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,
got lucky in each case.
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
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.
|hijacking Flight 11
|hijacking Flight 175
|hijacking Flight 77
|hijacking Flight 93
|evasion of intercepts by Flight 11
|evasion of intercepts by Flight 175
|evasion of intercepts by Flight 77
|evasion of intercepts by Flight 93
|hitting the North Tower
|hitting the South Tower
|hitting the Pentagon
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
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.
page last modified: 2010-09-29