Air France A330 bust-up…or terrorism?

While it is too soon to know what really caused the AF 447 tragedy, there is now more fuel for speculation that terrorism played a role. Today France-Soir is reporting that a potential terrorism connection is being explored by the French government. L’Express has already reported that the DGSE (France’s CIA) revealed that two names on the AF 447 passenger list correspond to individuals with known terrorist links.

France-Soir quotes aviation specialist Michel Polacco: “It would make no sense to eliminate terrorism as one of the possibilities. An explosion would be possible, because that would destroy a number of key elements, notably electrical systems, which would in turn create a cascading series of problems which would generate such alert messages as were received.”

And what of the fact there were no known threats made against the flight? Polacco says that doesn’t erase the possibility of an attack: “The airplane is an international place,” he says. “An exploding plane affects the country where it takes off from…[and]…where it lands…”

This is very jarring, yet very logical analysis. What about motive? Irrational crimes needn’t have rational motives, but it is noteworthy what Douglas Woodwell, an assistant professor of international relations at the University of Indianapolis, had to say:“During the past week, the French government announced the landmark opening of a military base in Abu Dhabi, the first permanent overseas military base the French have opened since they decolonized in the early 1960s.”

French President Nicholas Sarkozy signed the deal with Abu Dhabi for that base back in January 2008. Which in more ways than one and to many minds — some more volatile than others — is like yesterday.

If safety were Air France’s primary concern, the company would suspend all international flights until the DGSE and French Ministry of Defense complete their investigation.

But an airline is, after all, a company…

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