1,060. 11/15/1997

TWA Flight 800 exploded off the coast of Long Island, New York, on July 17, 1996. Though evidence seemed to point to terrorism, “In a letter sent to victims’ families on November 15 [1997], the Bureau [FBI] went so far as to state that it had ‘found absolutely no evidence’ that the plane was downed by a criminal act. Despite the fact that in the millions of flight hours the 747 had been in service, no center fuel tank had ever exploded in mid-air; despite the fact that the only comparable event took place on a 737, which caught fire on the tarmac in a Philippines airport after evidence of a short in a defective float valve; despite the fact that there wasn’t a scintilla of proof that a frayed wire or a voltage overload had caused a short onboard Flight 800, the NTSB [National Transportation and Safety Board] prevailed. The official cause of the crash that killed 230 people was determined to be ‘mechanical failure.’ Only a handful of people inside the FBI and the Justice Department knew the truth: that a mob informant [Gregory Scarpa Jr.] had uncovered extraordinary evidence that [an] al Qaeda cell was responsible for the crash. That Greg Scarpa Jr., a man with a limited education, had furnished the FBI with detailed bomb formulas identical to the device that [WTC bomber Ramzi] Yousef had exploded on an identical 747-100; that Yousef himself had boasted that he would ‘explode a bomb’ aboard a U.S. airliner to get a mistrial; and that he had even offered to connect the Feds with his cohorts overseas–who, history would soon show, were already plotting the 9/11 attacks.”

 – Peter Lance, Cover Up, Pages 71-72

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