Islamic extremists took control of nearly a dozen commercial jetliners during the month of August, prompting western intelligence agencies to issue security bulletins amidst fears of a 9/11-style attack, the Washington Free Beacon reported Tuesday.
According to the Free Beacon:
Intelligence reports of the stolen jetliners were distributed within the U.S. government over the past two weeks and included a warning that one or more of the aircraft could be used in an attack later this month on the date marking the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against New York and Washington, said U.S. officials familiar with the reports.
“There are a number of commercial airliners in Libya that are missing,” said an unnamed official. “We found out on September 11 what can happen with hijacked planes.”
Elevating these concerns is that September 11 is fast approaching. It will mark the 13th anniversary of the attack in which commercial jetliners were used to take down the twin towers of New York’s World Trade Center and damage the Pentagon.
It will also mark the second anniversary of the attack on the U.S. consulate and security annex in Benghazi, Libya by al Qaeda-affiliated extremists. This resulted in the deaths of four Americans, including that of Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
U.S. State Department officials are neither admitting nor denying the existence of the security alerts or the control of the jetliners by the terrorists. According to the Free Beacon:
A senior State Department counterterrorism official declined to comment on reports of the stolen jetliners.
A second State department official sought to downplay the reports. “We can’t confirm that,” he said.
If the planes are to be used for another 9/11-style suicide mission, the intended targets would be in North Africa, not North America. Nonetheless, it couldn’t help but spur speculation on Twitter.
New Criterion editor and Fox News contributor Roger Kimball tweeted the Free Beacon article to his followers, which earned a reply in the form of an ominous prediction:
@rogerkimball I would be surprised if this upcoming 9/11 passes without an incident. This country is not safe as long as Obama is president.
— Charles (@CharlemagSteak) September 3, 2014
Another Twitter user mused that if the unthinkable happened, well, I’ll let her say it.
— Liz Wilson (@kysgabbygirl) September 2, 2014
This would be especially true given that just a few weeks ago, the Obama administration was in the midst of lifting the ban on Libyans attending U.S. flight schools, as reported by Liberty Unyielding earlier.
When the White House made the announcement, GOP lawmakers were less than thrilled.
“What evidence does the Administration have to assert the relationship between Libya and the US has indeed normalized?” asked Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.). “It is extremely concerning that DHS is moving forward with these plans, but has not provided information on the policy change despite repeated requests from Members.”
The administration’s decision to lift the ban came after foreign service staff and officials were forced to abandon the U.S. embassy in Tripoli, Libya. Since then, terrorists have taken over the embassy compound.
And now, it seems, they’ve taken over 11 commercial airliners.