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Complete 911 Timeline

 
  

Project: Complete 911 Timeline

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Showing 151-250 of 357 events (use filters to narrow search):    previous 100    next 100

May 28, 1998 (B)

       Pakistan conducts a successful nuclear test. Former Clinton official Karl Inderfurth later notes that concerns about an Indian-Pakistani conflict, or even nuclear confrontation, compete with efforts to press Pakistan on terrorism. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

May 28, 1998

       In an interview with ABC News reporter John Miller, bin Laden indicates he may attack a US military passenger aircraft using antiaircraft missiles. In the subsequent media coverage, Miller repeatedly refers to bin Laden as “the world's most dangerous terrorist,” and even “the most dangerous man in the world.” [ABC News 5/28/98; ABC News 6/12/98; Esquire 2/99; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

June 1998 (B)

       Enron's agreement to develop natural gas with the government of Uzbekistan is not renewed (see June 24, 1996). Enron closes its office there. The reason for the “failure of Enron's flagship project” is an inability to get the natural gas out of the region. Uzbekistan's production is “well below capacity” and only 10 percent of its production is being exported, all to other countries in the region. The hope was to use a pipeline through Afghanistan, but “Uzbekistan is extremely concerned at the growing strength of the Taliban and its potential impact on stability in Uzbekistan, making any future cooperation on a pipeline project which benefits the Taliban unlikely.” A $12 billion pipeline through China is being considered as one solution, but that wouldn't be completed until the end of the next decade at the earliest. [Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections 10/12/98]
          

June 1998 (C)

       US intelligence obtains information from several sources that bin Laden is considering attacks in the US, including Washington and New York. This information is given to senior US officials in July 1998. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02] Information mentions an attack in Washington probably against public places. US intelligences guesses bin Laden places a high priority on conducting attacks in the US. In spring 1999 there is more information about a planned al-Qaeda attack on a Washington government facility. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

June 1998 (E)

       In 1997 and early 1998, the US develops a plan to capture bin Laden in Afghanistan. A CIA-owned aircraft is stationed in a nearby country, ready to land on a remote landing strip long enough to pick him up. But problems with having to hold bin Laden too long in Afghanistan make the operation unlikely. The plan morphs into using a team of Afghan informants (see 1997 (B)) to kidnap bin Laden from inside his heavily defended farm. In this month the plan is given to CIA Director Tenet for approval, but he rejects it without showing it to President Clinton. It is thought unlikely to succeed and the Afghan allies are considered unreliable. [Washington Post 2/22/04] It is speculated that the airstrip used for these purposes is occupied and used as a base of operations early in the post-9/11 Afghan war. [Washington Post 12/19/01]
          

June 1998 (D)

      
Prince Sultan, the Saudi Minister of Defense and Aviation.
An unknown Saudi benefactor pays a Saudi named Saad Al-Habeeb to buy a building in San Diego, California for a new Kurdish community mosque. However, the approximately $500,000 needed will only be given on the condition that a Saudi named Omar al-Bayoumi be installed as the building's maintenance manager with a private office at the mosque. Al-Bayoumi is later suspected of being both an al-Qaeda advance man and a Saudi agent (see December 4, 1999, Early February 2000, and November 22, 2002). After taking the job, al-Bayoumi rarely shows up for work. [Newsweek, 11/24/02, San Diego Magazine, 9/03] This means he has two jobs at once (see August 1994). The people in the mosque eventually begin a move to replace al-Bayoumi, but he moves to Britain in July 2001 before this can happen. [Newsweek, 11/24/02] An anonymous federal investigator states: “Al-Bayoumi came here, set everything up financially, set up the San Diego [terrorist] cell and set up the mosque.” An international tax attorney notes that anyone handling business for a mosque or a church could set it up as a tax-exempt charitable organization “and it can easily be used for money laundering.” [San Diego Union-Tribune 10/27/01; San Diego Union-Tribune 10/22/02]
          

June 1998

      
Taliban leader Mullah Omar, blind in one eye.
Relations between Taliban head Mullah Omar and bin Laden grow tense, and Omar strikes a secret deal with the Saudis to expel bin Laden. Head of Saudi intelligence Prince Turki al-Faisal travels to Kandahar, Afghanistan and brokers the deal, but before it can be enacted, the US strikes Afghanistan in August, driving Omar and bin Laden back together. Prince Turki states that “the Taliban attitude changed 180 degrees,” and that Omar was “absolutely rude” to him when he visited again in September. [Guardian 11/5/01; London Times 8/3/02] Note that reports of this meeting seemingly contradict reports of a different secret meeting a month later (see July 1998). Was bin Laden charmed by luck, or might the embassy bombings and/or the US missile attacks in response have been timed to help keep him in Afghanistan?
          

June 8, 1998

       A US grand jury issues a sealed indictment charging bin Laden and other al-Qaeda leaders with conspiracy to attack the US. The indictment is publicly released on November 4, 1998. [PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C)] The grand jury took two years to reach an indictment, largely based on information from an informant (see June 1996). [New York Times, 09/30/01 (B), Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B), Frontline, 9/01] This secret indictment is superseded by a public one later in the year (see November 4, 1998).
          

June 23, 1998

       Future Vice President Cheney, working for the Halliburton energy company, states: “I can't think of a time when we've had a region emerge as suddenly to become as strategically significant as the Caspian. It's almost as if the opportunities have arisen overnight.” The Caspian Sea is in Central Asia. [Cato Institute Library; Chicago Tribune 8/10/00]
          

July 1998

       According to documents exposed in a later lawsuit, a meeting takes place in Kandahar, Afghanistan, that leads to a secret deal between Saudi Arabia and the Taliban. Those present include Prince Turki al-Faisal, head of Saudi Arabian intelligence (see also Early 1980and Spring 1998), Taliban leaders, senior officers from the ISI, and bin Laden. Saudi Arabia agrees to give the Taliban and Pakistan “several hundred millions” of dollars, and in return bin Laden promises no attacks against Saudi Arabia. The Saudis also agree to ensure that requests for the extradition of al-Qaeda members will be blocked and promise to block demands by other countries that bin Laden's Afghan training camps will be closed down. Saudi Arabia had previously given money to the Taliban and bribe money to bin Laden (see 1996 (C)), but this ups the ante. [Sunday Times, 8/25/02] A few weeks after the meeting, Prince Turki sends 400 new pickup trucks to Afghanistan. At least $200 million follow. [Honolulu Star-Bulletin 9/23/01; New York Post 8/25/02] Controversial author Gerald Posner gives a similar account said to come from high US government officials, and adds that al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida also attends the meeting. Note that reports of this meeting seemingly contradict reports of a meeting the month before between Turki and the Taliban, in which the Taliban agreed to get rid of bin Laden (see June 1998).
          

July 7, 1998

       Thieves snatch a passport from a car driven by a US tourist in Barcelona, Spain. The passport later finds its way into the hands of would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh. Bin al-Shibh allegedly uses the name on the passport in the summer of 2001 as he wires money to pay flight school tuition for Zacarias Moussaoui in Oklahoma. Investigators believe the movement of this passport shows connections between the 9/11 plotters in Germany and a support network in Spain, made up mostly by ethnic Syrians. “Investigators believe that the Syrians served as deep-cover mentors, recruiters, financiers and logistics providers for the hijackers—elite backup for an elite attack team” (see also 1998). [Los Angeles Times, 1/14/03] Atta twice travels to Spain, perhaps to make contact with members of this Spanish support team (see January 4, 2001 (B)and July 8-19, 2001).
          

August 1998

       A German inquiry into Mounir El Motassadeq, an alleged member of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell with Mohamed Atta, begins by this time. Though Germany won't reveal details, documents show that by this month Motassadeq is under surveillance. “The trail soon [leads] to most of the main [Hamburg] participants” in 9/11. On this date, surveillance records Motassadeq and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who had already been identified by police as a suspected extremist (see March 1997), as they meet at the Hamburg home of Said Bahaji, who is also under surveillance that same year. (Bahaji will soon move into an apartment with Atta and other al-Qaeda members, see November 1, 1998-February 2001.) German police monitor several other meetings between the Motassadeq and Zammar in the following months. [New York Times, 1/18/03] Motassadeq is later convicted in Germany for participation in the 9/11 attacks (see August 29, 2002).
          

