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Theme

Cover-up,lies
Incompetence
Advance info;kind
Advance info;time
Anthrax attacks
civil liberties
Pakistan,ISI,drugs
none
Israeli spies
Afghan war prep
Saudis, Bush
Oil,Enron,pipeline

Day of 911

Flight AA 77
Bush on 9/11
Flight AA 11
Flight UA 93
Flight UA 175
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Complete 911 Timeline

 
  

Project: Complete 911 Timeline

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Showing 601-700 of 1602 events (use filters to narrow search):    previous 100    next 100

August 28, 2001

       A report is sent to the FBI's New York office recommending that an investigation be launched “to determine if [Khalid] Almihdhar is still in the United States.” The New York office tries to convince FBI headquarters to open a criminal investigation, but are immediately turned down. The reason given is a “wall” between criminal and intelligence work—Almihdhar could not be tied to the USS Cole investigation without the inclusion of sensitive intelligence information. [Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] So instead of a criminal case, the New York office opens an “intelligence case”, excluding all the “criminal case” investigators from the search. [FBI Agent Testimony, 9/20/02] One FBI agent expresses his frustration in an e-mail the next day, saying, “Whatever has happened to this—someday someone will die—and wall or not—the public will not understand why we were not more effective and throwing every resource we had at certain ‘problems.’ Let's hope the [FBI's] National Security Law Unit will stand behind their decisions then, especially since the biggest threat to us now, UBL [Usama bin Laden], is getting the most ‘protection.’ ” [New York Times 9/21/02; FBI Agent Testimony 9/20/02]
          

August 28, 2001 (C)

       Hijacker Atta is able to buy his flight ticket, despite being wanted by police for driving without a license (see April 26, 2001) and violating visa regulations. He should have been wanted for sabotaging a stalled aircraft (see December 26, 2000) as well, [Australian Broadcasting Corp. 11/12/01]
          

August 28-30, 2001

       Senator Bob Graham (D), Representative Porter Goss (R) and Senator John Kyl (R) travel to Pakistan and meet with President Musharraf. They reportedly discuss various security issues, including the possible extradition of bin Laden. They also meet with Abdul Salam Zaeef, the Taliban ambassador to Pakistan. Zaeef apparently tells them that the Taliban want to solve the issue of bin Laden through negotiations with the US. Pakistan says it wants to stay out of the bin Laden issue. All three are meeting with ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed in Washington at the time of the 9/11 attacks (see September 11, 2001 (H)). Mahmood gave $100,000 to hijacker Mohamed Atta (see October 7, 2001). [AFP, 8/28/01, Salon, 9/14/01] Since the ISI was funding the 9/11 hijackers, what else might have been discussed in these meetings?
          

August 29, 2001 (D)

       President Bush says: “We recognize it's a dangerous world. I know this nation still has enemies, and we cannot expect them to be idle. And that's why security is my first responsibility. And I will not permit any course that leaves America undefended.” [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02]
          

August 29, 2001 (B)

       The FBI learns that when hijacker Khalid Almihdhar arrived in the US in July 2001 (see July 4, 2001), he indicated that he would be staying at a Marriott hotel in New York City. By September 5, an investigation of all New York area Marriott hotels turn up nothing. The FBI office in Los Angeles receives a request on the day of 9/11 to check Sheraton Hotels in Los Angeles, because that where Almihdhar said he would be staying when he entered the country over a year and a half earlier. That search also turns up nothing. [Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02, Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02] The San Diego FBI office isn't notified about the need for a search until September 12, and even then they are only provided with “sketchy” information. [Los Angeles Times, 9/16/01] The FBI handling agent in San Diego is certain they could have been located quickly had they known to look. [Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] There is some evidence from eyewitnesses that a few days before 9/11, Almihdhar and two other hijackers are living in the same San Diego apartment they'd been living in off and on for the past two years (see Early February-Summer 2000 and Early September 2001).
          

August 29, 2001 (C)

       In a later interview, would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh claims that on this day Atta calls him in Germany from the US. Atta asks him what is “two sticks, a dash and a cake with a stick down?” The answer, which bin al-Shibh figures out, is 11-9—the European and Arabic way of writing 9/11. [Knight-Ridder, 9/9/02, CBS, 10/9/02] So knowing the date of the attack, bin al-Shibh later claims that he orders active cells in Europe, the US, and elsewhere to evacuate (see also September 3-5, 2001). Presumably, had any government been tracking either some or all of these people, they also may have learned the date of the attacks.
          

August 29, 2001

       Three men from either Pakistan or Afghanistan living in the Cayman Islands are briefly arrested in June 2001 for discussing hijacking attacks in New York City (see June 4, 2001). On this day, a Cayman Islands radio station receives an unsigned letter claiming these same three men are agents of bin Laden. The anonymous author warns that they “are organizing a major terrorist act against the US via an airline or airlines.” The letter is forwarded to a Cayman government official but no action is taken until after 9/11 and it isn't known when the US is informed. Many criminals and/or businesses use the Cayman Islands as a safe, no tax, no questions asked haven to keep their money. The author of the letter meets with the FBI shortly after 9/11, and claims his information was a “premonition of sorts.” The three men are later arrested. Its unclear what has happened to them since their arrest. [Miami Herald, 9/20/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, MSNBC, 9/23/01] FTW, see for more on this topic.
          

August 30, 2001

       It is reported in Russia and Pakistan that the Taliban has named bin Laden commander of the Afghanistan army. [UPI 8/30/01]
          

August 30-September 4, 2001

       According to Egyptian President Hasni Mubarak, Egyptian intelligence warns American officials that bin Laden's network is in the advanced stages of executing a significant operation against an American target, probably within the US. [AP, 12/7/01, New York Times, 6/4/02] He says he learned this information from an agent working inside al-Qaeda. US officials deny receiving any such warning from Egypt. [ABC News 6/4/02]
          

August 31, 2001

      
Prince Turki al-Faisal.
Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabia's intelligence service for 24 years, is replaced. No explanation is given. He is replaced by Nawaf bin Abdul Aziz, his nephew and the king's brother, who has “no background in intelligence whatsoever.” [AFP, 8/31/01, Seattle Times, 10/29/01, Wall Street Journal, 10/22/01] FTW The Wall Street Journal later reports, “The timing of Turki's removal—August 31—and his Taliban connection raise the question: Did the Saudi regime know that bin Laden was planning his attack against the US? The current view among Saudi-watchers is probably not, but that the House of Saud might have heard rumors that something was planned, although they did not know what or when. (An interesting and possibly significant detail: Prince Sultan, the defense minister, had been due to visit Japan in early September, but canceled his trip for no apparent reason less than two days before his planned departure.)”[Wall Street Journal, 10/22/01] Turki is later sued for his role in 9/11 (see August 15, 2002) and appointed ambassador to Britain (see October 18, 2002).
          

Early September 2001 (C)

       According to British inside sources, “shortly before September 11,” bin Laden contacts an associate thought to be in Pakistan. The conversation refers to an incident that will take place in the US on, or around 9/11, and discusses possible repercussions. In another conversation, bin Laden contacts an associate thought to be in Afghanistan. They discuss the scale and effect of a forthcoming operation; bin Laden praises his colleague for his part in the planning. Neither conversation specifically mentions the WTC or Pentagon, but investigators have no doubt the 9/11 attacks were being discussed. The British government has obliquely made reference to these intercepts: “There is evidence of a very specific nature relating to the guilt of bin Laden and his associates that is too sensitive to release.” These intercepts haven't been made public in Blair's presentation of al-Qaeda's guilt (see October 4, 2001 (B)) because “releasing full details could compromise the source or method of the intercepts.” [Sunday Times 10/7/01]
          

Early September 2001 (J)

       There is a sharp increase in short selling of the stocks of American and United airlines on the New York Stock Exchange prior to 9/11. A short sell is a bet that a particular stock will drop. There is an increase of 40 percent of short selling over the previous month for these two airlines, compared to an 11 percent increase for other big airlines and one percent for the exchange overall. A significant profit was to be made: United stock dropped 43 percent and American dropped 39 percent the first day the market reopened after the attack (see also September 6-10, 2001). Short selling of Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, is also later noted by German investigators. Inquiries into short selling millions of Munich Re shares were made in France days before the attacks. [Reuters, 9/20/01, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/22/01] Munich Re stock plummets after the attacks, as they claim the attacks will cost them $2 billion. [Dow Jones Business News, 9/20/01] There is also suspicious trading activity involving reinsurers Swiss Reinsurance and AXA. These trades are especially curious because the insurance sector “was one of the brightest spots in a very difficult market” at this time. [Los Angeles Times, 9/19/01] There is also a short spike on Dutch airline KLM stock three to seven days before 9/11, reaching historically unprecedented levels. [USA Today, 9/26/01] Was another attack on a KLM airplane planned?
          

September 1, 2001 (approx.)

       Fox News later reports that, around this date, American Airlines sends out an internal memo warning its employees to be on the lookout for impostors after one of its crews had uniforms and ID badges stolen in Rome, Italy in April. [Reuters, 9/14/01, Boston Globe, 9/18/01] Why is there a five month delay before giving this warning? It is later reported that two of the hijackers on Flight 11 use these stolen ID's to board the plane. [Sunday Herald, 9/16/01] On 9/11, a man is arrested with three Yemen passports (all using different names) and two Lufthansa crew uniforms. [Chicago Sun Times, 9/22/01] It is also claimed that when Atta takes a flight from Portland, Maine to Boston on the morning of 9/11, his bags don't make the transfer to his hijacked flight, and remain in Boston. Later, airline uniforms are found inside. [Boston Globe, 9/18/01] Boston's Logan Airport had been repeatedly fined for failing to run background checks on their employees, and many other serious violations. [CNN, 10/12/01] Did the hijackers use inside connections or disguises like pilots uniforms to bypass security?
          

