Monday, December 22, 2008

Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

This is a very good article overall...., but it misses the most important and SECRET element of all, which is the fact that it is "the Power behind the Power in the USA", that have orchestrated this appearance of the all powerful Jewish/Israeli Lobby in Washington DC, USA, and are gladly and wittingly hiding behind this facade which gives great cover for the Power behind the power to pull all the strings....unbeknownst to the public and the World at large.

The Jews of AMERICA, whom European Jews do not even consider them as "really Jewish", have accepted to be subservient....and continue the expected, NO, the demanded subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power.....and that fact is unknown to most in the world's Governments....even for people who are supposed to be "in the Know"....

From America’s “Jewish Triangle” to Iraqi’s “Sunni Triangle”

Government Job Notice: No Gentiles Need Apply...

“The Modern Age is the Jewish Age, and the twentieth century, in particular, is the Jewish Century.” Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

–Yuri Slezkine, Professor of History at University of California, Berkeley, “The Jewish Century”; Princeton University Press (Russian Jewish immigrant to the U.S.)

No, America, there is no Zionist Conspiracy running our nation; just well funded organized Zionist Coincidences....Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

From Truman, to the Bush1, to Clinton, to BUSH 2 , to Obama, to…..

In a Nov. 10, 1945 meeting with American diplomats brought in from their posts in the Middle East to urge Truman not to heed Zionist urgings to recognize Israel, Truman bluntly explained his motivation:

"I'm sorry, gentlemen, but I have to answer to hundreds of thousands who are anxious for the success of Zionism: I do not have hundreds of thousands of Arabs among my constituents”

–Harry Truman, 33rd President

"Clinton drew applause for his own commitment to Israel when he stated that should the Iraqis ever cross over the Israeli border for aggression, "I would personally get in a ditch, grab a rifle, and fight and die."

–President Bill Clinton, speaking at a Toronto Jewish Fund Raiser, July 30, 2002 ( (BUT he avoided fighting for America)

Sixty years after Truman’s recognition of Israel, the 44th President Elect of the United States, Barack Obama, in true allegiance to the Flag of Israel, continues the expected, no, the demanded subservience and pandering to America’s Zionists.

Four Examples of Obama’s Allegiance to Israel at the expense of our national interest in the Middle East. This man of “hope” is nevertheless “hopelessly” devoted to Israel....Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

1. “Obama Asks Shimon Peres (President of Israel): What can I do for Israel?”

–Haaretz, November 17, 2008

2. Obama’s Letter to President Bush on Israel, June 25, 2008

"A fundamental principle of America's Middle East policy must be our unshakeable commitment to Israel's security. I believe that is a bipartisan commitment and I will work to continue and advance that consensus. …The Arab states should support the Palestinians and prepare their own people for peace by making gestures of normalization toward Israel.”

(OBAMA is uninformed: The Arab League did offer just such a Peace Plan to Israel three times, 1981, 2002, 2007); but Israel rejected it each time.

3. Obama’s conference call with 900 U.S. Jewish Rabbis: September 18, 2008 (

“The senator spoke of his recent trip to Israel, and reaffirmed personal commitment to Israel's security, calling it sacrosanct: “I think that it's also important to recognize that throughout my career in the State Legislature and now in the US Senate I have been a stalwart friend of Israel. On every single issue related to Israel's security, I have been unwavering, and will continue to be unwavering…."My belief is that Israel's security is sacrosanct and we have to ensure that as the soul democracy in the Middle East, one of our greatest allies in the world, one that shares a special relationship with us and shares our values, we have to make sure that they have the support whether its financial or military to sustain their security and the hostile environment."

As with all American politicians, Obama made the requisite pilgrimage to Israel to pay homage to the great democracy living in a constant existential threat from its impotent, incompetent, weak, illiterate, unproductive, and failed Arab neighbors, as well as his more important pledge of allegiance to AIPAC where political careers are made or destroyed. The path to the White House or Congress goes through AIPAC....

4. Obama’s Speech to AIPAC, March 2, 2007

“And I can tell you that as a candidate for the president of the United States and as a president of the United States, I vow to work as diligently and as consistently and as determinedly as possible with AIPAC and with the Great State of Israel to bring that vision about.” Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

–Obama’s Speech at AIPAC, March 2, 2007: Read full text to see the full fledged love fest replete with the lies, myths, and clichés provided by AIPAC to all political cowards and hypocrites seeking office.

Mr. Obama, you’re simply the last in a long line of American politicians who’ve never taken notice of Israel’s true contempt of the only “friend” it has in the entire world. Without our recognition, support and hundreds of billions of tax dollars of aid (Israel is the world’s 16th richest nation), there would be no Israel. Beware of Israel’s rabid bite of the hand that feeds it.

“Our American friends offer us money, arms, and advice. We take the money, we take the arms, and we decline the advice. “ –Moshe Dayan, America’s hero of the 1967 Preemptive attack on Arab nations...

When, in all our history, has anyone with ideas so bizarre, so archaic, so self-confounding, so remote from the basic American consensus, ever got so far?

—Richard Hofstadter

Israel and its Jewish supporters around the world navigate the paradox oxymoronic paradigm between their boastful pride of Jewish “tribal” power that wields enormous political, economic, and military might around the world—the power to invade, massacre, occupy foreign lands at will with total impunity and immunity from world action; a power to silence and intimidate world governments, none more so than the “wag the tail superpower”, America; and between milking the image of eternal victimhood, weakness, and s constant existential threat by a hate filled hostile world; a world genetically born and inbred with “Anti-Semitism”.

While in reality Israel is the military occupier and slum lord of Palestine, Southern Lebanon’s Shebaa farms, and Syria’s Golan Heights. It possesses between 200 – 300 nuclear weapons while Arabs/Iran have none. It has the second most powerful air force in the world (after the U.S.). It is the fourth largest exporter of military weapons and possesses the world’s latest spy technology including access to all U.S. Spy intelligence....Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

It has the might to destroy the entire world should it come under a doomsday attack.

’’Prime Minister Golda Meir also told me, on-the-record during the course of an interview I did with her for the BBC’s Panorama programme, that in a doomsday situation Israel would be prepared to take the region and the whole world down with it. (Her full quote with its context is as set down on page xii of Waiting for the Apocalypse, the Prologue to Volume One of Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews).

–Alan Hart, ICH, June 8, 2008. Mr. Hart was a BBC correspondent, an author, his latest: “Zionism: The Real Enemy of the Jews”, Vol. 1 and 2, and a researcher.

BUT, it is also the little victim that maybe extinguished by its “bad neighbors”.

“Looking at Zionism without taboos means seeing the hard reality of the domination and oppression it has created. Out of the original sins of the world against the Jews grew the original sins of Zionism against the Palestinians.”

–Benjamin Beit-Hallahmi, “Original Sins”; An Israeli Scholar at Haifa University (Israel) and author of:

“The Israeli Connection: Who Israel Arms and Why”...Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

“The war’s seventh day, which began on June 12, 1967 (Six Day War) , and has continued to this day, is the product of our choice. We enthusiastically chose to become a colonial society, ignoring international treaties, expropriating lands, transferring settlers from Israel to the occupied territories, engaging in theft and finding justifications for all these activities. Passionately desiring to keep the occupied territories we developed two judicial systems: One—-progressive, liberal—in Israel; and the Other—cruel, injurious—-in the occupied territories. In effect, we established an APARTHEID regime in the occupied territories immediately after their capture. That oppressive regime exists to this day.”

–Michael Ben-Yar, Israeli Attorney General in Yitzhak Rabin’s government in mid 1990’s.

(Quoted in “Herzl’s Nightmare, One Land, Two Peoples” by Peter Rodgers, former Australian Ambassador to Israel, pg. 32 – 33))

“What struck me most about the biblical narrative was that the divine promise of land was integrally linked with the mandate to exterminate the indigenous peoples, and I had to wrestle with my perception that those traditions were inherently oppressive and morally reprehensible….It was some shock to realize that the narrative presents “ethnic cleansing” as not only legitimate, but as required by the deity….By modern standards of international law and human rights, what these biblical narratives mandate are “war crimes” and “crimes against humanity…Was there a way of reading the traditions which could rescue the Bible from being a blunt instrument of oppression, and acquit God of the charge of being the Great Ethnic-Cleanser?

–Dr. Michael Prior, C.M., “Confronting the Bible’s Ethnic Cleansing In Palestine”; The Link, December 2000 (Americans for Middle East Understanding.

Dr. Prior is Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Surrey, England, and visiting professor in Bethlehem University, Palestine. He is a biblical scholar and author of “Zionism and the State of Israel: A Moral Inquiry” and “The Bible and Colonialism: A Moral Critique.”

World Jewry constitutes 0.0019% of the world’s population and less then two percent of the U.S. population. But despite their very small numbers they are without a doubt the richest, most educated, successful, organized, ambitious and motivated tribe in the world. Their intelligence, brilliance, and high education have given the world its most creative thinkers, inventors, artists, physicians, writers, and Noble Prize winners. The world owes a great deal to world Jewry for the enormous contributions they’ve made to this world. They’ve been in the forefront of civil rights, liberal causes, and justice.

No one should begrudge the extraordinary success and accomplishments of Jewish Americans. They worked hard and deserve the respect and admiration of all Americans.

BUT, and here’s the really big rub—organized Jewry has translated their enormous “Jewish Power” of wealth, political activism, media, Hollywood, and industry dominance to ensure that our government is willfully complicity in supporting Israel’s persecution of the Palestinians, refugees on their own land (living on only 18% of their original Palestine) while Israel defies all divine and human laws against its barbaric treatment and occupation of millions of Palestinians.

It is this “Jewish Power/Israel Lobby” that the entire world must have the courage to publicly and forcefully condemn and do all things necessary, sooner rather than later, to end its power and put Israel in its place. Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

Only when the western governments are free from the albatross of the Israel Lobby will Palestine, the Middle East and the Muslim world be free to cohabit this world in peace and good relations with the West.

Ending Israel’s political and military terrorism will end Muslim terrorism.

In Middle East politics:

Israel manipulates America—America manipulates Arab Dictators—therefore Israel manipulates Arab Dictators.

For almost twenty months Israel, with the full knowledge and support of our U.S. government, has besieged the lives and land of Gaza. Today Gaza is slowly dying without food, water, medicines, fuel, electricity and oxygen for its premature infants and sick elderly. Surgeons don’t have the lights, medicines, or equipment to remove the bullets and shrapnel's from Palestinian children courtesy of the American taxpayer and Israeli soldiers. Poverty, mass unemployment, malnutrition, and disease are rampant in Gaza but thanks to decades of a Jewish dominated U.S. media that has dehumanized Palestinians, their lives are not newsworthy, easily ignored and deletable from western consciousness. The only useful purpose Palestinian children serve is as target practice for the training of new Israeli soldiers.

The useless, incompetent, and inept Arab League lip synchs again to help the Palestinians while in reality their cry is —-with our souls, our blood, we sacrifice ourselves to thee O America.

Why are the Palestinians dying and suffering for decades amidst world silence?

Answer: Jewish Power and the Israel Lobby:

Which includes the Armageddon pushing Christian Fundamentalists; an oxymoronic group of the followers of the prince of peace who seek a world holocaust against Non-Christians; but as long as they support Israel, organized U.S. Jewry will accept them as partners....Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

“His name is Yusuf Samir, and he is a reporter for the Israeli Arabic service. He tells us…."The Palestinians are animals," he says. "They are less than human. They are savage beasts. Israel is a land of love. People in Israel love one another. But the Palestinians do not love. They hate. They should be destroyed. We should put fire to them. We should take back Beit Jala, Bethlehem, take back all the land and get rid of them."

Children have been shot in other conflicts I have covered—death squads gunned them down in El Salvador and Guatemala, mothers with infants were lined up and massacred….Serb snipers put children in their sights and watched them crumple onto the pavement in Sarajevo—but I have never before watched soldiers entice children like mice into a trap and murder them for sport.

It was in Gaza, where I lived for weeks at a time during the seven years I spent in the Middle East, that I came to know the dark side of the Israeli Defense Force”.

–Chris Hedges (former New York Times Middle East Bureau Chief), “A Gaza Diary”; Harper’s Magazine; October 2001

In East Jerusalem, Israel continues the Judaization of the Holy City to three faiths. As part of that official policy the Israeli police in an early morning raid on November 9 forcibly evicted Fawzia al-Kurd, 57, and her partially paralyzed wheel chair bound husband from their home of 52 years. They couldn’t collect any possession and Fawzia’s was still wearing her pajamas upon their eviction. Fawzia was forced to move into a tent while her very ill husband is living with relatives. Not satisfied with just evicting and confiscating their home, the Israeli soldiers chased Fawzia to her make shift tent and destroyed that too. Fawzia is cold, hungry, homeless and separated from her very ill husband. Why? According to Israel she set up the tent “without permission.” This is the democracy we as Americans are paying and dying for in absolute ignorance and silence.

