Complete 911 Timeline Complete 911 Timeline complete_911_timeline 911_project theme day_of_911 December 26, 1979 a122679invasion 1 false Soviet forces invade Afghanistan. They will withdraw in 1989 after a brutal 10-year war. It has been commonly believed that the invasion was unprovoked. But in a 1998 interview, Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's National Security Adviser, reveals that the CIA began destabilizing the pro-Soviet Afghan government six months earlier, in a deliberate attempt to get the Soviets to invade and have their own Vietnam-type costly war: &ldquo;What is most important to the history of the world? The Taliban or the collapse of the Soviet empire? Some stirred-up Moslems or the liberation of Central Europe and the end of the cold war?&rdquo; coverup timeline/1990s/brezezinskiinterview1998.html Le Nouvel Observateur 1/98 News Article;method=full&amp;siteid=50143 Mirror 1/29/02 News Article The US and Saudi Arabia give a huge amount of money (estimates range up to $40 billion total for the war) to support the mujaheddin guerrilla fighters opposing the Russians. Most of the money is managed by the ISI, Pakistan's intelligence agency. isidrugs timeline/1990s/nation021599.html Nation 2/15/99 News Article Early 1980 a1980osama 1 false Osama bin Laden begins providing financial, organizational, and engineering aid for the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, with the advice and support of the Saudi royal family. saudi New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article Some, including Richard Clarke, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; during the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations, believe he was hand-picked for the job by Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabia's secret service. saudi Sunday Times 8/25/02 News Article New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article The Pakistani ISI wanted a Saudi prince as a public demonstration of the commitment of the Saudi royal family and as a way to ensure royal funds for the anti-Soviet forces. The agency failed to get royalty, but bin Laden, with his family's influential ties, was good enough for the ISI. isidrugs timeline/2001/miamiherald092401.html Miami Herald 9/24/01 News Article Clarke argues that the Saudis and other Muslim governments use the Afghan war in an attempt to get rid of their own misfits and troublemakers. This multinational force later coalesces into al-Qaeda (see [[ a081188alqaedaformed | August 11, 1988 ]]). Early 1980 a1980osama 1 false Osama bin Laden begins providing financial, organizational, and engineering aid for the mujaheddin in Afghanistan, with the advice and support of the Saudi royal family. [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 11/5/01</a>] Some believe he was hand-picked for the job by Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabia's secret service. [<a href="" target=_new>Sunday Times, 8/25/02</a>] Bin Laden has been considered a Turki prot&#233;g&#233; by some biographers. saudi New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article The Pakistani ISI wanted a Saudi prince as a public demonstration of the commitment of the Saudi royal family and as a way to ensure royal funds for the anti-Soviet forces. The agency failed to get royalty, but bin Laden, with his family's influential ties, was good enough for the ISI. isidrugs timeline/2001/miamiherald092401.html Miami Herald 9/24/01 News Article Mid 1980s (C) a1980smidc 1 false Controversial author Gerald Posner says ex-CIA officials claim that General Akhtar Abdul Rahman, ISI head from 1980 to 1987, regularly meets bin Laden in Peshawar, Pakistan. The ISI and bin Laden form a partnership that forces Afghan tribal warlords to pay a &ldquo;tax&rdquo; on the opium trade. By 1985, bin Laden and the ISI are splitting annual profits of up to $100 million a year. isidrugs Mid-1980s amid1980ssalem 1 false Salem bin Laden, Osama's oldest brother, is allegedly involved in the Iran-Contra affair. Quoting a French intelligence report posted by Frontline (see [[ a1080 ]]), The New Yorker reports, &ldquo;During the nineteen-eighties, when the Reagan Administration secretly arranged for an estimated thirty-four million dollars to be funneled through Saudi Arabia to the Contras, in Nicaragua, Salem bin Laden aided in this cause, according to French intelligence.&rdquo; saudi New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article Frontline 2001 (B) News Article Mid-1980s (B) a1980smidb 1 false The ISI starts a special cell of agents who use profits from heroin production for covert actions &ldquo;at the insistence of the CIA.&rdquo; &ldquo;This cell promotes the cultivation of opium and the extraction of heroin in Pakistani territory as well as in the Afghan territory under mujaheddin control for being smuggled into the Soviet controlled areas, in order to turn the Soviet troops heroin addicts. After the withdrawal of the Soviet troops, the ISI's heroin cell started using its network of refineries and smugglers for smuggling heroin to the Western countries and using the money as a supplement to its legitimate economy. But for these heroin dollars, Pakistan's legitimate economy must have collapsed many years ago.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2001/financialtimes081001.html" target=_new>Financial Times, Asian edition, 8/10/01</a>] The ISI grows so powerful on this money, that Time magazine later states, &ldquo;Even by the shadowy standards of spy agencies, the ISI is notorious. It is commonly branded &lsquo;a state within the state,&rsquo; or Pakistan's &lsquo;invisible government.&rsquo; &rdquo; isidrugs,13673,501020506-233999,00.html Time 5/6/02 News Article October 1980 a1080 right Salem bin Laden with baby in 1975. 1 false Salem bin Laden, Osama's oldest brother, is later described by a French secret intelligence report as one of the two closest friends of Saudi Arabia's King Fahd. As such, he often performs important missions for Saudi Arabia. The French report speculates that he is involved in secret Paris meetings between US and Iranian emissaries this month. Frontline, which published the French report, notes that such meetings have never been confirmed. Rumors of these meetings have been called the &ldquo;October Surprise&rdquo; and some have speculated Bush Sr. negotiated in these meetings a delay to the release of the US hostages in Iran, thus helping Ronald Reagan and Bush win the 1980 Presidential election. All of this is highly speculative, but if the French report is correct, it points to a long-standing connection of highly illegal behavior between the Bush and bin Laden families (see also [[ amid1980ssalem ]] and [[ a1988failedman ]]). saudi PBS Frontline 2001 (B) News Article 1982-1991 a1982 right Gulbuddin Hekmatyar still controls part of Afghanistan. 1 false Afghan opium production skyrockets from 250 tons in 1982 to 2,000 tons in 1991, coinciding with CIA support and funding of the mujaheddin. Alfred McCoy, a professor of Southeast Asian history at the University of Wisconsin, says US and Pakistani intelligence officials sanctioned the rebels' drug trafficking because of their fierce opposition to the Soviets: &ldquo;If their local allies were involved in narcotics trafficking, it didn't trouble CIA. They were willing to keep working with people who were heavily involved in narcotics.&rdquo; For instance, Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, a rebel leader who received about half of all the CIA's covert weapons, was known to be a major heroin trafficker. isidrugs The director of the CIA in Afghanistan claims later to be oblivious about the drug trade: &ldquo;We found out about it later on.&rdquo; coverup timeline/2001/minneapolisstartribune093001.html Minneapolis Star-Tribune 9/30/01 News Article timeline/1990s/atlanticmonthly0596.html Atlantic Monthly 5/96 News Article 1984 a1984 1 false Bin Laden moves to Peshawar, a Pakistani town bordering Afghanistan, and is running a front organization for the mujaheddin known as Maktab al-Khidamar (MAK), funneling money, arms and fighters from the outside world into the Afghan war. [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 1/24/00</a>] &ldquo;MAK was nurtured by Pakistan's state security services, the Inter-Services Intelligence agency, or ISI, the CIA's primary conduit for conducting the covert war against Moscow's occupation.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>MSNBC, 8/24/98</a>] He becomes closely tied to the warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and greatly strengthens Hekmatyar's opium smuggling operations. [<a href="timeline/2001/lemonde091401.html" target=_new>Le Monde, 9/14/01</a>] Hekmatyar had ties with bin Laden, the CIA and drug running, and has also been called &ldquo;an ISI stooge and creation&rdquo; by the Wall Street Journal. isidrugs Asia Times 11/15/01 News Article 1984-1994 a1984b 1 false The US, through USAID and the University of Nebraska, spends millions of dollars developing and printing textbooks for Afghan schoolchildren. The textbooks are filled with violent images and militant Islamic teachings, part of covert attempts to spur resistance to the Soviet occupation. For instance, children are taught to count with illustrations showing tanks, missiles and land mines. Lacking any alternative, millions of these textbooks are used long after 1994; the Taliban are still using them in 2001. In 2002, the US started producing less violent versions of the same books, which Bush says will have &ldquo;respect for human dignity, instead of indoctrinating students with fanaticism and bigotry.&rdquo; Bush fails to mention who created those earlier books. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 3/23/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CBC, 5/6/02</a>] <comment>Since the war with Russia ended in 1989, why did the US keep promoting Islamic radicalism another five years?</comment> incompetence 1985-1989 1 false Sheikh Abdullah Azzam, bin Laden's mentor, makes repeated trips to the US and other countries, building up his organization, Makhtab al-Khidimat (MAK), also known as the Services Office. Branches of the MAK open in over 30 US cities, as Muslim-Americans donate millions to support the Afghan war against the Soviet Union. Azzam is assassinated in a car bomb attack in late 1989. Some US intelligence officials believe bin Laden ordered the killing. Bin Laden soon takes over the MAK, which morphs into al-Qaeda. His followers soon take over MAK's offices in the US, and they become financial conduits for al-Qaeda terrorist operations. March 1985 a0385escalation right in 1989. 1 false The US decides to escalate the war in Afghanistan. The CIA, British MI6 and the ISI agree to launch guerrilla attacks from Afghanistan into then Soviet-controlled Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, attacking military installations, factories and storage depots within Soviet territory until the end of the war. The CIA also begins supporting the ISI in recruiting radical Muslims from around the world to come to Pakistan and fight with the Afghan mujaheddin. The CIA gives subversive literature and Korans to the ISI, who carry them into the Soviet Union. isidrugs Eventually, around 35,000 Muslim radicals from 43 Islamic countries will fight with the Afghan mujaheddin. Tens of thousands more will study in the hundreds of new madrassas funded by the ISI and CIA in Pakistan. Their main logistical base is in the Pakistani city of Peshawar. [<a href="timeline/1990s/wpost071992.html" target=_new>Washington Post, 7/19/92</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/pittsburghpostgazette092301.html" target=_new>Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/23/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>The Hindu, 9/27/01</a>, <i>Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia</i>, Ahmed Rashid, 3/01] In the late 1980s, Pakistan's President Benazir Bhutto, feeling the mujaheddin network has grown too strong, tells President George Bush Sr., &ldquo;You are creating a Frankenstein.&rdquo;But the warning goes unheeded. [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 9/24/01</a>] By 1993, the President of Pakistan tells Egyptian President Hasni Mubarak that Peshawar is under de facto control of the mujaheddin, and unsuccessfully asks for military help in reasserting Pakistani control over the city. Thousands of mujaheddin fighters return to their home countries after the war is over, and engage in countless acts of terrorism. One Western diplomat notes these thousands would never have been trained or united without US help, and says &ldquo;The consequences for all of us are astronomical.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/1990s/atlanticmonthly0596.html Atlantic Monthly 5/96 News Article 1986 a86buildingkhost 1 false The CIA, ISI and bin Laden work together to build the Khost tunnel complex in Afghanistan. This will be a major target of bombing and fighting in the US defeat of the Taliban in 2001. [<a href="timeline/2001/pittsburghpostgazette092301.html" target=_new>Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/23/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 9/23/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>The Hindu, 9/27/01</a>, <i>Taliban: Militant Islam, Oil and Fundamentalism in Central Asia</i>, Ahmed Rashid, 3/01] It is reported before 9/11 that &ldquo;bin Laden worked closely with Saudi, Pakistani and US intelligence services to recruit mujaheddin from many Muslim countries,&rdquo; but this hasn't been reported much since. isidrugs UPI 6/14/01 News Article A CIA spokesman will later claim, &ldquo;For the record, you should know that the CIA never employed, paid, or maintained any relationship whatsoever with bin Laden.&rdquo; coverup Ananova 10/31/01 News Article September 1986 1 false Worried that the Soviets are winning the war in Afghanistan, the US decides to train and arm the mujaheddin with Stinger missiles. The Soviets are forced to stop using the attack helicopters that were being used to devastating effect. Some claim the Stingers turn the tide of the war and lead directly to Soviet withdrawal (see [[ a091589afghandefeat | February 15, 1989 ]]). Now the mujaheddin are better trained and armed than ever before. September 1987-March 1989 a1987springmann 1 false Michael Springman, the head US consular official in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, later claims that he is &ldquo;repeatedly told to issue visas to unqualified applicants.&rdquo; He turns them down, but is repeatedly overruled by superiors. Springman loudly complains about the practice to numerous government offices, but no action is taken. He eventually is fired and the files he has kept on these applicants are destroyed. Springmann speculates that the issuing of visas to radical Islamic fighters continued until 9/11. He says he later learns that recruits from many countries fighting for bin Laden against Russia in Afghanistan were funneled through the Jeddah office to get visas to come to the US. They would then train for the Afghan war in the US. He says the Jeddah consulate was run by the CIA and staffed almost entirely by intelligence agents. Springmann suggests that this visa system may have continued until present day, and that the 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers getting their visas through Jeddah (see [[ a052102 ]]) could have been a part of it (see also [[ a102102gao ]] and [[ a102302visas ]]). incompetence BBC 11/6/01 News Article timeline/2002/ap071702b.html AP 7/17/02 (B) News Article timeline/2002/foxnews071802.html Fox News 7/18/02 News Article 1988 a1988failedman 1 false Prior to this year, George Bush Jr. is a failed oil man. Three times friends and investors have bailed him out to keep him from going bankrupt. But in this year, the same year his father becomes President, some Saudis buy a portion of his small company, Harken, which has never worked outside of Texas. Later in the year, Harken wins a contract in the Persian Gulf and starts doing well financially. These transactions seem so suspicious that the Wall Street Journal in 1991 states it &ldquo;raises the question of &#8230; an effort to cozy up to a presidential son.&rdquo; Two major investors in Bush's company during this time are Salem bin Laden, Osama bin Laden's oldest brother, and Khaled bin Mahfouz. [[[ | Salon, 11/19/01 ]], [[ timeline/2000/intelligencenewsletter030200.html | Intelligence Newsletter, 3/2/00 ]]] Khaled bin Mahfouz is a Saudi banker with a 20 percent stake in BCCI, a bank that will go bankrupt a few years later in the biggest corruption scandal in banking history (see [[ a070591 ]]). saudi August 11, 1988 a081188alqaedaformed 1 false Bin Laden forms al-Qaeda this year (notes are later found showing a meeting led by bin Laden on this day discussing &ldquo;the establishment of a new military group&rdquo;). isidrugs,2933,78937,00.html AP 2/19/03 (B) News Article August 12, 1988 a081288echelon 1 false The first media report appears about Echelon, a high-tech global electronic surveillance network between the US, Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. Governments deny that Echelon exists, but whistleblowers expose it. They claim it's being abused in many ways, including to spy on politicians domestically. Echelon is capable of &ldquo;near total interception of international commercial and satellite communications,&rdquo;including taps into transoceanic cables, but it is &ldquo;impossible for analysts to listen to all but a small fraction of the billions of telephone calls, and other signals which might contain &lsquo;significant&rsquo;information.&rdquo;[<a href="timeline/1990s/newstatesman081288.html" target=_new>New Statesman, 8/12/88</a>] <comment>Understanding the information surveillance capabilities of Echelon is vital to determining what should have been known about 9/11. </comment> coverup 1989-May 2000 a89almarabh 1 false Nabil al-Marabh moves to Boston in 1989 and apparently lives there as a taxi driver and al-Qaeda sleeper agent for the next ten years. [[[ timeline/2001/nyt091801.html | New York Times, 9/18/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/bostonherald091901.html | Boston Herald, 9/19/01 ]]] In 1992 he learns to use weapons in an Afghan al-Qaeda training camp with a terrorist named Raed Hijazi. [[[ timeline/2002/chicagosuntimes090502.html | Chicago Sun-Times, 9/5/02 ]]] He and Hijazi live together and drive taxis at the same company in Boston for several years. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01 ]]] A mutual friend at the same taxi company is later killed participating in a 1999 al-Qaeda terrorist attack. [[[ timeline/2001/bostonherald091901.html | Boston Herald, 9/19/01 ]]] Hijazi helps plan the <i>USS Cole</i> bombing (see [[ a101200cole | October 12, 2000 ]]), and then participates in a failed attempt to bomb a hotel in Jordan (see [[ a113099radisson | November 30, 1999 ]]). In May 1999, the FBI approaches al-Marabh looking for Hijazi, but al-Marabh lies and says he doesn't know Hijazi. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A34554-2002Sep3&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 9/4/02 ]]] Hijazi is arrested in Syria in October 2000 and imprisoned in Jordan for his bomb attempt there. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun101601.html | Toronto Sun, 10/16/01 ]]] He begins to cooperate with investigators and identifies al-Marabh as a US al-Qaeda operative. [[[ timeline/2001/nyt091801.html | New York Times, 9/18/01 ]]] Terrorist Ahmed Ressam (see [[ a121499 | December 14, 1999 ]]) gives evidence helping to prove that al-Marabh sent money to Hijazi for the Jordan bombing. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun111601.html | Toronto Sun, 11/16/01 ]], [[ | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] By February 1999, al-Marabh is driving taxis in Tampa, Florida while maintaining a cover of living in Boston. [[[ timeline/2001/torontostar102601.html | Toronto Star, 10/26/01 ]], [[ | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] [[[ timeline/2001/nyt091801.html | New York Times, 9/18/01 ]]] He apparently lives in Tampa at least part time until February 2000; investigators later wonder if he is an advance man for the Florida-based hijackers. [[[ timeline/2001/nyt091801.html | New York Times, 9/18/01 ]], [[ | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] Al-Marabh is living in Detroit by May 2000, though he maintains a Boston address until September 2000 (see [[ a05300almarabh | May 30, 2000-September 11, 2001 ]] [[ a05300almarabh | ) ]]. [[[ timeline/2001/bostonherald091901.html | Boston Herald, 9/19/01 ]]] These connections with Hijazi lead to a US Customs investigation into al-Marabh in early 2001 that connects him with two of the 9/11 hijackers (see [[ aspring01almarabh | Spring 2001 (B) ]]). Despite all of these al-Qaeda connections and more, the US later decides there is no evidence that al-Marabh is a terrorist and deports him to Syria (see [[ a091901almarabh | September 19, 2001-September 3, 2002 ]], [[ alate2002almarabhinformant | Late 2002 ]], and [[ a0104almarabh | January 2004 ]]). incompetence January 20, 1989 a012089sr 1 false George Bush Sr. is inaugurated as US president, replacing Ronald Reagan. He remains president until 1993 (see [[ a912093clinton ]]). Many of the key members in his government later have important positions again when his son George Bush Jr. becomes president in 2001 (see [[ a012101bushjr ]]). For instance, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell later becomes Secretary of State, and Defense Secretary Dick Cheney later becomes Vice President. February 15, 1989 a091589afghandefeat 1 false Soviet forces withdraw from Afghanistan. Afghan Communists retain control of Kabul, the capital, until April 1992. [<a href="timeline/1990s/wpost071992.html" target=_new>Washington Post, 7/19/92</a>] Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations and the counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; by 911, later claims that the huge amount of aid the US provides to Afghanistan drops off drastically as soon as the Soviets withdraw, abandoning the country to civil war and chaos. The new powers in Afghanistan are tribal chiefs, isidrugs the Pakistani ISI, and the Arab war veterans coalescing into al-Qaeda. isidrugs November 9, 1989 a110989powellbully 1 false The Berlin Wall begins to fall in East Germany, signifying the end of the Soviet Union as a superpower. Just six days later, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Colin Powell presents a new strategy document to President Bush Sr., proposing that the US shift from countering Soviet attempts at world dominance to ensuring US world dominance. Bush Sr. accepts this plan in a public speech, with slight modifications, on August 2, 1990, the same day Iraq begins invading Kuwait. In early 1992, Powell, counter to his usual public dove persona, tells Congress People that the US requires &ldquo;sufficient power&rdquo; to &ldquo;deter any challenger from ever dreaming of challenging us on the world stage.&rdquo; He says, &ldquo;I want to be the bully on the block.&rdquo;Powell's early ideas of global hegemony will be formalized by others in a 1992 policy document (see [[ a030892dpg ]]) and finally realized as policy when Bush Jr. becomes president in 2001. afghanwar timeline/2002/harpers1002.html Harper's 10/02 News Article 1990 a1990hanjour right A young Hani Hanjour. 1 false Hani Hanjour enters the US, the first of the hijackers to do so. He takes an English course in Tucson, Arizona.,8816,176069,00.html Time 9/24/01 (B) News Article timeline/2001/coxnews101501.html Cox News 10/15/01 News Article;position=top New York Times 6/19/02 News Article However, the FBI claims Hanjour first arrived on October 3, 1991. coverup timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/26/02 News Article July 1990 a0790abdulrahman right Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman. 1 false Despite being on a US terrorist watch list for three years, radical Muslim leader Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman enters the US on a &ldquo;much-disputed&rdquo; tourist visa issued by an undercover CIA agent. [[[ timeline/1990s/villagevoice033093.html | Village Voice, 3/30/93 ]], [[ timeline/1990s/atlanticmonthly0596.html | Atlantic Monthly, 5/96 ]], <i>1000 Years for Revenge, </i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, p. 42] Abdul-Rahman was heavily involved with the CIA and ISI efforts to defeat the Soviets in Afghanistan, and became famous traveling all over the world for five years recruiting new mujaheddin. But he never hid his prime goals, which were to overthrow the governments of the US and Egypt. [[[ timeline/1990s/atlanticmonthly0596.html | Atlantic Monthly, 5/96 ]]] He is &ldquo;infamous throughout the Arab world for his alleged role in the assassination of Egyptian president Anwar el-Sadat.&rdquo; Abdul-Rahman immediately begins setting up a terrorist network in the US. [[[ timeline/1990s/villagevoice033093.html | Village Voice, 3/30/93 ]]] He is known to have befriended bin Laden while in Afghanistan, and bin Laden secretly pays Abdul-Rahman's US living expenses. [[[ timeline/1990s/atlanticmonthly0596.html | Atlantic Monthly, 5/96 ]], [[ | ABC News, 8/16/02 ]]] Abdul-Rahman's ties to the assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in later 1990 is ignored (see [[ a110590kahane ]]). As one FBI agent says in 1993, he is &ldquo;hands-off&#8230;. It was no accident that the sheikh got a visa and that he's still in the country. He's here under the banner of national security, the State Department, the NSA, and the CIA.&rdquo; A very high-ranking Egyptian official says Abdul-Rahman continues to assist the CIA in recruiting new mujaheddin after moving to the US. This official says, &ldquo;We begged America not to coddle the sheikh.&rdquo; Egyptian intelligence warns the US that Abdul-Rahman is planning new terrorist attacks, and on November 12, 1992, terrorists connected to him machine-gun a busload of Western tourists in Egypt. But still he lives freely in New York City. [[[ timeline/1990s/villagevoice033093.html | Village Voice, 3/30/93 ]]] He is finally arrested in 1993 and convicted for assisting in the 1993 WTC bombing (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]). incompetence timeline/1990s/atlanticmonthly0596.html Atlantic Monthly 5/96 News Article August 1990-March 1991 a0890iraqwar 1 false Iraq invades and conquers Kuwait in August 1990. Bin Laden, newly returned to Saudi Arabia (see [[ a021589afghanend ]]), offers the Saudi government the use of his thousands of mujaheddin fighters to defend the country in case Iraq attacks it. The Saudi government turns him down, and allows 300,000 US soldiers on Saudi soil instead. Bin Laden is incensed, and immediately goes from ally to enemy of the Saudis. After a slow buildup, the US invades Iraq in March 1991 and reestablishes Kuwait. [<i>Why America Slept</i>, by Gerald Posner, 9/03, pp. 40-41] Bin Laden soon leaves the country and starts his career as terrorist (see [[ a91iraqwar ]] and [[ a91secretdeal ]]). November 5, 1990 a110590kahane left Rabbi Meir Kahane (left) and his assassin El Sayyid Nosair (right). 1 false An Egyptian American named El Sayyid Nosair assassinates controversial right-wing Zionist leader Rabbi Meir Kahane. Kahane's organization, the Jewish Defense League, was linked to dozens of bombings and was ranked by the FBI as the most lethal domestic terrorist group in the US at the time. Nosair is captured after a police shoot-out. An FBI informant says he saw Nosair meeting with Muslim leader Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman a few days before the attack (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]]), and possessions indicating a wider plot with additional targets are found. [[[ timeline/1990s/villagevoice033093.html | Village Voice, 3/30/93 ]]] Incredibly, files found in his possession which give details of a terrorist cell, mention al-Qaeda, and discuss the destruction of tall US buildings, are not translated until years later. [[[ | ABC News, 8/16/02 ]]] Instead, within 12 hours of the assassination, New York police declare the assassination was the work of a &ldquo;lone gunman&rdquo; and they stick with that story. In his trial, prosecutors choose not to introduce his incriminating possessions as evidence, nor is his confession even mentioned, and an apparent &ldquo;open-and-shut case&rdquo; ends with his acquittal. However, he is sentenced to 22 years on other lesser charges. [[[ timeline/1990s/villagevoice033093.html | Village Voice, 3/30/93 ]]] Bin Laden contributes to Nosair's defense fund. Many of those involved in Kahane's assassination later plan the 1993 WTC bombing (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]). As one FBI agent puts it, &ldquo;The fact is that in 1990, myself and my detectives, we had in our office in handcuffs, the people who blew up the World Trade Center in '93. We were told to release them.&rdquo; incompetence ABC News 8/16/02 News Article 1991-1995 a1991yugo 1 false According to a Dutch government report, the US military secretly breaks a United Nations arms embargo during the 1991-1995 Yugoslavia war by channeling arms through radical Muslim groups in an &ldquo;Iran-Contra-style operation.&rdquo; US, Turkish and Iranian intelligence groups work with radical Muslims in what the Dutch report calls the &ldquo;Croatian pipeline.&rdquo; Arms bought by Iran and Turkey and financed by Saudi Arabia are flown into Croatia. Mujaheddin fighters are also flown in. The US is &ldquo;very closely involved&rdquo; in the flagrant breach of the embargo, an embargo the US is in charge of monitoring. [<a href=",3604,688229,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 4/22/02</a>] <comment>Could bin Laden have had a secret deal with the US to jointly support the Bosnian Muslims, and in return the US didn't try to catch bin Laden? If so, did it last after 1995?</comment> coverup 1991 a1991rice 1 false Future National Security Advisor Rice joins Chevron's board of directors, and works with Chevron until being picked as Bush's National Security Advisor in 2001. Chevron even names an oil tanker after her. Rice is hired for her expertise in Central Asia, and much of her job is spent arranging oil deals in the Central Asian region. Chevron also has massive investments there, which grow through the 1990s. oil Salon 11/19/01 News Article 1991-1997 a19911997 1 false The Soviet Union collapses in 1991, creating many new nations in Central Asia. Major US oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Texaco, Unocal, BP Amoco, Shell and Enron, directly invest billions in these Central Asian nations, bribing heads of state to secure equity rights in the huge oil reserves in these regions. The oil companies commit to future direct investments in Kazakhstan of $35 billion. These companies face the problem however of having to pay exorbitant prices to Russia to use Russian pipelines to get the oil out. These oil fields have an estimated $6 trillion potential value. US companies own approximately 75% of the rights. [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 7/9/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Asia Times, 1/26/02</a>] oil FTW News Article March 1991 a91iraqwar 1 false As the Gulf War against Iraq ends (see [[ a0890iraqwar ]]), the US does not withdraw all of its soldiers from Saudi Arabia, but stations some 15,000-20,000 there permanently. timeline/1990s/nation021599.html Nation 2/15/99 News Article President Bush Sr. falsely claims that all US troops have withdrawn. [<a href=",1284,623410,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 12/21/01</a>] Their presence isn't admitted until 1995, and there has never been an official explanation as to why they are there. coverup The Nation postulates that they are there to prevent a coup. Saudi Arabia has an incredible array of high-tech weaponry, but may lack the expertise to use it and local soldiers may have conflicting loyalties. In 1998, bin Laden will release a statement: &ldquo;For more than seven years the United States has been occupying the lands of Islam in the holiest of places, the Arabian peninsula, plundering its riches, dictating to its rulers, humiliating its people, terrorizing its neighbors, and turning its bases in the peninsula into a spearhead through which to fight the neighboring Muslim peoples.&rdquo; timeline/1990s/nation021599.html Nation 2/15/99 News Article April 1991 a91secretdeal 1 false Bin Laden, recently returned to Saudi Arabia ([[ a021589afghanend ]]), is placed under house arrest for his opposition to the continued placing of US soldiers on Saudi soil (see [[ a0890iraqwar ]]and [[ a91iraqwar ]]). saudi timeline/2001/frontline0901.html Frontline 9/01 News Article Controversial author Gerald Posner claims that a still classified US intelligence report describes a secret deal between bin Laden and Saudi intelligence minister Prince Turki al-Faisal at this time. Although bin Laden has suddenly turned in an enemy of the Saudi state, he is nonetheless too popular for his role with the mujaheddin in Afghanistan to be easily imprisoned or killed. Bin Laden is allowed to leave Saudi Arabia with his money and supporters, but the Saudi government will publicly disown him. Privately, the Saudis will continue to fund his supporters with the understanding that they will never be used against Saudi Arabia. The wrath of the fundamentalist movement is thus directed away from the vulnerable Saudis. [<i>Why America Slept</i>, by Gerald Posner, 9/03, pp. 40-42] Posner says the Saudis &ldquo;effectively had [bin Laden] on their payroll since the start of the decade.&rdquo; [[[,9171,1101030908480226,00.html | Time, 8/31/03 ]]] This deal is reaffirmed in 1996 and 1998 (see [[ a96payoffs ]], [[ a0596paris ]], [[ a0696kandahardeal ]], and [[ a0798secretmeeting ]]). saudi Bin Laden first returns to Afghanistan. But after staying there a few months, he moves again, settling into Sudan with hundreds of ex-Mujaheddin supporters. saudi timeline/2001/frontline0901.html Frontline 9/01 News Article July 5, 1991 a070591 1 false The Bank of England shuts down the Bank of Credit and Commerce International (BCCI), the largest Muslim bank in the world. Based in Pakistan, this bank financed numerous Muslim terrorist organizations and laundered money generated by illicit drug trafficking and other illegal activities, including arms trafficking. Bin Laden and many other terrorists had accounts there. [<a href="timeline/2001/detroitnews093001.html" target=_new>Detroit News, 9/30/01</a>] One money-laundering expert claims, &ldquo;BCCI did dirty work for every major terrorist service in the world.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 1/20/02</a>] American and British governments knew about all this yet kept the bank open for years. The ISI had major connections to the bank. But, as later State Department reports indicate, Pakistan remains a major drug trafficking and money-laundering center despite the bank's closing. isidrugs timeline/2001/detroitnews093001.html Detroit News 9/30/01 News Article The Washington Post claims, &ldquo;The CIA used BCCI to funnel millions of dollars to the fighters battling the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.&rdquo; A French intelligence report later suggests the BCCI network has been largely rebuilt by bin Laden (see [[ a1001bcci ]]). [[[ | Washington Post, 2/17/02 ]]] The ruling family of Abu Dhabi, the dominant emirate in the United Arab Emirates, owned 77 percent of the bank. Los Angeles Times 1/20/02 News Article A network of drug, weapons and money laundering later develops between al-Qaeda, the Taliban, United Arab Emirates and Pakistan (see [[ a1996ariana ]]). <comment>Is the ISI still connected to this ex-BCCI network? Is the CIA?</comment> isidrugs 1992-1996 a1992sudan 1 false Bin Laden is based in Sudan. With a personal fortune of around $250 million (estimates range from $50 to $800 million [[[ timeline/2001/miamiherald092401.html | Miami Herald, 9/24/01 ]]]), he begins plotting terrorist attacks against the US. The first attack kills two tourists in Yemen at the end of 1992 (see [[ a1292adenbomb ]]). [[[ | New Yorker, 1/24/00 ]]] The CIA learns of his involvement in that attack in 1993, also learns that year he is channeling money to Egyptian extremists. US intelligence also learns that by January 1994 he is financing at least three terrorist training camps in North Sudan. timeline/1990s/nyt081496.html New York Times 8/14/96 News Article timeline/2001/frontline0901.html Frontline 9/01 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article March 8, 1992 a030892dpg 1 false The Defense Planning Guidance, &ldquo;a blueprint for the department's spending priorities in the aftermath of the first Gulf War and the collapse of the Soviet Union,&rdquo; is leaked to the New York Times. [<a href="timeline/1990s/nyt030892.html" target=_new>New York Times, 3/8/92</a>, <a href=",0,4720975.story" target=_new>Newsday, 3/16/03</a>] The paper causes controversy, because it hadn't yet been &ldquo;scrubbed&rdquo; to replace candid language with euphemisms. [<a href="timeline/1990s/nyt031092.html" target=_new>New York Times, 3/10/92</a>, <a href="timeline/1990s/nyt031192.html" target=_new>New York Times, 3/11/92</a>, <a href=",3858,4388919,00.html" target=_new>Observer, 4/7/02</a>] The document argues that the US dominates the world as sole superpower, and to maintain that role it &ldquo;must maintain the mechanisms for deterring potential competitors from even aspiring to a larger regional or global role.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/1990s/nyt030892.html" target=_new>New York Times, 3/8/92</a>, <a href="timeline/1990s/nyt030892b.html" target=_new>New York Times, 3/8/92 (B)</a>] As the Observer summarizes it, &ldquo;America's friends are potential enemies. They must be in a state of dependence and seek solutions to their problems in Washington.&rdquo; [<a href=",3858,4388919,00.html" target=_new>Observer, 4/7/02</a>] The document is mainly written by Paul Wolfowitz and Lewis Libby, who hold relatively low posts at the time, but under Bush Jr. become Deputy Defense Secretary and Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff, respectively. [<a href=",0,4720975.story" target=_new>Newsday, 3/16/03</a>] The document conspicuously avoids mention of collective security arrangements through the United Nations, instead suggesting the US &ldquo;should expect future coalitions to be ad hoc assemblies, often not lasting beyond the crisis being confronted.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/1990s/nyt030892.html" target=_new>New York Times, 3/8/92</a>] It also calls for &ldquo;punishing&rdquo; or &ldquo;threatening punishment&rdquo; against regional aggressors before they act. Interests to be defended pre-emptively include &ldquo; afghanwar access to vital raw materials, primarily Persian Gulf oil, oil proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and ballistic missiles, [and] threats to US citizens from terrorism.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2002/harpers1002.html | Harper's, 10/02 ]]] Senator Lincoln Chafee (R), later says, &ldquo;It is my opinion that [Bush Jr.'s] plan for preemptive strikes was formed back at the end of the first Bush administration with that 1992 report.&rdquo;[[[,0,4720975.story | Newsday, 3/16/03 ]]] In response to the controversy, in May 1992 the US releases an updated version of the document that stresses the US will work with the United Nations and its allies (see also [[ a0193cheney ]]). afghanwar timeline/1990s/wpost052492.html Washington Post 5/24/92 News Article timeline/2002/harpers1002.html Harper's 10/02 News Article June 4, 1992 a060492bath 1 false It is reported that the FBI is investigating the connections between James Bath and George Bush Jr. Bath is Salem bin Laden's official representative in the US. &ldquo;Documents indicate that the Saudis were using Bath and their huge financial resources to influence US policy,&rdquo; since Bush Jr.'s father is president. Bush denies any connections to Saudi money. What became of this investigation is unclear. saudi timeline/1990s/houstonchronicle060492.html Houston Chronicle 6/4/92 News Article September 1, 1992 a090192ajaj 1 false Terrorists Ahmad Ajaj and Ramzi Yousef enter the US together. Ajaj is arrested at Kennedy Airport in New York City. Ramzi Yousef is not arrested, and later masterminds the 1993 bombing of the WTC (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]). &ldquo;The US government was pretty sure Ahmad Ajaj was a terrorist from the moment he stepped foot on US soil,&rdquo;because his &ldquo;suitcases were stuffed with fake passports, fake IDs and a cheat sheet on how to lie to US immigration inspectors,&rdquo; plus &ldquo;two handwritten notebooks filled with bomb recipes, six bomb-making manuals, four how-to videotapes concerning weaponry and an advanced guide to surveillance training.&rdquo; However, Ajaj is only charged with passport fraud, and serves a six-month sentence. From prison, Ajaj frequently calls Ramzi Yousef and others in the WTC bombing plot, but no one monitors or translates the calls until long after the bombing. incompetence,0,999276.story Los Angeles Times 10/14/01 News Article An Israeli newsweekly later reports that the Palestinian Ajaj may have been a mole for the Israeli Mossad. The Village Voice has suggested that Ajaj may have had &ldquo;advance knowledge of the World Trade Center bombing, which he shared with Mossad, and that Mossad, for whatever reason, kept the secret to itself.&rdquo; Ajaj was not just knowledgeable, but was involved in the planning of the bombing from his prison cell. israel [<a href="timeline/1990s/villagevoice080393.html" target=_new>Village Voice, 8/3/93</a>] Ajaj is released from prison three days after the WTC bombing, but is later israel rearrested and sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. [<a href=",0,999276.story" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 10/14/01</a>] One of the manuals seized from Ajaj is horribly mistranslated for the trial. For instance, the title page is said to say &ldquo;The Basic Rule,&rdquo; published in 1982, when in fact the title says &ldquo;Al-Qaeda&rdquo; (which means &ldquo;the base&rdquo; in English), published in 1989. Investigators later complain that a proper translation could have shown an early connection between al-Qaeda and the WTC bombing. incompetence New York Times 1/14/01 News Article December 1992 a1292adenbomb 1 false A bomb explodes in a hotel in Aden, Yemen, killing two tourists. US soldiers had just left the hotel for Somalia. Intelligence agents suspect this may be the first terrorist attack against the US connected to bin Laden. [<a href="timeline/2001/miamiherald092401.html" target=_new>Miami Herald, 9/24/01</a>] US intelligence concludes in April 1993 that &ldquo;[Bin Laden's] almost certainly played a role.&rdquo; timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article January 1993 a0193cheney 1 false In his last days in office as Defense Secretary, Dick Cheney releases a document called Defense Strategy for the 1990s. It reasserts the plans for US global domination outlined in an earlier Pentagon policy paper (see [[ a030892dpg ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/harpers1002.html | Harper's, 10/02 ]]] But because of Clinton's presidential victory, the implementation of these plans will have to wait until Bush Jr. becomes president in 2001 and Cheney becomes vice president. However, Cheney and others will continue to refine this vision of global domination through the Project for the New American Century think tank while they wait to reassume political power (see [[ a060397pnac ]] and [[ a0900paxamericana ]]). afghanwar 1993 (C) a1993missile 1 false An expert panel commissioned by the Pentagon privately postulates that an airplane could be used as a missile to bomb national landmarks. But the panel doesn't publish this idea in its report, Terror 2000. advanceinfo Washington Post 10/2/01 News Article One of the authors of the report says. &ldquo;We were told by the Department of Defense not to put it in&#8230; and I said, &lsquo;It's unclassified, everything is available.&rsquo; And they said, &lsquo;We don't want it released, because you can't handle a crisis before it becomes a crisis. And no one is going to believe you.&rsquo; &rdquo; incompetence ABC News 2/20/02 News Article However, in 1994 one of the panel's experts will write in Futurist magazine: &ldquo;Targets such as the World Trade Center not only provide the requisite casualties but, because of their symbolic nature, provide more bang for the buck. In order to maximize their odds for success, terrorist groups will likely consider mounting multiple, simultaneous operations with the aim of overtaxing a government's ability to respond, as well as demonstrating their professionalism and reach.&rdquo; advanceinfo Washington Post 10/2/01 News Article 1993 a1993ali left Ali Mohamed. 1 false Canadian police arrest Ali Mohamed, a high ranking al-Qaeda figure. However, they release him when the FBI says he is a US agent. [<a href="" target=_new>Globe and Mail, 11/22/01</a>] Mohamed, a former US Army sergeant, then will continue to work for al-Qaeda for a number of years. He trains bin Laden's personal bodyguards and trains a terrorist cell in Kenya that later blows up the US embassy there. Meanwhile, at least between 1993 and 1997 he tells secrets to the FBI about al-Qaeda's operations. He is arrested in late 1998 and subsequently convicted of his role in the 1998 US embassy bombing in Kenya. [<a href="" target=_new>CNN, 10/30/98</a>, <a href="timeline/1990s/independent110198.html" target=_new>Independent, 11/1/98</a>] Says a former Egyptian intelligence officer: &ldquo;For five years he was moving back and forth between the US and Afghanistan. It's impossible the CIA thought he was going there as a tourist. If the CIA hadn't caught on to him, it should be dissolved and its budget used for something worthwhile.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Wall Street Journal, 11/26/01</a>] <comment>Was Mohamed really playing the FBI and CIA for fools, or was he a double agent inside al-Qaeda? If the latter, why couldn't the US kill bin Laden in the 1990s if the head of his personal security was secretly a US agent? </comment> incompetence 1993 (B) a1993arizona 1 false Bin Laden buys a jet from the US military in Arizona (the Pentagon approved the transaction). This aircraft is later used to transport missiles from Pakistan that kill American Special Forces in Somalia. He also has some of his followers begin training as pilots in US flight schools. These initial flight trainings come to nothing when details are later revealed in a court case about Operation Bojinka (see [[ a0195 ]]). advanceinfo Sunday Herald 9/16/01 News Article January 20, 1993 a912093clinton 1 false Bill Clinton is inaugurated as president, replacing George Bush Sr. He remains president until 2001 (see [[ a012101bushjr ]]). February 26, 1993 a022693wtcbombing right Damage underground the WTC in 1993. 1 false An attempt to blow up the WTC fails. Six people are killed in the misfired blast. Analysts later determine that had the terrorists not made a minor error in the placement of the bomb, both towers could have fallen and up to 50,000 people could have been killed. The attempt is organized by Ramzi Yousef, who has close ties to bin Laden. Congressional Hearings 2/24/98 News Article The New York Times later reports on Emad Salem, an undercover agent who ends up being the key government witness in the trial against the bomber. Salem testifies that the FBI knew about the attack beforehand and told him they would thwart it by substituting a harmless powder for the explosives. However, this plan was called off by an FBI supervisor, and the bombing was not stopped. [ incompetence incompetence timeline/1990s/nyt102893.html New York Times 10/28/93 News Article ] <comment>Why did the FBI seemingly let the terrorists go ahead with the bombing?</comment> Others suspects are ineptly investigated before the bombing (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]] and [[ a110590kahane ]]). Several of the bombers were trained by the CIA to fight in the Afghan war, and the CIA later concludes in internal documents that it was &ldquo;partly culpable&rdquo; for this bombing attempt. [ incompetence incompetence timeline/1990s/independent110198.html Independent 11/1/98 News Article ] incompetence Ahmad Ajaj, an associate of Yousef, may have been a mole for the Israeli Mossad, and the Mossad may have had advanced knowledge of the bombing (see [[ a090192ajaj ]]). israel US officials later state that the overall mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, is a close relative of Ramzi Yousef, [<a href="" target=_new>Independent, 6/6/02</a>] probably his uncle. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02</a>] One of the attackers even left a message found by investigators stating, &ldquo;Next time, it will be very precise.&rdquo; 9/11 can be seen as a completion of this failed attack. advanceinfo advanceinfo AP 9/30/01 News Article June 1993-October 1994 a0693saeed 1 false Saeed Sheikh, a brilliant British student at the London School of Economics, drops out of school and moves to his homeland of Pakistan to become a terrorist. Two months later, he begins training in Afghanistan at camps run by al-Qaeda and the Pakistani army. By mid-1994, he has become a terrorist instructor. In June 1994, he begins kidnapping Western tourists in India. In October 1994, he is captured after kidnapping three Britons and an American, and is put in a maximum-security prison (see [[ a1194prison ]]). The ISI pays for a lawyer to defend him. [[[,0,541735.story | Los Angeles Times, 2/9/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/dailymail071602.html | Daily Mail, 7/16/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/vanityfair0802.html | Vanity Fair, 8/02 ]]] His supervisor for his terror work is an ISI officer named Ijaz Shah (see [[ a020502turnin ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/timesofindia031202.html | Times of India, 3/12/02 ]], [[,4273,4462107,00.html | Guardian, 7/16/02 ]]] Al-Qaeda and the ISI later rescue him from prison (see [[ a122499hijack ]]) and he becomes a central figure in the financing of the 9/11 plot (see [[ a0801kidnapping ]]). isidrugs June 24, 1993 a062493foiling 1 false Eight people are arrested, foiling a plot to bomb several New York landmarks. The targets were the United Nations building, 26 Federal Plaza, and the Lincoln and Holland tunnels. The plotters are connected to Ramzi Yousef (see [[ a090192ajaj ]], [[ a022693wtcbombing ]], and [[ a0195 ]]) and Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]]). If the bombing planned for later in the year had been successful, thousands would have died. timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article October 3-4, 1993 a100393mogadishu 1 false Eighteen US soldiers are attacked and killed in Mogadishu, Somalia, in a spontaneous gun battle (later the subject of the movie <i>Black Hawk Down</i>). A 1998 US indictment charges bin Laden and his followers with training the attackers. PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C) News Article The link between bin Laden and the Somali killers of US soldiers appears to be Pakistani terrorist, Maulana Masood Azhar. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 2/25/02 ]]] Azhar is associated with Pakistan's ISI (see [[ a122499hijack ]]), isidrugs and the US has not publicly complained that he is a free man in Pakistan (see [[ a121402azhar ]]). coverup November 1993 a1193dabhol right The Dabhol power plant. 1 false The Indian government gives approval for Enron's Dabhol power plant, located near Bombay on the west coast of India. Enron has invested $3 billion, the largest single foreign investment in India's history. Enron owns 65 percent of Dabhol. This liquefied natural gas powered plant is supposed to provide one-fifth of India's energy needs by 1997 [[[ | Asia Times, 1/18/01 ]], [[ | Indian Express, 2/27/00 ]]] It is the largest gas-fired power plant in the world. Earlier in the year, the World Bank concludes that the plant is &ldquo;not economically viable&rdquo; and refuses to invest in it. [[[ timeline/2001/nyt032001.html | New York Times, 3/20/01 ]]] Enron apparently tries to make the plant financially viable by investing in gas fields in nearby Uzbekistan (see [[ a062496enron ]]), but it cannot get that gas to Dabhol without a gas pipeline through Afghanistan (see [[ a062496enron ]] and [[ a0698enron ]]). Construction of the plant is abandoned just before completion (see [[ a0601dabhol ]]). oil 1994 (C) a94phoenixfbi 1 false The Phoenix FBI office uncovers startling evidence connecting Arizona to radical Muslim terrorists. The office videotapes two men trying to recruit a Phoenix FBI informant to be a suicide bomber. One of the men is linked to terrorist leader Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/latimes052602.html | Los Angeles Times, 5/26/02 ]], [[;position=top | New York Times, 6/19/02 ]]] In 1998, the office's international terrorism squad investigates a possible Middle Eastern extremist taking flight lessons at a Phoenix airport. advanceinfo By 1990, Arizona has become one of the main centers in the US for radical Muslims and remains so. But terrorism remains a low priority for the office. Meanwhile, hijacker Hani Hanjour moves to Arizona for the first time around 1990 (see [[ a1990hanjour ]]) and spends much of the next decade in the state. The FBI apparently remains oblivious about Hanjour, incompetence though one FBI informant claims that by 1998 they &ldquo;knew everything about the guy&rdquo; (see [[ a1998collins ]]). coverup;position=top New York Times 6/19/02 News Article FBI agent Ken Williams later investigates the possibility of terrorists learning to fly aircraft (see [[ a041700williams ]] and [[ a071001williams ]]), but he has no easy way to query a central FBI database about similar cases. As a result of this and other FBI communication problems, he remains unaware of most US intelligence reports about the potential use of airplanes as weapons, as well as other, specific FBI warnings about terrorists training at US flight schools (see [[ a051898 ]], [[ aafter051598warn ]], [[ a99aviationwarning ]], and [[ a0999airman ]]). incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Early 1994-January 1995 aearly94philippines right Mohammed in a 1998 FBI wanted poster, quite possibly digitally altered to show him without a beard. 1 false 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed lives in the Philippines for a year, planning the Bojinka plot until the plot is exposed and he has to flee (see [[ a0195 ]]). Police later say he lives a very expensive and non-religious lifestyle. He meets in karaoke bars and go-go clubs, dates go-go dancers, stays in four-star hotels, and takes scuba diving lessons. Once he rents a helicopter just to fly it past the window of a girlfriend's office in an attempt to impress her. This appears to be a pattern; for instance he has a big drinking party in 1998. [[[ timeline/2002/latimes062402.html | Los Angeles Times, 6/24/02 ]]] Officials believe his obvious access to large sums of money indicate that some larger network is backing him by this time. Los Angeles Times 6/6/02 News Article It has been suggested that Mohammed, a Pakistani, is able &ldquo;to operate as he pleased in Pakistan&rdquo; in the 1990s [[[ timeline/2002/latimes062402.html | Los Angeles Times, 6/24/02 ]]], and even is linked to the Pakistani ISI (see [[ a060402khalidshaikh ]]). <comment>Could the ISI be backing him at this early date? </comment> isidrugs His hedonistic time in the Philippines resembles reports of hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi in the Philippines (see [[ a1998mabalacat ]]). Mohammed returns to the Philippines occasionally, even being spotted there after 9/11. [[[ | Knight Ridder, 9/9/02 ]]] He almost gets caught while visiting an old girlfriend there in 1999, and fails in a second plot to kill the Pope when the Pope cancels his visit to the Philippines that year. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/londontimes111002.html | London Times, 11/10/02 ]]] <comment>Does Mohammed meet the hijackers in the Philippines?</comment> 1994 (B) a1994attacks 1 false Coincidentally, three separate attacks this year involve hijacking airplanes to crash them into buildings. A disgruntled Federal Express worker tries to crash a DC-10 into a company building in Memphis but is overpowered by the crew. A lone pilot crashes a small plane onto the White House grounds, just missing the President's bedroom. An Air France flight is hijacked by a terrorist group linked to al-Qaeda, with the aim of crashing it into the Eiffel Tower, but French Special Forces storm the plane before it takes off. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 10/3/01</a>] The Eiffel Tower suicide plan is detailed in a Time magazine cover story. advanceinfo 1994 a1994defects 1 false Mohammed al-Khilewi, the First Secretary at the Saudi Mission to the United Nations, defects and seeks political asylum in the US. He brings with him 14,000 internal government documents depicting the Saudi royal family's corruption, human-rights abuses, and financial support for terrorists. He meets with two FBI agents and an Assistant US Attorney. saudi &ldquo;We gave them a sampling of the documents and put them on the table,&rdquo; says his lawyer, &ldquo;but the agents refused to accept them.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 10/16/01</a>] The documents include &ldquo;details of the $7 billion the Saudis gave to [Iraq leader] Saddam Hussein for his nuclear program&#8212;the first attempt to build an Islamic Bomb.&rdquo; But FBI agents were &ldquo;ordered not to accept evidence of Saudi criminal activity, even on US soil.&rdquo; incompetence Best Democracy Money Can Buy News Article March 1994 a0394radical 1 false The FBI creates the Radical Fundamentalist Unit to investigate international radical fundamentalism, including al-Qaeda. In 1999, the Usama Bin Laden Unit is created to look more specifically in al-Qaeda. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article April 9, 1994 a040994citizenship 1 false The Saudi government revokes bin Laden's citizenship and moves to freeze his assets in Saudi Arabia because of his support for Muslim fundamentalist movements. [[[ timeline/1990s/nyt041094.html | New York Times 4/10/94 ]], [[ timeline/2001/frontline0901.html | Frontline, 9/01 ]]] But apparently this is only a public front; privately they continue to support him as part of a secret deal made in 1991 (see [[ a91secretdeal ]]). August 1994 a0894dallahavco 1 false A Saudi named Omar al-Bayoumi arrives in San Diego. He will later become well known for his suspicious connections to both some 9/11 hijackers and the Saudi government (see [[ a120499princess ]], [[ a0200party ]], and [[ a112202 ]]). Acquaintances in San Diego long suspect he is a Saudi government spy, reporting on the activities of Saudi-born college students. [[[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/14/02 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 11/22/02 ]], [[ | San Diego Magazine, 9/03 ]]] Says one witness, &ldquo;He was always watching [young Saudi college students], always checking up on them, literally following them around and then apparently reporting their activities back to Saudi Arabia.&rdquo; [[[ | Newsweek, 11/24/02 ]]] Just prior to moving to the US, he worked for the Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation, headed by Prince Sultan (see [[ a0801baer ]], [[ a083101turki ]], and [[ a081502saudisuit ]]). His salary in this job is approved by Hamid al-Rashid, a Saudi government official whose son Saud al-Rashid is strongly suspected of al-Qaeda ties (see [[ a081502alrashid ]]). [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] Once in San Diego, al-Bayoumi tells people that he's a student, or a pilot, and even claims to be receiving monthly payments from &ldquo;family in India&rdquo; (despite being Saudi). But these explanations didn't seem credible and he is none of those things. [[[ timeline/2001/sundaymercury102101.html | Sunday Mercury, 10/21/01 ]], [[ | Wall Street Journal, 8/11/03 ]]] In fact, as he tells some people, he receives a monthly stipend from a Saudi aviation company called Dallah Avco that has extensive ties to the same Saudi Ministry of Defense and Aviation. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 11/24/02 ]]] From early 1995 until 2002 he is paid about $3000 a month for a project in Saudi Arabia even though he's living in the US. According the New York Times, Congressional officials believe he is a &ldquo;ghost employee&rdquo; doing no actual work. The classified section of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry report (see [[ a072403finalreport ]]) notes that his payments increase significantly just after he comes into contact with two hijackers in early 2000. [[[ | New York Times, 8/2/03 ]]] The FBI is investigating possible ties between Dallah Avco and al-Qaeda. [[[ | Newsweek, 10/29/02 ]]] The firm's owner, Saudi billionaire Saleh Abdullah Kamel, has denied the accusation. [[[ | Newsweek, 7/28/03 ]]] Kamel is on a secret United Nations list of terror financiers (see [[ a112602secretlist ]]). According to leaks from the still-classified section of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry report, al-Bayoumi also receives a monthly government stipend that increases sharply just after he comes into contact with two hijackers in early 2000 (see [[ aspring00payspike ]]). A few years later, al-Bayoumi gets an additional ghost job (see [[ a0698albayoumi ]]), is investigated by the FBI, and also is saved from losing his Dallah Avco job by the Saudi government (see [[ a0998bayoumiinquiry ]]). saudi September 1994 a0994taliban 1 false Starting as Afghani exiles in Pakistan religious schools, the Taliban begin their conquest of Afghanistan. [<a href="timeline/2001/msnbc100201.html" target=_new>MSNBC, 10/2/01</a>] &ldquo;The Taliban are widely alleged to be the creation of Pakistan's military intelligence [the ISI]. Experts say that explains the Taliban's swift military successes.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>CNN, 10/5/96</a>] Richard Clarke, a counterterrorism official during the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations and the counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; by 9/11, later claims that not only does the ISI create the Taliban, but they also facilitate connections between the Taliban and al-Qaeda to help the Taliban achieve victory. [ isidrugs <i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, p. 53] isidrugs Less often reported is that the CIA worked with the ISI to create the Taliban. A long-time regional expert with extensive CIA ties says, &ldquo;I warned them that we were creating a monster.&rdquo; He adds that even years later, &ldquo;The Taliban are not just recruits from &lsquo;madrassas&rsquo; (Muslim theological schools) but are on the payroll of the ISI.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Times of India, 3/7/01</a>] The same claim is made on CNN in February 2002. [<a href="timeline/2002/cnn022702.html" target=_new>CNN, 2/27/02</a>] The Wall Street Journal will state in November 2001: &ldquo;Despite their clean chins and pressed uniforms, the ISI men are as deeply fundamentalist as any bearded fanatic; the ISI created the Taliban as their own instrument and still supports it.&rdquo; isidrugs Asia Times 11/15/01 News Article November 1994-December 1999 a1194prison right Saeed in an Indian hospital shortly after being arrested in 1994. He was shot while being captured. 1 false Saeed Sheikh is imprisoned in India for kidnapping Westerners (see [[ a0693saeed ]]). While there, he meets another prisoner named Aftab Ansari. Ansari, an Indian gangster, will be released on bail near the end of 1999. [[[ timeline/2002/indiatoday022502.html | India Today, 2/25/02 ]]] Saeed also meets another prisoner named Asif Raza Khan, who also is released in 1999. [[[ | Rediff, 11/17/01 ]]] After Saeed is rescued from prison (see [[ a122499hijack ]]), he works with Ansari and Khan to kidnap Indians and then uses some of the profits to fund the 9/11 attacks (see [[ a0801kidnapping ]]). [[[ | Frontline, 2/2/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/indiatoday021402.html | India Today, 2/14/02 ]]] Saeed also becomes good friends with prisoner Maulana Masood Azhar, a terrorist with al-Qaeda connections (see [[ a100393mogadishu ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/sundaytimes042102.html | Sunday Times, 4/21/02 ]]] Saeed will later commit further terrorist acts together with Azhar's group, Jaish-e-Mohammad (see for instance [[ a100101kashmir ]] and [[ a121301indianparliament ]]). isidrugs Independent 2/26/02 News Article December 12, 1994 a121294bojinka 1 false Terrorist Ramzi Yousef attempts a trial run of Operation Bojinka (see [[ a0195 ]]), planting a small bomb on a Philippine Airlines flight to Tokyo (he gets off on a stopover before the bomb is detonated). It explodes, killing one man, and would have caused the plane to crash if not for what were described as heroic efforts by the pilot. advanceinfo Los Angeles Times 9/1/02 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article December 14, 1994 a121494khalifaarrest 1 false Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, a brother-in-law to bin Laden, is arrested in the US. Khalifa had financed the Abu Sayyaf terror group in the Philippines and had recently been sentenced to death in Jordan for funding a group that staged a series of bombings in that country. The FBI finds and quickly translates literature in his luggage advocating training in assassination, explosives, and weapons, bombing churches, and murdering Catholic priests. At the time, he is not only linked to funding bin Laden's terrorism efforts, but also has ties to terrorist Ramzi Yousef and other Operation Bojinka plotters. Bin Laden could be connected to many terrorist activities through Khalifa's connections. However, Secretary of State Warren Christopher argues that Khalifa should be released to Jordan. He finally is sent to Jordan in May 1995, where his conviction has already been overturned. In a later retrial there, a witness recants and Khalifa is set free. Says one expert working at the CIA's Counterterrorism center at the time, &ldquo;I remember people at the CIA who were ripshit at the time. Not even speaking in retrospect, but contemporaneous with what the intelligence community knew about bin Laden, Khalifa's deportation was unreal.&rdquo; [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 233-235, <a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 5/2/02 (B)</a>, <a href="timeline/1990s/sfchronicle041895.html" target=_new>San Francisco Chronicle, 4/18/95</a>, January 1995 1 false President Clinton issues an executive order making it a felony to raise or transfer funds to designated terrorist groups or their front organizations. 1995-2001 a95hunting 1 false After the Taliban takes control of the area around Kandahar, Afghanistan (see [[ a0994taliban | September 1994 ]]), prominent Persian Gulf state officials and businessmen, including high-ranking United Arab Emirates and Saudi government ministers, such as Saudi intelligence minister Prince Turki al-Faisal (see [[ a0798secretmeeting | July 1998 ]]), frequently secretly fly into Kandahar on state and private jets for hunting expeditions (see also [[ a0299hunting | February 1999 (D) ]]). [[[,0,7388562.story | Los Angeles Times, 11/18/01 ]]] General Wayne Downing, Bush's former national director for combating terrorism, says: &ldquo;They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses.&rdquo; [[[ | MSNBC, 9/5/03 ]]] While there, some develop ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda and give them money. Both bin Laden and Taliban leader Mullah Omar sometimes participate in these hunting trips. Former US and Afghan officials suspect that the dignitaries' outbound jets may also have smuggled out al-Qaeda and Taliban cargo, just as smuggling was rampant on other airplanes flying out of the country (see [[ a1996ariana | Mid-1996-October 2001 ]]). saudi,0,7388562.story Los Angeles Times 11/18/01 News Article 1995 a95sudan 1 false For the first time, though not the last, the government of Sudan offers the US all of its files on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. The US turns down the offer. Bin Laden had been living in Sudan since 1991, because there were no visa requirements to live there. Sudan was monitoring him, collecting a &ldquo;vast intelligence database on Osama bin Laden and more than 200 leading members of his al-Qaeda terrorist network&#8230; [The US was] offered thick files, with photographs and detailed biographies of many of his principal cadres, and vital information about al-Qaeda's financial interests in many parts of the globe.&rdquo; After 9/11, a US agent who has seen the files on bin Laden's men in Khartoum says some were &ldquo;an inch and a half thick.&rdquo; incompetence,1373,560675,00.html Guardian 9/30/01 News Article January 6, 1995 a0195 right A 1998 CNN map of likely flights to be hijacked in one version of Operation Bojinka. 1 false Philippine investigators uncover an al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the Pope that would take place when he visits the Philippines one week later. While investigating that, they also uncover Operation Bojinka, planned by the same people: 1993 WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]) and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (see [[ aearly94philippines ]]). [[[ | Independent, 6/6/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/latimes062402.html | Los Angeles Times, 6/24/02 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] <a href="" target=_new></a>The plan is to explode 11 or 12 passenger planes over the Pacific Ocean. [[[ timeline/2001/afp120801.html | Agence France Presse, 12/8/01 ]]] If successful, up to 4,000 people would have been killed in planes flying to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and New York. [[[ | Insight, 5/27/02 ]]] All the bombs would be planted at about the same time, but some would be timed to go off weeks or even months later. Presumably worldwide air travel could be interrupted for months. [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 260-261] Operation Bojinka was scheduled to go forward just two weeks later on January 21. A plan is also found for a second phase of attacks (see January 20, 1995 and February 1995). advanceinfo Insight 5/27/02 News Article January 20, 1995 a012095threeattacks 1 false It comes to light that terrorist Ramzi Yousef, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and their fellow plotters were actually planning three different terror attacks when they were foiled in early 1995 (see [[ a0195 ]]). One was the assassination of the Pope, the second was Operation Bojinka, a plot to explode about a dozen passenger planes at once, and the third, unnamed plot was to crash about a dozen passenger planes into prominent US buildings. This third plot is often confused with Bojinka, but it is in fact a separate though related plot. [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, p. 259] Philippine investigator Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza learns about this third plot through the examination of recently captured Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad. On January 20, Mendoza writes a memo about Murad's latest confession, saying, &ldquo;With regards to their plan to dive-crash a commercial aircraft at the CIA headquarters, subject alleged that the idea of doing same came out during his casual conversation with [Ramzi Yousef] and there is no specific plan yet for its execution. What the subject [has] in his mind is that he will board any American commercial aircraft pretending to be an ordinary passenger. Then he will hijack said aircraft, control its cockpit and dive it at the CIA headquarters. There will be no bomb or any explosive that he will use in its execution. It is simply a suicidal mission that he is very much willing to execute.&rdquo; [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 277-278, [[ | Insight, 5/27/02 ]]] Murad had been trained to fly in the US, and the word spreads both before and after 9/11 that Murad wanted to fly a plane into the CIA as part of the original Bojinka plot (see for instance, [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A10840-2001Sep22 | Washington Post, 9/23/01 ]]]). However, Murad makes further confessions later that reveal all of the little-known third plot (see [[ a0295thirdplot | February 1995 ]]). February 1995 a0295thirdplot 1 false As the Philippines investigator Colonel Mendoza continues to interrogate Operation Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad (see [[ a012095threeattacks | January 20, 1995 ]]), details of a post-Bojinka &ldquo;third plot&rdquo; emerge (see [[ a0195 ]]). Author Peter Lance calls this plot &ldquo;a virtual blueprint of the 9/11 attacks.&rdquo; Murad reveals a plan to hijack commercial airliners at some point after the effect of Bojinka dies down. Murad himself had been training in the US for this plot. He names targets of the buildings that would be attacked: CIA headquarters, the Pentagon, an unidentified nuclear power plant, the Transamerica Tower in San Francisco, the Sear Tower, and the World Trade Center. Murad continues to reveal more information about this plot until he is handed over to the FBI in April (see [[ a051195muradinterrmemo | May 11, 1995 ]]). [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 278-280] He also identifies approximately 10 other men who met him at the flight schools or were getting similar training. They came from Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. Apparently none of these pilots match the names of any of the 9/11 hijackers. However, he also gives information pointing to the terrorist Hambali through a front company named Konsonjaya. Hambali later hosts an important al-Qaeda meeting attended by two of the 9/11 hijackers (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). [[[ | AP, 3/5/02 (B) ]]] Colonel Mendoza even makes a flow chart connecting many key players together, including bin Laden, bin Laden's brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ramzi Yousef, and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (named as Salem Ali a.k.a. Mohmad). [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 303-304] Philippine authorities later claim they turn over all of this information to US authorities, but the US fails to follow up on any of it (see [[ a051195muradinterrmemo | May 11, 1995 ]]). Khalifa is in US custody and released the same month the US is given this information about him (see [[ a121494khalifaarrest | December 14, 1994 ]]). February 7, 1995 a020795ramzi right Ramzi Yousef. 