Operation Bojinka and 9-11

Operation Bojinka‘ is a term which refers to a potentially devastating but surprisingly under reported al-Qaeda plan to attack Western targets in January 1995. The operation was at a very advanced stage and would have resulted in the death of at least four thousand people if it had not been thwarted.

The plan itself involved three separate attacks executed by a terrorist cell in Manila: (i) The assassination of Pope John Paul II was the first target, followed by (ii) a plot to destroy eleven airliners using specially prepared bombs, then (iii) a direct strike at the CIA’s headquarters using a plane packed with explosives.

Every aspect of the operation was thoroughly planned. Highly detailed information, maps, timetables, route plans and sophisticated bombs were employed. The cell had even tested their timers and devices twice using smaller devices that were about one tenth of the power of their final bombs.

The first such test was in the Greenbelt Theatre in Manila. A small time bomb was placed beneath a seat where it exploded injuring a number of the theatre’s patrons. The second test was detonated on an actual plane when Philippines Air flight 434 was used as a trial run. It killed a passenger and forced an emergency landing.

Pope John Paul II was due to visit the Philippines on 15th January 1995. The cell intended to assassinate him during his visit using a suicide bomber dressed as a priest. The assassination of the Pope would create distraction and confusion and this would aid the attackers as they set about their second assault - a carefully planned series of bomb attacks on eleven planes.

The third and final strike would involve one of them with pilot training getting a small plane such as a Cessna and filling it with explosives then flying it straight into the CIA’s headquarters. If a small plane could not be rented or bought there was a backup plan to hijack a 12th airliner and use that instead.

Two weeks before the Pope’s scheduled visit to the Philippines a chemical fire accidentally broke out in a room in Dona Josefa, which is an apartment block about 200 yards from the Vatican’s embassy in Manila. When the police investigated they found bomb making material and numerous other items, including a laptop computer and disks containing full details of the planned operation.

Three members of the Manila cell were eventually captured. They could all have very easily evaded arrest but for the single-mindedness and resolute police work of Aida D. Fariscal, whose suspicions were aroused by the fire. She decided to investigate but had to ask eleven judges before she could find one who would grant her a search warrant.

Interrogation of the terrorists and scrutiny of their computer uncovered some very interesting facts about an alternative way in which they may have mounted their airliner attacks.

Due to complex difficulties associated with assembling and testing bombs then smuggling them onboard it was suggested instead that it would be far easier to get ‘martyrs’ to hijack planes and fly them into specific targets across the United States.

However, prior to the fire in their apartment, the Manila cell had failed to enlist enough of the right kind of volunteer for this type of an attack. With too few volunteers to work with and not enough time for their pilot training they were compelled to rely on their original scheme involving the use of bombs.

Accordingly, the cell continued to set about obtaining the timers and chemicals needed for their planned series in-flight explosions. It was during this bomb preparation phase that a fire sparked by the chemicals broke out in their apartment forcing them to abandon their intended attacks and flee.

With their capture, and the large amount of evidence seized, the police pieced together a detailed account of what Operation Bojinka actually entailed. All three members of the Manila cell were convicted and sentenced, but the worrying thing is that their statements, testimony and evidence do not seem to have served as any sort of a warning or threat.

President Clinton and the CIA knew that al-Qaeda had plans to hijack planes and use ‘martyrs’ to intentionally crash them into U.S. targets. After the disclosure of Operation Bojinka it was more or less an open secret within the CIA and other security services that such attacks were very likely:

“The FBI was warned six years ago of a terrorist plot to hijack commercial planes and slam them into the Pentagon, CIA headquarters, and other buildings…” Philippine investigators told CNN.”

And yet before 9-11 there was very little if any mention of Operation Bojinka in the mainstream or even the alternative media. Those members of the media who have mentioned Bojinka have always carefully avoided a full description. Bill Gertz is perhaps the one exception, but even he comes after the 9-11 attacks.

The media were aware of Operation Bojinka. Why then was it not reported? Why weren’t we told in full? The CIA and the government had been warned about such attacks. Then how come 9-11 could still happen?

