From Slate, first part of what looks to be an interesting series:
The 9/11 attacks were heralded as the harbinger of a new era of foreign-based terrorism in the United States. What if they were really a fluke?
Al-Qaida’s successful elimination of the Twin Towers, part of the Pentagon, four jetliners, and nearly 3,000 innocent lives makes the terror group seem, in hindsight, diabolically brilliant. But when you review how close the terrorists came to being exposed by U.S. intelligence, 9/11 doesn’t look like an ingenious plan that succeeded because of shrewd planning. It looks like a stupid plan that succeeded through sheer dumb luck.