Sunday, May 08, 2011

Osama bin Laden Unarmed?

Boeing 767
(Image from Wikipedia)

The news that Osama bin Laden was unarmed has given pause to some who otherwise would have supported the targeted kill of this terrorist mastermind.

But consider this. Generally speaking, a Boeing 767 like the first one to strike the World Trade Center is a mid-sized, wide-body, twin-engine airliner that can carry upwards of 350 passengers, it has an overall length of around 160 feet and a wingspan of about 155 feet, and it contains a fuselage with a width, height, and length of approximately 17 feet, 18 feet, and 150 feet, respectively, that will hold up to 25,000 gallons of highly combustible jet fuel.

Thus although true that Mr. Bin Laden looked to be unarmed, even his 'mansion' -- capacious though it may be -- is no aviation hangar and would not readily have housed a Boeing 767, so even though he might have appeared to be entirely unarmed during the recent raid on his home, Mr. Bin Laden may likewise have seemed unarmed on September 11, 2001, probably also having no airliner ready to hand even in his far more capacious Al Qaeda headquarters in Afghanistan.

Nevertheless, he was heavily armed with a passenger airliner that day -- in fact, with four of them -- and such a resourceful individual should be considered armed and dangerous despite appearances.

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