Author Topic: Details of Plans to Respond to a Terrorist Attack Released by Mistake?  (Read 1562 times)

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Offline Old Sweat

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According to this story reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act, in response to a FOI request, the CBC was given a copy of a briefing to the CDS on the response to a 9/11 type hijacking or other incidents in which supposedly redacted material was readable.

Classified documents reveal Canada's planned response to 9/11-style attack
Briefing to top general includes scenario for shooting down hijacked airliner posing threat to CN Tower
By Kristen Everson, CBC News Posted: Mar 01, 2017 2:00 PM ET Last Updated: Mar 01, 2017 2:00 PM ET

Classified documents reveal details of Canada's planned military response if a hijacked commercial airliner threatened a target such as the CN Tower — including the decision to shoot the plane down.

Secret documents detailing Canada's plans for responding to a Sept. 11-style attack include a scenario in which military fighter jets are forced to shoot down a hijacked commercial airliner to protect Toronto's CN Tower.

The documents contain precise details about how the military, RCMP and government would determine when to shoot down a hijacked plane, including:

Who makes the decision and how much time that decision would take.
The number of Canadian and U.S. fighter jets on standby.
Where the Canadian jets are located and how long it takes to get them in the air.
When Canadian and U.S. jets are authorized to use force.

The documents were part of a briefing presented to the incoming chief of defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, in 2015. They were obtained by CBC News through the Access to Information Act. The documents contain several sections and full pages that appear to have been marked for redaction, but the information in those sections is still clearly visible.

CBC has chosen not to disclose many of the details in the documents for national security reasons.

"In this case, it sounds to me like a mistake was made," said Vance in an interview with CBC News on Wednesday. "We'll follow up and try and make certain that this sort of thing doesn't happen again."

The release of the documents raises further questions about how the Department of National Defence handles classified information. The department has been under intense public scrutiny since Vice-Admiral Mark Norman was suspended from his position as vice chief of defence staff in early January and was accused of leaking classified data, possibly about shipbuilding.

The documents obtained by CBC News do not relate to the Norman case.

"There are times when material is leaked [by] sources or whatnot," Vance said. "We do not appreciate this at all. Sometimes it can affect how we operate.

"I do believe that it can be injurious to Canada if material is not handled correctly. So it's just part of doing our job well and being a professional organization that we safeguard the classified material that we're suppose to."

He added: "In this case, the correct effort was made to redact it, in as responsive a manner as we could, and I think you'd agree that we tried. You used a process, we used a process, something went wrong. We'll look at it. Fair ball."

The briefing outlines Operation Noble Eagle, a North American Aerospace Defence Command (Norad) operation that was initially developed in after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States to protect against similar attacks within North American airspace.

Four airliners were commandeered that day by terrorists and turned into passenger-laden missiles aimed at the Pentagon and two towers in New York's World Trade Center. A fourth airliner, thought to be headed for the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., was brought down by a passenger revolt before crashing in Shanksville, Pa.

RCAF CF-18 Hornets are part of Norad's Operation Noble Eagle to protect North American airspace in the event of another Sept. 11-style attack.

The Canadian document was intended to familiarize Vance with the protocol for dealing with an incident involving a civilian aircraft being used as a weapon in Canadian airspace and outlined what to expect if he were to become the "engagement authority" for the response.

'Weight of responsibility'

"We've got procedures that we practise over and over and over again, to make certain that we can think as clearly as we can in a crisis situation — that we are fully capable of drawing in all the information necessary to be able to make an informed decision — either to recommend an act or actually conduct an act," Vance said.

"There's not a day that I wake up that I don't feel the weight of responsibility, but we're trained to deal with it."

The documents were part of a briefing for chief of defence staff Gen. Jonathan Vance in 2015. Vance said Wednesday the military followed the correct process in releasing the material under Access to Information, but "something went wrong."

There are two scenarios in the documents stemming from two orders-in-council. Those are orders given directly by cabinet and in this case were kept secret.

In the first scenario, the order refers to "a terrorist air attack with a clear intent to cause destruction/death aimed at a specific area or ground target in North America from a known terrorist group that we are in an armed conflict with."

That scenario includes consideration of how quickly a decision would have to be made to limit the potential debris field, the area surrounding a crash or explosion that sustains damages and contains pieces of wreckage, in a densely populated area.

The second case involves a scenario in which the military would assist law enforcement agencies such as the RCMP and would include "a more traditional hijacking scenario where a disgruntled individual may want to take out his aggressions on a company headquarters or specific person(s), or even the government."

The details included in the briefing also reveal how and when the United States would be involved if an attack occurred, including when the United States would be called and how they would be able to act in Canadian airspace.

Offline MilEME09

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sounds like DND has some issues with information handling, whelp more CTAT training for everyone
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Online mariomike

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Quote
Briefing to top general includes scenario for shooting down hijacked airliner posing threat to CN Tower

How much time would anyone have to react if the plane was hijacked shortly after take-off from Pearson?

Only incidents in Toronto that would be even remotely comparable to something like that were the 1949 SS Noronic inferno at the foot of Bay St. that claimed the lives of at least 118 passengers.
And in 1970 when the California Galaxie plowed into a cornfield near Pearson killing all 109 on board.

Only passengers and crew were involved in either incident.







« Last Edit: March 01, 2017, 16:31:06 by mariomike »
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Offline Journeyman

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How much time would anyone have to react if the plane was hijacked shortly after take-off from Pearson?
6 minutes, 38 seconds;  we've done the math.   
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Offline MilEME09

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6 minutes, 38 seconds;  we've done the math.

Now if only we had some sort of means or technology to have some sort of surface fired projectile, guided by a computer to an aircraft target in a matter of seconds in a situation like this. Oh well those don't exist otherwise a modern army in the CF would have them in its inventory /sarcasm.
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Offline milnews.ca

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... The documents contain several sections and full pages that appear to have been marked for redaction, but the information in those sections is still clearly visible ...
Ooopsie ...
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Offline Oldgateboatdriver

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Actually, I looove the way they go: "It's unrelated and has nothing to do with it, but we'll drag the Admiral Norman situation in the picture just to sound more dramatic ..."

Offline MarkOttawa

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Well, RCAF could try to work out a system to rotate fighters through Trenton and Comox to have planes always at readiness close to major targets--was done for 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/fighter-jets-to-fly-over-lower-mainland-this-week/article4304484/

But are there the personnel and planes, or do we rely on US Air National Guard?

Mark
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Offline Loachman

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I have, somewhere, a photograph of what appears to be a hang glider attack on the CN Tower.

That would extend the reaction time somewhat.

Offline Lightguns

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Well, at least they didn't blab it as a special edition of Fifth Estate, there may be hope for CBC after all. 
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Online mariomike

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6 minutes, 38 seconds;  we've done the math.

Thank-you.

If you don't mind me asking, how does the CAF measure emergency response time?

Does that 6 minutes, 38 seconds include alarm transfer time ( civilian ATC to CAF ), alarm received and acknowledged by CAF, alarm processed by CAF and transmitted to aircrew, turnout time by aircrew - if on the ground when alerted, air travel time to hijacked commercial airliner, initiating action/intervention time?






« Last Edit: March 02, 2017, 12:56:47 by mariomike »
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