Only Israel of all nations can literally get away with murder. As long as our government is held in the palms of the Israel Lobby; such murder is committed with regularity and impunity.

“New opinions often appear first as jokes and fancies, then as blasphemies and treason, then as questions open to discussion, and finally as established truths.”

George Bernard Shaw

Thankfully, several prominent Jews have formed a new lobby, J Street, to oppose the influence of the Israel Lobby and its stranglehold on US foreign policy that emphasizes force over diplomacy. J Street supports a peaceful negotiated settlement of the Israeli Palestinian conflict and the formation of two independent states although it avoids delineating the borders of such states; for example, by supporting the 1967 borders.

The Iraq War: The “Jewish/Israel Lobby” Triangle....Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

No greater example of the power of the “The Israel Lobby” and the mainly Jewish cabal in the Bush administration than this nation being forced into an illegal, immoral, and destructive war, the Iraq War, that has bankrupted this nation and shed the blood of our youth while killing over a million Iraqi’s. To this date and in our alleged democracy no one, not one single person, has been held accountable for this deliberately manufactured war and genocide against the innocent Iraqi’s; not for the lies, not for shredding our Constitutional system of government and guaranteed civil liberties, not for the trillions of wasted dollars, not for the rivers of blood, not for the torture, rape, murder, and crimes against humanity committed by the war criminals in Washington D.C. All will or have left office to better financial careers and future book and movie deals.

America has forgotten Abeer Qasim Hamza, a 14 year old Iraqi girl, gang raped by five U.S. soldiers then shot in the head along with her parents and her five year old sister, Hadeel. Abeer’s crime was that she was an Iraqi girl and a Muslim, thus fodder for the “liberators” for freedom. She is dispensable trash as no doubt thousands of other Iraqi girls and women both in and out of prison.

American and Israeli soldiers can kill in cold blood and gang rape at will in their respective occupied territories and know they won’t face prosecution as they simply were carrying their actions in self defense and according to terms of “engagement”, which obviously includes rape.

Would our government, media, Hollywood, think tanks, business leaders have reacted differently if this was a Jewish girl gang raped in Syria or Iran? Would there be hysterical cries for blood and wiping out the two nations?

When Daniel Pearl, Jewish journalist for the Wall Street Journal, was killed in Pakistan, the western media was in rage mode for weeks. Hollywood further enshrined this incident with a movie, “A Mighty Heart” that received endless press. However, most shockingly and as far as I know for the first time, our federal government provided free propaganda for this movie.

The Department of State, the nation’s premier diplomatic agency, had its tax funded website serve as a commercial billboard for this movie about a “Jewish” journalist. It posted a three-part video discussion on Daniel Pearl’s murder and the capture of his killers on its home page under the title "The Daniel Pearl Murder: A First Person Account."

In an article in the Israeli newspaper Haaretz, “White Man’s Burden”, (May 4, 2003), Ari Shavit wrote:

“The war in Iraq was conceived by 25 neoconservative intellectuals, most of them Jewish, who are pushing President Bush to change the course of history. ..Is the Iraq war the great neoconservative war? It's the war the neoconservatives wanted, Friedman (Thomas Friedman of the New York Times) says. It's the war the neoconservatives marketed… Oh boy, did they sell it. So this is not a war that the masses demanded. This is a war of an elite. I could give you the names of 25 people (all of whom are at this moment within a five-block radius of this office) who, if you had exiled them to a desert island a year and a half ago, the Iraq war would not have happened.”

An overwhelming majority of political, economic, military experts in the U.S. and around the world have documented in print and interviews that the Pro Israel mainly Jewish Neocons pushed for this war.

“With Iraq no threat, why invade a sovereign country? The answer: President Bush's policy to secure Israel….You don't come to town and announce your Israel policy is to invade Iraq”.

–Former Senator Ernest Hollings May 6, 2004 Charleston Post and Courier

“The lack of public discussion about the role of Israel in the thinking of "President Bush" is easier to understand, but weird nevertheless. It is the proverbial elephant in the room: Everybody sees it, no one mentions it. The reason is obvious and admirable: Neither supporters nor opponents of a war against Iraq wish to evoke the classic anti-Semitic image of the king's Jewish advisers whispering poison into his ear and betraying the country to foreign interests.”

–Michael Kinsley (Jewish journalist), “What Bush Isn't Saying About Iraq. President Bush won't discuss two big reasons he wants to invade Iraq”; Slate, October 24, 2002

“They are the so-called neo-cons, or neo-conservatives. A compact group, almost all of whose members are Jewish. They hold the key positions in the Bush administration, as well as in the think-tanks that play an important role in formulating American policy and the op-ed pages of the influential newspapers….Seemingly; all this is good for Israel. America controls the world, we control America. Never before have Jews exerted such an immense influence on the center of world power”.

–Uri Avnery, “The Night After”, Counterpunch, April 10, 2003 (Mr. Avnery is a former Israeli soldier and Knesset Member)

"Jews hold stunningly powerful positions and clout in the United States. The combination of the American state's power and the Jewish power in the areas of legislation, administration, media, law, business, culture, and entertainment have made the Jews a defining factor of contemporary America. Because Israel is inseparable from the identity of American Jews, Israel is inseparable from the American experience." Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

–Avraham Burg, in his book: “The Holocaust Is Over; We Must Rise From its Ashes”, (Oct. 2008) Served as Speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, and Chair of the Jewish Agency and World Zionist Organization. Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

“How has the Zionist will been imposed on the American people?… It is the Jewish connection, the tribal solidarity among themselves and the amazing pull on non-Jews, that has molded this unprecedented power … The Jewish connection covers all areas and reaches every level. Most Americans may not even sense this gigantic effort, but there is scarcely a Jew who is not touched by its tentacles…The extent and depth to which organized Jewry reached – and reaches – in the U.S. is indeed awesome … The most effective component of the Jewish connection is probably that of media control …Jewish wealth and acumen wields unprecedented power in the area of finance and investment banking, playing an important role in influencing U.S. policy toward the Middle East … In the larger metropolitan areas, the Jewish-Zionist connection thoroughly pervades affluent financial, commercial, social, entertainment, and art circles.” Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

–Alfred Lilienthal, The Zionist Connection (New York: Dodd, Mead, 1978), pp. 206, 209, 212, 218, 228, 229.

"We killed them out of a certain naive hubris. Believing with absolute certitude that now, with the White House, the Senate, and much of the American media in our hands, the lives of others do not count as much as our own…"

–Ari Shavit, May 27, 1996 New York Times, (expressing sorrow and anger at Israel’s deliberate massacre of over 100 Lebanese civilians under U.N. protection in Qana, Lebanon; April 1996)

“Since the 1960s, Jews have come to wield considerable influence in American economic, cultural, intellectual and political life. Jews played a central role in American finance during the 1980s, and they were among the chief beneficiaries of that decade’s corporate mergers and reorganizations. Today, though barely two percent of the nation’s population is Jewish, close to half its billionaires are Jews. The chief executive officers of the three major television networks and the four largest film studios are Jews, as are the owners of the nation’s largest newspaper chain and the most influential single newspaper, the New York Times… The role and influence of Jews in American politics is equally marked.... Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

—Benjamin Ginsberg, The Fatal Embrace: Jews and the State (Univ. of Chicago, 1993), pp. 1, 103.

“The President of the United States, on issue after issue, has reflected the thinking of neoconservatives." Jewish subservience and pandering to America’s power behind the power....

- Richard Perle

This is NOT a discourse or criticism of Judaism or of Jews in general but of an elite of Jewish Americans who dominate the Tripartite triangle of power in this country, what is termed “Jewish Power”; centered in the triangle of Washington D.C. (Government); New York City (Financial/Banking Institutions), and Hollywood/Media.

Thus the power of the Jewish Triangle arising from their dominance in Government, the Financial/Banking Sector, and Hollywood/Media, forced this nation into a war of choice for the sake of "the power behind the power in USA", aiming to dominate and militarize the Energy Security of USA/Israel, Oil fields, Oil transportation routes, pipelines etc, .... this is the brain child of the power behind the power in USA, which have created PNAC lock stock and barrel for this purpose.

Dual Loyalties, to PNAC CIA2/MOSSAD and "Subservience to the power behind ALL powers in USA"

Many readers have written me to express concern about my safety and/or reputation since I have spoken out frankly on the horrible Likud policies of stealing Palestinian lands and brutalizing them with occupation. I'm not a babe in the woods, and I know very well that saying these things is taboo in American political culture. In fact, whenever anyone comes on a cable television news show and is anything but hostile to the Palestinians, he or she is made by the interviewer to denounce terrorism. It is an outrageous implication, and not the job of a news interviewer. But pro-Israeli speakers are never made to denounce land theft or state terror.

I received a very weird phone call from a prominent Jewish-American investigative journalist the other night. He kept muttering about bias against Sharon and how the Israeli security wall is no different from the wall near the Rio Grande (which isn't true: did the US annex Mexican land to build that?) He kept hinting around that he thought I must have some link to some hate group, or to the Ford Foundation, which he coded as linked to "hate groups," which in turn seemed to signify for him Palestinians. It was all very conspiracy theorist oriented. I tried to have a straightforward conversation with him, but it was probably a mistake, since it seems fairly obvious he intends to do some sort of hatchet job. I finally had to end it when his paraphrases of what I said became more and more outrageous and inaccurate.

Another journalist named Eli Lake has now begun coming after me, as many readers predicted, using innuendo to suggest that I am to the right of Pat Buchanan and that it is irresponsible of American media outlets to have me on television and radio. One of his charges is that I am accusing the Neoconservatives in the Pentagon of
Dual Loyalties, to PNAC CIA2/MOSSAD and "Subservience to the power behind ALL powers in USA"

That is true, but not in the way Lake imagines. I believe that Doug Feith, for instance, has dual loyalties to the Israeli Likud Party and to the U.S. Republican Party. He thinks that their interests are completely congruent. And I also think that if he has to choose, he will put the interests of the Likud above the interests of the Republican Party.

I don't think there is anything a priori wrong with Feith being so devoted to the Likud Party. That is his prerogative. But as an American, I don't want a person with those sentiments to serve as the number 3 man in the Pentagon. I frankly don't trust him to put America first.

Political dual loyalties have nothing to do with any particular ethnicity. It is natural for Armenian Americans to have a special tie to Armenia, for Greek Americans to have a special tie to Greece, for Iraqi Americans to feel strongly about Iraq. For them to take pride in the achievements of their homeland is right an natural, and unexceptionable. There is no reason on the face of it to even bring up their ethnicity with regard to public service.

But if a Syrian American is a strong devotee of the Baath Party, would you appoint him Undersecretary of Defense?

The Likud Coalition in Israel does contest elections. But it isn't morally superior in most respects to the Syrian Baath. The Likud brutally occupies 3 million Palestinians (who don't get to vote for their occupier) and is aggressively taking over their land. That is, it treats at least 3 million people no better than and possibly worse than the Syrian Baath treats its 17 million. The Likud invaded Lebanon in 1982 and killed 18,000 or so people, 15,000 of them innocent civilians. This is, contrary to what Bernard Lewis keeps implying, just about equivalent morally to the Syrian Baath's crushing of the Islamists in Hama the same year, which killed an estimated 20,000. Many in the Likud coalition are committed to "transfer," or the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians. At the least they want to keep Palestinians stateless and without basic human rights and dignity. The vast majority of Palestinians has never committed an act of violence, but Likud propaganda justifies their expropriation on the innuendo that they are all terrorists. Likud aggression is invisible in American media, and the way in which it provokes violence is off limits for discussion.

So I don't see a big difference between having a fanatical Syrian American Baathist as the number three man in the Pentagon and having a fanatical Jewish American Likudnik.

Lake wants to suggest that I am a racist, and that the implication of my argument is that there should be an ethnic litmus test for public office. There is no point in replying to such slurs. Anyone who tries to defend himself from charges of being a racist just looks silly. I simply think that we deserve to have American public servants who are centrally committed to the interests of the United States, rather than to the interests of a foreign political party. So my position implies a political litmus test for high public office. And, of course there is such a litmus test. Why bother to have Congress confirm or reject appointees otherwise?

Of course, Lake's salvo is only the first of what will be a campaign to vilify me and misrepresent my views, and to ensure as far as possible that I am silenced. So, why do I do it?

