Monday, July 15, 2024

Union says United in-flight attack could have been prevented if air marshals weren’t stationed at the border

Air Marshals Deployed to Border Leaving Flights Vulnerable to Threats, Former Supervisor Says

Unarmed passengers on a United Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Boston bravely took down a man attempting to stab a flight attendant, as there were no air marshals present due to their deployment to the southern border. According to Sonya LaBosco, a retired supervisory federal air marshal, the ongoing deployment of 200 air marshals to the border has left major flights vulnerable to threats.

The Flight 2609 incident in March 2023 left passengers feeling abandoned as they were forced to tackle the threatening passenger on their own. LaBosco expressed concerns about the lack of air marshals on board, stating that their absence increases the risk of in-flight incidents and poses a potential security threat.

With air marshals being diverted to non-law enforcement duties at the border, such as distributing water, making sandwiches, and unloading trucks, concerns have been raised about the safety of long-haul flights. LaBosco emphasized the importance of having air marshals on these flights, especially in light of the 9/11 attacks targeting similar routes.

Recent federal reports have highlighted the risks associated with deploying air marshals to the border, including the potential impact on national transportation security. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) was criticized for failing to assess the operational impacts of these deployments on its primary mission.

The report also revealed that TSA spent approximately $45 million on border deployments between May 2019 and August 2023. Despite the high costs, concerns remain about the effectiveness of these deployments and their impact on airline security. The need to prioritize the safety of passengers on long-haul flights and prevent future security threats is paramount, according to experts in the field.

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