Talk:Bojinka plot

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Former featured article candidate Bojinka plot is a former featured article candidate. Please view the links under Article milestones below to see why the nomination failed. For older candidates, please check the archive.
March 1, 2004 Featured article candidate Not promoted


This is weird. I need some help to piece together the definite project that Yousef planned. Some of my sources may be conflicting. WhisperToMe 08:35, 14 Nov 2003 (UTC)

"The money was handed down to the plotters originated from Al-Qaeda, the international Islamic jihadi organization then based in Sudan". Sources needed! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:12, 10 November 2010 (UTC)

word origin[edit]

Bojinka is not a Croatian word or at least I've never heard it and it doesn't sound similar to other Croatian words I know.

It could be Serbo-Croatian, but then Croation is a division of it.
shallot said err, I never heard that word in this language. sounds vaguely Slavic ('boj' is 'fight'), but that's about it...
WhisperToMe said An LA times article says Serbo Croatian
I'm a native speaker and I'm telling you with certainty that it is not a word from this language, I can't find a single dictionary that mentions it. Don't believe everything you read in the newspapers :) Again, I can see how it could be a word of Slavic origin but saying the above is simply not correct. --Shallot 12:33, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)
BTW, especially with the Bo-GIN-ka pronunciation. That way even the link via the word boj is lost, as that is pronounced "boy" and never warped that way natively. --Shallot 12:39, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC) - Keep in mind that Serbo-Croat is the langauge family and that Croatian is one member of the family. See: Differences_in_official_languages_in_Serbia,_Croatia_and_BosniaWhisperToMe 00:14, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)
See my answer in User talk:Shallot. Note also that I wrote portions of that and related pages. :) --Shallot 01:46, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)

As shallot says, "Bojinka" means nothing in Serbo-Croatian. I'm also a native speaker and never heard the word. If that's not enough, the appropriate google search produces only one page (which is about how the word is, despite claims, not serbocroatian). Searches for possible alternate spellings produce the same page for bodžinka and no pages for bodzinka. Not that I had to check, but there it is. Zocky 04:58, 19 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Bojinka is not a Croatian word, the plan originated in Indonesia, it's an Indonesian word. Kermitbuns 16:43, 15 March 2007 (UTC)
Several media outlets, including Time Asia,[1] claim that the word Bojinka means "loud bang" or "explosion" in Serbo-Croatian. In Croatian, "bočnica"[2] translates into English as "boom".

Which one of you degenerates wants it to come off as "serbs have no language" Serbo-Croatian is not a language, there is only serbian and no frakking Croatian. im changing this (morons) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:17, 16 December 2007 (UTC)


I'm wondering how much of this is real. Apologies for being cynical. Secretlondon 19:49, Dec 6, 2003 (UTC)

Yep, terrorism plots are quite complex. In addition, there are thousands of google hits on the 1995 plot. WhisperToMe 00:14, 7 Dec 2003 (UTC)
It was a huge story in the Philippines at that time, but it didn't make it to the West. Obviously, it didn't spread after 9/11 because it makes 9/11 look like a huge screwup of Western intelligence services - Galilite 15:37, 15 June 2006 (UTC).
I've heard this comming from numerous sources. In my oppinion, going on my own reading and research, it seems pretty credible, and parts of it can be corroborated between various sources. The US authorities failed to look deep enough into it, I guess that stems from the "regional problem" mindset in pre-9/11 counter-terror circles. Eh, but what do I know... I'm just a student.--DasGooch 22:44, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
And a bad speller. But: The FBI got their man and the Bojinka attacks were averted. An intelligence network was set up under Clinton. It was dismantled under Bush, because his administration had different ideas about the main threats to American security. (talk) 21:29, 12 February 2012 (UTC)

list of targeted flights[edit]

Anyways, I would like to find a complete list of flights that Yousef targeted so I can put it in the article. WhisperToMe 09:16, 15 Nov 2003 (UTC)

operation vs. project[edit]

Since there are more google hits for "Operation Bojinka" than "Project Bojinka", so i plan on moving the page. WhisperToMe 22:02, 6 Dec 2003 (UTC)

Arab Afghans[edit]

There is a mention of "Arab Afghans". What does that mean? Arabs migrated to Afghanistan? Afghan Muslims? Arabs and Afghans?

