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Before 9/11

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

Al-Qaeda Members

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

Geopolitics and 9/11

Pakistani ISI (126)
Randy Glass (7)
Sibel Edmonds (6)
Saeed Sheikh (3)
Mahmood Ahmed (3)
Drugs (21)
Saudi Arabia and the bin Laden Family (110)
Bin Laden Family (33)
Israel (33)
Iraq (49)
US Dominance (34)

Day of 9/11

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

The Post-9/11 World

Afghanistan (49)
Investigations (166)
9/11 Congressional Inquiry (0)
9/11 Commission (0)
Other 9/11 Investigations (0)
Other events (79)
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Showing 1-100 of 359 events (use filters to narrow search):    next 100

January 1, 2002: Ex-Unocal Employee Becomes US Special Envoy and 'Real President' of Afghanistan

       Zalmay Khalilzad, already a Special Assistant to the President and a prominent neoconversative (see May 23, 2001), is appointed by Bush as a special envoy to Afghanistan. [BBC, 1/1/02] In his former role as Unocal adviser, Khalilzad participated in negotiations with the Taliban to build a pipeline through Afghanistan. He also wrote op-eds in the Washington Post in 1997 (see October 7, 1996) supporting the Taliban regime, back when Unocal was hoping to work with the Taliban. [Independent, 1/10/02] However, Zhalilzad becomes so powerful that in 2005 the BBC will note he is sometimes dubbed “the viceroy, or the real president of Afghanistan.” He is accused of “frequently overshadowing President Hamid Karzai. ... No major decisions by the Afghan government [are] made without his involvement.” [BBC, 4/6/05] Similarly, a London Times article on him will be titled “US Envoy Accused of Being the Power Pulling Karzai's Strings.” [London Times, 10/5/04] A New York Times article on him will be titled “In Afghanistan, US Envoy Sits In Seat of Power.” [New York Times, 4/17/04 (B)] He will keep this position until April 2005, when it is announced that Khalilzad will become US Ambassador to Iraq.
People and organizations involved: Taliban, Hamid Karzai, Unocal, Zalmay M. Khalilzad
          

January 2002: Central Asian Countries See US Military Bases Expand

       Reportedly, the US is improving bases in “13 locations in nine countries in the Central Asian region.” [Christian Science Monitor, 1/17/02] US military personnel strength in bases surrounding Afghanistan has increased to 60,000. [Los Angeles Times, 1/6/02] “Of the five ex-Soviet states of Central Asia, Turkmenistan alone is resisting pressure to allow the deployment of US or other Western forces on its soil...” [Guardian, 1/10/02] On January 9, the speaker of the Russian parliament states, “Russia would not approve of the appearance of permanent US bases in Central Asia,” but Russia seems helpless to stop what a Russian newspaper calls “the inexorable growth” of the US military presence in Central Asia. [Guardian, 1/10/02] Commenting on the bases, one columnist writes in the Guardian: “The task of the encircling US bases now shooting up on Afghanistan's periphery is only partly to contain the threat of political regression or Taliban resurgence in Kabul. Their bigger, longer-term role is to project US power and US interests into countries previously beyond its reach. ... The potential benefits for the US are enormous: growing military hegemony in one of the few parts of the world not already under Washington's sway, expanded strategic influence at Russia and China's expense, pivotal political clout and—grail of holy grails—access to the fabulous, non-OPEC oil and gas wealth of central Asia.” [Guardian, 1/16/02]
People and organizations involved: China, Taliban, Turkmenistan, Russia, United States
          

January 2002: 9/11 Flight Control Recording Completely Destroyed

       Shortly before noon on 9/11, about sixteen people at the New York Air Route Traffic Control Center recorded their version of the response to the 9/11 attack. At least six are air traffic controllers who dealt with two of the hijacked airliners. But officials at the center never tell higher-ups about the tape. Around this time, a quality-assurance manager, whose name has not been released, crushes the cassette recording in his hand, shreds the tape, and drops the pieces into different trashcans. This manager later asserts that keeping the tape would have been a violation of union rules and accident procedures. When he destroyed the tape, he had already received an e-mail from the FAA instructing officials to safeguard all records that specifically stated, “If a question arises whether or not you should retain data, RETAIN IT.” Most, but not all, of the air traffic controllers involved make written statements about three weeks after 9/11, but it isn't clear how these might differ with what was on the tape. The unidentified manager is later said to be disciplined for this incident, though it isn't clear how. [Washington Post, 5/6/04]
People and organizations involved: Federal Aviation Administration
          

January 2002: Businessman with Saudi Diplomatic Passport Funds Al-Qaeda

       The US Treasury Department sends a letter to Swiss authorities stating that a Saudi businessman named Ali bin Mussalim “has been providing indirect investment services for al-Qaeda, investing funds for bin Laden, and making cash deliveries on request to the al-Qaeda organization.” Furthermore, the letter claims that such assistance continues until “late September 2001,” and that Mussalim carries a Saudi diplomatic passport. The letter further links him to the now defunct Bank Al-Taqwa and its founder, Youssef Nada; both are named by the US and United Nations as financers of terrorism. Mussalim had been known for controversial financial dealings since the early 1980's, when US prosecutors accused him of taking part in attempts to corner the silver market. In 1994 he was an intermediary in a multi-billion dollar deal between the Saudi and French governments. He was found dead in his home in June 2004, one month after reports of the US Treasury letter first emerged. The Financial Times calls “al-Qaeda Will Conquer,” the 2005 book which is first to reveal documentation of these claims, “uncomfortable reading for the Saudi government.” [Financial Times, 4/27/05]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Ali bin Mussalim, Bank Al-Taqwa, Youssef Nada, United Nations, Switzerland, Argentina
          

January 4, 2002: US Doctors Information About Al-Qaeda Militants

      
Defense Department pamplet with a badly doctored photo of bin Laden. Note the blurry area around his neck.
It is reported that the State Department said Mohamed Atta “wanted to learn to fly, but didn't need to take off and land” when this information clearly refers to Zacarias Moussaoui (although that story isn't exactly true for him either (see August 13-15, 2001)). It is also reported that the military dropped leaflets in Afghanistan which featured photos depicting bin Laden in Western clothing, with his hair cut short and beard shaved off. An expert says “Frankly, this is sloppy,” and the article calls these propaganda efforts “worthy of the tabloids.” [Associated Press, 1/4/02]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, US Department of State, Mohamed Atta, US Department of Defense
          

January 4, 2002: Firefighter Magazine Scolds WTC Investigation

       A firefighter trade magazine with ties to the New York Fire Department calls the investigation into the collapse of the WTC a “half-baked farce.” The article points out that the probe has not looked at all aspects of the disaster and has had limited access to documents and other evidence. “The destruction and removal of evidence must stop immediately.” The writer, Bill Manning, states, “I have combed through our national standard for fire investigation, NFPA 921, but nowhere in it does one find an exemption allowing the destruction of evidence for buildings over 10 stories tall.” He concludes that a growing number of fire protection engineers have theorized that “the structural damage from the planes and the explosive ignition of jet fuel in themselves were not enough to bring down the towers.” Yet, “[a]s things now stand and if they continue in such fashion, the investigation into the World Trade Center fire and collapse will amount to paper- and computer-generated hypotheticals.” [New York Daily News, 1/4/02; Fire Engineering, 1/02]
People and organizations involved: New York City Fire Department, World Trade Center
          

January 5, 2002: FBI Interested in Captured Pakistani Militant Leader

       The FBI has asked Pakistan for permission to question Maulana Masood Azhar, the leader of Jaish-e-Mohammed, according to reports. Pakistan arrested him on December 25, 2001, after US pressure to do so. One Pakistani official says, “The Americans are aware Azhar met bin Laden often, and are convinced he can give important information about bin Laden's present whereabouts and even the September 11 attacks.” But the “primary reason” for US interest is the link between Azhar and Saeed Sheikh. They hope to learn about Saeed's involvement in financing the 9/11 attacks. Whether Pakistan gives permission to question Azhar is unclear. Four days later, the US officially asks Pakistan for help in finding and extraditing Saeed. [Gulf News, 1/5/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Pakistan, Maulana Masood Azhar, Osama bin Laden, Saeed Sheikh
          

January 6, 2002: Shoe Bomber Is Believed to Be Involved with Pakistani Jihadists

       The Boston Globe reports that shoe bomber Richard Reid may have had ties with an obscure Pakistani group called Al-Fuqra. Reid apparently visited the Lahore, Pakistan, home of Ali Gilani, the leader of Al-Fuqra. [Boston Globe, 1/6/02] Reporter Daniel Pearl reads the article and decides to investigate. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] Pearl believes he is on his way to interview Gilani when he is kidnapped. [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] A 1995 State Department report said Al-Fuqra's main goal is “purifying Islam through violence.” [Vanity Fair, 8/02] Intelligence experts now say Al-Fuqra is a splinter group of Jaish-e-Mohammed, with ties to al-Qaeda. [UPI, 1/29/02] Al-Fuqra claims close ties with the Muslims of the Americas, a US tax-exempt group claiming about 3,000 members living in rural compounds in 19 states, the Caribbean, and Europe. Members of Al-Fuqra are suspected of at least 13 fire bombings and 17 murders, as well as theft and credit-card fraud. Gilani, who had links to people involved in the 1993 WTC bombing, fled the US after the bombing. He admitted he works with the ISI, and now lives freely in Pakistan. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02; The News, 2/15/02; Boston Globe, 1/6/02] Saeed Sheikh “has long had close contacts” with the group, and praises Gilani for his “unexplained services to Pakistan and Islam.” [The News, 2/18/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Ali Gilani, Richard C. Reid, Al-Fuqra, Daniel Pearl, al-Qaeda, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Jaish-e-Mohammed, Saeed Sheikh
          

January 6, 2002: Mullah Omar Escapes Capture by US Military

      
Taliban leader Mullah Omar, blind in one eye.
The US allegedly locates former Taliban leader Mullah Omar and 1,500 of his soldiers in the remote village of Baghran, Afghanistan. After a six-day siege, and surrounded by US helicopters and troops, Omar and four bodyguards supposedly escape the dragnet in a daring chase on motorcycles over dirt roads. His soldiers are set free in return for giving up their weapons, in a deal brokered by local leaders. Yet it remains unclear if Omar was ever in the village in the first place. [Observer, 1/6/02]
People and organizations involved: Mullah Omar, Taliban
          

January 12, 2002: Pakistan Takes Half-Hearted Anti-Terrorism Measures

       Pakistan President Musharraf makes “a forceful speech . . . condemning Islamic extremism.” [Washington Post, 3/28/02] Around this time, he also arrests about 2,000 people he calls extremists. He is hailed in the Western media as redirecting the ISI to support the US agenda. Yet, by the end of the month, at least 800 of the arrested are set free [Washington Post, 3/28/02] , including “most of their firebrand leaders.” [Time, 5/6/02] Within one year, “almost all” of those arrested have been quietly released. Even the most prominent leaders, such as Maulana Masood Azhar, have been released. Their militant organizations are running again, most under new names. [Washington Post, 2/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Maulana Masood Azhar, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Pervez Musharraf
          

January 13, 2002: Former German Minister Believes CIA Is Responsible for 9/11

      
Andreas von Buelow.
Andreas von Bülow, former German Minister for Research and Technology and a long-time member of German parliament, suggests in an interview that the CIA could have been behind the 9/11 attacks. He states: “Whoever wants to understand the CIA's methods, has to deal with its main task of covert operations: Below the level of war, and outside international law, foreign states are to be influenced by inciting insurrections or terrorist attacks, usually combined with drugs and weapons trade, and money laundering. ... Since, however, it must not under any circumstances come out that there is an intelligence agency behind it, all traces are erased, with tremendous deployment of resources. I have the impression that this kind of intelligence agency spends 90 percent of its time this way: creating false leads. So that if anyone suspects the collaboration of the agencies, he is accused of paranoia. The truth often comes out only years later.” [Der Tagesspiegel, 1/13/02] In an example of covering tracks, Ephraim Halevy, head of Israel's Mossad from 1998 till 2002, claims, “Not one big success of the Mossad has ever been made public.” [CBS News, 2/5/03]
People and organizations involved: Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks, Central Intelligence Agency, Andreas von Bulow, Ephraim Halevy
          

