Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Could it happen again?

Is another 9/11-style terrorist attack against America in the works? Lee Benson at the Deseret News interviews a man who predicted both the first World Trade Center bombing and the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks:

"Heart of a Soldier" tells the story of two men who, well before it happened, foretold not only of the terrorist attack of 9/11 but also the 1993 bombing in the World Trade Center parking garage that preceded it.

One of the men, Rick Rescorla, was chief of security for Morgan Stanley with an office in the World Trade Center. He died on 9/11, but not before he shepherded all but six of Morgan Stanley's 2,700 employees to safety because of a well-prepared and well-executed evacuation plan. He'd have made it out, too, had he not gone back in the building looking for those six.

The other man, Daniel J. Hill, is still alive.

With another Sept. 11 approaching I wanted to talk to The Man Who Predicted 9/11.

Although the primary focus in Stewart's book is on Rescorla — a bona fide hero for his actions on 9/11 — I found Hill to be an even more fascinating character.

It was Hill who converted to Islam as a young U.S. Army paratrooper stationed in Beirut in 1958. It was Hill who learned fluent Arabic. It was Hill who joined the Mujahedeen Freedom Fighters in Afghanistan and fought the Soviet invasion there in the 1980s. It was Hill who personally met Osama bin Laden. It was Hill who used information from Islamic extremists to warn Rescorla that terrorists would use the underground parking garage for a car bomb attack on the World Trade Center. It was Hill who asked the U.S. government to assist him in an assassination attempt on bin Laden in 1998 (the request was rejected). And it was Hill who warned the FBI just weeks before Sept. 11, 2001, that his Mideast contacts told him "something big" was about to happen in the United States, in New York, Washington, D.C., or Philadelphia — maybe all three.

And what, according to Benson's article, does Daniel J. Hill say is going to happen? More:

Hill said the next terrorist attack will involve suitcase nuclear bombs that will be detonated in small, low-flying two-seater private airplanes manned by men hanging onto the belief that, like the 9/11 hijackers, they are about to die as martyrs and enter paradise.

He is not alone in suggesting such a scenario. A 2007 book, "The Day of Islam," spells out the details, as do any number of Internet sites about a plot called "American Hiroshima."

The nukes, he said, will be detonated over New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Houston, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.

I asked Hill, "Why now?"

"Eight years from 1993 to 2001, eight years from that 9/11 to this 9/11," he said. "Symbolism. They're big on symbolism."
I certainly hope that Mr. Hill is wrong. And we can show that there have been many times since September 11, 2001, when more attacks have been predicted; fortunately, these predictions have not come to pass. Mr. Hill's nightmare scenario involving small planes and suitcase nukes sounds like something out of a spy thriller novel; let's hope that's all it is, and that our terrorist enemies remain incapable of mounting any such attack against America.


Melanie B said...

"And we can show that there have been many times since September 11, 2001, when more attacks have been predicted; fortunately, these predictions have not come to pass."

What scares me is how many of those predicted attacks that have not come to pass may have been quietly thwarted by alert law enforcement officials and we just don't know how narrowly we've escaped. When you know someone who knows someone in the FBI or CIA you hear references to things that can't be talked about, sort of "if you only knew..."

Red Cardigan said...

A very unsettling thought, Melanie, especially when we hear vague news reports about arrests being made, etc.

Melanie B said...

Unsettling thought? Yeah, it keeps me up at night.

Here's to all the unsung heroes who routinely save the world and we never even know that they are risking their lives to keep us safe.

Anonymous said...

This morning on the news, I saw something about police arresting terrorists in NYC that supposedly had bomb-making materials or something. I literally heard about what Hill had to say, concerning possibilities for more attacks, last night. The weird part was that it was on fox, and they said that the police were frustrated that the media picked up on this. They also said the police were fairly vague about details.

suspected terrorists and bomb making materials...police upset about media covering story and gave vague details... NYC one of the cities Hill talked about...and four days after 9/11.

I only saw this briefly before work. So if anyone has more info or a correction on this, please reply.

c matt said...

Strategically, an attack like that right now would seem counter productive from their point of view. As divided as we are, as we are destroying ourselves, why risk an act that might re-focus and unite us? But then, there are many of thses groups that are operate on their own without much coordination or long term thought.

eulogos said...

Several planned attacks were thwarted because of information obtained by waterboarding Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

I know Red Cardigan believes that 1. this is torture and 2. torture should not be used for any reason.

If that is the morally correct position then this doesn't change that, of course.

Susan Peterson

eulogos said...


Jeannette said...

But, Susan, it would have been HOUSTON, not Dallas, that would have been toast by now if not for waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Belushi. Dallas would have been fine.

Dymphna said...

It's inevitable. Sooner of later they will hit again.