From what we now know, the missing airliner with 239 passengers and crew on board could easily become the Crime of the Century.
Obviously, some conspirators hijacked the plane.
We know, for example, that the plane did not go down at the time the co-pilot signed off. We now know that the plane continued to fly for hours after the transponder was turned off. We now know that the plane made a dramatic turn in direction, and then made dangerous and difficult evasive maneuvers, such as rapidly changing altitudes and in some instances flying dangerously low, an obvious effort to evade detection.
This is all part and parcel of a grand conspiracy. All of the evidence points to multiple participants, and a sustained effort by highly trained hijackers. There is no way a lone wolf, disillusioned Rambo-style pilot or copilot could have done these things alone.
Plus, why go through all of this just to plunge the plane into the deepest part of the Indian Ocean where nobody would ever find it? If you are trying to send a suicide message or are performing an act of terror, what good is keeping it a secret?
No, the only logical answer is that some group has simply stolen an advanced aircraft that will eventually be used as a weapon of mass destruction. In the shadow of 911, what makes more sense than if you can’t hijack an airliner in the US or western Europe, and fly it into a high profile target, why not simply commandeer one from a much less scrutinized far-eastern airlines and, after proving that you have the ability to fly it undetected for long periods of time, threaten to deliver a weapon of mass destruction by air?
This kind of implied threat trumps the now common bomb-laden automobile. It opens up a vast number of sensitive and very scary targets, and if nothing else creates a massive opportunity to use it for extortion. This is, in simple terms, a hell of an idea if you are a terrorist. And it is an idea that didn’t happen overnight. It is a challenge that must have taken an enormous amount of effort to pull off.
But so did 911. The people involved in that crime haven’t all been killed or gone to prison. They are still recruiting and training and planning and plotting. Many of the low level operatives are now dead, after blowing themselves up or being hit by drone strikes. But much of the brains of the outfit still circulate amongst the Islamic Jihad’s underworld. They are busy working on their next project to shock the world.
This is just the first step in that direction. It is, if nothing else, a demo of the future of Jihad. And it is looking more and more every minute, like the Crime of the Century.