1 false Terrorist Ramzi Yousef is arrested in Pakistan (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]] and [[ a0195 ]]). 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is staying in the same building at the time, and brazenly gives an interview to Time magazine as &ldquo;Khalid Sheikh,&rdquo; describing Yousef's capture. [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 328] Yousef had recruited Istaique Parker to implement a limited version of Operation Bojinka (see [[ a0195 ]]). Parker would put bombs on board two flights bound from Bangkok to the US. Parker got cold feet and turned Yousef in instead. [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 284-285] The next day, as Yousef is flying over New York City on his way to a prison cell, an FBI agent says to Yousef, &ldquo;You see the Trade Centers down there, they're still standing, aren't they?&rdquo; Yousef responds, &ldquo;They wouldn't be if I had enough money and enough explosives.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/msnbc092301b.html | MSNBC, 9/23/01 ]], <i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/02, p. 135] Yousef also soon admits to ties with Wali Khan Shah, who fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan, and Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, one of bin Laden's brothers-in-law, who is being held by the US at the time. Despite this confession, Khalifa is let go a few months later (see [[ a121494khalifaarrest | December 14, 1994 ]]). But although Yousef talks freely, he makes no direct mention of bin Laden, or the &ldquo;third plot&rdquo; - a planned second wave of Operation Bojinka that closely parallels the later 9/11 plot (see [[ a0295thirdplot | February 1995 ]]). advanceinfo March 1995 a0395belgian 1 false Belgian investigators find a CD-ROM of an al-Qaeda terrorist manual and begin translating it a few months later. Versions of the manual circulate widely and are seized by the police all over Europe. A former CIA official claims the CIA does not obtain a copy of the manual until the end of 1999: &ldquo;The truth is, they missed for years the largest terrorist guide ever written.&rdquo; He blames CIA reluctance to scrutinize its support for the anti-Soviet jihad in the 1980s (see [[ a122679invasion ]] and [[ a0385escalation ]]). incompetence The CIA claims that the manual isn't that important, and that it had copies for years in any case (see also [[ a090192ajaj ]]). coverup New York Times 1/14/01 News Article timeline/2002/cbs022002.html CBS 2/20/02 News Article March 1995-February 1996 a0395 1 false A man named Ziad Jarrah rents an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. [<i>Among the Heroes</i>, Jere Longman, 2002, p. 90] The landlords later identify his photograph as being that of the 9/11 hijacker. A Brooklyn apartment lease bears Ziad Jarrah's name. [<a href="" target=_new>Boston Globe, 9/25/01</a>] &ldquo;Another man named Ihassan Jarrah lived with Ziad, drove a livery cab and paid the eight-hundred-dollar monthly rent. The men were quiet, well-mannered, said hello and good-bye. Ziad Jarrah carried a camera and told his landlords that he was a photographer. He would disappear for a few days on occasion, then reappear. Sometimes a woman who appeared to be a prostitute arrived with one of the men. &lsquo;Me and my brother used to crack jokes that they were terrorists,&rsquo; said Jason Matos, a construction worker who lived in a basement there, and whose mother owned the house.&rdquo; However, Ziad Jarrah is actually still in his home country of Lebanon at this time. He is studying in a Catholic school in Beirut, and is in frequent contact with the rest of his family. His parents drive him home to be with the family nearly every weekend, and they are in frequent contact by telephone as well. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 10/23/01 ]]] Not until April 1996 does Jarrah leave Lebanon for the first time, to study in Germany. [[[ | Boston Globe, 9/25/01 ]]] His family believes that the New York lease proves that there were two Jarrahs. [[[ | CNN, 9/18/01 (B) ]]] This is not the only example of their Jarrah being in two places at the same time&#8212;see [[ a1100jarrah ]]. <comment>Could Jarrah have had a doppelganger?</comment> coverup Spring 1995 a1995plot 1 false In the wake of the uncovering of the Operation Bojinka plot, a letter written by the terrorists who planned the failed 1993 WTC bombing (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]) is found on a computer disk in the Philippines. This letter warns that future attacks would be more precise and they would continue to target the WTC if their demands were not met. This letter was never sent, but its contents are revealed in 1998 congressional testimony. [[[ | Congressional Hearings, 2/24/98 ]]] The Manila, Philippines police chief also reports discovering a statement from bin Laden around this time that although they failed to blow up the WTC in 1993, &ldquo;on the second attempt they would be successful.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/afp091301.html | AFP, 9/13/01 ]]] <comment>Why wasn't security at the WTC noticeably improved after these revelations, or later?</comment> advanceinfo April 3, 1995 a040395time 1 false Time magazine's cover story reports on the potential for terrorists to kill thousands in highly destructive acts. Senator Sam Nunn outlines a scenario in which terrorists destroy the US Capitol Building by crashing a radio controlled airplane into it. &ldquo;Its not far-fetched,&rdquo; he says. His idea was taken from Tom Clancy's book <i>Debt of Honor</i>published in August 1994. [<a href="timeline/1990s/time040395.html" target=_new>Time, 4/3/95</a>] High-ranking al-Qaeda leaders later claim that Flight 93's target was the Capitol Building. advanceinfo,1284,788431,00.html Guardian 9/9/02 News Article April 19, 1995 1 false The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City is bombed. US citizen Timothy McVeigh is convicted of the bombing, but some maintain there is a Middle Eastern connection with the bombing. For instance, Richard Clarke, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; during the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations, says the possibility is intriguing and he has been unable to disprove it. [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, p. 127] The bombing leads to a surge in concern about terrorism,. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act is devised and becomes law as a result of such concern. However, many anti-terrorism provisions Clinton seeks are not approved by the Republican-controlled Congress. Politicians agree with the National Rifle Association that proposed restrictions on bomb making infringe on the right to bear arms. incompetence May 11, 1995 a051195muradinterrmemo 1 false FBI agents, having held Operation Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad for about a month, write a memo containing what they've learned from interrogating him. The memo contains many interesting revelations, including the mention that Ramzi Yousef, a mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]), &ldquo;wanted to return to the United States in the future to bomb the World Trade Center a second time.&rdquo; However, this memo does not contain a word about the &ldquo;third plot&rdquo; - the plan to fly about six hijacked airplanes into prominent US buildings - even though Murad had recently fully confessed this plot to Philippines investigators (see [[ a0295thirdplot | February 1995 ]]). These Philippine investigators claim they turned over all tapes, transcripts, and reports about Murad's confessions of the plot to the US at the same time they handed over Murad. It has not been explained why this plot is not mentioned in the FBI's summary of Murad's interrogation. [<i>1000 Years for Revenge,</i> by Peter Lance, 9/03, pp. 280-282] After 9/11, a Philippine investigator refers to this third plot when he says of the 9/11 attacks, &ldquo;It's Bojinka&#8230;. We told the Americans everything about Bojinka. Why didn't they pay attention?&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/wpost092301b.html | Washington Post, 9/23/01 ]]] In an interview after 9/11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will claim that the 9/11 attacks were a refinement and resurrection of this plot. timeline/2002/australian090902.html Australian 9/9/02 News Article June 1995 left Hassan al-Turabi 1 false There is a failed assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. The CIA concludes bin Laden authorized the operation. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B) ]]] Evidence suggests that the government of Sudan and Hassan al-Turabi, Sudan's leader, know where bin Laden is living and helped to support the plot. The United Nations Security Council places sanctions on Sudan as a result. The US examines options for attacking bin Laden and/or Turabi's facilities in the Sudanese capitol. The options developed by the US military are rejected for being unstealthy and a de facto war on Sudan. In the ensuing months, there are reports of Egyptian covert operations against bin Laden and an Egyptian military build-up on the Sudanese border. These factors influence bin Laden's decision to move to Afghanistan in 1996 (see [[ a051896sudan | May 18, 1996 ]]). July 1995 1 false A US National Intelligence Estimate concludes that the most likely threat would come from emerging &ldquo;transient&rdquo; terrorist groupings that are more fluid and multinational than older organizations and state-sponsored surrogates. This &ldquo;new terrorist phenomenon&rdquo; is made up of loose affiliations of Islamist extremists violently angry at the US. Lacking strong organization, they get weapons, money, and support from an assortment of governments, factions, and individual benefactors. timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article The estimate warns that terrorists are intent on striking specific targets inside the US, especially landmark buildings in Washington and New York. In 1997, the intelligence estimate is updated with bin Laden mentioned on the first page as an emerging threat and points out he might be interested in attacks inside the US. advanceinfo However, this new estimate is only two sentences long and lacks any strategic analysis on how to address the threat.,1280,-3983783,00.html Associated Press 04/16/04 News Article October 21, 1995 a102195unocal 1 false The oil company Unocal signs a contract with Turkmenistan to export $8 billion worth of natural gas through a $3 billion pipeline which would go from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan. Political considerations and pressures allow Unocal to edge out a more experienced Argentinean company for the contract. Henry Kissinger, a Unocal consultant, calls it &ldquo;the triumph of hope over experience.&rdquo; oil Washington Post 10/5/98 News Article November 13, 1995 a111395truck 1 false Two truck bombs kill five Americans and two Indians in a US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda is blamed for the attacks. [<a href=",1282,-1957592,00.html" target=_new>AP, 8/19/02</a>] The attack changes US investigators' views of bin Laden from terrorist financier to terrorist leader. [<i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/02, p. 150] The facility attacked is owned by the Vinnell Corporation, thought by some experts to be a CIA front.,,3-679768,00.html London Times 5/14/03 News Article Late 1995 alate95fahd 1 false /> saudi King Fahd of Saudi Arabia suffers a severe stroke. Afterwards, he is able to sit in a chair and open his eyes, but little more. The resulting lack of leadership begins a behind-the-scenes struggle for power and leads to increased corruption. The situation continues to this day. Crown Prince Abdullah has been urging his fellow princes to address the problem of corruption in the kingdom&#8212;so far unsuccessfully. A former White House adviser says: &ldquo;The only reason Fahd's being kept alive is so Abdullah can't become king.&rdquo; saudi New Yorker 10/16/01 News Article January 1996 a0196suicide 1 false US intelligence gets information concerning a planned suicide attack by individuals connected with Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]]) and a key al-Qaeda operative. The plan is to fly from Afghanistan to the US and attack the White House. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article 1996 (C) a96payoffs 1 false The Saudi Arabian government increases its payments to al-Qaeda first started in 1991 (see [[ a91secretdeal ]]), becoming its largest financial backer. It also gives money to other extremist groups throughout Asia. This money vastly increases al-Qaeda's capabilities. [[[ | New Yorker, 10/16/01 ]]] Presumably two meetings in early summer bring about the change (see also [[ a0596paris ]]and [[ a0696kandahardeal ]]). Says one US official, &ldquo;'96 is the key year&#8230; Bin Laden hooked up to all the bad guys&#8212;it's like the Grand Alliance&#8212;and had a capability for conducting large-scale operations.&rdquo; The Saudi regime, he says, had &ldquo;gone to the dark side.&rdquo; Electronic intercepts by the NSA &ldquo;depict a regime increasingly corrupt, alienated from the country's religious rank and file, and so weakened and frightened that it has brokered its future by channeling hundreds of millions of dollars in what amounts to protection money to fundamentalist groups that wish to overthrow it.&rdquo; saudi US officials later privately complain &ldquo;that the Bush Administration, like the Clinton Administration, is refusing to confront this reality, even in the aftermath of the September 11th terrorist attacks.&rdquo; coverup coverup New Yorker 10/16/01 News Article 1996 a1196libya left Anas al-Liby. 1 false Al-Muqatila, a Libyan group that is actually the cover name of an al-Qaeda terrorist cell, tries to kill Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. Al-Qadhafi survives, but several terrorists and innocent bystanders are killed. Dawn 10/30/02 News Article According to David Shayler, a member of the British intelligence agency MI5, and Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasqui&#233;, authors of the controversial book <i>The Forbidden Truth</i>, the related British intelligence agency MI6 pays al-Qaeda the equivalent of $160,000 to help fund this assassination attempt. Shayler later goes to prison for revealing this information and the British press is banned from discussing the case. [[[ timeline/1990s/nyt080598.html | New York Times, 8/5/98 ]], [[,9174,837333,00.html | Observer, 11/10/02 ]]] Well after the failed attempt, the British continue to support al-Muqatila&#8212;for instance, the group publishes a newsletter from a London office. [<i>The Forbidden Truth</i>, by Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasqui&#233;, 5/02 edition, pp. 97-98] Anas al-Liby, a member of the Libyan al-Qaeda cell, is given political asylum in Britain and lives there until May 2000. He is now on the US's most wanted list, with a $25 million reward for his capture. [[[,9174,837333,00.html | Observer, 11/10/02 ]]] <i>The Forbidden Truth</i> claims that even in 1998 Britain and the US aren't very interested in capturing bin Laden because of his assistance in plots like these (see [[ a041598interpol ]]). The British government later attempts to censor their role in this assassination attempt (see [[ a110502shayler ]]). incompetence Mid-1996-September 11, 2001 amid96mohammed 1 false After fleeing Qatar (see [[ a96qatar ]]), 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed travels the world and plans many terror acts. He is apparently involved in the 1998 US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy ]]), the 2000 USS Cole bombing (see [[ a101200cole ]]) and other attacks. He previously was involved in the 1993 WTC bombing (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]]) and the Bojinka plot (see [[ a0195 ]]). [[[ | Time, 1/20/03 ]]] One US official says, &ldquo;There is a clear operational link between him and the execution of most, if not all, of the al-Qaeda plots over the past five years.&rdquo; [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 12/22/02 ]]] He lives in Prague, Czech Republic, through much of 1997. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] By 1999 he is living in Germany and visiting with the hijackers there (see [[ a1999ksmvisit ]]). [[[ | New York Times, 9/22/02 ]]] Using 60 aliases and as many passports, he travels through Europe, Africa, the Persian Gulf, Southeast Asia and South America, personally setting up al-Qaeda cells. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 12/22/02 ]], [[ | Time, 1/20/03 ]]] In the midst of all this activity, in early 1998, Mohammed is publicly named as a major terrorist and a $2 million reward for his capture is announced by the US, but there is no major public manhunt for him, and his activities are not impeded (see January 8, 1998). <comment>If reports are true that Mohammed is given protection by Pakistan ([[ aearly94philippines ]]), and is possibly even an ISI agent (see [[ a060402khalidshaikh ]]), doesn't that make Pakistan responsible for all of these terrorist acts?</comment> isidrugs 1996 (D) a1996murad 1 false Having found a business card of a US flight school in the possession of Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad (see [[ a0195 ]]), the FBI investigates the US flight schools Murad attended. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A10840-2001Sep22 | Washington Post, 9/23/01 ]]] He had trained at about 6 flight schools off and on, starting in 1990. Apparently the FBI stops their investigation when they fail to find any other potential suspects (see [[ a051898 ]]). [[[ | Insight, 5/27/02 ]]] However, Murad had confessed to Philippine authorities the names of about ten other al-Qaeda operatives learning to fly in the US, and this information was given to the US. The US fails to follow up on it before 9/11 (see [[ a0295thirdplot | February 1995 ]] and [[ a051195muradinterrmemo | May 11, 1995 ]]). advanceinfo Early 1996 1 false The CIA's Counterterrorism Center creates a special unit to focus specifically on bin Laden. About 10-15 individuals are assigned to the unit initially. This grows to about 35-40 by 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html" target=_new>Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02</a>] The unit is set up &ldquo;largely because of evidence linking him to the 1993 bombing of the WTC.&rdquo; [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A61219-2001Oct2Found=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 10/3/01 (C)</a>] By early 1997, the unit realizes that bin Laden was not just a financier but an organizer of terrorist activity. It knows that al-Qaeda has a military committee planning operations against US interests worldwide. advanceinfo Although this information is disseminated in many reports, the unit's sense of alarm about bin Laden isn't widely shared or understood within the intelligence and policy communities. Employees in the unit feel their zeal attracts ridicule from their peers. incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404c.html 9/11 Commission 3/24/04 (C) News Article 1996-December 2000 a96hijackerschechnya 1 false Thirteen of the hijackers disappear for significant periods of time before the end of 2000: <ol> <li>Nawaf Alhazmi: The CIA says he first travels to Afghanistan in 1993 as a teenager. In 1995, he travels with Khalid Almihdhar to Bosnia and fights against the Serbs. Sometime before 1998 he returns to Afghanistan and swears loyalty to bin Laden. He fights there against the Northern Alliance. He returns to Saudi Arabia in early 1999 and shares information about the 1998 US embassy bombings. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/cia061802.html" target=_new>CIA Director Tenet Testimony, 6/18/02</a>] He fights in Chechnya in or 1998 [<a href=",1373,556695,00.html" target=_new>Observer, 9/23/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 1/9/02</a>] </li> <li>Khalid Almihdhar: CIA Director calls him, like Nawaf Alhazmi, an &ldquo;al-Qaeda veteran.&rdquo; He fights in Bosnia with Alhazmi in 1995. He makes his first visit to the Afghanistan training camps in early 1996. He swears loyalty to bin Laden in Afghanistan in 1998. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/cia061802.html" target=_new>CIA Director Tenet Testimony, 6/18/02</a>] His family claims he fights in Chechnya in 1997. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02</a>] </li> <li>Salem Alhazmi: Spends time in Chechnya with his brother Nawaf Alhazmi. [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 1/9/02</a>] He also possibly fights with his brother in Afghanistan. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03</a>] </li> <li> Ahmed Alhaznawi: left for Chechnya in 1999 [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 1/9/02</a>], lost family contact in late 2000. [<a href="" target=_new>Arab News, 9/22/01</a>] </li> <li> Hamza Alghamdi: left for Chechnya in early 2000. [<a href="" target=_new>Independent, 9/27/01</a>, [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A19549-2001Sep24&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/25/01</a>] Another report says he went there around January 2001. He called home several times until about June 2001, saying he was in Chechnya. [<a href=";ArY=2001&amp;ArM=10&amp;ArD=1" target=_new>Arab News, 9/18/01</a>] </li> <li> Mohand Alshehri: went to fight in Chechnya in early 2000. [<a href="" target=_new>Arab News, 9/22/01</a>] </li> <li> Ahmed Alnami: left home in June 2000, called home once in June 2001 from an unnamed location. [<a href=";ArY=2001&amp;ArM=9&amp;ArD=19" target=_new>Arab News, 9/19/01</a>, <a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A19549-2001Sep24&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/25/01</a>] </li> <li> Fayez Ahmed Banihammad: left home in July 2000 saying he wanted to participate in a holy war or do relief work. [<a href="" target=_new>St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01</a>, <a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A19549-2001Sep24&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/25/01</a>] He called his parents one time since. [<a href=";ArY=2001&amp;ArM=10&amp;ArD=1" target=_new>Arab News, 9/18/01</a>] </li> <li> Ahmed Alghamdi: left his studies to fight in Chechnya in 2000, last seen by his family in December 2000. He last called his parents in July 2001 but didn't mention being in the US. [<a href=";ArY=2001&amp;ArM=10&amp;ArD=1" target=_new>Arab News, 9/18/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Arab News, 9/20/01</a>] </li> <li> Waleed Alshehri: disappeared with Wail Alshehri in December 2000, spoke of fighting in Chechnya. [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A19549-2001Sep24&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/25/01</a>, <a href=";ArY=2001&amp;ArM=10&amp;ArD=1" target=_new>Arab News, 9/18/01</a>] </li> <li> Wail Alshehri: had psychological problems, went with his brother to Mecca to seek help and both disappeared, spoke of fighting in Chechnya. [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A19549-2001Sep24&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/25/01</a>] </li> <li> Majed Moqed: last seen by a friend in 2000 in Saudi Arabia, who said, &ldquo;he had a plan to visit the United States to learn English.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Arab News, 9/22/01</a>]</li> </ol>Clearly there is a pattern: 11 appear likely to have fought in Chechnya, and two others are known to have gone missing. It's possible that others have similar histories, but it's hard to tell because &ldquo;almost nothing [is] known about some.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 9/21/01</a>] Furthermore, a colleague claims hijackers Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah and would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh wanted to fight in Chechnya but were told in early 2000 that they were needed elsewhere. Washington Post 10/23/02 News Article timeline/2002/reuters102902.html Reuters 10/29/02 News Article Reuters has reported: &ldquo;Western diplomats play down any Chechen involvement by al-Qaeda.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2002/reuters102402.html | Reuters, 10/24/02 ]]] <comment>The Chechnya connection to the 9/11 plot has been hardly discussed; could this be because of political implications with Russia?</comment> Many of the FBI hijackers photos appear to be incorrect (see [[ a091601 ]]). <comment>Could some hijackers have died fighting in Chechnya and had their identities used by someone else? </comment>If so, it might not be the first time this technique was used: former CIA director James Woolsey claims bin Laden agents murdered 12 men during the 1990 Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, stole their paperwork, then used their identities for later plots such as the WTC bombing in 1993. coverup timeline/2001/msnbc092701.html MSNBC 9/27/01 News Article Early 1996-October 1998 a96ladensatellite 1 false In early 1996, a friend gives bin Laden a satellite phone. The phone is used by both bin Laden and his military commander Muhammad Atef to direct al-Qaeda's operations. But its use is discontinued two months after a US missile strike against his camps (see [[ a082098missilestrike ]]), when an unnamed senior official boasts that the US can track his movements through the use of the phone. incompetence timeline/2002/sundaytimes032402.html Sunday Times 3/24/02 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee121102c.html Senator Shelby Congressional Inquiry Report 12/11/02 News Article Records show &ldquo;Britain was at the heart of the terrorist's planning for his worldwide campaign of murder and destruction,&rdquo; since 260 calls were made to 27 phone numbers in Britain. The other countries called were Yemen (over 200 calls), Sudan (131), Iran (106), Azerbaijan (67), Pakistan (59), Saudi Arabia (57), a ship in the Indian Ocean (13), US (6), Italy (6), Malaysia (4) and Senegal (2). &ldquo;The most surprising omission is Iraq, with not a single call recorded.&rdquo; timeline/2002/sundaytimes032402.html Sunday Times 3/24/02 News Article <comment>Why weren't these calls used more aggressively to target bin Laden and the people he called?</comment> incompetence January-May 1996 a96qatar right Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, from a 1998 FBI wanted poster. 1 false In the months after uncovering Operation Bojinka in the Philippines (see [[ a0195 ]]), nearly all of its major planners, including Ramzi Yousef, are found and arrested. The one exception is 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. He flees to Qatar in the Persian Gulf, where he lives openly using his real name, enjoying the patronage of Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani, Qatar's Interior Minister and a member of the royal family. [[[ | ABC News, 2/7/03 ]]] In January 1996, he is indicted in the US for his role in the 1993 WTC bombing, and in the same month the US determines his location in Qatar. FBI Director Louis Freeh sends a letter to the Qatari government asking for permission to send a team after him. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 12/22/02 ]]] One of Freeh's diplomatic notes states that Mohammed was involved in a conspiracy to &ldquo;bomb US airliners&rdquo; and is believed to be &ldquo;in the process of manufacturing an explosive device.&rdquo; [[[ | New Yorker, 5/27/02 ]]] Qatar confirms that Mohammed is there and is making an explosive, but they delay in handing him over. After waiting several months, a high level meeting takes place in Washington to consider a commando raid to seize him. But the raid is deemed too risky, and another letter is sent to the Qatari government instead. One person at the meeting later states, &ldquo;If we had gone in and nabbed this guy, or just cut his head off, the Qatari government would not have complained a bit. Everyone around the table for their own reasons refused to go after someone who fundamentally threatened American interests&#8230;.&rdquo; [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 12/22/02 ]]] Around May 1996, Mohammed's patron Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani makes sure that Mohammed and four others are given blank passports and a chance to escape. Qatar's police chief later says the other men include Ayman al-Zawahiri and Mohammed Atef, al-Qaeda's number two and number three leaders respectively (see also [[ alate98atef ]]). [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]], [[ | ABC News, 2/7/03 ]]] In late 1997 former CIA agent Robert Baer learns how the Qataris helped Mohammed escape and passes the information to the CIA, but they appear uninterested (see [[ a1297baer ]]). Bin Laden twice visits al-Thani in Qatar. [[[ | New York Times, 6/8/02 ]], [[ | ABC News, 2/7/03 ]]] <comment>Does the US miss a chance to catch bin Laden by not caring about al-Thani?</comment> incompetence After leaving Qatar, Mohammed takes part in many terrorist acts (see [[ amid96mohammed ]]). Mid-1996-October 2001 a1996ariana 1 false In 1996, Ariana Airlines, the national airline of Afghanistan, is essentially taken over by al-Qaeda and becomes the transportation for an illegal trade network. Passenger flights become few and erratic; instead the airline begins flying drugs, weapons, gold and personnel mostly between Afghanistan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Pakistan. The Emirate of Sharjah, in the UAE, becomes a hub for al-Qaeda drug and arms smuggling. Typically &ldquo;large quantities of drugs&rdquo; would be flown from Kandahar, Afghanistan, to Sharjah, isidrugs and large quantities of weapons would be flown back to Afghanistan. [[[,0,7388562.story | Los Angeles Times, 11/18/01 ]]] About three to four flights a day would run the route. Many weapons come from Victor Bout, a notorious Russian arms dealer based in Sharjah (see [[ a1096bout ]]). [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 1/20/02 ]]] Afghan taxes on opium production would be paid in gold, and then the gold bullion would be flown to Dubai, UAE, and laundered into cash. [[[ | Washington Post, 2/17/02 ]]] Taliban officials regularly provide terrorists with false papers identifying them as Ariana employees so they can move freely around the world. A former National Security Council official later claims the US is well aware at the time that al-Qaeda agents regularly fly on Ariana, but the US fails to act for several years. The US does press the UAE for tighter banking controls, but moves &ldquo;delicately, not wanting to offend an ally in an already complicated relationship,&rdquo; and little changes by 9/11. incompetence,0,7388562.story Los Angeles Times 11/18/01 News Article Much of the money for the 9/11 hijackers flows though these Sharjah channels (see [[ a062900transfer ]] and [[ a090801uae ]]). isidrugs <comment>Could the 9/11 attacks have been stopped if the US pressed harder to shut down the Sharjah al-Qaeda money channels?</comment> There also are reports suggesting that Ariana Airlines might have been used to train Islamic militants as pilots (see [[ a100101training ]]). The illegal behavior of Ariana helps cause the United Nations to impose sanctions against Afghanistan in 1999 (see [[ a111499sanctions ]]), but the sanctions lack teeth and don't stop the airline. A second round of sanctions finally stops foreign Ariana flights. But Ariana charter flights and other charter services keep the illegal network running (see [[ a011901sanctions ]]). Ariana and the network is finally largely destroyed in the October 2001 US bombing of Afghanistan. incompetence,0,7388562.story Los Angeles Times 11/18/01 News Article March 1996 1 false The US pressures Sudan to do something about bin Laden, who is based in that country. According to some accounts, Sudan readily agrees, not wanting to be labeled a terrorist nation. Sudan's Minister of Defense engages in secret negotiations with the CIA in Washington. Sudan offers to extradite bin Laden to anywhere he might stand trial. Some accounts claim that Sudan offers bin Laden to the US, but the US decides not to take him because they don't have enough evidence at the time to charge him with a crime. [<a href="" target=_new>Village Voice, 10/31/01</a>, <a href=";articleid=A61251-2001Oct2&amp;node=nation/specials/attacked/archive" target=_new>Washington Post, 10/3/01</a>] Richard Clarke, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; for both Clinton and Bush Jr., calls this story a &ldquo;fable&rdquo; invented by the Sudanese and Americans friendly to Sudan. He points out that bin Laden &ldquo;was an ideological blood brother, family friend, and benefactor&rdquo; to Sudanese leader Hassan al-Turabi, so any offers to hand him over may have been disingenuous. [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 142-143] Saudi Arabia is discussed as a possibility, but the Saudi Arabian government doesn't want him, even though bin Laden has pledged to bring down the Saudi Arabian government. The 9/11 Commission later claims they find no evidence that Sudan offers bin Laden directly to the US, but they do find evidence that Saudi Arabia is discussed as an option. timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article US officials insist that bin Laden leave the country for anywhere but Somalia. One US intelligence source in the region later states: &ldquo;We kidnap minor drug czars and bring them back in burlap bags. Somebody didn't want this to happen.&rdquo; [[[ | Village Voice, 10/31/01 ]], [[;articleid=A61251-2001Oct2&amp;node=nation/specials/attacked/archive | Washington Post, 10/3/01 ]]] Bin Laden leaves under pressure two months later (see [[ a051896sudan | May 18, 1996 ]]). incompetence CIA Director Tenet later denies Sudan made any offers to hand over bin Laden. coverup timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702.html Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02 News Article April 1996 - March 1997 1 false Ramzi Yousef, mastermind along with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed of the first WTC bombing and Operation Bojinka (see [[ a022693wtcbombing ]] and [[ a0195 ]]), is in a maximum security prison, sentenced to hundreds of years of prison time for his terror plots. However, he can communicate to Gregory Scarpa Jr., a mob figure in the cell next to his. The FBI sets up a sting operation with Scarpa's cooperation to learn more of what and who Yousef knows. Scarpa is given a telephone, and allows Yousef to use it. But Yousef uses the sting operation for his own ends, communicating with terrorists on the outside in code language without giving away their identities. He attempts to find passports to get co-conspirators into the US, and there is some discussion about imminent attacks on US passenger jets. Realizing the scheme has backfired, the FBI terminates the telephone sting in late 1996, but Yousef manages to keep communicating with the outside world for several more months. April 1996 a0496sudan 1 false In continuing negotiations between the US and Sudan, the US again rejects Sudan's offer to turn over voluminous files about bin Laden and al-Qaeda (see [[ a95sudan ]]). Another American involved in the secret negotiations later says that the US could have used Sudan's offer to keep an eye on bin Laden, but that the efforts were blocked by another arm of the federal government. &ldquo;I've never seen a brick wall like that before. Somebody let this slip up,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;We could have dismantled his operations and put a cage on top. It was not a matter of arresting bin Laden but of access to information. That's the story, and that's what could have prevented September 11. I knew it would come back to haunt us.&rdquo; [[[ | Village Voice, 10/31/01 ]], [[;articleid=A61251-2001Oct2&amp;node=nation/specials/attacked/archive | Washington Post, 10/3/01 ]]] Around this time Sudan also offers their al-Qaeda intelligence to MI6, the British intelligence agency, and are also rebuffed. Sudan makes a standing offer: &ldquo;If someone from MI6 comes to us and declares himself, the next day he can be in [the capital city] Khartoum.&rdquo; A Sudanese government source later adds, &ldquo;We have been saying this for years.&rdquo; The offer is not taken up until after 9/11. incompetence,1373,560675,00.html Guardian 9/30/01 News Article May 1996 a0596rafel 1 false According to later declassified government documents, Assistant Secretary of State Robin Rafel speaks to the Russian Deputy Foreign Minister about Afghanistan. She says, US government &ldquo;now hopes that peace in the region will facilitate US business interests like the proposed Unocal gas pipeline from Turkmenistan through Afghanistan to Pakistan.&rdquo; A/S Raphel Consultations with Deputy FM Chernyshev National Security Archive May 13 1996 News Article May 1996 a0596paris right The Hotel Royale Monceau. 1 false French intelligence secretly monitors a meeting of Saudi billionaires at the Hotel Royale Monceau in Paris this month with the financial representative of al-Qaeda. &ldquo;The Saudis, including a key Saudi prince joined by Muslim and non-Muslim gun traffickers, [meet] to determine who would pay how much to Osama. This [is] not so much an act of support but of protection&#8212;a payoff to keep the mad bomber away from Saudi Arabia.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new> <i>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i>, by Greg Palast, 2/03</a>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i>, by Greg Palast, 2/03</ref>] Participants also agree that bin Laden should be rewarded for promoting Wahhabism, the Saudi variant of Islam, in Chechnya, Kashmir, Bosnia, and other places. saudi CBC 10/29/03 (C) News Article This extends a secret deal first made between the Saudi government and bin Laden in 1991 (see [[ a91secretdeal ]], and also [[ a96payoffs ]], [[ a0696kandahardeal ]], [[ a0798secretmeeting ]]). The 9/11 victims' relatives also site the &ldquo;nonpublished French intelligence report&rdquo; of this meeting in their lawsuit against important Saudis. [[[ | Minneapolis Star-Tribune, 8/16/02 ]]] According to French terrorism expert Jean-Charles Brisard and/or reporter Greg Palast, there are about 20 people at the meeting, including: <ol> <li>Prince Turki al-Faisal, the Saudi Intelligence Minister (who apparently is the unnamed &ldquo;key Saudi prince&rdquo; mentioned by Palast). [[[ | CBC, 10/29/03 (C) ]]] </li> <li>Saudi billionaire Khalid bin Mahfouz. [[[ | CBC, 10/29/03 (C) ]]] Representatives of Mahfouz say this is not true and that Mahfouz has never attended any meeting with any representatives of al-Qaeda. Mahfouz has begun libel proceedings against Mr. Brisard, claiming his allegations are unfounded and defamatory. [[[ | Kendall Freeman, 5/13/04 ]]]</li> <li>Saudi Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh. Bakhsh also saved Bush Jr.'s Harken Oil from bankruptcy around 1990. [[[;dept_id=367954&amp;newsid=7421029&amp;PAG=461&amp;rfi=9 | Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/20/03 ]], [[ | Democracy Now, 3/4/03 ]]; [[ | CBC, 10/29/03 (C) ]]] </li> <li> saudi right Adnan Khashoggi. The notorious Saudi billionaire Adnan Khashoggi. saudi [<a href=";dept_id=367954&amp;newsid=7421029&amp;PAG=461&amp;rfi=9" target=_new>Santa Fe New Mexican, 3/20/03</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Democracy Now, 3/4/03</a>] In a somewhat tongue-in-cheek manner, Slate has claimed that Khashoggi is a &ldquo;shadowy international arms merchant&rdquo; who is &ldquo;connected to every scandal of the past 40 years.&rdquo; Amongst other things, he was a major investor in BCCI and a key player in the Iran-Contra affair. [<a href="" target=_new>Slate, 12/4/00</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Slate, 11/14/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Slate, 3/12/03</a>] </li> <li>An unnamed brother of Osama bin Laden. [<a href="" target=_new>CBC, 10/29/03 (C)</a>] </li> <li>An unnamed representative from the Saudi Defense Ministry. [<a href="" target=_new>CBC, 10/29/03 (C)</a>] </li> </ol> saudi Palast, noting that the French monitored the meeting, asks, &ldquo;Since US intelligence was thus likely informed, the question becomes why didn't the government immediately move against the Saudis?&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new> <i>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i>, by Greg Palast, 2/03</a>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i>, by Greg Palast, 2/03</ref>] An apparent follow-up meeting occurs in 1998 (see [[ a0798secretmeeting ]]). incompetence May 18, 1996 a051896sudan 1 false Sudan expels bin Laden at the request of the US and Saudi Arabia. Bin Laden and al-Qaeda then move to Afghanistan, taking all of their money, resources and personnel. Bin Laden flies there in a C-130 transport plane with an entourage of about 150 men, women and children. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02</a>] The US knows in advance that bin Laden is going to Afghanistan, but does nothing to stop him. Elfatih Erwa, who, Sudan's minister of state for defense at the time, later says in an interview: &ldquo;We warned [the US]. In Sudan, bin Laden and his money were under our control. But we knew that if he went to Afghanistan no one could control him. The US didn't care; they just didn't want him in Somalia. It's crazy.&rdquo; incompetence Village Voice 10/31/01 News Article;articleid=A61251-2001Oct2&amp;node=nation/specials/attacked/archive Washington Post 10/3/01 News Article June 1996 (B) a0696kandahardeal 1 false Controversial author Gerald Posner claims that bin Laden and al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida meet with senior members of Pakistan's military, including Mushaf Ali Mir, who becomes chief of Pakistan's air force in 2000. Bin Laden had moved to Afghanistan the month before, and the Pakistanis offer bin Laden protection if he allies with the Taliban. The alliance proves successful, and bin Laden calls it &ldquo;blessed by the Saudis,&rdquo; who are already giving money to both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. [<i>Why America Slept</i>, by Gerald Posner, 9/03, pp. 105-106, [[,9171,1101030908480226,00.html | Time, 8/31/03 ]]] Perhaps not coincidentally, this meetings comes only one month after a deal reaffirming Saudi support for al-Qaeda (see [[ a0596paris ]]). Bin Laden is initially based in Jalalabad, which is free of Taliban control, but after the deal he moves his base to Kandahar, which is the center of Taliban power. Asia Times 9/17/03 News Article June 1996 a0696alfadl 1 false Jamal al-Fadl, an al-Qaeda operative from al-Qaeda's first meeting in the late 1980s until 1995, tells the US everything he knows about al-Qaeda. &ldquo;Before al-Fadl's debriefings, US intelligence had amassed thick files on bin Laden and his associates and contacts. But they'd had no idea how the many pieces fit together. &lsquo;Al-Fadl was the Rosetta Stone,&rsquo; an official says. &lsquo;After al-Fadl, everything fell into place.&rsquo; &rdquo; [<i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/02, pp. 154-165] By late 1996, based largely on al-Fadl's information, the CIA finally concludes bin Laden is more of a terrorist than just a terrorist financier. They also learn the term &ldquo;al-Qaeda&rdquo; for the first time. timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article Yet the US will not take &ldquo;bin Laden or al-Qaeda all that seriously&rdquo; until after the bombing of US embassies in Africa in 1998. incompetence It takes two years two turn al-Fadl's information into the first US indictment of bin Laden (see [[ a060898indictment ]]). [[[ timeline/2001/nyt093001b.html | New York Times, 09/30/01 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2001/frontline0901.html | Frontline, 9/01 ]]] One person al-Fadl describes in detail is Wali Khan Shah, one of the plotters of Operation Bojinka. US intelligence learns that Shah had al-Qaeda ties. Author Peter Lance notes US intelligence should have concluded that Shah's fellow Bojinka plotter Khalid Shaikh Mohammed also has al-Qaeda ties. But there is no new effort to find Mohammed, and he later goes on to mastermind the 9/11 attacks. June 24, 1996 a062496enron left This map shows how Enron planned to connect its gas fields in Turkmenistan to its Dabhol power plant. The pipelines in blue are preexisting; the rest needed to be built. 1 false Uzbekistan signs a deal with Enron &ldquo;that could lead to joint development of the Central Asian nation's potentially rich natural gas fields.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/1990s/houstonchronicle062596.html | Houston Chronicle, 6/25/96 ]]] The $1.3 billion venture teams Enron with the state companies of Russian and Uzbekistan. [[[ timeline/1990s/houstonchronicle063096.html | Houston Chronicle, 6/30/96 ]]] On July 8, 1996, the US government agrees to give $400 million to help Enron and an Uzbeki state company develop these natural gas fields. [[[ timeline/1990s/oilandgasjournal070896.html | Oil and Gas Journal, 7/8/96 ]]] However, the deal is later canceled when it becomes apparent a gas pipeline will not be built across Afghanistan, and there is no easy way to get the gas out of the region (see [[ a1193dabhol ]] and [[ a0698enron ]]). oil June 25, 1996 a062596khobar right Bombing of the Khobar Towers. 1 false Explosions destroy the Khobar Towers in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, killing 19 American soldiers and wounding 500. CNN 6/26/96 News Article Saudi officials later interrogate the suspects, declare them guilty, and execute them&#8212;without letting the FBI talk to them. [<a href="" target=_new>PBS Frontline, 2001</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/irishtimes111901.html" target=_new>Irish Times, 11/19/01</a>] Saudis blame Hezbollah, the Iranian-influenced group, but US investigators still believe bin Laden was somehow involved. [<a href="" target=_new>Seattle Times, 10/29/01</a>] Bin Laden admits instigating the attacks in a 1998 interview. [<a href="timeline/2001/miamiherald092401.html" target=_new>Miami Herald, 9/24/01</a>] Ironically, the bin Laden family is later awarded the contract to rebuild the installation. saudi New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article In 1997, Canada catches one of the Khobar Tower attackers and extradites him to the US. But in 1999, he is shipped back to Saudi Arabia before he can reveal what he knows about al-Qaeda and the Saudis. One anonymous insider calls it, &ldquo;Clinton's parting kiss to the Saudis.&rdquo; incompetence <i>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i> by Greg Palast 2/03 News Article In June 2001, a US grand jury indicts 13 Saudis for the bombing. According to the indictment, Iran and Hezbollah are both involved in the attack. timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article July 6 - 11 August, 1996 a070696atlanta 1 false US officials identify crop-dusters and suicide flights as potential terrorist weapons that could threaten the Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. They take steps to prevent any air attacks. Planes are banned from getting too close to Olympic events. During the games, Black Hawk helicopters and US Customs Service jets are deployed to intercept suspicious aircraft over the Olympic venues. Agents monitor crop-duster flights within hundreds of miles of downtown Atlanta. advanceinfo Armed fighter jets are placed on standby at local air bases. Flights to Atlanta get special passenger screening. advanceinfo Law enforcement agents also fan out to regional airports throughout northern Georgia &ldquo;to make sure nobody hijacked a small aircraft and tried to attack one of the venues,&rdquo; says Woody Johnson, the FBI agent in charge. Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke uses this same security blanket approach to other events, referring to them as &ldquo;Atlanta Rules.&rdquo; advanceinfo Chicago Tribune 11/18/01 News Article,,SB108077920066470982,00.html Wall Street Journal 4/1/04 News Article July 7, 1996 a96securingrealm left Richard Perle, popularly nicknamed &ldquo;The Prince ofDarkness.&rdquo; 1 false The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, an Israeli think tank, publishes a paper entitled &ldquo;A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm.&rdquo; [[[ | Chicago Sun-Times, 3/6/03 ]]] The paper isn't much different from other Israeli right-wing papers at the time, except the authors: the lead writer is Richard Perle, now chairman of the Defense Policy Board in the US, and very influential with President Bush. Several of the other authors now hold key positions in Washington. The paper advises the new, right-wing Israeli leader Binyamin Netanyahu to make a complete break with the past by adopting a strategy &ldquo;based on an entirely new intellectual foundation, one that restores strategic initiative and provides the nation the room to engage every possible energy on rebuilding Zionism &#8230; &rdquo; The first step would be the removal of Saddam Hussein in Iraq. A war with Iraq would destabilize the entire Middle East, allowing governments in Syria, Iran, Lebanon and other countries to be replaced. &ldquo;Israel will not only contain its foes; it will transcend them,&rdquo; the paper concludes. [[[,7792,785394,00.html | Guardian, 9/3/02 ]], see the original paper at [[ timeline/1990s/cleanbreak070896.html | The Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, 7/8/96 ]]] Perle will be instrumental is moving Bush's US policy towards war with Iraq (see [[ a091701topsecret ]]). afghanwar July 17, 1996 1 false TWA Flight 800 crashes off the coast of Long Island, New York, killing the 230 people on board. The cause of the crash is debated for a long time afterwards, and terrorism is considered a possibility. With this accident in mind, in September 1996 President Clinton requests, and Congress approves, over $1 billion in counterterrorism-related funding. August 1996 a0896fatwa 1 false Bin Laden issues a public <i>fatwa</i>, or religious decree, authorizing attacks on Western military targets in the Arabian Peninsula. In previous years bin Laden was thought by some to be more of a financier of terrorist attacks than a terrorist himself, but this erases all doubts. timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article August 13, 1996 a081396pipeline right Route of the planned gas pipeline, and other existing pipelines. 1 false Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia come to agreement with state companies in Turkmenistan and Russia to build a natural gas pipeline from Turkmenistan to Pakistan via Afghanistan, the agreement is finalized the next year (see [[ a102797centgas ]]). oil Unocal website 8/13/96 News Article The Boston Herald later reports that, &ldquo;The prime force behind Delta Oil appears to be Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi&rdquo;(see [[ a112202additions ]]) and that his business interests are &ldquo;enmeshed&rdquo; with those of Khalid bin Mahfouz (see for instance [[ a1988failedman ]]). (However, a bin Mafouz family spokesperson denies that bin Mahfouzor Nimir ever had an ownership interest in the company. [[[ | Fortune, 3/17/03 ]]]) Together and separately, al-Amoudi and bin Mahfouz have reportedly become &ldquo;partners with US firms in a series of ambitious oil development and pipeline projects in central and south Asia.&rdquo; [[[ | Boston Herald, 12/10/01 ]]] Al-Amoudi and Mahfouz are later included in a list of financiers funding al-Qaeda (see [[ a112602secretlist ]]) put together by French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard. However, representatives of Mahfouz deny that Mahfouz has ever attended any meeting with any representatives of al-Qaeda. Mahfouz has begun libel proceedings against Mr. Brisard, claiming these allegations are unfounded and defamatory. saudi Kendall Freeman 5/13/2004 News Article September 5, 1996 a090596ramzi 1 false Terrorist Ramzi Yousef and two other defendants, Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah, are convicted of crimes relating to Project Bojinka, a failed al-Qaeda plan Yousef devised that would have crashed 11 or 12 planes into buildings simultaneously (see [[ a0195 ]]). [[[ | CNN, 9/5/96 ]]] Many people, including some experts, have said that Yousef was convicted on September 11, 1996 (for instance, see [[[ timeline/2002/paulmonk2002.html | A Stunning Intelligence Failure Paul Monk, 2002 ]]]), and this would explain why that date would be chosen in 2001, but that appears to be incorrect. In the nearly 6,000 page transcript of the three month Bojinka trial, there isn't a single mention of the &ldquo;third plot&rdquo; follow up to Bojinka that closely paralleled the 9/11 plot. Interrogations by Philippine investigator Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza had exposed the details of this plot quite clearly (see [[ a0295thirdplot | February 1995 ]]). But not only is Mendoza not called to testify, he name isn't even mentioned in the trial, not even by his assistant, who does testify. Author Peter Lance notes, &ldquo;The FBI seemed to be going out of its way to avoid even a hint of the plot that was ultimately carried out on 9/11.&rdquo; September 11, 1996 a96wamy right WAMY logo. 1 false An FBI investigation into two relatives of bin Laden, begun in February 1996, is closed. The FBI wanted to learn more about Abdullah bin Laden, &ldquo;because of his relationship with the World Assembly of Muslim Youth [WAMY]&#8212;a suspected terrorist organization.&rdquo; [<a href=",4273,4293682,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 11/7/01</a>] Abdullah was the US director of WAMY and lived with his brother Omar in Falls Church, Virginia, a town just outside Washington. The coding on the document, marked secret, indicates the case involved espionage, murder, and national security. WAMY has its offices at 5613 Leesburg Pike. Remarkably, it is later determined that four of the 9/11 hijackers saudi lived at 5913 Leesburg Pike at the same time the two bin Laden brothers were there. WAMY has not been put on a list of terrorist organizations in the US, but it has been banned in Pakistan. saudi [<a href="" target=_new>BBC Newsnight, 11/6/01</a>, <a href=",4273,4293682,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 11/7/01</a>, see related leaked documents <a href="" target=_new>here</a> ] The Indian and Philippine governments have also cited WAMY for funding terrorism. &ldquo;WAMY was involved in terrorist-support activity,&rdquo; says a security official who served under George W. Bush. &ldquo;There's no doubt about it.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Vanity Fair, 10/03</a>] A high-placed intelligence official tells the Guardian: &ldquo;There were always constraints on investigating the Saudis. There were particular investigations that were effectively killed.&rdquo;[<a href=",4273,4293682,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 11/7/01</a>] An unnamed US source says to the BBC, &ldquo;There is a hidden agenda at the very highest levels of our government.&rdquo; saudi BBC Newsnight 11/6/01 News Article The Bosnian government later says a charity with Abdullah bin Laden on its board had channeled money to Chechen guerrillas (see also [[ a092002abdullah ]]), something that &ldquo;is only possible because the Clinton CIA gave the wink and nod to WAMY and other groups who were aiding Bosnian guerrillas when they were fighting Serbia, a US-approved enemy.&rdquo; The investigation into WAMY is only restarted two days after 9/11, around the same time these bin Ladens leave the US (see [[ a091301flight ]]). [<a href="" target=_new> <i>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i>, by Greg Palast, 2/03</a>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i>, by Greg Palast, 2/03</ref>] (Note that this Abdullah bin Laden is possibly bin Laden's cousin, not brother, and is apparently not the same as the Abdullah bin Laden who serves as the bin Laden family spokesman. incompetence <i>Best Democracy Money Can Buy</i> by Greg Palast 2/03 News Article September 11, 1996 (B) a091196egyptian 1 false The Egyptian government issues an arrest warrant for bin Laden, the first in the world (see also [[ a041598interpol ]]). September 27, 1996 a092796kabul 1 false The Taliban conquer Kabul [<a href=",,SB108077920066470982,00.html" target=_new>AP, 8/19/02</a>], establishing control over much of Afghanistan. oil A surge in the Taliban's military successes at this time is later attributed to an increase in direct military assistance from Pakistan's ISI. isidrugs New York Times 12/8/01 News Article The oil company Unocal is hopeful that the Taliban will stabilize Afghanistan and allow its pipeline plans to go forward. In fact, &ldquo;preliminary agreement [on the pipeline] was reached between the [Taliban and Unocal] long before the fall of Kabul&#8230;. Oil industry insiders say the dream of securing a pipeline across Afghanistan is the main reason why Pakistan, a close political ally of America's, has been so supportive of the Taliban, and why America has quietly acquiesced in its conquest of Afghanistan.&rdquo; oil Telegraph 10/11/96 News Article The 9/11 Commission later concludes that some State Department diplomats are willing to &ldquo;give the Taliban a chance&rdquo; because it might be able to bring stability to Afghanistan, which would allow a Unocal oil pipeline to be built through the country. oil timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article October 1996 a1096bout right Victor Bout, taken from a passport photo. 1 false Since 1992, Russian arms merchant Victor Bout has been selling weapons to Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, but this month he switches sides and begins selling weapons to the Taliban and al-Qaeda instead (see also [[ a1996ariana ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/guardian041702.html | Guardian, 4/17/02 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 1/20/02 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 5/17/02 ]]] The deal comes immediately after the Taliban captures Kabul and gains the upper hand in Afghanistan's civil war (see [[ a092796kabul ]]). Bout formerly worked for the Russian KGB, and operates the world's largest private weapons transport network. Based in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bout operates freely there until well after 9/11. The US becomes aware of Bout's widespread illegal weapons trading in Africa in 1995, and of his ties to the Taliban in 1996, but they fail to take effective action against him for years. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 5/17/02</a>] US pressure on the UAE in November 2000 to close down Bout's operations there is ignored. Press reports calling him &ldquo;the merchant of death&rdquo; also fail to pressure the UAE (for instance, [<a href="timeline/2000/financialtimes061000.html" target=_new>Financial Times, 6/10/00</a>, <a href=",3604,415125,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 12/23/00</a>]). After President Bush is elected, it appears the US gives up trying to get Bout, until after 9/11. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A2005-2002Feb25&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 2/26/02 News Article timeline/2002/guardian041702.html Guardian 4/17/02 News Article In one trade in 1996, Bout's company delivers at least 40 tons of Russian weapons to the Taliban, earning about $50 million.,4273,4357318,00.html Guardian 2/16/02 News Article Two intelligence agencies later confirm that Bout trades with the Taliban &ldquo;on behalf of the Pakistan government.&rdquo; In late 2000, several Ukrainians sell 150 to 200 T-55 and T-62 tanks to the Taliban in a deal conducted by the ISI, and Bout helps fly the tanks to Afghanistan. isidrugs timeline/2002/montrealgazette020502.html Montreal Gazette 2/5/02 News Article Bout moves to Russia in 2002. He is seemingly protected from prosecution by the Russian government, which in early 2002 claimed, &ldquo;There are no grounds for believing that this Russian citizen has committed illegal acts.&rdquo; timeline/2002/guardian041702.html Guardian 4/17/02 News Article The Guardian suggests that Bout may have worked with the CIA when he traded with the Northern Alliance, and this fact may be hampering current international efforts to catch him. incompetence timeline/2002/guardian041702.html Guardian 4/17/02 News Article October 1996 (B) a1096plot 1 false US intelligence learn of an Iranian plot to hijack a Japanese plane over Israel and crash it into Tel Aviv. While the plot was never carried out, it is one more example of intelligence agencies being aware that planes could be used as suicide weapons. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article October 11, 1996 a101196pipelinepolitics 1 false The Telegraph publishes an interesting article about pipeline politics in Afghanistan. Some quotes: &ldquo;Behind the tribal clashes that have scarred Afghanistan lies one of the great prizes of the 21st century, the fabulous energy reserves of Central Asia.&rdquo; &ldquo; &lsquo;The deposits are huge,&rsquo; said a diplomat from the region. &lsquo;Kazakhstan alone may have more oil than Saudi Arabia. Turkmenistan is already known to have the fifth largest gas reserves in the world.&rsquo; &rdquo; oil Telegraph 10/11/96 News Article Late 1996 a1996opium 1 false After moving the base of his operations to Afghanistan, bin Laden quickly establishes and maintains a major role in the opium drug trade. The money from opium is vital to keep the Taliban in power and fund bin Laden's terrorist network. Yoseff Bodansky, director of the congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare and author of a 1999 biography on bin Laden, says bin Laden takes a 15 percent cut of the drug trade money in exchange for protecting smugglers and laundering their profits. [<a href="timeline/2001/minneapolisstartribune093001.html" target=_new>Star Tribune, 9/30/01</a>] A different estimate has bin Laden taking a cut of up to 10 percent of Afghanistan's drug trade by early 1999. This would give him a yearly income of up to $1 billion out of $6.5 to $10 billion in drug profits seen within Afghanistan each year. isidrugs Financial Times 11/28/01 News Article 1997 (B) a97informants 1 false Special CIA paramilitary teams start entering Afghanistan in this year. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 11/18/01</a>] Around 1998 there is a push to recruit more agents capable of operating or traveling in Afghanistan. Many locals are recruited, including some Taliban military leaders. afghanwar However, apparently none are close to bin Laden. This problem is not fixed in succeeding years. incompetence Washington Post 2/22/04 News Article timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404c.html 9/11 Commission 3/24/04 (C) News Article 1997 or 1998 a1997elmundo 1 false The Spanish newspaper El Mundo later reports, &ldquo;According to several professors at the Valencia School of Medicine, some of whom are forensic experts, [Atta] was a student there in 1997 or 1998. Although he used another name then, they remember his face among the students that attended anatomy classes.&rdquo; It is also suggested that &ldquo;years before, as a student he went to Tarragona. That would explain his last visit to Salou [(see [[ a070801spain ]])], where he could have made contact with dormant cells&#8230; &rdquo; timeline/2001/elmundo093001.html El Mundo 9/30/01 News Article If this is true, it would contradict Atta's presence as a student in Hamburg, Germany during this entire period. But there are other accounts of Atta seemingly being in two places at once (see [[ a1998mabalacat ]], [[ a0999 ]], [[ a0400atta ]], and [[ aspring00informant ]]). coverup 1997 (C) a1997uav 1 false FBI headquarters is concerned that an unnamed terrorist group would possibly use an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) for terrorist attacks. The FBI and CIA become aware that this group had purchased a UAV. At the time, the agencies believed that the only reason to use this UAV would be for either reconnaissance or attack. There was more concern about the possibility of an attack outside the United States, for example, by flying a UAV into a US Embassy or a visiting US delegation. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article 1997 a1997sanctions 1 false While the State Department listed bin Laden as a financier of terror in its 1996 survey of terrorism, al-Qaeda is not included on the 1997 official US list of terrorist organizations subject to various sanctions. They are finally listed in 1998. incompetence New York Times 12/30/01 News Article 1997-July 2001 a97hanjourfriend 1 false Hijacker Hani Hanjour begins associating with an unnamed individual who is later mentioned in FBI agent Ken Williams' famous flight school memo (see [[ a071001williams ]]). Hanjour and this person train at flight schools in Arizona. Several flight instructors later note the two were associates and may have carpooled together. They are known to share the same airplane on one occasion in 1999, and are at the school together on other occasions. This individual leaves the US in April 2000. In May 2001, the FBI attempts to investigate this person, but after finding out the person is out of the country the decision is made to not open a formal investigation. The name of this person is not placed on a watch list, so the FBI is unaware that the person returns in June and stays in the US for another month. incompetence By this time, this person is an experienced flight instructor who is certified to fly Boeing 737s. The FBI speculates the person may return to evaluate Hanjour's flying skills or provide final training before 9/11. There is considerable circumstantial evidence placing this person near Hanjour during this month. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article January 20, 1997 a012097inauguration 1 false Bill Clinton is re-inaugurated as President. An extensive set of security measures to prevent airplanes as weapons crashing into the inauguration is used. These measures, first used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics and thus referred to as the &ldquo;Atlanta Rules&rdquo; (see [[ a070696atlanta | July 6-August 11, 1996 ]]), includes the closing of nearby airspace, intercept helicopters, the basing of armed fighters nearby, and more. This plan will later be used for the 1999 North Atlantic Treaty Organization's 50th anniversary celebration in Washington, the 2000 Republican convention in Philadelphia, the 2000 Democratic convention in New York, and the Bush Jr. inauguration in 2001 (see [[ a012101bushjr | January 21, 2001 ]]). [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 110-111, [[,,SB108077920066470982,00.html | Wall Street Journal, 4/1/04 ]]] At some point near the end of the Clinton administration, the Secret Service and Customs Service agree to create a permanent air defense unit to protect Washington. advanceinfo However, these agencies are part of the Treasury Department, and the leadership there refuses to fund the idea. The permanent unit is not created until after 9/11. incompetence,,SB108077920066470982,00.html Wall Street Journal 4/1/04 News Article February 12, 1997 a021297aviation 1 false The White House Commission on Aviation Safety and Security, led by Vice President Gore, issues its final report. timeline/1990s/gorecommission021297.html Gore Commission 2/12/97 News Article But the report has little practical effect: &ldquo;Federal bureaucracy and airline lobbying slowed and weakened a set of safety improvements recommended by a presidential commission&#8212;including one that a top airline industry official now says might have prevented the Sept. 11 terror attacks.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2001/latimes100601.html Los Angeles Times 10/6/01 News Article March 1997 a0397zammar right Mohammed Haydar Zammar. 1 false An investigation of al-Qaeda contacts in Hamburg by the Constitutional Protection Agency, Germany's domestic intelligence service, begins at least by this time (Germany won't give details) coverup . [[[;position=top | New York Times, 1/18/03 ]]] Telephone intercepts show that a German investigation into Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see [[ a110198marien ]] and [[ a102701zammar ]]) is taking place this month. It is later believed that Zammar, a German of Syrian origin, is a part of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [[[,0,2368574.story?coll=la-headlines-world-manual | Los Angeles Times, 1/14/03 ]]] He supposedly later claims he recruited Atta and others into the cell. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A7829-2002Jun18&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 6/19/02 ]]] A decade earlier, Germany authorities already identified Zammar as a militant. [[[;position=top | New York Times, 1/18/03 ]]] From 1995-2000, he makes frequent trips to Afghanistan. [[[;position=top | New York Times, 1/18/03 ]], [[ timeline/2003/stern081303.html | Stern, 8/13/03 ]]] German intelligence is aware that he was personally invited to Afghanistan by bin Laden. [[[ timeline/2003/faz020203.html | FAZ, 2/2/03 ]]] Spanish investigators later say Zammar is a longtime associate of Barakat Yarkas, the alleged boss of the al-Qaeda cell in Madrid, Spain (see [[ a082701 ]]). In 1998, Germany is given more evidence of his terror ties, and surveillance intensifies. He is periodically trailed, and all his calls are recorded (see [[ asummer99zammar ]]). [[[ timeline/2003/stern081303.html | Stern, 8/13/03 ]]] It's not clear if or when the investigation ends, but it continues until at least September 1999 (see [[ a092199zammarcall ]]). timeline/2002/ap062202.html AP 6/22/02 News Article April 24, 1997 a042497bnaibrith 1 false A package containing a petri dish mislabeled &ldquo;anthracks&rdquo; is received at the B'nai B'rith headquarters in Washington, DC. &ldquo;The choice of B'nai B'rith probably was meant to suggest Arab terrorists, because the building had once been the target of an assault by Muslim gunmen.&rdquo; The dish did not contain anthrax but did contain bacillus cereus, a very close, non-toxic cousin of anthrax used by the US Defense Department. There are similarities to the later real anthrax attacks (see [[ a100401attacks ]]), such as the misspelling &ldquo;penacilin&rdquo;. anthrax In July 2002, B'nai B'rith claims the FBI still hasn't asked them about this hoax anthrax attack. incompetence;ei=1&amp;en=381e460928ca0077 New York Times 7/12/02 News Article May 26, 1997 a052697taliban 1 false The Saudi government extends formal recognition of the Taliban government of Afghanistan. They are the first country to do so. Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates also eventually recognize the Taliban, and these three are still the ones officially recognizing them on 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)</a>] <comment>The Saudi Arabian and Pakistani governments are later suspected of involvement in 9/11, and the United Arab Emirates is the financial conduit for many of the money transfers in the operation. </comment> June 3, 1997 a060397pnac right William Kristol, one of the founders and leaders of PNAC. 1 false The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), a neoconservative think tank formed in the spring of 1997, issues its statement of principles. PNAC's stated aims: &ldquo;to shape a new century favorable to American principles and interests,&rdquo; to achieve &ldquo;a foreign policy that boldly and purposefully promotes American principles abroad,&rdquo; &ldquo;to increase defense spending significantly,&rdquo; to challenge &ldquo;regimes hostile to US interests and values,&rdquo; and to &ldquo;accept America's unique role in preserving and extending an international order friendly to our security, our prosperity, and our principles.&rdquo; [[[ | PNAC Principles, 6/3/97 ]]] These principles matter because they are signed by a group who will become &ldquo;a roll call of today's Bush inner circle.&rdquo; [[[,12271,903075,00.html | Guardian, 2/26/03 ]]] ABC's Ted Koppel will later say PNAC's ideas have &ldquo;been called a secret blueprint for US global domination&rdquo; (see also [[ a012698pnac ]], [[ a0900paxamericana ]], [[ a082101pnac ]]). afghanwar timeline/2003/abcnews030503b.html ABC News 3/5/03 (B) News Article August 1997 a0897sniffout 1 false The CIA creates a secret task force to monitor Central Asia's politics and gauge its wealth. Covert CIA officers, some well-trained petroleum engineers, travel through southern Russia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to sniff out potential oil reserves. oil timeline/1990s/time050498.html Time 5/4/98 News Article October 1997 a1097chessboard left Zbigniew Brzezinski. 1 false Former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski (see [[ a122679invasion ]]) publishes a book in which he portrays the Eurasian landmass as the key to world power, and Central Asia with its vast oil reserves as the key to domination of Eurasia. oil He states that for the US to maintain its global primacy, it must prevent any possible adversary from controlling that region. He notes that, &ldquo;The attitude of the American public toward the external projection of American power has been much more ambivalent. The public supported America's engagement in World War II largely because of the shock effect of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor.&rdquo; Furthermore, because of popular resistance to US military expansionism, his ambitious Central Asian strategy could not be implemented &ldquo;except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.&rdquo; afghanwar <i>The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives</i> News Article October 27, 1997 a102797centgas 1 false Halliburton, a company with future Vice President Cheney as CEO, announces a new agreement to provide technical services and drilling for Turkmenistan, a country in Central Asia. The press release also mentions that &ldquo;Halliburton has been providing a variety of services in Turkmenistan for the past five years.