Category Archives: General articles on 9/11

Lack of scientific ethics by editorial board of scientific journal

Lack of scientific ethics by editorial board of scientific journal

by James Gourley, 21 October 2008

The Journal of Engineering Mechanics has recently published a paper I authored. It can be found here, beginning on page 915: (PDF 224kb)

Normally, such a publication would be announced here at 911Blogger to let everyone know we are still making progress publishing criticisms of the official fairy tale in mainstream technical journals, in the hopes of reaching more members of the scientific and engineering community.

While I am excited this paper will be reaching new audiences, and I would like to share that fact with you, I am writing today for a different purpose.

Not much is ever written about what we go through to get these papers published. The publication of this paper is a case study in the struggles we face. I’d like to relate to you exactly what I had to go through to get this paper published, and what influences the substance of it have already had. I hesitate to reveal some of the information below, but as will become clear, the Journal of Engineering Mechanics personnel have demonstrated a complete lack of scientific ethics, and I feel like I have no choice but to publish exactly what occurred in the lead up to my paper’s publication.

Before I begin, let me make it perfectly clear that I do not want anyone to call, email or otherwise harass the editors or staff at the Journal of Engineering Mechanics or the authors of the papers I talk about below. Such behavior is extremely counterproductive, and I do not support or endorse such actions.

The Bazant/Greening Paper

In June 2007, I was sent a link to a paper by Dr. Zdenek Bazant, Dr. Frank Greening, and others, that had been submitted to the Journal of Engineering Mechanics (JEM) for peer review and publication. This paper (the Bazant/Greening Paper) can be found here: (PDF 729kb)

After reading through the Bazant/Greening Paper, I came up with essentially the same criticism that I was eventually able to get published this month at JEM. The Bazant/Greening paper repeated and expanded upon Dr. Bazant’s theory of crush down/crush up collapse progression. This crush down/crush up theory was first developed by Bazant in 2001, and expanded on by Bazant & Zhou in 2002, and Bazant & Verdure in 2007. I find the crush down/crush up theory completely unbelievable for the reasons I stated in my paper.

Back in June 2007, I sent an email to the editor of JEM that basically laid out my criticisms of the Bazant/Greening paper. About three weeks later, one of the Associate Editors of JEM sent me an email that read as follows:

Dear Mr. Gourley:

We recently received your critique on the paper entitled “Collapse of World Trade Center Towers: What Did and Did Not Cause It?” I have attached a standard reviewer form that is filled out by each person as they review an article. If you could please complete this form so that we will have a better understanding of where your comments fall on our standard scale, we would appreciate it very much. When completed, you can e-mail the reviewer form to [redacted] or [redacted]. Thank you for the time and effort that you have already put into the review of this paper, and we look forward to receiving your further comments.



I completed the reviewer forms that evening, and sent it back to JEM the following day. The reviewer forms allowed me to recommend for or against publication of the paper. I, of course, recommended against publication until my concerns were addressed.

I never heard anything back from JEM, so, in late December and early January, I exchanged a few emails with the Associate Editor who had sent me the reviewer forms. I was curious about where the Bazant Paper was in the review process, as it still hadn’t been published 6 months after I reviewed it. The Associate Editor responded to my email inquiry as follows:

Dear James,
I am back at my office and I checked on the paper that you reviewed. The paper was declined and returned to the authors.
Best Regards

You can imagine my surprise when, in late April 2008, I learned that the Bazant/Greening Paper had been accepted for publication at JEM. The published version can be found here: (PDF 1mb)

However, if you look at the version of the Bazant/Greening Paper I previously provided, you will see that it was revised on June 22, 2007, December 15, 2007 and March 31, 2008. It was ultimately published in the October 2008 issue of JEM, along with my paper.

As you can see, my letter to the editor (with comments and peer review) delayed publication of the Bazant/Greening paper for more than a year. I don’t know what happened between the time the Associate Editor of JEM told me the paper had been rejected and sent back to the authors, and the time it was ultimately accepted for publication. What I would come to realize later is that Dr. Bazant has published hundreds of papers at JEM, and seems to have the standing of something like a “favored author” over there. As will become apparent below, the rules at JEM that govern other authors do not apply to Dr. Bazant.

The Bazant/Verdure Paper

Back in June 2007, I also learned that Dr. Bazant had recently published a paper in JEM which also relied on the crush down/crush up theory. The Bazant/Verdure Paper can be found here: (PDF 768kb)

I noticed that a window of time was still open where Discussion papers could still be submitted to JEM for the Bazant/Verdure Paper. So, I put the criticisms from my review of the Bazant/Greening Paper into the proper scientific paper form, in accordance with the ASCE Author Guidelines for submission of Discussion Papers. One of those requirements is that Discussion papers contain less than 2000 words. This word limit was extremely limiting for me, as you can probably tell in reading this essay. I’m an attorney, and spend most of my days reading and writing. Most of the documents I draft have either no page limit, or at worst a 15 or 30 page limit. I like to be very thorough when I am writing about a topic, and I don’t like to even mention things that I can’t spend adequate time discussing.

I did not want to exceed the 2000 word limit, because I already knew it would be difficult to get a paper critical of the official story published in a mainstream scientific journal. In other words, I didn’t want to give JEM any reason to reject it. I had a number of other points I could have raised that were critical of the Bazant/Verdure paper, including its assumption that all movements are vertical. However, when I was writing the Discussion paper, I realized very quickly I would not be able to spend adequate time on all of my points, so I focused on the points you see in the published version of my paper.

The paper I submitted was under the 2000 word limit, and was accepted for publication if I would remove language that the editors thought was too argumentative. My legal writing is typically argumentative, so I suspect some of that leaked into my paper. I went back through the paper, humbled my language, and resubmitted it. It was accepted for publication on November 21, 2007.

Dr. Bazant was then given an opportunity to prepare a response to my Discussion paper, called a Closure paper. Under ASCE guidelines, the Discussion and Closure are published together. This is in fact what you see at the first link I provided above. ASCE Guidelines also limit Closure papers to 2000 words. Seems only fair, right?

In May 2008, I learned that Dr. Bazant had finished his Closure paper and had published it at his NWU faculty website. So, I downloaded it and read it. I was startled by what I saw.

Dr. Bazant was allowed to go on and on for at least 4 to 5 thousand words in response to my Discussion paper. The original version of his Closure repeatedly derided me as a “lay person” and criticized my response as “wordy.” (If I’m a lay person, then a lay person was allowed by JEM to peer review his paper with Dr. Greening, which ultimately held up its publication for more than a year. Not bad for a lay person.) His Closure was also full of misrepresentations about my Discussion paper.

So, I sent a rather heated email to the JEM staff, asking them why Dr. Bazant was allowed to completely ignore the 2000 word limit in criticizing me and my Discussion paper, when I complied with it in good faith. I told them there were three ways to fairly resolve the situation.

First, JEM could pull my Discussion paper and his Closure paper from publication. JEM refused to do this. In hindsight, I’m actually glad they didn’t choose this option. The results of Dr. Bazant’s Closure paper are ludicrous, and demonstrate the utter bankruptcy of his theory. Even though I was treated unfairly, on balance I’m glad both papers were ultimately published.

Second, JEM could allow me to revise my paper free from the 2000 word limit I had originally complied with in good faith. If I was allowed to revise my paper without worrying about the word limit, I could have included all of my criticisms of his paper, and included mathematical equations to support my arguments. JEM refused to do this. This would have been the preferred option, but for some reason, I was not allowed to resubmit a revised paper exceeding the 2000 word limit.

Third, JEM could force Dr. Bazant to revise his paper to comply with the 2000 word limit. This was not preferable, but at least would have leveled the playing field. I would rather everyone have the same opportunity to fully develop their arguments and let the public decide who to believe. Unfortunately, this is not what ended up happening. After several rounds of email correspondence, JEM decided that they would ask Dr. Bazant to revise his paper to comply with the 2000 word limit, and remove the offensive language I had identified.

You can imagine my surprise again when I learned last week that both of our papers had been published in the October issue of JEM. I was never given another opportunity to review Dr. Bazant’s Closure paper before it was published. If you read through it, you can see why. Dr. Bazant was not required to comply with the 2000 word limit, as the JEM staff promised me he would. My rough estimate is that in his Closure’s response to my Discussion is between 4000 and 6000 words in length.

His Closure paper still derides me for not including equations in support of my position, without mentioning that there is no way I could have done that and still complied with the 2000 word limit, and that I was not allowed to revise my paper by JEM staff. Any fair peer review would not have allowed him to say this. JEM knew full well I was required to comply with the 2000 word limit, while Dr. Bazant was not.

In fact, he spends 2000 words responding to the steel temperature portion of my Discussion paper alone. JEM allowed him to use that much text to respond to my one paragraph on his misrepresentations of the steel temperatures reported by NIST. Dr. Bazant is clearly held to a different standard at JEM. How can JEM possibly be seen as a fair and balanced in this situation?

Dr. Bazant’s steel temperature response also raises a serious issue which should have been caught in a fair peer review process. He basically argues that even if he did misrepresent the steel temperatures NIST reported, that doesn’t matter because much lower steel temperatures would still have caused the collapse. However, that is a red herring. Even assuming Dr. Bazant is correct that lower steel temperatures could have caused the collapse, did that give him the right to misrepresent it in the first place? This was apparently never asked, and Dr. Bazant was allowed to mislead JEM readers with voluminous, irrelevant argument.

There are many other problems with Dr. Bazant’s Closure paper that should have been caught during peer review. I plan to write separately on all of them, but do need to mention one more. If you look at the first full sentence on page 919 at the first link above, you see the results of Dr. Bazant’s mathematical equations. He basically claims that when the upper block of floors impacts the lower, intact steel structure, that the upper block suffers a dent of between about 1 inch and 1.5 inches, before completely destroying the lower section of floors. Does that make any sense at all? An inch and a half dent? When the upper section of floors slams into the stationary steel structure below? The absolute absurdity of Dr. Bazant’s results is the main reason I’m happy his Closure was allowed to be published. Dr. Bazant appears to be going to extreme lengths to prop up the gravity-only driven collapse scenario. For clues as to why, I recommend page 4 of Kevin Ryan’s paper on the connections between NIST and nanothermite here: (PDF 82kb)


I hope this story gets across the struggles we face in publishing articles in mainstream technical journals. It is one of many I could have told. I have been a co-author on other published papers with Dr. Steven Jones and Kevin Ryan. After every single one of those is published, someone like Ryan Mackey writes to the editor of the journal criticizing their publication standards. He never addresses the substance of our papers, but instead tries to make the editors regret publishing our papers, basically because he says their journal will be seen as not credible in the scientific community. We are then forced to correspond further with the journal editors, with sometimes humorous exchanges that I won’t share without my co-authors’ consent. It usually ends with the editors recommending that Mackey submit his own response paper for publication (as I did for the Bazant/Verdure Paper) but he never does. It’s a constant battle we face.

I also hope other scientists and engineers out there join the fight, follow our lead, and try to publish papers in mainstream technical journals on this subject. Take my story to heart and don’t let it happen to you. Insist that you be treated fairly from the outset.

James Gourley

In Memoriam


Marwan Alshehhi                          Ziad Jarrah                               Mohamed El Amir Atta       Mounir el Motassadeq

Probably murdered                 Probably murdered                           Probably murdered            15 years imprisonment 


There is no evidence that these young men had anything to do with the mass-murder of September 11, 2001. Hence they must be considered as innocent. To accuse them of the mass-murder is a grievous and unconscionable form of character assassination and is an attack upon the honour of their families. Mounir el Motassadeq, who is totally innocent of any crime, was convicted to 15 years imprisonment as a gift by Germany to the United States. The other three were probably murdered by the real perpetrators of the crime of 11. September.   The world is entitled to know about their true fate.

Terrorism – A modern day fairy tale

Terrorism – A modern day fairy tale
October 6, 2011

By Chris Spivey – Sovereign Independent Contributor

Are you all sitting comfortably? Good, then i shall begin. Once upon a time, long long ago, in a far away land called Muslim, a baby Devil was born in a cave. It was a very big cave, because the Devil’s Mummy & Daddy were very rich. The cave needed to be big because the baby devil already had many, many brother and sister devils running around.

However, this was no ordinary Baby devil. For, as the baby devil’s parents already knew; their baby was a gift from Allah, the great God of evil.

As with all Devils born in the evil land of Muslim, the baby devil’s Father, Natas, immediately took his new born son to dangle him by the ankle over the fires of Hell. In keeping with this centuries old tradition, as soon as the baby devil began to scream in the searing heat of hell’s fire, Natas called out the words “Praise yee, oh evil Allah, for blessing us with a son. He shall be known from this moment forward as…. Osama, of the family Bin Laden”.

Barely 11 years earlier, in a land far away from Muslim, a good Christian man sat in a massive mansion staring at his own new born son. On the face of it the man should have been happy. After all, he had a lovely big house, millions of Dollars in the bank and on this day, July 6 1946 AD, his beautiful wife, Barbara, had just presented him, George Herbert Bush, with a son and heir. However, the mansion & money meant little to ‘Herbie’. After all, pretty much all the God fearing White men born here, in the country known as Hotbatlotf (The home of the Brave and the land of the free) had position and wealth. Even the birth of his 1st born, soon to be named George Walker Bush, couldn’t lift ‘Herbie’s’ spirits.

As he sat, lovingly cradling his new born son, he looked upwards, with a mournful, yet resigned to his fate, look on his face. “If it be thy will oh Lord, then so be it”, Herbie said softly to his creator up in heaven. For God, the one true God, had spoken to Herbie and laid him open to his plans. God, being all seeing and all knowing, had foreseen the coming of the Anti-Christ and in readiness for the ultimate battle between good and evil, had sent his own son to Earth, the very same son that Herbie now sat cradling in his arms. As Herbie asked God for guidance, a big beam of light shot through the window, engulfing everything in the nursery in a beautiful, warm, Golden light. At the very same instant Herbie heard God’s voice: “Look after my son well Herbie. School him well in the teachings of the righteous. Make him a man amongst men. Fore I cannot tell you the exact timing of the Anti Christ. All i can tell you is that when he arrives he shall be the epitome of all that is evil. He will be born into wealth, to cave dwellers in the district of Al Qaeda in the land of Muslim”

“But how will he know when it’s time Lord? ” Herbie asked. “I will send 3 Kings to Guide him” God said “They shall be known by the names of Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Condoleezza Rice”. Herbie’s brow furrowed. “But surely Condoleezza Rice is a woman? ” Herbie asked. “Some would say Herbie, Some would say” replied God “So be it Lord” Herbie said, bowing his head.

With God having outlined his plans, Herbie, in the time honoured tradition of the west looked up to heaven and said, ”And what’s in it for me Lord? ”

Time passed quickly. Osama Bin Laden, though dogged with ill health, grew both tall and beardy. Like all devils in Muslim, as a child, Osama had attended the local Primary school as soon as the 1st signs of bum fluff appeared. Here, he, like all Muslims, learned the art of jealousy. Once jealousy was mastered, usually around the age of 11, Muslim devils are sent to the local comp where they are taught to channel their jealousy into outright hatred for Democracy. By the age of 14, the average Muslim devil will leave school, provided that he can demonstrate he’s capable of growing a 6″ beard, and set up a market stall selling bland flower pot type vessels. However, for the Elite Muslims such as Osama Bin Laden, they will attend the prestigious University of Al Qaeda. Here Students are expected to grow beards to a minimum length of 8″ and attend lectures on how to destroy Democracy. Obviously the main focus of these lectures centres around the Democratic kingdom of Hotbatlotf. Having graduated with honours, Osama was ready to begin formulating his master plan. Having been presented with a top of the range Donkey, as a graduation present from his proud father Natas, Osama quickly set about the task of opening a chain of Terrorist Training Schools. From these schools Osama would invite the cream of the crop to come work with him. Soon enough, he had assembled a terrifying army. The Army he nostalgically liked to call Al Qaeda. The day of reckoning for Democracy was finally drawing near.

That day came on September 11 2001. George W Bush, in accordance with his destiny, had by now become the President of Hotbatlotf. However, the attack, when it came that day was a total surprise to President Bush. After all, no one could have predicted that 19 aeroplane hijackers, acting on the instructions of Osama Bin Laden, would use those stolen airliners as missiles.

Once the safe, but deadly, dust particles had dispersed, George Bush immediately flew to New York to inspect the devastation caused by the hijackers. Incensed by the loss of life, Bush, backed by God and the full military might of Hotbatlotf, fearlessly led his troops into war against the Axis of Evil, from the safety of the Whitehouse. It would be nearly a further full 10years before Osama Bin Laden was finally brought to justice, and in doing so finally put an end to Al-Qaeda. By then Hotbatlotf would have a new President, while George W Bush would be busy doing God’s work elsewhere. But there is not a man alive today who can deny that they don’t owe President George Walker Bush a big thank you for replacing freedom with security. Thank you Mr President. Thank you very much indeed. The End.

Don’t you just love a good fairy tale? And as fairy tales go, that one’s a cracker. The truly frightening thing is, the way things are going, those are more or less the exact words our great, great Grandchildren will be having drummed into their young minds. In fact, the more aware of what’s happening around us you become, the easier it is to predict the school history lessons of the future. Of course, by that time, even if there is anyone still alive who is able to pour scorn on the story, the level of fear imposed on the masses by the state will be such that those people will keep silent. That is, unless the vast majority of people wise up very quickly and do something to stop it. The only problem with that is that the masses are more likely to believe the unbelievable rather than the believable. A typical example of this was demonstrated on Facebook last week. A computer nerd somewhere, whose world probably ends at his bedroom door posted a status declaring that Facebook was about to start charging people to use it. He added to this statement a series of tariff’s and the instruction for readers to Copy & Paste and within days it was global news on Facebook, not to mention widely accepted as fact. People were threatening mass boycotts of the networking site, while others were saying that it was bound to happen sooner or later. Yet none of those who re-posted the status had bothered to check its authenticity. Not that it should have been necessary to do so anyway. Had these sheeple taken a moment to think about it logically, they would have realised that not only would it have been a disaster for Facebook to do so, it wouldn’t have been workable for the simple fact many people, especially the young, don’t have credit cards to pay online subscriptions. More over, even if Mark Zuckerberg was silly enough to start charging, I think he would have announced it himself rather than let a computer nerd with too much time on his hands do it.

And there in lies the problem. OK, maybe my fairy tale is a bit tongue in cheek but it’s pretty close to the official version of events. By now, bearing in mind the various means available for mass communication, there shouldn’t be anyone on earth with more than 2 braincells who now buys into the official version of events surrounding 9/11 and Osama Bin Laden. Yet the vast majority of people do, despite the official version being a lot more unbelievable than the truth. Someone said to me recently that although the Government version of 9/11 was full of holes, the said Government couldn’t be behind it because they know they would never get away with it. Yet it is precisely that kind of warped logic that allows our Governments to get away with it. This fact was again clearly demonstrated on May 2nd 2011, the day Bin Laden finally (according to the Government) met his maker. The only thing that surprised me about that day is that it wasn’t hence forth declared a world holiday. You could almost feel the world sag as it let out a huge sigh of relief that the Devil incarnate was finally dead. The fact that Bin Laden was a highly paid CIA agent who, according to an FBI source, died in 2001 from kidney failure seemingly counts for nothing. Neither did the fact that, despite there not being a shred of evidence to link Bin Laden with 9/11, that didn’t stop the BBC or ITV or any other news station for that matter broadcasting him as the brains behind the attacks. The fact that they did, was nothing short of slander. The FBI were not even brazen enough to accuse him of being responsible for 9/11 on their wanted poster.

The fact that the BBC did, is justification enough to stop paying your TV licence. That is if your silly enough to still be paying it. The truth is, on May 2nd 2011, the masses were sold another Fairy tale. One that they were only to eager to believe and one that, had they sat and thought about it logically, they would have seen it for what it is.

For starters, American President Barack Obama needed a popularity boost, what with him preparing to stand for re-election while his support rating was at an all time low. So, in order to boost his ratings (which worked spectacularly in the short term) the Pentagon would have us believe that after 10 years worth of searching, with the best tracking equipment known to man, Bin Laden was finally located in a large luxury compound in Abbottabad in Pakistan. Then, without informing the Pakistani Government, Navy SEALS and CIA operatives stormed the compound in a covert operation. Can you Imagine the uproar, if that scenario had been the other way round?

Despite Obama and his top Government Cronies supposedly watching this operation take place live, via satellite pictures (beats watching a John Wayne DVD I suppose), initial news reports were still confusing, conflicting and all totally wrong. All these early bulletins led us to believe that a fierce fire-fight had taken place between the Navy SEALS and Bin Laden’s bodyguards, who put up massive resistance. Once they had been killed, the SEALS located a heavily armed Bin Laden who was finally killed after bullets were exchanged on both sides. Whether Bin Laden’s “You’ll never take me alive”, last stand made the ‘Terrorist’ sound too heroic for Obama and Co’s liking isn’t known, but the news reporting quickly changed scenario. We were now being told that Bin Laden was found unguarded, but never the less heavily armed himself, watching TV with his wife. When the SEALS entered his home, a gun battle ensued with Bin Laden using his wife as a human shield. Fast forward a few more hours and the Whitehouse press office still wasn’t happy. This led to a further, final version of events that had Navy SEALS storming the unguarded compound, where an unarmed Bin Laden was found watching TV with his wife. In a bid to escape his getting his comeuppance, Bin Laden grabbed his wife as a human shield and begged for his life while screaming and crying like a frightened schoolgirl. His ploy failed miserably because the SEALS shot him anyway. Now, that being the case, am I the only one left thinking that this means Bin Laden was murdered in cold blood? Does the law not say that everybody regardless of race, colour or creed is entitled to a fair trial? Apparently not. But as usual, I digress. Bin Laden’s body was then supposedly photographed, followed by a quick search of his house, before the SEALS, along with Bin Laden’s body, quickly evacuated the scene of the crime.

Bin Laden’s body was then quickly buried at sea, despite him not having or coming from a Naval background. No details of the funeral were given, but under the circumstances I cant imagine that it was a very dignified send off. Having paid the ultimate price for his supposed crimes, was the man not entitled to a decent funeral? Was his family not entitled to say their goodbyes? Once again, apparently not. We are told one of the reasons for the quick burial was out of respect for Muslims whose faith requires their dead to be buried within 24 hrs. Strangely enough, no mention was made of the Muslim Cleric who presided over this Muslim funeral. Presumably there was one? Then again perhaps not.

The other reason for the quick burial at sea, was to stop Bin Laden’s grave becoming a shrine for fundamental extremists. This again is nonsense. When the Child murderer, Myra Hindley, died, such was the hatred towards her that the home office had great difficulty finding an undertaker willing to carry out a funeral. Never the less, one was found and her funeral took place, late at night in a secret location. The world’s press soon got wind of this secret location, but the funeral still went ahead. Hindley’s body was immediately cremated and her ashes scattered at a secret location of her own choosing. If we can do it with the location of the body already known, why can’t the Americans do it with a body that could be anywhere?

Furthermore, the American Government assured us that DNA samples taken from his body ensured that the man allegedly shot dead was Bin Laden before it was scientifically possible to obtain DNA results, given the time frame and location of his death.

We were also told that evidence taken from his house proved that Bin Laden was still a threat to world safety and still the top man in the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation. At the same time, the Pentagon contradicted themselves by telling the world that Bin Laden was a pathetic shadow of his former self who spent his days watching old videos of himself taunting the West and bragging about his exploits. Presumably these videos of his glory days, that this frail, tired old man watched were the ones which have been proved as CIA fakes. Never the less, the Powers that be, in their haste to humiliate Bin Laden, released a tape (allegedly also found at his compound) showing him sat in front of a small TV (hardly the type a multi-millionaire, living it up in the lap of luxury, would have) watching his glory days. We are led to believe that this taped footage is a home movie, which being the case is most strange and begs the question, “who takes a home movie but films the subject only from behind, never once giving the viewer a clear shot of the subjects face”? We are also told that Bin Laden’s body was photographed after he’d been murdered. The world population then held their breath while the US Government agonised over whether to release these Photo’s to prove beyond all doubt that it was Bin Laden who was killed that night. Finally, and very predictably, it was decided the Photographs were far too gruesome for people to see. Presumably then, the top brass in Washington DC have never heard of Heaven666 whose website shows the most gruesome film footage and photographs known to man. Or a quick visit to the book Author, Bernard O’Mahoney’s website will allow you to view extremely graphic autopsy photographs of 3 Essex Gangsters, all shot twice in the head at point blank range with a shotgun.

Starting to get the feeling your being mugged off yet? No? OK try this for size. After 10 years fighting the so called war on terror, a couple of months ago the Taliban scored by far their greatest victory when they managed to shoot down a US Chinook helicopter using a hand held surface to air rocket launcher. That alone would have been their greatest hit, so to speak. However, the fact the Helicopter contained the Navy SEALS, who supposedly murdered Osama Bin Laden lifted the strike to the heights of which fairy tales are made of.

Of course, the death of Bin Laden twice in the space of 10 years presented the USA with another problem. The question as to whether his death now meant the end of the war on terror was already being asked. In a near state of panic at the prospect, the Whitehouse moved quickly to dispel such talk. Statements were quickly prepared in order to clarify that while Bin Laden was dead, Al Qaeda remained a very real threat to world safety. We were further informed that now Al Qaeda’s leader was no more we could expect to be blown to kingdom come in revenge attacks. Now while its all very well convincing the general public that they are still at risk, if there are no bombs going off, that threat becomes an empty one. So, to keep the public living in fear, the FBI were called into action. As a result, we were informed via the world media of all manner of terrorist plots being thwarted, thanks to undercover FBI agents. What the media neglected to mention was that these undercover agents were targeting street gangs and promising them vast fortunes in return for planting bombs at locations of the FBI’s choosing. Of course, your average street gang has limited access to bombs and weapons. No problem, the FBI provided them also. Then, just before these street gangs could carry out the FBI’s orders, they were all arrested. Of course there are only so many times that the Feds can plan a terrorist attack, finance it, provide the means to carry it out and then arrest those they have coerced into doing it. A thwarted terrorist attack means very little to Joe Public. Enter Anwar al-Awlaki, the new public enemy number 1. Just as things were beginning to quieten down, the US Government proudly announced their latest victory in the war on terror. This victory came in the form of the death of Al Qaeda’s new top man, Anwar al-Awlaki. His death came about via American air strikes, after he was located hiding in the Yemen. In order to further appease the sceptics, the Americans had the Yemeni Defence ministry back the claim. That ought to have been an end to it, had it not been for the fact that like Bin Laden before him, al-Awlaki was also a CIA agent with high ranking friends in the American government. The coincidences don’t end there however, because just like Bin Laden, al-Awlaki had already died once before prior to his second death. Furthermore, as coincidence would have it, al-Awlaki’s first demise in December 2009 happened in pretty much the same way as his second death.

Still, you have to hand it to the American government. They are nothing if not consistent, so after putting their heads together they come up with ‘Haqqanis’. Who? Exactly… According to whistle blower, Paul Craig Roberts, former assistant secretary of the US treasury and former associate editor of the Wall Street Journal, Haqqanis are a terrorist organisation far deadlier than Al Qaeda. Strange then that nobody has heard of them before. Having said that, pretty much nobody had heard of Al Qaeda prior to 9/11. That is except for the CIA and the Mujahideen, for whom Al Qaeda, meaning ‘The Base’, was a code word during the Afghanistan – Russian war. The sudden emergence of Haqqanis was brought about to serve two purposes, the first of which is to scare the public now that Al Qaeda have passed their sell by date. The second purpose, according to Paul Craig Roberts, is far more sinister and could eventually lead to Armageddon.

There can be no doubt that the USA has been trying to provoke Pakistan for some time now. This was clearly demonstrated in the alleged covert operation to assassinate Bin Laden. Quite fitting then that Haqqanis supposedly hail from Pakistan whereas Al Qaeda wasn’t tied to any specific country. Moreover, the Chairman of the US joint Chiefs of Staff, Admiral Mike Mullen claims that Haqqanis are tied to the Pakistani intelligence service, ISI, and it was on their orders that Haqqanis attacked the American Embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan on Sept 13th 2011, along with a US Military base in Wadak Province. These attacks led Warmongering US Senator Lindsey Graham, a member of the Armed Services Committee, to declare that there was “broad bipartisan support” within Congress for a military attack on Pakistan. Add this to the usual verbal diarrhoea banded about by US politicians, that Pakistan is an unstable Nuclear Power and gives shelter to anti American Factions, and it’s not so much a question of “will America invade Pakistan”? More a question of “When””. The Pakistani Prime Minister, Yousuf Raza Gilani certainly seems to think so anyway. He recently called his Foreign Minister home from talks in Washington and ordered an emergency meeting of the Government to assess the prospect of an American Invasion.

However, according to some knowledgeable analysts, the real reason behind any invasion of Pakistan would be more to do with the country’s location than the perceived threat from Haqqanis. Pakistan borders with China and as such is the ideal place to launch WW3. Certainly now would be the right time to do it, what with the financial meltdown looking inevitable, Russia in disarray and China preoccupied with dealing with the problems associated with their rapid economic growth. An American invasion of Pakistan, on this basis, is certainly more plausible than an invasion because of a terrorist organisation. Particularly so if the Foreign Minister of Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar, is to be believed. He claims that for many years Haqqanis were the blue-eyed boys of the CIA. You really couldn’t make it up y’know.

Feds investigating possible terrorist-attack links in Florida

Feds investigating possible terrorist-attack links in Florida

Associated Press Writer 

MIAMI (AP) — A Florida man says FBI agents told him that two men who stayed with him while getting flight training last year were involved in Tuesday’s attacks on the World Trade Center.

Charlie Voss, a former employee at Huffman Aviation in Venice, said FBI agents who interviewed him at his home told him that authorities found a car at Boston’s Logan Airport registered to the two men.

“They informed us individuals who had crossed our path were involved yesterday with the airplane in the tragedy at the World Trade Center,” Voss said.

Voss said one of men who stayed at the house in July 2000 was named Mohamed Atta. He said he knew the other man only by the name of Marwan.

Shortly after 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, the FBI in Miami issued a national bulletin for law enforcement agencies to be on the lookout for two cars. The bulletin did not mention whether the vehicles were linked to Tuesday’s attacks.

Records with the Florida Division of Motor Vehicles show that one of the vehicles the FBI was pursuing — a 1989 red Pontiac — was registered to Atta. Atta, 33, previously had a drivers license in Egypt, state records show.

In Coral Springs, witnesses said about 50 FBI agents and police officers Tuesday night blanketed the apartment complex that Atta had listed with the motor vehicle division as his last address. Officers interviewed neighbors and showed a black-and-white mug-style photograph with the name Mohamed at the bottom.

About 90 miles away in Vero Beach, two sheriffs cars and several unmarked cars surrounded a house and the street leading to the house was cordoned with yellow police tape.

Michael Terrell, who lives next door and rents from the same landlord, said the landlord told him the family who lived there had moved to Vero Beach to attend the Flight Safety Academy. The family had lived there for six to eight months, he said.

FBI agents knocked on his door around 7:30 a.m. and asked if he had ever talked with the neighbors, Terrell said.

In Hollywood, Shuckums restaurant manager Tony Amos said FBI agents showed photos of two men to restaurant employees Tuesday night. The photos had signatures on the bottom, Amos said. He said he identified the photo of a man whose first name was signed Mohamed.

Amos said the two men had each consumed several drinks Friday night and had given the bartender a hard time. Mohamed told Amos he was a pilot.

“The guy Mohamed was drunk, his voice was slurred and he had a thick accent,” Amos said.

Bartender Patricia Idrissi said the men argued over the bill, and when she asked if there was a problem, “Mohamed said he worked for American Airlines and he could pay his bill.”

Agents were conducting interviews and sought search warrants in southern Florida and in Daytona Beach in central Florida amid evidence that suspected terrorist sympathizers were operating in the area, officials said.

“We are covering leads all over the country and this is one of the many we are covering,” said Brian Kensel, an FBI spokesman in Tampa.

In Venice, Voss said the two men said they had just arrived from Germany and wanted to take flight training at Huffman Aviation, where Voss worked for more than 13 years. He no longer is with the company.

The houseguests took flight training on small planes at Venice Municipal Airport, about 60 miles south of Tampa. Voss said the men were asked to leave their home after a week when the couple grew uncomfortable with them.

Voss said he wasn’t involved with their training. The company offers training in light, single-engine aircraft like Cessnas and Pipers but no commercial aircraft.

Rudy Dekkers, president and owner of Huffman Aviation, said the FBI was looking at student records at the flight school, including copies of passports from the men.

Kensel of the FBI could not confirm whether a search was conducted in Venice.

Officials at Embry-Riddle, the world’s largest university specializing in aviation, would not confirm if the FBI had contacted the school.

Spokeswoman Lisa Ledewitz said one out of every four commercial airline pilots was trained at Embry-Riddle. Students train in single-engine planes and until last December the school used a Boeing 737 simulator.

“We are suffering like the rest of the country,” Ledewitz said. She said all international students who enroll in the pilot program have to receive prior approval from the U.S. State Department.

The FBI executed search warrants in Davie in Broward County north of the Miami area, the South Florida Sun-Sentinel of Fort Lauderdale reported, quoting Miami FBI spokesman Judy Orihuela. Orihuela declined comment Wednesday.

Hollywood Police Detective Carlos Negron said Wednesday that the department was helping the FBI in an investigation in Broward and declined further comment.


The shy, caring, deadly fanatic

The shy, caring, deadly fanatic

Double life of suicide pilot War on terrorism – Observer special Special report: attack on America

John Hooper, Hamburg

The Observer, Sunday 23 September 2001 16.31 BST 

While he was visiting the Syrian town of Aleppo in late 1994 and early 1995, Mohamed Atta met a young Palestinian woman called Amal. She worked in a planning bureau there, so she had plenty in common with Atta, who was studying town planning.

‘I got the impression he was interested in her,’ said Volker Hauth, a fellow student travelling with Atta at the time. Amal was attractive and self-confident. She observed the Muslim niceties, taking taxis to and from the office so as not to come into close physical contact with men on the buses. But, said Hauth, she was ’emancipated’ and ‘challenging’.

It seemed, too, that she was as interested in Atta as he was in her. Atta was Egyptian and Hauth last week recalled how Amal had teased his friend with one of those half-admiring, half-provoking asides that women reserve for men they find attractive. ‘All Egyptians are Pharaohs,’ she is said to have joked.

‘He spoke about her back in the hotel. But he said she had a quite different orientation and that the emancipation of the young lady did not fit. He told this with regret,’ said Hauth.

The story of Amal is the closest thing to romance in the austerely dutiful life of the pivotal figure in the inquiry into the attacks on New York and Washington.

Atta, 33, was the first of the alleged conspirators to enrol at the university on the outskirts of Hamburg which investigators believe was at the heart of the plot. It was he who remained throughout at the flat where at least three of the others lived. It was he who headed the university religious association to which they are all thought to have belonged. And on 11 September – investigators believe – it was Atta who led the attack on the World Trade Centre, piloting American Airlines Flight 11 into the north tower at 8.45am.

In many respects, though, he led not one life, but two. He repeatedly switched names, nationalities and personalities. If in Egypt, and later in the US, he was Mohamed Atta, then at the Technical University of Harburg, he was Mohamed el-Amir. For the university authorities, he was an Egyptian, yet for his landlord, as for the US authorities, he was from the United Arab Emirates. And while it is not hard to see Atta, whose face gazes out from the passport photograph released by the FBI, as that of the mass murderer of Manhattan, el-Amir was a shy, considerate man who endeared himself to Western acquaintances.

Such indeed was the gulf between the two that some people, notably his father, insisted last week that Mohamed Atta’s identity must have been stolen by the hijackers’ leader. That view was given some credibility by a German press report, not denied by the government, that he and two other Hamburg suspects reported in 1999 that their passports had been stolen. However, the same report quoted the Interior Ministry as saying that the reason the three men did so was to obtain new passports, free of stamps that might have jeopardised their chances of obtaining US visas.

What The Observer’s investigation into his past has revealed is that Mohamed el-Amir Awad el-Sayed Atta, to give him the full name under which he registered in Germany, underwent a visible process of radicalisation. He may have led a double life, but he was no ‘sleeper’. Indeed Mohamed el-Amir, the student, was much more overtly fundamentalist than the shadowy Mohamed Atta.

