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Another theory...

By Gregoyle in MLP
Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 11:15:48 PM EST
Tags: News (all tags)

Jane's Foreign Report has an article with another theory on the people behind the attacks on the Pentagon and the WTC. The link, unfortunately, is the "Non-Subscriber Extract", and is a Bowdlerized version of the complete article.

What impressed me most about the article were the people interviewed and quoted. These are no classic television talking-heads. These are really the people who Ought To Know. The main theory is that the attacks were financed in part by Iraq and in part by Al-Queda, but not through Bin Laden. Israel's military intelligence service, Aman, believes the orchestrators are "Imad Mughniyeh, head of the special overseas operations for Hizbullah, and the Egyptian Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, senior member of Al-Qaeda and possible successor of the ailing Osama Bin Laden." Mughniyeh, at least, looks to be a real baddy, with connections to some of the more heinous crimes commited in the late 20th and early 21st century.


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Are we being too quick in focusing on Bin Laden and Afghanistan?
o Timothy McVeigh!! (translation: yes) 50%
o No, Bin Laden is certainly behind it. 0%
o Bin Laden/the Taleban deserve it whether ot not they are behind it. 23%
o Stop posting these damn terrorism stories. 26%

Votes: 72
Results | Other Polls

Related Links
o Jane's
o article
o Also by Gregoyle

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Another theory... | 15 comments (14 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
How would we know? (4.25 / 4) (#1)
by Pac on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 03:33:43 PM EST

Unfortunatelly, the people who "Ought To Know" have their own agenda, one that will never be clear to us mere mortals.

Just to keep it obvious, it would certanly be very interesting for Aman and Mossad to implicate the Hizbullah directly in the attacks. And for US and UK to implicate the Iraquian government, back-justifying the years of air raids and all iraquian civilians killed by bombs and starvation to date.

Hearsay, Flamebait, -1.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

Hearsay? (4.00 / 1) (#4)
by Gregoyle on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 03:56:27 PM EST

That's a great point about the agenda of those coming up with the theories. I think in this case it's likely that their biases would cancel each other out; meaning they hate all those they are looking at, and then choose one to blame.

However, it is possible that they might choose to blame someone they thought to be more accessable (i.e. Iraq). As for justifying years of air-raids, etc., why bother? They were already supposedly justified each time.

The one thing I have a problem with is labling the story Hearsay. Hearsay? It's MLP!! That's what the topic is!!

He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
[ Parent ]

The hearsay part (5.00 / 4) (#6)
by Pac on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:23:59 PM EST

Reading the article from the top, note the quoted sources:
- "...Aman, suspects" - Aman is just a faceless government branch;
- "Aman officers believe"
- "Unconfirmed reports in Beirut"
- "The Israeli sources"
- "'We've only got scraps of information, not the full picture,' admits one intelligence source"
- "'Bin Laden is a schoolboy in comparison with Mughniyeh,' says an Israeli who knows Mughniyeh"

It goes on and on, never quoting a name behind the speculations. This is hearsay of the worst kind, a clear agenda-ridden article, written almost enterely by the "Israeli sources" for their own ends.

I believe that anyone in the Western agencies with strong evidence is not talking to Jane, is talking to CIA. The ones talking to Jane are just trying to mold the aftermath to their objectives.

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

[ Parent ]
Okay... (5.00 / 3) (#8)
by Gregoyle on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:45:47 PM EST

I understand you on the hearsay part now, you were labeling the article as hearsay rather than the post. That's fine, in fact you come up with some good evidence for it.

However, you must admit that any real information given by anyone with connections to an intelligence agency would be under conditions of anonymity. Also, in case you haven't read Jane's before this, they are a well-respected and widely read publication with the intelligence and defense community. Not just in the US and Israel, but around the world. Take a look at their other publications if you want to see what I mean.