Arab Afghans refer usually refer men who came over from their native countries to Afghanistan in the 1980's to fight the Soviets. The term can also refer to men who came in the late 1990's to participate in Al-Qaida and/or support the Taliban government.
By the way, please identify yourself placing four tildes at the end of your text. (~) WhisperToMe 08:52, 11 Jan 2004 (UTC)

notes on light copy editing[edit]

Notes on some of my light copy editing of today.

On December 1 marked another bomb test, which Shah proctored, at the Greenbelt Theatre in Manila. The test was to check how much damage a bomb left under an airline seat could do.

I removed this. I don't know what "proctored" really means here, and what happened and what were the results? Was this an act of terror or a test explosion that for some reason happened in an abandoned theater?

A report from the Philippines to the United States on January 20, 1995 stated, "What the subject has in his mind is that he will board any American commercial aircraft pretending to be an ordinary passenger. Then he will hijack [the] said aircraft, control its cockpit and dive it at the CIA headquarters."

From the government of the Phillippines to the government of the US?

Incidentally, I also wonder how much of this is real. There is a lot of stuff peering into the thoughts of terrorists, and the lack of attribution throughout the article is troubling. The look of it is that it was mostly cribbed from a single source. Tempshill 18:10, 12 Jan 2004 (UTC)

It was a test explosion. I now clarified this.

The statement above came from a CNN article. And yes, the government of the Philippines sent information about these people from the government of the U.S.

By the way, how would "Bojinka" be spelled in Arabic?

WhisperToMe 04:15, 17 Jan 2004 (UTC)


I adjusted some of the bibliography to conform to my understanding of wikipedia:cite your sources; specifically, that when you are citing a news source, even if it is an internet news source, like, you should list the name of the source. If we have an article on that source, link to it. The point of this is so that people can quickly check the footnote and see what source you got the information from. Presumably, it doesn't matter when you retrieved it, because CNN won't be changing an article with a byline and a date. If it's an internet site that is not a news source, than you should use the alternate citation format, because documents can change over time. DanKeshet

Going another step, it would be good if we could split those up into external links and a bibliography of cited sources. DanKeshet

Frankly, when the first item in the bibliography links to thepropagandamatrix, I get a little squeegly given the other material at that site.

typo in conversions[edit]

I found a typo on the main page and don't know how to fix it:

"He had made an 80,000 Philippine peso (1,444 United States dollars) ) deposit, and had added 40,000 pesos ($72,222 US) up front before taking the elevator to Room 603".

One of the conversions to US dollars must be wrong. --Mihai 20:47, 29 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Fixed - Next time, for modern values, use a currency converter like this one: WhisperToMe 00:49, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)
But i'd like to know the 1995 exchange rate of peso to dollar... WhisperToMe 04:40, 30 Jan 2004 (UTC)

Terrorism content moved from Nitroglycerin[edit]

I have moved the Terrorism section from the Nitroglycerin article to here because it does not belong there, and it looks similar to the text already in this article.


The Manila-based terrorist plot known as Project Bojinka called for the bombing of 11 airliners over the Pacific Ocean on January 21 and 22, 1995. Al Qaida agents were planned to plant liquid bombs, called "Mark II" "microbombs" on the aircraft. The device was inside Casio digital watches that contain nitroglycerin for the explosive and stabilizing that looked like cotton balls. Two 9 Volt batteries taken from children's toys were used to power light bulb filaments and to detonate the nitroglycerin. Trace amounts of sulphuric acid, nitrobenzene, silver azide, liquid acetone, and nitrate were present. The wiring was attached to the arm of the watch using a tiny space below the calculator. The alteration was so small that one could still wear the bomb as a watch.

This bomb was tested several times, first by al-Qaida member Ramzi Yousef inside of a mall in Cebu City, then by cohort Wali Khan Amin Shah inside the Greenbelt Theatre in Manila on December 1, 1994.