Early September 2001

       The standard accounts place hijackers Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi on the East Coast without interruption in the weeks before the attacks. [New York Times, 11/6/01, CNN, 9/26/01, New York Times, 9/21/01, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/28/01, St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01, AP, 9/21/01, Newsday, 9/23/01 (B), Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02] However, neighbors at the San Diego apartment complex where the three lived are clear in their assertions that all three were there until days before 9/11. For instance, one article states, “Authorities believe Almihdhar, Hanjour and Alhazmi … moved out a couple of days before the East Coast attacks.” [San Diego Channel 10, 11/1/01] Ed Murray, a resident at the complex, said that all three “started moving out Saturday night—and Sunday [September 9] they were gone.” [San Diego Channel 10, 9/14/01, San Diego Channel 10, 9/20/01] This is the same day that Alhazmi is seen in an East Coast shopping mall. [CNN, 9/26/01] As with previous reports (see Early February-Summer 2000 and Summer-December 2000), neighbors also see them getting into strange cars late at night. A neighbor interviewed shortly after 9/11 said, “A week ago, I was coming home between 12 and 1 a.m. from a club. I saw a limo pick them up. It wasn't the first time. In this neighborhood you notice stuff like that. In the past couple of months, I have seen this happen at least two or three times.” [Time, 9/24/01] Is one or the other account wrong, or could the identities of these hijackers have been used by more than one person simultaneously? If so, what happened to the ones that didn't board the hijacked planes? To add to the confusion, there have been reports that investigators think Almihdhar is still alive (see September 16-23, 2001) and the Chicago Tribune says of Alhazmi, Almihdhar and Hanjour: “The most basic of facts—the very names of the men—are uncertain. The FBI has said each used at least three aliases. ‘It's not going to be a terrible surprise down the line if these are not their true names,’ said Jeff Thurman, an FBI spokesman in San Diego.” [Chicago Tribune 9/30/01]
          

Early September 2001 (M)

       After 9/11 both the SEC and the Secret Service announce probes into an unusually high volume trade of five-year US Treasury note purchases around this time. These transactions included a single $5 billion trade. The Wall Street Journal explains: “Five-year Treasury notes are among the best investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the US government, and usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks.”The value of these notes has risen sharply since the events of September 11. The article also points out that with these notes, “tracks would be hard to spot.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/2/01] How could bin Laden, whose fortune is estimated at roughly $250 million [Miami Herald, 9/24/01], have made a $5 billion trade?
          

Early September 2001 (F)

       A few days before 9/11, a Seattle security guard of Middle Eastern descent tells an East Coast friend on the phone that terrorists will soon attack the US. After 9/11 the friend tells the FBI, and passes a lie detector test. The security guard refuses to cooperate with the FBI or take a lie detector test. He isn't arrested—apparently the FBI determines that while he may have had 9/11 foreknowledge, he wasn't involved in the plot. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer 10/12/01]
          

Early September 2001 (L)

       Numerous other overseas investigations into insider trading before 9/11 are later established. There are investigations in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, Cyprus and other countries. There are particularly strong suspicions British markets were manipulated. Italy is investigating suspicious share movements on the day of the attack, as well as the previous day. Japan as well is looking into trading of futures contracts. [Fox News 9/22/01; CNN 9/24/01; BBC 9/18/01 (B)] The British conclude in a remarkable two weeks that their markets were not manipulated (see October 16, 2001). But over one year later, where are the results for all the other countries?
          

Early September 2001 (E)

       One article later suggests that bin Laden moves his training bases in Afghanistan “in the days before the attacks.” [Philadelphia Inquirer, 9/16/01] Given US satellite surveillance of such bases, shouldn't this have been a huge clue that a major attack was imminent?
          

Early September 2001 (I)

       The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later announces that they are investigating the trading of shares of 38 companies in the days just before 9/11. The San Francisco Chronicle states that the New York Stock Exchange sees “unusually heavy trading in airline and related stocks several days before the attacks.” All of the 38 companies logically stood to lose from the attacks. They include parent companies of major airlines American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United and USAirways as well as cruise lines Carnival and Royal Caribbean, aircraft maker Boeing and defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The SEC is also looking into suspicious short selling of numerous insurance company stocks. [AP 10/2/01; San Francisco Chronicle 10/3/01]
          

Early September 2001 (D)

       An Iranian man known as Ali S. in a German jail waiting deportation repeatedly phones US law enforcement to warn of an imminent attack on the WTC in the week of September 9-15. He calls it “an attack that will change the world.” After a month of badgering his prison guards, he is finally able to call the White House 14 times in the days before the attack. He then tries to send a fax to Bush, but is denied permission hours before the 9/11 attacks. German police later confirm the calls. Prosecutors later say Ali had no foreknowledge and his forebodings were just a strange coincidence. They say he is mentally unstable. Similar warnings also come from a Moroccan man being held in a Brazilian jail. [Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 9/13/01, Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01, Ananova, 9/14/01, Sunday Herald, 9/16/01] FTW, see for more on this topic.
          

Early September 2001 (G)

       Shortly before 9/11, people attending a New York mosque are warned to stay out of lower Manhattan on 9/11. The FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force interviews dozens of members of the mosque, who confirm the story. The mosque leadership denies any advanced knowledge and the case apparently remains unsolved. [New York Daily News 10/12/01]
          

Early September 2001 (H)

       A veteran detective with post-9/11 investigations later claims that rumors in New York City's Arab-American community about the 9/11 attacks are common in the days beforehand. The story “had been out on the street” and the number of leads turning up later is so “overwhelming” that it is difficult to tell who knows about the attacks from secondhand sources and who knows about it from someone who may have been a participant. After 9/11, tracking leads regarding Middle Eastern employees who didn't show up for work on 9/11 are “a serious and major priority.” [Journal News 10/11/01]
          

Early September 2001 (B)

       The NSA intercepts “multiple phone calls from Abu Zubaida, bin Laden's chief of operations, to the United States.” The timing and information contained in these intercepted phone calls has not been disclosed. [ABC News, 2/18/02] Shouldn't the US government have been able to determine who was being called, and find those people?
          

Early September 2001 (K)

       German central bank president Ernst Welteke says a study by his bank indicates, “There are ever clearer signs that there were activities on international financial markets that must have been carried out with the necessary expert knowledge,” not only in shares of heavily affected industries such as airlines and insurance companies, but also in gold and oil. [Telegraph, 9/23/01 (C)] His researchers have found “almost irrefutable proof of insider trading.” [Miami Herald, 9/24/01] “If you look at movements in markets before and after the attack, it makes your brow furrow. But it is extremely difficult to really verify it.” Nevertheless, he believes that “in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint the source.” [Fox News, 9/22/01] Welteke reports “a fundamentally inexplicable rise” rise in oil prices before the attacks [Miami Herald, 9/24/01] and then a further rise of 13% the day after the attacks. Gold rises nonstop for days after the attacks. [Telegraph 9/23/01 (C)]
          

September 3-5, 2001

       Members of Atta's Hamburg terrorist cell leave Germany for Pakistan. Said Bahaji flies out of Hamburg on September 3. [Chicago Tribune, 2/25/03] German intelligence already had Bahaji under surveillance, and German border guards were under orders to report if he left the country. For some reason, they fail to note his departure (see also May 22, 2000). [FAZ, 2/2/03] German agents later discover two other passengers on the same flight traveling with false passports who stay in the same room with Bahaji when they arrive in Karachi, Pakistan. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] Investigators now believe his flight companions are Ismail Ben Mrabete and Ahmed Taleb, both Algerians in their late 40s (see August 14, 2001). Three more associates—Mohammed Belfatmi, an Algerian extremist from the Tarragona region of Spain, and two brothers with the last name Joya—also travel on the same plane. All of these people still remain unaccounted for. [Chicago Tribune, 2/25/03] Ramzi bin al-Shibh flies out of Germany on September 5 and stays in Spain a few days before presumably heading for Pakistan. [Los Angeles Times 9/1/02] Had these people been under investigation, it should have raised red flags, since communications ordering many al-Qaeda operatives back to Afghanistan by September 10 had been intercepted (see September 10, 2001 (K)). At least Bahaji had been under German investigation previously (see November 1, 1998-February 2001).
          

September 3, 2001

      
Salman Rushdie.
Author Salman Rushdie, the target of death threats from radical Muslims for years, is banned by US authorities from taking internal US flights. He says the FAA told his publisher the reason was because it had “intelligence of something about to happen.” One newspaper states, “The FAA confirmed that it stepped up security measures concerning Mr. Rushdie but refused to give a reason.” [London Times, 9/27/01] Years before, Iran had issued a religious fatwa against Rushdie calling for his murder, so if Rushdie had been killed it would have been a major propaganda coup for the terrorists.
          

September 4, 2001 (E)

       An important Cabinet-level meeting on terrorism (see September 4, 2001 (C)) has a heated debate over what to do with the Predator drone. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke had been repeatedly pushing for the use of the Predator over Afghanistan in either armed or unarmed versions (see January 10, 2001-September 4, 2001) and he again argues for their immediate use. Everyone agrees that the armed Predator capability is needed, but there are disputes over who will manage and/or pay for it. CIA Director Tenet says his agency will operate the armed Predator “over my dead body.” [Washington Post, 10/2/02] Clarke recalls, “The Air Force said it wasn't their job to fly planes to collect intelligence. No one around the table seemed to have a can-do attitude. Everyone seemed to have an excuse.” [New Yorker, 7/28/03] National Security Advisor Rice concludes that the armed Predator is not ready (even though it had been proven in tests during the summer), but she also presses Tenet to reconsider his opposition to immediately resume reconnaissance flights, suspended since the year before (see September-October 2000 (B)). After the meeting, Tenet agrees to proceed with such flights. [9/11 Commission, 3/24/04 (C), 9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)] The armed Predator is put into use just days after 9/11, showing that it was ready to be used after all. [AP 6/25/03]
          

September 4, 2001 (E)

       Hours before the only significant Bush administration Cabinet-level meeting on terrorism before 9/11 (see September 4, 2001 (C)), counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke writes a critical memo to National Security Advisor Rice. He criticizes the Defense Department for reluctance to use force against al-Qaeda and the CIA for impeding the deployment of unmanned Predator drones to hunt for bin Laden. According to the Washington Post, the memo urges “officials to imagine a day when hundreds of Americans lay dead from a terrorist attack and ask themselves what more they could have done.” [Washington Post 3/24/04; Washington Post 3/25/04 (B); 9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D)]
          