It is not possible to prove that the article was not written and/or supplied as a vehicle for the agendas of Israeli intelligence officials. I admit that; however, I move that any realistic article in the intelligence field would also be similarly difficult to verify. When such situations arise, we are forced to use the reputation of the publication as the only useable source of validity. In Jane's case this is undeniably good.

Another thing to consider is that the article does not purport to have the definitive answers to the details of the attack, it merely says that Israeli intelligence has a view contrary to that of current (known) American intelligence. Obviously if they are to elaborate on the Israeli view they must extensively quote Israeli sources.

Thanks for the elaboration on the "hearsay" thing, though, I must admit I was slightly confused. Most of the reason I posted the article was to encourage discussion on the possibility that someone else could have responsibility, not to push the article as a definitive source of hot new information.

He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.
[ Parent ]

Alternative theories (5.00 / 5) (#9)
by Pac on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 05:41:48 PM EST

I am sorry, I think I made a moderation mistake. I should have given 1 to the posting, since it is MLP and gives plenty of opportunity for discussion.

That said, I read Jane now and then, I like the magazine, but their price forbids me to enjoy the whole stuff, since their subject is not even close to my line of work. And I am aware of their reputation (also, Jane editors have been constant presences in BBC coverage of the attacks). But I am certain they are not above manipulation, as I agree with you that intelligence affairs are very difficult to cover.

I thin the discussion of alternative theories is good and necessary, because the insistence in bin Laden name from the very beginning was rather strange, to say the least.

For instance, during the first hours after the attack, phrases like "Intelligence sources say bin Laden's group is one of few groups capable of coordinating such an attack" were everywhere. Since "one of the few" supposes the existence of more than one, you would think other groups would be named. But they never were. For me this translates into a very strange concordance of too many sources (and since all sources about terrorist groups are "official", government officials, terrorist group members and such, this is at least mildly scary).

The Hizbullah connection sounds wierd. Hizbullah is a shi'ite group. bin Laden is the most visible sunite radical in the world. One of Hizbullah finnancers, the shi'ite regime in Iran, is more than willing to help chase Laden. Not that I think both groups wouldn't help each other against a common enemy. But Hizbullah tends to concentrated its actions against Israel and always for the Palestinian cause (I fail to see any way in which such an attrocity could have helped the Palestinians, and I can see many ways in which it can hurt them). In the end, I think that if a shi't group is involved it will be the Islamic Jihad, and then bin Laden would not be involved.

There are also wierder theories, the conspiratorial ones, that will never be proved before the 24th century. One attributes the attack to a right wing conspiration inside American agencies, aimed at slowly, one right at a time, establishing a police state in the US. The other attributes the attacks to rogue elements inside Israeli government, in order to bring US to side once and for all with Israel in the Palestinian affair. Obviously both theories would never be proved, they can only be infered by the subsequent events.

The point of the last paragraph is not to support this kind of "X-fileish" conspiratorial thinking, but to show that in the absence of hard evidence, many theories can be proposed, all of them logically consistent. So, if the US government insists in not showing evidence for the war against Laden (saying it would jeopardize the sources), many of its today allies will be less inclined to support the future actions and many of its enemies will be able to continue claimming Laden's innocence (as the Taleban is doing right now).

Evolution doesn't take prisoners

[ Parent ]
Some more confirmations... (3.50 / 2) (#5)
by chipuni on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:20:41 PM EST

According to this article , there may be a link between Iraq and the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993.
Perfection is not reached when nothing more can be added, but only when nothing more can be taken away.
Wisdom for short attention spans.
More information (3.50 / 2) (#7)
by theR on Wed Sep 19, 2001 at 04:43:39 PM EST

The Washington Post also has a little tidbit about this. From the fourth paragraph in this article:

A U.S. government official said yesterday that one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, was seen meeting with an Iraqi intelligence official in Europe earlier this year -- the first hint of possible Iraqi involvement in the plot.

There is actually quite a bit of other information in that article, but that was one of the things that stood out.