Atta was born at Kafr el-Sheikh in the Nile Delta and brought up in the slightly down-at-heel Cairo suburb of Giza. His father was a lawyer and he studied architecture at the university of Cairo between 1985 and 1990.

Hauth, who travelled with him to Egypt, observed last week that Atta came from precisely that traditionally minded sector of the intelligentsia which was most outraged, and prejudiced, by the opening to the West that President Anwar Sadat initiated before his assassination in 1981.

When Atta arrived in Harburg 11 years later to study for the equivalent of an MSc in town planning, he left behind him a country once again drifting into turmoil as Islamic fundamentalists mounted a campaign to overthrow the government. In October 1992, the month Atta enrolled, it was reported from Cairo that terrorists would henceforth be tried before military courts. That decision set the stage for a brutal trial of strength marked by savage attacks on the one hand and, on the other, by widespread torture and the imprisonment of thousands of people without charge or trial.

Atta made no secret of where his sympathies lay. He had graduated from a faculty that was a hotbed of fundamentalist agitation and gone on to join the Engineers Syndicate, one of three professional associations controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood.

Hauth said his acquaintance was appalled by what he saw as the creation of a new class of Egyptian ‘Fat Cats’.

‘One of the main points of his critique was the contrast between a few rich people and the mass of people with barely enough to survive’.

In Germany, Atta was soon able to turn his architectural training, and specifically his drawing skills, to advantage. Just two months after his arrival, he secured a part-time job with Plankontor, a planning consultancy in the trendy Hamburg district of Ottensen.

Helga Rake, one of the partners at Plankontor, remembered him as ‘introverted and very reserved’, but also as ‘flexible’ and ‘very conscientious’.

She added: ‘He prayed in the office. We’d never had anyone do that before.’ At midday, the man they knew as Mohamed el-Amir, would break off whatever he was doing to kneel down beside his drawing board. ‘He was very critical of capitalistic, Western development schemes,’ said another partner, Matthias Frinken. ‘He was critical of big hotels and office buildings.’

But there was little to suggest that Atta was any different from millions of other devout, peaceful, religiously conservative yet socially aware Muslims.

Professor Dittmar Machule, who supervised his thesis and also knew him as el-Amir, said: ‘At the beginning, we spoke often about how religions can co-exist. He was very intellectually engaged with this problem.’

A photograph taken of Atta on a student trip to Istanbul in the summer of 1994 shows him clean-shaven. But a year later, when he returned to Cairo, Atta had acquired that distinctive beard which fringes the chin and leaves the upper lip free of hair which, in North Africa, is usually the sign of a committed fundamentalist.

It is at this point that odd gaps begin to open up in his life and the first evidence appears of his dissembling. Helga Rake at Plankontor said that he was absent for half of 1995 and that he said he had taken time out to make the pilgrimage to Mecca and return home. But Hauth said that neither on their subsequent visit to Cairo, nor at any time over the next few months, did the Egyptian mention a pilgrimage. This is all the more extraordinary given the German’s keen interest in religion. ‘It was the very basis of our relationship’, he said.

In June 1997, Atta was laid off by Plankontor. The partners had bought a CAD system and his draughtsmanship was not needed. ‘When he was given his last sum of money, he got too much from us and he sent it back,’ recalled Frinken. ‘He said that he hadn’t earned it and he didn’t want any more’.

Machule said Atta then took a long break from his studies. The recollections of others show it could only have been in the period from the end of the academic year in 1997 to the start of the academic year in 1998 – a gap of 15 months which the Egyptian explained to his professor as being for family reasons.

It is striking that Atta’s absence coincided with an upsurge in violence directed against foreigners by an extremist group, Jama’ah al-Islamiyah, known to be linked to Osama bin Laden. It is even more striking that the victims of the first such attack, on a tourist bus in Cairo, which left nine dead and 11 injured, were Germans.

By the time Atta returned to Hamburg he was a changed man. Hannelore Haase, who owned the shop at the corner of the street where Atta shared a flat with two other Arab men remembered all three wearing traditional garb of baggy trousers and flowing kaftans. Chrylla Wendt, Machule’s assistant, said he now had a thick, bushy beard. ‘He was more serious,’ said the professor.

Hauth, who lost contact with Atta after he left the university at the end of 1995, knew a man who could even laugh at jokes about Arab dictators. But Wendt said: ‘I cannot remember him smiling.’

She had plenty of opportunity to study Atta at close quarters, for she had agreed to go through his thesis with him, correcting his German. Starting in June 1999, they met ‘at least once a week’ in her narrow office and sat side by side at her desk.

But when the time came to look at the last chapter, Atta refused to go through it with her and Wendt believes he had found their physical intimacy unbearable. The thesis was finished. But before it was submitted, Atta slipped in an additional page at the front. It had on it a verse from the Koran.

‘Say. My prayer and my sacrifice and my life and my death are [all] for Allah, the Lord of the worlds.’

Machule shrugged it off as the idiosyncrasy of a devout man. His thesis was what mattered, and it was brilliant. Atta got a 1.0 – the highest possible mark.

Wendt remembered how, when the examiners had finished their deliberations, Machule walked out to congratulate Atta. An outside, female examiner followed suit and extended her hand. Atta refused to take it.

Although he remained enrolled, no one on campus seems ever to have seen him again. He next reappears this year making an unexplained 10-day visit to Spain. The Observer has seen hotel records which confirm that Atta spent at least one night in the eastern resort town of Salou in mid-July.

The FBI said that Atta flew to Madrid’s Barajas airport from Miami on 9 July. His first step on arrival was to pick up a rental car which he had previously reserved over the internet.

Atta spent his last night in the Montsant Hostal in Salou, where he paid with his Visa card and registered under his own name. His Hyundai Accent car was returned to Madrid airport on 18 July with some 1,250 miles on the clock.

On 16 August, back in Florida, he rented a single-engined plane from a company in Palm Beach. He made a test flight to demonstrate his competence and then returned twice more, each time with a different passenger.

In the minds of all but the most cynical or sadistic terrorists, there has to be an element of wilful schizophrenia – a readiness to murder people in the name of humanity. But in the mind of Atta, that wilful schizophrenia seems to have attained extraordinary proportions.

He cared deeply about people. It is not just that he cared about the Muslim poor. He even cared about the next American to rent his hire car. Brad Warrick, of Warrick’s Rent-a-Car in Pompano Beach, Florida, said that Atta called him to say the car’s oil light was on. When he returned it on 9 September, Atta reminded him about the light.

Unconsciously echoing the many Germans who experienced Atta’s consideration, Warrick said: ‘The only thing out of the ordinary was that he was nice enough to let me know that the car needed an oil change.’

Yet when that same man seized the controls of American Airlines Flight 11 two days later and aimed it at the World Trade Centre, he seems to have been able to dismiss from his mind the fact that the building, like the plane, was full of people he was about to send to a terrifying death: kind-hearted, middle-aged PAs such as Chrylla Wendt, dynamic young professionals like Volker Hauth and, in the World Trade Centre of all places, lots of challenging, emancipated women, just like Amal.

Additional reporting by Giles Tremlett in Salou.

When our world changed forever  (

When our world changed forever

It had been months in the planning. And within moments of the attack on 11 September, old certainties had crumbled as surely as those mighty towers. Here we trace the arc of terror, from its secret beginnings and deadly actions to the fallout that will affect us all

Special report: terrorism in the US

Ed Vulliamy and Anthony Browne in New York, Jason Burke, Peter Beaumont, Martin Bright and Kamal Ahmed in London, Paul Simon in Boston, Luke Harding in Islamabad, Kate Connolly in Berlin, and Andrew Osborn in Brussels

The Observer, Sunday 16 September 2001 02.14 BST

They were living the American dream. Through the spring, summer and early autumn, they prospered under a clear blue American sky that arced over their whitewashed houses, their condominiums, their local stores and their childrens’ school. Each week they drove past the parking lots and the burger bars down the wide, empty roads to the mall. They shopped at the Wal-Mart for American Coke and American Pizzas. They watched American films.

Abdulrahman al-Omari arrived with his family in the small Florida beach suburb of Vero Beach in July last year. He signed a $1,400 a month lease to rent one of the pastel stucco houses that line 57th terrace and signed up at a local flying school, the FlightSafety Academy. Every morning the neighbours used to watch him leave his home in his white shirt with gold-and-black shoulder flashes. His wife used to drive their four children to school shortly afterwards.


In Coral Springs, 100 miles inland from Vero Beach, Mohamed Amanullah Atta, a tall, slim, 33-year-old electrical engineer with an aloof manner and a taste for chinos, sports shirts and vodka and orange, was perfecting his flying. He had arrived in the beach town in November with a friend, Marwan Yousef al-Shehri, a small, tubby 23-year-old, who had come over from Germany with him a year before. They were both good students.

There were others. In Daytona Beach, another young Arab, Walid al-Shehri, had been training at the Embry-Riddle Aeronautics University. In all, at various schools along the East Coast, around a dozen young Arab men, some with aeronautical experience, some without, were all learning how to fly big jets.


Elsewhere in the US another 30 or 40 people were also fulfilling their own more minor roles. Scores more provided marginal assistance. Some of them had been living in America for years – at least two had driving licences dating from 1994. At least one had access to airport accreditation. Some had business visas; most had false passports. And though some have been traced to Los Angeles and New York, the vast majority were based in Florida. Nine, for example, lived in Delray Beach, a wealthy resort on the Atlantic coast. The youngest was 20; the oldest was 51. Atta was the leader. And by last month he was a busy man.


On 6 August, carrying a briefcase, he walked into Warrick Rent-a-car in Pompano Beach, Florida, and rented a 1995 Ford Escort. According to Brad Warrick, the owner, he was polite and and acted like a businessman. ‘He didn’t spend money like there was an unlimited source. He squabbled a little bit over mileage,’ Warrick said. The Escort came back with 254 miles on the clock. No one knows where Atta took it.


Over the following weeks Atta rented more cars and logged thousands of miles. On 15 August, he picked up a 1996 Chevrolet Corsica for two weeks and travelled 1,915 miles in it. On 29 August he rented the Escort again. In the meantime he had also been honing his flying skills. On three consecutive days from 19 August he hired, for $88 an hour, a four-seat Piper Archer plane from the Palm Beach County Park Airport in Lantana and flew it through the clear summer Florida skies for four hours. He told the manageress at the centre that he wanted to notch up 100 hours flying. The previous November – five months after arriving in America from Germany where he had been training in Hamburg as an electrician – he had taken his Federal Aviation Authority test and had qualified as a pilot for single-engined light planes. The course had cost him $10,000. Since then, at a series of aviation schools, he had been taught to fly bigger, more powerful planes.


Elsewhere, things were also beginning to happen. On 5 September, a white Mitsubishi sedan was seen at Logan International Airport in Boston. The driver had secured a pass that allowed him to drive into secure airport areas. In the next week the car was be seen four times around the complex. Around the same time al-Omari, the clean-living family man from Vero Beach, moved out of his neat all-American home with his family. He promptly disappeared. All over America, others were leaving flats, guest houses, rented homes.

There were some minor problems. In Minnesota, an Arab man was detained when he tried to seek flight simulator training for a large jetliner. The man revealed little under interrogation.


Atta did not appear unduly worried. Nine days ago, he spent Friday afternoon drinking with Marwan al-Shehri and a third man in Shuckums Oyster Pub and Seafood Grill in Hollywood, a small town 30 miles from Miami. Patricia Idrissi, a waitress, remembered that one had gone off to play a video machine at the one end of the restaurant while Atta and al-Shehri sat drinking and arguing. Al-Shehri drank rum and coke; Atta knocked back five Stolichnaya vodkas with orange juice. When it came to pay Atta complained about their $48 bill and argued with the manager.


‘You think I can’t pay my bill?’ Atta shouted. ‘I am a pilot for American Airlines. I can pay my fucking bill.’


Then he peeled out a note from a thick wad of $50 and $100 bills, leaving a $2 tip.


Some 18 men, who would later form into small groups, began heading towards Boston. Many were already in America. Others joined them from Canada, crossing into the northern American state of Maine at remote, lightly patrolled border areas.


Atta and al-Omari spent the night in room 432 of a Comfort Inn in the city of South Portland on the northern seaboard. Al-Omari’s wife and children left their home, and disappeared. At least two other hijackers are thought to have spent the night at the Park Inn in suburban Newton, Massachusetts. Atta checked out last Tuesday morning. He left a plane timetable in his room. He did not need it any more. The time for preparation was over. After years of planning, the operation was finally under way. The objective was clear: the world would change for ever.


George Bush was a troubled man: there had been further warnings about recession, crucial ingredients of his domestic policies were being attacked, and his team the Texas Rangers had been trounced over the weekend. He had arisen early on Tuesday morning to join his chief of staff Andrew Card, policy spinmeister Karl Rove and Dan Bartlett, communications director, for a trip to Florida. On the agenda: his precious Education Bill, and the start of a nationwide push to propel it through Congress, to begin at the Emma E. Booker elementary school in Sarasota, Florida.


Bush was driving to the school in a motorcade when the phone rang. An airline accident appeared to have happened. He pressed on with his visit. Bush moved through into the classroom, and flashed his smile at the assembled second-graders, on the dot of 9am, and listened to them read aloud.


As he was getting ready to pose for pictures with the teachers and pupils, chief of staff Card entered the room, walked over to the President and whispered in his right ear: there had been another ‘incident’. Bush stiffened; he left soon afterwards on a plane bound for Washington.


Boston at dawn: the hijackers assemble

At 5.53 on Tuesday morning Atta and al-Omari passed through security at Portland Jetport in Maine. They had checked out of their room ($149 for smoking, $159 for non-smoking) and had driven the short distance to the airport in a hired car. The Atlantic sparkled bright blue in the crisp clear light of an early autumn New England morning, the short flight to Boston’s Logan International was uneventful. Using their New Jersey drivers licenses as identification, they bought two one-way tickets on a visa card and checked in for American Airlines Flight 11 to Los Angeles . They settled down to wait for Atta’s baggage and the men whom they knew were on their way to join them.

John Ogonowski, the fair-haired, clean-cut captain of Flight 11, was also on his way to Logan. As he passed his Uncle Al’s house, he honked his horn in greeting. At the airport, he met his co-pilot, big, burly Tom McGuinness, a former F14 Navy Tomcat pilot, and the two walked out to their plane.

At about 7.15 a white Mitsubishi saloon pulled up abruptly in the airport car park. It carried three young Arab men. In one window a ‘ramp pass’ allowing access to restricted areas at the airport was displayed. After a short altercation with another driver over the parking space in the airport garage the three moved off into the terminal and checked in. Within quarter of an hour at least five hijackers had passed through airport security. The box-cutter ‘Stanley’ knives hidden in their hand baggage had remained undetected.

By 7.35 most of the 81 passengers had boarded the Boeing 767 that Ogonowski was to fly to LA. Atta was sitting in seat 8D in business class opposite Hollywood producer David Anfell and his wife Lynn. Sitting next to them in 8G was Abdul al-Omari. The remaining seats in the row were empty.

In the next aisle sat Edmund Glazer, the south African born vice-president of a communications company. Glazer, who had rushed to the airport, put in a quick call to his wife to reassure her that he had got the flight.

Ahead of Flight 11 in the queue for take off was United Airlines Flight 175, another Boeing 767, also heading for Los Angeles. It had 65 people on board. Among them were the cousins Marwan and Mohald al-Shehri who had been training in Florida with Atta, Fayez Ahmed, and two brothers, Hamza and Ahmed al-Ghamdi. Their plane took off at 07.58 and a minute later Flight 11 was airborne.

At 8.01, 150 miles further south, United Airlines flight 93 left Newark airport for San Francisco. There were 45 people on board, including five crew and two pilots. Nine minutes after that American Airlines flight 77 left Dulles, Washington’s major airport, for Los Angeles. On board were 64 passengers, including Barbara Olson, a lawyer, political commentator for CNN and wife of the US Solicitor General, and a group of three schoolchildren and three teachers en route to an expedition to Santa Cruz island. There were two pilots and four crew. On each of these four planes – carrying a total of 272 people and thousands of tonnes of aviation fuel for their long transcontinental flights – was a team of hijackers.

Takeover in the cabins and a monstrous plot revealed

At 8.15, as the big plane settled into a its flight over Massachusetts, the cabin crew aboard American Airlines Flight 11 started to prepare breakfast.

Mohamed Atta did not wait for his roll and coffee. He and his four accomplices left their seats and made their way towards the cockpit. They may have forced their way in using knives or box-cutters, or possibly killed passengers or crew to lure Ogonowski or his co-pilot Tom McGuinness out of their locked cockpit. One of the pilots had time to click on a cockpit microphone allowing controllers to hear one of the hijackers say ‘We have more planes. We have other planes. Don’t do anything foolish … You won’t be hurt’ – but the secret four-digit alert code that indicates a hijacking was never sent. The plane was heard from once more when air traffic control were contacted – it is unclear by whom – and an air corridor to JFK air port in New York requested. Then Flight 11’s transponder, which allows the plane’s movements to be tracked, was switched off. Within minutes the plane made a sharp turn to the south and headed down the Hudson river, over Albany and the grey-green Catskill Mountains towards New York.

At 0845 American Airlines Flight 11 turned at 400mph and aimed for Manhattan.

The second hijack was by then under way on United Airlines Flight 175. Around 9am, passenger Peter Hanson had telephoned his parents in Easton, Connecticut, and described how hijackers armed with knives had taken over the plane and a stewardess had been stabbed. The plane had headed south-west across Connecticut and was over New Jersey when it made a sharp left turn. At 8.59, now south of Manhattan, the plane turned again, straightening up on on a course heading directly for the World Trade Centre. Hanson called his parents again and spoke to his father Lee. The plane was ‘going down’, he said, once more the line went dead. At the same time, an unnamed stewardess on board the plane called an emergency number from a phone at the back of the aircraft. She described how her colleagues had been stabbed. At 9.16 the plane, banking slightly, neared its final destination.

The hijackers hit a third plane, American Airlines Flight 77, which had taken off from Washington’s Dulles airport heading for Los Angeles at 8.10am and then a fourth, on its way from Newark to Los Angeles, at about 9.00. Few details have emerged, but the terrorists appear to have gained control of both aircraft without difficulty, quickly herding the passengers and crew to the rear. For air traffic controllers on the ground the first sign that something was wrong was when Flight 77 suddenly disappeared off their radar screens as it headed east.

Someone in the cockpit had switched off the transponder. There was nothing, then an unidentified aircraft appeared on the controllers’ radar screens. But it was heading in the wrong direction. It was flying, at more than 500mph, back towards Washington.

At 9.30 the leader of the hijackers, believed to be Khalid al-Midhar, spoke to the passengers. They should phone their homes, he said, because they were all about to die.

Barbara Olson called her husband from her seat. ‘What do I tell the pilot to do?’ she asked him. Then she was cut off. Theodore Olsen called the Justice Department’s command centre. They said they were unaware of a hijacking. A few minutes later his wife called back. Again she asked for advice. Her husband told her that other hijacked planes had just hit the World Trade Centre. The phone went dead again.

At 9.42 a.m. the plane was seen approaching Washington from the south-west. Just a few miles outside the city it suddenly made a 270 degree turn and lined up on the Pentagon. A minute later the nose went down and, in a steep, short dive, it smashed into a helicopter pad adjacent to the Pentagon’s western wall and ploughed on through three of the five concentric rings of offices that make up one of the largest single buildings on earth. The impact and resulting fireball caused a five-storey section of the building to explode and sent debris, flames and smoke hundreds of feet into the air. Including the 64 passengers and crew, 190 people had been killed. It was 9.43 in the morning. Air force jets had been scrambled, but they arrived 15 minutes too late.

Flight 93, which had left Newark just as Flight 77 had left Washington, was still in the air. The passengers on board had half an hour to live.

Back in Logan Airport Mohamed Atta’s baggage was waiting for collection. His suitcase contained an instructional video on flying airliners, a fuel consumption calculator and a copy of the Koran.

Assault from the skies: The North Tower

Jim Farmer stuck to his usual routine last Tuesday morning. After getting up and showering at his Manhattan apartment, the 43-year-old film composer ordered a coffee at his local street cafe on West Broadway. He sat outside in the morning sun. It was almost nine o’clock, and people were hurrying to work at their offices in the financial heart of the world’s last remaining superpower.

A strange sound rose above the bustle: it seemed to be the noise of a plane. But aircraft did not normally fly low over the city. Farmer looked up from his newspaper. Other people stopped in the street.

The noise grew louder. Pigeons on the pavements took flight en masse. A blue speck – it looked like a dart – screamed across the skyline and ploughed into the World Trade Centre. There was a loud explosion. People in offices and apartments ran to their windows; people on the street started screaming.

The 110-floor tower was left with a gaping black hole eight or nine storeys high near its peak. Orange fingers of flame groped at the edges of the hole; black, acrid smoke poured out of it. American Airlines flight 11 had reached its destination; and the world started changing.

Twenty thousand people were at work in each of the twin towers of the WTC. Nobody will ever know what went through the minds of those on the floors directly hit as they stared out of the window at their last vision on earth: a 60-tonne plane hurtling towards them at 400 miles an hour.

Stuart DeHann, a freelance creative director, ran onto his roof terrace nearby and watched the unfolding horror. A few floors above the hole in the tower, which was still spewing forth flames and smoke, people were leaning out of the shattered windows. They started jumping from the 90th floor.

‘They were definitely deciding to jump rather than falling. They were standing on the edge of the windows and leaping. They knew it was the end and were making a decision about how to go,’ said DeHann.

The choice was stark: to die by being burnt alive or by jumping from near the top of a 1,300 ft-high building onto concrete. One couple leapt out hand in hand. Another woman’s dress started billowing out as she fell. One man, bare chested, tumbled over and over until he smashed into the paving stones at around 200 miles an hour.

Assault from the skies: The south tower

Eighteen minutes after Flight 11 had ploughed into the north tower, United Airlines flight 175 hit the south tower, its tanks also full of fuel. It hit the building far lower than the first plane had, and appeared to make a far bigger explosion. Eight hundred feet in the air, the flames leapt out almost a block in every direction..

Moments before and 70 floors below, Jimmy Wu, a banker, had been preparing to go into a revenue meeting. ‘We heard a huge explosion. I rushed to the window and saw all these papers floating down,’ he said. He assumed it was another bomb, but when he managed to get out of the building onto the plaza he suddenly realised what it was. ‘There were all these yellow airline safety jackets lying around – there were some airplane seats on the ground. I think I saw some human body parts.’

He used his mobile to phone his brother who worked on the 64th floor of the south tower. He stood under a shelter in the plaza, bodies and glass crashing in front of him, desperately waiting for his brother to answer. He stared up to the floor where he assumed his brother was, and the top third of the tower exploded into an enormous ball of flame. Wu ran. Thousands were still inside, fighting to make it down the stairs, burning alive.

Scenes of chaos and terror in New York were being beamed live on television around the world.The chief of the police, his deputy and mayor Rudy Giu liani arrived at the scene. Bodies littered the plaza. A pair of feet in their shoes lay unattached to a body. The head of a middle-aged man rolled down the street. One woman was sliced in half by a large sheet of glass, which fell from a thousand feet above.

Father Mychael Judge, the chaplain of the New York fire department for the past 10 years, had rushed to the scene and was administering the last rights to one victim. A chunk of debris dropped from the building, killing the priest as he prayed.

Pieces of paper floated down from the sky, settling on the bodies: lawyers letters, cashflow statements, future business plans.

The trade centre collapses

While the buildings and their skins of steel supports withstood the crash, the fuel burnt ferociously at a temperature of more than 1000 C. The steel supports started melting and buckling and the top floors crashed down on those below. That set off a chain reaction where storey crashed down on storey, the whole building cascading down on itself. Thousands were still inside.

The panic spread. People ran from the debris, hiding in shops, taking refuge under cars. Some could not outrun the cloud of thick dust from tonnes of falling rubble that surged between Manhattan’s skyscrapers. They were sprinting along the streets, looking over their shoulders, like characters in a film. Many were engulfed. Choking dust reduced visibility to zero.

Two hundred firemen, including the chief and deputy chief of the fire service, who were trying to help evacuate people at the bottom of the towers, were engulfed in the rubble. Seventy police officers were swallowed up along with unknown thousands of people who had not yet managed to escape the devastated area. Almost all of those who died, but who had managed to survive the crashing debris, are thought to have suffocated in the stifling smoke and ash.

A few minutes later the south tower collapsed and a second wave of debris covered an area of 10 blocks around south Manhattan. Cars were piled on top of cars and crushed; buses were lifted up and smashed against buildings. A section of the World Trade Centre, several storeys high, was propelled into another building. Huge chunks were gouged out of neighbouring tower blocks.

It was barely an hour since the twin towers had stood almost a quarter of a mile tall. Now they were reduced and compressed into mounds of rubble and steel that stood a bare hundred feet high. As the dust continued to fall, millions of office documents lay everywhere; torn clothing and shoes were scattered around. Small fires were last night still burning. Almost 5,000 people were feared dead.

In just over an hour on the morning of Tuesday, 11 September 2001, the world had changed for ever.

Part II

On board Airforce One:

A threat to the President

After Andy Card broke the news, Bush hurried to Air Force One, waiting on the tarmac at Sarasota airstrip. There, he made his first remarks, vowing to pursue and punish the ‘folks’ who had attacked New York.


Bush wanted to return to Washington, but was told by Karl Rove that the safest place to be was in the air, under the escort if a fleet of F-14 and F-16 jet fighter bombers. The Presidential jet duly took off at 9.55 am. Bush sat in the huge armchair behind his L-shaped desk; Card joined him for most of the journey. The mood on board was tense. No one in the Secret Service department, nor any of Bush’s aides, was told where the plane was flying.

The television reception on board cut in and out; when it worked, the Secret Servicemen were watching their own headquarters crash to the ground. Bush himself had to be reminded where they were going: an Air Force base at Barksdale, Louisiana, which had nothing in particular to be said in its favour at this critical moment in US history – besides being near Texas and a long way from Washington and New York, in the opposite direction. Even the route to Eastern Louisiana was erratic and uncertain: from Florida, the plane flew east to the Atlantic, then north as though to Washington, then west and finally south-west to Shreveport.


Out of the windows, Bush and his crew could see their escort of fighters, and when the plane finally landed, it was immediately surrounded by airforce commandos in full combat gear – fatigues, flak jackets and drawn M-16s. Bush insisted that he return to Washington, to deliver a message of stability to the nation.


The President called Dick Cheney, his Vice President – who was alone running the White House. He also called his wife Laura, then set off for his next destination. The Security Services wanted Bush taken deeper into the interior of America. They headed for deepest hole of all: the lonely centre of the heartland, Nebraska. Bush again protested that he wanted to return to the capital. Rove said that he had obtained ‘credible’ evidence of a threat to the President and his jet.


Few places could be further from the grief and courage of stricken New York and Washington that day than the Offutt Air Force base near Omaha, which is precisely why it was chosen as the place to which Presidents flee in times of crisis. It is the most secure military installation in the US, in the security of which the President can sit at a videophone during times of extreme emergency and speak to whoever is left at the White House. Which is what Bush now proceeded to do.


In Washington, it was announced that the White House had been evacuated after the Pentagon attack- but this was untrue. Dick Cheney – the master of silence – was left alone in charge, along with his trusty assistant, Lewis ‘Scooter’ Libby. Cheney and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice had bunkered down, underground, in what they call the ‘Sit. Room’, from which the President and his team – if stranded in Washington – would direct a nuclear war. Neither volunteered any information to anyone.


Shock around the world: How Blair heard the news

In room 713 of the Grand Hotel, the Fitzherbert Suite, Tony Blair was putting the finishing touches to the speech that was to set the political tone for the week. It was a bright Tuesday lunchtime in Brighton, and the Prime Minister was preparing to make his most positive comments yet about whether Britain should join the single currency. He was going to say just enough about his enthusiasm for the euro to knock the issue of privatisation of public services off the front pages.

In the next door room, 714, Downing Street staff were running over the final draft of Blair’s words. In the corner the television was tuned to the news, a normal precaution in case something of political importance happened. Remarkable pictures had started running of an accident the like of which the world had never seen. An aeroplane had crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Centre.

With the second to last draft of the speech in his hand, a Downing Street official walked through the connecting door and presented the script to Blair. ‘There appears to have been a major incident in America,’ he told the Prime Minister. Blair, in shirt sleeves sitting on the sofa, asked to be kept informed.

Fifteen minutes later, there were gasps of amazement. Alastair Campbell, Blair’s head of communications who was in the room with the Prime Minister, turned on the television. Both men watched in shock at the pictures coming from America. Blair asked Campbell if he should cancel the speech. Campbell nodded in agreement. Blair’s first telephone call was to Jonathan Powell, the No 10 chief of staff, who was watching the same footage back in London.

With more than four years experience, and the President of the United States still feeling his uncertain way in world politics, the man who used to be derided as Bambi was now the elder statesman. The test was ahead. The special relationship, Britain’s place in the world, public opinion, the pressure of the Middle East against the needs of our Atlantic ally – all had to be carefully balanced in Blair’s first response to a truly world tragedy.

There was a train at 3.40pm, in just under an hour’s time. Blair, his personal secretary, Anji Hunter, Campbell, Smith and the rest of the Downing Street staff would be on it. The Prime Minister did not make his speech.

On the train to London, Blair called Jack Straw, the Foreign Secretary, and Geoff Hoon, the Defence Secretary. Blair then sat down with Campbell and Hunter and the initial strategy was worked through. The immediate top line was agreed. This was an attack not just on America but on every right-thinking nation in the world. The response had to be resolute and rapid.

The key, the three agreed, was building an international alliance which included the rest of Europe, the Muslim nations, China and Russia. There had to be no repeat of the suggestion post the Gulf-war that it was the US and Britain standing alone against the world. That had led to resentment and increasing danger. During the summer holidays one of Blair’s reading-bundles put together by his staff was on the Middle East. He had read security reports on Osama bin Laden, the terrorist leader believed to be in hiding in Afghanistan, and Islamic fundamentalism. He had read parts of the Koran to try and understand aspects of the faith and fathom out whether a justification for terrorism could really be found, as often argued, in its pages.

Blair arrived at Downing Street at just before 5pm. At 5.30pm he chaired the first meeting of Cobra, named because of the meeting’s location in Cabinet Office Briefing Room A, with key aides, Ministers and intelligence chiefs.

The meeting lasted 30 minutes. In Downing Street, Blair held his first press conference. It will be remembered for one phrase: standing ‘shoulder to shoulder’ with the Americans. Immediately there were rumblings of discontent. In the Foreign Office, which well remembered the disaster of the US-inspired attack on the pharmaceutical factory in Khartoum, Sudan, following the bombing of the US embassies in Nairobi and Dar-es-Salaam, fears were raised that the message smacked too much of the gung-ho.

At a press conference on Wednesday, Blair spoke about the ‘vast majority of Muslim people’ reacting with revulsion to the attack. As he took questions, Hunter walked in at the back of the state dining room and passed a note to Campbell. ‘He’s got to finish,’ she whispered. Campbell scribbled a few lines on a scrap of paper and told an assistant to give it to Blair. The White House was on the line.

Blair spoke to Bush for 20 minutes. He urged caution, while reiterating Britain’s full support. Convincing evidence must be produced regarding culpability if the world was to be convinced that the USA was acting for reasons of justice rather than revenge. Carpet bombing of innocent civilians could be counter-productive. The Middle East vacuum must be tackled. Bush agreed, telling Blair that there was no point ‘bombing sand’ with a few cruise missiles.

Bush had been on the phone since 7am that morning. As well as Blair, he called Jacques Chirac in Paris, Gerhard Schröder in Berlin and Jiang Zemin in Beijing. Only one leader was treated to two calls: Vladimir Putin of Russia, the owner of a limitless border with Afghanistan, and a disastrous memory of what it is like to mess with Osama bin Laden on his own terrain. Bush assembled his team around him: Colin Powell, Cheney, chairman of the Joint Chiefs Henry Shelton and Condoleezza Rice.

The investigation: The FBI launches a dragnet

FBI Director Robert Mueller took the first call from Bush at his offices in Washington within minutes of the first attack just after 9am on Tuesday 11 September. Wiry, grey haired and tough, the 56 year-old former Marine and veteran prosecuter – confirmed in his 10-year post as head the world’s most famous law enforcement agency barely a month before – had already begun his investigation, alerted by initial police reports of a disaster and by live television pictures being watched by his agents.

The phones were also ringing throughout the FBI’s headquarters: in the Counter Terrorism Division and in the office of Ron Dick, director of the National Infrastructure Protection Center, established in 1998 to be the point of focus in exactly this kind of disaster.

Also on the line to Mueller was his friend and long-term supporter, Attorney General John Ashcroft, who had been on his way to Milwaukee for a Justice Department event when the planes struck the World Trade Centre. Landing in Milwaukee Ashcroft returned to Washington immediately, arriving at the FBI’s headquarters in a convoy of heavily armed vehicles. Fearful of another attack on Washington, Mueller, Ashcroft and senior FBI and Justice officials moved quickly to an emergency operations centre within the FBI building where they sketched out their strategy.

By this weekend, the investigation launched by Ashcroft and Mueller had become the biggest criminal investigation in American history, deploying 4,000 FBI officers and 3,000 support personnel.

Within hours of the first crash Mueller had launched a massive dragnet. Agents were immediately tasked to call police in Boston asking for all their files on Boston cab drivers of Middle Eastern descent. FBI officials also began the laborious search of all their records relating to those logged as having potential links to terrorist organisations, in particular from the Middle East. It was a daunting task.

The car park at Boston’s Logan airport from where Flights AA175 and UA11 began their fatal journeys 18 minutes apart is vast and impersonal lot, full of equally anonymous cars, none more so than the white Mitsubishi sedan with its five Arab-looking passengers.

What was remarkable – at least for one still unidentified American who arrived at the car park at the same time – was the aggressive attitude of the Mitsubishi’s occupants who argued with him over a parking space.

It was a significant encounter. A few hours later when the motorist heard about the hijacking he called state police, on a hunch, and led them to the car, hired from Alamo. It was vital break. Videotape taken from the carpark’s closed-circuit camera showed the Mitsubishi had been a suspicious and frequent visitor to the car park.

It had entered the lot up to five times between Wednesday of the previous week and last Tuesday, apparently on practice runs for the attack.

Rental records for the car quickly provided a name: Mohamed Atta. If there was any doubt that the FBI had found one of the hijackers, it was dispelled when agents quickly checked the name against the passenger list of flights AA175 and UA11.

Atta’s name was there – one of 12 men with Arab surnames checked on to the two flights. In the hours that followed the discovery of the Mitsubishi, the FBI was also on the trail of a second rental car used by the hijackers. With a name to go on, Atta’s luggage had been tracked down to Portland, Maine.

Inside the suitcase belonging to Atta, investigators found a Saudi passport, an international driver’s license, a videotape on how to fly a Boeing 757 and 747, and ‘some kind of religious cassette tape’. They also had an address.

By late Tuesday night FBI agents with search warrants had converged on Atta’s apartment in the Tara Gardens Condominiums complex at 10001 in Coral Springs, Florida searching Apartment 122 for several hours, and showing a picture of Atta to residents. Later two FBI agents visited Shuckum’s, a local bar, near Atta’s home showing staff photographs of two Middle Eastern men. She immediately recognised one as a customer who had given her a hard time the previous Friday over a bill paid from a wad of $100 and $50 bills.

And it was not just large sums of cash that Atta and his colleagues had available. An extensive list of Visa card receipts seized in the raids quickly led the FBI to cast their net wider, uncovering evidence of a massive and well-funded conspiracy involving, according to Ashcroft, as many as 50 people in the United States alone.

If the passenger list had provided the first indication of those behind the conspiracy, by Wednesday investigators were rapidly uncovering links between Atta and other names on the list. Among the names were those of brothers of Marwan and Waleed al-Shehri.

FBI officers also visited the home of a Florida man, Charles Voss, who told them that Atta and a man whom he knew only as Marwan had stayed at his home last year while they obtained flight training at a Florida flight school.

In Vero Beach, Florida, FBI agents and sheriff’s deputies raided three houses in two neighborhoods, with armed agents serving search warrants on students or former students of the training school Flight Safety International.

The Investigation: Arrests in Britain, raids in Germany

As Robert Mueller went before the cameras to announce the first fruits of an investigation now stretching from the Canadian border, where officials suspect some of the hijackers entered the country, to Florida the picture of the conspiracy was becoming clear.

