Danny Lewin

Another curious Sep 11 story, I do not either fully believe or fully disbelieve these stories, but I find them interesting nonetheless.

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]

The “Executive Summary,â€? 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.Mâ€?[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 draftâ€? and declines to release the final draft, calling it “protected information.â€? 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 (B)]

Lewin co-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]