Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

US knew of plane terror attacks

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

US knew of plane terror attacks

Old 18th Sep 2002, 20:04
  #1 (permalink)  
Thread Starter
Join Date: May 1999
Location: New York, NY USA
Posts: 422
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
US knew of plane terror attacks

But did nothing about it. Geesh.

9/11 Report Says Agencies Received Credible Clues
Hill Panel to Release Findings Today

By Dana Priest
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, September 18, 2002; Page A12

The U.S. intelligence community received a surprising number of credible reports of a likely terrorist attack prior to Sept. 11, including some threats to domestic targets, according to a congressional report to be unveiled today.

The preliminary findings of the staff of the Senate-House intelligence panel investigating the Sept. 11 strikes also show that some intelligence analysts had focused on the possibility that terrorists might use "airplanes as weapons" in the attacks, a congressional official said yesterday.

National security adviser Condoleezza Rice said in mid-May that prior to the attacks, analysts did not seriously consider the use of planes as bombs and therefore were surprised by the method of attack on Sept. 11. "All this reporting about hijacking was about traditional hijacking," Rice said at a May briefing on what President Bush knew before the attacks.

Last edited by Bubbette; 18th Sep 2002 at 20:22.
Bubbette is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2002, 20:47
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: UK
Posts: 1,914
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Considering the avalanches of security alerts that are constantly being received, I don't really see how things could have been so much more secure. Picking out the genuine alert amongst a sea of false alarms can't be easy. I know over the last few decades, we have been alerted to special threats when they are deemed serious enough. This would have been just another unlikely warning. If the CIA was 5 times the size and monitoring mobile phone calls and faxes and landlines all over the world, people woould be shrieking about human rights and 'how dare Dubbya etc!!'. It's a 'you can't win situation!'. Was it reasonable to expect 4 hijackings in one day with tremendous loss of life? I don't think so. That the genuine warning was buried in a sea of alerts is just tragic, but I would think unavoidable.
Notso Fantastic is offline  
Old 18th Sep 2002, 21:25
  #3 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2000
Location: Now back in London
Posts: 101
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Agreed Notso.

How many times have we heard that the USA also knew about Pearl Harbor, but deliberately didn't do anything about it so that....... etc etc.

From the raw mass of intelligence, any specific threat has to be judged as to whether its correct as to action and location, as well as means. That intelligence works sometimes is what impresses me.

even if there were credible reports that planes were going to be crashed into the twin towers and the pentagon, what should the US have done about it? Halt all air traffic for the day so that it didn't happen?

curmudgeon is offline  
Old 19th Sep 2002, 11:20
  #4 (permalink)  
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: the Tearooms of Mars
Posts: 206
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Exclamation Why not?

I don’t think this is one of those issues where you can say ‘If we reacted to every warning we received…’ etc etc. The intelligence agencies involved have a duty to protect and defend. The mission statement of the CIA is:

‘Providing accurate, evidence-based, comprehensive, and timely foreign intelligence related to national security; and

Conducting counterintelligence activities, special activities, and other functions related to foreign intelligence and national security as directed by the President.

If the cry is inadequacy, then the US citizen has a right to ask why the government cannot fulfil its duty to them, and require provision to be made to prevent reoccurrence.

Throughout the years of the Cold War, both the CIA and the FBI worked in the shadows and outside the gaze of publicity to ensure that real threats to the security of the West were countered effectively. During the eras of Eisenhower and Kennedy, those missions were taken to a highly pro-active and controversial apogee with the operations in Central America, Iran, Greece and Italy. Only when ‘interfered with’ such as with the Bay of Pigs did these operations come to notoriety. But the fact remains that with one obvious exception, Communism was excluded from the West at a time when it could have gained a threatening foothold.

At the end of the Cold War, the desire to ‘cash in’ on supposedly obsolete defence budgets meant that ‘humint’ and the agent in the field were cut back in favour of satellite and electronic intelligence gathering. This meant that spooks worked in Langley or Washington instead of in the back yard of the enemy, whomsoever he may be. Right under the noses of the politicians who arguably hampered their effectiveness. Now their budgets and resources are lumped into the same pot as every other government department, and the real needs of US security and defence are measured alongside the desire for huge tax cuts, health care, and energy policy.

So is it an excuse to say you just don’t have the resources to monitor everything? Well if you want the potential savings to the US, just look at how much 911 has cost you and the whole of the rest of the world. The USA has a history of introspection, preferring ‘Splendid Isolation’ to engaging with the global community. In the past, when the US has ignored events and situations for long periods, somebody comes and kicks you up the ass. Just like Pearl Harbour, just like Admiral Durnitz, just like 911. Petty interdepartmental politics were allowed to interfere with the real mission, with the folks on the hill overriding the experts on the ground. Federal attempts to secure surveillance of E-traffic and phone calls have been met with howls of derision from the liberals.

