the Rational Radical  

No Ipod Needed!  Listen on your computer.     






indictment hijackerflight school


Zacarias Moussaoui: "Please Teach Me to Steer This Commercial Jetliner.  Forget About Takeoffs and Landings"

October 7, 2001

Please evaluate the following scenario:

  • February, 2001: a 33 year-old French citizen of Moroccan descent, Zacarias Moussaoui, enters the United States
  • March-May: Moussaoui receives 57 hours of flying lessons from an Oklahoma flight school, but leaves without enough training to receive a pilot's license
  • May: Moussaoui contacts a Minnesota flying academy about training on a jet simulator.  He says he wants to become familiar with big jets and their cockpits
  • August 13: Moussaoui's $8,300 training course begins. He is only interested in learning how to make turns in the large commercial aircraft, and shows no interest in learning how to take off or land.  He also asks about flying over New York air space.
  • shortly thereafter: an alarmed instructor from the flight school contacts the Minneapolis office of the FBI to report Moussaoui's suspicious behavior
  • August 17: Moussaoui is arrested on immigration charges and  his computer seized.  He immediately and consistently thereafter refuses to cooperate with law enforcement officials.
  • sometime between August 17-27: The FBI issues a "trace," requesting information on Moussaoui from friendly foreign governments.
  • August 27: in response to that request, a French intelligence agency warns the FBI that Moussaoui has "Islamic extremist beliefs," has connections to an Algerian terrorist group, and may have traveled to Afghanistan.
  • shortly thereafter: FBI agents from the Minneapolis office ask their Washington, D.C. headquarters to seek a special warrant, under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, to search Moussaoui's computer and telephone records
  • later: top FBI and Department of Justice officials turn down the request
  • again: the Minneapolis agents try another route legal route to gain access to Moussaoui's computer and telephone records, but are again rebuffed
  • sometime before September 11: a counter-terrorism panel, including among its members officials from the FBI and the CIA, is "unable to determine" whether Moussaoui is a threat
    [The New York Times, October 6, 2001; Newsweek online report]

If I had submitted the above scenario as a screenplay, it would have been laughed at as unbelievable. 

First is the stupidity of Moussaoui in making it obvious from the outset that he had no interest in landings and takeoffs. 

Second is the repeated lack of putting two and two together by the various groups of higher-level officials involved.

Officials now believe that Moussaoui was meant to be the fifth hijacker on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.  Only Flight 93 had a four-man hijacking team, instead of the five hijackers who were on each of the other three flights.

One would assume that once suspicion was focused on him, Moussaoui was dropped from the terrorists' plans and they decided to go ahead with only four hijackers on Flight 93.

Concerning the investigators, one official stated: “The question being asked here is if they put two and two together, they could have gotten a lot more information about the guy—if not stopped the hijacking.”

A good possibility, don't you think?

This was a selection from The Daily Diatribe

More on the War on Terror

More on Zacarias Moussaoui

zacarias moussaouimoussaoui 20th hijacker

Latest Updates on my BLOG!!


























Back   Home 

© 2001  All rights reserved