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Day of 911

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Bush on 9/11
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Flight UA 93
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cover-up, lies, and/or contradictions

 
  

Project: Complete 911 Timeline

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Showing 101-200 of 336 events (use filters to narrow search):    previous 100    next 100

August 1, 2001 (C)

       A motel owner in Oklahoma City later claims that Zacarias Moussaoui and hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi all come to his motel on this day. Although the FBI has investigated this lead, they have not commented on it, and prosecutors have not attempted to use the incident as evidence in their case against Moussaoui. It is widely admitted the case against Moussaoui is not strong (for instance, Newsweek states: “there's nothing that shows Moussaoui ever had contact with any of the 9/11 hijackers” [Newsweek, 8/5/02]). The LA Weekly speculates the FBI may want to ignore this lead because it “could force the FBI to reopen its investigation of Middle Eastern connections to the 1995 Oklahoma City blast, because convicted bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols reportedly stayed at the same motel, interacting with a group of Iraqis during the weeks before the bombing.”
          

August 6, 2001

       President Bush receives a classified intelligence briefing at his Crawford, Texas ranch indicating that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The memo read to him is titled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US.” The entire memo focuses on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US.[Newsweek, 5/27/02, New York Times, 5/15/02] A page and a half of the contents are released after National Security Advisor Condoleeza Rice testifies to the 9/11 Commission [Washington Post, 4/10/04]. The 9/11 Congressional inquiry call it “a closely held intelligence report for senior government officials” presented in early August 2001. Rice testifies that the memo is mostly historic regarding bin Laden's previous activities and she says it contains no specific information that would have prevented an attack. The memo, as released, includes at least the following information:
  1. Bin Laden has wanted to conduct attacks inside the US since 1997.
  2. “Members of al-Qaeda, including some US citizens, [have] resided in or travelled to the US for years and the group apparently maintain[s] a support structure” in the US.
  3. A discussion of the arrest of Ahmed Ressam (see December 14, 1999) and the 1998 US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998).
  4. Uncorroborated information obtained in 1998 that bin Laden wants to hijack airplanes to gain the release of US-held extremists such as Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see July 1990).
  5. Information acquired in May 2001 indicating al-Qaeda is planning to infiltrate the US from Canada and attack the US using high explosives (see May 2001 (B)).
  6. “FBI judgments about patterns of activity consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks.”
  7. The number of on-going bin Laden-related investigations. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02, Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03]
Incredibly, the New York Times later reports that Bush “[breaks] off from work early and [spends] most of the day fishing” (see also August 4-30, 2001). [New York Times 5/25/02] The existence of this memo is kept secret, until it is leaked in May 2002, causing a storm of controversy (see May 15, 2002). National Security Advisor Rice gives an inaccurate description of the memo, claiming it is only one and a half pages long (other accounts state it is 11 and a half pages instead of the usual two or three). [Newsweek 5/27/02; New York Times 5/15/02; Die Zeit 10/1/02] She falsely claims, “It was an analytic report that talked about [bin Laden]'s methods of operation, talked about what he had done historically, in 1997, in 1998…. I want to reiterate, it was not a warning. There was no specific time, place, or method mentioned.” [White House 5/16/02]
          

August 8-15, 2001

       At some point between these dates, Israel warns the US that an al-Qaeda attack is imminent. [Fox News, 5/17/02] Two high ranking agents from the Mossad come to Washington and warn the FBI and CIA that from 50 to 200 terrorists have slipped into the US and are planning “a major assault on the United States.” They say indications point to a “large scale target”, and that Americans would be “very vulnerable.” They add there could be Iraqi connections to the al-Qaeda attack. [Telegraph 9/16/01; Los Angeles Times 9/20/01; Ottawa Citizen 9/17/01] The Los Angeles Times later retracts the story after a CIA spokesman says, “There was no such warning. Allegations that there was are complete and utter nonsense.” [Los Angeles Times 9/21/01 (B)] In light of later revelations of a Mossad spy ring trailing numerous Muslim terrorists in the US, it is easy to see that Mossad would have known this info. Could this be later disinformation by the Mossad to spin the spy ring story and blame Iraq for 9/11, or it is another smoking gun showing extensive US foreknowledge?
          

August 16, 2001

       The FAA issues a warning to airlines concerning disguised weapons. According to later testimony by National Security Advisor Rice, the FAA is concerned about reports that the terrorists have made breakthroughs in disguising weapons as cell phones, key chains and pens (if this is true, why are all of these items still allowed on planes after 9/11, yet fingernail scissors and tweezers are not?). [CNN 3/02; Reuters 5/16/02] However, the major airlines later deny receiving such notification. For instance, a Delta spokesperson states: “We were not aware of any warnings or notifications of any specific threats.” [Fox News 5/16/02]
          

August 21, 2001

      
Left to right: Khalid al-Fawwaz, Adel Abdel Bary and Ibrahim Ediarous.
Walid Arkeh, a Jordanian serving time in a Florida prison, is interviewed by FBI agents after warning the government of an impending terrorist attack. He had been in a British jail from September 2000 to July 2001, and while there had befriended three inmates, Khalid al-Fawwaz, Adel Abdel Bary and Ibrahim Eidarous. US prosecutors charge that “the three men ran a London storefront that served as a cover for al-Qaeda operations and acted as a conduit for communications between bin Laden and his network.” [Orlando Sentinel, 10/30/02] Al-Fawwaz was bin Laden's press agent in London, and bin Laden had called him over 200 times before al-Fawwaz was arrested in 1998. [Financial Times, 11/29/01 (B), Sunday Times, 3/24/02] The other two had worked in the same office as al-Fawwaz. All three have been indicted as co-conspirators with bin Laden in the 1998 US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998). Arkeh tells the FBI that he had learned from these three that “something big was going to happen in New York City,” and that they had called the 1993 attack on the WTC “unfinished business.” Tampa FBI agents determine that he had associated with these al-Qaeda agents, but nonetheless they don't believe him. According to Arkeh, one agent responds to his “something big”warning by saying: “Is that all you have? That's old news.” The agents fail to learn more from him. On September 9, concerned that time is running out, a fellow prisoner tried to arrange a meeting, but nothing happens before 9/11. The Tampa FBI agents have a second interview with him hours after the 9/11 attacks, but even long after 9/11 they claim he cannot be believed. On January 6, 2002, the Tampa FBI issued a statement: “The information [was] vetted to FBI New York, the Acting Special Agent in Charge of the Tampa Division and the United States Attorney for the Middle District of Florida. All agreed the information provided by this individual was vague and unsubstantiated… Mr. Arkeh did not provide information that had any bearing on the FBI preventing September 11. ” [Orlando Sentinel, 1/6/02, Orlando Sentinel, 10/30/02] However, a different group of FBI agents interviews him later and finds his information is credible (see May 21-22, 2002). See for more on this topic.
          

August 22, 2001

       The French give the FBI information requested about Zacarias Moussaoui. [Senate Intelligence Committee, 10/17/02] The French say Moussaoui has ties with radical Islamic groups and recruits men to fight in Chechnya. They believe he spent time in Afghanistan (see 1999). He had been on a French watch list for several years, preventing him from entering France. A French justice official later says “the government gave the FBI ‘everything we had’ ” on Moussaoui, “enough to make you want to check this guy out every way you can. Anyone paying attention would have seen he was not only operational in the militant Islamist world but had some autonomy and authority as well.” [Time, 5/27/02] A senior French investigator later says “Even a neophyte working in some remote corner of Florida, would have understood the threat based on what was sent.” [Time, 8/4/02] The French Interior Minister also emphasizes, “We did not hold back any information.” [ABC News 9/5/02] But senior officials at FBI headquarters still maintain that the information “was too sketchy to justify a search warrant for his computer.” [Time 8/4/02]
          

August 23, 2001 (C)

       Thanks to the request of an unnamed FBI analyst assigned to the CIA's Counter Terrorism Center (see July 13, 2001), the CIA sends a cable to the State Department, INS, Customs Service, and FBI requesting that “bin Laden-related individuals” Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, and two others be put on the terrorism watch list. Since March 2000, if not earlier, the CIA had good reason to believe these two were al-Qaeda terrorists living in the US, but did nothing and told no other agency about it until now (see March 5, 2000). They are not be found in time, and both die in the 9/11 attacks. FBI agents later state that if they been told about Almihdhar and Alhazmi sooner, “There's no question we could have tied all 19 hijackers together” given the frequent contact between these two and the other hijackers. [Newsweek, 6/2/02] However, in what the Washington Post calls a “critical omission,” the FAA, Treasury Department's Financial Crimes Enforcement Network, and the FBI's Financial Review Group are not notified. The two later groups have the power to tap into private credit card and bank data, and claim they could have readily found Alhazmi and Almihdhar given the frequency the two used credit cards. [Washington Post 7/25/03 (C)] Furthermore, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and his Counterterrorism and Security Group are not told about these two terrorists before 9/11 either. [Newsweek, 3/24/04] At the same time, the CIA requests that Khallad bin Attash be added to the watch list—eight months after he was known to have been the main planner of the USS Cole bombing (see January 4, 2001). One other attendee of the Malaysian meeting (see January 5-8, 2000) is also put on the watch list, but that name remains confidential. [New York Times 9/21/02] The CIA later claims the request was labeled “immediate,” the second most urgent category (the highest is reserved for things like declarations of war). [Los Angeles Times, 10/28/01] The FBI denies that it was marked “immediate” and other agencies treated the request as a routine matter. [Los Angeles Times, 10/18/01, Congressional Inquiry, 9/20/02] The State Department places all four on the watch list the next day. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03] However, this watch list, named TIPOFF (see December 11, 1999), only checks their names if they use international flights. There is another watch list barring suspected terrorists from flying domestically. On 9/11 it contains about two dozen names. But none of these four are placed on that list. [Knight Ridder 1/27/04]
          

August 23, 2001

       According to German newspapers, the Mossad gives the CIA a list of terrorists living in the US and say that they appear to be planning to carry out an attack in the near future. It is unknown if these are the 19 9/11 hijackers or if the number is a coincidence. However, four names on the list are known and are names of the 9/11 hijackers: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, and Mohamed Atta. [Die Zeit 10/1/02; Der Spiegel 10/1/02; BBC 10/2/02; Ha'aretz 10/3/02] The Mossad appears to have learned about this through its “art student” spy ring (see for instance, March 5, 2002). Yet apparently this warning and list are not treated as particularly urgent by the CIA and also not passed on to the FBI. It's not clear if this warning influenced the adding of Alhazmi and Almihdhar to a terrorism watch list on this same day, and if so, why only those two. [Der Spiegel 10/1/02] Israel has denied that there were any Mossad agents in the US. [Ha'aretz, 10/3/02] The US has denied knowing about Atta before 9/11, despite other media reports to the contrary (see January-May 2000).
          