August 1998 (B)

       A CIA intelligence report asserts that Arab terrorists are planning to fly a bomb-laden aircraft from a foreign country into the WTC. The FBI and the FAA don't take the threat seriously because of the state of aviation in that unnamed country. Later, other intelligence information connects this group to al-Qaeda. [New York Times 9/18/02; Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02] An FBI spokesman says the report “was not ignored, it was thoroughly investigated by numerous agencies” and found to be unrelated to al-Qaeda. [Washington Post, 9/19/02 (B)] However, the group in fact did have “ties to al-Qaeda.” [New York Times 9/18/02; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

August 7, 1998

       Terrorists bomb the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.
The destroyed US embassy in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
The bomb in Nairobi, Kenya kills 213 people, including 12 US nationals, and injures more than 4,500. The bomb in Dar es Salaam kills 11 and injures 85. The attack is blamed on al-Qaeda.
The destroyed US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya.
[PBS Frontline 2001]

          

August 9, 1998

       The Northern Alliance capital of Afghanistan, Mazar-i-Sharif, is conquered by the Taliban. Military support of Pakistan's ISI plays a large role; there is even an intercept of an ISI officer stating, “My boys and I are riding into Mazar-i-Sharif.” [ New York Times, 12/8/01] This victory gives the Taliban control of 90%of Afghanistan, including the entire pipeline route. CentGas, the consortium behind the gas pipeline that would run through Afghanistan, is now “ready to proceed. Its main partners are the American oil firm Unocal and Delta Oil of Saudi Arabia, plus Hyundai of South Korea, two Japanese companies, a Pakistani conglomerate and the Turkmen government.” However, the pipeline cannot be financed unless the government is officially recognized. “Diplomatic sources said the Taliban's offensive was well prepared and deliberately scheduled two months ahead of the next UN meeting” to decide if the Taliban should be recognized. [Telegraph 8/13/98]
          

August 20, 1998

       The US fires 66 missiles at six training camps in Afghanistan and 13 missiles at a pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan in retaliation for the US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998). [Washington Post 10/3/01 (C)] The US makes clear the attacks are aimed at terrorists “not supported by any state” despite obvious evidence to the contrary in Afghanistan. About 30 people are killed in the attacks, but no important al-Qaeda figures die. [Observer 8/23/98; New Yorker 1/24/00] Khalid bin Mahfouz and suspected terrorist financier Mohammed Hussein al-Amoudi (see November 22, 2002 (B)) appear to have been the main investors in the Sudanese factory. However, “subsequent lab tests and court actions leave little doubt the El Shifa plant was producing only human and veterinary drugs.” [Ottawa Citizen, 9/29/01] The US later unfreezes the bank accounts of the nominal factory owner and takes other actions indicating guilt, but admits no wrongdoing. It is later learned that of the six camps targeted in Afghanistan, only four were hit, and of those, only one had connections to bin Laden. Two of the camps belong to the ISI, and five ISI officers and some twenty trainees are killed. Clinton says on TV that the missiles were aimed at a “gathering of key terrorist leaders”, which turns out to have taken place a month earlier, in Pakistan. [Observer, 8/23/98, New Yorker, 1/24/00] C ounterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke claims he was promised by the Navy that they would fire their missiles from below the ocean surface. But, in fact, many destroyers fired their missiles from the surface. [Against All Enemies, by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 188-189] He adds, “not only did they use surface ships—they brought additional ones in, because every captain wants to be able to say he fired the cruise missile.” [New Yorker 7/28/03] This gives the ISI many hours to alert bin Laden (see July 1999 (B)). Clarke says he believes “if the [ISI] wanted to capture bin Laden or tell us where he was, they could have done so with little effort. They did not cooperate with us because ISI saw al-Qaeda as helpful in pressuring India, particularly in Kashmir.”
          

August 24, 1998

       The New York Times reports that the training camps recently attacked by the US (see August 20, 1998) were actually built years before by the US and its allies. The US and Saudi Arabia gave the Afghans between $6 billion and $40 billion to fight the Soviets in the 1980s (see December 26, 1979). Many of the people targeted by the Clinton missile attacks were actually trained and equipped by the CIA years before. [New York Times 8/24/98]
          

August 27, 1998

       Following the cruise missile attack on al-Qaeda targets (see August 20, 1998), immediate plans are made for follow up attacks to make sure bin Laden is killed. However, on this day Defense Secretary William Cohen is advised that available targets are not promising. Some question to use of expensive missiles to hit very primitive training camps, and there is the concern that if bin Laden is not killed, his stature will only grow further (see Late 1998 (F)). As discussions continue, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke prepares a plan he calls “Delenda,” which means “to destroy” in Latin. His idea is to have regular, small strikes in Afghanistan whenever the intelligence warrants it. The plan is rejected. Counterterrorism officials in the Defense Secretary's office independently create a similar plan, but it too is rejected. [9/11 Commission Report, 3/24/04 (B)] The Delenda Plan also calls for diplomacy against the Taliban, covert action focused in Afghanistan, and financial measures to freeze bin-Laden related funds. These aspects are not formally adopted, but they guide future efforts. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (D)]
          

Late August 1998 (B)

       An al-Qaeda operative involved in the bombing of the US embassy in Nairobi is captured and interrogated by the FBI. The FBI learns of a safe house telephone number in Yemen, owned by bin Laden associate Ahmed Al-Hada, hijacker Khalid Almihdhar's father-in-law. [Newsweek, 6/2/02, Die Zeit, 10/1/02] US intelligence learns the safe house is an al-Qaeda “logistics center” used by agents around the world to communicate with each other and plan attacks. [Newsweek, 6/2/02] It has been revealed that even bin Laden called the safe house dozens of times from 1996 to 1998 (the two years he had a traced satellite phone). [Sunday Times, 3/24/02, Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] The NSA and CIA together plant bugs inside the house, tap the phones, and monitor visitors with spy satellites. [Mirror, 6/9/02] The NSA later records Khalid Almihdhar and other hijackers calling this house, even from the US (see Early 1999 (B) and Spring-Summer 2000). In late 1999 the phone line will lead the CIA to an important al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia (see December 1999 (B)). [Newsweek, 6/2/02] It appears al-Qaeda still uses the phone line until a Yemeni government raid in February 2002. [CBS News 2/13/02]
          

Late August 1998

       A captured member of the al-Qaeda cell that bombed the US embassy in Kenya tells an FBI agent about a conversation he had with his cell's leader. The leader told him that al-Qaeda was planning an attack on the US, but “Things are not ready yet. We don't have everything prepared.” [USA Today 8/29/02]
          

September 1998 (B)

       US intelligence finds information that bin Laden's next operation could possibly involve crashing an aircraft loaded with explosives into a US airport. This information is provided to senior US officials. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; Washington Post 9/19/02 (B)]
          

September 1998

       US intelligence gives a memorandum to senior officials detailing al-Qaeda's infrastructure in the US. This includes the use of fronts for terrorist activities. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02] This information is provided to senior US officials. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

September 1998-July 1999

      
Omar al-Bayoumi
The FBI conducts a counterterrorism inquiry on Omar al-Bayoumi, suspected al-Qaeda advance man and possible Saudi agent (see December 4, 1999, Early February 2000, and November 22, 2002). The FBI discovers he has been in contact with several people also under investigation. [Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] The FBI is given a tip that he was sent a suspicious package filled with wire from the Middle East, and that large numbers of Arab men routinely meet in his apartment. His landlord notices that he switches from driving a beat up old car to a new Mercedes. [Newsweek, 7/28/03] According to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, the FBI notes that al-Bayoumi has “access to seemingly unlimited funding from Saudi Arabia.” For instance, an FBI source identifies him as a person who has delivered about $500,000 from Saudi Arabia to buy a mosque (see June 1998 (D)). But the FBI closes the inquiry “for reasons that remain unclear.” [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03] Also in 1999, al-Bayoumi is working as an employee of the Saudi company Dallah Avco but apparently doing no work (see August 1994). Someone in the company tries to fire him and sends a note to the Saudi government about this, since the company is so closely tied to the government. But Mohammed Ahmed al-Salmi, the director general of civil aviation, replies that it is “extremely urgent” his job is renewed “as quickly as possible,” and so he keeps his job. [Wall Street Journal 8/11/03]
          

September 20, 1998

      
Mamdouh Mahmud Salim
Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, an al-Qaeda terrorist from the United Arab Emirates connected to the 1998 US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998), is arrested near Munich, Germany. [PBS Newshour, 9/30/98] In retrospect, it appears he was making one of many visits to the al-Qaeda cells in Germany. [The Base, Jane Corbin, 8/02, p. 147] US investigators later call him bin Laden's “right hand man.” [New York Times 9/29/01] However, the FBI is unwilling to brief their German counterparts on what they know about Salim and al-Qaeda, despite learning much that could have been useful as part of their investigation into the US embassy bombings. By the end of the year, German investigators learn that Salim had a Hamburg bank account. [New York Times, 9/29/01] The cosignatory on the account is businessman Mamoun Darkazanli (see September 24, 2001), whose home number had been programmed into Salim's cell phone. [Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02] US intelligence had first investigated Darkazanli in 1993, when a suspect was found with his telephone number. [Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] German authorities had begun to suspect Darkazanli of terrorist money laundering in 1996. Wadih El-Hage, a former personal secretary to bin Laden, is also arrested in the wake of the embassy bombings. El-Hage had created a number of shell companies as fronts for al-Qaeda terrorist activities, and one of these uses the address of Darkazanli's apartment. [Chicago Tribune, 11/17/02] Darkazanli's phone number and Deutschebank account number are also found in El-Hage's address book. [CNN, 10/16/01] The FBI also discovers Darkazanli had power of attorney over a bank account of Hajer, a person on al-Qaeda's supreme council. [Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03] Based on these new connections, investigators ask a federal prosecutor for permission to open a formal investigation against Darkazanli. An investigation begins, at the insistence of the US, though Germany has claimed the request for the investigation was rejected (see December 1999). [AFP 10/28/01; New York Times 1/18/03] German investigators also learn of a connection between Salim and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who is already identified by police as a suspected extremist (see March 1997). [AP 6/22/02; New York Times 1/18/03]
          

