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Theme

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

Day of 911

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

 
  

Project: Complete 911 Timeline

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Showing 101-200 of 322 events (use filters to narrow search):    previous 100    next 100

May 21, 2002

       Minnesota FBI agent Coleen Rowley, upset with what she considers lying from FBI Director Mueller and others in the FBI about the handling of the Moussaoui case, makes public a long memo she's written about the topic (previously discussed, see August 28, 2001 (D), and see the memo here: [Time, 5/21/02]). She also applies for whistleblower protection. Time magazine calls the memo a “colossal indictment of our chief law-enforcement agency's neglect” and says it “raises serious doubts about whether the FBI is capable of protecting the public—and whether it still deserves the public's trust.” [Time 5/27/02] After 9/11 Mueller made statements such as “There were no warning signs that I'm aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country”(see September 14, 2001 (F)). Coleen Rowley and other Minnesota FBI agents “immediately sought to reach [Mueller's] office through an assortment of higher-level FBI [headquarters] contacts, in order to quickly make [him] aware of the background of the Moussaoui investigation and forewarn [him] so that [his] public statements could be accordingly modified,” yet Mueller continued to make similar comments, including in a Senate hearing on May 8, 2002. [Time, 5/21/02, New York Times, 5/30/02] Finally, after Rowley's memo becomes public, Mueller states, “I cannot say for sure that there wasn't a possibility we could have come across some lead that would have led us to the hijackers.” He also admits: “I have made mistakes occasionally in my public comments based on information or a lack of information that I subsequently got.” [New York Times 5/30/02] Time magazine later names Rowley one of three “Persons of the Year” for 2002, along with fellow whistleblowers Cynthia Cooper of Worldcom and Sherron Watkins of Enron. [Time 12/22/02; Time 12/22/02]
          

May 21-22, 2002

      
Walid Arkeh
Walid Arkeh is a prisoner in Florida who claims to have told the FBI in August 2001 that al-Qaeda was likely to attack the WTC and other targets soon. At the time, his information was dismissed (see August 21, 2001). After 9/11, his warning is still not taken seriously by the local FBI, but on May 21 he is interviewed by a different group of FBI agents in New York City. They begin by asking him what the three al-Qaeda prisoners he befriended told him of the 1998 US embassy bombings (see August 7, 1998). When Arkeh mentions he has information about 9/11 that he told the FBI before 9/11, the agents are stunned. One says to him: “Let me tell you something. If you know what happened in New York, we are all in deep shit. We are in deep trouble.” He tells them that these prisoners hinted that the WTC would be attacked, and targets in Washington were mentioned as well. However, they did not tell him a date or that airplanes would be used. The New York FBI later informs him that they found his information credible. [Orlando Sentinel 10/30/02] Arkeh is later deported to Jordan despite a Responsible Cooperators Program promising visas to those who provided important terrorist information. It is unclear if even one person has been given rewards through this program. [Orlando Sentinel 11/10/02; Orlando Sentinel 1/11/03; Orlando Sentinel 3/12/03]
          

May 21, 2002 (C)

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

May 22, 2002

       At least half of the 48 Muslim radicals linked to terrorist plots in the US since 1993 manipulated or violated immigration laws to enter this country and then stay here. Even when the terrorists did little to hide violations of visa requirements or other laws, INS officials failed to enforce the laws or to deport the offenders. The terrorists used a variety of methods. At the time they committed their crimes, 12 of the 48 were illegal immigrants. At least five others had lived in the US illegally, and four others had committed significant immigration violations. Others were here legally but should have been rejected for visas because they fit US immigration profiles of people who are likely to overstay their visas. [USA Today, 5/22/02] Experts later strongly suggest that the visa applications for all 15 of the Saudi Arabian 9/11 hijackers should have been rejected due to numerous irregularities (see October 23, 2002).
          

May 23, 2002

       President Bush says he is opposed to establishing a special, 9/11 Commission to probe how the government dealt with terror warnings before 9/11. [CBS, 5/23/02] He later changes his stance in the face of overwhelming support for the idea (see September 20, 2002), and then sabotages an agreement that Congress had reached to establish the commission (see October 10, 2002).
          

May 27, 2002

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

Late May 2002

       A memo written by a Phoenix FBI agent Ken Williams in July 2001 (see July 10, 2001), which warned that Middle Eastern terrorists might be training at US flight schools, is finally received by the FAA—weeks after it was recounted in news reports. [Washington Post 10/2/02]
          

May 30, 2002

       FBI Agent Robert Wright announces he is suing the FBI over a publishing ban. He has written a book but the FBI won't allow him to show it to anyone. He delivers a tearful press conference at the National Press Club describing his lawsuit against the FBI for deliberately curtailing investigations that might have prevented the 9/11 attacks. Unfortunately he has been ordered to not reveal specifics publicly. [Fox News 5/30/02] Wright claims the FBI shut down his 1998 criminal probe into alleged terrorist-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City (see October 1998). He uses words like “prevented,” “thwarted,” “obstructed,” “threatened,” “intimidated,”and “retaliation” to describe the actions of his superiors in blocking his attempts to shut off money flows to al-Qaeda, Hamas and other terrorist groups. He also alleges that for years the US was training Hamas terrorists to make car bombs to use against Israel, one of the US's closest allies (see also June 9, 2001 and August 9, 2002 (C)). [LA Weekly, 8/2/02] [FTW]
          

May 30, 2002 (C)

       Attorney General Ashcroft relaxes decades-old rules limiting government agents from monitoring domestic religious and political groups. Now, FBI agents can attend political rallies or religious meetings without evidence of a crime or advance approval from superiors. The new rules also permit the FBI to broadly search or monitor the internet for evidence of criminal activity without having any tips or leads that a specific criminal act has been committed. [Philadelphia Inquirer 5/31/02]
          

May 30, 2002 (B)

       Afghanistan's interim leader, Hamid Karzai, Turkmenistan's President Niyazov, and Pakistani President Musharraf meet in Islamabad and sign a memorandum of understanding on the trans-Afghanistan gas pipeline project. [Alexander's Gas and Oil Connections, 6/8/02, Dawn, 5/31/02] FTWThe agreement is finalized by the end of the year (see December 27, 2002).
          

May 31, 2002

       At some point prior to this date, when asked why the August 6, 2001 memo read by Bush on al-Qaeda has not been released (see August 6, 2001), Vice President Cheney calls the CIA memo just a “rehash” containing nothing new or interesting. But why Congress should not see it, Cheney says, “because it contains the most sensitive sources and methods. It's the family jewels.”[] How can this “rehash” of “jewels” be simultaneously worthless and full of sensitive information?
          

June 2002

      
Rajaa Gulum Abbas holding a stinger missile, secretly recorded in a sting operation in August 1999.
The US secretly indicts Rajaa Gulum Abbas and Abdul Malik for attempting to buy $32 million in Stinger missiles and other military weaponry in an undercover arms-dealing investigation. However, a US official states that Abbas is an alleged member of the ISI, and is thought to have ties to Middle East terrorist groups and arms-trafficking operations. He also appears to have foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks (see July 14, 1999). Abdul Malik is said to be Abbas's money man. Abdul Malik is not related to Mohammed Malik, another Pakistani targeted by the undercover operation. The chief US informant in the case, Randy Glass, says that both men also have clear ties to al-Qaeda, and the arms were going to be funneled to al-Qaeda and used against American targets. [Palm Beach Post 3/20/03; South Florida Sun-Sentinel 3/20/03] The indictment is not revealed until March 2003; both men still remain missing and are presumed to be in Pakistan. The US says it is still working on capturing and extraditing Abbas and Malik. [MSNBC, 3/18/03] NBC seems to have no trouble reaching Abbas in Pakistan by telephone. [MSNBC 8/2/02; MSNBC 3/18/03] The indictment “makes no mention of Pakistan, any ties to Afghanistan's former Taliban regime or the ultimate destination of the weapons.” [Palm Beach Post, 3/20/03] In other court cases resulting from this sting, all mentions of Pakistan have been removed (see June 12, 2001).
          

June 1, 2002 (B)

       In a speech, Bush announced a new US policy of preemptive attacks: “If we wait for threats to fully materialize we will have waited too long. We must take the battle to the enemy, disrupt his plans and confront the worst threats before they emerge.” [New York Times, 6/2/02] This preemptive strategy is included in a defensive strategic paper the next month (see July 13, 2002), and formally announced in September 2002. In all these developments, the media fails to notice that this preemptive policy was the fulfillment of a vision first articulated in Bush Sr.'s administration (see November 9, 1989 and March 8, 1992), and later pushed by the influential Project for the New American Century think tank (see June 3, 1997). [New York Times 9/20/02; Washington Post 9/21/02; Guardian 9/21/02]
          

June 1, 2002

       Memphis, Tennessee, medical examiner O.C. Smith is attacked with chemical spray, bound with barbed wire, and left lying in a nearby parking lot with a bomb tied to his body. He is rescued several hours later. In recent months, Smith has been working on two interesting cases. One is the death of Harvard University microbiologist Don Wiley, who supposedly fell from a Memphis bridge in December (see November 16, 2001). He also helped identify the body of Katherine Smith, a state driver's license examiner who was found burned beyond recognition in February 2002, a day before a hearing on federal charges of helping five Middle Eastern men obtain fake driver's licenses (see February 10, 2002). Adding to the mystery, Smith had received a series of death threat letters early in 2001. [AP, 6/4/02] Perhaps it's all coincidence, but the events around O.C. Smith, Katherine Smith and Don Wiley seem to tie 9/11 and the rash of microbiologist deaths together in some inexplicable way. If someone wanted O.C. Smith dead, why didn't they just kill him instead of attacking him in such a strange way and then leaving him to live? Was this, and the earlier bomb attack against his office (see March 13, 2002), meant as a warning?
          

