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2005-01-26—Rep. Steve Israel—missiles

Harrison Weblog

2005 blog


Keeping up with Jewish officeholders

Rep. Israel joins with Boxer
in renewing calls for airline
countermeasures for missiles
,  Jan. 26, 2005

Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) has joined Senator Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) in calling anew for protection of the U.S. commercial airline industry against the threat of a missile fired by a terrorist from his shoulder. (See previous story).

In a Jan. 25 news release, Israel expressed disappointment over a study issued by the RAND Corporation which he characterized as concluding that "while the threat of shoulder-fired missiles is real and lethal, protecting passengers isn’t cost-effective."

Israel countered that "One $5000 missile hitting a single plane would be the economic end of the aviation industry. It seems to me that whatever money we invest in protecting planes would be cheap in comparison to the cost of a shoulder fired missile hitting planes later. The cost of rebuilding the airline industry from the ground up is the more prohibitive one to me."

Israel and Boxer, along with Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y) had introduce d legislation in the last session of Congress to retrofit commercial jets with missile-dodging countermeasures. Israel said their concerns were heightened last November after a targeted Israeli jet liner eluded a missile.

"Intelligence officials have published estimates that there are roughly 500,000 portable shoulder-fired missiles available worldwide in the hands of 27 separate terrorist organizations, including al-Qaeda," the congressman said.

 —Donald H. Harrison