Daniel Pipes investigates “Zacarias Moussaoui’s Plan of Attack” in Frontpage:
Zacarias Moussaoui, 36, a French national of Algerian origins, pleaded guilty on April 22, 2005, to six counts of conspiracy to commit terrorism. He says he intended to take part in a post-9/11 air attack on the White House. “I came to the United States of America to be part, O.K., of a conspiracy to use airplane as a weapon of mass destruction, a statement of fact to strike the White House, but this conspiracy was a different conspiracy than 9/11.”
He never got to hijack a plane because two of the staff at the flight school where Moussaoui was enrolled, Tim Nelson and Hugh Sims, smelled something fishy and alerted law enforcement. In their first public interview, with Greg Gordon of the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the two men tell a fascinating, sinister, and instructive tale.
Moussaoui initially wrote to Matthew Tierney at the Pan Am International Flight Academy in May 2001, using a Hotmail account with the name “zulu mantangotango.” His English left something to be desired:
Hello, Mrs. Matt, I am Mrs. Zacarias. Basically I need to know if you can help to achieve my “goal” my dream. I would like to fly in a “professional” like manners one of the big airliners. The level I would like to achieve is to be able to takeoff and land, to handle communication with ATC [air-traffic control]. … In a sense, to be able to pilot one of these Big Bird, even if I am not a real professional pilot.
By a “Big Bird,” Moussaoui meant a 747-400, the latest model Boeing wide-bodied jumbo jet that seats more than 500 passengers. He wanted to fly a simulated journey from New York to London. Admitting to limited flying time in a single-engine Cessna, he wrote, “I know it could be better but I am sure that you can do something. After all we are in AMERICA, and everything is possible.”…
Read it all.