It is September 11. It is obvious to me that what September 11 really represented was a dragooning of the United States into internal Middle East political conflicts. Israel's aggressive policies in the West Bank and Gaza have poisoned the political atmosphere in the Middle East (and increasingly in the Muslim world) for the United States. It is ridiculous to suggest that radical Islamists don't care about the Palestine issue.

Now, if it were a matter of Israel's simple existence causing trouble for the U.S., then I would say, "Too bad! We stand with our friends, and won't allow you to harm Israel." But if it is Israeli expansionism and aggression that is causing trouble for the United States, then my response would be to put pressure on Israel to get used to its 1949 borders, which are its only legal ones.

Unless the Israeli Palestinian issue is resolved, there will be more September 11s on US soil. So they should resolve it already. And, it is resolvable. If there were a Palestinian state with leaders who would certify that they are happy with Israel, then 99% of Muslims would accept that.

It can't be resolved as long as the Likud Party has an aggressive colonialist agenda. It cannot be resolved as long as the United States government is afraid to say "boo" to Ariel Sharon. The taboo erected against saying what I have been saying is a way of ensuring that the Likud gets its way without American interference, even if it means America suffers from the fall-out of Likud aggression.

In addition, what the Likud government is doing is ethically wrong. It has put hundreds of thousands of colonists into the West Bank, stealing land, water and resources from the Palestinians there. It has made the Palestinians' lives miserable with a dense network of checkpoints, highways, and other barriers to ordinary commerce and movement. And what possible claim could the Likud have on the West Bank of the Jordan? The original Zionist colonizers put almost no settlers there. It was not the part of Palestine that the United Nations awarded Israel in the partition plan. The United Nations Charter, to which Israel is a signatory, forbids the acquisition of territory by warfare, so the mere fact that the West Bank was conquered in 1967 gives Israel no rights in it.

Sharon and other Likudniks keep demanding that the Arabs "recognize" Israel's "birthright" to the Holy Land. This language is bizarre. First of all, "peoples" don't have "birthrights" to "land." There are no peoples in the 19th century racist sense, and there is no link between Land und Volk the way the Likud imagines. Israel should be recognized because its people deserve to live like everyone else, not because of any superstitious and frankly racist "birthright." (Population geneticists have shown that the entire human population becomes related over 50 generations, so Isaac and the other Patriarchs are by now the common ancestors of us all. If the birthright is genetic, then it is in everyone by now. If it is based on halakhah or Jewish law, well that didn't exist in Isaac's time. Abraham probably wasn't even really a monotheist in the contemporary sense of the term.)

You can't break down taboos unless you challenge them. Of course, there is the danger that if you challenge them, you will be attacked, and destroyed politically or marginalized. Perhaps it is even likely.

But our country is in dire danger from the conflicts in the Middle East. If I had been a younger man (I am 51) I would have gone to fight al-Qaeda in Afghanistan. The very least I can do is to speak out about the dangers, and urge solutions of the problems generating the terrorism. What good is freedom of speech if we don't use it?
Syrian President Bashar Assad has told European foreign ministers and senior diplomats this month that he would not lift a finger to restrain Hezbollah's arming in Lebanon. "I am not Israel's bodyguard," he reportedly said.

The future of Syria's relations with Iran and Hezbollah is one of the main subjects Israel has raised in its indirect negotiations with Syria. Assad's remarks show no willingness for a concession to Israel on this issue, let alone an overall change of policy.

Israel claims that Iran is smuggling rockets and other weapons to Hezbollah through Syria, and that the Syrian army is even arming the organization. Both front-running candidates for prime minister, Tzipi Livni and Benjamin Netanyahu, say Syria must show a willingness to act against the smuggling.

An Israeli government source cited reports in recent weeks from three European officials who met with Assad. On the one hand, the officials said their impression was that the Syrian president was serious about negotiations, but that Assad's positions remained uncompromising.

The source said Assad told the Europeans that Syria was willing to take significant steps in talks with Israel only after an Israeli declaration that it would withdraw from the entire Golan Heights.

Assad also transmitted the message that despite continuing indirect talks through Turkey, between himself and Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, he sees no possibility of progress before the Israeli elections in February.

Olmert will be leaving Monday for a dinner meeting with his Turkish counterpart, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to discuss extensive Covert operational details with.... ?


Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)

Central Intelligence Agency (CIA2) i.e. ROGUE assassins ; a participant, planner and executioner, along with MOSSAD.....MI6/ISI , and others...

Profile: Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
Related Entities:
Employer of John Maguire
Employer of Luis
Employer of Bill Murray
Employer of Les
Employer of Clark Shannon
Parent organization of Office of the Inspector General (CIA)
Employer of CIA officer known as “James”
Parent organization of CIA Islamabad Station
Parent organization of CIA Kuala Lumpur station
Parent organization of CIA National Resources Division
Parent organization of CIA Technology Management Office
Parent organization of National Clandestine Service
Parent organization of Directorate of Operations
Employer of John Radsan
Front of Brewster Jennings & Associates
Employer of Richard Barlow
Parent organization of Office of Scientific and Weapons Research (CIA)
Employer of David Einsel
Employer of Gary Berntsen
Employer of Stanley Bedington
Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) was a participant or observer in the following events:
Page 6 of 12 (1169 events)previous 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12 next

March-April 2001: Taliban Envoy Comes to US and Meets with High-Ranking Officials about Handing over Bin Laden

Rahmatullah Hashimi. [Source: PBS]Taliban envoy Rahmatullah Hashimi meets with reporters, middle-ranking State Department bureaucrats, and private Afghanistan experts in Washington. He carries a gift carpet and a letter from Afghan leader Mullah Omar for President Bush. He discusses turning bin Laden over, but the US wants to be handed bin Laden and the Taliban want to turn him over to some third country. A CIA official later says, “We never heard what they were trying to say. We had no common language. Ours was, ‘Give up bin Laden.’ They were saying, ‘Do something to help us give him up.’… I have no doubts they wanted to get rid of him. He was a pain in the neck.” Others claim the Taliban were never sincere. About 20 more meetings on giving up bin Laden take place up until 9/11, all fruitless. [Washington Post, 10/29/2001] Allegedly, Hashimi also proposes that the Taliban would hold bin Laden in one location long enough for the US to locate and kill him. However, this offer is refused. This report, however, comes from Laila Helms, daughter of former CIA director Richard Helms. While it’s interesting that this information came out before 9/11, one must be skeptical, since Helms’ job was public relations for the Taliban. [Village Voice, 6/6/2001] Hashimi will mention to a reporter in June 2001 that he was in the US for a total of six weeks. [United Press International, 6/14/2001] According to one article at the time, Hashimi meets with “several senior officials from the State Department, CIA and National Security Council but also from the non-governmental organization Council on Foreign Relations.” Secretary of State Colin Powell is reportedly irate at the meetings because he had not been informed that high level officials would be meeting with Hashimi in the US. He blames CIA Director George Tenet “having laid on a red carpet for [Mullah] Omar’s adviser.” [Intelligence Newsletter, 4/19/2001] Hashimi reportedly directly meets with Tenet. [Irish Times, 11/19/2001]
Entity Tags: Taliban, US Department of State, Osama bin Laden, National Security Council, Rahmatullah Hashimi, Laila Helms, Colin Powell, Central Intelligence Agency, Council on Foreign Relations, Mullah Omar, George W. Bush, George J. Tenet
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

March 2001 and After: Hijackers Continue to Associate with Al-Qaeda-Linked Imam

Dar al Hijrah mosque. [Source: Public domain]After living together in Phoenix since December 2000, hijackers Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi move to Falls Church, Virginia. [Washington Post, 9/10/2002; 9/11 Commission, 1/26/2004] They live only a few blocks from where two nephews of bin Laden with ties to terrorism go to work (see February-September 11, 1996 and June 1, 2004). They continue to live there off and on until around August. They begin attending the Dar al Hijrah mosque. [Washington Post, 9/10/2002] When they and Khalid Almihdhar lived in San Diego in early 2000, they attended a mosque there led by the imam Anwar Al Aulaqi. This imam moved to Falls Church in January 2001, and now the hijackers attend his sermons at the Dar al Hijrah mosque. Some later suspect that Aulaqi is part of the 9/11 plot because of their similar moves, and other reasons: The FBI says Al Aulaqi had closed door meetings with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in 2000 while all three of them were living in San Diego. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 ] Police later find the phone number of Al Aulaqi’s mosque when they search “would-be twentieth hijacker” Ramzi bin al-Shibh’s apartment in Germany. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 ] The FBI was investigating Al Aulaqi for ties to Islamic militant groups in early 2000 (see June 1999-March 2000). A neighbor of Al Aulaqi later claims that, in the first week of August 2001, Al Aulaqi knocked on his door and told him he is leaving for Kuwait: “He came over before he left and told me that something very big was going to happen, and that he had to be out of the country when it happened.” [Newsweek, 7/28/2003] US officials will allow Al Aulaqi to leave the US twice in 2002, but by 2008 they will conclude that he is linked to al-Qaeda attacks (see Early September 2006-December 2007 and February 27, 2008).
Entity Tags: Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar, Germany, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Anwar Al Aulaqi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Central Intelligence Agency, Osama bin Laden
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Early March 2001: Bush Administration Not Ready to Give CIA Expanded Authority to Assassinate Bin Laden

Mary McCarthy. [Source: Associated Press]CIA Director George Tenet will claim in his 2007 book that he attempts to get new covert action authorities to fight bin Laden at this time. He says he wants to move from a defensive to offensive posture, but needs policy backing at a higher level to do it. He meets with Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and gives him a list of expanded authorities the CIA is seeking to go after bin Laden. The authorities would permit the CIA or its partners to kill bin Laden without trying to capture him first. Tenet claims that he tells Hadley, “I’m giving you this draft now, but first, you guys need to figure out what your policy is.” The next day, Mary McCarthy, a CIA officer serving as National Security Council (NSC) senior director, calls Tenet’s chief of staff and asks the CIA to take the draft back. She says something to the effect, “If you formally transmit these to the NSC, the clock will be ticking (to take action), and we don’t want the clock to tick just now.” Tenet withdraws the draft. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 143-144] A deputy cabinet level meeting in July 2001 discusses the idea, but no action results (see July 13, 2001). The authorities will be granted a few days after 9/11. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 154]
Entity Tags: Mary McCarthy, Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet, Stephen J. Hadley, Osama bin Laden
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

March 26, 2001: CIA Benefits from Major Software Improvements

The Washington Post reports on major improvements of the CIA’s intelligence gathering capability “in recent years.” A new program called Oasis uses “automated speech recognition” technology to turn audio feeds into formatted, searchable text. It can distinguish one voice from another and differentiates “speaker 1” from “speaker 2” in transcripts. Software called Fluent performs “cross lingual” searches, translates difficult languages like Chinese and Japanese (apparently such software is much better than similar publicly available software), and even automatically assesses the contextual importance. Other new software can turn a suspect’s “life story into a three-dimensional diagram of linked phone calls, bank deposits and plane trips,” while still other software can efficiently and quickly process vast amounts of video, audio, and written data. [Washington Post, 3/26/2001] However, the government will later report that a number of messages about the 9/11 attacks, such as one stating “tomorrow is the zero hour,” are not translated until after 9/11 because analysts were “too swamped.” [ABC News, 6/7/2002]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Oasis, Fluent
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late March-Early April 2001: CIA Warns Al-Qaeda Leader Zubaida Planning an Attack

The CIA issues repeated warnings that al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida may be planning an attack for the near future. One report cites a source indicating an attack on Israel, Saudi Arabia, or India. At this time, the CIA believes Zubaida was a major figure in the Millennium plots (see May 30, 2001). Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke relays these reports to National Security Adviser Rice. She is also briefed on Zubaida’s activities and the CIA’s efforts to locate him. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 255; US District Court of Eastern Virginia, 5/4/2006, pp. 1 ]
Entity Tags: Richard A. Clarke, Central Intelligence Agency, Condoleezza Rice, Abu Zubaida
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

April 2001: Courier Working for Bin Laden and CIA Flees Afghanistan, Warns Al-Qaeda Planning to Hijack Airplane in US