June 3, 2002 (C)

      
Stanley Hilton.
San Francisco attorney Stanley Hilton files a $7 billion lawsuit against President Bush and other government officials, claiming that they allowed the 9/11 attacks to occur. Hilton is filing a class action suit on behalf of the families of 14 victims of 9/11. [San Francisco Examiner, 6/11/02] His suit names as defendants: President Bush, Vice President Cheney, National Security Adviser Rice, Defense Secretary Rumsfeld, Attorney General Ashcroft, FBI Director Mueller, Transportation Secretary Norman Mineta, and the US government generally. [Stanley Hilton Suit, 6/3/02] While the suit has gotten virtually no press coverage, an interview in March 2003 shows that his suit is still ongoing. [Alex Jones Show 3/11/03]
          

June 3, 2002

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

June 3, 2002 (B)

       A rare follow-up article about inside trading based on 9/11 foreknowledge confirms that numerous inquiries in the US and around the world are still ongoing (see for instance, Early September 2001 (I), Early September 2001 (J), Early September 2001 (K), Early September 2001 (L), Early September 2001 (M) and September 6-10, 2001). However, “all are treating these inquiries as if they were state secrets.” The author speculates: “The silence from the investigating camps could mean any of several things: Either terrorists are responsible for the puts on the airline stocks; others besides terrorists had foreknowledge; the puts were just lucky bets by credible investors; or, there is nothing whatsoever to support the insider-trading rumors.” [Insight 6/3/02]
          

June 4, 2002

      
The photo of Mohammed on the right has been flipped to better compare it with the photo on the left. Reporter Yosri Fouda says that the photo on the right is an “electronically enhanced version” of the photo on the left. [
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is publicly identified as the “mastermind” behind the 9/11 attacks. He is believed to have arranged the logistics while on the run in Germany, Pakistan and Afghanistan. In 1996 he had been secretly indicted in the US for his role in Operation Bojinka (see January 6, 1995 and January-May 1996), and the US began offering a $2 million reward for his capture in 1998, which increased to $25 million in December 2001. [, New York Times, 6/5/02] There are conflicting accounts on how much US investigators knew about Mohammed before 9/11 (see Mid-1996-September 11, 2001). Mohammed is Pakistani (thought born in Kuwait [CBS, 6/5/02]) and a relative of Ramzi Yousef, the bomber of the WTC in 1993. [New York Times 6/5/02] Though not widely reported, Josef Bodansky, the director of the Congressional Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare, says Mohammed also has ties to the ISI, and they had acted to shield him in the past. Bodansky claims Mohammed is the one who orders Pearl's murder (see December 24, 2001-January 23, 2002). [UPI, 9/30/02] If the 9/11 mastermind has ties to the ISI, and Saeed Shaikh, an agent of the ISI, helped train the hijackers (see January 1, 2000-September 11, 2001) and wired money to the 9/11 hijackers on the orders of ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed (see Early August 2001 (D)), and other ISI agents had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks in 1999 (see July 14, 1999), why has no mainstream media outlet ever suggested that the ISI could have been behind the 9/11 attacks? Mohammed is apparently captured in March 2003, if not earlier (see March 1, 2003).
          

June 4, 2002 (C)

       Air Force Lt. Col. Steve Butler is suspended from his post at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California and is told he could face a court martial for writing a letter to a local newspaper calling President Bush a “joke” and accusing him of allowing the 9/11 attacks to happen. The military prohibits public criticism of superiors. [BBC, 6/5/02, see the letter here: Monterey County Herald, 6/5/02] What is not reported is that he may have had unique knowledge about 9/11: A hijacker named Saeed Alghamdi trained at the Defense Language Institute and Butler was Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs there (note that this is not the same person as the Steven Butler who later testifies before the 9/11 Congressional inquiry (see October 9, 2002)) . [Gannett News Service, 9/17/01] Later in the month the Air Force announces “the matter is resolved”and Butler will not face a court-martial but it is unknown if he faced a lesser punishment. [Knight Ridder, 6/14/02] [FTW]
          

June 4, 2002 (B)

       For the first time, Bush concedes that his intelligence agencies didn't do the best job: “In terms of whether or not the FBI and the CIA were communicating properly, I think it is clear that they weren't.” [London Times, 6/5/02] However, in an address to the nation three days later, President Bush states, “Based on everything I've seen, I do not believe anyone could have prevented the horror of September the 11th.” [Sydney Morning Herald, 6/8/02] Days earlier, Newsweek reports that the FBI have prepared a detailed chart showing how agents could have uncovered the terrorist plot if the CIA been told them what it knew about the hijackers Almihdhar and Alhazmi sooner. One FBI official says, “There's no question we could have tied all 19 hijackers together.”[Newsweek, 6/2/02] FBI Director Mueller denies the existence of such a chart. Attorney General Ashcroft also says it is unlikely better intelligence could have stopped the attacks. [Washington Post 6/3/02]
          

June 10, 2002

      
Jose Padilla.
Attorney General Ashcroft announces the arrest of Abdullah al-Mujahir, a.k.a. Jose Padilla. He claims that Padilla was part of an al-Qaeda plot to detonate a radioactive “dirty bomb” in a US city, and supposedly Padilla was scouting bomb targets when arrested. Padilla, a US citizen, is being held as an “enemy combatant,” allowing him to be held indefinitely. [Guardian 6/11/02, PBS Newshour, 6/11/02] But almost immediately, doubts grow about this story. The London Times says that it is “beyond dispute” that the timing of the announcement of his arrest was “politically inspired.” Padilla was actually arrested a month earlier, on May 8. [London Times 6/13/02] It is widely believed that Ashcroft made the arrest announcement “only to divert attention from Intelligence Committee inquiries into the FBI and CIA handling of 9/11.” [Village Voice 6/12/02; Independent 6/12/02; BBC 6/13/02; Washington Post 6/13/03] Bush soon privately chastises Ashcroft for overstating claims about Padilla. [Guardian, 8/15/02] The government attorneys apparently could not get an indictment out of a New York grand jury and, rather than let him go, made Padilla an enemy combatant. [Village Voice, 6/12/02] It later comes out that the FBI found no evidence that he was preparing a dirty bomb attack and little evidence to suggest that he had any support from al-Qaeda, or any ties to al-Qaeda cells in the US. Yet the Justice Department maintains that its view of Padilla “remains unchanged,” and that he is a “serious and continuing threat.” [Guardian, 8/15/02] Because Padilla is a US citizen, he cannot be tried in a military court. So apparently he will simply be held indefinitely. It is pointed out that any American could be declared an enemy combatant and never tried or have that status questioned. [San Francisco Chronicle, 6/11/02, Washington Post, 6/11/02] The Washington Post says, “If that's the case, nobody's constitutional rights are safe.” [Washington Post, 6/11/02] Despite the evidence that Padilla's case is grossly overstated, the government won't even allow him access to a lawyer (see December 4, 2002 (B) and March 11, 2003).
          

June 13, 2002 (B)

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

June 13, 2002

       Several congresspeople submit a list of 50 questions to Attorney General Ashcroft, asking him how the Patriot Act is being implemented (see October 26, 2001). [New York Times, 7/14/02] For instance, they ask, “How many times has the department requested records from libraries, bookstores and newspapers? How many roving wiretaps has the department requested?” Ashcroft refuses to answer many of the questions, even though he is legally required to do so. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/8/02] Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D) fails to receive any response to dozens of letters he writes to Ashcroft, and other senators complain of a complete stonewall. [Washington Post, 8/21/02] In March 2003, senators continue to complain that Ashcroft still has not provided the oversight information about the Patriot Act that he is required to give by law. [ABC News 3/12/03]
          

June 16, 2002

       In September 2002, articles appear in the Pakistani and Indian press suggesting that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is actually captured on this day. Supposedly he has been sent to the US, though the US and Pakistan deny the story and say Mohammed has not been captured at all. [Daily Times, 9/9/02, Times of India, 9/9/02, Economic Times, 9/10/02] It is originally reported that Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda interviews 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and 9/11 associate Ramzi bin al-Shibh at a secret location in Karachi, Pakistan in either June or August.(see April, June or August 2002). It is later widely reported that Mohammed is captured in March 2003, but some reporters and experts doubt this, suggesting he was captured earlier (see March 1, 2003). He may also have been captured or killed in September 2002 (see September 11, 2002).
          

June 18, 2002

       FBI Director Mueller testifies before the Congressional 9/11 inquiry; his testimony is made public in September 2002. [AP, 9/26/02] He claims that with the possible exception of Zacarias Moussaoui, “To this day we have found no one in the United States except the actual hijackers who knew of the plot and we have found nothing they did while in the United States that triggered a specific response about them.” [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02] The Congressional 9/11 inquiry will later conclude near the end of 2002 that some hijackers had contact inside the US with individuals known to the FBI, and the hijackers “were not as isolated during their time in the United States as has been previously suggested.”[Los Angeles Times, 12/12/02] Mueller also claims, “There were no slip-ups. Discipline never broke down. They gave no hint to those around them what they were about.” [Congressional Intelligence Committee, 9/26/02] This statement overlooks some facts, such as the FAA's investigation into Hani Hanjour (see January-February 2001), Atta's strange visit to the Department of Agriculture (see Late April-Mid-May 2000), or what should have been an FAA investigation into Atta (see December 26, 2000).
          