August 23, 2001 (D)

       The FBI begins a search for hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in response to a CIA cable about them (see August 23, 2001 (C)). The FBI later claims that they responded aggressively. An internal review after 9/11 found that “everything was done that could have been done” to find them. [Los Angeles Times 10/28/01] However, even aside from a failed attempt to start a criminal investigation (see August 28, 2001), the search is halfhearted at best. As the Wall Street Journal later explains, the search “consisted of little more than entering their names in a nationwide law enforcement database that would have triggered red flags if they were taken into custody for some other reason.” [Wall Street Journal, 9/17/01] A national motor vehicle index is checked, but a speeding ticket issued to Alhazmi the previous April is not detected. [Daily Oklahoman, 1/20/02, Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] Nor is a recorded interaction between Alhazmi and local police in Fairfax, Virginia in May that could have led investigators to Alhazmi's East Coast apartment. [San Diego Union-Tribune,9/27/02] Even though the two were known to have entered the US through Los Angeles, drivers' license records in California are not checked. The FBI also fails to check national credit card or bank account databases, and car registration. All of these would had positive results. Alhazmi's name was even in the 2000-2001 San Diego phone book, listing the address where he and Almihdhar may have been living off and on until about September 9, 2001 (see Early February-Summer 2000 and Early September 2001). [Newsweek 6/2/02; South Florida Sun-Sentinel 9/28/01; Los Angeles Times 10/28/01]
          

August 30-September 4, 2001

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

Early September 2001

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

Early September 2001 (L)

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

Early September 2001 (B)

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

September 4, 2001

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

September 5, 2001 (B)

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

September 7, 2001 (D)

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

September 8-11, 2001 (B)

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

September 9, 2001 (E)

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

September 9, 2001 (C)

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

September 10, 2001 (L)

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

September 10, 2001 (P)

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

September 10, 2001 (O)

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

September 10, 2001 (M)

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

September 11-16, 2001 (B)

       Andrews Air Force Base is 10 miles from Washington, DC, and Langley Air Force Base in 130 miles away. The official story is that there were no fighters at Andrews so none took off from there to intercept the hijacked planes, but it takes a few days for the media to come around to that point of view:
  1. A few minutes after the Pentagon was hit, “fighter jets scrambled from Andrews Air Force Base… ” [Denver Post, 9/11/01]
  2. “It was after the attack on the Pentagon that the Air Force then decided to scramble F-16's out of the DC National Guard Andrews Air Force Base… ” [NBC Nightly News, 9/11/01]
  3. “Air defense around Washington is provided mainly by fighter planes from Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland near the District of Columbia border. The D.C. Air National Guard is also based there and equipped with F-16 fighter planes, a National Guard spokesman said. But the fighters took to the skies over Washington only after the devastating attack on the Pentagon… ” [San Diego Union Tribune, 9/12/01]
  4. “Within minutes of the attack American forces around the world were put on one of their highest states of alert—Defcon 3, just two notches short of all-out war—and F-16's from Andrews Air Force Base were in the air over Washington DC.” [Telegraph, 9/16/01]
  5. “Andrews Air Force Base, home to Air Force One, is only 15 miles away from the Pentagon, but it had no fighters assigned to it.” [USA Today, 9/16/01]
  6. “The District of Columbia National Guard maintained fighter planes at Andrews Air Force Base, only about 15 miles from the Pentagon, but those planes were not on alert and not deployed.” [USA Today, 9/16/01]
  7. “ … As part of its dual mission, the 113th provides capable and ready response forces for the District of Columbia in the event of a natural disaster or civil emergency.” “In the best tradition of the Marine Corps, a ‘few good men and women’ support two combat-ready reserve units at Andrews AFB.” [DC Military website]
  8. The District of Columbia Air National Guard website is changed shortly after 9/11. Previously its mission was “to provide combat units in the highest possible state of readiness.” Afterwards, it was changed to read that the Guard has a “vision” to “provide peacetime command and control and administrative mission oversight to support customers, DCANG units, and NGB in achieving the highest levels of readiness.” [DCANG Home Page (before and after the change)]
The official story is that fighters from Langley didn't arrive over Washington until 12 minutes after the Pentagon was struck, but witnesses see fighters well before then. [Newsday, 9/23/01, Denver Post, 9/11/01] One year later, a new article writes about Andrews extensively: “Within minutes of American Airlines Flight 77 hitting the Pentagon on Sept. 11, Air National Guard F-16's took off from [Andrews].” However, the article also claims that the Andrews fighters were not on alert, and so, of the first two to take off, one was partially armed and the other was unarmed. [Aviation Week and Space Technology 9/9/02]

          

Before September 11, 2001 (D)

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

September 11, 2001 (Y)

       Some White House personnel, including Vice President Cheney's staff, are given Cipro, the anti-anthrax drug, and told to take it regularly on the evening after the attacks. [AP 10/24/01] Judicial Watch later sues the Bush Administration to release documents showing who knew what and when, and why Presidential staff were protected while Senators, Congresspeople and others were not. [AP, 6/9/02] [FTW]
          

September 11 , 2001 (X)

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

September 11, 2001 (G)

      
September 11, 2001: The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 crash.
The 9/11 attack: four planes are hijacked, two crash into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside. At least 3,000 people are killed. A more detailed timeline focusing on the hours of this attack appears on a separate page. According to officials, the entire US is defended by only 14 fighters (two planes each in seven military bases). [Dallas Morning News, 9/16/01] And “they no longer included any bases close to two obvious terrorist targets—Washington, DC, and New York City.” A defense official says: “I don't think any of us envisioned an internal air threat by big aircraft. I don't know of anybody that ever thought through that.” [Newsday 9/23/01]
          

September 11, 2001 (N)

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

September 11, 2001 (R)

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

September 11, 2001 (M)

       It is later revealed that only hours after the 9/11 attacks, a US “shadow government” is formed. Initially deployed “on the fly”, executive directives on government continuity in the face of a crisis dating back to the Reagan administration are put into effect. Approximately 100 midlevel officials are moved to underground bunkers and stay there 24 hours a day. Officials rotate in and out on a 90-day cycle. When its existence is revealed, some controversy arises because of the exclusion of any Democrats from it. In fact, top Congressional Democrats had never even heard of it until journalists broke the story months later. [Washington Post 3/1/02; CBS 3/2/02]
          

September 11, 2001 (C)

      
Odigo's logo.
Two employees of Odigo, Inc., in Israel, receive warnings of an imminent attack in New York City around two hours before the first plane hits the WTC. Odigo, one of the world's largest instant messaging companies, has its headquarters two blocks from the WTC. The Odigo Research and Development offices where the warnings were received are located in Herzliyya, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Israeli security and the FBI were notified immediately after the 9/11 attacks began. The two employees claim not to know who sent the warnings. “Odigo service includes a feature called People Finder that allows users to seek out and contact others based on certain interests or demographics. [Alex] Diamandis [Odigo vice president of sales and marketing] said it was possible that the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message.” [Ha'aretz, 9/26/01, Washington Post, 9/27/01 (C)] FTW Odigo claims the warning did not specifically mention the WTC, but the company won't say what was specified, claiming, “Providing more details would only lead to more conjecture.” [Washington Post 9/28/01] Odigo gave the FBI the internet address of the message's sender so the name of the sender could be found. [Deutsche Presse-Agentur 9/26/01] Two months later it is reported that the FBI is still investigating the matter, but there have been no reports since. [Courier Mail 11/20/01] Could the message have been a mass e-mail sent to a large group? Could this be related to the “art student spy ring”? Did the original senders directly inform the FBI as well, and if not, why not?
          

September 11, 2001

       Warren Buffett, possibly the second richest man on Earth [Salon, 8/31/99], schedules a morning charity event inside Offutt Air Force Base in Nebraska. A number of CEOs who would otherwise have been in the WTC attend. Attendees had just arrived when the first WTC attack occurs. This base is the center of the nation's military defenses, and the same base that Bush will fly to later in the day. The timing, probable attendance, and location of the meeting is curious, to say the least, as is the total lack of any mention of the meeting anywhere, except for one aside by a business leader (Anne Tatlock, CEO and President of Fiduciary and Franklin)explaining why she survived the WTC attack. [San Francisco Business Times 2/1/02]
          

September 11, 2001 (T)

       TV news coverage on 9/11 repeatedly shows images of Palestinians rejoicing over the 9/11 attack. According to Mark Crispin Miller, a Professor of Media Studies at New York University who investigated the issue, the footage was filmed during the funeral of nine people killed the day before by Israeli authorities. He said “to show it without explaining the background, and to show it over and over again is to make propaganda for the war machine and is irresponsible.” [AFP 9/18/01; Australian 9/27/01]
          

September 11, 2001 (P)

       Senator Orrin Hatch (R) tells the Associated Press that the US government was monitoring bin Laden's communications electronically, and overheard two bin Laden aides celebrating the successful terrorist attack: “They have an intercept of some information that included people associated with bin Laden who acknowledged a couple of targets were hit.”[AP, 9/12/01, ABC News, 9/12/01] Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld publicly denounces the report, not as untrue, but as an unauthorized release of classified information. [Department of Defense news briefing 9/12/01] The head of the NSA explains the delay by saying bin Laden (living in a cave in Afghanistan) “has better technology”than the US ($30 billion annual intelligence budget). [Sunday Herald, 9/16/01] Why has the mainstream media not explored the implications that the CIA and FBI could monitor the private communications of al-Qaeda on the days up to and including 9/11?
          

September 11, 2001 (D)

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

September 11, 2001 (O)

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

September 11, 2001 (V)

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

September 11, 2001 (G)

      
September 11, 2001: The World Trade Center, Pentagon, and Flight 93 crash.
The 9/11 attack: four planes are hijacked, two crash into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside. At least 3,000 people are killed. A more detailed timeline focusing on the hours of this attack appears on a separate page. According to officials, the entire US is defended by only 14 fighters (two planes each in seven military bases). [Dallas Morning News, 9/16/01] And “they no longer included any bases close to two obvious terrorist targets—Washington, DC, and New York City.” A defense official says: “I don't think any of us envisioned an internal air threat by big aircraft. I don't know of anybody that ever thought through that.” [Newsday 9/23/01]
          

September 12, 2001 (G)

       Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke later claims that on the evening of this day, President Bush speaks to Clarke and others, saying, “Looks, I know you have a lot to do and all…but I want you, as soon as you can, to go back over everything, everything. See if Saddam did this. See if he's linked in any way.” Clarke later recalls, “Now he never said, ‘Make it up.’ But the entire conversation left me in absolutely no doubt that George Bush wanted me to come back with a report that said Iraq did this.” So Clarke complains to Bush that the link between al-Qaeda and Iraq has already been investigated several times, and always come up empty. Bush responds in a testy and intimidating manner, “Look into Iraq, Saddam.” Clarke delegates an investigation to look again at any link between Iraq and al-Qaeda. He writes, “All agencies and departments agreed, there was no cooperation between the two. A memorandum to that effect was sent up to the President, but there never was any indication that it reached him.” The agencies are told to prepare another report on the same subject, with the implication that they should come up with a different answer. But the second time they reach the same conclusion, and again Clarke doubts if Bush ever sees it. [CBS 3/20/04] Deputy National Security Advisor Steve Hadley denies the conversation ever occurred, but 60 Minutes finds two sources to independently confirm Clarke's account. [CBS, 3/20/04] Others also emerge to back up Clarke's account, though so dispute his description of Bush as “intimidating.” [, Guardian, 3/26/04] White House aides eventually concede that the meeting “probably” occurred. [New York Daily News 3/27/04]
          

September 12, 2001 (F)

      
The National Security Council meets on the morning of September 12, 2001. From left to right: Rumsfeld, Powell, Bush, Cheney, Shelton.
Top officials meeting with President Bush discuss attacking Iraq. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke later recalls, “At first I was incredulous that we were talking about something other than getting al-Qaeda. Then I realized with almost a sharp physical pain that [Defense Secretary] Rumsfeld and [Assistant Defense Secretary] Wolfowitz were going to try to take advantage of this national tragedy to promote their agenda about Iraq. Since the beginning of the administration, indeed well before, they had been pressing for a war with Iraq. My friends in the Pentagon had been telling me that the word was we would be invading Iraq sometime in 2002.” Wolfowitz tries to argue that al-Qaeda must have had Iraqi backing. Following his notes from the day before suggesting that 9/11 should be blamed on Iraq and not just al-Qaeda (see September 11, 2001 (V)), Defense Secretary Rumsfeld proposes that Iraq should be “a principal target of the first round in the war against terrorism.” Rumsfeld complains that there are no decent targets to bomb in Afghanistan and that it would be better to bomb Iraq because they have better targets. Secretary of State Powell agrees with Clarke that the immediate focus should be on al-Qaeda. But Powell also seems open to a later attack, saying, “Public opinion has to be prepared before a move against Iraq is possible.” Clarke complains to him, “Having been attacked by al-Qaeda, for us now to go bombing Iraq in response would be like our invading Mexico after the Japanese attacked us at Pearl Harbor. President Bush notes the goal should be replacing the Iraqi government, not just bombing it, but the military warns an invasion would need a large force and many months to assemble.” [Washington Post, 1/28/02, Los Angeles Times, 1/12/03, Against All Enemies, by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 30-31] There is still no evidence suggesting Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks (the first evidence, later refuted, comes around September 19, 2001 (see September 19, 2001-October 20, 2002)). />
          