Peter Jouvenal. [Source: Dominc Medley]British cameraman Peter Jouvenal is reporting on Afghanistan at this time and using a young Afghan known only as “Ahmed” to run errands. Ahmed also has a job running errands for Osama bin Laden at the same time. Jouvenal will later recount that Ahmed was helping bin Laden by “meeting people in Pakistan and taking them across the border, taking messages around for Osama, buying his food, taking messages to the Internet and logging on and receiving, printing, sending.” Ahmed buys bin Laden’s meals most every day. But Jouvenal says that “somewhere on the line Ahmed tied up with the CIA” and decided that working for bin Laden was too dangerous. Ahmed asks Jouvenal for help to get a visa for himself and his family to defect to the US, which Ahmed eventually gets. He also tells Jouvenal that al-Qaeda is planning to hijack an airplane in the US in an attempt to get Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman released from prison. [Bergen, 2006, pp. 287-289] There are some similarities between Ahmed’s case and the case of “Max” who leaves Afghanistan around the same time and warns of a hijacking, but there are differences as well (see March-April 2001). It is not known if they are the same person. Regardless, Ahmed’s case contradicts CIA assertions that they never had any asserts close to bin Laden. It is not known why the CIA did not use Ahmed to track bin Laden’s location or poison his food. One month later the White House will be warned of the hijacking plot, but it is unknown if this came from Ahmed or other sources (see May 23, 2001).
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Ahmed (Afghan courier), Osama bin Laden, Peter Jouvenal, Omar Abdul-Rahman
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

April 2001: Informer Shares Some Information on Moussaoui with CIA

A CIA informer who is aware of Zacarias Moussaoui’s connection to terrorism and met him in Azerbaijan in 1997 (see 1997) shares some information on him with the CIA. However, the informer is not aware of Moussaoui’s real name and knows him under an alias, “Abu Khalid al-Francia.” An intelligence official will indicate in 2002 that the source reports on Moussaoui under this name. However, CIA director George Tenet, writing in 2007, will say that the informer only reports on Moussaoui as “al Francia.” One of Moussaoui’s known aliases in 2001 is Abu Khalid al-Sahrawi, similar to the name the source knows him under, but when Moussaoui is arrested in the US (see August 16, 2001) the CIA apparently does not realize that Abu Khalid al-Francia is Moussaoui. [MSNBC, 12/11/2001; Associated Press, 6/4/2002; Tenet, 2007, pp. 201]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Zacarias Moussaoui
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

April 2001: Cole Investigator Again Asks for Malaysia Information, CIA Again Reveals Nothing

Ali Soufan in Afghanistan after 9/11. [Source: FBI]Ali Soufan, a lead investigator into the bombing of the USS Cole, again requests information from the CIA about leads turned up by the investigation. He made a similar request in late 2000, but got no reply (see Late November 2000). After learning that some of the bombers made calls between one of their houses in Yemen, the Washington Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand, where some of them stayed, and a payphone in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (see (January 5-8, 2000) and Early December 2000), Soufan sends an official teletype with the request for information and also a photo of al-Qaeda manager Khallad bin Attash. The CIA is well aware that there was an al-Qaeda summit at an apartment near the payphone in Kuala Lumpur (see January 5-8, 2000), and in fact considered it so important that CIA Director George Tenet and other CIA leaders were repeatedly briefed about it (see January 6-9, 2000). [New York Times, 4/11/2004; Wright, 2006, pp. 330-331; New Yorker, 7/10/2006 ] The CIA even has photos from the Malaysia summit of al-Quso standing next to hijacker Khalid Almihdhar, and other photos of bin Attash standing next to Almihdhar. [Newsweek, 9/20/2001] However, the CIA does not share any of what they know with Soufan, and Soufan continues to remain unaware the Malaysia summit even took place. Author Lawrence Wright will later comment, “If the CIA had responded to Soufan by supplying him with the intelligence he requested, the FBI would have learned of the Malaysia summit and of the connection to Almihdhar and Alhazmi. The bureau would have learned—as the [CIA] already knew—that the al-Qaeda operatives were in America and had been there for more than a year. Because there was a preexisting indictment for bin Laden in New York, and Almihdhar and Alhazmi were his associates, the bureau already had the authority to follow the suspects, wiretap their apartment, intercept their communications, clone their computer, investigate their contacts—all the essential steps that might have prevented 9/11.” [Wright, 2006, pp. 330-331]
Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Lawrence Wright, Ali Soufan, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Between April 2001 and September 2002: CIA Reports On Aluminum Tubes Fail To Mention that Leading Centrifuge Experts Do Not Believe Tubes Were Meant for Iraqi Nuclear Program

Photo of Iraqi aluminum tube, misidentified as a component for a nuclear reactor. [Source: CIA]The CIA writes at least 15 reports (only seven of which have been identified; see, e.g., June 20, 2001, June 30, 2001, September 2004-September 2006, November 24, 2001, December 15, 2001, June 14, 2001, April 10, 2001) about Iraq’s interest in purchasing 7075-T6 aluminum tubes. Several of the assessments are distributed only to high-level policy makers, including President Bush, and are not sent to other intelligence agencies for peer review. According to a Senate Select Committee on Intelligence investigation, all the assessments rely on the same evidence and they all fail to note that the opinions of leading centrifuge experts at the Energy Department conflict with the CIA’s view. [US Congress, 7/7/2004, pp. 59; New York Times, 10/3/2004]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, George W. Bush, US Department of Energy
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

Early April 2001: CIA Meets Northern Alliance Leader in Paris, Receives Warning of Major Al-Qaeda Attack

CIA managers Gary Schroen, of the Near East Division, and Rich B, responsible for Alec Station, the agency’s bin Laden unit, meet Northern Alliance commander Ahmed Shah Massoud in Paris, France. [Coll, 2004, pp. 560] Massoud, who is in Europe to address the European Parliament (see April 6, 2001), tells Schroen and Rich B “that his own intelligence had learned of al-Qaeda’s intention to perform a terrorist act against the United States that would be vastly greater than the bombings of the American embassies in East Africa.” [Wright, 2006, pp. 337] Declassified Defense Intelligence Agency documents from November 2001 will say that Massoud had gained “limited knowledge… regarding the intentions of [al-Qaeda] to perform a terrorist act against the US on a scale larger than the 1998 bombing of the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania.” They will further point out he may have been assassinated two days before 9/11 (see September 9, 2001) because he “began to warn the West.” [PakTribune (Islamabad), 9/13/2003; Agence France-Presse, 9/14/2003] Schroen and Rich B assure Massoud that, although he has been visited less by the CIA recently, they are still interested in working with him, and that they will continue to make regular payments of several hundred thousand dollars each month. Commenting on the military situation in Afghanistan, Massoud says his defenses will hold for now, but that the Northern Alliance is doing badly and no longer has the strength to counterattack. [Coll, 2004, pp. 561-2]
Entity Tags: Rich B., Lawrence Wright, Defense Intelligence Agency, Gary C. Schroen, Alec Station, Ahmed Shah Massoud, Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

April 6, 2001: Rebel Leader Warns Europe and US About Large-Scale Imminent Al-Qaeda Attacks

Ahmed Shah Massoud speaking before European Parliament. [Source: Robert Sanchez/ Black Star]Ahmed Shah Massoud, leader of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan, has been trying to get aid from the US but his people are only allowed to meet with low level US officials. In an attempt to get his message across, he addresses the European Parliament: “If President Bush doesn’t help us, these terrorists will damage the US and Europe very soon.” [Dawn (Karachi), 4/7/2001; Time, 8/4/2002] A classified US intelligence document states, “Massoud’s intelligence staff is aware that the attack against the US will be on a scale larger than the 1998 embassy bombings, which killed over two hundred people and injured thousands (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998).” [Defense Intelligence Agency, 11/21/2001 ] Massoud also meets privately with some CIA officials while in Europe. He tells them that his guerrilla war against the Taliban is faltering and unless the US gives a significant amount of aid, the Taliban will conquer all of Afghanistan. No more aid is forthcoming. [Washington Post, 2/23/2004]
Entity Tags: Northern Alliance, Taliban, George W. Bush, Ahmed Shah Massoud, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

April 9, 2001: Washington Post Columnist Lauds Chalabi, Advocates Regime Change in Iraq

In a column exploring the idea of US-led regime change in Iraq and advocating the support of Iraqi opposition groups to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Washington Post columnist Jim Hoagland calls Iraqi opposition leader Ahmed Chalabi (see 1992-1996) “a dedicated advocate of democracy” in Iraq. (Hoagland lauds Chalabi’s advanced college degrees, his success as a Jordanian banker (see August 2, 1989), and what he calls Chalabi’s exposure of the CIA’s “gross failures” in Iraq (see (1994)). Hoagland decries “15 years of failed US policy toward Saddam,” and writes that Chalabi is a fine choice to lead Iraq in the place of Hussein. “Mr. Chalabi is a dedicated advocate of democracy who does fight against enormous military odds and deep religious and social divisions in the Arab world,” he writes. Lambasting those in the CIA and State Department who are determined to prove that Chalabi is a fraud (see January 1996), Hoagland writes, “A policy review dedicated to trashing him and other exiles is a shameful and self-defeating way to begin anew on Iraq. It is a phony way to argue that nothing can or should be done to oust the predatory psychopath who holds Iraq hostage.” [Washington Post, 4/9/2001; Unger, 2007, pp. 206]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Chalabi, Washington Post, Saddam Hussein, Jim Hoagland
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

April 10, 2001: CIA Report Says Tubes Being Imported by Iraq Likely Meant for Nuclear Program

A classified intelligence report, based primarily on the work of junior CIA analyst Joe T., concludes that the 7075-T6 aluminum tubes sought by Iraq from China (see 2000) “have little use other than for a uranium enrichment program.” But the report also notes that “using aluminum tubes in a centrifuge effort would be inefficient and a step backward from the specialty steel machines Iraq was poised to mass produce at the onset of the Gulf War.” The report is passed on to the White House. [US Congress, 7/7/2004; New York Times, 10/3/2004]
Entity Tags: Bush administration, Central Intelligence Agency, Joe Turner
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

April 30, 2001: Wolfowitz in Deputy Secretary Meeting: Who Cares About [Bin Laden]?

The Bush administration finally has its first Deputy Secretary-level meeting on terrorism. [Time, 8/4/2002] According to counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, he advocates that the Northern Alliance needs to be supported in the war against the Taliban, and the Predator drone flights need to resume over Afghanistan so bin Laden can be targeted. [Clarke, 2004, pp. 231] Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz says the focus on al-Qaeda is wrong. He states, “I just don’t understand why we are beginning by talking about this one man bin Laden,” and “Who cares about a little terrorist in Afghanistan?” Wolfowitz insists the focus should be Iraqi-sponsored terrorism instead. He claims the 1993 attack on the WTC must have been done with help from Iraq, and rejects the CIA’s assertion that there has been no Iraqi-sponsored terrorism against the US since 1993 (see April 30, 2001). (A spokesperson for Wolfowitz later calls Clarke’s account a “fabrication.”) [Clarke, 2004, pp. 30, 231; Newsweek, 3/22/2004] Wolfowitz repeats these sentiments immediately after 9/11 and tries to argue that the US should attack Iraq. Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage agrees with Clarke that al-Qaeda is an important threat. Deputy National Security Adviser Steve Hadley, chairing the meeting, brokers a compromise between Wolfowitz and the others. The group agrees to hold additional meetings focusing on al-Qaeda first (in June and July), but then later look at other terrorism, including any Iraqi terrorism. [Clarke, 2004, pp. 30, 231-32] Vice President Cheney’s Chief of Staff I. Lewis “Scooter” Libby and Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin also attend the hour-long meeting. [Time, 8/4/2002]
Entity Tags: Stephen J. Hadley, Richard Armitage, Richard A. Clarke, Taliban, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Central Intelligence Agency, John E. McLaughlin, Northern Alliance, Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Bush administration
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 2001: CIA Official Connected to Cases of Moussaoui and 9/11 Hijackers Starts Helping FBI

Tom Wilshire, a former deputy chief of Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, is detailed to the FBI to help with its counterterrorism work. Wilshire was involved in the failure to watchlist Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar during the al-Qaeda Malaysia summit (see January 4-6, 2000), and will also be involved in the failed search for them in the summer of 2001 (see May 15, 2001, Late May, 2001, and July 13, 2001), as well as the failure to obtain a search warrant for Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings (see August 24, 2001). He acts as the CIA’s chief intelligence representative to Michael Rolince, head of the Bureau’s International Terrorism Operations Section. His primary role is apparently to help the FBI exploit information for intelligence purposes. [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 282-348 ]
Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Alec Station, Michael Rolince, Tom Wilshire, International Terrorism Operations Section
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

May 2001: Tenet Secretly Visits Pakistan, but ISI Director Refuses to Share Information about Bin Laden