September 23, 1998

       US senior administrative officials admit that they had no evidence that directly linked bin Laden to the Al Shifa factory at the time of retaliatory strikes on Aug 20. Intelligence officials found financial transactions between bin Laden and the Military Industrial Corporation—a company run by the Sudan's government. (Source: New York Times 9/23/98) [PBS Frontline 2001]
          

October 1998

      
FBI agents Vincent (left) and Wright (right)
FBI agents Robert Wright and John Vincent are tracking a terrorist cell in Chicago, but are told to simply follow suspects around town and file reports. The two agents believe some of the money used to finance the 1998 US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998) leads back to Chicago and Saudi multimillionaire businessman Yassin al-Qadi (see also March 21, 2000, Late January 2001, October 12, 2001, August 15, 2002, August 25, 2002, November 26, 2002, and December 5, 2002). Supervisors try, but temporarily fail, to halt the investigation into al-Qadi's possible terrorist connections. However, at this time, a supervisor prohibits Wright and Vincent from making any arrests connected to the bombings, or opening new criminal investigations. Even though they believe their case is growing stronger, in January 2001 Wright is told that the Chicago case is being closed and that “it's just better to let sleeping dogs lie”(see Late January 2001). Wright tells ABC: “Those dogs weren't sleeping, they were training, they were getting ready. … September the 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit. … Absolutely no doubt about that.” Chicago federal prosecutor Mark Flessner, also working on the case, says there “were powers bigger than I was in the Justice Department and within the FBI that simply were not going to let [the building of a criminal case] happen.” Wright will write an internal FBI memo slamming the FBI in June 2001 (see June 9, 2001, and also May 30, 2002and August 9, 2002 (C)). Al-Qadi is named in a March 2000 affidavit as a source of terrorist funds in Chicago. [ABC, 11/26/02, ABC, 12/19/02, ABC, 12/19/02 (B)] He is also on secret US and UN lists of major al-Qaeda financiers (see November 26, 2002). His charity, the Muwafaq Foundation, is allegedly an al-Qaeda front which transferred $820,000 to the Palestinian group Hamas through a Muslim foundation called the Quranic Literacy Institute; the date of the transfer has not been released. [CNN, 10/15/01 (B)] Al-Qadi says he shut down Muwafaq in 1996, but the charity has received money from the United Nations since then. [BBC 10/20/01; CNN 10/15/01 (B)]
          

Autumn 1998

       US intelligence hears of a bin Laden plot involving aircraft in the New York and Washington areas. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; New York Times 9/18/02] In December it learns that al-Qaeda plans to hijack US aircraft are proceeding well. Two individuals have successfully evaded checkpoints in a dry run at a New York airport. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

October 1998 (B)

       Julie Sirrs, a military analyst for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), travels to Afghanistan. Fluent in local languages and knowledgeable about the culture, she had made a previous undercover trip there in October 1997. She was surprised that the CIA wasn't interested in sending in agents after the failed missile attack on bin Laden in August 1998 (see August 20, 1998) so she returns at this time. Traveling undercover, she meets with Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud, who is later assassinated by the Taliban (see September 9, 2001). She sees a terrorist training center. Sirrs claims, “The Taliban's brutal regime was being kept in power significantly by bin Laden's money, plus the narcotics trade, while [Massoud's] resistance was surviving on a shoestring. With even a little aid to the Afghan resistance, we could have pushed the Taliban out of power. But there was great reluctance by the State Department and the CIA to undertake that.” She partly blames the interest of the US government and the oil company Unocal to see the Taliban achieve political stability so a pipeline could be built across the company. She claims, “Massoud told me he had proof that Unocal had provided money that helped the Taliban take Kabul.” She also states, “The State Department didn't want to have anything to do with Afghan resistance, or even, politically, to reveal that there was any viable option to the Taliban.” After two weeks she returns with a treasure trove of maps, photographs, and interviews. [New York Observer 3/11/04; ABC News 2/18/02] By interviewing captured al-Qaeda operatives she learns that the official Afghanistan airline, Ariania Airlines, is being used to ferry weapons and drugs, and also learns that bin Laden goes hunting with “rich Saudis and top Taliban officials.” [Los Angeles Times 11/18/01 (B)] When she returns her material is confiscated and she is accused of being a spy. Says one senior colleague, “She had gotten the proper clearances to go, and she came back with valuable information,” but high level officials “were so intent on getting rid of her, the last thing they wanted to pay attention to was any information she had.” She is cleared of wrongdoing, but her security clearance is pulled. She eventually quits the DIA in frustration. [New York Observer 3/11/04; ABC News 2/18/02] She claims that the US intelligence on bin Laden and the Taliban relied too heavily on the ISI for its information. [ABC News 2/18/02 (B)]
          

October-November 1998

       October-November 1998: US intelligence learns that al-Qaeda is trying to establish a terrorist cell within the US. There are indications they might be trying to recruit US citizens. In the next month, there is information that a terror cell in the United Arab Emirates is attempting to recruit a group of five to seven young men from the US to travel to the Middle East for training. This is part of a plan to strike a US domestic target. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

October 8, 1998

       The FAA issues the first of three warnings to the nation's airports and airlines urging a “high degree of vigilance” against threats to US civil aviation from al-Qaeda. It specifically warns against a possible terrorist hijacking “at a metropolitan airport in the Eastern United States.”The information is based on statements made by bin Laden and other Islamic leaders and intelligence information following the US cruise missile attacks in August. All three warnings came in late 1998, well before 9/11. [Boston Globe 5/26/02] This report contradicts numerous later statements by US officials that the US never had any pre-9/11 specific threats inside the US or involving hijackings (for instance, see September 12, 2001 or May 16, 2002 (B)).
          

November 1998

       US intelligence learns that a Turkish extremist group named Kaplancilar had planned a suicide attack. The conspirators, who were arrested, planned to crash an airplane packed with explosives into a famous tomb during a government ceremony. The Turkish press said the group had cooperated with bin Laden and the FBI includes this incident in a bin Laden database. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

November 1, 1998-February 2001

      
The Marienstrasse building.
Mohamed Atta and al-Qaeda terrorists Said Bahaji and Ramzi bin al-Shibh move into a four bedroom apartment at 54 Marienstrasse, in Hamburg, Germany, and stay there until February 2001 (Atta is already mainly living in the US well before this time). Investigators believe this move marks the formation of their Hamburg al-Qaeda terrorist cell. [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/02, New York Times, 9/10/02] Up to six men at a time live at the apartment, including other al-Qaeda agents such as hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and cell member Zakariya Essabar. [New York Times, 9/15/01 (F)] During the 28 months Atta's name is on the apartment lease, 29 ethnically Middle Eastern or North African men register the apartment as their home address. From the very beginning, the apartment was officially under surveillance by German intelligence, because of investigations into businessman Mamoun Darkazanli that connect to Said Bahaji (see September 20, 1998 and December 1999). [Washington Post, 10/23/01] They also suspect connections between Bahaji and al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see March 1997 and February 17, 1999). [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] Germans monitor the apartment off and on for months, and also wiretap Mounir El Motassadeq (see August 1998), an associate of the apartment-mates who is later put on trial for assisting the 9/11 plot (see August 29, 2002), but they don't find any indication of suspicious activity. [Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02] Bahaji is directly monitored at least for part of 1998, but German officials have not disclosed when the probe began or ended. That investigation is dropped for lack of evidence. [AP, 6/22/02, Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] However, certainly investigators would have found evidence if they looked more thoroughly. For instance, Zammar, a talkative man who has trouble keeping secrets, is a frequent visitor to the many late night meetings there. [Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02, Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02, The Cell, John Miller, Michael Stone and Chris Mitchell, 8/14/02, pp. 259-260] Another visitor later recalls Atta and others discussing attacking the US. [Knight Ridder, 9/9/02] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is in Hamburg several times in 1999, and comes to the apartment (see 1999 (K)). But although there was a $2 million reward for Mohammed since 1998 (see Mid-1996-September 11, 2001), the US apparently fails to tell Germany what it knows about him. [New York Times, 11/4/02, Newsweek, 9/4/02] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri also apparently stays there “at times.” [Washington Post, 9/14/01, Washington Post, 9/16/01 (B)] The CIA also starts monitoring Atta while he is living at this apartment, and doesn't tell Germany of the surveillance (see January-May 2000). The German government originally claimed they knew little about the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell before 9/11, and said nothing directed them towards the Marienstrasse apartment, which is clearly incorrect. [Telegraph 11/24/01]
          

