just dropped plans to have sky marshals on their flights. Bad idea. Really bad idea. All airline officials henceforth should ask themselves a very simple question every day: “What would El Al do?”

– The Times says that U.S. officials want to administer truth drugs to Reid. That and a 3-foot length of hose, perhaps.

– The NY Times has photos of the hot-foot flight.

Short shoelace stocks
- Fashion prediction: Loafers will be in, especially for travelers, who won’t want to bend down — a very vulnerable position — tying their shoes after they go through airport security. Buy Nike, which just created a trend in laceless sneakers.

Fear of flying
- The Observer‘s year-end list of trends you’ll be glad were in 2001 come 2002 begins:

Fear of flying no longer simply meaning the fear you’re about to die because of turbulence or the flaps making that awful schmeeee all-gone-wrong sound, as if that wasn’t enough, but now encompassing the fear you’re about to die because you’re too close to the vortex from the plane in front, or some suicidal madman’s about to fly you into the sea, or some thin-lipped fanatic’s about to fly you into a major city landmark, or the bastard in front wants to blow off his own feet.

Sabres rattling
- Bush urges Pakistan and India to cool it. But in a Pakistani paper, you can still hear the sound of sabres jangling. In the Observer, too. Meanwhile, in the Times of India.