September 12, 2001 (B)

       Press Secretary Ari Fleischer explains that Bush went to Nebraska because “There was real and credible information that the White House and Air Force One were targets.” [Fleischer Press Briefing transcript, 9/12/01] The next day, William Safire of the New York Times writes, and Bush's Political Strategist Karl Rove confirms, that the secret service believed “ ‘Air Force One may be next,’ and there was an ‘inside’ threat which ‘may have broken the secret codes [showing a knowledge of Presidential procedures].’ ” By September 27, Fleischer begins to backpedal on the claim that there were specific threats against Air Force One and/or the President and new stories flatly contradict it. [Washington Post 9/27/01] A well-informed, anonymous Washington official says, “It did two things for [Cheney]. It reinforced his argument that the President should stay out of town, and it gave George W. an excellent reason for doing so.” [Telegraph, 12/16/01] By 2004, a Bush spokesman says there hadn't been any threat, but Cheney continues to maintain that there may have been. Cheney also claims the Secret Service passed him word of the threat, but two Secret Service agents working that day deny their agency played any role in receiving or passing on such a threat. The threat was supposedly based on the use of the word “Angel,” the code word for Air Force One, but Secret Service agents later note that the code word wasn't an official secret, but a radio shorthand designation that had been made public well before 2001. [Wall Street Journal 3/22/04]
          

September 12, 2001 (E)

       The passport of hijacker Satam Al Suqami is found a few blocks from the WTC. [ABC News, 9/12/01 (C), AP, 9/16/01, ABC News, 9/16/01] What are the odds that this passport became separated from al Suqami or his luggage, and somehow escaped the fireball that consumed the airplane, then the collapse of the buildings? The Guardian says, “the idea that Atta's passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged [tests] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the FBI's crackdown on terrorism.” [Guardian, 3/19/02] Note the passport did not belong to Atta, as is sometimes claimed.
          

September 12, 2001

       The government's initial response to the 9/11 attacks is there was no evidence whatsoever that bin Laden planned an attack in the US. “There was a ton of stuff, but it all pointed to an attack abroad,” says one official. Furthermore, in the 24 hours after the attack, investigators have been searching through “mountains of information,” “but the vast electronic ‘take’ on bin Laden, said officials who requested anonymity, contained no hints of a pending terror campaign in the United States itself, no orders to subordinates, no electronic fund transfers, no reports from underlings on their surveillance of the airports in Boston, Newark and Washington.”[Miami Herald, 9/12/01] These are obvious lies (for instance, see September 10, 2001 (K)and September 10, 2001 (L) for messages hinting at the attack). Recall also the title of Bush's briefing on August 6, 2001: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”(see May 15, 2002).
          

September 13-14, 2001

       The two “black boxes” for Flight 93 are found. However, they are deemed severely damaged, and it isn't known if the data could be recovered. [Reuters 9/13/01 (B); BBC 9/15/01] Months later, the FBI reveals they know the contents, but only release select quotes (see December 21, 2001). [CNN 12/21/01]
          

September 13, 2001 (C)

       AP publishes a list of all the people on board the hijacked airlines. This follows an earlier list from CNN on 9/11. These lists are very curious, because the numbers don't appear to add up. Take for instance Flight 11. The list has 86 passengers on board, including five hijackers, plus 11 crew members, a total of 97. But there only were 92 people total on board the plane according to all accounts. The numbers only work if you subtract the five hijackers. The other plane lists all have too few names, by up to five people. [AP, 9/13/01 (B)] Too few can be explained by people who asked their names not to be released, but how does one explain too many? Another report suggests that several hijackers boarded Flight 11 with stolen crew uniforms. [Sunday Herald 9/16/01]
          

September 13, 2001 (D)

       Investigators say they've found debris from the Flight 93 crash far from the main crash site. A second debris field centers around Indian Lake about three miles from the crash scene. More debris is found in New Baltimore, some eight miles away. Later in the day the investigators say all that debris was blown there. [CNN, 9/13/01] Another debris field is found at Indian Lake, six miles away, and human remains are found miles away. After all this is discovered, the FBI still “stresses” that “no evidence had surfaced” to support the idea that the plane was shot down. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/13/01] A half-ton piece of one of the engines is found 2,000 yards away from the main crash site. This was the single heaviest piece recovered from the crash. [Philadelphia Daily News, 12/28/01, Independent, 8/13/02] Days later, the FBI says the wide debris field was probably the result of the explosion on impact. The Independent nevertheless later cites the wide debris field as one of many reasons why widespread rumors remain that the plane was shot down. [Independent 9/20/01]
          

September 14, 2001 (C)

       Officials admit that two planes were near Flight 93 when it crashed, which matches numerous eyewitness accounts. For instance, Dennis Decker says that immediately after hearing an explosion, “We looked up, we saw a midsized jet flying low and fast. It appeared to make a loop or part of a circle, and then it turned fast and headed out. If you were here to see it, you'd have no doubt. It was a jet plane, and it had to be flying real close when that 757 went down… If I was the FBI, I'd find out who was driving that plane.” [Bergen Record 9/14/01] Later the same day, the military says it can “neither confirm nor deny” the nearby planes. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review, 9/14/01] Then, two days later, they again claim there were two planes near, but that they were a military cargo plane and business jet, and neither had anything to do with the crash. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, 9/16/01] Supposedly, the business jet was requested to fly low over the crash site to help rescuers find the crash site, 25 minutes after all aircraft in the US had been ordered to land. But the story appears physically impossible since the FBI says this jet was at 37,000 feet and asked to descend to 5,000 feet. [Pittsburgh Channel, 9/15/01] That would have taken many minutes for that kind of plane, and witnesses report seeing the plane flying very low even before the crash. [Bergen Record, 9/14/01] Another explanation of a farmer's plane 45 minutes later is put forth, but that also doesn't fit the time at all. [Pittsburgh Channel, 9/15/01] Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz states: “We responded awfully quickly, I might say, on Tuesday [9/11], and, in fact, we were already tracking in on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I think it was the heroism of the passengers on board that brought it down. But the Air Force was in a position to do so if we had had to.” [Department of Defense, 9/14/01] The next day, the Director of the Air National Guard denies that any plane was scrambled after Flight 93. [Seattle Times, 9/16/01] That in turn contradicts what Vice President Cheney will say later. [Washington Post 1/27/02]
          

September 14, 2001 (F)

       FBI Director Mueller describes reports that several of the hijackers had received flight training in the US as “news, quite obviously,”adding: “If we had understood that to be the case, we would have—perhaps one could have averted this.” It is later discovered that contrary to Mueller's claims, the FBI had interviewed various flight school staffs about Middle Eastern terrorists on numerous occasions, from 1996 until a few weeks before 9/11 (see 1996 (D), May 18, 1998, September 1999 (E), September 2000 (B), July 10, 2001, August 23, 2001 (E)). [Washington Post, 9/23/01, Boston Globe, 9/18/01] Three days later he says, “There were no warning signs that I'm aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country.”[Department of Justice transcript, 9/17/01] Slate magazine later contrasts this with numerous other contradictory statements and articles, and awards Mueller the “Whopper of the Week.” [Slate 5/17/02]
          

September 14, 2001 (B)

       The two “black boxes” for Flight 77 are found. [PBS Newshour, 9/14/01] FBI Director Mueller will later say that the boxes provided altitude, speed, headings and other information, but the voice recorder contained “nothing useful.” [CBS 2/23/02]
          

September 14, 2001 (H)

       Mayo Shattuck III resigns, effective immediately, as head of the Alex Brown unit of Deutschebank. No reason is given. Some speculate later this could have to do with the role of Deutschebank in the pre-9/11 purchase of put options (see September 6-10, 2001). Deutschebank is also one of the four banks most used by the bin Laden family. [New York Times, 9/15/01, Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01] [FTW]
          

September 14, 2001 (N)

       Lawmakers emerging from briefings about the 9/11 attacks complain that they are being told virtually nothing. Says Senator John McCain (R), “We're learning more from CNN.” Representative Neil Abercrombie (D), says, “You can't even begin to call these briefings.” [Las Vegas Review Journal, 9/14/01] The Administration's obsession with 9/11 secrecy will lead to an FBI investigation into senators and congresspeople a year later (see August 2, 2002 (B)).
          

September 14, 2001 (J)

       The Miami Herald reports, “Forty-five minutes. That's how long American Airlines Flight 77 meandered through the air headed for the White House, its flight plan abandoned, its radar beacon silent… Who was watching in those 45 minutes? ‘That's a question that more and more people are going to ask,’ said one controller in Miami. ‘What the hell went on here? Was anyone doing anything about it? Just as a national defense thing, how are they able to fly around and no one go after them?’ ” [Miami Herald 9/14/01] In the year since this article and a similar one in the Village Voice [Village Voice, 9/13/01], there has been only one other US article questioning slow fighter response times, and that article noted the strange lack of articles on the topic. [Slate, 1/16/02] However, some 9/11 victims' relatives continue to raise the issue (see August 13, 2002 (B) and March 31, 2003). Why haven't “more and more people” in the media questioned this?
          

September 14, 2001 (G)

       The Director of the Air National Guard explains why jets failed to scramble towards the hijacked aircraft for so long. He says that before 1997, 100 bases defended the US, but since then the number was reduced to seven, with only two fighter planes at each base defending the entire country from external threats. [Dallas Morning News 9/16/01] However, numerous air force bases on the East Coast alone, including bases in Westfield, Massachusetts, Syracuse, New York, Hartford, Connecticut and Andrews, Virginia, claim they have battle ready fighters on alert 24 hours a day. All of these bases were better positioned to respond to the hijacker airplanes than the bases ultimately chosen. Some of these bases have websites that get changed after 9/11, erasing claims that they have battle-ready fighters on alert (for instance, see the [DCANG Home Page before and after the change]). In 1999, when golfer Payne Stewart's plane went off course, fighters were scrambled from four different bases (none of the official seven) and reached his plane in under 10 minutes. [ABC News, 10/25/99] There are numerous other examples of fighter scramblings since 1997 that seem to contradict the “only seven bases” story.
          

September 14, 2001 (I)

       Some gruesome remains are discovered in the WTC ruins. Investigators find a pair of severed hands bound together with plastic handcuffs on a nearby building. They are believed to have belonged to a stewardess. [Newsday, 9/15/01] There are reports of whole rows of seats with passengers in them being found, as well as much of the cockpit of one of the planes, complete with the body of one of the hijackers, and the body of another stewardess, whose hands were tied with wire. [Ananova 9/13/01; New York Times 9/15/01 (D)] Yet, contradicting the claim that a hijacker's body was found, only in February 2003 are the remains of two hijackers identified (see Late February 2003). While all these bodies and plane parts are supposedly found, not one of the four black boxes for these two airplanes are ever found. A National Transportation Safety Board spokesman says: “It's extremely rare that we don't get the recorders back. I can't recall another domestic case in which we did not recover the recorders.” [CBS, 2/23/02] The black boxes are considered “nearly indestructible,” are placed in the safest parts of the aircraft, and are designed to survive impacts much greater than the WTC impact. They can withstand heat of up to 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit for one hour, and can withstand an impact of an incredible 3,400 G's. [ABC News, 9/17/01] Phone calls from two stewardesses on Flight 11 contradict the idea that stewardesses or anyone else had their hands tied, on that flight at least.
          