Richard Armitage. [Source: NATO]Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage, a former covert operative and Navy Seal, travels to India on a publicized tour while CIA Director Tenet makes a quiet visit to Pakistan to meet with President Pervez Musharraf. Armitage has long and deep Pakistani intelligence connections (as well as a role in the Iran-Contra affair). While in Pakistan, Tenet, in what was described as “an unusually long meeting,” also secretly meets with his Pakistani counterpart, ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed. [SAPRA (New Delhi), 5/22/2001] According to a senior ISI officer in 2006, Tenet urges Mahmood to trade information on Osama bin Laden. However, Mahmood does not cooperate. [Levy and Scott-Clark, 2007, pp. 309, 520]
Entity Tags: Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Central Intelligence Agency, Richard Armitage, George J. Tenet, Mahmood Ahmed, Pervez Musharraf
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 2001: Report Warns of Al-Qaeda Infiltration from Canada

US intelligence obtains information that al-Qaeda is planning to infiltrate the US from Canada and carry out an operation using high explosives. The report does not say exactly where, when, or how an attack might occur. Two months later, the information is shared with the FBI, the INS, the US Customs Service, and the State Department, and it will be shared with President Bush in August. [US Congress, 9/18/2002; Washington Post, 9/19/2002] This information could come from captured al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Ressam, who warns around this month that al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida has been seeking Canadian passports as part of a plot to attack the US, possibly by planting explosives in several US cities (see May 30, 2001 and May 2001). [Calgary Herald, 4/3/2002]
Entity Tags: US Customs Service, George W. Bush, US Department of State, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Ahmed Ressam, Al-Qaeda, Abu Zubaida, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 2001: CIA Learns Bin Laden Associates Are Heading to US, Preparing for Martyrdom

The Washington Post will later report, “In May 2001, the CIA learned supporters of bin Laden were planning to infiltrate the United States; that seven were on their way to the United States, Canada and Britain; that his key operatives ‘were disappearing while others were preparing for martyrdom,’ and that bin Laden associates ‘were planning attacks in the United States with explosives.’” [US Congress, 9/18/2002; Washington Post, 9/19/2002] This information may be related to a warning given by captured al-Qaeda operative Ahmed Ressam this month that al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida is seeking Canadian passports for himself and five other top militants in order to plant explosives in US cities (see May 30, 2001 and May 2001). [Calgary Herald, 4/3/2002] It is not known if the seven traveling to the US, Canada, and Britain refer to any of the 9/11 hijackers, but 11 of the hijackers travel to the US in May and June (see April 23-June 29, 2001), stopping in Britain along the way (see January-June 2001). Investigators will later say that they are not sure if the aliases Zubaida wanted on the Canadian passports could have been used by some of the 9/11 hijackers. [Calgary Herald, 4/3/2002]
Entity Tags: Abu Zubaida, Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency, Ahmed Ressam
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May-June 2001: Muslim Convert Inadvertently Learns of 9/11 Plot

John Walker Lindh. [Source: Alexandria, Virginia, Sheriff's Department]John Walker Lindh, a young Caucasian man from California who has converted to Islam, travels to Peshawar, Pakistan, in an attempt to fight for Islamic causes. He had been studying the Koran for about six months elsewhere in Pakistan, but otherwise had no particularly special training, qualifications, or connections. Within days, he is accepted into al-Qaeda and sent to the Al Farooq training camp in Afghanistan. Seven other US citizens are already training there (see April-August 2001). He inadvertently learns details of the 9/11 attacks. In June, he is told by an instructor that “bin Laden had sent forth some fifty people to carry out twenty suicide terrorist operations against the United States and Israel.” He learns that the 9/11 plot is to consist of five attacks, not the four that actually occur. The other fifteen operations are to take place later. He is asked if he wants to participate in a suicide mission, but declines. [Mahoney, 2003, pp. 162, 216; Bamford, 2004, pp. 234-36] Author James Bamford comments, “The decision to keep CIA employees at arm’s length from [al-Qaeda] was a serious mistake. At the same moment the CIA was convinced al-Qaeda was impenetrable, a number of American citizens were secretly joining al-Qaeda in Afghanistan—and being welcomed with open arms.” [Bamford, 2004, pp. 161]
Entity Tags: Al Farooq training camp, John Walker Lindh, Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda, James Bamford, Osama bin Laden
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 6-September 6, 2001: Some Hijackers Work Out at Gyms, Some Merely Hang Out

Ziad Jarrah’s computer record at the US1 Fitness gym. [Source: Patrick Durand/ Corbis]The hijackers work out at various gyms, presumably getting in shape for the hijacking. Ziad Jarrah appears to train intensively from May to August, and Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi also take exercising very seriously. [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001; New York Times, 9/23/2001] However, these three are presumably pilots who would need the training the least. For instance, Jarrah’s trainer says, “If he wasn’t one of the pilots, he would have done quite well in thwarting the passengers from attacking.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001] From September 2-6, Flight 77 hijackers Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi show up several times at a Gold’s Gym in Greenbelt, Maryland, signing the register with their real names and paying in cash. According to a Gold’s regional manager, they “seemed not to really know what they were doing” when using the weight machines. [Washington Post, 9/19/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001; Associated Press, 9/21/2001; Newsday, 9/23/2001] Three others—Waleed Alshehri, Wail Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami— “simply clustered around a small circuit of machines, never asking for help and, according to a trainer, never pushing any weights. ‘You know, I don’t actually remember them ever doing anything… They would just stand around and watch people.’” [New York Times, 9/23/2001] Those three also had a one month membership in Florida—whether they ever actually worked out there is unknown. [Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001]
Entity Tags: Satam Al Suqami, Ziad Jarrah, Waleed M. Alshehri, Salem Alhazmi, Wail Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Nawaf Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Central Intelligence Agency, Hani Hanjour, Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Almihdhar
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

May 15, 2001: CIA Hides Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit Information from FBI

Tom Wilshire, a former deputy chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit on attachment to the FBI, sends a request to CIA headquarters for the surveillance photos of the January 2000 al-Qaeda summit in Malaysia (see January 5-8, 2000). Three days later, Wilshire explains the reason for his interest in an e-mail to a CIA analyst: “I’m interested because Khalid Almihdhar’s two companions also were couriers of a sort, who traveled between [the Far East] and Los Angeles at the same time ([H]azmi and [S]alah).” Hazmi refers to hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salah Said is the alias al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash traveled under during the summit. Apparently, Wilshire receives the photos. Toward the end of May, a CIA analyst contacts a specialist working at FBI headquarters about the photographs. The CIA wants the FBI analyst to review the photographs and determine if a person who had carried money to Southeast Asia for bin Attash in January 2000 could be identified. The CIA fails to tell the FBI analyst anything about Almihdhar or Alhazmi. Around the same time, the CIA analyst receives an e-mail mentioning Alhazmi’s travel to the US. These two analysts travel to New York the next month and again the CIA analyst fails to divulge what he knows. [US Congress, 7/24/2003 ; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 283 ]
Entity Tags: Tom Wilshire, Tawfiq bin Attash, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Almihdhar, Central Intelligence Agency, Counterterrorist Center, Nawaf Alhazmi
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

May 15, 2001: CIA Officer Again Accesses Cables about Hijackers’ Travel in Asia and to US, Fails to Alert FBI or Check If They Are Still in US

Tom Wilshire, a former deputy chief of the CIA’s bin Laden unit currently detailed to the FBI, accesses a number of cables about travel by 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in 2000 (see March 5, 2000), but fails to draw the FBI’s attention to this or ask the INS whether they are still in the US. The cables report on Khalid Almihdhar’s travel to Malaysia in January 2000, his US visa, al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit, and Alhazmi’s travel from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, to Bangkok, Thailand, with another person, and then to Los Angeles. Wilshire had previously blocked a notification to the FBI that Almihdhar had a US visa (see January 4-6, 2000). He writes to another CIA analyst about the travel (see May 15, 2001), but does not alert the FBI to the fact Alhazmi came to the US. Neither does he check with the INS to see whether Alhazmi and Almihdhar are in the country. When one of his colleagues finds these cables in late August, she will immediately check with the INS and become alarmed when she is told they are in the US (see August 21-22, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 266-8, 537; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 283 ] The 9/11 Commission will explain his failure to alert the FBI by saying he was focused on a possible terrorist attack in Malaysia: “Despite the US links evident in this traffic, [Wilshire] made no effort to determine whether any of these individuals was in the United States. He did not raise the possibility with his FBI counterpart. He was focused on Malaysia.” [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 268]
Entity Tags: International Terrorism Operations Section, Tom Wilshire, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/11 Commission
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Mid-May 2001: CIA Assigns Officer to Examine Malaysia Summit in Her Free Time

CIA manager Tom Wilshire recommends that an officer be assigned to review information about al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit, to see if there are any connections between it and the attack against the USS Cole. The task is assigned to Margaret Gillespie, an agent on loan from the FBI. Author Lawrence Wright will comment: “… but [Wilshire] did not reveal that some of the participants might be in the United States. More important, he conveyed none of the urgency reflected in [an e-mail he sent his superiors around this time]; he told [Gillespie] that she should examine the material in her free time. She didn’t get around to it until the end of July.” Due to the request’s lack of urgency, it takes Gillespie three months to work out what Wilshire already knows—that some of the 9/11 hijackers have entered the US—at which point she immediately alerts the FBI to their presence (see August 21-22, 2001). [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 297-8 ; New Yorker, 7/10/2006 ]
Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Tom Wilshire, Margaret Gillespie, Lawrence Wright
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Mid-May 2001: CIA Manager Says Photo Identification Is Incorrect, Hinting He Has Greater Knowledge of Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit Figures

Tom Wilshire, a CIA officer detailed to the FBI, discusses three photographs of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit (see January 5-8, 2000) with CIA analyst Clark Shannon. Based on an identification by a source inside al-Qaeda, one of the photos is thought to show al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash, who was involved in the bombing of the USS Cole (see January 4, 2001). However, Wilshire tells Shannon that he does not see bin Attash in any of the photos and that he is “missing something” or “someone saw something that wasn’t there.” Wilshire is correct—the photo actually shows 9/11 hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi not bin Attash, but it is unclear why Wilshire would think this; he has apparently not read the cable stating the source identified the man in the photo as bin Attash, but he is aware that bin Attash has been identified in the photo. The three photos will later be passed to the FBI and shown to investigators working on the bombing of the USS Cole (see Mid-May 2001, Late May, 2001, and June 11, 2001). [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 284-5 ]
Entity Tags: Tawfiq bin Attash, Central Intelligence Agency, Clark Shannon, Tom Wilshire
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Mid-May 2001: CIA Withholds Photo of Al-Qaeda Leader from FBI

Although three surveillance photographs of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit are passed to the FBI at this time (see Late May, 2001 and June 11, 2001), another key photograph the CIA has of the meeting is withheld by CIA officers Clark Shannon and Tom Wilshire. The key photograph shows al-Qaeda logistics manager Khallad bin Attash, who commanded the attack on the USS Cole (see October 12, 2000). Author Lawrence Wright will later comment: “Thanks to [FBI agent Ali] Soufan’s interrogation of [USS Cole bomber Fahad al-Quso], the Cole investigators had an active file on Khallad and were preparing to indict him. Knowledge of that fourth photo would likely have prompted [FBI manager John] O’Neill to demand that the CIA turn over all information relating to Khallad and his associates. By withholding the picture of Khallad attending the meeting with the future hijackers [Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi], the CIA may in effect have allowed the September 11th plot to proceed.” [New Yorker, 7/10/2006 ] The CIA also has video and even more photos of the meeting (see January 5, 2000 and January 5-8, 2000 and Shortly After), but these are not shared either, and it is unclear how aware Wilshire and Shannon are of this additional material.
Entity Tags: Tom Wilshire, Tawfiq bin Attash, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Clark Shannon, Lawrence Wright
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(Late May-Early June): FBI Agent at CIA Searches Only One of Two Databases with Information about 9/11 Hijackers

Margaret Gillespie, an FBI agent detailed to the CIA who has been asked to research the connection between al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit and the bombing of the USS Cole, checks a CIA database and finds some NSA information about 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi and their travel to an al-Qaeda summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that was monitored by the US. The database she uses is Intelink, which only has information the CIA makes available to other intelligence agencies. However, she does not also examine the CIA’s Hercules database. It is unclear why she does not do so and whether, as an FBI agent, she has access to it. If she did access it, she would have a complete picture of the CIA’s knowledge of Almihdhar and Alhazmi and would know Almihdhar had a US visa and Alhazmi had traveled to the US (see January 2-5, 2000 and March 5, 2000). As Gillespie is only working this line of inquiry in her free time, she does not put together the information contained in the Hercules system until late August (see August 21-22, 2001). [Wright, 2006, pp. 340, 425]
Entity Tags: Alec Station, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Margaret Gillespie
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late May, 2001: CIA Officer Passes Three Malaysia Summit Photographs to FBI, but Fails to Mention Some Important Details

