'Suicide hijacker' is an airline pilot alive and well in Jedda
September 17, 2001 9:40 AM   Subscribe

'Suicide hijacker' is an airline pilot alive and well in Jedda - "A man named by the US Department of Justice as a suicide hijacker of American Airlines flight 11 - the first airliner to smash into the World Trade Centre - is very much alive and living in Jeddah." Amateurs or spin doctors at work?
posted by arf (20 comments total)
oh my goodness gracious.

Can it be that the hijackers assumed identities of innocent people ?

The FBI has said that it has two material witnesses, just two. But the link has been made to bin laden an hour after the Tuesday attacks.

Now i am suspicious. It can be another group of people getting away with it.

Think FBI Think.
posted by adnanbwp at 9:49 AM on September 17, 2001

I asked this before, but how do they know who did it? They have a list of hijackers, but isn't that list just from the passenger manifest? And didn't the hijackers use fake names?

I do wish the FBI/CIA/government in general could be more open and explain things a little more.
posted by whatnotever at 9:57 AM on September 17, 2001

If anyone's going to be spin doctoring right now, it would be the American security services - who sadly did fail, I feel, in their duty to predict and prevent the atrocities. I'm no criminologist but it seems obvious that the terrorists would travel on false documents. Don't they all?

I just believe that the discoveries so far announced by American investigators (a flight manual in Arabic, a hire car, intact passports etc) are too convenient to be true. The US is going to have to present something pretty special to world authorities if it's going to convince us all that it can prove the terrorists' true identies.
posted by skylar at 10:07 AM on September 17, 2001

I am also curious about the "detailed information about the hijacking" which Todd Beamer provided in his 13 minutes call with the GTE operator.
posted by arf at 10:09 AM on September 17, 2001

ditto that skylar.

Its not like people would not find out contradictory statements or events. This is the age of information. The government should beware that an increasing sense of confusion would only bring down the much celeberated poll numbers for the fight against terrorism.
posted by adnanbwp at 10:13 AM on September 17, 2001

Considering that we were utterly blindsided by the attack, it's hard to believe that our investigations have uncovered so much so quickly.

However, we do know that the hijackers were Arabic-looking men, we know the names (real or not) that they used for the flight, and we know that those people using those names took flight classes and rented cars.

As far as the flight manual goes, Todd Beamer, one of the passengers on the plane that crashed in Pennsylvania, said by phone that the hijackers didn't seem to know how to fly the plane (about two-thirds into the article). So maybe some of the hijackers weren't as fully trained as the others. The plan was well thought out, but the actual people that executed the plan could have been sloppy.
posted by kirkaracha at 10:53 AM on September 17, 2001

Help me with one thing. If terrorists committed these acts, why have they not taken credit? That's the whole purpose of terror attacks, to let the victimized know who is hurting them and why -- to promote their cause. Without a credible claim, this could just as easily have been done by a militia group in the USA, or any number of terrorist organizations, etc. It does not make sense for the group not to come forward. They've wasted their time.
posted by fleener at 11:17 AM on September 17, 2001

Ok. What does Mr. Todd Beamer know about flying planes. Its absurd. Did the terrorists come to him for advice which he patriotically denied them ? Or did he understand their arabic (if they were arabs or some other language if they werent) blabbing about how they forgot which button to push.

What worries me is that the Intelligence community did not know any thing about what was going to happen. And now all of a sudden people are being detained left and right. The link with bin laden was made even before the rental car was found.

I just know this. Whoever did this is a hater of humanity. And must be punished. We should also go after bin laden. Its a good thing to prove and punish him for his alleged crimes. But we should refrain from doing the good things, for the wrong reasons. If in reality, the committer of this crime on Tuesday, has managed to bluff the investigators into pointing towards bin laden, then surely it is a major major source of worry for every logical person.
posted by adnanbwp at 11:52 AM on September 17, 2001

because if bin laden were to say that yes, he'd done this act, the assault on afghanistan would be immediate. at that point, i think, sympathy in the arab world for bin laden would drain -- more than once i've seen people mention in arab countries that "bin laden can't be the perpetrator -- he's just one man!" the fact, i think, is that there is no sympathy for any group who would claim responsibility. what little sympathy bin laden does get is squarely the result of people assuming that he is, indeed, innocent, and the big bad west is just trying to make him out to be a scapegoat.
posted by moz at 11:55 AM on September 17, 2001


If that would hold true, then wouldnt OBL have difficulty recruiting his people. New people want to work for OBL because they know he is not innocent, that he is the mastermind behind these acts.

Secondly, immediate or delayed assault on Afghanistan would not make much difference. OBL is a man hated by the governments and revered by the people. Its the governments who have to run the country and keep a cool mind. The public is sentimental and looking for heroes and leaders. In absence of a true, cool head, sane leader, they follow who ever tries to show them a way.

The governments in the third world opress their nations. One can ask that why dont these nations turn against their rulers. One reason is that hunger, poverty and the daily need to make ends meet does not allow the mind to wander too far.

