Wednesday, September 08, 2004

A Daniel Pipes Article
from the mind of  Zeke_Wilkins.

A recent Daniel Pipes article (here) describes semi-credible evidence that the crash of American Airlines flight 587 in November of 2001 might have been an Al-Qaeda attack. The theory is it was a Richard Reid style attack that was successful. It is interesting, and warrants further investigation.


Blogger Evan said...

I read something on this stating that some operatives were caught for 'something' and it was discovered that they were trying to take down a plane... I think that they were in Canada. (This is from memory, so bear with me...) Basically, what they said was that the operatives appeared to be unsuccessful at even attempting to carry out their plan, and when the plane went down, they tried to claim responsibility without actually having to do anything. In other words, Al-Qaeda was plotting to take down a plane, and when one convieniently came down on its own, they just tried to take credit without having to actually carry out a suicide mission.

But, on the other hand, crash investigations are difficult to investigate. I know that this crash in perticular was a hard impact... so, who knows.

7:01 PM  
Blogger Daredemo said...

When that plane went down I was absolutely certain that it was Al Qaida -- after all it was almost exactly two months after Sep 11, there was anthrax showing up everywhere, etc. But read the investigation reports. For example the Nov 20, 2001 report already points to the plane encountering turbulence, and that 40 witnesses were interviewed at that time.

Now imagine if the Al Qaida scenerio were correct. A bomb on the plane ought to cause structural damage wherever the suicide bomber was located. The plane might break apart in the air. Looks like the June 4, 2002 report enumerates 349 eyewitness accounts:

· 52% specifically reported seeing a fire while the plane was in the air, with the fuselage being the most often cited location (22%). Other areas cited as a fire location were the left engine, the right engine or an unspecified engine, and the left wing, the right wing or an unspecified wing.

· 8% specifically reported seeing an explosion.

· 20% specifically reported seeing no fire at all.

· 22% reported observing smoke; 20% reported no smoke.

· 18% reported observing the airplane in a right turn; another 18% reported observing the airplane in a left turn.

· 13% observed the airplane "wobbling," dipping" or in "side to side" motion.

· 74% observed the airplane descend.

· 57% reported seeing "something" separate from the airplane; 13% reported observing the right wing, left wing or an undefined wing separate; 9% specifically reported observing no parts separate.

These seem all over the map -- the 52% seeing flames might point to a bomb, as would the explosion, but then there's the 20% that specifically saw no flames. Dunno there. Given that plane's history, the rudder theory seems plausible too. And Al Qaida wanting to claim another attack "for free" now that an attack like Sep 11 would be harder to do is also plausible. I don't see that the possibility of attack is considered in any of the press releases they have put out... They need a Richard Feynman to stir things up possibly.

Their final report in "the fall" would be interesting if anyone in the press is there with enough sense to ask vaguely intelligent questions (one can dream). Wonder how that would affect the election were it to point to Al Qaida...

11:45 PM  
Blogger Evan said...

Well, that's good info. I guess another possibility is that they had a few agents working to bring down planes in a similar fashion. I guess if AA#587 was a successful bombing, then there is no reason why there couldn't have been three attacks planned instead of just two (AA587-successful, Richard Reid-unsuccessful). Knowing how al-Qaeda does their opperations, it would be very unlikely for them to send only one agent in to do an attack.

The possibilities are endless, really. If they did send in a wave of operatives trying to blow up planes (plural) then we are either lucky that they didn't succeed (as they did in Russia) or successful in our antiterrorism efforts.

7:44 PM  

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