Three hundred National Guard troops were ordered Thursday to airports in San Francisco, Oakland, Los Angeles and San Diego as state and local officials ramped up security measures around California in response to the arrests of suspected terrorists accused of plotting to blow up airplanes headed from Britain to the United States.
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger assigned troops to the three largest airports that regularly receive flights from Europe in the first such deployment of the California National Guard since the Sept. 11 attacks five years ago. Uniformed troops carrying guns were to arrive at airports this morning and will stay in place for at least a week, according to Adjutant Gen. William H. Wade II, the head of the state’s National Guard.
“I can assure the people of California that we’re doing everything to keep them safe and to return our airports to normal operations as quickly as possible,” he said. “We need the public’s help and their patience.”
“I see”, says Cory Doctorow,
“Governor Schwarzenneger has deployed 300 National Guardswomen and men to California’s airports to ensure that if liquid/gel/iPod terrorists escape from a British prison and fly to San Diego (without blowing up the plane), and then get off and start hijacking the entire airport, they can be shot.”