September 14, 2001 (E)

       CBS News announces a new revelation: “contrary to early reports, US Air Force jets did get into the air on Tuesday while the attacks were under way.” The first fighters got airborne toward New York City at 8:52 a.m. [CBS, 9/14/01] A day earlier, Acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Myers in Congressional testimony stated that the first fighters got airborne only after the Pentagon was hit. [General Myers' Senate confirmation hearing 9/13/01] NORAD spokesman Marine Corps Major Mike Snyder also claimed no fighters were scrambled anywhere until the Pentagon was hit. [Boston Globe 9/15/01] Four days later, the official NORAD timeline is changed to include this new discovery. [NORAD, 9/18/01] New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani later testifies before the 9/11 Commission that he found out from the White House at about 9:58 a.m. that the first fighters weren't launched toward New York City until twelve minutes earlier - 9:46 a.m. [9/11 Commission, 5/19/04] If this is true, it would mean no fighters were launched anywhere until after the Pentagon was hit.
          

September 14, 2001

       Officials deny that Flight 93 was shot down (see ), but propose the theory that the hijackers had a bomb on board and blew up the plane. [Pittsburgh Tribune Review 9/14/01] Later in the month, it is reported that the “FBI has determined from the on site investigation that no explosive was involved.” [AP, 9/25/01] If there was a bomb, how did the hijackers get it through security? If there wasn't a bomb, how does one explain the eyewitness accounts?
          

September 14, 2001 (D)

       It is initially reported that Flight 93 is traveling fairly slowly when it crashed. “It slammed into the ground at a speed law enforcement authorities said might have approached 300 mph” [New York Times, 9/14/01] “Flight 93 slammed into the earth nose-first at over 200 mph, according to estimates by the National Transportation Safety Board and other experts.” [Delaware News Journal 9/16/01] However, by 2002 it is being reported that the plane crashed going nearly 600 mph. [Among the Heroes, by Jere Longman, 8/02, p. 212] “It could have even broken the sound barrier for a while,” says Hank Krakowski, director of flight operations control at United's system control center on Sept. 11. [New York Times, 3/27/02] The design limits of the plane are 287 mph below 10,000 feet.
          

September 15, 2001 (B)

       The first reports of seat assignments for the hijackers on Flight 11 appear. But unlike other flights, accounts of where the hijackers sat vary widely. The first report says Wail Alshehri was in seat 2A, Waleed Alshehri in 2B, Mohamed Atta in 8D, Abdulaziz Alomari in 8G, and Satam Al Suqami in 10B. [ABC News, 9/15/01] The next day, it is reported Atta was in 8A and Alomari was in 8B. [Chicago Sun-Times, 9/16/01] The same day, it is reported that all five hijackers sat in row 8. [Portland Press Herald, 9/16/01] Flight attendant Amy Sweeney apparently telephoned the seat numbers of four of the hijackers before the plane crashed, but the exact numbers she gave have not been released. However, it is known the “numbers she gave were different from those registered in the hijackers' names.” [BBC, 9/21/01] Another account suggests she said the hijackers were sitting in rows 9 and 10. [Portland Press Herald, 10/14/01] Another flight attendant, Betty Ong, also telephoned seat numbers, saying there were hijackers in seats 2A, 2B, 9A, and 9B. This is “slightly different” from Sweeney's numbers—with two hijackers in the second row instead of the 10th. [Boston Globe, 11/23/01] Why so much confusion, and why doesn't the US release the information needed to settle these discrepancies?
          

September 15-17, 2001

      
Did some of the hijackers take part in Pensacola base military ceremonies such as this one?
A series of articles suggest that at least seven of the 9/11 hijackers trained in US military bases. [New York Times, 9/15/01 (E), Newsweek, 9/15/01] Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alghamdi, and Saeed Alghamdi even listed the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Florida as their permanent address on their driver's licenses. [Pensacola News Journal, 9/17/01]. Hamza Alghamdi was also connected to the Pensacola base. [Washington Post, 9/16/01] A defense official confirms that Saeed Alghamdi is a former Saudi fighter pilot who attended the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. [Los Angeles Times, 9/15/01, Gannett News Service, 9/17/01] Abdulaziz Alomari attended Brooks Air Force Base Aerospace Medical School in San Antonio, Texas. [Gannett News Service, 9/17/01] A defense official confirms Atta is a former Saudi fighter pilot who graduated from the US International Officers School at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. [Los Angeles Times 9/15/01; Washington Post 9/16/01] The media drops the story after the Air Force makes a not-very-definitive statement, saying that while the names are similar, “we are probably not talking about the same people.” [Washington Post, 9/16/01] However, the military fails to provide any information about the individuals whose names supposedly match those of the alleged hijackers, making it impossible to confirm or refute the story.
          

September 15, 2001-April 6, 2002

       On September 15, 2001, President Bush says of bin Laden: “If he thinks he can hide and run from the United States and our allies, he will be sorely mistaken.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/16/01 (B)] Two days later, he says, “I want justice. And there's an old poster out West, I recall, that says, ‘Wanted: Dead or Alive.’ ” [] On December 28, 2001, a few weeks after the Afghanistan war ends, Bush says, “Our objective is more than bin Laden.” [AP, 8/19/02 (B)] Bush's January 2002 State of the Union speech describes Iraq as part of an “axis of evil” and fails to mention bin Laden (see January 29, 2002). On March 8, 2002, Bush still vows: “We're going to find him.” [Washington Post 10/1/02] But only a few days later on March 13, Bush says, “He's a person who's now been marginalized…. I just don't spend that much time on him…. I truly am not that concerned about him.” Instead, Bush is “deeply concerned about Iraq.” [White House, 3/13/02] The rhetoric shift is complete when Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Myers states on April 6: “The goal has never been to get bin Laden.” [Department of Defense, 4/6/02] In October 2002, the Washington Post notes that since March 2002, Bush has avoided mentioning bin Laden's name, even when asked about him directly. Bush sometimes uses questions about bin Laden to talk about Saddam Hussein instead. In late 2001, nearly two-thirds of Americans say the war on terrorism could not be called a success without bin Laden's death or capture. That number falls to 44 percent in a March 2002 poll, and the question has since been dropped. [Washington Post, 10/1/02] Charles Heyman, editor of Jane's World Armies, later points out: “There appears to be a real disconnect” between the US military's conquest of Afghanistan and “the earlier rhetoric of President Bush, which had focused on getting bin Laden.” [Christian Science Monitor 3/4/02 (B)]
          

September 16-23, 2001

      
The Salem Alhazmi on the left [Saudi Gazette, 9/23/01] claims that the FBI pictures of a Salem Alhazmi such as this one on the right [FBI] are of him, from when his passport was stolen.
Reports appear in many newspapers suggesting that some of the people the US says were 9/11 hijackers are actually still alive:
  1. Ahmed Alnami is still alive and working as an administrative supervisor with Saudi Arabian Airlines, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01] He had never lost his passport and found it “very worrying” that his identity appeared to have been stolen. [Telegraph, 9/23/01] However, there is another Ahmed Alnami who is ten years younger, and appears to be dead, according to his father. [ABC News, 3/15/02]
  2. Saeed Alghamdi is alive and flying airplanes in Tunisia. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01, Telegraph, 9/23/01, BBC, 9/23/01] He says he studied flight training in a Florida flight schools for parts of the years, 1998, 1999, 2000, and 2001. [Arab News, 9/18/01]
  3. Salem Alhazmi is alive and working at a petrochemical plant in Yanbou, Saudi Arabia. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01, Telegraph, 9/23/01] He says his passport was stolen by a pickpocket in Cairo three years ago and that pictures and details such as date of birth are of him. [Guardian, 9/21/01 (C), Washington Post, 9/20/01, Saudi Gazette, 9/29/02]
  4. The brothers Waleed M. Alshehri
  5. and Wail Alshehri are alive. A Saudi spokesman said, “This is a respectable family. I know his sons, and they're both alive.” The father is a diplomat who has been stationed in the US and Bombay, India. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01, Arab News, 9/19/01] There is a second pair of Saudi brothers named Wail and Waleed M. who may have been the real hijackers. Their father says they've been missing since December 2000. [ABC News, 3/15/02, Arab News, 9/17/01] The still living Waleed M. Alshehri is a pilot with Saudi Airlines, studying in Morocco. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01, AP, 9/22/01] He acknowledges that he attended flight training school at Dayton Beach in the United States. [BBC, 9/23/01, Daily Trust, 9/24/01] He was interviewed by US officials in Morocco, and cleared of all charges against him (though apparently the FBI photos are still of him!). [Embry Riddle Aeronautical University press release, 9/21/01] The still living Wail Alshehri is also apparently a pilot. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01] What are the odds that two Saudi terrorist brothers would find two other Saudi brothers with the same names who were pilots with one even training in Florida?
  6. Abdulaziz Alomari is alive and working as a pilot for Saudi Arabian Airlines. [New York Times, 9/16/01, Independent, 9/17/01, BBC, 9/23/01] He claims that his passport was stolen in 1995 while he was living in Denver, Colorado. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01] “They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive.” [Telegraph, 9/23/01, London Times, 9/20/01]
  7. On September 19, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. distributes a “special alert” to its member banks asking for information about the attackers. The list includes “Al-Midhar, Khalid. Alive.” The Justice Department later calls this a “typo.” [AP, 9/20/01, Cox News, 10/21/01] The BBC says: “There are suggestions that another suspect, Khalid Almihdhar, may also be alive.” [BBC, 9/23/01] The Guardian says Almihdhar is believed to be alive, but investigators are looking into three possibilities. Either his name was stolen for a hijacker alias, or he allowed his name to be used so that US officials would think he died, or he died in the crash. [Guardian, 9/21/01 (B)] Almihdhar is wanted for other terrorist acts (see January 15, 2000), so it's not surprising he's still hard to find. There are three official pictures of Almihdhar—one of them doesn't look at all like the other two (see photos on left).
    Three different pictures of Khalid Almihdhar. Which one does not belong? [FBI, 2/12/02, Boston Globe, 9/27/01]
  8. Marwan Alshehhi may be alive in Morocco. [Saudi Gazette, 9/18/01, Khaleej Times, 9/20/01] Family and neighbors don't believe he took part in the attacks. [Reuters, 9/18/01]
  9. Atta's father says he spoke to his son on the phone on September 12, 2001 (see September 19, 2001 (C)).
  10. No one claims that Hamza Alghamdi is still alive, but his family says the FBI photo “has no resemblance to him at all” (on the other hand, Ahmed Alnami's family says his FBI picture is correct). [Washington Post, 9/25/01]
  11. Majed Moqed was last seen by a friend in Saudi Arabia in 2000. This friend claims the FBI picture doesn't look like Moqed. [Arab News, 9/22/01] There are three official pictures of Majed Moqed—one of them doesn't look at all like the other two (see photos on below right).
  12. The Saudi government has claimed Mohand Alshehri is alive and was not in the US on 9/11, but no more details are known. [ [AP 9/29/01 (B)] imagewidth="300" topic="coverup">The Saudi government insists that five of the Saudis mentioned are still alive. [New York Times, 9/21/01] On September 20, FBI Director Mueller says: “We have several others that are still in question. The investigation is ongoing, and I am not certain as to several of the others.” [Newsday, 9/21/01] On September 27, after all of these revelations, FBI Director Mueller states, “We are fairly certain of a number of them.” [Sun Sentinel, 9/28/01] Could it be that the bodies (and sometimes faces) in question are correct, but the names were stolen? For instance, the Telegraph notes, “The FBI had published [Saeed Alghamdi's] personal details but with a photograph of somebody else, presumably a hijacker who had ‘stolen’ his identity. CNN, however, showed a picture of the real Mr. Alghamdi.” [Telegraph, 9/23/01] Police have even determined who sold at least two of the hijackers their fake ID's. [BBC, 8/1/02 (B)] On September 20, The London Times reported, “Five of the hijackers were using stolen identities, and investigators are studying the possibility that the entire suicide squad consisted of impostors.” [London Times, 9/20/01] Briefly, the press took this story to heart. For instance, a story in the Observer on September 23 put the names of hijackers like Saeed Alghamdi in quotation marks. [Observer, 9/23/01] But the story died down after the initial reports, and it was hardly noticed when Mueller stated on November 2, 2001: “We at this point definitely know the 19 hijackers who were responsible,” and claimed that they were sticking with the names and photos released in late September.
    How can all of these pictures be of Majed Moqed?
    [AP 11/03/02]
Yet many of the names and photos are known to be wrong. Perhaps embarrassing facts would come out if we knew their real names, such as more terrorists who studied at military bases or were on watch lists?
          