September 4, 2001 (C)

       President Bush's Cabinet-rank advisers discuss terrorism for one of only two times before 9/11 (see July 3, 2001). [Washington Post, 5/17/02] National Security Advisor Rice chairs the meeting; neither President Bush nor Vice President Cheney attend. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke later says that in this meeting, he and Tenet speak passionately about the al-Qaeda threat. No one disagrees that the threat is serious. Secretary of State Powell outlines a plan to put pressure on Pakistan to stop supporting al-Qaeda. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld appears to be more interested in other terrorist concerns, like Iraq. The only debate is over whether to fly the armed Predator drone over Afghanistan to attack al-Qaeda (see separate September 4, 2001 (E)) Clarke's earlier plans to “roll back” al-Qaeda (see December 20, 2000 and January 25, 2001) have been discussed and honed in many meetings (see March 7, 2001 (B), April 30, 2001, May 2001 (L), Early June 2001 (B), June 27-July 16, 2001) and are now presented as a formal National Security Presidential Directive. The directive is “apparently” approved, though the process of turning it into official policy is still not done (see September 10, 2001). [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)] There is later disagreement over just how different the directive presented now is from Clarke's earlier plans. For instance, some claim the directive aims not just to “roll back” al-Qaeda, but to “eliminate” it altogether. [Time, 8/4/02] However, Clarke notes that even though he wanted to use the word “eliminate,” the approved directive merely aims to “significantly erode.” The word “eliminate” is only added after 9/11. [Washington Post, 3/25/04 (B)] The Washington Post notes that the directive approved on this day “did not differ substantially from Clinton's policy.” [Washington Post, 3/27/04] Time magazine later comments, “The fight against terrorism was one of the casualties of the transition, as Washington spent eight months going over and over a document whose outline had long been clear.” [Time 8/4/02] The primary difference between this and the earlier plans is more direct financial and logistical support to the Northern Alliance and other anti-Taliban groups. The plan also calls for drafting plans for possible US military involvement. “But those differences were largely theoretical; administration officials told the [9/11 Commission's] investigators that the plan's overall timeline was at least three years, and it did not include firm deadlines, military plans, or significant funding at the time of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks.” [Washington Post 3/27/04; Reuters 4/2/04]
          

September 4, 2001

       “On or around” this day, the Mossad give their “latest”warning to the US of a major, imminent terrorist attack, according to sources close to Mossad. One former Mossad agent says, “My understanding is that the warning was not specific. No target was identified. But it should have resulted in an increased state of security.” US intelligence claims this never happened. [Sunday Mail 9/16/01]
          

September 4-11, 2001

       ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed visits Washington for the second time (see April 4, 2000). On September 10, a Pakistani newspaper reports on his trip so far. It says his visit has “triggered speculation about the agenda of his mysterious meetings at the Pentagon and National Security Council” as well as meetings with CIA Director Tenet, unspecified officials at the White House and the Pentagon, and his “most important meeting” with Mark Grossman, US Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs. The article suggests that “of course, Osama bin Laden” could be the focus of some discussions. Prophetically, the article adds, “What added interest to his visit is the history of such visits. Last time [his] predecessor was [in Washington], the domestic [Pakistani] politics turned topsy-turvy within days.” [The News, 9/10/01] This is a reference to the Musharraf coup just after a ISI Director's visit (see October 12, 1999). Mahmood is meeting in Washington when the 9/11 attacks begin (see September 11, 2001 (H)), and extends his stay until September 16 (see September 11-16, 2001).
          

September 4, 2001 (B)

       FBI headquarters dispatches a message to the entire US intelligence community about the Zacarias Moussaoui investigation. According to a later Congressional inquiry, the message notes “that Moussaoui was being held in custody but [it doesn't] describe any particular threat that the FBI thought he posed, for example, whether he might be connected to a larger plot. [It also does] not recommend that the addressees take any action or look for any additional indicators of a terrorist attack, nor [does] it provide any analysis of a possible hijacking threat or provide any specific warnings.” [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/24/02] The FAA is also given the warning, but the FAA decides not to issue a security alert to the nation's airports. An FAA spokesman says, “He was in jail and there was no evidence he was connected to other people.” [New York Post, 5/21/02] This is in sharp contrast to an internal CIA warning sent out earlier based on even less information (see August 24, 2001), which stated Moussaoui might be “involved in a larger plot to target airlines traveling from Europe to the US.” [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02] Would the hijackers have been stopped at the airports if the FBI warning was as strong as the CIA warning? It turns out that prior to this point terrorist Ahmed Ressam (see December 14, 1999) had started cooperating with investigators. He had trained with Moussaoui in Afghanistan and willingly shared this information after 9/11. The FBI dispatch, with its notable lack of urgency and details, failed to prompt the agents in Seattle holding Ressam to ask him about Moussaoui. Had the connection between these two been learned before 9/11, presumably the search warrant for Moussaoui would have been approved and the 9/11 plot might have unraveled. [Sunday Times 2/3/02]
          

September 4, 2001 (approx.)

       On approximately this date, a “weird love letter to Jennifer Lopez” is sent to The Sun, a tabloid with offices in Florida. “But inside the oddly-worded letter was what was described as a ‘soapy, powdery substance’ and in the pile of that a cheap Star of David charm.” The letter was handled both by Ernesto Blanco, who contacted anthrax, and Bob Stevens, who died of anthrax. The letter was thrown away, so it's not known if it contained anthrax. [Newsweek, 10/8/01] Could the letter have been part of a pre-9/11 series of anthrax attacks reported by the New York Post (see Before September 11, 2001)? The only specific target mentioned by the Post was Fox News Channel's Bill O'Reilly. [New York Post, 11/1/01] Bob Stevens was admitted to a hospital on October 2; the period between anthrax exposure and symptoms can be up to eight weeks. The anthrax attacks targeted media outlets, sending both real and hoax letters. Could this have been part of that series? Newsweek also reports a Middle Eastern intern working at the Sun that summer left a curious farewell e-mail. [Newsweek 10/8/01]
          

September 4, 2001 (D)

       Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. moves their North American headquarters from the 16th floor of the WTC to Norfolk, Virginia, one week before the 9/11 attacks. The Israeli government owns 49 percent of the company. [Virginian-Pilot, 9/4/01] Zim announced the move and its date six months earlier. [Virginian-Pilot, 4/3/01] More than 200 workers had just been moved out; about 10 are still in the building making final moving arrangements on 9/11, but escape alive. [Jerusalem Post, 9/13/01, Journal of Commerce, 10/18/01] The move leaves only one Israeli company, ClearForest, with 18 employees, in the WTC on 9/11. The four or five employees in the building at the time manage to escape. [Jerusalem Post, 9/13/01] One year later, a Zim ship is impounded attempting to ship Israeli military equipment to Iran; it is speculated that this is done with the knowledge of Israel. [AFP, 8/29/02 (B)] Given the Israeli government ties, the Odigo warning (see September 11, 2001 (C)), and the Israeli art student spy ring (see December 2000-April 2001), some have speculated that the move was more than just lucky.
          

September 5-8, 2001

       Eighty members of a Joint Terrorism Task Force conduct a three-day raid of the offices of InfoCom Corporation, a Texas-based company that hosts about 500 mostly Arab web sites, including Al Jazeera, the Arab world's leading news channel. [Guardian, 9/10/01, Web Host Industry Review, 9/10/01] The Task Force includes agents from the FBI, Secret Service and Diplomatic Security, as well as tax inspectors, immigration officials, customs officials, department of commerce officials and computer experts. [Guardian, 9/10/01] The FBI declines to give a reason for the raid, [NewsFactor Network, 9/7/01] but a spokeswoman said it is not aimed at InfoCom's clients. [BBC, 9/7/01] The reasons for the raid “may never be known, because a judge ordered the warrant to be sealed.” [Web Host Industry Review, 9/10/01] Three days after the initial raid, the Task Force is “still busy inside the building, reportedly copying every hard disc they could find.” [Guardian, 9/10/01] InfoCom's offices are located in Richardson, a suburb of Dallas. Two charities in Richardson, The Global Relief Foundation Inc. and The Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development, have been investigated for possible ties to Palestinian terrorist organizations. [Boston Herald 12/11/01] Five or six years earlier, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke had wanted to raid the Holy Land offices, but was prevented from doing so by the FBI and Treasury Department. Not only are InfoCom and Holy Land across the road from each other, they are intimately connected through two brothers: Ghassan and Bayan Elashi. [Guardian, 9/10/01] Ghassan Elashi is both the vice president of InfoCom and chairman of Holy Land. [New York Times, 12/20/02] These two and others are later arrested on a variety of serious charges (see December 18, 2002 (B)). Approximately one week before 9/11, Bank One closes Holy Land's checking accounts totaling about $13 million, possibly because of an investigation begun by the New York State Attorney General. [Dallas Business Journal, 9/7/01] The US freezes Holy Land's assets two months later for suspected terrorist associations. Holy Land is represented by Akin, Gump, Strauss, Hauer and Feld, a Washington, DC law firm with unusually close ties to the Bush White House (see December 4, 2001). [Washington Post, 12/17/01] Next to Richardson is another suburb called Garland, where a 5th grade boy may have had foreknowledge of 9/11 (see September 10, 2001). [Houston Chronicle 9/19/01]
          

September 5, 2001 (B)

      
Hani Hanjour, left, and Majed Moqed, right, at an ATM in Maryland.
Two men, believed to be Hani Hanjour and Majed Moqed, are captured on camera at an ATM in Maryland. [St. Petersburg Times 9/27/01] A picture of this is later released, which appears to be the only picture released of any of the hijackers in the US, except for those on identification cards and some of Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari in Portland, Maine in the 24 hours before the 9/11 attacks. Are there no other pictures of any hijackers anywhere?
          