June 20, 2002

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

June 22, 2002

       Internal FBI documents show that Thomas Kelley, in charge of matters relating to the FBI in the joint congressional intelligence 9/11 inquiry, blocked an inquiry into the FBI's role in Waco. For instance, an internal FBI memo from December 2000 states that Kelley “continued to thwart and obstruct” the Waco investigation to the point that a special counsel was forced to send a team to search FBI headquarters for documents Kelley refused to turn over. [Washington Post, 6/22/02] This follows the resignation of the inquiry head a month previously (see May 1, 2002).
          

June 25, 2002 (B)

       Although the Western media continues to report that the ISI has reformed itself, “few in Pakistan believe it.” The Independent later reports rumors that on this day ISI officers hide three al-Qaeda members after a gun battle in which 10 soldiers were killed. This follows several other betrayals—now the FBI and the Pakistanis no longer tell the ISI about their raids in advance. Other Pakistani investigators are having to build terrorist files from scratch because the ISI won't share what they know. [Independent 7/21/02]
          

June 25, 2002

       The FBI search the home of an anthrax researcher who worked at USAMRIID. [AP, 6/25/02] He remains anonymous in most stories, but some name him as Steven Hatfill. In the wake of all these stories, one microbiologist states, “Their intent was clearly to put [Hatfill's] name in the public eye. The only question is why.” The FBI announces that the search found nothing and Hatfill is not a suspect. [Hartford Courant, 6/27/02] The FBI also announces voluntary lie detector tests at USAMRIID and Dugway Proving Ground in Utah. [New York Times, 7/2/02] Numerous experts have pointed out for months that these two facilities are the only likely places the anthrax used in the attacks could have been made, and that there are only several dozen possible scientists who could have made it. Why is the FBI only now even beginning to look into this? The New York Times had been running a series of articles about “Mr. Z” [New York Times, 5/24/02, New York Times, 7/2/02, New York Times, 7/12/02], who is eventually revealed as Hatfill. [New York Times 8/13/02]
          

June 26, 2002 (B)

       US Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy claims that the proposed bill for a new Homeland Security department would put this department “above the law.” He reveals that, amongst other disturbing provisions, “The Freedom of Information Act would not apply. The conflicts of interest and accountability rules for agency advisers would not apply.” A provision in the bill will exempt employees in the new department from whistleblower protection, the very law that has helped expose intelligence-gathering missteps before 9/11. [Reuters 6/26/02]
          

June 26, 2002

      
The crash at Venice Municipal Airport.
Arne Kruithof, owner of the flight school where hijacker Ziad Jarrah trained, narrowly survives a small plane crash in Venice, Florida. The plane crashes shortly after takeoff, but the pilot and two passengers remarkably walk away unscathed. [Venice Gondolier, 6/29/02] The incident may be completely accidental, but it interesting to note that the owner of the other Venice flight school that trained hijackers, Rudi Dekkers, also survives a crash six months later (see January 24, 2003). Reporter Daniel Hopsicker has been reporting on Kruithof's “curious” connections, and suggests the accident may be an attempt to silence Kruithof's knowledge of 9/11 (see ).
          

July 3, 2002

       The Justice Department announces that only 74 of the 752 people detained on immigration charges after 9/11 are still in US custody. By December, only six of them remain in custody (see December 11, 2002 (D)). Hundreds more were detained on other charges or as material witnesses, but no numbers pertaining to them have been released. 611 were subject to secret hearings. Senator Carl Levin (D), who had requested the figures, says, “It took the Justice Department more than three months to produce a partial response to my letter.” But the answers raise “a number of additional questions, including why closed hearings were necessary for so many people.” Though many were held for months, “the vast majority were never charged with anything other than overstaying a visa.” [New York Times, 7/11/02] All the deportation hearings for these people have been held in secret as well. Some say the government is cloaking its activities out of embarrassment, because none of these people have turned out to have any ties to terrorism. [New York Times 7/11/02; Detroit Free Press 7/18/02]
          

July 6, 2002

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

July 10, 2002

       A briefing given to a top Pentagon advisory group states, “The Saudis are active at every level of the terror chain, from planners to financiers, from cadre to foot-soldier, from ideologist to cheerleader … Saudi Arabia supports our enemies and attacks our allies.” They are called “the kernel of evil, the prime mover, the most dangerous opponent.”This position still runs counter to official US policy, but the Washington Post says it “represents a point of view that has growing currency within the Bush administration.” The briefing suggests that the Saudis be given an ultimatum to stop backing terrorism or face seizure of its oil fields and its financial assets invested in the United States . The group, the Defense Policy Board, is headed by Richard Perle. [Washington Post, 8/6/02] An international controversy follows the public reports of the briefing in August 2002 (for instance, [Scotsman, 8/12/02]). In an abrupt change, the media starts calling the Saudis enemies, not allies of the US. Slate reports details of the briefing the Post failed to mention. The briefing states, “There is an ‘Arabia,’ but it needs not be ‘Saudi’ ”. The conclusion of the briefing: “Grand strategy for the Middle East: Iraq is the tactical pivot. Saudi Arabia the strategic pivot. Egypt the prize.” [Slate, 8/7/02] Note that a similar meeting of the Defense Policy Board appears to have preceded and affected the US's decision to take a warlike stance against Iraq (see September 17, 2001 (B) and August 6, 2001).
          

July 11, 2002

       It is reported that the FBI believes there are approximately 5,000 al-Qaeda agents inside the US. In early 2003, FBI Director Mueller reduces the estimate to “several hundred.” The New York Times then says that even suggesting over 100 is probably an exaggeration made for political reasons. [New York Times 2/16/03]
          

July 12, 2002

       A federal judge denies a motion to dismiss a lawsuit trying to force the release of documents relating to Vice President Cheney's Energy Task Force (see May 2001 (G)). Judicial Watch and the Sierra Club filed the suit a year earlier. The judge rejects as “mischief”arguments that inquiry into the Energy Task Force would impinge on the president's constitutional powers. The judge further says the Bush Administration's “stunning” arguments “fly in the face of precedent” and are a “problematic and unprecedented assertion … of Executive Power.” He also accuses the Bush Administration of making purposefully misleading arguments in its case. [AP, 7/12/02] In March, the Bush Administration was forced to release thousands of documents after what the judge called ten months of stalling. [New York Times, 3/6/02] But a majority of documents were not released, and of the ones that were, most were completely blanked out. [AP, 3/25/02] The government continues to fight the release of these documents (see October 17, 2002, December 9, 2002 (B) and February 7, 2003 (B)).
          

July 12, 2002 (B)

       US prosecutors are arguing in court that the government should be able to block the 9/11 victims' relatives from obtaining sensitive airline information in wrongful death suits alleging inadequate security. The airlines have been named in at least 10 wrongful death suits—now consolidated into one case. Even the airlines on the other side of the case say their lawyers have not been able to learn “basic information” from the government. [Reuters 7/12/02]
          

July 13, 2002

       The US military releases a new Defense Planning Guidance strategic vision. It “contains all the key elements” of a similar document written ten years earlier by largely the same people now in power (see March 8, 1992). Like the original, the centerpiece of this vision is preventing any other powers from challenging US world dominance. Some new ideas are added, for instance, not just preemptive strikes but preemptive strikes using nuclear weapons. [Los Angeles Times, 7/13/02, Los Angeles Times, 7/16/02, Harper's, 10/02] David Armstrong notes in Harper's magazine, “[In 1992] the goal was global dominance, and it met with bad reviews. Now it is the answer to terrorism. The emphasis is on preemption, and the reviews are generally enthusiastic. Through all of this, the dominance motif remains, though largely undetected.” [Harper's 10/02]
          

July 15, 2002

      
Saeed Sheikh surrounded by police.
Saeed Sheikh and three codefendants are judged guilty for the murder of reporter Daniel Pearl (see January 31, 2002). Saeed, the supposed mastermind of the murder, is sentenced to death by hanging, and the others are given 25-year terms. Saeed threatens the judge with retribution. As if to confirm that his death covers up unpleasant truths, in the stories of his sentencing every major US media story fails to report Saeed's connections to 9/11 or even to the ISI. [AP 7/15/02; AP 7/15/02 (B); CBS 7/15/02; CNN 7/15/02; Los Angeles Times 7/15/02; MSNBC 7/15/02; New York Times 7/15/02; Reuters 7/15/02; USA Today 7/15/02; Wall Street Journal 7/15/02; Washington Post 7/15/02] In contrast, the British media connects Saeed to the ISI ([Guardian, 7/16/02, Guardian, 7/16/02 (B), Daily Mail, 7/16/02]), al-Qaeda ([Independent, 7/16/02]), the 9/11 attacks ([Scotsman, 7/16/02]), or some combination of the three ([London Times, 7/16/02, Daily Mail, 7/16/02, Telegraph, 7/16/02]) (with one exception: [BBC, 7/16/02, BBC, 7/16/02 (B)]). The US and British governments both approve of the verdict. [Wall Street Journal 7/15/02; BBC 7/15/02] In the US, only the Washington Post questions the justice of the verdict. [Washington Post 7/15/02; Washington Post 7/16/02] By contrast, all British newspapers question the verdict, and subsequently raise additional questions about it (see July 16-21, 2002). Saeed has appealed the decision but a second trial has yet to begin. [AP 8/18/02]
          

July 16-21, 2002

       More questions emerge in British newspapers about the conviction of Saeed Sheikh for reporter Daniel Pearl's murder in the days immediately after the verdict (see July 15, 2002). Pakistani police have secretly arrested two men who many believe are the real masterminds of Pearl's murder, and official confirmation of these crucial arrests could have ended Saeed's trial. [Guardian 7/18/02] On May 16, Pearl's body was found and identified, but the FBI doesn't officially release the DNA results because official confirmation of the body would also have meant a new trial. [Independent, 7/16/02] Pakistani officials admit they waited to release the results until after the verdict. [Guardian 7/18/02] After the trial ends, Pakistani officials admit that the key testimony of a taxi driver is doubtful. The “taxi driver” turns out to be a head constable policeman. [Guardian, 7/18/02] One of the codefendants turns out to be working for the Special Branch. [Independent, 7/21/02] The law states the trial needs to finish in a week, but in fact it took three months. The trial judge and the venue were changed three times. [BBC, 7/16/02] The trial was held in a bunker underneath a prison, and no reporters were allowed to attend. When all the appeals are done, it is doubtful that Saeed will be extradited to the US, “because Mr. Sheikh might tell the Americans about the links between al-Qaeda and Pakistan's own intelligence organization.” [Independent, 7/16/02] Meanwhile, at least seven more suspects remain at large. All have ties to the ISI, and as one investigator remarks, “It seems inconceivable that there isn't someone in the ISI who knows where they're hiding.” [Time 5/6/02] Why is the US complicit in such a sham trial?
          