One hijacker on each of the four flights had been trained in fly in America itself. In barely two days his agents had established that Atta and his fanatical colleagues had used Saudi Arabian Airlines – by whom some were employed – as cover both for their pilot training and to infiltrate America’s civil aviation system. Among them was Abdulrahman al-Omari, in Federal Aviation Authority records as having worked in flight operations for the Saudi airline and who was sitting next to Atta in the business section of American Airlines Flight 11.

What was also becoming clear to Mueller and his colleagues was how Atta and his fellow hijackers had at almost every turn unerringly homed in on, and exploited, glaring weaknesses in America’s immigration and security apparatus: travelling back and forth into the US from Canada via a tiny border crossing in Jackson, Maine and using the cover of America’s closest ally in the Arab world – Saudi Arabia. Mueller’s conclusion was that this was an operation that had been planned for years.

Federal authorities also revealed that they believed that suicidal air assaults were carried out by small terrorist cells whose individual members did not even know that other planes would be hijacked and other targets struck at the same time.

The investigation by now had taken on an international dimension. In Rome police reopened the files on the theft of American Airlines uniforms, found in luggage abandoned by the hijackers. In Hamburg, German police and intelligence officials, acting on a tip-off from the FBI, raided apartments, detaining two men and confirming that Atta and Marwan al-Shehri, had attended a local technical university.

In Karlsruhe, Germany’s chief federal prosecutor revealed that a third suspect who also died, belonged to a terror group formed ‘with the aim of carrying out serious crimes together with other Islamic fundamentalist groups abroad, to attack the United States in a spectacular way through the destruction of symbolic buildings.’

‘These people were of Arabic background and lived in Hamburg and were Islamic fundamentalists,’ Nehm said. ‘They formed a terrorist organisation with the aim of launching spectacular attacks on institutions in the US.’

Britain was also on a high state of alert. MI5 director Stephen Lander ordered an immediate trawl through the thousands of pieces of intelligence collated on Islamic radicals over recent months in a desperate attempt to identify whether there had been any significant warnings they had failed to notice.

As a result of checks, on Wednesday three key suspects, Saudi dissident Khaled al-Fawaaz and two Egyptians, Ibrahim Eiderous and Abdul Bari, were moved to high security Belmarsh prison from Brixton in response to events.

Khaled al-Fawaaz is accused of being Osama bin Laden’s link man in London and is alleged to have received phone calls from bin Laden associates around the time of the US embassy bombings in Africa..

On Thursday, another man, Algerian Amar Makhlulif, otherwise known as Abu Doha, appeared at Belmarsh magistrates court. He is accused of conspiring to cause explosions on American soil.

Makhlulif was arrested earler this year trying to board a flight from Heathrow to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. He has been linked by the US authorities to plans for a ‘millennium spectacular’ at Los Angeles airport on New Year’s Eve 2000. The plot was foiled when police apprehended another Algerian, Ahmed Ressam, trying to cross the US-Canadian border. When police searched his car, they found a business card belonging to Abu Doha with a London telephone number. A search of his British home allegedly found passports, fake ID papers and chemical formulae for explosives.

On Thursday the identity of the ‘Mister Big’ was officially confirmed for the first time by Secretary of State Colin Powell. ‘We are looking at those terrorist organisations who have the kind of capacity to conduct the kind of attack that we saw,’ Powell told a packed news conference. Asked whether he was referring to bin Laden, he answered: ‘Yes.’

By Friday Mueller’s men had made their first arrests. An as yet unnamed man was arrested as a material witness in the New York attack and two men detained in Texas were flown to New York by the FBI.

Bush, Powell and the Building of a coalition against terror

Two days earlier, Colin Powell had been ordered home from an official trip to Peru and rushed to the White House for an emergency meeting of the National Security Council. It was a critical meeting that was to define America’s military and diplomatic response to an attack that senior officials were already privately convinced was the work of Osama bin Laden.

The strategy as it emerged that evening among Bush’s shocked officials was to be twin-track. Bush, Powell and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage would work rapidly to build an international consensus. The message for waverers, officials briefed the US media, was to be absolutely clear. It was a black and white choice in their relationship with the United States. ‘You’re either with us or against us.’

By Wednesday Powell himself was reinforcing the message. ‘As we gather information and as we look at possible sources of the attack, it would be useful to point out to the Pakistani leadership at every level that we are looking for and expecting their fullest cooperation and their help and support,’ Powell said.

Powell and Bush talked to to America’s allies and potential allies. By Wednesday – after a night and day of whirwind diplomacy – Powell had enlisted support from world leaders ‘to make sure that we go after terrorism and get it by its branch and root’.

Even as the full enormity of the attack continued to sink in, Nato and the UN Security Council were falling in behind the US line. The Security Council, condemning the action, called for ‘all necessary means’ to combat the threat of terrorism – an expression usually the shorthand for military action.

On Wednesday night the 19-member Nato Council was also in full session. At the encouragement of its Secretary General, Lord Robertson, Britain’s former Secretary of State for Defence (and a close ally of Tony Blair), Nato invoked for the first time Article Five of its founding charter that declares an attack on one member an attack on all of the alliance. While falling short of endorsing full Nato support for military reprisals it was in marked contrast to the deep divisions that split the Council’s members over the Kosovo war.

It was left to General Henry Shelton Chairman of the Joint Chiefs discreetly to work out the details of President Bush’s ‘global war on terrorism’ with the Secretary for Defence, Donald Rumsfeld.

Speculation was also mounting this weekend that Vice President Dick Cheney – sent to a secret site by Bush to work on the crisis – had been put in overall command of any attack on bin Laden and Afghanistan. Cheney was taken to Camp David, Maryland, on Thursday to keep him physically separate from Bush. ‘They are going to continue to work on providing aid and comfort to the victims of the crisis and also on establishing who did this,’ said an aide. Another US official described the meeting as intended to begin the decision-making process for military action.

The hard details, however, will be left to Shelton. A former Special Forces veteran from Vietnam who served as the commander of the 101st Airborne Division in the Gulf, Shelton is one of America’s most decorated senior officers, and former Commander in Chief of Special Operations. In contrast to Powell, Shelton has been markedly more reticent about his brief, coolly declining to discuss the content of any military thinking.

As both houses of Congress moved to rally behind Bush’s efforts to deal with the attacks, the Senate also approved a resolution authorising Bush to ‘use all necessary and appropriate force’ against the perpetrators, including any nations that may have helped them. It was tantamount to a declaration of war.

Indications of what that war might entail were building up in compelling detail by yesterday . For in addition to approving funding for the war – $20 billion for the military effort itself – Congress also gave approval to the call-up of 35,000 reservists, ostensibly for home defence. Defence officials stressed additional activations were likely later to help the active military mount a war against both those who were behind the atrocity last Tuesday and the countries that support them.

At the same time, it emerged from shipbrokers on Friday that the US Military Sealift Command – the US navy’s logistic organisation – had put out tenders for two oil tankers to take 235,000 barrels of marine fuel from Kuwait to Diego Garcia, the US bomber base in the Indian Ocean. It had also booked another tanker, the Cypriot flagged Presnya to carry 28,000 tonnes of aviation fuel from Greece to southern Spain.

The timing of the bookings is significant. It suggests that Shelton planned to have sufficient supplies to fight a war in Afghanistan by the end of this month. And already his officials have been careful to leak the most apocalyptic details of the plans under consideration: of cruise missile strikes from US ships in the Gulf and overflying bombers and of a possible land invasion. One senior official, who asked not to be identified, suggested a raid against Afghanistan, where Saudi-born bin Laden is believed to be based, could come as early as next weekend or the following week. All eyes have turned to the East.


Part III


Pakistan: The key to the taliban’s back door

This unwelcome attention was getting to President General Pervez Musharraf yesterday. Four days after the bombings, the charming, urbane Pakistani dictator was locked in discussions with his closest advisors at his low, white presidential palace at the end of Islamabad’s broad Constitution Avenue. He had become the crucial figure in US plans for a retaliatory strike against bin Laden and his Taliban supporters.


Wendy Chamberlin, a 52-year-old mother of two, had visited him last week on her most arduous task since being appointed US ambassador in Islamabad a month earlier. She needed to convince Musharraf to commit to the unthinkable and break his regime’s long-standing alliance with Afghanistan’s brutish Taliban militia at the risk of igniting a fire of Islamic extremism in Pakistan.


On Thursday morning, Chamberlin spent 40 minutes with Musharraf reeling off a list of 18 specific demands from US military planners in what officials described as a ‘frank and forthright’ meeting. Colin Powell followed up with a 15-minute phone call later that night.


Musharraf was left in little doubt as to the gravity of the decision he is now making. In public he immediately offered ‘unstinted cooperation’. In private, he spent hours with his most senior generals wrestling with the question of how much support to give to the US military.


He was preparing to take the biggest gamble of his life last night amid unconfirmed reports that US forces would be allowed to use Pakistan as the launchpad for any attack. Most contentiously, Pakistan’s military ruler has allegedly agreed to allow a multinational force to be stationed inside the country’s borders.


This could backfire on Musharaff. Pakistan’s Islamic clerics have threatened to revolt and the loyalty of the many rightwing officers in his army will be sorely tested.


‘I think if General Musharraf allows the Americans all the access they want, the people of Pakistan will revolt. They will dominate and overwhelm the country,’ said Talat Masood, a retired general and close friend of the dictator. ‘This will not just happen here but in the whole of the Middle East and elsewhere.’


Other sources, however, claimed that no decision had yet been taken on how far to acquiesce to US requests for help. They said Musharraf was unlikely to allow US troops to be stationed in Pakistan – except on a clandestine basis – because of fears of an Islamic backlash from religious parties and from Pakistan’s powerful militant groups.


The US has asked Pakistan to close its border with Afghanistan and to allow its airspace to be used for possible strikes. It has also demanded that Pakistan share any intelligence it may have over the whereabouts of Osama bin Laden. Pakistan, in return, is believed to sought assurances that any ground troops dispatched to Pakistan would be multinational, not only American, because of Islamic sensitivities.


The talks yesterday followed a meeting of Musharraf his corps commanders, some of whom are known Islamists, at Army House in Rawalpindi for more than six hours. As they talked they would have heard the loudspeakers broadcasting sermons for Friday prayers in mosques across the city.

The destruction of the World Trade Centre was a ‘punishment from God for what the Americans have done to Muslims,’ Maulana Abdul Aziz told his congregation. ‘We will join the jihad (holy war) against the West if the Americans dare attack Afghanistan,’ said Hasan Jan, another cleric.

Even the rarefied atmosphere of Islamabad, a neat but lifeless city of bureaucrats sitting at the foot of the lush Margalla hills, was broken as overcrowded mosques spilled out onto the streets as thousands gathered to hear the clerics preach.


‘We shall be on the streets. We will be shouting against Americans and the whole Muslim world will be shouting against Americans if Pakistan caves in to Washington,’ said Munawwar Hassan, a leader of Jamaat-e Islami, Pakistan’s largest Islamic party.


Anger and fervour: America prepares to take action

Musharraf’s unease will not have been helped by the latest news yesterday. Public anger was mounting in America along with outpourings of patriotic fervour. Some had little interest in justice, just revenge.

Joan Renshaw, a grandmother in Atlanta, said: ‘I’m angry. I’m hoping we wipe these people out, and if we need to, wipe out the country that is hosting them. Just get rid of the them all.’

Phil Beckwith, 63, a former navy chief petty officer from Wyoming, had another idea. ‘I know just what to do with these Arab people,’ he said. ‘We have to find them, kill them, wrap them in a pigskin and bury them. That way they will never go to heaven. Bury Osama bin Laden with a pigskin, donate blood for the people in New York and God bless this great country.’

At the Panhandle Gunslingers, a gun shop in Amarillo, Texas, the owner had placed a pile of photocopies of Osama bin Laden by the till for customers to have as ‘free targets’.

In New York, taxis, restaurants and shops are all draped with the stars and stripes. Sales of American flags are at a record high. In Times Square, every public TV screen was filled with pictures of the stars and stripes, and the hoardings draped with dozens of flags. Huge painted banners declared: ‘Freedom will be defended.’

One survey showed that 86 per cent of Americans now consider the country to be at war. More firefighters died in the collapse of the World Trade Centre than all personnel killed in all US conflicts since the invasion of Granada in 1983.

At an enlistment centre in the Aurora Mall in Denver, Jason Stuart was yesterday waiting to follow in the footstep’s of his grandfather. ‘The very day after Pearl Harbour, my grandad told his family he wanted to join the military and I couldn’t get that out of my mind,’ said Stuart, 24, who had watched the attacks on television. ‘I thought somebody has to pay for this. I felt this was something I had to do.’

Haunted by America’s last great war against Vietnam, other Americans opposed to military action held candlelit vigils in Manhattan on Friday night.

In Union Square, the biggest rally gathered beneath an equestrian statue scaled by mourners, draped with American flags and covered with the word ‘Peace’, in chalk. ‘Pray for the Dead,’ read one placard, ‘And Fight Like Hell For the Living’. ‘An Eye for An Eye Makes the World Blind’, said another.

From the bombed-out wastes of Afghanistan, the country’s Islamic spiritual leader and close friend of bin Laden also issued a rally call to his countrymen. ‘We must stand steadfast against the enemy,’ Mullah Mohamed Omar said in a radio address. ‘Death comes to everyone. We must stand proud as Afghans in the defence of Islam. Believe in God, for with the grace of God the American rockets will go astray and we will be saved. We shall be victorious!’

In Baghdad, they had celebrated the New York and Washington attacks, raising speculation that Iraq may also become a target for American strikes. US officials have made clear that they are investigating links between Iraq and bin Laden.

‘America needs wisdom, not force,’ Saddam Hussein said in an open letter to the west carried by the official Iraqi News Agency (INA) and television and radioyesterday. ‘It had used force, along with the West, to its extreme extent, only to find out later that it did not achieve what they wanted.

‘Will the rulers of America try wisdom just for once so that their people can live in security and stability?’ he asked.

On a tour of New York on Friday, George Bush had a message to his people. As dust-covered rescue workers stopped digging through the rubble for a moment, Bush declared: ‘I can hear you and the rest of the world hears you and the people who knocked these buildings down will hear all of us soon.’

Bush was last night holding a top-level summit at Camp David, surrounded by generals, intelligence chiefs and key advisers. Armed with congressional approval to ‘use all necessary and appropriate force’, the President was meeting to plot a war. Reporters and television crews from dozens of countries stood around outside in the crisp autumn sunshine.

The world is watching, and waiting, for news.

Is it unthinkable that US leaders would mastermind the murder of 3,000 of their citizens?

Is it unthinkable that US leaders would mastermind the murder of 3,000 of their citizens?

By Elias Davidsson 6 July 2007

One of the arguments advanced by those who reject the possibility that US leaders had masterminded the events of 9/11, is that such conduct is simply unthinkable. When pressed why this would be unthinkable, the usual answer is that leaders of a democratic country don’t do “such things”, let alone Americans to other Americans. Such thought is deemed outrageous. Let us examine such outright rejection in some detail.

The democratic argument

Adolf Hitler came to power after heavily contested democratic elections. A larger percentage of the German population voted for him than that of the American population for George W. Bush. In addition, the elections in post-Nazi Germany were substantially more contested than those practiced in the United States. In Germany at the time, powerful communist and socialist parties fiercely confronted liberal and right-wing parties. In the United States, two wings of Corporate America, or as some people have it, two trademarks of Corporate America, present their candidates. Corporate mass media stage the election campaign, which is financed by corporations. The election fraud by George W. Bush, abetted by the Supreme Court, has hardly changed the nature of American sham-democracy.

The moral argument (“We Americans don’t do such things”)

Pre-Nazi Germany has been a world citadel of culture, arts and science. Germany has given the world great composers, philosophers, painters, writers, poets and scientists. Who would have imagined in 1933 that German leaders would kill thousands of their own people and commit genocide? Anybody thinking along these lines would have been regarded as mad. Yet this happened at the behest of leaders of this historically cultured nation. The United States cannot claim a similar heritage as Germany. American history consists of a long trail of mass crimes, including the genocide of the native Indian population and mass enslavement. It also includes numerous wars of aggression, both in the Western hemisphere and around the world. In recent decades, the United States could claim the notorious record of being the largest incarcerator in the world, with almost one percent of the population behind bars. If it was possible for leaders of a democratic, cultured nation, to commit unspeakable crimes against humanity, there is no reason to believe that this cannot happen elsewhere, let alone in countries that have a long tradition of state-instigated violence, such as the United States. The question whether US leaders did instigate the events of 9/11 cannot be dismissed out of hand by simply stating that “Americans do not do such things”. It can only be answered by an empirical examination of the evidence. The 9/11 truth movement has taken upon itself this civic task.

Ten scenarios of what may have happened on September 11th 2001


By Nicholas Levis

(Original April 1, 2004 – revised May 2006)

Of the attempts to categorize 9/11 theories I’ve seen, some beg questions or unfairly characterize what people think. Most are simply vague in their terms. I have tried to do better with the following list of nine graduated options, which I believe fairly describe the differing opinions people actually have (short of those who believe in divine or extraterrestrial intervention). This remains a mental exercise, but I hope it helps sharpen our logic.


Nineteen hijackers planned 9/11 and carried it out using knives and mace to hijack the flights, without requiring any help from outside the Bin Ladin/al-Qaeda terror-cell networks. Despite the indirect warnings and predictions from investigators and counterterrorism experts, the U.S. government prior to Sept. 11th did not acquire or synthesize any intelligence useful enough to prevent the attacks. In fact, it makes sense that the attacks were not prevented, since the terrorists took advantage of our free society and weaknesses in the system. In other words, the opposition should stop trying to use 9/11 against Bush or anyone else. 9/11 skeptics merely discredit themselves.


Accepting the official story, this option adds the likelihood that the failures to prevent or defend against 9/11 were due to incompetence, or even criminal negligence on the part of the White House, FBI, CIA, NSA and/or other intelligence and law enforcement agencies. It is unthinkable that US government operatives intended to allow the attacks, or would have consciously failed to act on specific foreknowledge. Those who suggest this are either crazy or outrageously beyond the pale. Nevertheless 9/11 is still worth investigating to clear up where the failures lie, especially so that the government can provide better protection in the future and wage a more effective War on Terrorism.

This was the tacit line of the Kean Commission, although The 9/11 Commission Report found failures only at the middle and lower levels of civilian agencies like the FBI and FAA. During their tenure, the commissioners repeatedly emphasized that they were not looking to assign blame. Wesley Clark, Carolyn Maloney and a few other Democratic Party politicians have voiced a more controversial variant of this hypothesis, suggesting that the failures were at a high level and ultimately lead back to Bush and his incompetent leadership. This approach is usually coupled with an emphatic promotion of the "War on Terrorism," calls for stricter "Homeland Security," and a tactical critique of the Iraq war as a distraction from the real mission of destroying al-Qaeda.


As in choice 1, the U.S. was blindsided. But a far greater and more active role than until now admitted was played by influential Saudi fundamentalists, at least in financing and lending support to al-Qaeda. The Bushies don’t want that to get out, because it will make them look bad given their long history of doing personal business with Arab oil interests. That is why Bush and Co. obstructed the 9/11 inquiries, and the administration may have also called off FBI terror investigations prior to Sept. 11 as a favor to their Saudi clients. Although they may have recklessly facilitated the attacks, the Bushies would have acted to prevent them – that is, if they had been smart enough to figure out what was coming in advance.

This is more or less the view of Greg Palast in his book, "The Best Government Money Can Buy," and of Michael Moore in the film "Fahrenheit 9/11." It is also the underlying philosophy of the lawsuits brought against Saudi interests by lawyers representing September 11th families. Senator Bob Graham, who co-directed the congressional 9/11 investigation of 2002, has since identified Saudi Arabia as home to the financial interests supporting al-Qaeda; although he has steadfastly failed to mention the far more explosive Pakistani connection.


In early 2001, Bush & Co. looked away from the possibility of a terrorist attack, lowered the intensity of Bin Laden investigations, and sent aid to Afghanistan. All this was done to facilitate back-channel diplomacy with the Taliban. But when the Taliban refused to accept a unity government and a pipeline deal, the US told them that they had a choice between "a carpet of gold or a carpet of bombs." Al-Qaeda ended up striking the United States just before Bush would have struck at the Taliban. This is the line of Dasquie and Brisard’s best-selling book, "The Forbidden Truth."

Many researchers, such as Paul Thompson of the Complete 9/11 Timeline, focus more closely on the role of the Pakistani military and in particular the intelligence agency ISI, which fathered the Taliban in the 1990s and until 2001 maintained close ties to al-Qaeda as well as to the CIA. Even according to the official story, Pakistan was the geographic center of planning and logistics for the 9/11 plot. Furthermore, the ISI appears to have financed the alleged hijackers directly. Researchers who focus on the Pakistani Connection hypothesize that the ISI carried out a double cross, or else served as a sub-contractor to another intelligence agency (possibly the CIA) in organizing the hijackers for the attacks.

4 WISHING FOR PEARL HARBOR ("Letting It Happen")

Bush & Co. intentionally looked the other way in early 2001, expecting and hoping an attack would happen so that they could push through the otherwise infeasible world-domination plans they themselves laid out in their "Project for a New American Century." The invasions of Afghanistan and Iraq were prepared well in advance of September 11th. Administration members knew vaguely that an al-Qaeda attack was coming; they may have even provoked it (as in choice 3a), and they made sure that it would not be prevented. But they did not directly assist the attacks, or do anything to incriminate themselves. (Adherents of this view often surmise that administration members were surprised at how horrible the actual attacks were, and shocked by the collapses of the WTC towers.)

This position is popular at "Democratic Underground," as a default for those who suspect LIHOP but who think the evidence is too thin.

LIHOP = "Letting It Happen On Purpose"

As in the official story, hijackers were dispatched by "al-Qaeda" (the Bin Laden-inspired cell networks) to carry out the 9/11 plan. However, Bush & Co. and/or other elements within the U.S. government, secret services or establishment knew about the attacks in advance and worked to ensure they would happen, with the intent of exploiting a New Pearl Harbor. This insider help may have included protection of the alleged hijackers, obstruction of FBI investigations, a standdown of air defense, an intentional leadership AWOL during the attacks, and possible construction of other excuses for inaction, such as "we were only holding a wargame and it was subverted by evildoers." This is the minimum position of Michael Ruppert, David Ray Griffin, and the mainstream of the 9/11 truth movement.

VARIANT 5a, LIHOP PLUS: The insiders took additional steps to guarantee that the 9/11 plot would succeed (why leave something so important in the hands of amateurs?), for example by infiltrating and helping out the hijackers, possibly even replacing them with loyal doubles or steering the planes (or drones) by remote control, or doing whatever else was thought necessary.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I think the likeliest hypothesis is of an inside job that exploited a "genuine" terrorist plot. Sometime between the Bojinka Plot of 1996 and 9/11 itself, the original Islamic-extremist dream of crashbombing planes into American targets was subverted and then steered to fruition by masterminds within the US power elite. This is the logical way to leave a robust trail of evidence pointing to the patsies. The perfect plot would produce a patsy who sincerely believed he had himself committed the crime – like Marinus van der Lubbe, the man who went proudly to his execution for burning down the German Reichstag (parliament) in 1933, although there is no realistic doubt the Nazis themselves set the fire.

MIHOP = "Making It Happen On Purpose"

There were no hijackers. The whole thing was planned long before 2001 and finally executed as an inside job by elements within the US intel apparatus and/or the Bush mob. They created the false-flag excuses, using patsies or a completely fake list of perpetrators. The planes were likely flown by remote control, or were replaced in mid-flight by drones. Wargames mimicking the actual attacks were held on Sept. 11 so as to confuse the majority of the military and provide a back-up cover story. The whole thing might as well have been Made in Hollywood, and was in fact pre-figured in Hollywood productions such as "The Lone Gunmen" pilot episode of March 2001, "The Siege" (1998), "The Long Kiss Goodnight" (1996) and other films. In fact, such movies may have been used consciously as propaganda preparation. This is the conclusion of author Mamadou Chinyelu, Webster Tarpley, John Leonard and others.

NWO = "New World Order"

Same as Northwoods 2001, but the master plotters are not just "elements within the US" but the global ruling elite – a hardcore faction of which decided, as a group, to orchestrate an incident allowing them to gain greater control of the world Zeitgeist. 9/11 allows their proxies to seize key resources, reshape the world, drop the democratic facades and transition to open corporate feudalism. Planetary depopulation is one of the likely ultimate goals. The Bush mob are lower-order handmaidens, who may not have been privy to the details of 9/11 in advance. The real players steered the propaganda before and after 9/11 to make it work. This is the approach of Chaim Kupferberg, Michel Chossudovsky and Don Paul.


Bush & Co. themselves were blindsided by super right-wing elements within the U.S. mil/intel complex, who effectively attempted or even succeeded in staging a coup. This is how I interpret the views of LaRouche and his followers, Thierry Miessan, and others; Tarpley also tends in this direction.

NOTE ON DEMOLITIONS: Scenarios 5a to 8, all of which qualify as "Inside Job Theories," may or may not include the idea that the WTC buildings were brought down by pre-planted explosives. While the demolition theory (for those who believe in it) is considered to prove that 9/11 was an inside job, one can easily believe in an inside job without requiring demolitions. Those who make the case for inside job with demolition generally focus on two possible sets of motives. One is based in the theory of psychological operations ("psyops"): the downright biblical vision of collapsing towers generates an even greater shock than the plane hits. It traumatizes the hundreds of millions who see it live or on television, making them far more susceptible to the mental programming of a new enemy image and a perpetual "War on Terror." The other set of motives draws from the pedestrian world of material gains: the buildings were obsolete and full of asbestos, and an orderly disposal would have cost billions; the owners made a killing on the insurance; the destruction stimulates a later re-development of Manhattan; the damaging records stored in WTC 7 were destroyed; etc.


Various theories, usually pushed by lone crusaders, have mixed and matched to lay the primary blame on China, Russia, German Nazis, or other, sometimes bizarre combinations, in one case even suggesting the Canadian government was directly involved in circumventing North American air defenses. The most important of the third-state theories so far was the one pushed by Cheney and many of his neoconservative allies, who posited a direct Iraqi connection. Although they have mostly ceased promoting this idea, it had a fateful impact as a justification for the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Opinion surveys still show consistently that many Americans think the Saddam Hussein regime was involved in the September 11th events.

Otherwise the most common third-state theory lays the primary blame with Israel or, more vaguely, "the Zionists" who are purported to run the US government. Eric Hufschmid and Christopher Bollyn have advanced the view that Israel was not merely complicit in a larger US-run plot, but provided the actual origination in blind-siding the US government so as to engender a world war between Islam and the West, and orchestrate the destruction of Israel’s Arab enemies. This idea of "Israel MIHOP" appears to be widespread in the Arab world.

If you still think the primary locus of the plot was within the U.S. military-intelligence apparatus, go to choices 5 to 7. For Saudi Arabia or Taliban, go to choice 3. For al-Qaeda as a network acting alone without support from any state, go to choices 1 or 2.


More than four years after the attacks, the 9/11 research community still has yet to establish genuine peer review and a common data base, and seems incapable of resisting a number of persistent, long-ago discredited errors and exaggerations. (To cite just a few representative examples of the apocrypha cluttering the writings of many a 9/11 skeptic: The Magic Passport of an alleged hijacker, reportedly found by a policeman at the WTC during the actual attacks, was attributed to Satam al-Suqami, not Mohamed Atta. Tom Kenney’s FEMA team, firefighters from Massachussetts, were sent to New York on Tuesday, and not on "Monday" (Sept. 10) as he misspoke on CBS. The only evidence that Condoleezza Rice delivered the Sept. 10th "no-fly" warning to Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco was an anonymous caller to a radio show. Marvin Bush did not direct or oversee the security system at the World Trade Center; he was a shareholder in a relatively minor security contractor.)

Some have rushed to describe complete scenarios of given events that seem to incorporate all facts, but are still unlikely and unprovable. Researchers, citizens and even lawmakers lack the power to subpoena records, or to call up witnesses who could answer the relevant questions. The government has destroyed and suppressed evidence and intimidated whistleblowers, and appears all too happy to see 9/11 shrouded in layers of fog and dust. Many actors have their own reasons to pump out misinformation, including: agencies of the U.S. and other countries; officials looking to cover themselves or score points; the corporate and many within the grassroots media; opportunist authors; and, possibly, phony whistleblowers and witnesses. The worst impulse is to declare the case closed for one’s favorite scenario, in advance of actually having the evidence in hand.

As genuine skeptics we must keep probing and correcting and we must, obviously, keep fighting for independent investigation and disclosure – even as we work on larger political strategies to deal with the reality that the US government will never disclose the full truth of 9/11, until the people force the issue.


Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?

Was America Attacked by Muslims on 9/11?
by David Ray Griffin

Much of America’s foreign policy since 9/11 has been based on the assumption that it was attacked by Muslims on that day. This assumption was used, most prominently, to justify the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. It is now widely agreed that the use of 9/11 as a basis for attacking Iraq was illegitimate: none of the hijackers were Iraqis, there was no working relation between Saddam Hussein and Osama bin Laden, and Iraq was not behind the anthrax attacks. But it is still widely believed that the US attack on Afghanistan was justified. For example, the New York Times, while referring to the US attack on Iraq as a “war of choice,” calls the battle in Afghanistan a “war of necessity.” Time magazine has dubbed it “the right war.” And Barack Obama says that one reason to wind down our involvement in Iraq is to have the troops and resources to “go after the people in Afghanistan who actually attacked us on 9/11.”
    The assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11 also lies behind the widespread perception of Islam as an inherently violent religion and therefore of Muslims as guilty until proven innocent. This perception surely contributed to attempts to portray Obama as a Muslim, which was lampooned by a controversial cartoon on the July 21, 2008, cover of The New Yorker.
    As could be illustrated by reference to many other post-9/11 developments, including as spying, torture, extraordinary rendition, military tribunals, America’s new doctrine of preemptive war, and its enormous increase in military spending, the assumption that the World Trade Center and the Pentagon were attacked by Muslim hijackers has had enormous negative consequences for both international and domestic issues.1
    Is it conceivable that this assumption might be false? Insofar as Americans and Canadians would say “No,” they would express their belief that this assumption is not merely an “assumption” but is instead based on strong evidence. When actually examined, however, the proffered evidence turns out to be remarkably weak. I will illustrate this point by means of 16 questions.

1. Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?
The picture of the hijackers conveyed by the 9/11 Commission is that they were devout Muslims. Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader, was said to have become very religious, even “fanatically so.”2 Being devout Muslims, they could be portrayed as ready to meet their Maker—as a “cadre of trained operatives willing to die.”3
But this portrayal is contradicted by various newspaper stories. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Atta and other hijackers had made “at least six trips” to Las Vegas, where they had “engaged in some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures.” These activities were “un-Islamic” because, as the head of the Islamic Foundation of Nevada pointed out: "True Muslims don’t drink, don’t gamble, don’t go to strip clubs.”4
One might, to be sure, rationalize this behavior by supposing that these were momentary lapses and that, as 9/11 approached, these young Muslims had repented and prepared for heaven. But in the days just before 9/11, Atta and others were reported to be drinking heavily, cavorting with lap dancers, and bringing call girls to their rooms. Temple University Professor Mahmoud Ayoub said: “It is incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam. . . . Something here does not add up.”5
In spite of the fact that these activities were reported by mainstream newspapers and even the Wall Street Journal editorial page,6 the 9/11 Commission wrote as if these reports did not exist, saying: “we have seen no credible evidence explaining why, on [some occasions], the operatives flew to or met in Las Vegas.”7

2. Do Authorities Have Hard Evidence of Osama bin Laden’s Responsibility for 9/11?
Whatever be the truth about the devoutness of the hijackers, one might reply, there is certainly no doubt about the fact that they were acting under the guidance of Osama bin Laden. The attack on Afghanistan was based on the claim that bin Laden was behind the attacks, and the 9/11 Commission’s report was written as if there were no question about this claim. But neither the Bush administration nor the Commission provided any proof for it.
    Two weeks after 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking to Tim Russert on “Meet the Press,” said he expected “in the near future . . . to put out . . . a document that will describe quite clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to this attack.”8 But at a press conference with President Bush the next morning, Powell reversed himself, saying that although the government had information that left no question of bin Laden’s responsibility, “most of it is classified.”9 According to Seymour Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the Department of Justice, the real reason for the reversal was a “lack of solid information.”10
    That same week, Bush had demanded that the Taliban turn over bin Laden. But the Taliban, reported CNN, “refus[ed] to hand over bin Laden without proof or evidence that he was involved in last week’s attacks on the United States.” The Bush administration, saying “[t]here is already an indictment of Osama bin Laden” [for the attacks in Tanzania, Kenya, and elsewhere],” rejected the demand for evidence with regard to 9/11.11
    The task of providing such evidence was taken up by British Prime Minister Tony Blair, who on October 4 made public a document entitled “Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States.” Listing “clear conclusions reached by the government,” it stated: “Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist network which he heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September 2001.”12
    Blair’s report, however, began by saying: “This document does not purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a court of law.” This weakness was noted the next day by the BBC, which said: “There is no direct evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to the 11 September attacks. At best the evidence is circumstantial.”13
After the US had attacked Afghanistan, a senior Taliban official said: “We have asked for proof of Osama’s involvement, but they have refused. Why?”14 The answer to this question may be suggested by the fact that, to this day, the FBI’s “Most Wanted Terrorist” webpage on bin Laden, while listing him as wanted for bombings in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, makes no mention of 9/11.15
When the FBI’s chief of investigative publicity was asked why not, he replied: “The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden’s Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting Bin Laden to 9/11.”16
    It is often claimed that bin Laden’s guilt is proved by a video, reportedly found by US intelligence officers in Afghanistan in November 2001, in which bin Laden appears to report having planned the attacks. But critics, pointing out various problems with this “confession video,” have called it a fake.17 General Hamid Gul, a former head of Pakistan’s ISI, said: “I think there is an Osama Bin Laden look-alike.”18 Actually, the man in the video is not even much of a look-alike, being heavier and darker than bin Laden, having a broader nose, wearing jewelry, and writing with his right hand.19 The FBI, in any case, obviously does not consider this video hard evidence of bin Laden’s responsibility for 9/11.
    What about the 9/11 Commission? I mentioned earlier that it gave the impression of having had solid evidence of bin Laden’s guilt. But Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the Commission’s co-chairs, undermined this impression in their follow-up book subtitled “the inside story of the 9/11 Commission.”20
Whenever the Commission had cited evidence for bin Ladin’s responsibility, the note in the back of the book always referred to CIA-provided information that had (presumably) been elicited during interrogations of al-Qaeda operatives. By far the most important of these operatives was Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM), described as the “mastermind” of the 9/11 attacks. The Commission, for example, wrote:

Bin Ladin . . . finally decided to give the green light for the 9/11 operation sometime in late 1998 or early 1999. . . . Bin Ladin also soon selected four individuals to serve as suicide operatives. . . . Atta—whom Bin Ladin chose to lead the group—met with Bin Ladin several times to receive additional instructions, including a preliminary list of approved targets: the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the U.S. Capitol.21

The note for each of these statements says “interrogation of KSM.”22
    Kean and Hamilton, however, reported that they had no success in “obtaining access to star witnesses in custody . . . , most notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.”23 Besides not being allowed to interview these witnesses, they were not permitted to observe the interrogations through one-way glass or even to talk to the interrogators.24 Therefore, they complained: “We . . . had no way of evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . . was telling us the truth?”25
An NBC “deep background” report in 2008 pointed out an additional problem: KSM and the other al-Qaeda leaders had been subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques,” i.e., torture, and it is now widely acknowledged that statements elicited by torture lack credibility. “At least four of the operatives whose interrogation figured in the 9/11 Commission Report,” this NBC report pointed out, “have claimed that they told interrogators critical information as a way to stop being ‘tortured.’” NBC then quoted Michael Ratner, president of the Center for Constitutional Rights, as saying: “Most people look at the 9/11 Commission Report as a trusted historical document. If their conclusions were supported by information gained from torture, . . . their conclusions are suspect.”26
    Accordingly, neither the White House, the British government, the FBI, nor the 9/11 Commission has provided solid evidence that Osama bin Laden was behind 9/11.

