9/11: The New Pearl Harbor? pt 2
The 1990's - 2001
Beginning as early as 1992, US intelligence organizations were repeatedly warned by Egyptian intelligence officials of the terrorist activities conducted at the al-Salaam and al-Farooq mosques. Warnings regarding the Blind Sheikh's plans of new attacks in Egypt were also given. On November 12, 1992, a bus load of Western tourists in Egypt was the target of machine gun fire delivered by the hands of a militant group led by the Sheikh. Three months later, FBI agents traveled to Cairo to discuss concerns with Egyptian officials where they were warned about certain terrorist cells, connected to Abdul-Rahman, operating out of the United States. Two weeks later the World Trade Center was bombed and Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak claimed that it could have been prevented if Egypt's warnings had been heeded by the U.S.
In the days following 9/11, aviation and security officials repeatedly expressed shock that terrorists had hijacked airliners, crashing them into such important landmark buildings. In her testimony before a House subcommittee on September 20, 2001, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, gave voice to her own confusion. Jane F. Garvey claimed that the events had brought the administration a “whole new world,” though records give evidence otherwise.
Two jetliners were hijacked by people who planned to crash them into buildings in 1994. One of them was Air France Flight 8969, hijacked on Christmas Eve by the Armed Islamic Group (GIA) at Algiers. Three passengers were killed. Later it was discovered that the group had intended to detonate two bombs brought on board, as they crashed into the Eiffel Tower. Had that scenario played out as planned, hundreds of people would have been killed with many more seriously injured.
Bin Ladin was named in the 1999 and 2000 edition report on Criminal Acts Against Aviation
Osama Bin Ladin was specifically named in the 1999 edition of the F.A.A.'s annual report on Criminal Acts Against Aviation. The report held that in August of 1998, an unidentified exiled Islamic leader residing in Britain had proclaimed that bin Laden would “bring down an airliner, or hijack an airliner to humiliate the United States.”
The 2000 edition of the report also contained a statement about Osama bin Laden. It said that although he was not “known to have attacked civil aviation, he has both the motivation and the wherewithal to do so.” Closing statements on the topic warned that “Bin Laden's anti-Western and anti-American attitudes make him a significant threat to civil aviation, particularly to US civil aviation.”
Though there is no single moment or event which can be attributed to causing the US to assign the title of Public Enemy #1 to Osama Bin Laden, counter-terror experts had begun their focus on him sometime in the mid-1990's. Following the invasion of Kuwait by the madman dictator, Saddam Hussein, Osama offered to rally freedom fighters to protect the Saudi kingdom against a potential threat. The Saudi royal family declined Bin Laden's offer, choosing instead to be defended by the United States.
Americans have been led to believe that Bin Laden became a menace to Americans and their way of life out of the humiliation over the royal family's refusal to enlist his aid in favor of the United States. To Bin Laden's way of thinking, the corrupt princes were desecrating holy ground through their partnership with infidels. As a result, he dedicated himself to demolishing America with the intent of complete annihilation. In 1996, he publicly told every Muslim that it was their duty to kill Americans. At that time the fatwa was limited to soldiers, but had expanded to include all Americans in 1998.
Royal Saudi family shelled out millions in "protection" money to extremist groups
As early as 1994, the National Security Agency was collecting electronic interceptions of conversations between the Saudi royal family members, headed by King Fahd. What is clear from the intercepts is that the regime was becoming increasingly corrupt and so weakened that it was reduced to shelling out millions of dollars in protection money to extremist groups wishing to overthrow it. By 1996, Saudi money was supporting Bin Laden's activities through al-Qaeda as well as providing funds to other extremist groups in Yemen, Afghanistan, Lebanon, and the Persian Gulf region.
The 1994 defection of Mohammed al-Khilewi, the first secretary at the Saudi Mission to the United Nations, brought still more evidence of the Saudi's involvement with terrorist groups. After seeking political asylum in the United States, al-Khilewi informed the US government that he had in his possession some 14,000 internal documents giving credence to the royal family's corruption, human rights abuses, and the monetary support of terrorist organizations. He claimed that contained in these documents was verification of the Saudi's financial and technical support of Hamas. The two FBI agents and an Assistant US Attorney refused to accept the documents. Nothing more was ever heard from the US government.
