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How to Deal With Muslim Hi-Jackers.

World  (tags: hijacking attempt, Muslims, Israel )

- 1791 days ago -
With the world's attention focused on Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, a retired El Al pilot, a veteran of five armed hijacking attempts and plots, including one movie-worthy standoff at 29,000 feet.


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Stan B (123)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 1:40 am
On September 6, 1970, Bar-Lev, who had flown as a 16-year-old in the 1948 War of Independence and later during the 1956 War, was picked up from his Amsterdam hotel and brought to Schiphol airport to fly the second leg of El Al Flight 219 from Tel Aviv to New York. Before take-off, El Al’s security officer on duty at the airport told the pilot that there were four suspicious people seeking to board the flight. Two held Senegalese passports with consecutive numbers; two others, a couple, carried less suspicious looking Honduran passports, but all had ordered their tickets at the last minute.

Bar-Lev, in consultation with the security officer, barred the Senegalese passengers from boarding and demanded that the local security officers closely inspect the two Honduran nationals before allowing them to board.

Although at the time he did not know that no such inspection had been performed, he stopped at seat 2C and had a chat with Avihu Kol, one of the two armed security officers on the plane. “I told him, I want you in the cockpit with me,” Bar-Lev said.

Kol was alone in first class. He might as well have been wearing a sign that said air marshal. “Someone could just come up behind him and shoot him in the head,” Bar-Lev said, recalling that Kol had warned him about just such a scenario two weeks before.
Uri Bar-Lev at his home on Moshav Avihayil (photo credit: Mitch Ginsburg/ Times of Israel)

Read more: How to thwart a gunman at 29,000 feet, by the only pilot who ever did | The Times of Israel

Carol Dreeszen (346)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 2:18 am
WOW! That takes some guts!! The way it is today with these terrorists everyone has to be they said mind ready!! Great article Stan! Thanks!

Giana Peranio - Paz (398)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 3:09 am
Thanks Stan, it's a crazy world we live in, we have to watch each step, and each person, wherever we go and whatever we do! I learned this from living in Israel 60 years!!!

Hilary S (65)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 3:24 am
the malaysian airport security is notoriously slack - maybe they think they're immune from terrorism because malaysia is a muslim country. and while we don't know what happened to that flight, it does look very dodgy indeed.

Beth S (330)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 3:27 am
Amazing story, Stan! I didn't even know about this incident.

Bar-Lev was right. Give in to the hijacker terrorists just makes the situation worse. Though there may be a few exceptions, Islamic terrorists aim to inflict the most destruction possible. Pilots should be trained to resist and fight back. Bar-Lev was clearly a really smart guy with his antennae up, his heart, stomach and mind in the right place.

It figures that dhimmie British would give Muslim terrorists and their lackeys all the consideration.

We need more pilots like Bar-Lev, using their instincts, wits, and courage.

Thank you for this story of redemption in a time that the world is going crazy and being stood on its head. We have a lot of good things to learn from the Israelis.

Ben B (18)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 3:30 am
An inspiring story, thanks Stan for posting.

Gillian M (218)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 5:00 am
I suppose that Muslim controlled countries assume that other Muslims won't hijack their planes so don't worry as much about terrorists.

Israel has nothing but worry about Muslim terrorists yet the other governments had no interest in their problems until it happened to them.

pam w (139)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 8:56 am
I'll fly El Al any time there's an option!

Fred H (31)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 10:55 am
great story. thanks!

Debra Tate (17)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 5:38 pm
WOW! Thanks for the info! Noted.

Lynn Geth (185)
Wednesday March 26, 2014, 10:57 pm
I remember when that happened and at the time I said to my husband, "That sounds like a scene out of a movie with the pilot dipping the plane to throw the terrorists off their feet." Bar-Lev was very brave and decisive in his actions. Would that all pilots make decisions such as he did. Thank you Stan, for an inspiring story!

Past Member (0)
Thursday March 27, 2014, 2:03 am
Thanks for this Stan. Much appreciated.

Gene Jacobson (290)
Thursday March 27, 2014, 3:23 am
It is a great story and I'm glad that it is out. I'm also glad that hijackings are pretty much a thing of the past. IF that is what happened with the Malaysian plane that apparently crashed in the ocean, they've not improved their sense of direction, nor how far an airplane can fly. Pam's right, El Al is the best option anywhere you can get them. I'd sooner they take over our domestic business, though I don't fly much, than any of the 1%er's who currently own them all.

P. L. Neola (21)
Thursday March 27, 2014, 6:46 pm
“Bar-Lev told Kol, the air marshal, to hold on tight. He was going to throw the plane into a dive. The negative g-force, akin to the feeling one gets on the downhill section of a roller coaster ride, would accomplish two things: it would lower the plane’s altitude, reducing the pressure difference between the inside and outside of the plane, which would make a bullet hole or a grenade explosion less dangerous; and it would throw the hijackers off their feet. The passengers, he said, were all belted in and would be fine.
Bar-Lev lifted the nose of the aircraft, dipped one of the wings, and then tilted the nose down to earth. The plane began to plummet, dropping 10,000 feet in a minute. When he pulled out of the dive, Kol charged through the door and killed Argüello.
The second terrorist, Leila Khaled, a Palestinian veteran of previous skyjackings, rolled a grenade forward but it didn’t explode. In her memoir, Bar-Lev said, Khaled claimed to have been violently subdued, but the air marshals found her passed out from the dive and quickly arrested her.”

This was a very clever move. I would not have thought of it.


Helen Porter (39)
Sunday March 30, 2014, 8:36 pm
I have twice faced a gun held on me by mentally ill persons. I just stayed calm.

"If you're going to do it, do it right."

Each put the gun away.

The first person just left.

The second person, a boss who had been a Chicago gang member, just put the gun away. We remained friends and neither of us ever mentioned the incident to the other.

But if a terrorist threatened me, I don't know what I'd do. I've put in my three score and ten, I don't want to live to be a hundred. I would probably pray aloud for the terrorist and gracefully accept the bullet or the sword. What a way to a martyr.

But I'm sure not eager to have it happen.

I'll avoid danger the best I can.

Süheyla C (234)
Tuesday April 1, 2014, 12:25 am

Nancy C (806)
Sunday April 6, 2014, 1:37 pm
Glad that Bar Lev was honored for bravery. Incredible story Stan. Pilots should all have this "technique" in mind.
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