July 18, 2002

       New revelations about two phone calls made from Flight 11 emerge. Two stewardesses had lengthy telephone calls to their airline company before the plane crashed into the WTC. There's no mention of box cutters being used, but instead the hijackers “went into the cockpit with a bomb with yellow wires attached” and then “sprayed something in the first-class cabin to keep people out of the front of the plane.” Three people were also stabbed. Even this may not be the full or accurate story since the government won't release recordings of these conversations. [ABC News, 7/18/02] Note that a detailed article about Madeline Sweeney's call appeared in the Los Angeles Times back in September 20, 2001, without any mention of a bomb or chemical spray. [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01] Is the story changing or are new details emerging? How could the hijackers get through security with so many weapons?
          

July 19, 2002 (B)

       An editorial in an Indian newspaper wonders why the US is still not interrogating Saeed Sheikh, recently convicted of murdering Daniel Pearl (see January 31, 2002). Saeed was briefly interrogated by the FBI in February, but they were unable to ask about his links to al-Qaeda, and no known US contact has taken place since. [Independent, 7/16/02, Indian Express, 7/19/02] The editorial suggests that if the US pressures its close ally Pakistan to allow Saeed to be interrogated in his Pakistani prison, they could learn more about his financing of the 9/11 attacks and the criminal underworld that Saeed was connected to (see Early August 2001 (D)). Also, US attempts to find al-Qaeda cells in Pakistan could be strongly boosted with new information. [Indian Express, 7/19/02] No Western media seems to find it curious that Saeed hasn't been properly interrogated by US investigators.
          

July 19, 2002

       Faced with growing criticism of its Visa Express program (see May 2001 (H)), the State Department early in July 2002 decides merely to change the name of the program. When that fails to satisfy critics, the program is abandoned altogether on July 19. The Visa Express program allowed anyone in Saudi Arabia to apply for US visas through their travel agents instead of having to show up at a consulate in person. [Washington Post, 7/11/02 (B)] Mary Ryan, the head of the State Department's consular service that was responsible for letting most of the hijackers into the US, is also forced to retire. It has been pointed out that Ryan deceived Congress by testifying that “there was nothing State could have done to prevent the terrorists from obtaining visas”(see October 21, 2002 and October 23, 2002). However, after all this, Ryan and the other authors of the Visa Express program are given “outstanding performance” awards of $15,000 each. The reporter who wrote most of the stories critical of Visa Express is briefly detained and pressured by the State Department. [Washington Times 10/23/02; Philadelphia Daily News 12/30/02]
          

July 21, 2002

       In an article titled, “Anthrax: the Noose Widens,” Time magazine reports, “Despite recent claims by some in the bioterrorism community that the investigation should be homing in on one particular American bioweapons expert, the FBI appears to be moving in the opposite direction. US government officials say the investigation is still ranging far and wide and that the FBI has not ruled out a foreign connection.” [Time 7/21/02]
          

July 22, 2002 (B)

      
Mushaf Ali Mir.
Three prominent members of the Saudi royal family die in mysterious circumstances. Prince Ahmed bin Abdul-Aziz, a nephew of the Saudi king, prominent businessman, and owner of the winning 2002 Kentucky Derby horse, is said to die of a heart attack at the age of 43. The next day, Prince Sultan bin Faisal, another nephew of the king, dies driving to Prince Ahmed's funeral. A week later, Prince Sultan bin Faisal supposedly “dies of thirst”in the Arabian desert. Seven months later, on February 20, 2003, Pakistan's air force chief Mushaf Ali Mir, dies in a plane crash in clear weather, along with his wife and closest confidants. Controversial author Gerald Posner implies that all of these events are linked together and the deaths not accidental, because of the testimony of captured al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida. Supposedly, Zubaida confessed that he was working with all of the above individuals, and that they had foreknowledge of the 9/11 plot. The deaths all occurred not long after the respective governments were told of Zubaida's confessions. Only one other key figure named by Zubaida remains alive: Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki bin Faisal. Posner says, “He's the J. Edgar Hoover of Saudi Arabia,” too powerful and aware of too many secrets to be killed off. Prince Turki loses his Intelligence Minister job ten days before 9/11, and is later made Saudi ambassador to Britain, giving him diplomatic immunity from any criminal prosecution. [Time 8/31/03]
          

July 22, 2002

       Defense Secretary Rumsfeld issues a secret directive to Special Operations forces allowing them to “capture terrorists for interrogation or, if necessary, to kill them” anywhere in the world. [New Yorker, 12/16/02] Bush already issued a presidential finding authorizing the killing of terrorist leaders, but this increases such efforts. [New York Times, 12/15/02] However, Bush has not rescinded a presidential executive order dating from the 1970s that bans all assassinations, claiming that terrorists are military combatants. “Many past and present military and intelligence officials have expressed alarm” at the legality, wisdom, ethics, and effectiveness of the assassination program. Apparently much of the leadership of Special Operations is against it, worrying about the blowback effect. In February 2002, a Predator missile targeting someone intelligent agents thought was bin Laden hit its target, but killed three innocent Afghan farmers instead. [New Yorker 12/16/02] The first successful assassination takes place in November (see November 3, 2002).
          

July 23, 2002

       The New York City government decides that the audio and written records of the Fire Department's actions on 9/11 should never be released to the general public. The New York Times has been trying to get copies of the materials, which include firsthand accounts given to Fire Department officials by scores of firefighters and chiefs. The city claims the firefighters were told their accounts would be kept confidential, but senior fire officials say they were never told that their remarks would be kept confidential. [New York Times 7/23/02]
          

July 26, 2002

       ABC News reports that an Alabama urban-warfare training camp primarily used by law-enforcement authorities may also have been used to help Islamic militants prepare for terror attacks. US and British authorities don't know how many militant recruits may have come through “Ground Zero USA”camp, which displays bullet-riddled police cars and a school bus with mannequin targets. Before 9/11, an al-Qaeda supporter had a web site recruiting militant Muslims that touted the camp. [South China Morning Post, 7/26/02] How is it so many terrorists seemed to train in the US so easily, and even within clear view of US law enforcement?
          

Late July 2002

       US Special Forces apprehend Mullah Akhter Mohammed Osmani, a top general and one of the six most-wanted Taliban, in Kandahar. He is flown to a detention center north of Kabul for interrogation, but is released a few weeks later and escapes to Pakistan. Contradicting the statements of many soldiers in Kandahar, the Defense Intelligence Agency says it “has no knowledge that Mullah Akhter Mohammed Osmani was ever in US custody in Afghanistan. Given Osmani's high profile and our interest in detaining him, misidentification by experienced personnel is unlikely.” [Washington Times 12/18/02] The incident is one of many examples of the US failing to capture top al-Qaeda and Taliban forces in Afghanistan (see Early November 2001, November 14-November 25, 2001, November 16, 2001 (B), November 28, 2001, and Early December 2001).
          

August 1, 2002 (B)

       The US Justice Department sends an e-mail to Louisiana State University's biomedical research and training center, telling them to “immediately cease and desist” from employing researcher Steven Hatfill on department-funded programs. The next day Hatfill is placed on administrative leave. [CNN, 9/5/02] On September 4, he is fired. [AP, 9/4/02] A day after that, the person who hired him is fired as well. [AP, 9/5/02] The LSU center relies on funding from the Justice Department for 97%of its money. [Weekly Standard, 9/16/02] The New York Times later reports that “several senior law enforcement officials expressed embarrassment over the e-mail incident, saying the domestic preparedness office acted improperly because Mr. Hatfill has never been charged with any wrongdoing and has not been identified as a suspect.” [New York Times 9/5/02]
          

August 1, 2002

      
Steven Hatfill
FBI names Steven Hatfill as a “person of interest” in the anthrax attacks, the first person to be so named. FBI agents are also seen investigating his trash and conducting a second search of his house (first search, see June 25, 2002). [AP, 8/1/02, London Times, 8/2/02] On the same day, Barbara Hatch Rosenberg, one of the world's top anthrax specialists is interviewed by FBI agents who ask her whether a team of government scientists could be trying to frame Hatfill. Rosenberg has been very publicly critical of the FBI investigation. [Washington Times, 8/3/02] Newsweek follows with a lengthy article purporting to detail the entire anthrax investigation, but it focuses entirely on Hatfill and fails to even mention people like Philip Zack (see January 20, 2002). [Newsweek, 8/4/02] The Washington Post does a similar story focusing on Hatfill only (and even claims the US biowarfare program ended decades ago). [Washington Post 8/4/02]
          

August 2, 2002

      
This unnamed Pakistani agent was captured on undercover video in January 2001.
MSNBC airs recordings informant Randy Glass made of arms dealers and Pakistani ISI agents attempting to buy nuclear material and other illegal weapons for bin Laden (see also August 17, 1999 and Early August 2001). [MSNBC 8/2/02] Meanwhile, it is reported that federal investigators are reexamining the arms smuggling case involving Glass “to determine whether agents of the Pakistani government tried to buy missiles and nuclear weapons components in the United States last year for use by terrorists or Pakistan's military.” [Washington Post, 8/2/02 (B)] Two such ISI agents, Rajaa Gulum Abbas and Abdul Malik, are already secretly indicted by this time (see June 2002). But Glass still says, “The government knows about those involved in my case who were never charged, never deported, who actively took part in bringing terrorists into our country to meet with me and undercover agents.” [Cox News, 8/2/02] One such person may be a former Egyptian judge named Shireen Shawky, who was interested in buying weapons for the Taliban and attended a meeting in which ISI agent Rajaa Gulum Abbas said the WTC would be destroyed (see July 14, 1999). [WPBF Channel 25, 8/5/02, MSNBC, 8/2/02] Others not charged may include Mohamed Amir and Dr. Magdy el Amir (see Spring 1999 (B)).
          