President Bush has many critics, not least of which are the left-wing Democrats lined up against him. So why do none of them raise the matter? What easier way is there to weaken an embattled President?

Conspiracy theories concerning 9-11 are not hard to find. An industry churning out books, documentaries and videos has mushroomed. It’s not hard see why when so many questions remain unanswered. So what now can be said about 9-11 given that it looks very likely that the government and the media are both involved in a cover-up?

Why the silence? Why the cover-up? A couple of theories look feasible. The first suggests that the Bush administration allowed the attack to take place. The Taliban in Afghanistan had to be defeated because they were an impediment to the development and exploitation of oil in the Caspian region. Accordingly, the 9-11 attack delivered the ideal excuse to invade Afghanistan.

The second theory suggests that letting the attack happen essentially makes it easier for the state to readily introduce a more rigorous, tyrannical set of laws. Liberal democracies are notoriously difficult when it comes to accepting stricter measures, however necessary they may be. But when there is a ‘war’ on such difficulties tend to quickly dissolve.

Perhaps it’s a combination of both theories: letting the attack happen means you buy one outcome and get the other one free. You know al-Qaeda are intent on attacking you in a devastating manner using hijacked planes so you let them do so if it means that you can then use their attack as a justification to whack them in their own base country. If you can also use their attack to milk the willingness of your population at home when it comes to getting some severely authoritarian laws accepted then that’s even a more realistic possibility.

not even close

"There are none so hoplessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free" (Goethe)..... a paraphrase from V: Cast aside the illusions. Only when you are finally hopeless can you truly be free.

Some here have called it Al-CIA-da

It may turn out that Al Qaida is, essentially, an arm of the CIA. It seems to have started out that way at least, as a proxy for fighting Soviet Russia in Afghanistan. Can anyone claim with certainty that it ever changed? Can anyone prove that claim?

Didn't the Thompson timeline have US-backed forces -- Pakistani's, presumably -- protecting Bin Laden while he underwent dialysis treatments on, or was it just before, 9-11-01?

All of these repeated 'failures' to do anything at all, about obvious attacks coming, would fit the theory that the two organizations are not two but one.

Project Bojinka is classified

The point of putting this in the blog is because it is a mirror image of 9/11 and the media did not do much of reporting it exclusively. They really never have, and it's odd that it got classified.
Abdul Hakim Murad, a conspirator in the 1995 Bojinka plot with Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaik Mohammed, and others, was convicted in 1996 of his role in the Bojinka plot. He is about to be sentenced for that crime. He offers to cooperate with federal prosecutors in return for a reduction in his sentence, but prosecutors turn down his offer.
Dietrich Snell, the prosecutor who convicted Murad, says after 9-11 that he doesn't remember any such offer. But court papers and others familiar with the case later confirmed that Murad does offer to cooperate at this time. Snell claimed he only remembers hearing that Murad had described an intention to hijack a plane and fly it into the CIA headquarters. However, in 1995 Murad had confessed to Philippine investigators that this would have been only one part of a larger plot to crash a number of airplanes into prominent U.S. buildings, including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a plot that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed later adjusts and turns into the 9-11 plot.
Philippine investigators claim this information was passed on to U.S. intelligence, it's not clear just which U.S. officials may have learned this information and what they did with it, if anything. [New York Daily News, 9/25/01] Murad is sentenced in May 1998 and given life in prison plus 60 years. [Albany Times Union, 9/22/02] After 9-11, Snell goes on to become Senior Counsel and a team leader for the 9-11 Commission. Author Peter Lance later calls Snell "one of the fixers, hired early on to sanitize the Commission's final report." Lance says Snell ignored evidence presented to the Commission that shows direct ties between the Bojinka plot and 9-11, and in so doing covers up Snell's own role in the failure to make use of evidence learned from Murad and other Bojinka plotters. [FrontPage Magazine, 1/27/05].
This indicates complicity and foreknowledge and I press this as much as I can to My Reps and Senators relentlessly. I'm also writing to Kucinich that if he wants info and evidence about 9/11, to check into it.