Friday, September 09, 2011


The phrase "banality of evil" has itself become banal and does not quite describe Mohammed Atta as an NPR story labels him. Banal means "so lacking in originality as to be obvious and boring." That was not Atta, the murderer-terrorist-Muslim-hijacker-pilot of American Airlines Flight 11 who crashed the plane into the North Tower of the World Trade Center on Sept 11, 2001.

Terry McDermott, author of Perfect Soldiers, a biography of the 9/11 killers, wrote:

"... Atta hated to eat. He found it boring. He used to boil a bag of potatoes, mash them up, and leave a mound on a plate in the refrigerator. When he was hungry, he would simply grab a spoon and take a chunk out of his potato mountain."

That is not lacking in originality. Nor is it obvious. The choice of potatoes may be boring, but not the fact of the choice. What it is, is just plain odd, strange, and weird.

McDermott further writes:
"He was a strange fellow, by almost any measure. ...He wasn't pleasant in almost any setting. It's almost surprising he had any friends at all."

"Atta was, above all, dutiful. He was a fellow who would do what he was told," McDermott says. "He was a capable guy, and he was bright, but he just had no initiative of his own."

Above all, Mohammed Atta was Muslim.

The life of Indigo Red is full of adventure. Tune in next time for the Further Adventures of Indigo Red.

1 comment:

Always On Watch said...

Above all, Mohammed Atta was Muslim.

And he acted in the name of Allah.

Imagine his surprise when he discovered that he didn't get 72 virgins after all!