The bomb also was tested on Philippine Airlines Flight 434 on December 11, 1994. He boarded the plane under an assumed name while hiding the batteries in the soles of his shoes. He assembled the bomb in the lavatory on the flight's Ninoy Aquino International Airport to Cebu leg. He stuck it under his seat and left the plane in Mactan-Cebu International Airport. The bomb exploded on the Cebu to New Tokyo International Airport (Now Narita International Airport) (Narita, Japan), leg, killing a Japanese businessman and injuring 10 others. The plane made an emergency landing at Naha, Okinawa.

Project Bojinka was foiled on the night of January 6 and the morning of January 7, 1995, when Manila police found the plans and the bomb factory in Yousef's Manila apartment after a chemical fire occurred there.

-Wikibob | Talk 13:41, 2004 Apr 25 (UTC)

Phase III[edit]

I don't understand this sentence:

He decided to take Phase III and make it into a new terrorist attack.

Phase III is not mentioned in the article before this. Was it part of the Bojinka plots, or a "sequel"? - Kevin Saff 20:12, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

It can also refer to a part of "Phase II". WhisperToMe 22:30, 19 May 2004 (UTC)

If you look at the methodologies of "Al Qaeda," there is an underlying current of grandiose style attacks. It seems bojinka was kicked around between the players involved at the time, Hambali, Yousef and KSM, and with the detection of this plot and the ensuing action against it, KSM seems to have brought this to the attention of what we now know as Al Qaeda. Further tweaking of the plan seems to yield the 9/11 attacks and, as of late, the Aug. 10, 2006 trasnatlantic Airline bomb plot. (I'd give the link to the WIKI page, but the title keeps changing.) Same style of liquid explosives, same mid-flight explosions of a large number of airliners, only over the atlantic rather than the pacific. --DasGooch 22:52, 10 August 2006 (UTC)

Recipe for a bomb[edit]

I deleted the language that would inform someone how to make a bomb. I can't believe someone would just print that information in this day and age. They even had the appropriate measurements of the ingredients.

They didn't have ALL of the steps... RV - XD WhisperToMe 23:32, 8 Nov 2004 (UTC)

I don't doubt that as I can't see how anyone could be that irresponsible, but the article did contain specific enough information that someone may be tempted to see how far they can get. I deleted it once it became clear that the article was just as informative without that information. I didn't mean to step on anyone's toes, but in this time of the Patriot Act and terrorism, we should all really be more careful.Ramsquire 21:02, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Those instructions were in a Washington post article published post-911. WhisperToMe 21:55, 9 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Oh OK. I just hope you saw my point. I'd hate to lose this site because it put on some U.S. government watchlist. I like coming here as a quick reference.

While it does sound like the information should have gone, primarily because there was no real purpose for it in this article, if the US government is really stupid enough to place wikipedia on some watchlist that's their fault. Also, the information is easily found on the internet and really I couldn't give a damn about the patriot act (and nor should wikipedia when it comes to our policies). Also, terrorism has existed long before September 11th and September 11th didn't use bombs. Nil Einne 18:46, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

which sense of fuse?[edit]

it says they found fuses im guessing it means Fuse (explosives) but i would like to check before changing Plugwash 02:18, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Oplan, not Operation[edit]

The name of the plot is actually "Oplan Bojinka", which turns up nothing in Wikipedia. I think this article should be renamed. "Operation Bojinka" is used a lot in the media but I think it's just an obvious confusion with Oplan. We can have a redirect on the Operation Bojinka page.