November 1998 (B)

       Former President George Bush Sr. meets with the bin Laden family on behalf of the Carlyle Group. The meeting takes place in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. This is one of two known meetings (see January 2000). [Sunday Herald 10/7/01]
          

November 4, 1998

       The US publicly indicts bin Laden, Mohammed Atef, and others with the US embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania (see August 7, 1998). Bin Laden had been secretly indicted on different charges earlier in the year (see June 8, 1998). Record $5 million rewards are announced for information leading to his arrest and the arrest of Mohammed Atef. [PBS Frontline, 2001] Shortly thereafter, bin Laden allocates $9 million in reward money for the assassinations of four US government officials in response to the reward on him. A year later it is learned that the Secretary of State, Secretary of Defense, FBI Director, and CIA Director are the targets. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; MSNBC 9/18/02; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

Late 1998 (F)

       The failed August 1998 US missile attack against bin Laden (see August 20, 1998) greatly elevates bin Laden's stature in the Muslim world. A US defense analyst later states, “I think that raid really helped elevate bin Laden's reputation in a big way, building him up in the Muslim world…. My sense is that because the attack was so limited and incompetent, we turned this guy into a folk hero.” [Washington Post 10/3/01 (C)] An Asia Times article published just prior to 9/11 suggests that because of the failed attack, “a very strong Muslim lobby emerge[s] to protect [bin Laden's] interests. This includes Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah, as well as senior Pakistani generals. Prince Abdullah has good relations with bin Laden as both are disciples of slain Doctor Abdullah Azzam.” [Asia Times 8/22/01] In early 1999, Pakistani President Musharraf complains that by demonizing bin Laden, the US has turned him into a cult figure and hero. The US decides to play down the importance of bin Laden. [UPI 6/14/01]
          

Late 1998 (D)

       President Clinton signs a directive authorizing the CIA to plan an assassination of bin Laden. The CIA draw up detailed profiles of bin Laden's daily routines, where he sleeps, and his travel arrangements. The assassination never happens, supposedly because of inadequate intelligence. But, as one officer later says, “you can keep setting the bar higher and higher, so that nothing ever gets done.” An officer who helped draw up the plans later says, “We were ready to move” but “we were not allowed to do it because of this stubborn policy of risk avoidance…It is a disgrace.” [ [Philadelphia Inquirer 9/16/01] ] The initial emphasis is on capturing bin Laden and only killing him if the capture attempt is unsuccessful. The military is unhappy about this, so Clinton signs several new directives before leaving office, each one authorizing the use of lethal force more clearly than the one before. [Washington Post 2/22/04 (B)]
          

December 1, 1998

       A US intelligence assessment: “[Bin Laden] is actively planning against US targets and already may have positioned operatives for at least one operation… Multiple reports indicate [he] is keenly interested in striking the US on its own soil… al-Qaeda is recruiting operatives for attacks in the US but has not yet identified potential targets.” Later in the month, a classified document prepared by the CIA and signed by Clinton states: “The intelligence community has strong indications that bin Laden intends to conduct or sponsor attacks inside the US.” [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; Washington Post 9/19/02 (B); Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

Late 1998-2000 (B)

       The US permanently stations two submarines in the Indian Ocean, ready to hit al-Qaeda with cruise missiles on short notice. Six to ten hours advance warning is now needed to review the decision, program the cruise missiles and have them reach their target. On at least three occasions, spies in Afghanistan report bin Laden's location with information suggesting he would remain there for some time. Each time, Clinton approves the strike. Each time, CIA Director Tenet says the information is not reliable enough and the attack cannot go forward. [Washington Post 12/19/01; New York Times 12/30/01] At some point in 2000 the submarines are withdrawn, apparently because the Navy wanted to use them for other purposes. So when the unmanned Predator spy plane flies over Afghanistan and identifies bin Laden (see August-October 2000), there is no way to capitalize on that opportunity. [Against All Enemies, by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 220-221] The Bush Administration fails to resume the submarine patrol (see January 27, 2001). Lacking any way to attack bin Laden, military plans to strike at him are no longer updated after March 2001. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B]
          

Late 1998-2000

       National Security Advisor Sandy Berger and Secretary of State Madeleine Albright repeatedly ask about having a “boots on the ground” option to kill bin Laden, using the elite Delta Force. Clinton also supports the idea, telling Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Henry Shelton, “You know, it would scare the [expletive] out of al-Qaeda if suddenly a bunch of black ninjas rappelled out of helicopters into the middle of their camp.” But Shelton says he wants “nothing to do” with such an idea. He calls it naive, and ridicules it as “going Hollywood.” He says he would need a large force, not just a small team. [Washington Post, 12/19/01] US Central Command chief General Anthony Zinni is considered the chief opponent to the “boots on the ground” idea. [Washington Post, 10/2/02] Clinton orders “formal planning for a mission to capture the al-Qaeda leadership.” Reports are contradictory, but some claim Clinton was told such plans were drawn up when in fact they were not. [Time 8/4/02; Washington Post 10/2/02]
          

Late 1998 (B)

       During the investigation of the 1998 embassy bombings, FBI counter-terrorism expert John O'Neill finds a memo by al-Qaeda leader Mohammed Atef on a computer. The memo shows that bin Laden's group has a keen interest in and detailed knowledge of negotiations between the Taliban and the US over an oil and gas pipeline through Afghanistan. Atef's analysis suggests that the Taliban are not sincere in wanting a pipeline, but are dragging out negotiations to keep Western powers at bay. [Salon 6/5/02]
          

December 1998

       US intelligence learns that bin Laden is staying at a particular location in Afghanistan, and missile strikes are readied against him. However, principal advisors to President Clinton agree not to recommend a strike because of doubts about the intelligence and worries about collateral damage. In the wake of this, officials attempt to find alternatives to cruise missiles, such a precision strike aircraft. But US Central Command chief General Anthony Zinni is apparently opposed to deployment of these aircraft near Afghanistan, and they are not deployed (see also Late 1998-2000). [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B]
          

Late 1998 (E)

       Intelligence agents learn that Mohammed Atef (also known as Abu Hafs)—head of Islamic Jihad and one of the top three leaders of al-Qaeda [ABC News, 11/17/01], is staying in a particular hotel room in Khartoum, Sudan. White House officials ask that Atef be killed or captured and interrogated. International capture operations of terrorists have become routine by the mid-1990s, but in this case both the Defense Department and the CIA are against it, although Atef doesn't even have bodyguards. The CIA puts the operation in the “too hard to do box,” according to one former official. The CIA says it's incapable of conducting such an operation in Sudan, but in the same year the CIA conducts another spy mission in the same city. [New York Times, 12/30/01 , Against All Enemies, by Richard Clarke, 3/04, pp. 143-146] A plan is eventually made to seize him, but by then he has left the country. [New York Times, 12/30/01] Atef is considered a top planner of the 9/11 attacks (see Before September 11, 2001 (D)), and is later killed in a bombing raid (see November 15, 2001 (B)).
          

Late 1998 (C)

       FBI counter-terrorism expert John O'Neill and his team investigating the 1998 embassy bombings are repeatedly frustrated by the Saudi government. Guillaume Dasquié, one of the authors of Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth, later tells the Village Voice: “We uncovered incredible things… Investigators would arrive to find that key witnesses they were about to interrogate had been beheaded the day before.” [Village Voice 1/2/02; Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth]
          

December 4, 1998

       CIA Director Tenet issues a “declaration of war” on al-Qaeda, in a memorandum circulated in the intelligence community. This is 10 months after bin Laden's fatwa on the US, which is called a “de facto declaration of war” by a senior US official in 1999 (see February 22, 1998). Tenet says, “We must now enter a new phase in our effort against bin Laden … each day we all acknowledge that retaliation is inevitable and that its scope may be far larger than we have previously experienced… We are at war… I want no resources or people spared in this efforts [sic], either inside CIA or the [larger intelligence] community.” Yet a Congressional joint committee later finds that few FBI agents had ever heard of the declaration. Tenet's fervor did not “reach the level in the field that is critical so [FBI agents] know what their priorities are.” And even as the counterterrorism budget continues to grow generally, there is no massive shift in budget or personnel until after 9/11. For example, the number of CIA personnel assigned to the Counter-Terrorism Center (CTC) stays roughly constant until 9/11 then nearly doubles from approximately 400 to approximately 800 in the wake of 9/11. The number of CTC analysts focusing on al-Qaeda rises from three in 1999 to five by 9/11. [New York Times 9/18/02; Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02]
          

December 5, 1998

       In the wake of the al-Qaeda US embassy attacks (see August 7, 1998), the US gives up on putting a pipeline through Afghanistan. Unocal announces it is withdrawing from the CentGas pipeline consortium, and closing three of its four offices in Central Asia. A concern that Clinton will lose support among women voters for upholding the Taliban also plays a role in the cancellation. [New York Times, 12/5/98] [FTW]
          

December 21, 1998

       In a Time magazine cover story entitled “The Hunt for Osama,” it is reported intelligence sources “have evidence that bin Laden may be planning his boldest move yet—a strike on Washington or possibly New York City in an eye-for-an-eye retaliation. ‘We've hit his headquarters, now he hits ours,’ says a State Department aide.” [Time 12/21/98]
          

1999 (B)

       The FBI creates its own unit to focus specifically on bin Laden, three years after the CIA created such a special unit. By 9/11, 17-19 people are working in this unit, out of over 11,000 FBI staff. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02] Why so late, and so few people?
          

