Associated Retired Aviation Professionals


Sunday, Sept. 12, 2004 8:56 p.m. EDT
9/11 Commission Nixed al-Qaida Link to Flight 800?

The 9/11 Commission rejected evidence that al-Qaida may have played a role in the 1996 downing of TWA Flight 800, investigative reporter Peter Lance claims.

What's more, says Lance, the evidence of an al-Qaida link was first presented to 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick when she was deputy attorney general under President Clinton.

On Thursday, Lance shared details of his new book, "Cover-up: What the Government Is Still Hiding About the War on Terror," with ABC Radio Network's John Batchelor.

Documents uncovered by the former network news reporter show that weeks before TWA Flight 800 exploded off the coast of Long Island, Ramzi Yousef – mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bomb plot and the author of the blueprint for the 9/11 attacks – warned the FBI he was preparing to blow up a U.S. airliner.

"They had an informant in a federal prison cell in lower Manhattan who'd been passing notes to the FBI from Ramzi Yousef," Lance told Batchelor.

While in jail Yousef was befriended by fellow inmate Greg Scarpa Jr., who was awaiting trial on a racketeering charge and who occupied the cell between the al-Qaida bomber and his partner, Abdul Hakim Murad.

Scarpa, who saw a chance to reduce his sentence by sharing what he found out with counterterrorism probers, agreed to act as a conduit for messages passed between Yousef and Murad.

The mobster began secretly cooperating with the FBI, which went so far as to allow Yousef to make phone calls to the Middle East so they could monitor them.

Lance told Batchelor, "At least one call went to his uncle, Khalid Sheik Mohammed," who masterminded the 9/11 plot based on Yousef's blueprint.

By the spring of 1996, Yousef's notes to Murad became ominous – featuring detailed schematics of the bombs to be used and how they could be smuggled past airport security.

On May 19, 1996, Yousef told Scarpa that he advised his people to start the bombing of airplanes.

According to a translated summary of his note to Murad that same day:

"Yousef gave a very detailed paper on how to smuggle explosives into an airplane. He referenced RDX explosives and 747 airliners. He gave detailed information on the weights of explosives and flying heights of airplanes and the types of explosives to be used as well as where they should be placed in the airplane."

Two months later almost to the day, TWA 800 – a Boeing 747 – exploded in midair, killing all 230 passengers and crew aboard.

The Justice Department's decision to keep Yousef's warnings to Scarpa under wraps during the Flight 800 investigation was political, said Lance – a bid to cover up tracks that should have been followed but weren't.

Likewise the 9/11 Commission, where ex-Justice official Jamie Gorelick played a role in determining which evidence was relevant to their probe – and which was not.

Editor's note:

  • "CATASTROPHE" Reveals the Secret Story Behind 9/11



    Max Sabrin, Sr. Consultant -
    'Placing Professionals Since 1979'
    Dunhill Professional Search
    225 State Street, Suite # 101
    New London, CT 06320
    Ph. 860.444.9057  Ext. 1- 212   


     © 2001, 2002, 2003 & 2004

      Robert E. Donaldson.  All rights reserved