September 11 , 2001 (X): An FAA memo written on the evening of 9/11 suggests a man on Flight 11 was shot and killed by a gun before the plane crashed into the WTC. [See the leaked FAA memo, originally posted at World Net Daily] The "Executive Summary," based on information relayed by a flight attendant to the American Airlines Operation Center, stated "that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B at 9:20 A.M [since Flight 11 crashed at 8:46, the time must be a typo, probably meaning 8:20]. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin, shot by passenger Satam Al Suqami." The FAA claims that the document is a "first draft" and declines to release the final draft, calling it "protected information." A report in Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on September 17 identifies Lewin as a former member of the Israel Defense Force Sayeret Matkal, Israel's most successful special-operations unit [UPI, 3/6/02]. Sayeret Matkal is a deep-penetration unit that has been involved in assassinations, the theft of foreign signals-intelligence materials, and the theft and destruction of foreign nuclear weaponry. Sayeret Matkal is best known for the 1976 rescue of 106 passengers at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. [New Yorker, 10/29/01] Officials later deny the gun story and suggest that Lewin was probably stabbed to death instead (which would still be very interesting). [UPI, 3/6/02, Washington Post, 3/2/02] Note that Lewin founded Akamai, a successful computer company, and his connections to Sayeret Mat'kal remained hidden until the gun story came to light. [Guardian, 9/15/01] Perhaps Lewin just happened to be there, and, with his past training, tried to be a hero and stop the hijack? What are the odds that an Israeli counter-terrorist expert would not only be on this hijacked flight, but also have terrorists sitting in the seats directly in front and behind him?
March 27, 2002: New York Times reporter Jere Longman writes an article based on recent leaks to him about Flight 93's cockpit flight recording (later relatives of the victims are given a single chance to listen to the recording (see April 18, 2002)). He claims that earlier reports of a 911 call from a bathroom reporting smoke and an explosion are incorrect. He names the passenger as Edward Felt and notes that the dispatcher who took the call and Felt's wife both deny the smoke and explosion story. There were messages from both passengers and hijackers on the plane speaking of a bomb. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/28/01] Longman also claims that one passenger, Tom Burnett, told his wife there were guns on the plane. [New York Times, 3/27/02] From immediately after 9/11, the fact that Tom Burnett told his wife that he didn't see any guns was widely reported. [Dateline NBC, 9/14/01] Note that the passengers appeared doubtful that the terrorists had either real guns or bombs, but there is a March 2002 report of a gun being used on Flight 11 (see September 11, 2001 (X)). Why are we only hearing about the possibility of guns on board so many months later? Could it be that the airlines are liable to lose billions if it can be proven weapons were smuggled aboard the plane? Why was the Felt call widely reported and unchallenged by officials until now?
May 21, 2002 (B): The Guardian reports that in the wake of 9/11, Attorney General Ashcroft prevented the FBI from investigating gun-purchase records to discover if any of the 9/11 hijackers had bought any guns. [Guardian, 5/21/02] What about reports that a gun was possibly used on Flight 11 (see September 11 , 2001 (X)) or Flight 93 (see March 27, 2002)?