3. Was Evidence of Muslim Hijackers Provided by Phone Calls from the Airliners?
Nevertheless, many readers may respond, there can be no doubt that the airplanes were taken over by al-Qaeda hijackers, because their presence and actions on the planes were reported on phone calls by passengers and flight attendants, with cell phone calls playing an especially prominent role.
    The most famous of the reported calls were from CNN commentator Barbara Olson to her husband, US Solicitor General Ted Olson. According to CNN, he reported that his wife had “called him twice on a cell phone from American Airlines Flight 77,” saying that “all passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to the back of the plane by . . . hijackers [armed with] knives and cardboard cutters.”27
Although these reported calls, as summarized by Ted Olson, did not describe the hijackers so as to suggest that they were members of al-Qaeda, such descriptions were supplied by calls from other flights, especially United 93, from which about a dozen cell phone calls were reportedly received before it crashed in Pennsylvania. According to a Washington Post story of September 13,

[P]assenger Jeremy Glick used a cell phone to tell his wife, Lyzbeth, . . . that the Boeing 757’s cockpit had been taken over by three Middle Eastern-looking men. . . . The terrorists, wearing red headbands, had ordered the pilots, flight attendants and passengers to the rear of the plane.28

A story about a “cellular phone conversation” between flight attendant Sandra Bradshaw and her husband gave this report:

She said the plane had been taken over by three men with knives. She had gotten a close look at one of the hijackers. . . . "He had an Islamic look," she told her husband.29

From these calls, therefore, the public was informed that the hijackers looked Middle Eastern and even Islamic.
Still more specific information was reportedly conveyed during a 12-minute cell phone call from flight attendant Amy Sweeney on American Flight 11, which was to crash into the North Tower of the World Trade Center.30 After reaching American Airlines employee Michael Woodward and telling him that men of “Middle Eastern descent” had hijacked her flight, she then gave him their seat numbers, from which he was able to learn the identity of Mohamed Atta and two other hijackers.31 Amy Sweeney’s call was critical, ABC News explained, because without it “the plane might have crashed with no one certain the man in charge was tied to al Qaeda.”32
    There was, however, a big problem with these reported calls: Given the technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from airliners at altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, especially calls lasting more than a few seconds, were not possible, and yet these calls, some of which reportedly lasted a minute or more, reportedly occurred when the planes were above 30,000 or even 40,000 feet. This problem was explained by some credible people, including scientist A.K. Dewdney, who for many years had written a column for Scientific American.33
    Although some defenders of the official account, such as Popular Mechanics, have disputed the contention that high-altitude calls from airliners were impossible,34 the fact is that the FBI, after having at first supported the claims that such calls were made, withdrew this support a few years later.
    With regard to the reported 12-minute call from Amy Sweeney to Michael Woodward, an affidavit signed by FBI agent James Lechner and dated September 12 (2001) stated that, according to Woodward, Sweeney had been “using a cellular telephone.”35 But when the 9/11 Commission discussed this call in its Report, which appeared in July 2004, it declared that Sweeney had used an onboard phone.36
Behind that change was an implausible claim made by the FBI earlier in 2004: Although Woodward had failed to mention this when FBI agent Lechner interviewed him on 9/11, he had repeated Sweeney’s call verbatim to a colleague in his office, who had in turn repeated it to another colleague at American headquarters in Dallas, who had recorded it; and this recording—which was discovered only in 2004—indicated that Sweeney had used a passenger-seat phone, thanks to “an AirFone card, given to her by another flight attendant.”37
This claim is implausible because, if this relayed recording had really been made on 9/11, we cannot believe that Woodward would have failed to mention it to FBI agent Lechner later that same day. While Lechner was taking notes, Woodward would surely have said: “You don’t need to rely on my memory. There is a recording of a word-for-word repetition of Sweeney’s statements down in Dallas.” It is also implausible that Woodward, having repeated Sweeney’s statement that she had used “an AirFone card, given to her by another flight attendant,” would have told Lechner, as the latter’s affidavit says, that Sweeney had been “using a cellular telephone.”
    Lechner’s affidavit shows that the FBI at first supported the claim that Sweeney had made a 12-minute cell phone call from a high-altitude airliner. Does not the FBI’s change of story, after its first version had been shown to be technologically impossible, create the suspicion that the entire story was a fabrication?
    This suspicion is reinforced by the FBI’s change of story in relation to United Flight 93. Although we were originally told that this flight had been the source of about a dozen cell phone calls, some of them when the plane was above 40,000 feet, the FBI gave a very different report at the 2006 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called 20th hijacker. The FBI spokesman said: “13 of the terrified passengers and crew members made 35 air phone calls and two cell phone calls.”38 Instead of there having been about a dozen cell phone calls from Flight 93, the FBI declared in 2005, there were really only two.
Why were two calls still said to have been possible? They were reportedly made at 9:58, when the plane was reportedly down to 5,000 feet.39 Although that was still pretty high for successful cell phone calls in 2001, these calls, unlike calls from 30,000 feet or higher, would have been at least arguably possible.
    If the truth of the FBI’s new account is assumed, how can one explain the fact that so many people had reported receiving cell phone calls? In most cases, it seems, these people had been told by the callers that they were using cell phones. For example, a Newsweek story about United 93 said: “Elizabeth Wainio, 27, was speaking to her stepmother in Maryland. Another passenger, she explains, had loaned her a cell phone and told her to call her family.”40 In such cases, we might assume that the people receiving the calls had simply mis-heard, or mis-remembered, what they had been told. But this would mean positing that about a dozen people had made the same mistake.
An even more serious difficulty is presented by the case of Deena Burnett, who said that she had received three to five calls from her husband, Tom Burnett. She knew he was using his cell phone, she reported to the FBI that very day and then to the press and in a book, because she had recognized his cell phone number on her phone’s Caller ID.41 We cannot suppose her to have been mistaken about this. We also, surely, cannot accuse her of lying.
Therefore, if we accept the FBI’s report, according to which Tom Burnett did not make any cell phone calls from Flight 93, we can only conclude that the calls were faked—that Deena Burnett was duped. Although this suggestion may at first sight seem outlandish, there are three facts that, taken together, show it to be more probable than any of the alternatives.
First, voice morphing technology was sufficiently advanced at that time to make faking the calls feasible. A 1999 Washington Post article described demonstrations in which the voices of two generals, Colin Powell and Carl Steiner, were heard saying things they had never said.42
Second, there are devices with which you can fake someone’s telephone number, so that it will show up on the recipient’s Caller ID.43
Third, the conclusion that the person who called Deena Burnett was not her husband is suggested by various features of the calls. For example, when Deena told the caller that “the kids” were asking to talk to him, he said: “Tell them I’ll talk to them later.” This was 20 minutes after Tom had purportedly realized that the hijackers were on a suicide mission, planning to “crash this plane into the ground,” and 10 minutes after he and other passengers had allegedly decided that as soon as they were “over a rural area” they must try to gain control of the plane. Also, the hijackers had reportedly already killed one person.44 Given all this, the real Tom Burnett would have known that he would likely die, one way or another, in the next few minutes. Is it believable that, rather than taking this probably last opportunity to speak to his children, he would say that he would “talk to them later”? Is it not more likely that “Tom” made this statement to avoid revealing that he knew nothing about “the kids,” perhaps not even their names?
Further evidence that the calls were faked is provided by timing problems in some of them. According to the 9/11 Commission, Flight 93 crashed at 10:03 as a result of the passenger revolt, which began at 9:57. However, according to Lyzbeth Glick’s account of the aforementioned cell phone call from her husband, Jeremy Glick, she told him about the collapse of the South Tower, and that did not occur until 9:59, two minutes after the alleged revolt had started. After that, she reported, their conversation continued for several more minutes before he told her that the passengers were taking a vote about whether to attack. According to Lyzbeth Glick’s account, therefore, the revolt was only beginning by 10:03, when the plane (according to the official account) was crashing.45
A timing problem also occurred in the aforementioned call from flight attendant Amy Sweeney. While she was describing the hijackers, according to the FBI’s account of her call, they stormed and took control of the cockpit.46 However, although the hijacking of Flight 11 “began at 8:14 or shortly thereafter,” the 9/11 Commission said, Sweeney’s call did not go through until 8:25.47 Her alleged call, in other words, described the hijacking as beginning over 11 minutes after it, according to the official timeline, had been successfully carried out.
Multiple lines of evidence, therefore, imply that the cell phone calls were faked. This fact has vast implications, because it implies that all the reported calls from the planes, including those from onboard phones, were faked. Why? Because if the planes had really been taken over in surprise hijackings, no one would have been ready to make fake cell phone calls.
Moreover, the FBI, besides implying, most clearly in the case of Deena Burnett, that the phone calls reporting the hijackings had been faked, comes right out and says, in its report about calls from Flight 77, that no calls from Barbara Olson occurred. It does mention her. But besides attributing only one call to her, not two, the FBI report refers to it as an “unconnected call,” which (of course) lasted “0 seconds.”48 In 2006, in other words, the FBI, which is part of the Department of Justice, implied that the story told by the DOJ’s former solicitor general was untrue. Although not mentioned by the press, this was an astounding development.
This FBI report leaves only two possible explanations for Ted Olson’s story: Either he made it up or else he, like Deena Burnett and several others, was duped. In either case, the story about Barbara Olson’s calls, with their reports of hijackers taking over Flight 77, was based on deception.

The opening section of The 9/11 Commission Report is entitled “Inside the Four Flights.” The information contained in this section is based almost entirely on the reported phone calls. But if the reported calls were faked, we have no idea what happened inside these planes. Insofar as the idea that the planes were taken over by hijackers who looked “Middle Eastern,” even “Islamic,” has been based on the reported calls, this idea is groundless.

4. Was the Presence of Hijackers Proved by a Radio Transmission “from American 11”?
It might be objected, in reply, that this is not true, because we know that American Flight 11, at least, was hijacked, thanks to a radio transmission in which the voice of one of its hijackers is heard. According to the 9/11 Commission, the air traffic controller for this flight heard a radio transmission at 8:25 AM in which someone—widely assumed to be Mohamed Atta—told the passengers: “We have some planes. Just stay quiet, and you’ll be okay. We are returning to the airport.” After quoting this transmission, the Commission wrote: “The controller told us that he then knew it was a hijacking.”49 Was this transmission not indeed proof that Flight 11 had been hijacked?
    It might provide such proof if we knew that, as the Commission claimed, the “transmission came from American 11.”50 But we do not. According to the FAA’s “Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events,” published September 17, 2001, the transmission was “from an unknown origin.”51 Bill Peacock, the FAA’s air traffic director, said: "We didn’t know where the transmission came from.”52 The Commission’s claim that it came from American 11 was merely an inference. The transmission could have come from the same room from which the calls to Deena Burnett originated.
    Therefore, the alleged radio transmission from Flight 11, like the alleged phone calls from the planes, provides no evidence that the planes were taken over by al-Qaeda hijackers.

5. Did Passports and a Headband Provide Evidence that al-Qaeda Operatives Were on the Flights?
However, the government’s case for al-Qaeda hijackers on also rested in part on claims that passports and a headband belonging to al-Qaeda operatives were found at the crash sites. But these claims are patently absurd.
    A week after the attacks, the FBI reported that a search of the streets after the destruction of the World Trade Center had discovered the passport of one of the Flight 11 hijackers, Satam al-Suqami.53 But this claim did not pass the giggle test. “[T]he idea that [this] passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged,” wrote one British reporter, “would [test] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the FBI’s crackdown on terrorism.”54
By 2004, when the 9/11 Commission was discussing the alleged discovery of this passport, the story had been modified to say that “a passer-by picked it up and gave it to a NYPD detective shortly before the World Trade Center towers collapsed.”55 So, rather than needing to survive the collapse of the North Tower, the passport merely needed to escape from the plane’s cabin, avoid being destroyed or even singed by the instantaneous jet-fuel fire, and then escape from the building so that it could fall to the ground!
    Equally absurd is the claim that the passport of Ziad Jarrah, the alleged pilot of Flight 93, was found at this plane’s crash site in Pennsylvania.56 This passport was reportedly found on the ground even though there was virtually nothing at the site to indicate that an airliner had crashed there. The reason for this absence of wreckage, we were told, was that the plane had been headed downward at 580 miles per hour and, when it hit the spongy Pennsylvania soil, buried itself deep in the ground. New York Times journalist Jere Longman, surely repeating what he had been told by authorities, wrote: “The fuselage accordioned on itself more than thirty feet into the porous, backfilled ground. It was as if a marble had been dropped into water."57 So, we are to believe, just before the plane buried itself in the earth, Jarrah’s passport escaped from the cockpit and landed on the ground. Did Jarrah, going 580 miles per hour, have the window open?58
    Also found on the ground, according to the government’s evidence presented to the Moussaoui trial, was a red headband.59 This was considered evidence that al-Qaeda hijackers were on Flight 93 because they were, according to some of the phone calls, wearing red headbands. But besides being absurd for the same reason as was the claim about Jarrah’s passport, this claim about the headband was problematic for another reason. Former CIA agent Milt Bearden, who helped train the Mujahideen fighters in Afghanistan, has pointed out that it would have been very unlikely that members of al-Qaeda would have worn such headbands: 

[The red headband] is a uniquely Shi’a Muslim adornment. It is something that dates back to the formation of the Shi’a sect. . . . [I]t represents the preparation of he who wears this red headband to sacrifice his life, to murder himself for the cause. Sunnis are by and large most of the people following Osama bin Laden [and they] do not do this.60

We learned shortly after the invasion of Iraq that some people in the US government did not know the difference between Shi’a and Sunni Muslims. Did such people decide that the hijackers would be described as wearing red headbands?

6. Did the Information in Atta’s Luggage Prove the Responsibility of al-Qaeda Operatives?
I come now to the evidence that is said to provide the strongest proof that the planes had been hijacked by Mohamed Atta and other members of al-Qaeda. This evidence was reportedly found in two pieces of Atta’s luggage that were discovered inside the Boston airport after the attacks. The luggage was there, we were told, because although Atta was already in Boston on September 10, he and another al-Qaeda operative, Abdul al-Omari, rented a blue Nissan and drove up to Portland, Maine, and stayed overnight. They caught a commuter flight back to Boston early the next morning in time to get on American Flight 11, but Atta’s luggage did not make it.
This luggage, according to the FBI affidavit signed by James Lechner, contained much incriminating material, including a handheld flight computer, flight simulator manuals, two videotapes about Boeing aircraft, a slide-rule flight calculator, a copy of the Koran, and Atta’s last will and testament.61 This material was widely taken as proof that al-Qaeda and hence Osama bin Laden were behind the 9/11 attacks.
    When closely examined, however, the Atta-to-Portland story loses all credibility.
    One problem is the very idea that Atta would have planned to take all these things in baggage that was to be transferred to Flight 11. What good would a flight computer and other flying aids do inside a suitcase in the plane’s luggage compartment? Why would he have planned to take his will on a plane he planned to crash into the World Trade Center?
    A second problem involves the question of why Atta’s luggage did not get transferred onto Flight 11. According to an Associated Press story that appeared four days after 9/11, Atta’s flight “arrived at Logan . . . just in time for him to connect with American Airlines flight 11 to Los Angeles, but too late for his luggage to be loaded.”62 The 9/11 Commission had at one time evidently planned to endorse this claim.63 But when The 9/11 Commission Report appeared, it said: “Atta and Omari arrived in Boston at 6:45” and then “checked in and boarded American Airlines Flight 11,” which was “scheduled to depart at 7:45.”64 By thus admitting that there was almost a full hour for the luggage to be transferred to Flight 11, the Commission was left with no explanation as to why it was not.
    Still another problem with the Atta-to-Portland story was the question why he would have taken this trip. If the commuter flight had been late, Atta, being the ringleader of the hijackers as well as the intended pilot for Flight 11, would have had to call off the whole operation, which he had reportedly been planning for two years. The 9/11 Commission, like the FBI before it, admitted that it had no answer to this question.65
    The fourth and biggest problem with the story, however, is that it did not appear until September 16, five days after 9/11, following the collapse of an earlier story.
According to news reports immediately after 9/11, the incriminating materials, rather than being found in Atta’s luggage inside the airport, were found in a white Mitsubishi, which Atta had left in the Boston airport parking lot. Two hijackers did drive a blue Nissan to Portland and then take the commuter flight back to Boston the next morning, but their names were Adnan and Ameer Bukhari.66 This story fell apart on the afternoon of September 13, when it was discovered that the Bukharis, to whom authorities had reportedly been led by material in the Nissan at the Portland Jetport, had not died on 9/11: Adnan was still alive and Ameer had died the year before.67
The next day, September 14, an Associated Press story said that it was Atta and a companion who had driven the blue Nissan to Portland, stayed overnight, and then taken the commuter flight back to Boston. The incriminating materials, however, were still said to have been found in a car in the Boston airport, which was now said to have been rented by “additional suspects.”68 Finally, on September 16, a Washington Post story, besides saying that the Nissan had been taken to Portland by Atta and al-Omari, specified that the incriminating material had been found in Atta’s luggage inside the Boston airport.69
Given this history of the Atta-to-Portland story, how can we avoid the conclusion that it was a fabrication?

7. Were al-Qaeda Operatives Captured on Airport Security Videos?
Still another type of evidence for the claim that al-Qaeda operatives were on the planes consisted of frames from videos, purportedly taken by airport security cameras, said to show hijackers checking into airports. Shortly after the attacks, for example, photos showing Atta and al-Omari at an airport “were flashed round the world.”70 However, although it was widely assumed that these photos were from the airport at Boston, they were really from the airport at Portland. No photos showing Atta or any of the other alleged hijackers at Boston’s Logan Airport were ever produced. We at best have photographic evidence that Atta and al-Omari were at the Portland airport.
    Moreover, in light of the fact that the story of Atta and al-Omari going to Portland was apparently a late invention, we might expect the photographic evidence that they were at the Portland Jetport on the morning of September 11 to be problematic. And indeed it is. It shows Atta and Omari without either jackets or ties on, whereas the Portland ticket agent said that they had been wearing jackets and ties.71 Also, a photo showing Atta and al-Omari passing through the security checkpoint is marked both 05:45 and 05:53.72
    Another airport video was distributed on the day in 2004 that The 9/11 Commission Report was published. The Associated Press, using a frame from it as corroboration of the official story, provided this caption:

Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar . . . passes through the security checkpoint at Dulles International Airport in Chantilly, Va., Sept. 11 2001, just hours before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon in this image from a surveillance video.73

However, as Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall have pointed out,

a normal security video has time and date burned into the integral video image by proprietary equipment according to an authenticated pattern, along with camera identification and the location that the camera covered. The video released in 2004 contained no such data.74

The Associated Press notwithstanding, therefore, this video contains no evidence that it was taken at Dulles on September 11.
Another problem with this so-called Dulles video is that, although one of the men on it was identified by the 9/11 Commission as Hani Hanjour,75 he “does not remotely resemble Hanjour.” Whereas Hanjour was thin and had a receding hairline (as shown by a photo taken six days before 9/11), the man in the video had a somewhat muscular build and a full head of hair, with no receding hairline.76
In sum: Video proof that the named hijackers checked into airports on 9/11 is nonexistent. Besides the fact that the videos purportedly showing hijackers for Flights 11 and 77 reek of inauthenticity, there are no videos even purportedly showing the hijackers for the other two flights. If these 19 men had really checked into the Boston and Dulles airports that day, there should be authentic security videos to prove this.    

8. Were the Names of the “Hijackers” on the Passenger Manifests?
What about the passenger manifests, which list all the passengers on the flights? If the alleged hijackers purchased tickets and boarded the flights, their names would have been on the manifests for these flights. And we were told that they were. According to counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, the FBI told him at about 10:00 that morning that it recognized the names of some al-Qaeda operatives on passenger manifests it had received from the airlines.77 As to how the FBI itself acquired its list, Robert Bonner, the head of Customs and Border Protection, said to the 9/11 Commission in 2004:

On the morning of 9/11, through an evaluation of data related to the passenger manifest for the four terrorist hijacked aircraft, Customs Office of Intelligence was able to identify the likely terrorist hijackers. Within 45 minutes of the attacks, Customs forwarded the passenger lists with the names of the victims and 19 probable hijackers to the FBI and the intelligence community.78

Under questioning, Bonner added:

We were able to pull from the airlines the passenger manifest for each of the four flights. We ran the manifest through [our lookout] system. . . . [B]y 11:00 AM, I’d seen a sheet that essentially identified the 19 probable hijackers. And in fact, they turned out to be, based upon further follow-up in detailed investigation, to be the 19.79

Bonner’s statement, however, is doubly problematic. In the first place, the initial FBI list, as reported by CNN on September 13 and 14, contained only 18 names.80 Why would that be if 19 men had already been identified on 9/11?
Second, several of the names on the FBI’s first list, having quickly become problematic, were replaced by other names. For example, the previously discussed men named Bukhari, thought to be brothers, were replaced on American 11’s list of hijackers by brothers named Waleed and Wail al-Shehri. Two other replacements for this flight were Satam al-Suqami, whose passport was allegedly found at Ground Zero, and Abdul al-Omari, who allegedly went to Portland with Atta the day before 9/11. Also, the initial list for American 77 did not include the name of Hani Hanjour, who would later be called the pilot of this flight. Rather, it contained a name that, after being read aloud by a CNN correspondent, was transcribed “Mosear Caned.”81 All in all, the final list of 19 hijackers contained six names that were not on the original list of 18—a fact that contradicts Bonner’s claim that by 11:00 AM on 9/11 his agency had identified 19 probable hijackers who, in fact, “turned out to be. . . the 19.”
These replacements to the initial list also undermine the claim that Amy Sweeney, by giving the seat numbers of three of the hijackers to Michael Woodward of American Airlines, allowed him to identify Atta and two others. This second claim is impossible because the two others were Abdul al-Omari and Satam al-Suqami,82 and they were replacements for two men on the original list—who, like Adnan Bukhari, turned up alive after 9/11.83 Woodward could not possibly have identified men who were not added to the list until several days later.84
For all these reasons, the claim that the names of the 19 alleged hijackers were on the airlines’ passenger manifests must be considered false. 
This conclusion is supported by the fact that the passenger manifests that were released to the public included no names of any of the 19 alleged hijackers and, in fact, no Middle Eastern names whatsoever.85 These manifests, therefore, support the suspicion that there were no al-Qaeda hijackers on the planes.
It might appear that this conclusion is contradicted by the fact that passenger manifests with the names of the alleged hijackers have appeared. A photocopy of a portion of an apparent passenger manifest for American Flight 11, with the names of three of the alleged hijackers, was published in a 2005 book by Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers.86 McDermott reportedly said that he received these manifests from the FBI.87 But the idea that these were the original manifests is problematic. 
For one thing, they were not included in the evidence presented by the FBI to the Moussaoui trial in 2006.88 If even the FBI will not cite them as evidence, why should anyone think they are genuine?
Another problem with these purported manifests, copies of which can be viewed on the Internet,89 is that they show signs of being late creations. One such sign is that Ziad Jarrah’s last name is spelled correctly, whereas in the early days after 9/11, the FBI was referring to him as “Jarrahi,” as news reports from the time show.90 A second sign is that the manifest for American Flight 77 contains Hani Hanjour’s name, even though its absence from the original list of hijackers had led the Washington Post to wonder why Hanjour’s “name was not on the American Airlines manifest for the flight.”91 A third sign is that the purported manifest for American Flight 11 contains the names of Wail al-Shehri, Waleed al-Shehri, Satam al-Suqami, and Abdul al-Omari, all of whom were added some days after 9/11.
In sum, no credible evidence that al-Qaeda operatives were on the flights is provided by the passenger manifests. 

9. Did DNA Tests Identify Five Hijackers among the Victims at the Pentagon?
Another type of evidence that the alleged hijackers were really on the planes could have been provided by autopsies. But no such evidence has been forthcoming. In its book defending the official account of 9/11, to be sure, Popular Mechanics claims that, according to a report on the victims of the Pentagon attack by the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology: “The five hijackers were positively identified.”92 But this claim is false.
According to a summary of this pathology report by Andrew Baker, M.D., the remains of 183 victims were subjected to DNA analysis, which resulted in “178 positive identifications.” Although Baker says that “[s]ome remains for each of the terrorists were recovered,” this was merely an inference from the fact that there were “five unique postmortem profiles that did not match any antemortem material provided by victims’ families.”93
A Washington Post story made even clearer the fact that this conclusion—that the unmatched remains were those of “the five hijackers”—was merely an inference. It wrote: “The remains of the five hijackers have been identified through a process of exclusion, as they did not match DNA samples contributed by family members of all 183 victims who died at the site” (emphasis added).94 All the report said, in other words, was that there were five bodies whose DNA did not match that of any of the known Pentagon victims or any of the regular passengers or crew members on Flight 77.
We have no way of knowing where these five bodies came from. For the claim that they came from the attack site at the Pentagon, we have only the word of the FBI and the military, which insisted on taking charge of the bodies of everyone killed at the Pentagon and transporting them to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.95
    In any case, the alleged hijackers could have been positively identified only if samples had been obtained from their relatives, and there is no indication that this occurred. Indeed, one can wonder why not. The FBI had lots of information about the men identified as the hijackers. They could easily have located relatives. And these relatives, most of whom reportedly did not believe that their own flesh and blood had been involved in the attacks, would have surely been willing to supply the needed DNA. Indeed, a story about Ziad Jarrah, the alleged pilot of Flight 93, said: “Jarrah’s family has indicated they would be willing to provide DNA samples to US researchers, . . . [but] the FBI has shown no interest thus far.”96
    The lack of positive identification of the alleged hijackers is consistent with the autopsy report, which was released to Dr. Thomas Olmsted, who had made a FOIA request for it. Like the flight manifest for Flight 77, he revealed, this report also contains no Arab names.97

10. Has the Claim That Some of the “Hijackers” Are Still Alive Been Debunked?
Another problem with the claim that the 19 hijackers were correctly identified on 9/11, or at least a few days later, is that some of the men on the FBI’s final list reportedly turned up alive after 9/11. Although Der Spiegel and the BBC claim to have debunked these reports, I will show this is untrue by examining the case of one of the alleged hijackers, Waleed al-Shehri—who, we saw earlier, was a replacement for Adnan Bukhari, who himself had shown up alive after 9/11.
In spite of the fact that al-Shehri was a replacement, the 9/11 Commission revealed no doubts about his presence on Flight 11, speculating that he and his brother Wail—another replacement—stabbed two of the flight attendants.98 But the Commission certainly should have had doubts.
On September 22, 2001, the BBC published an article by David Bamford entitled “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco.” It showed that the Waleed al-Shehri identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers was still alive. Explaining why the problem could not be dismissed as a case of mistaken identity, Bamford wrote:

His photograph was released by the FBI, and has been shown in newspapers and on television around the world. That same Mr Al-Shehri has turned up in Morocco, proving clearly that he was not a member of the suicide attack. He told Saudi journalists in Casablanca that . . . he has now been interviewed by the American authorities, who apologised for the misunderstanding.99

The following day, September 23, the BBC published another story, “Hijack ‘Suspects’ Alive and Well.” Discussing several alleged hijackers who had shown up alive, it said of al-Shehri in particular: “He acknowledges that he attended flight training school at Daytona Beach. . . . But, he says, he left the United States in September last year, became a pilot with Saudi Arabian airlines and is currently on a further training course in Morocco.”100
In 2003, an article in Der Spiegel tried to debunk these two BBC stories, characterizing them as “nonsense about surviving terrorists.” It claimed that the reported still-alive hijackers were all cases of mistaken identity, involving men with “coincidentally identical names.” This claim by Der Spiegel depended on its assertion that, at the time of the reports, the FBI had released only a list of names: “The FBI did not release photographs until four days after the cited reports, on September 27th.”101 But that was not true. Bamford’s BBC story of September 22, as we saw, reported that Waleed al-Shehri’s photograph had been “released by the FBI” and “shown in newspapers and on television around the world.”
In 2006, nevertheless, the BBC used the same claim to withdraw its support for its own stories. Steve Herrmann, the editor of the BBC News website, claimed that confusion had arisen because “these were common Arabic and Islamic names.” Accordingly, he said, the BBC had changed its September 23 story in one respect: “Under the FBI picture of Waleed al Shehri we have added the words ‘A man called Waleed Al Shehri…’ to make it as clear as possible that there was confusion over the identity.”102 But Bamford’s BBC story of September 22, which Herrmann failed to mention, had made it “as clear as possible” that there could not have been any confusion.
These attempts by Der Spiegel and the BBC, in which they tried to discredit the reports that Waleed al-Shehri was still alive after 9/11, have been refuted by Jay Kolar, who shows that FBI photographs had been published by Saudi newspapers as early as September 19. Kolar thereby undermines the only argument against Bamford’s assertion, according to which there could have been no possibility of mistaken identity because al-Shehri had seen his published photograph prior to September 22, when Bamford’s story appeared.103
The fact that al-Shehri, along with several other alleged hijackers,104 was alive after 9/11 shows unambiguously that at least some of the men on the FBI’s final list were not on the planes. It would appear that the FBI, after replacing some of its first-round candidates because of their continued existence, decided not to replace any more, in spite of their exhibition of the same defect.

11. Is There Positive Evidence That No Hijackers Were on the Planes?    
At this point, defenders of the official story might argue: The fact that some of the men labeled hijackers were still alive after 9/11 shows only that the FBI list contained some errors; it does not prove that there were no al-Qaeda hijackers on board. And although the previous points do undermine the evidence for such hijackers, absence of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.
Evidence of absence, however, is implicit in the prior points in two ways. First, the lack of Arab names on the Pentagon autopsy report and on any of the issued passenger manifests does suggest the absence of al-Qaeda operatives. Second, if al-Qaeda hijackers really were on the flights, why was evidence to prove this fact fabricated?
Beyond those two points, moreover, there is a feature of the reported events that contradicts the claim that hijackers broke into the pilots’ cabins. This feature can be introduced by reference to Conan Doyle’s short story “Silver Blaze,” which is about a famous race horse that had disappeared the night before a big race. Although the local Scotland Yard detective believed that Silver Blaze had been stolen by an intruder, Sherlock Holmes brought up “the curious incident of the dog in the night-time.” When the inspector pointed out that “[t]he dog did nothing in the night-time,” Holmes replied: “That was the curious incident.”105 Had there really been an intruder, in other words, the dog would have barked. This has become known as the case of “the dog that didn’t bark.”
A similar curious incident occurred on each of the four flights. In the event of a hijacking, pilots are trained to enter the standard hijack code (7500) into their transponders to alert controllers on the ground. Using the transponder to send a code is called “squawking.” One of the big puzzles about 9/11 was why none of the pilots squawked the hijack code.
CNN provided a good treatment of this issue, saying with regard to the first flight:

Flight 11 was hijacked apparently by knife-wielding men. Airline pilots are trained to handle such situations by keeping calm, complying with requests, and if possible, dialing in an emergency four digit code on a device called a transponder. . . . The action takes seconds, but it appears no such code was entered.106
The crucial issue was indicated by the phrase “if possible”: Would it have been possible for the pilots of Flight 11 to have performed this action? A positive answer was suggested by CNN’s next statement:

[I]n the cabin, a frantic flight attendant managed to use a phone to call American Airlines Command Center in Dallas. She reported the trouble. And according to “The Christian Science Monitor,” a pilot apparently keyed the microphone, transmitting a cockpit conversation.107

If there was time for both of those actions to be taken, there would have been time for one of the pilots to enter the four-digit hijack code.
That would have been all the more true of the pilots on United Flight 93, given the (purported) tapes from this flight. A reporter at the Moussaoui trial, where these tapes had been played, wrote:

In those tapes, the pilots shouted as hijackers broke into the cockpit. "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" a pilot screamed in the first tape. In the second tape, 30 seconds later, a pilot shouted: "Mayday! Get out of here! Get out of here!"108

According to these tapes, therefore, the pilots were still alive and coherent 30 seconds after realizing that hijackers were breaking into the cockpit. And yet in all that time, neither of them did the most important thing they had been trained to do—turn the transponder to 7500.
In addition to the four pilots on Flights 11 and 93, furthermore, the four pilots on Flights 175 and 77 failed to do this as well.
In “Silver Blaze,” the absence of an intruder was shown by the dog that didn’t bark. On 9/11, the absence of hijackers was shown by the pilots who didn’t squawk.

12. Were bin Laden and al-Qaeda Capable of Orchestrating the Attacks?
For prosecutors to prove that defendants committed a crime, they must show that they had the ability (as well as the motive and opportunity) to do so. But several political and military leaders from other countries have stated that bin Laden and al-Qaeda simply could not have carried out the attacks. General Leonid Ivashov, who in 2001 was the chief of staff for the Russian armed forces, wrote:

Only secret services and their current chiefs—or those retired but still having influence inside the state organizations—have the ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such magnitude. . . . . Osama bin Laden and "Al Qaeda" cannot be the organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders.

Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, the former foreign minister of Egypt, wrote:

Bin Laden does not have the capabilities for an operation of this magnitude. When I hear Bush talking about al-Qaida as if it was Nazi Germany or the communist party of the Soviet Union, I laugh because I know what is there.

Similar statements have been made by Andreas von Bülow, the former state secretary of West Germany’s ministry of defense, by General Mirza Aslam Beg, former chief of staff of Pakistan’s army, and even General Musharraf, the president of Pakistan until recently.109
    This same point was also made by veteran CIA agent Milt Bearden. Speaking disparagingly of “the myth of Osama bin Laden” on CBS News the day after 9/11, Bearden said: “I was there [in Afghanistan] at the same time bin Laden was there. He was not the great warrior.” With regard to the widespread view that bin Laden was behind the attacks, he said: “This was a tremendously sophisticated operation against the United States—more sophisticated than anybody would have ascribed to Osama bin Laden.” Pointing out that a group capable of such a sophisticated attack would have had a way to cover their tracks, he added: “This group who was responsible for that, if they didn’t have an Osama bin Laden out there, they’d invent one, because he’s a terrific diversion.”110

13. Could Hani Hanjour Have Flown Flight 77 into the Pentagon?
The inability of al-Qaeda to have carried out the operation can be illustrated in terms of Hani Hanjour, the al-Qaeda operative said to have flown Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
On September 12, before it was stated that Hanjour had been the pilot of American 77, the final minutes of this plane’s trajectory had been described as one requiring great skill. A Washington Post story said:

[J]ust as the plane seemed to be on a suicide mission into the White House, the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver. . . .  Aviation sources said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill, making it highly likely that a trained pilot was at the helm.111
But Hani Hanjour was not that. Indeed, a CBS story reported, an Arizona flight school said that Hanjour’s “flying skills were so bad . . . they didn’t think he should keep his pilot’s license.” The manager stated: “I couldn’t believe he had a commercial license of any kind with the skills that he had.”112 A New York Times story, entitled “A Trainee Noted for Incompetence,” quoted one of his instructors as saying that Hanjour “could not fly at all.”113
The 9/11 Commission even admitted that in the summer of 2001, just months before 9/11, a flight instructor in New Jersey, after going up with Hanjour in a small plane, “declined a second request because of what he considered Hanjour’s poor piloting skills.”114 The Commission failed to address the question of how Hanjour, incapable of flying a single-engine plane, could have flown a giant 757 through the trajectory reportedly taken by Flight 77: descending 8,000 feet in three minutes and then coming in at ground level to strike Wedge 1 of the Pentagon between the first and second floors, without even scraping the lawn.
Several pilots have said this would have been impossible. Russ Wittenberg, who flew large commercial airliners for 35 years after serving as a fighter pilot in Vietnam, says it would have been “totally impossible for an amateur who couldn’t even fly a Cessna” to fly that downward spiral and then “crash into the Pentagon’s first floor wall without touching the lawn.”115 Ralph Omholt, a former 757 pilot, has bluntly said: “The idea that an unskilled pilot could have flown this trajectory is simply too ridiculous to consider.”116 Ralph Kolstad, who was a US Navy “top gun” pilot before becoming a commercial airline pilot for 27 years, has said: “I have 6,000 hours of flight time in Boeing 757’s and 767’s and I could not have flown it the way the flight path was described. . . . Something stinks to high heaven!”117
The authors of the Popular Mechanics book about 9/11 offered to solve this problem. While acknowledging that Hanjour “may not have been highly skilled,” they said that he did not need to be, because all he had to do was, using a GPS unit, put his plane on autopilot.118 “He steered the plane manually for only the final eight minutes of the flight,” they state triumphantly119—ignoring the fact that it was precisely during those minutes that Hanjour had allegedly performed the impossible.