1999 (F)

       A joint project run by the CIA and NSA slips into Afghanistan and places listening devices within range of al-Qaeda's tactical radios. [Washington Post 12/19/01] If all of al-Qaeda's communications was being monitored, why was bin Laden never captured or killed and apparently no hints of the 9/11 plot revealed?
          

1999 (J)

       The London Times later claims that British intelligence secretly offers 9/11 paymaster Saeed Sheikh, imprisoned in India (see November 1994-December 1999) for kidnapping Britons and Americans (see June 1993-October 1994), an amnesty and the ability to “live in London a free man”if he will reveal his links to al-Qaeda. He apparently refuses. [Daily Mail 7/16/02; London Times 7/16/02] Yet after he is rescued in a hostage swap deal (see December 24-31, 1999), the press reports that he, in fact, is freely able to return to Britain. [Press Trust of India, 1/3/00] He visits his parents there in 2000 and again in early 2001. [Vanity Fair, 8/02, BBC, 7/16/02 (B), Telegraph, 7/16/02] He is not charged with kidnapping until well after 9/11 (see November 2001-February 5, 2002). Those kidnapped by Saeed call the government's decision not to try him a “disgrace” and “scandalous.” [Press Trust of India 1/3/00] The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review later suggests that not only is Saeed closely tied to both the ISI and al-Qaeda, but may also have been working for the CIA: “There are many in Musharraf's government who believe that Saeed Sheikh's power comes not from the ISI, but from his connections with our own CIA. The theory is that … Saeed Sheikh was bought and paid for.” [Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, 3/3/02] Did or does Saeed have some kind of deal with British or US intelligence?
          

Early 1999 (B)

       As the NSA continues to monitor an al-Qaeda safe house in Yemen owned by hijacker Khalid Almihdhar's father-in-law (see Late August 1998 (B)), they find references to Almihdhar and the hijacker brothers Salem and Nawaf Alhazmi. In early 1999 the NSA intercepts communications mentioning the full name “Nawaf Alhazmi.” More intercepts involving the names Nawaf, Salem, and Khalid together and alone are intercepted during 1999. However, this information is not shared with the CIA or FBI. As a result, as an important al-Qaeda meeting approaches in Malaysia (see January 5-8, 2000), the CIA doesn't know the last name of the “Nawaf” attending the meeting. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03; AP 9/25/02; NSA Director Congressional Testimony 10/17/02] In mid-January, after the Malaysian meeting is over, the CIA reports to the NSA what it has learned about Khalid Almihdhar, and asks the CIA for information about him. Some information about him is given back and some is not. The NSA still doesn't report Alhazmi's last name. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03] The NSA continues to monitor calls from these hijackers to this safe house after they move to the US (see Spring-Summer 2000).
          

1999 (H)

      
Hijackers Ahmed Alghamdi, left, and Waleed Alshehri, right.
Diane and John Albritton later say they call the CIA and police this year several times to report suspicious activity at a neighbor's home, but authorities fail to respond. [MSNBC, 9/23/01, New York Daily News, 9/15/01] Hijacker Waleed Alshehri is renting the house on Orrin Street in Vienna, Virginia at the time (three blocks from a CIA headquarters). [AP, 9/15/01 (B)] He makes his neighbors nervous. “There were always people coming and going,” said Diane Albritton. “Arabic people. Some of them never uttered a word; I don't know if they spoke English. But they looked very focused. We thought they might be dealing drugs, or illegal immigrants.” [New York Times, 9/15/01 (B)] Ahmed Alghamdi lived at the same address until July 2000. [Fox News, 6/6/02, World Net Daily, 9/14/01] Waleed Alshehri lived with Ahmed Alghamdi in Florida for seven months in 1997. [Telegraph, 9/20/01] Albritton says they observed a van parked outside the home at all hours of the day and night. A Middle-Eastern man appeared to be monitoring a scanner or radio inside the van. Another neighbor says, “We thought it was a drug house. All the cars parked on the street were new BMWs, new Mercedes. People were always walking around out front with cell phones.”There were frequent wild parties, numerous complaints to authorities, and even a police report about a woman shooting a gun into the air during a party. [World Net Daily 9/14/01] Other neighbors also called the police about the house. [AP, 9/14/01 (B)] “Critics say [the case] could have made a difference [in stopping 9/11] had it been handled differently.” Standard procedures require CIA to notify FBI of such domestic information. But FBI officials have not been able to find any record that the CIA shared the information. [Fox News 6/6/02] FBI Director Mueller has said “the hijackers did all they could to stay below our radar.” [Senate Judiciary Statement, 5/8/02] Does this sound like extremely religious “sleepers” successfully blending in?
          

1999 (K)

       9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed “repeatedly” visits Mohamed Atta and others in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [AP, 8/24/02] US and German officials say a number of sources place Mohammed at Atta's Hamburg apartment. It isn't clear when he visits or who he visits. [Los Angeles Times, 6/6/02, New York Times, 11/4/02] However, it would be logical that he at least visits Atta's housemate Ramzi bin al-Shibh, since investigators believe he is the “key contact between the pilots” and Mohammed. [Los Angeles Times, 1/27/03] Mohammed is living in Germany at the time. [New York Times 9/22/02] German intelligence monitor the apartment in 1999 but apparently don't notice Mohammed (see November 1, 1998-February 2001). US investigators have been searching for Mohammed since 1996 (see January-May 1996), but apparently never tell the Germans what they know about him. [New York Times, 11/4/02] Even after 9/11, German investigators complain that US investigators don't tell them what they know about Mohammed living in Germany until they read it in the newspapers in June 2002. [New York Times 6/11/02]
          

Early 1999

       State Department counterterrorism coordinator Michael Sheehan writes a memo calling for a new approach in containing bin Laden. He urges a series of actions the US could take toward Pakistan, Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Yemen to persuade them to help isolate al-Qaeda. He calls Pakistan the key country and urges that terrorism be made the central issue with them. He advises the US to work will all these countries to curb money laundering. However, a former official says Sheehan's plan lands “with a resounding thud.” Pakistan continues to “feign cooperation but [does] little” about its support for the Taliban. [New York Times 10/29/01]
          

1999

      
Zacarias Moussaoui passing through a London airport.
Zacarias Moussaoui, living in London, is observed by French intelligence making several trips to Pakistan and Afghanistan. French investigators later claim the British spy agency MI5 was alerted and requested to place Moussaoui under surveillance. The request appears to have been ignored. [Independent 12/11/01]
          

1999 (C)

       MI6, the British intelligence agency, gives a secret report to liaison staff at the US embassy in London. The reports states that al-Qaeda has plans to use “commercial aircraft” in “unconventional ways”, “possibly as flying bombs.” [Sunday Times 6/9/02]
          

Mid-June 1999

       Hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, plus would-be hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shibh and associate Mounir El Motassadeq, hold a meeting in Amsterdam, Netherlands. All are living in Hamburg at the time, so it's not clear why they go to meet there, though it's speculated they are meeting someone. Motassadeq also goes to the town of Eindhoven, Netherlands, on three occasions, in early 1999, late 1999 and 2001. [AP 9/13/02] On at least one occasion, Motassadeq receives cash provided by unnamed “Saudi financiers” that is meant to fund a new Eindhoven mosque. Investigators believe he uses the money to help pay for some 9/11 hijacker flying lessons. [Baltimore Sun, 9/2/02] Alshehhi also flies to Amsterdam from the US in the summer of 2001, but it isn't known why (see April 18, 2001).
          