January 22-25, 2002: India Tells FBI Director About Saeed Sheikh Connection to 9/11

       FBI Director Mueller visits India, and is told by Indian investigators that Saeed Sheikh sent ransom money to hijacker Mohamed Atta in the US. In the next few days, Saeed is publicly blamed for his role with gangster Aftab Ansari in financing Atta and organizing the Calcutta attack (see January 22, 2002). [Press Trust of India, 1/22/02; Daily Telegraph, 1/27/02; Los Angeles Times, 1/23/02; Independent, 2/24/02; Agence France-Presse, 1/27/02] Meanwhile, on January 23, Saeed helps kidnap reporter Daniel Pearl and is later arrested. Also on January 23, Ansari is placed under surveillance after flying to Dubai, United Arab Emirates. On January 24, Mueller and US Ambassador to Pakistan Wendy Chamberlin discuss Saeed at a previously scheduled meeting with Pakistani President Musharraf. Apparently Saeed's role in Pearl's kidnapping is not yet known. [Associated Press, 2/24/02] On Mueller's way back to the US he flies to Dubai to pressure the government there to arrest Ansari and deport him to India. Ansari is arrested on February 5 and deported four days later. [Associated Press, 2/10/02; Frontline, 2/16/02; India Today, 2/25/02]
People and organizations involved: Robert S. Mueller III, Saeed Sheikh, Mohamed Atta, Aftab Ansari, Pervez Musharraf, Daniel Pearl, Wendy Chamberlin, India
          

January 22, 2002: Saeed Sheikh and ISI stage attacks in India

       A crowd of mostly unarmed Indian police near the US Information Service building in Calcutta, India, is attacked by gunmen; four policemen are killed and 21 people injured. The gunmen escape. India claims that Aftab Ansari immediately calls to take credit, and India charges that the gunmen belong to Ansari's kidnapping ring are also connected to funding the 9/11 attacks in August 2001. [Associated Press, 2/10/02; Daily Telegraph, 1/24/02] Saeed Sheikh and the ISI assist Ansari in the attack. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] This is the fourth attack in which they have cooperated, including the 9/11 attacks, and attacks in October and December 2001.
People and organizations involved: India, Saeed Sheikh, Aftab Ansari, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

January 23, 2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Kidnapped While Investigating the ISI

      
Daniel Pearl.
Wall Street Journal report Daniel Pearl is kidnapped while investigating the ISI's connection to Islamic militant groups. [BBC, 7/5/02; Guardian, 1/25/02] Saeed Sheikh is later convicted as the mastermind of the kidnap, and though it appears he lured Pearl into being kidnapped beginning January 11, the actual kidnapping is perpetrated by others who remain at large. [Vanity Fair, 8/02; Wall Street Journal, 1/23/03] The Guardian later suggests that Pearl must have been under ISI surveillance at the time of his kidnapping. “Any western journalist visiting Pakistan is routinely watched and followed. The notion that Daniel Pearl, setting up contacts with extremist groups, was not being carefully monitored by the Secret Services is unbelievable—and nobody in Pakistan believes it.” [Guardian, 4/5/02] Both al-Qaeda and the ISI appear to be behind the kidnapping. The overall mastermind behind the kidnapping seems to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, also mastermind of the 9/11 attacks. [CNN, 1/30/03; Time, 1/26/03]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

January 24, 2002: Cheney and Bush Pressure Senator to Avoid 9/11 Inquiry

       Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D) later claims that on this day, Vice President Cheney calls him and urges that no 9/11 inquiry be made. President Bush repeats the request on January 28, and Daschle is repeatedly pressured thereafter. Newsweek summarizes one of these conversations: “Bush administration officials might say they're too busy running the war on terrorism to show up. Press the issue ... and you risk being accused of interfering with the mission.” [Newsweek, 2/4/02] Cheney later disagrees: “Tom's wrong. He has, in this case, let's say a misinterpretation.” [Reuters, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Tom Daschle
          

January 28, 2002: Daniel Pearl's Kidnappers Make Odd Demands for His Release

       Reporter Daniel Pearl's kidnappers e-mail the media a picture of Pearl and a list of very strange demands. [BBC, 7/5/02] The kidnappers call themselves “The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty,” a previously unheard of name. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] Their demands include the return of US-held Pakistani prisoners and the departure of US journalists from Pakistan. [ABC News, 2/7/02] Most unusually, they demand that the US sell F-16 fighters to Pakistan. No militant group had ever shown interest in the F-16's, but this demand and the others reflect the desires of Pakistan's military and the ISI to obtain the fighters. [Times of London, 4/21/02; Guardian, 7/16/02] On January 29, “a senior Pakistani official,” presumably from the ISI, leaks the fact that Pearl is Jewish to the Pakistani press. This may have been an attempt to ensure the kidnappers would want to murder him, which they do shortly thereafter. [Vanity Fair, 8/02] On the same day, it is reported that US intelligence believes the kidnappers are connected to the ISI. [UPI, 1/29/02]
People and organizations involved: The National Movement for the Restoration of Pakistani Sovereignty, Daniel Pearl, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

January 29, 2002: Bush Sees an Axis of Evil

       President Bush's State of the Union speech describes an “axis of evil” consisting of Iraq, Iran, and North Korea. When Bush advisor Richard Perle was asked one month before 9/11 about new challenges the US faced, he replied by naming these exact three countries (see August 6, 2001). Bin Laden is not mentioned in the speech. [CNN, 1/29/02] The speech is followed by a new public focus on Iraq and a downplaying of bin Laden.
People and organizations involved: Iraq, North Korea, Iran, George W. Bush
          

January 31, 2002: Reporter Daniel Pearl Is Murdered by Pakistani Kidnappers

      
Reporter Daniel Pearl moments before he is killed.
Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl is murdered. He is reported dead on February 21; his mutilated body is found months later. Police investigators say “there were at least eight to ten people present on the [murder] scene” and at least 15 who participated in his kidnapping and murder. “Despite issuing a series of political demands shortly after Pearl's abduction four weeks ago, it now seems clear that the kidnappers planned to kill Pearl all along.” [Washington Post, 2/23/02] Some captured participants later claim 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is the one who cuts Pearl's throat. [MSNBC, 9/17/02; Time, 1/26/03]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Pearl, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          

February 5, 2002: Pakistan Apprehends Saeed Sheikh

       Pakistani police, with the help of the FBI, determine Saeed Sheikh is behind the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl, but are unable to find him. They round up about ten of his relatives and threaten to harm them unless he turns himself in. Saeed Sheikh does turn himself in, but to Ijaz Shah, his former ISI boss. [Boston Globe, 2/7/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] The ISI holds Saeed for a week, but fails to tell Pakistani police or anyone else that they have him. This “missing week” is the cause of much speculation. The ISI never tells Pakistani police any details about this week. [Newsweek, 3/11/02] Saeed also later refuses to discuss the week or his connection to the ISI, only saying, “I will not discuss this subject. I do not want my family to be killed.” He adds, “I know people in the government and they know me and my work.” [Newsweek, 3/13/02; Vanity Fair, 8/02] It is suggested Saeed is held for this week to make sure that Pearl would be killed. Saeed later says that during this week he got a coded message from the kidnappers that Pearl had been murdered. Also, the time might have been spent working out a deal with the ISI over what Saeed would tell police and the public. [Newsweek, 3/11/02] Several others with both extensive ISI and al-Qaeda ties wanted for the kidnapping are arrested around this time. [Times of London, 2/25/02; Washington Post, 2/23/02] One of these men, Khalid Khawaja, “has never hidden his links with Osama bin Laden. At one time he used to fly Osama's personal plane.” [PakNews, 2/11/02]
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Daniel Pearl, Khalid Khawaja, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Ijaz Shah, Saeed Sheikh, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

February 6, 2002: Tenet Is Proud of CIA's Handling of 9/11

       CIA Director Tenet tells a Senate hearing that there was no 9/11 intelligence failure. When asked about the CIA record on 9/11, he says, “We are proud of that record.” He also states that the 9/11 plot was “in the heads of three or four people” and thus nearly impossible to prevent. [USA Today, 2/7/02]
People and organizations involved: George Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency
          

February 6, 2002: Western Media Largely Ignores Links Between Saeed Sheikh, ISI, and 9/11

       Pakistani police publicly name Saeed Sheikh and a Islamic militant group he belongs to, Jaish-e-Mohammed, as those responsible for reporter Daniel Pearl's murder. [Observer, 2/24/02] In the next several months, at least 12 Western news articles mention Saeed's links to al-Qaeda [Los Angeles Times, 3/15/02; Associated Press, 2/24/02; Boston Globe, 2/7/02; ABC News, 2/7/02] , including his financing of 9/11 [Independent, 2/10/02; Guardian, 2/9/02; Associated Press, 2/9/02; New York Daily News, 2/7/02; CNN, 2/8/02; Time, 2/10/02; New York Post, 2/10/02; Sunday Herald, 2/24/02; USA Today, 3/8/02; New York Post, 2/22/02; Evening Standard, 2/12/02; Los Angeles Times, 2/13/02] , and at least 16 articles mention his links to the ISI. [Boston Globe, 2/28/02; Newsweek, 3/11/02; Newsweek, 3/13/02; Guardian, 4/5/02; National Post, 2/26/02; USA Today, 2/25/02; New York Times, 2/25/02; MSNBC, 4/5/02; Newsweek, 2/25/02; Daily Telegraph, 2/24/02; Observer, 2/24/02; Cox News Service, 2/21/02] However, many other articles fail to mention either link. Only a few articles consider that Saeed could have been connected to both groups at the same time [Times of London, 4/21/02; Times of London, 2/25/02; Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] , and apparently, only one of these mentions he could be involved in the ISI, al-Qaeda, and financing 9/11. [Times of London, 4/21/02] By the time Saeed is convicted of Pearl's murder in July 2002, Saeed's possible connections to al-Qaeda and/or the ISI are virtually unreported in US newspapers, while many British newspapers are still making one or the other connection.
People and organizations involved: Jaish-e-Mohammed, Daniel Pearl, Saeed Sheikh, al-Qaeda, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

February 9, 2002: Pakistani and Afghan Leaders Revive Afghanistan Pipeline Idea

       Pakistani President Musharraf and Afghan leader Hamid Karzai announce their agreement to “cooperate in all spheres of activity” including the proposed Central Asian pipeline, which they call “in the interest of both countries.” [Gulf News, 2/9/02; Irish Times, 2/9/02]
People and organizations involved: Pervez Musharraf, Hamid Karzai
          

February 9, 2002: Pakistani Gangster Admits Ties to ISI, Saeed Sheikh, and Terrorism

      
Aftab Ansari.
Gangster Aftab Ansari is deported to India. He was arrested in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on February 5. [Independent, 2/10/02] He admits funding attacks through kidnapping ransoms, and building a network of arms and drug smuggling. [Deutsche Presse-Agenteur, 2/11/02] He later also admits to close ties with the ISI and Saeed Sheikh, whom he befriended in prison. [Press Trust of India, 5/13/02]
People and organizations involved: Saeed Sheikh, Aftab Ansari, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

