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Before 9/11

Warning Signs (228)
Foreign Intelligence Warnings (27)
Insider Trading (36)
Counterterrorism Before 9/11 (181)
Able Danger (39)
Military Exercises (38)
Hunt for bin Laden (73)
Pipeline Politics (54)

Al-Qaeda Members

Al-Qaeda in Germany (42)
Alhazmi and Almihdhar (74)
Other 9/11 Hijackers (48)
Marwan Alshehhi (21)
Mohamed Atta (37)
Ziad Jarrah (9)
Hani Hanjour (15)
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (33)
Zacarias Moussaoui (40)
Nabil al-Marabh (10)

Geopolitics and 9/11

Pakistani ISI (126)
Randy Glass (7)
Sibel Edmonds
Saeed Sheikh (3)
Mahmood Ahmed (3)
Drugs (21)
Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden Family (110)
Bin Laden Family (33)
Israel (33)
Iraq (49)
US Dominance (34)

Day of 9/11

All day of 9/11 events (401)
Flight AA 11 (62)
Flight UA 175 (49)
Flight AA 77 (70)
Flight UA 93 (105)
George Bush (66)
Dick Cheney (24)
Donald Rumsfeld (24)
Richard Clarke (22)

The Post-9/11 World

Afghanistan (49)
Investigations (166)
9/11 Congressional Inquiry (0)
9/11 Commission (0)
Other 9/11 Investigations (0)
Other events (79)
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Complete 911 Timeline: Sibel Edmonds and related scandals

 
  

Project: Complete 911 Timeline

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April 2001: FBI Translators Point to Explicit Warning from Afghanistan

       FBI translators Sibel Edmonds and Behrooz Sarshar will 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, are 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. [World Net Daily, 4/6/04; Village Voice, 4/14/04; Salon, 3/26/04] Sarshar's notes of the interview indicate that the informant claimed his information came from Iran, Afghanistan, and Hamburg, Germany (the location of the primary 9/11 al-Qaeda cell). However, anonymous FBI officials claim the warning was very vague and doubtful. [Chicago Tribune, 7/21/04] In reference to this warning and apparently others, Edmonds says, “President Bush said they had no specific information about September 11, and that's accurate. However, 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.” [Salon, 3/26/04] She adds: “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.” [Independent, 4/2/04]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Behrooz Sarshar, Sibel Edmonds, George W. Bush, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry
          

September 20, 2001: FBI Translator Sees Pattern of Deliberate Failure

      
Sibel Edmonds.
Sibel Edmonds is hired as a Middle Eastern languages translator for the FBI. As she later tells CBS's 60 Minutes, she immediately encounters a pattern of deliberate failure in her translation department. Her boss says, “Let the documents pile up so we can show it and say that we need more translators and expand the department.” She claims that if she was not slowing down enough, her supervisor would delete her work. Meanwhile, FBI agents working on the 9/11 investigation would call and ask for urgently needed translations. Senator Charles Grassley (R) says of her charges, “She's credible and the reason I feel she's very credible is because people within the FBI have corroborated a lot of her story.” He points out that the speed of such translation might make the difference between an attack succeeding or failing. [New York Post, 10/26/02; CBS News, 10/25/02] In January 2002, FBI officials will tell government auditors that translator shortages have resulted in “the accumulation of thousands of hours of audio tapes and pages” of material that has not been translated. [Washington Post, 6/19/02] Edmonds files a whistleblower lawsuit against the FBI for these and other charges in March 2002 (see March 22, 2002). However, the case is later dismissed (see July 6, 2004) because all evidence related to proving the charges is classified. [CNN, 7/7/04]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sibel Edmonds, Charles Grassley
          

March 22, 2002: FBI Translator Charges That Evidence of Turkish Spies in Pentagon and State Department Was Suppressed

