Today I received a phone call from a fellow passenger, Bo Taylor (Bo indicated that I could identify him). This was the first contact I have had with any other passenger (besides Lori) since we left customs on Christmas Day. The conversation was very interesting because we both saw different things and were able to compare notes.
In the interest of obtaining the truth, which has always been my goal, I am posting the following account of Bo Taylor that differs from mine:
"After we landed in Detroit I saw an older looking teenager who was African and looked NEARLY IDENTICAL to the terrorist bomber. Since he was a minor, and travelling alone, he was accompanied by an airport employee at all times. Kurt, this could have been the guy you saw in Amsterdam before we boarded." I have no reason whatsoever to dispute the veracity of Bo's statement. I also have no reason to not believe what I saw.
Two different people can see two different things. However, I am not sure that it matters that much. You see, if Bo is correct, than we have a possible future airline security breach since the teenager was allowed on the plane without a passport(apparently) due to coming from Sudan (apparently). This may be a common airline policy that is potentially problematic. If I am correct, well, we have an entirely different and much larger problem. Either way, there are concerns. Either way we need an open, honest, and thorough investigation. There is one way to conclusively determine who is correct, and that would be for the Amsterdam Airport to RELEASE THE CLOSED CAPTION VIDEO FOOTAGE! Seriously, the attack happened 8 days ago, the relevant video is probably 2-3 minutes in length and has(apparently) already been viewed by airport security personnel. So why hasn't it appeared anywhere? Within 24 hours of any bank robbery or gas station hold up, the video of the perpetrator is played all over the news and posted on the internet. If the video really is not related to the terrorist incident, release it and let us move on. If it is related, release it, place it on the internet and let the world attempt to identify the "sharp dressed man". I suspect that due to the potential problems I indicated above (regardless of which account the video supports) federal law enforcement will likely never release the video.
Bo went on to emphasize the numerous amount of gaffes he saw (Many of which I did too) AFTER our plane landed. Bo cited the following as major problems he saw with how the investigation was handled:
1. We were left on the plane too long after landing, which caused unnecessary risk to the passengers.
2. We should have never been allowed to take our carry on bags into the terminal since they were not searched until we had been held for approximately one hour. This also caused unnecessary risk to the passengers.
3. Even though there was a no cell phone policy, Bo observed many people making cell phone calls and believes this was also an unnecessary risk to the passengers.
4. He was particularly concerned that according to him, "law enforcement in customs was not even notified that there was a bomb on our plane until we had been held for quite awhile". He informed me that an officer he spoke to in customs was clueless that there was even a bomb on our plane. Therefore, law enforcement WAS NOT EVEN AWARE of the risk our carry on bags presented while we were held in customs!
5. He indicated that he informed law enforcement that a man videotaped the entire terrorist incident and he gave the following possible seat numbers for the "camera man", seats 31A, 31B, 32A or 32B. However, law enforcement did not verify who was in such seats. Further, law enforcement could have confiscated each camera, but instead let this lead slip away when they let the passengers leave without ever finding the video.
It was very nice to compare notes with a fellow passenger even if his account was somewhat different than mine. My goal is not to prove that what I saw is correct, but only to pose the questions in order to obtain satisfactory answers. An open, honest, and complete investigation is vitally important to the future of all airline passengers. We must all continue to ask the questions until all of our concerns are satisfied.
By the way, the very important questions I posed at the conclusion of yesterday's post continue to remain unanswered.
Kurt Haskell- A Flight 253 passenger and a concerned American Citizen.