September 16, 2001 (B)

       President Bush says, “Never (in) anybody's thought processes … about how to protect America did we ever think that the evil doers would fly not one but four commercial aircraft into precious US targets… never.”[NATO, 9/16/01] A month later, Paul Pillar, the former deputy director of the CIA's counter-terrorist center, says, “The idea of commandeering an aircraft and crashing it into the ground and causing high casualties, sure we've thought of it.” [Los Angeles Times 10/14/01]
          

September 16, 2001

       A report suggests the crash site of Flight 93 is being searched and recorded in 60 square-foot grids. [Delaware News Journal, 9/16/01] That's what the two forensic scientists in charge of the crash site wanted. They said doing so could help determine who was where when the plane crashed, and possibly how it crashed. However, almost a year later it comes out that that's not what actually happened. “The FBI overruled them, instead dividing the site into five large sectors. It would be too time-consuming to mark tight grids, and would serve no real investigative purpose, the bureau decided. There was no mystery to solve about the crash. Everybody knew what happened to the plane.” [Among the Heroes, Jere Longman, 8/02, pp. 262-263] While the military may suggest there is no mystery, some articles have suggested the plane was shot down (for instance, see November 15, 2001 and August 13, 2002). Also, at the time of this decision, investigators were still considering the possibility a bomb may have destroyed the plane (see September 14, 2001).
          

September 17-18 and 28, 2001

       On September 17, ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed heads a six-man delegation that visits Mullah Omar in Kandahar, Afghanistan. It is reported he is trying to convince Omar to extradite bin Laden or face an immediate US attack. [Press Trust of India, 9/17/01, Financial Times, 9/18/01, London Times, 9/18/01] Also in the delegation is Lt. Gen. Mohammad Aziz Khan, an ex-ISI official who appears to be one of Saeed Sheikh's contacts in the ISI (see January 1, 2000-September 11, 2001). [Press Trust of India, 9/17/01] On September 28, Ahmed returns to Afghanistan with a group of about 10 religious leaders. He talks with Mullah Omar, who again says he will not hand over bin Laden. [AFP 9/28/01] A senior Taliban official later claims that on these trips Mahmood in fact urges Omar not to extradite bin Laden, but instead urges him to resist the US. [AP, 2/21/02, Time, 5/6/02] Another account claims Mahmood does “nothing as the visitors [pour] praise on Omar and [fails] to raise the issue” of bin Laden's extradition. [Knight Ridder 11/3/01] Two Pakistani brigadier generals connected to the ISI also accompany Mahmood, and advise al-Qaeda to counter the coming US attack on Afghanistan by resorting to mountain guerrilla war. The advice is not followed. [Asia Times, 9/11/02] Other ISI officers also stay in Afghanistan to advise the Taliban (see Late September-November 2001).
          

September 19, 2001-October 20, 2002

       The coverage of whether a purported meeting between Atta and an Iraqi spy named Ahmed al-Ani took place in Prague, Czech Republic (see April 8, 2001) has changed repeatedly over time (a Slate article also outlines many of the twists and turns of this story [Slate, 9/3/02]):
  1. September 19: It is first reported that a meeting took place; Atta is named later. [Los Angeles Times, 9/19/01, CNN, 10/11/01]
  2. October 20: The story is denied. [New York Times, 10/20/01]
  3. October 27: The story is confirmed. [New York Times, 10/27/01]
  4. October 27: It is claimed Atta met with Iraqi agents four times in Prague, plus in Germany, Spain, and Italy. [London Times, 10/27/01]
  5. November 12: Columnist William Safire calls the meeting an “undisputed fact.” [New York Times, 11/12/01]
  6. December 9: Vice President Cheney calls the meeting “pretty well confirmed.” [Washington Post, 12/9/01]
  7. December 16: The identities of both al-Ani and Atta are disputed. [New York Times, 12/16/01]
  8. January 12, 2002: It is claimed at least two meetings took place, including one a year earlier. [Telegraph, 1/12/02]
  9. February 6: It's reported that the meeting probably took place, but wasn't connected to the 9/11 attacks. [New York Times, 2/6/02]
  10. March 15: Evidence for the meeting is considered between “slim” and “none.” [Washington Post, 3/15/02]
  11. March 18: William Safire strongly asserts the meeting took place. [New York Times, 3/18/02]
  12. April 28–May 2: The meeting is largely discredited. [Newsweek, 4/28/02, Washington Post, 5/1/02, New York Times, 5/2/02]
  13. May 8: Some Czech officials continue to affirm the meeting took place. [Prague Post, 5/8/02]
  14. May 9: William Safire refuses to give up the story, claiming a “protect-Saddam cabal” in the high levels of the US government is burying the story. [New York Times, 5/9/02]
  15. July 15: The head of Czech foreign intelligence calls the meeting unproved and implausible. [Prague Post, 7/15/02]
  16. August 2: With a war against Iraq growing more likely, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer suggests the meeting did happen, “despite deep doubts by the CIA and FBI.” [Los Angeles Times, 8/2/02]
  17. August 19: Newsweek states: “The sole evidence for the alleged meeting is the uncorroborated claim of a Czech informant.” It claims that Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz is nonetheless pushing the FBI to have the meeting accepted as fact. [Newsweek, 8/19/02]
  18. September 10: The Bush administration is no longer pushing the meeting. [Washington Post, 9/10/02]
  19. September 17: Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Rumsfeld “accept reports from Czech diplomats” that the meeting took place. [USA Today, 9/17/02]
  20. September 23: Newsweek reports that the CIA is resisting Pentagon demands to get pictures of the meeting from Iraqi exiles. One official says: “We do not shy away from evidence. But we also don't make it up.” [Newsweek, 9/23/02]
  21. October 6: Bush gives a big speech about why the US should attack Iraq. Slate notes if Bush had evidence linking Iraq to 9/11, “this was his last plausible chance to divulge it. He didn't.” [Slate, 10/7/02]
  22. A poll taken between October 2-6 shows 66% of Americans believe Iraq was involved in the 9/11 attacks (see also January 12, 2003). [Reuters, 10/10/02] On October 10, Congress passes a resolution authorizing Bush to declare war on Iraq. [AP, 10/11/02]
  23. October 20: This story seemingly ends when Czech officials, including the President Vaclav Havel, conclusively deny the meeting, suggesting the entire story was made up by one unreliable source well after 9/11, and after stories in the press that Atta had traveled to Prague. It now appears Atta wasn't even in the Czech Republic during the month the meeting was supposed to have taken place. President Havel told Bush the meeting didn't happen “quietly some time earlier this year.” [UPI, 10/20/02, New York Times, 10/21/02]
Why did Bush wait to reveal this information until after the Congressional vote for war with Iraq? Considering the way this meeting has seemingly been used as a political football, how can other reporting on the 9/11 story be trusted? Even though the story is seemingly discredited, some “war hawks,” such as Bush advisor Richard Perle, continue to maintain that the meeting took place. [CBS 12/8/02]

          

September 19, 2001

       The FBI claims that there were six hijacking teams on the morning of 9/11. [New York Times, 9/19/01 (B), Guardian, 10/13/01] A different report claims investigators are privately saying eight. [Independent, 9/25/01] But the reports below suggest there may have been as many as eight aborted flights, leading to a potential total of 12 hijackings:
  1. Knives of the same type used in the successful hijackings were found taped to the backs of fold-down trays on a Continental Airlines flight from Newark. [Guardian, 9/19/01]
  2. The FBI is investigating American Airlines Flight 43, which left Boston about 8:10 a.m. bound for Los Angeles and was canceled minutes before takeoff due to a mechanical problem. [BBC, 9/18/01 (C), Chicago Tribune, 9/18/01, Guardian, 9/19/01] Another version claims the flight left from Newark and made it as far as Cincinnati before being grounded in the nationwide air ban. [New York Times, 9/19/01 (B)]
  3. Knives and box cutters were found on two separate canceled Delta Airlines planes later that day, one leaving Atlanta for Brussels
  4. and the other leaving from Boston. [Time, 9/22/01, Independent, 9/25/01]
  5. On September 14, two knives were found on an Air Canada flight that would have flown to New York on 9/11 if not for the air ban. [CNN, 10/15/01]
  6. Two men arrested on 9/11 may have lost their nerve on American Airlines Flight 1729 from Newark to San Antonio via Dallas that was scheduled to depart at 8:50, and was later forced to land in St. Louis. Alternately, they may have been planning an attack for September 15 (see September 11, 2001 (K)) [New York Times, 9/19/01 (B)]
  7. There may have been an attempt to hijack United Airlines Flight 23 flying from Boston to Los Angeles around 9:00 a.m. Three Middle Eastern men angrily refused to get off the plane when it was canceled, then escaped security (see September 11, 2001 (I)).
  8. Knives were found stashed in the seats on a plane due to leave Boston that was delayed due to technical problems and then canceled. [Guardian, 10/13/01] Note this might be the same as one of the Delta flights.
  9. A box cutter knife was found under a seat cushion on American Airlines Flight 160, a 767 that would have flown from San Diego to New York on the morning of 9/11 but for the air ban. [Chicago Tribune, 9/23/01]
The FBI is said to be seeking a number of passengers who failed to board the same, rescheduled flights when the grounding order on commercial planes in the US was lifted. [BBC, 9/18/01 (C)] The Independent points out suspicions have been fueled “that staff at US airports may have played an active role in the conspiracy and helped the hijackers to circumvent airport security.” They also note, “It is possible that at least some of the flights that have come under scrutiny were used as decoys, or as fallback targets.” [Independent 9/25/01]
Doesn't all of this contradict the official story that the hijackers walked on board with their weapons, which were chosen because they were technically legal?
          

September 20, 2001 (B)

       President Bush states: “Either you are with us, or you are against us. From this day forward, any nation that continues to harbor or support terrorism will be regarded by the United States as a hostile regime.” [White House, 9/20/01] Shortly thereafter, Bush says: “As far as the Saudi Arabians go, they've been nothing but cooperative,” and “[Am] I pleased with the actions of Saudi Arabia? I am.” However, several experts continue to claim Saudi Arabia is being “completely unsupportive” and is giving “zero cooperation” to the 9/11 investigation. Saudi Arabia refuses to help the US trace the names and other background information on the 15 Saudi hijackers. One former US official says, “They knew that once we started asking for a few traces the list would grow…. It's better to shut it down right away.” [Los Angeles Times 10/13/01; New Yorker 10/16/01] The Saudi government continues to be uncooperative, and the US government continues to downplay this (see Early December 2001 (B), November 2002 and ).
          

September 21, 2001 (C)

       A published account of flight attendant Madeline Amy Sweeney's phone conversation from hijacked Flight 11 appears to contradict the official account. She reports four hijackers, not the official five, and the seat numbers she gave do not correspond with the ones in the official version. This discrepancy still has not been explained. A later, fuller account of her call adds even more curious details (see July 18, 2002). [BBC 9/21/01]
          

September 21, 2001

      
Steel beams from the WTC are being removed and recycled on September 20, 2001.
A secret report to NATO allies says the US privately wants to hear allied views on “post-Taliban Afghanistan after the liberation of the country.” However, the US is publicly claiming it has no intentions to overthrow the Taliban. [Guardian, 9/21/01] For instance, four days later, Press Secretary Ari Fleischer denies that military actions there are “designed to replace one regime with another.” [State Department 12/26/01]
          

September 21, 2001 (D)

       A report suggests: “Federal investigators may have video footage of the deadly terrorist attack on the Pentagon. A security camera atop a hotel close to the Pentagon may have captured dramatic footage of the hijacked Boeing 757 airliner as it slammed into the western wall of the Pentagon. Hotel employees sat watching the film in shock and horror several times before the FBI confiscated the video as part of its investigation. It may be the only available video of the attack. The Pentagon has told broadcast news reporters that its security cameras did not capture the crash. The attack occurred close to the Pentagon's heliport, an area that normally would be under 24-hour security surveillance, including video monitoring.” [Gertz File, 9/21/01] In a later report, an employee at a gas station across the street from the Pentagon that services only military personnel says the gas station's security cameras should have recorded the moment of impact. However, he says, “I've never seen what the pictures looked like. The FBI was here within minutes and took the film.” [Richmond Times-Dispatch, 12/11/01] A later release of five tiny and grainy images of the crash from a Pentagon security camera shows the government's claim that no security cameras captured the crash was untrue (see March 7, 2002). If there is nothing to hide about the Pentagon crash, why don't they release the footage of it?
          