&rdquo; On the same day, a consortium to build a pipeline through Afghanistan is formed. It's called CentGas, and the two main partners are Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia. oil Halliburton press release 10/27/97 News Article CentGas press release 10/27/97 News Article November 26, 1997 a112697newsletter 1 false An industry newsletter reports that Saudi Arabia has abandoned plans to have open bids on a $2 billion power plant near Mecca, deciding that the government will build it instead. What's interesting is that one of the bids was made by a consortium of Enron, oil the Saudi Binladen Group (run by Osama's family),and Italy's Ansaldo Energia. saudi Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections 1/22/98 News Article December 1997 a1297baer right Abdallah al-Thani 1 false CIA agent Robert Baer (see also [[ a0801baer ]] and [[ a012302pearlkidnap ]]), newly retired from the CIA and working as a terrorism consultant, meets a former police chief from the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar. He learns how 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed was sheltered from the FBI by the Qatari Interior Minister Abdallah bin Khalid al-Thani (see [[ a96qatar ]]). He passes this information to the CIA in early 1998, but the CIA takes no action against Qatar's al-Qaeda patrons. incompetence The ex-police chief also tells him that Mohammed is a key aide to bin Laden, and that based on Qatari intelligence, Mohammed &ldquo;is going to hijack some planes.&rdquo; advanceinfo He passes this information to the CIA as well, but again the CIA doesn't seem interested, even when he tries again after 9/11. incompetence UPI 9/30/02 News Article timeline/2002/vanityfair0202.html Vanity Fair 2/02 News Article timeline/2002/seenoevil0202.html <i>See No Evil: The True Story of a Ground Soldier in the CIA's War on Terrorism</i> Robert Baer 2/02 pp. 270-271 News Article Baer also tries to interest reporter Daniel Pearl in a story about Mohammed before 9/11, but Pearl is still working on it when he gets kidnapped and murdered (see [[ a122401dangerous ]]). UPI 9/30/02 News Article The ex-police chief later disappears, presumably kidnapped by Qatar. It has been speculated that the CIA turned on the source to protect its relationship with the Qatari government. [<a href="timeline/2002/breakdown0802.html" target=_new> <i>Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11</i>, Bill Gertz, pp. 55-58</a>Breakdown: How America's Intelligence Failures Led to September 11</i>, Bill Gertz, pp. 55-58</ref>] It appears bin Laden visits Abdallah al-Thani in Qatar between the years 1996 and 2000. [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 2/7/03</a>] Al-Thani continues to support al-Qaeda, providing Qatari passports and more than $1 million in funds. Even after 9/11, Mohammed is provided shelter in Qatar for two weeks in late 2001. [<a href=";position=top" target=_new>New York Times, 2/6/03</a>] Yet the US still has not frozen al-Thani's assets or taken other action. <comment>Could the US have captured bin Laden if they paid more attention to Robert Baer's information?</comment> incompetence December 4, 1997 a120497pipeline 1 false Representatives of the Taliban are invited guests to the Texas headquarters of Unocal to negotiate their support for the pipeline. Future President Bush Jr. is Governor of Texas at the time. The Taliban appear to agree to a $2 billion pipeline deal, but will do the deal only oil if the US officially recognizes the Taliban regime. The Taliban meet with US officials, and the Telegraph reports that &ldquo;the US government, which in the past has branded the Taliban's policies against women and children &lsquo;despicable,&rsquo; appears anxious to please the fundamentalists to clinch the lucrative pipeline contract.&rdquo; A BBC regional correspondent says &ldquo;the proposal to build a pipeline across Afghanistan is part of an international scramble to profit from developing the rich energy resources of the Caspian Sea.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>BBC, 12/4/97</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Telegraph, 12/14/97</a>] oil FTW News Article December 14, 1997 a121497train 1 false It is reported that Unocal has hired the University of Nebraska to train 400 Afghani teachers, electricians, carpenters and pipefitters in anticipation of using them for their pipeline in Afghanistan. 150 students are already attending classes. oil Telegraph 12/14/97 News Article 1998 (D) a1998globalhawk 1 false A military report released this year describes a program called &ldquo;Joint Vision 2010&rdquo;, a series of &ldquo;analyses, wargames, studies, experiments, and exercises&rdquo; which are &ldquo;investigating new operational concepts, doctrines, and organizational approaches that will enable US forces to maintain full spectrum dominance of the battlespace well into the 21st century.&rdquo; &ldquo;The Air Force has begun a series of wargames entitled Global Engagement at the Air War College, Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama.&rdquo; The same article mentions that the military is working on a &ldquo;variety of new imaging and signals intelligence sensors, currently in advanced stages of development, deployed aboard the Global Hawk, DarkStar, and Predator unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)&#8230; &rdquo; [[[ timeline/1990s/dod1998.html | Department of Defense Annual Report, 1998 ]]] What is the relevance of this? It may be complete coincidence, but &ldquo;Air Force spokesman Col. Ken McClellan said a man named Mohamed Atta&#8212;which the FBI has identified as one of the five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 11&#8212;had once attended the International Officer's School at Maxwell/Gunter Air Force Base in Montgomery, Ala.&rdquo; [[[ | Gannett News Service, 9/17/01 ]]] Global Hawk is a technology that enables pilotless flight and has been functioning since at least early 1997. [[[ timeline/1990s/dod022097.html | Department of Defense, 2/20/97 ]]] <comment>Some have claimed that Global Hawk technology was used to manipulate events on 9/11. Could Atta have taken part in wargames involving Global Hawk (see [[ a092501globalhawk ]])?</comment> Mid-August 1998-January 2001 a0898clinton 1 false Within days of the US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy | August 8, 1998 ]]), the US permanently stations two submarines in the Indian Ocean, ready to hit al-Qaeda with cruise missiles on short notice. Missile are fired from these subs later in the month in a failed attempt to assassinate bin Laden (see [[ a082098missilestrike | August 20, 1998 ]]). Six to ten hours advance warning is now needed to review the decision, program the cruise missiles and have them reach their target. On at least three other occasions, spies in Afghanistan report bin Laden's location with information suggesting he would remain there for some time. Each time, Clinton approves the strike. Each time, CIA Director Tenet says the information is not reliable enough and the attack cannot go forward. [[[ | Washington Post, 12/19/01 ]], [[ | New York Times, 12/30/01 ]]] The submarines are removed shortly after President Bush takes office (see [[ a0101subs ]]). incompetence 1998 (G) a1998sfeir 1 false Antoine Sfeir, a French Arab specialist, later claims that bin Laden was a CIA asset in the 1980s, and that the CIA maintains contact with bin Laden until this year. He says, &ldquo;Those contacts didn't end after bin Laden moved to Afghanistan&rdquo;(see [[ a051896sudan ]]). He isn't surprised by reports of bin Laden meeting with the CIA in July 2001 (see [[ a071201 ]]) because, &ldquo;Until the last minute, CIA agents hoped bin Laden would return to US command, as was the case before 1998.&rdquo; [[[ | UPI, 11/1/01 ]]] The CIA denies ever having any kind of relationship with bin Laden (see [[ a86buildingkhost ]]). 1998 (B) a98uzbekistan 1 false It is later revealed by Uzbekistan that Uzbekistan and the US have been conducting joint covert operations against Afghanistan's Taliban regime and bin Laden since at least before this year. afghanwar Times of India 10/14/01 News Article Washington Post 10/14/01 News Article 1998-2000 a1998mabalacat 1 false Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi live periodically in the town of Mabalacat, Philippines. They stay in the Woodland Resort hotel and apparently learn to fly planes at a nearby flight school. Philippine and US investigators have looked into these visits but haven't confirmed the hijackers' presence there. Locals, however, are certain they saw them frequently partying, drinking alcohol, sleeping with local women, and consorting with many other, unknown Arabs (most of whom disappear shortly before 9/11). For instance, according to a former waitress at the hotel, Alshehhi throws a party in December 1999 with six or seven Arab friends: &ldquo;They rented the open area by the swimming pool for 1,000 pesos. They drank Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey &#8230; They came in big vehicles, and they had a lot of money. They all had girlfriends.&rdquo; Several employees recall Atta staying at the hotel during the summer of 1999, acting unfriendly and cheap. One hotel employee claims that most of the guests were Arab, and many took flying lessons at the nearby school. These witnesses claim the two used aliases, but the other Arabs referred to Atta as &ldquo;Mohamed.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/manilatimes100201.html | Manila Times, 10/2/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/iht100501.html | International Herald Tribune, 10/5/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/afp092801.html | AP, 9/28/01 ]]] Apparently, other hijackers and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed visit the Philippines during this time (see [[ aearly94philippines ]]and [[ a2000philippines ]]). However, according to the official version of events, Atta and Alshehhi are in Hamburg, Germany during this time. Atta is still working on his thesis, which he completes in late 1999. coverup Australian Broadcasting Corp. 11/12/01 News Article Mid-August 1998 a0898cia 1 false President Clinton signs a Memorandum of Notification authorizing the CIA to plan an assassination of bin Laden. The CIA draw up detailed profiles of bin Laden's daily routines, where he sleeps, and his travel arrangements. The assassination never happens, supposedly because of inadequate intelligence. But, as one officer later says, &ldquo;you can keep setting the bar higher and higher, so that nothing ever gets done.&rdquo; An officer who helped draw up the plans says, &ldquo;We were ready to move&rdquo; but &ldquo;we were not allowed to do it because of this stubborn policy of risk avoidance&#8230; It is a disgrace.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2001/philadelphiainquirer091601.html Philadelphia Inquirer 9/16/01 News Article Additional memorandums quickly follow that authorize the assassination of less than ten other al-Qaeda leaders, and authorize the shooting down of private aircraft containing bin Laden. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 12/19/01</a>] &ldquo;These directives [lead] to nothing.&rdquo; New Yorker 7/28/03 News Article Early 1998 aearly98richardson 1 false Bill Richardson, the US Ambassador to the UN, meets Taliban officials in Kabul (all such meetings are technically illegal, because the US still officially recognizes the government the Taliban ousted as the legitimate rulers of Afghanistan). US officials at the time call the oil and gas pipeline project a &ldquo;fabulous opportunity&rdquo; and are especially motivated by the &ldquo;prospect of circumventing Iran, which offered another route for the pipeline.&rdquo; oil timeline/2001/bostonglobe092001.html Boston Globe 9/20/01 News Article 1998 (F) a1998collins right Aukai Collins 1 false An American Muslim named Aukai Collins later says he reports to the FBI about hijacker Hani Hanjour for six months this year. [<a href="timeline/2002/ap052402.html" target=_new>AP, 5/24/02</a>] The FBI later acknowledges they paid Collins to monitor the Islamic and Arab communities in Phoenix between 1996 and 1999. [<a href="timeline/2002/ap052402.html" target=_new>AP, 5/24/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 5/23/02</a>] Collins claims that he is a casual acquaintance of hijacker Hani Hanjour while Hanjour is taking flying lessons. [<a href="timeline/2002/ap052402.html" target=_new>AP, 5/24/02</a>] Collins sees nothing suspicious about Hanjour as an individual, but he tells the FBI about him because Hanjour appears to be part of a larger, organized group of Arabs taking flying lessons. timeline/2002/foxnews052402.html Fox News 5/24/02 News Article He says the FBI &ldquo;knew everything about the guy,&rdquo; including his exact address, phone number and even what car he drove. The FBI denies Collins told them anything about Hanjour, and denies knowing about Hanjour before 9/11. coverup ABC News 5/23/02 News Article Collins later calls Hanjour a &ldquo;hanky panky&rdquo; hijacker: &ldquo;He wasn't even moderately religious, let alone fanatically religious. And I knew for a fact that he wasn't part of al-Qaeda or any other Islamic organization; he couldn't even spell jihad in Arabic.&rdquo; timeline/2002/collinsbook0602.html <i>My Jihad: The True Story of an American Mujahid's Amazing Journey from Usama Bin Laden's Training Camps to Counterterrorism with the FBI and CIA</i> Aukai Collins 6/02 p. 248 News Article 1998 (C) a1998panam 1 false In response to the 1988 bombing of a Pan Am 747 over Scotland, the FAA creates &ldquo;red teams&rdquo; &#8212;small, secretive teams traveling to airports and attempting to foil their security systems. &ldquo;In 1998, the red team completed extensive testing of screening checkpoints at a large number of domestic airports&#8230; &rdquo; &ldquo;We were successful in getting major weapons &#8212; guns and bombs&#8212; through screening checkpoints with relative ease, at least 85 percent of the time in most cases. At one airport, we had a 97 percent success rate in breaching the screening checkpoint.&rdquo; &ldquo;The individuals who occupied the highest seats of authority in FAA were fully aware of this highly vulnerable state of aviation security and did nothing.&rdquo; [<a href=";ei=1&amp;en=821ad3dfb4097a52" target=_new>New York Times, 2/27/02</a>] In 1999, the New York Port Authority and major airlines at Boston's Logan Airport&#8212;used twice on 9/11&#8212; &ldquo;were fined a total of $178,000 for at least 136 security violations over the previous two years. In the majority of incidents, screeners hired by the airlines for checkpoints in terminals routinely failed to detect test items, such as pipe bombs and guns.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>AP, 9/12/01 (C)</a>] <comment>Did the terrorists know which airports were most vulnerable, and take advantage of that knowledge?</comment> incompetence 1998 (E) a1998tunnels 1 false A son of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the al-Qaeda leader convicted in 1995 of conspiring to blow up tunnels and other New York City landmarks, is heard to say that the best way to free his father from a US prison might be to hijack an American plane and exchange the hostages. advanceinfo This is supposedly the most recent concrete hijacking report Bush hears in his August 2001 briefing titled &ldquo;Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US&rdquo;(see [[ a080601ranchmemo ]]). incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A35744-2002May17&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 5/18/02 (B) News Article 1998 a1998start 1 false According to later closed session congressional testimony by the heads of the CIA, FBI and NSA, al-Qaeda begins planning the 9/11 attacks in this year. [[[ timeline/2002/usatoday061802.html | USA Today, 6/18/02 ]]] In a June 2002 interview, 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed also says the planning for the attacks begin at this time. [[[ timeline/2002/ap090802.html | AP, 9/8/02 ]]] But it appears the targeting of the WTC and pilot training began even earlier. An al-Qaeda operative in Spain will later be found with videos filmed in 1997 of major US structures (including &ldquo;innumerable takes from all distances and angles&rdquo; of the WTC). There are numerous connections between Spain and the 9/11 hijackers, including an important meeting there in July 2001 (see [[ a070801spain ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/ap071702.html | AP, 7/17/02 ]]] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri was living in Florida since 1995, started training for his commercial pilot training degree in 1996, and got his license in 1997. Sunday Herald 9/16/01 News Article timeline/2001/bostonglobe091401.html Boston Globe 9/14/01 News Article <comment>So the attack was probably planned even earlier, but the earlier it was planned, the worse the US looks for not catching it.</comment> incompetence 1998 (H) a1998hendro 1 false Hendropriyono, the Indonesian chief of intelligence, claims in 2003 that, &ldquo;We had intelligence predicting the September 11 attacks three years before it happened but nobody believed us.&rdquo; He says Indonesian intelligence agents identify bin Laden as the leader of the group plotting the attack and that the US disregards the warning, but otherwise offers no additional details. The Associated Press notes, &ldquo;Indonesia's intelligence services are not renowned for their accuracy.&rdquo; AP 7/9/03 (C) News Article January 26, 1998 a012698pnac right PNAC logo. 1 false The Project for the New American Century (PNAC), an influential neoconservative think tank, publishes a letter to President Clinton, urging war against Iraq and the removal of Saddam Hussein because he is a &ldquo;hazard&rdquo; to &ldquo;a significant portion of the world's supply of oil.&rdquo; In a foretaste of what eventually actually happens, the letter calls for the US to go to war alone, attacks the United Nations, and says the US should not be &ldquo;crippled by a misguided insistence on unanimity in the UN Security Council.&rdquo; The letter is signed by many who will later lead the 2003 Iraq war. 10 of the 18 signatories later join the Bush Administration, including (future) Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage, Undersecretaries of State John Bolton and Paula Dobriansky, presidential adviser for the Middle East Elliott Abrams, and Bush's special Iraq envoy Zalmay Khalilzad (see also [[ a060397pnac ]], and [[ a0900paxamericana ]]). [[[ | Sunday Herald, 3/16/03 ]], [[ | PNAC Letter, 1/26/98 ]]] Clinton does heavily bomb Iraq in late 1998, but the bombing doesn't last long and its long-term effect is the break off of United Nations weapons inspections. afghanwar;position=top New York Times 3/22/03 News Article February 12, 1998 a021298unocal 1 false Unocal Vice President John J. Maresca&#8212;later to become a Special Ambassador to Afghanistan&#8212;testifies before the House of Representatives that until a single, unified, friendly government is in place in Afghanistan the trans-Afghani pipeline will not be built. He suggests that with a pipeline through Afghanistan, the Caspian basin could produce 20 percent of all the non-OPEC oil in the world by 2010. [<a href="timeline/1990s/marescatestimony021298.html" target=_new>House International Relations Committee testimony, 2/12/98</a>] oil FTW News Article February 22, 1998 a022298 1 false Bin Laden issues a <i>fatwa</i>, declaring it the religious duty of all Muslims &ldquo;to kill the Americans and their allies&#8212;civilians and military &#8230; in any country in which it is possible.&rdquo; [[[ | PBS Frontline, 2001 ]], [[ | Sunday Herald, 9/16/01 ]], complete text of the <i>fatwa</i> from [[ timeline/1990s/alqudsalarabi022398.html | al-Quds al-Arabi, 2/23/98 ]]] This is an expansion of an earlier <i>fatwa</i> issued in August 1996 (see [[ a0896fatwa ]]). advanceinfo Spring 1998 aspring98mother 1 false Sources who know bin Laden later claim that bin Laden's mother has the first of two meetings with her son in Afghanistan. This trip was arranged by Prince Turki al-Faisal, then the head of Saudi intelligence. Turki was in charge of the &ldquo;Afghanistan file&rdquo; for Saudi Arabia, and had long-standing ties to bin Laden and the Taliban (see [[ a1980osama ]]). saudi New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article April 1998 a0498basnan 1 false Osama Basnan, a Saudi living in California, later claims that he writes a letter at this time to Saudi Arabian Prince Bandar bin Sultan and his wife, Princess Haifa bint Faisal, asking for financial help because his wife needs thyroid surgery. The Saudi embassy sends Basnan $15,000 and pays the surgical bill. saudi However, University of California at San Diego hospital records say Basnan's wife, Majeda Dweikat, isn't treated until April 2000. coverup timeline/2002/latimes112402.html Los Angeles Times 11/24/02 News Article Basnan will later come under investigation for possibly using some of this money to support two of the 9/11 hijackers who arrive in San Diego (see [[ a120499princess ]] and [[ a112202 ]]). saudi Prior to this time, the FBI had several chances to investigate Basnan, but failed to do so. In 1992 they received information suggesting a connection between him and a terror group later associated with bin Laden. In 1993, they received reports that Basnan hosted a party for terrorist leader Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]]) the year before, but again they failed to investigate. incompetence [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03</a>] According to one US official, at a party shortly after 9/11, Basnan &ldquo;celebrate[s] the heroes of September 11&rdquo; and talks about &ldquo;what a wonderful, glorious day it had been.&rdquo; saudi Newsweek 12/24/02 News Article San Diego Magazine 9/03 News Article April 15, 1998 a041598interpol right Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi. 1 false The first Interpol (international police) arrest warrant for bin Laden is issued by, of all countries, Libya.,9174,837333,00.html Observer 11/10/02 News Article According to Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasqui&#233;, authors of the controversial book <i>The Forbidden Truth</i>, British and US intelligence agencies play down the arrest warrant, and have the public version of the warrant stripped of important information, such as the summary of charges and the fact that Libya requested the warrant. At this point, no Western country has yet issued a warrant for bin Laden, even though he publicly called for attacks on Western targets beginning in 1996 (see [[ a0896fatwa ]]). The arrest warrant is issued for the murder in 1994 of two German anti-terrorism agents. Supposedly, Britain and the US aren't interested in catching bin Laden at this time due to his involvement with Britain in attempts to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Mu'ammar al-Qadhafi (see [[ a1196libya ]] and [[ a110502shayler ]]). incompetence May 1998 1 false The FBI issues a strategic, five-year plan that designates national and economic security, including counterterrorism, as its top priority for the first time. However, it is later determined that neither personnel nor resources are shifted accordingly. FBI counterterrorism spending remains constant from this point until 9/11. Only about 6 percent of the FBI's agent work force is assigned to counterterrorism on 9/11 (see also [[ abefore911ciafbi | Before September 11, 2001 (D) ]]). incompetence 9/11 Commission Report 4/13/04 News Article New York Times 4/18/04 News Article After May 15, 1998 aafter051598warn 1 false At some point in 1998 after an Oklahoma City FBI office warning about possible terrorists training at US flight schools (see [[ a051898 ]]), the FBI receives reports that a terrorist organization might be planning to bring students to the US for flight training. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Daily News, 9/25/02</a>] The FBI is aware that people connected to this unnamed organization had performed surveillance and security tests at airports in the US and had made comments suggesting an intention to target civil aviation. advanceinfo Apparently this warning is not shared with other FBI offices or the FAA, and a connection with the Oklahoma warning is not made; a similar warning follows in 1999 (see [[ a99aviationwarning ]]). incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article May 18, 1998 a051898 1 false An FBI pilot sends his supervisor in the Oklahoma City FBI office a memo warning that he has observed &ldquo;large numbers of Middle Eastern males receiving flight training at Oklahoma airports in recent months.&rdquo; The memo, titled &ldquo;Weapons of Mass Destruction,&rdquo; further states this &ldquo;may be related to planned terrorist activity&rdquo; and speculates that &ldquo;light planes would be an ideal means of spreading chemicals or biological agents.&rdquo; advanceinfo The memo doesn't call for an investigation, and none is done. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/newsok052902.html" target=_new>NewsOK, 5/29/02</a>, see the <a href="" target=_new>memo</a> here] The memo is &ldquo;sent to the bureau's Weapons of Mass Destruction unit and forgotten.&rdquo; incompetence New York Daily News 9/25/02 News Article In 1999 it is learned that an al-Qaeda agent had studied flight training in Norman, Oklahoma (see [[ a0999airman ]]). Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi briefly visit the same school in 2000; Zacarias Moussaoui does study at the school in 2001 (see [[ a022301moussaoui ]] and [[ a082301norman ]]). advanceinfo May 22, 1998 a052298tsar 1 false President Clinton creates the new post of National Coordinator for Counterterrorism. He names Richard Clarke for the job, and Clarke soon becomes known as the counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 4/20/00</a>] This is outlined in a new presidential directive on counterterrorism that also outlines goals in fighting terrorism and attempts to strengthen interagency coordination of the terrorism issue. timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article May 26, 1998 a052698home 1 false In a press conference from Afghanistan, bin Laden discusses &ldquo;bringing the war home to America.&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article He indicates the results of his jihad will be &ldquo;visible&rdquo; within weeks. advanceinfo timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article May 28, 1998 a052898laden 1 false In an interview with ABC News reporter John Miller, bin Laden indicates he may attack a US military passenger aircraft using antiaircraft missiles. In the subsequent media coverage, Miller repeatedly refers to bin Laden as &ldquo;the world's most dangerous terrorist,&rdquo; and even &ldquo;the most dangerous man in the world.&rdquo; ABC News 5/28/98 News Article ABC News 6/12/98 News Article Esquire 2/99 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article May 28, 1998 (B) a052898inderfurth 1 false Pakistan conducts a successful nuclear test. Former Clinton official Karl Inderfurth later notes that concerns about an Indian-Pakistani conflict, or even nuclear confrontation, compete with efforts to press Pakistan on terrorism. timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article June 1998 (D) a0698albayoumi right Prince Sultan, the Saudi Minister of Defense and Aviation. 1 false An unknown Saudi benefactor pays a Saudi named Saad Al-Habeeb to buy a building in San Diego, California for a new Kurdish community mosque. However, the approximately $500,000 needed will only be given on the condition that a Saudi named Omar al-Bayoumi be installed as the building's maintenance manager with a private office at the mosque. saudi Al-Bayoumi is later suspected of being both an al-Qaeda advance man and a Saudi agent (see [[ a120499princess ]], [[ a0200party ]], and [[ a112202 ]]). After taking the job, al-Bayoumi rarely shows up for work. [[[ | Newsweek, 11/24/02 ]], [[ | San Diego Magazine, 9/03 ]]] This means he has two jobs at once (see [[ a0894dallahavco ]]). The people in the mosque eventually begin a move to replace al-Bayoumi, but he moves to Britain in July 2001 before this can happen. [[[ | Newsweek, 11/24/02 ]]] An anonymous federal investigator states: &ldquo;Al-Bayoumi came here, set everything up financially, set up the San Diego [terrorist] cell and set up the mosque.&rdquo; An international tax attorney notes that anyone handling business for a mosque or a church could set it up as a tax-exempt charitable organization &ldquo;and it can easily be used for money laundering.&rdquo; saudi San Diego Union-Tribune 10/27/01 News Article San Diego Union-Tribune 10/22/02 News Article June 1998 (B) a0698enron 1 false Enron's agreement to develop natural gas with the government of Uzbekistan is not renewed (see [[ a062496enron ]]). Enron closes its office there. The reason for the &ldquo;failure of Enron's flagship project&rdquo; is an inability to get the natural gas out of the region. Uzbekistan's production is &ldquo;well below capacity&rdquo; and only 10 percent of its production is being exported, all to other countries in the region. The hope was to use a pipeline through Afghanistan, but &ldquo;Uzbekistan is extremely concerned at the growing strength of the Taliban and its potential impact on stability in Uzbekistan, making any future cooperation on a pipeline project which benefits the Taliban unlikely.&rdquo; A $12 billion pipeline through China is being considered as one solution, but that wouldn't be completed until the end of the next decade at the earliest. oil timeline/1990s/alexanders101298.html Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections 10/12/98 News Article June 1998 (E) 1 false In 1997 and early 1998, the US develops a plan to capture bin Laden in Afghanistan. A CIA-owned aircraft is stationed in a nearby country, ready to land on a remote landing strip long enough to pick him up. But problems with having to hold bin Laden too long in Afghanistan make the operation unlikely. The plan morphs into using a team of Afghan informants (see [[ a97informants | 1997 (B) ]]) to kidnap bin Laden from inside his heavily defended farm. In this month the plan is given to CIA Director Tenet for approval, but he rejects it without showing it to President Clinton. It is thought unlikely to succeed and the Afghan allies are considered unreliable. Washington Post 2/22/04 News Article It is speculated that the airstrip used for these purposes is occupied and used as a base of operations early in the post-9/11 Afghan war. afghanwar Washington Post 12/19/01 News Article June 1998 (C) a0698considering 1 false US intelligence obtains information from several sources that bin Laden is considering attacks in the US, including Washington and New York. This information is given to senior US officials in July 1998. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article Information mentions an attack in Washington probably against public places. US intelligences guesses bin Laden places a high priority on conducting attacks in the US. In spring 1999 there is more information about a planned al-Qaeda attack on a Washington government facility. advanceinfo timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article June 1998 a0698secretmeeting right Taliban leader Mullah Omar, blind in one eye. 1 false Relations between Taliban head Mullah Omar and bin Laden grow tense, and Omar strikes a secret deal with the Saudis to expel bin Laden. Head of Saudi intelligence Prince Turki al-Faisal travels to Kandahar, Afghanistan and brokers the deal, saudi but before it can be enacted, the US strikes Afghanistan in August, driving Omar and bin Laden back together. incompetence Prince Turki states that &ldquo;the Taliban attitude changed 180 degrees,&rdquo; and that Omar was &ldquo;absolutely rude&rdquo; to him when he visited again in September. saudi timeline/2001/guardian110501.html Guardian 11/5/01 News Article,,3-373034,00.html London Times 8/3/02 News Article Note that reports of this meeting seemingly contradict reports of a different secret meeting a month later (see [[ a0798secretmeeting ]]). <comment>Was bin Laden charmed by luck, or might the embassy bombings and/or the US missile attacks in response have been timed to help keep him in Afghanistan?</comment> incompetence June 8, 1998 a060898indictment 1 false A US grand jury issues a sealed indictment charging bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders with conspiracy to attack the US. The indictment is publicly released on November 4, 1998. [[[ | PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C) ]]] The grand jury took two years to reach an indictment, largely based on information from an informant (see [[ a0696alfadl ]]). [[[ timeline/2001/nyt093001b.html | New York Times, 09/30/01 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2001/frontline0901.html | Frontline, 9/01 ]]] This secret indictment is superseded by a public one later in the year (see [[ a110498indictment ]]). June 23, 1998 a062398cheney 1 false Future Vice President Cheney, working for the Halliburton energy company, states: &ldquo;I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. It's almost as if the opportunities have arisen overnight.&rdquo; The Caspian Sea is in Central Asia. oil Cato Institute Library News Article timeline/2000/chicagotribune081000.html Chicago Tribune 8/10/00 News Article July 1998 a0798secretmeeting 1 false According to documents exposed in a later lawsuit, a meeting takes place in Kandahar, Afghanistan, that leads to a secret deal between Saudi Arabia and the Taliban. Those present include Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabian intelligence (see also [[ a1980osama ]]and [[ aspring98mother ]]), saudi Taliban leaders, senior officers from the ISI, isidrugs and bin Laden. Saudi Arabia agrees to give saudi the Taliban and Pakistan isidrugs &ldquo;several hundred millions&rdquo; of dollars, and in return bin Laden promises no attacks against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis also agree to ensure that requests for the extradition of al-Qaeda members will be blocked and promise to block demands by other countries that bin Laden's Afghan training camps will be closed down. Saudi Arabia had previously given money to the Taliban and bribe money to bin Laden (see [[ a96payoffs ]]), but this ups the ante. [[[ | Sunday Times, 8/25/02 ]]] A few weeks after the meeting, Prince Turki sends 400 new pickup trucks to Afghanistan. At least $200 million follow. saudi Honolulu Star-Bulletin 9/23/01 News Article timeline/2002/nypost082502.html New York Post 8/25/02 News Article Controversial author Gerald Posner gives a similar account said to come from high US government officials, and adds that al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida also attends the meeting. saudi Note that reports of this meeting seemingly contradict reports of a meeting the month before between Turki and the Taliban, in which the Taliban agreed to get rid of bin Laden (see [[ a0698secretmeeting ]]). saudi July 7, 1998 a070798passport 1 false Thieves snatch a passport from a car driven by a US tourist in Barcelona, Spain. The passport later finds its way into the hands of would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Bin al-Shibh allegedly uses the name on the passport in the summer of 2001 as he wires money to pay flight school tuition for Zacarias Moussaoui in Oklahoma. Investigators believe the movement of this passport shows connections between the 9/11 plotters in Germany and a support network in Spain, made up mostly by ethnic Syrians. &ldquo;Investigators believe that the Syrians served as deep-cover mentors, recruiters, financiers and logistics providers for the hijackers&#8212;elite backup for an elite attack team&rdquo; (see also [[ a1998start ]]). [[[,0,2368574.story?coll=la-headlines-world-manual | Los Angeles Times, 1/14/03 ]]] Atta twice travels to Spain, perhaps to make contact with members of this Spanish support team (see [[ a010401spain ]]and [[ a070801spain ]]). saudi August 1998 (B) a0898fly 1 false A CIA intelligence report asserts that Arab terrorists are planning to fly a bomb-laden aircraft from a foreign country into the WTC. The FBI and the FAA don't take the threat seriously because of the state of aviation in that unnamed country. Later, other intelligence information connects this group to al-Qaeda. advanceinfo New York Times 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article An FBI spokesman says the report &ldquo;was not ignored, it was thoroughly investigated by numerous agencies&rdquo; and found to be unrelated to al-Qaeda. [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A36754-2002Sep18&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/19/02 (B)</a>] However, the group in fact did have &ldquo;ties to al-Qaeda.&rdquo; coverup New York Times 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article August 1998 a0898motassadeq 1 false A German inquiry into Mounir El Motassadeq, an alleged member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell with Mohamed Atta, begins by this time. Though Germany won't reveal details, coverup documents show that by this month Motassadeq is under surveillance. &ldquo;The trail soon [leads] to most of the main [Hamburg] participants&rdquo; in 9/11. On this date, surveillance records Motassadeq and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who had already been identified by police as a suspected extremist (see [[ a0397zammar ]]), as they meet at the Hamburg home of Said Bahaji, who is also under surveillance that same year. (Bahaji will soon move into an apartment with Atta and other al-Qaeda members, see [[ a110198marien ]].) German police monitor several other meetings between the Motassadeq and Zammar in the following months. [[[;position=top | New York Times, 1/18/03 ]]] Motassadeq is later convicted in Germany for participation in the 9/11 attacks (see [[ a082902motassadeq ]]). August 7, 1998 a080798embassy 1 false right The destroyed US embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. Terrorists bomb the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. right The destroyed US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya. The bomb in Nairobi, Kenya kills 213 people, including 12 US nationals, and injures more than 4,500. The bomb in Dar es Salaam kills 11 and injures 85. The attack is blamed on al-Qaeda. PBS Frontline 2001 News Article August 9, 1998 a080998mazarisharif 1 false The Northern Alliance capital of Afghanistan, Mazar-i-Sharif, is conquered by the Taliban. Military support of Pakistan's ISI plays a large role; there is even an intercept of an ISI officer stating, &ldquo;My boys and I are riding into Mazar-i-Sharif.&rdquo; [ isidrugs <a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 12/8/01</a>] This victory gives the Taliban control of 90%of Afghanistan, including the entire pipeline route. CentGas, the consortium behind the gas pipeline that would run through Afghanistan, is now &ldquo;ready to proceed. Its main partners are the American oil firm Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, plus Hyundai of South Korea, two Japanese companies, a Pakistani conglomerate and the Turkmen government.&rdquo; However, the pipeline cannot be financed unless the government is officially recognized. &ldquo;Diplomatic sources said the Taliban's offensive was well prepared and deliberately scheduled two months ahead of the next UN meeting&rdquo; to decide if the Taliban should be recognized. oil timeline/1990s/telegraph081398.html Telegraph 8/13/98 News Article August 20, 1998 a082098missilestrike 1 false The US fires 66 missiles at six training camps in Afghanistan and 13 missiles at a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan in retaliation for the US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy | August 7, 1998 ]]).;node=&amp;contentId=A61219-2001Oct2Found=true Washington Post 10/3/01 (C) News Article The US makes clear the attacks are aimed at terrorists &ldquo;not supported by any state&rdquo; despite obvious evidence to the contrary in Afghanistan. About 30 people are killed in the attacks, but no important al-Qaeda figures die. incompetence timeline/1990s/observer082398.html Observer 8/23/98 News Article New Yorker 1/24/00 News Article Khalid bin Mahfouz and suspected terrorist financier Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi (see [[ a112202additions | November 22, 2002 (B) ]]) appear to have been the main investors in the Sudanese factory. However, &ldquo;subsequent lab tests and court actions leave little doubt the El Shifa plant was producing only human and veterinary drugs.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/ottawacitizen092901.html | Ottawa Citizen, 9/29/01 ]]] The US later unfreezes the bank accounts of the nominal factory owner and takes other actions indicating guilt, but admits no wrongdoing. It is later learned that of the six camps targeted in Afghanistan, only four were hit, and of those, only one had connections to bin Laden. incompetence Two of the camps belong to the ISI, and five ISI officers and some twenty trainees are killed. isidrugs Clinton says on TV that the missiles were aimed at a &ldquo;gathering of key terrorist leaders&rdquo;, which turns out to have taken place a month earlier, in Pakistan. [<a href="timeline/1990s/observer082398.html" target=_new>Observer, 8/23/98</a>, <a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 1/24/00</a>] C ounterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke claims he was promised by the Navy that they would fire their missiles from below the ocean surface. But, in fact, many destroyers fired their missiles from the surface. [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 188-189] He adds, &ldquo;not only did they use surface ships&#8212;they brought additional ones in, because every captain wants to be able to say he fired the cruise missile.&rdquo; incompetence New Yorker 7/28/03 News Article This gives the ISI many hours to alert bin Laden (see [[ a0799hamidgul | July 1999 (B) ]]). Clarke says he believes &ldquo;if the [ISI] wanted to capture bin Laden or tell us where he was, they could have done so with little effort. They did not cooperate with us because ISI saw al-Qaeda as helpful in pressuring India, particularly in Kashmir.&rdquo; isidrugs August 24, 1998 a082498camps 1 false The New York Times reports that the training camps recently attacked by the US (see [[ a082098missilestrike ]]) were actually built years before by the US and its allies. The US and Saudi Arabia gave the Afghans between $6 billion and $40 billion to fight the Soviets in the 1980s (see [[ a122679invasion ]]). Many of the people targeted by the Clinton missile attacks were actually trained and equipped by the CIA years before. incompetence timeline/1990s/nyt082498.html New York Times 8/24/98 News Article August 27, 1998 a082798delenda 1 false Following the cruise missile attack on al-Qaeda targets (see [[ a082098missilestrike | August 20, 1998 ]]), immediate plans are made for follow up attacks to make sure bin Laden is killed. However, on this day Defense Secretary William Cohen is advised that available targets are not promising. Some question to use of expensive missiles to hit very primitive training camps, and there is the concern that if bin Laden is not killed, his stature will only grow further (see [[ alate98failedattack | Late 1998 (F) ]]). As discussions continue, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke prepares a plan he calls &ldquo;Delenda,&rdquo; which means &ldquo;to destroy&rdquo; in Latin. His idea is to have regular, small strikes in Afghanistan whenever the intelligence warrants it. The plan is rejected. Counterterrorism officials in the Defense Secretary's office independently create a similar plan, but it too is rejected. [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B) ]]] The Delenda Plan also calls for diplomacy against the Taliban, covert action focused in Afghanistan, and financial measures to freeze bin-Laden related funds. These aspects are not formally adopted, but they guide future efforts. timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article Late August 1998 (B) a98safehouse 1 false An al-Qaeda operative involved in the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi is captured and interrogated by the FBI. The FBI learns of a safe house telephone number in Yemen, owned by bin Laden associate Ahmed Al-Hada, hijacker Khalid Almihdhar's father-in-law. [[[ | Newsweek, 6/2/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/diezeit100102.html | Die Zeit, 10/1/02 ]]] US intelligence learns the safe house is an al-Qaeda &ldquo;logistics center&rdquo; used by agents around the world to communicate with each other and plan attacks. [[[ | Newsweek, 6/2/02 ]]] It has been revealed that even bin Laden called the safe house dozens of times from 1996 to 1998 (the two years he had a traced satellite phone). [[[ timeline/2002/sundaytimes032402.html | Sunday Times, 3/24/02 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] The NSA and CIA together plant bugs inside the house, tap the phones, and monitor visitors with spy satellites. [[[ timeline/2002/mirror060902.html | Mirror, 6/9/02 ]]] The NSA later records Khalid Almihdhar and other hijackers calling this house, even from the US (see [[ a99nsahijackers ]] and [[ aspring00calls ]]). In late 1999 the phone line will lead the CIA to an important al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia (see [[ a1299safehouse ]]). [[[ | Newsweek, 6/2/02 ]]] It appears al-Qaeda still uses the phone line until a Yemeni government raid in February 2002. CBS News 2/13/02 News Article Late August 1998 a0898captured 1 false A captured member of the al-Qaeda cell that bombed the US embassy in Kenya tells an FBI agent about a conversation he had with his cell's leader. The leader told him that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on the US, but &ldquo;Things are not ready yet. We don't have everything prepared.&rdquo; advanceinfo USA Today 8/29/02 News Article September 1998 (B) a0998next 1 false US intelligence finds information that bin Laden's next operation could possibly involve crashing an aircraft loaded with explosives into a US airport. This information is provided to senior US officials. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A36754-2002Sep18&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 9/19/02 (B) News Article September 1998 a0998memorandum 1 false US intelligence gives a memorandum to senior officials detailing al-Qaeda's infrastructure in the US. This includes the use of fronts for terrorist activities. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article This information is provided to senior US officials. advanceinfo timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article September 1998-July 1999 a0998bayoumiinquiry left Omar al-Bayoumi 1 false The FBI conducts a counterterrorism inquiry on Omar al-Bayoumi, suspected al-Qaeda advance man and possible Saudi agent (see [[ a120499princess ]], [[ a0200party ]], and [[ a112202 ]]). The FBI discovers he has been in contact with several people also under investigation. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The FBI is given a tip that he was sent a suspicious package filled with wire from the Middle East, and that large numbers of Arab men routinely meet in his apartment. His landlord notices that he switches from driving a beat up old car to a new Mercedes. [[[ | Newsweek, 7/28/03 ]]] According to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, the FBI notes that al-Bayoumi has &ldquo;access to seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia.&rdquo; For instance, an FBI source identifies him as a person who has delivered about $500,000 from Saudi Arabia to buy a mosque (see [[ a0698albayoumi ]]). saudi But the FBI closes the inquiry &ldquo;for reasons that remain unclear.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Also in 1999, al-Bayoumi is working as an employee of the Saudi company Dallah Avco but apparently doing no work (see [[ a0894dallahavco ]]). Someone in the company tries to fire him and sends a note to the Saudi government about this, since the company is so closely tied to the government. But Mohammed Ahmed al-Salmi, the director general of civil aviation, replies that it is &ldquo;extremely urgent&rdquo; his job is renewed &ldquo;as quickly as possible,&rdquo; and so he keeps his job. saudi Wall Street Journal 8/11/03 News Article September 20, 1998 a092098salim left Mamdouh Mahmud Salim 1 false Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, an al-Qaeda terrorist from the United Arab Emirates connected to the 1998 US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy ]]), is arrested near Munich, Germany. [[[ | PBS Newshour, 9/30/98 ]]] In retrospect, it appears he was making one of many visits to the al-Qaeda cells in Germany. [<i>The Base</i>, Jane Corbin, 8/02, p. 147] US investigators later call him bin Laden's &ldquo;right hand man.&rdquo; New York Times 9/29/01 News Article However, the FBI is unwilling to brief their German counterparts on what they know about Salim and al-Qaeda, despite learning much that could have been useful as part of their investigation into the US embassy bombings. incompetence By the end of the year, German investigators learn that Salim had a Hamburg bank account. [[[ | New York Times, 9/29/01 ]]] The cosignatory on the account is businessman Mamoun Darkazanli (see [[ a092401darkazanli ]]), whose home number had been programmed into Salim's cell phone. [[[ timeline/2002/chicagotribune111702.html | Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02 ]]] US intelligence had first investigated Darkazanli in 1993, when a suspect was found with his telephone number. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] German authorities had begun to suspect Darkazanli of terrorist money laundering in 1996. Wadih El-Hage, a former personal secretary to bin Laden, is also arrested in the wake of the embassy bombings. El-Hage had created a number of shell companies as fronts for al-Qaeda terrorist activities, and one of these uses the address of Darkazanli's apartment. [[[ timeline/2002/chicagotribune111702.html | Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02 ]]] Darkazanli's phone number and Deutschebank account number are also found in El-Hage's address book. [[[ | CNN, 10/16/01 ]]] The FBI also discovers Darkazanli had power of attorney over a bank account of Hajer, a person on al-Qaeda's supreme council. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] Based on these new connections, investigators ask a federal prosecutor for permission to open a formal investigation against Darkazanli. An investigation begins, at the insistence of the US, though Germany has claimed the request for the investigation was rejected (see [[ a1299informer ]]). coverup timeline/2001/afp102801.html AFP 10/28/01 News Article;position=top New York Times 1/18/03 News Article German investigators also learn of a connection between Salim and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who is already identified by police as a suspected extremist (see [[ a0397zammar ]]). timeline/2002/ap062202.html AP 6/22/02 News Article;position=top New York Times 1/18/03 News Article September 23, 1998 a092398shifa 1 false US senior administrative officials admit that they had no evidence that directly linked bin Laden to the Al Shifa factory at the time of retaliatory strikes on Aug 20. Intelligence officials found financial transactions between bin Laden and the Military Industrial Corporation&#8212;a company run by the Sudan's government. (Source: New York Times 9/23/98) PBS Frontline 2001 News Article Autumn 1998 a1998newyork 1 false US intelligence hears of a bin Laden plot involving aircraft in the New York and Washington areas. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article New York Times 9/18/02 News Article In December it learns that al-Qaeda plans to hijack US aircraft are proceeding well. Two individuals have successfully evaded checkpoints in a dry run at a New York airport. advanceinfo timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article October 1998 a1098alqadi right FBI agents Vincent (left) and Wright (right) 1 false FBI agents Robert Wright and John Vincent are tracking a terrorist cell in Chicago, but are told to simply follow suspects around town and file reports. The two agents believe some of the money used to finance the 1998 US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy ]]) leads back to Chicago incompetence and Saudi multimillionaire businessman Yassin al-Qadi (see also [[ a032100abdelhafiz ]], [[ a0101backoff ]], [[ a101201firstfreeze ]], [[ a081502saudisuit ]], [[ a082502baer ]], [[ a112602secretlist ]], and [[ a120502ptech ]]). saudi Supervisors try, but temporarily fail, to halt the investigation into al-Qadi's possible terrorist connections. However, at this time, a supervisor prohibits Wright and Vincent from making any arrests connected to the bombings, or opening new criminal investigations. Even though they believe their case is growing stronger, in January 2001 Wright is told that the Chicago case is being closed and that &ldquo;it's just better to let sleeping dogs lie&rdquo;(see [[ a0101backoff ]]). Wright tells ABC: &ldquo;Those dogs weren't sleeping, they were training, they were getting ready. &#8230; September the 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit. &#8230; Absolutely no doubt about that.&rdquo; Chicago federal prosecutor Mark Flessner, also working on the case, says there &ldquo;were powers bigger than I was in the Justice Department and within the FBI that simply were not going to let [the building of a criminal case] happen.&rdquo; Wright will write an internal FBI memo slamming the FBI in June 2001 (see [[ a060901 ]], and also [[ a053002 ]]and [[ a080902wright ]]). incompetence Al-Qadi is named in a March 2000 affidavit as a source of terrorist funds in Chicago. [[[ | ABC, 11/26/02 ]], [[ | ABC, 12/19/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/abcnews121902b.html | ABC, 12/19/02 (B) ]]] He is also on secret US and UN lists of major al-Qaeda financiers (see [[ a112602secretlist ]]). His charity, the Muwafaq Foundation, is allegedly an al-Qaeda front which transferred $820,000 to the Palestinian group Hamas through a Muslim foundation called the Quranic Literacy Institute; the date of the transfer has not been released. [[[ | CNN, 10/15/01 (B) ]]] Al-Qadi says he shut down Muwafaq in 1996, but the charity has received money from the United Nations since then. saudi BBC 10/20/01 News Article CNN 10/15/01 (B) News Article October 1998 (B) a1098sirrs 1 false Julie Sirrs, a military analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), travels to Afghanistan. Fluent in local languages and knowledgeable about the culture, she had made a previous undercover trip there in October 1997. She was surprised that the CIA wasn't interested in sending in agents after the failed missile attack on bin Laden in August 1998 (see [[ a082098missilestrike | August 20, 1998 ]]) so she returns at this time. Traveling undercover, she meets with Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, who is later assassinated by the Taliban (see [[ a090901massoud | September 9, 2001 ]]). She sees a terrorist training center. Sirrs claims, &ldquo;The Taliban's brutal regime was being kept in power significantly by bin Laden's money, plus the narcotics trade, while [Massoud's] resistance was surviving on a shoestring. With even a little aid to the Afghan resistance, we could have pushed the Taliban out of power. But there was great reluctance by the State Department and the CIA to undertake that.&rdquo; She partly blames the interest of the US government and the oil company Unocal to see the Taliban achieve political stability so a pipeline could be built across the company. She claims, &ldquo;Massoud told me he had proof that Unocal had provided money that helped the Taliban take Kabul.&rdquo; oil She also states, &ldquo;The State Department didn't want to have anything to do with Afghan resistance, or even, politically, to reveal that there was any viable option to the Taliban.&rdquo; incompetence After two weeks she returns with a treasure trove of maps, photographs, and interviews. timeline/2004/nyobserver031104.html New York Observer 3/11/04 News Article timeline/2002/abcnews021802b.html ABC News 2/18/02 News Article By interviewing captured al-Qaeda operatives she learns that the official Afghanistan airline, Ariania Airlines, is being used to ferry weapons and drugs, and also learns that bin Laden goes hunting with &ldquo;rich Saudis and top Taliban officials.&rdquo; saudi,0,7388562.story Los Angeles Times 11/18/01 (B) News Article When she returns her material is confiscated and she is accused of being a spy. Says one senior colleague, &ldquo;She had gotten the proper clearances to go, and she came back with valuable information,&rdquo; but high level officials &ldquo;were so intent on getting rid of her, the last thing they wanted to pay attention to was any information she had.&rdquo; She is cleared of wrongdoing, but her security clearance is pulled. She eventually quits the DIA in frustration. incompetence timeline/2004/nyobserver031104.html New York Observer 3/11/04 News Article timeline/2002/abcnews021802b.html ABC News 2/18/02 News Article She claims that the US intelligence on bin Laden and the Taliban relied too heavily on the ISI for its information. isidrugs timeline/2002/abcnews021802b.html ABC News 2/18/02 (B) News Article October-November 1998 a1098within 1 false October-November 1998: US intelligence learns that al-Qaeda is trying to establish a terrorist cell within the US. There are indications they might be trying to recruit US citizens. In the next month, there is information that a terror cell in the United Arab Emirates is attempting to recruit a group of five to seven young men from the US to travel to the Middle East for training. This is part of a plan to strike a US domestic target. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article October 8, 1998 a100898warnings 1 false The FAA issues the first of three warnings to the nation's airports and airlines urging a &ldquo;high degree of vigilance&rdquo; against threats to US civil aviation from al-Qaeda. It specifically warns against a possible terrorist hijacking &ldquo;at a metropolitan airport in the Eastern United States.&rdquo;The information is based on statements made by bin Laden and other Islamic leaders and intelligence information following the US cruise missile attacks in August. All three warnings came in late 1998, well before 9/11. advanceinfo timeline/2002/bostonglobe052602.html Boston Globe 5/26/02 News Article This report contradicts numerous later statements by US officials that the US never had any pre-9/11 specific threats inside the US or involving hijackings (for instance, see [[ a091201nowarning ]] or [[ a051602rice ]]). coverup November 1998 a1198turkish 1 false US intelligence learns that a Turkish extremist group named Kaplancilar had planned a suicide attack. The conspirators, who were arrested, planned to crash an airplane packed with explosives into a famous tomb during a government ceremony. The Turkish press said the group had cooperated with bin Laden and the FBI includes this incident in a bin Laden database. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article November 1, 1998-February 2001 a110198marien right The Marienstrasse building. 1 false Mohamed Atta and al-Qaeda terrorists Said Bahaji and Ramzi bin al-Shibh move into a four bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse, in Hamburg, Germany, and stay there until February 2001 (Atta is already mainly living in the US well before this time). Investigators believe this move marks the formation of their Hamburg al-Qaeda terrorist cell. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 1/27/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 9/10/02</a>] Up to six men at a time live at the apartment, including other al-Qaeda agents such as hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and cell member Zakariya Essabar. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 9/15/01 (F)</a>] During the 28 months Atta's name is on the apartment lease, 29 ethnically Middle Eastern or North African men register the apartment as their home address. From the very beginning, the apartment was officially under surveillance by German intelligence, because of investigations into businessman Mamoun Darkazanli that connect to Said Bahaji (see [[ a092098salim ]] and [[ a1299informer ]]). [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A39318-2001Oct23&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 10/23/01 ]]] They also suspect connections between Bahaji and al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see [[ a0397zammar ]] and [[ a021799phonecalls ]]). [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] Germans monitor the apartment off and on for months, and also wiretap Mounir El Motassadeq (see [[ a0898motassadeq ]]), an associate of the apartment-mates who is later put on trial for assisting the 9/11 plot (see [[ a082902motassadeq ]]), but they don't find any indication of suspicious activity. [[[,0,5055267.story?coll=chi-newsspecials-hed | Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02 ]]] Bahaji is directly monitored at least for part of 1998, but German officials have not disclosed when the probe began or ended. That investigation is dropped for lack of evidence. [[[ timeline/2002/ap062202.html | AP, 6/22/02 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] However, certainly investigators would have found evidence if they looked more thoroughly. For instance, Zammar, a talkative man who has trouble keeping secrets, is a frequent visitor to the many late night meetings there. [[[,0,5055267.story?coll=chi-newsspecials-hed | Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]], <i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/14/02, pp. 259-260] Another visitor later recalls Atta and others discussing attacking the US. [[[ | Knight Ridder, 9/9/02 ]]] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is in Hamburg several times in 1999, and comes to the apartment (see [[ a1999ksmvisit ]]). But although there was a $2 million reward for Mohammed since 1998 (see [[ amid96mohammed ]]), the US apparently fails to tell Germany what it knows about him. [[[ | New York Times, 11/4/02 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 9/4/02 ]]] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri also apparently stays there &ldquo;at times.&rdquo; [[[ | Washington Post, 9/14/01 ]], [[ | Washington Post, 9/16/01 (B) ]]] The CIA also starts monitoring Atta while he is living at this apartment, and doesn't tell Germany of the surveillance (see [[ a0100atta ]]). incompetence The German government originally claimed they knew little about the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell before 9/11, and said nothing directed them towards the Marienstrasse apartment, which is clearly incorrect. coverup timeline/2001/telegraph112401.html Telegraph 11/24/01 News Article November 1998 (B) a1198bushsr 1 false Former President George Bush Sr. meets with the bin Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. The meeting takes place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This is one of two known meetings (see [[ a0100bushsr ]]). saudi Sunday Herald 10/7/01 News Article November 4, 1998 a110498indictment 1 false The US publicly indicts bin Laden, Mohammed Atef, and others with the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania (see [[ a080798embassy ]]). Bin Laden had been secretly indicted on different charges earlier in the year (see [[ a060898indictment ]]). Record $5 million rewards are announced for information leading to his arrest and the arrest of Mohammed Atef. [[[ | PBS Frontline, 2001 ]]] Shortly thereafter, bin Laden allocates $9 million in reward money for the assassinations of four US government officials in response to the reward on him. A year later it is learned that the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, FBI Director, and CIA Director are the targets. timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2002/msnbc091802.html MSNBC 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Late 1998 (C) a1998frustrated 1 false FBI counter-terrorism expert John O'Neill and his team investigating the 1998 embassy bombings are repeatedly frustrated by the Saudi government. Guillaume Dasqui&#233;, one of the authors of <i>Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth</i>, later tells the Village Voice: &ldquo;We uncovered incredible things&#8230; Investigators would arrive to find that key witnesses they were about to interrogate had been beheaded the day before.&rdquo; saudi Village Voice 1/2/02 News Article timeline/nodate/forbiddentruth.html Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth News Article Late 1998-2000 alate98boots 1 false National Security Advisor Sandy Berger and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright repeatedly ask about having a &ldquo;boots on the ground&rdquo; option to kill bin Laden, using the elite Delta Force. Clinton also supports the idea, telling Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton, &ldquo;You know, it would scare the [expletive] out of al-Qaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp.&rdquo; But Shelton says he wants &ldquo;nothing to do&rdquo; with such an idea. He calls it naive, and ridicules it as &ldquo;going Hollywood.&rdquo; He says he would need a large force, not just a small team. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 12/19/01</a>] US Central Command chief General Anthony Zinni is considered the chief opponent to the &ldquo;boots on the ground&rdquo; idea. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 10/2/02</a>] Clinton orders &ldquo;formal planning for a mission to capture the al-Qaeda leadership.&rdquo; Reports are contradictory, but some claim Clinton was told such plans were drawn up when in fact they were not. incompetence timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article Washington Post 10/2/02 News Article Late 1998 (D) 1 false President Clinton signs a directive authorizing the CIA to plan an assassination of bin Laden. The CIA draw up detailed profiles of bin Laden's daily routines, where he sleeps, and his travel arrangements. The assassination never happens, supposedly because of inadequate intelligence. But, as one officer later says, &ldquo;you can keep setting the bar higher and higher, so that nothing ever gets done.&rdquo; An officer who helped draw up the plans later says, &ldquo;We were ready to move&rdquo; but &ldquo;we were not allowed to do it because of this stubborn policy of risk avoidance&#8230;It is a disgrace.&rdquo; [ incompetence timeline/2001/philadelphiainquirer091601.html Philadelphia Inquirer 9/16/01 News Article ] The initial emphasis is on capturing bin Laden and only killing him if the capture attempt is unsuccessful. The military is unhappy about this, so Clinton signs several new directives before leaving office, each one authorizing the use of lethal force more clearly than the one before. incompetence Washington Post 2/22/04 (B) News Article Late 1998 (F) alate98failedattack 1 false The failed August 1998 US missile attack against bin Laden (see [[ a082098missilestrike ]]) greatly elevates bin Laden's stature in the Muslim world. A US defense analyst later states, &ldquo;I think that raid really helped elevate bin Laden's reputation in a big way, building him up in the Muslim world&#8230;. My sense is that because the attack was so limited and incompetent, we turned this guy into a folk hero.&rdquo; incompetence Washington Post 10/3/01 (C) News Article An Asia Times article published just prior to 9/11 suggests that because of the failed attack, &ldquo;a very strong Muslim lobby emerge[s] to protect [bin Laden's] interests. This includes Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, saudi as well as senior Pakistani generals. isidrugs Prince Abdullah has good relations with bin Laden as both are disciples of slain Doctor Abdullah Azzam.&rdquo; Asia Times 8/22/01 News Article In early 1999, Pakistani President Musharraf complains that by demonizing bin Laden, the US has turned him into a cult figure and hero. incompetence The US decides to play down the importance of bin Laden. UPI 6/14/01 News Article Late 1998 (E) alate98atef 1 false Intelligence agents learn that Mohammed Atef (also known as Abu Hafs)&#8212;head of Islamic Jihad and one of the top three leaders of al-Qaeda [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 11/17/01</a>], is staying in a particular hotel room in Khartoum, Sudan. White House officials ask that Atef be killed or captured and interrogated. International capture operations of terrorists have become routine by the mid-1990s, but in this case both the Defense Department and the CIA are against it, although Atef doesn't even have bodyguards. The CIA puts the operation in the &ldquo;too hard to do box,&rdquo; according to one former official. The CIA says it's incapable of conducting such an operation in Sudan, but in the same year the CIA conducts another spy mission in the same city. [[[ | New York Times, 12/30/01 ]] <i>, Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 143-146] A plan is eventually made to seize him, but by then he has left the country. [[[ | New York Times, 12/30/01 ]]] Atef is considered a top planner of the 9/11 attacks (see [[ abefore091101atef | Before September 11, 2001 (D) ]]), and is later killed in a bombing raid (see [[ a111501atefkilled | November 15, 2001 (B) ]]). incompetence Late 1998 (B) a1998oneill 1 false During the investigation of the 1998 embassy bombings, FBI counter-terrorism 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. oil Salon 6/5/02 News Article December 1, 1998 a120198assessment 1 false A US intelligence assessment: &ldquo;[Bin Laden] is actively planning against US targets and already may have positioned operatives for at least one operation&#8230; Multiple reports indicate [he] is keenly interested in striking the US on its own soil&#8230; al-Qaeda is recruiting operatives for attacks in the US but has not yet identified potential targets.&rdquo; Later in the month, a classified document prepared by the CIA and signed by Clinton states: &ldquo;The intelligence community has strong indications that bin Laden intends to conduct or sponsor attacks inside the US.&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A36754-2002Sep18&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 9/19/02 (B) News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article Late 1998-2000 (B) alate98subs 1 false The US permanently stations two submarines in the Indian Ocean, ready to hit al-Qaeda with cruise missiles on short notice. Six to ten hours advance warning is now needed to review the decision, program the cruise missiles and have them reach their target. On at least three occasions, spies in Afghanistan report bin Laden's location with information suggesting he would remain there for some time. Each time, Clinton approves the strike. Each time, CIA Director Tenet says the information is not reliable enough and the attack cannot go forward. incompetence Washington Post 12/19/01 News Article New York Times 12/30/01 News Article At some point in 2000 the submarines are withdrawn, apparently because the Navy wanted to use them for other purposes. So when the unmanned Predator spy plane flies over Afghanistan and identifies bin Laden (see [[ a0800predator | August-October 2000 ]]), there is no way to capitalize on that opportunity. [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 220-221] The Bush Administration fails to resume the submarine patrol (see [[ a012701norevenge | January 27, 2001 ]]). Lacking any way to attack bin Laden, military plans to strike at him are no longer updated after March 2001. incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B News Article December 1998 1 false US intelligence learns that bin Laden is staying at a particular location in Afghanistan, and missile strikes are readied against him. However, principal advisors to President Clinton agree not to recommend a strike because of doubts about the intelligence and worries about collateral damage. In the wake of this, officials attempt to find alternatives to cruise missiles, such a precision strike aircraft. But US Central Command chief General Anthony incompetence Zinni is apparently opposed to deployment of these aircraft near Afghanistan, and they are not deployed (see also [[ alate98boots | Late 1998-2000 ]]). incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B News Article December 4, 1998 a120498 1 false CIA Director Tenet issues a &ldquo;declaration of war&rdquo; on al-Qaeda, in a memorandum circulated in the intelligence community. This is 10 months after bin Laden's <i>fatwa</i> on the US, which is called a &ldquo;de facto declaration of war&rdquo; by a senior US official in 1999 (see [[ a022298 ]]). incompetence Tenet says, &ldquo;We must now enter a new phase in our effort against bin Laden &#8230; each day we all acknowledge that retaliation is inevitable and that its scope may be far larger than we have previously experienced&#8230; We are at war&#8230; I want no resources or people spared in this efforts [sic], either inside CIA or the [larger intelligence] community.&rdquo; Yet a Congressional joint committee later finds that few FBI agents had ever heard of the declaration. Tenet's fervor did not &ldquo;reach the level in the field that is critical so [FBI agents] know what their priorities are.&rdquo; And even as the counterterrorism budget continues to grow generally, there is no massive shift in budget or personnel until after 9/11. For example, the number of CIA personnel assigned to the Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) stays roughly constant until 9/11 then nearly doubles from approximately 400 to approximately 800 in the wake of 9/11. The number of CTC analysts focusing on al-Qaeda rises from three in 1999 to five by 9/11. incompetence New York Times 9/18/02 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article December 5, 1998 a120598withdrawl 1 false In the wake of the al-Qaeda US embassy attacks (see [[ a080798embassy ]]), the US gives up on putting a pipeline through Afghanistan. Unocal announces it is withdrawing from the CentGas pipeline consortium, and closing three of its four offices in Central Asia. A concern that Clinton will lose support among women voters for upholding the Taliban also plays a role in the cancellation. [[[ timeline/1990s/nyt120598.html | New York Times, 12/5/98 ]]] oil FTW News Article December 21, 1998 a122198hunt 1 false In a Time magazine cover story entitled &ldquo;The Hunt for Osama,&rdquo; it is reported intelligence sources &ldquo;have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet&#8212;a strike on Washington or possibly New York City in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. &lsquo;We've hit his headquarters, now he hits ours,&rsquo; says a State Department aide.