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Rome is Next (U.K. Telegraph)

Update - 3 July 2014—Prescient: Now They Want to Conquer Rome. Another scary, prescient aspect of the novel Vanished Flight 777 echoes in the latest declaration by the Islamic State leadership. In the novel, Rome is mentioned as one of several major potential targets for a weaponized 777 in a putative attack from Islamic fanatics who hijacked Flight MH370 (in this thought experiment). Just today, from the newly declared caliphate, the Führer has in effect declared 'Baghdad today, Rome tomorrow.' In their mythology, Rome represents Christendom, which represents Crusaders, which represents the Western powers that occupied parts of the Levant and Mesopotamia during the European Middle Ages and also in the early 20th Century. It occurs to a person: is the 777 headed for Rome and a terrible event that will shake the world? UPDATE JAN 2017: In late 2016, Daesh renamed their propaganda magazine Rumiyah, meaning "Rome." The centers of Christian, Western civilization are their destination, even as these vermin are being routed in Syria.

But first, Saudis Targeted (CNN)

Update - 3 July 2014—Closer to Home: Saudi Arabia. It is misleading to think that the Saudis and Caliphate have any love lost between them. Even though one may surmise there are those in the Emirates, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia who hate the West (and secretly applauded 9/11), those same Wahhabi business tycoons can only be too aware of the many forces historically gunning to bring down the Saudi royal family. The Caliphate has already announced its intention to conquer the world, starting with Iran and Iraq, not to mention Rome and "Am'rika" so why not the infidels holding Mecca and Medina next door? The Saudis have been largely in the U.S.-Israeli camp as a pragmatic affair for decades. The hope will be that the Führer will make enough enemies in the region to guarantee his demise. This in no way removes the easy, cowardly path of sneak attacks on innocent plane travelers.

Security Threat at Entebbe Airport, Uganda (CNN)

Update - 3 July 2014—Africa (in the novel, and for real. Readers of Vanished Flight 777 will be particularly sensitive to terrorism news out of Africa during the ongoing crisis in the Fertile Crescent. Beyond this, the focus is on U.S. and European born jihadis who will likely return, battle-hardened, from places like Iraq and commit atrocities in our back yard.

Can Ebola Virus be Weaponized? (CNN)

Update - 3 July 2014—Ebola (in the novel, and for real. Readers of Vanished Flight 777 will be aware that this threat is considered in the novel. There is in fact a thread left hanging—a terrorist vehicle being driven across Africa to an unknown destination. No, it is unlikely that Ebola will be a factor with 777, though one never knows. Experts tell us the virus is not easily spread, except in certain predictable rubrics involving close personal contact—often by health care workers and close family members first, then at funerals for the victims, and so on from there. We must count on the terrorists to be thinking of ways to weaponize Ebola, Marburg, etc., but in yet more inventive ways than by means of a hijacked aircraft. Ultimately, we cannot rule anything out. BBC article: Ebola Wake-up Call With a plan, good organization, follow-through, and international cooperation, we may get lucky again on this, but can our luck run out eventually?

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JOHN T. CULLEN'S LATEST THRILLER:

What really happened to the missing Malaysian airliner, Flight MH370? The author has written a delicious thriller that also works as a thought experiment. What if the plane did not fall into the sea? What if terrorists hijacked it, are now weaponizing it, and will soon unleash the most horrific attack since 9/11? Join us in thinking through the possibilities in hope of averting a catastrophe. The author is a military veteran and scholar—no crackpot ideas, just terrifying calculations you won't want to miss.

WHERE TO VIEW and/or BUY THIS BOOK:

Kindle e-Books Edition: Vanished Flight 777 by John T. Cullen (ISBN 9780743316446).

Print Edition: Order from any bookstore or major online retailer—e.g., Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com. Print ISBN=9780743316422.