September 23, 2001 (B)

      
Jean-Charles Brisard and Guillaume Dasquié. Their book The Forbidden Truth has been condemned as “conspiracy theory” by some and praised by others.
The first of many mainstream articles ridiculing 9/11 “conspiracy theories” is published (see also September 12, 2002). [Independent, 9/23/01] Early articles of this type generally deride Middle Eastern views blaming Israel. [AP, 10/3/01 (C), Washington Post, 10/13/01, Dallas Morning News, 11/19/01] Later articles mostly deride Western theories blaming Bush, and criticize the internet and Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney (see April 11, 2002 (B)) for spreading these ideas. [Chicago Sun-Times, 2/8/02, ABC News, 4/17/02, Orlando Sentinel, 5/18/02, Toronto Sun, 5/19/02] The title of one article, “Conspiracy Nuts Feed On Calamity,” expresses the general tone of these articles. [Atlanta Journal and Constitution, 5/22/02] An Ottawa Citizen article mockingly includes a Do-It-Yourself Conspiracy Theory section, where you can fill in the blanks for your own personal 9/11 theory. The article calls 9/11 conspiracy theories “delirious,” “dangerous,” and “viruses,” while admitting that “it's true that some of the events surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks are hard to explain.” [Ottawa Citizen, 9/1/02] Another article discredits theories that oil was a motive for the US to attack Afghanistan by interspersing them with theories that space aliens were behind the 9/11 attacks. [Telegraph 9/5/02]
          

September 24, 2001-December 26, 2002

      
This is the fuzzy passport photo of “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi,” according to the book “The Base” by Jane Corbin. A generic picture that many could successfully use?
In 2000, the 9/11 hijackers receive money from a man using “Mustafa Ahmed Al-Hisawi” and other aliases (see June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000). On September 8-11, 2001, the hijackers send money to a man in the United Arab Emirates who uses the aliases “Mustafa Ahmed,” “Mustafa Ahmad,” and “Ahamad Mustafa”(see September 8-11, 2001 (B)). Soon the media begins reporting on who this 9/11 “paymaster” is, but his reported names and identities will continually change. The media has sometimes made the obvious connection that the paymaster is the British man Saeed Sheikh, a financial expert who studied at the London School of Economics (see June 1993-October 1994), who undisputedly sent hijacker Mohamed Atta money the month before (see Early August 2001 (D)), was making frequent trips at the time to Dubai, where the money is sent, and is also known to have trained the hijackers (see January 1, 2000-September 11, 2001). But the FBI consistently deflects attention onto other possible explanations, with a highly confusing series of names vaguely similar to Mustafa Ahmed or Saeed Sheikh. Could they be ignoring the real Saeed because of his connections to the Pakistani ISI?
  1. September 24, 2001: Newsweek reports that the paymaster for the 9/11 attacks is someone named “Mustafa Ahmed.” [Newsweek, 9/24/01] This refers to Mustafa Mahmoud Said Ahmed, an Egyptian al-Qaeda banker who was captured in Tanzania in 1998 then later released. [Sydney Morning Herald, 9/28/01, Newsday, 10/3/01]
  2. October 1, 2001: It is reported that the real name of “Mustafa Mohamed Ahmad” is “Sheikh Saeed.” [Guardian 10/1/01] A few days later, CNN confirms that this “Sheik Syed” is the British man Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh rescued in 1999 (see December 24-31, 1999). [CNN, 10/6/01, CNN, 10/8/01] But starting on October 8, the story that ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed to give Mohamed Atta $100,000 begins to break (see October 7, 2001). References to the 9/11 paymaster being the British Saeed Sheikh (and the connections to Mahmood) suddenly disappear from the Western media (with one exception [CNN, 10/28/01]).
  3. October, 2001: Other articles continue to use “Mustafa Mohammed Ahmad” or “Shaykh Saiid” with no details of his identity, except for suggestions that he is Egyptian. There are numerous spelling variations and conflicting accounts over which name is the alias. [Evening Standard, 10/1/01, BBC, 10/1/01, Newsday, 10/3/01, AP, 10/6/01, Washington Post, 10/7/01, Sunday Times, 10/7/01, Knight Ridder, 10/9/01, New York Times, 10/15/01, Los Angeles Times, 10/20/01]
  4. October 16, 2001: CNN reports that the 9/11 paymaster “Sheik Sayid” is mentioned in a May 2001 trial of al-Qaeda members. But this turns out to be a Kenyan named Sheik Sayyid el Masry. [CNN, 10/16/01, Trial Transcript, 2/20/01, Trial Transcript, 2/21/01]
  5. November 11, 2001: The identity of 9/11 paymaster “Mustafa Ahmed” is suddenly no longer Egyptian, but is now a Saudi named Sa'd Al-Sharif who is said to be bin Laden's brother-in-law. [Newsweek, 11/11/01, United Nations, 3/8/01, AP, 12/18/01]
  6. December 11, 2001: The federal indictment of Zacarias Moussaoui calls the 9/11 paymaster “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi a/k/a ‘Mustafa Ahmed,’ ” and gives him Sa'd's nationality and birthdate. [MSNBC, 12/11/01] Many articles begin adding “al-Hawsawi” to the Mustafa Ahmed name. [Washington Post, 12/13/01, Washington Post, 1/7/02, Los Angeles Times, 1/20/02]
  7. January 23, 2002: As new information is reported in India (see December 7, 2001), the media returns to the British Saeed Sheikh as the 9/11 paymaster. [Los Angeles Times, 1/23/02, Telegraph, 1/24/02, Independent, 1/24/02, Telegraph, 1/27/02] While his role in the kidnapping of Daniel Pearl is revealed on February 6, many articles connect him to 9/11, but many more do not (see February 6, 2002). Coverage of Saeed's 9/11 connections generally dies out by the time of his trial in July 2002 (see July 15, 2002).
  8. June 4, 2002: Without explanation, the name “Shaikh Saiid al-Sharif” begins to be used for the 9/11 paymaster, presumably a combination of Saeed Sheikh and S'ad al-Sharif. [, AP, 6/5/02, Independent, 9/15/02, AP, 9/26/02, San Francisco Chronicle, 11/15/02] Many of the old names continue to be used, however. [New York Times, 7/10/02, Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02, Washington Post, 9/11/02, Los Angeles Times, 12/24/02 (B), Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02, Knight Ridder, 9/8/02, Knight Ridder, 9/9/02, Time, 8/4/02 (B)]
  9. June 18, 2002: FBI Director Mueller testifies that the money sent in 2000 is sent by someone named “Ali Abdul Aziz Ali” but the money in 2001 is sent by “Shaikh Saiid al-Sharif.” The “Aziz Ali”name has not been mentioned again by the press or FBI (outside of coverage of this testimony in September 2002). [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02]
  10. September 4, 2002: Newsweek says “Mustafa Ahmad Adin Al-Husawi,” presumably Saudi, is a deputy to the Egyptian “Sayyid Shaikh Al-Sharif.” But it adds he “remains almost a total mystery,” and they're unsure of his name. [Newsweek, 9/4/02]
  11. December 26, 2002: US officials now say there is no such person as Shaikh Saiid al-Sharif. Instead, he is probably a composite of three different people: “[Mustafa Ahmed] Al-Hisawi; Shaikh Saiid al-Masri, al-Qaeda's finance chief, and Saad al-Sharif, bin Laden's brother-in-law and a midlevel al-Qaeda financier.” [AP, 12/27/02] Shaikh Saiid al-Masri is likely a reference the Kenyan Sheik Sayyid el Masry. Note that now al-Hisawi is the assistant to Shaikh Saiid, a flip from a few months before.
Saiid and/or al-Hisawi still haven't been added to the FBI's official most wanted lists. [London Times, 12/1/01, Wall Street Journal, 6/17/02, ] Despite the confusion, the FBI isn't even seeking information about them. [] Over a year after 9/11, the FBI's understanding of 9/11's financing is in disarray. Perhaps this is because they have yet to interrogate the real paymaster, Saeed Sheikh, who is sitting in a Pakistani prison. [Indian Express 7/19/02]
          

September 25, 2001

       As details of the passengers on the four hijacked flights emerge, some are shown to have curious connections to the defense company Raytheon, and possibly its Global Hawk pilotless aircraft program (see 1998 (D) and August 2001). Stanley Hall (Flight 77) was director of program management for Raytheon Electronics Warfare. One Raytheon colleague calls him “our dean of electronic warfare.” [AP, 9/25/01] Peter Gay (Flight 11) was Raytheon's Vice President of Operations for Electronic Systems and had been on special assignment to a company office in El Segundo, Calif. [AP, 9/25/01] Raytheon's El Segundo's Electronic Systems division is one of two divisions making the Global Hawk. [ISR Journal, 3/02] Kenneth Waldie (Flight 11) was a senior quality control engineer for Raytheon's electronic systems. David Kovalcin (Flight 11) was a senior mechanical engineer for Raytheon's electronic systems. [CNN, 9/01] Herbert Homer (Flight 175) was a corporate executive working with the Department of Defense. [CNN, 9/01 (B), Northeastern University Voice, 12/11/01] Raytheon employees with possible links to Global Hawk can be connected to three of the four flights? There may be more, since many of the passengers' jobs and personal information have remained anonymous. A surprising number of passengers, especially on Flight 77, have military connections. For instance, William E. Caswell was a Navy scientist whose work was so classified that his family knew very little about what he did each day. Says his mother, “You just learn not to ask questions.”[Chicago Tribune, 9/16/01] Could these Raytheon employees have been on board to activate Global Hawk technology, or make sure it worked?
          

September 26, 2001

       New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani bans all photographs at the WTC site, unless explicitly approved by the Police Commissioner. A statement said the ban was because the ruins were a crime scene. [AP, 9/27/01 (B)] Why can't people take any pictures of piles of rubble? This ban is apparently repealed some point in 2002.
          

September 28, 2001

       The text of a handwritten, five-page document found in Atta's luggage is made public. [Observer 9/30/01 (C)] The next day, the Independent strongly questions if the note is genuine. It points out the “note suggests an almost Christian view of what the hijackers might have felt” and is filled with “weird” comments that Muslims would never say, such as “the time of fun and waste is gone.” If the note “is genuine, then the [hijackers] believed in a very exclusive version of Islam—or were surprisingly unfamiliar with their religion.” [Independent, 9/29/01] Another copy of the document was discovered in a vehicle parked by a Flight 77 hijacker at Washington's Dulles airport. A third copy of essentially the same document was found in the wreckage of Flight 93. So the letter neatly ties most of the hijackers together. [CBS, 9/28/01] The Guardian says, “The finds are certainly very fortunate, though some might think them a little too fortunate.” [Guardian, 10/1/01] Interestingly, an FBI affidavit of the contents of Atta's baggage written on September 14 and released on October 4 completely fails to mention the how-to letter. Is this an oversight, or is the letter a forgery?
          