&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/1990s/time122198.html Time 12/21/98 News Article 1999 (L) a99aviationwarning 1 false The FBI receive reports that a terrorist organization is planning to send students to the US for aviation training. The organization's name remains classified, but apparently it is a different organization than one mentioned in a very similar warning the year before (see [[ aafter051598warn ]]). The purpose of this training is unknown, but the organization views the plan as &ldquo;particularly important&rdquo; and has reportedly approved open-ended funding for it. advanceinfo The Counterterrorism Section at FBI headquarters instructs 24 field offices to pay close attention to Islamic students from the target country engaged in aviation training. Ken Williams at the Phoenix FBI office will later write a memo on this very topic (see [[ a071001williams ]]), and his squad receives this notice. advanceinfo Williams, however, doesn't recall reading it. The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry later concludes, &ldquo;There is no indication that field offices conducted any investigation after receiving the communication.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article However, an analyst at FBI headquarters conducts a study and determines that each year there are about 600 Middle Eastern students attending the slightly over 1,000 US flight schools. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 5/4/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)</a>] In November 2000 a notice is sent out telling field offices that no information about the terrorist group recruiting students had been uncovered. advanceinfo Apparently Williams doesn't see this notice either. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article 1999 (I) a1999tenet 1 false CIA Director Tenet later claims that in this year, the CIA establishes a network of agents throughout Afghanistan and other countries aimed at capturing bin Laden and his deputies. [<a href="" target=_new>UPI, 10/17/02</a>] Tenet states that by 9/11, &ldquo;a map would show that these collection programs and human networks were in place in such numbers to nearly cover Afghanistan. This array meant that, when the military campaign to topple the Taliban and destroy al-Qaeda began [in October 2001], we were able to support it with an enormous body of information and a large stable of assets.&rdquo; afghanwar timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702.html Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02 News Article Early 1999 (B) a99nsahijackers 1 false As the NSA continues to monitor an al-Qaeda safe house in Yemen owned by hijacker Khalid Almihdhar's father-in-law (see [[ a98safehouse ]]), they find references to Almihdhar and the hijacker brothers Salem and Nawaf Alhazmi. In early 1999 the NSA intercepts communications mentioning the full name &ldquo;Nawaf Alhazmi.&rdquo; More intercepts involving the names Nawaf, Salem, and Khalid together and alone are intercepted during 1999. However, this information is not shared with the CIA or FBI. As a result, as an important al-Qaeda meeting approaches in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]), the CIA doesn't know the last name of the &ldquo;Nawaf&rdquo; attending the meeting. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article timeline/2002/ap092502.html AP 9/25/02 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702b.html NSA Director Congressional Testimony 10/17/02 News Article In mid-January, after the Malaysian meeting is over, the CIA reports to the NSA what it has learned about Khalid Almihdhar, and asks the CIA for information about him. Some information about him is given back and some is not. The NSA still doesn't report Alhazmi's last name. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article The NSA continues to monitor calls from these hijackers to this safe house after they move to the US (see [[ aspring00calls ]]). 1999 (K) a1999ksmvisit 1 false 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed &ldquo;repeatedly&rdquo; visits Mohamed Atta and others in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [<a href="" target=_new>AP, 8/24/02</a>] US and German officials say a number of sources place Mohammed at Atta's Hamburg apartment. It isn't clear when he visits or who he visits. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 6/6/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 11/4/02</a>] However, it would be logical that he at least visits Atta's housemate Ramzi bin al-Shibh, since investigators believe he is the &ldquo;key contact between the pilots&rdquo; and Mohammed. [<a href="timeline/2003/latimes012703.html" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 1/27/03</a>] Mohammed is living in Germany at the time. New York Times 9/22/02 News Article German intelligence monitor the apartment in 1999 but apparently don't notice Mohammed (see [[ a110198marien ]]). US investigators have been searching for Mohammed since 1996 (see [[ a96qatar ]]), but apparently never tell the Germans what they know about him. [[[ | New York Times, 11/4/02 ]]] Even after 9/11, German investigators complain that US investigators don't tell them what they know about Mohammed living in Germany until they read it in the newspapers in June 2002. incompetence timeline/2002/nyt061102.html New York Times 6/11/02 News Article 1999 (C) a1999liaison 1 false MI6, the British intelligence agency, gives a secret report to liaison staff at the US embassy in London. The reports states that al-Qaeda has plans to use &ldquo;commercial aircraft&rdquo; in &ldquo;unconventional ways&rdquo;, &ldquo;possibly as flying bombs.&rdquo; advanceinfo Sunday Times 6/9/02 News Article 1999 (J) a99saeedinformant 1 false The London Times later claims that British intelligence secretly offers 9/11 paymaster Saeed Sheikh, imprisoned in India (see [[ a1194prison ]]) for kidnapping Britons and Americans (see [[ a0693saeed ]]), isidrugs an amnesty and the ability to &ldquo;live in London a free man&rdquo;if he will reveal his links to al-Qaeda. He apparently refuses. timeline/2002/dailymail071602.html Daily Mail 7/16/02 News Article,,171-357086,00.html London Times 7/16/02 News Article Yet after he is rescued in a hostage swap deal (see [[ a122499hijack ]]), the press reports that he, in fact, is freely able to return to Britain. [[[ timeline/2000/pti010300.html | Press Trust of India, 1/3/00 ]]] He visits his parents there in 2000 and again in early 2001. [[[ timeline/2002/vanityfair0802.html | Vanity Fair, 8/02 ]], [[ | BBC, 7/16/02 (B) ]], [[ | Telegraph, 7/16/02 ]]] He is not charged with kidnapping until well after 9/11 (see [[ a1101indictment ]]). Those kidnapped by Saeed call the government's decision not to try him a &ldquo;disgrace&rdquo; and &ldquo;scandalous.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2000/pti010300.html Press Trust of India 1/3/00 News Article The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review later suggests that not only is Saeed closely tied to both the ISI and al-Qaeda, but may also have been working for the CIA: &ldquo;There are many in Musharraf's government who believe that Saeed Sheikh's power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA. The theory is that &#8230; Saeed Sheikh was bought and paid for.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02</a>] <comment>Did or does Saeed have some kind of deal with British or US intelligence?</comment> 1999 a99moussaoui right Zacarias Moussaoui passing through a London airport. 1 false Zacarias Moussaoui, living in London, is observed by French intelligence making several trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan. French investigators later claim the British spy agency MI5 was alerted and requested to place Moussaoui under surveillance. The request appears to have been ignored. incompetence Independent 12/11/01 News Article 1999 (H) a1999orrinstreet left Hijackers Ahmed Alghamdi, left, and Waleed Alshehri, right. 1 false Diane and John Albritton later say they call the CIA and police this year several times to report suspicious activity at a neighbor's home, but authorities fail to respond. [<a href="timeline/2001/msnbc092301b.html" target=_new>MSNBC, 9/23/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/nydailynews091501.html" target=_new>New York Daily News, 9/15/01</a>] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri is renting the house on Orrin Street in Vienna, Virginia at the time (three blocks from a CIA headquarters). [<a href="" target=_new>AP, 9/15/01 (B)</a>] He makes his neighbors nervous. &ldquo;There were always people coming and going,&rdquo; said Diane Albritton. &ldquo;Arabic people. Some of them never uttered a word; I don't know if they spoke English. But they looked very focused. We thought they might be dealing drugs, or illegal immigrants.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 9/15/01 (B)</a>] Ahmed Alghamdi lived at the same address until July 2000. [<a href="timeline/2002/foxnews060602.html" target=_new>Fox News, 6/6/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>World Net Daily, 9/14/01</a>] Waleed Alshehri lived with Ahmed Alghamdi in Florida for seven months in 1997. [<a href="timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html" target=_new>Telegraph, 9/20/01</a>] Albritton says they observed a van parked outside the home at all hours of the day and night. A Middle-Eastern man appeared to be monitoring a scanner or radio inside the van. Another neighbor says, &ldquo;We thought it was a drug house. All the cars parked on the street were new BMWs, new Mercedes. People were always walking around out front with cell phones.&rdquo;There were frequent wild parties, numerous complaints to authorities, and even a police report about a woman shooting a gun into the air during a party. World Net Daily 9/14/01 News Article Other neighbors also called the police about the house. [<a href="timeline/2001/ap091401b.html" target=_new>AP, 9/14/01 (B)</a>] &ldquo;Critics say [the case] could have made a difference [in stopping 9/11] had it been handled differently.&rdquo; Standard procedures require CIA to notify FBI of such domestic information. But FBI officials have not been able to find any record that the CIA shared the information. incompetence timeline/2002/foxnews060602.html Fox News 6/6/02 News Article FBI Director Mueller has said &ldquo;the hijackers did all they could to stay below our radar.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/mueller050802.html" target=_new>Senate Judiciary Statement, 5/8/02</a>] <comment>Does this sound like extremely religious &ldquo;sleepers&rdquo; successfully blending in? </comment> coverup Early 1999 a1999sheehan 1 false State Department counterterrorism coordinator Michael Sheehan writes a memo calling for a new approach in containing bin Laden. He urges a series of actions the US could take toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to persuade them to help isolate al-Qaeda. He calls Pakistan the key country and urges that terrorism be made the central issue with them. isidrugs He advises the US to work will all these countries to curb money laundering. However, a former official says Sheehan's plan lands &ldquo;with a resounding thud.&rdquo; Pakistan continues to &ldquo;feign cooperation but [does] little&rdquo; about its support for the Taliban. incompetence New York Times 10/29/01 News Article 1999 (F) a1999slips 1 false A joint project run by the CIA and NSA slips into Afghanistan and places listening devices within range of al-Qaeda's tactical radios. afghanwar Washington Post 12/19/01 News Article <comment>If all of al-Qaeda's communications was being monitored, why was bin Laden never captured or killed and apparently no hints of the 9/11 plot revealed? </comment> incompetence 1999 (B) a1999focus 1 false The FBI creates its own unit to focus specifically on bin Laden, three years after the CIA created such a special unit. By 9/11, 17-19 people are working in this unit, out of over 11,000 FBI staff. timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article <comment>Why so late, and so few people?</comment> incompetence Mid-June 1999 a0699eindhoven 1 false Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, plus would-be hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shibh and associate Mounir El Motassadeq, hold a meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands. All are living in Hamburg at the time, so it's not clear why they go to meet there, though it's speculated they are meeting someone. Motassadeq also goes to the town of Eindhoven, Netherlands, on three occasions, in early 1999, late 1999 and 2001.,2933,63058,00.html AP 9/13/02 News Article On at least one occasion, Motassadeq receives cash provided by unnamed &ldquo;Saudi financiers&rdquo; that is meant to fund a new Eindhoven mosque. saudi Investigators believe he uses the money to help pay for some 9/11 hijacker flying lessons. [[[ timeline/2002/baltimoresun090202.html | Baltimore Sun, 9/2/02 ]]] Alshehhi also flies to Amsterdam from the US in the summer of 2001, but it isn't known why (see [[ a041801amsterdam ]]). January 31, 1999 a013199zammaraalshehhi 1 false German intelligence is tapping the telephone of al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see [[ a0397zammar | March 1997 ]] and [[ a092199zammarcall | September 21, 1999 ]]), and on this date Zammar gets a call from a &ldquo;Marwan.&rdquo; This is later found to be hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Marwan talks about mundane things, like his studies in Bonn, Germany, and promises to come to Hamburg in a few months. German investigators trace the telephone number and determine the call came from a mobile phone registered in the United Arab Emirates. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article,,2-10-1462_1401481,00.html Deutche Presse-Agenteur 8/13/03 News Article New York Times 2/24/04 News Article German intelligence passes this information to the CIA about one month later, but CIA apparently fails to capitalize on it (see [[ a0399marwanphone | March 1999 ]]). incompetence February 1999 (C) a0299suicide 1 false US Intelligence obtains information that Iraq has formed a suicide pilot unit that it plans to use against British and US forces in the Persian Gulf. The CIA comments that is highly unlikely and probably disinformation. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article February 1999 a0299anthraxreport 1 false A classified report discusses responses to an anthrax attack through the mail. The report, precipitated by a series of false anthrax mailings, is written by William Patrick, inventor of the US anthrax weaponization process, under a CIA contract. [<a href="timeline/2001/nyt120301.html" target=_new>New York Times, 12/3/01</a>] The report was commissioned by Steven Hatfill, a good friend of Patrick. [<a href="" target=_new>Baltimore Sun, 6/27/02</a>] The report describes what the US military could do and what a terrorist might be able to achieve. [<a href="timeline/2001/nyt120301.html" target=_new>New York Times, 12/3/01</a>] The similarities between what the report predicted and the anthrax attacks that eventually happen after 9/11 are startling. The BBC later suggests the &ldquo;possibility that there was a secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail which went madly out of control&rdquo; and that the anthrax attacker knew of this study or took part in it. anthrax The CIA and William Patrick deny the existence of this report, even though copies have been leaked to the media. coverup BBC 3/14/02 News Article Baltimore Sun 6/27/02 News Article February 1999 (D) a0299hunting 1 false Intelligence reports have bin Laden at a desert hunting camp in Afghanistan for about a week. Information on his presence appears reliable, so preparations are made to target his location with cruise missiles. However, intelligence also puts an official aircraft of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and members of the royal family from that country in the same location. Bin Laden is hunting with the Emirati royals, as he did with leaders from that country and Saudi Arabia on other occasions (see [[ a95hunting | 1995-2001 ]]). Policy makers are concerned that a strike might kill a prince or other senior officials, so the strike never happens. A top UAE official at the time denies that high-level officials are there, but evidence subsequently confirms their presence. timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B) News Article February 1999 (B) a1999hoax 1 false There is another hoax anthrax attack. A handful of envelopes with almost identical messages are sent to a combination of media and government targets including The Washington Post, NBC's Atlanta office, a post office in Columbus, Georgia (next to Fort Benning, an Army base), and the Old Executive Office Building in Washington. The letters contained fake anthrax powder. &ldquo;That's interesting because as of 1997, US bio-defense scientists were working basically only with wet anthrax, while by 1999 some had experimented with making powders.&rdquo; The New York Times later suggests that Steven Hatfill could have been behind this attack and the one in 1997 (see [[ a042497bnaibrith ]]). [[[;ei=1&amp;en=381e460928ca0077 | New York Times, 7/12/02 ]]] <comment>Could there be a connection between this hoax and a classified CIA report about sending anthrax through the mail released the same month (see [[ a0299anthraxreport ]])?</comment> anthrax February 17, 1999 a021799phonecalls left Said Bahaji, computer expert for the Hamburg cell. 1 false German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar's telephone (see [[ a0397zammar ]], [[ a013199zammaraalshehhi ]], and [[ a092199zammarcall ]]), and on this day investigators hear a caller being told Zammar is at a meeting with &ldquo;Mohamed, Ramzi, and Said,&rdquo; and could be reached at the phone number of the Marienstrasse apartment where all three of them live. This refers to Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji, all members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. But apparently the German police fail to grasp its importance of these names, even though Said Bahaji is also under investigation (see [[ a110198marien ]]). incompetence timeline/2002/ap062202.html AP 6/22/02 News Article;position=top New York Times 1/18/03 News Article Atta's last name is given as well. Agents check the phone number and confirm the street address, but it isn't known what they make of the information. timeline/2003/derspiegel020303.html Der Spiegel 2/3/03 News Article March 1999 a1999learns 1 false US intelligence learns of plans by an al-Qaeda member who is also a US citizen, to fly a hang glider into the Egyptian Presidential Palace and then detonate the explosives he is carrying. The individual, who received hang glider training in the US, brings a hang glider back to Afghanistan, but various problems arise during the testing of the glider. This unnamed person is subsequently arrested and is in custody abroad. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article March 1999 B) a0399marwanphone 1 false German intelligence gives the CIA the first name of hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and his telephone number in the United Arab Emirates. The Germans learned the information from surveillance of suspected terrorists (see [[ a013199zammaraalshehhi | January 31, 1999 ]]). They tell Alshehhi has been in contact with suspected al-Qaeda members Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli (see [[ a092098salim | September 20, 1998 ]] and [[ a1299informer | December 1999 ]]) oil . He is described as a United Arab Emirates student who has spent some time studying in Germany. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article,,2-10-1462_1401481,00.html Deutche Presse-Agenteur 8/13/03 News Article New York Times 2/24/04 News Article The Germans consider this information &ldquo;particularly valuable&rdquo; and ask the CIA to track Alshehhi, but the CIA never responds until after the 9/11 attacks. The CIA decides at the time that this &ldquo;Marwan&rdquo; is probably an associate of bin Laden but never track him down. It is not clear why the CIA fails to act, or if they learn his last name before 9/11. [[[ | New York Times, 2/24/04 ]]] The Germans monitor others calls between Alshehhi and Zammar (see [[ a092199zammarcall | September 21, 1999 ]]), but it isn't clear if the CIA is also told of these or not. incompetence March 3, 1999 a030399tranform 1 false Andrew Krepinevich, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities: &ldquo;There appears to be general agreement concerning the need to transform the US military into a significantly different kind of force from that which emerged victorious from the Cold and Gulf Wars. Yet this verbal support has not been translated into a defense program supporting transformation &#8230; the &lsquo;critical mass&rsquo; needed to effect it has not yet been achieved. One may conclude that, in the absence of a strong external shock to the United States&#8212;a latter-day &lsquo;Pearl Harbor&rsquo; of sorts&#8212;surmounting the barriers to transformation will likely prove a long, arduous process.&rdquo; [[[,_/T.19990305.Emerging_Threats,_.htm | CSBA, 3/5/99 ]]] This comment echoes other strategists who wait for a second Pearl Harbor to fulfill their visions (see [[ a1097chessboard ]] and [[ a0900paxamericana ]]). afghanwar Spring 1999 (B) aspring99magdy 1 false Randy Glass is a con artist turned government informant participating in a sting called Operation Diamondback. [[[ timeline/2001/palmbeachpost092901.html | Palm Beach Post, 9/29/01 ]]] He discusses an illegal weapons deal with an Egyptian American named Mohamed el Amir. In wiretapped conversations, Mohamed discusses the need to get false papers to disguise a shipment of illegal weapons. His brother, Dr. Magdy el Amir, has been a wealthy neurologist in Jersey City for the past twenty years. Two other weapons dealers later convicted in a sting operation involving Glass also lived in Jersey City, and both el Amirs admit knowing one of them, Diaa Mohsen (see [[ a061201sting ]]). Mohsen has been paid at least once by Dr. el Amir. In 1998, Congressman Ben Gilman was given a foreign intelligence report suggesting that Dr. el Amir owns an HMO that is secretly funded by bin Laden, and that money is being skimmed from the HMO to fund terrorist activities. The state of New Jersey later buys the HMO and determines that $15 million were unaccounted for and much of that has been diverted into hard-to-trace offshore bank accounts. However, investigators working with Glass are never given the report about Dr. el Amir. Both el Amirs have not been charged with any crime. Mohamed now lives in Egypt and Magdy continues to practice medicine in New Jersey. Glass's sting, which began in late 1998, will uncover many interesting leads before ending in June 2001 (see also [[ a071499abbas ]], [[ a0801glass ]] and [[ a080202glass ]]). incompetence timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html MSNBC 8/2/02 News Article Spring 1999 a1999planned 1 false US intelligence learns of a planned bin Laden attack on a US government facility in Washington (which facility has not been made public). advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article New York Times 9/18/02 News Article April 1, 1999 a040199jarrah right Friends of Ziad Jarrah taken on April 1, 1999. Third from left in back row is Abdelghani Mzoudi, fifth from is Mounir El Motassadeq; seventh is Ramzi bin al-Shibh; the man on far right in middle row is Mohamed Atta; Atta rests his hands on Mohammed Raji, 1 false Ziad Jarrah has an unofficial wedding with his girlfriend, Aisel Senguen. What's interesting is a photo apparently taken by Jarrah at the wedding, shown here. German intelligence found the photo several days after 9/11. An undercover agent was able to immediately identify 10 of the 18 men in the photo, as well as where it was taken: the prayer room of Hamburg's Al-Quds mosque. The informant was also able to identify which of them attended Mohamed Atta's study group. This informant knew even &ldquo;seemingly trivial details&rdquo; of some of the men, showing that &ldquo;probably almost all members of the Hamburg terror cell&rdquo; had been watched by German state intelligence since this time, if not before. The head of the state intelligence had previously maintained that they knew nothing of any of these men, and had no informant. coverup timeline/2003/faz020203.html FAZ 2/2/03 News Article April 3-7, 1999 a0499hijackervisas 1 false Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, and Khalid Almihdhar obtains US visas through the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B) ]]] All three are already &ldquo;al-Qaeda veterans&rdquo; and battle-hardened killers (see [[ a96hijackerschechnya ]]). Almihdhar's visa is issued on April 7, and allows him multiple entries and exits to the US until April 6, 2000. [[[ timeline/2003/stern081303.html | Stern, 8/13/03 ]]] Nawaf Alhazmi gets the same kind of visa; details about Salem are unknown. The CIA claims the hijackers then travel to Afghanistan to participate in &ldquo;special training&rdquo; with at least one other suicide bomber on a different mission. The training is led by Khallad bin Attash (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). The US learns about Almihdhar's visa in January 2000 (see [[ a010500flights ]]). The Jeddah Consulate keeps in its records the fact that Nawaf and Salem Alhazmi obtain US visas several days before Almihdhar, but apparently these records are never searched before 9/11. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article May 1999 1 false US intelligence is given detailed reporting on where bin Laden is located for five consecutive nights. CIA Director Tenet decides against acting three times, because of concerns about collateral damage and worries about the veracity of the single source of information. One CIA official writes to a colleague in the field, &ldquo;having a chance to get [bin Laden] three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry&#8230; &rdquo; There is one more opportunity to strike bin Laden in July 1999, but after that there is apparently no intelligence good enough to justify considering a strike. incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B News Article June 1999-March 2000 a0699aulaqi right Anwar Al Aulaqi 1 false The FBI conducts a counterterrorism inquiry into imam Anwar Al Aulaqi. >From about February 2000, he serves as the &ldquo;spiritual leader&rdquo; to several of the hijackers while they live in San Diego, and again in 2001 when he and they move to the East Coast (see [[ a0301aulaqi ]]). During the investigation, the FBI discovers he is in contact with a number of other people being investigated. For instance, in early 2000 he is visited by an associate of Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see [[ a0790abdulrahman ]]). But, as the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry later notes, the investigation is closed &ldquo;despite the imam's contacts with other subjects of counterterrorism investigations and reports concerning the imam's connection to suspect organizations.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article June 1999 (B) a1999testimony 1 false In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and in a briefing to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffers one month later, the chief of the CTC describes reports that bin Laden and his associates are planning attacks in the US. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article June 1999 a1999power 1 false Enron announces an agreement to build a $140 million power plant in the Gaza Strip. oil One of the major financiers for the project comes from the Saudi Binladin Group, a company owned by Osama's family. This is the second attempted project between these two companies. saudi 90% complete, the construction is halted because of Palestinian-Israeli violence and then Enron's bankruptcy. oil Washington Post 3/2/02 News Article June 7, 1999 a060799wanted 1 false The FBI puts Bin Laden on FBI's &ldquo;10 Most Wanted List.&rdquo; timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article June 7, 1999 a060799wanted 1 false Bin Laden is added to FBI's &ldquo;Ten Most Wanted&rdquo;List. This is almost a year and a half after bin Laden's &ldquo;declaration of war&rdquo; against the US (see [[ a022298 ]]) and about six months after the CIA's &ldquo;declaration of war against al-Qaeda&rdquo;(see [[ a120498 ]]). It's also three years after an internal State Department document connecting bin Laden to financing and planning numerous terrorist attacks. incompetence PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C) News Article June 8, 1999 left Giuliani's emergency command center. 1 false Mayor Rudy Giuliani opens a $13 million emergency command center on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7. [<a href="" target=_new>Newsday, 9/12/01</a>] The center is intended to coordinate responses to various emergencies, including natural disasters like hurricanes or floods and also terrorist attacks. The 50,000 square foot center has reinforced, bulletproof and bomb-resistant walls, its own air supply and water tank, and three backup generators. This command center is to be staffed around the clock and is intended as a meeting place for city leaders in the event of an act of terrorism. [<a href="" target=_new>CNN, 6/7/99</a>; ] The emergency command center is ridiculed as &ldquo;Rudy's bunker.&rdquo; Time 12/31/01 News Article Most controversial is the 6,000 gallon fuel tank. In 1998 and 1999, Fire Department officials warn that the fuel tank violates city fire codes and poses a hazard. According to one Fire Department memorandum, if the tank were to catch fire it could produce &ldquo;disaster.&rdquo; Building 7 is destroyed late in the day on 9/11; some suspect this tank helps explains why. incompetence New York Times 12/20/01 News Article July 1999 (B) a0799hamidgul 1 false The US gains information that former ISI head Hamid Gul contacts Taliban leaders at this time and advises them that the US is not planning to attack Afghanistan to get bin Laden. He assures them that he will provide them three or four hours warning of any future US missile launch, as he did &ldquo;last time.&rdquo; Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke later suggests Gul gave al-Qaeda warning about the missile strike in 1998 (see [[ a082098missilestrike | August 20, 1998 ]]). isidrugs New Yorker 7/28/03 News Article July 1999-November 2000 a0799alshehhi 1 false Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi receives about $100,000 from an account in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates during this time. [[[ timeline/2001/financialtimes113001.html | Financial Times, 11/30/01 ]], [[;STORY=/www/story/12-02-2001/0001625536 | Newsweek, 12/2/01 ]], [[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html | Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02 ]]] The money is apparently sent by Mohamed Yousef Mohamed Alqusaidi, believed to be Alshehhi's brother. Alqusaidi had been sending money to Alshehhi in Germany since at least March 1998. [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html | Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02 ]]] It is not clear if this is money innocently sent by Alshehhi's rich Arab family or if it is money deliberately sent for terrorism. Much of the rest of the 9/11 funding also passes through Sharjah (see [[ a062900transfer ]], [[ a0801kidnapping ]] and [[ a090801uae ]]), a town at the center of illegal al-Qaeda business dealings (see [[ a1996ariana ]]). July 1999 a0799unknown 1 false The FBI begins an investigation of an unnamed person for ties to important al-Qaeda figures and several organizations linked to al-Qaeda. The FBI is concerned this person is in contact with several experts in nuclear sciences. After 9/11, the FBI determines hijacker Marwan Alshehhi had contact with this person on the East Coast of the US. This person also may have ties to Mohammed Atta's sister. Most additional details about this person, including their name, when and how often Alshehhi had contact, and if the investigation was ever closed, remain classified. coverup timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Summer 1999 asummer99zammar 1 false Around this time, US intelligence notes that a man in Hamburg, Germany named Mohammed Haydar Zammar is in direct contact with one of bin Laden's senior operational coordinators. Zammar is an al-Qaeda recruiter with links to Mohammed Atta and the rest of the Hamburg terror cell (see [[ a0397zammar ]], [[ a013199zammaraalshehhi ]], [[ a021799phonecalls ]], and [[ a092199zammarcall ]]). The US had noted Zammar's terror links on &ldquo;numerous occasions&rdquo; before 9/11. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article But apparently the US does not share their information on Zammar with German intelligence. incompetence Instead, the Germans are given evidence from Turkey that Zammar is running a travel agency as a terror front in Hamburg. In 1998, they get information from Italy confirming he is a real terrorist. But his behavior is so suspicious, they've already started closely monitoring him. timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article July 4, 1999 a070499prohibiting 1 false With the chances of a pipeline deal with the Taliban looking increasingly unlikely, the US government finally issues an executive order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. oil Executive Order 7/4/99 News Article July 5, 1999 a070599freezing 1 false President Clinton signs an executive order freezing the assets of the Taliban in the US and prohibiting trade and other transactions between US citizens and the Taliban. Clinton blames the Taliban for harboring bin Laden. CNN 7/6/99 News Article July 14, 1999 a071499abbas left Rajaa Gulum Abbas. 1 false US government informant Randy Glass records a conversation at a dinner attended by him, illegal arms dealers Diaa Mohsen and Mohammed Malik (see [[ a061201sting ]]), a former Egyptian judge named Shireen Shawky, and ISI agent Rajaa Gulum Abbas, held at a restaurant within view of the WTC. FBI agents pretending to be restaurant customers sit at nearby tables. [<a href="timeline/2002/wpbf080502.html" target=_new>WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html" target=_new>MSNBC, 8/2/02</a>] Abbas says he wants to buy a whole shipload of weapons stolen from the US military to give to bin Laden. isidrugs timeline/2002/coxnews080202.html Cox News 8/2/02 News Article Abbas points to the WTC and says, &ldquo;Those towers are coming down.&rdquo; This ISI agent later makes two other references to an attack on the WTC. [[[ timeline/2002/wpbf080502.html | WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/coxnews080202.html | Cox News, 8/2/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/palmbeachpost101702.html | Palm Beach Post, 10/17/02 ]]] Abbas also says, &ldquo;Americans [are] the enemy,&rdquo; and, &ldquo;We would have no problem with blowing up this entire restaurant because it is full of Americans.&rdquo; [[[ | MSNBC, 3/18/03 ]]] The meeting is secretly recorded, and parts are shown on television in 2003 (see also [[ a081799sting ]]). advanceinfo timeline/2003/msnbc031803b.html MSNBC 3/18/03 (B) News Article August 17, 1999 a081799sting right Randy Glass, center, shows Stinger missiles to Rajaa Gulum Abbas and others. 1 false A group of illegal arms merchants, including an ISI agent with foreknowledge of 9/11, had met in a New York restaurant the month before (see [[ a071499abbas ]]). This same group meets at this time in a West Palm Beach, Florida, warehouse, and is shown Stinger missiles as part of a sting operation.,0,2428638.story?coll=sfla-news-palm South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3/20/03 News Article US intelligence soon discovers connections between two in the group, Rajaa Gulum Abbas and Mohammed Malik, terrorist groups in Kashmir (where the ISI assists terrorists fighting against India), and the Taliban. Mohamed Malik suggests in this meeting that the Stingers will be used in Kashmir or Afghanistan. His colleague Diaa Mohsen also says Abbas has direct connections to &ldquo;dignitaries&rdquo; and bin Laden. Abbas also wants heavy water for a &ldquo;dirty bomb&rdquo; or other material to make a nuclear weapon. He says he will bring a Pakistani nuclear scientist to the US to inspect the material. isidrugs timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html MSNBC 8/2/02 News Article MSNBC 3/18/03 News Article Government informant Randy Glass passes these warnings on before 9/11, but he claims, &ldquo;The complaints were ordered sanitized by the highest levels of government&rdquo; (see also [[ a0801glass ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/wpbf080502.html | WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02 ]]] In June 2002, the US secretly indicts Abbas (see [[ a0602indictment ]]), but apparently they aren't trying very hard to find him: In August 2002, MSNBC is easily able to contact Abbas in Pakistan and speak to him by telephone. incompetence timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html MSNBC 8/2/02 News Article September 1999 (E) a0999airman 1 false Agents from Oklahoma City FBI office visit the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma to investigate Ihab Ali, who has already been identified as bin Laden's former personal pilot. Ali attended the school in 1993 and is later named as an unindicted coconspirator in the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Kenya. advanceinfo CNN 10/16/01 News Article timeline/2001/bostonglobe091801.html Boston Globe 9/18/01 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702c.html Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02 News Article When Ali was arrested in May 1999, he was working as a taxi driver in Orlando, Florida. Investigators discover recent ties between him and high ranking al-Qaeda leaders, and suspect he was a &ldquo;sleeper&rdquo; agent. advanceinfo St. Petersburg Times 10/28/01 News Article However, the agent visiting the school is not given most background details about him. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B) ]]] It's not known if these investigators are aware of a terrorist flight school warning given by the Oklahoma City FBI office in 1998 (see [[ a051898 ]]). Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi later visit the Airman school in July 2000 but ultimately decide to train in Florida instead. [[[ timeline/2001/bostonglobe091801.html | Boston Globe, 9/18/01 ]]] Al-Qaeda agent Zacarias Moussaoui takes flight lessons at Airman in 2001 (see [[ a022301moussaoui ]]). One of the FBI agents sent to visit the school at this time visits it again in August 2001 asking about Moussaoui, but he fails to make a connection between the two visits (see [[ a082301norman ]]). incompetence September 1999 a0999 1 false BJ's Wholesale Club, a store in Hollywood, Florida, later tells the FBI that Atta may have held a BJ's membership card since at least this time (&ldquo;more than two years&rdquo;). Several cashiers at the store vaguely remember seeing Atta there. Miami Herald 9/18/01 News Article According to the official story, Atta doesn't arrive in the US until June 3, 2000. coverup Miami Herald 9/22/01 News Article September 1999 (B) a0999hatfill 1 false Steven Hatfill, later suspected of being behind the 2001 anthrax attacks (see [[ a100401attacks ]]), ends his two-year contract working at USAMRIID. But his contact held little meaning after February, when he had started working full time somewhere else. anthrax Weekly Standard 9/16/02 News Article It is later reported that the strain of anthrax used in the attacks could be no older than September 1999. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 6/23/02</a>] While at USAMRIID, Hatfill also worked on virology in a different building than where anthrax was studied, so the odds of Hatfill getting access to the type of anthrax used in the attacks at USAMRIID seems extremely small. anthrax Weekly Standard 9/16/02 News Article September 1999 (D) a0999landmarks 1 false US intelligence obtains information that bin Laden and others are planning a terrorist act in the US, possibly against specific landmarks in California and New York City. The reliability of the source is unknown. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article September 1999 (C) a0999sociology 1 false A report prepared for US intelligence entitled the &ldquo;Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism&rdquo; is completed. It states: &ldquo;Al-Qaeda's expected retaliation for the US cruise missile attack &#8230; could take several forms of terrorist attack in the nation's capital. Al-Qaeda could detonate a Chechen-type building-buster bomb at a federal building. Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and Semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House. Whatever form an attack may take, bin Laden will most likely retaliate in a spectacular way.&rdquo; The report is by the National Intelligence Council, which advises the President and US intelligence on emerging threats. advanceinfo AP 4/18/02 News Article complete report on-line News Article The Bush administration later claims to have never heard of this report until May 2002, despite the fact that it had been publicly posted on the internet since 1999, and &ldquo;widely shared within the government&rdquo; according to the New York Times. coverup CNN 5/18/02 News Article New York Times 5/18/02 News Article September 15, 1999 a091599report 1 false The first phase of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart (D) and Warren Rudman (R) is issued. It concludes: &ldquo;America will be attacked by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction and Americans will lose their lives on American soil, possibly in large numbers&rdquo; (see also [[ a013101report ]]). advanceinfo USCNS Reports News Article September 21, 1999 a092199zammarcall 1 false German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar's telephone (see also [[ a0397zammar ]] and [[ a021799phonecalls ]]), and on this day investigators hear Zammar call hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Officials initially claim that the call also mentions hijacker Mohamed Atta, but only his first name. coverup timeline/2001/telegraph112401.html Telegraph 11/24/01 News Article;position=top New York Times 1/18/03 News Article But in fact, his full name, &ldquo;Mohammed Atta Al Amir,&rdquo; is mentioned in this call and in another recorded call. [[[ timeline/2003/faz020203.html | FAZ, 2/2/03 ]]] Alshehhi makes veiled references to plans to travel to Afghanistan. He also hands the phone over to Said Bahaji (another member of the Hamburg cell under investigation at the time [[ a110198marien ]]), so he can talk to Zammar. [[[ timeline/2003/stern081303.html | Stern, 8/13/03 ]]] German investigators still don't know Alshehhi's full name, but they recognize this Marwan also called Zammar earlier in the year, and they told the CIA about that call (see [[ a013199zammaraalshehhi ]]). Alshehhi, living in the United Arab Emirates at the time, calls Zammar frequently. German intelligence asks the United Arab Emirates to identify the number and the caller, but the request is not answered. incompetence timeline/2003/derspiegel020303.html Der Spiegel 2/3/03 News Article Autumn 1999 1 false The Secretary of State finally legally declares al-Qaeda a foreign terrorist organization that is threatening to the US. timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article October 1999 a1099anser right The ANSER logo. 1 false The ANSER Institute for Homeland Security is founded. This institute claims to be &ldquo;leading the [homeland security] debate through executive-level education, public awareness programs, workshops for policy makers and online publications: a weekly newsletter and the Journal of Homeland Security, which features articles by senior government leaders and leading homeland security experts.&rdquo; As their webpage makes clear, the first mention of the phrase &ldquo;homeland security&rdquo; in a US context came only one month earlier. This institute, which has deep roots in the Air Force, has received tens of millions of government dollars in support. [<a href="timeline/2002/onlinejournal062902.html" target=_new>Online Journal, 6/29/02</a>] They talked about a &ldquo;second Pearl Harbor&rdquo; long before 9/11. <comment>Doesn't this institute indicate the Department of Homeland Security was planned long before 9/11?</comment> Their own website touts their role in the creation of this department, but the media has completely failed to cover the story. coverup timeline/nodate/instituteforhomelandsecurity.html Institute for Homeland Security website News Article timeline/nodate/instituteforhomelandsecurityfaq.html Institute for Homeland Security website FAQ News Article timeline/2002/onlinejournal062902.html Online Journal 6/29/02 News Article October 1999 (C) a1099massoud 1 false Worried about intercepts showing a growing likelihood of al-Qaeda attacks around the millennium (see [[ a123199millennium | December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000 ]]), the CIA steps up ties with Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban. The CIA sends a team of agents to his headquarters in a remote part of northern Afghanistan, asking for his help to capture or kill bin Laden. Massoud complains that the US is too focused on bin Laden, and isn't interested in the root problems of Taliban, incompetence Saudi saudi and Pakistani isidrugs support for terrorism that is propping him up. He agrees to help nonetheless, and the CIA gives him more aid in return. But the US is officially neutral in the Afghan civil war and the agents are prohibited from giving any aid that would &ldquo;fundamentally alter the Afghan battlefield.&rdquo; incompetence Washington Post 2/23/04 News Article DIA agent Julie Sirrs (see [[ a1098sirrs | October 1998 (B) ]]), newly retired, is at Massoud's headquarters at the same time as the CIA team. She gathers valuable intelligence from captured al-Qaeda soldiers while the CIA agents stay in their guesthouse. She publishes much of what she learned on this trip and other trips in the summer of 2001. Washington Post 2/28/04 News Article October 1999 (B) a1099kill 1 false The CIA readies an operation to capture or kill bin Laden, secretly training and equipping approximately 60 commandos from the ISI. Pakistan supposedly agrees to this plan in return for the lifting of economic sanctions and more economic aid. The plan is ready to go by this month, but it is aborted because on October 12, General Musharraf takes control of Pakistan in a coup (see [[ a101299pakistancoup ]]). Musharraf refuses to continue the operation despite the promise of substantial rewards. isidrugs Washington Post 10/3/01 (C) News Article Some US officials later say the CIA was tricked, because the ISI just feigned to cooperate as a stalling tactic, and never intended to get bin Laden. incompetence New York Times 10/29/01 News Article October 5, 1999 a100599worried 1 false The highly respected Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor reports that US intelligence is worried bin Laden is planning a major terrorist attack on US soil. They are said to be particularly concerned about some kind of attack on New York, and they have recommended stepped-up security at the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve. advanceinfo timeline/1990s/newsmax100599.html NewsMax 10/5/99 News Article October 8, 1999 a100899state 1 false State Department designates al-Qaeda a foreign terrorist organization. timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article October 12, 1999 a101299pakistancoup 1 false General Musharraf becomes leader of Pakistan in a coup. One major reason for the coup is the ISI felt the previous ruler had to go &ldquo;out of fear that he might buckle to American pressure and reverse Pakistan's policy [of supporting] the Taliban.&rdquo;[<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 12/8/01</a>] Shortly thereafter Musharraf replaces the leader of the ISI, Brig Imtiaz, isidrugs because of his close ties to the previous leader. Imtiaz is arrested and convicted of &ldquo;having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.&rdquo; It comes out that he was keeping tens of millions of dollars earned from heroin smuggling in a Deutschebank account. This is interesting because insider trading just prior to 9/11 will later connect to a branch of Deutschebank recently run by &ldquo;Buzzy&rdquo; Krongard, now Executive Director of the CIA (see [[ a090601shorts ]]). isidrugs [<a href="timeline/2001/financialtimes081001.html" target=_new>Financial Times (Asian edition), 8/10/01</a>] The new Director of the ISI is Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, a close ally of Musharraf who is instrumental in the success of the coup. [<a href="timeline/2001/guardian100901.html" target=_new>Guardian, 10/9/01</a>] Mahmood will later be fired after suggestions that he helped fund the 9/11 attacks (see isidrugs [[ a100701bombing ]] isidrugs ). isidrugs November 1999 a1199sandiego 1 false The Washington Post refers to hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar when it later reports, &ldquo;In November 1999, two Saudi Arabian men moved into a ground-floor apartment at the Parkwood Apartments, a town house complex near a busy commercial strip in San Diego.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/30/01</a>] Alhazmi's name is on the apartment lease beginning in November 1999. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 10/01</a>] Some reports even have them visiting the US as early as 1996. Wall Street Journal 9/17/01 News Article Las Vegas Review Journal 10/26/01 News Article However, FBI Director Mueller has stated the two first arrived the middle of January 2000 (see [[ a011500usflight ]]) after an important meeting in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). Some news reports mention that the hijackers first arrive in late 1999 (for instance, [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/latimes112402.html | Los Angeles Times, 11/24/02 ]]]), but most reports concur with the FBI. coverup November 3, 1999 a110399echelon 1 false The head of Australia's security services admits that the Echelon global surveillance system exists (see [[ a081288echelon ]]); the US still denies its existence. coverup The BBC describes Echelon's power as &ldquo;astounding,&rdquo; and elaborates: &ldquo;Every international telephone call, fax, e-mail, or radio transmission can be listened to by powerful computers capable of voice recognition. They home in on a long list of key words, or patterns of messages. They are looking for evidence of international crime, like terrorism.&rdquo; coverup BBC 11/3/99 News Article November 14, 1999 a111499sanctions 1 false United Nations sanctions against Afghanistan take effect. The sanctions freeze Taliban assets and impose an air embargo on Ariana airlines in an effort to force the Taliban to hand over bin Laden. BBC 2/6/00 News Article However, Ariana keeps its illegal trade network flying (see [[ a1996ariana ]]), and is grounded in early 2001 only when additional sanctions against Ariana take effect (see [[ a011901sanctions ]]). incompetence Late November 1999 a1199train 1 false Investigators believe hijackers Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah and associates Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Said Bahaji (all members of the same Hamburg, Germany cell) arrive separately in Afghanistan around this time. They meet with bin Laden and train for several months. CBS 10/9/02 News Article New York Times 9/10/02 News Article In a 2002 interview with Al Jazeera, bin al-Shibh says &ldquo;We had a meeting attended by all four pilots including Nawaf Alhazmi, Atta's right-hand man.&rdquo; The Guardian interprets this to mean that Alhazmi flew Flight 77, not Hani Hanjour as popularly believed. coverup,1284,788431,00.html Guardian 9/9/02 News Article November 29, 1999 a112999isi 1 false The United Nations Drug Control Programme has determined the ISI makes around $2.5 billion annually from the sale of illegal drugs. isidrugs Times of India 11/29/99 News Article November 30, 1999 a113099radisson 1 false Jordanian officials successfully uncover an al-Qaeda plot to blow up the Radisson Hotel in Amman, Jordan and other sites on January 1, 2000 (see also [[ a89almarabh ]]). [[[ | PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C) ]]] A call between al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida and a suspected Jordanian terrorist exposes the plot. In the call, . states, &ldquo;The grooms are ready for the big wedding.&rdquo; [[[ | Seattle Times, 6/23/02 ]]] This call reflects an extremely poor code system, because the FBI already determined in the wake of the 1998 US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy ]]) that &ldquo;wedding&rdquo; was the al-Qaeda code word for bomb. [<i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/02, p. 214] Furthermore, it appears al-Qaeda fails to later change their code system, because the code name for the 9/11 attack is also &ldquo;The Big Wedding.&rdquo;,0,5055267.story?coll=chi-newsspecials-hed Chicago Tribune 9/5/02 News Article <comment>US intelligence claims it failed to understand the code language for the 9/11 attacks.</comment> coverup Early December 1999 a1299battlestations 1 false The CIA learns from the Jordanian government about an al-Qaeda millennium bombing plot (see [[ a113099radisson | November 30, 1999 ]]). Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke is told of this, and he implements a plan to neutralize the threat. [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, p. 205, p. 211] The plan, approved by President Clinton, focuses on harassing and disrupting al-Qaeda members throughout the world. The FBI is put on heightened alert, counterterrorism teams are dispatched overseas, a formal ultimatum is given to the Taliban to keep al-Qaeda under control, and friendly intelligence agencies are asked to help. There are Cabinet-level meetings nearly every day dealing with terrorism. [[[ | Washington Post, 4/20/00 ]], [[ timeline/2002/ap062802.html | AP, 6/28/02 ]]] All US embassies, military bases, police departments, and other agencies are given a warning to be look out for signs of an al-Qaeda millennium attack. One alert border agent responds by arresting terrorist Ahmed Ressam, which leads to the unraveling of several bombing plots (see [[ a121499 | December 14, 1999 ]] and advanceinfo [[ a121431followup | December 14-31, 1999 ]]). advanceinfo No terror attacks occur (see [[ a123199millennium | December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000 ]]). advanceinfo However, Clarke claims the FBI generally remains unhelpful. For example, around this time the FBI says there are no web sites in the US soliciting volunteers for training in Afghanistan or money for terrorist front groups. Clarke has a private citizen check to see if this is true, and within days he is given a long list of such web sites. The FBI and Justice Department apparently fail to do anything with the information. incompetence Newsweek 3/31/04 (B) News Article Late 1999 a1999passports 1 false Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi report their passports missing, Ziad Jarrah reports his missing in February 2000. [<a href="" target=_new>Sun Sentinel, 9/28/01</a>, <i>Inside 9-11: What Really Happened</i>, by Der Spiegel, 2/02, pp. 257-258] Alshehhi has a replacement issued on December 26, 1999. [<a href="timeline/2001/londontimes092001.html" target=_new>London Times, 9/20/01</a>] <comment>The common theory is that this was to cover up incriminating trips to Afghanistan and other places, but could this have been when they took on new identities?</comment> December 1999 a1299informer 1 false The CIA begins &ldquo;persistent&rdquo; efforts to recruit German businessman Mamoun Darkazanli (see [[ a092401darkazanli ]]) as an informer. Darkazanli knows Atta and the other members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. US and German intelligence had previously opened investigations into Darkazanli (see [[ a092098salim ]]). Agents occasionally followed him, but Darkazanli obviously noticed the trail on him at least once. More costly and time-consuming electronic surveillance is not done however, and by the end of 1999 the investigation has produced little of value. incompetence German law does not allow foreign governments to have informants in Germany. So this month, Thomas Volz, the undercover CIA representative in Hamburg appears at the headquarters of the Hamburg state domestic intelligence agency, the LFV, responsible for tracking terrorists and domestic extremists. He tells them the CIA believes Darkazanli had knowledge of an unspecified terrorist plot and encourages that he be &ldquo;turned&rdquo; against his al-Qaeda comrades. A source later recalls he says, &ldquo;Darkazanli knows a lot.&rdquo; Efforts to recruit him continue the next year (see [[ aspring00informant ]]). The CIA has not admitted this interest in Darkazanli. coverup timeline/2002/chicagotribune111702.html Chicago Tribune 11/17/02 News Article timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article Late 1999 (B) a1999turki 1 false Former Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al Faisal later claims that his intelligence agency tells the CIA that hijacker Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi have been put on a Saudi terror watch list. Turki says, &ldquo;What we told [the CIA] was these people were on our watch list from previous activities of al-Qaeda, in both the [1998] embassy bombings and attempts to smuggle arms into the kingdom in 1997.&rdquo; However, the CIA strongly denies any such warning. [<a href=",1282,-3272648,00.html" target=_new>AP, 10/16/03</a>] Turki admits no documents concerning this were sent to the US, but claims the information was passed via word of mouth. coverup Salon 10/18/03 News Article The US doesn't put these two on their watch list until August 2001 (see [[ a082301watchlist ]]). incompetence December 1999 (B) a1299safehouse 1 false A Yemeni safe house telephone monitored by the FBI and CIA (see [[ a98safehouse ]]), reveals that there will be an important al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia in January 2000, and that a &ldquo;Khalid,&rdquo; a &ldquo;Nawaf,&rdquo; and a &ldquo;Salem&rdquo; will attend. One intelligence agent notes at the time, &ldquo;Salem may be Nawaf's younger brother.&rdquo; It turns out they are brothers, and these are the future hijackers Khalid Almihdhar, and Nawaf and Salem Alhazmi. US intelligence is already referring to both of them as &ldquo;terrorist operatives&rdquo; because the safe house is known to be such a hotbed of al-Qaeda activity. Their last names are not yet known to the CIA, even though the NSA has learned Nawaf's last name (see [[ a99nsahijackers ]]). However, Khalid Almihdhar is at the safe house at the time, and as he travels to Malaysia, he is watched and followed (see [[ a010500flights ]]). timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article December 4, 1999 a120499princess left Prince Bandar (Pictures of his wife, Osama Basnan and Omar al-Bayoumi are not available) 1 false Princess Haifa bint Faisal, the wife of Prince Bandar, the Saudi Ambassador to the US, begins sending monthly cashier's checks of between $2,000 and $3,500 (accounts differ) to Majeda Dweikat, the Jordanian wife of Osama Basnan, a Saudi living in San Diego (see [[ a0498basnan ]]). Accounts also differ over when the checks were first sent (between November 1999 and about March 2000; a Saudi government spokesman has stated December 4 [[[,2933,71273,00.html | Fox News, 11/23/02 ]]]). Basnan's wife signs many of the checks over to her friend Manal Bajadr, the wife of Omar al-Bayoumi. [[[ | Washington Times, 11/26/02 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 11/22/02 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 11/24/02 ]], [[,12469,846881,00.html | Guardian, 11/25/02 ]]] Al-Bayoumi is a suspected al-Qaeda advance man and possible Saudi agent. Some later suggest that the money from the wife of the Saudi ambassador passes through the al-Bayoumi and Basnan families as intermediaries and ends up in the hands of the two hijackers (see [[ a112202 ]]). The payments from Princess Haifa continue until May 2002 and may total $51,000, or as much as $73,000. saudi Newsweek 11/22/02 News Article MSNBC 11/27/02 News Article While living in the San Diego area, al-Bayoumi and Basnan are heavily involved in relocating and offering financial support to Saudi immigrants in the community (see also [[ a0894dallahavco ]] and [[ a0698albayoumi ]]). saudi timeline/2002/latimes112402.html Los Angeles Times 11/24/02 News Article In late 2002, Al-Bayoumi claims he did not pass any money along to the hijackers. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Times, 12/04/02</a>] Basnan is also described as an al-Qaeda sympathizer who called 9/11 &ldquo;a wonderful, glorious day.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 11/22/02</a>] Basnan has variously claimed to know al-Bayoumi, not know him at all, or to know him only vaguely. [<a href="" target=_new>Arab News, 11/26/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>ABC, 11/26/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>ABC, 11/25/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>MSNBC, 11/27/02</a>] But earlier reports say Basnan and his wife were &ldquo;very good friends&rdquo; of al-Bayoumi and his wife. Both couples lived at the Parkwood Apartments at the same time as the two hijackers; prior to that, the couples lived together in a different apartment complex. Also, the two wives were arrested for shoplifting together in April 2001. saudi San Diego Union-Tribune 10/22/02 News Article December 11, 1999 a121199guidelines 1 false The CIA's counterterrorism center sends a cable reminding all personnel about various reporting obligations. The cable clearly states that it is important to share information so terrorists can be placed on watch lists The US keeps a number of watch lists; the most important one is known as TIPOFF, with about 61,000 names of suspected terrorists by 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2002/latimes092202.html" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/22/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Knight Ridder, 1/27/04</a>] The list is checked whenever someone enters or leaves the US. &ldquo;The threshold for adding a name to TIPOFF is low,&rdquo; and even a &ldquo;reasonable suspicion&rdquo; that a person is connected with a terrorist group, warrants being added to the database. timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html Congressional Inquiry 9/20/02 News Article Within a month, two future hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, are identified (see [[ a010500flights ]] and [[ a010800departure ]]), but the cable's instructions are not followed for them. incompetence The CIA initially tells the 9/11 Congressional inquiry that no such guidelines existed, and CIA Director Tenet fails to mention the cable in his testimony. coverup timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B) News Article;position= New York Times 5/15/03 News Article December 14-31, 1999 a121431followup right Ahmed Ressam. 1 false In the wake of the arrest of Ahmed Ressam (see [[ a121499 | December 14, 1999 ]]), FBI investigators work frantically to uncover more millennium plots before they are likely to take place at the end of the year. Documents found with Ressam lead to co-conspirators in New York, then Boston and Seattle. Enough people are arrested to prevent any attacks(see [[ a123199millennium | December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000 ]]). Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke later says, &ldquo;I think a lot of the FBI leadership for the first time realized that&#8230;there probably were al-Qaeda people in the United States. They realized that only after they looked at the results of the investigation of the millennium bombing plot.&rdquo; incompetence PBS Frontline 10/3/02 News Article Yet Clinton's National Security Adviser Sandy Berger says, &ldquo;Until the very end of our time in office, the view we received from the [FBI] was that al-Qaeda had limited capacity to operate in the US and any presence here was under surveillance.&rdquo; No analysis is done before 9/11 to investigate just how big that presence might be. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A41919-2002Sep19&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 9/20/02 News Article December 14, 1999 a121499 1 false Al-Qaeda terrorist Ahmed Ressam is arrested in Port Angeles, Washington, attempting to enter the US with components of explosive devices. 130 pounds of bomb-making chemicals and detonator components are found inside his rental car. He subsequently admits he planned to bomb Los Angeles International Airport on December 31, 1999. [[[ | New York Times, 12/30/01 ]]] Alert border patrol agent Diana Dean stops him; she and other agents nationwide had been warned recently to look for suspicious activity (see [[ a1299battlestations | Early December 1999 ]]). Ressam's bombing would have been part of a wave of attacks against US targets over the New Year's weekend (see advanceinfo ). He is later connected to al-Qaeda and convicted, but he still hasn't been formally sentenced. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article PBS Frontline 10/3/02 News Article December 20, 1999 a122099iran 1 false The BBC explains one reason why the Northern Alliance has been able to hold out for so long in its civil war against the Taliban in Afghanistan: &ldquo;Iran has stirred up the fighting in order to make sure an international oil pipeline [goes] through its territory and not through Afghanistan.&rdquo;[[[ | BBC, 12/20/99 ]]] In the summer of 2001 Pakistan and India appear to be leaning towards putting a gas pipeline through Iran but this plan is apparently canceled after the 9/11 attacks (see [[ a062701iranpipe ]]). oil December 24-31, 1999 a122499hijack left Hijackers leave the Indian Airlines plane, under Taliban supervision. 1 false An Indian Airlines flight is hijacked and flown to Afghanistan where 155 passengers are held hostage for eight days. They are freed in return for the release of three militants held in Indian prisons. One of the hostages is killed. One of the men freed in the exchange is 9/11 paymaster Saeed Sheikh (see [[ a1194prison ]]). [[[ | BBC, 12/31/99 ]]] Another freed militant is terrorist leader Maulana Masood Azhar. Azhar emerges in Pakistan a few days later, and tells a crowd of 10,000, &ldquo;I have come here because this is my duty to tell you that Muslims should not rest in peace until we have destroyed America and India.&rdquo; [[[ | AP, 1/5/00 ]]] He then tours Pakistan for weeks under the protection of the ISI. [[[ timeline/2002/vanityfair0802.html | Vanity Fair, 8/02 ]]] The ISI and Saeed helps Azhar form a new terrorist group called Jaish-e-Mohammad, and Azhar is soon plotting terrorist acts again (see [[ a100101kashmir ]]and [[ a121301indianparliament ]]). isidrugs Pittsburgh Tribune-Review 3/3/02 News Article,4273,4462107,00.html Guardian 7/16/02 News Article Washington Post 2/8/03 News Article December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000 a123199expected 1 false Earlier in December, the CIA estimates that al-Qaeda will launch between five to 15 attacks against American targets around the world over the New Year's weekend. &ldquo;Because the US is [bin Laden]'s ultimate goal&#8230;we must assume that several of these targets will be in the US&#8230; &rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/time080402.html" target=_new>Time, 8/4/02</a>] Since late 1999, there is intelligence that targets in Washington and New York would be attacked at this time. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article There in fact are a number of planned attacks, including bomb attacks on the Boston and Los Angeles airports, a hotel in Jordan, and a naval ship in Yemen. (see [[ a113099radisson ]], [[ a121499 ]], and [[ a010300sullivans ]]). But all of the attacks are foiled, thanks to a good deal of luck. advanceinfo;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000 a123199millennium 1 false The CIA expects five to 15 attacks against American targets around the world over the New Year's weekend, but none occur. advanceinfo timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article A heightened state of alert helps stop some attacks (see [[ a113099radisson | November 30, 1999 ]], [[ a1299battlestations | Early December 1999 ]], [[ a121499 | December 14, 1999 ]], and [[ a121431followup | December 14-31, 1999 ]]), while an attack on a naval ship in Yemen fails through sheer luck (see [[ a010300sullivans | January 3, 2000 ]]). incompetence 2000-September 10, 2001 a2000philippines 1 false The names of four hijackers are later discovered in Philippines immigration records, according to Philippine Immigration Commissioner Andrea Domingo. However, it hasn't been confirmed if these are the hijackers, or just other Saudis with the same names. Abdulaziz Alomari visits the Philippines once in 2000, then again in February 2001, leaving on February 12. [[[ | AP, 9/19/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html | Telegraph, 9/20/01 ]], [[ | Philippines Daily Inquirer, 9/19/01 ]]] Ahmed Alghamdi visits Manila, Philippines more than 13 times in the two years before 9/11. He leaves the Philippines the day before the attacks. [[[ | Arizona Daily Star, 9/28/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html | Telegraph, 9/20/01 ]]] Fayez Ahmed Banihammad visits the Philippines on October 17-19, 2000. [[[ | Arizona Daily Star, 9/28/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html | Telegraph, 9/20/01 ]]] Saeed Alghamdi visits the Philippines on at least 15 occasions in 2001, entering as a tourist. The last visit ends on August 6, 2001. [[[ timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html | Telegraph, 9/20/01 ]]] Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi may also have been living in the Philippines (see [[ a1998mabalacat ]]), and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed occasionally stays there (see [[ aearly94philippines ]]). When in the Philippines, it is possible the hijackers meet with associates of Mohammad Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden's brother-in-law. Khalifa has been closely linked with the Philippines chapter of the International Islamic Relief Organization, which gets much of its money from the Saudi Arabian government and has lately been accused of being a front for al-Qaeda. Amongst other connections to terrorism, Khalifa helped fund the Islamic Army of Aden, a group that claimed responsibility for the bombing of the USS Cole. [[[ | Boston Herald, 10/14/01 ]]] Khalifa has been connected through phone calls to Hambali, a major terrorist who attended a planning meeting for the 9/11 attacks in Malaysia, also attended by two hijackers connected to the Islamic Army of Aden (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). [[[ | PBS Frontline, 10/3/02 (C) ]], [[ timeline/2001/coxnews102101.html | Cox News, 10/21/01 ]]] The US had Khalifa in custody for about six months in 1995 (see [[ a121494khalifaarrest | December 14, 1994 ]]). saudi <comment>Nothing more has been heard to confirm or deny the hijackers' Philippines connections since these initial reports&#8212;are they being downplayed to hide embarrassing connections between the hijackers, bin Laden's family, and the Saudi government?</comment> 2000-September 11, 2001 1 false In a roughly two year period before the 9/11 attacks, NORAD conducts regional war game exercises simulating hijacked airliners used as weapons to crash into targets and cause mass casualties. One of the imagined targets is the World Trade Center. In another exercise, jets perform a mock shoot-down over the Atlantic Ocean of a jet laden with chemical poisons headed toward the US. A third exercise has the Pentagon as the target, but apparently that drill is not run after officials say it is too unrealistic (see April 2001). NORAD confirms that &ldquo;Numerous types of civilian and military aircraft were used as mock hijacked aircraft&rdquo; in these drills. [<a href="" target=_new>USA Today, 4/18/04</a>] At some undetermined point before 9/11, a regional exercise simulated the crash of a foreign airplane flying into the US and crashing into a famous US building. The building is not known, but it is said not to be either the WTC or the Pentagon. This exercise &ldquo;involved some flying of military aircraft as well as a command post exercise in which communications procedures were practiced in an office environment.&rdquo; NORAD has stated that prior to 9/11, it &ldquo;normally conducted four major exercises a year, most of which included a hijack scenario.&rdquo; advanceinfo CNN 4/19/04 News Article 2000 (B) a2000memo 1 false At some point during this year, an FBI internal memo states that a Middle Eastern nation has been trying to purchase a flight simulator in violation of US restrictions. FBI refuses to disclose the date or details. [<a href="timeline/2002/latimes053002.html" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 5/30/02</a>] advanceinfo FTW News Article January 2000 (B) a0100dea 1 false A DEA government document later leaked to the press [<a href="timeline/2001/dea0601.html" target=_new>DEA report, 6/01</a>] suggests that a large Israeli spy ring starts penetrating the US from at least this time, if not earlier. This ring, which will later become popularly known as the &ldquo;art student spy ring,&rdquo; is later shown to have strange connections to the events of 9/11. israel Insight 3/11/02 News Article January 1, 2000-September 11, 2001 a010100saeedreleased right Saeed Sheikh, partying in the year 2000. 