       Translator Sibel Edmonds later claims that she is fired by the FBI on this day after repeatedly raising suspicions about a co-worker named Jan (or Can) Dickerson. When Dickerson was hired in November 2001, she had connections to a Turkish intelligence officer and had worked with a Turkish organization, both of which were being investigated by the FBI's own counter-intelligence unit. Edmonds claims that Dickerson insisted that she alone translate documents relating to the investigation of this organization and official. When Edmonds reviewed Dickerson's translations, she found information that the Turkish officer had spies inside the State Department and Pentagon was not being translated. Dickerson then tried to recruit Edmonds as a spy, and when Edmonds refused, Dickerson threatened to have her killed. After Edmonds's boss and others in the FBI failed to respond to her complaints, she wrote to the Justice Department's inspector general's office in March: “Investigations are being compromised. Incorrect or misleading translations are being sent to agents in the field. Translations are being blocked and circumvented.” Edmonds is then fired and she sues the FBI. The FBI eventually concludes Dickerson had left out significant information from her translations. A second FBI whistleblower, John Cole, also claims to know of security lapses in the screening and hiring of FBI translators. [Washington Post, 6/19/02; Cox News Service, 8/14/02; CBS News, 7/13/03] The supervisor who told Edmonds not to make these accusations and also encouraged her to go slow in her translations is later promoted. [CBS News, 10/25/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jan Dickerson, Sibel Edmonds, US Department of State, US Department of Defense, John Cole, US Department of Justice
          

May 2004: Previously Public Information About FBI Whistleblower Is Now Classified

       The Justice Department retroactively classifies information it gave to Congress in 2002 regarding FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. Senator Charles Grassley (R) says, “What the FBI is up to here is ludicrous. To classify something that's already been out in the public domain, what do you accomplish? ... This is about as close to a gag order as you can get.” The New York Times reports that some of the information discussed is “so potentially damaging if released publicly” that it has to be classified. Topics like what languages Edmonds translated, what types of cases she handled, and where she worked is now classified, even though much of this has been widely reported on shows like CBS's 60 Minutes. [New York Times, 5/20/04] In late 2002, the Justice Department invoked the rarely used “state secrets privilege” to limit what she could say. [Salon, 3/26/04]
People and organizations involved: Charles Grassley, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice, Sibel Edmonds
          

July 6, 2004: FBI Translator Whistleblower Lawsuit Dismissed

      
Sibel Edmonds in 2004.
Former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds has her lawsuit against the Justice Department and FBI dismissed. Edmonds originally sued the FBI in March 2002 (see March 22, 2002) for being fired from her post shortly after revealing shortcomings in the translation department of the FBI. In October 2002, Attorney General Ashcroft asked a judge to throw out Edmonds' lawsuit against the Justice Department. He said he was applying the state secrets privilege in order “to protect the foreign policy and national security interests of the United States” and preserve diplomatic relations with (unspecified) nations. [Associated Press, 10/18/02 (B)] The judge in the case, appointed by George W. Bush, agrees with the government's position, stating “ ... the plaintiff's case must be dismissed, albeit with great consternation, in the interests of national security.” He says he cannot explain his decision in any further detail because the explanation itself would expose classified information. During his deliberation on the case, Judge Reggie Walton met privately on two occasions with the government's defense lawyers, but neither Edmonds nor her lawyer were allowed to attend these discussions. [CNN, 7/7/04; Associated Press, 7/6/04] A government report looking into Edmonds's allegations of wrongdoing in the FBI's translation department is released a few days later, but the FBI classifies the entire document. Not even Edmonds is allowed to see the contents. [Washington Post, 7/9/04]
People and organizations involved: John Ashcroft, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice, Sibel Edmonds
          

July 29, 2004: FBI Letter Vindicates Many of Whistleblower Sibel Edmonds' Allegations

       A letter by FBI Director Robert Mueller regarding FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds is leaked to the media. Edmonds has made some very serious allegations about the FBI, including claims of important missed 9/11 warnings and the existence of a foreign spy ring inside US government agencies. Mueller's letter reveals that a highly classified Justice Department report on Edmonds has concluded that her allegations “were at least a contributing factor in why the FBI terminated her services.” This report also criticizes the FBI's failure to adequately pursue her allegations of espionage. An anonymous official states that the report concludes that some of her allegations were shown to be true, others cannot be corroborated because of a lack of evidence, and none of her accusations were disproved. [New York Times, 7/29/04]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sibel Edmonds, US Department of Justice, Robert S. Mueller III
          


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