Class Notes 9/15

  • Blog Post: James Blake getting tackled to the ground due to a misunderstanding, no apology. He thought “was it a race issue?” Sad that there still has to be questions about racial equality. Police officer had to give up his gun and his badge, essentially is now on desk duty. “I felt targeted. I was actually smiling at the person because if I had my arms up I could’ve had broken bones instead of a bruise on my leg.” Police was trying to break up an identity fraud case.
  • Blog Post: Isis strikes again, two men for sale: one chinese and one swedish. ‘Whoever would like to pay’ Germany has closed it’s borders to refugees after saying they were allowed to come.

9/11 Commission Report:

Told in a chronological way, trying to piece everything that happened together.

  • 19 terrorists, “beat out our country’s defense”
  • “This was a failure of policy, management, and above all a failure of imagination.”
  • The commission was charged with: why was the nation so unprepared for 9/11? What could have been done to prevent it?
  • Commission report was done June 14, 2004.
  • 19 men prepare themselves for a final journey that turned the beautiful day to dust and darkness.
  • The US government was simply not active enough in combatting the terrorist threat before 9/11
  • If everybody would have been doing their job, none of them would have been got in. At least 9 of them had horribly forged passports, no one was looking carefully.
  • The checkpoint screening was really the only line of defense we had on 9/11 and it didn’t work.
  • One terrorist was found on a screen that needed to be scrutinized, checked his bag and found nothing, allowed him onto the plane.
  • All 10 passed through security although some of them are carrying knives. They were very skillful at exploiting the gaps, they knew they could get 4 inch knives in so they used that.
  • There was security footage where they set off alarms twice, the screener wands him, and with no questions they were allowed to proceed to the gate. Their bags were not checked, the bags were carrying mace and tear gas.
  • “You can get through the screening if the people working don’t care, don’t have a motivation to do their job.”
  • Most of the visas that were issued to these people were not even filled out, gross negligence, none of these things were picked up.
  • 19 men defeated every layer of airport security we had in place, Al quida has gone to school on all of these issues in order to beat out the defense.
  • They would buy tickets for some of the terrorists to sit close to the cockpit, two were sitting in the front row of first class, they were planning on attacking first. When the seatbelt sign is turned off, the first two terrorists stabbed the first class flight attendants. One man tried to come to the aid of the attendants but was instantly killed.
  • Flight attendants called in the hijacking from plane phones, calmly relayed what was happening.
  • Hijackers turned off the plane’s transponder, it was lost on radar. By the time the plane takes a direct turn towards NYC.
  • The plot started as a much grander plan, the original plot was to have as many as 10 or 12 aircrafts hijacked simultaneously. He wanted to have some planes explode over the ocean, then have the other planes crash into important buildings such as the FBI, and nuclear plants. Bin Laden thought it was too ambitious, wanted to scale it down to more important buildings.
  • The terrorists were hand picked by Bin Laden, highly motivated and sophisticated loyal terrorists who were fueled by a burning hatred for the US.
  • Intensive training followed in Afghanistan, how to make bombs and taught how to storm the cockpit and disarm and kill flight attendants and pilots.
  • Mohammad Atta and other pilots began flight training in the United States, received licenses to fly small aircrafts, then started to practice flying jet planes through simulations.
  • Waited to pick the best plane possible that would cause the most damage. They would take flights to learn how things worked. Don’t storm the cockpit, wait until they open him.
  • Al qaeda was financed by a lot of sympathizers in the gulf. Most of the terrorists had tourist visa’s, Atta accounted for a lot of the details, big and small.
  • Atta picked the date 9/11, when congress was back in session.
  • After 5 years of preparation, the final countdown had begun. They were so sure their plan would work, they didn’t need backup plans. It was so novel and unexpected.
  • The FAA and NORADC spring into action. “Is this real world or an exercise”
    • Multiple F-16’s begin searching for the aircraft but can’t find it. The important thing is to keep the passengers safe. No one thought they would use an airplane as a weapon, as a missile, and use it to aim it at a building.
  • The next hijacking begins over Pennsylvania, then turns it’s path towards New York.
  • Bin Laden was the most media savvy terrorist we’ve encountered, he had his own satellite, he got his message out there.
  • His rallying cry to rid saudi arabia of US troops. Bin Laden’s version of Islam is very specific.
  • “Black Hawk Down” incident was tracked back to al qaeda.
    • 18 US soldiers died in that battle.
  • Multiple embassy bombings occurred, many deaths and injuries.
  • Al Qaeda armed a boat with explosives and took out an American boat, caught the US off guard once again.
  • Flight 11 crashed into the world trade center first.
  • Flight 175 has been hijacked, Flight 77 from Washington DC was next.
    • Same pattern- first murder the pilot and co-pilot.
  • Flight 193 was taking off.
  • President Bush was visiting a school, and received news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Center, initially believing it was an accident.
  • Then found out there were multiple hijackings.
  • 9:03 AM, Flight 175 hits the South tower of the World Trade Center.
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