Tags: Fight | 587 | Disaster: | Should | Suspect | Terrorism?

Fight 587 Disaster: Should We Suspect Terrorism?

Sunday, 13 January 2002 12:00 AM

On Sept. 11, three of the four hijacked aircraft reached their targets. Only one terrorist group failed to accomplish its mission – evidently to destroy the Capitol – and crashed in rural Pennsylvania east of Pittsburgh. President Bush later stated, "Heroic passengers took over the terrorists and broke their plans." Definitely true – but that's not all.

Nineteen terrorists divided into four groups carried out the "9-11" attacks. Three groups of five persons each succeeded. One group, including four terrorists only, failed. Could these heroic passengers have stopped five terrorists? It is somewhat doubtful.

According to available data, a suicide squad of 20 "fighters" prepared for over a year to "punish America." Only 19 went to the airports on Day X. Where was the 20th one?

A Moroccan named Zacarias Moussaoui was arrested on Aug. 16, 2001, in Minnesota. Something in his behavior attracted the attention of local FBI agents, and they decided to put him into custody for a while. He stayed there up to Black Tuesday.

The Minneapolis FBI office appeared to be just a little more suspicious than other FBI offices around the nation. As a result (try to prove the opposite!), the Capitol was not ruined and hundreds of legislators and congressional employees are alive. The terrorists failed.

Remarkably, Mohamed Atta and his colleagues in Florida behaved suspiciously enough, but didn't arouse the interest of security organizations. Seemingly, the local FBI officers were rational-minded and not too suspicious.

One of the authors met twice with Minneapolis FBI division officers – in late 1999 and early 2000 – and basically said, "Enemies – Russian state security agents and Russian mafia figures with close ties to them – are among us. At some moment this will cause great problems."

The conversations were nice, but no evident consequences followed. Some friends in Washington even said, "They just considered you a lunatic."

But maybe the FBI officers in Minneapolis understood something and became just a little more suspicious than their colleagues in other American cities?

Let's talk now about more recent events. An A-300 aircraft flying from New York City to Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, on Nov. 12, 2001, American Airlines Flight 587, exploded and crashed into the ground. Almost 300 people died.

New York police and the FBI are inclined to consider this case a result of technological problems in the aircraft engine: "It's not a terrorist action; let's not be overly-suspicious."

But some details of this tragic incident lead to a different conclusion or at least supposition. According to multiple witnesses on the ground, two explosions took place aboard the aircraft, then a fire broke out and eventually the aircraft broke apart.

This sounds like a terrorist action, and an article to this effect was published by NewsMax on Jan. 7. (See

Suspicions are not limited to the NewsMax offices. Some Russian newspapers published reports of the same kind. For example, Moscow-based Pravda on Nov. 15 – just three days after the catastrophe – published an interview with Geidar Dzhemal, chairman of the Russian Islamic Committee. Dzhemal pointed out the following:

However, only days later, around Nov. 25, the Moscow-based weekly Versiya – usually well informed, especially about criminal cases and investigations into the terrorist strikes – published a much more detailed article on this account called "Tech-act" (short for "technological action" and sounding in Russian almost the same as "ter-act," or "terrorist action").

Its author, Alan Kachmazov, wrote, in part:

This version is supported by the fact that the pilot, immediately after takeoff, began dropping fuel. This usually takes place when a pilot is preparing for an emergency landing and is trying to avoid an on board fire.

Some technical problems probably did occur, but they also could have been caused by terrorists. In any case, based on the testimonies of witnesses, terrorist action could not be ruled out.

FBI experts hold that an explosion of one of the engines caused the entire disaster, but engines usually don't explode by themselves, without some "assistance."

[U.S. analysts and the media] the next day began saying that A-300 engines are known for a lack of reliability, but this absolutely does not correspond to the reality that over 100 airlines within America and outside use this model.

Eyewitnesses observed a bright flash [onboard], and this doesn't happen in the case of an engine explosion. Such a flash could be caused by a direct hit from a missile.

It is not excluded that the version specifying technical problems on board the A-300 emerged because of political considerations. U.S. security organizations are reluctant to take the high responsibility related to one more terrorist strike.

At the same time, it is probable that these organizations are preparing a trap for the terrorists: The terrorists could become less vigilant and get caught in their next attempt to strike on an airline flight.

[And such an attempt will take place soon because] the terrorists, on Nov. 12, failed to achieve their major goal: to cause a new wave of panic among Americans, who are still using airlines. [The terrorists] spent large sums of money to infiltrate 'their man' into the airport's [Kennedy Airport in New York] technical services and got nothing in exchange.

The most important point here is as follows: Geidar Dzhemal and Alan Kachmazov – both of whom are definitely informed persons – were more or less sure that the A-300 was destroyed by a terrorist strike and were awaiting new terrorist actions of this kind or even worse. Kachmazov even claimed that the terrorists' agent on the Kennedy Airport staff was waiting for an opportunity to carry out a new strike.

Should we be suspicious here and recognize the Nov. 12 catastrophe as a new terrorist attack? The suspicious ones take measures in advance, but the non-suspicious will wait for a second attack.

Evidently, some additional security measures have been put into place since the terrorist attempt by the "shoe bomber" in late December aboard an American Airlines flight from France to the U.S. was thwarted.

If this terrorist, now being grilled by investigators, had managed to succeed, the windows of the aircraft would have blown out, probably with a flash of yellow flame – just as in the A-300 disaster.

Would it be overly suspicious to suppose that the A-300 on Nov. 12 was destroyed in a combined action carried out by two persons: one technician in the airport and one suicide bomber on board?

Dr. Thomas J. Torda has been a Chinese linguist specializing in science and technology with FBIS, and a Chinese/Russian defense technology consultant with the Office of Naval Intelligence.

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On Sept. 11, three of the four hijacked aircraft reached their targets. Only one terrorist group failed to accomplish its mission - evidently to destroy the Capitol - and crashed in rural Pennsylvania east of Pittsburgh. President Bush later stated, Heroic passengers took...
Sunday, 13 January 2002 12:00 AM
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