Another reason that these people just outright hate the US government, is that any effort to thwart their oppressive governments is hindered by US foreign policy. Case in light, Algeria, where when the people won the general elections against a tyrant, the US helped a military dictator to cancel the results of the elections and take over the government. Without an political way out, and some partially correct and part wrong information about the US policy, these people have no way out to express their anger and rage.

It is clear that nothing is black and white in the wake of WTC. There are gray areas every where.

God Bless All
posted by adnanbwp at 12:25 PM on September 17, 2001

Moz, I'd advise you to refrain from the mathematic which reads Osama bin Laden + Taliban = Afghanistan. I don't know much about Afghan politics, but I know it's a hell of a lot more complex than that.
posted by skylar at 12:48 PM on September 17, 2001

agreed skylar, Afganistan is a mess of factions. This graphic helps illustrate opposing Afgani forces.

Sydney Morning Herald link via Michael Bufington
posted by joemaller at 1:03 PM on September 17, 2001


i think OBL pretty much does not need to do anything to get more recruits. he just needs to pump out the promotional videos and underprivileged muslims, with no hope of ever having as much money as bin laden does, will keep on rolling right in. what the hell -- bin laden probably feeds them better than what they get at home. religious fervour is nice, but i wonder if the people coming into the organization at first aren't just doing so to get a roof over their head and some food on their plates.

i have to say that a lot of the problems with US foreign policy are things i can't really comment on. i've either never heard of them, or have no context for the problems, and so on. i'm not doubting you, but some information (especially on those f-16s you say are promised to pakistan) -- preferably from neutral sources -- would be good.


well, i know that the taliban opposition leader was assassinated by followers of OBL, and i think that for that reason, bin laden and the taliban are very intimately connected. it has also been mentioned, i believe, that 90% of afghanistan is under the control of the taliban, and i doubt that the united states would consider attacking the opposition to the taliban.

i suppose i took it for granted that when i say that the united states would target afghanistan, they would target the majority ruler of the nation, which is the taliban. sorry. whether the US should simply attack the taliban is not my decision to make: i think they should just try to find bin laden, but the US has stated they'll go after the taliban if they won't give him up. i wish the taliban would hand him over, but given the favor that bin laden has recently done for the taliban in killing massoud (and perhaps past and/or future favors), i don't think they will.

on a lighter note, hey, this image says where OBL's home is! and all his training camps and bases, too! sheesh: i thought this intelligence gathering thing was hard. all i had to do was buy an australian newspaper.
posted by moz at 1:18 PM on September 17, 2001

i think i read in a german magazine that some time ago some f-16 were not delivered because pakistan started to build nuclear weapons. but don't quote me on that.

some of the suspected hijackers have studied abroad, which means they must have relatively rich families.

finally on a lighter note, take the seating arrangement of flight 11 and find all travellers with arabian name in the first and business class. easy, innit?
posted by arf at 1:41 PM on September 17, 2001


I hope the following article from this source should remove your doubts about Pakistan's F-16 related problem with US.

Additional informaton:

I think you would need additional information about why Pakistan was at once not allowed delivery of these planes althought they had been built for Pakistan.

The Presler ammendment, is directed towards Pakistan, and requires the President of the USA to issue a certifcate stating that Pakistan's nuclear capabilities are safe and not aggressive. The irony is that during the Afghan war, while US's prime purpose was to thward communism and the Soviet Union, that certificate was regularly signed by President Reagon. But soon after that purpose was achieved, no other US president has given that certificate, argumenting that Pakistan's nuclear capabilities have "all of a sudden" turned dangerous and aggressive.

Personaly, I would like the F-16's delivered rather than our money returned, because our current F-16's are getting old and these planes are our premier air defense against threats in the region. Also because Pakistan has shown descipline and responsibility towards its nuclear program with tests only to show our aggressive neigbors of our capabilities, I think that this embargo over sale of military equipment to Pakistan should be lifted.

God Bless All
posted by adnanbwp at 1:42 PM on September 17, 2001


you may see your f-16s in return for cooperation in the whole bin laden thing... just my glancing opinion. thanks for the links to the articles, by the way -- i appreciate it
posted by moz at 2:03 PM on September 17, 2001


You are welcome. Information is power. We need to decipher and propogate as much information as we can. So people decipher what people hear.
posted by adnanbwp at 2:12 PM on September 17, 2001

I have a question. If somebody could answer it I would much appreciate it. They claim to know all of the names of the people that hijacked the planes from the flight manifests. How did they know which people on the plane were hijackers? did they just count the number of arabic-sounding names and assume they were hijackers? I don't see how else they could have done it. Anybody?
posted by jnthnjng at 3:40 PM on September 17, 2001

What does Mr. Todd Beamer know about flying planes. Its absurd.

He would know if the plane was flying erratically. It might, however, just mean that Beamer didn't think the hijackers could possibly be trained to fly a jetliner.
posted by rcade at 4:13 PM on September 17, 2001

Isn't Robert Fisk pretty obvious by now?
posted by semmi at 4:57 PM on September 17, 2001

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