View From a Height
Commentary from the Mile High City
Wednesday, May 14, 2003
One other interesting tidbit. 19 hijackers. 19 people in the Saudi cell responsible for the car bombings. 19 is a major numerical theme of Farrakhan's MMM speech.

Turns out that 19 is one of these numbers that Muslim mystics go all ape over. Apparently Chap 74 of the Koran refers to "the 19" or something along those lines. It's also prime. So the Gematriaticians among them spend a lot of time finding connections between 19 and, say, the clock. Of course, anyone who's even heard of Martin Gardner knows you can do this with just about any number, and that prime numbers are inherently interesting without any manipulation.

You think this is crazy? Sure. But we Jews have a long history of playing similar games. You wouldn't believe the gymnastics some guys go through to get from 611 (the numerical equivalent of "Torah") to 613. We repeat three words at the end of the Sh'ma so that the total number of words we say equals the Rabbinical number of bones in the body. (I could mention the early Catholics trying to get 3 = 1, but that would be catty.)

All right. You don't believe this stuff. I don't believe this stuff. But they believe this stuff. That's what matters, just like what matters is that Farrakhan thinks he's Muslim, although Osama would send him on a fast plane to hell, too.

So what? Well, for first things, it means that Moussaoui may not be a 20th hijacker. Oh, there's no question that he was an accessory to mass murder, and that the Commonwealth of Virginia could probably retire its debt with a lottery to get to pull the switch. But trying to build a case on the idea that he should have been on board Flight 93 may be. We assume "4 planes; 5 hijackers on all but one, so someone was missing." But we happen to like symmetry. They didn't need 5 guys on each plane - the revolt on Flight 93 would have succeeded or failed just the same, and the passengers on the other flights weren't thinking rebellion in any case.

Secondly, maybe we should go back and take another look at the cells we have busted, starting with the Buffalo 6. Who knows? Maybe there are another 13 guys out there we ought to be looking for. As I said, I don't take this stuff seriously; but some Islamists evidently do, and we need to take their attitudes very seriously indeed.

  • Answering Islam
  • Numerical 19

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