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The Hijackers had guns?
I ENJOYED your most recent diary entry. I can confirm for you that one of the hijackers on United Airlines flight 93 was in one the jump seats in the cockpit.
As a federal law enforcement officer I fly frequently, and armed. Part of the proceedure in flying armed is meeting with the captain and first officer. Before a flight from San Francisco to Denver, I was chatting with the first officer in the cockpit while waiting for the captain to arrive, when I would present my credentials and the forms I completed for his perusal. We talked about the issue of agents flying armed, the haphazard identification process, and the vunerabilities inherent in the system. Then talk turned to hijacking, and the first officer told me that at United training since September 11, flight crews were told that one of the hijackers was in the cockpit, riding jump seat.
From what I understand, this is not uncommon, but not just for fellow UA pilots. It is not unheard of for pilots who are seeking employment with a major airline, and who are already licensed, and who introduce themselves to the crew are sometimes invited to observe from a jump seat.
I have read some comments in the pro-gun press about the possibility of guns on one or more of the flights. I don't think that is true, while it is entirely possible. Security control at airports is not fool proof, and the Department of Transportation investigations before 9/11 showed that weapons of all types were routinely smuggled through security. However, given my experience, I think one or two men with knives would certainly be enough to hold cowed passengers at bay. American culture generally now discourages people from fighting back. As a federal agent we are constantly warned that even for us, any use of force could result in legal liability, including harrassing lawsuits. The government even pays for half of our liability insurance premiums, that are up to one million dollars.
Having worked with the FBI, I don't trust either their integrity or competance. They are not above manufacturing evidence, but I would also not rule out incompetance. Perhaps they lost or accidentally destroyed the fifth page. It is not common for evidence to be lost in an investigation. Just remember all that evidence that was discovered near to the execution of Timothy McVeigh.
[Name known to this website]
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David Irving comments:
I DON'T think the hijackers carried guns through the gates -- that would have jeopardised the plan. I think the guns were planted airside by accomplices, and when all were in place the plan went ahead.