NEC-SE 4th Year Anniversary Commemoration: Daniel Mark Lewin; emblematic hero of American Airlines Flight 11 and likely first victim of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks

The Near East Center for Strategic Engagement (NEC-SE) was established on September 11, 2014 in honor of the approximately 3000 who were murdered in the attacks which took place against the United States in 2001. Seventeen years later America continues to lose first responders and men and women who helped to recover the remains of our fellow Americans from the rubble of the attacks.  As these acts of terror perpetrated on September 11, 2001 continue to claim the lives of our brethren, it is our mission to ensure we never forget!

Daniel Mark Lewin was one of these three thousand who were murdered on September 11, 2001.  Danny Lewin was an American-Israeli tech multi-millionaire and former captain in Israel’s elite Sayeret Matkal, which is a deep reconnaissance and counter-terrorist unit tasked with highly sensitive missions.

He was a graduate of MIT and Israel’s Technion University, fluent in Arabic, and was a former member of the Israeli Special Operation Forces. Aboard the American Airlines Flight 11, he was in row 9; seat B, seated between Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz al-Omari and directly in front of Satam al Suqami in seat 10B. According to the phone conversations between the AA support staff and two flight attendants aboard the doomed plane, when the terrorists made their move to take over the airplane, Danny Lewin leapt into action, tackling two of the terrorists in the aisle and battling with all three until he was fatally knifed, probably by Sugami. It is believed that another flight attendant, Karen Martin, was also stabbed to death in a heroic attempt to confront and stop the hijackers.

At 5’11”, Danny Lewin was described as big-boned and muscular, with legendary physical resilience to injuries. A native of Colorado, he moved to Israel as a teenager and joined the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF). As a captain in the Sayeret Matkal he was a key participant in numerous high-profile missions.

Danny Lewin was not only a warrior but also an innovator in the field of computer science. After completing his military service his studies in mathematics and computer science led to him developing algorithms (“consistent hashings”) that resulted in the transition from slow and unstable Internet dialup connections to ultra-high speed transmissions using multiple servers to distribute data loads. In time, Danny Lewin co-founded Akamai Technologies, which worked with Apple, Microsoft, Sony and other high tech companies.

Danny Lewin typifies the type of humanity that America and Western civilization must always aspire to emulate but which it also must identify in others, nurture, train, empower and engage with and task in effective alliances. If only Danny Lewin could have counted on a few more decisive and resolute allies near him on September 11th on AA Flight 11, 1600 victims may have been saved in the North Tower of the World Trade Center. Such is the tragic lot of many American friends in the Middle East who are able, courageous, few in number and so often, with little to no Western support.

The life of Daniel Mark Lewin serves as a symbol of the great heroicity of our Israeli allies particularly as America fights an enemy determined to destroy our nation and Western civilization. Our way of life depends on the courage and risk taking of fearless men and women but also demands superlative teamwork and vigorous support with robust resources adequate to meet the challenge. United Flight 93 could count on several brave individuals acting in unison who were able to thwart a suicide mission whose likely target was the White House-the seat of American power.

Our nation – and, indeed, our civilization – needs such people if is to survive the unrelenting onslaught of those determined to destroy it in the 21stCentury and beyond. On this, the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, and the fourth anniversary of the creation of the Near East Center for Strategic Engagement (NEC-SE), we want to remind people of the heroism of Danny Lewin and Karen Martin, and also of the brave passengers on United Flight 93 who sacrificed their lives to prevent the hijackers of that airplane from flying it into the White House (believed to be one of the hijackers’ targets). It is our fervent hope that their courage and deeds will inspire our collective leadership to develop resolute and effective cooperation between people’s likeminded aims. The loss of great men like Danny Lewin can not be disgraced by indifference and passivity to the evil forces they battled, literally to the death, and which continue to threaten us today.

The Near East Center for Strategic Engagement based this article on an article about the heroism of the Flight 11 passengers by The Daily Mail’s  Suzannah Hills, on a column about Danny Lewin’s courage by Paul Sperry of World Net Daily and a piece written by CBS Staff about Flight 11.

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Categories: Security