Law enforcement in New York and Los Angeles are checking whether recent gunfire scares at JFK and LAX were coordinated attempts to “test the system” and see how authorities respond to such situations.
No evidentiary link between the August 14 incident at JFK and the Sunday incident at LAX has yet been established, although the similarities between the two cases are so stark that law enforcement officials are checking whether an individual or individuals might be looking for security weaknesses.
“We don’t have any evidence that points to the incident here [at LAX] being linked to what occurred at JFK, but law enforcement is certainly looking to determine if an individual or individuals were seeing to test the system in these cases, or if the most recent incident here is the work of a copycat,” Marshall E. McLain, head of the Los Angeles Airport police union, told The Post.
Both occurred on Sunday evenings at approximately the same local time, and Each incident initially reported trouble at “Terminal 8” of the respective airports
Airline passengers in both incidents “self-evacuated” onto restricted tarmac areas.
Both false alarms led to mass confusion and delays, with Sunday’s incident in Los Angeles resulting in 281 flights being delayed 120 arrivals and 161 departures and two flights being cancelled.
Security experts note that terrorists have been known to stage phony incidents to provoke a police response as a means of gathering intelligence.
A New York law enforcement official involved in counter-terrorism did not discount the possibility that is what had taken place.
“It’s too early to tell,” insisted the official, who said further analysis was underway to examine 911 calls and to security footage.
One New York law enforcement official noted that the most troubling aspect of both incidents was that the false alarms led to airline passengers rushing past TSA screeners and spilling out onto tarmacs, in close proximity to waiting aircraft.
“The enemies of this country have never given up their desire to use American aviation as their air force and everyone in law enforcement at the upper levels knows this, but is afraid to talk about it,” said the source.
In response to the recent JFK and LAX incidents, the American Alliance of Airport Police Officers (AAAPO), an organization that represents airport police in New York, Los Angeles and Dallas Fort Worth, renewed its demand that airport cops nationwide be dispatched within 300 feet of every TSA checkpoint and airport police be granted real-time access to airport security surveillance feeds.