1999 (L)

       The FBI receive reports that a terrorist organization is planning to send students to the US for aviation training. The organization's name remains classified, but apparently it is a different organization than one mentioned in a very similar warning the year before (see After May 15, 1998). The purpose of this training is unknown, but the organization views the plan as “particularly important” and has reportedly approved open-ended funding for it. The Counterterrorism Section at FBI headquarters instructs 24 field offices to pay close attention to Islamic students from the target country engaged in aviation training. Ken Williams at the Phoenix FBI office will later write a memo on this very topic (see July 10, 2001), and his squad receives this notice. Williams, however, doesn't recall reading it. The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry later concludes, “There is no indication that field offices conducted any investigation after receiving the communication.” [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)] However, an analyst at FBI headquarters conducts a study and determines that each year there are about 600 Middle Eastern students attending the slightly over 1,000 US flight schools. [New York Times, 5/4/02, Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)] In November 2000 a notice is sent out telling field offices that no information about the terrorist group recruiting students had been uncovered. Apparently Williams doesn't see this notice either. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

1999 (I)

       CIA Director Tenet later claims that in this year, the CIA establishes a network of agents throughout Afghanistan and other countries aimed at capturing bin Laden and his deputies. [UPI, 10/17/02] Tenet states that by 9/11, “a map would show that these collection programs and human networks were in place in such numbers to nearly cover Afghanistan. This array meant that, when the military campaign to topple the Taliban and destroy al-Qaeda began [in October 2001], we were able to support it with an enormous body of information and a large stable of assets.” [Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02]
          

January 31, 1999

       German intelligence is tapping the telephone of al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar (see March 1997 and September 21, 1999), and on this date Zammar gets a call from a “Marwan.” This is later found to be hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Marwan talks about mundane things, like his studies in Bonn, Germany, and promises to come to Hamburg in a few months. German investigators trace the telephone number and determine the call came from a mobile phone registered in the United Arab Emirates. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03; Stern 8/13/03; Deutche Presse-Agenteur 8/13/03; New York Times 2/24/04] German intelligence passes this information to the CIA about one month later, but CIA apparently fails to capitalize on it (see March 1999).
          

February 1999

       A classified report discusses responses to an anthrax attack through the mail. The report, precipitated by a series of false anthrax mailings, is written by William Patrick, inventor of the US anthrax weaponization process, under a CIA contract. [New York Times, 12/3/01] The report was commissioned by Steven Hatfill, a good friend of Patrick. [Baltimore Sun, 6/27/02] The report describes what the US military could do and what a terrorist might be able to achieve. [New York Times, 12/3/01] The similarities between what the report predicted and the anthrax attacks that eventually happen after 9/11 are startling. The BBC later suggests the “possibility that there was a secret CIA project to investigate methods of sending anthrax through the mail which went madly out of control” and that the anthrax attacker knew of this study or took part in it. The CIA and William Patrick deny the existence of this report, even though copies have been leaked to the media. [BBC 3/14/02; Baltimore Sun 6/27/02]
          

February 1999 (B)

       There is another hoax anthrax attack. A handful of envelopes with almost identical messages are sent to a combination of media and government targets including The Washington Post, NBC's Atlanta office, a post office in Columbus, Georgia (next to Fort Benning, an Army base), and the Old Executive Office Building in Washington. The letters contained fake anthrax powder. “That's interesting because as of 1997, US bio-defense scientists were working basically only with wet anthrax, while by 1999 some had experimented with making powders.” The New York Times later suggests that Steven Hatfill could have been behind this attack and the one in 1997 (see April 24, 1997). [New York Times, 7/12/02] Could there be a connection between this hoax and a classified CIA report about sending anthrax through the mail released the same month (see February 1999)?
          

February 1999 (C)

       US Intelligence obtains information that Iraq has formed a suicide pilot unit that it plans to use against British and US forces in the Persian Gulf. The CIA comments that is highly unlikely and probably disinformation. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

February 1999 (D)

       Intelligence reports have bin Laden at a desert hunting camp in Afghanistan for about a week. Information on his presence appears reliable, so preparations are made to target his location with cruise missiles. However, intelligence also puts an official aircraft of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and members of the royal family from that country in the same location. Bin Laden is hunting with the Emirati royals, as he did with leaders from that country and Saudi Arabia on other occasions (see 1995-2001). Policy makers are concerned that a strike might kill a prince or other senior officials, so the strike never happens. A top UAE official at the time denies that high-level officials are there, but evidence subsequently confirms their presence. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B)]
          

February 17, 1999

      
Said Bahaji, computer expert for the Hamburg cell.
German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar's telephone (see March 1997, January 31, 1999, and September 21, 1999), and on this day investigators hear a caller being told Zammar is at a meeting with “Mohamed, Ramzi, and Said,” and could be reached at the phone number of the Marienstrasse apartment where all three of them live. This refers to Mohamed Atta, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, and Said Bahaji, all members of the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. But apparently the German police fail to grasp its importance of these names, even though Said Bahaji is also under investigation (see November 1, 1998-February 2001). [AP 6/22/02; New York Times 1/18/03] Atta's last name is given as well. Agents check the phone number and confirm the street address, but it isn't known what they make of the information. [Der Spiegel 2/3/03]
          

March 1999

       US intelligence learns of plans by an al-Qaeda member who is also a US citizen, to fly a hang glider into the Egyptian Presidential Palace and then detonate the explosives he is carrying. The individual, who received hang glider training in the US, brings a hang glider back to Afghanistan, but various problems arise during the testing of the glider. This unnamed person is subsequently arrested and is in custody abroad. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02]
          

March 1999 B)

       German intelligence gives the CIA the first name of hijacker Marwan Alshehhi and his telephone number in the United Arab Emirates. The Germans learned the information from surveillance of suspected terrorists (see January 31, 1999). They tell Alshehhi has been in contact with suspected al-Qaeda members Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli (see September 20, 1998 and December 1999) . He is described as a United Arab Emirates student who has spent some time studying in Germany. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03; Stern 8/13/03; Deutche Presse-Agenteur 8/13/03; New York Times 2/24/04] The Germans consider this information “particularly valuable” and ask the CIA to track Alshehhi, but the CIA never responds until after the 9/11 attacks. The CIA decides at the time that this “Marwan” is probably an associate of bin Laden but never track him down. It is not clear why the CIA fails to act, or if they learn his last name before 9/11. [New York Times, 2/24/04] The Germans monitor others calls between Alshehhi and Zammar (see September 21, 1999), but it isn't clear if the CIA is also told of these or not.
          

March 3, 1999

       Andrew Krepinevich, Executive Director of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, before the Senate Armed Services Subcommittee on Emerging Threats and Capabilities: “There appears to be general agreement concerning the need to transform the US military into a significantly different kind of force from that which emerged victorious from the Cold and Gulf Wars. Yet this verbal support has not been translated into a defense program supporting transformation … the ‘critical mass’ needed to effect it has not yet been achieved. One may conclude that, in the absence of a strong external shock to the United States—a latter-day ‘Pearl Harbor’ of sorts—surmounting the barriers to transformation will likely prove a long, arduous process.” [CSBA, 3/5/99] This comment echoes other strategists who wait for a second Pearl Harbor to fulfill their visions (see October 1997 and September 2000).
          

Spring 1999

       US intelligence learns of a planned bin Laden attack on a US government facility in Washington (which facility has not been made public). [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02; New York Times 9/18/02]
          

Spring 1999 (B)

       Randy Glass is a con artist turned government informant participating in a sting called Operation Diamondback. [Palm Beach Post, 9/29/01] He discusses an illegal weapons deal with an Egyptian American named Mohamed el Amir. In wiretapped conversations, Mohamed discusses the need to get false papers to disguise a shipment of illegal weapons. His brother, Dr. Magdy el Amir, has been a wealthy neurologist in Jersey City for the past twenty years. Two other weapons dealers later convicted in a sting operation involving Glass also lived in Jersey City, and both el Amirs admit knowing one of them, Diaa Mohsen (see June 12, 2001). Mohsen has been paid at least once by Dr. el Amir. In 1998, Congressman Ben Gilman was given a foreign intelligence report suggesting that Dr. el Amir owns an HMO that is secretly funded by bin Laden, and that money is being skimmed from the HMO to fund terrorist activities. The state of New Jersey later buys the HMO and determines that $15 million were unaccounted for and much of that has been diverted into hard-to-trace offshore bank accounts. However, investigators working with Glass are never given the report about Dr. el Amir. Both el Amirs have not been charged with any crime. Mohamed now lives in Egypt and Magdy continues to practice medicine in New Jersey. Glass's sting, which began in late 1998, will uncover many interesting leads before ending in June 2001 (see also July 14, 1999, Early August 2001 and August 2, 2002). [MSNBC 8/2/02]
          

April 1, 1999

      
Friends of Ziad Jarrah taken on April 1, 1999. Third from left in back row is Abdelghani Mzoudi, fifth from is Mounir El Motassadeq; seventh is Ramzi bin al-Shibh; the man on far right in middle row is Mohamed Atta; Atta rests his hands on Mohammed Raji,
Ziad Jarrah has an unofficial wedding with his girlfriend, Aisel Senguen. What's interesting is a photo apparently taken by Jarrah at the wedding, shown here. German intelligence found the photo several days after 9/11. An undercover agent was able to immediately identify 10 of the 18 men in the photo, as well as where it was taken: the prayer room of Hamburg's Al-Quds mosque. The informant was also able to identify which of them attended Mohamed Atta's study group. This informant knew even “seemingly trivial details” of some of the men, showing that “probably almost all members of the Hamburg terror cell” had been watched by German state intelligence since this time, if not before. The head of the state intelligence had previously maintained that they knew nothing of any of these men, and had no informant. [FAZ 2/2/03]
          