Also, I think the "bojinka" word came from slang used in Bosnia during the fighting -- not a real word that would appear in a Bosnian dictionary. At least, I think this is what all the press accounts are based on; I am not sure exactly where the claim is first made and I have no clue whether or not the word is used there in such a way.--csloat 18:41, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Hmm... I haven't seen "Oplan" at all - I've seen much more of "Operation" or "Project". Also, "Oplan" gets 382 hits while "Operation" gets much more hits. WhisperToMe 22:14, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)

So what? The word "operation" obviously can also be used generically to describe any operation, therefore it will get many more hits. "Oplan" how it is described in intelligence documents, it is how it is described in every scholarly analysis of al Qaeda I've seen that specifically addresses it (e.g. Gunaratna), it is used by journalist Yosri Fouda who actually interviewed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and according to accounts that specifically discuss it, "Oplan Bojinka" is the phrase written by KSM in the files found in the Philippines. I don't think this is controversial at all. I also think it is consistent with Wikipedia policy to have "Oplan" as the dominant way of referring to it while having a redirect page named "Operation Bojinka", even if there are more hits in google. The reason operation is so much more common is because it is a reasonable word to use to describe the plot, and "oplan" makes about as much sense to westerners as "bojinka." A while ago I read something that actually explained what the hell "Oplan" meant but I can't find it right now. But I definitely think this should be the dominant name for this page. In general, the wikipedia practice of deciding page names based on google hits works reasonably well, but there are many cases (like this one) where the google results are misleading at best. Lexis/Nexis can be more reliable but in this case it doesn't tell us much -- major papers searched for "all available dates" gives me 11 hits for "Oplan Bojinka" and 9 for "Operation Bojinka." In any case I think Oplan is definitely the way to go whether or not it scores more "hits" from media sources. --csloat 23:03, 16 Jun 2005 (UTC)
I'm going to go ahead and make the switch if I can figure out how to do it, since nobody else seems to have an objection. Or should this go to a vote or something? --csloat 18:53, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)

I made the switch[edit]

I will now change this page to a redirect; someone help me out and let me know if I am doing this right. I'm going to change this page to a redirect but I don't know how to get the comments switched over to the right page. (csloat)

This was a cut&paste moved. I've fixed it so it's correctly moved now. – Quadell (talk) (sleuth) 14:49, Jun 24, 2005 (UTC)


I'm not sure all the dates and times are on here, but if someone would make a timeline of the events in this case I think it would clarify and explain some of the events. I don't have time to do it myself, unfortunately. Anyway, it's just an idea. --jacobolus, 00:42, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

This is a nit, but in the following statement:

  "The density of the explosive cocktail would be about 1.3."

is this density, which would require units, e.g., g/cc, or is it specific gravity, which is dimensionless. And no, I don't plan on building a bomb. :)

Thanks! Jefflyon 04:37, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

This sentance makes no sense at all. Density applies to gases, liquids and solids. The number 1.3 by itself does not help.

What does this mean?[edit]

From the first sentence of the article:

  pronounced Bo-JIN-ka, except in Egyptian where it is Bo-GIN-ka

Would that be "bo-YIN-ka" & "bo-JIN-ka" or huh? -- 08:30, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

I have never heard of the ج being pronounces as the ي .... The original is correct.Presidentbalut (talk) 01:34, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Lists, steps[edit]

Is it entirely sensible to have detailed listings of bomb components/"ingredients", and the steps by which they're made? -Ryan

In the history of terrorism, this was a pretty important bomb. There was a photo of it in a recent Playboy. I don't recall the details but this was considered a milestone in terrorist bomb-making. Read Peter Lance's book for more info on what was different about it. In either case, I doubt anyone could make a bomb based on the information here, and the info about this bomb was made public by the FBI and is available from various sources for those who are inclined to do that sort of thing ... one could find better information at a public library if they wanted to. The last sentence of that section could be removed though (or at least, the units should be indicated). --csloat 12:05, 6 January 2006 (UTC)

Database watch?[edit]

Is that a mistranslation for digital? Midgley 19:13, 14 April 2006 (UTC)

Doesn't sound like it would be. Why?Presidentbalut (talk) 01:36, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

What is "oplan", please?[edit]

Hopiakuta 14:00, 11 August 2006 (UTC)

I would guess that it's an abbreviation for something like "operational plan". --GagHalfrunt 17:21, 15 August 2006 (UTC)

Why doesn't anyone mention the CIA connections? These terror plans aren't hatched in a vacuum! Secret-services often participate in crimes and instigate terror in order to fulfill a strategic aim. It is naive and misleading to leave out this aspect. Unbecoming of wikipedia. 21:35, 12 February 2007 (UTC)