Tom Wilshire, a CIA officer on loan to the FBI, obtains three photographs from the surveillance of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit (see January 5-8, 2000), and passes them to Dina Corsi, an agent with the FBI’s bin Laden unit. Corsi learned of the photographs’ existence following a discussion with CIA officer Clark Shannon. Although Wilshire does not have a “substantive conversation” with Corsi about the photos, he does identify hijacker Khalid Almihdhar in one of them, and says Almihdhar traveled from Sana’a, Yemen, to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and then Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, in early January 2000. However, Wilshire omits to mention that Almihdhar has a US visa, his associate hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi has traveled to the US, or another associate, Khallad bin Attash, has been identified in the photos. He also does not say why the photos were taken. Author Lawrence Wright will later say the photos are passed because Wilshire wants to know what the FBI knows. The CIA says it thinks the photos may show Fahad al-Quso, an al-Qaeda operative involved in the USS Cole bombing. Corsi understands that the photos are “not formally passed” to the FBI, but are only for limited use at a forthcoming meeting. Therefore, only limited information about them is provided at the meeting, causing a disagreement (see June 11, 2001). However, Wilshire will later say that Corsi could give the photos to the FBI, but the FBI could not then give them to a foreign government (note: the photos had been provided to a foreign government five months previously, so this restriction is meaningless). [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 286-7, 293-4 ; New Yorker, 7/10/2006 ] Other pictures of the summit are available to the CIA, and there is even video footage (see February 2000 and Mid-May 2001), but these are not shared with the FBI or widely discussed.
Entity Tags: Tom Wilshire, Tawfiq bin Attash, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Dina Corsi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Clark Shannon, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

May 29, 2001: CIA and FBI Possibly Have Meeting about Cole and Malaysia Summit, but Nobody Will Later Remember Anything about It

There is some evidence CIA and FBI representatives meet on this day to compare notes about the investigation into the USS Cole bombing and al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit, but an investigation by the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) will not be able to confirm the meeting takes place, as all the participants say they are unable to recall whether they attended the meeting or not. If the meeting actually occurs, it is probably attended by CIA officer Clark Shannon, FBI agent Dina Corsi, an FBI agent known as “Kathy”, and FBI agent Margaret Gillespie. The topics of discussion may include the state of the Cole investigation and the identification of Khallad bin Attash in photographs of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit. Despite the poor memories of the potential attendees, the OIG will later find an email from Shannon to Gillespie saying that they met on this date, and Kathy will say that Shannon’s name sounds familiar. However, the OIG will conclude, “We were unable to determine with certainty whether a meeting… took place on May 29.” [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 285, 296 ]
Entity Tags: Margaret Gillespie, Tawfiq bin Attash, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Clark Shannon, Dina Corsi, “Kathy”, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Summer 2001: CIA Asks France to Investigate Security of Uranium Mines in France

The CIA contacts France’s intelligence agency, the Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure, with a request that it investigate the security of Niger’s uranium. Niger, a former French colony, has two large uranium mines that are operated by a French Consortium. According to sources interviewed by the Los Angeles Times, the cause for the CIA’s concerns is increased chatter from sympathizers of US-designated terrorist groups. [La Repubblica (Rome), 12/1/2005; Los Angeles Times, 12/11/2005]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

June 2001: Germans Warn of Plan to Use Aircraft as Missiles on US and Israeli Symbols

German intelligence warns the CIA, Britain’s intelligence agency, and Israel’s Mossad that Middle Eastern militants are planning to hijack commercial aircraft to use as weapons to attack “American and Israeli symbols, which stand out.” A later article quotes unnamed German intelligence sources who state the information was coming from Echelon surveillance technology, and that British intelligence had access to the same warnings. However, there were other informational sources, including specific information and hints given to, but not reported by, Western and Near Eastern news media six months before 9/11. [Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (Frankfurt), 9/11/2001; Washington Post, 9/14/2001; Fox News, 5/17/2002]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Mossad), Echelon
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June 2001: US Intelligence Fears Al-Qaeda Will Strike on Fourth of July

The CIA provides senior US policy makers with a classified warning of a potential attack against US interests that is thought to be tied to Fourth of July celebrations in the US. [Sunday Herald (Glasgow), 9/23/2001] The head of counterterrorism at the FBI, Dale Watson, will later recall that he and Cofer Black, the head of counterterrorism at the CIA, expected an attack to occur around the Fourth of July. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 265]
Entity Tags: Cofer Black, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dale Watson, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June 2001: CIA Gets Hints of Imminent, Multiple Al-Qaeda Attacks

CIA Director George Tenet will later write that in June 2001, the CIA learns that Arabs in Afghanistan are said to be anticipating as many as eight celebrations. Additionally, al-Qaeda operatives are being told to await important news within days. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 148-149]
Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

June 2001: CIA Hears Key Al-Qaeda Operatives Are Disappearing, Preparing for Suicide Attack

In June 2001, the CIA learns that key al-Qaeda operatives are disappearing, while others are preparing for martyrdom. [US Congress, 9/18/2002] CIA Director George Tenet will later elaborate in a 2007 book that during the month of June, the CIA learns: Several training camps in Afghanistan are closing, a sign that al-Qaeda is anticipating a retaliatory strike. Bin Laden is leaving Afghanistan in fear of a US strike (this later turns out to be erroneous). Al-Qaeda operatives are leaving Saudi Arabia and returning to Afghanistan, which fits a pattern of movement just before attacks. Ayman al-Zawahiri is warning associates in Yemen to flee in anticipation of a crackdown. Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, one of the masterminds of the USS ‘Cole’ bombing, has disappeared. Other important operatives are disappearing or preparing for martyrdom. A key Afghan training camp commander was reportedly weeping for joy because he believed he could see his trainees in heaven. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 148-149] The CIA also heard in May that operatives are disappearing and preparing for martyrdom (see May 2001).
Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, George J. Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

June 2001: Wolfowitz Asks CIA and DIA to Look into Theory that Iraq Masterminded 1993 Bombing of WTC

Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz asks the CIA to look over the 2000 book, Study of Revenge: Saddam Hussein’s Unfinished War Against America by Laurie Mylroie, which argued that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center (see October 2000). Wolfowitz will mention shortly after 9/11 how he asked the CIA to do this, but it is unknown what their response is. Presumably it is not one Wolfowitz liked. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 559] Wolfowitz also asks Thomas Wilson, director of the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), to have his analysts look at the book. The DIA is unable to find any evidence that support the theory. [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 76] Around late July, the US reopens the files on WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef, presumably in response to these requests (see Late July or Early August 2001). But no evidence will be found to support Mylroie’s theory that Yousef was an Iraqi agent. The 9/11 Commission will conclude in 2004, “We have found no credible evidence to support theories of Iraqi government involvement in the 1993 WTC bombing.” [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 559]
Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Central Intelligence Agency, Thomas Wilson, Paul Wolfowitz, Defense Intelligence Agency, Ramzi Yousef
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, Neoconservative Influence

June 2001: Spain Does Not Heed French Warning to Arrest Future Madrid Train Bomber

In June 2001, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, a French judge who specializes in terrorism cases, concludes that Jamal Zougam, a Moroccan who owns a cell phone store in Madrid, Spain, is a major contact for Islamist militant recruits in Europe and Morocco. He warns the Spanish government that Zougam should be arrested. [New Yorker, 7/26/2004] The French became interested in Zougam because of his links to David Courtailler, a French convert to Islam. The CIA told the French in 1998 that Courtailler and others had just come back from an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan to plan attacks in Europe. The French tracked Courtailler to London (where he was roommates with Zacarias Moussaoui (see 1996-2001 and After August 7, 1998). Then they tracked him to Madrid and Tangier, Morocco, where he met with Zougam and Abdelaziz Benyaich, another Islamist militant. [New York Times, 5/28/2004] The Spanish were already monitoring Zougam in 2000, and had linked him with Barakat Yarkas, leader of an al-Qaeda cell in Madrid, and the radical British imam Abu Qatada (see 2000-Early March 2004). But Zougam is not arrested. In November 2001, the main suspects in Yarkas’s cell will be arrested, but again Zougam will remain free (see November 13, 2001). Bruguiere will have to wait a year before the Spanish police will allow him to question Zougam. Bruguiere will later comment, “In 2001, all the Islamist actors in Madrid were identified.” [New Yorker, 7/26/2004] Zougam will eventually be sentenced to life in prison for a key role in the 2004 Madrid train bombings. [Daily Mail, 11/1/2007]
Entity Tags: Abdelaziz Benyaich, Central Intelligence Agency, David Courtailler, Jean-Louis Bruguiere, Jamal Zougam, Barakat Yarkas, Abu Qatada
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Summer 2001: CIA Allegedly Tells Bush Al-Qaeda Has Been Penetrated

The CIA tells President Bush that co-operation between the CIA and Saudi Arabia’s GID intelligence agency has enabled the US to penetrate al-Qaeda, according to a later account by investigative reporters Joe and Susan Trento. They will write: “The great secret of why the president and his team were complacent about warnings of an impending 9/11 attack in the summer of 2001 is that the CIA had assured the national command authority that the CIA’s cooperative arrangement with Saudi intelligence had resulted in the penetration of al-Qaeda at the highest levels, according to intelligence sources who worked in this area for both the Saudi and US services.” This may be a reference to 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who the Trentos claim are Saudi intelligence agents (see August 6, 2003). [Trento and Trento, 2006, pp. 193-4]
Entity Tags: Joseph Trento, George W. Bush, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, Susan Trento, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Summer-Autumn 2001: State Department Official Allegedly Tips Off Nuclear Smuggling Ring about CIA Front Company

Marc Grossman at an American-Turkish Council meeting in 2005. [Source: Canal+]An unnamed high-ranking State Department official tips off members of a nuclear smuggling ring about a CIA operation to penetrate it, according to FBI translator Sibel Edmonds. Edmonds will later leave the FBI, becoming a whistleblower, and will say she knows this based on telephone conversations she translated. The ring is headed by Pakistani nuclear scientist A. Q. Khan, and includes Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency, as well as Turkish and Israeli representatives. The official is said to tell a member of the ring that a company the ring wants to do business with, Brewster Jennings & Associates, is a CIA front company. Brewster Jennings & Associates is a front for Valerie Plame Wilson, who will later be outed as a CIA officer in 2003, and possibly other operatives. A group of Turkish agents come to the US on the pretext of researching alternative energy sources and are introduced to Brewster Jennings through a lobby group, the American Turkish Council (ATC). The Turks apparently believe Brewster Jennings are energy consultants and plan to hire them. According to Edmonds, the State Department official finds out about this and contacts a foreign target under FBI surveillance, telling him, “[Y]ou need to stay away from Brewster Jennings because they are a cover for the government.” The FBI target then warns several people about Brewster Jennings, including a person at the ATC and an ISI agent, and Plame Wilson is moved to another operation. Comments and Denial - The Sunday Times will comment: “If the ISI was made aware of the CIA front company, then this would almost certainly have damaged the investigation into the activities of Khan. Plame [Wilson]‘s cover would also have been compromised, although Edmonds never heard her name mentioned on the intercepts.” The unnamed State Department official will deny the allegations, calling them “false and malicious.” Former CIA officer Philip Giraldi will comment: “It’s pretty clear Plame [Wilson] was targeting the Turks. If indeed that [State Department] official was working with the Turks to violate US law on nuclear exports, it would have been in his interest to alert them to the fact that this woman’s company was affiliated to the CIA. I don’t know if that’s treason legally but many people would consider it to be.” [Sunday Times (London), 1/27/2008] Official Said to be Marc Grossman - The high-ranking State Department official who is not named in the Sunday Times is said to be Marc Grossman by both Larisa Alexandrovna of Raw Story and Giraldi, writing in the American Conservative. [Raw Story, 1/20/2008; American Conservative, 1/28/2008]
Entity Tags: Sibel Edmonds, Valerie Plame Wilson, Philip Giraldi, US Department of State, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Larisa Alexandrovna, Brewster Jennings & Associates, American-Turkish Council, Marc Grossman, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network

June 11, 2001: FBI and CIA Hold Shouting Match over Information on Al-Qaeda; CIA Still Withholds Information