1 false After being released from prison (see [[ a122499hijack ]]), Saeed Sheikh stays in Kandahar, Afghanistan, for several days and meets with Taliban leader Mullah Omar. He also meets with bin Laden, who is said to call Saeed &ldquo;my special son.&rdquo;He then travels to Pakistan and is given a house by the ISI. [[[ timeline/2002/vanityfair0802.html | Vanity Fair, 8/02 ]]] He lives openly and opulently in Pakistan, even attending &ldquo;swanky parties attended by senior Pakistani government officials.&rdquo; US authorities conclude he is an asset of the ISI. isidrugs timeline/2002/newsweek031302.html Newsweek 3/13/02 News Article Amazingly, he is allowed to travel freely to Britain, and visits family there at least twice (see [[ a99saeedinformant ]]). incompetence timeline/2002/vanityfair0802.html Vanity Fair 8/02 News Article He works with Ijaz Shah, a former ISI official in charge of handling two terrorist groups (see [[ a020502turnin ]]), Lieutenant-General Mohammad Aziz Khan, former deputy chief of the ISI in charge of relations with Jaish-e-Mohammad (see [[ a091701mahmoodomar ]] and [[ a100701mahmood ]]), and Brigadier Abdullah, a former ISI officer. He is well known to other senior ISI officers. He regularly travels to Afghanistan and helps train new terrorist recruits in training camps there. [[[ | New York Times, 2/25/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/nationalpost022602.html | National Post, 2/26/02 ]], [[,4273,4462107,00.html | Guardian, 7/16/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/indiatoday022502.html | India Today, 2/25/02 ]]] Saeed helps train the 9/11 hijackers also, presumably in Afghanistan. [[[ | Telegraph, 9/30/01 ]]] He also helps al-Qaeda develop a secure web-based communications system, and there is even talk that he could one day succeed bin Laden. [[[ timeline/2002/vanityfair0802.html | Vanity Fair, 8/02 ]], [[ | Telegraph, 7/16/02 ]]] He wires money to the 9/11 hijackers on at least one occasion (see [[ a0801kidnapping ]]) and possibly others (see [[ a062900transfer ]] and [[ a090801uae ]]). Presumably he sends the money from the United Arab Emirates during his many trips there. isidrugs,7541,647496,00.html Guardian 2/9/02 News Article 2000 (C) a2000unknowns 1 false During this year, there are 425 unknowns&#8212;pilots who didn't file or diverted from flight plans or used the wrong frequency. Fighters are scrambled in response 129 times. After 9/11, such scrambles go from about twice a week to three or four times a day. [<a href="timeline/2001/calgaryherald101301.html" target=_new>Calgary Herald, 10/13/01</a>] Between September 2000 and June 2001, fighters are scrambled 67 times. [<a href="timeline/2002/ap081302.html" target=_new>AP, 8/13/02</a>] General Ralph E. Eberhart, NORAD Commander in Chief, says that before 9/11, &ldquo;Normally, our units fly 4-6 sorties a month in support of the NORAD air defense mission.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2001/federalnewsservice102501.html" target=_new>FNS, 10/25/01</a>] <comment>Statistics on how many minutes fighters take to scramble before 9/11 apparently are not released.</comment> Early 2000 aearly00centralasia 1 false By the start of this year, the US has already begun &ldquo;to quietly build influence&rdquo; in Central Asia. The US has established significant military-to-military relationships with Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan. Soldiers from those countries have been trained by Americans. The militaries of all three have an ongoing relationship with the National Guard of a US state&#8212;Kazakhstan with Arizona, Kyrgyzstan with Montana, Uzbekistan with Louisiana. The countries also participate in NATO's Partnership for Peace program. afghanwar;node=&amp;contentId=A64817-2002Aug26&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 8/27/02 News Article 2000 a2000bka 1 false The BKA, the German counterpart to the FBI, prepares an extensive report on al-Qaeda's connections in Germany. The BKA warns that &ldquo;unknown structures&rdquo; are preparing to stage attacks abroad. However, the German federal prosecutor's office rejects a proposed follow-up investigation. One of the persons named in the BKA report supposedly had contacts with the Hamburg terror group, containing hijackers Atta, Alshehhi and others. incompetence timeline/2001/berlinerzeitung092401.html Berliner Zeitung 9/24/01 News Article January 2000 a0100bushsr right Ex-President Bush Sr. meeting in Saudi Arabia on behalf of the Carlyle Group. 1 false Former President George Bush Sr. meets with the bin Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. He had also met with them in 1998 (see [[ a1198bushsr ]]), but it's not known if he met with them after this. saudi Bush denied this meeting took place until a thank you note was found confirming it. coverup [<a href="" target=_new>Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01</a>, <a href=",1300,583869,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 10/31/01</a>] saudi FTW News Article January-May 2000 a0100atta 1 false 9/11 hijacker Atta is put under surveillance by the CIA while living in Germany. [<a href="timeline/2001/afp092201.html" target=_new>AFP, 9/22/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/focus092401.html" target=_new>Focus, 9/24/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/berlinerzeitung092401.html" target=_new>Berliner Zeitung, 9/24/01</a>] He is &ldquo;reportedly observed buying large quantities of chemicals in Frankfurt, apparently for the production of explosives [and/or] for biological warfare.&rdquo; &ldquo;The US agents reported to have trailed Atta are said to have failed to inform the German authorities about their investigation,&rdquo; even as the Germans are investigating many of his associates (see [[ a110198marien ]]). &ldquo;The disclosure that Atta was being trailed by police long before 11 September raises the question why the attacks could not have been prevented with the man's arrest.&rdquo;[[[,6903,560733,00.html | Observer, 9/30/01 ]]] A German newspaper adds that Atta was still able to get a visa into the US on May 18. The surveillance stopped when he left for the US at the start of June (see [[ a060300attaenters ]]). But &ldquo;experts believe that the suspect remained under surveillance in the United States.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/berlinerzeitung092401.html | Berliner Zeitung, 9/24/01 ]]] A German intelligence official also states, &ldquo;We can no longer exclude the possibility that the Americans wanted to keep an eye on Atta after his entry in the USA.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/focus092401.html | Focus, 9/24/01 ]]] This correlates with a Newsweek claim that US officials knew Atta was a &ldquo;known [associate] of Islamic terrorists well before [9/11].&rdquo; incompetence Newsweek 9/20/01 News Article However, a Congressional inquiry later reports that the US &ldquo;intelligence community possessed no intelligence or law enforcement information linking 16 of the 19 hijackers [including Atta] to terrorism or terrorist groups.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html | Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02 ]]] <comment>Did the fact that the CIA started monitoring Atta in January 2000 have any connection to roommate Ramzi bin al-Shibh's participation in an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia, that the CIA had ordered monitored that same month (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]])?</comment> coverup January 3, 2000 a010300sullivans 1 false An al-Qaeda attack on USS The Sullivans in Yemen's Aden harbor fails when their boat filled with explosives sinks. The attack remains undiscovered, and a duplication of the attack by the same people later successfully hits the USS Cole (see [[ a101200cole ]]). PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C) News Article January 5-8, 2000 a010500malaysiameeting right Attendees of the Malaysian meeting. From left to right top row: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Left to right bottom row: Hambali, Yazid Sufaat, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh. No pictures of bin Atash or Fahad al-Quso are available, th 1 false About a dozen of bin Laden's trusted followers hold a secret, &ldquo;top-level al-Qaeda summit&rdquo; in the city of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. [[[ | CNN, 8/30/02 ]], [[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/27/02 ]]] Plans for the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole (see [[ a101200cole ]]) and the 9/11 attacks are discussed. [[[ timeline/2002/usatoday021202.html | USA Today, 2/12/02 ]], [[ | CNN, 8/30/02 ]]] At the request of the CIA, the Malaysian secret service monitors the meeting and then passes the information on to the US (see [[ a010600monitor ]]). Attendees of the meeting include: <ol> <li>Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and </li> <li>Khalid Almihdhar. The CIA and FBI will later miss many opportunities to foil the 9/11 plot through these two hijackers and the knowledge of their presence at this meeting. The CIA already knows many details about these two by the time the meeting begins (see [[ a1299safehouse ]] and [[ a010500flights ]]). </li> <li>Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a top al-Qaeda leader and the alleged &ldquo;mastermind&rdquo; of the 9/11 attacks. The US had known Mohammed was a major terrorist since the exposure of Operation Bojinka in 1995 (see [[ a0195 ]] and [[ a96qatar ]]), and knew what he looked like, as can be seen from a 1998 wanted poster (see [[ amid96mohammed ]]). US officials have stated that they only realized the meeting was important in the summer of 2001, but the presence of Mohammed should have proved the meeting's importance. incompetence timeline/2002/latimes020202.html Los Angeles Times 2/2/02 News Article The possible presence of Mohammed at this meeting is highly disputed. In 2003, one terrorism expert testifies before the 9/11 9/11 Commission that he has access to transcripts of Mohammed's interrogations since his capture, and that Mohammed admits leading this meeting. [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 7/9/03</a>, <a href="" target=_new>New York Post, 7/10/03</a>] Many media reports identify him there as well (for instance, [<a href="" target=_new>Independent, 6/6/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CNN, 8/30/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CNN, 11/7/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CBC, 10/29/03</a>]). However, US officials deny the claim. Says Newsweek, &ldquo;Mohammed's presence would make the intelligence failure of the CIA even greater. It would mean the agency literally watched as the 9-11 scheme was hatched&#8212;and had photographs of the attack's mastermind &#8230; doing the plotting.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 7/9/03</a>] </li> <li>An Indonesian terrorist known as Hambali. He was the main financier of Operation Bojinka. CNN 8/30/02 News Article CNN 3/14/02 News Article Philippine intelligence officials learned of Hambali's importance in 1995, but didn't track him down or share information about him. incompetence CNN 3/14/02 News Article </li> <li>Yazid Sufaat, a Malaysian man who owned the condominium where the meeting was held. New York Times 1/31/02 News Article Newsweek 6/2/02 News Article A possibility to expose the 9/11 plot through Sufaat's presence at this meeting is later missed (see [[ a0900moussaoui ]]). incompetence Sufaat travels to Afghanistan in June 2001, and is arrested by Malaysian authorities when he returns to Malaysia in late 2001. [<a href="timeline/2002/australian122402.html" target=_new>Australian, 12/24/02</a>] </li> <li>Fahad al-Quso, a top al-Qaeda operative. Newsweek 9/20/01 News Article Al-Quso is arrested by Yemeni authorities in late 2000, but the FBI is not given a chance to interrogate him before 9/11 (see [[ a1200alquso ]]). He escapes from prison in 2003. incompetence CNN 5/15/03 News Article </li> <li>Tawifiq bin Attash, better known by his alias &ldquo;Khallad.&rdquo; Bin Attash, a &ldquo;trusted member of bin Laden's inner circle,&rdquo; was in charge of bin Laden's bodyguards, and served as bin Laden's personal intermediary at least for the USS Cole attack. Newsweek 9/20/01 News Article He is also thought to be the &ldquo;mastermind&rdquo; of that attack. A possibility to expose the 9/11 plot through bin Attash's presence at this meeting is later missed (see [[ a0101binatash ]]). incompetence Bin Attash had been previously arrested in Yemen for suspected terror ties, but let go. timeline/2002/contemporarysoutheastasia120102.html Contemporary Southeast Asia 12/1/02 News Article He is captured in Pakistan by the US in April 2003. incompetence New York Times 5/1/03 News Article </li> <li>Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who investigators believe wanted to be the twentieth hijacker. His presence at the meeting may not have been realized until after 9/11, despite a picture of him next to bin Attash, and even video footage of him. [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A1503-2002Jul13&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 7/14/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/time091502.html" target=_new>Time, 9/15/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/diezeit100102.html" target=_new>Die Zeit, 10/1/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/newsweek112601.html" target=_new>Newsweek, 11/26/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CNN, 11/7/02</a>] German police have credit card receipts indicating bin al-Shibh is in Malaysia at the same time. Los Angeles Times 9/1/02 News Article Anonymous Malaysian officials claim he is there, but US officials deny it. [[[ timeline/2002/ap092002.html | AP, 9/20/02 ]]] One account says he is recognized at the time of the meeting, which makes it hard to understand why is wasn't tracked back to Germany and the Hamburg cell with Mohamed Atta and other hijackers. [[[ timeline/2002/derspiegel100102.html | Der Spiegel, 10/1/02 ]]] Another possibility to expose the 9/11 plot through bin al-Shibh's presence at this meeting is later missed (see [[ a061000meeting ]]). It appears bin al-Shibh and Almihdhar are directly involved in the attack on the USS Cole (see [[ a101200cole ]]) [[[ | Newsweek, 9/4/02 ]], [[;node=&amp;contentId=A1503-2002Jul13&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 7/14/02 ]], [[,4273,4277367,00.html | Guardian, 10/15/01 ]]], so better surveillance or follow-up from this meeting could have prevented that attack as well. incompetence </li> <li>Some documents purport to show that an al-Qaeda agent of Iraqi nationality, Ahmad Hikmat Shakir, is also at the meeting. [<a href="timeline/2002/newsweek100702.html" target=_new>Newsweek, 10/7/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/australian122402.html" target=_new>Australian, 12/24/02</a>] But his presence at the meeting is uncertain. [<a href="" target=_new>AP, 10/2/02</a>] </li> <li>Very few accounts mention it, but there is the possibility that another hijacker, Salem Alhazmi, also attends the meeting. [<a href="timeline/2002/australian122402.html" target=_new>Australian, 12/24/02</a>] US intelligence intercepts from before the meeting show that he at least had plans to attend. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03</a>] </li> <li> (and more?) Unnamed members of the Egyptian based Islamic Jihad are also known to have been at the meeting. [<a href="timeline/2001/coxnews102101.html" target=_new>Cox News, 10/21/01</a>] Islamic Jihad had merged with al-Qaeda in February 1998. [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 11/17/01</a>] </li> </ol> January 5, 2000 a010500flights 1 false Hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi travel to an important al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia. Almihdhar leaves from a safe house in Yemen, and is watched. Agents from eight CIA offices and six friendly foreign intelligence services are all asked to help track him, in the hopes he will lead them to bigger al-Qaeda figures. [[[ timeline/2003/stern081303.html | Stern, 8/13/03 ]]] On his way to Malaysia, a friendly intelligence service secretly makes copies of his passport as he is passing through an airport and immediately reports this to the CIA. So by the time he reaches Malaysia, the CIA knows his full name, and the fact that he has a multiple entry visa to the US good from April 1999 to April 2000 (see [[ a0499hijackervisas ]]). Nawaf Alhazmi meanwhile is in Pakistan and arrives in Malaysia on the same day. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Even though the CIA now knows Almihdhar has a year long visa to the US and presumably plans to travel there, they don't place him on a terror watch list, despite recent and clear guidelines on the importance of doing so (see [[ a121199guidelines ]]). The FBI also is not informed a known terrorist has a valid US visa. The FBI is merely told, &ldquo;The operation is still going on. Until now, many suspicious activities were watched. But no evidence was found that indicated a coming attack or criminal acts.&rdquo; The FBI also should watch list Almihdhar merely from his description as a &ldquo;terrorist operative,&rdquo; but they fail to do so. incompetence timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article January 6-9, 2000 a010600monitor 1 false The Malaysian secret service is monitoring an important al-Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]), and begins passing what it knows to the CIA even before the meeting is over. Media accounts are consistent that the terrorists at the meeting are photographed and even videotaped, but there is no wiretapping or other recording of their conversations. [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 6/2/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/ottawacitizen091701.html" target=_new>Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01</a>, <a href=",1373,564782,00.html" target=_new>Observer, 10/7/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CNN, 3/14/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 1/14/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>CBC, 10/29/03</a>, <a href="timeline/2003/stern081303.html" target=_new>Stern, 8/13/03</a>] However, Malaysian officials aren't informed what to look for, and focus more on monitoring the local Malaysian and Indonesian hosts who serve as drivers than the visitors attending the meeting. incompetence timeline/2002/ap092002.html AP 9/20/02 News Article Authorities find out what hotel Khalid Almihdhar is staying at and he and his associates are photographed there [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 9/20/01</a>, <a href=",1373,564782,00.html" target=_new>Observer, 10/7/01</a>], as well as coming and going from the condo where the meeting is held. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02</a>] On January 6, the CIA office in Malaysia begins passing details of the meeting to the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center (CTC). Cofer Black, head of the CTC, orders that he be continually informed about the meeting, and CIA Director Tenet is frequently informed as well. [<a href="timeline/2003/stern081303.html" target=_new>Stern, 8/13/03</a>] The 9/11 9/11 Commission later reports that &ldquo;the top officials in the US government&rdquo; are also advised about this meeting around this time, but it does not mention exactly who these officials are. New York Times 1/27/04 News Article (Note that the fact that top officials are advised at the time contradict early reports claiming US intelligence had no idea the meeting was important until August 2001 (see for instance [<a href="timeline/2001/coxnews102101.html" target=_new>Cox News, 10/21/01</a>].)) coverup On January 7, Khalid Almihdhar and others go shopping, giving Malaysian security ample opportunity to collect information about them. They spend hours at internet cafes, and after they leave Malaysian intelligence searches the hard drives of the computers they used. timeline/2002/australian122402.html Australian 12/24/02 News Article timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article But no photos or video from any this surveillance has been publicly released, and details are few. coverup It is known that some photos show Khallad bin Attash with Almihdhar, some show Fahad al-Quso next to Almihdhar, and that some photos are of bin al-Shibh. By January 9, all the data and footage the Malaysians have collected are in the hands of the CIA. timeline/2003/stern081303.html Stern 8/13/03 News Article Newsweek 9/20/01 News Article January 8-15, 2000 a010800thailand 1 false Hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi stay in Thailand. The CIA is trying to find Almihdhar since they know his full name and the fact that he's just come from an important al-Qaeda meeting (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]], [[ a010600monitor ]], and [[ a010800departure ]]). For six weeks they look for him in Thailand. But the search is unsuccessful, because, as one official puts it, &ldquo;when they arrived we were unable to mobilize what we needed to mobilize.&rdquo; Nevertheless, in February, the CIA rejects a request from foreign authorities to give assistance. incompetence The CIA gives up the search in early March when an unnamed foreign government tells the CIA that Nawaf Alhazmi has already flown to the US (see [[ a011500usflight ]] and [[ a0300warning ]]). timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article January 8, 2000 a010800departure 1 false The al-Qaeda terror summit in Malaysia ends (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]) and the participants leave. Hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi fly to Bangkok, Thailand, traveling under their real names. Al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash also travels with them and the three sit side by side in the airplane, but bin Attash travels under the false name Salah Said. [[[ timeline/2002/ap092002.html | AP, 9/20/02 ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The CIA knows that a &ldquo;Nawaf&rdquo; has attended the meeting, but doesn't know his last name. Shortly afterwards, the CIA is told of this airplane flight, and the fact that the person sitting next to Almihdhar on the plane is named &ldquo;Nawaf Alhazmi.&rdquo; But neither Alhazmi nor Almihdhar are placed on a terror watch list. The CIA still fails to tell the FBI that Almihdhar has a valid US visa, and fails to give them Alhazmi's last name. [[[ timeline/2003/stern081303.html | Stern, 8/13/03 ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The CIA tries but fails to find them in Thailand (see [[ a010800thailand ]]). incompetence January 15, 2000 a011500bangkokflight 1 false Shortly after the al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia, hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar fly from Bangkok, Thailand, to Los Angeles, California. timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html MSNBC 12/11/01 News Article The CIA tracks Alhazmi, but apparently doesn't realize Almihdhar is also on the plane. The US keeps a watch list database known as TIPOFF, with over 80,000 names of suspected terrorists as of late 2002. [<a href="timeline/2002/latimes092202.html" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/22/02</a>] The list is checked whenever someone enters or leaves the US. &ldquo;The threshold for adding a name to TIPOFF is low,&rdquo; and even a &ldquo;reasonable suspicion&rdquo; that a person is connected with a terrorist group, warrants being added to the database. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html" target=_new>Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02</a>] Almihdhar and Alhazmi are important enough to have been mentioned to the CIA Director several times this month, but are not added to the watch list. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html" target=_new>Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02</a>] Furthermore, &ldquo;astonishingly, the CIA &#8230; [didn't] notify the FBI, which could have covertly tracked them to find out their mission.&rdquo; incompetence Newsweek 6/2/02 News Article January 15-early February, 2000 a011500usflight 1 false A week after an important al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]), hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar fly together from Bangkok, Thailand (see [[ a010800thailand ]]), to Los Angeles, California. [[[ timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html | MSNBC, 12/11/01 ]]] In March, the CIA learns that at least Alhazmi is on the flight, and some FBI officials claim they learn Almihdhar is on it as well (see [[ a0300warning ]]). This is probably at least the second time these two have entered the US (see [[ a1199sandiego ]]). They stay in Los Angeles for around two weeks. At some point during that time, Omar al-Bayoumi, a suspected al-Qaeda advance man and possible Saudi agent (see [[ a0894dallahavco ]], [[ a0698albayoumi ]], and [[ a0998bayoumiinquiry ]]), arrives in Los Angeles and visits the Saudi Consulate there. According to Newsweek, &ldquo;Law-enforcement officials believe al-Bayoumi may [have] a closed-door meeting with Fahad al Thumairy, a member of the consulate's Islamic and Culture Affairs Section.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Newsweek, 7/28/03</a>] In March 2003, al Thumairy is stripped of his diplomatic visa and barred from entry to the US, reportedly because of suspected links to terrorism. saudi Washington Post 11/23/03 News Article Later that day, Al-Bayoumi goes to a restaurant and meets Alhazmi and Almihdhar. Al-Bayoumi later claims that this first contact with the hijackers is accidental. But one FBI source later recalls that before he drives to Los Angeles that day he says he's going &ldquo;to pick up visitors.&rdquo; [[[ | Newsweek, 7/28/03 ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] Al-Bayoumi invites the two hijackers to move to San Diego. Then he returns to San Diego after leaving the restaurant, and Alhazmi and Almihdhar follow him to San Diego shortly thereafter (see [[ a0200party ]]). timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article The FBI's &ldquo;best source&rdquo; in San Diego says that al-Bayoumi &ldquo;must be an intelligence officer for Saudi Arabia or another foreign power.&rdquo; A former top FBI official working on the al-Bayoumi investigation claims: &ldquo;We firmly believed that he had knowledge [of the 9/11 plot], and that his meeting with them that day was more than coincidence.&rdquo; saudi Newsweek 7/28/03 News Article Late November 2000-January 30, 2001 a1100jarrah left Two Ziad Jarrahs. The photo on the right is from the wreckage of Flight 93. [<a href="timeline/2002/fbi021202.html" target=_new>FBI, 2/12/02</a>] 1 false When Ziad Jarrah is questioned at Dubai, United Arab Emirates on January 30, 2001 (see [[ a013001 ]]), he reveals that he has been in Pakistan and Afghanistan for the previous two months and five days, and that he is returning to Florida. [[[ | Chicago Tribune, 12/13/01 ]]] Investigators also later confirm that &ldquo;Jarrah had spent at least three weeks in January 2001 at an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan.&rdquo; CNN 8/1/02 News Article However, the Florida Flight Training Center where Jarrah has been studying for the previous six months, later says he is in school there until January 15, 2001. His family later reports he arrives in Lebanon to visit them on January 26, five days before he supposedly passes through Dubai. His father had just undergone open heart surgery, and Jarrah visits him every day in the hospital until after January 30. Pointing out this incident, his uncle Jamal Jarrah later asks, &ldquo;How could he be in two places at one time?&rdquo; [<i>Among the Heroes</i>, Jere Longman, 2002, p. 101-102] This is not the only example of Jarrah being in two places at the same time&#8212;see [[ a0395 ]]. <comment>Could Jarrah have had a doppelganger? Also, compare these two photos the government says are of Jarrah. Though the faces are similar, note the different shapes of the heads&#8212;are these photos be of the same person?</comment> coverup Early February 2000 a0200party 1 false Omar al-Bayoumi, suspected al-Qaeda advance man and possible Saudi agent (see [[ a0894dallahavco ]], [[ a0698albayoumi ]] and [[ a0998bayoumiinquiry ]]), helps hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar settle in the US. Having met them in Los Angeles and bought them to San Diego (see [[ a011500usflight ]]), he finds them a place to live. Al-Bayoumi lives at the Villa Balboa apartments with a wife and children, and the two hijackers move into the Parkwood apartments directly across the street. [[[ timeline/2001/sundaymercury102101.html | Sunday Mercury, 10/21/01 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] It appears the lease was actually signed by Alhazmi a few months earlier (see [[ a1199sandiego ]]). Al-Bayoumi cosigns the lease and pays $1500 cash for their first month's rent and security deposit. Some FBI officials claim the hijackers immediately pay him back, others claim they don't. [[[ | Newsweek, 11/24/02 ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] Within days of bringing them from Los Angeles, al-Bayoumi throws a welcoming party that introduces them to the local Muslim community. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A36963-2001Dec28&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 12/29/01 ]]] One associate later says an al-Bayoumi party &ldquo;was a big deal &#8230; it meant that everyone accepted them without question.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/sandiegouniontribune102501.html | San Diego Union-Tribune, 10/25/01 ]]] He also introduces hijacker Hani Hanjour to the community a short time later. [[[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/14/02 ]]] He tasks an acquaintance, Modhar Abdallah, to serve as their translator, help get driver's licenses, Social Security rides, information on flight schools, and more. [[[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/8/02 ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The hijackers live openly in San Diego for much of the next two years (see [[ a011500usflightsandiego ]], [[ a0900shaikh ]] and [[ a0901twoplaces ]]). Al-Bayoumi is arrested and released after 9/11 (see [[ a092101albayoumi ]]), and the possibility the Saudi government funded him creates headlines in late 2002 (see [[ a112202 ]]). Early February-Summer 2000 a011500usflightsandiego left Nawaf Alhazmi in the 2000-2001 San Diego phone book 1 false Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar move to San Diego and live there openly. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The two of them have just arrived from overseas (see [[ a011500usflight ]]), but there is evidence Alhazmi signed their apartment lease back in November 1999 (see [[ a1199sandiego ]]). Hijacker Hani Hanjour joins them as a roommate in February 2000 but apparently doesn't stay long. [[[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/21/01 ]], [[ | San Diego Channel 10, 9/18/01 ]]] They get considerable help moving in from al-Bayoumi, a suspected al-Qaeda advance man (see [[ a0200party ]]). The hijackers use their real names on their rental agreement [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html | Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02 ]]], driver's licenses, Social Security cards, and credit cards [[[ | Newsweek, 6/2/02 ]]], car purchase, and bank account. Alhazmi is even listed in the 2000-2001 San Diego phone book. [[[ | South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 6/2/02 ]]] Neighbors notice odd behavior: they have no furniture, they are constantly using cell phones on the balcony, constantly playing flight simulator games, keep to themselves, and strange cars and limousines pick them up for short rides in the middle of the night. Washington Post 9/30/01 News Article Time 9/24/01 News Article,8816,176069,00.html Time 9/24/01 (B) News Article February 6, 2000 a020600mossad 1 false India's largest newsweekly reports that it appears a recent Mossad attempt to infiltrate al-Qaeda failed when they were stopped by Indian customs officials on their way to Bangladesh. These 11 men appeared to be from Afghanistan, but had Israeli passports. One expert states, &ldquo;It is not unlikely for Mossad to recruit 11 Afghans in Iran and grant them Israeli citizenship to penetrate a network such as Bin Laden's. They would begin by infiltrating them into an Islamic radical group in an unlikely place like Bangladesh.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>The Week, 2/6/00</a>] <comment>If this shows that Mossad was trying to infiltrate al-Qaeda, did they make other attempts that succeeded, and if so, is this how they learned enough to know where to trail al-Qaeda in the US via the &ldquo;art student spy ring&rdquo;?</comment> israel February 23, 2000 a022300echelon left An Echelon station in England. 1 false European Parliament hearings over Echelon, the global surveillance network, draw banner headlines across Europe. A report prepared for the European Parliament not only confirms that Echelon exists, but has found that Echelon had twice helped US companies gain an advantage over Europeans. The EU sets up a commission to determine if action should be taken against Britain for security breaches. New York Times 2/24/00 News Article The US has denied and continues to deny the very existence of Echelon. But it exists, as Echelon partners Britain and Australia (see [[ a110399echelon ]]) now admit. coverup BBC 5/29/01 News Article March 2000 (E) 1 false The Clinton administration begins a push to fight terrorism financing by introducing a tough anti-money laundering bill. The bill faces tough opposition, mostly from Republicans and lobbyists who enjoy the anonymity of offshore banking that would also be affected by the legislation. Despite passing the House Banking Committee by a vote of 31 to 1 in July 2000, Senator Phil Gramm (R) refuses to let the bill come up for a vote in his Senate Banking Committee. [[[ | Time, 10/15/01 ]]] Other efforts begun at this time to fight terrorism finances are later stymied by the new Bush administration (see [[ a0201banking | February 2001 ]]). incompetence March 2000 a0300angry 1 false An FBI agent, reportedly angry over a glitch in an e-mail tracking program that has somehow mixed innocent non-targeted e-mails with those belonging to al-Qaeda, supposedly accidentally destroys all of the FBI's Denver-based intercepts of bin Laden's colleagues in a terrorist investigation. The tracking program is called Carnivore. incompetence But the story sounds dubious, and is flatly contradicted in the same article: &ldquo;A Justice Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Tuesday night that the e-mails were not destroyed.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/ap052802.html" target=_new>AP, 5/28/02</a>] coverup FTW News Article March 2000 (B) a0300statue 1 false US intelligence obtains information about the types of targets that bin Laden's network might strike. The Statue of Liberty is specially mentioned, as are skyscrapers, ports, airports, and nuclear power plants. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article March 2000 (D) a0300west 1 false US Intelligence Community obtains information suggesting al-Qaeda is planning attacks in specific West Coast areas, possibly involving the assassination of several public officials. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)</a>] While these attacks didn't materialize, this is the same month the CIA learns that two known al-Qaeda terrorists have just flown to Los Angeles. March 2000 (C) a0300watson 1 false Dale Watson, the chief of the FBI's counterterrorism unit, convenes a terrorism meeting at headquarters of the agents in charge of all 56 field offices. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 6/2/02</a>] He specifically encourages the offices to look for al-Qaeda sleeper cells. [<a href=",1282,-2940125,00.html" target=_new>AP 7/23/03</a>] Watson is &ldquo;startled to learn how little some bureau offices around the country, operating independently of headquarters, had done to investigate terrorism. Even after the meeting, in the months before Sept. 11, senior agents at headquarters [are] reduced to repeatedly cajoling the special agents in charge of the field offices to work harder on counterterrorism inquiries.&rdquo; New York Times 6/2/02 News Article March 5, 2000 a0300warning 1 false An unnamed nation tells the CIA that hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi had flown from an important meeting in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]) to Los Angeles in mid-January 2000 (see [[ a011500usflight ]]).;position=top New York Times 10/17/02 News Article According to a senior FBI official, the information is also about hijacker Khalid Almihdhar: &ldquo;In March 2000, the CIA received information concerning the entry of Almihdhar and Alhazmi into the United States.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002c.html" target=_new>Michael Rolince Testimony, 9/20/02</a>] The CIA disputes this, however. coverup timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article A cable is immediately sent to CIA Headquarters noting (at least) that Nawaf Alhazmi has traveled to Los Angeles. The cable is marked &ldquo;Action Required: None, FYI [For Your Information].&rdquo; CIA Director Tenet later claims that &ldquo;Nobody read that cable in the March timeframe.&rdquo; [<a href=";position=top" target=_new>New York Times, 10/17/02</a>] Yet the day after the cable is received, &ldquo;another overseas CIA station note[s], in a cable to the bin Laden unit at CIA headquarters, that it had &lsquo;read with interest&rsquo; the March cable, &lsquo;particularly the information that a member of this group traveled to the US&#8230; &rsquo; &rdquo; incompetence timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html Congressional Inquiry 9/20/02 News Article Yet again, CIA fails to put their names on a watch list, and again fails to alert the FBI so they can be tracked. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02</a>] Senior CIA counterterrorism official Cofer Black later says, &ldquo;I think that month we watch listed about 150 people. [The watch listing] should have been done. It wasn't.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article March 10, 2000 1 false National Security Advisor Sandy Berger chairs a Cabinet-level meeting to review the wave of attempted terror attacks around the millennium. Counterterrorism reports that disruption efforts &ldquo;have not put too much of a dent&rdquo; into bin Laden's overseas network, and that it is feared &ldquo;sleeper cells&rdquo; of terrorist have taken root in the US. Some ideas, like expanding the number of Joint Terrorism Task Forces across the US, are adopted. Others, like a centralized translation unit for domestic intercepts, are not. incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article March 17, 2000 a031700weak 1 false Reports suggest bin Laden appears weak and gaunt at an important meeting of supporters. He may be very ill with liver ailments, and is seeking a kidney dialysis machine. [<a href="timeline/2000/ap032500.html" target=_new>AP, 3/25/00</a>] It is believed he gets the dialysis machine in early 2001. [<a href="timeline/2001/londontimes110101.html" target=_new>London Times, 11/01/01</a>] He is able to talk, walk with a cane, and hold meetings, but little else. [<a href="timeline/2000/deutschepresseagentur031600.html" target=_new>Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 3/16/00</a>, <a href="timeline/2000/asiaweek032400.html" target=_new>Asiaweek, 3/24/00</a>] <comment>If bin Laden had such medical trouble before 9/11, how could he stay alive on the run after 9/11?</comment> March 21, 2000 a032100abdelhafiz 1 false FBI agent Robert Wright (see also [[ a1098alqadi ]] and [[ a060901 ]]), having been accused of tarnishing the reputation of fellow agent Gamal Abdel-Hafiz, makes a formal internal complaint about Abdel-Hafiz. FBI agent Barry Carmody seconds Wright's complaint. Wright and Carmody accuse Abdel-Hafiz, a Muslim, of hindering investigations by openly refusing to record other Muslims. saudi The FBI was investigating if BMI Inc., a New Jersey based company with connections to Saudi financier Yassin al-Qadi (see [[ a101201firstfreeze ]]), had helped fund the 1998 US embassy bombings. saudi timeline/2002/wallstreetjournal112602.html Wall Street Journal 11/26/02 News Article ABC News 12/19/02 News Article Federal prosecutor Mark Flessner and other FBI agents back up the allegations against Abdel-Hafiz. [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 12/19/02</a>] Carmody also claims that Abdel-Hafiz hurt an inquiry into the possible terrorist ties of fired University of South Florida Professor Sami Al-Arian by refusing to record a conversation with the professor in 1998. saudi timeline/2003/tampatribune030403.html Tampa Tribune 3/4/03 News Article Complaints to superiors and headquarters about this never get a response. [<a href="timeline/2003/foxnews030603.html" target=_new>Fox News, 3/6/03</a>] Furthermore, &ldquo;Far from being reprimanded, Abdel-Hafiz [is] promoted to one of the FBI's most important anti-terrorism posts, the American Embassy in Saudi Arabia, to handle investigations for the FBI in that Muslim country.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 12/19/02</a>] Abdel-Hafiz is finally suspended in February 2003 after his scandal is widely reported in the press. [<a href="timeline/2003/tampatribune030403.html" target=_new>Tampa Tribune, 3/4/03</a>] Bill O'Reilly of Fox News claims that on March 4, 2003, the FBI threatens to fire Wright if he speaks publicly about this, one hour before Wright is scheduled to appear on Fox News. [<a href="timeline/2003/foxnews030403.html" target=_new>Fox News, 3/4/03</a>] <comment>Is Abdel-Hafiz promoted to a sensitive Saudi post because he won't ask hard questions there?</comment> incompetence March 25, 2000 a032500visits 1 false President Clinton visits Pakistan. It is later revealed that the US secret service believed that the ISI was so deeply infiltrated by terrorist organizations, that it begged Clinton to cancel his visit. Specifically, the US government determined that the ISI had long standing ties with al-Qaeda. When Clinton went ahead anyway, his security took extraordinary and unprecedented precautions. For instance, an empty Air Force One was flown into the country, and the president made the trip in a small unmarked plane. isidrugs New York Times 10/29/01 News Article Spring 2000 (B) a2000woodward 1 false Investigative reporter Bob Woodward later claims that special CIA paramilitary teams begin &ldquo;working with tribes and warlords in southern Afghanistan&rdquo; and help &ldquo;create a significant new network in the region of the Taliban's greatest strength.&rdquo; afghanwar Washington Post 11/18/01 News Article April 2000 (B) a0400plot 1 false Niaz Khan, a British citizen originally from Pakistan, is recruited into an al-Qaeda plot. He is flown to Lahore, Pakistan, and then trains in a compound there for a week with others on how to hijack passenger airplanes. He trains on a mock cockpit of a 767 aircraft (an airplane type used on 9/11). He is taught hijacking techniques, including how to smuggle guns and other weapons through airport security and how to get into a cockpit. He is then flown to the US and told to meet with a contact. He says, &ldquo;They said I would live there for a while and meet some other people and we would hijack a plane from JFK [John F. Kennedy airport in New York City] and fly it into a building.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2004/londontimes050904.html" target=_new>London Times, 5/9/04</a>] He has &ldquo;no doubt&rdquo; this is the 9/11 plot. But Khan slips away and gambles away the money given to him by al-Qaeda. Afraid he would be killed for betraying al-Qaeda, he turns himself in to the FBI. For three weeks, FBI counterterrorism agents in Newark, New Jersey interview him. [<a href="" target=_new>MSNBC, 6/3/04</a>, <a href=",6903,1232389,00.html" target=_new>Observer, 6/6/04,6903,1232389,00.html</a>] One FBI agent recalls, &ldquo;We were incredulous. Flying a plane into a building sounded crazy but we polygraphed him and he passed.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2004/londontimes050904.html" target=_new>London Times, 5/9/04</a>] A former FBI official says the FBI agents believed Khan and tried to aggressively follow every lead in the case, but word came from FBI headquarters saying, &ldquo;return him to London and forget about it.&rdquo; So he is returned to Britain and handed over to British authorities. But the British only interview him for about two hours, and then release him. He is surprised that authorities never asked for his help in identifying where he was trained in Pakistan, even after 9/11. [<a href="" target=_new>MSNBC, 6/3/04</a>] His case is mentioned in the 2002 Congressional Inquiry report, but the plot is apparently mistakenly described as an attempt to hijack a plane and fly it to Afghanistan. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article April 2000 (C) a0400permission 1 false The US is given permission to greatly expand a military base in the Persian Gulf nation of Qatar, and construction begins shortly thereafter. The justification for expanding, Al Adid, a billion-dollar base, is preparedness for renewed action against Iraq. [<a href=",0,4963731.story" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 1/6/02</a>] Dozens of other US military bases had sprung up in the region in the 1990s. [<a href="" target=_new>Village Voice, 11/13/02</a>] <comment>Such facilities in Qatar later form the regional headquarters for the US attack on Iraq in 2003. </comment> afghanwar Spring 2000 aspring00informant 1 false German investigators finally agree to the CIA's idea of recruiting businessman Mamoun Darkazanli as an informer (see [[ a092098salim ]], [[ a1299informer ]] and [[ a092401darkazanli ]]). An agent of the LFV, the Hamburg state intelligence agency, casually approaches Darkazanli and asks him whether he is interested in becoming a spy. Darkazanli replies that he is just a businessman who knows nothing about al-Qaeda or terrorism. The Germans inform the local CIA representative that the approach failed. The CIA agent refuses to admit defeat. But when German agents ask for more information to show Darkazanli they know of his terrorist ties, the CIA fails to give any information. As it happened, at the end of January 2000, Darkazanli had just met with terrorist Barakat Yarkas in Madrid, Spain. [[[ timeline/2002/chicagotribune111702.html | Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02 ]]] Darkazanli is a longtime friend and business partner of Yarkas, the most prominent al-Qaeda agent in Spain. [[[,0,2368574.story?coll=la-headlines-world-manual | Los Angeles Times, 1/14/03 ]]] The meeting included other suspected al-Qaeda figures, and was monitored by Spanish police. If the CIA was aware of the Madrid meeting, they don't tell the Germans. [[[ timeline/2002/chicagotribune111702.html | Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02 ]]] The CIA had also begun surveillance of Atta in January 2000, but they keep all knowledge of that investigation secret from the Germans (see [[ a0100atta ]]). A second LFV attempt to recruit Darkazanli also fails. incompetence The CIA then attempts to work with federal German intelligence officials in Berlin to &ldquo;turn&rdquo; Darkazanli. Results of that effort aren't known. timeline/2002/chicagotribune111702.html Chicago Tribune 11/17/02 News Article April 2000 a0400portlandlibrary 1 false Spruce Whited, director of security for the Portland Public Library, later says Atta and possibly a second hijacker are regulars at the library and frequently use public Internet terminals at this time. He says four other employees recognize Atta as a library patron. &ldquo;I remember seeing (Atta) in the spring of 2000,&rdquo; he says. &ldquo;I have a vague memory of a second one who turned out to be (Atta's) cousin&rdquo; <comment>(note: this is probably a reference to Marwan Alshehhi)</comment>. Whited also says federal authorities have not inquired about the library sightings. [<a href="" target=_new>Boston Herald, 10/5/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Portland Press Herald, 10/5/01</a>] According to the official story, Atta doesn't arrive in the US until June 3, 2000. [<a href="" target=_new>Miami Herald, 9/22/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Australian Broadcasting Corp. 11/12/01</a>] <comment>Why does the FBI appear uninterested in these early sightings of Atta?</comment> coverup Spring 2000 (D) aspring00payspike 1 false According leaks from the still-classified part of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, monthly payments to Omar al-Bayoumi, suspected hijacker &ldquo;advance man&rdquo; and possible Saudi agent, increase significantly at this time. Al-Bayoumi has been receiving a salary from the Saudi civil authority of about $500 a month. But shortly after hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar move to San Diego, al-Bayoumi's salary increases to about $3,000 to $3,500 a month. [[[;en=6e8c3c717ed47134&amp;ex=1074574800&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;position= | New York Times, 7/29/03 (B) ]]] From early 1995, al-Bayoumi has been paid for a job with a Saudi aviation company called Dallah Avco that is closely tied to the Saudi government. Apparently it's a &ldquo;ghost&rdquo; job that involves no work (see [[ a0894dallahavco ]]). Accounts appear to be confused if this pay spike is from his Dallah Avco job, or an additional payment by the government [[[;en=6e8c3c717ed47134&amp;ex=1074574800&amp;pagewanted=all&amp;position= | New York Times, 7/29/03 (B) ]], [[ | New York Times, 8/2/03 ]]], but it appears to be a separate stream of money because another report has documents showing his Dallah Avco job started with $3,000 a month payments and remained consistent. [[[ | Wall Street Journal, 8/11/03 ]]] It also fits in with his claims to acquaintances at the time that he is receiving a regular government scholarship. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] Additionally, since 1998, a mysterious rich Saudi forced a San Diego mosque to hire al-Bayoumi for a job where he does little work (see [[ a0698albayoumi ]]). Also around December 1999, the wife of his close friend Osama Basnan begins receiving monthly payments from the wife of the Saudi ambassador to the US, and there is speculation this money passes through al-Bayoumi to the hijackers (see [[ a120499princess ]]). So it is possible al-Bayoumi has been receiving four channels of money that have connections with the Saudi government for virtually nothing in return. saudi Spring-Summer 2000 aspring00calls 1 false Hijacker Khalid Almihdhar, while living in San Diego (see [[ a011500usflightsandiego ]]), telephones an al-Qaeda safe house in Yemen owned by his father-in-law (note that the facility is not named, but references in the Congressional Inquiry report are consistent with other mentions of this safe house). This safe house has been closely monitored since 1998, as even bin Laden himself makes calls to it ([[ a98safehouse ]]). The NSA intercepts these calls, but they don't realize the &ldquo;Khalid&rdquo; calling the safe house is calling from the US. This is only determined by an analysis of phone toll records obtained after 9/11. incompetence The NSA had been aware of a &ldquo;Khalid,&rdquo; &ldquo;Nawaf Alhazmi,&rdquo; and his brother &ldquo;Salem&rdquo; having communications with this safe house in 1999 (see [[ a99nsahijackers ]] and [[ a1299safehouse ]]). In summer 2000 there are additional communications to the safe house from &ldquo;Khalid&rdquo; and &ldquo;Salem,&rdquo; but again the NSA doesn't realize the meaning or importance of these calls. incompetence There may have been more communications&#8212;the section of the Congressional Inquiry dealing with these calls is heavily censored. coverup Some but not all of the information about certain calls are passed on to the FBI and CIA. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article April 2000 (B) a0400plot 1 false US intelligence learns about an alleged bin Laden plot to hijack a 747. The source is a &ldquo;walk-in&rdquo; to the FBI's Newark office who claims that he had been to a training camp in Pakistan where he learned hijacking techniques and received arms training. He also stated that he was supposed to meet five to six other individuals in the US who would also participate in the plot. They were instructed to use all necessary force to take over the plane because there would be pilots among the hijacking team. The plan was to fly the plane to Afghanistan, and if they would not make it there, that they were to blow up the plane. Although the individual passed an FBI polygraph, the FBI was never able to verify any aspect of his story or identify his contacts in the US. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article April-May 2000 a0400boasts left Two pictures of hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. 1 false Around this time hijacker Marwan Alshehhi boasts of planning an attack to a Hamburg librarian. He says, &ldquo;There will be thousands of dead. You will think of me.&rdquo; He also specifically mentions the WTC. [<a href="timeline/2002/afp082902.html" target=_new>AFP, 8/29/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 8/29/02</a>] &ldquo;You will see,&rdquo;Alshehhi adds. &ldquo;In America something is going to happen. There will be many people killed.&rdquo; advanceinfo New York Times 9/10/02 News Article This &ldquo;demonstrates that the members of the Hamburg cell were not quite as careful to keep secret their plans as had previously been thought. And it appears to bury for good the theory that the pilots were informed of their targets only hours before they took off. Not least, though, Marwan Alshehhi's boast provides a key element for the reconstruction of the plot&#8212;a date by which the terrorists had decided on their target.&rdquo; advanceinfo,12361,783247,00.html Guardian 8/30/02 News Article Spring 2000 (C) aspring00mother 1 false Sources who know bin Laden later claim that bin Laden's stepmother has a second meeting with her son Osama in Afghanistan (see [[ aspring98mother ]]). The trip is approved by the Saudi royal family. The Saudis pass the message to him that &ldquo; &lsquo;they wouldn't crack down on his followers in Saudi Arabia&rsquo; as long as he set his sights on targets outside the desert kingdom.&rdquo; saudi In late 1999, the Saudi government had told the CIA about the upcoming trip, and suggested placing a homing beacon on her luggage. This doesn't happen&#8212;Saudis later claim they weren't taken seriously, and Americans claim they never received specific information on her travel plans. incompetence New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article Washington Post 12/19/01 News Article April 4, 2000 a040400mahmood 1 false ISI Director and &ldquo;leading Taliban supporter&rdquo;Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed visits Washington. isidrugs In a message meant for both Pakistan and the Taliban, US officials tell him that al-Qaeda has killed Americans and &ldquo;people who support those people will be treated as our enemies.&rdquo; isidrugs However, no actual action, military or otherwise, is taken against either the Taliban or Pakistan. incompetence Washington Post 12/19/01 News Article April 17, 2000 a041700williams 1 false Arizona FBI agent Ken Williams, who later becomes famous for writing a memo correctly diagnosing al-Qaeda's use of US flight schools to train hijackers (see [[ a071001williams ]]), gets a tip that makes him suspicious that some flight students might be terrorists. [[[;position=top | New York Times, 6/19/02 ]]] It appears that flight school student Zacaria Soubra is seen at a shooting range with a known jihad veteran. [[[,0,3328713.story | Los Angeles Times, 10/28/01 (C) ]]] On this day, he starts a formal investigation into Soubra. [[[ | Arizona Republic, 7/24/03 ]]] Soubra is the main focus of Williams' later memo. But Williams' work is greatly slowed because of internal politics and personal disputes. When he finally returns to this case in December 2000, he and all the other agents on the international-terrorism squad are diverted to work on a high-profile arson case. Says James Hauswirth, another Arizona agent, &ldquo;[Williams] fought it. Why take your best terrorism investigator and put him on an arson case? He didn't have a choice.&rdquo; The arson case is finally solved in June 2001 and Williams once again returns to the issue of terrorist flight school students. His memo comes out one month later instead of some time in 2000. Hauswirth writes a letter to FBI Director Mueller in late 2001, complaining, &ldquo;[Terrorism] has always been the lowest priority in the division; it still is the lowest priority in the division.&rdquo; Others concur that terrorism cases were a low priority in the Arizona FBI. incompetence timeline/2002/latimes052602.html Los Angeles Times 5/26/02 News Article;position=top New York Times 6/19/02 News Article April 19, 2000 a041900israeli 1 false USA Today states that &ldquo;Israeli crime groups&#8230;dominate distribution&rdquo; of Ecstasy. [<a href="timeline/2000/usatoday041900.html" target=_new>USA Today, 4/19/00</a>] The DEA also states that most of the Ecstasy sold in the US is &ldquo;controlled by organized crime figures in Western Europe, Russia and Israel.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2001/upi102501.html" target=_new>UPI, 10/25/01</a>] According to DEA documents, the Israeli &ldquo;art student&rdquo; spy ring &ldquo;has been linked to several ongoing DEA [Ecstasy] investigations in Florida, California, Texas and New York now being closely coordinated by DEA headquarters.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Insight, 3/11/02</a>] <comment>In addition to 9/11 connections explored later, was this spy ring meant to obstruct DEA prosecution of Israeli organized crime?</comment> israel April 20, 2000 1 false The Washington Post writes, &ldquo;With little fanfare, [President Clinton] has begun to articulate a new national security doctrine in which terrorists and other &lsquo;enemies of the nation-state&rsquo; are coming to occupy the position once filled by a monolithic communist superpower.&rdquo; In his January 2000 State of the Union address, Clinton predicts that terrorists and organized criminals will pose &ldquo;the major security threat&rdquo; to the US in coming decades. However, some claim that a &ldquo;preoccupation with bin Laden has caused errors in judgment.&rdquo; National Security Advisor Sandy Berger counters that the threat of large-scale terrorist attacks on US soil is &ldquo;a reality, not a perception&#8230;. We would be irresponsible if we did not take this seriously.&rdquo; Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke predicts that the US's new enemies &ldquo;will come after our weakness, our Achilles heel, which is largely here in the United States.&rdquo; advanceinfo Washington Post 4/20/00 News Article Late April-Mid-May 2000 a0400atta 1 false Atta reportedly has a very strange meeting with Johnelle Bryant of the US Department of Agriculture (incidentally, one month before the official story claims he arrived in the US for the first time). According to Bryant, in the meeting Atta does all of the following: <ol> <li> He initially refuses to speak with one who is &ldquo;but a female.&rdquo; </li> <li> incompetence He asks her for a loan of $650,000 to buy and modify a crop-dusting plane. advanceinfo </li> <li> incompetence He mentions that he wants to &ldquo;build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting.&rdquo; advanceinfo </li> <li> He uses his real name even as she takes notes, and makes sure she spells it correctly. </li> <li> He says he has just arrived from Afghanistan. </li> <li> He tells about his travel plans to Spain and Germany. </li> <li> incompetence He expresses an interest in visiting New York. advanceinfo </li> <li> incompetence He asks her about security at the WTC and other US landmarks. advanceinfo </li> <li> incompetence He discusses al-Qaeda and its need for American membership. advanceinfo </li> <li> incompetence He tells her bin Laden &ldquo;would someday be known as the world's greatest leader.&rdquo; advanceinfo </li> <li> incompetence He asks to buy the aerial photograph of Washington hanging on her Florida office wall, throwing increasingly large &ldquo;wads of cash&rdquo; at her when she refuses to sell it. <a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 6/6/02</a>] advanceinfo </li> <li> incompetence After Bryant points out one of the buildings in the Washington photograph as her former place of employment, he asks her, &ldquo;How would you like it if somebody flew an airplane into your friends' building?&rdquo; advanceinfo </li> <li> He asks her, &ldquo;What would prevent [me] from going behind [your] desk and cutting [your] throat and making off with the millions of dollars&rdquo; in the safe behind her. </li> <li> incompetence He asks, &ldquo;How would America like it if another country destroyed [Washington] and some of the monuments in it like the cities in [my] country had been destroyed?&rdquo; <comment>(Atta supposedly comes from Egypt&#8212;what cities have been destroyed there in recent decades?)</comment> advanceinfo </li> <li> He gets &ldquo;very agitated&rdquo; when he isn't given the money in cash on the spot. </li> </ol> incompetence left Department of Agriculture official Johnelle Bryant Atta later tries to get the loan again from the same woman, this time &ldquo;slightly disguised&rdquo; by wearing glasses. Three other terrorists also attempt to get the same loan from Bryant, but all of them fail. Bryant turns them down because they don't meet the loan requirements, and fails to notify anyone about these strange encounters until after 9/11. Government officials not only confirm the account and say that Bryant passed a lie detector test, but elaborate that the account jibes with other information they have received from interrogating prisoners. Supposedly, failing to get the loan, the terrorists switched plans from using crop dusters to hijacking aircraft. incompetence ABC News 6/6/02 News Article,,175-320123,00.html London Times 6/8/02 News Article Compare Atta's meeting with FBI Director Mueller's later testimony about the hijackers: &ldquo;There were no slip-ups. Discipline never broke down. They gave no hint to those around them what they were about.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>CNN, 9/28/02</a>] <comment>Why would the terrorists have been depending on such a loan in the first place instead of just spending some of bin Laden's millions to buy the plane? Were the terrorists comically inept, and the US just as inept for not catching them, or is the story government propaganda? Could Atta (or someone impersonating him) have been trying to make himself conspicuous as part of a trail of false evidence? Why didn't Bryant report someone who threatened her with violence, and threatened terrorist acts?</comment> coverup April 30, 2000 a043000annualreport 1 false The State Department issues its annual report describing the US attempt to combat terrorism. For the first time it focuses on South Asia. The New York Times notes, &ldquo;The report reserves its harshest criticism for Afghanistan&rdquo; advanceinfo and &ldquo;is also severely critical of Pakistan.&rdquo; isidrugs But neither country is placed on the official list of countries sponsoring terrorism, which has remained unchanged since 1993. incompetence timeline/2000/nyt043000.html New York Times 4/30/00 News Article May 2000 a0500joint 1 false The CIA and FBI sends a joint investigative team to Sudan to investigate if that country is a sponsor of terrorism. It determines that it is not, but the US doesn't take Sudan off its official list of terrorist states. Sudan offers again (see [[ a95sudan ]] and [[ a0496sudan ]]) to hand over their voluminous files on al-Qaeda, and the offer is again turned down. incompetence,1373,560675,00.html Guardian 9/30/01 News Article May 14, 2000 a051400 1 false An inquiry is launched into the behavior of Bayer in an English trial of the anti-anthrax drug Cipro. The drug is tested on hundreds despite the company having conducted studies which showed its drug reacted badly with other drugs, seriously impairing its ability to kill bacteria. These results are kept secret. Nearly half of those operated on at one test center develop a variety of potentially life-threatening infections, data at other test centers is unknown. anthrax timeline/2000/sundaytimes051400.html Sunday Times 5/14/00 News Article May 22, 2000 a052200borderpatrol 1 false By early 2000, German intelligence monitoring al-Qaeda suspect Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see [[ a0397zammar ]] and [[ a092199zammarcall ]]) notice that Mounir El Motassadeq and Said Bahaji regularly meet with Zammar. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] In March 2000, Germany's internal intelligence service places Motassadeq and Bahaji on a border patrol watch list. The two are members of al-Qaeda's Hamburg cell with Mohamed Atta and others. Their international arrivals and departures are to be reported immediately. On this day, Motassadeq flies to Istanbul, Turkey, and from there goes to an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, the border patrol only notes his destination of Istanbul. Bahaji doesn't travel, and when he finally does shortly before 9/11, it isn't noted (see [[ a090401flee ]]). incompetence timeline/2003/derspiegel020303.html Der Spiegel 2/3/03 News Article May 30, 2000-September 11, 2001 a05300almarabh 1 false Nabil al-Marabh, possibly an al-Qaeda sleeper agent with 9/11 ties (see [[ a89almarabh | 1989-May 2000 ]]), engages in many suspicious activities. He stabs his Detroit roommate in the knee during an argument on May 30, 2000. He pleads guilty in December 2000 to assault and battery with a dangerous weapon. [[[ | Boston Herald, 9/20/01 ]]] He is given a six-month suspended sentence; he fails to appear for probation and his deportation order is not carried out. An arrest warrant is issued for him in March 2001. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/ottawacitizen102901.html | Ottawa Citizen, 10/29/01 ]]] Al-Marabh lives in Detroit with an al-Qaeda agent named Yousef Hmimssa (see [[ a091701detroit | September 17, 2001 (D) ]]). [[[ | Boston Herald, 9/20/01 ]], [[ | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] He receives five driver's licenses in Michigan over a period of 13 months in addition to carrying driver's licenses for Massachusetts, Illinois, Florida and Ontario, Canada. [[[ timeline/2001/torontostar102601.html | Toronto Star, 10/26/01 ]]] On September 11, 2000, he obtains a Michigan license permitting him to drive semi-trucks containing hazardous materials, including explosives and caustic materials. He is still unsuccessfully trying to find a tractor-trailer driving job one month before 9/11. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01 ]], [[ | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] In early 2001 he mostly lives in Toronto, Canada, with Hassan Almrei, a man running some al-Qaeda front businesses. [[[ | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] Many witnesses see al-Marabh with two 9/11 hijackers at his uncle's Toronto photocopy store (see [[ a01toronto | January 2001-September 11, 2001 ]]). On June 27, 2001, al-Marabh is arrested while trying to enter the US from Canada in the back of a tractor-trailer, carrying a false Canadian passport and citizenship card. [[[ timeline/2001/stcatherinesstandard092801.html | St. Catherine's Standard, 9/28/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/stcatherinesstandard100201.html | St. Catherine Standard, 10/2/01 ]]] He had been illegally crossing the US-Canadian border for years. timeline/2001/ottawacitizen102901.html Ottawa Citizen 10/29/01 News Article Despite suspicions that he is connected to al-Qaeda, the US immediately deports him to Canada. [[[ | New York Times, 7/13/02 ]]] He spends two weeks in a Canadian prison, where he boasts to other prisoners that he is in contact with the FBI. He is ordered to live with his uncle in Toronto. These prisoners are puzzled that the FBI doesn't try to interview them about al-Marabh after 9/11. Al-Marabh fails to show up for a deportation hearing in August and for a court date in September. [[[ timeline/2001/stcatherinesstandard100201.html | St. Catherine Standard, 10/2/01 ]]] &ldquo;Had Canadian security agents investigated Mr. al-Marabh when they had the chance back in June, when he was jailed by immigration authorities, they may have discovered any number of his worldwide links to convicted and suspected terrorists, including two of the [9/11 hijackers].&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/ottawacitizen102901.html | Ottawa Citizen, 10/29/01 ]]] Despite all of these al-Qaeda connections and more, the US later decides al-Marabh is not a terrorist and deports him to Syria (see [[ a091901almarabh | September 19, 2001-September 3, 2002 ]],[[ alate2002almarabhinformant | Late 2002 ]], and [[ a0104almarabh | January 2004 ]]). incompetence June 2000 (B) a0600web 1 false Around this time, a number of very suspicious web domains are registered. Here's the list: &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;, &ldquo;;. A counter-terrorism expert says: &ldquo;It's unbelievable that [the registration company] would register these domain names&rdquo; and &ldquo;if they did make a comment to the FBI, it's unbelievable that the FBI didn't react to it.&rdquo; Several of the names mention 2001 and apparently there were no other websites mentioning other years. Registering a site requires a credit card, so presumably this story could provide leads, but it's unclear what leads the FBI got from this, if any. None of the sites were being actively used on 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2001/cns091901.html" target=_new>Cybercast News Service, 9/19/01</a>] All had expired around June 2001. timeline/2001/cns092001.html Cybercast News Service 9/20/01 News Article This story is later called an &ldquo;urban legend,&rdquo; but the debunkers are later themselves criticized. [<a href="" target=_new>Insight, 3/11/02</a>] <comment>Perhaps someone heard of the terror plot, thought to capitalize on it, and then thought better of it? Were the two specific dates mentioned, August 11 and September 29, preliminary target strike dates?</comment> coverup June 2000 a0600bankaccounts 1 false Atta and other hijackers begin to open bank accounts in Florida. At least 35 accounts are opened, 14 of them at SunTrust Bank. All are opened with fake social security numbers (some with randomly made up numbers), yet none of the accounts are checked or questioned by the banks. [[[ | New York Times, 7/10/02 ]]] One transfer from the United Arab Emirates three months later totaling $69,985 prompts the bank to make a &ldquo;suspicious transaction report&rdquo; to the US Treasury's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network. This is not followed up (see also [[ a062900transfer ]]). incompetence Financial Times 11/29/01 News Article June 3, 2000 a060300attaenters 1 false Atta supposedly arrives in the US for the first time, flying from Prague to Newark on a tourist visa issued May 18 in Berlin. Miami Herald 9/22/01 News Article Australian Broadcasting Corp. 11/12/01 News Article <comment>Yet there's evidence someone using Atta's name and appearance was in the US before this</comment>(see [[ a0999 ]], [[ a0400atta ]], and [[ a0400portlandlibrary ]]). coverup June 10, 2000 a061000meeting 1 false Hijacker Khalid Almihdhar flies from San Diego to Frankfurt, Germany. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02</a>] Authorities later believe that Almihdhar visits his cousin-in-law Ramzi bin al-Shibh and bin al-Shibh's roommate Atta and other al-Qaeda members in bin al-Shibh's terrorist cell. But since the CIA fails to notify Germany about their suspicions of either Almihdhar or bin al-Shibh, both of whom were seen attending the al-Qaeda summit in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]), German police fail to monitor them and a chance to uncover the 9/11 plot is missed. incompetence timeline/2002/diezeit100102.html Die Zeit 10/1/02 News Article timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Note that FBI Director Mueller and the Congressional inquiry into 9/11 claim that Almihdhar doesn't return to the US for over a year (see [[ a070401khalidreenters ]]) [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html | Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html | Congressional Inquiry, 9/26/02 ]]], despite obvious evidence to the contrary. For instance, an FBI agent is told Khalid Almihdhar is in the room when he calls Almihdhar's landlord in autumn 2000 (see [[ aautumn00informant ]] and [[ a0900shaikh ]]) and there are indications Almihdhar attends a flight school in Arizona in early 2001. coverup timeline/2001/arizonarepublic092801.html Arizona Republic 9/28/01 News Article June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000 a062900transfer 1 false Someone using the aliases &ldquo;Isam Mansour,&rdquo; &ldquo;Mustafa Ahmed Al-Hisawi,&rdquo; &ldquo;Mr. Ali&rdquo; and &ldquo;Hani (Fawaz Trdng),&rdquo; sends a total of $109,910 to the 9/11 hijackers in a series of transfers between these dates. [[[ timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html | MSNBC, 12/11/01 ]], [[;STORY=/www/story/12-02-2001/0001625536 | Newsweek, 12/2/01 ]], [[;en=9e0421b0833d6666&amp;ex=1008999837&amp;pagewanted=print | New York Times, 12/10/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/financialtimes113001.html | Financial Times, 11/30/01 ]], [[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html | Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02 ]]] The money is sent from Sharjah, a emirate in the United Arab Emirates that is a center for al-Qaeda's illegal financial dealings (see [[ a1996ariana ]]). The identity of this money man &ldquo;Mustafa Ahmed al-Hisawi&rdquo;is in dispute (see [[ a092401manyfinancers ]]). It has been claimed that the name &ldquo;Mustafa Ahmed&rdquo; is an alias used by Saeed Sheikh, a known ISI and al-Qaeda agent who sends the hijackers money on other occasions (see [[ a0801kidnapping ]]). [[[ | CNN, 10/6/01 ]]] India claims ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed orders Saeed to send the hijackers the money at this time. isidrugs timeline/2001/frontline100601.html Frontline 10/6/01 News Article timeline/2001/dailyexcelsior101801.html Daily Excelsior 10/18/01 News Article FBI Director Mueller's most recent theory is that this money is sent by the previously unheard of &ldquo;Ali Abdul Aziz Ali.