  • CIA connections - That needs a source. If you don't have a source, then you can't say there are any connections. WhisperToMe (talk) 20:41, 24 October 2008 (UTC)

Manila air investigation[edit]

since the plot is also known as "Manila air investigation", a page called "Manila air investigation" should redirect to this article. --Pinnecco 08:59, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


Please see the comments above regarding Oplan. It is specifically referred to that way by KSM and by every terrorism scholar who writes about it. This was removed by User:Kermitbuns with the note "Oplan was a misunderstanding by the author, thats a military acronym for Operations Plan." I don't think that's true; if it was a misunderstanding, it was one shared by many authors including the author of the plot itself. Oplan should be restored. csloat 04:13, 28 March 2007 (UTC)

I've gone ahead and fixed most of the references where it made sense to do so. The name of the page should be restored to "Oplan Bojinka," but I don't have a huge problem with the current title at the moment. csloat 20:16, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Getting Off in a stopover city[edit]

I thought, if you were travelling on a foriegn airline, you couldn't just get off in the city it stops in.

For example if I'm flying from Tokyo-Osaka-Vancouver on Air Canada, I can't do Tokyo-Osaka. Or did they book for the final city? WestJet 19:38, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

Not sure what the routes under discussion where, but Thai flies (or at least used to) to LAX via Japan. You can fly the Bangkok-Tokyo or Bangkok-Osaka leg only and wouldn't of course need a US visa. The aircraft carries on to LAX after a short stop and change of crew. KayEss | talk 09:02, 24 June 2007 (UTC)


I'd love to see a reliable and verifiable reference that supports this edit as "fact." Bear in mind that Wikipedia's policy on NPOV does not allow opinion (referenced or not) to be asserted as fact. VC 00:34, 10 January 2008 (UTC)


Is this a US term for police station? If so, could the article be changed to use words that make sense elsewhere, please. Quartic (talk) 14:23, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

It is an English word. cf: Precinct
Are there words used in the article that are not English or contextually relevant?Presidentbalut (talk) 01:42, 20 March 2014 (UTC)

Bad sentence[edit]

The end of this sentence needs a re-write:

"Yousef thought of several ways to kill the president, including placing nuclear bombs on Clinton's motorcade route, firing a Stinger missile at Air Force One or the presidential limousine, launching theater ballistic missiles at Manila and or killing him with phosgene, a chemical weapon, which all of the plots are unlikely to happen to say the least wishful thinking" —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:03, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Listing of involved terrorrists[edit]

i think it would make sense to include in a list of people involved in the plot with short descriptions of their roles (financier, perpetrator) and status (deceased, at-large, in custody) in the article.

maybe someone who wrote large chunks of this article could easily create such a listing? (talk) 23:00, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

"See also" section[edit]

I'm struck by the order of the items in the "See also" section. They aren't listed numerically / alphabetically. Are they listed by some kind of degree of importance to the main article? Failing that, the order seems totally arbitrary, like someone thinks of another article and tacks it onto the end. Can either the listing criteria be mentioned or the list reordered to seem less random? Thank you, Wordreader (talk) 14:06, 12 September 2013 (UTC)

Speculation of attack on President Clinton[edit]

He left Manila for several days, but was met by Islamist emissaries upon his return to Metro Manila. They asked him to attack United States President Bill Clinton, who was due to arrive in the Philippines on November 12, 1994 as part of a five-day tour of Asia. Yousef thought of several ways to kill the president, including placing nuclear bombs on Clinton's motorcade route, firing a Stinger missile at Air Force One or the presidential limousine, launching theater ballistic missiles at Manila and or killing him with phosgene, a chemical weapon. He abandoned the idea, as it would be too difficult to kill the President. However, he incorporated his plan to kill the Pope into the Bojinka plot

This whole section has no source and sounds unreliable.

met by Islamist emissaries - Who? Yousef thought of several ways to kill the president - What is the source for this? The various mechanisms to kill the president seems fantastic. Nuclear bombs? Really? launching theater ballistic missiles - And from where would he obtain these?

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