In the aftermath of the attacks on New York and Washington, the Saudi royal family insisted they had made no contributions to radical Islamic groups, despite evidence showing otherwise. President Bush chose not to confront Saudi leadership over its support of terror organizations, or the ensuing refusal on their part to help with the investigation into the identities of those involved in the incidents. Bush intentionally shielded the Saudi's from American anger by lying to the American citizenry by claiming, “As far as the Saudi Arabians go, they've been nothing but cooperative,” at a news conference on September 24, 2001.
During 1997 and 1998, the CIA worked with the Egyptians to uncover bin Laden's men hiding in Albania. Though they met with some success, another bin Laden cell orchestrated a carefully coordinated attack. Truck bombs exploding within minutes of each other, blew up the U.S. Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. More than 220 were killed and 4,600 injured.
22 yr. CIA veteran resigned, claiming White House refused to act on multiple opportunities to capture Bin Laden
Michael Scheuer, a 22 year veteran of the CIA, resigned his position after realizing he was unable to be a good citizen while employed by the US intelligence agency. According to him, he was in charge of running operations against al-Qaeda from Washington, between January 1996 and June 1999. During this time, he claims multiple opportunities for capturing or attacking bin Laden were provided through intelligence gathered by his office. He also vehemently claims that senior White House officials continually refused to act, saying the intelligence was never “good enough.”
No one must stake a belief on Scheuer's word alone. The 9/11 Commission report documents almost every occasion on which the US had the chance to attack bin Laden throughout 1998 and 1999. The report also documents the fact that these chances of capture were let go because of worries regarding possible outcomes: the CIA might be accused of assassination if bin Laden was killed in an effort to capture him, shrapnel might hit a mosque or other civilian institute and offend Muslim opinion, and my personal favorite, that a United Arab Emirates prince secretly meeting with bin Laden might be killed. These were just some of the reasons for allowing American citizens to remain in jeopardy in favor of protecting Muslim opinion or the life of an Arab prince socializing with the intended target.
Officials claim that CIA operatives in Afghanistan reported the whereabouts of bin Laden on at least three different occasions between 1998 and 2000. With each incoming report, President Clinton gave approval for a military strike. Every time, CIA Director George Tenet called the president to talk him out of it, saying that the information was not reliable enough to be used for an attack.
Robert S. Mueller
Mueller falsely claimed to have no prior knowledge of hijackers receiving flight training in US
Three days after the attacks of 9/11, newly appointed FBI Director Robert S. Mueller discussed the reports that several of the hijackers had received flight training in the U.S. He claimed a lack of prior knowledge on the part of the FBI, stating that had they known, they would have taken measures to avert the hijackings. Another senior official admitted that law enforcement officials actually were aware that several of those linked to bin Laden had attended US flight schools, but they were unaware that the students were planning suicide hijacking attacks.
Really? Events during the 1980's and early 1990's have shown that extremist Muslim groups had already employed airliner hijackings in their arsenal when warring against “infidels”. Why would officials from the FBI, CIA, and the NSA feel the need to have an outright admission of intention before taking action to protect American citizens from possible terrorist generated harm? This question is irrelevant given the documented activities of the intelligence agencies prior to 9/11. The FBI was clearly aware of the intentions of such students.
In 1993, the Pentagon commissioned an expert panel which predicted the use of airplanes to be used as missiles to bomb national landmarks. The idea was not published in its “Terror-2000” report due to pressure exerted by the Department of Defense to leave it out. An Arizona branch of the FBI videotaped two men attempting to recruit a Phoenix FBI informant to be a suicide bomber in 1994. The two men were linked to the terrorist leader known as the Blind Sheikh.
From 1996 until right up to the 9/11 attacks of 2001, Federal authorities knew much more about terrorists with ties to bin Laden receiving flight training than they have been verbally willing to admit. During the trial of bin Laden associates accused of the 1998 Kenya and Tanzania embassy bombings, documents containing several references to flight schools were submitted as evidence. A government witness, Essam al-Ridi, testified that he had taken classes, and even taught at an aviation school in Fort Worth. He also said he had purchased a used Saber-40 aircraft on bin Laden's behalf in the mid-1990's. When the trial ended on May 29, 2001, four men were convicted in the conspiracy.
Plot to bomb 12 American airliners was uncovered in 1995
A plot to bomb 12 American airliners was uncovered by Philippine police on January 6, 1995 when they responded to a house fire. The first phase of the plan was to plant all 12 bombs at the same time, but to set timers to detonate at lengthy intervals over a period of several months. Detonations were expected to cause planes traveling to Honolulu, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and New York to explode over the Pacific Ocean, killing upwards of 4,000 people and interrupting air travel for months. The date scheduled to activate the plan was for two weeks later, beginning on January 21, 1996. Abdul Hakim Murad, who shared the burning apartment with Ramzi Yousef, was arrested when he returned to the apartment in an attempt to retrieve incriminating evidence. Yousef is wanted for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, being attributed with planning it.
