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Small Plane Strike on IRS Building Raises Fears of Terrorist Attack

The Department of Homeland Security has ruled that there are no terrorist ties to the February 18 crash of a plane into an International Revenue Service Building in Austin, Texas flown by Joseph Stack. Stack’s apparent motivation for flying his plane into the IRS building was displeasure with the government’s handling of his taxes, healthcare, and the “wall street bailouts.” The White House, for now, and the Austin police department agree that the attacks are criminal in nature. However, some see it as an act of terrorism. “Like the larger-scale tragedy in Oklahoma City, this was a cowardly act of domestic terrorism,” Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX) said in a statement. “Stack’s apparent website message reflects the steadily increasing flow of ‘the government is out to get me’ paranoia.”

Whether act of terrorism or criminal act, the attack raises fears of terrorists using small planes to strike buildings. Rep. Michael McCaul (R-TX), who is on the House Committee on Homeland Security, plans to hold a hearing on the February 18 crash.  “It’s something that has exposed a weakness we’ve seen since 9/11 — airplanes can fly into buildings,” McCaul stated. Small airports do not currently require small planes to have a flight plan.

The Transportation Safety Administration has in the past weeks stated they will not require the screening of pilots and crew of small planes like the one used on the February 18 crash.

Read more about labeling the February 18 crash as a terrorist attack at Business Week or Fox News. Read about tougher regulations on small planes at ABC News.


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