Daniel Pipes- Contributor
Pipes is director of the Middle
East Forum, a member of the
presidentially-appointed board of the U.S.
Institute of Peace,
and a prize-winning columnist for the New York Sun and The
Jerusalem Post. His most recent book, Miniatures:
Views of Islamic and Middle Eastern Politics (Transaction
Publishers) appeared in late 2003. His website, DanielPipes.org,
the single most accessed source of information specifically
the Middle East and Islam, offers an archive and a chance
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Did American Airlines 587 Crash?
Is the truth finally emerging?...
[Daniel Pipes] 9/7/04
Airlines 587 crashed soon after taking off from New York's
Airport on Nov. 12, 2001, killing
265 people. Coming just two months after 9/11, this disaster
raised a specter of renewed terrorism attacks, yet investigators
dismissed the possibility of foul-play. "We have
seen no evidence of anything other than an accident here," the
spokesman for the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board,
Ted Lopatkiewicz, avers. "There has been no evidence … that
there was any criminality involved here. It appears, at least
the evidence we have, is that a vertical fin came off, not that
there was any kind of event in the cabin."
U.S. government's record of preferring not to call a terrorist
act by its rightful
name – and especially its
shameful reluctance to do so in the case of EgyptAir 990, brushing
aside the truth in deference to Egyptian sensibilities – I
have had my suspicions about the accidental nature of AA 587's
crash. When Al-Qaeda on a website in May 2004 claimed the plane's
fall as an attack, however, I paid it little attention, for just
about anyone can claim just about anything on a website.
But now comes a wisp of evidence to suggest that AA 587's demise
was in fact not an accident but an operation carried out by Al-Qaeda.
This information has a complex pedigree:
- It is
recounted in a top secret Canadian Security Intelligence
Service report written in May 2002 and made
public on Aug.
27, 2004 by Stewart Bell in Canada's National Post.
source is Mohammed
Mansour Jabarah, a 22-year-old from
St. Catharines, Ontario, said to be of "unknown reliability."
in turn is reporting on what he heard from Abu Abdelrahman
(a Saudi Al-Qaeda member who worked for Khalid
one of the organization's highest ranking operatives).
KSM's information has usually turned out to be reliable.
So, the information that follows is not exactly rock-hard, but
it is a real lead.
And this is it: Abu Abdelrahman told Jabarah who told CSIS that
the 12 November
2001 plane crash (btb American Airlines flight 587) in Queens,
York was not an accident as reported in the
press but was actually an AL QAIDA operation. Abu Abdelrahman
informed Jabarah that Farouk the Tunisian conducted a suicide
mission on the aeroplane using a shoe bomb of the type used by
Richard Reid.... "Farouk the Tunisian" was identified
from newspaper photographs as being identical to Abderraouf
a Canadian citizen who had resided in Montreal."
Jdey used his Canadian passport to board Flight 587 but Jdey
apparently a master of aliases (they include
Abd Al-Rauf Bin Al-Habib Bin Yousef Al-Jiddi, Abderraouf Dey,
A. Raouf Jdey, Abdal Ra'Of Bin Muhammed Bin Yousef Al-Jadi, Farouq
Al-Tunisi, Abderraouf Ben Habib Jeday), so one really has no
idea what name he might have flown under that day. Jdey, 39,
had emigrated from Tunisia to Canada in 1991, becoming a citizen
in 1995. Shortly thereafter, he decamped to Afghanistan where
he trained with some 9/11 hijackers and recorded a "martyrdom" video
that coalition forces in Afghanistan later
found. He did not
join the 9/11 mission but was to be part of a second wave of
suicide attacks. He remains on the loose, with a worldwide alert
for him. The FBI has a "seeking information" notice
out for him "in connection with possible terrorist threats
in the United States." Of course, if he went down in AA
587's fiery crash, there is little chance of finding him.
1. The authorities
should go carefully through security videotapes from Kennedy
airport that day and see if they can establish
whether Jdey was or was not on AA 587.
2. AA 587's crash preceded Richard Reid's attempted bombing
by over a month, so the heightened alert for shoe bombs was
not yet in
place when AA 587 went down. Reid's later success in getting
the explosives on board and nearly detonating them suggests
that if Jdey was on the plane and did try a shoe bomb, he
3. If AA 587 did go down in an act of suicide bombing, it means
that there was at least one major terrorist success on the
U.S. homeland after 9/11.
4. If it was terrorism, one has to wonder about the efficacy
or purpose of violence that is so obscure it is interpreted as
a transportation accident. Killing 265 people only has effect
it terrorizes; an accident is shrugged off as an impersonal
tragedy. As in so many other cases, the purposes of these aggressive
can only be guessed at. CRO
first appeared in Front Page Magazine
2004 Daniel Pipes