February 10, 2002: Driver's License Examiner Dies in Suspicious Circumstances

       Katherine Smith is killed one day before her scheduled appearance in court on charges she helped five Islamic men get illegal drivers licenses. According to witnesses, she veered into a utility pole when a fire erupted in her car. She was burned beyond recognition. The FBI later determines that gasoline was poured on her clothing before she died in the fire and find that arson was the cause of death. [Associated Press, 2/15/02 (B)] A suicide note was found, but prosecutors say they are looking for murder suspects. One of the five men, Sakhera Hammad, was found with a pass in his wallet giving access to the restricted areas of the WTC, dated September 5, 2001. Hammad claims he was a plumber and worked on the WTC's sprinkler system that day, but the company with exclusive rights to all WTC plumbing work has never heard of him. Smith was being investigated by the FBI; the five later plead guilty to charges of fraud. [Memphis Commercial Appeal, 2/21/02; Go Memphis, 2/12/02; Associated Press, 2/13/02; Reuters, 2/15/02] One of the five, Khaled Odtllah, drove from New York City to Memphis on 9/11. Tennessee is one of only four US states that doesn't require a Social Security card to get a driver's license. A prosecutor accuses each of the five men of attempting to acquire a “completely false and untraceable identity.” [Associated Press, 2/12/02; Associated Press, 2/15/02 (B)] One month later, the coroner who examines her body is targeted by a bomb, which is defused. Then in June the coroner is attacked, bound with barbed wire, and left with a bomb tied to his body, but he survives. [Memphis Commercial Appeal, 3/14/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khaled Odtllah, Sakhera Hammad, Katherine Smith, World Trade Center
          

February 12, 2002: ISI Deliver Saeed Sheikh to Pakistani Police

       Saeed Sheikh, already in ISI custody for a week, is handed over to Pakistani police. Shortly afterwards, he publicly confesses to his involvement in reporter Daniel Pearl's murder. Later he will recant this confession. It appears that initially he thought he would get a light sentence. Newsweek describes him initially “confident, even cocky,” saying he would only serve three to four years if convicted, and would never be extradited. [Newsweek, 3/11/02] He is sentenced in July 2002 to hang instead. Pakistani militants respond to his arrest with three suicide attacks that kill more than 30 people. [Guardian, 7/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl
          

February 14, 2002: US Military Bases Line Afghan Pipeline Route

       The Israeli newspaper Ma'ariv notes: “If one looks at the map of the big American bases created [in the Afghan war], one is struck by the fact that they are completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean.” Ma'ariv also states, “Osama bin Laden did not comprehend that his actions serve American interests... If I were a believer in conspiracy theory, I would think that bin Laden is an American agent. Not being one I can only wonder at the coincidence.” [Chicago Tribune, 3/18/02]
People and organizations involved: United States, Osama bin Laden
          

February 15, 2002: Bush Directs CIA to Conduct Operations in Iraq

       Bush signs an intelligence finding, directing the CIA to conduct operations within Iraq as part of an ultimate plan to overthrow Saddam's government. The CIA warns Bush that staging a coup to depose the leader would be impossible. [Woodward, 2004 cited in Washington Post 1/18/04 Sources: Top officials interviewed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

February 18, 2002: Pakistan Applies Censorship on Link Between ISI and Saeed Sheikh

       The Pakistani government unsuccessfully tries to stop Pakistani newspaper The News from publishing a story revealing Saeed Sheikh's connections to the ISI, based on leaks from Pakistani police interrogations. [Times of London, 4/21/02; Guardian, 7/16/02; Washington Post, 3/10/02] According to the article, Saeed admits his involvement in recent attacks on the Indian parliament in Delhi and in Kashmir, and says the ISI helped him finance, plan, and execute them. [The News, 2/18/02] On March 1, the ISI pressures The News to fire the four journalists who worked on the story. The ISI also demands an apology from the newspaper's editor, who flees the country instead. [Guardian, 7/16/02; Times of London, 4/21/02; Washington Post, 3/10/02]
People and organizations involved: Saeed Sheikh, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence
          

February 19, 2002: Gen. Franks: US Is Deploying Resources from Afghanistan to Iraq

       General Tommy Franks allegedly tells Sen. Bob Graham (D) of Florida, who is on a visit to US Central Command: “Senator, we have stopped fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan. We are moving military and intelligence personnel and resources out of Afghanistan to get ready for a future war in Iraq.” [Council on Foreign Relations, 3/26/04 Sources: Bob Graham] (In his memoirs, Graham quotes Franks as saying that “military and intelligence personnel are being re-deployed to prepare for an action in Iraq.” [Knight Ridder, 6/18/2004; Graham and Nussbaum, 2004, pp 125] ) Franks denies making the comment. [Knight Ridder, 6/18/2004] The New Yorker magazine also reports on a redeployment of resources to Iraq at this time (see Early March 2002). [New Yorker, 10/20/03]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Franks, Bob Graham
          

February 20, 2002: Pentagon Office Designed for Telling Lies Revealed; Declared Closed

       The Pentagon announces the existence of the new Office of Strategic Influence (OSI), which “was quietly set up after September 11.” The role of this office is to plant false stories in the foreign press, phony e-mails from disguised addresses, and other covert activities to manipulate public opinion. The new office proves so controversial that it is declared closed six days later. [CNN, 2/20/02; CNN, 2/26/02] It is later reported that the “temporary” Office of Global Communications will be made permanent (it is unknown when this office began its work). This office seems to serve the same function as the earlier OSI, minus the covert manipulation. [Washington Post, 7/20/02] Defense Secretary Rumsfeld later states that after the OSI was closed, “I went down that next day and said fine, if you want to savage this thing fine I'll give you the corpse. There's the name. You can have the name, but I'm gonna keep doing every single thing that needs to be done and I have.” [US Department of Defense, 11/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Unknown, Office of Global Communications, US Department of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld, Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld, Office of Strategic Influence
          

February 22, 2002: Rogue Elements of ISI, Especially Those With CIA Ties, May Be Out of Control

       In the wake of the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl and suspected ISI ties to the kidnapping plot, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf is said to begin a “quiet and massive overhaul” of the ISI. However, one senior military source who once served in the ISI warns, “The biggest problem we have here are the rogue elements in the intelligence agencies, especially those who at some time became involved with the CIA.” The ISI is so used to operating independently that even honest agents may be difficult to control. Many may willfully disobey orders. “Among the more dangerous, sources say, are those who acted as Pakistan's official liaison between the Pakistan Army and militant groups, such as the Kashmiri-oriented Harkatul Mujahideen and Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, both of which are on the United States' list of terrorist organizations. The ISI was also a crucial link between Pakistan and the Taliban in Afghanistan.” [Christian Science Monitor, 2/22/02] By early 2003, the Financial Times will note that Musharraf's attempts at reforms have largely been abandoned. An expert on the region comments, “It is no longer a question of whether Pakistan is going backwards or forwards. It's a question of how rapidly it's going backwards.” [Financial Times, 2/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Daniel Pearl, Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Harkatul Mujahideen, Taliban, Lashkar-e-Tayyaba
          

February 25, 2002: Captured Taliban Leader Ignored by CIA

       Time magazine reports that the second highest Taliban official in US custody, Mullah Haji Abdul Samat Khaksar, has been waiting for months for the CIA to talk to him. Two weeks after Time informed US officials that Khaksar wanted to talk, he still has not been properly interviewed. He says he has useful information, and may be able to help locate former Taliban leader Mullah Omar. Time notes that “he claims to have information about al-Qaeda links to the ISI.” [Time, 2/25/02] “The little that Khaksar has divulged to an American general and his intelligence aide—is tantalizing. ... He says that the ISI agents are still mixed up with the Taliban and al-Qaeda,” and that the three groups have formed a new group to get the US out of Afghanistan. He also says that “the ISI recently assassinated an Afghan in the Paktika province who knew the full extent of ISI's collaboration with al-Qaeda.” [Time, 2/19/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Mullah Omar, Central Intelligence Agency, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Mullah Haji Abdul Samat Khaksar
          

February 28, 2002: Majority of Muslims Believe bin Laden Not Responsible for 9/11

       A Gallup poll conducted in Muslim nations shows 18 percent believe that Arabs were responsible for 9/11 and 61 percent do not. In Pakistan, 86 percent say Arabs were not responsible. [Guardian, 2/28/02] Even Pakistani President Musharraf has said bin Laden was not the mastermind, though he says that he probably supported it. [Reuters, 8/4/02]
People and organizations involved: Pervez Musharraf, Osama bin Laden
          

March 2002: Bush Official Says 9/11 Is Important Because It Lowers Public Resistance to US Military Adventures

       An anonymous senior Bush administration official says, as The New Yorker paraphrases it, “Inside government, the reason September 11th appears to have been ‘a transformative moment,’ ... is not so much that it revealed the existence of a threat of which officials had previously been unaware as that it drastically reduced the American public's usual resistance to American military involvement overseas, at least for a while.” [New Yorker, 3/25/02]
          

March 1, 2002: ISI Maintains Huge Drug Economy

       Vanity Fair suggests the ISI is still deeply involved in the drug trade in Central Asia. It estimates that Pakistan has a parallel drug economy worth $15 billion a year. Pakistan's official economy is worth about $60 billion. The article notes that the US has not tied its billions of dollars in aid to Pakistan to assurances that Pakistan will stop its involvement in drugs. [Vanity Fair, 3/1/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, United States
          

Early March 2002: French Author Claims Plane Crash into Pentagon Was Staged

      
Thierry Meyssan.
The book l'Effroyable Imposture (The Horrifying Fraud) is published in France. The book claims that Flight 77 did not crash into the Pentagon on 9/11. It is written by Thierry Meyssan, “president of the Voltaire Network, a respected independent think tank whose left-leaning research projects have until now been considered models of reasonableness and objectivity.” [Guardian, 4/1/02] The book is widely denounced by the media (See, for example, [Baltimore Sun, 9/12/02; National Post, 8/31/02; Agence France-Presse, 3/21/02; Times of London, 5/19/02] ). One reporter heavily criticizes the book even while admitting never to have read it. [LA Weekly, 7/19/02] In France, however, the book sets a publishing record for first-month sales. [Time (Europe version), 5/20/02] One of Meyssan's theories is that people within the US government wanted to hit the Pentagon for its propaganda effect, but did not want to create a lot of damage or kill important people like Defense Secretary Rumsfeld. He notes that the plane hit the one section under construction, thus greatly reducing the loss of life. [Times of London, 5/19/02; Agence France-Presse, 3/21/02] Furthermore, the wall at point of impact was the first and only one to be reinforced and have blast-resistant windows installed as part of an upgrade plan. [NFPA Journal, 11/1/01]
People and organizations involved: Thierry Meyssan, Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 2002: Al-Qaeda Golden Chain Financiers Revealed

      
The "golden chain" list of names.
Authorities in Bosnia, Sarajevo, raid the offices of the Benevolence International Foundation due to suspected funding of al-Qaeda. The raid uncovers a handwritten list of twenty wealthy donors sympathetic to al-Qaeda. The list, referred to as “The Golden Chain,” reveals both the names of the donors, and the names of the recipients. Seven of the payments were made to bin Laden, and at least one donation to him was made by the “bin Laden brothers.” UPI points out that “the discovery of this document in Sarajevo calls into question whether al-Qaeda has received support from one of Osama's scores of wealthy brothers.” Adel Batterjee, a wealth businessman from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, who is also the founder of both the charity BIF and its predecessor, Lajnatt Al-Birr Al-Islamiah, appears to be mentioned as a recipient three times. Batterjee has been named as a defendant in a 9/11 lawsuit against wealthy Saudis, but he has been missing in Saudi Arabia for over a year by the time this report comes out. When the document was written is not revealed, but it may date from the early 1990s. [UPI, 2/11/03]
People and organizations involved: Adel Batterjee, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Bosnia, Benevolence International Foundation
          

Early March 2002: Bush Diverts Resources from War on Terror

       According to a former White House official interviewed by Seymour Hersh during the fall of 2003, Bush makes the decision to invade Iraq at this time and begins diverting resources away from the “war on terrorism” to the planned invasion of Iraq. “The Bush administration took many intelligence operations that had been aimed at al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups around the world and redirected them to the Persian Gulf. Linguists and special operatives were abruptly reassigned, and several ongoing anti-terrorism intelligence programs were curtailed.” [The New Yorker, 10/20/03 Sources: Unnamed Former White House official]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush  Additional Info 
          

