View Full Version : Egyptair 990 & Batouti

23rd Sep 2001, 20:21
From 'Private Eye' magazine 21 Sept 2001:

The CIA and air crash investigators probing the World Trade Center catastrophe may well have reason to reopen the file on another recent air crash.

On 31 October 1999 a Boeing 767 belonging to Egyptair on route from New York to Cairo suddenly plunged from 33,000 feet into the Atlantic. All 217 on board were killed. Initial reports targeted the cause as anything from mechanical failure to an anti-aircraft missile, but as data from the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) and flight data recorder (FDR) emerged, it became obvious that the cause may well have been more sinister.

Suspicions centred around Gamil al-Batouti, one of two relief co-pilots on board, who took control shortly before the incident. After the captain briefly left the cockpit, leaving al-Batouti in sole charge, the aircraft plunged into the Atlantic. During the death dive, al-Batouti can clearly be heard repeating "Tawakilt ala allah" ("I put my trust in God") no fewer than 17 times.

American accident investigators quickly concluded that the cause of the crash was pilot suicide. But this was totally rejected by the Egyptian government and the head of the Egypian Pilots Association who insisted: "We have nothing called suicide." Both suggested mechanical failure and pointed to a lack of motive on the part of al-Batouti.

Shortly after the crash CNN reporter Ben Wedeman confirmed live from Cairo that Egyptair had confirmed that prior to New York, the aircraft had landed at Edwards Air Force Base in California. Both American and Egyptian authorities later denied that claim. But at least 34 Egyptian Air Force personnel - among them a general - were among the victims. Most are thought to have been returning to Egypt after successfully completing a conversion course on the Cobra helicopter - a favourite and very effective anti-terrorist weapon.

Sources have suggested to the Eye that 59 year old al-Batouti was told by fundamentalists that if the plane landed back in Egypt his family would be killed. Such suggestions were dismissed by intelligence experts at the time. The fundamentalists, they insisted, were far too unsophisticated.

Apologies for not adding this to the original Batouti thread, but the server load has been so high recently I am unable to search for it. Maybe Danny could shift it later ?

No flames please ! - just reporting what I read on a subject that has had much discussion on here.

[ 23 September 2001: Message edited by: anengineer ]

23rd Sep 2001, 22:50
Perhaps his intent was to kill his own military, while taking himself out, as well -- assuming he did land at Edwards and did take on some brass. That was bounced around on this board before.

But I don't think anyone will pursue it as having been a terrorist attack except against hiw own people. If there were no Egyptian brass aboard, as claimed, then his purpose could have been either (a) suicide, or (b) take down a planeload of US citizens. If he really wanted to do some terrorist damage, he was nowhere near a target and able to make a "statement" by his actions.

[ 23 September 2001: Message edited by: RiverCity ]

24th Sep 2001, 03:33
Err...IIRC wasn't it actually the case that the Egyptair 767 made an unscheduled stop at Newark, not Edwards. Wasn't it just that some dumb journo thought EWR was Edwards?

24th Sep 2001, 04:43
Correct Stag:
SU990 had never visited Edwards AFB!

24th Sep 2001, 23:47
Given that Bin Laden received a huge 'contribution,' just prior to EA-990; the point is strong.

The bad news is that the connection has been known since the beginning - again ignored.

Also, the FBI was methodically locked out of an obvious criminal attack - ala TWA-800 - where's the accident report?

It's pretty naive to NOT make the "...don't go there" connection.

I'd suggest looking at political contributions in the wake of EA-990. That was always Clinton's MO.

25th Sep 2001, 00:59
Long way from LA to Cairo. As far as I remember went into JFK where one passenger got off. Thats documented by NTSB.
Ben Wedeman confirmed live on CNN that the aircraft went into Edwartds. I remember watching him confirm that live outside an Egyptair news conference.

25th Sep 2001, 02:17

Yes, the a/c did travel direct from LAX to JFK where one passenger got off before the departure for Cairo. The unscheduled stop at EWR was prior to this - the inbound flight from Cairo was diverted (weather) to EWR from where it continued on to LAX.

This is where the erroneous Edwards rumor came from.