Possible fifth set of hijackers?

Shortly after September 11 last year, news reports came out about a group of Middle Eastern men on board a plane waiting to depart JFK right around the time of the attacks. The men became very agitated when told their flight (and all others) were canceled, and refused to disembark/insisted the plane had to depart. When the flight crew called police, though, the men fled the airplane and couldn’t be found. Because the flight (United flight 23) was bound for L.A., and given these guys’ behavior, speculation was, last September, that they might have been an intended fifth group of hijackers. The best contemporaneous account I could find still online is in the last few paragraphs of this story:


As with a lot of fishy incidents in the past year, though, I could never find out what was ultimately determined (if anything) about these guys’ intentions, whether the authorities actually even found the passengers, whether there turned out to be any evidence of additional intended hijackings, etc. Anyone have any additional information?

My guess is just that it never happened. Certainly the men would’ve been arrested by now, had it. It reminds me of the 9/11 rumor that the State Department had been car bombed, which eventually disappeared through the course of the afternoon.

An assortment of hits. Apparently it really happened, although it seems to be a favorite of conspiracy theorists. :smiley:

I think this, from the Globe and Mail article (below), pretty much sums up what you’re looking for.

Fox News, basically the same story as CBS.

A Conspiracy Theory website, buried amongst charges that the Jews working in the WTC all had two hours advance warning on 9/11. :rolleyes:


The Globe and Mail article.

Yeah, pretty standard conspiracy theory stuff. “I could tell you–but then I’d have to kill you…”

So. It looks to me like there really was an incident of some sort on United Airlines Flight 23 at 9 a.m. on 9/11, but that it all came to nothing, just some guys who were P.O.ed about their flight being cancelled and had to be thrown off the plane.

Used to happen all the time, nobody really thought anything of it, and up until that Tuesday morning, nobody ever would have.

And I notice that the Fox and CBS stories don’t specify “Muslim” or “Middle Eastern”, just “males”. It’s the Globe and Mail who has it as “Middle Eastern”.