March 2, 2002: Diesel Tank May Have Destroyed Building and Secret Files on 9/11

       A New York Times article theorizes that a diesel fuel tank was responsible for the collapse of Building 7 near the WTC. It collapsed on 9/11 even though it was farther away than many other buildings that remained standing. It was the first time a steel-reinforced high-rise in the US had ever collapsed in a fire. The fuel tank had been installed in 1999 (see June 8, 1999) as part of a new “Command Center” for Mayor Rudolph Giuliani. [New York Times, 3/2/02; Dow Jones News, 9/10/02] Curiously, given all the Wall Street scandals later in the year, Building 7 housed the SEC files related to numerous Wall Street investigations, as well as other federal investigative files. All the files for approximately 3,000 to 4,000 SEC cases were destroyed. Some were backed up in other places, but many were not, especially those classified as confidential. [National Law Journal, 9/17/01] Lost files include documents that could show the relationship between Citigroup and the WorldCom bankruptcy. [The Street, 8/9/02] The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission estimates over 10,000 cases will be affected. [New York Law Journal, 9/14/01] The Secret Service also lost investigative files. Says one agent: “All the evidence that we stored at 7 World Trade, in all our cases, went down with the building.” [Tech TV, 7/23/02] It is also eventually revealed that there was a secret CIA office in Building 7. [CNN, 11/4/01] A few days later, the head of the WTC collapse investigation says he “would possibly consider examining” the collapse of Building 7, but by this time all the rubble has already been removed and destroyed. [House of Representatives testimony, 3/6/02]
People and organizations involved: Citibank, WorldCom, World Trade Center, Central Intelligence Agency, Secret Service, Securities and Exchange Commission
          

March 3, 2002: Powell Denies ISI Links to Daniel Pearl Murder

       Secretary of State Powell rules out any links between “elements of the ISI” and the murderers of reporter Daniel Pearl. [Dawn, 3/3/02] The Guardian later calls Powell's comment “shocking,” given the overwhelming evidence that the main suspect, Saeed Sheikh, worked for the ISI. [Guardian, 4/5/02] Defense Secretary Rumsfeld called Saeed a possible “asset” for the ISI only a week earlier. [Times of London, 2/25/02] The Washington Post says, “The [ISI] is a house of horrors waiting to break open. Saeed has tales to tell.” [Washington Post, 3/28/02] The Guardian says Saeed “is widely believed in Pakistan to be an experienced ISI ‘asset.’ ” [Guardian, 4/5/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl, Colin Powell, Donald Rumsfeld
          

March 5, 2002: Israeli Spies Reportedly Tracked 9/11 Hijackers

       It is reported that many spies in the uncovered Israeli spy ring seemed to have been trailing the 9/11 hijackers. At the very least, they were in close proximity. For instance, five Israeli spies are intercepted in the tiny town of Hollywood, Florida, and four 9/11 hijackers are known to have spent time in Hollywood, Florida. [Jane's Intelligence Digest, 3/15/02; Reuters, 3/5/02; Le Monde, 3/5/02] In one case, some Israeli spies lived at 4220 Sheridan Street, only a few hundred feet from where Mohamed Atta was living at 3389 Sheridan Street. Israeli spies appear to have been close to at least ten of the 19 9/11 hijackers. [Salon, 5/7/02]
People and organizations involved: Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks, Mohamed Atta
          

March 6, 2002: US Officials Deny Existence of Israeli Spy Ring

       A Washington Post article, relying on US officials, denies the existence of any Israeli spy ring. A “wide array of US officials” supposedly deny it, and Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden says: “This seems to be an urban myth that has been circulating for months. The department has no information at this time to substantiate these widespread reports about Israeli art students involved in espionage.” [Washington Post, 3/6/02] The New York Times fails to cover the story at all, even months later. [Salon, 5/7/02] By mid-March, Jane's Intelligence Digest, the respected British intelligence and military analysis service, notes: “It is rather strange that the US media seems to be ignoring what may well be the most explosive story since the 11 September attacks—the alleged breakup of a major Israeli espionage operation in the USA.” [Jane's Intelligence Digest, 3/15/02]
People and organizations involved: Susan Dryden, US Department of Justice, "Israeli art students"
          

March 6, 2002: House Committee on Science Holds Hearing on WTC Collapses Investigation

       The House Committee on Science holds a hearing on the investigation into the collapse of the World Trade Center on 9/11. Witnesses from industry, academia, and government testify on the collapses and the subsequent efforts to find out how and why they occurred. The hearings charter points out several problems that have severely hampered investigations. It says, “Early confusion over who was in charge of the [WTC collapse] site and the lack of authority of investigators to impound pieces of steel for examination before they were recycled led to the loss of important pieces of evidence that were destroyed early during the search and rescue effort. ... Some of the critical pieces of steel—including the suspension trusses from the top of the towers and the internal support columns—were gone before the first BPAT [Building Performance Assessment Team] team member ever reached the site”(see September 12-October 2001). Furthermore, “The building owners, designers and insurers, prevented independent researchers from gaining access—and delayed the BPAT team in gaining access—to pertinent building documents largely because of liability concerns.” Regarding the decision to rapidly recycle the WTC steel, Rep. Joseph Crowley (D) says, “I do believe that conspiracy theorists are going to have a field day with this,” and says this loss of important physical evidence “is not only unfortunate, it is borderline criminal.” In his statement before the committee, Glenn Corbett, a science professor at John Jay College, claims that the “lack of significant amounts of steel for examination will make it difficult, if not impossible, to make a definitive statement as to the cause and chronology of the collapse.” He also complains, “we are staffing the BPAT with part-time engineers and scientists on a shoestring budget.” [Committee on Science hearing, 3/6/02; Associated Press, 3/7/02]
People and organizations involved: World Trade Center, House Committee on Science, Joseph Crowley, Glenn Corbett
          

March 7, 2002: Pakistan's President Wants Saeed Hanged

       Pakistani President Musharraf says Saeed Sheikh, chief suspect in the killing of reporter Daniel Pearl, will not be extradited to the US, at least not until after he is tried by Pakistan. [Guardian, 3/15/02] The US ambassador later reports to Washington that Musharraf privately said, “I'd rather hang him myself” than extradite Saeed. [Washington Post, 3/28/02] Musharraf even brazenly states, “Perhaps Daniel Pearl was over-intrusive. A mediaperson should be aware of the dangers of getting into dangerous areas. Unfortunately, he got over-involved.” [The Hindu, 3/8/02] He also says Pearl was caught up in “intelligence games.” [Washington Post, 5/3/02] In early April, Musharraf apparently says he wants to see Saeed sentenced to death. Defense lawyers are appalled, saying Musharraf is effectively telling the courts what to do. [BBC, 4/12/02] The Washington Post reports in early March that Pakistani “police alternately fabricate and destroy evidence, depending on pressure from above” [Washington Post, 3/10/02] , and in fact Saeed's trial will be plagued with problems.
People and organizations involved: Pervez Musharraf, Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl
          

March 7, 2002: Plane Crashing into Pentagon Is Shown in Photos

      
The Pentagon “video.” Click These are the first two of five stills of the Pentagon impact. The first one is labelled "plane," which appears to be the black object above the post on the far right. The second one is labelled "impact." The three other stills depict a growing fireball.
A series of photos surface purporting to show a plane crashing into the Pentagon on 9/11. It is not clear who released the photos, but the Pentagon asserts that they are authentic, and were taken by a Pentagon security camera. The release of these pictures comes within days of the publication of the book l'Effroyable Imposture that disputes the claim that Flight 77 hit the Pentagon. “Officials could not immediately explain why the date typed near the bottom of each photograph is September 12 and the time is written as 5:37 p.m.” [Fox News, 3/8/02]
People and organizations involved: Pentagon
          

March 11, 2002: Suspected Israeli Students Reportedly Served in Military

       A newspaper reports that the DEA study on Israeli “art students” determined the “students” all had “recently served in the Israeli military, the majority in intelligence, electronic signal intercept, or explosive ordnance units.” [Palm Beach Post, 3/11/02]
People and organizations involved: Drug Enforcement Agency, "Israeli art students"
          

March 14, 2002: US Indicts Saeed for Murder of Daniel Pearl

       Attorney General Ashcroft announces a second US criminal indictment of Saeed Sheikh, this time for his role in the kidnapping and murder of Daniel Pearl. The amount of background information given about Saeed is very brief, with only scant reference to his involvement with Islamic militant groups after his release from prison in 1999. It only mentions is that he fought in Afghanistan with al-Qaeda in September and October 2001. The indictment and Ashcroft fail to mention Saeed's financing of the 9/11 attacks, and no reporters ask Ashcroft about this either. [CNN, 3/14/02; Los Angeles Times, 3/15/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Daniel Pearl, Saeed Sheikh, John Ashcroft
          

March 15, 2002: Jewish Magazine Says Israelis Spied in US on Radical Muslims

       Forward, a US publication with a large Jewish audience, admits that there has been an Israeli spy ring in the US. [Forward, 3/15/02] This is a reversal of their earlier stance. [Forward, 12/21/01] But, “far from pointing to Israeli spying against US government and military facilities, as reported in Europe last week, the incidents in question appear to represent a case of Israelis in the United States spying on a common enemy, radical Islamic networks suspected of links to Middle East terrorism.” [Forward, 3/15/02]
People and organizations involved: "Israeli art students"
          

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

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

March 27, 2002: Cockpit Recordings Raise Doubts About Flight 93 Events

       New York Times reporter Jere Longman writes an article based on recent leaks to him about Flight 93's cockpit flight recording. (Later, relatives of the victims are given a single chance to listen to the recording). He claims that earlier reports of a 9-1-1 call from a bathroom reporting smoke and an explosion are incorrect. He names the passenger-caller as Edward Felt and notes that the dispatcher who took the call and Felt's wife both deny the smoke and explosion story. There were messages from both passengers and hijackers on the plane speaking of a bomb. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 10/28/01 (B)] Longman also claims that one passenger, Tom Burnett, told his wife there were guns on the plane. [New York Times, 3/27/02] Previously, it had been widely reported that Tom Burnett told his wife he did not see any guns. [MSNBC, 9/14/01] Note that the passengers appeared doubtful that the hijackers had either real guns or bombs, but there is a March 2002 report of a gun being used on Flight 11.
People and organizations involved: Edward Felt, Tom Burnett, Jere Longman
          

March 28, 2002: Al-Qaeda Leader Zubaida Is Captured

      
Abu Zubaida.
FBI agents and Pakistani police commandos raid a house in the city of Faisalabad, Pakistan, and capture al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida. He's shot three times but survives. [New York Times, 4/14/02] Many documents are found that lead to the indictment of 100 more people. [Newsweek, 9/4/02] US intelligence found his location by tracing his phone calls. [New York Times, 4/14/02] He has since given the US useful information on 9/11 and other al-Qaeda plans. [Newsweek, 9/4/02] Zubaida is considered one of the highest in al-Qaeda's leadership and one of the highest ranking prisoners captured by the US. [New York Times, 4/14/02] It is believed that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed takes over Zubaida's tasks. [Asia Times, 9/11/02] The claim is later made that during interrogation Zubaida claims ties to people high in the Saudi and Pakistani governments (see March 31, 2002).
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Abu Zubaida, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia
          

March 29, 2002: Bin Laden Family Denies Terrorist Connections

      
Abdullah bin Laden, bin Laden family spokesman (not the Abdullah connected to WAMY).
Abdullah bin Laden, spokesman for the bin Laden family and one of Osama's many brothers, speaks directly to the press for the first time since 9/11. He says that the family cut all personal and financial ties to Osama in 1993 and that no family member has contact with him or provides any kind of support for him. “We went through a tough time. It was difficult. We felt we are a victim as well.” [ABC News, 3/29/02]
People and organizations involved: Abdullah bin Laden, Osama bin Laden, Bin Laden Family
          

March 30, 2002: British Newspaper: US Special Forces Training at Secret Location in Kazakhstan

       With US troops already in many Central Asian countries, US Special Forces are now reportedly training Kazakhstan troops in a secret location. [Times of London, 3/30/02] An anonymous source in the Kazakh government previously stated, “It is clear that the continuing war in Afghanistan is no more than a veil for the US to establish political dominance in the region. The war on terrorism is only a pretext for extending influence over our energy resources.” [Observer, 1/20/02]
People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, Kazakhstan
          

March 31, 2002: Al-Qaeda Leader Zubaida Allegedly Incriminates Saudi Princes

      
Prince Ahmed bin Salman.
Author Gerald Posner, controversial for his books dismissing JFK assassination and other conspiracy theories, claims a remarkable interrogation of al-Qaeda prisoner Abu Zubaida begins at this time. Zubaida, arrested three days earlier (see March 28, 2002), is tricked into thinking the US has handed him to the Saudis for a more brutal interrogation, but in fact “the Saudis” are still American agents. Zubaida expresses great relief at this and, under the influence of the “truth serum” sodium pentothal, tells his interrogators to call Prince Ahmed bin Salman, a nephew of the Saudi king. He provides telephone numbers from memory and says, “He will tell you what to do.” He proceeds to give more information and phone numbers, claiming ties with higher ups in both the Saudi and Pakistani governments. He also names:
Pakistani air force chief Mushaf Ali Mir, said to be closely tied to the fundamentalists in the ISI.

Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal.

Prince Sultan bin Faisal, another nephew of the Saudi King.

Prince Fahd bin Turki, another member of the Saudi royalty.
According to Posner, Zubaida claims that all of these people were intermediaries he dealt with in the frequent transfer of money to al-Qaeda. The phone numbers and other details are consistent with information already known by US intelligence. According to Zubaida, he was present in a meeting in 1996 where the Pakistanis and the Saudis struck a deal with bin Laden (see 1996), promising him protection, arms, and supplies in exchange for not being the targets of future terror attacks. He claimed both governments were told the US would be attacked on 9/11, but not given the details of how the attack would work. Within months, all of the people named by Zubaida die mysteriously except for Prince Turki, who is made an ambassador, giving him diplomatic immunity. [Posner, 2003, pp 186-94] Posner says he learned this story from two unnamed US government sources who gave similar, independent accounts. One is from the CIA and the other is a senior Bush administration official “inside the executive branch.” [Salon, 10/18/03] With the notable exception of a prominent Time magazine article [Time, 8/31/03] , few news outlets cover the story [Salon, 10/18/03; MSNBC, 9/5/03; Asia Times, 9/17/03 (B)] , and some that do cover it only in the form of book reviews. [Washington Post, 9/10/03 (C); New York Times, 10/12/03; New York Times, 10/29/03 (B)] Some experts put forth the theory that the story could be made up by neoconservatives interested in starting a war with Saudi Arabia. It is also possible Zubaida mixed facts with lies, as he was found to lie to interrogators on many other occasions. [Salon, 10/18/03] There is also speculation that the gist of the story may be true, but that Zubaida's Saudi and Pakistani contacts may have been pinned on dead men to protect the actual guilty parties. [Salon, 10/18/03; Asia Times, 9/17/03]
People and organizations involved: Turki bin Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, Sultan bin Faisal, Mushaf Ali Mir, Abu Zubaida, Ahmed bin Salman, Fahd bin Turki bin Saud al-Kabir, al-Qaeda
          

April 1, 2002: Afghan Opium Crackdown Fails

      
An Afghani farmer stands in his opium poppy fields.
“American officials have quietly abandoned their hopes to reduce Afghanistan's opium production substantially this year and are now bracing for a harvest large enough to inundate the world's heroin and opium markets with cheap drugs.” They want to see the new Afghan government make at least a token effort to destroy some opium, but it appears that the new government is not doing even that. Afghan leader Hamid Karzai had announced a total ban on opium cultivation, processing, and trafficking, but it appears to be a total sham. The new harvest is so large that it could be “enough opium to stockpile for two or two and a half more years.” [New York Times, 4/1/02] Starting this month, Karzai's government offers farmers $500 for every acre of poppies they destroy, but farmers can earn as much as $6,400 per acre for the crop. The program is eventually cancelled when it runs out of money to pay farmers. [Associated Press, 3/27/03]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Hamid Karzai
          

April 2002: CIA Promotes False Hijacker ‘Superman’ Theory

       CIA Deputy Director for Operations James Pavitt says of the hijackers: “The terror cells that we're going up against are typically small and all terrorist personnel ... were carefully screened. The number of personnel who know vital information, targets, timing, the exact methods to be used had to be smaller still. ... Against that degree of control, that kind of compartmentalization, that depth of discipline and fanaticism, I personally doubt—and I draw again upon my thirty years of experience in this business—that anything short of one of the knowledgeable inner-circle personnel or hijackers turning himself in to us would have given us sufficient foreknowledge to have prevented [9/11].” An FBI official calls this “the superman scenario.” [New Yorker, 5/27/02] The media repeats this notion. For instance, later in the year, the Chicago Tribune will comment, “The operational discipline surrounding Sept. 11 was so professional, and impenetrable, that intercepted telephone conversations, or even well-placed spies, might not have made a difference.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02] But even in the same article that quotes Pavitt, a senior FBI official states that serious and potentially fatal errors were made by the hijackers. The article also notes that the hijackers did not maintain tight compartmentalization and discipline. [New Yorker, 5/27/02] Eventually, more and more details will come out proving the “superman” notion false. The hijackers even told vital details of their plot to complete strangers (see Late April-Mid-May 2000).
People and organizations involved: James Pavitt
          

April, June, or August 2002: Al Jazeera Reporter Claims to Conduct Interview with 9/11 Masterminds

      
Ramzi bin al-Shibh.
It is originally reported that Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda interviews 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 9/11 associate Ramzi Bin al-Shibh at a secret location in Karachi, Pakistan, in either June [Times of London, 9/8/02] or August. [Guardian, 9/9/02] Details and audio footage of the interview come out between September 8 and 12, 2002. The video footage of the interview al-Qaeda promised to hand over is never given to Al Jazeera. [Associated Press, 9/8/02] Both figures claim the 9/11 attacks were originally going to target nuclear reactors, but “decided against it for fear it would go out of control.” Interviewer Fouda is struck that Mohammed and bin al-Shibh remember only the hijackers' code names, and have trouble remembering their real names. [Australian, 9/9/02] Mohammed, who calls himself the head of al-Qaeda's military committee and refers to bin al-Shibh as the coordinator of the “Holy Tuesday” operation, reportedly acknowledges “[a]nd, yes, we did it.” [Fouda And Fielding, 2003, pp 38] These interviews “are the first full admission by senior figures from bin Laden's network that they carried out the September 11 attacks.” [Times of London, 9/8/02] Some, however, call Fouda's claims into doubt. For example, the Financial Times states: “Analysts cited the crude editing of [Fouda's interview] tapes and the timing of the broadcasts as reasons to be suspicious about their authenticity. Dia Rashwan, an expert on Islamist movements at the Al-Ahram Centre for Strategic Studies in Cairo, said: ‘I have very serious doubts [about the authenticity of this tape]. It could have been a script written by the FBI.’ ” [Financial Times, 9/11/02] Mohammed is later variously reported to be arrested in June 2002, killed or arrested in September 2002, and then arrested in March 2003. After this last arrest report, for the first time Fouda claims this interview took place in April, placing it safely before the first reports of Mohammed's capture. [Guardian, 3/4/03; Canada AM, 3/6/03] Bin al-Shibh also gets captured several days after Fouda's interview is broadcast, and some reports say he is captured because this interview allows his voice to be identified. [Observer, 9/15/02; CBS News, 10/9/02] As a result, Fouda has been accused of betraying al-Qaeda, and now fears for his life. [Independent, 9/17/02] As the Washington Post states, “Now Al Jazeera is also subject to rumors of a conspiracy.” [Washington Post, 9/15/02] Yet after being so reviled by al-Qaeda supporters, Fouda is later given a cassette said to be a bin Laden speech. [MSNBC, 11/18/02] US officials believe the voice on that cassette is “almost certainly” bin Laden, but one of the world's leading voice-recognition institutes said it is 95 percent certain the tape is a forgery. [BBC, 11/29/02; BBC, 11/18/02]
People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Yosri Fouda
          

April 4, 2002: Head of US Military States ‘The Goal Has Never Been to Get bin Laden’

       Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers states in an interview, “The goal has never been to get bin Laden.” He adds, “Obviously, that's desirable,” but then he hints it won't be desirable to do so soon, saying, “I just read a piece by some analysts that said you may not want to go after the top people in these organizations. You may have more effect by going after the middlemen, because they're harder to replace. I don't know if that's true, or not, and clearly we would like to eventually get bin Laden.” [Defense Department, 4/6/02] In early 2005, the recently retired Executive Director of the CIA will explicitly state that it is better to let bin Laden remain free.
People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Richard B. Myers
          

April 5, 2002: Saeed Shaikh Tried in Secret

      
Saeed Sheikh surrounded by police.
The Pakistani trial of Saeed Sheikh and three others begins. [BBC, 7/5/02] NBC reports that death sentences are expected for the four accused killers of Daniel Pearl, despite a lack of evidence. The case will be decided in top secret by handpicked judges in Pakistan's anti-terrorism courts. “Some in Pakistan's government also are very concerned about what [the defendant] Saeed might say in court. His organization and other militant groups here have ties to Pakistan's secret intelligence agency [the ISI]. There are concerns he could try to implicate that government agency in the Pearl case, or other questionable dealings that could be at the very least embarrassing, or worse.” [MSNBC, 4/5/02] Later in the month the London Times says that the real truth about Saeed will not come out in the trial because, “Sheikh is no ordinary terrorist but a man who has connections that reach high into Pakistan's military and intelligence elite and into the innermost circles of Osama bin Laden and the al-Qaeda organization.” [Times of London, 4/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Saeed Sheikh, Daniel Pearl, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden
          

April 11, 2002: Congresswoman Suspects Bush Knew of 9/11 in Advance

      
Cynthia McKinney.
Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (D) calls for a thorough investigation into whether President Bush and other government officials may have been warned of the 9/11 attacks but did nothing to prevent them. She is the first national-level politician to do so. She states: “News reports from Der Spiegel to the London Observer, from the Los Angeles Times to MSNBC to CNN, indicate that many different warnings were received by the administration. ... I am not aware of any evidence showing that President Bush or members of his administration have personally profited from the attacks of 9/11. ... On the other hand, what is undeniable is that corporations close to the administration have directly benefited from the increased defense spending arising from the aftermath of September 11. The Carlyle Group, Dyn-Corp, and Halliburton certainly stand out as companies close to this administration.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/12/02] McKinney's comments are criticized and ridiculed by other politicians and the media. For instance, Congressman Mark Foley (R) states, “She has said some outrageous things but this has gone too far. ... Maybe there should be an investigation as she suggests—but one focused on her.” Senator Zell Miller (D) says her comments were dangerous and irresponsible. [Washington Post, 4/12/02] An editorial in her home state calls her the “most prominent nut” promoting 9/11 “conspiracy theories.” [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 4/15/02] One columnist says she is possibly “a delusional paranoiac” or “a socialist rabble-rouser who despises her own country.” [Orlando Sentinel, 4/21/02] White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer said McKinney “must be running for the hall of fame of the Grassy Knoll Society.” [Washington Post, 4/12/02] One month after McKinney's comments, the Bush administration comes under fire after reports reveal it had been warned five weeks before 9/11 about possible al-Qaeda plane hijackings, and McKinney claims vindication. She will lose reelection later in the year, but win her seat back in 2004. [McKinney website, 5/16/02]
People and organizations involved: Cynthia McKinney, Mark Foley, Bush administration, George W. Bush, Zell Miller, Ari Fleischer, Carlyle Group, Halliburton, Inc.
          