&rdquo; But of the four aliases used in the different transactions, Mueller connects this man only to three, and not to the alias &ldquo;Mustafa Ahmed Al-Hisawi.&rdquo; coverup;en=9e0421b0833d6666&amp;ex=1008999837&amp;pagewanted=print New York Times 12/10/01 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/26/02 News Article timeline/2002/ap092602.html AP 9/26/02 News Article It appears that most of the money is sent to an account shared by Marwan Alshehhi and Mohamed Atta, who would obtain money orders and distribute the money to the other hijackers. [<a href="" target=_new>CNN, 10/1/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html" target=_new>MSNBC, 12/11/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html" target=_new>Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02</a>] The New York Times later suggests that the amount passed from &ldquo;Mustafa Ahmed&rdquo; to the Florida bank accounts right until the day before the attack is around $325,000. The rest of the $500,000&#8211; $600,000 they receive for US expenses comes from another, still unknown source. New York Times 7/10/02 News Article July 2000 a0700ban 1 false In response to Western pressure, the Taliban ban poppy growing in Afghanistan. As a result, the opium yield drops dramatically in 2001, from 3,656 tons to 185 tons. Of that, 83 percent is from Northern Alliance controlled lands. However the effect isn't that great because there is a surplus in the West, and it is believed the Taliban have a large stockpile as well. isidrugs,3858,4360184,00.html Guardian 2/21/02 News Article timeline/2002/reuters030302.html Reuters 3/3/02 News Article,3858,4306940,00.html Observer 11/25/01 News Article July 2000 left Jack Roche. [AFP] 1 false Jack Roche, an Australian Caucasian Muslim, tries to inform on al-Qaeda for Australia or the US, but is ignored. Roche had come back from Afghanistan in April, where he took an explosives training course and met with bin Laden, Mohammed Atef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and other top al-Qaeda leaders. In Pakistan, Mohammed discussed attacking US jets in Australia and gave Roche money to start an al-Qaeda cell in Australia. Roche also met Hambali in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting | January 5-8, 2000 ]]) and is given more money there. Early this month he tries calling the US embassy in Australia but is ignored. He then tries to contact the Australian intelligence agency several times, but is also ignored by them. In September 2000 his housemate also tries to contact Australian intelligence about what he's learned from Roche but his call is ignored as well. Australian Prime Minister John Howard later acknowledges that authorities made a &ldquo;very serious mistake&rdquo; in ignoring Roche though he also downplays the importance of Roche's information. incompetence Roche is later sentenced to nine years in prison for conspiring with al-Qaeda to blow up an Israeli embassy. BBC 6/1/04 News Article,1,6914999.story Los Angeles Times 6/7/04 News Article July 2000 (B) a0700venice 1 false Atta and Marwan Alshehhi move to Venice, Florida, and enroll in pilot classes at Huffman Aviation. Chicago Sun-Times 9/16/01 News Article Summer-December 2000 a0900shaikh right Shaikh's house in Lemon Grove, California 1 false Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar move to the house of Abdussattar Shaikh in San Diego. San Diego Union-Tribune 9/16/01 News Article Shaikh, a local Muslim leader, is later revealed to be a &ldquo;tested&rdquo; undercover &ldquo;asset&rdquo; working with the local FBI. [[[ | Newsweek, 9/9/02 ]]] Shaikh inexplicably fails to tell his FBI handler important details about the hijackers and appears to be lying about many matters concerning them (see [[ aautumn00informant ]]). incompetence In early media reports, the two are said to have moved in around September (for instance, [[[ | South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01 ]], [[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 9/16/01 ]], [[ | Wall Street Journal, 9/17/01 ]]]) but the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry implies that Shaikh lied about this, and they moved in much earlier. Alhazmi stays until December (see also [[ aautumn00gasstation ]]); Almihdhar appears to be mostly out of the US after June (see [[ a061000meeting ]]). [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] Neighbors claim that Atta is a frequent visitor, and Hani Hanjour visits as well. Chicago Tribune 9/30/01 News Article AP 9/29/01 News Article Las Vegas Review Journal 10/26/01 News Article San Diego Channel 10 9/27/01 News Article San Diego Channel 10 10/11/01 News Article But Shaikh denies Atta's visits, the FBI never mentions them, and the media appears to have forgotten about them. coverup AP 9/29/01 News Article There is even one report that the two hijackers and Atta meet with suspected Saudi agent Omar al-Bayoumi around this time (see [[ asummer00attabayoumi ]]). Echoing reports from their first apartment (see [[ a011500usflightsandiego ]]), neighbors witness strange late night visits with Alhazmi and Almihdhar. [[[ | AP, 9/16/01 (D) ]]] For instance, one neighbor says, &ldquo;There was always a series of cars driving up to the house late at night. Sometimes they were nice cars. Sometimes they had darkened windows. They'd stay about 10 minutes.&rdquo;,8816,176069,00.html Time 9/24/01 (B) News Article Summer 2000 asummer00attabayoumi 1 false Anonymous government sources later claim that Atta visits fellow hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, and suspected al-Qaeda advance man and possible Saudi agent Omar al-Bayoumi (see [[ a0894dallahavco ]], [[ a120499princess ]], [[ a0200party ]], and [[ a112202 ]]). These same sources claim al-Bayoumi is identified after September 11 as an &ldquo;advance man&rdquo; for al-Qaeda. saudi Washington Times 11/26/02 News Article Other reports have suggested Atta visited Alhazmi and Almihdhar in San Diego (see [[ a0900shaikh ]]), but the FBI has never confirmed this. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article July 27, 2000 a072700bayer 1 false The FDA endorses the use of Bayer's Cipro drug to prevent inhalation anthrax. [[[ timeline/2000/reuters072800.html | Reuters, 7/28/00 ]]] <comment>Perhaps they hadn't been reading the Sunday Times recently (see [[ a051400bayer ]])?</comment> An official recommendation like this is highly unusual for the FDA. A 1997 Pentagon study of anthrax in rhesus monkeys showed that several other drugs were as effective as Cipro. The reason given for only recommending Cipro was the government wanted a weapon against anthrax should they come up against a strain resistant to drugs in the penicillin and tetracycline families of antibiotics. [[[ | New York Times, 10/21/01 (B) ]]] The pharmaceutical industry spent $177 million on lobbying in 1999 and 2000&#8212;more money than any other industry. The FDA has been accused of conflict of interest with companies including Bayer. anthrax timeline/2001/nyt110401.html New York Times 11/4/01 News Article August 12, 2000 a081200italy 1 false Italian intelligence successfully wiretap the al-Qaeda terrorist cell in Milan, Italy from late 1999 until summer 2001. [<a href="timeline/2002/bostonglobe080402.html" target=_new>Boston Globe, 8/4/02</a>] In a wiretapped conversation from this day, suspected Yemeni terrorist Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman tells wanted Egyptian terrorist Es Sayed about a massive strike against the enemies of Islam involving aircraft and the sky, a blow that &ldquo;will be written about in all the newspapers of the world. This will be one of those strikes that will never be forgotten&#8230;. This is a terrifying thing. This is a thing that will spread from south to north, from east to west: The person who came up with this program is a madman from a madhouse, a madman but a genius.&rdquo; In another conversation, Abdulrahman tells Es Sayed: &ldquo;I'm studying airplanes. I hope, God willing, that I can bring you a window or a piece of an airplane the next time we see each other.&rdquo; The comment is followed by laughter. advanceinfo Beginning in October 2000, FBI experts helped Italian police analyze the intercepts and warnings. Neither Italy nor the FBI understands their meaning until after 9/11, but apparently Italians understand enough to give the US an attack warning in March 2001 (see [[ a0301italy ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/latimes052902.html | Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02 ]], [[,3604,724304,00.html | Guardian, 5/30/02 ]], [[;node=&amp;contentId=A36296-2002May30&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 5/31/02 ]]] [[ | FTW ]] The Milan cell &ldquo;is believed to have created a cottage industry in supplying false passports and other bogus documents.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2002/bostonglobe080402.html | Boston Globe, 8/4/02 ]]] <comment>If the hijackers were using false identities (see also [[ a012401italy ]]), could Abdulrahman, current whereabouts unknown, actually have been one of the 9/11 hijackers?</comment> incompetence September 2000 (B) a0900kherchtou 1 false L'Houssaine Kherchtou arrives in the US to testify against other al-Qaeda agents. He reveals that from 1992 to 1995 he trained in Nairobi, Kenya to be a pilot for al-Qaeda. advanceinfo His training stopped when he left al-Qaeda in 1995. advanceinfo timeline/2001/statedepartment022201.html State Department 2/22/01 News Article September 2000 a0900paxamericana right People involved in the 2000 PNAC report (from top left): Vice President Cheney, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Cheney Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby, Undersecretary of State John Bolton, Und 1 false The neoconservative think-tank Project for the New American Century writes a &ldquo;blueprint&rdquo; for the &ldquo;creation of a &lsquo;global Pax Americana&rsquo; &rdquo; (see also [[ a060397pnac ]]). The document, entitled Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategies, Forces and Resources for a New Century, was written for the Bush team even before the 2000 Presidential election. It was commissioned by future Vice President Cheney, future Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, future Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz, Florida Governor and President Bush's brother Jeb Bush, and future Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff Lewis Libby. The report calls itself a &ldquo;blueprint for maintaining global US preeminence, precluding the rise of a great power rival, and shaping the international security order in line with American principles and interests.&rdquo; afghanwar The plan shows Bush intended to take military control of Persian Gulf oil whether or not Saddam Hussein was in power and should retain control of the region even if there is no threat. oil It says: &ldquo;The United States has for decades sought to play a more permanent role in Gulf regional security. While the unresolved conflict with Iraq provides the immediate justification, the need for a substantial American force presence in the Gulf transcends the issue of the regime of Saddam Hussein.&rdquo; The report calls for the control of space through a new &ldquo;US Space Forces,&rdquo; the political control of the internet, the subversion of any growth in political power of even close allies, and advocates &ldquo;regime change&rdquo; in China, North Korea, Libya, Syria, Iran and other countries. It also mentions that &ldquo;advanced forms of biological warfare that can &lsquo;target&rsquo; specific genotypes may transform biological warfare from the realm of terror to a politically useful tool.&rdquo; A British Member of Parliament says of the report, &ldquo;This is a blueprint for US world domination&#8212;a new world order of their making. These are the thought processes of fantasist Americans who want to control the world&rdquo; (see also [[ aspring00oilwars ]] and [[ a0401energypolicy ]]). [[[ | Sunday Herald, 9/7/02 ]], click to download the think tank report] However, the report complains that these changes are likely to take a long time, &ldquo;absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event&#8212;like a new Pearl Harbor.&rdquo; afghanwar timeline/2003/latimes011203.html Los Angeles Times 1/12/03 News Article In an NBC interview at about the same time, Vice Presidential candidate Cheney defends Bush Jr.'s position of maintaining Clinton's policy not to attack Iraq because the US should not act as though &ldquo;we were an imperialist power, willy-nilly moving into capitals in that part of the world, taking down governments.&rdquo; coverup;node=&amp;contentId=A43909-2003Jan11&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 1/12/02 News Article This report and the Project for the New American Century generally are mostly ignored until a few weeks before the start of the Iraq war (see [[ a0203pnacnews ]]). afghanwar September 2000 (D) a0900franks left General Tommy Franks. 1 false US General Tommy Franks, who will later lead the Afghanistan war, tours Central Asia in an attempt to build military aid relationships with nations there, but finds no takers. Russia's power in the region appears to be on the upswing instead. Russian Defense Minister Igor Sergeyev writes, &ldquo;The actions of Islamic extremists in Central Asia give Russia the chance to strengthen its position in the region.&rdquo; But shortly after 9/11, Russia and China agree to allow the US to establish temporary US military bases in Central Asia to prosecute the Afghanistan war. The bases become permanent, and the Guardian will write in early 2002, &ldquo;Both countries increasingly have good reasons to regret their accommodating stand. Having pushed, cajoled and bribed its way into their Central Asian backyard, the US clearly has no intention of leaving any time soon.&rdquo; afghanwar timeline/2002/guardian011002.html Guardian 1/10/02 News Article September 2000 (C) a0900fake 1 false A man named Mohamed Atta purchases a fake passport from the nonexistent &ldquo;Republic of Conch.&rdquo; The FBI says it is investigating if this is the hijacker Mohamed Atta. [<a href="timeline/2001/ap100301b.html" target=_new>AP, 10/3/01</a>] The &ldquo;Republic of Conch&rdquo; was created by some people in Key West, Florida, and they have made money by selling passports and flags. Some have repeatedly entered countries using the novelty passports, but it isn't known what passport Atta used on 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2001/miamiherald100301b.html" target=_new>Miami Herald, 10/3/01</a>] <comment>If the report is true, why would Atta have risked not getting on the plane when he had at least two other passports (one from Egypt, one from United Arab Emirates)?</comment> September 2000 (E) 1 false George W. Bush Jr., campaigning for president, writes in an article, &ldquo;And there is more to be done preparing here at home. I will put a high priority on detecting and responding to terrorism on our soil.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>National Guard Magazine, 9/00</a>] This repeats verbatim comments made in a speech a year before at the start of the presidential campaign [<a href="" target=_new>Citadel, 9/23/99</a>], and in both cases the context is about weapons of mass destruction. But after 9/11, now President Bush will say of bin Laden: &ldquo;I knew he was a menace and I knew he was a problem. I was prepared to look at a plan that would be a thoughtful plan that would bring him to justice, and would have given the order to do that. I have no hesitancy about going after him. But I didn't feel that sense of urgency.&rdquo; incompetence Washington Post 5/17/02 News Article September-October 2000 a0800predator left Predator footage of a man who is apparently bin Laden surrounded by an entourage heading to a mosque in 2000. 1 false An unmanned spy plane called the Predator begins flying over Afghanistan, showing incomparably detailed real-time video and photographs of the movements of what appears to be bin Laden and his aides. It flies successfully over Afghanistan 16 times. [<a href="timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404c.html" target=_new>9/11 Commission, 3/24/04 (C)</a>] President Clinton is impressed by a two-minute video of bin Laden crossing a street heading toward a mosque. Bin Laden is surrounded by a team of a dozen armed men creating a professional forward security perimeter as he moves. incompetence The Predator had been used since 1996 in the Balkans and also in Iraq. incompetence One Predator crashes on takeoff and another is chased by a fighter, but it apparently identifies bin Laden on three occasions. Its use is stopped in Afghanistan after a few trials, mostly because seasonal winds are picking up. incompetence It is agreed to resume the flights in the spring, but the Predator fails to fly over Afghanistan again until after 9/11 (see [[ a0101predator | January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001 ]] [[ a091001predator | September 4, 2001 (E) ]]). [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 220-221, incompetence <a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 12/30/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 12/19/01</a>] incompetence On September 15, 2001, CIA Director Tenet apparently inaccurately tells President Bush, &ldquo;The unmanned Predator surveillance aircraft that was now armed with Hellfire missiles had been operating for more than a year out of Uzbekistan to provide real-time video of Afghanistan.&rdquo; coverup;node=&amp;contentId=A50529-2002Jan28&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 1/29/02 News Article September-October 2000 a0900moussaoui 1 false Zacarias Moussaoui visits Malaysia twice, and stays at the very same condominium where the January al-Qaeda meeting was held (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). CNN 8/30/02 News Article timeline/2002/latimes020202.html Los Angeles Times 2/2/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A14662-2002Feb2&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 2/3/02 News Article After that meeting, Malaysian intelligence keeps watch on the condominium at the request of the CIA. But the CIA stops the surveillance before Moussaoui arrives, spoiling a chance to expose the 9/11 plot by monitoring Moussaoui's later travels. The Malaysians later say they were surprised by the CIA's lack of interest. &ldquo;We couldn't fathom it, really,&rdquo; Rais Yatim, Malaysia's Legal Affairs minister, told Newsweek. &ldquo;There was no show of concern.&rdquo; incompetence Newsweek 6/2/02 News Article While Moussaoui is in Malaysia, Yazid Sufaat, the owner of the condominium, signs letters falsely identifying Moussaoui as a representative of his wife's company. timeline/2002/reuters092002.html Reuters 9/20/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A14662-2002Feb2&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 2/3/02 News Article When Moussaoui is later arrested in the US about one month before the 9/11 attacks, this letter in his possession could have led investigators back to the condominium and the connections with the January 2000 meeting attended by two of the hijackers (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). [[[ | USA Today, 1/30/02 ]]] Moussaoui's belongings also contained phone numbers that could have linked him to Ramzi bin al-Shibh (and his roommate Atta), another participant in the Malaysian meeting. [[[,2933,40702,00.html | Associated Press, 12/12/01 (B) ]]] But the papers aren't examined until after the 9/11 attack (see [[ a091101moussoui ]]). incompetence September 15-October 1, 2000 a091500sydney 1 false Olympics officials later reveal that &ldquo;A fully loaded, fueled airliner crashing into the opening ceremony before a worldwide television audience at the Sydney Olympics was one of the greatest security fears for the Games.&rdquo; During the Olympics, Australia has six planes in the sky at all times ready to intercept any wayward aircraft. In fact, &ldquo;IOC officials said the scenario of a plane crash during the opening ceremony was uppermost in their security planning at every Olympics since terrorists struck in Munich in 1972.&rdquo; Bin Laden was considered the number one threat. [[[ | Sydney Morning Herald, 9/20/01 ]]] These security measures are similar to those used in the 1996 Atlanta Olympics (see [[ a070696atlanta | July 6-August 11, 1996 ]]) and other events (see [[ a012097inauguration | January 20, 1997 ]]). Similar planning is already underway before 9/11 for the 2002 Winter Olympics in Utah. advanceinfo,,SB108077920066470982,00.html Wall Street Journal 4/1/04 News Article Autumn 2000 aautumn00gasstation 1 false Hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi works at a gas station while living in San Diego (see [[ a011500usflightsandiego ]] and [[ a0900shaikh ]]). This is the only apparent instance of any of the hijackers having a job while in the US. He and hijacker Khalid Almihdhar also frequently socialize at the gas station, and Alhazmi works there on and off for about a month at some point after Almihdhar has gone overseas. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]], [[;node=&amp;contentId=A36963-2001Dec28&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 12/29/01 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] The station, Sam's Star Mart, is owned by Osama &ldquo;Sam&rdquo; Mustafa. [[[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25/03 ]]] Mustafa is first investigated by the FBI in 1991 after he tells a police officer that the US needs another Pan Am 103 attack and that he could be the one to carry it out. He also says all Americans should be killed because of the 1991 Iraq War. In 1994 he is investigated for being a member of the Palestinian terror groups PFLP and PLO and for threatening to kill an Israeli intelligence officer living in San Diego. The investigation is closed, incompetence but opens again in 1997 when he is tied to a possible terror plot in North Carolina. Apparently it is closed again before 9/11. incompetence He also associates with Osama Basnan (see [[ a0498basnan ]] and [[ a120499princess ]]) and others who have contacts with the hijackers. Witnesses claim he cheers when first told of the 9/11 attacks. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The gas station is managed by Ed Salamah. [[[ | San Diego Union-Tribune, 7/25/03 ]], [[;node=&amp;contentId=A36963-2001Dec28&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 12/29/01 ]]] In January 2000, the brother of a known al-Qaeda operative is under surveillance and is seen chatting with Salamah. The Los Angeles FBI office is investigating this operative, and calls Salamah about it. Salamah refuses to come to Los Angeles for an interview, and refuses to give his home address to be interviewed there. Faced with a reluctant witness, the FBI drops the matter. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Newsweek 7/28/03 News Article The hijackers are living with an FBI informant who is aware of their contact with at least Mustafa, and that informant has given reports about Mustafa to the FBI in the past. But the informant fails to tell the FBI about their contacts with him (see [[ aautumn00informant ]]). The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry strongly implies Salamah and Mustafa assisted the hijackers with the 9/11 plot, but the FBI appears uninterested in them and maintain the hijackers received no assistance from anyone. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article Autumn 2000 (B) aautumn00informant left Abdussattar Shaikh has only allowed the media to publish a photo of his profile 1 false While hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar live in the house of an FBI informant, Abdussattar Shaikh (see [[ a0900shaikh ]]), the informant continues to have contact with his FBI handler. The handler, Steven Butler, later claims that during summer Shaikh mentions the names &ldquo;Nawaf&rdquo; and &ldquo;Khalid&rdquo; in passing and that they are renting rooms from him. [[[ | Newsweek, 9/9/02 ]], [[ | AP, 7/25/03 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] On one occasion, Shaikh tells Butler on the phone he can't talk because Khalid is in the room. [[[ | Newsweek, 9/9/02 ]]] Butler is told they are good, religious Muslims who are legally in the US to visit and attend school. Butler asks Shaikh for their last names, but is not given them. He is not told they're pursuing flight training. Shaikh says they are apolitical and have done nothing to arouse suspicion. However, according to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, he later admits that Alhazmi has &ldquo;contacts with at least four individuals [he] knew were of interest to the FBI and about whom [he] had previously reported to the FBI.&rdquo; Three of these four people are being actively investigated at the time the hijackers are there. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The report mentions Osama Mustafa as one ([[ aautumn00gasstation ]]), and Shaikh admits that suspected Saudi agent Omar al-Bayoumi was a friend (see [[ a0998bayoumiinquiry ]]). [[[,1,7918449.story | Los Angeles Times, 7/25/03 ]], [[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The FBI later concludes Shaikh is not involved in the 9/11 plot, but they have serious doubts about his credibility. After 9/11 he gives inaccurate information and has an &ldquo;inconclusive&rdquo; polygraph examination about his foreknowledge of the 9/11 attack. The FBI believes he has contact with hijacker Hani Hanjour, but he claims to not recognize him. There are other &ldquo;significant inconsistencies&rdquo; in the informant's statements about the hijackers, including when he met first them and later meetings with them. The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry later concludes that had the informant's contacts with the hijackers been capitalized on, it &ldquo;would have given the San Diego FBI field office perhaps the Intelligence Community's best chance to unravel the September 11 plot.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article The FBI later tries to prevent Butler and Shaikh from testifying before the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. Butler ends up testifying but Shaikh does not (see [[ a100502shaikh ]] and [[ a100902butler ]]). coverup October 12, 2000 a101200cole right Damage to the USS Cole. 1 false The USS Cole is bombed in the Aden, Yemen harbor by al-Qaeda terrorists. 17 US soldiers are killed. [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 10/13/00</a>] The Prime Minister of Yemen at the time later claims that hijacker &ldquo;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.&rdquo;,4273,4277367,00.html Guardian 10/15/01 News Article John O'Neill and his team of 200 hundred FBI investigators enter Yemen two days later, but are unable to accomplish much due to restrictions placed on them, and tensions with US Ambassador 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 &ldquo;only detractor,&rdquo; O'Neill and much of his team is forced to leave in November, and the investigation stalls without his personal relationships to top Yemeni officials. [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 1/14/02</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/sundaytimes020302.html" target=_new>Sunday Times, 2/3/02</a>, <i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/14/02, p. 237] Increased security threats forces the reduced FBI team still in Yemen to withdraw altogether in June 2001. [<a href="" target=_new>PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (B)</a>] The Sunday Times later notes, &ldquo;The failure in Yemen may have blocked off lines of investigation that could have led directly to the terrorists preparing for September 11.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2002/sundaytimes020302.html Sunday Times 2/3/02 News Article October 24-26, 2000 a102400drill 1 false Pentagon officials carry out a &ldquo;detailed&rdquo; emergency drill based upon the crashing of a hijacked airliner into the Pentagon. [<a href="timeline/2000/mdwnewsservice110300.html" target=_new>MDW News Service, 11/3/00</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/mirror052402.html" target=_new>Mirror, 5/24/02</a>] The Pentagon is such an obvious target that, &ldquo;For years, staff at the Pentagon joked that they worked at &lsquo;Ground Zero&rsquo;, the spot at which an incoming nuclear missile aimed at America's defenses would explode. There is even a snack bar of that name in the central courtyard of the five-sided building, America's most obvious military bullseye.&rdquo; advanceinfo Telegraph 9/16/01 News Article After 9/11, a Pentagon spokesman will claim: &ldquo;The Pentagon was simply not aware that this aircraft was coming our way, and I doubt prior to Tuesday's event, anyone would have expected anything like that here.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Newsday, 9/23/01</a>] coverup FTW News Article Late Autumn 2000 aautumn00massoud 1 false Covert CIA support for Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Northern Alliance guerrilla leader fighting the Taliban, is minimal and fraying (see [[ a1099massoud | October 1999 (C) ]]). incompetence In the wake of the <i>USS Cole</i> bombing, the CIA develops a plan where the US would increase support for Massoud if he produces strong intelligence about bin Laden's whereabouts. Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke outlines this CIA proposal to National Security Advisor Sandy Berger, but Berger rejects it. Aid to Massoud continues to languish under the new Bush administration (see [[ a040601massoud | April 6, 2001 ]]), and nearly the exact same plan to aid Massoud is tentatively approved a week before 9/11 (see [[ a090401cabinetmeeting | September 4, 2001 ]]). isidrugs Washington Post 2/23/04 News Article November 2000 1 false According to a German television documentary, a secret meeting takes place between Taliban ministers and US officials in a Frankfurt hotel. Middlemen try to arrange a deal whereby the Taliban will hand bin Laden over, possibly to a third party, in return for official US recognition of Taliban rule in Afghanistan and an end to an economic embargo. Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Muttawakil supposedly says in the meeting: &ldquo;You can have him whenever the Americans are ready. Name us a country and we will extradite him.&rdquo; It is unclear how sincere the offer was. Reuters 6/5/04 News Article November 7, 2000 1 false In the wake of the <i>USS Cole</i> bombing (see [[ a101200cole | October 12, 2000 ]]) National Security Advisor Sandy Berger meets with Defense Secretary William Cohen to discuss a new approach to targeting bin Laden. Berger says, &ldquo;We've been hit many times, and we'll be hit again. Yet we have no option beyond cruise missiles.&rdquo; He once again brings up the idea of a &ldquo;boots on the ground&rdquo; option&#8212;a Delta Force special operation to get bin Laden (see [[ alate98boots | Late 1998-2000 ]]). A plan is drawn up but the order to do it is never given. Cohen and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton are against it. By December 21, the CIA reports that it strongly suspects that al-Qaeda is behind the bombing, but fails to definitively conclude that. That makes such an attack politically difficult. Says a former senior Clinton aide, &ldquo;If we had done anything, say, two weeks before the election, we'd be accused of helping [presidential candidate] Al Gore.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article Early December 2000 a1200alquso right Fahad al-Quso. 1 false Terrorist 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 <i>USS Cole</i> bombing, al-Quso was at the January 2000 Malaysian meeting with al-Qaeda agents Khallad bin Attash and hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting | January 5-8, 2000 ]]). 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; the FBI claims the CIA never gives them the requested information that could have led them to Alhazmi and Almihdhar as well. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 4/11/04 (B)</a>] For instance, there are pictures from the Malaysian meeting of al-Quso next to hijacker Khalid Almihdhar, but the CIA doesn't share the pictures with the FBI before 9/11. incompetence Newsweek 9/20/01 News Article Meanwhile, FBI head investigator John O'Neill feels al-Quso is holding back important information from his Yemeni captors and wants him interrogated by the FBI. But O'Neill had been kicked out of Yemen by his superiors a week or two before (see [[ a101200cole | October 12, 2000 ]]), and without his influential presence, the Yemeni government won't allow an interrogation. Al-Quso is finally interrogated days after 9/11, and 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 &ldquo;mind-boggling.&rdquo; incompetence PBS Frontline 10/3/02 News Article December 2000 (C) a1200bluesky 1 false The CIA's counterterrorism center develops an plan to strike at bin Laden in Afghanistan called the &ldquo;Blue Sky memo.&rdquo; It recommends increased support to anti-Taliban groups and especially a major effort to back Ahmed Shah Massoud's Northern Alliance, to tie down al-Qaeda personnel before they leave Afghanistan. No action is taken in the last few weeks of the Clinton administration; the CIA presses the ideas unsuccessfully early in the new Bush administration. incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404c.html 9/11 Commission 3/24/04 (C) News Article The National Security Council counterterrorism staff also prepare a strategy paper, incorporating ideas from the Blue Sky memo (see [[ a122000rollback | December 20, 2000 ]]). incompetence timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article December 2000-April 2001 a1200spyring 1 false According to later German reports, &ldquo;a whole horde of Israeli counter-terror investigators, posing as students, [follow] the trails of Arab terrorists and their cells in the United States &#8230; In the town of Hollywood, Florida, they [identify] &#8230; Atta and Marwan Alshehhi as possible terrorists. Agents [live] in the vicinity of the apartment of the two seemingly normal flight school students, observing them around the clock.&rdquo;Supposedly, around April, the Israeli agents are discovered and deported, terminating the investigation. [[[ timeline/2002/derspiegel100102.html | Der Spiegel, 10/1/02 ]]] However, 80 additional agents are apprehended between June and December 2001 [[[ timeline/2001/foxnews121201.html | Fox News, 12/12/01 ]]] and even more have been uncovered since (see [[ a050702 ]]). <comment>Did the surveillance of Atta and others in fact end in April? </comment>Other reports have implied the story and connection (see [[ a030502spyring ]]). israel Supposedly, the Mossad waits until late August 2001 before informing the CIA what it learns, and the CIA doesn't take the warning seriously (see [[ a082301mossad ]]). incompetence December 2000 a1200threat 1 false A classified section of the yearly National Intelligence Estimate report given to Congress downplays any threat to domestic aviation. It says that FBI investigations confirm domestic and international terrorist groups are operating within the US but they are focusing primarily on fundraising, recruiting new members, and disseminating propaganda. While international terrorists have conducted attacks on US soil, these acts represent anomalies in their traditional targeting which focuses on US interests overseas. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article December 2000 (B) 1 false CIA Director Tenet and other top CIA officials brief President-elect Bush, Vice President-elect Cheney, National Security Advisor Rice, and other incoming national security officials on al-Qaeda and covert action programs in Afghanistan. Deputy Director for Operations James Pavitt recalls conveying that bin Laden is one of the gravest threats to the country. Bush asks whether killing bin Laden would end the problem. Pavitt says he answers that killing bin Laden would have an impact but not stop the threat. The CIA recommends the most important action to combat al-Qaeda is to arm the Predator drone and use it over Afghanistan. timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission 3/24/04 News Article;storyID=4646224 Reuters 3/24/04 (B) News Article But while the drone is soon armed, Bush never gives the order to use it in Afghanistan until after 9/11 (see [[ a0101predator | January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001 ]]). incompetence December 19, 2000 a121900russia 1 false The Washington Post reports that &ldquo;the United States has quietly begun to align itself with those in the Russian government calling for military action against Afghanistan and has toyed with the idea of a new raid to wipe out Osama bin Laden. Until it backed off under local pressure, it went so far as to explore whether a Central Asian country would permit the use of its territory for such a purpose.&rdquo; Russia and the US are discussing &ldquo;what kind of government should replace the Taliban. Thus, while claiming to oppose a military solution to the Afghan problem, the United States is now talking about the overthrow of a regime that controls nearly the entire country, in the hope it can be replaced with a hypothetical government that does not exist even on paper.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2000/wpost121900.html | Washington Post, 12/19/00 ]]] It appears that all pre-9/11 plans to invade Afghanistan involve attacking from the north with Russia (see [[ a031501janes ]], [[ a062601russia ]] and [[ a072101berlin ]]), but 9/11 allows the US to do it without Russian help. afghanwar December 20, 2000 a122000rollback 1 false Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke submits a plan to &ldquo;roll back&rdquo; al-Qaeda over a period of three to five years until it is ineffectual. [<a href="timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html" target=_new>9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)</a>] The main component is a dramatic increase in covert aid to the Northern Alliance in Afghanistan to first tie down the terrorists and then &ldquo;eliminate the sanctuary&rdquo; for bin Laden. Financial support for terrorist activities would be systematically attacked, nations fighting al-Qaeda would be given aid to defeat them, and the US would plan for direct military and covert action in Afghanistan. The plan would cost several hundred million dollars. However, since there are only a few weeks left before the Bush administration takes over, it is decided to defer the decision to the new administration. One senior Clinton official later says, &ldquo;We would be handing [the Bush Administration] a war when they took office on Jan. 20. That wasn't going to happen.&rdquo; incompetence However, the plan is rejected by the Bush administration and no action is taken (see [[ a012501clarke | January 25, 2001 ]]). But, according to one senior Bush Administration official, the proposal amounts to &ldquo;everything we've done since 9/11.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article Russia's President Putin later claims he &ldquo;tried to egg on the previous Clinton administration &#8212; without success&#8212;to act militarily against the whole Taliban regime: &lsquo;Washington's reaction at the time really amazed me. They shrugged their shoulders and said matter-of-factly: &lsquo;We can't do anything because the Taliban does not want to turn him over.&rsquo; &rsquo; &rdquo; incompetence,3604,556254,00.html Guardian 9/22/01 News Article December 26, 2000 a122600stall 1 false Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, while still learning to fly in Florida, stall a small plane on a Miami International Airport runway. Unable to start the plane, they simply walk away. Flight controllers have to guide the waiting passenger airliners around the stalled aircraft until it is towed away 35 minutes later. They weren't supposed to be using that airport in the first place. The FAA threatens to investigate the two students and the flight school they are attending. The flight school sends records to the FAA, but no more is heard of the investigation. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 10/17/01</a>] &ldquo;Students do stupid things during their flight course, but this is quite stupid,&rdquo;says the owner of the flight school. Nothing was wrong with the plane. [<a href="" target=_new>CNN, 10/17/01</a>] <comment>Why did the investigation stop? Did the two ditch the plane intentionally to later lead investigators on a false trail?</comment> incompetence Early January 2001 1 false Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke briefs Secretary of State Powell about the al-Qaeda threat. He urges decisive and quick action against al-Qaeda. Powell meets with the CSG (Counterterrorism Security Group) containing senior counterterrorism officials from many agencies. He sees that all members of the group agree al-Qaeda is an important threat. For instance, Assistant Defense Secretary Brian Sheridan says to Powell, &ldquo;Make al-Qaeda your number one priority.&rdquo; advanceinfo Mid-March 2001 a0301early 1 false Hijackers Ahmed Alghamdi, Majed Moqed, Hani Hanjour, and Nawaf Alhazmi stay four days in the Fairfield Motor Inn, Fairfield, Connecticut. They meet with Eyad M. Alrababah, a Jordanian living in Bridgeport who has been charged with providing false identification to at least 50 illegal aliens. This meeting takes place about six weeks before the FBI says Moqed and Alghamdi enter the US. coverup timeline/2002/ap030602.html AP 3/6/02 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/26/02 News Article Mid-November 2001 a1101ismailkhan 1 false Ismail Khan, governor of Herat province and one of Afghanistan's most successful militia leaders, later claims that his troops and other Northern Alliance fighters held back at the request of the US from sweeping into Kandahar at this time. The reasoning was that the US didn't want the non-Pashtun Northern Alliance to conquer Pashtun areas. But Khan maintains &ldquo;we could have captured all the Taliban and the al-Qaeda groups. We could have arrested Osama bin Laden with all of his supporters.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2002/usatoday010202.html | USA Today, 1/2/02 ]]] British newspapers at the time report bin Laden is surrounded in a 30-mile area, but the conquest of Kandahar takes weeks without the Northern Alliance and bin Laden slips away. [[[ | CNN, 11/18/01 (B) ]]] <comment>Did the US not want the Northern Alliance to conquer this area in the hopes that a moderate version of the Taliban could remain in power (see [[ a111301kabul ]])?</comment> incompetence January 2001-September 11, 2001 a01toronto 1 false Numerous witnesses later recall seeing hijackers Mohamed Atta and/or Marwan Alshehhi in Nabil al-Marabh's Toronto apartment building and photocopy shop at various times during this year. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun092801.html | Toronto Sun, 9/28/01 ]], [[ timeline/2002/abcnews7013102.html | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] Al-Marabh has connections with other hijackers (see [[ aspring01almarabh | Spring 2001 (B) ]]) and other al-Qaeda figures (see [[ a89almarabh | 1989-May 2000 ]] and [[ a05300almarabh | May 30, 2000-September 11, 2001 ]]). Some of the dozens of eyewitness accounts say Atta sporadically works in the photocopy shop. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun102101.html | Toronto Sun, 10/21/01 ]]] Partially completed fake IDs are found in the store, which is owned by al-Marabh's uncle, and at al-Marabh's apartment. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun092801.html | Toronto Sun, 9/28/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/torontosun101601.html | Toronto Sun, 10/16/01 ]]] There is a large picture of bin Laden hanging in the store. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun102101.html | Toronto Sun, 10/21/01 ]]] &ldquo;Forensic officers said there are similarities in the paper stock, laminates and ink seized from the downtown store and that which was used in identification left behind by the [9/11 hijackers].&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun101601.html | Toronto Sun, 10/16/01 ]]] US and Canadian police later determine that there is a flurry of phone calls and financial transactions between al-Marabh, Atta, and Alshehhi days before the attacks. [[[ timeline/2001/torontosun111601.html | Toronto Sun, 11/16/01 ]]] US intelligence also intercepts al-Marabh's associates making phone calls immediately praising the 9/11 attacks. [[[ timeline/2001/ottawacitizen102901.html | Ottawa Citizen, 10/29/01 ]]] Al-Marabh is said to head a Toronto al-Qaeda cell, and three members of his cell have been arrested. timeline/2001/torontosun112301.html Toronto Sun 11/23/01 News Article Despite all of these al-Qaeda connections and more, the US later decides al-Marabh is not a terrorist and deports him to Syria (see [[ a091901almarabh | September 19, 2001-September 3, 2002 ]], [[ alate2002almarabhinformant | Late 2002 ]], and [[ a0104almarabh | January 2004 ]]). incompetence January-June 2001 a0101britain 1 false 11 of the 9/11 hijackers stay in or pass through Britain, according to the British Home Secretary and top investigators. Most come between April and June, just passing through from Dubai, United Arab Emirates. But investigators suspect some stay in Britain for training and fundraising (see [[ a0601britainmeeting ]]). Not all 11 names are given, but one can deduce from the press accounts that Ahmed Alghamdi, Salem Alhazmi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, and Saeed Alghamdi were definitely in Britain. Ahmed Alghamdi was one of several that should have been &ldquo;instantly &lsquo;red-flagged&rsquo; by British intelligence,&rdquo;because of his links to Raed Hijazi, a suspected ally of bin Laden being held in Jordan on charges of conspiring to destroy holy sites (see [[ aspring01almarabh ]]). incompetence Two of the following three also were in Britain: Wail Alshehri, Fayez Banihammad, and Abdulaziz Alomari. All or almost all appear to be the &ldquo;muscle&rdquo;(see [[ a042301muscle ]]) and specific leaders like Atta and Alshehhi are ruled out as having passed through. [[[ timeline/2001/londontimes092601.html | London Times, 9/26/01 ]], , [[ | BBC, 9/28/01 ]], [[ | Sunday Herald, 9/30/01 ]]] However, police are investigating if Mohamed Atta visited Britain in 1999 and 2000 together with some Algerians. [[[ | Telegraph, 9/30/01 ]]] The London Times also writes, &ldquo;Officials hope that the inquiries in Britain will disclose the true identities of the suicide team. Some are known to have arrived in Britain using false passports and fake identities that they kept for the hijack.&rdquo; This contradicts assertions by FBI Director Mueller that all the hijackers used their own, real names (see [[ a091601 ]]). coverup Mid-September 2001 a0901musharraf 1 false The Guardian later claims that Pakistani President Musharraf has a meeting of his 12 or 13 most senior officers. Musharraf proposes to support the US in the imminent war against the Taliban and bin Laden. Supposedly, four of his most senior generals oppose him outright in &ldquo;a stunning display of disloyalty.&rdquo; The four are ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, Lt. Gen. Muzaffar Usmani, Lt. Gen. Jamshaid Gulzar Kiani, and Lt. Gen. Mohammad Aziz Khan. All four are removed from power over the next month (see [[ a100701mahmood ]]). If this meeting took place, it's hard to see when it could have happened, since the article states it happened &ldquo;within days&rdquo; of 9/11, but Mahmood was in the US until late September 16 (see [[ a091101extended ]]), then flew to Afghanistan for two days (see [[ a091701mahmoodomar ]]), then possibly to Saudi Arabia (see [[ a091901secret ]]). [[[,2763,722049,00.html | Guardian, 5/25/02 ]]] <comment>Why would Musharraf send Mahmood on important diplomatic missions even late in the month if he is so disloyal?</comment> isidrugs January 2001 (B) a0101early 1 false Hijackers Hamza Alghamdi and Mohand Alshehri rent a post office box in Delray Beach, Florida, according to the Washington Post. Yet FBI Director Mueller later claims they don't enter the country until May 28, 2001. coverup Washington Post 9/30/01 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/26/02 News Article Mid-July 2001 a0701summit 1 false US intelligence reports another spike in warnings (see [[ a061301egypt | June 13, 2001 ]] and advanceinfo [[ a062001neonaziwarning | June 20, 2001 ]]) advanceinfo related to the July 20-22 G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy. The reports include specific threats discovered by the head of Russia's Federal Bodyguard Service that al-Qaeda will try to kill Bush as he attends the summit. [[[ | CNN, 3/02 ]]] Two days before the summit begins, the BBC reports: &ldquo;The huge force of officers and equipment which has been assembled to deal with unrest has been spurred on by a warning that supporters of Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden might attempt an air attack on some of the world leaders present.&rdquo; [[[ | BBC, 7/18/01 ]]] The attack is called off (see [[ a072001summit | July 20-22, 2001 ]]). advanceinfo January - September 10, 2001 1 false National Security Advisor Rice later says that in the 8 months Bush is president before 9/11, he is &ldquo;briefed by [CIA Director] George Tenet at least 40-some - 40-plus of his briefings dealt in one way or another with al-Qaeda, or the al-Qaeda threat.&rdquo; Tenet claims that none of the warnings specifically indicate terrorists plan to fly hijacked commercial aircraft into buildings in the United States. New York Times 4/4/04 (B) News Article Mid-June 2001 a0601tape 1 false A two-hour video tape of al-Qaeda terrorists training at an Afghanistan camp appears in Kuwait and subsequently makes its way to the internet. The tape shows bin Laden making threats against the US and terrorists attacking targets bearing US emblems. advanceinfo Sunday Herald 9/23/01 News Article Mid-July 2001 (C) 1 false CIA Director Tenet has a special meeting with National Security Advisor Rice and her aides about al-Qaeda. Says one official at the meeting, &ldquo;[Tenet] briefed [Rice] that there was going to be a major attack.&rdquo; Another at the meeting says Tenet displays a huge wall chart showing dozens of threats. Tenet doesn't rule out a domestic attack but says an overseas attack is more likely. advanceinfo timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article Mid-August 2001 (B) amid0801haq 1 false Abdul Haq, a famous Afghan leader of the mujaheddin, returns to Peshawar, Pakistan, from the US. Having failed to gain US support (see [[ a0201haq ]]), except for that of some private individuals such as former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, Haq begins organizing subversive operations in Afghanistan. afghanwar,0,3294256.story Los Angeles Times 10/28/01 (B) News Article Wall Street Journal 11/2/01 News Article He is later killed entering Afghanistan in October 2001, after his position is betrayed to the Taliban by the ISI (see [[ a102501haq ]]). isidrugs Mid-July 2001 (B) a0701oneill 1 false John O'Neill, FBI counter-terrorism expert, privately discusses White House obstruction in his bin Laden investigation. O'Neill says: &ldquo;The main obstacles to investigate Islamic terrorism were saudi US oil corporate interests oil and the role played by Saudi Arabia in it.&rdquo; He adds: &ldquo;All the answers, everything needed to dismantle Osama bin Laden's organization, can be found in Saudi Arabia.&rdquo; saudi 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. oil CNN 1/8/02 News Article timeline/2002/cnn010902.html CNN 1/9/02 News Article timeline/2001/irishtimes111901.html Irish Times 11/19/01 News Article timeline/nodate/forbiddentruth.html Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth News Article January-February 2001 a0101hanjour 1 false In January, the Arizona flight school JetTech alerts the FAA about hijacker Hani Hanjour. No one at the school suspects Hanjour of terrorist intent, but they tell the FAA he lacks both the English and flying skills necessary for the commercial pilot's license he has. The flight school manager: &ldquo;I couldn't believe he had a commercial license of any kind with the skills that he had.&rdquo; A former employee says, &ldquo;I'm still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon. He could not fly at all.&rdquo; They also note he is an exceptionally poor student who doesn't seem to care about passing his courses. New York Times 5/4/02 (B) News Article An FAA official named John Anthony actually sits next to Hanjour in class and observes his skills. He suggests the use of a translator to help Hanjour pass, but the flight school points out that goes &ldquo;against the rules that require a pilot to be able to write and speak English fluently before they even get their license.&rdquo; [<a href=",2933,52408,00.html" target=_new>AP, 5/10/02</a>] The FAA verifies that Hanjour's pilot's license is legitimate, but takes no other action. But since 9/11, the FBI appears to have questions about how Hanjour got his license in 1999. They have questioned and polygraphed the Arab American instructor who signed off on his flying skills. [<a href="" target=_new>CBS, 5/10/02</a>] His license also in fact had already expired in late 1999. [<a href="" target=_new>AP, 9/15/01 (B)</a>] In February, Hanjour begins advanced simulator training, &ldquo;a far more complicated task than he had faced in earning a commercial license.&rdquo; [<a href=";position=top" target=_new>New York Times, 6/19/02</a>] The flight school again alerts the FAA about this and gives a total of five alerts about Hanjour, but no further action on him is taken. incompetence The FBI is not told about Hanjour. [[[ | CBS, 5/10/02 ]]] Ironically, a few months later, Arizona FBI agent Ken Williams recommends in a memo that the FBI liaison with local flight schools and keep track of suspicious activity by Middle Eastern students (see [[ a071001williams ]]). Early 2001 right Donald Kerrick. 1 false Clinton and Bush staff overlap for several months while new Bush appointees are appointed and confirmed. Clinton holdovers seem more concerned about al-Qaeda than the new Bush staffers. For instance, according to a colleague, Clinton's National Security Advisor Sandy Berger had become &ldquo;totally preoccupied&rdquo; with fears of a domestic terror attack. incompetence timeline/2002/newsweek052702.html Newsweek 5/27/02 News Article Brian Sheridan, Clinton's outgoing assistant Secretary of Defense for special operations and low intensity conflict, is astonished when his offers during the transition to bring the new Pentagon leadership up to speed on terrorism are brushed aside. &ldquo;I offered to brief anyone, any time on any topic. Never took it up.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2004/latimes033004.html Los Angeles Times 3/30/04 News Article Army Lt. Gen. Donald Kerrick, Deputy National Security Advisor and manager of Clinton's NSC (National Security Council) staff, remains at the NSC nearly four months after Bush took office. He notes that Clinton's advisers met &ldquo;nearly weekly&rdquo; on terrorism by the end of his term. incompetence But he doesn't detect the same kind of focus with the new Bush advisers: &ldquo;That's not being derogatory. It's just a fact. I didn't detect any activity but what [Clinton holdover] Dick Clarke and the CSG [Counterterrorism Security Group] were doing.&rdquo; incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article He submits a memo to the new people at the NSC, warning, &ldquo;We are going to be struck again.&rdquo; incompetence He says, &ldquo;They never responded. It was not high on their priority list. I was never invited to one meeting. They never asked me to do anything. They were not focusing. They didn't see terrorism as the big megaissue that the Clinton administration saw it as.&rdquo; incompetence Kerrick adds, &ldquo;They were gambling nothing would happen.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2004/latimes033004.html" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 3/30/04</a>] Bush's first Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman, Henry Shelton, later says terrorism moved &ldquo;to the back burner&rdquo; until 9/11. incompetence Washington Post 10/2/02 News Article Early 2001 (B) 1 false The heads of the US military, the Joint Chiefs of Staff, are frustrated by the lack of CIA disinformation operations to create dissent among the Taliban. At the very end of the Clinton administration they start developing a Taliban disinformation project of their own, which would go into effect in 2001. When they are briefed, the Defense Department's new leaders kill the project. Joint Chiefs of Staff ChairmanHenry Shelton says, &ldquo;[Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld and Deputy [Defense] Secretary Paul Wolfowitz were against the Joint Staff having the lead on this.&rdquo; They consider this a distraction from their core military missions. According to Shelton, as far as Rumsfeld was concerned, &ldquo;this terrorism thing was out there, but it didn't happen today, so maybe it belongs lower on the list&#8230;so it gets defused over a long period of time.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2004/latimes033004.html Los Angeles Times 3/30/04 News Article January 3, 2001 1 false Richard Clarke, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; for the Clinton administration, briefs National Security Advisor Rice and her deputy, Steve Hadley about al-Qaeda.;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article Outgoing National Security Advisor Sandy Berger makes an unusual appearance at the start of the meeting, saying to Rice, &ldquo;I'm coming to this briefing to underscore how important I think this subject is.&rdquo; He claims that he tells Rice during the transition between administrations, &ldquo;I believe that the Bush Administration will spend more time on terrorism generally, and on al-Qaeda specifically, than any other subject.&rdquo; advanceinfo Clarke presents his plan to &ldquo;roll back&rdquo; al-Qaeda that he'd given to the outgoing Clinton administration a couple of weeks earlier (see [[ a122000rollback | December 20, 2000 ]]). timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article He gets the impression that Rice has never heard the term al-Qaeda before. Rice decides this day to retain Clarke and his staff, but downgrades his official position, National Coordinator for Counterterrorism (see [[ a052298tsar | May 22, 1998 ]]). While he is still known as the counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar,&rdquo; he has less power and now reports to deputy secretaries instead of attending Cabinet-level meetings. He no longer is able to send memos directly to the president. incompetence,11209,1177418,00.html Guardian 3/25/04 News Article January 4, 2001 (B) a010401spain 1 false Atta flies from Miami, Florida to Madrid, Spain. He has been in the US since June 3, 2000, learning to fly in Florida with Marwan Alshehhi. [[[ | Miami Herald, 9/22/01 ]]] He returns to the US on January 10 (see [[ a011001attains ]]). He makes a second trip to Spain later that year (see [[ a070801spain ]]). January 4, 2001 a0101binatash right Khallad bin Attash 1 false The FBI's investigation into the USS Cole bombing learns that terrorist Khallad bin Attash had been a principal planner of the bombing [[[ | AP, 9/21/02 (B) ]]], and that two other participants in the bombing had delivered money to bin Attash at the time of the January 2000 al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]). The FBI shares this information with the CIA. Based on a description of bin Attash from an informant, CIA analysts reexamine pictures from the Malaysian meeting and identify bin Attash with both hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi. The CIA has already been informed that Alhazmi at least has entered the US (see [[ a0300warning ]]), yet once again they failed to watch list either Alhazmi or Almihdhar. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] CNN later notes that at this point the CIA at least &ldquo;could have put Alhazmi and Almihdhar and all others who attended the meeting in Malaysia on a watch list to be kept out of this country. It was not done.&rdquo; [[[ | CNN, 6/4/02 ]]] More incredibly, even bin Attash is not placed on the watch list at this time, despite being labeled as the principal planner of the Cole bombing (he is finally placed on the watch list in August 2001 (see [[ a082301watchlist ]])). incompetence timeline/2002/latimes092202.html Los Angeles Times 9/22/02 News Article CIA headquarters is told what these CIA analysts have learned, but it appears the FBI is not told. incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article January 10, 2001 a011001attains 1 false &ldquo;INS documents, matched against an FBI alert given to German police, show two men named Mohamed Atta [arrive] in Miami on Jan. 10, each offering different destination addresses to INS agents, one in Nokomis, near Venice, the other at a Coral Springs condo. He was admitted, despite having overstayed his previous visa by a month. The double entry could be a paperwork error, confusion over a visa extension. It could be Atta arrived in Miami, flew to another country like the Bahamas and returned the same day. Or it could be that two men somehow cleared immigration with the same name using the same passport number.&rdquo;[<a href="" target=_new>Miami Herald, 9/22/01</a>] Officials later call this a bureaucratic snafu, and insist only one Atta entered the US on this date. [<a href="" target=_new>AP, 10/28/01</a>]<comment> If this was just a bureaucratic snafu and the same entry processed twice, then why are different destination addresses given in each case? Could someone else posing as Atta have entered the US on this day?</comment> Also, Atta arrives on a tourist visa yet tells immigration inspectors that he is taking flying lessons in the US, which requires a M-1 student visa. [<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A63328-2001Oct27" target=_new>Washington Post, 10/28/01</a>] The fact that he had overstayed his visa over a month on a previous visit also doesn't cause a problem. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01</a>] The INS later defends its decision, but &ldquo;immigration experts outside the agency dispute the INS position vigorously.&rdquo; For instance Stephen Yale-Loehr, co-author of a 20-volume treatise on immigration law: &ldquo;They just don't want to tell you they blew it. They should just admit they made a mistake.&rdquo; incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A63328-2001Oct27 Washington Post 10/28/01 News Article January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001 a0101predator right A Predator drone. 1 false Even before Bush's official inauguration, Clinton holdover counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke pushes National Security Advisor Rice and other incoming Bush officials to resume Predator drone flights over Afghanistan in an attempt to find and assassinate bin Laden (see [[ a0800predator | September-October 2000 (B) ]]). [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 | Washington Post, 1/20/02 ]], [[ | CBS, 6/25/03 ]]] On January 10, Rice is shown a video clip of bin Laden filmed by a Predator drone the year before. incompetence afghanwar;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article Clarke learns of an Air Force plan to arm the Predator. The original plan calls for three years of testing, but Clarke pushes so hard that the armed Predator is ready in three months. [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 7/28/03</a>] A Hellfire missile is successfully test fired from a Predator on February 16, 2001. [<a href="" target=_new>CBS, 6/25/03</a>] In early June, a duplicate of the brick house where bin Laden is believed to be living in Kandahar, Afghanistan is built in Nevada, and destroyed by a Predator missile. The test shows that the missile fired from miles away would have killed anyone in the building, and one participant calls this the long sought after &ldquo;holy grail&rdquo; that could kill bin Laden within minutes of finding him. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article Clarke repeatedly advocates using the Predator, armed or unarmed (see [[ a012501clarke | January 25, 2001 ]], [[ a030701twoprong | March 7, 2001 (B) ]],[[ a043001deputies | April 30, 2001 ]]). incompetence However, bureaucratic infighting between the CIA and the Air Force over who would pay for it and take responsibility delays its use. Clarke says, &ldquo;Every time we were ready to use it, the CIA would change its mind.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>New Yorker, 7/28/03</a>] National Security Advisor Rice and her deputy Steve Hadley decide to hold off on reconnaissance flights until the armed version in ready. In July, Hadley directs the military to have armed Predators ready to deploy no later than September 1. [<a href="timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html" target=_new>9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)</a>] The issue comes to a head in early September incompetence , but even then a decision to use the Predator is delayed (see [[ a090401cabinetmeeting ]] [[ a091001predator | September 4, 2001 (E) ]]). incompetence New Yorker 7/28/03 News Article January 11-18, 2001 a011101alshehhi 1 false Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi flies from the US to Casablanca, Morocco and back, for reasons unknown. He is able to reenter the US without trouble, despite having overstayed his previous visa by about five weeks. incompetence timeline/2002/justicedepartment052002.html Department of Justice 5/20/02 News Article Los Angeles Times 9/27/01 News Article January 19, 2001 a011901sanctions 1 false New United Nations sanctions against Afghanistan take effect, adding to those from 1999 (see [[ a111499sanctions | November 14, 1999 ]]). The sanctions limit travel by senior Taliban authorities, freeze bin Laden's and the Taliban's assets, and order the closure of Ariana Airlines offices abroad. The sanctions also impose an arms embargo against the Taliban, but not against Northern Alliance forces battling the Taliban. timeline/2000/ap121900.html AP 12/19/00 News Article The arms embargo has no visible effect because the sanctions fail to stop Pakistani military assistance. isidrugs timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article The sanctions also fail to stop the illegal trade network the Taliban is secretly running through Ariana (see [[ a1996ariana | Mid-1996-October 2001 ]]). Two companies, Air Cess and Flying Dolphin, take over most of Ariana's traffic. Air Cess is owned by the Russian arms dealer Victor Bout, and Flying Dolphin is owned by the United Arab Emirates' former ambassador to the US, who is also an associate of Bout (see [[ a1096bout | October 1996 ]]). In late 2000, despite UN reports linking Flying Dolphin to arms smuggling, the United Nations gives Flying Dolphin permission to take over Ariana's closed routes, which it does until the new sanctions take effect. Bout's operations are still functioning and he has not been arrested. incompetence Los Angeles Times 1/20/02 News Article timeline/2002/montrealgazette020502.html Montreal Gazette 2/5/02 News Article Ariana is essentially destroyed in the October 2001 US bombing of Afghanistan.,0,7388562.story Los Angeles Times 11/18/01 News Article January 21, 2001 a012101bushjr 1 false George Bush Jr. is inaugurated as the 43rd US President, replacing Clinton. The only Cabinet-level figure to permanently remain in office is CIA Director Tenet, appointed in 1997 and reputedly a long time friend of Bush Sr. FBI Director Louis Freeh stays on until June 2001. Numerous figures in Bush's administration have been directly employed in the oil industry, including Bush, Vice President Cheney and National Security Advisor Rice. It is later revealed that Cheney is still being paid up to $1 million a year in &ldquo;deferred payments&rdquo; from Halliburton, the oil company he headed. [<a href=",2763,912515,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 3/12/03</a>] Enron's ties also reach deep into the administration. oil timeline/2002/wpost011802.html Washington Post 1/18/02 News Article Security precautions are taken to guard against the possibility of an attack on the inauguration ceremony using an airplane as a flying weapon (see also [[ a012097inauguration | January 20, 1997 ]]).,,SB108077920066470982,00.html Wall Street Journal 4/1/04 News Article January 24, 2001 a012401italy 1 false On this day, Italian intelligence hear another interesting wiretapped conversation (see also [[ a081200italy ]]), this one between terrorists Es Sayed and Ben Soltane Adel, two member's of al-Qaeda's Milan cell. Adel asks, in reference to fake documents, &ldquo;Will these work for the brothers who are going to the United States?&rdquo; Sayed responds angrily, saying &ldquo;Don't ever say those words again, not even joking!&rdquo; &ldquo;If it's necessary &#8230; whatever place we may be, come up and talk in my ear, because these are very important things. You must know &#8230; that this plan is very, very secret, as if you were protecting the security of the state.&rdquo; advanceinfo This is only one of many clues found from the Italian wiretaps and passed on to US intelligence in March 2001 (see [[ a0301italy ]]). But they apparently are not properly understood until after 9/11. The Spanish government claims to have uncovered 9/11 clues from wiretaps as well (see [[ a082701 ]]), and a priest was told of the 9/11 plot at an Italian wedding (see [[ a090701wedding ]]), suggesting a surprising number of people in Europe may have had foreknowledge of 9/11. [[[ timeline/2002/latimes052902.html | Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02 ]]] Adel is later arrested and convicted of belonging to a terrorist cell and Es Sayed fled to Afghanistan in July 2001. incompetence,3604,724304,00.html Guardian 5/30/02 News Article January 25, 2001 a012501clarke 1 false Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke submits a proposal to National Security Advisor Rice and &ldquo;urgently&rdquo; asks for a Cabinet-level meeting on the al-Qaeda threat. [<i>Against All Enemies, </i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 230-231] He forwards his December 2000 strategy paper (see [[ a122000rollback | December 20, 2000 ]]) and a copy of his 1998 Delenda plan (see [[ a082798delenda | August 27, 1998 ]]). He lays out a proposed agenda for urgent action: <ol> <li>Approve covert assistance to Ahmed Shah Massoud's Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban. [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D) ]]]</li> <li>Significantly increase funding for CIA counterterrorism activity. [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D) ]]]</li> <li>Respond to the USS Cole bombing with an attack on al-Qaeda. The link between al-Qaeda and that bombing had been assumed for months and is confirmed in the media two days later (see [[ a012701norevenge | January 27, 2001 ]])). According to the Washington Post, &ldquo;Clarke argue[s] that the camps [are] can't-miss targets, and they [matter]. The facilities [amount] to conveyor belts for al-Qaeda's human capital, with raw recruits arriving and trained fighters departing either for front lines against the Northern Alliance, the Afghan rebel coalition, or against American interests somewhere else. The US government had whole libraries of images filmed over Tarnak Qila and its sister camp, Garmabat Ghar, 19 miles farther west. Why watch al-Qaeda train several thousand men a year and then chase them around the world when they left?&rdquo; incompetence No retaliation is taken on these camps until after 9/11. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article </li> <li>Go forward with new Predator drone reconnaissance missions in the spring and use an armed version when it's ready (see [[ a0101predator | January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001 ]]). [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D) ]]]</li> <li> Step up the fight against terrorist fundraising. [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D) ]]]</li> <li> incompetence Be aware that al-Qaeda sleeper cells in the US are not just a potential threat, but are a &ldquo;major threat in being.&rdquo; Additionally, more attacks have almost certainly been set in motion. advanceinfo PBS Frontline 10/3/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article /> </li> </ol> Rice's response to Clarke's proposal is that the Cabinet won't address the issue until it has been &ldquo;framed&rdquo; at the deputy secretary level. However, this initial deputy meeting is not given high priority and doesn't take place until April 2001 (see [[ a043001deputies | April 30, 2001 ]]). incompetence Henry Shelton, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman until 9/11, says, &ldquo;The squeaky wheel was Dick Clarke, but he wasn't at the top of their priority list, so the lights went out for a few months. Dick did a pretty good job because he's abrasive as hell, but given the [bureaucratic] level he was at&rdquo; there was no progress. [<a href="timeline/2004/latimes033004.html" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 3/30/04</a>, <i>The Age of Sacred Terror</i>, by Daniel Benjamin and Steven Simon, 10/02, pp. 335-336] Some counterterrorism officials think the new administration responds slowly simply because Clarke's proposal originally came from the Clinton administration. [<a href="timeline/2002/time080402.html" target=_new>Time, 8/4/02</a>] For instance, Thomas Maertenson, on the National Security Council in both the Clinton and Bush Jr. administrations, says, &ldquo;They really believed their campaign rhetoric about the Clinton administration. So anything [that administration] did was bad, and the Bushies were not going to repeat it.