September 5-6, 2001

       French and US intelligence officials hold meetings in Paris on combating terrorism. The French newspaper Le Monde claims that the French try again to warn their US counterparts about Moussaoui, “but the American delegation … paid no attention … basically concluding that they were going to take no one's advice, and that an attack on American soil was inconceivable.” The US participants also say Moussaoui's case is in the hands of the immigration authorities and is not a matter for the FBI. [Independent, 12/11/01, Village Voice, 5/28/02] The FBI arranges to deport Moussaoui to France on September 17, so the French can search his belongings and tell the FBI the results. Due to the 9/11 attacks, the deportation never happens. [Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02]
          

September 5, 2001

       Sakher “Rocky” Hammad, one of five men later convicted of fraudulently obtaining a Tennessee driver's license from a Memphis woman, later claims he was working on the sprinklers in the underground levels of the WTC on this day. When he was arrested, he had a photo ID pass for such work. This story might not mean much, but for the fact that Katherine Smith, the woman who helped him get the fake license, was killed in bizarre circumstances the day before testifying in the case (see February 10, 2002). [GoMemphis, 2/16/02] Some have suggested that bombs helped bring the WTC towers down—could Hammad have planted such bombs?
          

September 6-10, 2001 (B)

       The Chicago Board Options Exchange sees suspicious trading on Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, two of the largest WTC tenants. An average of 3,053 put options in Merrill Lynch are bought between September 6-10, compared to an average of 252 in the previous week. Merrill Lynch, another WTC tenant, see 12,215 put options bought between September 7-10, when the previous days had seen averages of 252 contracts a day. [Independent, 10/14/01] Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News: “This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence.” [ABC News, 9/20/01] [FTW]
          

September 6, 2001

       Antoinette DiLorenzo, teaching English to a class of Pakistani immigrants, asks a student gazing out the window, “What are you looking at?” The student points towards the WTC, and says: “Do you see those two buildings? They won't be standing there next week.” At the time, nothing was thought of it, but on September 13 the FBI interviews all the people in the classroom and confirms the event. The FBI later places the boy's family under surveillance but apparently are unable to find a connection to the 9/11 plot. An MSNBC reporter later sets out to disprove this “urban myth,” but to his surprise finds all the details of the story are confirmed. The fact that the family are recent immigrants from Pakistan might mean the information came from Pakistan. [MSNBC, 10/12/01] Supposedly, on November 9, 2001, the same student says there will be a plane crash on November 12. On that day, American Airlines Flight 587 crashes on takeoff from New York, killing 260 people. Investigators believe it was an accident. One official at the school says many Arab-American students have come forward with their own stories about having prior knowledge before 9/11: “Kids are telling us that the attacks didn't surprise them. This was a nicely protected little secret that circulated in the community around here.” [Insight 9/10/02]
          

September 6, 2001 (D)

       Former Senator Gary Hart (D), one of the two co-chairs of a comprehensive, bipartisan report on terrorism released earlier in the year (see January 31, 2001) , meets with National Security Advisor Rice to see if the Bush administration is implementing the report's recommendations. After giving a grave warning, he recalls her response: “She didn't seem to feel a terrible sense of urgency. Her response was simply ‘I'll talk to the vice president about it.’ …even at this late date, nothing was being done inside the White House.” [Salon 4/2/04]
          

September 6, 2001 (C)

       Security personnel at the WTC are working extra long shifts because of numerous phone threats. But on this day bomb-sniffing dogs are abruptly removed. Security further drops right before 9/11. WTC guard Daria Coard says in an interview later on the day of 9/11: “Today was the first day there was not the extra security.” [Newsday 9/12/01 (B)]
          

September 6, 2001 (B)

       According to a later interview with would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a courier sent by bin al-Shibh tells bin Laden on this day when the 9/11 attacks will take place (see September 3-5, 2001). [Australian, 9/9/02] However, there are doubts about this interview (see April, June or August 2002).
          

September 6-10, 2001

       Suspicious trading occurs on American and United, the two airlines used in the 9/11 attacks. “Between 6 and 7 September, The Chicago Board Options Exchange saw purchases of 4,744 put option contracts [a speculation that the stock will go down] in UAL versus 396 call options—where a speculator bets on a price rising. Holders of the put options would have netted a profit of $5 million once the carrier's share price dived after September 11. On 10 September, more trading in Chicago saw the purchase of 4,516 put options in American Airlines, the other airline involved in the hijackings. This compares with a mere 748 call options in American purchased that day. Investigators cannot help but notice that no other airlines saw such trading in their put options.” One analyst says: “I saw put-call numbers higher than I've ever seen in 10 years of following the markets, particularly the options markets.” [Associated Press, 9/18/01, San Francisco Chronicle, 9/19/01] “To the embarrassment of investigators, it has also emerged that the firm used to buy many of the ‘put’ options … on United Airlines stock was headed until 1998 by ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.” Krongard was chairman of Alex Brown Inc., which was bought by Deutsche Bank. “His last post before resigning to take his senior role in the CIA was to head Bankers Trust—Alex Brown's private client business, dealing with the accounts and investments of wealthy customers around the world.” [Independent, 10/14/01] FTW Doesn't this hint that the CIA and some wealthy elites had 9/11 foreknowledge? Why didn't this cause a storm of media attention and further investigation?
          

September 7, 2001 (D)

       One of the first and most frequently told stories about the hijackers is their visit to Shuckums, a sports bar in Hollywood, Florida on this day. What's particularly interesting about this story is how it has changed over time. In the original story, first reported on September 12 [AP, 9/12/01 (E)], Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and an unidentified man come into the restaurant already drunk. “They were wasted,” says bartender Patricia Idrissi, who directs them to a nearby Chinese restaurant. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01] Later they return and drink—Atta having five vodka and orange juices, and Alshehhi five rum and Cokes. [Time, 9/24/01] Says manager Tony Amos: “The guy Mohamed was drunk, his voice was slurred and he had a thick accent.”Idrissi says they argue about the bill, and when she asks if there was a problem, “Mohamed said he worked for American Airlines and he could pay his bill.” [AP, 9/12/01 (E)] This story was widely reported through much of September (for instance, see [New York Times, 9/13/01 (E), Sunday Herald, 9/16/01, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/15/01, Miami Herald, 9/22/01, Newsweek, 9/17/01, Time, 9/24/01]). But starting on September 15, a second story appears. [Toronto Star, 9/15/01] It's the same as the first, except Atta is playing video games and drinking cranberry juice instead of vodka, and Alshehhi is the one who argues over the bill and pays. After some coexistence, the second story seems to have become predominant in later September (for instance, see [Washington Post, 9/16/01 (C), Washington Post, 9/22/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01, St. Petersburg Times, 9/27/01, Australian Broadcasting Corp., 11/12/01, Sunday Times, 2/3/02]). Given that at least three restaurant employees all said the same story in numerous interviews, why did that story change? Could the FBI have put pressure on the witnesses to change their story so that Atta's behavior was more in line with his extremely religious image?
          

September 7, 2001

       Father Jean-Marie Benjamin is told at a wedding in Todi, Italy of a plot to attack the US and Britain using hijacked airplanes as weapons. He isn't told time or place specifics. He immediately passes what he knows to a judge and several politicians. He states: “Although I am friendly with many Muslims, I wondered why they were telling me, specifically. I felt it my duty to inform the Italian government.” Benjamin has been called “one of the West's most knowledgeable experts on the Muslim world.” Two days after 9/11, he meets with the Italian Foreign Minister on this topic. He says he learned the attack on Britain failed at the last minute. [Zenit, 9/16/01] He has not revealed who told him this information, but could it have been a member of the al-Qaeda cell in Milan (see August 12, 2000 and January 24, 2001), which appears to have helped with the 9/11 attacks?
          

September 7, 2001 (C)

       Bush's plan to visit a Sarasota, Florida elementary school on September 11 is publicly announced. According to a later news article, numerous eyewitnesses see hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi in Sarasota later that evening. They appear to have stayed at a Holiday Inn very close to the place Bush will later stay. [Longboat Observer, 11/21/01] Another news report suggests that there may have been an assassination attempt on Bush in Sarasota two hours before the 9/11 attacks (see September 11, 2001 (B)) - could these two have been planning that attack?
          

September 7, 2001 (B)

       The State Department issues a little noticed warning, alerting against an attack by al-Qaeda. But the warning focuses on a threat to American citizens overseas, and particularly focuses on threats to US military personnel in Asia. [US State Department, 9/7/01] Such warnings are issued periodically and are usually so vague few pay attention to them, which is why most airlines and officials claim to never have seen this until after 9/11. [San Francisco Chronicle 9/14/01]
          

September 8-11, 2001

       In the days before the attacks, some of the hijackers (including Waleed Alshehri and/or Wail Alshehri) apparently sleep with prostitutes in Boston hotel rooms, or try to. A driver working at an “escort service”used by the hijackers claims he regularly drove prostitutes to a relative of bin Laden about once a week until 9/11, when the relative disappeared. Bin Laden has several relatives in the Boston area, most or all of whom returned to Saudi Arabia right after 9/11. [Boston Herald, 10/10/01] Did the bin Laden relative recommended the service to the hijackers? On September 10, four other hijackers in Boston (Marwan Alshehhi, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mohand Alshehri, and Satam Al Suqami) call around to find prostitutes to sleep with on their last night alive, but in the end decline. Says one official, “It was going to be really expensive and they couldn't come to a consensus on price, so that was the end of it… Either they thought it was too extravagant [over $400] or they didn't have enough money left.” [Boston Globe, 10/10/01] Does this behavior make any sense if they thought they would die the next day?
          

