The Center for Cooperative Research
U:     P:    
Not registered yet? Register here
 
Search
 
Advanced Search


Main Menu
Home 
History Engine Sub-Menu
Timelines 
Entities 
Forum 
Miscellaneous Sub-Menu
Donate 
Links 
End of Main Menu

Volunteers Needed!
Submit a timeline entry
Donate: If you think this site is important, please help us out financially. We need your help!
Email updates
 


Click here to join: Suggest changes to existing data, add new data to the website, or compile your own timeline. More Info >>

 

Profile: John O'Neill

 
  

Positions that John O'Neill has held:



 

Quotes

 
  

No quotes or excerpts for this entity.


 

Relations

 
  

No related entities for this entity.


 

John O'Neill actively participated in the following events:

 
  

May 22, 1997: FBI: Terrorists Are Operating in US With Capability to Attack      Complete 911 Timeline

       The Associated Press reports that senior FBI officials have determined that militant Islamic groups are operating in America. FBI agent John O'Neill is quoted as saying, “Almost every one of these groups has a presence in the United States today. A lot of these groups now have the capacity and the support infrastructure in the United States to attack us here if they choose to.” [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02 (C)]
People and organizations involved: John O'Neill, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

Late 1998: Taliban Stall Pipeline Negotiations to Keep Western Powers at Bay      Complete 911 Timeline

       During the investigation of the August 7, 1998 US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998), FBI counterterrorism expert John O'Neill finds a memo by al-Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef on a computer. The memo shows that bin Laden's group has a keen interest in and detailed knowledge of negotiations between the Taliban and the US over an oil and gas pipeline through Afghanistan. Atef's analysis suggests that the Taliban are not sincere in wanting a pipeline, but are dragging out negotiations to keep Western powers at bay. [Salon, 6/5/02]
People and organizations involved: John O'Neill, Mohammed Atef, United States, al-Qaeda, Taliban
          

October 14-November, 2000: Investigation Into USS Cole Bombing Is Thwarted      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Barbara Bodine at a press conference days after the bombing of the USS Cole.
FBI agent John O'Neill and his team of 200 FBI investigators enter Yemen two days after the bombing of the USS Cole in an attempt to discover who was responsible. However, they are unable to accomplish much due to restrictions placed on them and due to tensions between O'Neill and US Ambassador to Yemen Barbara Bodine. All but about 50 investigators are forced to leave by the end of October. Even though O'Neill's boss visits and finds that Bodine is O'Neill's “only detractor,” O'Neill and much of his team are forced to leave in November, and the investigation stalls without his personal relationships to top Yemeni officials. [New Yorker, 1/14/02; Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp 237; Sunday Times, 2/3/02] Increased security threats force the reduced FBI team still in Yemen to withdraw altogether in June 2001. [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02 (B)] The Prime Minister of Yemen at the time later claims that hijacker “Khalid Almihdhar was one of the Cole perpetrators, involved in preparations. He was in Yemen at the time and stayed after the Cole bombing for a while, then he left.” [Guardian, 10/15/01] The Sunday Times later notes, “The failure in Yemen may have blocked off lines of investigation that could have led directly to the terrorists preparing for September 11.” [Sunday Times, 2/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Khalid Almihdhar, John O'Neill, USS Cole, Barbara Bodine, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

Early December 2000: USS Cole Plotter al-Quso Linked to Hijackers by CIA; Information Withheld from FBI      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Fahad al-Quso.
Fahad al-Quso is arrested by the government of Yemen. [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02; PBS Frontline, 10/3/02] In addition to being involved in the USS Cole bombing (see October 12, 2000), al-Quso was at the January 2000 Malaysian meeting (see January 5-8, 2000) with al-Qaeda agents Khallad bin Attash and hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar. Al-Quso tells Yemeni investigators that he flew from Yemen to Bangkok in January 2000 for a secret meeting where he turned over $36,000 in cash to bin Attash. The FBI asks the CIA for more information about bin Attash and the Malaysian meeting, but later the FBI claims that the CIA does not provide the requested information that could have led them to Alhazmi and Almihdhar as well. [New York Times, 4/11/04 (B)] For instance, there are pictures from the Malaysian meeting of al-Quso next to hijacker Khalid Almihdhar, but the CIA does not share the pictures with the FBI before 9/11. [Newsweek, 9/20/01] Meanwhile, FBI head investigator John O'Neill believes that al-Quso is holding back important information from his Yemeni captors and wants him interrogated by the FBI. However, O'Neill had been kicked out of Yemen by his superiors a week or two before, and without his influential presence, the Yemeni government will not allow an interrogation. Al-Quso is finally interrogated days after 9/11, and he admits to meeting with Alhazmi and Almihdhar in January 2000. One investigator calls the missed opportunity of exposing the 9/11 plot through al-Quso's connections “mind-boggling.” [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02] In April 2003, al-Quso will escape from a Yemeni prison and apparently remains free. [Associated Press 4/11/03]
People and organizations involved: John O'Neill, Fahad al-Quso, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Central Intelligence Agency
          