August 2, 2002 (C)

       A federal judge rules that the Bush administration must reveal the identities of the hundreds of people secretly arrested after the 9/11 attacks within 15 days. [Washington Post 8/3/02 (B)] The judge calls the secret arrests “odious to a democratic society.” The New York Times applauds the decision and notes that the government's argument that terrorist groups could exploit the release of the names makes no sense, because the detainees were allowed a phone call to notify anyone that they were being held. [New York Times, 8/6/02] Two weeks later, the same judge agrees to postpone the release of the names until an appeals court can rule on the matter. [New York Times, 8/16/02] The appeals court still has not ruled, so the names remain secret.
          

August 2, 2002 (B)

       The Washington Post reveals that FBI agents have questioned nearly all 37 members of the Senate and House intelligence committees about 9/11-related information leaks. They have asked them to submit to lie detector tests but most have refused. Congresspeople express “grave concern” for this historically unprecedented move. A law professor states, “Now the FBI can open dossiers on every member and staffer and develop full information on them. It creates a great chilling effect on those who would be critical of the FBI.” [Washington Post, 8/2/02] Senator John McCain suggests that “the constitutional separation of powers is being violated in spirit if not in the letter. ‘What you have here is an organization compiling dossiers on people who are investigating the same organization. The administration bitterly complains about some leaks out of a committee, but meanwhile leaks abound about secret war plans for fighting a war against Saddam Hussein. What's that about? There's a bit of a contradiction here, if not a double standard.’ ” [Washington Post, 8/3/02] Later the search for the source of the leak intensifies to unprecedented levels as the FBI asks 17 senators to turn over phone records, appointment calendars and schedules that would reveal their possible contact with reporters. [Washington Post, 8/24/02] Most, if not all, turn over the records, even as some complain that the request breaches the separation of powers between the executive and legislative branches. One senator says the FBI is “trying to put a damper on our activities and I think they will be successful.” [AP, 8/29/02] In January 2004 it is reported that the probe is now focusing on Republican Senator Richard Shelby. There has been no further word or indictments since. [Washington Post 1/22/04 http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A36876-2004Jan21.html]
          

August 3, 2002

       A Portuguese newspaper reports on an independent inquiry into 9/11 by a group of military and civilian US pilots that challenges the official version of events. The group's press statement says, “The so-called terrorist attack was in fact a superbly executed military operation carried out against the USA, requiring the utmost professional military skill in command, communications and control. It was flawless in timing, in the choice of selected aircraft to be used as guided missiles and in the coordinated delivery of those missiles to their preselected targets.” A member of the inquiry team, a US Air Force officer who flew over 100 sorties during the Vietnam war, says: “Those birds (airliners) either had a crack fighter pilot in the left seat, or they were being maneuvered by remote control.” [Portugal News 8/3/02; Portugal News 8/8/02]
          

August 4, 2002

       A “lost tape” of radio messages from firefighters inside the WTC on 9/11 is made public. Supposedly, “city fire officials simply delayed listening” to this tape until after the official report on the fire department's response to the attacks was published, and they still refuse to allow any officials to discuss the contents. The tape reveals that two firefighters were able to reach the crash site on the 78th floor of the South Tower. While there, “Chief Palmer could see only two pockets of fire, and called for a pair of engine companies to fight them.” [New York Times, 8/4/02, Guardian, 8/5/02] Though the New York Times doesn't mention it, these small, containable fires contradict the official explanation that the tower collapsed because of a raging inferno that melted the steel support columns holding up the building.
          

August 8, 2002

       No physical evidence connects anthrax suspect Steven Hatfill to the deadly anthrax mailings. The main reason he's considered a suspect is smell: bloodhounds trained to recognize the scent of the anthrax envelopes reacted strongly to Hatfill's apartment, his girlfriend's apartment and a Denny's restaurant in Louisiana where he had eaten the day before the hounds were there. According to Newsweek, when the dogs merely got near Hatfill's apartment building complex, “They went crazy.” [Newsweek, 8/4/02] But the Baltimore Sun interviewed three veteran bloodhound handlers; all were highly skeptical that a useful scent of the anthrax mailer would have remained on the letters eleven months after they were mailed, rubbed against other letters and then decontaminated to kill the anthrax (additionally, the letters were likely handled with gloves in a special room). The managers at the 12 Denny's in Louisiana said they have not been visited by federal agents with bloodhounds. [Baltimore Sun 8/8/02]
          

August 9, 2002 (B)

       The government announces it will play cockpit voice recordings of an executive jet near the Flight 93 crash to the jury in the Zacarias Moussaoui case. The contents of this previously unknown recording will remain classified to the public. [AP, 8/9/02] This revelation is strange in several ways. First, it seems impossible that the jet was near the crash at all (see September 14, 2001 (C)). Second, the jet company, Executive Jet, is owned by Warren Buffett, who held a very curious event at a military base on the morning of 9/11 (see September 11, 2001). [Reuters 3/27/01]
          

August 9, 2002 (C)

       FBI agent Robert Wright is a whistleblower who claims the FBI shut down a criminal investigation into the operation of terror-training camps in Chicago and Kansas City, years before the 9/11 attacks (see October 1998, June 9, 2001 and May 30, 2002). It is reported that Wright submitted a formal complaint to the Inspector General's Office of the Justice Department, which probes agency wrongdoing and mistakes. Amazingly, he was turned away, and told to take his cause to Congress. The Inspector General's Office claims they do “not have the resources to conduct an investigation of this anticipated size and scope.” Yet they've conducted similar investigations in the past, including a full-blown investigation into the FBI's alleged mishandling of evidence in the probe of Timothy McVeigh, the convicted Oklahoma City bomber. [L.A. Weekly 8/9/02]
          

August 9, 2002

       New details emerge about anthrax suspect Steven Hatfill's experiences in Africa. After leaving the US Army in late 1978, he studied at the Godfrey Huggins School of Medicine in Zimbabwe, graduating in 1983. That was just a few years after the world's largest outbreak of human anthrax in what was then known as Southern Rhodesia. Between 1978 and 1980, nearly 200 people died and more than 10,000 cases were recorded. “Researchers characterize the outbreak as suspicious and some believe it may have been the result of deliberate action by white Rhodesian security forces in the waning days of what was a long and brutal war with black liberation fighters.” [Voice of America News 8/9/02; New York Times 7/2/02] Hatfill claimed on a resume that he was in the US Special Forces at the time, the US claims he dropped out of training. [Washington Post, 8/11/02] However, it is later reported that information in these stories of his past always trace back to “an outfit called the Jewish Defense Organization (JDO).” The JDO is a “radical, breakaway faction of Meir Kahane's already-quite-radical Jewish Defense League (JDL) by a man named Mordechai Levy” —a man who was recently sent to prison after firing an automatic rifle from his roof and wounding a bystander. The Weekly Standard claims that all such evidence is nothing but “transparent innuendo” written by JDO member A. J. Weberman, who was briefly famous for obsessively studying the garbage of musician Bob Dylan, and who was recently successfully sued for libel. The Standard also points out that the anthrax outbreak took place before Hatfill arrived in Zimbabwe, and by the time he started studying and working in that country, the white racist regime had already been replaced by a black one. [Weekly Standard 9/16/02]
          

August 11, 2002 (D)

       Anthrax suspect Steven Hatfill defends himself in a public speech and Washington Post interview. He claims that he is being set up as the “fall guy” for the anthrax attacks. He says his life “has been completely and utterly destroyed,” and he has twice lost a job due to the allegations. His lawyer also accuses the FBI of leaking documents to the press and conducting searches of Hatfill's residence in a highly visible way when a more discreet method could have been arranged. [Washington Post 8/11/02; Fox News 8/12/02]
          

August 11, 2002 (B)

      
An Afghan converting opium into heroin.
In the past, Afghanistan had mostly exported raw opium, but now many new refineries are converting the opium into heroin. The British government has spent £20 million to eradicate opium, but the program is marred by corruption and largely seen as a failure. The new heroin factories are said to be “working in broad daylight.” There has been a rash of bombings and assassinations in Afghanistan as various factions fight over drug profits. The Observer was able to determine the precise location of some of these factories, but the US led forces in Afghanistan are doing nothing to stop them. [Observer 8/11/02]
          