September 29, 2001 (B)

       It is reported that Boston's Logan Airport doesn't have any video cameras in its terminals, gate areas or concourses. It is possibly the only major airport in the US to not have such cameras. The two other airports used by the hijackers to launch the 9/11 attacks had security cameras, but none of the footage has been released. [Boston Herald 9/29/01] It was previously reported that FBI agents had “examined footage from dozens of cameras at the three airports where the terrorists boarded the aircraft.” [Los Angeles Times 9/13/01]
          

Early October 2001

       The US begins using the Shahbaz air force base and other bases in Pakistan in their attacks against Afghanistan. [London Times 10/15/01] However, because of public opposition in Pakistan to US support, it is falsely claimed the US is there for purely logistical and defensive purposes. Even six months later, the US won't confirm it is using the base for offensive operations. [Los Angeles Times 3/6/03] Such bases in Pakistan become a link in a chain of US military outposts in Central Asia (see January 2002 (D)). Other countries also falsely maintain that such bases are not being used for military operations in Afghanistan. [Reuters 12/28/01]
          

October 2001 (B)

       Reports this month indicate that many hijacker e-mails have been recovered. USA Today reports many unencrypted e-mails coordinating the 9/11 plans written by the hijackers in internet cafes have been recovered by investigators. [USA Today, 10/1/01] FBI sources say “hundreds of e-mails linked to the hijackers in English, Arabic and Urdu” have been recovered, with some messages including “operational details” of the attack. [Washington Post, 10/4/01] “A senior FBI official says investigators have obtained hundreds of e-mails in English and Arabic, reflecting discussions of the planned Sept. 11 hijackings.” [Wall Street Journal 10/16/01] However, in April 2002, FBI Director Mueller says no documentation of the 9/11 plot has been found (see April 19, 2002). By September 2002, the Chicago Tribune reports, “Of the hundreds, maybe thousands, of e-mails sent and received by the hijackers from public Internet terminals, none is known to have been recovered.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02] The texts of some e-mails sent by Atta from Germany are published a few months later. [Chicago Tribune 2/25/03]
          

October 1, 2001

       The New Yorker gives an inside look at the ongoing 9/11 investigation. “A number of intelligence officials have raised questions about Osama bin Laden's capabilities. ‘This guy sits in a cave in Afghanistan and he's running this operation?’ one CIA official asked. ‘It's so huge. He couldn't have done it alone’ A senior military officer told me that because of the visas and other documentation needed to infiltrate team members into the United States a major foreign intelligence service might also have been involved.” [New Yorker 10/1/01] These ideas run counter to the usual public statements by officials that bin Laden was the ultimate mastermind.
          

October 4, 2001 (B)

      
Tony Blair presenting evidence on October 4, 2001
British Prime Minister Tony Blair publicly presents a paper containing evidence that al-Qaeda is responsible for the 9/11 attacks. [Los Angeles Times, 10/5/01, see the paper here: Los Angeles Times, 10/4/01] Secretary of State Powell and other US officials had promised on September 23 that the US would present a paper containing such evidence. [Los Angeles Times, 9/24/01] But the US paper is never released. Apparently, the British paper is meant to serve as a substitute. [New Yorker, 5/27/02] In the speech, Blair claims, “One of bin Laden's closest lieutenants has said clearly that he helped with the planning of the September 11 attacks and admitted the involvement of the al-Qaeda organization” and that “there is other intelligence, we cannot disclose, of an even more direct nature indicating guilt” of al-Qaeda in the attacks. [CNN 10/4/01, Time, 10/5/01] There has been no confirmation or details since of these claims. Even though most of the evidence in the British paper comes from the US, pre-attack warnings, such as the August 6, 2001 memo to Bush “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” are not included (see August 6, 2001). In fact, Blair's paper states, “incorrectly, that no such information had been available before the attacks: ‘After 11 September we learned that, not long before, bin Laden had indicated he was about to launch a major attack on America.’ ” [New Yorker 5/27/02]
          

October 7, 2001

      
Lieutenant General Mahmood Ahmed.
ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed is replaced in the face of US pressure after links are discovered between him, Saeed Sheikh, and the funding of the 9/11 attacks. Mahmood instructed Saeed to transfer $100,000 into hijacker Mohamed Atta's bank account prior to 9/11 (see Early August 2001 (D) or June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000; it hasn't been reported which $100,000 money transfer this refers to). This is according to Indian intelligence, which claims the FBI has privately confirmed the story. [Press Trust of India, 10/8/01, Times of India, 10/9/01, India Today, 10/15/01, Daily Excelsior, 10/18/01] The story is not widely reported in Western countries, though it makes the Wall Street Journal. [Australian, 10/10/01, AFP, 10/10/01, Wall Street Journal, 10/10/01] It is reported in Pakistan as well. [Dawn, 10/8/01] The Northern Alliance also repeats the claim in late October. [FNS 10/31/01] In Western countries, the usual explanation is that Mahmood is fired for being too close to the Taliban. [London Times 10/9/01; Guardian 10/9/01] The Times of India reports that Indian intelligence helped the FBI discover the link, and says: “A direct link between the ISI and the WTC attack could have enormous repercussions. The US cannot but suspect whether or not there were other senior Pakistani Army commanders who were in the know of things. Evidence of a larger conspiracy could shake US confidence in Pakistan's ability to participate in the anti-terrorism coalition.” [Times of India, 10/9/01] There is evidence some ISI officers may have known of a plan to destroy the WTC as early as mid-1999 (see July 14, 1999). Two other ISI leaders, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan and Chief of General Staff Mohammed Yousuf, are sidelined on the same day as Mahmood. [Fox News, 10/8/01] Saeed had been working under Khan (see January 1, 2000-September 11, 2001). The firings are said to have purged the ISI of its fundamentalists. But according to one diplomat: “To remove the top two or three doesn't matter at all. The philosophy remains…. [The ISI is] a parallel government of its own. If you go through the officer list, almost all of the ISI regulars would say, of the Taliban, ‘They are my boys.’ ” [New Yorker 10/29/01] It is believed Mahmood has been living under virtual house arrest in Pakistan ever since (which would seem to imply more than just a difference of opinion over the Taliban), but no charges have been brought against him, and there is no evidence the US has asked to question him. [Asia Times, 1/5/02] He also has refused to speak to reporters since being fired [AP, 2/21/02], and outside India and Pakistan, the story has only been mentioned a couple times in the media since (see [Sunday Herald, 2/24/02, London Times, 4/21/02]). If Mahmood helped fund the 9/11 attacks, what did President Musharraf know about it?
          

October 7, 2001 (C)

       On this day, Zeljko E., a Kosovar Serb, enters a Hamburg, Germany police station and says he wants to turn himself in. He tells the police that he has robbed a business and stolen piles of paper written in Arabic, with the hopes of selling them. A friend of his told him that they relate to the 9/11 attacks. The 44 pounds of papers are translated and prove to be a “treasure trove.” The documents come from Mamoun Darkazanli's files (see September 24, 2001), which appeared to be missing when police raided his apartment two days after 9/11. “It makes for a great story. A petty thief pilfers files containing critical information about the largest terrorist attack in history and dutifully turns them over to the police. [But German] agents do not buy this story for a minute; they suspect that some other secret service was trying to find a way of getting evidence into [their] hands. The question is, whose secret service? Some German investigators suggest the CIA was responsible; there are also reports that the FBI illegally monitored Darkazanli after 9/11. [Der Spiegel, 10/27/01, Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02, Inside 9-11: What Really Happened, 2/02, pp. 166-67] Did the CIA monitor or recruit Darkazanli before 9/11 after failing to get German investigators to do so (see December 1999 and Spring 2000), and then use this method to get information to the Germans in order to keep their illegal surveillance secret?
          

October 7, 2001 (D)

       It is reported that Mahrous bin Laden, brother to Osama, is currently manager of the Medina, Saudi Arabia branch of the bin Laden family company, the Binladin Group. In 1979, Binladin company trucks were used by 500 dissidents who seized the Grand Mosque in Mecca, Islam's holiest city. All the men who took part were later beheaded except Mahrous, who is eventually released from prison apparently because of the close ties between the bin Ladens and the Saudi royal family. The bin Laden family claims that no family members have any ties to terrorism except Osama. [Sunday Herald 10/7/01]
          

October 10, 2001 (B)

       The US government asks the major US TV networks to refrain from showing unedited video messages taped by Osama bin Laden. They agree. A Newsweek article is critical of the decision, pointing out “all but one [of these networks] are controlled by major conglomerates that have important pending business with the government.” The article openly questions if the media is “doing too much of the government's bidding” in reporting on 9/11. Says one expert, “I'm not saying that everything is a horrible paranoid fantasy, but my sense is there's an implicit quid pro quo here. The industry seems to be saying to the administration, ‘we're patriotic, we're supporting the war, we lost all of this advertising, now free us from [business] constraints.’ ” [Newsweek 10/13/01]
          

October 11, 2001

       “FBI investigators have officially concluded that 11 of the 19 terrorists who hijacked the aircraft on September 11 did not know they were on a suicide mission.” “Unlike the eight ‘lead’ attackers, who were all trained pilots, they did not leave messages for friends and family indicating they knew their lives were over” nor did they have copies of Atta's final prayer note. Personal items found suggest the men thought they were taking part in a conventional hijacking and were preparing for the possibility of prison. [Observer 10/14/01] This is later contradicted by video filmed in Afghanistan in March 2001 showing the 13 non-lead hijackers proclaiming their willingness to die on an upcoming suicide mission (see March 2001).
          

October 11, 2001 (B)

       The Ashcroft-led Justice Department takes over all terrorist prosecutions from the US Attorneys office in New York which has had a highly successful track record in prosecuting terrorist cases connected to bin Laden. [New York Times, 10/11/01] [FTW]
          

October 16, 2001

       “The Financial Services Authority—Britain's main financial regulator—has cleared bin Laden and his henchmen of insider trading. There has been a widespread suspicion that members of the al-Qaeda organization had cashed in on the US attacks, dumping airline, aerospace and insurance company shares before September 11th. The Authority says that after a thorough investigation it has found no hard evidence of any such deals in London.” [Marketplace radio report 10/17/01] On September 24, Belgium's Financial Minister claimed there were strong suspicions that British markets may have been used for 9/11-related inside trading (see Early September 2001 (L)). Similar investigations are apparently continuing over a year later in many other countries—how was Britain able to conclusively dispel the strong suspicions in only two weeks?
          

October 16, 2001 (B)

       The government releases flight control transcripts of three of the four hijacked planes (see the transcripts here: [New York Times, 10/16/01 (B), New York Times, 10/16/01 (C), New York Times, 10/16/01 (D)]). Strangely, Flight 93 is left out. Could it be to hide embarrassing details? For instance, are reports true that a hijacker was in the cockpit of Flight 93 before it even took off (see September 24, 2001 (B))? Yet even the three released transcripts are incomplete (for instance, Flight 77's ends at least 20 minutes before it crashes), and certain events that are part of the official story don't show up on these transcripts. What's the reason for secrecy?
          

October 20, 2001

       The New York Times reports that, although 830 people have been arrested in the 9/11 terrorism investigation (a number that eventually reaches between 1,200 and 2,000 (see November 5, 2001 (B)), there is no evidence that anyone now in custody was a conspirator in the 9/11 attacks. Furthermore, “none of the nearly 100 people still being sought by the [FBI] is seen as a major suspect.” Of all the people arrested, only four, Zacarias Moussaoui, Ayub Ali Khan, Mohammed Azmath, and Nabil al-Marabh, are likely connected to al-Qaeda. [New York Times, 10/21/01 (C)] Three of those are later cleared of ties to al-Qaeda. After being kept in solitary confinement for more than eight months without seeing a judge or being assigned a lawyer, al-Marabh pleads guilty to the minor charge of entering the United States illegally (see September 19, 2001-September 3, 2002). [CBC, 8/27/02, Washington Post, 6/12/02] On September 12, 2002, after a year in solitary confinement and four months before he was able to contact a lawyer, Mohammed Azmath pleads guilty to one count of credit card fraud, and is released with time served. Ayub Ali Khan, whose real name is apparently Syed Gul Mohammad Shah, is given a longer sentence for credit card fraud, but is released and deported by the end of 2002 (see September 11, 2001 (K)). [Village Voice, 9/25/02, New York Times, 12/31/02] By December 2002, only 6 are known to still be in custody, and none have been charged with any terrorist acts (see December 11, 2002 (D)). On September 24, 2001, Newsweek reported that “the FBI has privately estimated that more than 1,000 individuals—most of them foreign nationals—with suspected terrorist ties are currently living in the United States.” [Newsweek, 9/24/01] With the exception of Moussaoui, who was arrested before 9/11, it appears not one person of the 1,200 arrested has been connected to al-Qaeda. What happened to the 1,000 or more terrorists?
          