September 8-11, 2001 (B)

       The hijackers send money to and receive money from a man in the United Arab Emirates who uses the aliases “Mustafa Ahmed,” “Mustafa Ahmad,” and “Ahamad Mustafa.” [MSNBC, 12/11/01] This “Mustafa” transfers money to Mohamed Atta in Florida on September 8 and 9. He sends the money from a branch of the Al Ansari Exchange in Sharjah, UAE, a center of al-Qaeda financial dealings (see Mid-1996-October 2001). [Financial Times, 11/30/01] On September 9, three hijackers, Atta, Waleed Alshehri and Marwan Alshehhi, transfer about $15,000 back to “Mustafa”'s account. [Time, 10/1/01, Los Angeles Times, 10/20/01] Apparently the hijackers are returning money meant for the 9/11 attacks that they didn't use. “Mustafa” then transfers $40,000 to his Visa card and then, using a Saudi passport, flies from the UAE to Karachi, Pakistan, on 9/11. He makes six ATM withdrawals there two days later, then disappears into Pakistan (see September 11, 2001-January 2002). [MSNBC 12/11/01] In early October 2001 it is reported that the financier “Mustafa Ahmed” is an alias used by Saeed Sheikh. [CNN, 10/6/01] It will later be reported that Saeed wired money to Atta the month before (see Early August 2001 (D)). These last-minute transfers are touted as the “smoking gun” proving al-Qaeda involvement in the 9/11 attacks, since Saeed is a known financial manager for bin Laden. [Guardian 10/1/01] But since Saeed also works for the ISI, aren't these transfers equally a smoking gun of ISI involvement in the 9/11 attacks? The US media frequently reports a series of alternatives to Saeed as the one who sends this money (see September 24, 2001-December 26, 2002).
          

September 9, 2001 (E)

       Hijacker Ziad Jarrah is stopped in Maryland for speeding, ticketed and released. No red flags show up when his name is run through the computer by the state police. However, he already had been questioned in United Arab Emirates at the request of the CIA for “suspected involvement in terrorist activities”(see January 30, 2001). Baltimore's mayor has criticized the CIA for not informing them that Jarrah was on the CIA's watch list. [Chicago Tribune 12/14/01; AP 12/14/01] The CIA calls the whole story “flatly untrue.” [CNN 8/1/02]
          

September 9, 2001 (B)

      
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (right) in Afghanistan in 1988.
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R), who has long experience in Afghanistan and even fought with the mujaheddin there, later claims he immediately saw the assassination Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud (see September 9, 2001) as a sign that “something terrible was about to happen.” He is only able to make an appointment to meet with top White House and National Security Council officials for 2:30 PM on 9/11. The events of that morning make the meeting moot. [Speech to the House of Representatives 9/17/01]
          

September 9-11, 2001

       NORAD begins Operation Northern Vigilance. This military exercise deploys fighters to Alaska and Northern Canada to monitor a Russian air force exercise in the Russian arctic, apparently focused in the Barents Sea above Norway. This operation is still ongoing on 9/11. It is not clear how many fighters have been diverted from the continental US on 9/11 to take part. [NORAD, 9/9/01, CBC, 11/27/01] On the morning on 9/11, the Russians are asked to cancel their exercise and do so. Northern Vigilance is then canceled around 9 a.m. [Toronto Star 12/9/01; National Post 10/19/02]
          

September 9, 2001 (G)

       FBI Director Mueller later states that on this day, “A telephonic message … recovered from Atta's cellular telephone has Ziad Jarrah referring to Atta as ‘boss.’ ” [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02, Washington Post, 9/11/02] How else could the FBI know who was speaking to who and the exact words being spoken, unless the call was intercepted? And even if the importance of the call wasn't revealed until after 9/11, what does this say about data collection ability, and what else has been learned through such calls?
          

September 9, 2001 (I)

       A message is posted on Alsaha.com, a website based in Abu Dubai, United Arab Emirates, warning of the 9/11 attack. It proclaims that in the next two days, a “big surprise” is coming from the Saudi Arabian region of Asir, the remote, mountainous province that produced most of the 19 hijackers who struck on September 11. Since 9/11 the FBI and CIA have closely monitored this website as “a kind of terrorist early-warning system”due to its popularity with Muslim fundamentalists. But it isn't clear if they were monitoring the site before 9/11, or noticed this message. [Newsweek 5/25/03]
          

September 9, 2001 (C)

       It is later reported that on this day, bin Laden calls his stepmother and says, “In two days, you're going to hear big news and you're not going to hear from me for a while.” US officials later tell CNN that “in recent years they've been able to monitor some of bin Laden's telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” [New York Times 10/2/01] Stepmother Al-Khalifa bin Laden, who raised Osama bin Laden after his natural mother died, was apparently waiting in Damascus, Syria, to meet Osama there, so he called to cancel the meeting. [Sunday Herald, 10/7/01] They had met periodically in recent years (see Spring 1998, Spring 2000 (C) and February 26, 2001). Before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother. The next day government officials say about the call, “I would view those reports with skepticism.” [CNN 10/2/01]
          

Before September 9, 2001

       Declassified Defence Intelligence Agency documents from November 2001 suggest that Northern Alliance leader General Massoud had gained “limited knowledge” “regarding the intentions of [al-Qaeda] to perform a terrorist act against the US on a scale larger than the 1998 bombing of the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.” It further points out he may have been assassinated (see September 9, 2001) because he “began to warn the West.” The documents are heavily censored, and specifics are lacking, but he did made a public veiled warning before European Parliament earlier in the year (see ). [AFP 9/14/03; Pakistan Tribune 9/13/03]
          

September 9, 2001

      
General Ahmed Shah Massoud.
General Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of Afghanistan's Northern Alliance, is assassinated by two al-Qaeda agents posing as Moroccan journalists. [Time, 8/4/02] A legendary mujaheddin commander and a brilliant tactician, Massoud had pledged to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan. The BBC says the next day, “General Massoud's death might well have meant the end of the [Northern] alliance” because there clearly was no figure with his skills and popularity to replace him. [BBC, 9/10/01, BBC, 9/10/01 (B)] “With Massoud out of the way, the Taliban and al-Qaeda would be rid of their most effective opponent and be in a stronger position to resist the American onslaught.” [St. Petersburg Times, 9/9/02] It appears the assassination was supposed to happen earlier- the “journalists” waited for three weeks in Northern Alliance territory to meet Massoud. Finally on September 8, an aide says they “were so worried and excitable they were begging us.” They were granted an interview after threatening to leave if the interview didn't happen in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Taliban army (together with elements of the Pakistani army) had massed for an offensive against the Northern Alliance in the previous weeks, but the offensive began only hours after the assassination. Massoud was killed that day but Northern Alliance leaders pretended for several days that he was only injured in order to keep the army's morale up, and the army was able to stave off total defeat. The timing of the assassination and the actions of the Taliban army suggest that the 9/11 attacks were known to the Taliban leadership. [Time 8/4/02] However, the assassins may have had other connections. Though it is not widely reported, the Northern Alliance release a statement the next day: “Ahmed Shah Massoud was the target of an assassination attempt organized by the Pakistani [intelligence service] ISI and Osama bin Laden.” [Radio Free Europe, 9/10/01, Newsday, 9/15/01, Reuters, 10/4/01] More evidence that the ISI was aware of 9/11?
          

September 9, 2001 (H)

       In his first budget, Bush spends $13.6 billion on counterterrorist programs across 40 departments and agencies compared to $12 billion in Clinton's last year. However, military commanders ask for $600 million more to combat terrorists, to be diverted from ballistic missile defense. On this day, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says he would recommend a veto for the additional anti-terrorism money. [Washington Post 1/20/02]
          

September 9, 2001 (D)

       President Bush's first budget calls for $13.6 billion on counterterrorism programs, compared with $12.8 billion in President Clinton's last budget and $2 billion ten years earlier. But there are higher gaps between what military commanders say they need to combat terrorists and what they're slated to receive. The Senate Armed Services Committee tries to fill those gaps with $600 million diverted from ballistic missile defense, but on this day Donald Rumsfeld threatens to urge a veto if the Senate proceeds to shift the money. [Knight-Ridder 9/27/01; Time 8/4/02; Washington Post 1/20/02]
          

September 10, 2001 (C)

       In a speech to the Department of Defense, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld announces that the Department of Defense “cannot track $2.3 trillion in transactions.” CBS later calculates that 25% of the yearly defense budget is unaccounted for, and quotes a long-time defense budget analyst: “[Their] numbers are pie in the sky. The books are cooked routinely year after year.” Coverage of this rather shocking story is nearly nonexistent given the events of the next day. [Department of Defense speech 9/10/01; CBS 1/29/02]
          

September 10, 2001 (M)

       US officials later admit American agents had infiltrated al-Qaeda cells in the US, though how many and how long they had been in al-Qaeda remains a mystery. On this day, electronic intercepts connected to these undercover agents hear messages such as: “Watch the news” and “Tomorrow will be a great day for us.” As to why this didn't lead to boosted security or warnings the next day, officials call these leads “needles in a haystack.” What other leads may have come from this prior to this day are not revealed. [USA Today, 6/4/02] At least until February 2002, the official story was that the “CIA failed to penetrate al-Qaeda with a single agent.” [ABC News, 2/18/02] FBI Director Mueller later claims “To this day we have found no one in the United States except the actual hijackers who knew of the plot”(see June 18, 2002) but what about the people in these penetrated cells giving these messages?
          