The FBI and the CIA hold a meeting to discuss the investigation into the USS Cole bombing and a possible connection between it and al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit (see January 5-8, 2000). However, the CIA and FBI headquarters refuse to share all they know, and agents investigating the Cole bombing become angry over this. The meeting, which lasts between two and four hours, is attended by CIA officer Clark Shannon, FBI headquarters agent Dina Corsi, an FBI agent loaned to the CIA named Margaret Gillespie, FBI agent Steve Bongardt, FBI agent Russell Fincher, and assistant US attorney David Kelley. Although there is no agenda for the meeting and Corsi will later say it is a brainstorming session, author Lawrence Wright will say that one of the reasons for the meeting is that CIA officer Tom Wilshire, an associate of Shannon’s, “want[ed] to know… what the FBI knew” about al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit. Initially, Bongardt and Fincher brief Shannon on progress in the Cole investigation. Corsi then shows the two Cole investigators three photographs taken at al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit in 2000 (see January 5-8, 2000), showing 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and another man, and Shannon asks if the agents recognize Fahad al-Quso, who is thought to have attended the Malaysia meeting and has been interviewed by the FBI. However, one of the photos shows Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and a tree, and the CIA has already recognized Almihdhar and Alhazmi, so it is unclear how the Cole investigators are supposed to recognize al-Quso in the photo. Corsi received the photographs from CIA officer Tom Wilshire, but Wilshire did not provide her with all the relevant information about them (see Late May, 2001). Bongardt and Fincher ask who is in the pictures, why were taken, and whether there are other photos of the meeting. Shannon refuses to say, but Corsi eventually admits one of the men is named Khalid Almihdhar. As a name alone is not sufficient to start an investigation, Bongardt asks for a date of birth or other details that will allow him to know which Khalid Almihdhar in the world is being discussed, but Shannon refuses to provide them. Shannon admits that Almihdhar was traveling on a Saudi passport and then leaves the meeting. Author Lawrence Wright will say that providing a date of birth is “standard procedure—the first thing most investigators would do.” Realizing that the photos pertain to the Cole investigation, Bongardt and Fincher become angry at the lack of information being provided and the meeting descends into a “shouting match.” [ABC News, 8/16/2002; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 289-294 ; New Yorker, 7/10/2006 ] Shannon will later admit that at the time he knew Almihdhar had a US visa, that Alhazmi had traveled to the US in 2000, that al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash had been recognized in one of the photos, and that Alhazmi was known to be an experienced operative. However, he does not tell any of this to any FBI agents, as he apparently thinks he does not have the authority. He does not let them keep copies of the photos either and will give conflicting accounts of the meeting after 9/11 (see Between September 12, 2001 and October 17, 2002). [US Congress, 7/24/2003 ; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 289-292 ] Corsi has NSA information saying Almihdhar and Alhazmi attended the Malaysia meeting, but apparently believes that the Cole agents cannot be told more because of restrictions on sharing intelligence with criminal agents (see July 19, 1995). However, one of the Cole agents present is an intelligence agent, so the information can be communicated to him immediately without Corsi obtaining permission from the NSA and/or Justice Department. In addition, the NSA sent the information to the FBI’s New York field office, where the Cole investigators are based, in 1999 (see December 1999-January 2000). Further, when she asks the NSA’s permission to share the information ten weeks later, the NSA approves the request on the same day (see August 27-28, 2001). She does not share the information at this time, but promises Bongardt and Fincher to try to do so later. The Cole agents will not receive more information for months. [US Congress, 9/20/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 269, 537] Two days after this meeting, Almihdhar has no trouble getting a new, multiple reentry US visa (see May 2001 and June 13, 2001). [US News and World Report, 12/12/2001; US Congress, 9/20/2002]
Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Russell Fincher, Nawaf Alhazmi, Tawfiq bin Attash, Margaret Gillespie, Dina Corsi, Steve Bongardt, Clark Shannon, David Kelley, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June 12, 2001: CIA Learns KSM Is Sending Operatives to US to Meet Up with Operatives Already There

A CIA report says that a man named “Khaled” is actively recruiting people to travel to various countries, including the US, to stage attacks. CIA headquarters presume from the details of this report that Khaled is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). On July 11, the individual source for this report is shown a series of photographs and identifies KSM as the person he called “Khaled.” [USA Today, 12/12/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 277, 533] This report also reveals that: Al-Qaeda operatives heading to the US would be “expected to establish contact with colleagues already living there.” KSM himself had traveled to the US frequently, and as recently as May 2001. KSM is a relative of bomber Ramzi Yousef. He appears to be one of bin Laden’s most trusted leaders. He routinely tells others that he can arrange their entry into the US as well. However, the CIA doesn’t find this report credible because they think it is unlikely that he would come to the US (in fact, it appears he had (see Summer 1998)). Nevertheless, they consider it worth pursuing. One agent replies, “If it is KSM, we have both a significant threat and an opportunity to pick him up.” In July, the source clarifies that the last time he can definitely place KSM in the US was in the summer of 1998 (see Summer 1998). The CIA disseminates the report to all other US intelligence agencies, military commanders, and parts of the Treasury and Justice Departments. The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry will later request that the CIA inform them how CIA agents and other agencies reacted to this information, but the CIA does not respond to this. [US Congress, 7/24/2003] It appears that KSM will send at least one and probably two operatives to the US after this time and before 9/11 (see August 4, 2001 and September 10, 2001). On July 23, 2001, the US consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia will give KSM a US visa (he uses an alias but his actual photo appears on his application) (see July 23, 2001). Also, during this summer and as late as September 10, 2001, the NSA will intercept phone calls between KSM and Mohamed Atta, but the NSA will not share this information with any other agencies (see Summer 2001).
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, US Department of Justice, US Department of the Treasury, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June 14, 2001: CIA Report Suggests Tubes Being Imported by Iraq Are Meant For Iraq’s Alleged Nuclear Program

The CIA produces a Senior Publish When Ready (SPWR) report stating that the aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq from China are “controlled items under the Nuclear Suppliers Group and Chinese export laws, are suitable for uranium enrichment gas centrifuge rotors and, while less likely, could be used as rocket bodies for multiple rocket launchers (MLRs).” The CIA does not explain in this assessment why it believes the tubes are more likely to be used for centrifuge rotors than for rocket bodies. [US Congress, 7/7/2004]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

June 20, 2001: CIA Acknowledges Potential Non-Nuclear Uses for Aluminum Tubes

The CIA issues a classified report, titled “Iraq’s Current Nuclear Capabilities,” noting that the aluminum tubes being imported by Iraq from China (see 2000 and Early Summer 2001) could possibly be intended for use in non-nuclear applications. [The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (aka 'Robb-Silberman Commission'), 3/31/2005]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

June 22, 2001: CIA Warns of Imminent Al-Qaeda Suicide Attack

The CIA notifies its station chiefs about intelligence suggesting a possible al-Qaeda suicide attack on a US target over the next few days. CIA Director George Tenet asks that all US ambassadors be briefed on the warning. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 256]
Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

June 23, 2001: White House Warned ‘Bin Laden Attacks May Be Imminent’

A Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (SEIB) with the title “Bin Laden Attacks May Be Imminent” is sent to top White House officials. The details of this brief are not known. It is probable President Bush received this warning since SEIBs are usually rehashes of the previous days’ President Daily Briefing (see January 20-September 10, 2001). Also on this day a CIA cable is distributed with the title, “Possible Threat of Imminent Attack from Sunni Extremists.” The cable warns that there is a high probability of near-term “spectacular” terrorist attacks resulting in numerous casualties. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 256, 534]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, George W. Bush, White House, Osama bin Laden
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

June 25, 2001: Richard Clarke Tells Condoleezza Rice that Pattern of Warnings Indicates an Upcoming Attack

Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke warns National Security Adviser Rice and Assistant National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley that six separate intelligence reports show al-Qaeda personnel warning of a pending attack. These include a warning by al-Qaeda leaders that the next weeks “will witness important surprises” (see June 21, 2001) and a new recruitment video making further threats (see June 19, 2001). The 9/11 Commission will say that “Clarke [argues] that this [is] all too sophisticated to be merely a psychological operation to keep the United States on edge…” It is unclear how Rice and Hadley respond, but the CIA agrees with Clarke’s assessment. [Newsweek, 7/22/2001; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 257]
Entity Tags: Stephen J. Hadley, Condoleezza Rice, Central Intelligence Agency, 9/11 Commission, Al-Qaeda, Richard A. Clarke
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

June 30, 2001: CIA Report Acknowledges Aluminum Tubes Imported by Iraq Could be Intended for Conventional Rockets

The CIA publishes a classified Senior Publish When Ready report which notes that Iraq will likely claim that the aluminum tubes it is importing from China are intended for conventional or civilian use. The report acknowledges that such claims “cannot be discounted,” but adds that the tubes’ specifications “far exceed any known conventional weapons application, including rocket motor casings for 81mm” multiple rocket launchers. [The Commission on the Intelligence Capabilities of the United States Regarding Weapons of Mass Destruction (aka 'Robb-Silberman Commission'), 3/31/2005]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

Mid- and Late 2001: Curveball’s Story Begins to Unravel

Dr. Basil al-Sa’ati. [Source: CBS News]The Iraqi defector known as Curveball (see November 4, 2007), who is providing German and US intelligence analysts with fascinating but fallacious stories of his involvement with what he claims is a secret Iraqi mobile biological weapons laboratory (see November 1999), provides the names of real Iraqis with whom he claims to have worked, further convincing the analysts of his veracity. One name he cites is that of nuclear scientist Dr. Basil al-Sa’ati, whom he claims was one of the mobile bioweapons program’s senior officials. In late 2007, long after Curveball has been proven to be a complete fabricator, a reporter asks al-Sa’ati, “[Curveball] told German intelligence that you personally were fully involved in the project to use [a laboratory site at] Djerf al Nadaf for mobile biological weapons.” Al-Sa’ati’s reply: “Big lie.” Had anything of that nature gone on there, he will say, he would “definitely” have known about it. “It was… really seed purification” and not a bioweapons facility, al-Sa’ati will say. Al-Sa’ati is equally dismissive with the Germans. If Curveball were involved in something so secret, al-Sa’ati asks the Germans, why did Saddam Hussein let him emigrate in 1999? Curveball had not known of al-Sa’ati’s emigration and subsequent availability to Western intelligence agencies, and becomes less cooperative and more reticent. Doubts about Curveball’s veracity began to grow among the Germans. [CBS News, 11/4/2007]
Entity Tags: Basil al-Sa’ati, Central Intelligence Agency, Curveball, Bundesnachrichtendienst
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

July 2001: CIA Learns Impending Attack Widely Known in Afghanistan

The CIA hears an individual who had recently been in Afghanistan say, “Everyone is talking about an impending attack.” [US Congress, 9/18/2002; Washington Post, 9/19/2002] This corresponds with evidence that bin Laden and others were telling many in Afghanistan about the attacks at this time (see Summer 2001).
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 2001: CIA and Jordanian Authorities Confiscate Shipment of Aluminum Tubes Headed for Iraq

Following leads from the Australian Secret Intelligence Service (ASIS) (see 2000), a team of CIA agents and Jordanian secret police confiscate a shipment of 3,000 7075-T6 aluminum tubes in Jordan. The tubes were purchased by a Jordanian front company, AT&C, on behalf of Iraq. [Washington Post, 8/10/2003; Australian Broadcasting Corporation, 10/27/2003] It is later learned that Iraq’s supply of rocket body casing tubes is depleted at about this time (see January 9, 2003) and that “[t]housands of warheads, motors and fins [are]… crated at the assembly lines [in Iraq], awaiting the arrival of tubes.” [Washington Post, 8/10/2003 Sources: Unnamed US intelligence, US administration, and/or UN inspectors]
Entity Tags: Jordan, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

July 2001: CIA Rejects Third FBI Request for Malaysia Summit Information

Ali Soufan, an FBI agent working on the investigation into the USS Cole bombing, submits a third request to the CIA for information about travel by al-Qaeda operatives in Southeast Asia (see Late November 2000 and April 2001). Whereas in previous requests to the CIA he had only asked for information about a possible meeting somewhere in Southeast Asia, he has now developed a much clearer understanding of the relationship between al-Qaeda manager Khallad bin Attash and the Cole conspirators, and correctly suspects some operatives met in Malaysia in January 2000. He asks the CIA about this and about a trip by bin Attash to Bangkok to meet another two members of the Cole bombing team (see January 13, 2000). The CIA actually monitored the meeting Soufan suspects took place in Malaysia (see January 5-8, 2000) and considered it so important that the CIA director and other top officials were repeatedly briefed about it (see January 6-9, 2000), but the CIA does not respond to his inquiry. FBI managers are also aware of some of this information, including the existence of an al-Qaeda meeting in Malaysia at the time Soufan suspects one took place, but they apparently do not tell Soufan either (see January 6, 2000). [New Yorker, 7/10/2006 ] Author Lawrence Wright will later say: “The FBI’s investigating the death of 17 American sailors and they’re asking the CIA for information that would solve the crime. And the CIA is refusing, essentially obstructing justice.” [Federal News Service, 10/5/2006]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Ali Soufan, Lawrence Wright, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July-August 2001: US Finally Agrees to See Sudan’s Al-Qaeda Files