July 8-19, 2001: Atta, Bin Al-Shibh, Alshehhi, and Others Meet in Spain to Finalize Attack Plans      Complete 911 Timeline

       Mohamed Atta travels to Spain again (his first trip was in January). Three others cross the Atlantic with him but their names are not known, as they apparently use false identities. [El Mundo, 9/30/01] Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, a member of his Hamburg terrorist cell, arrives in Spain on July 9, and stays until July 16. [New York Times, 5/1/02] Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi also comes to Spain at about the same time and leaves on July 17. [Associated Press, 6/30/02] Alshehhi must have traveled under another name, because US immigration has no records of his departure or return. [Department of Justice, 5/20/02] Investigators believe Atta, Alshehhi, and bin al-Shibh meet with at least three Unknown others in a secret safe house near Tarragona. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02; Associated Press, 6/30/02] It is theorized that the final details of the 9/11 attacks are set at this meeting. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] Atta probably meets with, and is hosted by, Barakat Yarkas and other Spanish al-Qaeda members. [International Herald Tribune, 11/21/01] One of the unknowns at the meeting could be Yarkas's friend Mamoun Darkazanli, a German with connections to the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. Darkazanli travels to Spain and meets with Yarkas during the time Atta is there. He travels with an unnamed Syrian Spanish suspect, who lived in Afghanistan and had access there to al-Qaeda leaders. [Los Angeles Times, 1/14/03] The Spanish newspaper La Vanguardia later reports that Atta also meets with fellow hijackers Waleed Alshehri and Wail Alshehri on July 16. [Associated Press, 9/27/01] Strangely enough, on July 16, Atta stayed in the same hotel in the town of Salou that had hosted FBI counterterrorist expert John O'Neill a few days earlier, when he made a speech to other counterterrorism experts on the need for greater international cooperation by police agencies to combat terrorism. Bin al-Shibh arrived in Salou on July 9, which means he would have been there when the counter-terrorist meeting took place. [Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp 135]
People and organizations involved: Mohamed Atta, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Barakat Yarkas, Wail Alshehri, John O'Neill, Mamoun Darkazanli, Marwan Alshehhi, International Herald Tribune
          

Mid-July 2001: John O'Neill Rails Against White House and Saudi Obstructionism      Complete 911 Timeline

       FBI counterterrorism expert John O'Neill privately discusses White House obstruction in his bin Laden investigation. O'Neill says, “The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were US oil corporate interests and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it.” He adds, “All the answers, everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia.” O'Neill also believes the White House is obstructing his investigation of bin Laden because they are still keeping the idea of a pipeline deal with the Taliban open (see July 21, 2001). [Irish Times, 11/19/01; Brisard, Dasquie and Madsen, 2002, pp xxix; CNN, 1/9/02; CNN, 1/8/02]
People and organizations involved: John O'Neill, Bush administration, Osama bin Laden, Taliban
          

August 22, 2001: O'Neill Quits FBI in Frustration; Misses Important Warnings      Complete 911 Timeline

       Counterterrorism expert John O'Neill resigns from the FBI. He says it is partly because of the recent power play against him, but also because of repeated obstruction of his investigations into al-Qaeda. [New Yorker, 1/14/02] In his last act, he signs papers ordering FBI investigators back to Yemen to resume the USS Cole investigation, now that Barbara Bodine is leaving as ambassador (they arrive a couple days before 9/11). He never hears the CIA warning about hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar sent out just one day later. Because he fell out of favor a few months earlier, he also is never told about Ken Williams' flight school memo from July 10, 2001, or the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui on August 15, 2001 [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02 (D)] ; nor does he attend a June meeting when the CIA reveals some of what it knows about Alhazmi and Almihdhar. [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02] The FBI New York office eventually hears of Walid Arkeh's warning that the WTC would be attacked, but presumably not in time for O'Neill to hear it.
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Nawaf Alhazmi, al-Qaeda, Khalid Almihdhar, Walid Arkeh, Central Intelligence Agency, John O'Neill, Barbara Bodine, Ken Williams, USS Cole, Zacarias Moussaoui
          

August 23, 2001: O'Neill Begins Job as Head of Security at the WTC      Complete 911 Timeline

       John O'Neill begins his new job as head of security at the WTC. [New Yorker, 1/14/02] A friend says to him, “Well, that will be an easy job. They're not going to bomb that place again.” O'Neill replies, “Well actually they've always wanted to finish that job. I think they're going to try again.” On September 10, he moves into his new office on the 34th floor of the North Tower. That night, he tells colleague Jerry Hauer, “We're due for something big. I don't like the way things are lining up in Afghanistan” (a probable reference to the assassination of Afghan leader Ahmed Shah Massoud the day before). O'Neill will be killed in the 9/11 attack. [PBS Frontline, 10/3/02 (D)]
People and organizations involved: John O'Neill, Jerry Hauer, Ahmed Shah Massoud, World Trade Center
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

Except where otherwise noted, the textual content of each timeline is licensed under the Creative Commons License below:

Creative Commons License Home |  About this Site |  Development |  Donate |  Contact Us
Privacy Policy  |  Terms of Use