September 10, 2001 (U)

      
Sami Omar Hussayen, nephew of Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen
Three hijackers, Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar, and Nawaf Alhazmi, check into the same hotel as a prominent Saudi government official. [Washington Post 10/2/03] Investigators have not found any evidence that the hijackers met with the official, and stress it could be a coincidence. [Telegraph, 3/10/03] But one prosecutor working on a related case asserts, “I continue to believe it can't be a coincidence.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/2/03] The official, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, is interviewed by the FBI shortly after 9/11, but according to testimony from an FBI agent, the interview is cut short when Hussayen “feign[s] a seizure, prompting the agents to take him to a hospital, where the attending physicians [find] nothing wrong with him.” The agent recommends that Hussayen “should not be allowed to leave until a follow-up interview could occur.” But that “recommendation, for whatever reason, [is] not complied with.” Hussayen returns to Saudi Arabia a few days later, as soon as the US ban on international flights has ended (see September 14-19, 2001). [Washington Post 10/2/03] For most of the 1990s, Hussayen is director of the SAAR Foundation, a Saudi charity that is being investigated for terrorism ties. A few months after 9/11 he is named a minister of the Saudi government and put in charge of its two holy mosques. Hussayen had arrived in the US in late August 2001 planning to visit some Saudi-sponsored charities. Many of the charities on his itinerary, including the Global Relief Foundation, World Muslim League, IIRO, IANA, WAMY (see September 11, 1996), have since been shut down or investigated for alleged ties to terrorism. [Washington Post, 10/2/03] His nephew, Sami Omar Hussayen, is indicted in early 2004 for using his computer expertise to assist terrorist groups. He is charged with administering a website associated with IANA (the Islamic Assembly of North America) that expressly advocated suicide attacks and using airliners as weapons in the months before 9/11. Investigators also claim the nephew was in contact with important al-Qaeda figures. [Washington Post, 10/2/03, Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 1/10/04] IANA is being investigated, including the flow of money from the uncle to nephew. [Telegraph 3/10/03] The uncle has not been charged with any crime. [Wall Street Journal 10/2/03]
          

September 10, 2001 (N)

       Two days after 9/11, Newsweek reports: “The state of alert had been high during the past two weeks, and a particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks, causing some top Pentagon brass to cancel a trip. Why that same information was not available to the 266 people who died aboard the four hijacked commercial aircraft may become a hot topic on the Hill.” [Newsweek, 9/13/01] Far from becoming a hot topic, the only additional media mention of this story is in the next issue of Newsweek: “a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly canceled travel plans for the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.” [Newsweek, 9/17/01] [FTW]
          

September 10, 2001 (F)

      
Hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari using an ATM in Portland, Maine, at 8:41 PM. Mohamed Atta is in the background.
Mohamed Atta calls Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the operational planner of the 9/11 attacks, in Afghanistan. Mohammed gives final approval to Atta to launch the attacks. This call is monitored and translated by the US, though it isn't known how quickly that takes, and the specifics of the conversation haven't been released. [Independent 9/15/02] The NSA had been intercepting calls between Mohammed and Atta for the past several months (see Summer 2001), and US intelligence had learned Mohammed was interested in sending terrorists to the US and supporting them there (see June 2001 (I)). Shouldn't Atta's location have been determined from these calls with a high-profile terrorist (just as bin Laden's location was determined in 1998 from his phone use (Early 1996-October 1998))?
          

September 10, 2001 (L)

       At least two messages in Arabic are intercepted by the NSA. One states “The match is about to begin” (bin Laden apparently uses football metaphors in many messages) and the other states “Tomorrow is zero hour.” Later reports [Reuters, 9/9/02] translate the first message as “The match begins tomorrow.” They were sent between someone in Saudi Arabia and someone in Afghanistan. The NSA claims that they weren't translated until September 12, and that even if they were translated in time, “they gave no clues that authorities could have acted on.” [ABC News, 6/7/02, Reuters, 6/19/02] These turn out to be only two of about 30 pre-9/11 communications from suspected al-Qaeda operatives or other militants referring to an imminent event. An anonymous official says of these messages, including the “Tomorrow is zero hour” message, “You can't dismiss any of them, but it doesn't tell you tomorrow is the day.” [Reuters, 9/9/02] There is a later attempt to explain them away by suggesting they refer to the killing of Afghani opposition leader Ahmed Shah Massoud the day before (see September 9, 2001). [Reuters, 10/17/02] Couldn't they at least have issued an urgent security warning?
          

September 10, 2001 (O)

       There is a possibility that FEMA's National Urban Search and Rescue Team arrived in New York the night before the attacks. FEMA member Tom Kennedy says in a CBS interview on September 13: “We're currently one of the first teams that was deployed to support the City of New York in this disaster. We arrived on late Monday night [September 10] and went right into action on Tuesday morning [September 11].” FEMA officials said Kennedy misstated his team's arrival date. [CBS, 9/13/01, link is to an audio file] The Boston Herald later says Kennedy's name is actually Tom Kenney, and his wife claims he merely confused the dates. [Boston Herald, 9/5/02] There is a terrorism exercise scheduled in New York City for the day after 9/11; so even if Kenney (or Kennedy) is not in New York in time for the 9/11 attacks, presumably other emergency responders from FEMA and elsewhere are (see September 12, 2001).
          

September 10, 2001 (R)

       The domestic terrorism task force announced by President Bush and Vice President Cheney in May 2001 is just gearing up (see May 8, 2001). Cheney appointed Admiral Steve Abbot to lead the task force in June, but he receives his White House security pass on this day. Abbot has only hired two staffers and been working full time for a few days prior to 9/11. The task force was to have reported to Congress by October 1, 2001, a date they could not have met. [Congressional Quarterly 4/15/04; New York Times 12/27/01]
          

September 10, 2001 (H)

       The trading ratio on United Airlines is 25 times greater than normal at the Pacific Exchange. Pacific Exchange officials later decline to state if this abnormality is being investigated. [San Francisco Chronicle 9/19/01]
          

September 10, 2001 (S)

       Senator Dianne Feinstein (D), who with Senator Jon Kyl (R) has sent a copy of draft legislation on counterterrorism and national defense to Vice President Cheney's office on July 20, but is told by Cheney's top aide on this day “that it might be another six months before he would be able to review the material.”
          

September 10, 2001 (K)

       In a major post-9/11 speech, British Prime Minister Tony Blair claims that “shortly before September 11 bin Laden told associates that he had a major operation against America under preparation, a range of people were warned to return back to Afghanistan because of action on or around September 11.” His claims come from a British document of telephone intercepts and interrogations revealing al-Qaeda orders to return to Afghanistan by September 10. [CNN 10/4/01, Time, 10/5/01] However, Blair may have the direction incorrect, since would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh later claims that he was the one who passed to bin Laden the date the attacks would happen and warned others to evacuate (see September 3-5, 2001 and September 6, 2001 (B)).
          

September 10, 2001 (I)

       According to CBS News, in the afternoon before the attack, “alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the US stock options market.”It has been documented that the CIA, the Mossad and many other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time using highly advanced programs such as Promis. Both the FBI and the Justice Department have confirmed the use of such programs for US intelligence gathering through at least this summer. This would confirm that CIA should have had additional advance warning of imminent attacks against American and United Airlines planes. [CBS, 9/19/01] There are even allegations that bin Laden was able to get a copy of Promis. [Fox News, 10/16/01] [FTW]
          

September 10, 2001

       A fifth grader in Dallas, Texas casually tells his teacher: “Tomorrow, World War III will begin. It will begin in the United States, and the United States will lose.” The teacher reports the comment to the FBI, but doesn't know if they acted on it. The student skips the next two days of school. The event may be completely coincidental, but the newspaper that reports the story also notes that two charities located in an adjacent suburb have been investigated about raising money for Islamic terrorist organizations (see also September 5-8, 2001). [Houston Chronicle, 9/19/01] The FBI investigates and decides “no further investigation [is] warranted.” [Houston Chronicle 10/1/01]
          

September 10, 2001 (T)

       The number of US air marshals (specially trained, plainclothes armed federal agents deployed on airliners) shrinks from about 2,000 during the Cold War to 32 by this date. None of the 32 are deployed on domestic flights. The number is later increased to about 2,000, but it would take about 120,000 marshals at a cost of $10 billion a year to protect all daily flights to, from or within the US. [Los Angeles Times 1/14/02]
          

September 10, 2001 (G)

       A sixth-grade student of Middle Eastern descent in Jersey City, New Jersey, says something that alarms his teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. “Essentially, he warned her to stay away from lower Manhattan because something bad was going to happen,” says Sgt. Edgar Martinez, deputy director of police services for the Jersey City Police Department. [Insight, 9/10/02] Note that others with possible 9/11 foreknowledge also lived in Jersey City (see June 12, 2001).
          

September 10, 2001 (E)

       Attorney General Ashcroft rejects a proposed $58 million increase in financing for the bureau's counterterrorism programs. On the same day, he sends a request for budget increases to the White House. It covers 68 programs, but none of them relate to counterterrorism. He also sends a memorandum to his heads of departments, stating his seven priorities—none of them relating to counterterrorism. [New York Times, 6/1/02, Guardian, 5/21/02] He further proposes cutting a program from $109 million to $44 million that gives state and local counterterrorism grants for equipment like radios and preparedness training. Yet Ashcroft stopped flying public airplanes in July due to terrorist threats (see July 26, 2001) and in a July speech he proclaimed, “Our No. 1 priority is the prevention of terrorist attacks.” [New York Times 2/28/02]
          

September 10, 2001 (J)

       Amr Elgindy orders his broker to liquidate his children's $300,000 trust account fearing a sudden crash in the market. He also tells his stock broker that the Dow Jones average, then at 9,600, will fall to below 3,000. Elgindy is arrested in San Diego in May 2002, along with FBI agents Jeffrey Royer and Lynn Wingate. Government prosecutors claim the FBI agents were using their FBI positions to feed him inside information on various corporations. They also questioned whether Elgindy had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. [New York Times, 5/23/02, London Times, 5/30/02, New York Times, 6/8/02] A report published in the San Diego Tribune however casts some doubt on the government's allegations. [San Diego Tribune 6/16/02]
          

September 10, 2001 (Q)

       Eight hours prior to the attacks, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown receives a warning from “my security people at the airport”advising him to be cautious in traveling. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/12/01] Later reports claim that this is because someone saw the State Department warning of September 7, which focused on the threat to military personnel in Asia (see September 7, 2001 (B)). He was scheduled to fly to New York the next morning. [San Francisco Chronicle 9/14/01; San Francisco Chronicle 9/12/01; US State Department 9/7/01] This story may well be a red herring, but there's been no investigation to provide a definitive answer.
          

September 10, 2001 (D)

       CBS later reports that on this day, bin Laden is admitted to a military hospital in Rawalpindi, Pakistan, for kidney dialysis treatment. Pakistani military forces guard bin Laden. They also move out all the regular staff in the urology department and send in a secret team to replace them. It is not known how long he stayed. [CBS News, 01/28/02] Why didn't Pakistan arrest bin laden at this time?
          