April 11, 2002: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Connected to New Bombing in Tunisia

       A truck bomb kills 19 people, mostly German tourists, at a synagogue in Djerba, Tunisia. It is later claimed that al-Qaeda is behind the attack, and that the suspected bomber speaks with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed by phone about three hours before the attack. [Associated Press, 8/24/02]
People and organizations involved: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, al-Qaeda
          

April 17, 2002: Failure to Capture bin Laden in Afghan War Is Gravest Error

       The Washington Post reports that, “The Bush administration has concluded that Osama bin Laden was present during the battle for Tora Bora late last year and that failure to commit US ground troops to hunt him was its gravest error in the war against al-Qaeda,” allowing bin Laden to escape. The newspaper claims that while the administration has failed to acknowledge the mistake publicly, “inside the government there is little controversy on the subject.” [Washington Post, 4/17/02] The next day, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld denies this, and states he did not know at the time of the assault, “nor do I know today of any evidence that he was in Tora Bora at the time or that he left Tora Bora at the time or even where he is today.” [USA Today, 4/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Bush administration, Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Donald Rumsfeld
          

April 18, 2002: Private Showing of Flight 93 Recordings Fails to Quell Confusions

       The FBI allows relatives of passengers on Flight 93 to listen to and see a written transcript of the cockpit recordings. Seventy people do so. But the FBI says the relatives are not allowed to make recordings, because the tape might be used in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. [Guardian, 4/19/02] The San Francisco Chronicle responds: “Is there even a dollop of logic in that explanation? It's like saying we can't watch video of the planes crashing into the World Trade Center because that video might be used in a trial.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 6/3/02] New York Times reporter Jere Longman writes the book Among The Heroes based on his access to the recordings and interviews with officials and relatives. New details of their struggle on board emerge, but the government still has not officially stated if the passengers took over the plane or not. [MSNBC, 7/30/02; Daily Telegraph, 8/6/02]
People and organizations involved: Jere Longman, Zacarias Moussaoui, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

April 19, 2002: FBI Claims Hijacker Computer Use Offered No Evidence

       FBI Director Mueller states: “In our investigation, we have not uncovered a single piece of paper either here in the United States or in the treasure trove of information that has turned up in Afghanistan and elsewhere that mentioned any aspect of the September 11 plot.” He also claims that the attackers used “extraordinary secrecy” and “investigators have found no computers, laptops, hard drives or other storage media that may have been used by the hijackers, who hid their communications by using hundreds of pay phones and cell phones, coupled with hard-to-trace prepaid calling cards.” [Los Angeles Times, 4/22/02; FBI speech transcript, 4/19/02] However, before 9/11 CIA Director Tenet told the Senate that al-Qaeda is “embracing the opportunities offered by recent leaps in information technology” [CIA, 03/21/00] ; the FBI broke the al-Qaeda computer encryption before February 2001 [UPI, 2/13/01] ; witnesses report seeing the hijackers use computers for e-mail at public libraries in Florida and Maine [South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 9/16/01 (B); Boston Herald, 10/5/01] ; in October 2001 there were many reports that hundreds of e-mails discussing the 9/11 plot had been found; Moussaoui's laptop was found to contain important information, etc. ...
People and organizations involved: Robert S. Mueller III, al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, George Tenet
          

April 23, 2002: Spain Arrests al-Qaeda Financier

      
Mohammed Zouaydi.
Spanish authorities arrest Syrian-born Spanish businessman Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, alleging that he is a key al-Qaeda financier. [Chicago Tribune, 5/6/02] An accountant, Zouaydi is considered to be the “big financier” behind the al-Qaeda network in Europe, according to French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard. From 1996 to 2001, Zouaydi lived in Saudi Arabia and funneled money into a series of companies set up to accept donations. (The source of the donations is unknown.) Around $1 million was then forwarded to al-Qaeda agents throughout Europe, especially to Germany. Mohamed Atta's Hamburg apartment telephone number was saved in the cell phone memory of one of Zouaydi's associates. [Agence France-Presse, 9/20/02] Zouaydi also allegedly sent money to Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian-born businessman who has admitted knowing Atta and others in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [Chicago Tribune, 5/6/02] One of Zouaydi's employees in Spain visited the WTC in 1997. While there, he extensively videotaped the buildings. Perhaps only coincidentally, while in Saudi Arabia, Zouaydi “was an accountant for the al-Faisal branch of the Saudi royal family, including Prince Mohammed al-Faisal al-Saud and Prince Turki al-Faisal.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/20/02]
People and organizations involved: Mamoun Darkazanli, Mohamed Atta, Syria, World Trade Center, Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, Turki bin Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, al-Qaeda, Germany
          

April 25, 2002: Saudi Prince Said to Meet Suspected Hijacker Associate While Visiting Bush

       Osama Basnan, an alleged associate of 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, reports his passport stolen to Houston police. [Newsweek, 11/24/02] This confirms that Basnan is in Houston on the same day that Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, Prince Saud al-Faisal, and Saudi US Ambassador Prince Bandar meet with President Bush, Vice President Cheney, Secretary of State Powell, and National Security Adviser Rice at Bush's ranch in nearby Crawford, Texas. [US-Saudi Arabian Business Council, 4/25/02] Abdullah's entourage passes through Houston that week en route to Bush's ranch. While in Texas, it is believed that Basnan “met with a high Saudi prince who has responsibilities for intelligence matters and is known to bring suitcases full of cash into the United States.” [Guardian, 11/25/02; Newsweek, 11/24/02] The still-classified section of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry is said to discuss the possibility of Basnan meeting this figure at this time. [Associated Press, 8/2/03]
People and organizations involved: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Colin Powell, Bandar bin Sultan, Osama Basnan, Saud al-Faisal, Condoleezza Rice, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, George W. Bush
          

April 30, 2002: US Military Plans Long-Term Presence in Central Asia

       It is reported that the US military is drawing up a plan for a long term military “footprint” in Central Asia. The US says it plans no permanent bases, but the leaders of Central Asia speak of the US being there for decades, and the temporary structures that had been hastily constructed over the past several months are being replaced by permanent buildings. [Associated Press, 4/30/02; Washington Post, 8/27/02; Los Angeles Times, 4/4/02] All of the countries are encumbered by corrupt dictatorships, and many experts say their serious social and economic problems are growing worse. Some experts wonder if the US is increasing Muslim resentment and the risk of terrorism by closely associating with such regimes. [Washington Post, 8/27/02]
People and organizations involved: United States
          

May 1, 2002: Head of Congressional Probe Resigns

       L. Britt Snider, ex-CIA official and the head of the joint congressional investigation into 9/11, resigns. Apparently there were many conflicts between Snider and his own staff, as well as with Congress. It is later revealed the final straw occurred when Snider tried to hire a CIA employee who had failed an agency polygraph test as an inquiry staffer. The hearings were expected to start in late May, but the resignation is one reason why the first public hearings are delayed until September. [Los Angeles Times, 10/19/02; Los Angeles Times, 5/2/02] Snider is replaced by Eleanor Hill. She is widely credited for turning around an inquiry “hampered by infighting, politics, leaks and dueling agendas.” [Miami Herald, 7/14/02; Washington Post, 9/25/02 (B)]
People and organizations involved: US Congress, Eleanor Hill, L. Britt Snider
          

May 1, 2002: Investigation into Cause of Building Collapse on 9/11 Is Inconclusive

       FEMA releases its report of the WTC collapses. It concludes, “[W]ith the information and time available, the sequence of events leading to the collapse of each tower could not be definitively determined.” On Building 7: “The specifics of the fires in WTC 7 and how they caused the building to collapse remain unknown at this time.” [FEMA study, 5/1/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Emergency Management Agency, World Trade Center
          

May 7, 2002: Sloppy Israeli Spy Ring Could Have Been Smoke Screen

       Salon reports on the Israeli “art student spy ring.” All the “students” claim to have come from either Bezalel Academy or the University of Jerusalem. A look in the Bezalel database shows that not a single “art student” appears to have attended school there. There is no such thing as the University of Jerusalem. In fact, the article points out that the sheer sloppiness and brazenness of the spy operation appears to be a great mystery, especially since the Mossad is renowned as one of the best spy agencies in the world. One government source suggests a theory to Salon that the “art students” were actually a smoke screen. They were meant to be caught and connected to DEA surveillance so that a smaller number of spies also posing as art students could complete other missions. One such mission could have been the monitoring of al-Qaeda operatives. [Salon, 5/7/02] Shortly afterwards, a major Israeli newspaper publishes a story about the spy ring, but does not come to any conclusions. [Ha'aretz, 5/14/02]
People and organizations involved: "Israeli art students", Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks, Drug Enforcement Agency, al-Qaeda
          

May 7, 2002: Explosives Detected on Illegal Israelis

      
A Fox News report on the Oak Harbor truck incident.
A moving truck is pulled over for speeding in the middle of the night in Oak Harbor, Washington, near the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. The base is the home of the advanced electronic warfare Prowler jets. A bomb-sniffing dog detects explosives on one of the men and inside the truck. High-tech equipment is then used to confirm the presence of TNT on the gearshift and RDX plastic explosive on the steering wheel. Both men turn out to be Israeli (one with an altered passport) and in the country illegally. [Fox News, 5/13/02] However, the FBI later clears the two men, saying both the dog and the tests just detected false positives from “residue left by a cigarette lighter.” [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/14/02; Jerusalem Post, 5/14/02] The “art student spy ring” frequently uses moving vans as cover, and has been caught spying on the most top secret military bases. [Salon, 5/7/02] In a possibly related story, the Seattle FBI office that handled this case will be broken into a few weeks later, and even a room containing evidence will be penetrated. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/29/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Oak Harbor Israelis"
          

May 8, 2002: FBI Could Not Have Foreseen 9/11, Declares Director

       FBI Director Mueller states, “[T]here was nothing the agency could have done to anticipate and prevent the [9/11] attacks.” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III
          

May 15, 2002: Bush's August 6, 2001, Warning Is Leaked to Public

      
The New York Post has a banner headline on May 16, 2002.
The Bush administration is embarrassed when the CBS Evening News reveals that President Bush had been warned about al-Qaeda domestic attacks in August 2001 (see August 6, 2001). Bush had repeatedly said that he had “no warning” of any kind. Press Secretary Ari Fleischer states unequivocally that while Bush had been warned of possible hijackings, “[t]he president did not—not—receive information about the use of airplanes as missiles by suicide bombers.” [New York Times, 5/15/02; Washington Post, 5/16/02] “Until the attack took place, I think it's fair to say that no one envisioned that as a possibility.” [MSNBC, 9/18/02] Fleischer claims the August memo was titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike the US,” but the real title is soon found to end with “ ... Strike in US” [Washington Post, 5/18/02 (B)] The Guardian will state a few days later, “the memo left little doubt that the hijacked airliners were intended for use as missiles and that intended targets were to be inside the US” It further states that, “now, as the columnist Joe Conason points out in the current edition of the New York Observer, ‘conspiracy’ begins to take over from ‘incompetence’ as a likely explanation for the failure to heed—and then inform the public about—warnings that might have averted the worst disaster in the nation's history.” [Guardian, 5/19/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Bush administration, Joe Conason, Ari Fleischer, al-Qaeda
          

May 16, 2002: Nobody Predicted 9/11-Style Attacks, Says Rice

      
National Security Advisor Rice tries to explain what Bush knew and when.
National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice states, “I don't think anybody could have predicted that these people would take an airplane and slam it into the World Trade Center, take another one and slam it into the Pentagon, that they would try to use an airplane as a missile,” adding that “even in retrospect” there was “nothing” to suggest that. [White House, 5/16/02] Contradicting Rice's claims, former CIA Deputy Director John Gannon acknowledges that such a scenario has long been taken seriously by US intelligence: “If you ask anybody could terrorists convert a plane into a missile? [N]obody would have ruled that out.” Rice also states, “The overwhelming bulk of the evidence was that this was an attack that was likely to take place overseas.” [MSNBC, 5/17/02] Slate awards Rice the “Whopper of the Week” when the title of Bush's August 6 briefing is revealed: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” [Slate, 5/23/02] Rice later concedes that “somebody did imagine it” but says she did not know about such intelligence until well after this conference. [Associated Press, 9/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Pentagon, World Trade Center, John Gannon, Condoleezza Rice
          

