13th Sep 2001, 20:57
This attack was pulled of with a lot of precision and planning. I think everyone will agree with that. These people had unlimitted resources at their fingertips. That in mind I have the following question:

They had months to learn to fly and the money to do it....Why no fake ID and credit cards? Anybody knows how easy it is in the USA to assume an identity and get credit cards and drivers licenses under that name. They could have easily been ghosts.

They had to know that they would unleash the anger of a very powerful nation. In reality, there really is no border that anyone could hide behind that the US government couldn't beat down the door and get somebody.

13th Sep 2001, 21:09
You are thinking like a normal person who would be ashamed of what he did.

These people are PROUD of what they did and expect to be hero's of their people. They want the world to know who they are and what they stand for.

The western way of thinking will never be able to combat this sort of thing. This is a war, and the only way to prevent someone who is willing to die for their cause is to kill them first.


Per Ardua Ad Asda
15th Sep 2001, 06:58

The “expense” involved in mounting such an operation; it has been mentioned in various news reports that certain groups would not have had the financial means nor the organisational ability to pull it off. Just how much cash is needed to purchase 6 seats per aircraft? How much organisational ability is needed to co-ordinate 6 people on each of four aircraft (a few ‘phone calls via a digital [un-eavesdroppable] network) ? How much flying ability is needed to steer an aircraft in flight toward a target only a few miles off-track from the scheduled flight path (that’s one of the reasons they chose Boston) ? The answer to each of these questions is “…erm, well…, not much actually”.

Once within striking distance of their target (good VFR Wx), what then? With 2-3 hijackers on the flight deck, one of their number despatches the Captain. The First Officer/Co-pilot will be off-guard and stunned by the cold-blooded killing of his Captain, however he will continue to fly the aircraft. Meanwhile hijack-pilot No.1 slips into the vacant Captain’s seat. Hijacker No.2 then despatches the Co-pilot leaving no resistance to their attempts to manouevre the doomed aircraft into the World Trade Centre towers or the Pentagon or A.N.Other target.

Aside from a frisk-search, the only method of detecting an attempt to bring weapons aboard an aircraft are by the use of either dogs/chemical sniffing equipment in the case of explosives or metal detectors where firearms are concerned.

Many travellers carry small pen-knives; often passengers onboard aircraft will carry metal multi-tools (..of the “Leatherman” or swiss-army style utility-knives). Then there are seemingly innocuous items such as business-card cases, ballpoint pens, automatic / propelling pencils, fountain pens (..either metal or plastic) etc etc. But, guess what? All of these items are potentially offensive weapons. The edge of a metal Business-card case can be honed to a fine cutting edge – a tool that would easily slice through a person’s neck, opening their jugular vein. Imagine the damage you could do by forcing the tip of a ballpoint pen through a persons temple or throat. How does one combat the threat from someone who intends using one or other of these methods of inflicting damage to the pilot of a heavy passenger airliner?

The edge of a plastic credit card can be shaved to produce an efficient cutting edge. Do you confiscate all credit cards at the check-in? You may recall History lessons from your youth - the Aztecs of Central America used Obsidian knives to cut the beating hearts from their sacrifices. Obsidian is a volcanic glass - very sharp - more so than the finest surgical-steel. Ordinary glass has similar properties when broken. Neither would be picked out by a metal detector at an airport check-in. You CANNOT stop someone bringing these items onboard an aircraft unless you do a THOROUGH body search of all passengers boarding. Will this ever be likely? I think not.

Every passenger boarding an aircraft WILL be carrying a potentially offensive weapon about their person. Most would not even realise it and few would ever even contemplate using it as such. Taking pen-knives and the like away from passengers is not going to add to in-flight safety. The aggressors in this case are thought to have been in possession of plastic-handled (and bladed?) knives. Do we not provide these to passengers as a matter of course in order for them to eat their in-flight meals?

(On extended flights, Pilots would have to eat and visit the toilets, so these facilities would need addressing but ….) the ONLY way to eliminate the threat to flight deck crew is to isolate the flight deck, such that there is NO access from the passenger cabin whilst the aircraft is in the air.

Any other measures would be purely cosmetic and of no practical use in the event of a genuine and concerted effort to hi-jack an aircraft with a view to smashing it into a population centre. (There are other issues concerned with the sabotage from within the hold or the passenger cabin but these would not assist hijackers in steering an aircraft into a target).

There have also been rumours of the re-introduction of SA to the civilian GPS signal. Quite what this would serve to accomplish I am unsure. Prior to the removal of SA in May of 2000 the position error on a 12-channel 120 GPS unit was in the order of 35-40m (4m with SA disabled). Were a hijacker using a GPS unit to suddenly find that SA were enabled but the Wx good, they would merely disable the flight deck crew as planned and erm… fly the aircraft visually. A 40m or 4m position error in that instance would make not a jot of difference.

The only effective measure WILL be to isolate the flight deck from the passenger compartment whilst the aircraft is airborne.

16th Sep 2001, 21:23
I see someone assumed that the terrorists are under-funded. It is a point to ponder that Osama Bin Laden has personal fortune in excess of some $300million. He has committed it to funding his vendetta with the rest of the world who do not share his views - and he will use any and all resources to achieve his goal. He is the focal point for disaffected terrorist groups around the world and he is not alone.

What next though, if he is caught and killed - he will become a martyr, if he is caught and taken back to America for trial - and several planes are hijacked and held for ransom - will they give him up. What if he remains in hiding in Afghanistan - you can carpet bomb that country and not catch him, you can invade with a massive force (both Britain and Russia did) and not defeat them. It is known that he has supporters in both the US and Britain, each of whom is willing to die for the 'cause'.

When they prepared for the East African embassy bombings in 1998, one bought a fishing business and the wife of another was a prominent PTA member; his followers live apparently blameless lives whilst planning these attacks - they are the modern 'sleepers'. They cannot be defeated with the classic military response - nor, should we allow them to dictate the way we live. Whilst increasing security to ensure we are safe, we should be mindful of allowing it to go too far and ending up with what is effectively a police state.

Are we defeating terrorism by confiscating knitting needles and nail-clippers, do we really want so many security checks that one is fearful to leave home without an identity card. That anyone who looks foreign becomes a suspect. That anyone who even remotely resembles an Middle Eastern national is liable to be attacked, their children spat on, their homes stoned. Did we not revile that sort of response to 'others' , rightly so, in Ireland.

Do we really want to retreat into a siege mentality, would that not achieve the aims of those who sought to attack the very heart of democratic liberties.

Those who criticise America should pause and think what the world would be like without that great nation. Despotic regimes and tyrants across the globe will be rejoicing to see America humbled and to think they may turn inwards if they cannot find an enemy against whom to march. But the answer is not to restrict and constrain the very liberties and freedoms that we in the west take for granted. This would mean they, the anonymous they, have won because we allow them to control our lives.

We should stand firm with America facing this new hidden enemy, not fearing it, but bringing the light of democracy and freedom to the dark shadows in which it seeks to hide its cowardly ways.

17th Sep 2001, 00:22
Hit the sons of bitches where it hurts the most, in the wallet. Confiscate their bank accounts and use the money to ensure the families of their victims are looked after.

You want it when?
17th Sep 2001, 13:00
Velvet / Pigboat.

Nothing to add. I could say a lot, but it would only be icing.