August 11, 2002 (E)

       The New York Times has an article on the mysterious deaths of numerous microbiologists, and strongly argues the entire thing is a coincidence. Says a professor of statistics, “We can never say for a fact that something isn't a conspiracy. We can just point out the odds that it isn't.” [New York Times 8/11/02]
          

August 11, 2002

       A shocking Newsweek article suggests that some of Bush's advisors advocate not only attacking Iraq, but also Saudi Arabia, Iran, North Korea, Syria, Egypt, and Burma! One senior British official says: “Everyone wants to go to Baghdad. Real men want to go to Tehran.” [Newsweek, 8/11/02] Later in the year, Bush's influential advisor Richard Perle states, “No stages. This is total war. We are fighting a variety of enemies. There are lots of them out there. All this talk about first we are going to do Afghanistan, then we will do Iraq … this is entirely the wrong way to go about it. If we just let our vision of the world go forth, and we embrace it entirely and we don't try to piece together clever diplomacy, but just wage a total war … our children will sing great songs about us years from now.” [New Statesman, 12/16/02] In February 2003, US Undersecretary of State John Bolton says in meetings with Israeli officials that he has no doubt America will attack Iraq, and that it will be necessary to deal with threats from Syria, Iran and North Korea afterward. This is not reported in the US media. [Ha'aretz 2/17/03]
          

August 11, 2002 (C)

       ABC TV reports, “the FBI concedes [Steven Hatfill] could not himself make anthrax, does not have what they call ‘the bench skills’ to make it.” [ABC, 8/11/02] The New York Times has reported of Hatfill (without naming him): “His anthrax vaccinations are up to date, he unquestionably had the ability to make first-rate anthrax… ” [New York Times 5/24/02] Yet there are other claims Hatfill has not had anthrax vaccinations for several years. [Washington Post, 8/11/02] It also later emerges that Hatfill has alibis for the times the anthrax letters were mailed. A former FBI agent says, “Most investigations don't prosper when they are public, and that's what bothers me about this case. It tells me they have either reached a dead end or their case has a great big hole in it and they are trying to put pressure on this person.” [Hartford Courant 9/7/02]
          

August 12, 2002

       A group of FAA flight controllers hold a press conference to talk about the 9/11 events for the first time. However, virtually no new information is disclosed. As the Boston Globe put it, “questions about detailed communications from the hijacked planes was avoided, with FAA officials saying that information remains under investigation.” [Boston Globe 8/13/02]
          

August 13, 2002

       The Independent carries a story entitled, “Unanswered Questions: The Mystery of Flight 93,” a rare critique of the official version of events around that plane's crash. Most of the information is a summation of what was reported before. However, there is one interesting new theory. Theorizing why witnesses didn't see smoke from the faltering plane, the article points out to the 1996 research of Harvard academic Elaine Scarry, “showing that the Air Force and the Pentagon have conducted extensive research on ‘electronic warfare applications’ with the possible capacity intentionally to disrupt the mechanisms of an aeroplane in such a way as to provoke, for example, an uncontrollable dive. Scarry also reports that US Customs aircraft are already equipped with such weaponry; as are some C-130 Air Force transport planes. The FBI has stated that, apart from the enigmatic Falcon business jet, there was a C-130 military cargo plane within 25 miles of the passenger jet when it crashed. According to the Scarry findings, in 1995 the Air Force installed ‘electronic suites’ in at least 28 of its C-130s—capable, among other things, of emitting lethal jamming signals.” [Independent 8/13/02]
          

August 13, 2002 (B)

      
Kristen Breitweiser.
On the Donahue TV show, Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband died in the WTC, says the following about Bush's behavior on 9/11: “It was clear that we were under attack. Why didn't the Secret Service whisk [Bush] out of that school? He was on live local television in Florida. The terrorists, you know, had been in Florida. I mean, we find that out now. He was less than 10 miles from an airport. And I am concerned. I want to know why the Secret Service did not whisk him away. I want to know why he is the commander-in-chief of the USA, our country was clearly under attack, it was after the second building was hit. I want to know why he sat there for 25 minutes.” She further states, “I don't understand how a plane could hit our Defense Department, which is the Pentagon, an hour after the first plane hit the first tower. I don't understand how that is possible. I'm a reasonable person. But when you look at the fact that we spend a half trillion dollars on national defense and you're telling me that a plane is able to hit our Pentagon, our Defense Department, an hour after the first tower is hit? There are procedures and protocols in place in this nation that are to be followed when transponders are disconnected, and they were not followed on September 11th.” [Donahue, 8/13/02] Why have mainstream journalists largely continued to ignore these issues?
          

August 15, 2002 (C)

       Rena Golden, the executive vice-president and general manager of CNN International, claims that the press has censored itself over 9/11 and the Afghanistan war. “Anyone who claims the US media didn't censor itself is kidding you. It wasn't a matter of government pressure but a reluctance to criticize anything in a war that was obviously supported by the vast majority of the people. And this isn't just a CNN issue—every journalist who was in any way involved in 9/11 is partly responsible.” [Press Gazette, 8/15/02] These comments echo criticisms by Dan Rather (see May 17, 2002).
          

August 15, 2002

      
Deena Burnett speaks on behalf of the relatives suing the Saudis.
More than 600 relatives (later rising to over 2,500 out of 10,000 eligible [Newsweek, 9/13/02]) of victims of the September 11 attacks file a 15-count, $1 trillion lawsuit against various parties they accuse of financing al-Qaeda and Afghanistan's former Taliban regime. The defendants include the Binladin Group (the company run by Osama bin Laden's family), seven international banks, eight Islamic foundations and charities, individual terrorist financiers, three Saudi princes, and the government of Sudan. [CNN, 8/15/02, Washington Post, 8/16/02] Individuals named include Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan (see June 1998 (D), August 2001 (G), and August 31, 2001), former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal (see July 1998, August 31, 2001, and October 18, 2002), Yassin al-Qadi (see October 12, 2001), and Khalid bin Mahfouz (see 1988, August 13, 1996, December 4, 2001 (B) and Early December 2001 (B)). [AP, 8/15/02, MSNBC, 8/25/02] “The attorneys and investigators were able to obtain, through French intelligence, the translation of a secretly recorded meeting between representatives of bin Laden and three Saudi princes in which they sought to pay him hush money to keep him from attacking their enterprises in Saudi Arabia.” [CNN 8/15/02] The plaintiffs also accused the US Government of failing to pursue such institutions thoroughly enough because of lucrative oil interests. [BBC 8/15/02] Ron Motley, the lead lawyer in the suit, says the case is being aided by intelligence services from France and four other foreign governments, but no help has come from the Justice Department. [Minneapolis Star Tribune, 8/16/02] The plaintiffs acknowledge the chance of ever winning any money is slim, but hope the lawsuit will help bring to light the role of Saudi Arabia in the 9/11 attacks. [BBC, 8/15/02] A number of rich Saudis respond by threatening to withdraw hundreds of billions of dollars in US investments if the lawsuit goes forward. [Telegraph, 8/20/02] Saudi businesses withdraw more than $100 billion from the US in response to the suit (see August 20, 2002), and the US government later threatens to block or limit the suit (see November 1, 2002).
          

August 15, 2002 (E)

      
Saud al-Rashid.
The picture of a young Saudi man named Saud al-Rashid is discovered on a CD-ROM with the pictures of four 9/11 hijackers in an al-Qaeda safe house in Pakistan. A senior US official says investigators “were able to take this piece of information and it showed clear signals or lines that he was connected to 9/11.” [AP, 8/21/02 (B)] Rashid was in Afghanistan in 2000 and 2001. [New York Times 7/29/03 (B)] Six days later, the US issues a worldwide dragnet to find him. [AP 8/21/02] But they are unable to catch him because a few days later, he flees from Egypt to Saudi Arabia and turns himself in to the Saudi authorities. The Saudis apparently won't try him for any crime or allow the FBI to interview him. [CNN 8/26/02; CNN 8/31/02] Intriguingly, Al-Rashid's father is Hamid al-Rashid, a Saudi government official who paid a salary to Omar al-Bayoumi, an associate of two hijackers who is later suspected of being a Saudi agent (see August 1994). [New York Times 7/29/03 (B)]
          

August 15, 2002 (D)

       General Tommy Franks, commander of US troops in Central Asia, says, “It does not surprise me that someone would say, ‘Oh gosh, the military is going to be in Afghanistan for a long, long time.’ Sure we will be.” He likens the situation to South Korea, where the US has stationed troops for over 50 years. A few days earlier, Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Richard Myers says the war on terrorism “could last years and years.” [CBS 8/16/02]
          

August 15, 2002 (B)

       Trace elements of anthrax are found in a post office box across the street from Princeton University in New Jersey. [MSNBC, 8/12/02] The FBI declares Steven Hatfill has not “received any more attention than any other person of interest in the investigation.” [Fox News, 8/12/02] Yet Hatfill's photo is the only one being shown by the FBI to residents of the neighborhood near the mailbox. [AP, 8/15/02 (B)] A law enforcement official later admits to the Los Angeles Times that, “to be honest, we don't have anybody that is real good [as a possible anthrax suspect]. That is why so much energy has gone into Hatfill—because we didn't have anybody else.” [Weekly Standard 9/16/02]
          

August 18, 2002 (B)

       An FBI forensic linguistics expert says the anthrax mailer was probably someone with high-ranking US military and intelligence connections. He says he has identified two suspects who both worked for the CIA, USAMRIID and other classified military operations. He expresses frustration about accessing evidence. “My two suspects both appear to have CIA connections. These two agencies, the CIA and the FBI, are sometimes seen as rivals. My anxiety is that the FBI agents assigned to this case are not getting full and complete cooperation from the US military, CIA and witnesses who might have information about this case.” He also says the killer seems to have tried implicating two former USAMRIID scientists who had left the laboratory in unhappy circumstances by posting the letters from near their homes in New Jersey. [BBC, 8/18/02] Could one of the framed people be Dr. Assaad (see October 2, 2001)?
          

