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Terrorists are obviously cowards. They don’t always publicly take responsibility for their attacks. So why do our political leaders keep quiet – or publicly lie and fail to act – even when the terrorists confess to their crimes?

Monday, May 18, 2009
Did Iran and Al Qaeda Destroy TWA 800?
There is reason to believe that captured Al Qaeda terrorist commander Khalid Sheikh Mohammed [mastermind of 9/11 attacks who was given Bosnian citizenship by the Clinton-backed Bosnian Muslim Nazi regime during the 1990's], known as KSM, may have confessed to the biggest mass murder in American history prior to 9/11–the destruction of TWA Flight 800, which was blown out of the sky off the coast of Long Island on July 17, 1996–and that both the Bush and Obama administrations have hidden this part of his confession from the public in order to avoid a confrontation with Iran.


9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheik Mohammed [pictured above] was granted Bosnian citizenship by the Clinton-backed Bosnian Muslim Nazi regime led during the 1990’s by Islamofascist president Alija Izetbegovic.



From the highly acclaimed 1999 book “bin Laden:  The man who declared war on America” – Yossef Bodansky [former Director of Congressional Task Force on Terrorism & Unconventional Warfare]

Excerpt from page 325:

‘The Islamist terrorists did not arrive lightly at considerations of using weapons of mass destruction. International terrorism is in the midst of a quest for the super spectacular terrorist strike.  The case of TWA 800 served as a turning point because of Washington’s determination and to a great  extent ability to suppress terrorist explanations and float “mechanical failure” theories. To avoid such suppression after future strikes, terrorism sponsoring states must raise the ante so that the West cannot ignore them.’


August 25, 1996 Times of London

U.S. officials are investigating reports that Islamic terrorists have smuggled Stinger ground-to-air missiles into the United States from Pakistan. Senior Iranian sources close to the fundamentalist regime in Tehran claimed this weekend that TWA flight 800 was shot down last month by one of three shoulder-fired Stingers of the type used by Islamic guerrillas during the Afghanistan war.

The sources said the missiles arrived in America seven months ago after being shipped from Karachi via Rotterdam and on to the Canadian port of Halifax. They claimed an Egyptian fundamentalist group backed by Iran was responsible for smuggling the weapons across the Canadian border into the United States.

The group, the Gama’a al-Islamiya, comprises followers of Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, a blind Egyptian cleric jailed in the United States over the 1993 New York World Trade Center bombing. A senior White House official responsible for counter-terrorism told The Sunday Times this weekend that he had seen a report that a Stinger missile had been smuggled into the United States from Pakistan.

The official, who is involved in collating intelligence relating to the TWA inquiry for the White House, said investigators were aware of reports that Stingers may have been smuggled into the country…. If a Stinger was the cause of this, our first theory would be that it came from Afghanistan.”   The official was commenting on reports from Tehran that claimed several groups funded by the religious authorities in Iran are active in the United States. The reports claim one previously unknown underground group called Falakh may have as many as 50 highly trained terrorists in the country


July 19, 1996 Newsday.com

In the absence of explanations, theories abounded. One focused on a fax sent Wednesday to an Arabic language newspaper in Beirut warning of an attack. State Department and CIA officials confirmed they had received copies of the fax Thursday. The message said “tomorrow morning we will strike the Americans in a way they do not expect and it will be very surprising to them,” according to one official. A counter-terrorism source familiar with the fax said that it was sent at 11 a.m. New York time Wednesday, more than nine hours before the bombing. But a CIA source said that the agency “does not attach too much significance” to the fax [!!].

The fax, written in Arabic, ends with the following threat: “The Mujahadeen will respond harshly to the threats of the stupid American president. All will be shocked by the magnitude of the response. The determining of the place and time are in the hands of the Mujahadeen. The invaders must get ready to leave alive or dead; and their rendezvous will be morning, and isn’t morning near.” U.S. News and World Report magazine, in the July 29, 1996 issue, identified the group who sent the fax as, “The Movement of Islamic Jihad/The Jihad Wing of the Arabian Peninsula.” Editors Note:  8pm Eastern Time in New York is early morning in the Persian Gulf.