September 10, 2001 (P)

       In a bar in Daytona Beach, Florida the night before the 9/11 attacks, three men make anti-American sentiments and talk of impending bloodshed. One says, “Wait 'til tomorrow. America is going to see bloodshed.”These were not any of the hijackers, since they had all left Florida by this time. [MSNBC 9/23/01; AP 9/14/01] FBI Director Mueller later claims “To this day we have found no one in the United States except the actual hijackers who knew of the plot”(see June 18, 2002), but what of these three?
          

September 10, 2001

       Another Deputies meeting further considers policy toward Afghanistan and Pakistan, and makes further revisions to National Security Presidential Directive regarding al-Qaeda (see September 4, 2001 (C)). [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (D)] By the end of the meeting, a formal, three-phase strategy is agreed upon. An envoy is to go to Afghanistan and give the Taliban another chance to expel bin Laden. If this fails, more pressure will be put on the Taliban, including more support for the Northern Alliance and other groups. If the Taliban still refuse to change, the US will try to overthrow the Taliban through more direct action. The timeframe for this strategy is about three years. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04] CIA Director Tenet is formally tasked to draw up new authorities for the covert action program envisioned, and request funding to implement it. [9/11 Commission, 3/24/04 (C)] The directive is then sent to National Security Advisor Rice for approval. Bush is apparently aware of the directive and prepared to sign it (though he hasn't attended any of the meetings about it), but he doesn't sign it until October. [MSNBC 5/16/02; Los Angeles Times 5/18/02; Washington Post 4/1/04] Bush had urgently asked for such a plan back in May 2001 (see May 2001 (L)).
          

Before September 11, 2001 (B)

       A number of the hijackers appeared to drink alcohol heavily in bars and watch strip shows—strange behavior for Muslim radicals. On September 10, three terrorists spend $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks in the Pink Pony, a Daytona Beach, Florida strip club. While the hijackers had left Florida by this time, Atta is reported to have visited the same strip club, and these men appear to have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks (see September 10, 2001 (P)). [Boston Herald, 10/10/01] FBI agents have also reportedly questioned the owners of Nardone's Go-Go Bar in Elizabeth, New Jersey. Several of the terrorists spent time in nearby Paterson and Newark and reportedly patronized the club, even on the weekend before 9/11. [Boston Herald, 10/10/01, Wall Street Journal, 10/16/01] Majed Moqed visits a porn shop and rents a porn video. The major of Paterson, New Jersey says of the six hijackers who stayed there: “Nobody ever saw them at mosques, but they liked the go-go clubs.” [Newsweek, 10/15/01] Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar often frequented Cheetah's, a nude bar in San Diego. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] Hamza Alghamdi watched a porn video on September 10. [Wall Street Journal, 10/16/01] University of Florida religion professor Richard Foltz states, “It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam… People who would kill themselves for their faith would come from very strict Islamic ideology. Something here does not add up.” [Sun-Sentinel 9/16/01]
          

September 11, 2001 (Q)

       Shortly after the suicide attacks, a source with intelligence connections tells Newsweek that US intelligence picks up communications among bin Laden associates relaying the message: “We've hit the targets.”Its not clear if this was the same intercept Senator Hatch speaks of (see September 11, 2001 (P)), or an additional one. [Newsweek 9/13/01]
          

September 11, 2001 (DD)

       National Security Advisor Rice is scheduled to deliver a speech claiming to address “the threats and problems of today and the day after, not the world of yesterday.” The speech is never given due to the 9/11 attacks earlier in the day, but the text is later leaked to the media. The Washington Post calls the speech “telling insight into the administration's thinking” because it promotes missile defense and contains no mention of al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden or Islamic extremist groups. The only mention of terrorism is in the context of the danger of rogue nations such as Iraq. In fact, there are almost no public mentions of bin Laden or al-Qaeda by Bush or other top Bush administrations before 9/11, and the focus instead is on missile defense. [Washington Post 4/1/04; Washington Post 4/1/04 (D)]
          

September 11, 2001 (B)

      
Abdulaziz Alomari, right, and Mohamed Atta, left, passing through security in Portland, Maine at 5:45 AM to board a flight to Boston. No photographs of them or any other hijackers in the airports where they would hijack their flights have been released.
A small Florida newspaper will later report an extremely curious story. Around 6:00 a.m., a van occupied by men of Middle Eastern arrives at the hotel Bush is staying at. The men tell security guards they are reporters scheduled to conduct a poolside interview with Bush (who is getting ready to go on his morning jog). They ask for a Secret Service agent by name. Another Secret Service agent says that he doesn't know of that agent or the poolside interview, and the men are turned away. An FBI agent later calls the whole incident “very strange.” [Longboat Observer 9/26/01] Two days earlier in Afghanistan, Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud was assassinated by two terrorists posing as reporters. When their TV camera turned on, it blew up, killing Massoud and the two terrorists. [BBC, 9/10/01 (B)] Was this an attempt to kill Bush using the same method? Did the men think they had a Secret Service agent on the inside? Doesn't this make the fact that Bush continued to read a goat story after being told about the second WTC plane attack instead of being taken to a secure location seem even stranger?
          

September 11, 2001 (O)

       A National Public Radio correspondent states: “I spoke with Congressman Ike Skelton—a Democrat from Missouri and a member of the Armed Services Committee—who said that just recently the director of the CIA warned that there could be an attack—an imminent attack— on the United States of this nature. So this is not entirely unexpected.” [NPR 9/11/01] This dramatically contradicts what CIA Director Tenet has told the American public.
          

September 11, 2001 (Z)

       The Carlyle Group is a company closely associated with officials of the Bush and Reagan administrations, and has considerable ties to Saudi oil money, including ties to the bin Laden family (see September 27, 2001). Those ties are well illustrated by the fact that on this day the Carlyle Group is hosting a conference at a Washington hotel. Among the guests of honor is investor Shafig bin Laden, brother to Osama. [Observer 6/16/02]
          

September 11, 2001 (V)

       Hours after the 9/11 attacks, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld is given information that three of the names on the airplane passenger manifests are suspected al-Qaeda operatives. The notes he composes at the time are leaked nearly a year later. Rumsfeld writes he wants the “best info fast. Judge whether good enough hit S.H. [Saddam Hussein] at same time. Not only UBL. [Usama bin Laden] Go massive. Sweep it all up. Things related and not.” [CBS, 9/4/02] He presents the idea to Bush the next day (see ). It is later revealed that shortly after 9/11, Rumsfeld sets up “a small team of defense officials outside regular intelligence channels to focus on unearthing details about Iraqi ties with al-Qaeda and other terrorist networks.” It has continued to sift “through much of the same databases available to government intelligence analysts but with the aim of spotlighting information the spy agencies have either overlooked or played down.” [Washington Post, 10/25/02] Time will report in May 2002 that Defense Secretary “Rumsfeld has been so determined to find a rationale for an attack that on 10 separate occasions he asked the CIA to find evidence linking Iraq to the terror attacks of Sept. 11. The intelligence agency repeatedly came back empty-handed.” [Time, 5/6/02 (B)] But while the CIA hasn't been helpful to Rumsfeld, one former senior official later says, “If it became known that [Rumsfeld] wanted [the Defense Intelligence Agency] to link the government of Tonga to 9/11, within a few months they would come up with sources who'd do it.” [New Yorker, 12/16/02] Since the plan to defeat Iraq is planned despite a complete lack of evidence showing Iraqi involvement in 9/11 (see also September 17, 2001 (B)), how can any later evidence pointing to Iraq's complicity in 9/11 be trusted?
          

September 11, 2001 (E)

       Data recovery experts later looking at 32 hard drives salvaged from the 9/11 attacks discover a surge in credit card transactions from the WTC in the hours before and during the attacks. Unusually large sums of money were rushed through computers even as the disaster unfolded. Investigators say, “There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million. They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed.” [Reuters 12/19/01]
          

Before September 11, 2001 (D)

       Just prior to 9/11, the CIA and FBI don't have enough staff working on al-Qaeda. 17-19 people are working in the FBI's special unit focusing on bin Laden and al-Qaeda. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02] The FBI has a $4.3 billion anti-terrorism budget, but of its 27,000 employees, just 153 are devoted to terrorism analysis. [Sydney Morning Herald, 6/8/02] The FBI's “analytic expertise had been ‘gutted’ by transfers to operational units” and only one strategic analyst is assigned full time to al-Qaeda. The FBI office in New York is very aware of the threat from bin Laden, but many branch offices remain largely unaware. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02] A senior FBI official later tells Congress that there are fewer FBI agents assigned to counterterrorism on this day than in August 1998, when the US embassy bombings in Africa made bin Laden a household name. [New York Times, 9/22/02]The CIA has about 35-40 people assigned to their special Bin Laden unit. It has five strategic analysts working full time on al-Qaeda. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02] The CIA and FBI later say some of these figures are misleading. [New York Times 9/18/02] “Individuals in both the CIA and FBI units…reported being seriously overwhelmed by the volume of information and workload prior to September 11, 2001.” Despite numerous warnings that planes could be used as weapons, such a possibility was never studied, and a Congressional report later blames lack of staff as a major reason for this. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02] Senator Patrick Leahy (D) also notes: “Between the Department of Justice and the FBI, they had a whole task force working on finding a couple of houses of prostitution in New Orleans. They had one on al-Qaeda.” [CBS 9/25/02]
          

September 11 , 2001 (X)

       An FAA memo written on the evening of 9/11 suggests a man on Flight 11 was shot and killed by a gun before the plane crashed into the WTC. [See the leaked FAA memo , originally posted at ] The “Executive Summary,” based on information relayed by a flight attendant to the American Airlines Operation Center, stated “that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B at 9:20 A.M”[since Flight 11 crashed at 8:46, the time must be a typo, probably meaning 8:20]. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin, shot by passenger Satam Al Suqami. The FAA claims that the document is a “first draft” and declines to release the final draft, calling it “protected information.” A report in Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on September 17 identifies Lewin as a former member of the Israel Defense Force Sayeret Matkal, Israel's most successful special-operations unit [UPI, 3/6/02]. Sayeret Matkal is a deep-penetration unit that has been involved in assassinations, the theft of foreign signals-intelligence materials, and the theft and destruction of foreign nuclear weaponry. Sayeret Matkal is best known for the 1976 rescue of 106 passengers at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. [New Yorker 10/29/01] Officials later deny the gun story and suggest that Lewin was probably stabbed to death instead (which would still be very interesting). [UPI, 3/6/02, Washington Post, 3/2/02 (B)] Note that Lewin founded Akamai, a successful computer company, and his connections to Sayeret Mat'kal remained hidden until the gun story came to light. [Guardian, 9/15/01] Perhaps Lewin just happened to be there, and, with his past training, tried to be a hero and stop the hijack? What are the odds that an Israeli counter-terrorist expert would not only be on this hijacked flight, but also have terrorists sitting in the seats directly in front and behind him?
          

