If, for example, you wanted to make lemonade, you'd need water, lemon juice, a sweetener, a container, and a means of mixing the ingredients. If you lacked even one of those conditions, you'd have to alter your plans or abandon them altogether. When plans for the September 11, 2001, terror attacks were being formulated, this principle could not have been ignored.
In this four-part series, we'll examine the boundary conditions for just one aspect of the 9/11 terror attacks: the hijackers themselves. What were the boundary conditions for how the hijackers were recruited? What qualifications did they have when they were recruited? How were they trained to meet the boundary conditions necessary for carrying out their respective tasks? Finally, did they in fact meet those boundary conditions?
(Except where otherwise noted, most of the information for this articles came from 9/11 Commission Report, Chapter 7 or from Wikipedia articles on 9/11 or the biographies of the alleged hijackers. I've chosen not to reference specifications for planes, tour buses, or Volkswagens.)
Discussion of the pilot hijackers' qualifications, can be confusing because only a small minority of the people on Earth are pilots. Fewer still are commercial airline pilots. As such, we have little frame of reference for comprehending what the alleged 9/11 hijackers were said to have done. It’s like the saying, “One death is a tragedy; a million is a statistic.” For that reason, let me start with an analogy that should make this mind-boggling question more manageable.
Who would be suitable as muscle hijackers? Would you have chosen scrawny, boyish-looking men with an average age of 22, most of whose heights were in the range of 5' 5" to 5'7", and who spoke no English? Would you have let them wait until they'd arrived in the United States to begin their language training and weight training?
In the second article of this series, we’ll examine the pilot hijackers—that is, the hijackers who were given responsibility for flying the Boeing 757s. In the third article, we’ll examine the muscle hijackers—the ones whose job was to cow the passengers and flight crew into submission. In the fourth and final article in this series, we’ll look at some post-9/11 events regarding the hijackers.
Part 2: Boundary Conditions for the Pilot Hijackers
Part 3: Boundary Conditions for the Muscle Hijackers
Part 4: Aftermath
Other September 11, 2001, articles in this blog