May 16, 2002: Cheney Warns Democrats Against Criticizing Handling of Pre-9/11 Warnings

       In the wake of new information on what President Bush knew, Vice President Cheney states, “[M]y Democratic friends in Congress ... need to be very cautious not to seek political advantage by making incendiary suggestions, as were made by some today, that the White House had advance information that would have prevented the tragic attacks of 9/11.” He calls such criticism “thoroughly irresponsible ... in time of war” and states that any serious probe of 9/11 foreknowledge would be tantamount to giving “aid and comfort” to the enemy. [Washington Post, 5/17/02 (C)]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Richard ("Dick") Cheney
          

May 17, 2002: Fear of Being Unpatriotic Affects Media Coverage After 9/11

       CBS anchorman Dan Rather tells the BBC that he and other journalists haven't been properly investigating since 9/11. He says, “There was a time in South Africa that people would put flaming tires around people's necks if they dissented. And in some ways the fear is that you will be necklaced here, you will have a flaming tire of lack of patriotism put around your neck. Now it is that fear that keeps journalists from asking the toughest of the tough questions.” [Guardian, 5/17/02]
People and organizations involved: Dan Rather
          

May 20-24, 2002: Government Terrorist Warnings Believed Political

       The Bush administration issues a remarkable series of terror warnings that many believe are politically motivated. Vice President Cheney warns it is “not a matter of if, but when” al-Qaeda will next attack the US. [CNN, 5/20/02] Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge says the same thing. Defense Secretary Rumsfeld says terrorists will “inevitably” obtain weapons of mass destruction. FBI Director Mueller says more suicide bombings are “inevitable.” [Washington Post, 5/22/02] Authorities also issue separate warnings that al-Qaeda militants might target apartment buildings nationwide, banks, rail and transit systems, the Statue of Liberty, and the Brooklyn Bridge. USA Today titles an article, “Some Question Motives Behind Series of Alerts.” [USA Today, 5/24/02] David Martin, CBS's national security correspondent, says, “Right now they're putting out all these warnings to change the subject from what was known prior to September 11 to what is known now.” It had been revealed the week before that Bush received a briefing in August 2001 entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” (see August 6, 2001). [Washington Post, 5/27/02] Remarkably, even Press Secretary Ari Fleischer says the alerts were issued “as a result of all the controversy that took place last week.” [Washington Times, 5/22/02; Village Voice, 5/23/02] Time notes, “Though uncorroborated and vague, the terror alerts were a political godsend for an administration trying to fend off a bruising bipartisan inquiry into its handling of the terrorist chatter last summer. After the wave of warnings, the Democratic clamor for an investigation into the government's mistakes subsided.” [Time, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Tom Ridge, Richard ("Dick") Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, al-Qaeda, Ari Fleischer, Robert S. Mueller III, David Martin
          

May 21-22, 2002: Prisoner Told FBI of Imminent al-Qaeda Attacks

      
Walid Arkeh.
Walid Arkeh, a prisoner in Florida, is interviewed by a group of FBI agents in New York City. The agents seek information regarding the 1988 US embassy bombings and are there to interview him about information he learned from three al-Qaeda prisoners he had befriended. During the interview, Arkeh claims that, in August 2001, he told the FBI that al-Qaeda was likely to attack the WTC and other targets soon, but he was dismissed. After 9/11, his warning still was not taken seriously by the local FBI. The New York FBI agents are stunned. One says to him: “Let me tell you something. If you know what happened in New York, we are all in deep sh_t. We are in deep trouble.” Arkeh tells the agents that these prisoners hinted that the WTC would be attacked, and targets in Washington were mentioned as well. However, they did not tell him a date or that airplanes would be used. The New York FBI later informs him that they found his information credible. [Orlando Sentinel, 10/30/02] Arkeh is later deported to Jordan despite a Responsible Cooperators Program promising visas to those who provided important information US-designated terrorist groups. (It is unclear whether any one ever has been given a reward through this program.) [Orlando Sentinel, 11/10/02; Orlando Sentinel, 1/11/03; Orlando Sentinel, 3/12/03]
People and organizations involved: World Trade Center, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Walid Arkeh, al-Qaeda
          

May 21, 2002: FBI Whistleblower Reveals Slip-Ups in Moussaoui Arrest Before 9/11

      
Coleen Rowley.
Minnesota FBI Agent Coleen Rowley, upset with what she considers lying from FBI Director Mueller and others in the FBI about the handling of the Zacarias Moussaoui case, releases a long memo she wrote about the case two weeks before 9/11. [Time, 5/21/02] She also applies for whistleblower protection. Time magazine calls the memo a “colossal indictment of our chief law-enforcement agency's neglect” and says it “raises serious doubts about whether the FBI is capable of protecting the public—and whether it still deserves the public's trust.” [Time, 5/27/02] Three days after 9/11, Mueller made statements such as “There were no warning signs that I'm aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country.” Coleen Rowley and other Minnesota FBI agents “immediately sought to reach [Mueller's] office through an assortment of higher-level FBI [headquarters] contacts, in order to quickly make [him] aware of the background of the Moussaoui investigation and forewarn [him] so that [his] public statements could be accordingly modified.” Yet Mueller continued to make similar comments, including in a Senate hearing on May 8, 2002. [Time, 5/21/02; New York Times, 5/30/02] Finally, after Rowley's memo becomes public, Mueller states, “I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers.” He also admits: “I have made mistakes occasionally in my public comments based on information or a lack of information that I subsequently got.” [New York Times, 5/30/02] Time magazine later names Rowley one of three “Persons of the Year” for 2002, along with fellow whistleblowers Cynthia Cooper of WorldCom and Sherron Watkins of Enron. [Time, 12/22/02; Time, 12/22/02]
People and organizations involved: Coleen Rowley, FBI Minnesota field office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, Zacarias Moussaoui
          

May 21, 2002: Fraudulent Consular Staff Admits to Providing Hijackers with Visas

       Abdulla Noman, a former employee of the US consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where 15 of the 19 9/11 hijackers got their visas, says that he took money and gifts to provide fraudulent visas to foreigners. He pleads guilty and is convicted. About 50 to 100 visas were improperly issued by Noman from September 1996 until November 2001, when he was arrested. However, a former visa officer in Jeddah, Michael Springmann, has claimed in the past that the Jeddah office was notorious for purposefully giving visas to terrorists to train in the US (see September 1987-March 1989). [Associated Press, 5/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Abdulla Noman, US Consulate, Jedda, Saudi Arabia Office
          

May 22, 2002: Illegal Status of Terrorists Points to US Immigration Failure

       A study indicates that at least half of the 48 Islamic radicals linked to terrorist plots in the US since 1993 manipulated or violated immigration laws to enter this country and then stay here. Even when the militants did little to hide violations of visa requirements or other laws, INS officials failed to enforce the laws or to deport the offenders. The militants used a variety of methods. At the time they committed their crimes, 12 of the 48 were illegal immigrants. At least five others had lived in the US illegally, and four others had committed significant immigration violations. Others were here legally but should have been rejected for visas because they fit US immigration profiles of people who are likely to overstay their visas. [USA Today, 5/22/02] Experts later strongly suggest that the visa applications for all 15 of the Saudi Arabian 9/11 hijackers should have been rejected due to numerous irregularities.
People and organizations involved: Immigration and Naturalization Service
          

May 23, 2002: Bush Opposes Special Inquiry into Terrorism Warnings

       President Bush says he is opposed to establishing a special, independent commission to probe how the government dealt with terrorism warnings before 9/11. [CBS News, 5/23/02] He later changes his stance in the face of overwhelming support for the idea (see September 20, 2002), and then sabotages an agreement that Congress had reached to establish the commission.
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush, Zahed Sheikh Mohammed
          

May 23, 2002: Rep. Curt Weldon Said to Show Able Danger Chart in Public Speech

      
A blurry image of the chart Rep. Curt Weldon presented to the Heritage Foundation in 2002.
During a speech before the Heritage Foundation, Rep. Curt Weldon (R) unfurls a chart, which, his comments suggest, was produced by Able Danger. He says it is “the unclassified chart that was done by the Special Forces Command briefing center one year before 9/11. It is the complete architecture of al-Qaeda and pan-Islamic extremism. It gives all the linkages.” However, he does not mention Mohamed Atta or any other 9/11 hijackers during the speech. Video footage of the speech shows the chart, but picture quality is too poor to determine whether Atta is on it. [NewsMax, 8/29/05] Weldon later claims to have given up his only copy of the chart showing Atta's face in late 2001 (see September 25, 2001). [Time, 8/14/05] In September 2005, Weldon will refer to the chart shown in this 2002 speech and suggest it may not have been the same chart that contained Atta's face. He also says he can't find the chart used in the speech anymore. [Curt Weldon Press Conference, 9/17/05]
People and organizations involved: Able Danger, Special Operations Command, al-Qaeda, Heritage Foundation, Curt Weldon
          

May 27, 2002: Organization of 9/11 Attacks Is Still Not Clear

       The New Yorker reports that a senior FBI official acknowledges there has been “no breakthrough” in establishing how the 9/11 suicide teams were organized and how they operated. Additionally, none of the thousands of pages of documents and computer hard drives captured in Afghanistan has enabled investigators to broaden their understanding of how the attack occurred, or even to bring an indictment of a conspirator. [New Yorker, 5/27/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

May 30, 2002: Agent Claims FBI Obstructed Efforts to Stop Terrorist Money Flows

       FBI Agent Robert Wright announces he is suing the FBI over a publishing ban. He has written a book but the FBI will not allow him to show it to anyone. He delivers a tearful press conference at the National Press Club describing his lawsuit against the FBI for deliberately curtailing investigations (see October 1998) that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately he has been ordered to not reveal specifics publicly. [Fox News, 5/30/02] Wright claims the FBI shut down his 1998 criminal probe into alleged terrorist-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City. He uses the words “prevented,” “thwarted,” “obstructed,” “threatened,” “intimidated,” and “retaliation” to describe the actions of his superiors in blocking his attempts to shut off money flows to al-Qaeda, Hamas, and other Islamic militant groups. He also alleges that for years the US was training Hamas militants to make car bombs to use against Israel, one of the US's closest allies. [La Weekly, 8/2/02 (B); LA Weekly, 8/2/02] Wright's book still has not been released as of mid-2004.
People and organizations involved: Hamas, al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert Wright
          

May 30, 2002: Afghan, Turkmen, and Pakistani Leaders Sign Pipeline Deal

       Afghanistan's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, Turkmenistan's President Niyazov, and Pakistani President Musharraf meet in Islamabad and sign a memorandum of understanding on the trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project. [Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections, 6/8/02; Dawn, 5/31/02] Afghan leader Hamid Karzai (who formerly worked for Unocal) calls Unocal the “lead company” in building the pipeline. [BBC, 5/13/02] The Los Angeles Times comments, “To some here, it looked like the fix was in for Unocal when President Bush named a former Unocal consultant, Zalmay Khalilzad, as his special envoy to Afghanistan late last year .” [Los Angeles Times, 5/30/02 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Hamid Karzai, Unocal, Pervez Musharraf, Zalmay M. Khalilzad, George W. Bush, Saparmurat Niyazov
          

June 1, 2002: Bush Launches Doctrine of Preemptive Attack

       In a speech, President Bush announces a “new” US policy of preemptive attacks: “If we wait for threats to fully materialize we will have waited too long. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge.” [New York Times, 6/2/02] This preemptive strategy is included in a defensive strategic paper the next month (see July 13, 2002), and formally announced in September 2002. Despite the obvious parallels, the mainstream media generally fails to report that this “new” antiterrorism strategy was first proposed by Bush's key administration officials in 1992 (see March 8, 1992) and has been continually advocated by the same people ever since. [Washington Post, 9/21/02; New York Times, 9/20/02; Guardian, 9/21/02]
People and organizations involved: George W. Bush
          