You need to re-examine America’s position in the World. Can you continue to say ‘I’m alright Jack and the hell with the rest of you’, or will you actively pursue global threats in the way you once did. Once upon a time UBL would have had an unfortunate accident and no-one would have heard of Al Qaeda. You may find that you have to ‘Know everything, see everything, hear everything’, and the public may well have to get used to a far greater degree of surveillance than they have endured in the past. But if you can earn their trust, and assure them that the right people will use that information, and that partisan politicians will be excluded from that process, the public will go with you. They don’t moan about the information gathered on them every time they use their credit cards or buy an airline ticket, so they would surely accept surveillance that protects them from a mad mullah.

Go back into the shadows, clean out the sewer rats, work behind the scenes. Don’t allow the security of the Unites States to become an issue for the beancounters and ‘resource level efficiency’. Get your heads out of the sand and look around you. You cannot any longer allow the influence of minority lobby groups affect the external policy of the USA. You listen to them, and yet not the UN. If you had adopted a different line on the Mid East, it’s arguable that UBL would never have gained the level of support he now enjoys amongst Muslim nations. And had you dealt with Saddam as a black-op, you would not have found yourselves dancing to his tune.

Your security lies in thorough, apolitical intelligence backed with effective and well resourced ‘keyhole surgery’.
Capt H Peacock is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2002, 03:25
  #5 (permalink)  
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: 38N
Posts: 356
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The Achaeans were no less surprised when Trojan soldiers poured from that lovely wooden horse.....

Surprise always has its timely advantage, and stealth is often effective in short term things.

This is another good reason for hunting out everyone who is even remotely connected to the process and somehow neutralizing their potential to sting.

Noted in passing - a recent not-prime-time replay of Hwood's 60's rendition of "Goldfinger" had GF's private army (rather Japanese looking, most of them) Flying over Ft. Knox in a fleet of Piper Cherokees (??), with outside fixtures which dispensed somnifying gas (everybody later awakened and shook their heads) that COMPLETELY neutralized all protective forces on the ground at Ft. Knox, thus allowing GF's guys to enter the gold repository nearly unopposed and pack it with a timer-operated nuke looking like a kitchen appliance, so GF could blow up the place, make the gold radioactive, and then profit handsomely from the global market squeeze on the non-glowing remainder of the yellow stuff. Bond, handcuffed to the bombe, conveniently figures out how to neutralize it one or two seconds before the timer hits zero.

That was long ago, but , as I recall, the general public perception of the movie when first shown was that "it had a great car chase scene". The rest of the subject matter rolled off the duck like a raindrop.

As for authorities who claim this sort of thing was unforseen - pish!

Interesting how how a kitchen appliance nuke does not seem like much when you're sweating megaton MIRV's, but picks up sharply in relevance when one finds onesself sitting next to it, ticking in the kitchen.

Last edited by arcniz; 20th Sep 2002 at 03:39.
arcniz is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2002, 05:31
  #6 (permalink)  
Join Date: Feb 2000
Location: Bit nosey aren't you
Posts: 455
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
The snag was that in the 70s, the way that intelligence was developed became unpalatable to some people in the Carter presidency. Rather than expose humans to danger a decision was taken to use spy satellites.

These satellites were brilliant beacause they could read a number plate from a bezillion miles. Sadly the number plates haven't been found to be terrorists yet, it was people! The only way of finding people is by using other people. But guess what you can't just send people at short notice because it takes years of careful planning to infiltrate the shady parts of the world. Even super spy James Bond is going to standout at an Afgan wedding.

So I am afraid that the powers that be will have to redevelop Humint networks to make certain that info doesn't slip through the cracks. That will take years and their methods will be questioned again by the moralists once the memory of 9/11 slips into the past.

Ghostflyer is offline  
Old 20th Sep 2002, 10:24
  #7 (permalink)  

Rebel PPRuNer
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Toronto, Canada (formerly EICK)
Age: 50
Posts: 2,834
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Breaking news


A Senate subcommittee has discovered that guns can kill people, even 100% American built ones. Shock was felt by all present when Senator Busy Body [D, Omaha] announced that even non-Christian people would figure out what a trigger did.

Further hearings are planned on the phenomenon of using forklift trucks to remove ATM machines - many congressmen are asking: when are forklifts going to be banned, and when is the guy who invented forklifts going to be prosecuted.
MarkD is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.