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Egyptian plane crashes and U.S. says pilot a suicide
September 19, 2001 1:16 PM   Subscribe

Egyptian plane crashes and U.S. says pilot a suicide Egypt denies suicide as cause of plane that crashed just off our coast. Any connection to WTC?
posted by Postroad (5 comments total)

 
No, I don't see a direct connection, but thanks for the link to this site full o' one-sided stories about the 1999 crash of EgyptAir flt. 990. Remarkable, almost hilarious.
posted by msacheson at 1:52 PM on September 19, 2001


Private Eye (UK publication) has an article stating the "aircraft had landed at Edwards Air Force base...At least 34 Egyptian Air Force personnel - among them a general - were among the passengers.Most are thought to have been returning to Egypt after successfully completing a coversion course on the Cobra helicopter - a favourite and very effective weapon. Sources have suggested that 59 year old al-Bouti was told by fundamentalists that if the aircraft landed back in Egypt his family would be killed."

Given Egypt has been struggling with Islamic Fundamentalist terrorism for a few decades now it may not be entirely unfounded.

When this theory was put forward at the time Intelligence experts dismissed it insisting that the Fundamentalists were "far too unsophisticated"

Italics are quotes from the article.
posted by jackspot at 2:27 PM on September 19, 2001


but thanks for the link to this site full o' one-sided stories about the 1999 crash of EgyptAir flt. 990.

Yeah -- that'd be a government site.

BTW, this site has some pretty bad writing:

The issue of Egyptian plane that crashed into the ocean off US coasts on October 1999, killing all passengers and crewmembers on board (217), is still hot like the bloods of its victims.

Ewww. That is so wrong in so many ways.
posted by jennak at 3:52 PM on September 19, 2001


I don't think there's any connection at all. This guy was suicidal, and angry enough at the world that he wanted to spread the misery around by taking some others out with him as he went. That's it.
posted by aaron at 4:33 PM on September 19, 2001


aaron's being sensible. ;-)

Me, not so much. It may be nothing, or it may be everything. The family said he was not suicidal. Indeed, his being a family man was taken as an indication he wasn't in the typical profile of a suicide bomber, but with 9-11 we know better. There are definite connections among the 9-11 hijackers to Egypt (among other nations). I would not be one bit surprised if it turned out that EA990 was a preliminary operation. Possible scenarios to spin:

* al-Batouti was recruited to fly a suicide flight.
* al-Batouti was recruited to fly a building-killer flight, but for reasons of logistics, faith, etc. could not
* this was a dry run, which proved the indoctrination technique
* this was a failure, which proved the need to recruit first and train later
* this was a failure, which proved the need for a backup crew of hijackers beyond the pilot
* al-Batouti acted on his own but his case was carefully watched
* al-Batouti was an information source during the 9-11 planning phase

Given that new security measures being discussed include completely cutting off the pilots and crew, one of the obvious next steps for this kind of terrorism would be to focus on getting a terrorist into the pilot's seat through other means. For that reason alone al-Batouti's situation should be studied very, very carefully.
posted by dhartung at 7:08 PM on September 19, 2001


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