August 18, 2002

       The Washington Post blasts the FBI's treatment of Steven Hatfill. “Each slipshod case whittles away our collective liberties, our self-respect, our confidence in the legal system.” The article also blasts the media's coverage: “Wittingly or unwittingly, reporters and government investigators may collude, creating the appearance of a posse mentality that discredits them both.” [Washington Post 8/18/02]
          

August 20, 2002

       The Financial Times reports that “disgruntled Saudis have pulled tens of billions of dollars out of the US, signaling a deep alienation from America.” Estimates range from $100 billion to over $200 billion. Part of the anger is in response to reports that the US might attack Saudi Arabia and freeze Saudi assets unless Saudi Arabia fights terrorism more effectively (see July 10, 2002 and August 11, 2002). It is also in response to a lawsuit against many Saudi Arabians that also may lead to a freeze of Saudi assets (see August 15, 2002). Estimates of total Saudi investments in the US range from $400 billion to $600 billion. [Financial Times 8/20/02]
          

August 22, 2002

       Osama Basnan, an alleged associate of 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi (see April 1998 and December 4, 1999), and his wife are arrested for visa fraud. [Los Angeles Times, 11/24/02, Newsweek, 11/22/02] One report says he is arrested for allegedly having links to Omar al-Bayoumi (see August 1994 and Early February 2000). [Arab News, 11/26/02] On October 22, Basnan and his wife, Majeda Dweikat, admit they used false immigration documents to stay in the US. [San Diego Channel 10 10/22/02] Possible financial connections between Basnan and al-Bayoumi, Almihdhar and Alhazmi, and the Saudi royal family are known to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry (as well as the FBI and CIA) at this time (see October 9, 2002), but Basnan is deported to Saudi Arabia on November 17, 2002 anyways. His wife is deported to Jordan the same day. [Washington Post, 11/24/02] Less than a week after the deportations, new media reports make Basnan an internationally-known wanted man (see November 22, 2002). Why was Basnan let go, when authorities knew of these new revelations about him since at least early October (see October 9, 2002)?
          

August 23, 2002

       The government starts giving out large cash compensations to the relatives of the 9/11 attack victims. However, in order to qualify, the families have to promise not to sue anyone. Only about one-fifth have agreed to compensation, the rest appear to want to sue the airlines, the Saudis, the government and others. There are many lawsuits in motion (see August 15, 2002, September 4, 2002, and September 10, 2002). [AP 8/23/02]
          

August 25, 2002

       Former CIA agent Bob Baer says the US collects virtually no intelligence about Saudi Arabia nor are they given any intelligence collected by the Saudis. He says this is because there are implicit orders from the White House, “Do not collect information on Saudi Arabia because we're going to risk annoying the royal family.” In the same show, despite being on a US terrorist list since October 2001 (see October 12, 2001), Saudi millionaire Yassin al-Qadi says, “I'm living my life here in Saudi Arabia without any problem”because he is being protected by the Saudi government. Al-Qadi admits to giving bin Laden money for his “humanitarian” work, but says this is different from bin Laden's terrorist work. Presented with this information, the US Treasury Department only says that the US “is pleased with and appreciates the actions taken by the Saudis” in the war on terror. The Saudi government still has not given US intelligence permission to talk to any family members of the hijackers, even though some US journalists have had limited contact with a few. [MSNBC 8/25/02]
          

August 25, 2002 (B)

       General Tommy Franks, head of the US Central Command, suggests that the “war on terror” should not be limited to Afghanistan, but expand into neighboring countries as well. [Reuters 8/25/02]
          

August 26, 2002

       Anthrax suspect Steven Hatfill releases photos he claims show that the FBI “trashed” his girlfriend's apartment. The photos “evoked an uneasy sense of recognition among law enforcement experts,” who have seen these kinds of strong armed tactics when the FBI is desperate for a conviction. “Veteran FBI-watchers suggest the Bureau, looking at Steven Hatfill off and on for nearly a year, does not have the goods on him. Law enforcement sources confirm he passed a polygraph test administered by the FBI last fall … Apparent absence of evidence suggests either incompetence at the level of false accusations in the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Park bombing—or something worse.” [New York Post 8/3/02]
          

August 27, 2002 (B)

       The Central Asian nation of Uzbekistan has recently signed a treaty committing the US to respond to “any external threat” to the country. Uzbekistan's foreign minister: “The logic of the situation suggests that the United States has come here with a serious purpose, and for a long time.” The other Central Asian nations—Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan—have similar agreements with the US. The US claims it is supporting democracy in these nations, but experts say authoritarianism has been on the rise since 9/11. A new US military base in Uzbekistan currently holds about 1,000 US soldiers, but is being greatly enlarged. The article makes the general point that the US is replacing Russia as the dominant power in Central Asia. [Washington Post 8/27/02]
          

August 27, 2002

      
Prince Bandar and President Bush meet at Bush's ranch in August.
Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the US, meets privately for more than an hour with Bush and National Security Advisor Rice in Crawford, Texas (see April 25, 2002). [Telegraph, 8/28/02] Press Secretary Ari Fleischer characterizes it as a warm meeting of old friends. Bandar, his wife (Princess Haifa) and seven of their eight children stay for lunch. [Fox News, 8/27/02] Prince Bandar, a longtime friend of the Bush family, donated $1 million to the Bush Presidential Library in College Station, Texas. [Boston Herald, 12/11/01 (B), Bush Library] This relationship later becomes news when it is learned that Princess Haifa gave between $51,000 and $73,000 to two Saudi families in California who may have financed two of the 9/11 hijackers (see December 4, 1999and November 22, 2002). [New York Times 11/23/02; MSNBC 11/25/02]
          

August 28, 2002

       The judge presiding over the Moussaoui trail is puzzled why the FBI claims it couldn't find an e-mail account used by Moussaoui: “We do not understand why an immediate and thorough investigation into the defendant's e-mail and computer activities did not lead investigators to the … account, if it existed,” the judge says. She adds, “A more detailed explanation from the United States is warranted.” Moussaoui was carrying a Kinko's receipt when he was arrested in August 2001, and was known to have used Kinko's computers for e-mail. His Hotmail account was erased by Hotmail because it wasn't used for 90 days—the judge doesn't understand why that didn't give the FBI plenty of time to find his e-mails after 9/11. [AP, 8/28/02] Could it be that the FBI did find the account, but didn't like what it saw, and so claimed ignorance?
          

August 28, 2002 (B)

       “A global campaign to block al-Qaeda's access to money has stalled, enabling the terrorist network to obtain a fresh infusion of tens of millions of dollars and putting it in a position to finance future attacks, according to a draft UN report.” In the months immediately following 9/11, more than $112 million in assets was frozen. Since then, only $10 million more has been frozen, and most of the original money has been unfrozen due to lack of evidence. Private donations to the group, estimated at $16 million a year, are believed to “continue, largely unabated.” The US and other governments are not sharing information about suspected terrorists, and known terrorists are not being put on suspected terrorist lists. [Washington Post 8/29/02]
          

August 29, 2002

      
Mounir El Motassadeq.
German authorities charge a Moroccan man named Mounir El Motassadeq with complicity in the 9/11 attacks. He is a Moroccan who was arrested in Germany two months after 9/11. He is only the second person in the world to be charged with any crime related to the 9/11 attacks, after Moussaoui. He is charged with helping finance Atta and others in the Hamburg terrorist cell (see August 1998). [AFP, 8/29/02, New York Times, 8/29/02] His trial lasts three months, ending with a guilty verdict in February 2003 (February 18, 2003).
          

August 30, 2002

       The official story about fighter response on 9/11 significantly changes. Previously it was explained that fighters over Washington left to track Flight 93. But in a book released in this month, the pilots said they were given no such order. This new account states that after the Pentagon explosion, “two F-16's that happened to be on a training mission near Detroit” were sent to intercept Flight 93. But supposedly, they didn't have any weapons since they were on a training mission. US Air Force Col. Robert Marr, commander of the Northeast Air Defense Sector, in Rome, New York, says, “we're going to put them as close to that airplane as we could, in view of the cockpit and convince that guy in that airplane that he needs to land,” and if that fails, ram the fighters into the plane. [ABC News, 8/30/02] Supposedly, the question of ramming turned out to be moot, because these fighters were still about 40 miles away when the plane crashed. [Washington Post, 1/27/02] If the story is true, it suggests an incredible level of incompetence. Minutes after the second WTC crash at 9:03, military base commanders from all over the US were calling NORAD and volunteering to scramble planes. For instance, the commander at Syracuse, New York said he could get a plane in the air armed with cannon in ten minutes. Yet none of these planes were put in the air until after the last hijacked plane had crashed over an hour later. [Aviation Week and Space Technology 6/3/02] The idea that the US sent planes after Flight 93 with no weapons is absurd and contradicts previous accounts. For instance, Cheney has explained how he and Bush agreed to sent fighters to shoot down Flight 93, and repeatedly confirmed that order. [Washington Post, 1/27/02] Were Bush and Cheney given the wrong information or is someone rewriting this story?
          

