Flying on Northwest Airlines in mid-2004, journalist and writer Jacobsen (WomensWallStreet.com) decided that a group of Middle Eastern men were acting suspiciously, apparently because the men were talking to each other, were using the bathroom too much, and because of the "cold, defiant look" she reports she got from one with whom she had earlier "exchanged friendly words." When she and her husband shared her concerns with a flight attendant, she writes, she was told that Federal Air Marshals were on the plane and that they were on top of the situation. Although she was later told by investigators that the men were in fact 14 Syrian musicians backing up a well-known Middle Eastern singer (the "Syrian Wayne Newton"), Jacobsen remained convinced that the men were part of a terrorist plot conducting "probes" of American aviation. She wrote up her suspicions for an article that caused a brief Internet sensation: it was publicized by such right-wing writers and proponents of racial profiling as Michelle Malkin and generally greeted with rolling eyes and chortles by those more on the center and left. She has since parlayed the original article into a continuing series on WomensWallStreet.com, much of which has now been distilled into this book, which contains the original article, descriptions of her testimony before Congress, an account of her (not particularly thorough) "investigation" into the Syrian musicians, and a condemnation of government failure to address the issue. Annotation ©2006 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR
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About the Author
Annie Jacobsen was a contributing editor at the Los Angeles Times Magazine and is the author of the New York Times bestseller Area 51. A graduate of Princeton University, she lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two sons.