However... (2.50 / 2) (#10)
by tiago3 on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 04:35:02 AM EST

Given that Osama Bin Laden founded and funds Al-Queda, I find it a logical contradiction to consider that the organisation could have been involved in an attack of such magnitude, without his knowledge, consent and funding...

terrorists doesn't inform their funders BEFORE (4.00 / 1) (#11)
by boxed on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 05:35:58 AM EST

Terrorists inform their funders about their progress by getting their work displayed on the news. Terrorism wouldn't work if they had to report to their funders all the time, it is just too risky.

[ Parent ]
you missed my point... (none / 0) (#13)
by tiago3 on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 09:07:16 AM EST

I see what you say and I agree, but the original post also says:

    "Israel's military intelligence service, Aman, believes the orchestrators are "Imad Mughniyeh, head of the special overseas operations for Hizbullah, and the Egyptian Dr Ayman Al Zawahiri, senior member of Al-Qaeda and possible successor of the ailing Osama Bin Laden."

This is what I mean and what I don't understand in this theory. If indeed Ayman Al Zawahiri was involved in the orchestration and considering he is number two of the Al-Qaeda chain, on the top of which we find Bin Laden, it seems very illogical that Bin Laden could be left completely out of the whole operation. I find it very hard to accept a theory that considers that an organisation planned such a coordinated attack without its leader being involved, at least in the decision-making... It's the same as suggesting the US military could decide to attack Afghanistan without the President's acknowledgement and authorisation. Osama Bin Laden is not just a source of funds for Al-Qaeda, he is their founder and leader

Even if we are to assume that Bin Laden was not directly involved in the orchestration but gave his No.2 the go-ahead, that makes him as much responsible...

Surely, if the US attacks Afghanistan, President Bush will not have orchestrated the military strategy himself and yet he is ultimately responsible for the actions of the country. Doesn't that make sense?

[ Parent ]
you do not understand the basics of terrorism (none / 0) (#14)
by boxed on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 05:38:45 PM EST

Terrorism is most effective when the leaders only give general directives like "hurt america" and then letting the people on the ground decide how to implement that idea. This is why terrorism is effective beyond what you seem to grasp, and it is also why bin Laden probably didn't have a second of warning. Military DOES NOT work in the same way as terrorists.

[ Parent ]
well... (none / 0) (#15)
by tiago3 on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 06:41:52 PM EST

whatever the case is, thank God that i don't understand the basics....

[ Parent ]
p.s. (none / 0) (#16)
by tiago3 on Fri Sep 21, 2001 at 06:48:42 PM EST

still, you haven't given any valuable argument to my point that, if he's the leader, he's responsible.

[ Parent ]
Excellent (4.50 / 2) (#12)
by Gregoyle on Thu Sep 20, 2001 at 10:29:26 AM EST

Thanks, Pac, for your great posts so far. I post to the main discussion rather than in reply so we don't become tangled in a downward spiral of reply to reply to reply.

What other theories are out there? How many of them seem likely? To me it sounds just slightly suspicious that someone who doesn't use a telephone or any electronic devices for fear of having the signal traced was able to mastermind an intensely complex operation from the other side of the world. That's not to say that he couldn't have bankrolled the whole project and delegated responsibility further, but that leads to the next question: Who did he delegate to?

Further, once you accept the proposal that Bin Laden mightn't have had a direct role in the assaults, you have to wonder if someone else might have. Perhaps he wasn't involved at all. Perhaps he was involved only at the level of giving X amount of dollars to someone else 5 years ago to start the project. Perhaps he was in a spotter plane that flew directly behind the airliner that hit the Pentagon.

I just think it's important to look into other areas as well. All this focus on one man sounds fishy to me; it just doesn't seem practical to plan something like this from the middle of nowhere.

He's more machine now than man, twisted and evil.

Another theory... | 15 comments (14 topical, 1 editorial, 0 hidden)
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