June 3, 2002: FBI Downplays Significance of Moussaoui's E-mails

       Former FBI Deputy Director Weldon Kennedy states: “Even in the [Zacarias] Moussaoui case, there's lots of uproar over the fact that the—there was a failure to obtain a warrant to search his computer. Well, the facts now are that warrant was ultimately obtained. The computer was searched and guess what? There was nothing significant on there pertaining to 9/11.” [CNN, 6/3/02] Three days later, the Washington Post reports: “Amid the latest revelations about FBI and CIA lapses prior to the September 11 attacks, congressional investigators say it is now clear that the evidence that lay unexamined in Zacarias Moussaoui's possession was even more valuable than previously believed. A notebook and correspondence of Moussaoui's not only appears to link him to the main hijacking cell in Hamburg, Germany, but also to an al-Qaeda associate in Malaysia whose activities were monitored by the CIA more than a year before the terror attacks on New York and Washington.” [Washington Post, 6/6/02] Slate magazine later gives Kennedy the “Whopper of the Week” award for his comment. [Slate, 6/7/02]
People and organizations involved: Zacarias Moussaoui, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, al-Qaeda, Weldon Kennedy
          

June 3, 2002: The Results of 9/11 Related Insider Trading Inquiries Are Still Unknown

       A rare follow-up article about insider trading based on 9/11 foreknowledge confirms that numerous inquiries in the US and around the world are still ongoing. However, “all are treating these inquiries as if they were state secrets.” The author speculates: “The silence from the investigating camps could mean any of several things: Either terrorists are responsible for the puts on the airline stocks; others besides terrorists had foreknowledge; the puts were just lucky bets by credible investors; or, there is nothing whatsoever to support the insider-trading rumors.” [Insight, 6/3/02] Another article notes that Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, the American investment banking arm of German giant Deutsche Bank, purchased at least some of these options. Deutsche Bank Alex Brown was once headed by “Buzzy” Krongard, who quit that company in March 2001 and became Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). “This fact may not be significant. And then again, it may. After all, there has traditionally been a close link between the CIA, big banks, and the brokerage business.” [Business Line, 2/11/02]
People and organizations involved: A.B. ("Buzzy") Krongard, Deutsche Bank, Central Intelligence Agency
          

June 4, 2002: Bush Acknowledges Agencies Made Mistakes, Continues to Insist That 9/11 Could Not Have Been Prevented

       For the first time, Bush concedes that his intelligence agencies had problems: “In terms of whether or not the FBI and the CIA were communicating properly, I think it is clear that they weren't.” [Times of London, 6/5/02] However, in an address to the nation three days later, President Bush still maintains, “Based on everything I've seen, I do not believe anyone could have prevented the horror of September the 11th.” [Sydney Morning Herald, 6/8/02] Days earlier, Newsweek reported that the FBI had prepared a detailed chart showing how agents could have uncovered the 9/11 plot if the CIA had told them what it knew about the hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar sooner. (FBI Director Mueller denies the existence of such a chart. [Washington Post, 6/3/02] ) One FBI official says, “There's no question we could have tied all 19 hijackers together.” [Newsweek, 6/2/02] Attorney General Ashcroft also says it is unlikely better intelligence could have stopped the attacks. [Washington Post, 6/3/02]
People and organizations involved: Nawaf Alhazmi, John Ashcroft, Robert S. Mueller III, Khalid Almihdhar, George W. Bush, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency
          

June 4, 2002: Officer with Possible Unique 9/11 Knowledge Is Reprimanded for Criticizing Bush

       Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Steve Butler is suspended from his post at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California, and is told he could face a court martial for writing a letter to a local newspaper calling President Bush a “joke” and accusing him of allowing the 9/11 attacks to happen. The military prohibits public criticism of superiors. [BBC, 6/5/02; Monterey County Herald, 6/5/02] What is not reported is that he may have had unique knowledge about 9/11: A hijacker named Saeed Alghamdi trained at the Defense Language Institute and Butler was Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs there (note that this is not the same person as the Steven Butler who later testifies before the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry). [Gannett News Service, 9/17/01] Later in the month the Air Force announces “the matter is resolved” and Butler will not face a court-martial, but it is unknown if he faced a lesser punishment. [Knight Ridder, 6/14/02]
People and organizations involved: Steve Butler, Saeed Alghamdi, George W. Bush
          

June 4, 2002: 9/11 Mastermind Publicly Identified

      
The photo of Mohammed on the right has been flipped to better compare it with the photo on the left. Reporter Yosri Fouda says that the photo on the right is an “electronically enhanced version” of the photo on the left. [Guardian, 3/4/03] Both have generally been portrayed as different photos in the media.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is publicly identified as the “mastermind” behind the 9/11 attacks. He is believed to have arranged the logistics while on the run in Germany, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. In 1996, he had been secretly indicted in the US for his role in Operation Bojinka (see January 6, 1995), and the US began offering a $2 million reward for his capture in 1998, which increased to $25 million in December 2001. [New York Times, 6/5/02; Associated Press, 6/4/02 (B)] There are conflicting accounts on how much US investigators knew about Mohammed before 9/11. Mohammed is Pakistani (though born in Kuwait [CBS News, 6/5/02] ) and a relative of Ramzi Yousef, the bomber of the WTC in 1993. [New York Times, 6/5/02] Though not widely reported, Yossef Bodansky, Director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, says Mohammed also has ties to the ISI, and they had acted to shield him in the past. [UPI, 9/30/02]
People and organizations involved: Operation Bojinka, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          

June 13, 2002: In Arrest of al-Qaeda Strongman, Sudan Is Helpful; Saudi Arabia Is Not

       Sudan arrests an al-Qaeda leader who has confessed to firing a missile at a US plane taking off from Prince Sultan Air Base, Saudi Arabia, in May. Saudi Arabia had failed to arrest him. This is just the latest in a series of events where “some countries long deemed key US allies—such as Saudi Arabia—are considered less than helpful in the war against terror, while other states remaining on the US State Department's blacklist of terrorist sponsors, such as Syria and Sudan, are apparently proving more cooperative than their pariah status would suggest.” The US hasn't been given access to al-Qaeda members arrested by Saudi Arabia, and “concerns over the Saudi authorities' ‘unhelpful’ stance are increasing.” [Jane's Intelligence Review, 7/5/02]
People and organizations involved: Saudi Arabia, United States, al-Qaeda
          

June 16, 2002: 9/11 Mastermind Reported Captured

       In September 2002, articles appear in the Pakistani and Indian press suggesting that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is actually captured on this day. Supposedly he has been sent to the US, though the US and Pakistan deny the story and say Mohammed has not been captured at all. [Economic Times, 9/10/02; Times of India, 9/9/02; Daily Times, 9/9/02] If it happened, Mohammed may have been captured before a reported interview with Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda.
People and organizations involved: Yosri Fouda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
          

June 18, 2002: FBI Director Maintains 9/11 Attacks Could Not Have Been Prevented

       FBI Director Mueller testifies before the Congressional 9/11 inquiry. His testimony is made public in September 2002. [Associated Press, 9/26/02] Mueller claims that with the possible exception of Zacarias Moussaoui, “[t]o this day we have found no one in the United States except the actual hijackers who knew of the plot and we have found nothing they did while in the United States that triggered a specific response about them.” [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02] The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry will later conclude near the end of 2002 that some hijackers had contact inside the US with individuals known to the FBI, and the hijackers “were not as isolated during their time in the United States as has been previously suggested.” [Los Angeles Times, 12/12/02] Mueller also claims, “There were no slip-ups. Discipline never broke down. They gave no hint to those around them what they were about.” [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Zacarias Moussaoui, Robert S. Mueller III
          

June 20, 2002: Afghan Council Appears Manipulated in Selecting Warlords

       The long-awaited loya jirga, or grand council, is concluded in Afghanistan. This council was supposed to be a traditional method for the Afghan people to select their leaders, but most experts conclude that the council is clearly rigged. [BBC, 8/1/02] Half of the delegates walk out in protest. [CNN, 6/18/02] One delegate states, “This is worse than our worst expectations. The warlords have been promoted and the professionals kicked out. Who calls this democracy?” Delegates complain, “This is interference by foreign countries,” obviously meaning the US. The New York Times publishes an article (“The Warlords Win in Kabul”) pointing out that the “very forces responsible for countless brutalities” in past governments are back in power. [New York Times, 6/21/02]
People and organizations involved: United States, Afghanistan
          

June 22, 2002: 9/11 Inquiry Member Appears Biased in Defending FBI

       Internal FBI documents show that Thomas Kelley, in charge of matters relating to the FBI in the joint congressional intelligence 9/11 inquiry, blocked an inquiry into the FBI's role in Waco. For instance, an internal FBI memo from December 2000 states that Kelley “continued to thwart and obstruct” the Waco investigation to the point that a special counsel was forced to send a team to search FBI headquarters for documents Kelley refused to turn over. [Washington Post, 6/22/02]
People and organizations involved: Thomas Kelley, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

June 25, 2002: Suspicions of ISI-al-Qaeda Links Continue

       Although the Western media continues to report that the ISI has reformed itself, “few in Pakistan believe it.” The Independent later reports rumors that on this day ISI officers hide three al-Qaeda members after a gun battle in which ten soldiers were killed. This follows several other betrayals—now the FBI and the other Pakistani law enforcement authorities no longer tell the ISI about their raids in advance. Other Pakistani investigators are forced to build files on militants from scratch, because the ISI will not share what it knows. [Independent, 7/21/02]
People and organizations involved: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, al-Qaeda
          

July 2002: Militants Tied to al-Qaeda and ISI Indicted by US, but Little Effort Is Made to Find Them

      
Rajaa Gulum Abbas.
The US secretly indicts Rajaa Gulum Abbas and Abdul Malik for attempting to buy $32 million in Stinger missiles and other military weaponry in an undercover arms-dealing investigation. However, a US official states that Abbas is an alleged member of the ISI, and is thought to have ties to Middle Eastern militant groups and arms-trafficking operations. He also appears to have foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Abdul Malik is said to be Abbas's money man. Abdul Malik is not related to Mohammed Malik, another Pakistani targeted by the undercover operation. The chief US informant in the case, Randy Glass, says that both men also have clear ties to al-Qaeda, and the arms were going to be funneled to al-Qaeda and used against American targets. [Palm Beach Post, 3/20/03; South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 3/20/03] The indictment is not revealed until March 2003; both men still remain missing and are presumed to be in Pakistan. The US says it is still working on capturing and extraditing Abbas and Malik. [MSNBC, 3/18/03] NBC seems to have no trouble reaching Abbas in Pakistan by telephone. [MSNBC, 3/18/03; MSNBC, 8/2/02] The indictment “makes no mention of Pakistan, any ties to Afghanistan's former Taliban regime or the ultimate destination of the weapons.” [Palm Beach Post, 3/20/03]
People and organizations involved: Abdul Malik, Taliban, Randy Glass, US Department of Justice, Rajaa Gulum Abbas, al-Qaeda, Mohammed Malik
          

July 6, 2002: Afghan Vice President Assassinated

       Afghan Vice President Hajji Abdul Qadir is assassinated by Afghan warlords. Some believe that Qadir was assassinated by opium warlords upset by Qadir's efforts to reduce the rampant opium farming and processing that has taken place since the US occupation. Qadir had been overseeing a Western-backed eradication program, and had recently complained that the money meant to be given to reward farmers for not planting opium was in fact not reaching the farmers. Additionally, Qadir “had long been suspected of enriching himself through involvement in the opium trade.” [Chicago Tribune, 7/8/02; New York Times, 7/8/02 (B)]
People and organizations involved: Hajji Abdul Qadir
          
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