October 26, 2001

      
President Bush signs the Patriot Act into law.
Bush signs the Patriot Act into law. Here are some of its provisions:
  1. Non-citizens can be detained and deported if they provide “assistance” for lawful activities of any group the government chooses to call a terrorist organization. Under this provision the secretary of state can designate any group that has ever engaged in violent activity as a terrorist organization. Representative Patsy Mink notes that in theory supporters of Greenpeace could now be convicted for supporting terrorism. [San Francisco Chronicle, 11/12/01]
  2. Immigrants can be detained indefinitely, even if they are found to not have any links to terrorism. They can be detained indefinitely for immigration violations or if the attorney general decides their activities pose a danger to national security. They never need to be given a trial or even a hearing on their status. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/02]
  3. Internet service providers can be ordered to reveal the web sites and e-mail addresses that a suspect has communicated to or visited. The FBI need only inform a judge that the information is relevant to an investigation. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/02, Village Voice, 11/26/01]
  4. It “lays the foundation for a domestic intelligence-gathering system of unprecedented scale and technological prowess.” [Washington Post, 11/4/01] It allows the government to access confidential credit reports, school records, and other records, without consent or notification. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/02] All of this information can now be given to the CIA, in violation of the CIA's mandate prohibiting it from spying within the US. [Village Voice, 11/26/01]
  5. Financial institutions are encouraged to disclose possible violations of law or “suspicious activities” by any client. The institution is prohibited from notifying the person involved that it made such a report. The term “suspicious” is not defined, so it is up to the financial institutions to determine when to send such a report.
  6. Federal agents can easily obtain warrants to review a library patron's reading and computer habits (see also January 2002 (E)). [Village Voice, 2/22/02]
  7. The government can refuse to reveal how evidence is collected against a suspected terrorist defendant. [Tampa Tribune, 4/6/03]
The law passes with public debate. [Village Voice, 11/9/01, Village Voice, 11/26/01] Even though it ultimately took six weeks to pass the law, there was no hearing or congressional debate. [Salon, 3/24/03] Congressman Barney Frank (D) says, “This was the least democratic process for debating questions fundamental to democracy I have ever seen. A bill drafted by a handful of people in secret, subject to no committee process, comes before us immune from amendment.”[Village Voice, 11/9/01] Only 66 congresspeople, and one senator, Russell Feingold (D), vote against it. Few in Congress are able to read summaries, let alone the fine print, before voting on it.
Senator Russell Feingold.
[Los Angeles Times 10/30/01]
Feingold says, “The new law goes into a lot of areas that have nothing to do with terrorism and have a lot to do with the government and the FBI having a wish list of things they want to do….”[Village Voice, 11/9/01] Supporters point out that some provisions will expire in four years, but in fact most provisions will not expire. [Chicago Tribune, 11/1/01] One year later, criticism of the law grows. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/02] Dozens of cities later pass resolutions criticizing the Patriot Act (see January 12, 2003 (B)).
          

October 27, 2001 (B)

      
The Afghan village of Darya Khanah is bombed on October 27, 2001.
The US government no longer thinks bin Laden is behind the anthrax attacks: “Everything seems to lean toward a domestic source… Nothing seems to fit with an overseas terrorist type operation.” The Washington Post suggests neo-Nazi groups are behind it. Not long after, the FBI releases a profile of the perpetrator of the anthrax attacks. He is suspected of being a lone, male domestic terrorist, with a scientific background and laboratory experience who could handle hazardous materials. [Washington Post, 10/27/01 (B), St. Petersburg Times, 11/10/01] On the same day, the London Times claims that Atta was given a flask of anthrax by an Iraqi agent in April 2001, which then was used in the US anthrax attacks. [London Times 10/27/01] However, US and Czech officials eventually conclude the meeting never even took place (see September 19, 2001-October 20, 2002).
          

October 27, 2001

       Suspected terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see March 1997) travels to Morocco. Not long after, perhaps in December, he is arrested by Moroccan police with US assistance. Though he is a German citizen and under investigation by Germany, German intelligence remain unaware of his arrest, and only learn about it from the newspapers in June 2002. He is sent to Syria, where there are formal charges against him. Supposedly, Zammar now claims he recruited Atta and others into the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell. [Washington Post 6/19/02 (B)] It is widely suspected that the US arranged that Zammar be sent to Syria so he could be more thoroughly interrogated using torture. The Germans are angry that the US has been submitting questions for Zammar and learning answers from Syria, and haven't informed Germany of what they've learned. [, Telegraph, 6/20/02] Months after the story of Zammar's detention is made public, the Germans are still complaining that the US is not telling them much (see October 25, 2002).
          

October 27, 2001 (C)

       Furious government intelligence officials accuse the NSA of destroying data pertinent to the 9/11 investigation. They claim that possible leads aren't being followed because of the NSA lack of cooperation. [Boston Globe 10/27/01]
          

November 14-November 25, 2001

      
An airlift of humanitarian supplies in Northern Afghanistan.
At the request of the Pakistani government, the US secretly allows rescue flights into the besieged Taliban stronghold of Kunduz, in Northern Afghanistan, to save Pakistanis fighting for the Taliban and bring them back to Pakistan. Pakistan's President “Musharraf won American support for the airlift by warning that the humiliation of losing hundreds—and perhaps thousands—of Pakistani Army men and intelligence operatives would jeopardize his political survival.” [New Yorker, 1/21/02] Dozens of senior Pakistani military officers, including two generals, are flown out. [Now with Bill Moyers, 2/21/03] In addition, it is reported that the Pakistani government assists 50 trucks of foreign fighters to escape the town. [New York Times 11/24/01] Many news articles at the time suggest an airlift is occurring (for instance, [Independent, 11/16/01, New York Times, 11/24/01, BBC, 11/26/01, Independent, 11/26/01, Guardian, 11/27/01, MSNBC, 11/29/01]), but a media controversy and wide coverage fails to develop. The US and Pakistani governments deny the existence of the airlift. [State Department, 11/16/01, New Yorker, 1/21/02] On December 2, when asked to assure that the US didn't allow such an airlift, Rumsfeld says, “Oh, you can be certain of that. We have not seen a single—to my knowledge, we have not seen a single airplane or helicopter go into Afghanistan in recent days or weeks and extract people and take them out of Afghanistan to any country, let alone Pakistan.” [MSNBC, 12/2/01] Reporter Seymour Hersh believes that Rumsfeld must have given approval for the airlift. [Now with Bill Moyers 2/21/03] But New Yorker magazine reports, “What was supposed to be a limited evacuation apparently slipped out of control and, as an unintended consequence, an unknown number of Taliban and al-Qaeda fighters managed to join in the exodus.” A CIA analyst says, “Many of the people they spirited away were in the Taliban leadership” who Pakistan wanted for future political negotiations. US intelligence was “supposed to have access to them, but it didn't happen,” he says. According to Indian intelligence, airlifts grow particularly intense in the last three days before the city falls on November 25. Of the 8,000 remaining al-Qaeda, Pakistani, and Taliban, about 5,000 are airlifted out and 3,000 surrender. [New Yorker 1/21/02] Hersh later claims that “maybe even some of Bin Laden's immediate family were flown out on the those evacuations.” [Now with Bill Moyers 2/21/03] Was the escape of al-Qaeda deliberate so the war against terrorism wouldn't end too soon?
          

November 15, 2001

       For the first time, a major newspaper publishes an article strongly suggesting Flight 93 was shot down. The Philadelphia Daily News quotes numerous eyewitnesses who believe the plane was shot down. The FBI reported a half-ton piece of an engine was found “a considerable distance” from the main crash site. “That information is intriguing to shoot-down theory proponents, since the heat-seeking, air-to-air Sidewinder missiles aboard an F-16 would likely target one of the Boeing 757's two large engines.” The article concludes, “No one has fully explained why the plane went down, or what exactly happened during an eight-minute gap from the time all cell phone calls from the plane stopped and the time it crashed.” [Philadelphia Daily News 11/15/01]
          

November 18, 2001

       Hijacker Ziad Jarrah wrote a letter to his girlfriend shortly before 9/11, but made a mistake in the address, allowing investigators to find it around this time. He writes, “I did what I had to do, and you should be very proud of that… It is a great honor and you will see the result, and everyone will be celebrating.” [Observer, 11/18/01] Jarrah's relatives claim the letter is a fake designed to frame him, and that he wouldn't have mistaken the address of the woman he'd been dating for five years. [BBC, 11/19/01] At some point, part of Jarrah's passport was found in the wreckage of Flight 93. [CNN, 8/1/02] This image of the burnt passport has been released, which you can see here . However, it bears only a vague resemblance to other pictures of Jarrah . Could someone who looked vaguely like him have stolen his identity (for other stolen identities, see September 16-23, 2001)?
          

November 21, 2001 (C)

       The remains of all but one of the people on board Flight 77, including the hijackers, are identified. But the identities of the hijackers have still not been confirmed through their remains. [Washington Post, 11/21/01, Mercury, 1/11/02] Over a year later, the FBI still has not given DNA profiles to medical examiners so the hijacker remains can be identified (see Late February 2003). Strangely, the official story states there was a giant fireball on impact that not only destroyed the airplane but actually vaporized the metal. A rescue worker states: “The only way you could tell that an aircraft was inside was that we saw pieces of the nose gear. The devastation was horrific.” [NFPA Journal, 11/1/01] Yet remains of every passenger but one was found?
          

November 23, 2001

       The Boston Globe writes a story that strongly suggests at least one hijacker was inside the cockpits on every flight before the 9/11 hijackings began. An airplane captain theorizes how they took control: “The most likely scenarios are something that was swift, where the pilots couldn't have changed their transponder code and called the controllers. You think four times in one morning one of those crews would have done that. That means they had to be upon them before they could react.” On practice flights before 9/11, the hijackers were able to repeatedly get into cockpits by various methods. Perhaps the most important method was jumpseating, which allows certified airline pilots to use a spare seat in the cockpit when none is available in the passenger cabin. Airlines reciprocate to help pilots get home or to the city of their originating flight. Officials say they do not believe any of the hijackers were jumpseating on 9/11 despite media reports to the contrary (see September 24, 2001 (B)). However, since 9/11 the FAA has banned the practice unless a pilot works for the airline in whose cockpit that person wants to ride. [Boston Globe, 11/23/01] Could jumpseating be ignored by investigators to save the airlines from losing large lawsuits?
          

November 28, 2001

      
The Tora Bora region of Afghanistan.
A US Special Forces soldier stationed in Fayetteville, North Carolina later (anonymously) claims that the US has bin Laden pinned in a certain Tora Bora cave on this day, but fails to act. Special Forces soldiers sit by waiting for orders and watch two helicopters fly into the area where bin Laden was believed to be, load up passengers, and fly toward Pakistan. No other soldiers have come forward to corroborate the story, but bin Laden is widely believed to have been in the Tora Bora area at the time. [Fayetteville Observer, 8/2/02] Newsweek separately reports that many locals “claim that mysterious black helicopters swept in, flying low over the mountains at night, and scooped up al-Qaeda's top leaders.” [] More incompetence, or a pattern of letting bin Laden escape? Perhaps just coincidentally, on the same day this story is reported, the media also reports a recent spate of strange deaths at the same military base in Fayetteville. Five soldiers and their wives have all died since June 2002 in apparent murder-suicides. At least three were Special Forces soldiers recently returned from Afghanistan. [Independent, 8/2/02] Could it be these soldiers knew too much about escapes and/or human rights atrocities?
          
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