April 3-7, 1999

       Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, and Khalid Almihdhar obtains US visas through the US Consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. [Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)] All three are already “al-Qaeda veterans” and battle-hardened killers (see 1996-December 2000). Almihdhar's visa is issued on April 7, and allows him multiple entries and exits to the US until April 6, 2000. [Stern, 8/13/03] Nawaf Alhazmi gets the same kind of visa; details about Salem are unknown. The CIA claims the hijackers then travel to Afghanistan to participate in “special training” with at least one other suicide bomber on a different mission. The training is led by Khallad bin Attash (see January 5-8, 2000). The US learns about Almihdhar's visa in January 2000 (see January 5, 2000). The Jeddah Consulate keeps in its records the fact that Nawaf and Salem Alhazmi obtain US visas several days before Almihdhar, but apparently these records are never searched before 9/11. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

May 1999

       US intelligence is given detailed reporting on where bin Laden is located for five consecutive nights. CIA Director Tenet decides against acting three times, because of concerns about collateral damage and worries about the veracity of the single source of information. One CIA official writes to a colleague in the field, “having a chance to get [bin Laden] three times in 36 hours and foregoing the chance each time has made me a bit angry… ” There is one more opportunity to strike bin Laden in July 1999, but after that there is apparently no intelligence good enough to justify considering a strike. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04 (B]
          

June 1999-March 2000

      
Anwar Al Aulaqi
The FBI conducts a counterterrorism inquiry into imam Anwar Al Aulaqi. >From about February 2000, he serves as the “spiritual leader” to several of the hijackers while they live in San Diego, and again in 2001 when he and they move to the East Coast (see March 2001 (D)). During the investigation, the FBI discovers he is in contact with a number of other people being investigated. For instance, in early 2000 he is visited by an associate of Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman (see July 1990). But, as the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry later notes, the investigation is closed “despite the imam's contacts with other subjects of counterterrorism investigations and reports concerning the imam's connection to suspect organizations.” [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

June 1999

       Enron announces an agreement to build a $140 million power plant in the Gaza Strip. One of the major financiers for the project comes from the Saudi Binladin Group, a company owned by Osama's family. This is the second attempted project between these two companies. 90% complete, the construction is halted because of Palestinian-Israeli violence and then Enron's bankruptcy. [Washington Post 3/2/02]
          

June 1999 (B)

       In testimony before the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and in a briefing to House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence staffers one month later, the chief of the CTC describes reports that bin Laden and his associates are planning attacks in the US. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02]
          

June 7, 1999

       The FBI puts Bin Laden on FBI's “10 Most Wanted List.” [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

June 7, 1999

       Bin Laden is added to FBI's “Ten Most Wanted”List. This is almost a year and a half after bin Laden's “declaration of war” against the US (see February 22, 1998) and about six months after the CIA's “declaration of war against al-Qaeda”(see December 4, 1998). It's also three years after an internal State Department document connecting bin Laden to financing and planning numerous terrorist attacks. [PBS Frontline 10/3/02 (C)]
          

June 8, 1999

      
Giuliani's emergency command center.
Mayor Rudy Giuliani opens a $13 million emergency command center on the 23rd floor of World Trade Center Building 7. [Newsday, 9/12/01] The center is intended to coordinate responses to various emergencies, including natural disasters like hurricanes or floods and also terrorist attacks. The 50,000 square foot center has reinforced, bulletproof and bomb-resistant walls, its own air supply and water tank, and three backup generators. This command center is to be staffed around the clock and is intended as a meeting place for city leaders in the event of an act of terrorism. [CNN, 6/7/99; ] The emergency command center is ridiculed as “Rudy's bunker.” [Time 12/31/01] Most controversial is the 6,000 gallon fuel tank. In 1998 and 1999, Fire Department officials warn that the fuel tank violates city fire codes and poses a hazard. According to one Fire Department memorandum, if the tank were to catch fire it could produce “disaster.” Building 7 is destroyed late in the day on 9/11; some suspect this tank helps explains why. [New York Times 12/20/01]
          

July 1999

       The FBI begins an investigation of an unnamed person for ties to important al-Qaeda figures and several organizations linked to al-Qaeda. The FBI is concerned this person is in contact with several experts in nuclear sciences. After 9/11, the FBI determines hijacker Marwan Alshehhi had contact with this person on the East Coast of the US. This person also may have ties to Mohammed Atta's sister. Most additional details about this person, including their name, when and how often Alshehhi had contact, and if the investigation was ever closed, remain classified. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

July 1999-November 2000

       Hijacker Marwan Alshehhi receives about $100,000 from an account in Sharjah, United Arab Emirates during this time. [Financial Times, 11/30/01, Newsweek, 12/2/01, Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02] The money is apparently sent by Mohamed Yousef Mohamed Alqusaidi, believed to be Alshehhi's brother. Alqusaidi had been sending money to Alshehhi in Germany since at least March 1998. [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02] It is not clear if this is money innocently sent by Alshehhi's rich Arab family or if it is money deliberately sent for terrorism. Much of the rest of the 9/11 funding also passes through Sharjah (see June 29, 2000-September 18, 2000, Early August 2001 (D) and September 8-11, 2001 (B)), a town at the center of illegal al-Qaeda business dealings (see Mid-1996-October 2001).
          

Summer 1999

       Around this time, US intelligence notes that a man in Hamburg, Germany named Mohammed Haydar Zammar is in direct contact with one of bin Laden's senior operational coordinators. Zammar is an al-Qaeda recruiter with links to Mohammed Atta and the rest of the Hamburg terror cell (see March 1997, January 31, 1999, February 17, 1999, and September 21, 1999). The US had noted Zammar's terror links on “numerous occasions” before 9/11. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03] But apparently the US does not share their information on Zammar with German intelligence. Instead, the Germans are given evidence from Turkey that Zammar is running a travel agency as a terror front in Hamburg. In 1998, they get information from Italy confirming he is a real terrorist. But his behavior is so suspicious, they've already started closely monitoring him. [Stern 8/13/03; Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03]
          

July 1999 (B)

       The US gains information that former ISI head Hamid Gul contacts Taliban leaders at this time and advises them that the US is not planning to attack Afghanistan to get bin Laden. He assures them that he will provide them three or four hours warning of any future US missile launch, as he did “last time.” Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke later suggests Gul gave al-Qaeda warning about the missile strike in 1998 (see August 20, 1998). [New Yorker 7/28/03]
          

July 4, 1999

       With the chances of a pipeline deal with the Taliban looking increasingly unlikely, the US government finally issues an executive order prohibiting commercial transactions with the Taliban. [Executive Order 7/4/99]
          

July 5, 1999

       President Clinton signs an executive order freezing the assets of the Taliban in the US and prohibiting trade and other transactions between US citizens and the Taliban. Clinton blames the Taliban for harboring bin Laden. [CNN 7/6/99]
          

July 14, 1999

      
Rajaa Gulum Abbas.
US government informant Randy Glass records a conversation at a dinner attended by him, illegal arms dealers Diaa Mohsen and Mohammed Malik (see June 12, 2001), a former Egyptian judge named Shireen Shawky, and ISI agent Rajaa Gulum Abbas, held at a restaurant within view of the WTC. FBI agents pretending to be restaurant customers sit at nearby tables. [WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02, MSNBC, 8/2/02] Abbas says he wants to buy a whole shipload of weapons stolen from the US military to give to bin Laden. [Cox News 8/2/02] Abbas points to the WTC and says, “Those towers are coming down.” This ISI agent later makes two other references to an attack on the WTC. [WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02, Cox News, 8/2/02, Palm Beach Post, 10/17/02] Abbas also says, “Americans [are] the enemy,” and, “We would have no problem with blowing up this entire restaurant because it is full of Americans.” [MSNBC, 3/18/03] The meeting is secretly recorded, and parts are shown on television in 2003 (see also August 17, 1999). [MSNBC 3/18/03 (B)]
          

August 17, 1999

      
Randy Glass, center, shows Stinger missiles to Rajaa Gulum Abbas and others.
A group of illegal arms merchants, including an ISI agent with foreknowledge of 9/11, had met in a New York restaurant the month before (see July 14, 1999). This same group meets at this time in a West Palm Beach, Florida, warehouse, and is shown Stinger missiles as part of a sting operation. [South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3/20/03] US intelligence soon discovers connections between two in the group, Rajaa Gulum Abbas and Mohammed Malik, terrorist groups in Kashmir (where the ISI assists terrorists fighting against India), and the Taliban. Mohamed Malik suggests in this meeting that the Stingers will be used in Kashmir or Afghanistan. His colleague Diaa Mohsen also says Abbas has direct connections to “dignitaries” and bin Laden. Abbas also wants heavy water for a “dirty bomb” or other material to make a nuclear weapon. He says he will bring a Pakistani nuclear scientist to the US to inspect the material. [MSNBC 8/2/02; MSNBC 3/18/03] Government informant Randy Glass passes these warnings on before 9/11, but he claims, “The complaints were ordered sanitized by the highest levels of government” (see also Early August 2001). [WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02] In June 2002, the US secretly indicts Abbas (see June 2002), but apparently they aren't trying very hard to find him: In August 2002, MSNBC is easily able to contact Abbas in Pakistan and speak to him by telephone. [MSNBC 8/2/02]
          

