Thursday, August 10, 2006

Bojinka! Bojinka!

So I am sure you have heard the news by now that Great Britain was able to foil a plot to blow up nine or ten planes heading from England en route to America. Reports vary, but at least 24 men, of Pakistani descent, ranging in age from 17-35 were arrested. At least five men are being sought.

Allegedly a man was picked up near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border last week and he tipped off authorities to the plot. This was a great job done by Britain, Pakistan, and the United States to prevent such a potentially devastating attack from taking place. Kudos to all those involved in the three countries!

Immediately this morning when I first heard the news. A caller on WABC Radio, a pretty conservative station, said that she believed that this was a hoax. Her justification was that the Republicans are in danger of losing both the House and Senate this November, and needed to shift gears toward their "bread and butter." The perception being that Republicans are better able to handle the War On Terror than Democrats. However, I will easily debunk this conspiracy theory.

I am saddened by the fact that so many Americans believe 9/11 was an inside job, or at least was allowed to happen. In fact, recently C-Span aired a panel of pretty well-educated professors who tried to make the point that the attacks of September 11, 2001 were an inside job. After a half hour I heard no evidence. But it bothered me that C-Span would give these men air time, thus lending them some credibility. But let's go back in time, shall we?

In 1994, Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center attack, came up with three new plots to further his global jihad. Yousef, you may recall, parked a Ryder van containing a bomb in the parking garage between the Twin Towers. When the bomb detonated shortly after noon on February 26, 1993 it killed five people, wounded 1,000, and caused a half a billion dollars in damage.

Yousef, immediately left the country. He surfaced in the Philippines, which was when he came up with more ideas for terror. One was to assassinate Pope John Paul II in his trip to Manila in early 1995; second was to create an undetectable bomb to be smuggled on board eleven U.S. jumbo jets entering the United States from Asia; third along with terrorist buddy Abdul Hakim Murad, a pilot who trained at four U.S. flight schools, Yousef would coordinate the training of Islamic pilots at U.S. schools who will then fly the airliners into buildings in the U.S.A. This third plot, obviously, was the blueprint for 9/11.

The third plot was later scaled down because Usama bin Laden thought it to be too ambitious and therefore too difficult to pull off. But let's go back to the second plot.

He nicknamed the plot Bojinka, this was Serb-Croatian for "big noise." This was due to the fact that Yousef trained with Islamic terrorists from Bosnia in camps in Afghanistan.

So without getting too technical here is what Ramzi Yousef did: He boarded a two-leg flight from Manila to Cebu City which would then head on to Narita Airport in Japan. Yousef would get off the plane at Cebu City, but not before he would plant his bomb on board.

Ramzi Yousef used a number of false IDs under the identity of Arnaldo Forlani, an Italian government official. He boards the plane and using a Casio watch as a timer and diluted nitroglycerine in a contact lens cleanser bottle, Yousef assembles the device. He puts it inside the life jacket pouch under seat 26K by the center fuel tank of the 747. Yousef then gets off at Cebu.

When the PAL Flight 434 reaches cruising altitude, the Casio alarm ignites the filament of a broken bulb Yousef has embedded in the nitrocellulose explosive. The bomb explodes killing the passenger in seat 26K, who boarded the flight for its second leg, and just misses the center fuel tank. The 747 is forced to make an emergency landing in Okinawa.

Meanwhile, Yousef took a flight back to Manila where that night in a karaoke bar he celebrates the successful "test run" with his uncle Kalid Shaikh Mohammed and terrorist financier Wali Khan.

The test showed that if Yousef moved the device up several inches he would have been able to blow the plane out of the sky. This recent plot was too secure explosives inside bottles of a sports drink.

You may recall TWA Flight 800 which exploded out of the sky on July 17, 1996 and fell into the Long Island Sound near Long Island. The flight was bound from JFK to Paris and killed all 230 people on board. The explosion on that flight took place near row 26, near the fuel tank. Remnants of explosives are found near row 26 when the plane is later assembled in a hangar.

The Feds will tell you that it was a mechanical failure. However, the above evidence would prove otherwise.

This all occurred as Yousef was on trial in New York for the Bojinka plan. In addition, there were ten cargo doors on that plane. Only one was not recovered suggesting a massive force would have destroyed that particular door. A terrorist group in the Philippines sent a warning to a New York newspaper the morning of the bombing.

You may hear in the coming days that this recent foiled plot was "unheard of" or that it was "something out of the realm of possibility." Or maybe that "al-Qaeda is stepping things up." But as you can see, that is false because it has been over 10 years in the planning. I think, that the same goes for the 9/11 plot which was hatched by this shadowy figure who now sits in the SuperMax prison in Denver, Colorado.

There is one more thing that I am intrigued by. Yousef is from Baluchistan, which sits right in between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Those arrested were of Pakistani-descent. I wonder if there was a direct connection. After 9/11 Yousef faced even tougher restrictions in prison. The reason being that he was suspected of getting information out and possibly still being in contact with terrorists around the world. How this is possible in such a tight prison? I don't know, however, nothing surprises me.

In conclusion, I am really happy that this plot was foiled and that it was done with three countries and multiple governmental agencies working together. Infighting and the inability to work together was part of the reason the attacks of September 11, 2001 were not stopped.

Perhaps the world is now getting it. That this is a global war. Not just one or two countries. I hope this is the case. At least in this instance three countries got it right!


Anonymous said...

Great job as always. Unfortunately I think it is just a matter of time before we get hit again. But this time we dodged a huge bullet.


petesy71 said...

Excellent and well written. This is indeed a global war that we are in.

Rooted in Ireland

Sean G. Kilkelly said...

The problem with conspiracy theories is that there is nothing legitimate in life. Everything has an angle. It can never be that X did Y.

I believe that the reason their are so many people who subscribe to 9/11 conspiracy theories is that the events of that day were so horrible and so out of each individual's control that a conspiracy theory brings control back to the average 9-5 citizen. It is too difficult to believe for some people that there are people, sick enough, evil enough, to fly planes into buildings.

So it is much easier to face blaming the President or some shadowy governmental faction.

trenchrat said...

Seems we Humans ,have a need to put blame on 'some-one' whenever we are confronted with things that scare us. When we don't have control of the situation. Lets try to keep a handle on the big picture and stop trying to place blame. Terror in any form is the issue, not what we could-have or should-have done. Keep on supporting our troops, and those in charge, atleast till someone else is in charge.