14. Would an al-Qaeda Pilot Have Executed that Maneuver?
A further question is: Even if one of the al-Qaeda operatives on that flight could have executed that maneuver, would he have done so? This question arises out of the fact that the plane could easily have crashed into the roof on the side of the Pentagon that housed Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and all the top brass. The difficult maneuver would have been required only by the decision to strike Wedge 1 on the side.
But this was the worst possible place, given the assumed motives of the al-Qaeda operatives: They would have wanted to kill Rumsfeld and the top brass, but Wedge 1 was as far removed from their offices as possible. They would have wanted to cause as much destruction as possible, but Wedge 1—and only it—had been renovated to make it less vulnerable to attack. Al-Qaeda operatives would have wanted to kill as many Pentagon employees as possible, but because the renovation was not quite complete, Wedge 1 was only sparsely occupied. The attack also occurred on the only part of the Pentagon that would have presented physical obstacles to an attacking airplane. All of these facts were public knowledge. So even if an al-Qaeda pilot had been capable of executing the maneuver to strike the ground floor of Wedge 1, he would not have done so.

15. Could al-Qaeda Operatives Have Brought Down the World Trade Center Buildings?
Returning to the issue of competence, another question is whether al-Qaeda operatives could have brought down the Twin Towers and WTC 7?
With regard to the Twin Towers, the official theory is that they were brought down by the impact of the airplanes plus the ensuing fires. But this theory cannot explain why the towers, after exploding outwards at the top, came straight down, because this type of collapse would have required all 287 of each building’s steel columns—which ran from the basement to the roof—to have failed simultaneously; it cannot explain why the top parts of the buildings came straight down at virtually free-fall speed, because this required that the lower parts of the building, with all of their steel and concrete, offered no resistance; it cannot explain why sections of steel beams, weighing thousands of tons, were blown out horizontally more than 500 feet; it cannot explain why some of the steel had melted, because this melting required temperatures far hotter than the fires in the buildings could possibly have been; and it cannot explain why many firefighters and WTC employees reported massive explosions in the buildings long after all the jet-fuel had burned up. But all of these phenomena are easily explainable by the hypothesis that the buildings were brought down by explosives in the procedure known as controlled demolition.120
This conclusion now constitutes the consensus of independent physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and demolition experts who have studied the facts.121 For example, Edward Munyak, a mechanical and fire protection engineer who worked in the US departments of energy and defense, says: “The concentric nearly freefall speed exhibited by each building was identical to most controlled demolitions. . . . Collapse [was] not caused by fire effects.”122 Dwain Deets, the former director of the research engineering division at NASA’s Dryden Flight Research Center, mentions the “massive structural members being hurled horizontally” as one of the factors leaving him with “no doubt [that] explosives were involved.”123
Given the fact that WTC 7 was not even hit by a plane, its vertical collapse at virtually free-fall speed, which also was preceded by explosions and involved the melting of steel, was still more obviously an example of controlled demolition.124 For example, Jack Keller, emeritus professor of engineering at Utah State University, who has been given special recognition by Scientific American, said: “Obviously it was the result of controlled demolition.”125 Likewise, when Danny Jowenko—a controlled demolition expert in the Netherlands who had not known that WTC 7 had collapsed on 9/11—was asked to comment on a video of its collapse, he said: “They simply blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards. . . . [I]t’s been imploded. . . . A team of experts did this.”126
If the Twin Towers and WTC 7 were brought down by explosives, the question becomes: Who would have had the ability to place the explosives? This question involves two parts: First, who could have obtained access to the buildings for all the hours it would have taken to plant the explosives? The answer is: Only someone with connections to people in charge of security for the World Trade Center.
The second part of the question is: Who, if they had such access, would have had the expertise to engineer the controlled demolition of these three buildings? As Jowenko’s statement indicated, the kind of controlled demolition to which these buildings were subjected was implosion, which makes the building come straight down. According to, an implosion is “by far the trickiest type of explosive project, and there are only a handful of blasting companies in the world that possess enough experience . . . to perform these true building implosions."127
Both parts of the question, therefore, rule out al-Qaeda operatives. The destruction of the World Trade Center had to have been an inside job.

16. Would al-Qaeda Operatives Have Imploded the Buildings?
Finally, we can also ask whether, even if al-Qaeda operatives had possessed the ability to cause the World Trade Center buildings to implode so as to come straight down, they would have done so? The answer to this question becomes obvious once we reflect upon the purpose of this kind of controlled demolition, which is to avoid damaging near-by buildings. Had the 110-story Twin Towers fallen over sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in lower Manhattan, destroying dozens of other buildings and killing tens of thousands of people. Would al-Qaeda have had the courtesy to make sure that the buildings came straight down?

All the proffered evidence that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11, when subjected to critical scrutiny, appears to have been fabricated. If that is determined indeed to be the case, the implications would be enormous. Discovering and prosecuting the true perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks would obviously be important. The most immediate consequence, however, should be to reverse those attitudes and policies that have been based on the assumption that America was attacked by Muslims on 9/11.

David Ray Griffin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Religion at Claremont School of Theology and Claremont Graduate University. He has published 34 books, including seven about 9/11, most recently The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008).


1. On the ways in which torture, extraordinary rendition, government spying, and the military tribunals have undermined US constitutional principles, see Louis Fisher, The Constitution and 9/11: Recurring Threats to America’s Freedoms (Lawrence: Kansas University Press, 2008).
2. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States, authorized edition (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), 160 (henceforth 9/11CR).

3. 9/11CR 154.

4. Kevin Fagan, “Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on Sin City,” San Francisco Chronicle, 4 October 2001 (

5. See ibid.; David Wedge, “Terrorists Partied with Hooker at Hub-Area Hotel,” Boston Herald, 10 October, 2001 (; and Jody A. Benjamin, “Suspects’ Actions Don’t Add Up,” South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 16 September 2001 (

6. “Terrorist Stag Parties,” Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2001 (

7. 9/11CR 248.

8. “Meet the Press,” NBC, 23 September, 2001 (

9. “Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O’Neill and Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order,” White House, 24 September 2001 (

10. Seymour M. Hersh, “What Went Wrong: The C.I.A. and the Failure of American Intelligence,” New Yorker, 1 October 2001 (

11. “White House Warns Taliban: ‘We Will Defeat You,’” CNN, 21 September 2001 (

12. Office of the Prime Minister, “Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States,” BBC News, 4 October 2001 (

13. “The Investigation and the Evidence,” BBC News, 5 October 2001 (

14. Kathy Gannon, “Taliban Willing to Talk, But Wants U.S. Respect,” Associated Press, 1 November 2001 (

15. Federal Bureau of Investigation, “Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama bin Laden” (

16. Ed Haas, “FBI says, ‘No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to 9/11’” Muckraker Report, 6 June 2006 (

17. See my discussion in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the Cover-Up, and the Exposé (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2008), 208-11.

18. BBC News, “Tape ‘Proves Bin Laden’s Guilt,’” 14 December 2001 (

19. See “The Fake 2001 bin Laden Video Tape” (

20. Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, with Benjamin Rhodes, Without Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 2006).

21. 9/11CR 149, 155, 166.

22. See 9/11CR Ch. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.

23. Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118.

24. Ibid., 122-24.

25. Ibid., 119.

26. Robert Windrem and Victor Limjoco, “The 9/11 Commission Controversy,” Deep Background: NBC News Investigations, 30 January 2008 (

27. Tim O’Brien, “Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking from Plane,” CNN, 11 September 2001 (
28. Charles Lane and John Mintz, “Bid to Thwart Hijackers May Have Led to Pa. Crash,” Washington Post, 13 September 2001 (

29. Kerry Hall, “Flight Attendant Helped Fight Hijackers,” News & Record (Greensboro, N.C.), 21 September 2001 (

30. 9/11CR 6.

31. Gail Sheehy, “Stewardess ID’d Hijackers Early, Transcripts Show,” New York Observer, 15 February 2004 (

32. “Calm Before the Crash: Flight 11 Crew Sent Key Details Before Hitting the Twin Towers,” ABC News, 18 July 2002 (

33. A. K. Dewdney, “The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight UA93,” Physics 911, 9 June 2003 ( For discussion of this issue, see The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 112-14.

34. See Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 83-86.

35. Lechner FBI Affidavit; available at Four Corners: Investigative TV Journalism ( Woodward and Sweeney are not identified by name in the affidavit, which refers simply to the former as “an employee of American Airlines at Logan” and to the latter as “a flight attendant on AA11.” But their names were revealed in an “investigative document compiled by the FBI” to which Eric Lichtblau referred in “Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice,” Los Angeles Times, 20 September 2001 (

36. 9/11CR 453n32.

37. Gail Sheehy, “9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled Attacks,” New York Observer, 24 June, 2004 (

38. Greg Gordon, “Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording,” McClatchy Newspapers,, 12 April 2006 ( The quoted statement is Gordon’s paraphrase of the testimony of “a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force.”
39. See United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Exhibit Number P200054 ( This graphics presentation can be more easily viewed in “Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th Flights” at 9-11 Research (

40. “The Final Moments of United Flight 93,” Newsweek, 22 September 2001 (

41. See “Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett (re: phone call from hijacked flight),” 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents, Chronological, September 11, 2001,, 14 March 2008 (; Greg Gordon, “Widow Tells of Poignant Last Calls,” Sacramento Bee, 11 September 2002 (; and Deena L. Burnett (with Anthony F. Giombetti), Fighting Back: Living Beyond Ourselves (Longwood, Florida: Advantage Inspirational Books, 2006), where she wrote: “I looked at the caller ID and indeed it was Tom’s cell phone number” (61).

42. William M. Arkin, “When Seeing and Hearing Isn’t Believing,” Washington Post, 1 February 1999 (

43. Although Brickhouse Security’s advertisement for Telephone Voice Changers ( has been modified in recent years, it previously included a device called “FoneFaker,” the ad for which said: “Record any call you make, fake your Caller ID and change your voice, all with one service you can use from any phone.”

44. For Deena Burnett’s reconstruction of the calls, see

45. See The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 122.

46. Lichtblau, “Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice” (see note 34, above).

47. 9/11CR 4, 6.

48. See note 38, above.

49. 9/11CR 19.

50. Ibid.

51. “Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events: September 11, 2001,” FAA, 17 September 2001 (

52. Frank J. Murray, “Americans Feel Touch of Evil; Fury Spurs Unity,” Washington Times, 11 September 2002 (

53. “Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned,” CNN, 18 September 2001 (; “Terrorist Hunt,” ABC News (

54. Anne Karpf, “Uncle Sam’s Lucky Finds,” Guardian, 19 March 2002 (,11209,669961,00.html). Like some others, this article mistakenly said the passport belonged to Mohamed Atta.

55. Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11 Commission, at the 9/11 Commission Hearing, 26 January 2004 ( The Commission’s account reflected a CBS report that the passport had been found “minutes after” the attack, which was stated by the Associated Press, 27 January 2003. 

56. Sheila MacVicar and Caroline Faraj, “September 11 Hijacker Questioned in January 2001,” CNN, 1 August 2002 (; 9/11 Commission Hearing, 26 January 2004. 

57. 9/11CR 14; Jere Longman, Among the Heroes: United 93 and the Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back (New York: HarperCollins, 2002), 215.

58. In light of the absurdity of the claims about the passports of al-Suqami and Jarrah, we can safely assume that the ID cards of Majed Moqed, Nawaf al-Hazmi, and Salem al-Hazmi, said to have been discovered at the Pentagon crash site (see “9/11 and Terrorist Travel,” 9/11 Commission Staff Report [], 27, 42), were also planted.

59. For a photograph of the headband, see 9-11 Research, “The Crash of Flight 93” (

60. Quoted in Ross Coulthart, “Terrorists Target America,” Ninemsn, September 2001 (

61. Lechner FBI Affidavit (see note 34, above).

62. Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 2001; Boston Globe, 18 September, 2001.

63. The 9/11 Commission’s Staff Statement No. 16, dated 16 June 2004 (, said: “The Portland detour almost prevented Atta and Omari from making Flight 11 out of Boston. In fact, the luggage they checked in Portland failed to make it onto the plane.”

64. 9/11CR 1-2.

65. 9/11CR 451n1; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, “Statement for the Record,” Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry, 26 September 2002 (

66. “Two Brothers among Hijackers,” CNN Report, 13 September 2001 (

67. “Feds Think They’ve Identified Some Hijackers,” CNN, 13 September 2001 (

68. “Portland Police Eye Local Ties,” Associated Press, Portsmouth Herald, 14 September 2001 (

69. Joel Achenbach, “’You Never Imagine’ A Hijacker Next Door,” Washington Post, 16 September 2001 (

70. Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (New York: Carroll & Graf, 2005), 181. 

71. David Hench, “Ticket Agent Haunted by Brush with 9/11 Hijackers,” Portland Press Herald, 6 March 2005 (

72. This photo can be seen at  

73. Associated Press, 22 July 2004. The photo with this caption can be seen in Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 117-18, along with a genuine security video (with identification data), or at (scroll half-way down).

74. Rowland and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 118.

75. 9/11CR 452n11.

76. Jay Kolar, “What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (New York: Seven Stories, 2008), 3-44, at 8 (emphasis Kolar’s).

77. Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside America’s War on Terror (New York: Free Press, 2004), 13.

78.  “Statement of Robert C. Bonner to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States,” 26 January 2004 (

79. Ibid.

80. “FBI: Early Probe Results Show 18 Hijackers Took Part,” CNN, 13 September 2001 (; ”List of Names of 18 Suspected Hijackers,” CNN, 14 September 2001 (

81. ”List of Names of 18 Suspected Hijackers.”

82. Gail Sheehy, “Stewardess ID’d Hijackers Early, Transcripts Show,” New York Observer, 15 February 2004 (

83. Satam al-Suqami replaced a man named Amer Kamfar, and Abdulaziz al-Omari replaced a man with a similar name, Abdulrahman al-Omari; see Kolar, “What We Now Know,” 12-15.

84. Another problem with the claim that Woodward had identified these three men is that the seat numbers reportedly used to identify Atta and al-Omari (see Gail Sheehy, “Stewardess ID’d Hijackers Early”) did not match the numbers of the seats assigned to these two men (9/11CR 2).

85. All four passenger manifests can be found at

86. Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It (New York: HarperCollins, 2005), photo section after p. 140.

87. This is stated at “The Passengers,” (

88. Although discussions on the Internet have often claimed that these manifests were included in the FBI’s evidence for the Moussaoui trial, several researchers failed to find them. See Jim Hoffman’s discussion at
89. To view them, see “Passenger Lists,” 9-11 Research ( To download them and/or read cleaned-up versions, see “The Passengers,” (

90. “Hijackers Linked to USS Cole Attack? Investigators Have Identified All the Hijackers; Photos to Be Released,” CBS News, 14 September 2001 (; Elizabeth Neuffer, “Hijack Suspect Lived a Life, or a Lie,” Boston Globe, 25 September 2001 (

91. “Four Planes, Four Coordinated Teams,” Washington Post, 16 September 2001 (

92. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, eds., Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can’t Stand Up to the Facts (New York: Hearst Books, 2006), 63.

93. Andrew M. Baker, M.D., “Human Identification in a Post-9/11 World: Attack on American Airlines Flight 77 and the Pentagon Identification and Pathology” (

94. Steve Vogel, “Remains Unidentified for 5 Pentagon Victims,” Washington Post, 21 November 2001 (
95. See my discussion in Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, revised & updated edition (Northampton: Olive Branch, 2007), 268-69. 

96. “Ziad Jarrah,” Wikipedia, as the article existed prior to September 8, 2006. On that date, that passage was removed. However, the earlier version of the article, containing the passage, is available at

97. Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. “Still No Arabs on Flight 77,”, 23 June 2003 (

98. 9/11CR 5.

99. David Bamford, “Hijack ‘Suspect’ Alive in Morocco,” BBC, 22 September 2001 (

100. “Hijack ‘Suspects’ Alive and Well,” BBC News, 23 September 2001 (

101. “Panoply of the Absurd,” Der Spiegel, 8 September 2003 [,1518,265160,00.html]).

102. Steve Herrmann, “9/11 Conspiracy Theory,” The Editors, BBC News, 27 October 2006 (

103. Jay Kolar, “Update: What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,” Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11: 293-304, at 293-94.

104. For discussion of some of these other men, see ibid., 295-98.

105. The story "Silver Blaze" is available at Wikisource (

106. “America Under Attack: How could It Happen?” CNN Live Event, 12 September 2001 (

107. Ibid. This was the “radio transmission” discussed earlier.

108. Richard A. Serrano, “Heroism, Fatalism Aboard Flight 93,” Los Angeles Times, 12 April 2006 (

109. All of these statements are contained in the section headed “Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and Government Officials” at Patriots Question 9/11 (

110. “9/12/2001: CIA Veteran Doubts Bin Laden Capable of 9/11 Attacks, Suspects Larger Plot,” Aidan Monaghan’s Blog, 11 March 2008 (

111. Marc Fisher and Don Phillips, “On Flight 77: ‘Our Plane Is Being Hijacked,’” Washington Post, 12 September 2001 (  

112. “FAA Was Alerted To Sept. 11 Hijacker,” CBS News, 10 May 2002 (

113. Jim Yardley, “A Trainee Noted for Incompetence,” New York Times, 4 May 2002 (

114. 9/11CR 242.

115. Greg Szymanski, “Former Vietnam Combat and Commercial Pilot Firm Believer 9/11 Was Inside Government Job,” Arctic Beacon, 17 July 2005 (

116. Email from Ralph Omholt, 27 October 2006.

117. Alan Miller, “U.S. Navy ‘Top Gun’ Pilot Questions 911 Pentagon Story,”, 5 September 2007 (

118. Dunbar and Reagan, eds., Debunking 9/11 Myths, 6.

119. Ibid.

120. These problems and more are discussed in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, Ch. 1.

121. For such people who have been willing to go public, see Patriots Question 9/11 (

122. Patriots Question 9/11 (

123. Stated at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (

124. For anyone aware of the facts, NIST’s report on the collapse of WTC 7, issued August 22, 2008, is laughable. For one thing, as I had predicted (Ch. 1 of The New Pearl Harbor Revisited), NIST simply ignored all the facts to which its fire theory cannot do justice, such as the melted steel, the thermite residue, and the reports of explosions in the building.

125. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (

126. This interview can be seen at “Controlled Demolition Expert and WTC7” ( A portion is contained in the film Loose Change Final Cut.

127. “The Myth of Implosion” ( 

Humor and 9/11

Humor and 9/11

Here is a selection of citations from articles concerning the “terrorist threat”. The humor resides in the pomposity and stupidity of assertions made by highly regarded academics and journalists.
Evan F. Kohlmann writes in Foreign Affairs (Sept./Oct. 2006):
“The United States is gradually losing the online war against terrorists. To counter terrorists, the U.S. government must learn how to monitor their activity online….U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies…lag behind terrorist organizations in adopting information technologies…”
Paul Cornish writes in The World Today (London), Aug./Sep. 2006:
“The connection between Afghanistan and the mass murders which took place in the United States on September 11 2001 could not be clearer.  The attacks were inspired and planned by Osama bin Laden and the Al Qaeda organisation, while under the protection of the Taliban regime in Afghanistan.”[1]
Jutta Brunnée and Stephen J. Toope wrote in International and Comparative Law Quarterly, October 2004:
“The threat of global terrorism is real…Terrorists are now clearly international actors, but they operate outside the framework of State relations and international law.  In addition, many terrorists are now willing to sacrifice their own lives while attacking their targets[2]…The State in Iraq and Afghanistan was quickly destroyed without particularly significant costs, at least in terms of US lives.
George Packer writes in The New Yorker, Dec. 18, 2006:
“David Kilcullen, [a captain in the Australian Army] …noted that all fifteen Saudi hijackers in the September 11th plot had trouble with their fathers.”[3]
Montgomery McFate, an anthropologist and Pentagon consultant, quoted by George Packer in the New Yorker (Dec. 18, 2006) said:
“When I was little in California, we never believed there was such a thing as the Cold War. That was a bunch of lies that the government fed us to keep us paranoid. Of course, there was a thing called the Cold War, and we nearly lost[4]…And this thing that’s happening now [global terrorism] is, without taking that too far, similar.”
Clifford D. May and Alykhan Velshi write in The American Spectator of October 2006:
“In every war, there have been those who judge their own side harshly but are more than willing to give the enemy the benefit of every doubt. The War for the Free World – a new world war as perilous as any America has ever had to fight – is no exception.”
Brigitte L Nacos writes in Political Science Quarterly, Spring 2003:
“Whenever they strike, especially if they stage so-called terrorist spectaculars, their deeds assure them massive news coverage and the attention of the general public and governmental decision makers in their particular target societies…The greatest irony is that the terrorists who loathed America’s pop culture as decadent and poisonous to their beliefs and ways of life turned Hollywood-like horror fantasies into real life hell. In that respect, they outperformed Hollywood, the very symbol of their hate for western entertainment…Modern terrorism can be understood in terms of the production requirements of theatrical engagements. Terrorists pay attention to script preparation, cast selection, sets, props, role playing, and minute-by-minute stage management.” (emphasis added)[5]


[1]           The U.S. Governmen has at no time directly accused Osama bin Laden of having inspired or planned the events of 9/11. The FBI admitted in June 2006 to possess no hard evidence permitting to link Osama bin Laden to 9/11. See:
[2]           Perhaps the only location in which suicide terrorism is known with certainty to take place, is Israel.  Palestinian organisations, such as Hamas, have publicly acknowledged this strategy of struggle to liberate the occupied territories.  News about suicide terrorism have been reported from Sri Lanka, North Africa, Iraq, Afghanistan and a few other locations. However, it is difficult to assess the truth of such news.  None of the  so-called terrorist attacks in the West have been proved to be suicide operations,least of all the events of 9/11, where the US Government has not even proved that Muslims boarded the planes they alleged hijacked.
[3]           The FBI is still uncertain about the identities of the alleged hijackers. See: The quoted author, however, feels confident to establish the relationship between ghosts and their fathers.
[4]           At no time during the Cold War, was there any danger that the US would be attacked by the Soviet Union. On the other hand, the Soviet Union was militarily targeted by the West and subjected to stringent sanctions. When the Soviet Union fell apart, the dismal  condition of the Soviet armed forces came plainly to light.
[5]           The author is oblivious to the fact that news media decide how to cover events. There is no evidence that any “terrorist” controls mass media. News media regularly suppress news about popular struggle for human rights, equality, peace and better conditions of living.  They could also suppress news about terrorist bombings, if they believe that this would be in the interest of their owners.  It is not the “terrorist” who writes the scripe, selects the cast and manages the stage, but the media.  The 9/11 events are perhaps the best example of the complicity of media with the real terrorists.

Repentant arms dealer reveals disgruntled U.S. military on the verge of revolt

No Hijackers For 911

Repentant arms dealer reveals disgruntled U.S. military on the verge of revolt

John Kaminski

Back in May 2003, a journalist in Portugal reported on a sensational, marathon meeting of a group of U.S. pilots that issued a report concluding that the story told by the U.S. government about what happened on Sept. 11, 2001 was improbable and unlikely.

Except for several notices on the Internet, that story was basically never reported in the U.S., and largely debunked when the reporter flubbed the name of the organizer, creating disbelief in the minds of many readers.

The record was corrected in stunning fashion Feb. 25 on Alex Jones' Prison Planet radio program when former Pentagon arms salesman Donn de Grand-Pre, author of three books that allege 9/11 was an inside job, set the record straight, because he was the man who organized that conference. That 72-hour non-stop symposium by a group of military and civilian pilots concluded the flight crews of the four passenger airliners involved in the 9/11 tragedy had no control over their aircraft.

de Grand Pre, a retired Army colonel, is the author of "A Window on America," "Confessions of an Arms Peddler" and his latest, "Barbarians Inside the Gates." His thesis in the third book "is that the wars we have engaged in for whatever reasons since the end of World War II have not only been unconstitutionally waged, but have caused a net loss in political power. Each war was waged to divert our attention away from the true enemy within, and toward a contrived enemy outside our borders."

de Grand-Pre explained that his third book actually has three parts: "OK, I've got three books out under the title, "Barbarians Inside the Gates." Book 1 was "The Serpent's Sting," Book 2 is "The Viper's Venom," Book 3, which just came out is "The Rattler's Revenge."

"And I'd like to quote from Book 2, which came out October of 2002. There is a very important paragraph there. It says,

"The trigger for the 911 activity was the imminent and unstoppable worldwide financial collapse which can only be prevented temporarily by a major war, perhaps to become known as World War III. To bring it off one more time, martial law will probably be imposed in the United States."

de Grand-Pre was the top U.S. arms dealer to the Middle East under the Ford and Carter administrations. What he saw caused him to leave government service and begin investigating the forces he saw warping our nation's future.

In the interview with Jones, de Grand-Pre made several stunning assertions, among them:

* There were no hijackers on the 9/11 killer jets. And he said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff (Richard Myers) agrees with him.”

In response to a caller to Alex Jones' radio show, de Grand-Pre noted: "… the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs himself has agreed, there were no hijackers. There were no cell phone calls. Everybody aboard that aircraft, pilots and crew, were unconscious within 8 to 18 minutes after take-off. And you can take it from there. I've got it covered in books 2 and 3, what actually happened."

"These planes were being piloted by remote control, probably an AWACs aircraft taking over that airplane or airplanes or drones, unmanned drones. And flying them at 5 and 8 G-force that no pilot could withstand. So, in short, and if you read books 2 and 3, you will discover how and why this came about."

* The 9/11 planes that took off full of passengers are now at the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. "And I'm telling you that we are knowledgeably speculating," said de Grand-Pre in response to another caller. "Those aircraft carrying crew and passengers went over the Atlantic and that was all she wrote."

* Talk of a military coup – to reverse what he calls the administrative coup d'etat that happened on 9/11 – are rife within the corridors of the Pentagon.

In his various interviews and publications, deGrand-Pre has called 9/11 "an administrative coup d'etat." He suggests the only way the neocons can be stopped is by a military coup d'etat, and estimates 70 percent of key military personnel are in favor of such a step. But the possibility is complicated, he says, by the large number of key military players who have gone over to the Council on Foreign Relations team. Some of these players, including three- and four-star generals, however, may side with the military while pretending to be on the side of the neocons. de Grand-Pre insists he is in personal contact with members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The truly patriotic members of the military have had to sit there and take all these wild schemes by corporate-controlled politicians. de Grand-Pre's prediction? "I think those days are coming to an end. The military ain't going to take it any longer."

In the interview with Jones, de Grand-Pre also asserted:

* It is common knowledge at the Pentagon that Israel fired nuclear weapons at Iraq during the first Gulf War.

* A commercial aircraft did not hit the Pentagon. Most likely it was a cruise missile or a Global Hawk.

* Flight 93, the jetliner that supposedly crashed in Pennsylvania after courageous passengers struggled with armed hijackers, was shot down by the North Dakota Air Guard. "I know the pilot who fired those two missiles to take down 93," de Grand-Pre insisted, adding that the order to shoot down the plane came from the Adjutant General of North Dakota.

* Most likely it was U.S. forces that tried to kill Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz when he visited Iraq recently.

* Military tribunals will try current U.S. public officials when the military decides to take over, de Grand-Pre predicts. "And Cheney, I reiterate, is toast." de Grand-Pre named Cheney as the one man who knows the most about 9/11.

In earlier interviews, de Grand-Pre has recounted that the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs, Gen. Richard Myers, had 500 copies of the 24-page report made and sent out, including, to the White House.

Assessing Myers' reaction, de Grand Pre said, "I'm quite sure that he believed in it. I think that he still believes in it. You can understand the difficulties. The civilian administration, of course, won't recognize it as such.

"There's a definite cleavage between the military of the Pentagon and the civilian hierarchy – and never the twain shall meet."

Jones triggered a response from de Grand Pre when he mentioned a 2002 article in the Washington Times that said morale at the Pentagon had never been lower.

De Grand-Pre responded: "I can verify that from Col. Dick Schultz, who is a friend of mine in the Joint Chiefs. Morale was not only low but he said some of the troops are ready to mutiny. If it wasn't for the fact that the government, the civilian hierarchy, has control over retirements, they would probably be blood in the streets by now."

When other news outlets began checking on this story angle, Jones noted that Pentagon officials were apoplectic. "… they panicked and flew the officers on jets to luxury vacations and had these focus groups. It even talked about a possible mutiny. People were just totally distraught. What would make them become distraught overnight in the Pentagon?"

de Grand-Pre's answer was chilling, and revealed the possibility of a military coup d'etat has been simmering in the corridors of the Pentagon for some time.

"It wasn't an overnight thing. You see, as I outline in book 1, and I carry that on in book 2, as well as book 3, we were on the verge of a military coup d'etat. And this was long in the planning and even after the 78 days of bombing Kosovo, it became critical. And we were close to a coup d'etat at that time. In my survey of the reports and the pilots who worked with that, a coup was a possibility.

"In fact, a coup d'etat was pulled on the morning of September 11th. Only it was an administrative or what we call a cold coup d'etat."

Jones' translation of that was "a counter-revolutionary junta."

de Grand-Pre concurred, and added: "And as we delved into that, we found that the culprits, including Rumsfeld, were part of a neocon group that had been planning this thing for literally years prior to September 11th."

In a previous interview that appeared on Michael Rivero's What Really Happened website, de Grand-Pre had already outlined his conclusions about 9-11.

"The 9-11 activity and horrific destruction of US property and lives was intentionally meant to trigger a psychological and patriotic reaction on the part of the US citizens, which is paving the way for "combined UN activity" (using the fig leaf of NATO) for striking key targets in both the Middle East/ South Asia and the Balkans. The goal continues to be ultimate destruction of all national sovereignty
and establishment of a global government.

"The trigger for the 9-11 activity was the imminent and unstoppable world-wide financial collapse, which can only be prevented (temporarily) by a major war, perhaps to become known as WW 111. To bring it off (one more time), martial law will probably be imposed in the United States. de Grand-Pre had also sounded the same themes on Jackie Patru's Radio Sweet Liberty Webcast.

"The so-called terrorist attack was in fact a superbly executed military operation against the United States, 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 pre-selected targets.

As a tactical military exercise against two significant targets (world financial center and the citadel of world strategic military planning), the attack, from a psychological impact on the American public, equalled the Japanese "surprise" attack on Pearl Harbor
7 Dec 1941.

But the overriding question of that original group of pilots was: If we are at war, who is the enemy?

The group determined that the enemy is within the gates, that he has infiltrated into the highest policy-making positions at the federal level, and has absolute control, not only of the purse strings, but of the troop buildup and deployment of our military forces, including active, reserve and National Guard units.

The Dangerous Cult of 9/11

The Dangerous Cult of 9/11

By Elias Davidsson, 29 May 2008, [slightly modified 31 May 2008] (*)

A new religious movement was born September 11th, 2001. This movement was conceived by the American government and comprises many members of the American and European elite, politicians, editors of mass and so-called alternative media, publishers and academics. The movement’s unifying faith is the Legend of 9/11, namely that 19 Arab terrorists hijacked four airliners and flew these airliners into the known landmarks in a suicide operation. The Legend of 9/11 is composed of a number of distinct beliefs. Here are ten of the most tenacious beliefs that unite Cult members:

1. They believe that 4 young pilots who love money, booze and sex, could be convinced to kill themselves for a religious purpose.

2. They believe that four teams of four to five rather small men could subdue 40 to 80 passengers without using firearms and without raising the suspicion of the pilots.

3. They believe it is possible to subdue a pilot and co-pilot in their flight cabin before either can transmit a hijacking code, a verbal Mayday message, or raise the suspicion of the crew.

4. They believe a person who could hardly control a one-engine Cessna can fly a Boeing passenger airliner on instruments alone for more than an hour in a foreign country and crash this airliner at 500 mph into the side of a building 20 feet above ground.

5. They believe the capital of the United States, Washington, D.C. , is undefended against approaching unidentified aircraft.

6. They believe crashing aircraft can disintegrate, leaving no visible debris such as fuselage, wings, tail or engine.

7. They believe an airliner with 45 passengers can crash without leaving visible bodies and blood.

8. They believe debris from a crashing airplane can be found eight miles away.

9. They believe it is possible to induce a free-fall collapse of a skyscraper by hitting it with an airplane (even if the skycraper was designed to withstand such a strike) and then letting the resulting fire bring it down.

10. They believe that 19 Arab terrorists actually boarded the four aircraft that crashed on 9/11.

Religious movements are generally peaceful, but this is not the case with the 9/11 Cult. The Cult’s members control weapons of mass destruction and the information flow to the public. When such powers are concentrated in the hands of Cult members who base their decisions on irrational and unsubstantiated beliefs, rather than on facts, everyone is in danger.

Members of this Cult, no matter their status, fame or power, must be designated as madmen. It is important to secure the removal of such madmen from positions of influence and power as soon as possible, in order to give international peace and security a chance.


(*) Thanks to Barrie Zwicker and David Ray Griffin for critical observations.

Maximized Psychological Impact of 9/11

Maximized Psychological Impact

Intents of the Perpetrators

The September 11th attacks appeared to be engineered to maximize the psychological impact on Americans, while limiting the fatalities to a few thousand individuals.

Shock and Awe

The expression "Shock and Awe" was officially adopted to describe the opening strategy of the 2003 attack on Iraq. Although it didn't seem to impress Iraqis, it worked brilliantly in the 9-11 incident, where its creators couldn't claim credit for it. Not only did it provide the Bush administration a pretext to attack Afghanistan, it also provided the justification for virtually removing itself from accountability to the people, and empowering itself to arrest and detain anyone of its choosing. But arrest and detention have not been necessary to win most people's silent consent (or even vocal approval) for any action deemed necessary by the government in the War on Terror. The psychological trauma, together with the mass media's refusal to air the difficult questions, has proven quite sufficient.

Attack Scripting

The many facts and myths of the 9-11 attack had the quality of a movie script. These range from timing and selection of targets to the many unverified details related by the media. For example.

  • The date, 9-11, mimics the emergency response number 911.
  • The targets were three of the largest, most unique, and most famous buildings in the world; with special meaning for Americans. The Twin Towers and the Pentagon were symbols of American economic and military might.
  • Several memorable sentences in this tragic drama filled out the human side of the story:
    • The ominous overheard boast of the hijackers of Flight 11: "We have more planes."
    • The heartstring-pulling last words of Madeline Sweeney: "I see buildings, water … Oh my God!"
    • The rallying cry of the heroes of Flight 93: "Let's roll."
  • The attacks on New York City made for spectacular footage. The duel aircraft impacts insured that the cameras would be rolling for the second impact, whose off-centered impact produced particularly impressive fireballs.
  • People jumping to their deaths from 100 stories, a predictable consequence of the North Tower impact, left an unforgettable poignant image of the victims' plight.
  • Each installment in the unfolding story was more incredible than the last. As people were reeling from the inconceivable attack on the Pentagon, the culminating shockers of the skyscraper collapses started.
  • The huge dust clouds of the exploding South Tower made people run for their very lives, ever so reminiscent of volcano disaster movies.
  • The snuffing out of the lives hundreds of brave emergency responders left Americans with numerous genuine heroes.
  • The "crash" of Flight 93 left its target a matter of speculation, letting people imagine scenarios like a smoking hole in place of the Capitol dome, with hundreds of senators and representatives dead.

Could people's conditioning to suspend disbelief when watching disaster movies be a factor in their unwillingness to confront such oddities of 9-11 as: the unexplained collapses of WTC 1, 2, and 7; or the suspension of standard operating procedures, which would normally have protected New York City and Washington from such an attack?

This is why 9/11 matters!

This is why 9/11 matters!

Elias Davidsson, 2 April 2007 

A number of people, particularly in the Left, maintain that it does not really matter who committed the atrocities of September 11, 2001 – reactionary Muslim fanatics, the US imperialists, or whoever.

According to this view, insisting on identifying the culprits does not advance the interests of the working class or of oppressed people around the world but constitutes a bourgeois diversion.

What matters, say some, are the consequences of 9/11, such as the wars of aggression against Afghanistan and Iraq, the establishment of secret prisons, policies of prolonged detention of suspects without due process and access to lawyers, policies of torture, increased police powers typical of states of emergency, etc.

