The Astrological Link Between Two Foiled Terrorist Attacks
An attempted plane bombing near Detroit on Friday, Christmas Day 2009, was put down by flight passengers before anything could go wrong. The incident occurred just a few days shy of the eighth anniversary of a similar incident in Boston, when would-be shoe bomber Richard Reid’s attempt to ignite his explosive-laden footwear was thwarted by passengers.
The eight-year cycle marks one full Venus synodic cycle. Every eight years, transiting Venus returns to within about two zodiacal degrees of its position relative to the Sun, creating a repeating cycle that links these periods together, connected thematically through related events in the world.
Richard Reid and the Shoe Bombing
On December 22, 2001, on the heels of the 9-11 attacks and the allied invasion of Afghanistan, twenty-eight year-old British citizen Richard Reid, who had converted to Islam while serving time in prison and subsequently received Al Qaeda training in Pakistan, tried to set fire to explosives stored in his shoes during a cross-Atlantic American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami.
The smell of smoke alerted people nearby, and Reid was soon restrained and sedated with a dose of valium. Once taken into custody after a forced landing at Boston’s Logan Airport, authorities found PETN with a traicetone triperoxide (TATP) detonator stored in the lining of his shoes. Hereafter, flight passengers in the U.S. and elsewhere were required to remove their shoes for inspection before boarding.
At the time transiting Venus was at 25 Sagittarius was conjunct the transiting South Node, and approaching conjunction with the transiting Sun in Capricorn. The combination of Venus and the Node identifies Reid as an agent of a larger group bent on disrupting the peace.
Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab and the Fire – Venus Synodic Return
Just before noon on December 25, 2009, towards the end of a cross-Atlantic flight from the Netherlands to Detroit, twenty-three year-old Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab – the son of a wealthy retired Nigerian banker, who six weeks earlier had warned international authorities about his son’s possible intentions – ignited an explosive device that caught fire, but didn’t blow up.
He was quickly subdued by a nearby passenger, the flames were extinguished, and Abdul Mutallab was arrested after landing.
Transiting Venus had just passed its return in late Sagitttarius, and was again approaching conjunction to the Sun in Capricorn. This time, however, transiting Pluto in Capricorn was sandwiched between Venus and the Sun, reflecting the fact that Abdul Mutallab’s actions fly in the face of his privileged background.
Birth Charts of Two Would-be Terrorists
There is another curious astrological link between these two events, and it has to do with the birth dates of both Richard Reid and Umar Farouk Abdul Mutallab. Although neither has a recorded time of birth, preventing the calculation of a proper horoscope, both of their dates and places of birth are known to the public.
Reid was born on August 12, 1973 in Bromley, London, England.
On the day he attempted to blow up American Airlines 63, the transiting Sun in Capricorn was opposite his natal Saturn and South Node in Cancer, and square his natal Pluto in Libra.
The Sun’s transit touching off Reid’s natal Saturn-Pluto square on this day indicates his ill-fated attempt to murder a large number of people while ending his own life, and also reflects his part in instigating major new policy in airport security.
On the day he set fire to Northwest Flight 253 as it descended toward Detroit Metropolitan Airport, transiting Venus in Sagittarius and Pluto and the Sun in Capricorn were all conjunct his natal Sun-Neptune in Capricorn, squared by transiting Saturn in Libra, reanimating the Sun-Saturn-Pluto square theme seen in the 2001 event.
Again, the Saturn and Pluto square touching off his natal Sun in Capricorn signifies his desperate attempt to make a big statement by murdering almost 300 people while taking his own life, and again it appears his actions are leading directly to more changes in airport security.
The Mars Return Link
Abdul Mutallab was born exactly fifteen years prior to Richard Reid’s 2001 shoe bombing attempt. Fifteen years happens to be the length of a Mars synodic cycle, whereby it has run through all of its phases and has returned close to the same position relative to the Sun.
Abdul Mutallab’s natal Mars at 18 degrees of Pisces is very close to where transiting Mars was on the day of Reid’s day of reckoning at 10 Pisces. While it is unknown if Reid was a direct inspiration to him, the similarities between their intentions and circumstances are eerily mirrored by the parallels in their astrology.
In October, Abdul Mutallab’s father, retired banker Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, notified the US Embassy in Nigeria that his son was missing and might be involved in Islamic extremism. Despite this warning, and the fact that Abdul Mutallab was already banned from flying in Britain, he was able to board a U.S.-bound plane with explosives strapped to him.
Umaru Mutallab was born on December 15, 1939, a week shy of 47 years before his son.
A forty-seven year interval is also one in which the Sun and Mars are at close to the same angle from each other. Both father and son were born with natal Mars-Jupiter conjunction in Pisces, although Abdul Mutallab’s Jupiter-Mars conjunction is tightly conjunct his father’s natal Mars at 16 Pisces, signifying their philosophical and ethical break.
Thanks to Patrick Watson for research assistance on this article.