Before September 11, 2001 (E)

       The position of Assistant Secretary for Special Operations and Low-intensity Conflict, the Defense Department post traditionally dealing the most with counterterrorism, still has not been filled since being vacated in January 2001 when Bush became president. Aides to Defense Secretary Rumsfeld later tell the 9/11 Commission that “the new [Defense Department] team was focused on other issues” and not counterterrorism. [Newsweek 3/24/04]
          

September 11, 2001-January 2002

       After probably completing last-minute financial transactions with some 9/11 hijackers, Saeed Sheikh flies to Pakistan (see September 8-11, 2001 (B)). [Knight Ridder, 10/7/01] He meets with bin Laden in Afghanistan a few days later. [Washington Post, 2/18/02, London Times, 2/25/02, Guardian, 7/16/02] The US government claims Saeed fights for the Taliban in Afghanistan in September and October 2001. [CNN, 3/14/02] Some believe that after the defeat of the Taliban in Afghanistan, Saeed acts as a go-between for the hiding bin Laden and the ISI. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] He also helps produce a video of a bin Laden interview. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] Sometime in October 2001 [Guardian, 7/16/02], he moves back to his home in Lahore, Pakistan, and lives there openly. He is frequently seen at local parties hosted by government leaders. In January 2002, he hosts a party to celebrate the birth of his newborn baby. [USA Today, 2/25/02, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] He stays in his well-known Lahore house with his new wife and baby until January 19, 2002—four days before reporter Daniel Pearl is kidnapped (see January 23, 2002). [BBC, 7/16/02] He is also actively involved in numerous other terrorist acts (see October 1, 2001 (D), December 13, 2001 (C) and January 22, 2002).
          

September 11, 2001 (H)

       At the time of the attacks, ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed is at a breakfast meeting at the Capitol with the chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence Committees, Senator Bob Graham (D) and Representative Porter Goss (R) (Goss is a 10-year veteran of the CIA's clandestine operations wing). The meeting is said to last at least until the second plane hits the WTC. [Washington Post, 5/18/02] Graham and Goss later co-head the joint House-Senate investigation into the 9/11 attacks, which has made headlines for saying there was no “smoking gun” of Bush knowledge before 9/11. [Washington Post, 7/11/02] Note Senator Graham should have been aware of a report made to his staff the previous month that one of Mahmood's subordinates had told a US undercover agent that the WTC would be destroyed (see Early August 2001). Evidence suggests Mahmood ordered that $100,000 be sent to hijacker Mohamed Atta (see Early August 2001 (D)). Also present at the meeting were Senator John Kyl (R) and the Pakistani ambassador to the US, Maleeha Lodhi (all or virtually all of the people in this meeting also met in Pakistan a few weeks earlier (see August 28-30, 2001)). Senator Graham says of the meeting: “We were talking about terrorism, specifically terrorism generated from Afghanistan.” The New York Times mentions bin Laden specifically was being discussed. [Vero Beach Press Journal, 9/12/01, Salon, 9/14/01, New York Times, 6/3/02] The fact that these people are meeting at the time of the attacks is a strange coincidence at the very least. Was the topic of conversation just more coincidence? [FTW]
          

September 11, 2001 (R)

       Explosives expert Van Romero says: “My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse.” The collapse of the buildings appears “too methodical” to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the structures. [Albuquerque Journal 9/11/01] However, Romero, who says he was on his way to the Pentagon to seek Pentagon research funding when the attack hit, reverses his stance 10 days later. [Albuquerque Journal, 9/21/01] Might his need for government funding have played a role in his change of heart?
          

September 11, 2001 (AA)

       An unnamed, young, Middle Eastern man flying from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit is arrested after his plane is diverted to Toronto, Canada. He is apparently found to be carrying a flight jacket, Palestinian Authority travel documents, and a picture of himself in a flight crew uniform in front of a fake backdrop of the WTC. [Toronto Star, 9/15/01 (B), Toronto Sun, 9/15/01, Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01 (B)] Apparently the man, who identifies himself as an aircraft maintenance engineer in Gaza, Palestine, was supposed to have arrived in the US a few days before but was delayed for unknown reasons. [CBS, 9/14/01 (B)] A second man was arrested a few days earlier while trying to enter Canada carrying a similar photo. He also possessed maps and directions to the WTC. Both men are soon handed to the US. [Toronto Star, 9/15/01 (B)] A similar picture of suspected Egyptian al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammad Zeki Majoub, arrested in Canada in June 2000, in front of a fake WTC backdrop was found in the luggage of one of the US hijackers. [AP, 3/1/01, Toronto Sun, 9/15/01] Canadian officials “believe the photos could be calling cards used by the terrorists to identify those involved in plotting the attacks.” [Toronto Sun, 9/15/01] It is not known what has happened to these men since.
          

September 11, 2001 (W)

      
The white van used by five Israeli agents as they were leaving New York on 9/11.
Five Israelis are arrested for “puzzling behavior” related to the WTC attacks.They are arrested around 4:30 P.M. after having filmed the burning WTC from the roof of their company's building near Liberty State Park, then shouting in what was interpreted as cries of joy and mockery. They were spotted by a neighbor who called the police and the FBI. The police tracked them down in a van with the words “Urban Moving Systems” written on the side. [Bergen Record, 9/12/01, Ha'aretz, 9/17/01] One man was found with $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock, another had two passports on him, and a box cutter was found in the van. [ABC News 6/21/02] Investigators say that “There are maps of the city in the car with certain places highlighted… It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen.” [Bergen Record, 9/12/01] One of these Israelis later says, “Our purpose was to document the event.” [ABC News 6/21/02] The FBI later concludes at least two are Mossad agents and that all were on a Mossad surveillance mission. The FBI interrogates them for weeks. [Forward, 3/15/02] They are held on immigration violation charges and released 71 days later. [ABC News, 6/21/02] Their names are later identified as Sivan and Paul Kurzberg, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari, and Yaron Shmuel. [Forward 3/15/02]
          

September 11, 2001 (N)

       A few hours after the attacks, German intelligence intercepts a phone conversation between followers of bin Laden that leads the FBI to search frantically for two more teams of suicide hijackers, according to US and German officials. The Germans overhear the terrorists refer to “the 30 people traveling for the operation.” The FBI scours flight manifests and any other clues for more conspirators still at large. [New York Times, 9/29/01] Two days later, authorities claim to have identified teams that total as many as 50 infiltrators who supported or carried out the strikes. About forty are accounted for as dead or in custody; ten are missing. They also believe a total of 27 suspected terrorists received some form of pilot training. This corresponds with many analyses that the attacks would have needed a large support network. [Los Angeles Times, 9/13/01] Even 50 may be a gross underestimate (see September 19, 2001). Yet so far, only one person, Moussaoui, has been identified and charged as an accomplice, and a report in October suggests no one else arrested has been connected to the 9/11 attacks (see October 20, 2001). What happened to the rest of the 40 or 50?
          

September 11, 2001 (D)

       An advertisement for a “homeland security” event in 2002 will mention the following curious sentence: “On the morning of September 11th 2001, Mr. [John] Fulton and his team at the CIA were running a pre-planned simulation to explore the emergency response issues that would be created if a plane were to strike a building. Little did they know that the scenario would come true in a dramatic way that day.” [National Law Enforcement Security Institute, 8/02] Fulton's team is part of the National Reconnaissance Office, which “operates many of the nation's spy satellites. It draws its personnel from the military and the CIA.” The simulation was to start at 9:00 a.m., four miles from where one of the real hijacked planes took off. The government calls the simulation just a “bizarre coincidence.” [AP 8/21/02] The government has repeatedly claimed that no one imagined a plane deliberately crashing into a building (see May 16, 2002 (B)).
          

September 11, 2001 (J)

       Zacarias Moussaoui watches the 9/11 attack on TV inside a prison, where he is being held on immigration charges. He cheers the attacks. [BBC, 12/12/01] Within an hour of the attacks, the Minnesota FBI uses a memo written to FBI headquarters shortly after Moussaoui's arrest to ask permission from a judge for the search warrant they have been desperately seeking. Even after the attacks, FBI headquarters is still attempting to block the search of Moussaoui's computer, characterizing the WTC attacks as a mere coincidence with suspicions about Moussaoui (the person still trying to block the search is later promoted). [Time, 5/21/02] However, a federal judge approves the warrant that afternoon. [New Yorker, 9/30/02] Minnesota FBI agent Coleen Rowley notes that this very memo was previously deemed insufficient by FBI headquarters to get a search warrant, and the fact that they are immediately granted one when finally allowed to ask shows “the missing piece of probable cause was only the [FBI headquarters'] failure to appreciate that such an event could occur.” [Time 5/21/02] The search uncovers information suggesting Moussaoui may have been planning an attack using crop dusters, but it doesn't turn up any direct connection to the 9/11 hijackers. However, they find some German telephone numbers and the name “Ahad Sabet.” The numbers allow them to determine the name is an alias for Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Atta's former roommate, and they find he wired Moussaoui money. They also find a document connecting Moussaoui with the Malaysian Yazid Sufaat, a lead that could have led to hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi (see September-October 2000). [New Yorker, 9/30/02, MSNBC, 12/11/01] Rowley later suggests that if they would had received the search warrant sooner, “There is at least some chance that … may have limited the Sept. 11th attacks and resulting loss of life.” [Time 5/27/02]
          
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