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The Means for Executing the 9/11 Attack

The success of the 9/11/01 attack depended on each of the following five events happening as planned:

  • Four jetliners were taken over with no effective resistance.
  • Three of the four jetliners were flown into small targets, with the Pentagon strike involving extreme aerobatic maneuvers.
  • The air defense network froze for over an hour while the attack unfolded.
  • The towers self-destructed in a manner never before seen in any structure.

According to the official story, bin Laden got lucky in each case. The hijackers enjoyed phenomenal success in taking over each of the four planes, despite at least one Vietnam-era fighter pilot being among all four of the cockpit crews. The hijackers displayed miraculous skill in flying jetliners into small targets despite the fact than none had ever flown a jet. The Air Force and Air National Guard failed to put up any defense against the jetliners-turned-missiles, despite ample warning times and response options.

The Very Lucky Hijackers

Statistically speaking, the probability of the alleged perpetrators enjoying such a run of luck is vanishingly small. The probability that a mission would succeed can be calculated by estimating the probabilities of achieving each individual task required to fulfill the mission, and then multiplying those probabilities together. (This method of computing probabilities assumes that the individual events are causally independent. Since the success of each task was not strictly independent, the following computation is not statistically rigorous, but is provided only to illustrate a point.)

The following table lists estimates of probabilities for each of several tasks critical to the success of the mission. In all cases we chose much higher probabilities than the facts would warrant, in order to give the official story the benefit of the doubt.
task probability
hijacking Flight 11 1/2
hijacking Flight 175 1/3
hijacking Flight 77 1/4
hijacking Flight 93 1/4
evasion of intercepts by Flight 11 1/2
evasion of intercepts by Flight 175 1/3
evasion of intercepts by Flight 77 1/8
evasion of intercepts by Flight 93 1/8
hitting the North Tower 1/2
hitting the South Tower 1/2
hitting the Pentagon 1/4

Assuming these individual probabilities, the aggregate probability for success in the attack would be:


1/2 * 1/3 * 1/4 * 1/4 * 1/2 * 1/3 * 1/8 * 1/8 * 1/2 * 1/2 * 1/4 = 1/589824

This computation ignores the many other improbable events that worked in favor of the attackers, such as the unprecedented (alleged) crumbling of the steel-framed skyscrapers of the World Trade Center.

The Well-Planned Attack

The hijacker theory is not only a conspiracy theory, because it involves teams of hijackers working with remarkable coordination given their limited communication infrastructure, it is also a coincidence theory, because the success of the operation was possible only through a long run of coincidences.

Contrast the official theory with one that the attack was planned and executed by those with the means to infallibly take over jetliners and accurately pilot them into small targets, while preventing interceptions by the armed services. Such a theory is also a conspiracy theory, but it is not a coincidence theory, because the long string of "lucky" events was actually the product of careful planning by people in positions to make things happen.

Contrary to typical assumptions, a conspiracy involving insiders may have been executed by fewer people than the villains in the officially accepted conspiracy theory.

e x c e r p t
title: Attack Scenario 404
authors: 9-11 Research

How the Attack Might Have Been Engineered

The case that the 9/11/01 attack was an inside job can be made quite apart from any specific theory as to how it was accomplished, by simply demonstrating that only insiders had the means and opportunity to execute key elements of the attack. The true nature of such an operation is undoubtedly hidden behind layer upon layer of cover story, and its details may never be discovered. Speculative theories of the operation, while not verifiable, nonetheless can be useful in answering important questions about the attack, such as how many people it required.

Attack Scenario 404 is such a theory. It shows that although the attack employed a variety of sophisticated communications and weapons technologies, all of these technologies were available "off-the-shelf", having been developed by secret programs ostensibly for other purposes. Specific tasks required to fulfill the mission were outsourced to companies providing strict confidentiality and working on a need-to-know basis.

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