Daniel Lewin, a 31 year old Israeli-American, was murdered aboard American Airlines Flight 11 on the morning of September 11th, 2001, while attempting to subdue the hijackers. Lewin was a former Captain in the Israeli army's elite commando unit, Sayeret Mat'kal, a top-secret reconnaissance unit that specializes in counter-terrorism missions.
He was also the co-founder and the chief technology officer (CTO) of Akamai Technologies Inc. Daniel was a strong, thick-boned and muscular man who could bench-press more than 300lbs. and squat close to 500lbs. He stood 5'11" tall and weighed in at 200+ lbs. Because of his advanced military and counter-terrorism training, Lewin knew how to kill - quickly and efficiently - with whatever was available - a pen, a set of keys, a credit card, or even his bare hands. He would have had to been caught off-guard, or completely taken by surprise during a struggle, for the terrorists - or anyone else - to sucessfully succeed in murdering this elite soldier.
Daniel Lewin is said to have been "The Best Of The Best." Excerpt from "Year to the Twin Towers Disaster" Yediot Ahronot, Seven Days Magazine Section 6 September 2002. Translation by IMRA: "Danny Lewin was the first victim of the biggest attack in history that morning, in which almost 3,000 people died." An internal memorandum of the Federal Aviation Administration sets that in the course of a struggle that took place between Lewin, a graduate of Israel's elite commando unit, Sayeret Mat'kal, and the four hijackers who were assaulting the cockpit, Lewin was murdered by Satam Al Suqami, a 25 year old Saudi.
Some time after the attack the Lewin family in Jerusalem received a telephone call from the FBI offices in New York. On the line was the agent responsible for the investigation of the attack on Flight 11. He told Peggy and Charles Lewin that there is a high degree of certainty that their son Danny tried to prevent the hijacking. The FBI relied, among other things, on the testimony of the stewardess Amy Sweeney. Sweeney called Michael Woodward, the flight services supervisor in Boston, from the rear of the plane: "...a hijacker slit the throat of a passenger in business class and the passenger appears to me to be dead."
To this day the American investigators are not convinced that Danny Lewin was murdered on the spot. An additional stewardess, Betty Ong, who succeeded in calling from a telephone by one of the passenger seats, said that the passenger who was attacked from business class seat 10B was seriously wounded. The Lewin family, Danny's parents and brothers, have no doubt that Danny battled the hijackers. And it is for them a tremendous consolation. "I wasn't surprised to hear from the FBI that Danny fought. I was sure that this is what he would do." Yonatan, his younger brother, said: "Danny didn't sit quietly. From what we heard from the Americans, the hijackers attacked one of the stewardesses and Danny rose to protect her and prevent them from entering the cockpit." "It is a consolation to us that Danny fought. We see it as an act of heroism that a person sacrifices his life in order to save others. An act of heroism that everyone should do at such an instance and particularly suitable for Danny."
That battle in the business section ended quickly. Lewin was overcome and bled to death on the floor. Two additional flight attendants were knifed and the captain was murdered. The hijackers were already inside the cockpit. They announced to the passengers to remain quiet in their seats. Shortly thereafter, American Airlines Flight 11 reportedly crashed into the World Trade Center tower. - YouTube
No Better Time: The Brief, Remarkable Life of Danny Lewin, the Genius Who Transformed the Internet ; Audible Audiobook – Unabridged. Molly Knight Raskin (Author), Christine Marshall (Narrator), & 1 more
No Better Time tells of a young, driven mathematical genius who wrote a set of algorithms that would create a faster, better Internet. It's the story of a beautiful friendship between a loud, irreverent student and his soft-spoken MIT professor, of a husband and father who spent years struggling to make ends meet only to become a billionaire almost overnight with the success of Akamai Technologies, the Internet content delivery network he cofounded with his mentor.
Danny Lewin's brilliant but brief life is largely unknown because, until now, those closest to him have guarded their memories and quietly mourned their loss. For Lewin was almost certainly the first victim of 9/11, stabbed to death at age 31 while trying to overpower the terrorists who would eventually fly American Flight 11 into the World Trade Center. But ironically it was 9/11 that proved the ultimate test for Lewin's vision - while phone communication failed and web traffic surged as never before, the critical news and government sites that relied on Akamai - and the technology pioneered by Danny Lewin - remained up and running.- Amazon