Friday, March 08, 2002

I'm still confused about the peculiarities and mysteries of the identities of the 9-11 terrorists: 1) How did the FBI know so quickly (for all intents and purposes, immediately) how many terrorists there were and who they were (with pictures, no less)? I assume the terrorists didn't identify themselves by their real names (even if they didn't care if they were identified after they died they wouldn't want to be caught on a routine computer check at the check-in desk at the airport). I also assume that there was no way to know, by looking at the manifest, who were terrorists (or did the FBI just identify them by circling Arab-looking names?). The FBI are supposed to have obtained some information from a phone call from one of the planes as to what seats the terrorists were occupying, but that still doesn't get around the problem that they couldn't have known the terrorists' real names even if they knew where they were on one plane. This whole issue screams out that the FBI was monitoring all these people before September 11. 2) How is it that many of the identified terrorists are real people living in the Middle East who are clearly not terrorists and claim to have not had any identification stolen? This problem arose very shortly after September 11, but seems to have been swept under the rug. Does this mean that the identification made by the FBI is partially or even completely bogus, meaning that at least the public doesn't know who really was involved? 3) Why would the supposed mastermind, Atta, have killed himself along with the rest of the terrorists? While that type of self-sacrifice may be good for the morale of the foot-soldiers, it is very inefficient for an organization that presumably wants to do this sort of thing again. 4) If there are problems with the official identification, what is the purpose of misleading the public? Does the U. S. government want to obscure the real background of the terrorists? Were they trained to fly by the U. S. military? Were at least some of them not even of Arab background, thus putting into question the whole Islamic fundamentalist terrorist story? Were some of them of family background that might embarrass a U. S. ally? Were at least some of them, the ones engaged in un-Islamic behavior, not connected with the rest, and perhaps even mercenaries?