&rdquo; incompetence January 25, 2001 a012501clarke left Richard Clarke. 1 false Richard Clarke, National Security Council Chief of Counterterrorism and holdover from the Clinton administration, submits a proposal to the new administration for an attack on al-Qaeda in revenge of the USS Cole bombing. In the wake of that bombing, Bush stated on the campaign trail: &ldquo;I hope that we can gather enough intelligence to figure out who did the act and take the necessary action &#8230; there must be a consequence.&rdquo; According to the Washington Post: &ldquo;Clarke argue[s] that the camps were can't-miss targets, and they [matter]. The facilities [amount] to conveyor belts for al-Qaeda's human capital, with raw recruits arriving and trained fighters departing&#8212;either for front lines against the Northern Alliance, the Afghan rebel coalition, or against American interests somewhere else. The US government had whole libraries of images filmed over Tarnak Qila and its sister camp, Garmabat Ghar, 19 miles farther west. Why watch al-Qaeda train several thousand men a year and then chase them around the world when they left?&rdquo;[<a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19" target=_new>Washington Post, 1/20/02</a>] Clarke also warns that there are al-Qaeda sleeper cells in the US, which are a &ldquo;major threat in being.&rdquo; Two days later, the US confirms the link between al-Qaeda and the USS Cole bombing. PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (D) News Article No retaliation is taken on these camps until after 9/11. Other suggestions by Clarke, such as supporting the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban or boosting the CIA Counterterrorism Center approximately $50 million budget, also go unheeded. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article January 27, 2001 (B) a012701norevenge 1 false The Washington Post reports that the US has confirmed the link between al-Qaeda and the <i>USS Cole</i> bombing (see [[ a101200cole | October 12, 2000 ]]). [[[;contentId=A53244-2001Jan26Found=true | Washington Post, 1/27/01 ]]] This conclusion is stated without hedge in a February 9 briefing for Vice President Cheney. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 | Washington Post, 1/20/02 ]]] In the wake of that bombing, Bush stated on the campaign trail: &ldquo;I hope that we can gather enough intelligence to figure out who did the act and take the necessary action&#8230; there must be a consequence.&rdquo;[[[;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 | Washington Post, 1/20/02 ]]]Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz later complains that by the time the new administration is in place, the Cole bombing was &ldquo;stale.&rdquo; Defense Secretary Rumsfeld also states too much time had passed to respond. [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B) ]]] The new Bush administration incompetence fails to resume the covert deployment of cruise missile submarines and gunships on six-hour alert near Afghanistan's borders that had begun under President Clinton (see [[ alate98subs | Late 1998-2000 ]]). The standby force gave Clinton the option of an immediate strike against targets in Afghanistan harboring al-Qaeda's top leadership. This makes a possible assassination of bin Laden much more difficult. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article Late January 2001 a0101backoff 1 false The BBC later reports, &ldquo;After the elections, [US intelligence] agencies [are] told to &lsquo;back off&rsquo; investigating coverup the Bin Ladens and Saudi royals, saudi and that anger[s] agents.&rdquo; coverup This follows previous orders to abandon an investigation of bin Laden relatives (see [[ a96wamy ]]), and difficulties in investigating Saudi royalty. [[[ | BBC, 11/6/01 ]]] saudi FTW News Article An unnamed &ldquo;top-level CIA operative&rdquo; says there is a &ldquo;major policy shift&rdquo; at the National Security Agency at this time. Osama bin Laden could still be investigated, but agents could not look too closely at how he got his money. coverup Best Democracy Money Can Buy News Article Presumably one such investigation canceled is an investigation by the Chicago FBI into ties between Saudi multimillionaire Yassin al-Qadi and the US embassy bombings (see [[ a080798embassy ]]) and other terrorist acts, because during this month an FBI agent is told that the case is being closed and that &ldquo;it's just better to let sleeping dogs lie&rdquo;(see [[ a1098alqadi ]]). Reporter Greg Palast notes that President Clinton was already hindering investigations by protecting Saudi interests. But, as he puts it, &ldquo;Where Clinton said, &lsquo;Go slow,&rsquo; Bush policymakers said, &lsquo;No go.&rsquo; The difference is between closing one eye and closing them both.&rdquo; saudi Best Democracy Money Can Buy News Article January 30, 2001 a013001 1 false Hijacker Ziad Jarrah is questioned for several hours at the Dubai International Airport, United Arab Emirates, at the request of the CIA for &ldquo;suspected involvement in terrorist activities,&rdquo; then let go. incompetence This is according to United Arab Emirates, US and European officials, but the CIA denies the story. coverup The CIA notified local officials that he would be arriving from Pakistan on his way back to Europe, and they wanted to know where he had been in Afghanistan and how long he had been there. US officials were informed of the results of the interrogation before Jarrah left the airport. Jarrah had already been in the US for six months learning to fly. &ldquo;UAE and European intelligence sources told CNN that the questioning of Jarrah fits a pattern of a CIA operation begun in 1999 to track suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were traveling through the United Arab Emirates.&rdquo; He was then permitted to leave, eventually going to the US. [[[ | CNN, 8/1/02 ]]] <comment>Why the US would flag him now but not when he entered the US or after is unclear (see [[ a090901jarrah ]]). </comment> incompetence January 31, 2001 a013101report 1 false The final report of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart (D), and Warren Rudman (R) is issued (see also [[ a091599report | September 15, 1999 ]]). The bipartisan report was put together in 1998 by then-President Bill Clinton and then-House Speaker Newt Gingrich. Hart and Rudman personally brief National Security Advisor Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, and Secretary of State Powell on their findings. The report has 50 recommendations on how to combat terrorism in the US, but all of them are ignored by the Bush Administration. According to Senator Hart, Congress begins to take the commission's suggestions seriously in March and April, and legislation is introduced to implement some of the recommendations. But then, &ldquo;Frankly, the White House shut it down&#8230;The president said &lsquo;Please wait, we're going to turn this over to the vice president&rsquo; &#8230;And so Congress moved on to other things, like tax cuts and the issue of the day.&rdquo; The White House announces in May that it will have Vice President Cheney study the potential problem of domestic terrorism (see [[ a050801cheneytaskforce | May 8, 2001 ]]), despite the fact that this commission had just studied the issue for 2 1/2 years. Interestingly, both this commission and the Bush Administration were already assuming a new cabinet level National Homeland Security Agency would be enacted eventually even as the general public remained unaware of the term and the concept. [[[ | Salon, 9/12/01 ]], [[ | Salon, 4/2/04 ]] download the complete report here: [[ | USCNS Reports ]]] Hart is incredulous that neither he nor any of the other members of this commission are ever asked to testify before the 9/11 Commission. incompetence Salon 4/6/04 News Article January 31, 2001 (B) a013101iraq 1 false The Bush Administration holds its first National Security Council meeting, ten days after Bush's inauguration. According to Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill's account in a 2004 book, the first and most important topic discussed is Iraq. O'Neill states that &ldquo;From the very beginning, there was a conviction that Saddam Hussein was a bad person and that he needed to go.&rdquo; There was no dissent amongst top officials to this idea. O'Neill states, &ldquo;It was all about finding a way to do it. That was the tone of it. The president saying &lsquo;Go find me a way to do this.&rsquo; For me, the notion of pre-emption, that the US has the unilateral right to do whatever we decide to do, is a really huge leap.&rdquo; afghanwar CBS 1/11/04 News Article O'Neill also claims, &ldquo;In the 23 months I was [Treasury Secretary], I never saw anything that I would characterize as evidence of weapons of mass destruction.&rdquo;,9171,1101040119-574809,00.html Time 1/10/04 News Article February 2001 a0201sanantonio 1 false At least six unconnected people later claim they recognize hijackers Satam Al Suqami and Salem Alhazmi living in San Antonio, Texas, until this month. The management of an apartment building says the two men abandoned their leases at about this time, and some apartment residents recognize them. However, all the witnesses say that Suqami was going by Alhazmi's name, and vice versa! [<a href=";xlb=161&amp;xlc=342530" target=_new>KENS 5 Eyewitness News, 10/1/01</a>] One pilot shop employee recognizes Alhazmi as a frequent visitor to the store and interested in a 757 or 767 handbook, though he also says Alhazmi used Suqami's name. [<a href=";xlb=161&amp;xlc=348297" target=_new>KENS 5 Eyewitness News, 10/3/01</a>] The apartment leasing agent also recalls a Ziad Jarrah who once lived there in June 2001 and looked the same as the hijacker. timeline/2001/sanantonioexpressnews092201.html San Antonio Express-News 9/22/01 News Article AP 9/22/01 (B) News Article Local FBI confirm that a Salem Alhazmi attended the nearby Alpha Tango Flight School and lived in that apartment building, but they say he is a different Salem Alhazmi who is still alive and living in Saudi Arabia. [[[;xlb=161&amp;xlc=351772 | KENS 5 Eyewitness News, 10/4/01 ]]] However, that Salem Alhazmi (see [[ a091601 ]]) says he's never been to the US and has proved to the authorities he didn't leave Saudi Arabia in the two years prior to 9/11. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A59320-2001Sep19&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 9/20/01 ]]] The FBI gave no explanation for Satam Al Suqami's presence. Neither hijacker is supposed to have arrived in the US before April, 2001 (see [[ a042301muscle ]]). <comment>Is the FBI covering up sightings of hijackers that don't fit into their storyline? Why did they apparently switch names, and what does this say about the veracity of the names of other hijackers? </comment> coverup Early February 2001 1 false Richard Clarke, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; for the Clinton administration, briefs Vice President Cheney about the al-Qaeda threat. He urges decisive and quick action against al-Qaeda. Cheney soon visits CIA headquarters for more information about al-Qaeda. But at later high level meetings he fails to bring up al-Qaeda as a priority issue. incompetence timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article February 2001 (B) a0201sisters 1 false A former CIA anti-terror expert later claims that an allied intelligence agency sees &ldquo;two of Osama's sisters apparently taking cash to an airport in Abu Dhabi [United Arab Emirates], where they are suspected of handing it to a member of bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization.&rdquo; This is cited as one of many incidents showing an &ldquo;interconnectedness&rdquo;between Osama bin Laden and the rest of his family. saudi New Yorker 11/5/01 News Article February 2001 (D) a0201banking 1 false Time magazine writes, &ldquo;The US was all set to join a global crackdown on criminal and terrorist money havens [in early 2001]. Thirty industrial nations were ready to tighten the screws on offshore financial centers like Liechtenstein and Antigua, whose banks have the potential to hide and often help launder billions of dollars for drug cartels, global crime syndicates&#8212;and groups like Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization. Then the Bush Administration took office.&rdquo; Time 10/15/01 News Article After pressure from the powerful banking lobby, the Treasury Department under Paul O'Neill halts US cooperation with these international efforts begun in 2000 by the Clinton administration. Clinton had created a National Terrorist Asset Tracking Center in his last budget but under O'Neill no funding for the center is provided and the tracking of terrorist financing slows down. incompetence timeline/2001/foreignaffairs0701.html Foreign Affairs 7/01 News Article Time 10/15/01 News Article February-July 2001 a0201trial 1 false A trial is held in New York City for four defendants charged with involvement in the 1998 US embassy bombings. All are ultimately convicted. Testimony reveals that two bin Laden operatives had received pilot training in Texas and Oklahoma and another had been asked to take lessons. One bin Laden aide becomes a government witness and gives the FBI detailed information about a pilot training scheme. This new information does not lead to any new FBI investigations into the matter. advanceinfo;node=&amp;contentId=A10840-2001Sep22 Washington Post 9/23/01 News Article February 2001 (C) a0201haq 1 false Abdul Haq, a famous Afghan leader of the mujaheddin, convinces Robert McFarlane, National Security Adviser under President Reagan, that Haq and about 50 fellow commanders could lead a force to start a revolt against the Taliban in Southern Afghanistan. However, Haq wants to do this under the authority of Zahir Shah, the popular former king of Afghanistan, whom the US doesn't support. The CIA fails to give any support to this revolt idea. incompetence Says one CIA official to McFarlane a few months later, &ldquo;We don't yet have our marching orders concerning US policy; it may be that we will end up dealing with the Taliban.&rdquo; Haq goes ahead with his plans without US support, and is later betrayed and killed (see [[ amid0801haq ]] and [[ a102501haq ]]).,0,3294256.story Los Angeles Times 10/28/01 (B) News Article Wall Street Journal 11/2/01 News Article February 7, 2001 1 false CIA Director Tenet warns Congress in open testimony that advanceinfo &ldquo;The threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.&rdquo; He says advanceinfo bin Laden and his global network remains &ldquo;the most immediate and serious threat&rdquo; to US interests. &ldquo;Since 1998 bin Laden has declared that all US citizens are legitimate targets,&rdquo; he says, adding that bin Laden &ldquo;is capable of planning multiple attacks with little or no warning.&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/2001/ap020701.html AP 2/7/01 News Article Sunday Herald 9/23/01 News Article February 9, 2001 (B) a020901progress 1 false US officials claim significant progress in defeating bin Laden's financial network, despite significant difficulties. It is claimed that, &ldquo;bin Laden's financial and operational networks has been &lsquo;completely mapped&rsquo; in secret documents shared by the State Department, CIA and Treasury Department, with much of the mapping completed in detail by mid-1997.&rdquo; timeline/2001/upi020901.html UPI 2/9/01 News Article Reporter Greg Palast later notes that when the US freezes the assets of terrorist organizations in late September 2001 (see [[ a092401darkazanli ]]), US investigators likely knew much about the finances of those organizations but took no action before 9/11. incompetence;dept_id=367954&amp;newsid=7421029&amp;PAG=461&amp;rfi=9 Santa Fe New Mexican 3/20/03 News Article February 9, 2001 a020901cheney 1 false Vice President Cheney is briefed that it has been conclusively proven bin Laden was behind the October 2000 attack on the USS Cole (see [[ a101200cole ]]). Bush has been in office a matter of days, when secret pipeline negotiations with the Taliban have begun. The new administration has already twice threatened the Taliban that the US would hold the Taliban responsible for any al-Qaeda attack. But, fearful of ending those negotiations, the US does not retaliate against either the Taliban or known bin Laden bases in Afghanistan in the manner Clinton did in 1998. oil;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article February 13, 2001 a021301broken 1 false UPI reporter Richard Sale, while covering a trial of bin Laden's al-Qaeda followers, reports that the NSA has broken bin Laden's encrypted communications. US officials say &ldquo;codes were broken.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/upi021301.html | UPI, 2/13/01 ]]] Presumably al-Qaeda changes its security after this time, but also the US government officials later claim that the planning for the 9/11 attack began in 1998 if not earlier (see also [[ a1998start ]]). [[[ timeline/2001/nyt101401.html | New York Times, 10/14/01 ]]] incompetence FTW News Article February 23, 2001 a022301moussaoui 1 false Al-Qaeda agent Zacarias Moussaoui flies to the US. Three days later he starts flight training at the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma. The school and the area had a history of training terrorist pilots (see [[ a051898 ]] and [[ a0999airman ]]). He trains there until May, but doesn't do well and drops out before getting a pilot's license. His visa expires on May 22, but he doesn't attempt to renew it or get another one. He stays in Norman, making arrangements to change flight schools, and frequently exercising in a gym. [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702c.html | Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02 ]], [[ timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html | MSNBC, 12/11/01 ]]] According to US investigators, would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see [[ a112002 ]]) later says he meets Moussaoui in Karachi (Pakistan) in June 2001. [[[ | Washington Post, 11/20/02 ]]] Moussaoui moves to a flight school in Minnesota in August (see [[ a081501 ]]) and is arrested by the FBI a short time later (see [[ a081601moussaoui ]]). timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702c.html Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02 News Article timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html MSNBC 12/11/01 News Article February 26, 2001 1 false Paul Bremer, appointed the US administrator of Iraq in 2003, says in a speech that the Bush administration is &ldquo;paying no attention&rdquo; to terrorism. &ldquo;What they will do is stagger along until there's a major incident and then suddenly say, &lsquo;Oh my God, shouldn't we be organized to deal with this.&rsquo; &rdquo; Bremer spoke shortly after chairing the National Commission on Terrorism, a bipartisan body formed during the Clinton administration. incompetence AP 4/29/04 News Article February 26, 2001 a022601wedding left Mohammed bin Laden, center, son of Osama bin Laden, right, marries the daughter of Mohammed Atef, left. 1 false Bin Laden attends the wedding of his son Mohammad in Kandahar, Afghanistan. Although bin Laden is supposedly long estranged from his family, bin Laden's stepmother, two brothers and sister are also said to have attended, according to the only journalist who was invited (see also [[ aspring98mother ]] and [[ aspring00mother ]]). saudi Reuters 3/1/01 News Article Sunday Herald 10/7/01 News Article March 2001 (D) a0301aulaqi right Dar al Hijrah mosque 1 false Hijackers Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi move to Falls Church, Virginia, a large Muslim community near Washington.;node=&amp;contentId=A59403-2002Sep9&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 9/10/02 (B) News Article They live only a few blocks from where two nephews of bin Laden with ties to terrorism work (see [[ a96wamy ]]). saudi They continue to live there off and on until around August (see [[ a080101dmv ]]). They begin attending the Dar al Hijrah mosque. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A59403-2002Sep9&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 9/10/02 (B) ]]] When they and Khalid Almihdhar lived in San Diego in early 2000 (see [[ a011500usflightsandiego ]]), they attended a mosque there led by the imam Anwar Al Aulaqi. This imam moved to Falls Church in January 2001, and now the hijackers attend his sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque. Some later suspect that Aulaqi is part of the 9/11 plot because of their similar moves, and other reasons: <ol> <li>The FBI says Aulaqi had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them are living in San Diego. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] </li> <li>Police later find the phone number of Aulaqi's mosque when they search &ldquo;would-be twentieth hijacker&rdquo; Ramzi bin al-Shibh's apartment in Germany. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] </li> <li>The FBI was investigating Aulaqi for terrorist ties in early 2000 (see [[ a0699aulaqi ]]). </li> <li>A neighbor of Aulaqi later claims that in the first week of August 2001, Aulaqi knocks on his door and tells him he is leaving for Kuwait: &ldquo;He came over before he left and told me that something very big was going to happen, and that he had to be out of the country when it happened.&rdquo; [[[ | Newsweek, 7/28/03 ]]] </li> <li>Aulaqi is apparently in the country in late September, 2001, and claims to not recognize any of the hijackers. [[[ | Copley News, 10/1/01 ]]] </li> <li>A week after 9/11, he says the hijackers were framed, and suggests Israel was behind 9/11. [[[ | Washington Post, 7/23/03 ]]] </li> <li>Aulaqi leaves the US in early 2002. [[[ timeline/2003/time081103 | Time, 8/11/03 ]]] In late 2002 he briefly returns and is temporarily detained as part of the Green Quest money laundering investigation (see [[ a120502ptech ]]). But he is let go. incompetence WorldNetDaily 8/16/03 News Article </li> </ol> By late 2003 the US is looking for him in Yemen. incompetence New Republic 8/21/03 News Article The FBI appears to be divided about him, with some thinking he's part of the 9/11 plot and some disagreeing. [<a href="timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html" target=_new>Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03</a>, <a href="timeline/2003/time081103" target=_new>Time, 8/11/03</a>] The 9/11 Commission later reports that Aulaqi gave substantial help to the two hijackers, that his relationship with them is "suspicious," and it cannot be discounted that he knew of the plot in advance.;slug=Attacks%20Hijackers%20Helpers AP 6/27/04;slug=Attacks%20Hijackers%20Helpers News Article March 2001 (C) a0301envoy 1 false Taliban envoy Rahmatullah Hashimi meets with reporters, middle-ranking State Department bureaucrats and private Afghanistan experts in Washington. He carries a gift carpet and a letter from Afghan leader Mullah Omar for President Bush. He discusses turning bin Laden over, but the US wants to be handed bin Laden and the Taliban want to turn him over to some third country. A CIA official later says: &ldquo;We never heard what they were trying to say.&rdquo; &ldquo;We had no common language. Ours was, &lsquo;Give up bin Laden.&rsquo; They were saying, &lsquo;Do something to help us give him up.&rsquo; &#8230; I have no doubts they wanted to get rid of him. He was a pain in the neck.&rdquo; Others claim the Taliban were never sincere. About 20 more meetings on giving up bin Laden take place up till 9/11, all fruitless. [<a href="timeline/2001/wpost102901.html" target=_new>Washington Post, 10/29/01</a>] Hashimi also proposes that the Taliban would hold bin Laden in one location long enough for the US to locate and destroy him. However, this offer is refused. This is according to Laila Helms, daughter of former CIA director Richard Helms, who is doing public relations for the Taliban at the time (while interesting this came out before 9/11, one must be skeptical if the offer was made since her job was public relations for the Taliban). incompetence Village Voice 6/6/01 News Article March-August 2001 a0301airport 1 false In March and August, Atta visits a small airport in South Florida and asks detailed questions about how to start and fly a crop-duster plane. People there easily recall him because he was so persistent. After explaining his abilities, Atta is told he is not skilled enough to fly a crop-duster. [<a href="" target=_new>Miami Herald, 9/24/01</a>] Employees at South Florida Crop Care in Belle Glade, Florida later tell the FBI that Atta was among the men who in groups of two or three visited the crop dusting firm nearly every weekend for six or eight weeks before the attacks. Says employee James Lester: &ldquo;I recognized him because he stayed on my feet all the time. I just about had to push him away from me.&rdquo; AP 9/15/01 News Article Yet, according to US investigators, Atta and the other hijackers gave up on the crop-duster idea back in 2000. (see [[ a0400atta ]]). coverup March 2001 a0301confessions left A still of Alhaznawi from the Al Jazeera video on the left. The WTC was digitally inserted in the video background later. The picture on the right is from the FBI. 1 false Supposedly, all 13 of the &ldquo;muscle&rdquo; hijackers (see [[ a042301muscle ]]) record a farewell video before leaving training in Kandahar, Afghanistan around this time. [[[ | CBS, 10/9/02 ]]] A video of Ahmed Alhaznawi is shown by the Al Jazeera TV network in April 2002. In it, he pledges to give his life to &ldquo;martyrdom&rdquo; and swears to send a &ldquo;bloodied message&rdquo; to Americans by attacking them in their &ldquo;heartland.&rdquo; [[[,3604,685102,00.html | Guardian, 4/16/02 ]]] Compare a still frame of the video with an FBI photo of Alhaznawi. [[[ | CNN, 4/16/02 ]]] In September 2002, Al Jazeera also shows a similar farewell video of Abdulaziz Alomari made around the same time (see [[ a090801foudainterview ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/ap090902.html | AP, 9/9/02 ]]] Alomari states, &ldquo;I am writing this with my full conscience and I am writing this in expectation of the end, which is near&#8230; God praise everybody who trained and helped me, namely the leader Sheik Osama bin Laden.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2002/wpost091102.html | Washington Post, 9/11/02 ]]] Al-Jazeera also shows Ahmed Alnami, Hamza Alghamdi and Saeed Alghamdi and Wail Alshehri in Kandahar studying maps and flight manuals. [[[ timeline/2002/financialtimes091102.html | Financial Times, 9/11/02 ]]] <comment>Does the making of these videos hint that many in Afghanistan may have had foreknowledge about the 9/11 attacks (see [[ a0701afghanknowledge ]])?</comment> March 1, 2001 a030101buddhas 1 false The Taliban begins blowing up two giant stone Buddhas of Bamiyan. They face great international condemnation in response, but no longer seem to be courting international recognition. Apparently even ISI efforts to dissuade them fail. isidrugs timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article Time 8/4/02 News Article March 2001 (E) a0301unspecified 1 false An intelligence source claims that a group of al-Qaeda operatives is planning to conduct an unspecified attack inside the US in April. One of the operatives allegedly resides in the US. There are also reports of planned attacks in California and New York State for the same month, though it isn't clear if this is reference to the same plot. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article March 2001 (B) a0301italy 1 false The Italian government gives the US information about possible attacks based on apartment wiretaps in the Italian city of Milan. [[[,2933,53065,00.html | Fox News, 5/17/02 ]]] Presumably, the information includes a discussion between two al-Qaeda agents talking about a &ldquo;very, very secret&rdquo; plan to forge documents &ldquo;for the brothers who are going to the United States&rdquo;(see [[ a012401italy ]]). The warning may also have mentioned a wiretap the previous August involving one of the same people that discussed a massive strike against the enemies of Islam involving aircraft (see [[ a081200italy ]]). Two months later, wiretaps of the same Milan cell also reveal a plot to attack a summit of world leaders (see [[ a0501 ]]). advanceinfo March 4, 2001 a030401fox left A Lone Gunman advertisement 1 false Contradicting the later claim that no one could have envisioned the 9/11 attacks, a short-lived Fox TV program called The Lone Gunmen airs a pilot episode in which terrorists try to fly an airplane into the WTC. The heroes save the day and the airplane narrowly misses the building. There are no terrorists on board the aircraft; remote control technology is used to steer the plane. coverup Ratings were good for the show, yet the eerie coincidence is barely mentioned after 9/11. Says one media columnist, &ldquo;This seems to be collective amnesia of the highest order.&rdquo; coverup;wid=100499665&amp;so=&amp;xr=/category/preview.jhtml%3Fcid%3D1152169 TV Guide 6/21/02 News Article The heroes also determine, &ldquo;The terrorist group responsible was actually a faction of our own government. These malefactors were seeking to stimulate arms manufacturing in the lean years following the end of the Cold War by bringing down a plane in New York City and fomenting fears of terrorism.&rdquo; coverup timeline/2002/myersreport062002.html Myers Report 6/20/02 News Article March 5, 2001 1 false Paul O'Neill, Bush's Treasury Secretary at this time, later recalls that the most important topic of the Bush Administration in its early months is regime change in Iraq (see also [[ a013101iraq | January 31, 2001 (B) ]]). Planning at this time envisions peacekeeping troops, war crimes tribunals, and even divvying up Iraq's oil wealth. One document from around February 2001 is titled, &ldquo;Plan for post-Saddam Iraq.&rdquo; Another Pentagon document from this date is titled, &ldquo;Foreign Suitors for Iraqi Oilfield contracts.&rdquo; It includes a map of potential areas for exploration in Iraq. afghanwar CBS 1/11/04 News Article March 7, 2001 a030701russian 1 false The Russian Permanent Mission at the United Nations secretly submits &ldquo;an unprecedentedly detailed report&rdquo; to the UN Security Council about bin Laden, his whereabouts, details of his al-Qaeda network, Afghan drug running, and Taliban connections in Pakistan. isidrugs The report provides &ldquo;a listing of all bin Laden's bases, his government contacts and foreign advisors,&rdquo; and enough information to potentially kill him. The US fails to act. Alex Standish, the editor of the highly respected Jane's Intelligence Review, concludes that the attacks of 9/11 were less of an American intelligence failure and more the result of &ldquo;a political decision not to act against bin Laden.&rdquo; incompetence Jane's Intelligence Review 10/5/01 News Article March 7, 2001 (B) a030701twoprong left Steve Hadley 1 false Deputy National Security Advisor Steve Hadley chairs an informal meeting of some counterparts from other agencies to discuss al-Qaeda. They begin a broad review of the government's approach to al-Qaeda and Afghanistan. According to the New York Times, the approach is &ldquo;two-pronged and included a crisis warning effort to deal with immediate threats and longer-range planning by senior officials to put into place a comprehensive strategy to eradicate al-Qaeda.&rdquo; Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke again pushes for immediate decisions on assisting Ahmed Shah Massoud and his Northern Alliance in Afghanistan (see also [[ a1099massoud | October 1999 (C) ]], [[ aautumn00massoud | Late Autumn 2000 ]] and [[ a040601massoud | April 6, 2001 ]]). Hadley suggests dealing with this as part of the broad review. Clarke supports a larger program, but he warns that delay risks the Alliance's defeat. Clarke also advocates using the armed Predator drone (see [[ a0101predator | January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001 ]]). advanceinfo But despite an increasing number of alarming warnings following this meeting, there is little follow up. &ldquo;By June, a draft of a presidential directive authorizing an ambitious covert action plan is circulating through the upper echelons of the administration, but there seem[s] little urgency about putting the plan into effect&rdquo; (see [[ aearly0601hadley | Early June 2001 (B) ]]). incompetence New York Times 4/4/04 News Article New York Times 3/24/04 (D) News Article timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article March 8, 2001 a030801unlist 1 false The United Nations and the European Union direct their members to freeze the assets of some al-Qaeda leaders, including Sa'd Al-Sharif, bin Laden's brother-in-law and the head of his finances, but the US does not do so (see [[ timeline/2001/unitednations030801.html | UN list ]]). Their assets are finally frozen by the US after 9/11 (see [[ a101201firstfreeze ]]). [[[ timeline/2001/guardian101301b.html | Guardian, 10/13/01 (B) ]]] The US for a time claims that Sa'd Al-Sharif helped fund the 9/11 attacks, but the situation is highly confused and his role is doubtful (see [[ a092401manyfinancers ]]). incompetence March 15, 2001 a031501janes 1 false Jane's Intelligence Review reports that the US is working with India, Iran and Russia &ldquo;in a concerted front against Afghanistan's Taliban regime.&rdquo; India is supplying the Northern Alliance with military equipment, advisers and helicopter technicians and both India and Russia are using bases in Tajikistan and Uzbekistan for their operations (see [[ a121900russia ]], [[ a062601russia ]] and [[ a072101berlin ]]). afghanwar Jane's Intelligence Review 3/15/01 News Article March 23, 2001 a032301dea 1 false The Office of National Drug Control Policy issues a National Security Alert describing &ldquo;apparent attempts by Israeli nationals to learn about government personnel and office layouts.&rdquo; This later comes to light through a leaked Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) document called &ldquo;Suspicious Activities Involving Israeli Art Students at DEA Facilities.&rdquo; A crackdown ensues and by June around 120 Israelis are apprehended. More are apprehended later. israel timeline/2001/dea0601.html DEA report 6/01 News Article March 26, 2001 a032601improvements 1 false The Washington Post reports on a major improvements of the CIA's intelligence gathering capability &ldquo;in recent years.&rdquo; A new program called Oasis uses &ldquo;automated speech recognition&rdquo; technology to turn audio feeds into formatted, searchable text. It can distinguish one voice from another and differentiates &ldquo;speaker 1&rdquo; from &ldquo;speaker 2&rdquo; in transcripts. Software called Fluent performs &ldquo;cross lingual&rdquo; searches, even translating difficult languages like Chinese and Japanese (apparently such software is much better than similar publicly available software) as well as automatically assessing their importance. There's also software that can turn a suspect's &ldquo;life story into a three-dimensional diagram of linked phone calls, bank deposits and plane trips,&rdquo; and other software to efficiently and quickly process vast amounts of video, audio and written data. coverup;node=&amp;contentId=A57318-2001Mar25&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 3/26/01 News Article However, the government will later report that a number of messages about the 9/11 attacks, such as one stating &ldquo;tomorrow is the zero hour&rdquo; weren't translated until after 9/11 because analysts were &ldquo;too swamped.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 6/7/02</a>] <comment>Doesn't that contradict the automated aspect of much translation?</comment> coverup April 1, 2001 a040101oklahoma 1 false Hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi is stopped by an Oklahoma policeman for speeding. His license information is run through a computer to check if there are any warrants for his arrest. There are none; he is issued a ticket and sent on his way. The CIA has known Alhazmi is a terrorist and possibly living in the US since March 2000 (see [[ a0300warning ]]), but has failed to share this knowledge with other agencies. [[[ timeline/2002/dailyoklahoman012002.html | Daily Oklahoman, 1/20/02 ]], [[ | Newsweek, 6/2/02 ]]] He also has been in the country illegally since January 2001, but this also doesn't raise any flags. incompetence timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/20/02 News Article April 2001 (D) a0401energypolicy 1 false A report commissioned by former US Secretary of State James Baker and the Council on Foreign Relations entitled &ldquo;Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century&rdquo; is submitted to Vice President Cheney this month. &ldquo;The report is linked to a veritable who's who of US hawks, oilmen and corporate bigwigs.&rdquo; The report says the &ldquo;central dilemma&rdquo; for the US administration is that &ldquo;the American people continue to demand plentiful and cheap energy without sacrifice or inconvenience.&rdquo; It warns that the US is running out of oil, with a painful end to cheap fuel already in sight. oil It argues that &ldquo;the United States remains a prisoner of its energy dilemma,&rdquo; and that one of the &ldquo;consequences&rdquo; of this is a &ldquo;need for military intervention&rdquo; to secure its oil supply. It argues that Iraq needs to be overthrown so the US can control its oil. coverup Sunday Herald 10/5/02 News Article Sydney Morning Herald 12/26/02 News Article In what may be a reference to a pipeline through Afghanistan, the report suggests the US should &ldquo;Investigate whether any changes to US policy would quickly facilitate higher exports of oil from the Caspian Basin region&#8230; the exports from some oil discoveries in the Caspian Basin could be hastened if a secure, economical export route could be identified swiftly&rdquo; (see also [[ a0900paxamericana ]] and [[ aspring00oilwars ]]). [[[ timeline/2001/bakerreport0401.html | Strategic Energy Policy Challenges For The 21st Century, 4/01 ]]]<comment> Could the Bush administration have let 9/11 happen to get access to Central Asian oil, and gain support for a war with Iraq, amongst other reasons?</comment> oil April 2001 1 false NORAD is planning to conduct a training exercise named Positive Force. Some Special Operations personnel trained to think like terrorists unsuccessfully propose adding a scenario simulating &ldquo;an event having a terrorist group hijack a commercial airliner and fly it into the Pentagon.&rdquo; advanceinfo Military higher-ups and White House officials reject the exercise as either &ldquo;too unrealistic&rdquo; or too disconnected to the original intent of the exercise. The proposal comes shortly before the exercise, which takes place this month. incompetence Boston Herald 4/14/04 News Article,11209,1192226,00.html Guardian 4/15/04 News Article Washington Post 4/14/04 (G) News Article New York Times 4/14/04 News Article April 2001 1 false FBI translators Sibel Edmonds and Behrooz Sarshar later claim to know of an important warning given to the FBI at this time. In their accounts, a reliable informant on the FBI's payroll for at least ten years tells two FBI agents that sources in Afghanistan have heard of an al-Qaeda plot to attack the US and Europe in a suicide mission involving airplanes. Al-Qaeda agents, already in place inside the US, being trained as pilots. By some accounts, the names of prominent US cities are mentioned. It is unclear if this warning reaches FBI headquarters or beyond. The two translators later privately testify to the 9/11 Commission. [<a href="" target=_new>WorldNetDaily, 4/6/04</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Village Voice, 4/14/04</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Salon, 3/26/04</a>] In reference to this warning and apparently others, Edmonds says, &ldquo;President Bush said they had no specific information about Sept. 11, and that's accurate. But there was specific information about use of airplanes, that an attack was on the way two or three months beforehand and that several people were already in the country by May of 2001. They should've alerted the people to the threat we were facing.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Salon, 3/26/04</a>] She adds, &ldquo;There was general information about the time-frame, about methods to be used but not specifically about how they would be used and about people being in place and who was ordering these sorts of terror attacks. There were other cities that were mentioned. Major cities with skyscrapers.&rdquo; Independent 4/2/04 News Article Spring 2001 aspring00oilwars 1 false The Sydney Morning Herald later reports, &ldquo;The months preceding September 11 [see] a shifting of the US military's focus &#8230; Over several months beginning in April [2001] a series of military and governmental policy documents [are] released that [seek] to legitimize the use of US military force&rdquo; afghanwar &ldquo;in the pursuit of oil and gas.&rdquo; oil Michael Klare, an international security expert and author of Resource Wars, says the military has increasingly come to &ldquo;define resource security as their primary mission.&rdquo; afghanwar An article in the Army War College's journal by Jeffrey Record, a former staff member of the Senate armed services committee, argues for the legitimacy of &ldquo;shooting in the Persian Gulf on behalf of lower gas prices.&rdquo; oil He also &ldquo;advocate[s] the acceptability of presidential subterfuge in the promotion of a conflict&rdquo; and &ldquo;explicitly urge[s] painting over the US's actual reasons for warfare with a nobly high-minded veneer, seeing such as a necessity for mobilizing public support for a conflict.&rdquo; coverup In April, Tommy Franks, the commander of US forces in the Persian Gulf/South Asia area, testifies to Congress in April that his command's key mission is &ldquo;access to [the region's] energy resources.&rdquo; oil The next month US Central Command begins planning for war with Afghanistan, plans that are later used in the real war (see [[ a0501kernan ]]). [[[ | Sydney Morning Herald, 12/26/02 ]]] Other little noticed but influential documents reflect similar thinking (see [[ a0900paxamericana ]] and [[ a0401energypolicy ]]). afghanwar April 2001 (B) a0401traumatic 1 false A source with terrorist connections speculates to US intelligence that &ldquo;bin Laden would be interested in commercial pilots as potential terrorists.&rdquo; The source warns that the US should not focus only on embassy bombings, because terrorists are seeking &ldquo;spectacular and traumatic&rdquo; attacks, along the lines of the WTC bombing in 1993. Because the source was offering personal speculation and not hard information, the information is not disseminated widely. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article New York Times 9/18/02 News Article April-May 2001 a0401rice 1 false National Security Advisor Rice later says US intelligence sources start to learn of specific threats regarding al-Qaeda attacks against US targets or interests around this time. [[[ | CNN, 3/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/reuters051602.html | Reuters, 5/16/02 ]]] <comment>While its true that intelligence warnings were increasing at this time, what about the many specific warnings from before this (for instance, see [[ a0300statue ]] and [[ a0301italy ]])?</comment> coverup April-May 2001 a0401surge 1 false President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and national security aides are given briefing papers headlined, &ldquo;Bin Laden Planning Multiple Operations,&rdquo; &ldquo;Bin Laden Public Profile May Presage Attack,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Bin Laden Network's Plans Advancing.&rdquo; The exact contents of these briefings remain classified, but apparently none specifically mention a domestic US attack. advanceinfo New York Times 4/18/04 News Article Spring 2001 (B) aspring01almarabh 1 false A US Customs Service investigation finds evidence that Nabil al-Marabh (see [[ a89almarabh | 1989-May 2000 ]], [[ a05300almarabh | May 30, 2000-September 11, 2001 ]] and [[ a01toronto | January 2001-September 11, 2001 ]]) has funneled money to hijackers Ahmed Alghamdi and Satam Al Suqami. [[[ timeline/2001/coxnews101601.html | Cox News, 10/16/01 ]], [[ timeline/2002/abcnews7013102.html | ABC 7, 1/31/02 ]]] By summer, Customs uncovers a series of financial transactions between al-Marabh and al-Qaeda agent Raed Hijazi. timeline/2001/nyt092101c.html New York Times 9/21/01 News Article AP 11/17/01 News Article It is later reported that &ldquo;some of the 11 hijackers who passed through&rdquo; Britain in spring 2001 on their way to the US (see [[ a042301muscle | April 23-June 29, 2001 ]]) &ldquo;should have been instantly &lsquo;red-flagged&rsquo; by British intelligence. One was Ahmed Alghamdi&rdquo; because of his connection to Raed Hijazi (see [[ a0101britain | January-June 2001 ]]). [[[ | Sunday Herald, 9/30/01 ]]] <comment>Presumably another would be Satam Al Suqami. If they should have been flagged by Britain in spring 2001 because of a US investigation, isn't it likely that they should have been flagged by the US as well?</comment> Despite all of these al-Qaeda connections and more, the US later decides al-Marabh is not a terrorist and deports him to Syria (see [[ a091901almarabh | September 19, 2001-September 3, 2002 ]], [[ alate2002almarabhinformant | Late 2002 ]], and [[ a0104almarabh | January 2004 ]]). incompetence A Congressional 9/11 inquiry later concludes that US intelligence &ldquo;possessed no intelligence or law enforcement information&rdquo; before 9/11 on any of the hijackers except for Khalid Almihdhar and Salem and Nawaf Alhazmi. The inquiry suggests the other hijackers may have been selected &ldquo;because they did not have previously established ties to terrorist organizations.&rdquo; coverup timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/20/02 News Article Spring 2001 (C) 1 false Attorney General Ashcroft talks with FBI Director Louis Freeh before an annual meeting of special agents. Ashcroft lays out his priorities, which according to one participant is &ldquo;basically violent crime and drugs.&rdquo; Freeh bluntly replies that those are not his priorities and he talks about counterterrorism. &ldquo;Ashcroft didn't want to hear about it,&rdquo; says one witness. incompetence timeline/2002/newsweek052702.html Newsweek 5/27/02 News Article April 4, 2001 a040401echelon 1 false The BBC reports on advances in electronic surveillance. Echelon has become particularly effective against mobile phones, recording millions of calls simultaneously and checking them against a powerful search engine designed to pick out key words that might represent a security threat. Laser microphones pick up conversations from up to a kilometer away by monitoring window vibrations. If a bug is attached to a computer keyboard it is possible to monitor exactly what is being keyed in, because every key on a computer has a unique sound when depressed. BBC 4/4/01 News Article April 6, 2001 (C) a040601massoud left Massoud addressing the European Parliament. 1 false Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, has been trying to get aid from the US (see [[ a1099massoud | October 1999 (C) ]], and [[ a030701twoprong | March 7, 2001 (B) ]]), but his people are only allowed to meet with low level US officials. incompetence In an attempt to get his message across, he addresses the European Parliament: &ldquo;If President Bush doesn't help us, these terrorists will damage the US and Europe very soon.&rdquo; advanceinfo Dawn 4/7/04 News Article timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article Massoud also meets privately with some CIA officials while in Europe. He tells them that his guerrilla war against the Taliban is faltering and unless the US gives a significant amount of aid, the Taliban will conquer all of Afghanistan. incompetence No more aid is forthcoming. incompetence Washington Post 2/23/04 News Article April 8, 2001 a040801praguemeeting 1 false Supposedly, Atta flies from the US to Prague, Czech Republic, and meets with Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, an Iraqi spy. He returns on April 9 or 10. [[[ | New York Times, 10/27/01 ]]] But did he actually fly to Prague? A US official later states, &ldquo;Neither we nor the Czechs nor anybody else has any information [Atta] was coming or going [to Prague] at that time.&rdquo; [[[ | Newsweek, 4/28/02 ]]] FBI Director Mueller states, &ldquo;We ran down literally hundreds of thousands of leads and checked every record we could get our hands on, from flight reservations to car rentals to bank accounts,&rdquo; yet no evidence that he left the country was found. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A11966-2002Apr30 | Washington Post, 5/1/02 ]]] Investigators believe Atta was in Florida the whole time, and the Czech government eventually agrees. [[[ | BBC, 5/1/02 ]], [[ | UPI, 10/20/02 ]], [[ | New York Times, 10/21/02 ]]] <comment>But assuming al-Ani met with someone, could it be someone other than Atta, perhaps someone impersonating him?</comment> &ldquo;After months of investigation, the Czechs [say] they [are] no longer certain that Atta was the person who met al-Ani, saying &lsquo;he may be different from Atta.&rsquo; &rdquo; [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A11966-2002Apr30 | Washington Post, 5/1/02 ]]] &ldquo;Some in Prague who knew the diplomat say he met with a used car salesman named Saleh from Nuremburg, Germany, who looked like Mr. Atta. &lsquo;He is a perfect double for Atta,&rsquo; said a Syrian businessman who has lived in Prague for 35 years and says he knew the diplomat and the car salesman. &lsquo;I saw him several times with [al-Ani].&rsquo; &#8230; Czech intelligence officials offered still another theory: the Mohamed Atta who came to Prague last April was not the hijacker but a Pakistani of the same name. &lsquo;He didn't have the same identity card number,&rsquo;an unidentified Interior Ministry official told the newspaper Mlada Fronta Dnes. &lsquo;There was a great difference in their ages, their nationalities didn't match, basically nothing&#8212; it was someone else.&rsquo; &rdquo; [[[ | New York Times, 12/16/01 ]]] <comment>Could the use of an impersonator explain why some Czech officials remained convinced so long that Atta came to this meeting [[[ | AP, 12/17/01 ]]], while FBI investigators remained convinced that he never left Florida? </comment> [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A11966-2002Apr30 | Washington Post, 5/1/02 ]]] See [[ a091901changingstory ]] for the remarkable way coverage of this story has changed over time. coverup April 12-September 7, 2001 a041201license 1 false At least six hijackers get more than one Florida driver's license. They get the second license simply by filling out change of address forms. <ol> <li> Waleed Alshehri: first license May 4, duplicate May 5. </li> <li> Marwan Alshehhi: first license, April 12, duplicate in June. </li> <li> Ziad Jarrah: first license May 2, duplicate July 10.</li> <li> Ahmed Alhaznawi: first license July 10, duplicate September 7. </li> <li> Hamza Alghamdi: first license June 27, two duplicates, the second in August. </li> <li> the sixth man with a Florida duplicate is not named. [<a href="" target=_new>South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01</a>] </li> </ol>Additionally, some hijackers got licenses in multiple states. For instance, Nawaf Alhazmi had licenses from California, New York, and Florida at the same time, apparently all in the same name. [<a href="" target=_new>South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Newsday, 9/21/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/dailyoklahoman012002.html" target=_new>Daily Oklahoman, 1/20/02</a>] <comment>Why would they need duplicates of even the exact same license, unless it was, as an article put it, to &ldquo;[allow] two or more people to use the same identity&rdquo;?</comment> South Florida Sun-Sentinel 9/28/01 News Article April 18, 2001 a041801amsterdam 1 false Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi flies from Miami, Florida, to Amsterdam, Netherlands. He returns on May 2. Investigators have not divulged where he went or what he did while in Europe. [[[ | Justice Department, 5/20/02 ]]] <comment>Could his trip be connected to other trips he and others in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell take to get terrorist funding from the Dutch city of Eindhoven (see [[ a0699eindhoven ]])?</comment> April 18, 2001 (B) a041801faa 1 false The FAA sends a warning to US airlines that Middle Eastern terrorists could try to hijack or blow up a US plane and that carriers should &ldquo;demonstrate a high degree of alertness.&rdquo; advanceinfo The warning stems from the April 6, 2001, conviction of Ahmed Ressam over a failed plot to blow up Los Angeles International Airport during the millennium celebrations. This warning expires on July 31, 2001. [<a href=",0,1731679.story" target=_new>AP, 5/18/02</a>] This is one of 15 general warnings issued to airlines between January and August (the airlines have been getting an average of more than one warning a month for a long time), but this one is slightly more specific. CNN 3/02 News Article CNN 5/17/02 News Article As one newspaper later reports, &ldquo;there were so many that airline officials grew numb to them.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>St. Petersburg Times, 9/23/02</a>] The Bush administration officials have said the threats were so vague that they did not require tighter security. coverup,0,1731679.story AP 5/18/02 News Article April 23, 2001 a042301globalhawk 1 false A Global Hawk plane flies 22 hours from the US to Australia without pilot or passengers. A Global Hawk manager says, &ldquo;The aircraft essentially flies itself, right from takeoff, right through to landing, and even taxiing off the runway&rdquo;(see [[ a1998globalhawk ]]and [[ a092501globalhawk ]]). timeline/2001/itn042401.html ITN 4/24/01 News Article April 23-June 29, 2001 a042301muscle 1 false The 13 hijackers commonly known as the &ldquo;muscle&rdquo; first arrive in the US. The muscle provides the brute force meant to control the hijacked passengers and protect the pilots. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/30/01</a>] According to FBI Director Mueller, they all pass through Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and their travel was probably coordinated from abroad by Khalid Almihdhar. coverup timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/26/02 News Article But some information contradicts their official arrival dates: coverup <ul> <li>April 23: Waleed Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami arrive in Orlando, Florida. coverup Suqami in fact arrived before February 2001 (see [[ a0201sanantonio ]]). Alshehri was leasing a house near Washington in 1999 and 2000 with Ahmed Alghamdi (see [[ a1999orrinstreet ]]). He also lived with Ahmed Alghamdi in Florida for seven months in 1997. [[[ timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html | Telegraph, 9/20/01 ]]] Alshehri appears quite Americanized in the summer of 2001, frequently talking with an apartment mate about football and baseball, even identifying himself a fan of the Florida Marlins baseball team. coverup timeline/2001/ap092101.html AP 9/21/01 News Article </li> <li>May 2: Majed Moqed and Ahmed Alghamdi arrive in Washington. coverup Both actually arrived by mid-March 2001 (see [[ a0301early ]]). Ahmed Alghamdi was living with Waleed Alshehri near Washington until July 2000 (see [[ a1999orrinstreet ]]). He also lived with Waleed Alshehri in Florida for seven months in 1997. coverup timeline/2001/telegraph092001.html Telegraph 9/20/01 News Article </li> <li>May 28: Mohand Alshehri, Hamza Alghamdi, and Ahmed Alnami arrive in Miami, Florida. coverup Both Mohand Alshehri and Hamza Alghamdi arrived by January 2001 (see [[ a0101early ]]). coverup </li> <li>June 8: Ahmed Alhaznawi and Wail Alshehri arrive in Miami, Florida. </li> <li>June 27: Fayez Banihammad and Saeed Alghamdi arrive in Orlando, Florida. </li> <li>June 29: Salem Alhazmi and Abdulaziz Alomari arrive in New York. coverup Alhazmi in fact arrived before February 2001 (see [[ a0201sanantonio ]]). coverup </li> </ul>After entering the US (perhaps reentering for some), the hijackers arriving at Miami and Orlando airports settle in the Fort Lauderdale, Florida, area along with Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah. The hijackers, arriving in New York and Virginia, settle in the Paterson, New Jersey, area along with Nawaf Alhazmi and Hani Hanjour. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html" target=_new>Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02</a>] Note that the FBI's early conclusion that 11 of these muscle men &ldquo;did not know they were on a suicide mission,&rdquo; coverup timeline/2001/observer101401.html Observer 10/14/01 News Article is contradicted by video confessions made by all of them in Afghanistan (see [[ a0301confessions ]]), and CIA Director Tenet later says they &ldquo;probably were told little more than that they were headed for a suicide mission inside the United States.&rdquo; coverup timeline/2002/cia061802.html CIA Director Tenet Testimony 6/18/02 News Article They didn't know the exact details of the 9/11 plot until shortly before the attack. coverup CBS 10/9/02 News Article April 24, 2001 right The first lines of the declassified Northwoods document. 1 false James Bamford's book Body of Secrets reveals a secret US government plan named Operation Northwoods. All details of the plan come from declassified military documents. [<a href="timeline/2001/ap042401.html" target=_new>AP, 4/24/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/baltimoresun042401.html" target=_new>Baltimore Sun, 4/24/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 5/1/01</a>, <a href=";contentId=A77283-2001May25Found=true" target=_new> Washington Post, 4/26/01</a>] The heads of the US military, all five Joint Chiefs of Staff, proposed in a 1962 memo to commit terrorist acts against Americans and blame Cuba to create a pretext for invasion. Says one document, &ldquo;We could develop a Communist Cuban terror campaign in the Miami area, in other Florida cities and even in Washington&#8230;. We could blow up a US ship in Guantanamo Bay and blame Cuba. Casualty lists in US newspapers would cause a helpful wave of indignation.&rdquo; In March 1962, Lyman L. Lemnitzer, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, presented the Operation Northwoods plan to President John Kennedy and Defense Secretary Robert McNamara. The plan was rejected. Lemnitzer then sought to destroy all evidence of the plan. [<a href="timeline/2001/baltimoresun042401.html" target=_new>Baltimore Sun, 4/24/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 5/1/01</a>] Lemnitzer is replaced a few months later, but the Joint Chiefs continue to plan &ldquo;pretext&rdquo; operations at least through 1963. [<a href="" target=_new>ABC News, 5/1/01</a>] One suggestion in the plan is to create a remote-controlled drone duplicate of a real civilian aircraft. The real aircraft would be loaded with &ldquo;selected passengers, all boarded under carefully prepared aliases,&rdquo; and then take off with the drone duplicate simultaneously taking off near by. The aircraft with passengers would secretly land at a US military base while the drone continues along the other plane's flight path. The drone would then be destroyed over Cuba in a way that places the blame on Cuban fighter aircraft. [<a href="" target=_new>Harper's, 7/1/01</a>] Bamford says, &ldquo;Here we are, 40 years afterward, and it's only now coming out. You just wonder what is going to be exposed 40 years from now.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2001/insight073001.html" target=_new>Insight, 7/30/01</a>] Some 9/11 skeptics later claim that the 9/11 attacks could have been orchestrated by elements of the US government, and see Northwoods as an example of how top US officials could hatch such a plot. timeline/2004/oaklandtribune032704.html Oakland Tribune 3/27/04 News Article April 26, 2001 a042601atta 1 false Atta is stopped at a random inspection near Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and given a citation for having no driver's license. He fails to show up for his May 28 court hearing a warrant is issued for his arrest on June 4. After this, he flies all over the US using his real name, and even flies to Spain and back in July (see [[ a070801spain ]]) and is never stopped or questioned. The police never try to find him. incompetence timeline/2001/wallstreetjournal101601.html Wall Street Journal 10/16/01 News Article Australian Broadcasting Corp. 11/12/01 News Article April 30, 2001 a043001deputies 1 false The Bush administration finally has its first Deputy Secretary-level meeting on terrorism (see [[ a012501clarke | January 25, 2001 ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/time080402.html | Time, 8/4/02 ]]] According to counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke, he advocates that the Northern Alliance needs to be supported in the war against the Taliban (see [[ a040601massoud | April 6, 2001 ]]) and the Predator drone flights need to resume over Afghanistan so bin Laden can be targeted (see [[ a0101predator | January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001 ]]). Assistant Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the focus on al-Qaeda is wrong. He states, &ldquo;I just don't understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden,&rdquo; and &ldquo;Who cares about a little terrorist in Afghanistan?&rdquo; Wolfowitz insists the focus should be Iraqi-sponsored terrorism instead. He claims the 1993 attack on the WTC must have been done with help from Iraq, and rejects the CIA's assertion that there has been no Iraqi-sponsored terrorism against the US since 1993. incompetence A spokesman for Wolfowitz later calls Clarke's account a &ldquo;fabrication.&rdquo; coverup Newsweek 3/22/04 News Article Wolfowitz repeats these sentiments after 9/11 and tries to argue that the US should attack Iraq (see [[ a091201iraq | September 12, 2001 (F) ]]). incompetence Assistant Secretary of State Richard Armitage agrees with Clarke that al-Qaeda is an important threat. Deputy National Security Advisor Steve Hadley, chairing the meeting, brokers a compromise between Wolfowitz and the others. The group agrees to hold additional meetings focusing on al-Qaeda first (see [[ aearly0601hadley | Early June 2001 (B) ]] and [[ a062701deputies | June 27-July 16, 2001 ]]), but then later look at other terrorism, including any Iraqi terrorism. [<i>Against All Enemies,</i> by Richard Clarke, 3/04, p. 30, pp. 231-232] Vice President Cheney's Chief of Staff I. Lewis Libby and Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin also attend the hour long meeting. timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article April 30, 2001 (B) 1 false The US State Department issues its annual report on terrorism (see also [[ a043000annualreport | April 30, 2000 ]]). The report does cite the role of the Taliban in Afghanistan, and notes the Taliban &ldquo;continued to provide safe haven for intentional terrorists, particularly Saudi exile Osama bin Laden and his network.&rdquo; However, as CNN describes it, &ldquo;Unlike last year's report, bin Laden's al-Qaeda organization is mentioned, but the 2000 report does not contain a photograph of bin Laden or a lengthy description of him and the group. A senior State Department official told CNN that the US government made a mistake last year by focusing too tightly on bin Laden and &lsquo;personalizing terrorism&#8230;describing parts of the elephant and not the whole beast.&rsquo; &rdquo; incompetence CNN 4/30/01 News Article May 2001 (G) a0501energyplan 1 false Vice President Cheney's national energy plan is publicly released. It calls for expanded oil and gas drilling on public land and easing regulatory barriers to building nuclear power plants. [[[,1282,-2232112,00.html | AP, 12/9/02 ]]] There are several interesting points, little noticed at the time. It suggests that the US cannot depend exclusively on traditional sources of supply to provide the growing amount of oil that it needs. It will also have to obtain substantial supplies from new sources, such as the Caspian states, Russia, and Africa. It also notes that the US cannot rely on market forces alone to gain access to these added supplies, but will also require a significant effort on the part of government officials to overcome foreign resistance to the outward reach of American energy companies. [[[ timeline/2002/japantoday043002.html | Japan Today, 4/30/02 ]]] The plan was largely decided through Cheney's secretive Energy Task Force. Both before and after this, Cheney and other Task Force officials meet with Enron executives, including a meeting a month and a half before Enron declares bankruptcy (see [[ a120201enron ]]). oil Two separate lawsuits are later filed to reveal details of how the government's energy policy was formed and if Enron or other players may have influenced it, but so far the Bush Administration has resisted all efforts to release these documents (see [[ a101702cheney ]] and [[ a020703gaoquits ]]). coverup,1282,-2232112,00.html AP 12/9/02 News Article At the very least, it's known that Enron executives met with the Commerce Secretary about its troubled Dabhol power plant in 2001 (see [[ a1193dabhol ]]). [[[ timeline/2002/nyt022102.html | New York Times, 2/21/02 ]]] <comment>If these documents are released, they could show what the government did to support Enron's Dabhol plant with an Afghanistan gas pipeline.</comment> oil May 2001 (H) a0501visaexpress 1 false The US introduces the &ldquo;Visa Express&rdquo; program in Saudi Arabia, which allows any Saudi Arabian to obtain visas through his or her travel agent instead of appearing at a consulate in person. An official later states, &ldquo;The issuing officer has no idea whether the person applying for the visa is actually the person in the documents and application.&rdquo; [[[ | US News and World Report, 12/12/01 ]], [[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html | Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02 ]]] At the time, warnings of an attack against the US led by the Saudi Osama bin Laden are higher than they had ever been before&#8212; &ldquo;off the charts&rdquo; as one senator later puts it. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 5/18/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html | Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02 ]]] A terrorism conference had recently concluded that Saudi Arabia was one of four top nationalities in al-Qaeda. [[[ timeline/2002/minneapolisstartribune051902.html | Minneapolis Star Tribune, 5/19/02 ]]] Five hijackers&#8212;Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Salem Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad&#8212;use Visa Express over the next month to enter the US. [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html | Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/20/02 ]]] The widely criticized program is finally canceled in July 2002 (see [[ a071902visaexpress ]]). incompetence May 2001 (L) a0501swatting 1 false It is claimed that after a routine briefing by CIA Director Tenet to President Bush regarding the hunt for al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida, Bush complains to National Security Advisor Rice that he is tired of &ldquo;swatting at flies&rdquo; and wants a comprehensive plan for attacking terrorism. Clarke already has such a plan, but it is mired in bureaucratic deadlock (see [[ a012501clarke | January 25, 2001 ]], [[ a030701twoprong | March 7, 2001 (B) ]], and [[ a043001deputies | April 30, 2001 ]]). After this, progress remains slow (see [[ aearly0601hadley | Early June 2001 (B) ]] and [[ a062701deputies | June 27-July 16, 2001 ]]). incompetence timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article May 2001 (D) 1 false Secretary of State Powell gives $43 million in aid to Afghanistan's Taliban government, purportedly to assist hungry farmers who are starving since the destruction of their opium crop in January on orders of the Taliban. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 5/22/01</a>] This follows $113 million given by the US in 2000 for humanitarian aid. isidrugs timeline/2001/statedepartment121101.html State Department Fact Sheet 12/11/01 News Article A Newsday editorial notes that the Taliban &ldquo;are a decidedly odd choice for an outright gift&#8230; Why are we sending these people money&#8212;so much that Washington is, in effect, the biggest donor of aid to the Taliban regime?&rdquo; incompetence May-July 2001 1 false In a two month time period, the NSA reports &ldquo;at least 33 communications indicating a possible, imminent terrorist attack.&rdquo; None of these reports provide any specific information on where, when, or how an attack might occur. These reports are widely disseminated to other intelligence agencies. [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html" target=_new>Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02</a>, advanceinfo timeline/2002/msnbc091802.html MSNBC 9/18/02 News Article ] advanceinfo National Security Advisor Rice later reads what she calls &ldquo;chatter that was picked up in [2001's] spring and summer. &lsquo;Unbelievable news coming in weeks,&rsquo; said one. &lsquo;Big event&#8212;there will be a very, very, very, very big uproar.&rsquo; &lsquo;There will be attacks in the near future.&rsquo; &rdquo; advanceinfo Washington Post 4/8/04 (C) News Article The NSA Director later claims that all of the warnings were red herrings. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee101702b.html NSA Director Congressional Testimony 10/17/02 News Article May 2001 a0501 1 false Around this time, intercepts from Afghanistan warn that al-Qaeda could attack an American target in late June or on the July 4 holiday. However, The White House's Counterterrorism Security Group does not meet to discuss this prospect. This group also fails to meet after intelligence analysts overhear conversations from an al-Qaeda cell in Milan suggesting that bin Laden's agents might be plotting to kill Bush at the European summit in Genoa, Italy, in late July (see [[ a072001summit ]]). In fact, the group hardly meets at all. By comparison, the Counterterrorism Security Group met two or three times a week between 1998 and 2000 under Clinton. incompetence New York Times 12/30/01 News Article May 2001 (C) a0501departed 1 false The Defense Department gains and shares information indicating that seven people associated with bin Laden have departed from various locations for Canada, Britain, and the US.<comment> This is around the time that most of the 19 hijackers enter the US&#8212;could those be some of the people referred to?</comment> The next month, the CIA learns that key operatives in al-Qaeda are disappearing while others are preparing for martyrdom. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A36754-2002Sep18&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 9/19/02 (B) News Article May-August 2001 a0501 1 false A number of the hijackers make at least six trips to Las Vegas. It's probable they met here after doing practice runs on cross-country flights. At least Atta, Alshehhi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah, Khalid Almihdhar and Hani Hanjour were involved. All of these &ldquo;fundamentalist&rdquo; Muslims drink alcohol, gamble, and frequent strip clubs. They even have strippers perform lap dances for them. San Francisco Chronicle 10/4/01 News Article Newsweek 10/15/01 News Article May 2001 (F) a0501kernan 1 false General William Kernan, commander in chief of the Joint Forces Command, later mentions: &ldquo;The details of Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan which fought the Taliban and al-Qaeda after the September 11 attacks, were largely taken from a scenario examined by Central Command in May 2001.&rdquo; afghanwar timeline/2002/afp072302.html AFP 7/23/02 News Article May 2001 (B) a0501canadacrossing 1 false US intelligence obtains information that al-Qaeda is planning to infiltrate the US from Canada and carry out a terrorist operation using high explosives. The report doesn't say exactly where inside the US, or when, or how an attack might occur. Two months later, the information is shared with the FBI, the INS, US Customs Service, and the State Department, and told to Bush in August (see [[ a080601ranchmemo ]]). advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article;node=&amp;contentId=A36754-2002Sep18&amp;notFound=true Washington Post 9/19/02 (B) News Article May 2001 (E) a0501armitage left Richard Armitage 1 false Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a career covert operative and former Navy Seal, travels to India on a publicized tour while CIA Director Tenet makes a quiet visit to Pakistan to meet with President General Musharraf. Armitage has long and deep Pakistani intelligence connections (as well as a role in the Iran-Contra affair). It would be reasonable to assume that while in Islamabad, Tenet, in what was described as &ldquo;an unusually long meeting,&rdquo; also meets with his Pakistani counterpart, ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed (see [[ a100701mahmood ]]). A long-time regional expert with extensive CIA ties stated publicly: &ldquo;The CIA still has close links with the ISI.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2001/sapra052701.html | SAPRA, 5/22/01 ]], [[ | Times of India, 3/7/01 ]]] isidrugs FTW News Article May 2001 (I) a0501custody 1 false An Iranian in custody in New York City tells local police of a plot to attack the World Trade Center. No more details are known. advanceinfo,2933,53065,00.html Fox News 5/17/02 News Article May 2001 (K) a0501martyrdom 1 false The Defense Department learns and shares with US intelligence that seven people associated with bin Laden had left from various locations and headed to Canada, Britain, and the US. The next month, the CIA learns that key operatives in al-Qaeda are disappearing, while others are preparing for martyrdom. