Of course I was horrified, and my heart goes out to the countless thousands who will be scarred forever by it. It succeeded not because it was unexpected but because it went far beyond what anyone expected. U.S. authorities just weren’t taking the threats seriously and, worse, underestimated the dedication and intelligence of their opponents.

It’s a measure of U.S. smugness that no one bothered to consider the possibility of hijacked aircraft being used as weapons of mass destruction (but I’m sure I won’t be the only one saying that); the terrorists were simply more imaginative than those charged with defending the nation. Jetliners should have been designed to be invulnerable to hijacking long ago (and such a thing is definitely possible).

Some who have written to me about the attack wonder if it can be taken as a signal of dissatisfaction with the Taker way—as a signal that my message is “getting though.” Absolutely not. Nothing here should make anyone feel hopeful that it marks the beginning of a better world. It’s just Takers killing Takers—political murder of the ordinary kind—nothing new and certainly nothing to rejoice over.

ID: 520
posted: 11 Sep 2001
updated: 11 Sep 2001