Posted: November 19, 2002
1:00 a.m. Eastern

© 2002 WorldNetDaily.com

A fourth point of interest is the behavior of President Bill Clinton. Although she served as an adviser to Clinton during his 1992 campaign, Mylroie finds his reaction to Iraqi-backed terrorism “inexplicable.” In fact, throughout the book, Mylroie quietly condemns the seeming “policy disarray” that leads time and again to inaction. The administration, she notes, suffered from the inability to tell the truth about Iraq even to itself.

In an insightful National Review article, Byron York argues that in the desperately political year of 1996, Clinton adviser Dick Morris polled continuously, even on tragic events like Khobar Towers and TWA Flight 800, to see how the president should respond. The conclusion was that “talking tough” would suffice. The implication is that tough talk would allow Clinton to hold his lead over the Republican’s aging warrior, Bob Dole, without engendering further risk. Says York, “Clinton was preoccupied with his own political fortunes to an extent that precluded his giving serious and sustained attention to fighting terrorism.”



The strategic model assumes that terrorism is based on the logic of consequence, specifically, its ability to coerce policy concessions from the target country by conveying the costs of noncompliance. For this reason, proponents of the model describe terrorism as a form of “credible signaling” or “costly signaling.” (65)

A basic principle of coercion, however, is that the coercer must convey its policy demands to the coerced party.(66)

A puzzle for the strategic model is that most of the time terrorist organizations neither issue policy demands nor even take credit for their attacks. Since the emergence of modern terrorism in 1968, 64 percent of worldwide terrorist attacks have been carried out by unknown perpetrators.

Anonymous terrorism has been rising, with three out of four attacks going unclaimed since September 11, 2001
. (67)

Anonymous terrorism is particularly prevalent in Iraq,where the U.S. military has struggled to determine whether the violence was perpetrated by Shiite or Sunni groups with vastly different political

Policy demands are rarely forthcoming, even when the terrorist organiza-
tion divulges its identity to the target country.(69)

In the early 1990s, Schelling captured this point:

“Usually there is nothing to negotiate. A soldier is killed in
a disco in Germany. A bomb explodes in front of an Israeli consulate. Japanese
Black Septembrists unpack automatic weapons in the Lod airport and start
shooting. The perpetrators don’t ask anything, demand anything.” (70)

The tendency for terrorist organizations to refrain from issuing policy demands in-
creased in the late 1990s, leading Hoffman to conclude that the coercive logic
of terrorism is “seriously flawed.” (71)

After the attacks of September 11, David Lake also observed that the terrorists “did not issue prior demands,” and therefore a theory premised on coercion “would seem ill-suited to explaining
such violence.”

In sum, the strategic model assumes that terrorism is an effective coercive instrument.
Yet terrorist groups rarely convey through violence their policy preferences to the target
country, precluding even the possibility of successful coercion.

The Seven Puzzling Tendencies of Terrorist Organizations

Seven empirical puzzles vitiate the strategic model’s premise that terrorists are
rational people who are motivated mainly to achieve their organization’s
stated political goals.

The seven puzzles contradicting the strategic model are:

(1) terrorist organizations do not achieve their stated political goals by attack-
ing civilians;

(2) terrorist organizations never use terrorism as a last resort and
seldom seize opportunities to become productive nonviolent political parties;

(3) terrorist organizations reflexively reject compromise proposals offering
significant policy concessions by the target government;

(4) terrorist organizations have protean political platforms;

(5) terrorist organizations generally carry out anonymous attacks, precluding target
countries from making policy concessions;

(6) terrorist organizations with identical political platforms rou-
tinely attack each other more than their mutually professed enemy; and

(7) terrorist organizations resist disbanding when they consistently fail to achieve
their political platforms or when their stated political grievances have been
resolved and hence are moot.

Spring 2008

“What Terrorists Really Want: Terrorist Motives and Counterterrorism Strategy”

Journal Article, International Security, issue 4, volume 32

By Max Abrahms, Former Research Associate, Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs

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