It was through interrogation of Murad that two other terrorist plots became known to Philippine investigators. One was to kill the Pope on his impending visit the following week, while the other was as yet, not completely mapped out. Murad had planned to board a commercial plane as an ordinary passenger, gain control of the cockpit, and hijack it in order to crash dive it into the CIA headquarters.
It wasn't until February that full information regarding a “second wave” was revealed. Murad told of a plan to hijack commercial airliners some time after the effects of the first wave (named Bojinka plot) had died down. Murad, himself had been training in the United States in order to fulfill a role as pilot. He named the buildings targeted for the attack as the CIA headquarters, the Pentagon, an unidentified nuclear power plant, the Transamerica Tower in San Francisco, the Sears Tower, and the World Trade Center.
Presenting American citizens with more than a hint of what may really be the driving force toward war in the Middle East, former National Security Advisor Zbigniew Brzezinski wrote a book titled The Grand Chessboard: American Primacy and its Geostrategic Imperatives. Published in 1997, the book reveals Brzezinski's belief that Eurasia is the key to world power, and Central Asia is the key to domination of Eurasia, due to its immense oil and gas reserves. He comments that due to popular resistance to US military expansionism, the enterprising strategy can not be utilized “except in the circumstance of a truly massive and widely perceived direct external threat.” Like that of the 9/11 attacks?
1998 warning of terrorist plans to fly an explosive laden plane into the WTC was ignored
Two individual episodes of gathered intelligence weren't taken seriously enough for the FBI to pursue in 1998. Since the 9/11 attacks, it has been disclosed that another agency warned the FBI that a Middle Eastern country was looking to purchase commercial flight simulators. A second red flag was raised when a memo from an Oklahoma City FBI agent reported the observation of large numbers of Middle Eastern flight students and pilots in the Oklahoma City area. Both incidents were accepted, then dismissed without further research or efforts to discover the meanings behind the actions.
Another warning came in August 1998 when the US intelligence community was told that Arab terrorists planned to fly a plane laden with explosives into the World Trade Center. As with other warnings, the FBI and the FAA didn't take the threat seriously. From 1998 through the summer of 2001, the US received reports of al-Qaeda's interest in attacking Washington and New York by way of airplanes. The number of repeated threats became so great that by December 1998, George J. Tenet, the Director of Central Intelligence, issued a “declaration of war” on al-Qaeda. Unfortunately, no real efforts were made to back up his words.
One month after the report warning of al-Qaeda's intent toward the World Trade Center, another arrived warning that bin Laden's newest plan could involve flying an explosive laden airplane into an American airport and then detonating it. Several weeks later, yet another report stated that both Washington and New York were targets of attacks using aircraft. In the Spring of 1999, the CIA received information that bin Laden was looking to attack a government building in Washington. A US intelligence report in September 1999 stated that bin Laden and al-Qaeda terrorists could crash an aircraft into the Pentagon, CIA headquarters, or the White House.
During the summer of 2000, a secret military operation codenamed Able Danger identified four of the future 9/11 hijackers as a potential threat due to their membership to al-Qaeda. One of those identified was none other than Mohamed Atta, the terrorist considered to be the ringleader of the 9/11 hijackers. In addition to identifying the terrorists, knowledge of the American based terror cell was also indicated. Two officers operating within the auspices of Able Danger claim that the Pentagon ordered them to withhold the information from the FBI. When the final report of the 9/11 Commission was released, there was no mention of Able Danger and its contributions to intelligence. The commission's chief spokesperson initially claimed that there had never been any mention of Atta, but only days later, after being provided with detailed information, he agreed that the officer who briefed staff members had indeed, mentioned Atta.
2000 PNAC report endorsed military actions and policies that would require a new "Pearl Harbor"
The Project for the New American Century (PNAC) published a report called Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces, and Resources for a New Century in September of 2000. The report endorses a transformation of the US military, which would make it more suitable for supporting ambitions of an active, internationalist US foreign policy. The authors of the report admit: “the process of transformation, even if it brings revolutionary change, is likely to be a long one, absent some catastrophic and catalyzing event – like a new Pearl Harbor”.