Another argument against focusing on the events of 9/11 is the fact that in terms of human harm, these events are minute in comparison to the daily deaths of about 30,000 children from preventable causes (the equivalent of 10 nine-eleven calamities, every single day), or the deaths of 4-5 million people in the civil war in Congo in recent years. The last argument has undoubtedly merit. Prioritizing problems according to their extent in terms of human suffering is certainly a legitimate approach but is not necessarily the most effective one.

To be fair, there has been no real debate whether it does or does not matter who committed the atrocities of 9/11.  Most Leftists take the official account on these events for granted and show no interest in even examining the issue from a moral, legal or political perspective.

In the following article, I will attempt to show that there are a number of compelling reasons why determining the truth on the events of 9/11 is of acute relevance to all people who are concerned about world peace, justice, the rule of law and democracy.  It is my view that the quest for the truth on the events of 9/11 may be the most potent, and possibly only, revolutionary strategy available today to oppose imperialism, militarism and the neoliberal agenda. 

I will first dispose of the claim that combating for the full truth on 9/11 is a diversion from more important political issues. It must be remembered that most 9/11 skeptics are also opponents of the US wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and of the human rights violations committed by the US government against its citizens and foreigners in the name of the “war on terror”. The issue is thus not either/or but that of prioritizing issues. The question of priorities can only be pursued, however, once the facts are established. Governments are not forthcoming in revealing the true facts on 9/11. With this article, I attempt to demonstrate the potency of 9/11-truth as a revolutionary democratic tool.

1. The first reason why 9/11 matters is rather mundane and might seem trivial to some people. The reason is that the victims of a crime – and this includes relatives of the dead – are entitled to know the truth, namely the What, How, When, Who and Where of the crime.  This entitlement is both moral and legal.  While US domestic law does not provide victims of a crime with a legal right to the truth, international and regional human rights judicial bodies have inferred the right to the truth from various fundamental human rights. States have also recognized the right to the truth by the establishment of Truth Commissions. The right to the truth is also regarded as one of the remedies due to victims of crimes. To deny to relatives of victims the right to know how, when and where their loved-one died and who was responsible for the death, is cruel. In many cases, determining the facts of a crime is the key for relatives of victims to obtain compensation. In order to circumvent the obligation to provide the truth, the US government offered relatives of 9/11 victims a deal: It would provide them with a substantial financial compensation – at the average $1.8 million per victim – if they accept not to sue anyone, that is not to force discovery of incriminating evidence through the courts. To claim that it is “irrelevant” who committed the mass murder would be rightly regarded as cynical by the stakeholders.

2.  The second reason is simply that the perpetrators of any crime should be identified, prosecuted and punished. Law-enforcement serves both to protect society from harm, deter further crime through punishment and attempt to rehabilitate the offender. This is one of the obligations states bear towards their citizens.  Due to the massive and premeditated nature of this mass murder, the events of 9/11 should be designated as a crime against humanity.   The UN General Assembly has proclaimed by its resolution 3074(XXVIII) of 3 December 1973 the principles of international cooperation in the detection, arrest, extradition and punishment of persons guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity. According to Principle 1, “war crimes and crimes against humanity, wherever they are committed, shall be subject to investigation and the persons against whom there is evidence that they have committed such crimes shall be subject to tracing, arrest, trial and, if found guilty, to punishment.”  According to Principle 8, “States shall not take any legislative or other measures which may be prejudicial to the international obligations they have assumed in regard to the detection, arrest, extradition and punishment-of persons guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity.” While this Proclamation by the General Assembly is not binding upon states, it contributes – because it was not opposed by any member state – to the crystallization of an international customary norm, which then becomes binding upon states even without any formal treaty. This Proclamation, incidentally, was adopted without opposition.  The establishment of the International Criminal Court was one additional step in ensuring that individuals who commit international crimes be brought to justice, even when states are unwilling or unable to do so.  On September 12, 2001, the UN Security Council, by resolution 1368(2001). called on all member states to “work together urgently to bring to justice the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these terrorist (sic) attacks [of September 11, 2001] and stresses that those responsible for aiding, supporting or harboring the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of these acts will be held accountable; cooperate in view of securing the prosecution of those who committed this crime.”  As the perpetrators, organizers and sponsors of 9/11 have not been brought to justice, the resolution of the Security Council has not been fulfilled.  The United States government has failed to “investigate” the crime of 9/11. Exactly four weeks after 9/11, former US Attorney General, John Ashcroft, and former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller, specifically ordered FBI personnel to put aside the investigation of this mass murder if any suspicion arises about new terrorist threats. It is therefore no wonder that the FBI did not publicize any results of its investigation and that no person has been charged, let alone prosecuted, for planning or participating in this mass murder. Those who claim that it “does not matter” who committed 9/11, implicitly endorse the principle of impunity for a crime against humanity and show disregard for international legal norms.

3.   The third reason is related to our individual and collective security.  No person has been prosecuted for planning, organizing and/or participating in the crime of 9/11, because none has been actually identified and linked to the crime. This may come as a surprise to some readers. Yet, there is no verifiable evidence  that the 19 individuals named by the FBI as the 9/11 hijackers, actually boarded the aircraft which crashed on that day: Their names do not appear on passenger lists; no person has testified to have seen them board the aircraft; and their bodily remains have not been identified. As far as we know, the claim that Muslim fanatics hijacked four aircraft on 9/11 remains an unsubstantiated allegation, not a fact.  As for the planners of 9/11, the US holds in custody a person by the name of Khaled Mohammed Sheikh, who US leaders have designated as the mastermind of 9/11. He allegedly confessed in March 2007 to have planned the mass murder of 9/11 and 30 other terrorist crimes around the world.  Yet, the person who made this confession has not been seen by any outside observer, judge, journalist or human rights worker, since his alleged arrest. That person’s identity remains shrouded in mystery.  It is not certain that the person who made this alleged confession is at all Khaled Mohammed Sheikh, or any other person, for that matter.  Apart from the failure to properly identify that person, it is not known under which conditions that person’s confession was made, whether that person was tortured or whether certain promises were made to that person in order to secure his “confession”.   Serious questions remain about the authenticity of the confession, particularly because the alleged prisoner confessed to crimes, which he could not have planned (because he was already in prison by that time).  And even if the real Khaled Mohammed Sheikh made that confession, his confession would not prove that the 19 individuals accused of having committed the mass murder, actually did it, unless he, or other persons, can prove that these 19 Muslims actually boarded the aircraft, were capable of executing their crime and did actually execute it. The bottom line is that we do not actually know who planned and committed the mass murder of 9/11.  Much more evidence actually exists which suggests that the US government, not a gang of Muslims, has planned and perpetrated the mass murder of 9/11. As no conclusive evidence has been presented as to the identity of the planners and perpetrators, it follows that they may be still out in freedom and able to mount further atrocities.  This danger is particularly grave if the crime of 9/11 had been perpetrated at the behest of the US government.  So much is at stake here, that those who refuse to inquire who committed 9/11, appear reckless and irresponsible towards themselves, their families and their societies.

4.  The fourth reason is that the events of 9/11 have been used to justify wars of aggression.  The events of 9/11 have allowed the United States and NATO to legitimate wars of aggression and military occupation of sovereign states.  The aggression against Afghanistan was justified directly by the reference to 9/11.  On October 2, 2001, the US representative made an oral presentation to the NATO Council in which he presented “evidence” of links between Osama bin Laden and the events of 9/11. On that base the Council, representing all NATO states, invoked for the first time Article 5 of the Atlantic Charter, by which NATO equated the “attack on the United States” to an attack on all NATO members.  By virtue of the concept of collective security, NATO endorsed US aggression against Afghanistan. The United Nations Security Council was bamboozled as early as September 12, 2001 to designate the events of the previous day as “international” terrorism. Yet the Council was not provided with even a shred of evidence that the mass murder had emanated from outside the United States, let alone from Afghanistan. It is not known whether some members of the Security Council had foreknowledge of the events, were bribed to designate the events in such a language or simply engaged in sloppy drafting.  It became shortly later obvious, however, that the Security Council gladly espoused the official account peddled by the US administration: The Council designated terrorism as one of the “most serious threats to peace and security”, without even bothering to substantiate this factual determination. NATO and the European Union equally placed the fight against international terrorism at the top of their priorities in security issues, as if terrorism were a real threat to any country, let alone to “international peace and security”. This campaign relies on the maintenance of a public fear of terrorism.  If it can be shown that the events of 9/11 were not an act of international terrorism, but a “false flag operation” by the US government, it becomes easier not only to expose the foreign policies of the United States as illegal, but to expose the deceptive nature of the counter-terror ideology promoted by the Security Council, NATO and the European Union. It must be recalled that “false flag operations”, (terrorist acts staged by secret services and attributed to enemies) have been committed both by the US and NATO in the last decades (see option=com_content&task=category&sectionid=24&id=257&Itemid=141).  When citizens will become aware of the use of “false flag” operations by governments, such methods will be more difficult to use.  Exposing 9/11 as a “false flag” operation would facilitate such awareness.

5. The fifth reason is that the events of 9/11 were followed by the most successful propaganda operation in contemporary history.  No precedent exists for such a mass indoctrination under conditions of peace, the free flow of information and the Internet age. Historians and media scholars have not yet come to grips with this phenomenon. The success of this operation can be gauged by the fact that practically entire nations, including nations’ intellectual elites and political classes, were made to believe that the mass murder of 9/11 had been masterminded by Osama bin Laden and carried out by 19 fanatic Muslims.  An analysis of this mass propaganda easily reveals the techniques used to establish this myth. Among these techniques were stories disseminated by the FBI, such as that a Qur’an and a flight instruction manual were found in a car left by the hijackers at the airport in Boston; that a will in Arabic was found in a suitcase which “did not make it to the flight”; that an intact passport of one of the “hijackers” was found in the ruins of the World Trade Center minutes after the crash of the aircraft, and other such stories impressing upon ordinary citizens that the perpetrators were fanatic Muslims. We were made to believe that the “terrorists”, who no one saw boarding the aircraft, intentionally left an easy trail of evidence for the FBI to find.  At the same time, mass media consciously refused to publicize information relative to 9/11 which might have undermined the official account, such as testimonies of over 100 firefighters, journalists and other workers who reported having seen, heard or experienced multiple explosions in the World Trade towers prior to the collapse of the towers (suggesting that pre-placed explosives demolished the towers) or testimonies by residents of a village in Pennsylvania who did not see any evidence of a plane crash at the alleged crash site. Lately, as millions of Americans are beginning to doubt the official account (only 16% of the American public considers the US Government truthful on 9/11), mass media started a campaign to ridicule and disparage through ad hominem attacks those who express doubts about the official account. This campaign reflects desperate efforts to contain the proliferation of facts through the Internet, which points to official complicity in the crime.  By demanding the full truth on the events of 9/11, it becomes easier to expose the role that mass media play in today’s world, as willing adjunct of the ruling elite.  Demanding the truth on 9/11 can serve as a powerful antidote against media manipulation.

6. The sixth reason is that the official account on 9/11 has been one of the main justifications for restrictions to human rights and for increased police powers, verging on police-state methods. Some people claim that to oppose these measures it is unnecessary to find out who actually committed the mass murder of 9/11.  On other hand, if one accepts the official discourse on 9/11 and the ideology on the rise of Islamic fundamentalist terrorism, one must accept at least some justifications for these measures.  If, however, it can be shown that the official discourse on 9/11 and on Islamic terrorism is fraudulent, it becomes much easier to expose not only the various human rights and constitutional violations as unjustified, but demand the complete cancellation of these measures.  

7.  The seventh reason is that the events of 9/11 have helped governments to increase the level of secrecy and thus reduce government accountability. Such development is not new but reduces still further the existing vestiges of democracy. By demanding the full truth on the events of 9/11, the failure of democracy can be made more apparent.   The quest for the truth on 9/11 can lead to the quest of accountability on other issues and help to reclaim democratic rights.  Those who support democracy, namely the rule by the people, of the people, will find that demanding the truth on 9/11 would help to restore some of the lost features of democracy.


Shattering the myth of 19 Muslim hijackers

Shattering the myth of 19 Muslim hijackers

by Elias Davidsson (Chapter 2 of the book “Hijacking America’s Mind on 9/11)


The official account of 9/11 is based on a hijacking narrative according to which 19 individuals, whose names and photographs have been posted on the website of the FBI,1 boarded aircraft designated as flights AA11, UA175, AA77 and UA93 on the morning of September 11, 2001, hijacked those aircraft and crashed the aircraft in a suicide operation into symbolic landmarks in the United States.

According to the official account an aircraft designated as flight AA11 was flown into the North Tower of the WTC in New York; shortly thereafter an aircraft designated as flight UA175 was flown into the South Tower of the WTC. At 9:37 a.m. an aircraft designated as flight AA77 is said to have impacted the Pentagon in Washington, D.C. As for the fourth aircraft, designated as flight UA93, it is said to have crashed in an empty field near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, after the passengers had risen up against the alleged hijackers and attempted to retake control of the aircraft.It was later surmised that the aircraft was intended to crash on the White House or the Capitol.

Within hours of the operation, the FBI confiscated all known CCTV recordings and interviewed dozens of airline and airport employees who could provide information about what they had experienced on that morning before and during boarding. It must therefore be assumed that all available evidence about the boarding of the four aircraft is stored in the archives of the FBI.

The present chapter deals with one, and only one question, namely: were the individuals designated by the US government as the hijackers of 9/11 present at the scene of the crime? In other words, did they board the four aircraft that allegedly crashed with passengers on that day.

Shortly after the FBI released names and photographs of the alleged hijackers, questions about their identities began to emerge. The family of Hamza Alghamdi, one of the alleged hijackers, said the photo released by the FBI “has no resemblance to him at all”.2 CNN showed a picture of another alleged hijacker, identified as Saeed Alghamdi. That man, a pilot, was alive and working in Tunisia.3The photograph of a Saudi pilot by the name of Waleed Al Shehri was released by the FBI as one of the alleged hijackers: he protested his innocence from Casablanca, Morocco.4 Two people with the name of Abdulaziz Alomari presented themselves, surprised to see their names on the FBI list of suspected hijackers. One of them, a Saudi engineer, said he lost his passport while studying in Denver, Colorado, in 1995. Of the FBI list, he said: “The name is my name and the birth date is the same as mine. But I am not the one who bombed the World Trade Center in New York.”5 Another Abdulaziz Alomari was found working as a pilot with Saudi Airlines.6Salem Alhazmi, also listed by the FBI as an alleged hijacker, was indignant at being named as a suspect for a mass murder.He said he works in petrochemical plant in Yanbu (Saudi Arabia).7 Abdul Rahman AlHaznawi, brother of another suspect, said “There is no similarity between the photo published [on Thursday] and my brother.” He said he does not believe his brother was involved in the crime: “He never had any such intention.”8Gaafar Allagany, the Saudi government’s chief spokesman in the United States, said in an interview in Washington that the hijackers probably stole the identities of legitimate Saudi pilots.9 The FBI disregarded these stories and maintained the names and photographs it originally posted on its website as those “believed to be the hijackers” of 9/11,10including those of living individuals. The 9/11 Commission did not address these conflicting identifications. The passive and tentative formulation used by the FBI in attributing the crime to particular perpetrators, remains the official position of the agency.

One basic goal of a criminal investigation is to identify the perpetrators. In order to prove that particular individuals could have hijacked an aircraft, it must be first demonstrated that they boarded that particular aircraft. In order to demonstrate this, the following five classes of evidence should have been produced by the US authorities in September 2001 or shortly thereafter:

1.Authenticated passenger lists (or flight manifests), listing the names of all the passengers and crew members, including those suspected of hijacking;

2.Authenticated boarding cards (or their detached coupons), on which the names of all the passengers and crew members figure, including those suspected of hijacking;

3.Authenticated security videos from the airports, which depict the passengers (and the alleged hijackers) arriving at the airport, in front of check-in counters, passing security checkpoints and boarding the aircraft;

4.Sworn testimonies of personnel who attended the boarding of the aircraft;

5.Formal identification of the bodies or bodily remains from the crash sites, including chain-of-custody reports.

It is, however, important to remember that even if such evidence had been produced and found reliable, it would not necessarily prove that these 19 individuals had perpetrated the crime attributed to them. They could have been innocent passengers on those flights, or patsies in a plot of which they knew nothing. If it is proved that they were present at the scene of the crime, they could in theory have perpetrated the crime.

The scope of this chapter is limited to examining whether the US government has produced the five classes of minimal evidence mentioned above and if so, whether that evidence is admissible, relevant and compelling. If such evidence does not exist or is deemed to lack credibility, it is likely that these individuals did not board the aircraft and that, consequently, no “Islamic hijackings” took place.

In theory, it is impossible to prove a negative. It is thus impossible to prove that the evidence in support of the official allegations does not exist in some hidden government safe.

In the present case, the US authorities claim that 19 named individuals boarded four aircraft on 9/11 and committed mass-murder. In law, the burden of proof lies with a party that levels accusations. The US government could not discharge its burden of proof, if it failed to produce clear and convincing evidence in support of its accusations. In the present chapter we go beyond demonstrating that there is a “reasonable doubt” as to the complicity of the 19 alleged hijackers, for we intend to show that the evidence produced by the US government does not even reach probable cause, a relatively easy test used in the United States to determine whether a search, or an arrest, is warranted.

1.No authenticated passenger lists

The primary source used by airlines after aircraft crashes to locate the next-of-kin of victims is the passenger list (also designated as the flight manifest). A passenger list is also a legal document proving – for insurance purposes – that particular individuals boarded an aircraft. This is why airlines are required to check the identities of passengers who board the aircraft. In order to serve as legal documents, passenger lists must be duly authenticated by those responsible for their accuracy.

With regard to the four 9/11 flights, American and United Airlines have consistently refused to demonstrate that they possess authenticated passenger lists of these flights. This refusal alone ought to have prompted serious questioning by the media and the 9/11 Commission.Surprisingly, neither corporate media nor the 9/11 Commission demanded the release of these documents.

Between September 11 and September 14, 2001, mainstream media published names of alleged hijackers and passengers, which were then deleted and replaced by other names. These irregularities are examined below.

Adding and deleting passengers’ names after the crashes

On September 13, 2001, Attorney General John Ashcroft announced that ‘[b]etween three and six individuals on each of the hijacked airplanes were involved’ in the hijackings.11 Later at a press briefing, Ashcroft specified that there were exactly 18 “hijackers” – five on each of flights AA11 and UA175 and four on the others.12 On the same day FBI Director Robert Mueller also said that a “preliminary investigation indicated 18 hijackers were on the four planes — five on each of the two planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, and four each on the planes that crashed into the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania”.13A day later the number of alleged hijackers grew to 19.14

On September 14, 2001, the name of Mosear Caned (phonetic) was released by CNN as one of the suspected hijackers on “a list of names (…) that is supposed to be officially released by [the Justice Department] sometime later today”.15 His name disappeared a few hours later from the list of suspects and replaced with that of Hani Hanjour when CNN posted a new list of suspects released by the FBI16 . It was never explained where Caned’s name came from in the first place, who this person was supposed to be and why the name was later replaced by Hani Hanjour.17 No other passenger (or “hijacker”) had a name resembling Mosear Caned.

The Washington Post revealed that the original passenger lists did not include the name of Hani Hanjour, who was later named as the pilot of flight AA77. In its final edition of September 16, 2001 the paper explained that his name “was not on the American Airlines manifest for [flight 77] because he may not have had a ticket.”18For its information, the Washington Post relied almost exclusively on the FBI. This report would fit with the declaration by Attorney General Ashcroft of September 13, 2001 that only four “hijackers” had been on flight AA77.19 Counsel for American Airlines, in a letter to the 9/11 Commission of March 15, 2004, appears to confirm the absence of Hanjour, writing, “We have not been able to determine if Hani Hanjour checked in at the main ticket counter.“20 Yet Hanjour’s name appeared later on an unauthenticated but official passenger of flight AA77 released at the Moussaoui trial, indicating that the latter list did not reflect the original version of the passenger list.

According to CNN on September 14, 2001, “[f]ederal sources initially identified [Adnan] Bukhari and Ameer Bukhari as possible hijackers who boarded one of the planes that originated in Boston.” (emphasis added). Yet, a few hours later, CNN issued the following correction: “Based on information from multiple law enforcement sources, CNN reported that Adnan Bukhari and Ameer Bukhari of Vero Beach Florida, were suspected to be two of the pilots who crashed planes into the World Trade Center. CNN later learned that Adnan Bukhari is still in Florida, where he was questioned by the FBI…Ameer Bukhari died in a small plane crash” on September 11, 2000. These names disappeared from later published but unauthenticated passenger lists and replaced by new names.The above facts were attributed to “federal sources”, most probably the FBI.This means that the FBI either suspected these individuals to have been pilots who had crashed planes into the WTC, because their names were listed on the original versions of the passenger lists, or was simply inventing the names of suspects.

On the very day of 9/11, the FBI, “which has been combing the passenger manifests of all four planes, was already focused on [Amer] Kamfar” as a suspected hijacker.21 On the morning of September 12, eight FBI agents arrived at the door of Kamfar’s neighbor, Henry Habora in Vero Beach, Florida, waiving a photograph of Kamfar, and asked Habora if he knew him.22If the FBI suspected Kamfar to have been one of the hijackers and informed the media about its suspicion, it could only credibly do so if it had found Kamfar’s name on the original passenger list. Yet that name disappeared from computer print-outs released later that purported to represent passenger lists and was replaced by another name.

According to Terry Tyksinski, a veteran flight attendant with United Airlines, a customer service supervisor told her that he had observed two passengers leave flight UA93 after hearing an announcement that there would be a five-minute delay in the plane pushing back from the gate. The two first-class passengers were reportedly of dark complexion, “kind of black, not black.” According to Tyksinski, the supervisor noted their names and was subsequently interviewed twice by the FBI.23 No other accounts, including the 9/11 Commission Report, mention this incident. We could not find any FBI document related to this incident. As these individuals presumably checked in with a ticket, their names should have been found on the original passenger list of Flight 93. This fact further strengthens the hypothesis that the computer print-outs released later as “passenger lists” are fake.

According to a report by American Airlines to the 9/11 Commission dated March 15, 2004, “some passengers” had boarded AA11 “after the aircraft had pushed back from the gate.” I could not find out who these passengers were, whether they were listed on any version of the passenger lists, and particularly how they could board the aircraft after push-back.24

On 12 September 2001, various newspapers published partial passenger lists of the crashed flights. These reports included the names of Jude Larson, 31, and his wife, Natalie, 24, as passengers aboard flight AA11.25As example thereof, here is an excerpt from a news report published by the Honolulu Star Bulletin on September 12, 2001:

“Also among the confirmed dead was Jude Larson, the 31-year old son of Maui artist Curtis Larson, who was aboard American’s hijacked Flight 11. Jude Larson and his wife Natalie were en route to the University of California at Los Angeles, where he was attending college…Larson’s wife Natalie, whose family lives in Boston, was a rising fashion model and had been to Italy four times in the last 18 months to work for Gucci.”26

A person presented as a friend of Jude’s father, Steve Jocelyn of Lahaina, told the Honolulu Advertiser on September 12, 2001 that Jude “was an amazing guy, a cool kid. He was a fun-loving, happy-go-lucky guy with a good heart.”27 He said that Jude visited Maui often, was working as a horticulturist in Washington State but decided to enter medical school a few years ago. A week later, the same newspaper reported that it had been “unable to confirm the identity of (…) Steve Jocelyn,” and was unable to locate him.28

On September 18, 2001, the Honolulu Star Bulletin reported that the newspaper had received an email from Jude, giving notice that he and his wife were alive.29 According to the paper, “a person claiming to be with the airlines” had called Jude’s father and told him that his son and daughter-in-law had been passengers on flight AA11.30 The Honolulu Advertiser of September 20, 2001, which published a detailed report on this apparent hoax, wrote that Curtis Larson, a “sculptor and jewelry maker” now claimed he had been duped, but that it was Curtis Larson who initially told reporters, that “his son was in medical school at UCLA, that his daughter-in-law was pregnant and that the couple had visited her family in Boston.” According to Jude, the report continued, his real name is not Larson but Olsen. He also said he is 30, not 31, years old, that he does not study in Los Angeles but works as a landscaper in Olympia, Washington State, and that his wife is not pregnant.31 The names of Jude and Natalie Larson then disappeared from publicized passenger lists. Assuming that a prestigious news agency, such as Associated Press, would check with American Airlines and the FBI whether the Larsons were passengers on flight AA11 before releasing its story, it would follow that the Larsons were listed on the original passenger list of flight AA11 but later had to be removed from the official list of dead passengers, or their names changed.

The story becomes even more bizarre. The names and photographs of Jude and Natalie Larson, no longer officially listed as flight AA11 victims, in 2011 were still listed on the National Obituary Archive list of those who died on 9/11. Jude Larson’s obituary includes his photograph:

Jude Larson, 31, of Los Angeles, CA, died Sept. 11, 2001, a victim of the coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Jude was a student at the University of California at Los Angeles. He and his wife, Natalie, were returning from visiting her family near Boston. Natalie Larson, four months pregnant, a fashion model who had modeled in Italy.32

Natalie Larson’s obituary, which does not include a photograph, reads:

Natalie Larson of Los Angeles, CA, died Sept. 11, 2001, a victim of the coordinated terrorist attacks against the United States in New York, Washington, D.C., and elsewhere. Natalie and her husband, Jude, were returning from visiting her family near Boston. Natalie was four months pregnant and was a fashion model who had modeled in Italy.33

According to the webpage of the National Obituary Archive, the list “is based on authoritative sources, The Associated Press and funeral home records”.34In order to include an obituary, the managers of the Archive say they request submitters to ask their “funeral director to submit the obituary.”35 Submitters are required to supply documentation of the death which is reviewed by the Archive’s staff.It is not known who supplied the above information to the National Obituary Archive, or when this was submitted.36

Another website dedicated to the victims of 9/11 includes the following photograph, said to be Natalie Larson (Los Angeles), Jude’s wife. The photograph is credited to the Associated Press and to the Boston Herald.37 Yet the file containing the photograph is entitled lasden_natalie.jpg. Natalie Lasden wasanother passenger on flight AA11.

Various attempts were made to provide an innocuous explanation for this story.38 David Hoff, news editor of the Maui News in Hawai’i, said the paper was trying “to make every local connection” it could: “When it appeared we had a local resident who lost his son and daughter-in-law, it was something that we went with.”39 Kelly Tunney, director of corporate communications for Associated Press, said, “We picked [the story] up from the papers (sic) and didn’t follow our own stringent guidelines in this case”.40 Lynn Shue, a friend of Curtis Larson said, “He has been on medication and has a penchant for exaggerating…I can’t believe he brought it all on himself.”41Natalie Olsen, contacted in Olympia, confirmed the couple were alive but declined comment further.42 Jude Olsen acknowledged that Curtis Larson was his father, denied studying medicine and said he saw Maui for the first time in the summer of 2001, “when he surprised his father during his first visit to Hawai’i.”43

The original source for the Larson story – Curtis Larson – described as a “well-known local artist” in his community, apparently cannot be located.

Curious discrepancies in names

According to the Boston Globe, one of the passengers on flight AA11, suspected to have been a hijacker and sitting next to Mohamed Atta, was Abdulrahman Alomari.In the Justice Department list of hijackers released on September 14, 2001, Alomari’s first name is spelled Abdulaziz. Federal investigators “said they could not explain the discrepancy between the American Airlines passenger list and their list.”44 The name Abdulrahman Alomari was also mentioned by the Washington Post on September 14, 2001, as one of the “five hijackers who took over American Airlines flight 11 (…) according to a source familiar with FBI’s list of the hijackers.”45

As early as September 12, 2001, NBC displayed a photograph of Mohamed Atta and mentioned his name, but no other suspects.46 On the late afternoon of September 13, 2001, various American TV networks displayed photographs of „Mohamed Atta” and „Marwan al-Shehhi”, designated as suspects in the mass-murder of 9/11. Surprisingly, ABC News (September 13, 2001, 7:02 p.m. EST of that day) captioned Atta’s photograph with the name „Amanullah Atta Mohammed“.47It was not explained from where „Amanullah” was gleaned. Was there another person impersonating Mohamed Atta, using Amanullah as first name?

On September 22, 2001, T.A. Badger of Associated Press reported that one of the alleged hijackers whom he named Ziad Jarrahi (with a final “i”) had been seen in San Antonio, California, in mid-June 2001.48 Who was the Jarrahi who was repeatedly49mentioned by the American media? Was he another person, distinct from Ziad Jarrah (without final “i”) who is alleged to have piloted flight UA93? Perhaps, if we believe the testimony of Charles Lisa, the landlord of an apartment he rented to a certain Jarrahi and who told The Miami Herald that this Jarrahi and his friend Alhaznawi had “German passports.”50 Ziad Jarrah, who had studied in Hamburg (Germany) was, however, a Lebanese citizen and is not known to have obtained a German passport. Was Jarrahi perhaps the assumed name of an unidentified German citizen whose role was to impersonate Ziad Jarrah? According to Elizabeth Neuffer in a detailed report on Ziad Jarrah and his family printed in the Boston Globe of September 25, 2001 “FBI agents, reviewing flight manifests, found a Ziad Jarrahi – the ‘i’ in the last name a possible misspelling – on United Airlines Flight 93.”51 Yet, the computer print-outs released later as passenger lists spelled his name without final “i”. Elizabeth Neuffer, incidentally, died on May 9, 2003 in Iraq in what was reported as a car accident.

The aforementioned fluctuations in the number and names of the alleged hijackers could not have occurred if these various statements had been based on authentic passenger lists.

Releasing bogus passenger lists five years later

In 2006 a seven-page set of faxes, purporting to represent the original passenger lists, was published in a book by Terry McDermott.52 These released images, of which one page is shown below, were of bad quality and do not appear to be authentic copies of the original passenger lists (or flight manifests): (1) The published lists appear to have been pasted together from various computer print-outs;53 (2) The lists are not authenticated by any airline or law-enforcement official; (3) It is not clear when the lists were printed out;(4) Ziad Jarrah’s name is spelled correctly on the list of flight UA93, whereas as described above, the FBI referred to him initially as Jarrahi;54(5) The name of Hani Hanjour appears on the AA77 list, whereas the Washington Post reported that his name did not appear on the original American Airlines list for the flight (see above); (6) The list does not include names originally claimed as suspected hijackers; (7) Neither the FBI nor the airlines have been willing to confirm that these lists represent true copies of the original passenger lists (or flight manifests)

Illustration of a released, non-authenticated, passenger list from flight UA93

The FBI, responding on April 4, 2007 to my FOIA request for the release of the original passenger lists, wrote that the requested passenger lists of flights AA11, AA77, UA93 and UA175 were “available publicly through the internet at the US Department of Justice website”.55 The website to which the FBI referred, contains numerous exhibits, produced at the Moussaoui trial. An examination of Exhibit P200054, to which the FBI provided a link, revealed that it does not display the passenger lists released in McDermott’s book and mentioned above, but graphic layouts of the seating arrangements.56In its response to me, the FBI did not engage in a direct lie. It merely attempted to mislead me into believing that authentic passenger lists were “available publicly”, and thereby avoid to admit in writing that it will not release a copy of the original passenger lists.

What lists did Bonner and Clarke see?

Robert Bonner, former Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and former Commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection, testified before the 9/11 Commission, that

On the morning of 9/11, through an evaluation of data — by the way, this was the passing through manifest, which US Customs was able to access from the airlines — I would say, within about an hour of 9/11 US Customs Office of Intelligence had identified the 19 probable hijackers as well as the complete list of the passengers on the aircraft.57

This observation piqued the curiosity of Commissioner Ben-Veniste, who a short while later asked Bonner, “How are your people able to[identify the 19 probable hijackers within about an hour]?” Here is what Bonner answered:

Well, it was pretty simple actually. We were able to pull from the airlines the passenger manifest for each of the four flights. We ran the manifest through the TECS/IBIS system. This is essentially the lookout system that both US Customs and INS use but it’s maintained by Customs. We ran it through the system. Two of the passengers on those aircraft were hits for having been entered on the watchlist in August of 2001. That was al Mihdhar and I forget the other one’s name but they were the two people that had gone to Singapore that the CIA had identified. But they actually were put on the watchlist in August of 2001 by the FBI. So they hit on those two.

Just using those two hits and taking a look at some other basic data about the flight manifest, both in terms of — I don’t want to go into a lot of detail — but where they were seated, where they purchased their tickets, you could do just a quick link analysis and essentially, I remember I was at Secret Service headquarters, as I said, but I would say whether it was 45 minutes, I don’t know but my recollection is that certainly by 11:00 a.m., I’d seen a sheet that essentially identified the 19 probable hijackers. And in fact, they turned out to be, based upon further follow-up in detailed investigation, to be the 19.58

Ben-Veniste then asked: “Was this more than looking at the two who were hits and then checking out the other Arab names?”


It was partly that, by the way, but it was more than that. No, it was seat location, ticket purchase information. Again, I am on public record here. I don’t want to go into exact details since we use some of this information in terms of targeting today for potential terrorists. We actually use, as I was saying, advance passenger information to identify beyond just who’s on the watch list by biography to try to do a more intelligent job as to who, as the combined immigration inspection and Customs inspection, Customs and Border Protection who would you ask a few questions to as they’re arriving in the United States.

So you’re doing more than just looking at a watch list. You’re looking at a lot of data and trying to figure out who to look at, just as in the same way we’re looking at what cargo to look at by examining a multitude of factors. That is, to some extent, strategic intelligence driven. So it was looking at a bunch of relational data. Obviously, more refinement of that occurred later but it was — it didn’t take a lot to do, just sort of what I’d say a rudimentary link analysis to identify essentially all 19.59

The question arises why Robert Bonner, who mentioned in his testimony that on 9/11 he had “not been confirmed yet as Commissioner of Customs”,60 was able to obtain the flight manifests on the morning of 9/11.Furthermore, it must be remembered that, according to official reports, both the Federal Aviation Administration and the US Military did not know for many hours how many and which aircraft had been “hijacked”. Bonner did not actually say that he personally carried out the research he described: He used the plural “we”: “We were able to pull from the airlines the passenger manifest for each of the four flights”; “We ran the manifest…”, “We ran it through the system”, etc.

He said that “by 11:00 a.m.” he had personally “seen a sheet that essentially identified the 19 probable hijackers”(emphasis added). Apart from the fact that a “sheet” listing the 19 “probable hijackers” could not have constituted an original flight manifest, only a compilation based on other documents, he did not say who handed him that “sheet” and who compiled it. That “sheet” was, furthermore,never released.

Richard Clarke, who served under both President Clinton and George W. Bush as National Coordinator for Security and Counterterrorism, said that he was informed by Dale Watson, counterterrorism chief at FBI, on the morning of 9/11 through a secure telephone line that, “We got the passenger manifests from the airlines. We recognize some names, Dick. They’re al Qaeda.”Clarke: “I was stunned, not that the attack was al Qaeda but that there were al Qaeda operatives on board aircraft using names that FBI knew were al Qaeda.”61 The documents on which Robert Bonner and Dale Watson based their statements, were never released.

The above accounts by Robert Bonner and Richard Clarke make it imperative that they should testify under oath from where and on what statutory basis they obtained the “passenger lists” so early on 9/11, explain how they could identify the names of 19 alleged hijackers, and indicating what became of these lists. Their unverified statements cannot supplant the release of authenticated passenger lists.

FBI and airlines’ refusal to release authentic lists

I attempted in 2004 to obtain authenticated passenger manifests for the two American Airlines flights of 9/11. Karen Temmerman, Customer Relations, American Airlines, wrote to me on September 9, 2004:

At the time of the incidents we released the actual passenger manifests to the appropriate government agencies who in turn released certain information to the media. These lists were published in many major periodicals and are now considered public record. At this time we are not in a position to release further information or to republish what the government agencies provided to the media.62

The airline did not explain why it was not in a position, at this time, to confirm what had already been for a long time in the public domain.

On Novmber 29, 2005, I tried again to obtain the passenger list of AA77 from American Airlines.63 The first response by Sean Bentel from the airline was to send me a typed list that consisted of nothing more than the first and last names of 53 passengers from that flight. The list did not contain Arab names. Asking again the airline for “something more authentic”, Sean Bentel responded that ”the names I sent you are accurate…There may have been a formatting problem.” In turn I wrote that the problem was not the formatting of the data:

What I am asking is a replica of the original passenger list (either a scan of the original, or at least a document faithfully reflecting the contents of that list)…[namely] the list of the paying passengers who boarded AA77. Can I take it that the list you sent me faithfully reflects the names of the paying passengers who boarded AA77?

