July 29-31, 2003
We are back in Bangkok. We left Miami on Sunday aboard a British Airways nonstop to London (8 1/2 hour flight). We then killed almost a dozen hours in Terminal 4 at BA's Concorde Lounge before catching our British Airways nonstop Asian sleeper to Bangkok. The 11 1/2 hour flight was uneventful except for the expected turbulence over the Black Sea and the Bay of Bengal.
Right now we are at The Oriental (Yes, the Gore Vidal Suite) where we will stay for a couple of days before moving a hundred meters to our apartment at River Garden.
More will follow ....
My local Bangkok 'minders' have reminded me to again watch my step now that I am no longer under the protective umbrella of Homeland Security.
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
Office of the Spokesman
July 29, 2003
This supersedes the Worldwide Caution dated April 21, 2003. It is being issued to remind U.S. citizens of the continuing threat of terrorist actions that may target U.S. citizens and to update these potential threats. The U.S. Government remains deeply concerned about the security of U.S. citizens overseas. U.S. citizens are cautioned to maintain a high level of vigilance, to remain alert and to take appropriate steps to increase their security awareness. This Worldwide Caution expires on January 26, 2004.
Tensions remaining from the recent events in Iraq may increase the potential threat to U.S. citizens and interests abroad, by terrorist and other groups. Terrorist actions may include, but are not limited to, suicide operations, hijackings, bombings or kidnappings. These may also involve commercial aircraft. Other potential threats include conventional weapons, such as explosive devices, or non-conventional weapons, such as chemical or biological agents. Terrorists do not distinguish between official and civilian targets. These may include facilities where American citizens and other foreigners congregate or visit, including residential areas, clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, hotels, outdoor recreation events or resorts and beaches. U.S. citizens should remain in a heightened state of personal security awareness when attendance at such locations is unavoidable.
U.S. Embassy Bangkok American Citizen Services Unit:
Window Hours: Monday - Friday, 8 - 11 AM and 1 - 3 PM
U.S. Embassy Bangkok website: http://usa.or.th
CNN pushed a bit further on its alarm button ... strongly suggesting that our next airplane trip back to the States might result in ourselves being permanently comingled with concrete dust, twisted I beams, crumpled elevator shafts and acres of glass shards.
Officials: Suicide airliner hijackings possible
FBI Director Robert Mueller is slated to appear at a conference Tuesday on local responses to terrorist attacks..
Tuesday, July 29, 2003 Posted: 10:40 PM EDT (0240 GMT)
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- The Department of Homeland Security is warning that Islamic extremists might be plotting suicide airliner hijackings to be carried out before the end of the summer, with possible targets including sites in Britain, Italy, Australia or the eastern United States. "As of mid-June, Islamic extremists may have been planning suicide hijackings to be executed by the end of Summer 2003," according to the document obtained Tuesday by CNN. "The plan may involve the use of five-man teams, each of which would attempt to seize control of a commercial aircraft either shortly after takeoff or shortly before landing at a chosen airport." Such a plan would preclude the need for hijackers to take flight training, the document says. The one-page warning, sent to U.S. airlines and others Saturday, contains words of warning and skepticism, saying some of the intelligence the government has received raises "questions about the viability of the plot."
Our Screwless Tuskers elephant polo team is finally coming together. Readers of yore will sadly remember that the 2002 version of 'us' never made it to the turf; but, rest assured, 2003 will be a completely different tale.
This weekend we'll have our first team meeting at which we'll discuss "What's it all about, Alfie?" Stay tuned.
But, for the keenest of you, THOCBDC is proud to now present the first two players on this new and improved Screwless Tuskers team.
PS: I've always liked The Economist.
Moving in ......
PS: The leading edge of our Screwless Tuskers team, Golf, displays an ad for The King's Cup Elephant Polo match ... from the July issue of The Thailand Tatler.