September 2002

       The Customs Service intercepts a package sent via Federal Express from the Associated Press bureau in Manila to the AP office in Washington, and turns the contents over to the FBI. The FBI keeps the material, all unclassified and previously publicly disclosed, and fails to inform AP about this. It is claimed they do this to prevent the reporters from reporting their story, which is about government foreknowledge of the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, and ties with Ramzi Yousef and other terrorists in the Philippines. [AP 3/12/03]
          

September 4, 2002

       Over 1,400 relatives of 9/11 attack victims sue Iraq for more than $1 trillion, claiming there is evidence Iraq conspired with al-Qaeda on the 9/11 attacks. [CBS News 9/5/02] One of the key pieces of evidence cited is an article in an small town Iraqi newspaper written by Naeem Abd Muhalhal on July 21, 2001. He describes bin Laden thinking “seriously, with the seriousness of the Bedouin of the desert, about the way he will try to bomb the Pentagon after he destroys the White House.” He adds that bin Laden is “insisting very convincingly that he will strike America on the arm that is already hurting,” which has been interpreted as a possible reference to the 1993 bombing of the WTC. Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein apparently praised this writer on September 1, 2001. The lawsuit is based largely on the idea that “Iraqi officials were aware of plans to attack American landmarks,” yet didn't warn their archenemy, the US. [AP, 9/4/02 (B)] Former CIA agent and terrorist consultant Robert Baer (see August 2001 (G)) is hired by the prosecuting legal team to find evidence of a meeting between Atta and Iraqi agents (see April 8, 2001 and September 19, 2001-October 20, 2002), but despite the help of the CIA, is unable find any evidence of such a meeting. [CBS 12/8/02]
          

September 5, 2002 (B)

      
Senator Richard Shelby
Richard Shelby of Alabama, the ranking Republican on the Senate Intelligence Committee, expresses doubts that the committee's investigation into 9/11 will be able to accomplish anything, and he supports an independent investigation. “Time is not on our side,” he says, since the investigation has a built-in deadline at the end of 2002. “You know, we were told that there would be cooperation in this investigation, and I question that. I think that most of the information that our staff has been able to get that is real meaningful has had to be extracted piece by piece.” He adds that there is explosive information that has not been publicly released. “I think there are some more bombs out there … I know that.” [New York Times 9/10/02 (B)]
          

September 5, 2002

       Based on the recent interrogations of terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui's al-Qaeda associates, including his alleged handler, French intelligence believes Moussaoui was not part of the 9/11 attacks, but was being readied for a second wave of attacks. Says one French official: “Moussaoui was going to be a foot soldier in a second wave of attacks that was supposed to culminate in early 2002 with simultaneous bombings against US embassies in Europe, the Middle East and Asia, as well as several hijackings in the United States.” However, the US has charged him with being the “20th hijacker” who planned to be on Flight 77 in the 9/11 attack. [ABC News, 9/5/02] Other accounts suggest he wasn't meant to the 20th hijacker (for instance, see September 30, 2002). Why doesn't the US prosecute Moussaoui on other charges?
          

September 8-11, 2002

      
Hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari (with a digitally altered background).
Details of an Al Jazeera interview with al-Qaeda leaders Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi bin al-Shibh are widely publicized. [London Times, 9/8/02, Australian, 9/9/02, Guardian, 9/9/02] But there are numerous doubts about this interview (see April, June or August 2002). The possibility has been raised that the broadcast of Ramzi bin al-Shibh's voice in the interview helps in his capture a few days later (see September 11, 2002). [CBS, 10/9/02, Observer, 9/15/02] Al Jazeera also broadcasts footage of hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari speaking against the US filmed in Afghanistan in early 2001 (see March 2001).
          

September 10, 2002

       Right before a one-year deadline, the Port Authority, the government body that owns the WTC complex, is sued by five insurance companies, one utility and 700 relatives of the WTC victims. The insurance companies and utility are suing because of safety violations connected to the installation of diesel fuel tanks in 1999 that many blame for the collapse of WTC Building 7. [Dow Jones News, 9/10/02] The relatives' lawsuit is much more encompassing, and even blames the Port Authority for the Flight 93 hijacking (the Port Authority owns Newark airport, where the flight originated). The relatives' lawsuit is likely to lie dormant for at least six months as evidence is collected. Relatives are also considering suing the airlines, security companies and other entities. [Newsweek 9/13/02]
          

September 10, 2002 (B)

       The FBI searches Steven Hatfill's house for anthrax residue for a third time (for the second search, see August 1, 2002). Hatfill had moved out several weeks earlier. [MSNBC 9/11/02]
          

September 11, 2002

      
Apparently this is Ramzi bin al-Shibh being taken into custody.
Would-be hijacker Ramzi bin al-Shibh is arrested after a huge gunfight in Karachi, Pakistan, involving thousands of police. [Observer, 9/15/02] He is considered “a high-ranking operative for al-Qaeda and one of the few people still alive who know the inside details of the 9/11 plot.” [New York Times, 9/13/02] 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed called bin al-Shibh “the coordinator of the Holy Tuesday [9/11] operation” in an interview aired days before (see September 8-11, 2002). Captured with him are approximately nine associates, as well as numerous computers, phones and other evidence. [Time 9/15/02; New York Times 9/13/02] There are conflicting claims that Mohammed is killed in the raid [, Asia Times, 10/30/02, Daily Telegraph, 3/4/03, Asia Times, 3/6/03], shot while escaping [Australian Broadcasting Corp., 3/2/03], someone who looks like him is killed, leading to initial misidentification [Time, 1/20/03], someone matching his general appearance is captured [AP, 9/16/02], or that he narrowly escapes capture and his young children are captured. [Los Angeles Times, 12/22/02] It is widely reported that Mohammed is captured in March 2003, but some reporters and experts doubt this, suggesting he was captured earlier (see March 1, 2003).
          

September 11, 2002 (C)

       On the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, The New York Times writes, “One year later, the public knows less about the circumstances of 2,801 deaths at the foot of Manhattan in broad daylight than people in 1912 knew within weeks about the Titanic, which sank in the middle of an ocean in the dead of night.” John F. Timoney, the former police commissioner of Philadelphia, says: “You can hardly point to a cataclysmic event in our history, whether it was the sinking of the Titanic, the Pearl Harbor attack, the Kennedy assassination, when a blue-ribbon panel did not set out to establish the facts and, where appropriate, suggest reforms. That has not happened here.” The Times specifically points to a failure by New York City Mayor Bloomberg to conduct a real investigation into the WTC attack response. Bloomberg stated in August 2002, “Every single major event is different from all others. The training of how you would respond to the last incident is not really important.” [New York Times, 9/11/02 (B)] The Chicago Tribune made similar comments a week earlier, pointing out that despite the “largest investigation in history,” “Americans know little more today about the Sept. 11 conspiracy, or the conspirators, than they did within a few weeks of the attacks.” [Chicago Tribune 9/5/02]
          

September 11, 2002 (B)

       On the first anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, the story of what Bush did on that day is significantly rewritten. In actual fact, when Chief of Staff Andrew Card told Bush about the second plane crash into the WTC, Bush continued to sit in a Florida elementary school classroom and hear a story about goats for about an additional 10 minutes, as video footage shows (see the Day of 9/11 for more). But one year later, Card claims that after he told Bush about the second WTC crash, “it was only a matter of seconds” before Bush “excused himself very politely to the teacher and to the students, and he left the Florida classroom.” [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/11/02] In a different account, Card says, “Not that many seconds later the president excused himself from the classroom.”[MSNBC, 9/9/02] An interview with the classroom teacher claims that Bush left the class even before the second WTC crash: “The president bolted right out of here and told me: ‘Take over.’ ” When the second WTC crash occurred, she claims her students are watching TV in a nearby media room. [New York Post 9/12/02]
          

September 12, 2002

       For the first time, a mainstream US newspaper looks at the people who believe there was government complicity or criminal incompetence in 9/11 and does not immediately dismiss them (see September 23, 2001 (B)). The San Francisco Examiner quotes a number of 9/11 skeptics and lets them speak for themselves. “While different theorists focus on different aspects of the attacks, what they seem to have in common is they would like an independent investigation into 9/11.” [San Francisco Examiner 9/12/02]
          

September 17, 2002

       CBS reports that in the days after the arrest of Ramzi bin al-Shibh and four other al-Qaeda operatives in Pakistan (see September 11, 2002), “a search of the home of the five al-Qaeda suspects turned up passports belonging to members of the family of Osama bin Laden.” No more details, such as which family members, or why bin al-Shibh's group had these passports, is given. [CBS 9/17/02]
          

September 18, 2002 (B)

       Two relatives of 9/11 victims testify before the Congressional 9/11 inquiry. Kristen Breitweiser, whose husband Ronald died at the WTC, asks how the FBI was so quickly able to assemble information on the hijackers (see August 13, 2002 (B)). She cites a The New York Times article stating that agents descended on flight schools within hours of the attacks. “How did the FBI know where to go a few hours after the attacks?” she asks. “Were any of the hijackers already under surveillance?” [MSNBC 9/18/02] She adds, “Our intelligence agencies suffered an utter collapse in their duties and responsibilities leading up to and on September 11th. But their negligence does not stand alone. Agencies like the Port Authority, the City of NY, the FAA, the INS, the Secret Service, NORAD, the Air Force, and the airlines also failed our nation that morning.”[Senate Intelligence Committee, 9/18/02] Stephen Push states, “If the intelligence community had been doing its job, my wife, Lisa Raines, would be alive today.” He cites the government's failure to place Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi on a terrorist watch list until long after they were photographed meeting with alleged al-Qaeda operatives in Malaysia. [MSNBC 9/18/02]
          
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