Two of the reports signatories were Paul Wolfowitz who later became the number two in power at the Pentagon, and Lewis “Scooter” Libby, who became chief of staff to Vice President Cheney in 2001. Libby was later convicted of four separate counts relating to felonious activities in connection with the leaking of Valerie Plame's covert identity as a CIA operative involved with Middle East concerns.
During the two years preceding the attacks, the North American Aerospace Defense Command conducted exercises engineered to simulate hijacked airliners used as weapons against American landmark targets that would net mass casualties if commenced. One of the “pretend” targets was the World Trade Center and another was the Pentagon. Later, Condoleeza Rice claimed that no White House officials anticipated that hijacked planes would be used as weapons.
An Arizona flight school contacted the FAA about a student whom was believed to lack the necessary language and flying skills to have received the commercial pilot's license already held. An FAA inspector sat next to the student, Hani Hanjour, during one of the classes, checked records for authenticity, and concluded no other action was necessary. Hanjour is believed to be the hijacker piloting the plane that smashed into the Pentagon on September 11.
President George W. Bush took over the Oval Office in January 2001. Within days, US intelligence agencies were told to “back off” investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals. At the time, the FBI was tracking activities of bin Laden family members other than Osama. Two of his brothers, Abdullah and Omar lived not far from WAMY (the World Assembly of Muslim Youth). A few blocks down the road was where four of the hijackers who attacked New York and Washington are said to have lived.
In the spring of 2001, Pakistan expelled WAMY operatives on the grounds that they were funding an organization linked to terrorists. The Philippines military accused WAMY of funding Muslim insurgency. And though the FBI had tried to take a hard look at the supposed charity, they were pulled off the trail for some unknown reason. It was an organization that as far back as 1996 had been of grave concern to the FBI.
Also during the spring, military and government documents seeking to legitimize the use of military force in the pursuit of oil and gas were released. The US military examined the battle scenarios destined to become the operational plans for the Afghanistan war. An article written by Lieutenant-Colonel P. H. Liotta advocated the use of military force “for more than simply protecting a nation and its people from traditional threat-based challenges”. Colonel Liotta believed that defense also meant protecting the American lifestyle and all the activities associated with “daily life”.
The noticeable shift in military focus turned to obtaining and securing oil and gas energies for the US. Military publications argued that when it came to energy, specifically oil and gas, “where US business goes, US national interests follow”. They pointed to the energy wealth of Central Asia, drawing parallels to its importance to America's security.
Two key policy groups also explicitly recommended a convergence of military and energy issues. Their joint report – Strategic Energy Policy Challenges for the 21st Century – approved of military collusion to secure energy supplies. At the same time, Tommy Franks, commander of US forces responsible for the Persian Gulf/South Asia area, claimed his key mission was “access to energy sources”.
A new program introduced by the US, “Visa Express”, which allows any Saudi Arabian to obtain a visa through a travel agent rather than being required to appear in person at a consulate was put into effect in May 2001. Five of the 9/11 hijackers received their visas through such a channel.
Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak
Just weeks prior to 9/11 Taliban Foreign Minister warned of bin Laden plan to lauch a massive deadly attack
The early summer months brought many more warnings of imminent attack from various intelligence agencies both domestic and foreign. President Mubarak sent word that Egyptian intelligence had learned of a bin Laden plot to kill President Bush as well as 8 others attending an upcoming summit meeting in Genoa. Terrorists planned to used a plane filled with explosives. June produced a written intelligence summary advising national security adviser Condoleezza Rice that “it is highly likely that a significant al-Qaeda attack is in the near future, within several weeks. CIA Director George Tenet was frenzied in his concern.
July sees a memorandum from a Phoenix FBI agent warning about Middle Eastern men taking flight lessons, and his suspicion bin Laden's men are the culprits. He recommends a national program to check visas of suspicious flight school students. Though the memo was sent to two FBI counter-terrorism offices, no action was taken. However, Attorney General Ashcroft stops flying commercial airlines due to the threat assessment.
Several weeks before the 9/11 attacks, yet another warning was ignored. This warning was probably the one most likely to have helped to prevent the devastating acts committed. Taliban Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil was extremely unhappy with the foreign militants polluting Afghanistan, including Arabs. He believed the continued protection of Osama bin Laden and other al-Qaeda members would lead to the US military destroying the country.
