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CIA links to "terrorist" flight training

by Jerry Russell

According to some reports, the airliners that struck the WTC towers and the Pentagon were flown with exquisite skill, executing maneuvers that you might see at an aerobatic exhibition or flight show.  These feats could well have been impossible for typical general aviation pilots with low flight hours.  But there is reason to believe that the "terrorist" pilots could have received the very best of training, courtesy of the US government.

Various records and testimony show that two of the alleged hijackers, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehri, took flight training at Rudi Dekkers' Huffman Aviation flight school in Venice, Florida.   Investigator Daniel Hopsicker, following the funding trail, found that Huffman Aviation is closely linked to Brittania Aviation and Caribe Air.  Brittania had no visible assets or qualifications other than its association with Caribe Air, but was awarded a massive regional service center contract by the US government.  Caribe Air, in turn, has a long history of association with CIA drug-running operations out of Mena, Arkansas, and is also allegedly linked to fraudulent Enron-funded offshore investment partnerships.

Hopsicker also notes that according to reports from Newsweek, three alleged terrorist pilots trained at the Pensacola Naval Air Station in Florida, while Knight Ridder stated that suspects Mohamed Atta, Abdulaziz Alomari, and Saeed Alghamdi had attended various other prestigious military exchange officer's training programs.  These reports were never categorically denied by US government sources.

Certain unnamed flight instructors told Washington Post reporters that the alleged hijackers had very poor flying skills.  This is self-serving testimony, considering other stories that the "suicide pilots" also had a peculiar lack of interest in landings. 

Why weren't these suspicious characters reported to the proper authorities?  According to their flight instructors,  the "terrorists" were such terrible pilots, they probably couldn't hit the side of a mountain, much less a New York skyscraper.   That's why they weren't more concerned.

But with the understanding that these flight instructors could well have been funded through CIA channels, in order to pay for the training of these pilots, it becomes clear that the "terrorists" may have had very solid flying skills indeed.

UPDATE 9/28/2002:

I have become aware of additional, well-sourced accounts detailing the poor flying skills of some of the "terrorists", especially Hani Hanjour who allegedly piloted the flight which struck the Pentagon.  Also, even in the reports from Hopsicker, there is no information indicating specifically that the terrorists had aerobatic training in jet aircraft.