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Sibir Airlines flight downed en route from Tel Aviv.
October 4, 2001 5:28 AM   Subscribe

Sibir Airlines flight downed en route from Tel Aviv. It is not yet clear whether or not this was a terrorist act. It does seem, however, that there was an explosion on board.
posted by jeffvc (17 comments total)

 
ABC News is also carrying a report, stating that another pilot has reported seeing the plane explode.
posted by presto at 5:42 AM on October 4, 2001


Following a major wake-up call, there's a tendency to get jumpy and see your enemy under every rock and behind every tree. The bus crash yesterday wasn't caused by a terrorist. The jet which was hijacked in India yesterday actually wasn't hijacked.

For the next few weeks or months, it's natural that every time a jet crashes people are going to think it's the result of terrorist acts. But jets crash and explode all the time (sad to say) for a lot of other reasons. Let's not rush to hasty judgement.

I am skeptical about this; Russia has been more friendly to the Palestinians than any other major power, and if it turned out that a Russian jet were destroyed by the activities of Arab terrorists, it would firmly turn Russia against the Palestinians. Terrorism is not undirected violence for the sake of violence, it's planned violence for purposes of advancing a political goal. What good would be served for one or another Arab cause by alienating the major western nation which historically has been most sympathetic to them?
posted by Steven Den Beste at 5:59 AM on October 4, 2001


Very true, however a good deal of the turmoil currently in Afghanistan was at least in part provoked by the war between Russia and Afghanistan.

I definitely agree that something like this does make you think about things being a terroristic attack more often, but I'm not suire there's anything wrong with that, except that focusing on that as the cause may help to conceal the actual cause by distracting our attention.
posted by presto at 6:02 AM on October 4, 2001


is it me or is MeFI a secondary CNN site?

this post seems to a quick chance to say "I read the news first".
posted by Frasermoo at 6:03 AM on October 4, 2001


Terrorism is not undirected violence for the sake of violence, it's planned violence for purposes of advancing a political goal.

Huh? Obviously you haven't been reading enough MeFi, which would have us believe that terrorism is random, unfathomable acts of insane, motive-less animals.
posted by rushmc at 6:15 AM on October 4, 2001


just for reference's sake, there have been a number of crashes associated with the russian tu-154 in the last few years:

2001: in July a Tu-154 crashed near Burdakovka, 145 casualties

1994 125 died
1994 160 died
1995 97 died
1996 141 died

all figures taken from link below.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/world/europe/newsid_1421000/1421319.stm
posted by zoopraxiscope at 6:16 AM on October 4, 2001


this post seems to a quick chance to say "I read the news first".

You're just jealous! (Can we take it to Metatalk please?)
posted by rushmc at 6:16 AM on October 4, 2001


In fact, please refer to the conversation we were having about a nearly identical situation yesterday.
posted by briank at 6:18 AM on October 4, 2001


Why not wait till those who study such things decide whether or not it was a terror attack or not?
posted by Postroad at 6:21 AM on October 4, 2001


With 23 crashes since 1973, the TU-154, known as "the most successful Soviet-made jetliner," was definitely not the safest.
posted by tamim at 6:45 AM on October 4, 2001


On the contrary, the TU-154 safety record isn't that bad, comparing quite well with the safety record of the 727.
posted by thewittyname at 7:32 AM on October 4, 2001


Debka.com is reporting that the plane was shot down by a SAM.
posted by ParisParamus at 8:09 AM on October 4, 2001


BBC reporting that it was likely a Ukrainian missile that was supposed to be a dummy fired during exercises in the area.
posted by rmolenda at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2001


i guess this is just today's swirling rumor story:

abcnews reports us officials say it may have been accidental shooting by ukrainian forces

cbsnews reports ukranian defense ministry spokesman denies any involvement by ukranian forces

check back in a few hours for more contradictory reports from all corners!
posted by zoopraxiscope at 9:19 AM on October 4, 2001


Just to muddy the waters, along the same lines, just today the French environment minister announced that contrary to earlier reports, the massive Toulouse chemical-plant blast (29 dead, 2500 injured, 50000 homeless) may have been sabotage. Now, he may be covering for regulatory lapses in his agency -- but any other time, I might jsut dismiss this as hysteria.
posted by dhartung at 12:00 PM on October 4, 2001


The idea that the Ukrainian military shot this airliner down is so much less likely than a flight from Israel being targeted by terrorists--especially in our current climate--that I'm willing to dismiss it out of hand until substantive evidence indicating otherwise is presented.

Couple that with the claims from Ukraine and Russia that the missile story is false and the probability that Sibir Air is one of the easier lines to target out of Ben Gurion. When was the last time a civilian airliner was accidently shot down? And now it just happens to an Israeli flight occur during a war with extreme islamic fundamentalists? Cmon!

So let's suppose this is a cover story. Why? Prevent hysteria? Give the Israelis a plausible reason to not retaliate, so as to hold together the bizzaro coalition?
posted by z00td at 1:42 PM on October 4, 2001


fwiw on this story, debka.com is now reporting:

"Three Bullet Holes Are Found in Cockpit Door of
Siberian Airlines That Crashed Thursday in the
Black Sea Killing All 78 Aboard Including 66 Israelis"

who knows if this is true since you have to take everything with a couple tons of salt these days. but i thought the US rush to judgement was at least a little suspicious on this one yesterday. wouldn't want a total chill on people flying all over the world, now would we? airlines in the US and Europe are already struggling badly, and a well placed "leak" to calm the populace right off the bat might be a good strategem to temper panic.

then again, the Ukraine missile theory is certainly not out of the realm of possibility either. i'm interested to see what the truth is here--if we ever manage to get to "truth".
posted by zoopraxiscope at 9:22 AM on October 5, 2001


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