September 1999 (D)

       US intelligence obtains information that bin Laden and others are planning a terrorist act in the US, possibly against specific landmarks in California and New York City. The reliability of the source is unknown. [Senate Intelligence Committee 9/18/02]
          

September 1999 (C)

       A report prepared for US intelligence entitled the “Sociology and Psychology of Terrorism” is completed. It states: “Al-Qaeda's expected retaliation for the US cruise missile attack … could take several forms of terrorist attack in the nation's capital. Al-Qaeda could detonate a Chechen-type building-buster bomb at a federal building. Suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaeda's Martyrdom Battalion could crash-land an aircraft packed with high explosives (C-4 and Semtex) into the Pentagon, the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), or the White House. Whatever form an attack may take, bin Laden will most likely retaliate in a spectacular way.” The report is by the National Intelligence Council, which advises the President and US intelligence on emerging threats. [AP 4/18/02; complete report on-line] The Bush administration later claims to have never heard of this report until May 2002, despite the fact that it had been publicly posted on the internet since 1999, and “widely shared within the government” according to the New York Times. [CNN 5/18/02; New York Times 5/18/02]
          

September 1999 (E)

       Agents from Oklahoma City FBI office visit the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma to investigate Ihab Ali, who has already been identified as bin Laden's former personal pilot. Ali attended the school in 1993 and is later named as an unindicted coconspirator in the 1998 US Embassy bombing in Kenya. [CNN 10/16/01; Boston Globe 9/18/01; Senate Intelligence Committee 10/17/02] When Ali was arrested in May 1999, he was working as a taxi driver in Orlando, Florida. Investigators discover recent ties between him and high ranking al-Qaeda leaders, and suspect he was a “sleeper” agent. [St. Petersburg Times 10/28/01] However, the agent visiting the school is not given most background details about him. [Congressional Inquiry, 7/24/03 (B)] It's not known if these investigators are aware of a terrorist flight school warning given by the Oklahoma City FBI office in 1998 (see May 18, 1998). Hijackers Atta and Marwan Alshehhi later visit the Airman school in July 2000 but ultimately decide to train in Florida instead. [Boston Globe, 9/18/01] Al-Qaeda agent Zacarias Moussaoui takes flight lessons at Airman in 2001 (see February 23, 2001). One of the FBI agents sent to visit the school at this time visits it again in August 2001 asking about Moussaoui, but he fails to make a connection between the two visits (see August 23, 2001 (E)).
          

September 1999

       BJ's Wholesale Club, a store in Hollywood, Florida, later tells the FBI that Atta may have held a BJ's membership card since at least this time (“more than two years”). Several cashiers at the store vaguely remember seeing Atta there. [Miami Herald 9/18/01] According to the official story, Atta doesn't arrive in the US until June 3, 2000. [Miami Herald 9/22/01]
          

September 1999 (B)

       Steven Hatfill, later suspected of being behind the 2001 anthrax attacks (see October 4, 2001), ends his two-year contract working at USAMRIID. But his contact held little meaning after February, when he had started working full time somewhere else. [Weekly Standard 9/16/02] It is later reported that the strain of anthrax used in the attacks could be no older than September 1999. [New York Times, 6/23/02] While at USAMRIID, Hatfill also worked on virology in a different building than where anthrax was studied, so the odds of Hatfill getting access to the type of anthrax used in the attacks at USAMRIID seems extremely small. [Weekly Standard 9/16/02]
          

September 15, 1999

       The first phase of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, co-chaired by former Senators Gary Hart (D) and Warren Rudman (R) is issued. It concludes: “America will be attacked by terrorists using weapons of mass destruction and Americans will lose their lives on American soil, possibly in large numbers” (see also January 31, 2001). [USCNS Reports]
          

September 21, 1999

       German intelligence is periodically tapping suspected al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar's telephone (see also March 1997 and February 17, 1999), and on this day investigators hear Zammar call hijacker Marwan Alshehhi. Officials initially claim that the call also mentions hijacker Mohamed Atta, but only his first name. [Telegraph 11/24/01; New York Times 1/18/03] But in fact, his full name, “Mohammed Atta Al Amir,” is mentioned in this call and in another recorded call. [FAZ, 2/2/03] Alshehhi makes veiled references to plans to travel to Afghanistan. He also hands the phone over to Said Bahaji (another member of the Hamburg cell under investigation at the time November 1, 1998-February 2001), so he can talk to Zammar. [Stern, 8/13/03] German investigators still don't know Alshehhi's full name, but they recognize this Marwan also called Zammar earlier in the year, and they told the CIA about that call (see January 31, 1999). Alshehhi, living in the United Arab Emirates at the time, calls Zammar frequently. German intelligence asks the United Arab Emirates to identify the number and the caller, but the request is not answered. [Der Spiegel 2/3/03]
          

October 1999 (B)

       The CIA readies an operation to capture or kill bin Laden, secretly training and equipping approximately 60 commandos from the ISI. Pakistan supposedly agrees to this plan in return for the lifting of economic sanctions and more economic aid. The plan is ready to go by this month, but it is aborted because on October 12, General Musharraf takes control of Pakistan in a coup (see October 12, 1999). Musharraf refuses to continue the operation despite the promise of substantial rewards. [Washington Post 10/3/01 (C)] Some US officials later say the CIA was tricked, because the ISI just feigned to cooperate as a stalling tactic, and never intended to get bin Laden. [New York Times 10/29/01]
          

October 1999

      
The ANSER logo.
The ANSER Institute for Homeland Security is founded. This institute claims to be “leading the [homeland security] debate through executive-level education, public awareness programs, workshops for policy makers and online publications: a weekly newsletter and the Journal of Homeland Security, which features articles by senior government leaders and leading homeland security experts.” As their webpage makes clear, the first mention of the phrase “homeland security” in a US context came only one month earlier. This institute, which has deep roots in the Air Force, has received tens of millions of government dollars in support. [Online Journal, 6/29/02] They talked about a “second Pearl Harbor” long before 9/11. Doesn't this institute indicate the Department of Homeland Security was planned long before 9/11? Their own website touts their role in the creation of this department, but the media has completely failed to cover the story. [Institute for Homeland Security website; Institute for Homeland Security website FAQ; Online Journal 6/29/02]
          

Autumn 1999

       The Secretary of State finally legally declares al-Qaeda a foreign terrorist organization that is threatening to the US. [9/11 Commission Report 3/24/04]
          

October 1999 (C)

       Worried about intercepts showing a growing likelihood of al-Qaeda attacks around the millennium (see December 31, 1999-January 1, 2000), the CIA steps up ties with Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban. The CIA sends a team of agents to his headquarters in a remote part of northern Afghanistan, asking for his help to capture or kill bin Laden. Massoud complains that the US is too focused on bin Laden, and isn't interested in the root problems of Taliban, Saudi and Pakistani support for terrorism that is propping him up. He agrees to help nonetheless, and the CIA gives him more aid in return. But the US is officially neutral in the Afghan civil war and the agents are prohibited from giving any aid that would “fundamentally alter the Afghan battlefield.” [Washington Post 2/23/04] DIA agent Julie Sirrs (see October 1998 (B)), newly retired, is at Massoud's headquarters at the same time as the CIA team. She gathers valuable intelligence from captured al-Qaeda soldiers while the CIA agents stay in their guesthouse. She publishes much of what she learned on this trip and other trips in the summer of 2001. [Washington Post 2/28/04]
          

October 5, 1999

       The highly respected Jane's Terrorism and Security Monitor reports that US intelligence is worried bin Laden is planning a major terrorist attack on US soil. They are said to be particularly concerned about some kind of attack on New York, and they have recommended stepped-up security at the New York Stock Exchange and the Federal Reserve. [NewsMax 10/5/99]
          

October 8, 1999

       State Department designates al-Qaeda a foreign terrorist organization. [Congressional Inquiry 7/24/03 (B)]
          

October 12, 1999

       General Musharraf becomes leader of Pakistan in a coup. One major reason for the coup is the ISI felt the previous ruler had to go “out of fear that he might buckle to American pressure and reverse Pakistan's policy [of supporting] the Taliban.”[New York Times, 12/8/01] Shortly thereafter Musharraf replaces the leader of the ISI, Brig Imtiaz, because of his close ties to the previous leader. Imtiaz is arrested and convicted of “having assets disproportionate to his known sources of income.” It comes out that he was keeping tens of millions of dollars earned from heroin smuggling in a Deutschebank account. This is interesting because insider trading just prior to 9/11 will later connect to a branch of Deutschebank recently run by “Buzzy” Krongard, now Executive Director of the CIA (see September 6-10, 2001). [Financial Times (Asian edition), 8/10/01] The new Director of the ISI is Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, a close ally of Musharraf who is instrumental in the success of the coup. [Guardian, 10/9/01] Mahmood will later be fired after suggestions that he helped fund the 9/11 attacks (see October 7, 2001 (B) ).
          
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