The minister learned of a huge attack to be carried out on American soil by bin Laden. The attacks were said to be close at hand and reputed to be so deadly the United States would certainly strike back in avenging fury. Mr. Muttawakil ordered an aide to alert both the US and the UN. Though the messenger seemed frantic, asking that a new Desert Storm (called Mountain Storm) be enacted, neither US official nor those of the UN took him seriously enough to pass the information on to higher officials or act in any way.
A total of ten foreign intelligence agencies had uncovered information regarding coming attacks on the US. All had seen it as their responsibility to pass the information to the intelligence organizations and officials of the US. All had been either ignored altogether, or completely mishandled.
World Trade Center Attack
5 weeks before attacks, Bush was warned bin Laden was planning to hijack commercial airliners
Five weeks before the attacks, President Bush was warned by US intelligence that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The intelligence briefing was titled “Bin Laden Determined To Strike in US” and specifically mentioned the World Trade Center.
Three weeks before the attacks, John O'Neill, a top counter-terrorism expert quit the FBI due to the repeated obstructions to his al-Qaeda investigations. At the same time, the Minnesota FBI was becoming frustrated by the failure of FBI headquarters to respond regarding the detainment of Zacharias Moussaoui, whom they suspected as a terrorist and a potential hijacker. They began working with the CIA who sent alerts calling him a “suspect 747 airline suicide hijacker”. When FBI headquarters learned of the collaboration, the Minnesota FBI was chastised for notifying the CIA. One of the Minnesota supervisors defended the action explaining that he was trying to make sure that Moussaoui didn't “take control of a plane and fly it into the World Trade Center.”
Continuing right up until the day before the attacks, US intelligence agencies received information which clearly outlined a serious intention to place America under attack. On September 10, 2001, the National Security Agency intercepted two communications. One signaled that “the big match” was arranged for the next day, while the second one actually referred to September 11 as “zero hour.” Was it really that big of a leap to assume that the many received threats of domestic terrorist violence against targets in New York and Washington were possibly going to be acted on the following day?
A Personal Word:
I didn't begin with the intention of writing about 9/11. I was doing research for something else which eventually raised some questions about the attacks. The more I read, the more drawn in I became. I remember the day of the attack, as well as my tears, and then my worry that my Marine daughter would be taken from me on some God foresaken piece of baked earth far from home.
In the aftermath of the attacks, I remember the reactions of all those around me as each piece of "news" was relayed over the networks. As the weeks, months, and then years wore on, confusion began to mount. In the days following the attack, emotions were high. Americans didn't question the inconsistencies in the stories and excuses being fed to us. We wanted retribution! I wanted to personally drag Hussein out of his palace and beat him with my bare hands.
But as the war dragged on, and bin Laden remained at large, accusations of advance warnings were leaking into the public forum. Some of these "rumors" seemed so outrageous we Americans could not wrap our minds around them. We passed them off as coming from those who had no sense of patriotism. That angered us, too!
I remember becoming alarmed about the loss of freedoms Americans began to embrace in the interest of Homeland Security. I was increasingly uncomfortable with the term "New World Order" that my president seemed to have spilling from his mouth at every turn. I began to wonder what was really going on. The continued use of the term by my new president fed the suspicions I had tried unsuccessfully to rationalize away. There isn't just one small cover up to hide a few insignificant snafus. There are many cover ups, all designed with one huge goal!
I've never been a conspiracy theorist, but how can I justify ignoring what's been printed in black and white on official government documents? How can we as a country, continue to accept the corruption and greed which has led us into the dark economic days we are presently living? Their strategies are working. We are becoming so desperate that we clutch at any idea we are presented with in the hopes that it will take us to a different place, free from the pain and worries we deal with everyday.
We must remember that thousands of lives were sacrificed in order to orchestrate the New Pearl Harbor. Small American businesses were sacrificed as well as hundreds of thousands of jobs. I always wondered how our leaders could truly believe that taking jobs out of the country to places like India and Pakistan could possibly be a plus for the American people. The answer is it's not. However, it is very good for a government which wants to establish power in that area of the globe. The more American interests are placed in such areas, the greater the financial power and control over the peoples and governments.
I challenge any and all who read this to come up with valid reasons for all the seeming "mistakes" and refusals to take actions. Decide for yourself.
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- 9/11: The New Pearl Harbor?
This year marks 10 years since terror proved it had grown roots in American soil. Much has been written and rewritten about the events of 9/11, as well as some of the blunders in handling a growing concern with terrorism. The author gives a chronolog