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article May 2001 (J) a0501ersatz 1 false US Medicine magazine later reports, &ldquo;Though the Department of Defense had no capability in place to protect the Pentagon from an ersatz guided missile in the form of a hijacked 757 airliner, DoD [Department of Defense] medical personnel trained for exactly that scenario in May.&rdquo; The tri-Service DiLorenzo Health Care Clinic and the Air Force Flight Medicine Clinic train inside the Pentagon this month &ldquo;to fine-tune their emergency preparedness.&rdquo; advanceinfo;issueID=31 US Medicine 10/01 News Article May 6-September 6, 2001 a050601gyms 1 false The hijackers work out at various gyms, presumably getting in shape for the hijacking. Ziad Jarrah appears to have trained intensively from May to August, and Atta and Marwan Alshehhi also took exercising very seriously. [[[ | New York Times, 9/23/01 ]], [[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01 ]]] But these three are presumably pilots who would need the training the least. For instance, Jarrah's trainer says &ldquo;If he wasn't one of the pilots, he would have done quite well in thwarting the passengers from attacking.&rdquo; [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01 ]]] <comment>Most of the rest appear to have only made token efforts, if at all.</comment> For instance, Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi work out for four days in early September. [[[ | AP, 9/21/01 ]]] Three others&#8212;Waleed Alshehri, Wail Alshehri and Satam al-Suqami&#8212; &ldquo;simply clustered around a small circuit of machines, never asking for help and, according to a trainer, never pushing any weights. &lsquo;You know, I don't actually remember them ever doing anything &#8230; They would just stand around and watch people.&rsquo; &rdquo; [[[ | New York Times, 9/23/01 ]]] Those three also had a one month membership in Florida&#8212;it isn't known if they actually worked out then or not. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01 ]]] <comment>Since apparently all of the hijackers knew they were on a suicide mission (see [[ a0301confessions ]]), why weren't they preparing for it?</comment> May 8, 2001 a050801cheneytaskforce 1 false Bush entrusts Cheney to head the new Office of National Preparedness, a part of FEMA. This office is supposed to oversee a &ldquo;national effort&rdquo; to coordinate all federal programs for responding to domestic attacks. Cheney says to the press, &ldquo;One of our biggest threats as a nation&rdquo; may include &ldquo;a terrorist organization overseas. We need to look at this whole area, oftentimes referred to as homeland defense.&rdquo; The focus is on state funded terrorists using weapons of mass destruction, and neither bin Laden nor al-Qaeda is mentioned. incompetence New York Times 7/8/02 News Article Cheney's task force is supposed to report to Congress by October 1, 2001, after a review by the National Security Council. Bush states that &ldquo;I will periodically chair a meeting of the National Security Council to review these efforts.&rdquo;;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article In July, two senators send draft counterterrorism legislation to Cheney's office, but a day before 9/11 they're told it might be another six months before he can take a look at it (see [[ a091001feinstein | September 10, 2001 (S) ]]). The task force is just getting started on hiring staff a few days before 9/11 (see [[ a091001abbot | September 10, 2001 (R) ]]). Former Senator Gary Hart (D) later implies that this task force is created to prevent Congress from enacting counterterrorism legislation proposed by a bipartisan commission Hart had co-chaired (see [[ a013101report | January 31, 2001 ]]). incompetence May 10, 2001 1 false Attorney General Ashcroft sends a letter to department heads telling them the Justice Department's new agenda. He cites seven goals, but counterterrorism is not one of them. incompetence Yet just one day earlier he testifies before Congress and says of counterterrorism, &ldquo;The Department of Justice has no higher priority.&rdquo; coverup New York Times 2/28/02 News Article Dale Watson, head of the FBI's Counterterrorism Division, recalls nearly falling out of his chair when he sees counterterrorism not mentioned as a goal. [<a href="" target=_new>9/11 Commission Report, 4/13/04</a>] In August, a strategic plan is distributed listing the same seven goals and 36 objectives. Thirteen objectives are highlighted, but the single objective relating to counterterrorism is not highlighted. incompetence New York Times 2/28/02 News Article May 15, 2001 a051501meeting 1 false A Supervisor at the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center sends a request to CIA headquarters for the surveillance photos of the al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia at the start of 2000 (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]] and [[ a010600monitor ]]). Three days later, the supervisor explains the reason for the interest in an e-mail to a CIA analyst: &ldquo;I'm interested because Khalid Almihdhar's two companions also were couriers of a sort, who traveled between [the Far East] and Los Angeles at the same time (hazmi and salah).&rdquo; Hazmi refers to hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salah Said is the alias al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash traveled under during the meeting. Apparently the supervisor receives the photos. Towards the end of May, a CIA analyst contacts a specialist working at FBI headquarters about the photographs. The CIA wanted the FBI analyst to review the photographs and determine if a person who had carried money to Southeast Asia for Khallad bin Attash in January 2000 could be identified. The CIA fails to tell the FBI analyst anything about Almihdhar or Alhazmi. incompetence Around the same time, the CIA analyst receives an e-mail mentioning Alhazmi's travel to the US. These two analysts travel to New York the next month and again the CIA analyst fails to divulge what he knows (see [[ a061101meeting ]]). incompetence timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article May 16, 2001 a051601franks 1 false US General Tommy Franks, later to head the US occupation of Afghanistan, visits the capital of Tajikistan. He says the Bush administration considers Tajikistan &ldquo;a strategically significant country&rdquo; and offers military aid. This follows a visit by a Department of Defense official earlier in the year and an earlier regional visit by Franks (see [[ a0900franks ]]). The Guardian later asserts that by this time, &ldquo;US Rangers were also training special troops in Kyrgyzstan. There were unconfirmed reports that Tajik and Uzbek special troops were training in Alaska and Montana.&rdquo; [[[,4273,4264545,00.html | Guardian, 9/26/01 ]]] afghanwar FTW News Article May 23, 2001 a052301khalilzad right Zalmay Khalilzad. 1 false Zalmay Khalilzad is appointed to a position on the National Security Council as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Director for Gulf, Southwest Asia and Other Regional Issues. Khalilzad is a former official in the Reagan and Bush Sr. administrations. During the Clinton years, he worked for Unocal. He is later appointed special envoy to Afghanistan (see [[ a010102khalilzad ]]). saudi Independent 1/10/02 News Article timeline/2001/statedepartment2001.html State Department profile 2001 News Article May 29, 2001 a0529echelon 1 false A European Union committee investigating the Echelon spy surveillance network advises all people using e-mail to encrypt their e-mails if they want to avoid being spied on by Echelon. Echelon can sift through up to 90% of all internet traffic, as well as monitor phone conversations, mobile phone calls, fax transmissions, net browsing history, satellite transmissions and so on. Even encryption may not help much&#8212;the BBC suggests that &ldquo;it is likely that the intelligence agencies can crack open most commercially available encryption software.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>BBC, 5/29/01</a>, ] <comment>Given all this data capture capability, isn't it likely they had the data to break the 9/11 plot? The question is were they able to sift through all their data? Certainly any leads connected to al-Qaeda must have had the highest analysis priority for years. </comment> coverup May 29, 2001 (B) a052901caution 1 false The State Department issues a overseas caution connected to the conviction of defendants in bombing the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. That warning says that &ldquo;Americans citizens abroad may be the target of a terrorist threat from extremist groups&rdquo; with links to bin Laden. The warning is reissued on June 22. CNN 6/23/01 News Article May 30, 2001 a053001yemenis 1 false Two Yemeni men are detained after guards see them taking photos at 26 Federal Plaza in New York City. They are questioned by INS agents and let go. A few days later their confiscated film is developed. It shows photos of security checkpoints, police posts and surveillance cameras of federal buildings, including the FBI's counterterrorism office. The two men are later interviewed by the FBI and determined not to be terrorists. However, they had taken the pictures on behalf of a third person living in Indiana. By the time the FBI looks for him, he has fled the country and his documentation is found to be based on a false alias. In 2004 it is reported that it is still unknown if the third man is a terrorist or not. The famous briefing given to President Bush in early August 2001 (see [[ a080601ranchmemo | August 6, 2001 ]]) mentions the incident, warning that the FBI is investigating &ldquo;suspicious activity in this country consistent with the preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York.&rdquo; advanceinfo When Bush's briefing is released in 2004, a White House fact sheet fails to mention the still missing third man. coverup timeline/2001/nypost070101.html New York Post 7/1/01 News Article timeline/2001/nypost091601.html New York Post 9/16/01 News Article Washington Post 5/16/04 News Article May 31, 2001 a053101trial 1 false The Wall Street Journal summarizes tens of thousands of pages of evidence disclosed in a recently concluded trial of al-Qaeda terrorists. They are called &ldquo;a riveting view onto the shadowy world of al-Qaeda.&rdquo;The documents reveal numerous connections between al-Qaeda and specific front companies and charities. They even detail a &ldquo;tightly organized system of cells in an array of American cities, including Brooklyn, N.Y.; Orlando, Fla.; Dallas; Santa Clara, Calif.; Columbia, Mo., and Herndon, Va.&rdquo; The 9/11 hijackers had ties to many of these same cities and charities. [<a href="" target=_new>Wall Street Journal, 5/31/01</a>] <comment>Why was so little done in response?</comment> incompetence June 1-2, 2001 1 false Amalgam Virgo 01, a multi-agency planning exercise sponsored by NORAD (the North American Aerospace Defense Command, in charge of defending US airspace) involves the hypothetical scenario of a cruise missile launched by &ldquo;a rogue (government) or somebody&rdquo; from a barge off the East Coast. Bin Laden is pictured on the cover of the proposal for the exercise. [<a href="timeline/2002/afps060402.html" target=_new>American Forces Press Service, 6/4/02</a>] The exercise takes place at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida. advanceinfo Global Security 4/14/02 News Article June 2001 (B) a0601advisory 1 false US intelligence issues a terrorist threat advisory, warning US government agencies that there is a high probability of an imminent terrorist attack against US interests: &ldquo;Sunni extremists associated with al-Qaeda are most likely to attempt spectacular attacks resulting in numerous casualties.&rdquo; The advisory mentions the Arabian Peninsula, Israel, and Italy as possible targets for an attack. Afterwards, intelligence information provided to senior US leaders continues to indicate that al-Qaeda expects near-term attacks to have dramatic consequences on governments or cause major casualties. advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article June 2001 (F) a0601massoud 1 false The US considers aiding Ahmed Shah Massoud and his Northern Alliance movement. As one counter-terrorism official put it, &ldquo;You keep [al-Qaeda terrorists] on the front lines in Afghanistan. Hopefully you're killing them in the process, and they're not leaving Afghanistan to plot terrorist operations.&rdquo; A former US special envoy to the Afghan resistance visits Massoud this month. Massoud gives him &ldquo;all the intelligence he had on al-Qaeda&rdquo; in the hopes of getting some support in return. But he gets nothing more than token amounts, and his organization isn't even given &ldquo;legitimate resistance movement&rdquo; status. [<a href="timeline/2002/time080402.html" target=_new>Time, 8/4/02</a>] <comment>Did the US not want to support Massoud because he might have been too independent of US policy?</comment> incompetence June 2001 (J) a0601dabhol 1 false Enron's power plant in Dabhol, India, is shut down. The failure of the $3 billion plant, Enron's largest investment, contributes to Enron's bankruptcy later in the year (see [[ a120201enron ]]). Earlier in the year, India stopped paying its bill for the energy from the plant, because energy from the plant cost three times the usual rates. [[[ timeline/2001/nyt032001.html | New York Times, 3/20/01 ]]] Enron had hoped to feed the plant with cheap Central Asian gas, but this hope was dashed when a gas pipeline through Afghanistan was not completed (see [[ a0698enron ]]. The larger part of the plant is still only 90 percent complete when construction stops at about this time. [[[ timeline/2001/nyt032001.html | New York Times, 3/20/01 ]]] It is known that Vice President Cheney lobbies the leader of India's main opposition party about the plant this month. [[[ timeline/2002/nyt022102.html | New York Times, 2/21/02 ]]] A lawsuit is in motion to get additional government documents released that could reveal what else the US did to support this plant (see [[ a101702cheney ]] and [[ a020703gaoquits ]]). Enron may eventually restart the plant (see [[ a101802dabhol ]]). oil June 2001 (I) a0601ksmwarning 1 false US intelligence learns that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is interested in &ldquo;sending terrorists to the United States&rdquo; and planning to assist their activities once they arrive. advanceinfo The 9/11 Congressional inquiry says the significance of this is not understood at the time, and data collection efforts are not subsequently &ldquo;targeted on information about [Mohammed] that might have helped understand al-Qaeda's plans and intentions.&rdquo; [[[ | Committee Findings, 12/11/02 ]], [[ timeline/2002/latimes121202.html | Los Angeles Times, 12/12/02 ]], [[ | USA Today, 12/12/02 ]]] The FBI has a $2 million reward for Mohammed at the time (see [[ amid96mohammed ]]) That summer, the NSA intercepts phone calls between Mohammed and Mohamed Atta, but apparently fails to pay attention (see [[ asummer01intercept ]]), and on September 10, 2001, the US monitors a call from Atta to Mohammed in which Atta gets final approval for the 9/11 attacks, but this also doesn't lead to action (see [[ a091001ksmcall ]]). incompetence In mid-2002, it is reported that &ldquo;officials believe that given the warning signals available to the FBI in the summer of 2001, investigators correctly concentrated on the [USS] Cole investigation, rather than turning their attention to the possibility of a domestic attack.&rdquo; coverup New York Times 6/9/02 News Article June 2001 (C) a0601fourth 1 false The CIA provides senior US policy makers with a classified warning of a potential attack against US interests that is thought to be tied to Fourth of July celebrations in the US. Sunday Herald 9/23/01 News Article Early June 2001 a0601lifting 1 false UPI reporters interview the reclusive Taliban leader Mullah Omar. He says the Taliban would like to resolve the bin Laden issue, so there can be &ldquo;an easing and then lifting of UN sanctions that are strangling and killing the people of [Afghanistan]&rdquo;(see [[ a111499sanctions ]] and [[ a011901sanctions ]]). The reporters also note, &ldquo;Saudi Arabia and the [United Arab Emirates] secretly fund the Taliban government by paying saudi Pakistan for its logistical support to Afghanistan. Despite Pakistan's official denials, Taliban is entirely dependent on Pakistani aid. This was verified on the ground by UPI. Everything from bottled water to oil, gasoline and aviation fuel, and from telephone equipment to military supplies, comes from Pakistan. isidrugs &rdquo; UPI 6/14/01 News Article June 1, 2001 1 false According to the New York Observer and government documents, &ldquo;the decades-old procedure for a quick response by the nation's air defense&rdquo; changes on this date. &ldquo;Now, instead of NORAD's military commanders being able to issue the command to launch fighter jets, approval [has] to be sought from the civilian Defense Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.&rdquo; Rumsfeld later claims that protection against a domestic terrorist attack is not his responsibility, but &ldquo;a law-enforcement issue.&rdquo; The Observer asks, &ldquo;Why, in that case, did he take onto himself the responsibility of approving NORAD's deployment of fighter planes?&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2004/nyobserver061704.html New York Observer 6/17/04 News Article June 2001 (G) a0601ring left Ephrahim Halevy is head of the Israeli Mossad from 1998 to 2002. 1 false A 60-page internal memo on the Israeli &ldquo;art student&rdquo; spy ring is prepared by the DEA's Office of Security Programs. [Read the memo here: <a href="timeline/2001/dea0601.html" target=_new>DEA report, 6/01</a>] The memo is a compilation of dozens of field reports, and was meant only for the eyes of senior officials at the Justice Department (of which the DEA is adjunct), but it is leaked to the press around December 2001. The report connects the spies to efforts to foil investigations into Israeli organized crime activity involving the importation of the drug Ecstasy. The spies also appear to be snooping on top secret military bases. For instance, on April 30, 2001, an Air Force alert was issued from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City concerning &ldquo;possible intelligence collection being conducted by Israeli Art Students.&rdquo; Tinker AFB houses AWACS surveillance craft and Stealth bombers. By the time of the report, the US has &ldquo;apprehended or expelled close to 120 Israeli nationals&rdquo; but many remain at large. [<a href="timeline/2002/lemonde030502.html" target=_new>Le Monde, 3/5/02</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Salon, 5/7/02</a>] An additional 20 or so Israeli spies are apprehended between June and 9/11. israel timeline/2001/foxnews121201.html Fox News 12/12/01 News Article Early June 2001 (B) aearly0601hadley 1 false Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley circulates a draft presidential directive on policy toward al-Qaeda. Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke and his staff regard the new approach as essentially similar to the proposal they developed in December 2000 (see [[ a1200bluesky | December 2000 ]]) and presented to the Bush administration in January 2001 (see ). The draft has the goal of eliminating al-Qaeda as threat over a multi-year period, and calls for funding through 2006. It has a section calling for the development of contingency military plans against al-Qaeda and the Taliban. Hadley contacts Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz to tell him these contingency plans will be needed soon. However, no such plans are developed before 9/11. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and others later admit that the contingency plans available immediately after 9/11 are unsatisfactory. [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404b.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D) ]]] The draft is now discussed in three more deputy level meetings (see [[ a062701deputies | June 27-July 16, 2001 ]]). incompetence June 2001 (E) 1 false Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke asks for a transfer to start a new national program on cyber security. His request is granted, and he is to change jobs in early October 2001. He does make the change despite the 9/11 attacks. He claims that he tells National Security Advisor Rice and her deputy Steve Hadley, &ldquo;Perhaps I have become too close to the terrorism issue. I have worked it for ten years and to me it seems like a very important issue, but maybe I'm becoming like Captain Ahab with bin Laden as the White Whale. Maybe you need someone less obsessive about it.&rdquo; White House 10/9/01 News Article He later claims, &ldquo;My view was that this administration, while it listened to me, either didn't believe me that there was an urgent problem or was unprepared to act as though there were an urgent problem. And I thought, if the administration doesn't believe its national coordinator for counterterrorism when he says there's an urgent problem, and if it's unprepared to act as though there's an urgent problem, then probably I should get another job.&rdquo; incompetence New York Times 3/24/04 News Article June 2001 a0601german 1 false German intelligence warns the CIA, Britain's MI6, and Israel's Mossad that Middle Eastern terrorists are planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack &ldquo;American and Israeli symbols, which stand out.&rdquo; A later article quotes unnamed German intelligence sources who state the information was coming from Echelon surveillance technology, and that British intelligence had access to the same warnings. However, there were other informational sources, including specific information and hints given to, but not reported by, Western and Near Eastern news media six months before 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2001/faz091101.html" target=_new>Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 9/11/01</a>, <a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/14/01</a>, <a href=",2933,53065,00.html" target=_new>Fox News, 5/17/02</a>] advanceinfo FTW News Article June 2001 (D) a0601shanghai 1 false China, Russia, and four Central Asian countries create the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Its explicit purpose is to oppose US dominance, especially in Central Asia. [<a href=",5673,579174,00.html" target=_new>Guardian, 10/23/01</a>] Russian defense minister Igor Sergeyev writes, &ldquo;The actions of Islamic extremists in Central Asia give Russia the chance to strengthen its position in the region.&rdquo;,3858,4336181,00.html Guardian 1/16/02 News Article In March 2003, the Guardian will note that the new ring of US military bases built in the Afghan war (see [[ a0102centralasia ]]) &ldquo;has, in effect, destroyed the Shanghai Cooperation Organization which Russia and China had established in an attempt to develop a regional alternative to US power.&rdquo; afghanwar,5673,911700,00.html Guardian 3/11/03 News Article June or July 2001 a0601hamburg 1 false At least two witnesses from the Hamburg university where Atta had studied later claim Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and an unknown third person are seen in the ground-floor workshops of the architecture department at this time. They are seen on at least two occasions with a white, three foot scale model of the Pentagon. Between 60 and 80 slides of the Sears building in Chicago and the World Trade Center are found to be missing from the technical library after 9/11. timeline/2002/sundaytimes020302.html Sunday Times 2/3/02 News Article June-July 2001 1 false Terrorist threat reports, already high (see [[ a0401surge | April-May 2001 ]]), surge even higher. advanceinfo President Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, and national security aides are given briefing papers with headlines such as &ldquo;Bin Laden Threats Are Real&rdquo; and &ldquo;Bin Laden Planning High Profile Attacks.&rdquo; The exact contents of these briefings remain classified, but according to the 9/11 Commission they consistently predict upcoming attacks that will occur &ldquo;on a catastrophic level, indicating that they would cause the world to be in turmoil, consisting of possible multiple &#8212; but not necessarily simultaneous&#8212;attacks.&rdquo; CIA Director Tenet later recalls that by late July the warnings coming in could not get any worse. He feels that Bush and other officials grasp the urgency of what they are being told. advanceinfo 9/11 Commission Report 4/13/04 (B) News Article But Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin later states that he feels a great tension, peaking these months, between the Bush administration's need to understand terrorism issues and his sense of great urgency. McLaughlin and others are frustrated when inexperienced Bush officials question the validity of certain intelligence findings. Two unnamed, veteran counterterrorism center officers deeply involved in bin Laden issues are so worried about an impending disaster that they consider resigning and going public with their concerns. [<a href="timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html" target=_new>9/11 Commission, 3/24/04 (C)</a>] Dale Watson, head of counterterrorism at the FBI, wishes he had &ldquo;500 analysts looking at Osama bin Laden threat information instead of two.&rdquo; incompetence 9/11 Commission Report 4/13/04 (B) News Article June 2001 (H) a0601britainmeeting 1 false British investigators believe that at least five of the hijackers have a &ldquo;vital planning meeting&rdquo; held in a safe house in north London, Britain. [<a href="timeline/2001/londontimes092601.html" target=_new>London Times, 9/26/01</a>] Authorities suspect that Mustapha Labsi, an Algerian now in British custody, train the hijackers in this safe house, as well as previously training the hijackers in Afghanistan. Telegraph 9/30/01 News Article June 3, 2001 a060301 1 false This is one of only two dates that Bush's national security leadership meets formally to discuss terrorism (see also [[ a090401cabinetmeeting ]]). This group, made up of the National Security Adviser, CIA Director, Defense Secretary, Secretary of State, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and others, met around 100 times before 9/11 to discuss a variety of topics, but apparently rarely terrorism. incompetence In wake of these reports, the White House &ldquo;aggressively defended the level of attention, given only scattered hints of al-Qaeda activity.&rdquo; coverup This lack of discussion stands in sharp contrast to the Clinton administration and public comments by the Bush administration. [<a href="timeline/2002/time080402.html" target=_new>Time, 8/4/02</a>] Bush said in February 2001: &ldquo;I will put a high priority on detecting and responding to terrorism on our soil.&rdquo; A few weeks earlier, Tenet had told Congress, &ldquo;The threat from terrorism is real, it is immediate, and it is evolving.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2002/ap062802.html AP 6/28/02 News Article June 4, 2001 a060401cayman 1 false At some point in 2000, three men claiming to be Afghans but using Pakistani passports enter the Cayman Islands, possibly illegally. [<a href="" target=_new>Miami Herald, 9/20/01</a>] In late 2000, Cayman and British investigators begin a yearlong probe of these men which lasts until 9/11. Los Angeles Times 9/20/01 News Article They are overheard discussing hijacking attacks in New York City. advanceinfo On this day, they are taken into custody, questioned and released some time later. incompetence This information is forwarded to US intelligence. [[[,2933,53065,00.html | Fox News, 5/17/02 ]]] In late August, a letter to a Cayman radio station will allege these same men are agents of bin Laden &ldquo;organizing a major terrorist act against the US via an airline or airlines&rdquo;(see [[ a082901cayman ]]). advanceinfo June 9, 2001 a060901 left FBI agent Robert Wright. 1 false Robert Wright, an FBI agent who spent ten years investigating terrorist funding (see [[ a1098alqadi ]]), writes a memo that slams the FBI. He states, &ldquo;Knowing what I know, I can confidently say that until the investigative responsibilities for terrorism are transferred from the FBI, I will not feel safe&#8230; The FBI has proven for the past decade it cannot identify and prevent acts of terrorism against the United States and its citizens at home and abroad. Even worse, there is virtually no effort on the part of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit to neutralize known and suspected international terrorists living in the United States.&rdquo;[[[ | Cybercast News Service, 5/30/02 ]]] He claims &ldquo;FBI was merely gathering intelligence so they would know who to arrest when a terrorist attack occurred&rdquo; rather than actually trying to stop the attacks. incompetence UPI 5/30/02 News Article Wright's shocking allegations are largely ignored when they first become public a year later. He is asked on CNN's Crossfire, one of the few outlets to cover the story at all, &ldquo;Mr. Wright, your charges against the FBI are really more disturbing, more serious, than [Coleen] Rowley's [(see [[ a082801fisa ]])]. Why is it, do you think, that you have been ignored by the media, ignored by the congressional committees, and no attention has been paid to your allegations?&rdquo; The Village Voice says the problem is partly because he went to the FBI and asked permission to speak publicly instead of going straight to the media as Rowley did. The FBI put severe limits on what details Wright can divulge. He is now suing them (see also [[ a053002 ]]). coverup Village Voice 6/19/02 News Article June 11, 2001 a061101meeting 1 false A CIA analyst and FBI analyst travel to New York and meet with FBI officials at FBI headquarters about the USS Cole investigation. The CIA analyst has already showed photographs from the al-Qaeda Malaysia meeting attended by hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi (see [[ a010500malaysiameeting ]]), to the FBI analyst, but failed to explain what he knows about them (see [[ a051501meeting ]]). incompetence The CIA analyst now shows the same photos to the additional FBI agents. He wants to know if the FBI agents can identify anyone in the photos for a different case he's working on. &ldquo;The FBI agents recognized the men from the Cole investigation, but when they asked the CIA what they knew about the men, they were told that they didn't have clearance to share that information. It ended up in a shouting match. incompetence &rdquo; [[[ | ABC News, 8/16/02 ]]] The CIA analyst later admits that at the time he knows Almihdhar had a US visa (see [[ a0499hijackervisas ]]), that Alhazmi had traveled to the US (see [[ a0300warning ]]), that al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash had been recognized in one of the photos (see [[ a0101binatash ]]), and that Alhazmi was known to be an experienced terrorist. But he doesn't tell any of this to any FBI agent. He doesn't let them keep copies of the photos either. [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] He promises them more information later, but the FBI agents don't receive more information until after 9/11. [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html | Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02 ]]] Two days after this meeting, Almihdhar has no trouble getting a new multiple reentry US visa. incompetence US News and World Report 12/12/01 News Article timeline/2002/senatecommittee092002.html Congressional Inquiry 9/20/02 News Article CIA Director Tenet later claims, &ldquo;Almihdhar was not who they were talking about in this meeting.&rdquo; When Senator Carl Levin (D) reads the following to Tenet, &ldquo;The CIA analyst who attended the New York meeting acknowledged to the joint inquiry staff that he had seen the information regarding Almihdhar's US visa and Alhazmi's travel to the United States but he stated that he would not share information outside of the CIA unless he had authority to do so,&rdquo; Tenet claims that he talked to the same analyst and was told something completely different. coverup;position=top New York Times 10/17/02 News Article June 12, 2001 a061201sting left Diaa Mohsen, left and Mohamed Malik, right, caught on an undercover video. A portrait of Mohamed Malik on the right. 1 false Operation Diamondback, a sting operation uncovering an attempt to buy weapons illegally for the Taliban, bin Laden, and others, ends with a number of arrests. An Egyptian named Diaa Mohsen and a Pakistani named Mohammed Malik are arrested and accused of attempting to buy Stinger missiles, nuclear weapon components, and other sophisticated military weaponry for the Pakistani ISI. [[[ timeline/2001/sunsentinel082301.html | South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 8/23/01 ]], [[ | Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B) ]]] Malik appears to have had links to important Pakistani officials and Kashmiri terrorists, and Mohsen claims a connection to a man &ldquo;who is very connected to the Taliban&rdquo; and funded by bin Laden. [[[ | Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B) ]], [[ timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html | MSNBC, 8/2/02 ]]] Some other ISI agents came to Florida on several occasions to negotiate, but they escaped being arrested. They wanted to partially pay in heroin. One mentioned that the WTC would be destroyed (see [[ a071499abbas ]]and [[ a0801glass ]]). These ISI agents said some of their purchases would go to the Taliban in Afghanistan and/or terrorists associated with bin Laden. isidrugs New York Times 6/16/01 News Article Washington Post 8/2/02 (B) News Article timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html MSNBC 8/2/02 News Article Both Malik and Mohsen lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. [[[ timeline/2001/jerseyjournal062001.html | Jersey Journal, 6/20/01 ]]] A number of the people held by the US after 9/11, including possible al-Qaeda members Syed Gul Mohammad Shah and Mohammed Azmath (see [[ a091101twomen ]]) are from the same Jersey City neighborhood. timeline/2001/nypost092301.html New York Post 9/23/01 News Article Mohsen pleads guilty after 9/11, &ldquo;But remarkably, even though [he was] apparently willing to supply America's enemies with sophisticated weapons, even nuclear weapons technology, Mohsen was sentenced to just 30 months in prison.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html" target=_new>MSNBC, 8/2/02</a>] Malik's case appears to have been dropped, and reporters find him working in a store in Florida less than a year after the trial ended. incompetence timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html MSNBC 8/2/02 News Article Malik's court files remain completely sealed, and in Mohsen's court case, prosecutors &ldquo;removed references to Pakistan from public filings because of diplomatic concerns.&rdquo; coverup Washington Post 8/2/02 (B) News Article Also arrested are Kevin Ingram and Walter Kapij. Ingram pleads guilty to laundering $350,000 and is sentenced to 18 months in prison. [<a href="timeline/2001/ap120101.html" target=_new>AP, 12/1/01</a>] Ingram was a former senior investment banker with Deutschebank, but resigned in January 1999 after his division suffered costly losses. [<a href="timeline/2001/jerseyjournal062001.html" target=_new>Jersey Journal, 6/20/01</a>] Walter Kapij, a pilot with a minor role in the plot, is given the longest sentence, 33 months in prison. [<a href="timeline/2002/palmbeachpost011202.html" target=_new>Palm Beach Post, 1/12/02</a>] Informant Randy Glass plays a key role in the sting, and has thirteen felony fraud charges against him reduced as a result, serving only seven months in prison. Federal agents involved in the case later express puzzlement that Washington higher-ups didn't make the case a higher priority, pointing out that bin Laden could have gotten a nuclear bomb if the deal was for real. Agents on the case complain that the FBI didn't make the case a counter-terrorism matter, which would have improved bureaucratic backing and opened access to FBI information and US intelligence from around the world. [<a href="" target=_new>Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B)</a>, <a href="timeline/2002/msnbc080202.html" target=_new>MSNBC, 8/2/02</a>] Federal agents frequently couldn't get prosecutors to approve wiretaps. [<a href="timeline/2002/coxnews080202.html" target=_new>Cox News, 8/2/02</a>] Glass says, &ldquo;Wouldn't you think that there should have been a wire tap on Diaa [Mohsen]'s phone and Malik's phone?&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/wpbf080502.html" target=_new>WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02</a>] An FBI supervisor in Miami refused to front money for the sting, forcing agents to use money from US Customs and even Glass's own money to help keep the sting going. incompetence timeline/2002/coxnews080202.html Cox News 8/2/02 News Article June 13, 2001 (B) 1 false At President Bush's first meeting with NATO heads of state in Brussels, Belgium, Bush outlines his five top defense issues. Missile defense is at the top of the list. Terrorism is not mentioned at all. This is consistent with his other statements before 9/11. Almost the only time he ever publicly mentions al-Qaeda or bin Laden before 9/11 is later in the month, in a letter that renews Clinton administration sanctions on the Taliban. incompetence CNN 6/13/01 News Article Washington Post 4/1/04 News Article He only speaks publicly about the dangers of terrorism once before 9/11 (see [[ a050801cheneytaskforce | May 8, 2001 ]]), except for several mentions in the context of promoting a missile defense shield. incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article June 13, 2001 a061301egypt 1 false Egyptian President Hasni Mubarak claims that Egyptian intelligence discovers a &ldquo;communiqu&#233; from bin Laden saying he wanted to assassinate George W. Bush and other G8 heads of state during their summit in Italy.&rdquo; The communiqu&#233; specifically mentions this would be done via &ldquo;an airplane stuffed with explosives.&rdquo; The US and Italy are sent urgent warnings of this. [[[ | New York Times, 9/26/01 ]]] Mubarak claims that Egyptian intelligence officials informed American intelligence officers between March and May 2001 that an Egyptian agent had penetrated the bin Laden organization. Presumably this explains how Egypt is able to give the US these warnings (see also [[ a0701egypt | Late July 2001 (D) ]] and [[ a083001egypt | August 30, 2001 ]]). [[[ | New York Times, 6/4/02 ]]] The warnings are mentioned in the media before the event and the attack is aborted (see [[ a062001neonaziwarning | June 20, 2001 ]] and [[ a072001summit | July 20-22, 2001 ]]). advanceinfo June 20, 2001 a062001neonaziwarning 1 false Time magazine reports: &ldquo;For sheer diabolical genius (of the Hollywood variety), nothing came close to the reports that European security services are preparing to counter a Bin Laden attempt to assassinate President Bush at next month's G8 summit in Genoa, Italy. According to German intelligence sources, the plot involved Bin Laden paying German neo-Nazis to fly remote controlled-model aircraft packed with Semtex into the conference hall and blow the leaders of the industrialized world to smithereens. (Paging Jerry Bruckheimer&#8230;)&rdquo; [[[,8599,131866,00.html | Time, 6/20/01 ]]] This report follows warnings given by Egypt (see [[ a061301egypt | June 13, 2001 ]]), and there are more warnings (see [[ a0701summit | Mid-July 2001 ]]) before the summit (see [[ a072001summit | July 20-22, 2001 ]]). advanceinfo James Hatfield, author of an unflattering book on Bush called <i>Fortunate Son</i> , repeats the claim in print a few days later, writing: &ldquo;German intelligence services have stated that bin Laden is covertly financing neo-Nazi skinhead groups throughout Europe to launch another terrorist attack at a high-profile American target.&rdquo; advanceinfo Online Journal 7/3/01 News Article Two weeks later, Hatfield apparently commits suicide. However, there is widespread speculation that his death was payback for his revelation of Bush's cocaine use in the 1970s. advanceinfo,8599,131866,00.html Salon 7/20/01 News Article June 21, 2001 a062101mebc 1 false A reporter for the Middle East Broadcasting Company interviews bin Laden. incompetence Keeping a promise made to Taliban leader Mullah Omar, bin Laden doesn't say anything substantive, but Ayman al-Zawahiri and top al-Qaeda others say, &ldquo;The coming weeks will hold important surprises that will target American and Israeli interests in the world.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2001/ap062401.html" target=_new>AP, 6/24/01</a>, <a href="timeline/2001/ap062501" target=_new>AP, 6/25/01</a>] The reporter later says, &ldquo;I am 100 percent sure of this, and it was absolutely clear they had brought me there to hear this message.&rdquo; [<i>A Pretext for War,</i> by James Bamford, 6/04, p. 236] Additionally, the reporter is shown a several-months-old videotape with bin Laden declaring to his followers, &ldquo;It's time to penetrate America and Israel and hit him them where it hurts most.&rdquo; advanceinfo CNN 6/21/01 News Article Author James Bamford theorizes that the original 9/11 plot involved a simultaneous attack on Israel and that shoe bomber Richard Reid may have originally wanted to target an Israeli aircraft around this time. For instance, Reid flies to Tel Aviv, Israel on July 12, 2001 to test if airline security would check his shoes for bombs. incompetence June 23, 2001 a062301planning 1 false Reuters reports that &ldquo;Followers of exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden are planning a major attack on US and Israeli interests in the next two weeks.&rdquo; The report is based on the impression of a reporter who interviewed bin Laden and some of his followers two days earlier. This reporter is quoted as saying: &ldquo;There is a major state of mobilization among the Osama bin Laden forces. It seems that there is a race of who will strike first. Will it be the United States or Osama bin Laden?&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/2001/reuters062301.html Reuters 6/23/01 News Article June 25, 2001 a062501banihammad left Hijacker Fayez Banihammad. 1 false Hijacker Fayez Banihammad opens a bank account in Dubai, United Arab Emirates (UAE), with 9/11 paymaster &ldquo;Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi.&rdquo; That name is a likely alias for Saeed Sheikh, who is known to frequently visit Dubai in this time period (see [[ a010100saeedreleased ]]and [[ a092401manyfinancers ]]). isidrugs timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html MSNBC 12/11/01 News Article Banihammad flies to the US the next day (see [[ a042301muscle ]]). Banihammad gives power of attorney to &ldquo;al-Hawsawi&rdquo; on July 18, and then &ldquo;al-Hawsawi&rdquo;sends Banihammad Visa and ATM cards in Florida. Banihammad uses the Visa card to buy his airplane ticket for 9/11. [[[;node=&amp;contentId=A34751-2001Dec12&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 12/13/01 ]], [[ timeline/2001/msnbc121101.html | MSNBC, 12/11/01 ]]] The same pattern of events occurs for some other hijackers, though the timing is not fully known. [[[ timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html | Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02 ]]] Visa cards are given to several other hijackers in Dubai. [[[ timeline/2001/londontimes120101.html | London Times, 12/1/01 ]]] Other hijackers, including Hani Hanjour, Abdulaziz Alomari and Khalid Almihdhar, open foreign bank and credit card accounts in the UAE and in Saudi Arabia. Majed Moqed, Saeed Alghamdi, Hamza Alghamdi, Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Wail Alshehri and possibly others purchase travelers checks in the UAE, presumably with funds given to them when they pass through Dubai. It is believed that &ldquo;al-Hawsawi&rdquo; is in Dubai every time the hijackers pass through. timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html Congressional Intelligence Committee 9/26/02 News Article June 26, 2001 a062601russia 1 false An Indian magazine reports more details of the cooperative efforts of the US, India, Russia, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan and Iran against the Taliban regime: &ldquo;India and Iran will &lsquo;facilitate&rsquo; US and Russian plans for &lsquo;limited military action&rsquo; against the Taliban if the contemplated tough new economic sanctions don't bend Afghanistan's fundamentalist regime.&rdquo; Earlier in the month, Russian President Putin told a meeting of the Confederation of Independent States that military action against the Taliban may happen, possibly with Russian involvement using bases and forces from Uzbekistan and Tajikistan as well (see also [[ a121900russia ]], [[ a031501janes ]] and [[ a072101berlin ]]). [[[;ctg= | IndiaReacts, 6/26/01 ]]] afghanwar FTW News Article June 26, 2001 (B) a062601warning 1 false The State Department issues a worldwide caution warning American citizens of possible attacks. CNN 3/02 News Article June 26, 2001 (B) 1 false The State Department issues a worldwide caution warning American citizens of possible attacks. [[[ | CNN, 3/02 ]]] Also around this time, US military forces in the Persian Gulf are placed on heightened alert and naval ships there are sent out to sea, and other defensive steps are taken overseas. This is in response to a recent warning where bin Laden said, &ldquo;It's time to penetrate America and Israel and hit them where it hurts most&rdquo; (see [[ a062101mebc | June 21, 2001 ]]). But, as author James Bamford later notes, &ldquo;No precautions were ever taken within the United States, only overseas.&rdquo; incompetence June 27, 2001 a062701iranpipe 1 false The Wall Street Journal reports that Pakistan and India are discussing jointly building a gas pipeline from Central Asian gas fields through Iran. This would circumvent the difficulties of building the pipeline through Afghanistan. [[[ timeline/2001/wallstreetjournal062701.html | Wall Street Journal, 6/27/01 ]]] Iran has been secretly supporting the Northern Alliance to keep Afghanistan divided so no pipelines could be put through it (see [[ a122099iran ]]). Presumably the US government would be opposed to this, since much of its support for Afghanistan pipelines has been to prevent them from going through Iran (see [[ aearly98richardson ]]). oil June 27-July 16, 2001 a062701deputies 1 false The first Bush administration Deputy-Secretary-level meeting on terrorism in late April (see [[ a043001deputies | April 30, 2001 ]]) is followed by three more deputy meetings. Each meeting focuses on one issue: one meeting is about al-Qaeda, one about the Pakistani situation, and one on Indo-Pakistani relations. The plan to roll back al-Qaeda that has been discussed at these meetings is worked on some more and finally approved by National Security Advisor Rice and the deputies on August 13. It now can move to the Cabinet-level before finally reaching President Bush. incompetence The Cabinet-level meeting is scheduled for later in August, but too many participants are on vacation, so the meeting takes place in early September (see [[ a090401cabinetmeeting | September 4, 2001 (C) ]]). incompetence;node=&amp;contentId=A8734-2002Jan19 Washington Post 1/20/02 News Article timeline/2004/independentcommissionreport032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 News Article timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D) News Article June 28, 2001 1 false CIA Director Tenet writes an intelligence summary for National Security Advisor Rice: &ldquo;It is highly likely that a significant al-Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks.&rdquo; A highly classified analysis at this time adds, &ldquo;Most of the al-Qaeda network is anticipating an attack. Al-Qaeda's overt publicity has also raised expectations among its rank and file, and its donors.&rdquo; advanceinfo Washington Post 5/17/02 News Article Apparently the same analysis also adds, &ldquo;Based on a review of all-source reporting over the last five months, we believe that [bin Laden] will launch a significant terrorist attack against US and/or Israeli interests in the coming weeks. The attack will be spectacular and designed to inflict mass casualties against US facilities or interests. Attack preparations have been made. Attack will occur with little or no warning. &rdquo; advanceinfo [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportpartb072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B) ]]] This warning is shared with &ldquo;senior Bush administration officials&rdquo; in early July. [[[ timeline/2002/congressionalinquiry091802.html | Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02 ]]] Apparently, all this is largely based on a warning given by al-Qaeda leaders to a reporter a few days earlier (see [[ a062101mebc | June 21, 2001 ]]). Counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke also later asserts that Tenet tells him around this time, &ldquo;It's my sixth sense, but I feel it coming. This is going to be the big one.&rdquo; Late September-Early October 2001 a0901extradition 1 false According to a later Mirror article, leaders of Pakistan's two Islamic parties negotiate bin Laden's extradition to Pakistan to stand trial for the 9/11 attacks. Bin Laden would be held under house arrest in Peshawar and would face an international tribunal, which would decide whether to try him or hand him over to the US. According to reports in Pakistan (and the Telegraph), this plan has both bin Laden's approval and that of Taliban leader Mullah Omar. However, the plan is vetoed by Pakistan's president Musharraf who says he &ldquo;could not guarantee bin Laden's safety.&rdquo; incompetence But it appears the US did not want the deal: a US official later says that &ldquo;casting our objectives too narrowly&rdquo;risked &ldquo;a premature collapse of the international effort [to overthrow the Taliban] if by some lucky chance Mr. bin Laden was captured.&rdquo; coverup;method=full Mirror 7/8/02 News Article Late June 2001 a0601clarke 1 false White House National Coordinator for Counterterrorism, Richard Clarke, gives a direct warning to the FAA to increase security measures in light of an impending terrorist attack. The FAA refuses to take such measures. incompetence New Yorker 1/14/02 News Article Summer 2001 (D) a2001alkhadir 1 false Egyptian investigators track down a close associate of bin Laden named Ahmed al-Khadir, wanted for bombing the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad in 1995. Egyptians surround the safe house in Pakistan where al-Khadir is hiding. They notify the ISI to help arrest him, and the ISI promises swift action. Instead, a car sent by the ISI filled with Taliban and having diplomatic plates arrives, grabs al-Khadir and drives him to safety in Afghanistan. Time magazine later brings up the incident to show the strong ties between the ISI and both the Taliban and al-Qaeda. isidrugs,13673,501020506-233999,00.html Time 5/6/02 News Article Summer 2001 (B) a2001assetvalidation 1 false A confidential informant tells an FBI field office agent that he has been invited to a commando training course at a camp operated by al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The information is passed up to FBI headquarters, which rejects the idea of infiltrating the camp. An &ldquo;asset validation&rdquo; of the informant, a routine but critical exercise to determine whether information from the source was reliable, is also not done. incompetence The FBI later has no comment on the story. coverup timeline/2002/usnews061002.html US News and World Report 6/10/02 News Article Summer 2001 (I) 1 false According to Newsweek, the Justice Department curtails &ldquo;a highly classified program called &lsquo;Catcher's Mitt&rsquo; to monitor al-Qaeda suspects in the United States.&rdquo; This is apparently because a federal judge severely chastised the FBI for improperly seeking permission to wiretap terrorists. incompetence Newsweek 3/22/04 News Article Summer 2001 (E) 1 false Supposedly, by this time there are only fourteen fighter planes on active alert to defend the continental US (and six more defending Canada and Alaska). incompetence timeline/2003/bergenrecord120503.html Bergen Record 12/5/03 News Article But in the months before 9/11, rather than increase the number, the Pentagon was planning to reduce the number still further. Just after 9/11, the Los Angeles Times reported, &ldquo;While defense officials say a decision had not yet been made, a reduction in air defenses had been gaining currency in recent months among task forces assigned by [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld to put together recommendations for a reassessment of the military.&rdquo; incompetence By comparison, in the Cold War atmosphere of the 1950s, the US had thousands of fighters on alert throughout the US. [<a href=",0,891325.story" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 9/15/01 (B)</a>] As late as 1998, there were 175 fighters on alert status. incompetence timeline/2003/bergenrecord120503.html Bergen Record 12/5/03 News Article Also during this time, FAA officials try to dispense with &ldquo;primary&rdquo; radars altogether, so that if a plane were to turn its transponder off, no radar could see it. NORAD rejects the proposal. incompetence Aviation Week and Space Technology 6/3/02 News Article July 2001 (B) a0701india 1 false India gives the US general intelligence on possible terror attacks; details are not known. advanceinfo US government officials later confirm that Indian intelligence had information &ldquo;that two Islamist radicals with ties to Osama bin Laden were discussing an attack on the White House,&rdquo; but apparently this particular information is not given to the US until two days after 9/11. incompetence,2933,53065,00.html Fox News 5/17/02 News Article Summer 2001 asummer01intercept 1 false Around this time, the NSA intercepts telephone conversations between 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Mohamed Atta, but apparently does not share the information with any other agencies. The FBI has a $2 million reward for Mohammed at the time (see [[ amid96mohammed ]]), while Atta is in charge of operations inside the US. [[[ | Knight Ridder, 6/6/02 ]], [[ | Independent, 6/6/02 ]]] US intelligence learned in June 2001 that Mohammed was interested in sending terrorists to the US and supporting them there (see [[ a0601ksmwarning ]]). Yet supposedly, the NSA either fails to translate these messages in a timely fashion or fails to understand the significance of what was translated. [[[ | Knight Ridder Newspapers, 6/6/02 ]]] [[ | FTW ]] <comment>While the contents of these discussions have never been released, doesn't it seem highly likely they were discussing 9/11 plans? Would the NSA fail to translate or properly analyze messages from one of the most wanted terrorists?</comment> incompetence Summer 2001 (G) a2001fourteen 1 false Supposedly, since 1997 there are only fourteen fighter planes on active alert to defend the continental US. But in the months before 9/11, rather than increase the number, the Pentagon was planning to reduce the number still further. Just after 9/11, the Los Angeles Times reported, &ldquo;While defense officials say a decision had not yet been made, a reduction in air defenses had been gaining currency in recent months among task forces assigned by [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld to put together recommendations for a reassessment of the military.&rdquo; incompetence By comparison, in the Cold War atmosphere of the 1950s, the US had thousands of fighters on alert throughout the US.,0,891325.story Los Angeles Times 9/15/01 (B) News Article Also during this time, FAA officials try to dispense with &ldquo;primary&rdquo; radars altogether, so that if a plane were to turn its transponder off, no radar could see it. NORAD rejects the proposal. incompetence Aviation Week and Space Technology 6/3/02 News Article July 2001 a0701afghanknowledge 1 false The CIA hears an individual who had recently been in Afghanistan say, &ldquo;Everyone is talking about an impending attack.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html" target=_new>Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02</a>, <a href=";node=&amp;contentId=A36615-2002Sep18&amp;notFound=true" target=_new>Washington Post, 9/19/02</a>] The Telegraph later reports that &ldquo;the idea of an attack on a skyscraper was discussed among [bin Laden's] supporters in Kabul.&rdquo; At some unspecified point before 9/11, a neighbor in Kabul saw diagrams showing a skyscraper attack in a house known as a &ldquo;nerve center&rdquo; for al-Qaeda activity. [<a href=";$sessionid$XG1AOZ0QHKRWHQFIQMGSFFWAVCBQWIV0?xml=/news/2001/11/16/wdiag16.xml&amp;sSheet=/news/2001/11/16/ixhomer.html&amp;_requestid=116141" target=_new>Telegraph, 11/16/01</a>] US soldiers will later find forged visas, altered passports, listings of Florida flight schools and registration papers for a flight simulator in al-Qaeda houses in Afghanistan. [<a href="" target=_new>New York Times, 12/6/01</a>] Bin Laden bodyguard later claims that in May 2001 he hears bin Laden tell people in Afghanistan that the US would be hit with a terrorist attack, and thousands would die. advanceinfo,11209,849294,00.html Guardian 11/28/01 News Article CIA Director Tenet later claims that the 9/11 plot was &ldquo;in the heads of three or four people.&rdquo; coverup USA Today 2/7/02 News Article <comment>How many people in Afghanistan really knew of the 9/11 attack plans?</comment> advanceinfo Summer 2001 (C) a2001portergoss 1 false Congressman Porter Goss (R), Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, later says on the intelligence monitoring of terrorist groups: &ldquo;the chatter level went way off the charts&rdquo; around this time and stayed high until 9/11. Given his history as a CIA operative, presumably he was kept &ldquo;in the know&rdquo; to some extent. [<a href="" target=_new>Los Angeles Times, 5/18/02</a>] A later Congressional report states: &ldquo;Some individuals within the intelligence community have suggested that the increase in threat reporting was unprecedented, at least in terms of their own experience.&rdquo; [<a href="timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802.html" target=_new>Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02</a>] Two counter-terrorism officials [later describe] the alerts of this summer as &ldquo;the most urgent in decades.&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/2002/senatecommittee091802b.html Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02 News Article July 1, 2001 a070101feinstein 1 false Senators Dianne Feinstein (D) and Richard Shelby (R), both members of the Senate Intelligence Committee, appear on CNN's &ldquo;Late Edition with Wolf Blitzer&rdquo;, and warn of potential attacks by bin Laden. Says Feinstein: &ldquo;One of the things that has begun to concern me very much as to whether we really have our house in order, intelligence staff have told me that there is a major probability of a terrorist incident within the next three months.&rdquo; advanceinfo CNN 3/02 News Article Summer 2001 (I) 1 false According to Newsweek, the Justice Department curtails &ldquo;a highly classified program called &lsquo;Catcher's Mitt&rsquo; to monitor al-Qaeda suspects in the United States.&rdquo; This is apparently because a federal judge severely chastised the FBI for improperly seeking permission to wiretap terrorists. incompetence Newsweek 3/22/04 News Article Summer 2001 (F) asummer01meet right Crown Prince Abdullah. 1 false An Asia Times article published just prior to 9/11 claims that Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia (see [[ alate95fahd ]]), makes a clandestine visit to Pakistan around this time. saudi After meeting with senior army officials, he visits Afghanistan with ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed (see [[ a100701mahmood ]]). They meet Taliban leader Mullah Omar and try to convince him that the US is likely to launch an attack on Afghanistan. isidrugs They insist bin Laden be sent to Saudi Arabia, where he would be held in custody and not handed over to any third country. If bin Laden were to be tried in Saudi Arabia, Abdullah would help make sure he is acquitted. Mullah Omar apparently rejects the proposal. The article suggests that Abdullah is secretly a supporter of bin Laden and is trying to protect him from harm (see [[ alate98failedattack ]]). [[[ | Asia Times, 8/22/01 ]]] A similar meeting may also take place after 9/11 (see [[ a091901secret ]]). saudi Summer 2001 (H) a2001armitage 1 false Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, later claims that at this time, CIA Director &ldquo;Tenet [is] around town literally pounding on desks saying, something is happening, this is an unprecedented level of threat information. He didn't know where it was going to happen, but he knew that it was coming.&rdquo; timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article July 2, 2001 (B) a070201threats 1 false The FBI issues a warning of possible al-Qaeda attacks on law enforcement agencies, stating, &ldquo;there are threats to be worried about overseas. While we cannot foresee attacks domestically, we cannot rule them out.&rdquo; CNN 3/02 News Article July 2, 2001 a070201renal 1 false Indian sources claim that &ldquo;bin Laden, who suffers from renal deficiency, has been periodically undergoing dialysis in a Peshawar military hospital with the knowledge and approval of the Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), if not of [Pakistani President] Musharraf himself.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>SARPA, 7/2/01</a>] While one might question the bias of an Indian newspaper on this issue, highly-respected intelligence newsletter Jane's later reports the story, and adds, &ldquo;None of [these details] will be unfamiliar to US intelligence operatives who have been compiling extensive reports on these alleged activities.&rdquo; [<a href="" target=_new>Jane's Intelligence Digest, 9/20/01</a>] CBS will later report bin Laden had emergency medical care in Pakistan the day before 9/11. [<a href="timeline/2002/cbs012802.html" target=_new>CBS News, 01/28/02</a>] If these stories are true, it appears Pakistan could have captured bin Laden for the US at any time. The Jane's article adds, &ldquo;it is becoming clear that both the Taliban and al-Qaeda would have found it difficult to have continued functioning&#8212;including the latter group's terrorist activities&#8212;without substantial aid and support from Islamabad [Pakistan].&rdquo; isidrugs Jane's Intelligence Digest 9/20/01 News Article July 2, 2001 (B) 1 false The FBI issues a warning of possible al-Qaeda attacks on law enforcement agencies, stating, &ldquo;there are threats to be worried about overseas. While we cannot foresee attacks domestically, we cannot rule them out.&rdquo; It further states, &ldquo;the FBI has no information indicating a credible threat of terrorist attack in the United States.&rdquo; It asks to &ldquo;exercise vigilance&rdquo; and &ldquo;report suspicious activities&rdquo; to the FBI. Two weeks later, acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard has a conference call with all field office heads mentioning the heightened threat. However, FBI personnel later fail to recall any heightened sense of threat from summer 2001. Only those in the New York field office recall this or took any special actions. incompetence CNN 3/02 (H) News Article 9/11 Commission Report 4/13/04 (B) News Article July 3, 2001 a070301principals 1 false Bush's Cabinet-level national security leadership discuss terrorism in a meeting. This group of &ldquo;Principals&rdquo; &#8212;National Security Advisor Rice, CIA Director Tenet, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Powell, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Shelton and others&#8212;meet around 100 times before 9/11 to discuss a variety of topics, but this is one of only two times when terrorism is discussed (see also [[ a090401cabinetmeeting | September 4, 2001 (C) ]]). incompetence This lack of discussion stands in sharp contrast to the Clinton administration where this group meets and discusses terrorism every two to three weeks after mind-1998 and nearly every day during times of heightened terrorist concerns. incompetence timeline/2002/ap062802.html AP 6/28/02 News Article July 3, 2001 (B) 1 false CIA Director Tenet makes an urgent special request to 20 friendly intelligence services, asking for the arrest of a list of known al-Qaeda operatives. coverup Washington Post 5/17/02 News Article July 4-14, 2001 a070401dubai right Did bin Laden receive life saving treatment at this hospital in Dubai? 1 false Bin Laden, America's most wanted criminal with a $5 million bounty on his head, supposedly receives lifesaving treatment for renal failure from American surgeon specialist Dr. Callaway at the American hospital in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. He is possibly accompanied by Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri (who is said to be bin Laden's personal physician, al-Qaeda's second-in-command, and leader of Egypt's Islamic Jihad), plus several bodyguards. Callaway supposedly treated bin Laden in 1996 and 1998, also in Dubai. Callaway later refuses to answer any questions on this matter. incompetence timeline/2001/lefigaro103101.html Le Figaro 10/31/01 News Article Agence France-Presse 11/1/01 News Article timeline/2001/londontimes110101.html London Times 11/01/01 News Article During his stay, bin Laden is visited by &ldquo;several members of his family and Saudi personalities,&rdquo; including Prince Turki al Faisal, then head of Saudi intelligence, saudi as well as two CIA officers (see also [[ a071201 ]]). [[[,1361,584444,00.html | Guardian, 11/1/01 ]]] incompetence FTW News Article The explosive story is widely reported in Europe, but barely at all in the US (possibly only by UPI [<a href="" target=_new>UPI, 11/1/01</a>]). coverup French terrorism expert Antoine Sfeir says the story of this meeting has been verified and is not surprising: It &ldquo;is nothing extraordinary. Bin Laden maintained contacts with the CIA up to 1998. These contacts have not ceased since bin Laden settled in Afghanistan. Up to the last moment, CIA agents hoped that bin Laden would return to the fold of the US, as was the case before 1989.&rdquo; incompetence timeline/2001/lefigaro110101.html Le Figaro 11/1/01 News Article July 4, 2001 a070401khalidreenters 1 false Hijacker Khalid Almihdhar reenters the US. The CIA and FBI have recently been showing interest in him (see [[ a051501meeting ]] and [[ a061101meeting ]]), but have still failed to place him on a terrorist watch list. Had he been placed on a watch list by this date, he would have been stopped and possibly detained as he tried to enter the US. incompetence He enters on a new US visa obtained in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia on June 13, 2001 (see also [[ a0501visaexpress ]]). [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]]] The FBI notes he returns just days after the last of the hijacker &ldquo;muscle&rdquo; has entered the US (see [[ a042301muscle ]]), and speculate he returns because his job in bringing them over is finished. timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 News Article July 5, 2001 a070501csgmeeting 1 false At the request of National Security Advisor Rice and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke leads a meeting of the CSG (Counterterrorism Security Group), attended by officials from a dozen federal agencies. They discuss intelligence regarding terrorism threats and potential attacks on US installations overseas. Two attendees recall Clarke stating, &ldquo;Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon.&rdquo; One who attended the meeting later calls the evidence that &ldquo;something spectacular&rdquo; is being planned by al-Qaeda &ldquo;very gripping.&rdquo; advanceinfo timeline/2002/time080402.html Time 8/4/02 News Article Washington Post 5/17/02 News Article Clarke directs every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer non-vital travel, put off scheduled exercises, and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert. By early August, all of these emergency measures are no longer in effect. [[[ | CNN, 3/02 ]], [[ | Washington Post, 5/17/02 ]]] The FAA issues general threat advisories, but neither the FAA's top administrator nor Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta is aware of an increased threat level. [[[ | New York Times, 4/18/04 ]]] Clarke says rhetorically that he wants to know if a sparrow has fallen from a tree. A senior FBI official attends the meeting and promises a redoubling of efforts. But just five days later, when FBI agent Ken Williams sends off his memo speculating that al-Qaeda may be training operatives as pilots in the US (see [[ a071001williams | July 10, 2001 ]]), the FBI doesn't share this information with any other agency. incompetence Washington Post 5/17/02 News Article July 6, 2001 1 false One day after heading a meeting on al-Qaeda with the Counterterrorism and Security Group (CSG) (see [[ a070501csgmeeting | July 5, 2001 ]]), counterterrorism &ldquo;tsar&rdquo; Richard Clarke heads a similar meeting at the White House with senior security officials at the FAA, Immigration, Secret Service, Coast Guard, Customs, and other agencies. The CIA and FBI give briefings on the growing al-Qaeda threat. The CIA says al-Qaeda members &ldquo;believe the upcoming attack will be a &lsquo;spectacular,&rsquo; qualitatively different from anything they have done to date.&rdquo; [[[ timeline/2004/independentcommission032404.html | 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D) ]]] Then Clarke later claims he says, &ldquo;You've just heard that CIA thinks al-Qaeda is planning a major attack on us. So do I. You heard CIA say it would probably be in Israel or Saudi Arabia. Maybe. But maybe it will be here. Just because there is no evidence that says that it will be here, does not mean it will be overseas. They may try to hit us at home. You have to assume that is what they are going to do. Cancel summer vacations, schedule overtime, have your terrorist reaction teams on alert to move fast. Tell me, tell each other, about anything unusual.&rdquo; advanceinfo July 8-19, 2001 a070801spain 1 false Atta travels to Spain again (see [[ a010401spain ]]). Three others cross the Atlantic with him but their names are not known, as they apparently use false identities. [[[ timeline/2001/elmundo093001.html | 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. [[[;ei=1&amp;en=0ebc043fda0aed98 | New York Times, 5/1/02 ]]] Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi also comes to Spain at about the same time and leaves on July 17. [[[ | AP, 6/30/02 ]]] Alshehhi must have traveled under another name, because US immigration has no records of his departure or return. [[[ timeline/2002/justicedepartment052002.html | 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 ]], [[ | AP, 6/30/02 ]]] It is theorized this meeting is when the final details of the 9/11 attacks are set. [[[ | Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02 ]]] It is probable Atta meets with and is hosted by Barakat Yarkas and other Spanish al-Qaeda members (see [[ a082701 ]]). [[[ timeline/2001/iht112101.html | 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 (see [[ aspring00informant ]]). 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. [[[,0,2368574.story?coll=la-headlines-world-manual | 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. [[[ | AP, 9/27/01 ]]] Strangely enough, on July 16, Atta stayed in the same hotel in the town of Salou that had hosted FBI counter-terrorist expert John O'Neill a few days earlier, when he made a speech to other counter-terrorism 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. [<i>The Cell</i>, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/02, p. 135] <comment>Did bin al-Shibh and/or Atta attend O'Neill's speech to learn from the enemy, or even secretly meet with O'Neill or some other counter-terrorist official?</comment> July 10, 2001 a071001williams right FBI agent Ken Williams. 1 false Phoenix, Arizona, FBI agent Ken Williams sends a memorandum warning about suspicious activities involving a group of Middle Eastern men taking flight training lessons in Arizona. The memo is titled: &ldquo;Zakaria Mustapha Soubra; IT-OTHER (Islamic Army of the Caucasus),&rdquo; because it focuses on Zakaria Soubra, a Lebanese flight student in Prescott, Arizona, and his connection with a terror group in Chechnya that has ties to al-Qaeda. It is subtitled: &ldquo;Osama bin Laden and Al-Muhjiroun supporters attending civil aviation universities/colleges in Arizona.&rdquo; advanceinfo Fortune 5/22/02 News Article Arizona Republic 7/24/03 News Article The memo is based on an investigation Williams had begun the year before (see [[ a041700williams ]]), but had trouble pursuing because of the low priority the Arizona FBI office gave terror investigations (see [[ a94phoenixfbi ]]). In the memo, Williams does the following: <ol> <li>Names nine other suspect students from Pakistan, India, Kenya, Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia, in addition to Soubra. [[[ timeline/2002/diezeit100102.html | Die Zeit, 10/1/02 ]]] Hijacker Hani Hanjour, attending flight school in Arizona in early 2001, is not mentioned in the memo, but one of his acquaintances is (see [[ a97hanjourfriend ]]). Another person on the list is later arrested in Pakistan in 2002 with al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida (see [[ a032802zubaida ]]). [[[ timeline/2003/congressreportparta072403.html | Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 ]], [[;node=&amp;contentId=A43165-2003Jul24&amp;notFound=true | Washington Post, 7/25/03 (C) ]]] </li> <li> Notes he interviewed some of these students, and heard some of them make hostile comments about the US. He also noticed they were suspiciously well informed about security measures at US airports. advanceinfo timeline/2002/diezeit100102.html Die Zeit 10/1/02 News Article </li> <li> Notes an increasing, &ldquo;inordinate number of individuals of investigative interest&rdquo; taking flight lessons in Arizona. advanceinfo timeline/2002/diezeit100102.html Die Zeit 10/1/02 News Article