Saturday, May 04, 2002

Mohamed Atta was in Florida in April 2000, attending a pilot school and sending e-mails to a group which included people working for U. S. defence contractors (hardly the kind of group you'd think a quiet student in Hamburg, Germany would be able to assemble). The problem is that in the summer of 2000 (I assume the article is referring to 2000, as the summer of 2001 would be even weirder) he apparently was presenting a model of Washington, D. C. to his architecture class in Hamburg. He is in fact only supposed to have arrived in the United States in June 2000. How was he simultaneously at pilot school in April in Florida, and still a student in Hamburg who hasn't yet left for the United States? There were detailed reports that he was in Prague to meet with an Iraqi intelligence agent in April 2001, specifically, that he flew from Florida on April 7, met with the Iraqi in Prague on April 8 (an 'undisputed fact', according to U. S. expert William Safire), and flew back to Florida on April 9, or perhaps a few days later; there are also reports he was in Prague in June 2000, and in fact originally flew to the United States from Prague after meeting with the Iraqi. Now they say the man who met with the intelligence agent wasn't Atta (it is possible that the entire Czech story was created under U. S. pressure). Trying to follow the official story of Atta will just leave you confused. As I have already written, the Atta born in Egypt and living in Hamburg is almost certainly not the same person as Atta the hijacker. The fact that there are two 'Attas' tells us a lot (for one thing, it tells us how he can be in two places at once!). Who had the power to pick a suitable identity (right age, ethnicity, piously fundamentalist Muslim) and give it to the man who used the Atta identity in Florida? Who presented us with the fake identity, and who continues to cover up the truth? Why was the obviously skilled pilot who flew into the World Trade Center attending two-bit (the first one went out of business while he was attending it, and the second one also has a shady past) flying schools in South Florida, which wouldn't have been able to train him to so skilfully fly large passenger jets? The reason is that flight schools can accept foreign students on student visas, and the paperwork for the visas which is prepared by the schools on behalf of the students forms the main basis for the fictitious identities of the hijackers (the seemingly senseless mailing of a visa renewal to two of the hijackers six months after September 11, which caused such outrage in the United States, was just another way of emphasizing the personal identity of the hijackers to the American people). Why was Atta so extraordinarily sloppy in his relations with government bureaucracy (driving without a licence, not attending at his court hearing, abandoning a plane at Miami airport, and having, of all things, visa problems), all out of line with what is supposedly the al-Qaeda training manual which insists on terrorists keeping a low profile, unless he was trying to create an obvious record of his existence and identity in the United States? My guess is that the person playing the role of Mohamed Atta was an American citizen, possibly of Iraqi descent (and certainly of Arab descent, in order to have the language skills, cultural knowledge and general appearance), and a highly trained pilot and intelligence operative, whose real name we'll never know. We do know he was willing to kill himself for a cause. What cause would that be?