Within hours Sean Bentel answered in the most laconic manner: “Mr. Davidsson, Names of terrorists were redacted. Sean Bentel.” Asked in return “[w]hy can’t you sent me a facsimile copy of the passenger lists, including the names of the terrorists”, Sean Bental answered, “This is the information we have for public release.” This was the end of this exchange.

I asked United Airlines on October 21, 2004, why the original flight manifests have not yet been publicized and whether United Airlines had provided some media with a copy of the original flight manifests. The airline answered that “[a]ll matters pertaining to the September 11th terrorist attacks are under the investigation of the US Federal Authorities. Please contact the FBI.” That was it.

Numerous individuals have attempted without success to obtain authentic passenger lists from the airlines, among them Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. He wrote, for example: “I attempted on three occasions to obtain a final passenger list from American Airlines. They refuse to give a list and in fact won’t even verify that they gave the first list to CNN.Since the list is in the public domain, I find it curious that they would not take ownership nor provide a current, ‘correct list’.”64 I requested through FOIA in February 2012 from the FBI form-302, serial 7134, which contains “flight manifests for hijacked flights” and “information related to manifests.”65 The request was denied.

As mentioned already above, the FBI did not outright refuse to release passenger lists. It instead referred to a website which included a graphical layout of seating arrangements inside the aircraft with names of passengers and alleged hijackers.By this conduct, the FBI nevertheless demonstrated its unwillingness to demonstrate the existence of genuine, original, and authentic passenger lists.

No plausible reason for secrecy

As the names of all victims and alleged hijackers were publicized within days after 9/11, I could not identify any plausible reason for the refusal of the airlines and the FBI to confirm information that already exists in the public domain by releasing the original documents or certified copies thereof. Authenticated passenger lists were not provided to the Congressional Joint Inquiry of 2002 or the 9/11 Commission and were not presented as evidence in the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui. It must therefore be presumed that no authenticated passenger lists for the four 9/11 flights exist or that whatever lists the airlines and the FBI possess do not correspond with the official allegations.

No legal proof that Muslim terrorists boarded the 9/11 aircraft

To sum up this section: No authenticated passenger lists of flights AA11, UA175, AA77 and UA93 have ever been produced by the airlines or the FBI.It is therefore not possible to confirm the names, let alone the identities, of the persons (including those of alleged hijackers) who checked in and boarded these flights.66

2.No authenticated boarding passes

To ensure that all checked-in passengers actually boarded the aircraft, in 2001 American Airlines used boarding cards with a stub to be torn-off at the gate by airline employees.. These stubs normally include passengers’ names and seat numbers. A report by the 9/11 Commission staff67 mentions specifically that Mohammed Atta received a boarding pass at Portland airport from where he reportedly flew on the morning of 9/11 to Logan Airport, Boston. The report surprisingly does not mention anyone the handing-out or the handling of boarding passes for flights AA11, AA77, UA175 and UA93, the so-called “death flights”. In footnote 62 to Chapter I of its Final Report, the 9/11 Commission mentions having received “copies of electronic boarding passes for United 93”, whatever the term “copies of electronic boarding passes” means, and in footnote 74 it refers to “copies of boarding passes for United 93”.

The only mention of boarding cards in connection with one of the 9/11 flights is a third-hand account presented in a book by Tom Murphy:

Terri Rizzuto is the United Airlines station manager at Newark Airport, from where Flight UA93 departed. Some time after hearing that this plane had crashed, she speaks on the phone with the FBI, which is requesting the plane’s manifest and its Passenger Name Record (PNR). After arranging permission to release these, she goes to gate 17, from where Flight 93 had departed, in order to talk to her staff there. Approaching the gate, an unnamed supervisor hands her four boarding passes. Rizzuto: „What are these?” Supervisor: „The men, who did this maybe”. Rizzuto: „What? How do you know?” The supervisor pointed to one of the unnamed gate agents who had boarded the passengers onto the flight. When Rizzuto asks the gate agent again: “How do you know?” he replies: “They were too well-dressed. Too well-dressed for that early in the morning. And their muscles rippled below their suits…Yes, and their eyes.”68

This report was not corroborated elsewhere. Ms. Rizzuto was interviewed by unnamed FBI special agents on September 11, 200169and again on December 6, 200170 . In none of the FBI interviews- released in 2009 together with 9/11 Commission documents- did she mention the above episode. According to an FBI document dated September 11, 2001, Ms. Rizzuto provided to an unnamed FBI agent “38 airline boarding passes used by passengers to board United Airlines flight 93 on 9/11/2001 at Gate 17 of terminal A at Newark International Airport.”71 The document lists the names of these 38 individuals and includesthe names of the four alleged hijackers. The document does not include an explanation from where Ms. Rizzuto obtained these “boarding passes”, which were later described by the 9/11 Commission as “electronic” boarding passes. These boarding passes were not submitted as evidence in the Moussaoui trial. The aforementioned FBI document states that the documents provided by Ms. Rizzuto “are being maintained as evidence at the Newark office of the FBI.”

On March 21, 2012, it was pointed out to me that a file posted on the website contains photocopies of a fax depicting boarding cards from flight UA93. The file appears to have been created on December 15, 2011 and, according to the website, was obtained from the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), where the documents from the 9/11 Commission are stored.72 The fax and the copies of the boarding cards do not carry any authentication and are not accompanied by a chain-of-custody report. It is not clear who was the sender and the recipient of the fax. The circumstances of their sudden, belated and discreet release and the lack of authentication inspires the same lack of confidence in their authenticity as the computer print-outs of passenger lists referred to above.

3.No one saw the hijackers at the security checkpoints and at the boarding gates

(a) Security personnel

According to the 9/11 Commission, ten of the 19 suspected hijackers were selected on 9/11 at the airports by the automated Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System (CAPPS) for “additional security scrutiny”.73Yet none of those who handled the selected passengers, or any of the numerous airline or airport security employees interviewed by the FBI or the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on or after 9/11 is known to have seen these suspects. As for flights AA11 and UA175, which reportedly left from Logan Airport, Boston, the 9/11 Commission found that “[n]one of the [security] checkpoint supervisors recalled the hijackers or reported anything suspicious regarding their screening.”74

As for flight AA77, which reportedly left from Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C.,the 9/11 Commission wrote that “[w]hen the local civil aviation security office of the FAA later investigated these security screening operations, the screeners recalled nothing out of the ordinary. They could not recall that any of the passengers they screened were CAPPS selectees.”75As for flight UA93, which reportedly left from New Jersey International Airport, the 9/11 Commission indicated that the “FAA interviewed the screeners later; none recalled anything unusual or suspicious.”76According to an undated FBI report, the ‘FBI collected 14 knives or portions of knives at the Flight 93 crash site.’77Yet no screener is known to have mentioned coming across a single knife that morning.78 To sum up this sub-section, no airport security employee has testified to have actually seen any of the alleged hijackers.

(b) Boarding gate personnel

Normally there would have been airline employees tearing off the stubs of passengers’ boarding cards and observing the boarding of the four aircraft at the departure gates. Under the circumstances of 9/11, one could have expected to read interviews with some of these airline employees, under headlines such as “I was the last person to see the passengers alive” or “I saw TV commentator Barbara Olson board the doomed flight.”79Yet no such interview is known to have taken place. The 9/11 Commission does not mention the existence of any deposition or testimony by airline personnel who witnessed the boarding of the aircraft. As a response to my request to interview American Airlines gate agents of flight AA77, the airline responded that their identities cannot be revealed for privacy reasons.80 Among the documents from 9/11 released in 2009, two FBI 302-forms were discovered which contain interviews with Liset Frometa (conducted on September 11, 2001)81 and Maria Jackson (conducted on September 22, 2001)82, who testified to have worked at gate 32 for flight AA11, and one FBI 302-form recording an interview with an unidentified female employee of American Airlines who testified on September 11, 2001 to have “worked the gate for AA flight 11” on 9/11.83 The 302-form does not indicate at which gate number she worked. Neither of these ladies recalled any of the alleged hijackers. Maria Jackson was shown a “photo spread of subjects” but did not recognize anyone from the photo spread.The 302-form records her saying that she “took the tickets for [Flight 11] from AA Flight Attendant Karen Martin and brought them to ticket lift and deposited them in the safe.” These documents were never released as evidence.

(c) The testimony of Marsha L. Smith

Marsha L. Smith, an American Airlines employee, told FBI on September 11, 200184that she was assigned by the airlines as the “standby stewardess for Flight 11” and was “called to monitor the gate while loading and if the population in coach class was over 70 people then she would be added to the flight crew.” She said that when she arrived at the gate “most of the people were already on the plane.” She stated she did not observe anything suspicious and apparently she was not presented with photographs. According to the 302-form, she did not mention the gate number, the exact time she arrived at the gate, nor who else was at the gate.

(d) The testimony of Manuel Carreiro

Manuel Carreiro, a customer service representative for United Airlines at Logan Airport, told the FBI on September 11, 2001, that an unnamed man with dark olive skin approached him and presented a “certificate” that he was unfamiliar with. He said he did not see this individual with anyone else.He then sent him to see Gail Jawahir (see below).85 Carreiro was again interviewed by the FBI on September 28, 2001.86 On that occasion he reportedly said that “suspected terrorists Hamzah (sic) and Ahmed Alghamdi checked in for flight 175” and that “one of the men” hadpresented to him a “certificate” that he was unfamiliar with. Carreiro was shown by the FBI agent a photo lineup of twelve individuals believed to have been involved in the events. After reviewing the photo lineup, he said that the photograph of Abdul Alomari resembled the man he talked to on 9/11. According to the FBI, however, Alomari did not fly with United Airlines.

(e) The testimony of Gail Jawahir

Gail Jawahir, a customer service representative at the United Airlines ticket counter at Boston’s Logan Airport was interviewed three times by the FBI. In the first interview, conducted on September 11, 2001,87she said that “shortly before 7:00 a.m. (…) two well dressed Arabic males approached her ticket counter. (…) Subject #1 indicated that he wished to purchase a ticket.” She “observed that Subject #1 had a United Airlines envelope with a UA itinerary in hand.” She informed the person that he did not need to buy a ticket, for he already had one.Manuel Carreiro to whom she sent them, sent the men back to her.She said they had problems answering standard security questions.She was then asked if she would recognize the names of the passengers from the UA manifest for flight 175 and answered that she would be able to do so, because they had the same last name. Jawahir “was shown a [flight] manifest and immediately indicated that Hamed Alghamdi and Hamza Alghamdi were the two Mid Eastern individuals who checked in with her at the ticket counter.“She added that she ”was positive that those were the names utilized by the two men.“. On September 25, 2001, Jawahir was shown by an FBI agent a photograph of a passenger on flight 175 but did not recognize it as either one of the two males she had checked in.88 Interviewed again by the FBI on September 28, 2001, she said she had checked in Hamza and Ahmed Alghamdi into Flight 175.89But when shown a photo lineup of twelve individuals believed to have been involved in the 9/11 events, she commented that the photo of Mohand Alshehri resembled one of the men she had checked in and that the photo of Saeed Alghamdi looked like the second man she had checked in.90According to the 9/11 Commission, however, she suggested that the two may have been Mohand Alshehri and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad.91 Jawahir did not board the passengers. Her testimonies were contradictory. Why was she repeatedly interviewed?

(f) The testimony of Janet Padilla

According to Janet Padilla, described in a FBI document as a Regional Reservations Manager located in Chicago, Illinois, and interviewed sometime on September 11, 2001, Gail Jawahir (in Newark International Airport) had earlier in the day checked in Fayez Ahmed, Mohald Alshehri, Ahmed Alghamdi for flight UA175.92In this FBI document the name(s) of the person(s) who allegedly checked-in Marwan Alshehhi for flight UA175 as well as the name(s) of the person(s) who checked-in Ahmed Alnami, Saeed Alghamdi, Ahmed Alhaznawi and Ziad Jarrah for flight UA93, are redacted.It is not known why the names of these employees were redacted while Gail Jawahir is mentioned. As she was working in Chicago, Ill., Ms. Padilla’s testimony was no eyewitness to the check-in by Gail Jawahir.

(h) Secret identities of boarding gate employees

Remarkably, in a letter dated March 15, 2004 from Condon & Forsyth LLP, representing American Airlines, to the 9/11 Commission, the names of most of the 28 agents who worked at that airline’s check-in counters at Logan and Dulles airports on 9/11 are listed, but the names of the agents who boarded passengers onto the aircraft at the respective gates are redacted.93 No explanation was provided for this redaction.

4.No authenticated CCTV of the hijackers at the departure gates

Apparently none of the three airports from where the 9/11 aircraft reportedly departed (Boston Logan, Newark International and Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C.) had surveillance cameras above the boarding gates. There exists neither eyewitness testimony nor a visual documentation of the boarding process.

The Boston Herald reported a few weeks after 9/11:

In perhaps the most stunning example of Massport’s lax security safeguards, Logan International Airport is missing a basic tool found not only in virtually every other airport, but in most 7-Elevens…. While Massport does employ cameras in parking garages, ramp areas and on Logan’s roadways to monitor traffic, there are none to be found in the terminals, gate areas or concourses. “You have names (of hijackers), but the FBI has said it hasn’t been able to match the faces of those who were on the flights,” said Charles Slepian, a New York security consultant.94

Logan officials acknowledged this ‘deficiency’. This is significant because two of the 9/11 flights originated from Logan airport.95

According to the 9/11 Commission’s staff, Newark International Airport, from which flight UA93 reportedly departed, did not have such equipment.96 According to the 9/11 Commission’s Final Report, “there is no documentary evidence to indicate when the hijackers passed through the [security] checkpoint[s], what alarms may have been triggered or what security procedures were administered.”97

Yet public opinion remains convinced that surveillance videos of the suspected hijackers have been shown on television. Indeed, something was shown around the world on television, but not the boarding process of any of the four aircraft. What was shown were two short video clips of people passing a security checkpoint, one reportedly from the Portland (Maine) Jetport and the other from Dulles Airport in Washington, D.C.

The video from Portland Jetport purports to show suspected hijackers Atta and Alomari passing the security checkpoint before they board a flight to Boston on the morning of September 11, 2001. Its authenticity has been disputed for two reasons: (1) Michael Tuohey, who checked in Atta and Alomari at the Portland Jetport, said on CNN that during check-in they „had on ties and jackets”. Shown the security video, he discovered that „they both have like open collar. They have like dress shirts with open collar.” No one could explain what happened to their jackets.98 (2) The security video displays two different recording times, as shown below.99

According to Kenneth R. Anderson, the pilot of Colgan Air flight 5930 from Portland, Maine to Logan Airport, Boston, on the morning of 9/11, he also served there as the flight attendant.He said he remembered two Arabic or Mid-Eastern males who were passengers on that flight.They were the last to board the aircraft and the last to exit the aircraft and sat in the last row of the plane. He described one of the individuals as wearing glasses,100 yet neither Abdulaziz Alomari nor Mohamed Atta wore glasses. Anderson also said that one of themwas 5’9” and the other 5’11” tall. According to an FAA certified copy of Atta’s airman file, Atta’s height was 5’7”.101 No information is available on Alomari’s height.

But even if the video recording from Portland were authentic,102 in the sense of depicting two persons resembling and purporting to be Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari, it does not prove what these persons did after they arrived in Boston.

„Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Alomari” at Portland Jetport on September 11, 2001

The other security video recording purports to depict the alleged hijackers of flight AA77 pass through the security checkpoint at Dulles Airport, Washington, D.C. This recording was not voluntarily released by the US government, but was forced out in 2004 by the Motley Rice law firm representing some survivors’ families, under the Freedom Of Information Act.103 Zacarias Moussaoui was induced by the government and his defense lawyers to “agree to the authenticity” of that security videotape “without any further foundation.”104This video recording was released as an exhibit in his Moussaoui trial but is cumbersome to download from that source.105 It is however available on various websites.106 According to the Final Report of the 9/11 Commission, the video “recorded all passengers, including the hijackers, as they were screened.”107Yet none of the released versions of this recording shows any of the over 50 “passengers” from flight AA77, some of whom were well known nationally.

Jay Kolar, who published a critical analysis of this video recording,108 made an important point: He pointed out that the recording lacks a camera identification number and a time stamp (date:time clock). Joe Vialls, who also analyzed this video recording in 2004, wrote, “Just this single terminal at Dulles Airport has well over 100 such cameras, everyone of them with an individual camera identification number and date-time clock of its own.”109 He elaborated the point: “On-film data [such as camera number and date-time stamp] is essential of course, because it would be extremely difficult to track a target around the airport without these basic tools, and absolutely impossible to sort out the precise time and date of an event that occurred more than two years before, which is exactly what the 9-11 Commission now claims to have done.” According to Vialls, the video recording could not have been made on the morning of 9/11 because the light suggests that it had been made around noon.He urges viewers to “play back a full size copy [of the video recording]…and freeze-frame at the appropriate points”, pointing out the “footprint size shadow underneath the cab, and the brilliant sunshine streaming in through the open doors. On a full-screen picture you can even see the minuscule short [near vertical] shadows of the people standing outside the doors.”

A strange story about the Dulles security video, suggesting that it was fabricated before 9/11, was told by airport security manager Ed Nelson of Dulles Airport, to authors Susan and Joseph Trento. Nelson said that shortly after arriving at the airport on the morning of 9/11, FBI agents confiscated a security tape from a checkpoint through which he believed the alleged hijackers had passed before boarding the plane. He then described the scene and expressed his surprise that the FBI agents could already at that time pick out on the security tape “the hijackers” from hundreds of others passengers:

They pulled the tape right away…. They brought me to look at it. They went right to the first hijacker on the tape and identified him. They knew who the hijackers were out of hundreds of people going through the checkpoints. They would go ‘roll and stop it’ and showed me each of the hijackers…. It boggles my mind that they had already had the hijackers identified…. Both metal detectors were open at that time, and lots of traffic was moving through. So picking people out is hard…. I wanted to know how they had that kind of information. So fast. It didn’t make sense to me.”110

Aside from the dubious source of this recording and the likelihood that it was made before 9/11, it does not show who boarded an aircraft but provides only blurred images of individuals who pass a security checkpoint at an unknown time and location.

5.No positive identification of the hijackers’ bodily remains

According to the official account, the 19 alleged hijackers died in the crashes at the WTC, the Pentagon and at the crash site near Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Tribune of September 13, 2001 – two days after the events – reported that the

remains from the main crash site [of flight UA93] have been taken a makeshift morgue at the Pennsylvania National Guard Armory near the Somerset County Airport. State police escorted a tractor-trailer truck into the back of the armory late yesterday evening, according to a resident who lives nearby. The lights were turned off briefly as the truck was directed to the rear of the armory. A short time later, the lights were turned on as the police cars and the truck left, said the man who declined to be identified.111

Unidentified officials spoken to by The Times (U.K.) in October 2001 said they expected that the bodies of the 9/11 suspects would be identified ‘by a process of elimination’112.They did not explain why they did not expect the bodies to be positively identified, one by one.

Chris Kelly, spokesman of the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology (AFIP), where the identification of the victims’ remains from flights AA77 and UA93 took place, said that the authorities were reluctant to consider releasing the hijackers’ bodies: “We are not quite sure what will happen to them, we doubt very much we are going to be making an effort to reach family members over there.”113 Neither did he explain why no efforts would be made to locate the families of the alleged hijackers, nor why AFIP could not use comparison DNA samples from known locations in the US where the alleged hijackers had lived. According to Llonald Mixell, landlord of one of the alleged hijackers, Alomari, in Vero Beach, Florida, the FBI “searched the Omari home [and] agents left a list of materials seized, including hair samples and air conditioning filters.”114 There were more such samples available from the alleged hijackers’ hotel rooms and cars they had left at the airports. Yet, according to Dr. Jerry Spencer, a former chief medical examiner for AFIP, cited by CBS News, “the terrorists are usually not in our possession in the United States like this”,115 implying that no DNA comparison samples were available to identify their remains. According to Jeff Killeen, spokesman for the FBI field office in Pittsburgh, “there haven’t been any friends or family members to try to claim the remains of [the hijackers].”116 Yet the family of alleged hijacker Ziad Jarrah in Lebanon was reported as early as September 16, 2001, to be “ready to cooperate with the authorities.”117 The US authorities did not respond to this offer of cooperation.

In mid-August 2002, a news report on the victims’ remains noted that the DNA of the alleged hijackers still had not been checked, because “little attention has been paid to the terrorists’ remains.”118 While the AFIP announced it had positively identified the human remains of all “innocent” passengers and crew from the flights, they did not identify the remains of any of the alleged hijackers. Kelly said later: “The remains that didn’t match any of the samples were ruled [by default] to be the terrorists”.119 Tom Gibb, of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, wrote, perhaps with tongue in cheek, that “air pirates have been identified as Ziad Jarrah, Ahmed Al Haznawi, Saeed Al Ghamdi and Ahmed Al Nami – but not so positively identified that officials will list the names in official records.” Somerset County coroner Wallace Miller said that the “death certificates [for the suspected hijackers] will list each as ‘John Doe'”.120 Under a ruling issued on October 11, 2001 by a Somerset County judge, everyone who died aboard flight UA93 “except the terrorists” will get death certificates. At the “insistence of the FBI, the terrorists won’t be getting them because investigators aren’t sure of their identities.”121

The AFIP was at the time a joint entity of the three military departments, subject to the authority, direction, and control of the Secretary of Defense.

In a letter from the AFIP dated June 20, 2003 to Thomas R. Olmsted, MD, of Harahan, LA,in response to his FOIA request of April 3, 2002, where he requested copies of the final list of bodies identified by the AFIP at the Pentagon crash of flight 77 on September 11, 2001, Bonnie S. Short responded: “Attached file contains the names of the 58 victims of AA flight 77 that were identified here at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology”.122 The list did not include any Arabic names.

According to the AFIP, bodily remains from virtually all passengers of flight AA77, which allegedly crashed at the Pentagon, could be identified, despite the impact of the aircraft crash and the ensuing fire. Yet representatives of the Department of Justice and the FBI told the staff of the 9/11 Commission that the contents of the cockpit voice recorder (CVR) for that flight “were destroyed by the intense heat it had been subjected to.”123 Such devices are, however, constructed to resist far greater impact and temperatures than human DNA.

Among documents transmitted to the 9/11 Commission and released in 2009, one document contains the claim by the FBI that DNA profiles of Ziad Jarrah provided to the FBI by the German Federal Police (BKA) from the apartment of his fiancée in Germany „matched the sample of one of the sets of unknown human remains”.124 The aforementioned FBI document was not signed, dated or otherwise authenticated. The US authorities have not relied on this document to claim that Ziad Jarrah’s remains had been identified.

At this point, it might be useful to point out that at the reported crash site of flight UA93, no bodies or blood were sighted by eyewitnesses.

As for the remains of the suspects who allegedly hijacked flights AA11 and UA175, a spokeswoman for the New York Medical Examiner’s Office, where the identification of the victims from the WTC took place, said she had received from the FBI in February 2003 profiles of all ten hijackers who allegedly died at the WTC, so “their remains could be separated from those of victims.” She added, however: “No names were attached to these profiles. We matched them, and we have matched two of those profiles to remains that we have.”125 It was not indicated from where these “remains” had been brought. Dr. Lawrence Kobilinsky, professor of forensics at New York’s John Jay College of Criminal Justice commented that this discovery is “extremely significant”. He added: “This is the first confirmation that these individuals were on those planes.”126

In 2005, the number of matched samples from New York increased to three.127Robert Shaler’s forensic unit in New York City could not, however, identify the three by name. In an essay entitled „Who They Were”, Shaler set down his inside account of the identification effort: “No names, just a K code, which is how the FBI designates ‘knowns,’ or specimens it knows the origins of,” he wrote, adding, “we had no direct knowledge of how the FBI obtained the terrorists’ DNA.”128 His statement was echoed in 2009 by his deputy, Howard Baum, in a Newsweek interview: “We had no idea where the profiles came from or how they were developed.”129

It was not revealed from where and how the FBI secured the “profiles” of the ten individuals, designated as “hijackers”, why it took so long to submit them for identification and why they could not be identified by name. The FBI had, according to its own records, collected numerous hair samples from cars, hotel rooms and apartments used by the suspects, from which DNA profiles could have been extracted to permit at least the positive identification of some of these individuals. The lack of identification could not, therefore, be imputed to the lack of comparison samples.

The lack of positive identification of the alleged hijackers’ bodily remains, compounded by the absence of chain of custody reports regarding these remains, means that the US authorities have not so far proved that the alleged hijackers died on September 11, 2001 at the known crash sites.


The United States government, through its agencies and particularly the FBI,confiscated immediately after the events all available documentation regarding the boarding of the aircraft.Dozens ofwitnesses from the airlines and the respective airports were interviewed by the FBI.All existing evidence regarding the boarding of the four 9/11 flights must therefore be in the hands of the US authorities.

A government what was innocent of mass-murder would be expected not only to seek the truth about this crime, but show particular zeal in doing so, including by presenting the most incriminating evidence it possesses. It would do so both to satisfy a legitimate expectation of its population (and in the case of 9/11 of the world community) and to dispel any existing suspicions of its own complicity.

On the base of evidence provided in this chapter, the following inescapable and unassailable conclusions impose themselves:

•Due to the lack of concrete and verifiable evidence that the 19 alleged hijackers boarded the four aircraft, it is unconscionable and slanderous to accuse these individuals of participation in the mass-murder. Such accusations constitute a grievous attack on their dignity and that of their families.

•By consistently refusing to confirm through authenticated documents that the 19 alleged hijackers had boarded the four aircraft, the US government manifests its bad faith and justifies charges that it is lying to its population and to the international community about the events of 9/11.

•By providing me with a deceptive reply regarding the passenger lists (see above), the FBI manifested its attempt to conceal their absence.

•By ignoring the numerous and glaring contradictions regarding the identities of the alleged hijackers, the 9/11 Commission manifested its intent to maintain the official myth of 19 Muslim terrorists.

•By refusing to allow interviews with personnel who were responsible for passengers boarding the four aircraft of 9/11130, the airlines manifested their intent to conceal evidence about the circumstances of the aircraft boarding.


1 “The FBI releases 19 photographs…”, supra n. 36

2 Caryle Murphy and David B. Ottaway, “Some Light Shed on Saudi Suspects”, The Washington Post, September 25, 2001, #1061

3 “Hijack ‘suspects’ alive and well”, BBC,September 23, 2001, #231

4 Ibid.

5 Nick Hopkins, “False Identities Mislead FBI”, The Guardian, September 21, 2001, #538

6 Ibid.

7 Ibid.

8 Jamal Khashoggi and Badr Al-Nayyef, “Hanjour family denies Hani’s involvementin crime”, Arab News, October 1, 2001, #100

9 Kevin Cullen and Anthony Shahid, “Hijackers may have taken Saudi identities”, Boston Globe, September 15, 2001, #950

10 “The FBI releases 19 photographs…”, supra n. 36

11 “FBI: Early probe results show 18 hijackers took part”, CNN, September 13, 2001, #45

12 Department of Justice, Briefing by Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller, September 13, 2001, Transcript, #464

13 Ibid.

14 “FBI Announces List of 19 Hijackers”, supra n. 33

15 Kelli Arena (transcript), CNN, September 14, 2001, #66

16 “FBI list of suspected hijackers”, CNN, September 14, 2001, 2:00 PM, #67

17 Xymphora, “Mosear Caned”, June 14, 2005, #1062

18“Four Planes, Four Coordinated Teams”, Washington Post, 16.9.2001, #80.Indeed, the only name missing from a report compiled by G. Bartulevicz (American Airlines) on September 11, 2001 about American Airlines bookings of the alleged hijackers, is that of Hani Hanjour, #150

19 Department of Justice, Briefing, September 13, 2001, supra n.

20 Condon & Forsyth LLP, Letter to Mr. John Raidt, 9/11 Commission, March 15, 2004, on behalf of American Airlines, in response to February 3, 2004 requests, p. 11, #318

21 Naftali Bendavid et al, “Officials scour US for clues”, Chicago Tribune, September 13, 2001, #523

22 Ibid.

23 Jere Longman, Among the Heroes: The True Story of United 93 (Harpers Collins Publisher,New York, 2002)p. xiii-xiv

24 Staff Report of the 9/11 Commission (“The Four Flights”), 26 August 2004, Note 31

25 “Partial list of terror victims”, CBS, September 12, 2001, #814; Rod Antone and Helen Altonn, “At least 2 from isles killed in attacks”, The Honolulu Star Bulletin, September 12, 2001, #46; “American Airlines Partial Passenger List”, The Washington Post, September 13, 2001, #815

26 Rod Antone and Helen Altonn, supra n.

27 Christine Snyder, “Five from Hawai’i may be victims”, Honolulu Advertiser, September 12, 2001, #822

28 Timothy Hurley, “Maui man says misinformation led to false report of son’s death”, Honolulu Advertiser, September 20, 2001, #824

29 Gary T. Kubota, “Maui man discovers son still alive”, Honolulu Star Bulletin, September 18, 2001, #1063

30 According to Anand Vaishnav (“Pair believed dead very much alive”), Boston Globe,September 19, 2001, the father was told that Jude and Natalie had been on flight United Airlines 175, #821

31 Timothy Hurley, supra n.

32 “Jude Larson”, National Obituary Archive, #580 (emphasis added)

33 “Natalie Larson”, National Obituary Archive, #581 (emphasis added)

34 “List of 9/11 victims”, National Obituary Archive, as of June 26, 2012, #1064

35 “Adding an Obituary”, National Obituary Archive, #1065

36 I sent a request for clarification to the editor of the National Obituary Archive on February2, 2012. There was no response

37 “Photographs of AA11 victims”,, #1066

38Anand Vaishnav, “Pair believed…”, supra n. 80

39 Ibid.

40 Ibid.

41 Ibid.

42 Ibid.

43 Timothy Hurley, supra n.

44 Kevin Cullen and Anthony Shahid, supra n. 9

45 Dan Eggen and Peter Slevin, “Armed men held at NYC airports”, Washington Post, September 14, 2001, #955

46September 11 Television Archive, <>


48 T.A. Badger, “San Antonio rental agent says he recognized hijacker”, Associated Press, September 22, 2001, #1076

49 Andres Viglucci and Manny Garcia, “Hijack plotters used S. Florida as a cradle for conspiracy”, The Miami Herald, September 15, 2001, #777; Nicolaas van Rijn, “Hijackers set down roots, blended in, then attacked”, The Toronto Star, 15 September 2001, #81

50 Andres Viglucci and Manny Garcia, Ibid.

51 Elizabeth Neuffer, “Hijack suspect live a life, or a lie”, Boston Globe, September 25, 2001, #902

52Passenger Lists : Victims Lists, Passenger Manifests, and the Alleged Hijackers , 9-11 Research (undated), #1075

53See example of a non-authenticated passenger list on #872

54 See Elizabeth Neuffer, supra n.

55Letter in my possession, #94

56 See the first pages of chapters 7-10

57 Statement of Robert C. Bonner to the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States, January 26, 2004, #1077

58 Ibid.


60 Ibid.

61 Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies, (FreePress, 2004), p. 13

62 Email communication to the author from Karen Temmermann,American Airlines, September 9, 2004

63 Exchange of letters between Elias Davidsson and American Airlines regarding 9/11, November 2005, #926

64 Thomas R. Olmsted, supra n.

65 “How did the FBI identify the hijackers”, report (undated). 9/11 Commission documents, Team 5, Box 62

66 Passengers can and do sometimes board onto airplanes under assumed names.

67 Staff Report of the 9/11 Commission (“The Four Flights”), supra n. 74

68 Tom Murphy, Reclaiming the Sky, (AMACOM Books, 2007),p. 72-73

69 FBI NK-745. September 11, 2001. In this report Ms. Rizzuto merely provides names of employees who were working at Newark International Airport on 9/11. #NK-745

70 FBI 302-90747. December 6, 2001.In this report Ms. Rizzuto provides “a general understanding of the boarding procedures that were in place on 09-11-2001 for UAL Flight 93.” She does not provide the time of the check-ins.

71 FBI NK-744. September 11, 2001. List of 38 boarding passes and 40 flight coupons provided to an agent by Ms. Rizzuto. #NK-744

72 Images of boarding passes, allegedly from Flight UA93, as faxed by United Airlines, #904

73 Final Report of the 9/11 Commission, Note 2 to Chapter I,p. 451

74 Ibid. Chapter I, p. 2.In support of this statement, the Commission refers to interviews with six named individuals

75 Ibid. Chapter I, p. 3.In support of this statement, the Commission refers to an interview made on April 12, 2004 with Tim Jackson, a person whose role is not indicated

76 Ibid. Chapter I. p. 4.In support of this statement, the Commission refers to an unreleased FAA report, “United Airlines Flight 93, September 11, 2001, Executive Report,” of Jan. 30, 2002

77 Ibid. Note 82, p. 457

78 Staff Statement No. 3 to the 9/11 Commission made at the 7th Public Hearing, 26-27 January 2004, p. 9-10

79 Barbara Olson, a passenger on Flight AA77, was a known, conservative, television commentator who appeared on CNN, Fox News Channel and other media outlets (Source: Wikipedia)

80 Exchange of emails between myself and American Airlines, supra n. 112. See letter from American Airlines to me dated 1 December 2005. On May 25, 2009, I discovered on the internet a declassified FBI document relating an interview with an unnamed American Airlines employee who advised she had “worked the gate for AA Flight 11” at Logan airport on 9/11. The interview, in the form of an FBI document, was apparently taken by an unidentified Massachusetts State Trooper and summarized in the document three days later. According to the interview, the employee “boarded the passengers” for Flight AA11 but “did not observe any suspicious people or notice anything out of the ordinary.”From the interview it appears that she was the only employee boarding the passengers. She does not mention the gate number from which the passengers left.

81 FBI 302-522. September 11, 2001. Interview with Lisa Frometa, Logan Airport

82 FBI 302-18941. September 22, 2001. Interview with Maria Jackson, Logan Airport

83 FBI 302-1805. September 11, 2001. Interview with unidentified employee of American Airlines, Logan Airport

84 FBI 302-37123.September 11, 2001. Interview with Marsha L Smith, Logan Airport

85 FBI 302-1169. September 11, 2001. Interview with Manuel Carreiro, Logan Airport

86 FBI 302-29690. September 28, 2001. Interview with Manuel Carreiro, Logan Airport

87 FBI 302-19081.September 11, 2001. Interview with Gail Jawahir, Logan Airport

88 FBI 302-37858.September 25, 2001. Interview with Gail Jawahir, Logan Airport

89 FBI 302-29693.September 28, 2001. Interview with Gail Jawahir, Logan Airport

90 Ibid.

91 9/11 Commission, 27 July 2004, p. 2, 451;Staff Report August 26, 2004, p. 17-18, 89

92 FBI302-51589. September 11, 2001. Interview with Janet Padilla

93Letter from Condon & Forsyth, supra n.

94 Doug Hanchett and Robin Washington, “Logan lacks video cameras”, The Boston Herald, September 29, 2001

95 Staff Statement No. 3, supra n. 77. p. 18

96 Ibid. p. 35

97 9/11 Commission’s Final Report, p. 4

98 See Paula Zahn Now, CNN, March 2, 2006

99 Rachel Gordon et al, “Security high but inconsistent at US airports”, San Francisco Gate Com, September 20, 2001, #1067

100 FBI 302-23367. September 11, 2001. Interview with Kenneth R. Anderson

101 Airman Records for Alleged 911 Hijacker Mohamed Atta, Federal Aviation Administration, #1068

102 Mohamed Atta’s father emphatically denies that the video depicts his son. Betsy Hiel, “Hijacking suspect’s father says son ‘hates bin Laden’, isn’t terrorist”, Tribune-Review, September 25, 2001, #545

103 Nick Grimm, “Commission report finalized as 9/11 airport video released”,, 22 July 2004, #87

104 Supplemental Stipulation between the United States of Amereica and Zacarias Moussaoui, Government Exhibit ST00002, United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division (undated), #1135.Zacarias Moussaoui was not in a position to know the truth of the factual allegations he stipulated.A sane person or a person not subject to pressure would not stipulate factual allegations that would facilitate his/her conviction

105 United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui, Criminal No. 01-455-A, Prosecution Trial Exhibits

106 See“9/11 hijackers at Dulles Airport”, #1069

107 9/11 Commission’s Final Report, p. 3

108 Jay Kolar, “What we now know about the alleged 9-11 hijackers”, in The Hidden History of 9-11-2001, Research in Political Economy, Vol. 23, 3-45, Elsevier Ltd. (2006), p. 7-10

109Joe Vialls,“Clueless 9-11 Commission Cheats American Public”, July 23, 2004, #1070

110 Susan B. Trento and Joseph J. Trento, Unsafe at any Altitude: Failed Terrorism Investigations, Scapegoating 9/11, and the Shocking Truth about Aviation Security Today, (Steerforth Press, October 2006), p. 37

111Robin Acton and Richard Gazarik, “Human remains recovered in Somerset”, Tribune-Review (Pittsburgh), September 13, 2001, #386

112Damian Whitworth, “Hijackers’ bodies set Bush grisly ethical question”, The Times (U.K.), October 6, 2001, #92

113 Ibid.

114 Amy Goldstein and Peter Finn, “Hijack Suspects’ Profile: Polite and Purposeful”, Washington Post, September 14, 2001, #68

115 Brian Dakss, “Remains of 9 Sept. 11 hijackers held”, CBS News, August 17, 2002, #526

116 Jonathan Wald, “Remains of 2 Sept. 11 hijackers identified”, CNN, February 27, 2003, #1071

117Robert Fisk, “Stunned into disbelief as their ‘normal’ son is blamed”, The Independent, September 16, 2001, #1072

118 “What to do with hijackers’ remains?“, Associated Press, 16 August 2002, #52

119Brian Dakss, supra n. ; Tom Gibb, “FBI ends site work, says no bomb used”, Post-Gazette, September 25, 2001, #238

120Tom Gibb, “Flight 93 remains yield no evidence”, Post-Gazette, December 20,2001, #73 (emphasis added)

121 Tom Gibb, “Judge OKs certificates of death in Flight 93”, Post-Gazette, October 12, 2001, #762

122 Thomas R. Olmsted, “Autopsy: No Arabs On Flight 77”, June 9, 2003, Physics 911, #1073

123MFR 04020027. May 13, 2004. Briefing by Department of Justice and FBI to staff members of the 9/11 Commission

124 “How did the FBI identify the hijackers”, supra n.

125 “Remains of 9/11 hijackers identified”, BBC, 28 February 2003, #53

126 Jonathan Wald, “Remains of two Sept.11 hijackers identified”, CNN, February 27, 2003, #56

127 Paul D. Colford, “9/11 parts split by good and evil”, NY Daily News, October 12, 2005, #1078

128 Ibid.

129 Eve Conant, “Nineteen hijackers died on 9/11”, Newsweek, January 12, 2009, #716

130 Media interviews were allowed with various airline and airport personnel, but not with those who boarded the passengers.

The fatal flaw in the 9/11 coverup

The fatal flaw in the 9/11 coverup

Why can no one name the hijackers or prove they flew the planes?

By John Kaminski

Know how to tell the difference between the truth and lies of 9/11? If they’re talking about hijackers having done the dastardly deed, you know they’re part of the sinister coverup extravaganza, wittingly or not.

In order for the people of the world to be convinced that Islamic hijackers were responsible for terrible tragedy of 9/11, we need to see some evidence. Not hearsay, innuendo, aspersion or promises of evidence, but real evidence.

Otherwise, the whole subject is rightly regarded as a ruse, a setup to conceal the identities of the real culprits, the ones who sit smugly in front of the TV cameras and plot their cynical war on terror ? otherwise known as the war on the peoples of the world.

As President Bush continues to insist that his word be accepted as truth on numerous questions, time after time his statements have been revealed as blatant falsehoods. Yet he continues to repeat them, and the whorish corporate media continues to accept them.

Why hasn’t either the Bush administration or some element of law enforcement in the United States issued a single solid piece of evidence connecting the hijackers to the hijacked airplanes? Why don’t the alleged hijackers appear on the airport security videos? Why aren’t there credit card records of their ticket purchases?

Why did FBI director Robert Mueller say very publicly to the Commonwealth Club of San Francisco that nothing on paper connected Arab terrorists to 9/11? I mean, two and half years have passed. And the feds produced 19 names within 72 hours of the disaster. Notice a mathematical inconsistency here? All that has happened since is mere vigilante hysteria, hypothetical scenarios trumpeted ad nauseum by Americ notoriously brainwashed Zionist press.

Seven or eight of the names on that original list have been found living comfortably in other countries. Why hasn’t the FBI made any attempt to correct the errors made on that original list? See for yourself. and

And why, after much hullabaloo about Colin Powell using phony information in his remarks to the United Nations about the reasons for war, hasn’t the U.S. government produced a single conclusive piece of evidence to back up its claim that 9/11 was the work Osama bin Laden and other Islamic terrorists? Not a single piece!

If you disagree, tell me what it is!

There’s a simple answer to this, you know. It’s because there isn’t any evidence. And why is that? Because those pseudo-Muslims revealed to be so publicly incompetent at piloting jerkwater training planes had absolutely zero chance of flying sophisticated jetliners into anything narrower than the Grand Canyon, never mind executing tricky maneuvers with extraordinarily complicated machinery.

The unknown men who played the roles of the so-called Arab terrorist hijackers were really recruited by either American and/or Israeli intelligence services in a scheme set up as a diversion to inflame dumb Westerners against the Islamic world. The purpose was to divert the world’s attention from the Israeli genocide and dispossession of the Palestinians by blaming the attacks on Muslims.

But that was only half the objective. The other half was to enable our despicable cabal of neocon gangbangers to fleece the American public with an endless array of no-bid contracts to enrich the conscienceless billionaires who are really driving the war machine.

You know how the Bushista American government uses anything for PR to supposedly authenticate its own evil agenda. If they had any concrete evidence against the hijackers ? if they even possessed all their correct names ? we would have heard about it by now. There would be an avalanche of TV shows about them, unlike that Jewish claptrap hate crime against Muslims that appeared on NBC the other night.

After two and half years, with the whole world knowing that eight of the 19 names on the hijacker list are fraudulent, the FBI has made no attempt to substitute new names. And why is that? Because the identities of the hijackers were constructed with mostly stolen papers, for some of the patsies designed to take the heat. In any case, and whoever they were, there is no evidence they ever got on the planes.

But nothing. Instead we have one minor player convicted in Germany, then the conviction was overturned, partly because Americans refused to help with the prosecution.

We have the so-called 20th hijacker and assorted other preposterous character actors languishing in jails on trumped up charges. We have security camera film at the Pentagon, which surely reveal that no jetliner hit that building, locked away in Ashcroft’s vault under the phony aegis of national security. We have all the rubble of the World Trade Center, which surely would have revealed the use of nuclear explosives creating shattered beams in odd places, instantly carted away with no forensic investigation. We have transcripts ? but no recordings ” of these phony cellphone calls, some from people who may not have even existed.

And we have the famous standdown, in which America’s air defenses suddenly evaporated ? the only time in our history this has happened.

We have Marvin Bush sitting suspiciously on the board of directors of the security company that had the contract for the Twin Towers.

We have Larry Silverstein, who conveniently leased and insured the towers shortly before the big hits, telling officials to "pull" a relatively intact tower, which then fell identically to the two structures that were struck by airplanes, creating the impression that that’s the way all three came down.

We have billions of dollars of windfall profits made by savvy investors in the days before 9/11, and an FBI investigation that insists nothing was amiss with these spectacular deals. Of course, we don’t get the details. Only "assurances" that the trades were not suspicious, despite patterns and results that were unprecedented in the entire history of financial trading.

We have reports from firemen of explosions at the base of the Twin Towers BEFORE they fell, and the seismographic evidence to back up these assertions.

We have leader after leader saying they didn’t know such a thing could happen when the government had been studying the problem for ten years. It had held at least two major drills simulating such a possibility.

And we have a president sitting in a ghetto classroom in Florida, at possibily the most pivotal moment in American history, pretending to read a book that he was holding upside down.

Perhaps most tellingly of all, we have the tragic tale of John O’Neill, rabidly honest FBI investigator, prevented from following his leads about Osama bin Laden because of the danger he would have discovered the links from Afghanistan back to CIA headquarters. Just review the way he was prevented from conducting his probe of the Cole bombing, and prevented by digging into other leads by the same guys ? namely insiders Louis Freeh and Thomas Picard ? who prevented significant reports from other FBI agents from seeing the light of day.

So, how does all that make you regard the supposedly impartial government panel investigating these matters? When they talk about Presidential Daily Briefings months before the event, or chitchat with presidential flunkies who leak out these pseudorevelations about this and that tidbit of essentially trivial information. And especially when they talk about the dastardly hijackers (without being able to name them) as if there is no question of their guilt. Talk about your misleading urban legends! This one is the champ.

Well, no sense feigning surprise. We knew this commission was a set-up from the get-go. Recycled Watergate investigators, even. Part of the same bunch that has run the country and covered up everything for the past 30 years or more.

Surely you didn’t expect a real investigation. Thomas Kean declared at the outset of his hearings that Osama bin Laden was guilty. End of discussion. As soon as he made that statement, there was no way the hearings could be legitimate.

Asserting that genuine Arab hijackers did not carry out the attacks of 9/11 requires analysis of two concomitant categories: the history of American (and Israeli) involvement (and subterfuge) with Arab terrorists, and methods of remote control of aircraft, or other means of piloting the aircraft.

The remote control aspect continues to be a bone of contention among legitimate pilots, with some asserting only real pilots could have made such extemporaneous maneuvers and others insisting only remote control could have accomplished such a feat. An interesting new perspective on this debate can be found here:

A third natural area of study in this regard would be the intimate histories of those whom officials claim to be the hijackers, including putting the microscope on their behavior in the days and weeks before the tragedy.

Many researchers claim the name al-Qaeda was made up in middle ?90s by a variety of American functionaries (one of them being none other than Richard Clarke) as an all-purpose villain the U.S. could blame as a convenient reason for its military adventurism. And a group of Israeli provocateurs was recently discovered trying to create their own faux version of al-Qaeda.

How many more hints do you need? The absence of any relevant arrests or discovery of any clues to the hierarchy of this supposedly worldwide terror group should tell you a lot.

Al-Qaeda doesn’t exist except for when they want it to, to blame for any sort of strategic terror they have created themselves for some political reason, like influencing the elections in Spain. Hah, that one really backfired.

Why haven’t American intelligence operatives gone to these foreign countries to interview these named hijackers who turned out to be alive? Simple. Because they knew the list was fiction in the first place, and the Arab-types who have been named as terror gurus are mostly their own employees, or people who have been set up by them.

It is a celebrated fact that Mohammed Atta and some of his friends were seen in nightclubs in the hours before 9/11, certainly a fact that argues against them being able to carry out their supposed missions because they were motivated by Islamic religious zeal. So their appearance in strip clubs blows the whole story that they were devout Muslims giving their lives to Allah. Devout Muslims don’t drink, never mind cavort with strippers.

If we knew who the hijackers were, we’d know their names, wouldn’t we? Or is it now worth bombing other nations and murdering thousands of innocent people because we say we know who the hijackers were, even though we don’t know their names? It is the great shame of the American people that they have approved of the murders of thousands of people because of that blatant lie.

Many of the men who were fingered as 9/11 hijackers received preferential treatment from American immigration officials when it came to entering and leaving the U.S. on numerous occasions. Many of these same names reportedly trained at various U.S. military installations.

What has resulted after two and a half years of work by Americ crack intelligence agencies, besides the persecution of Muslims throughout the world?

Well, hundreds of innocent people have been unjustly imprisoned and tortured at Guantanamo. All of them innocent, hapless dupes rounded up in a Rumsfeld-ordered dragnet in Pakistan after U.S. planes had (inadvertently or otherwise) allowed the Taliban fighters to escape with the Pakistani army from Afghanistan.

Two pathetic flunkies have been arrested and held without due process. One of them, the notoriously pathetic shoe bomber who was obviously a deranged personality and not a member of any terror network, was ceremoniously sentenced to life in prison.

Other than that, no al-Qaeda kingpins have been even named, never mind apprehended. No clue about how the 9/11 attacks were engineered has ever emerged. This is simply not consistent with being able to name all 19 hijackers the day after the attacks. It is a case of pretending you have all of the information instantly, and then pretending you no information for the next two years. What a smell!

This means two things: that the list of 19 names was a total fabrication, and that the worldwide terror network called al-Qaeda is also a total fabrication, the wet dream brainchild of the CIA and the Mossad to be trotted out as an excuse for a whole string of terror attacks ? Madrid, Bali, Riyadh, Istanbul, etc. ” that were really carried out by the CIA and the Mossad themselves, cleverly involving designated patsies to give the operations a suitably foreign flavor.

Al-Qaeda does not exist except as a bogeyman invented by Western powers to justify their evil agenda. There were no hijackers flying those planes on 9/11. And honest FBI agents have been prevented from publicizing that fact.

If you disagree, prove it! The world knows you can’t, though the high-tech mass murder by the United States and Israel spreads around the world because of this falsified version of events.

History will show ” and the public will soon realize ” that those who are telling these lies not only allowed 9/11 to happen, but planned it for their own personal advantage.

The only question that remains is will the American public awaken to this murderous, treasonous scam before the perpetrators achieve their objective and bury the whole planet in the flames of their insane perfidy.

Just remember. If they?re talking about the hijackers, they?re part of the coverup, whether they know it or not.

Much more productive would be analyzing the tiny hole in the Pentagon, how the ejected material in the WTC photos prove there were unexplained explosions, or how those emotional cellphone calls could not possibly have been made as government flunkies have presented them.

But you won’t hear the official 9/11 commissioners talking about any of that, because they are definitely part of the coverup. You can obviously tell, because they keep talking about the hijackers.

? ? ?

Other than a general alert to citizens of the world about the basic lies that continue to underlie all political debate in the United States at this time, there is another, more pressing reason to discuss and contemplate all these matters at this time.

On Tuesday, April 20, and Wednesday, April 28, the U.S. Supreme Court will hear arguments on the power claimed by the President to designate people as "enemy combatants" and have them incarcerated by the military ? indefinitely, without charges, and without access to the court system–solely on his say-so.

As my friend Alvin notes, “This is a critical moment in United States history.”

“How the court rules on these cases will determine the type of country we will be living in. We urge those of you who can to be present outside the Supreme Court on these dates,” said Alvin. For more information please see

It is one thing to realize all law enforcement and defense strategies in America in 2004 have become lies.

It is quite another to incorporate those lies into the law itself, and that is about to happen next week.

The decision expected will make a time of darkness grow even darker, and practically guarantee that freedom and justice for all is now an outmoded phrase that has been conveniently discarded by the evil robots who now control the lives of every person on earth.

John Kaminski is the author of “Americ Autopsy Report,” a collection of his Internet essays seen on hundreds of websites around the world, and also “The Day America Died: Why You Shouldn’t Believe the Official Story of What Happened on September 11, 2001,” a 48-page booklet written for those who insist on believing the government’s version of events. For more information about both, go to

In the begining there was conspiring…

Lecture at the conference “The New Pearl Harbour: Exploring Conflicting Interpretations of 9/11?  – Cork/Ireland, Nov. 12th 2005…"I want to start with nine general remarks on the underlying nature of conspiracies and conspiracy theories." 

In the begining there was conspiring…

By Mathias Broeckers

Lecture at the conference “The New Pearl Harbour: Exploring Conflicting Interpretations of 9/11?  – Cork/Ireland, Nov. 12th 2005

Thank you for the invitation to speak here. I want to start with nine general remarks on the underlying nature of conspiracies and conspiracy theories


In the beginning there was conspiring. In order to win out over a hostile planet, various bacteria united and formed the first creature with a definite cell nucleus. Not merely chance mutations and the competitive struggle for existence but conspiring and cooperation too made evolution possible. The bacteriological conspiring is probably the only world-conspiracy at all, it has been going over 2,5 billion years, and its only aim is Life.


Conspiracies are the most ordinary thing in the world: A and B agree behind the back of C, in order to gain some benefit. This happens in the business just as it does in nature, is just as common in politics as in the workplace ” and above all, in love life. That the beloved secretly has another lover, is probably the most commonly held conspiracy theory of all.


Conspiracy theories are suppositions about real conspiracies, based on indications, suspicions, evidence. If the conspiracy theory is backed up by definitive proof? the partner is caught in flagrante delicto, the “Watergate? tapes on illegal political dirty tricks are given to the press ? then the conspiracy is uncovered and ends. Often, however, such definite physical proof cannot be found. That is why real conspiracies are aften as long-lived as unproven conspiracy theories.



Conspiracy theories have a special quality that makes them so attractive: they reduce complexity. Many-layered, complex causes of events can be reduced to a single scapegoat. The blame game ? or the tendency to ascribe an incomprehensible and painful reality to a specific guilty party ? seems to be a basic characteristic of human behavior.


In the course of internally processing incomprehensible external catastrophes,  the oldest and most important conspiracy theorie may have arisen, which is generally abbreviated under the name “God,” that is, the supposition of an invisible, secret, all-powerful creator and string-puller, concealed behind the universe and our own existence. The supposition of a divine conspiracy also reduces complexity: it makes our catastrophic, chaotic, incomprehensible cosmos understandable ? giving  it and our existence meaning.


The ability of conspiracy theories to reduce complex relationships to simple causes makes them an ideal instrument for propaganda and agitation. Without the specter of a sinister and bloodthirsty “Judeo-bolshevist world conspiracy,” Hitler could not have roused his constituents to a world war, nor could Stalin have long maintained his dictatorship without the supposed threat of a “Jewish-imperialist world conspiracy.”


To conspire, to conjure, to capture and to control are related. The conjuring of invisible powers of good or evil has something of the conspiratorial spirit, as well as something captivating, since it makes complicated things simple. Conspiration comes from conspirare, breathing together, or spiritus, spirit. The spirit of conspiracies is always a group or social phenomenon. Nothing is more convivial, nor more dangerous, than a group conspiring together.





The interaction of conspiracy, conjuration and captivation can be seen in the working of conspiracy theories: lacking definite proofs, the “truth” of the theorie must be conjured again and again, and it can captivate only as long as skepticism and doubt of this “truth? are controlled and kept out.


To immunize themselves against skepticism and doubt, conspiracy theories have a strange loop built in: every criticism is automatically turned into a further proof of the supposed Conspiracy. This immune system of modern conspiracies is the same one of their historical antecedent, the demonology of the Middle Ages: Whoever disputes the presence of the devil must be possessed by him.



So, on this general background, we may understand better the words given by George W. Bush  shortly after the  the 9/11 attacks ? “You?re either with us ? or with the terrorists?   – Whoever disputes, that  towelheaded devils from the caves of Tora Bora committed the attacks on Sep. 11th  must be possesed by them  – and also Bush’s speach to the United Nations  attacks in November 2001 :


"We must speak the truth about terror. Let us never tolerate outrageous conspiracy theories concerning the attacks of September the 11th, malicious lies that attempt to shift the blame away from the terrorists themselves, away from the guilty."


With the above  mentioned general structures of conspiracies and conspiracy-theories  in mind ” and knowing that virtually nothing of the truth about the terror of 9/11 is really revealed ? we may call this quote an abosultely perfect “double speak? ? shifting away the blame from the guilty to some demonic evil-doers and hallowing the most outrageous conspiracy theory at all ? the official version of the attacks ? as a holy truth.

The  Bush administrations official story has three basic premises:


The first is that Islamic terrorists, based in Afghanistan, who hate American freedom plotted and executed the attack – an attack which the U.S. government had no prior knowledge of nor any connection to.


The second premise is that in order to wage and win a war on terrorism the US must invade Afghanistan, Irak and every other nation harboring, funding or supporting terrorists and that a simultaneous suspension of domestic civil liberties is necessary for internal security.


The third basic premise is that the US-government is all good – while theirs is the very personification of evil, the "evil-doers" as President Bush likes to call them.


So far, summarized briefly, this is the official version of events and what followed. But if we look a little more closely, we have to notice that until today the criminal case of the 9-11 attacks has remained entirely unsolved. Investigations by police and authorities utterly failed, none of the real backers and perpatrators of these attacks were found, also no hard evidence and no terrorist was captured. In fact, after 4 years we do not know more than we knew 4 days after the attacks, when that list of the 19 Hijackers had been published. So the results of the greatest police-operation in history amount to virtually nothing.

I think there are two reasons for this zero-investigation:

First: the secrecy of the US-administration, which has stonewalled all evidence of 9-11 -flight-recorders, air-traffic-communication etc. ” and buried it in the grave of "national security".

Second: the nearly total breakdown of the media’s constitutional function in democratic societies as an instrument of power-control and critical investigation.

The coverage of 9-11 shows, that mass-media is doing a perfect job if it comes to grave criminal activities like presidential sex with White House trainees, but if it comes to small sins like the 9-11-events, there had been (and still is) no investigative journalism at all. The mainstream-media has gone to rack and ruin and became a brothel of propaganda.

To understand this you do not need any conspiracy-theories. All you need is a closer look at the official version of events – and the maountain  of contradicting facts, which appeared shortly in the news, and then disappeared forever.But thanks to the memory and archives of the internet it has become possible to reconstruct the puzzle ? not sufficiently yet to get a "true" picture, but more than enough to show, what the official version of 9-11 really is: a conspiracy theory which lacks any evidence whatsoever.


For the most of you here this is no news at all, but that for a majority of the population in the US  and in Europe, this statement and the reality behind it is still really  shocking. I remember visiting my mother in November 2001 and we where watching the news on TV, it was the time when the US-Troups had surrounded the Tora Bora caves in Afghanistan. While we watched I made some statements in between ? “Do you know, that the US armed Bin Laden & Al Qaida”? ? “He was reported in an American Hospital  last July? ? “He builded this cave-stronghold  with the CIA and his own construction company? ? ? His family and the Bush’s investing in the same defence-company, they dinnered together on Sep 10th? .

My mother  had watched me increansingly skeptical, and than she asked: “Boy, is that true what you are telling me here”?  I said that it is at least, and most likely,  more true than what is reported in the news.  “Well then, you better stop going on about this. It’s getting too complicated for me. I?d rather stick to what they?re saying on TV?and the young Mr. Bush doesn’t cut such a bad figure.”

This reaction, it seems to me, is phenotypical, and not only in the case of old ladies but for the overwhelming majority of the population. It is the typical reaction if you confront somebody with some thruths of 9/11 ? because it is  expanding the simplicity of crude black & white and enhancing complexity.  Therefore these  unwanted facts of 9/11 are working in the opposite direction as conspiracy-theories do, which always tend to reduce complexity on a simple scapegoat-scheme.


The psychological shock; the number of casualties, initially estimated to be around 50,000; the incomprehensible, Babylonic-apocalyptic event constantly repeated in slow motion; the unhinged world of “nothing is as it was;? the deep and widespread confusion triggered by this chaos; all this cried out for an explanation, for a quick appraisal of the situation, for a plan. And this is what George W. Bush delivered in a way that was perfect because it was simple. He presented a culprit and declared war on him and on his supporters. It was no coincidence that the president’s congressional speech was met with rapturous cheers reminiscent of Nazi party conferences. Indeed, the moment endowed him with the halo of a leader and savior as he lifted the spirits of the frightened and paralyzed masses. This  cathartic effect was in no way undermined by the fact that he was selling a simplistic conspiracy theory as the basis for a declaration of war ? as you know, Hitler never had anything else to offer either.

Maybe as domesticated primates we have something of a scapegoat reflex genetically implanted into us, which in times of catastrophe and chaos provides us with an emotional outlet for fear, while guaranteeing the cohesion of the pack by focusing on a common “enemy.” It seems to me the success of Bush’s war policy can only be explained on the basis of such an instinctive reflex, of a reaction that is based more on an archaic herd instinct than on individual reason. The more dramatic the event and the more confusing the situation, the greater the pressure to resolve the situation. So, had Osama and his 40 robbers not existed, an enemy like him would have had to be invented then and there for reasons of group dynamics alone.

What would a more intelligent, less primate-like response have looked like? The decisive factor driving the whole event is horror and the fear it triggers. Whoever masterminded the attacks, their calculations were based entirely on the fear that is spread by the horror they unleashed. Yet the very thought that the perpetrators are counting on a reaction of fear and panic is a sign of more sophisticated reasoning, of a wider realization. Not only the horror is perceived as real, but those causing it and their intentions are also taken into account. This awareness, the conspiratorial, skeptical, paranoid perception, opens up the possibility of a whole range of responses to the horror, above and beyond panic. Herd panic reacts to disaster with cries for action for action’s sake, be it even blind action ? so George W. Bush was generally described as “prudent? in the days following the attack, merely because he didn’t drop a few nuclear bombs here and there.


“Well, but what do you really believe now”? Those who asked this question in the seminars of “Cybernethics? professor Heinz von Foerster had to pay a dollar into the seminar kitty; for the word “truth,” the fine was doubled to two dollars. “The term truth means war,” says von Foerster. “It creates the lie, it divides people into those who are right and those who are wrong. I once said truth is the invention of a liar.”

In regard to 9/11, I advocate that all observations should be inextricably linked to the observer. As I deal with these matters, I sometimes find myself in the same situation as the quantum physicist who is plagued by the particle/wave paradox. The more thoroughly you focus on one aspect of the system, the more you lose sight of another. But aren’t Schrödinger’s cat and Einstein’s mouse irrelevant in a state of emergency? Wasn’t it a matter of having to open the box and establish certainty in order to take action? If that is so, if the frightened herd cries out for action, the primate mob clamors for revenge and a clear-cut friend-foe image must be created, and the time has come for those gruesome “truths” that mean war: then there is only one counter-strategy. The “outrageous conspiracy theories,” the “malicious lies” and the diversion from the “real culprits? must be further exposed and publicized.

Therefore in the first chapters of my second book on the attacks  ? “Facts, Forgerys & the supressed evidence of 9/11? ? we focused the attention on these “real culprits”, the identities of the alleged perpetrators. About 48 hours after the attacks the FBI published a list of the 19 suspected hijackers. In the following week it turned out, that at least six of these 19 suicide-bombers were still alive. Four of them were interviewed by reporters ” and they wondered and complained, how their names, pictures and birth dates happened to get onto this “most wanted" list. They had nothing to do with the attacks, were not in the US around 9-11 and had done their regular jobs at home instead: at a telecommunications company, an oil factory or the Saudi Airlines office. Two other suspected “hijackers" turned out to be pilots on a training-course, one in Morocco and the other in Tunisia, and these men also complained about being presented as massmurders. BBC, The Guardian and other “premium" papers reported in the weeks following Sep. 11th 2001, that the names of these  “suicide-hijackers" were a case of mistaken identities” and the real hijackers must have stolen them.  So far no problem: the use of fake identities is quite regular for criminals or terrorists. But what do you find when you take a look at the FBI-website today? Even four years later you still find those names and pictures of the same ?19 suspected Hijackers" ” and no mention of the fact, that at least six of these poeple cannot be the real terrorists. If you keep in mind,  that the original passenger lists of the four flights were never published, that no video-footage exists of their boarding at Boston airport, no fingerprints found on the boarding cards, no proof that these 19 people even were on these planes.  The Spiegel, Germanys leading News magazin, took this part of my book to brand me as nut researcher and crook, saying that the doubtfull  names and pictures on the suspects-list were all cleared up when the FBI published a corrected version on Sept. 27th. But this is not the case at all ? there are still hard and reasonable doubts on the real identities of the hijackers ” and there are still nine skeletons in the closet. Nine dead bodies from the Pentagon- and the Pennsylvania -flights are still “on the rocks? at a military base in Maryland, all with the same name: John Doe? they are not identified. Why? If the hotels, bars and rental cars these guys used in the days before are known ” and they are according to the FBI ? why then is there not a single piece of evidence, not a hair, no piece of fingernail, no little booger to identify these alleged terrorists?

 Since this is the very basic question of every crime investigation ? Who dunnit “? –   and it is still  unanswered, we have to start here ? the “Hows “” and “Whys “” and “for what purposes “” and “Cui Bonos”, all these questions are important, but they are secondary, in the intrinsic sense of the word. The answers to them stay worthless as long the very first step ? the identification of the actual perpetrators  – is not done. We have a least two dozens of anomalies of 9/11 and every one of them  with quite good evidence, any of them worth a whole book? I don’t dispute these anomalies ? But where does it lead,  to discuss ? lets say the inner explosion of the twin towers, the rockets slung underneath the Boeings or the size of the Pentagon-hole? ? Who can be brought to an indictment with this photoshop-evidences? Nobody I think and therefore I plea for the simple method to make the first step first and identify the 19 alleged perpatrators, the main suspects. In  my documentation of the dubious identities of the hijackers  I quoted from the press release of a Meeting of Minister of Foreign Affairs, Prince Saud Al-Faisal and Pres. Bush on Sept. 20th 2001:

“Regarding the inclusion of Saudi names in the published list of the suspects, Prince Saud commented that haste in publishing the names of suspects has been acknowledged, and that it has been proven that five of the people listed had nothing to do with what happened, adding: "We very much hope that before being published, information, names and pictures will be verified." (End of Quotation)

This press release was published on the website of the Saudi Embassy ? but you will not find it there anymore, When our book came out in August 2003 ” and the “Spiegel?-Magazin tried to ridicule my claim of the highly dubious hijackers identities, they asked the Saudi Embassy in Berlin about this quote of the Foreign Minister. Since the “Spiegel? -guys aren’t cooperating with me, they didn’t provide me with the answers; but supported instead the befriended TV-Magazine “Panorama? for an smear on the books of Andreas von Bülow and mine, so incredible, that I sued them for wrong allegations. To convince the judge what a bad journalist I am they gave a huge pile of paper to the court, and in this I found the document with the official answer of the Saudi Embassy to the “Spiegel?:


“Regarding your request from Aug. 27th 2003 on the alleged press-release of HRH Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al Faisal after his meeting with US-President George W.Bush on Sept 20th 2001, in which he is supposed to have said that five names on the FBI?s suspects-list had nothing to do with what happend, the Embassy of the Saudi Arabian Kingdom intimates, that HRH the Foreign Minister never gave such a statement and this means, that what is written in the book “Facts, Forgeries and the supressed evidence of 9-11?  lacks any foundation.”


Thanks to the memory of the internet we can proof the opposite, the Saudi Foreign Minister indeed gave the statement  “that five of the people listed had nothing to do with what happened?  on Sept. 20th  ” and thanks to the involuntary help of  “Spiegel? we can proof now, that they officaly deny it entirely. Needless to say that this was no reason for  the former leading news-magazin  “Spiegel? to look a bit closer at this mysterious denial. Why does the Saudi Secretary two years later deny that there had been errors in naming the suspects and he had dicussed  this with Pres. Bush who had acknoleweged a certain “haste of publishing”? If errors happened in “haste” and would have been corrected properly with the second FBI-list published a week later ? why not simply state so?  Why eliminate press-releases and deny given statements ?   – Because until today the question of the true identity of the 19 hijackers is still totally unsolved ” and the Bush- administration is doing everything they can to keep it that way.  If they succeed these 19 will stay there for ever and become history.  In spite of  all the contradicting  facts and witnesses that were revealed by one of the last specimen of investigative journalists in the US, Daniel Hopsicker,  on the alleged ringleader Mohamed Atta in Florida – what we will hear from him later today. He won’t get a Pulitzer Price for his formidable research very soon ? because these prices are still reserved for Pre$$stitutes of the likes of the NYTs Judy Miller?  but the facts on Atta in Florida alone unmask the official version of the event as a web of fiction & lies ” and the final report of the 9/11 commission as a phantasy book which proper title  sould have been “Ali Plotter & the box-cutters of horror? or something like that…

My pleading to look closer on the identities and background of the alleged hijackers, doesn’t mean to  deny all the other screaming contradictions of the official story ? but following the golden rule “First things first? it makes no sense to debate or divide on the width of  the Pentagon-hole or the physics of the Trade Center crash in the beginning, only to come to the short-circuit conclusion: “Bush did it? ? or “the military? ? or “the Secret Service, the CIA ? ? . Ok ? but: so what ? Does this lead to anything, execept to the same simplicity like “Osama did it”. I don’t think so.  Any proper criminal investigation will lead to these disturbing evidences on the crash site, but rising  from the very basic question of real human beeings who committed this crime.  If  this investigation  brings to light, that the alleged hijackers were only patsies ” and I am convinced it would ? than the second step would be to go after their helpers and handlers and masters and so on the ladder up.  It might end right in the office of Dick Cheney ? like it did with the manufacturing of the Iraq-lies ” and having in mind that he was coordinating the wargames on the morning of 9/11 it seems  safe to bet on the vice-president ? but as long as we do not know, where Mohamed Atta learned to fly and how Hani Hanjour, who was not able to fly a Cessna,  steered the Pentagon-Jetliner in this highly complicated operation, we are still on the very beginning of any chain of evidence.


We all have become witnesses and victims of the biggest brainwashing operation in history –  Welcome to Brainwashington D.C. .

The complexity of 9-11 is huge  and it’s important to keep track and not to get lost in the hall of mirrors. So “Keep it simple?  seems a good advice to me and I tried to follow it with my remarks here.

There can be no doubt at all that the Bush-regime exploited 9-11 for their long planed wars and their chronies profits  – and at the same time did everything to prevent any reasonable investigation.

There are only very few doubts that the administration had foreknowledge of the attacks and moreover there are a lot of indications, that the attacks were engineered from high up in the military and intelligence. Since we are still in the phase of adjusting we should behave more like detectives than as self-assured politicians “at least for me, observing and researching since the attacks happened, the puzzle of 9/11 is fare from to be solved. If we are not driven  by pre-fabricated theory, but by all the available data ? than we have to put everything on the table, even if becomes complex and seemingly contradicting parts appear. But these parts mark the points were deeper investigation is needed ” and as long no prosecutor, no court, no state-commission is willing to do it, as long it depends on us as citicizens to conduct it – and on the alternative media to communicate it. A huge majority of the people in the US and Europe allready know now the obvious lies of the Iraq war ? it has become a topic of the mainstreammedia and lead to  indictments of  some top-officials. Even if I do not expect to see  the whole gang of “Neocon?- warmongers in the White House and their collaborators in Dowing Street in prison soon, it’s important to note,  that what three years before was blamed as “conspiracy theory”, is now an undisputed fact.  And in a smiliar way, the contradictions and inconsitencies of the official version of 9/11 are allready obvious to almost everybody ? so it will be only a question of time, when  the truth of the New Pearl Harbour will be  revealed.

Mathias Broeckers



Propaganda: America’s psychological warriors

The Seattle Times
Sunday, February 19, 2006 – Page updated at 12:00 AM

Guest columnist
Propaganda: America’s psychological warriors

By Floyd J. McKay
Special to The Times
(…) Propaganda on a massive, organized scale dates to World War I, and the lessons learned in the often-crude application of WWI propaganda are ingrained in the spin doctors of the electronic world.

At its root, propaganda plays on emotions, often defying reason and facts in order to reach into the psyche of the audience. Propaganda is a mind game ? the skillful propagandist plays with your deepest emotions, exploiting your greatest fears and prejudices.

Propaganda researchers Anthony Pratkanis and Elliot Aronson define modern propaganda as "mass ‘suggestion’ or ‘influence’ through the manipulation of symbols and the psychology of the individual. Propaganda involves the dexterous use of images, slogans and symbols that play on our prejudices and emotions; it is the communication of a point of view with the ultimate goal of having the recipient of the appeal come to ‘voluntarily’ accept this position as if it were his or her own."

Fear is the best weapon of the propagandist. Fear of another 9/11 attack is stated or embedded into nearly every message produced by the White House. Labeling is another weapon of choice for the propagandist. In World War I, Germans were Huns, Krauts and Boche. World War II produced Japs and Nips, and Vietnam brought us Gooks. Today’s label, "terrorist," is seldom missing from White House speeches.

(…) Successful propaganda uses elementary tools such as labeling and fear-mongering and repeats a simple message over and over, until it is drilled into the heads of the audience. Once embedded, it often remains long after evidence has discredited it ? witness the fact that millions of Americans still believe that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction, that Saddam Hussein and al-Qaida were connected, and an Iraqi was among the 9/11 terrorists.

(…) Psychologists Pratkanis and Aronson suggest four stratagem of successful propaganda: 1) pre-persuasion, establishing a climate in which the message will be believed; 2) source credibility, a likable or authoritative communicator; 3) a message focused on simple, achievable goals; and 4) arousing emotions and providing a targeted response.