In the summer of 2001, the team officially concludes that the Sudan government no longer has any terrorist ties. However, the US does not take Sudan off its official list of terrorist states (and as of 2007 Sudan has yet to be taken off the list). A few weeks before 9/11, the US team finally agrees to examine Sudan’s files on al-Qaeda. The US has repeatedly been offered the files and turned them down (see March 8, 1996-April 1996, April 5, 1997, and May 2000), but by now the bulk of the files are six years old and date back to when bin Laden lived in Sudan. It is not entirely certain if the files are handed over before 9/11, but one account specifies that the files are handed over in July 2001. Vanity Fair will later note that in any case, “Events suggest that by then it was too late.” [Observer, 9/30/2001; Vanity Fair, 1/2002; Miniter, 2003, pp. 148]
Entity Tags: Sudan, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Al-Qaeda
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 2001-March 2003: Bush Administration Is Informed that Energy Department Does Not Believe Aluminum Tubes Are Meant for Iraqi Nuclear Program

In meetings and telephone calls, CIA officials inform administration officials that experts at the Department of Energy do not believe that the aluminum tubes sought by Iraq are intended for use in a gas centrifuge. According to one senior administration official, who is briefed by the CIA at least six times on the tubes, by late 2001, he is aware that there are differing views on the tubes. “To the best of my knowledge, he never hid anything from me,” the official later recalls, referring to his counterpart at WINPAC. [New York Times, 10/3/2004]
Entity Tags: US Department of Energy, Bush administration, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

July 3, 2001: Tenet Makes Urgent Request for Help from Allies

CIA Director Tenet makes an urgent special request to 20 friendly foreign intelligence services, asking for the arrests of anyone on a list of known al-Qaeda operatives. [Washington Post, 5/17/2002] Also in late June, the CIA orders all its station chiefs overseas to share information on al-Qaeda with their host governments and to push for immediate disruptions of al-Qaeda cells. Vice President Cheney asks Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah for help on July 5, and counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke makes appeals to other foreign officials. As a result, several terrorist operatives are detained by foreign governments. According to a later analysis by the 9/11 Commission, this possibly disrupts operations in the Persian Gulf and Italy (see June 13, 2001) and perhaps averts attacks against two or three US embassies. For instance, al-Qaeda operative Djamel Beghal is detained by the French government in July and gives up information about a plot to attack the US embassy in France (see July 24 or 28, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 258, 534]
Entity Tags: Richard A. Clarke, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 4, 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Almihdhar Who Should Have Been on Watch List Re-enters US Without Difficulty on Invalid Passport, Lists WTC as Destination

9/11 hijacker Khalid Almihdhar reenters the US. The CIA and FBI have recently been showing interest in him, but have still failed to place him on a watch list of US-designated terrorists. Had he been placed on a watch list by this date, he would have been stopped and possibly detained as he tried to enter the US. He enters on a new US visa obtained in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, on June 13, 2001. [US Congress, 7/24/2003, pp. 169 ] Invalid Passport, Indicator of Terrorist Affiliation - His passport is invalid, as it lacks an expiry date. However, his passport does contain an indicator that he is a terrorist, an indicator used by the Saudi authorities to track his movements (see June 1, 2001 and July 4, 2001), but this indicator is not recognized by US officials. The precise state of US knowledge about the indicator at this time is not known (see Around February 1993). The CIA will learn of it no later than 2003, but will still not inform immigration officials then (see February 14, 2003). [9/11 Commission, 8/21/2004, pp. 27 ] His visa application said that he had not previously been to the US, which is not true (see January 15, 2000), so his entry is illegal. [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 351 ] 'Muscle' Have Already Arrived - The FBI will note that he returns just days after the last of the hijacker “muscle” has entered the US, and will speculate that he returns because his job in bringing them over is finished. [US Congress, 7/24/2003, pp. 169 ] Source: Lists WTC as Destination - According to a stipulation introduced at the trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, he lists the Marriot Hotel in the World Trade Center complex as his destination, but does not stay there that night. [US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, 7/31/2006, pp. 52 ]
Entity Tags: US Consulate, Jedda, Saudi Arabia Office, Khalid Almihdhar, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 5, 2001: Clarke Warns Domestic Agencies of ‘Something Spectacular’ Planned by Al-Qaeda

At the request of National Security Adviser Rice and White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke leads a meeting of the Counterterrorism Security Group, attended by officials from a dozen federal agencies, including the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), the FAA, the Coast Guard, the Secret Service, Customs, the CIA, and the FBI. The CIA and FBI give briefings on the growing al-Qaeda threat. [Washington Post, 5/17/2002; Time, 8/4/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 258] Then Clarke later recalls saying, “You’ve just heard that CIA thinks al-Qaeda is planning a major attack on us. So do I. You heard CIA say it would probably be in Israel or Saudi Arabia. Maybe. But maybe it will be here. Just because there is no evidence that says that it will be here, does not mean it will be overseas. They may try to hit us at home. You have to assume that is what they are going to do.” [Clarke, 2004, pp. 236] Two attendees later recall Clarke stating that “something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it’s going to happen soon.” One who attended the meeting later calls the evidence that “something spectacular” is being planned by al-Qaeda “very gripping.” [Washington Post, 5/17/2002; Time, 8/4/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 256] Clarke directs every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer non-vital travel, put off scheduled exercises, and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert. However, there is very poor follow up to the meeting and the attendees don’t share the warnings with their home agencies (see Shortly After July 5, 2001). By early August, all of these emergency measures are no longer in effect. [CNN, 3/2002; Washington Post, 5/17/2002]
Entity Tags: US Customs Service, Richard A. Clarke, Secret Service, US Coast Guard, Al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Aviation Administration, Central Intelligence Agency, Counterterrorism and Security Group, Condoleezza Rice, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Andrew Card
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 5, 2001: Ashcroft Is Warned of Imminent, Multiple Attacks from Al-Qaeda

The CIA briefs Attorney General Ashcroft on the al-Qaeda threat. Several senior CIA Counterterrorist Center officials warn him that a significant attack is imminent, preparations for multiple attacks are in the late stages or already complete, and that little additional warning can be expected. He is told the attack is more likely to occur overseas than in the US. He was also briefed by the CIA on the al-Qaeda threat on May 15, 2001. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 258-259, 534; Tenet, 2007, pp. 150] CIA Director Tenet will later claim in a book that at the end of the briefing, Ashcroft turned to some FBI personnel and asked them, “Why are they telling me this? Why am I not hearing this from you?” [Tenet, 2007, pp. 150] One week later, the FBI will brief him about the al-Qaeada threat in the US and he will reportedly reply, “I do not want to hear about this anymore” (see July 12, 2001). By the end of July, he will stop flying commercial aircraft in the US (see July 26, 2001).
Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, John Ashcroft
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 5, 2001: CIA Officer Says Malaysia Summit Attendees May Be Linked to Current Threat Reporting

Tom Wilshire, a CIA officer assigned to the FBI, sends an e-mail to managers at Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, saying there is a potential connection between recent warnings of an attack against US interests and al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit in January 2000 (see January 5-8, 2000). He notes “how bad things look in Malaysia” and points out that hijacker Khalid Almihdhar may be connected to the radicals who attacked the USS Cole (see October 12, 2000). He recommends that the Cole bombing and the Malaysia summit be re-examined for potential connections to the current warnings of an attack. The e-mail ends, “all the indicators are of a massively bad infrastructure being readily completed with just one purpose in mind.” [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 298 ] This is one of a series of e-mails sent around this time by Wilshire to Alec Station about al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit (see July 13, 2001 and July 23, 2001). Presumably, one of the recipients at CIA headquarters is Rich B, the manager responsible for Alec Station, as he apparently receives at least one of the e-mails (see July 13, 2001).
Entity Tags: Tom Wilshire, Rich B., Alec Station, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Khalid Almihdhar
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Shortly After July 5, 2001: Warning from Urgent Meeting Is Not Shared within Domestic Agencies

On July 5, 2001, counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke gave a dramatic briefing to representatives from several domestic agencies on the urgent al-Qaeda threat (see July 5, 2001). However, the warnings given generally are not passed on by the attendees back to their respective agencies. The domestic agencies were not questioned about how they planned to address the threat and were not told what was expected of them. According to the 9/11 Commission, attendees later “report that they were told not to disseminate the threat information they received at the meeting. They interpreted this direction to mean that although they could brief their superiors, they could not send out advisories to the field.” One National Security Council official has a different recollection of what happened, recalling that attendees were asked to take the information back to their agencies and “do what you can” with it, subject to classification and distribution restrictions. But, for whatever reason, none of the involved agencies post internal warnings based on the meeting, except for Customs which puts out a general warning based entirely on publicly known historical facts. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 258, 264] The FAA issues general and routine threat advisories that don’t reflect the level of urgency expressed by Clarke and others (see January-August 2001). FAA Administrator Jane Garvey later claims she was unaware of a heightened threat level, but in 2005 it will be revealed that about half of the FAA’s daily briefings during this time period referred to bin Laden or al-Qaeda (see April 1, 2001-September 10, 2001). [New York Times, 4/18/2004] Clarke said rhetorically in the meeting that he wants to know if a sparrow has fallen from a tree. A senior FBI official attended the meeting and promised a redoubling of the FBI’s efforts. However, just five days after Clarke’s meeting, FBI agent Ken Williams sends off his memo speculating that al-Qaeda may be training operatives as pilots in the US (see July 10, 2001), yet the FBI fails to share this information with Clarke or any other agency. [Washington Post, 5/17/2002; Clarke, 2004, pp. 236-37] The FBI will also fail to tell Clarke about the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui (see August 16, 2001), or what they know about Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar (see August 23, 2001).
Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Federal Aviation Administration, Zacarias Moussaoui, US Customs Service, Nawaf Alhazmi, Al-Qaeda, Counterterrorism and Security Group, George J. Tenet, Condoleezza Rice, Andrew Card, Ken Williams, Richard A. Clarke, Khalid Almihdhar, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 6, 2001: CIA Warns Upcoming Al-Qaeda Attack Will Be ‘Spectacular’ and Different

The CIA warns the interagency Counterterrorism Security Group (CSG) that al-Qaeda members “believe the upcoming attack will be ‘spectacular,’ qualitatively different from anything they have done to date.” [9/11 Commission, 3/24/2004; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 259] Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke, who leads the CSG, similarly warned the CSG of a “spectacular” al-Qaeda attack the day before (see July 5, 2001).
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Counterterrorism and Security Group, Al-Qaeda
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 6, 2001: Clarke Tells Rice to Warn Agencies to Prepare for 3 to 5 Simultaneous Attacks; No Apparent Response

Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke sends National Security Adviser Rice an e-mail message “outlining a number of steps agreed on” at the Counterterrorism Security Group meeting the day before (see July 5, 2001), “including efforts to examine the threat of weapons of mass destruction and possible attacks in Latin America. One senior administration official [says] Mr. Clarke [writes] that several agencies, including the FBI, the CIA, and the Pentagon, [have] been directed to develop what the official [says are] ‘detailed response plans in the event of three to five simultaneous attacks.’” However, no response or follow-up action has been pointed out. [New York Times, 4/4/2004]
Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Counterterrorism and Security Group, Richard A. Clarke, Central Intelligence Agency, US Department of Defense
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

(July 9, 2001): Chechen Leader Promises Fighters ‘Very Big News’; CIA Learns of This and Briefs White House

Chechen rebel leader Ibn Khattab promises some “very big news” to his fighters and this statement is communicated to the CIA. The CIA then forwards the warning to National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice together with several similar pieces of intelligence, saying it is evidence that an al-Qaeda attack is imminent (see July 10, 2001). [Tenet, 2007, pp. 151] The FBI is already aware that Ibn Khattab and Osama bin Laden, who have a long relationship (see 1986-March 19, 2002), may be planning a joint attack against US interests (see Before April 13, 2001). One of the operatives, Zacarias Moussaoui, will be arrested a month later (see August 16, 2001), but a search warrant for his belongings will not be granted (see August 16, 2001, August 22, 2001 and August 28, 2001).
Entity Tags: Ibn Khattab, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 9-10, 2001: CIA Receives Several New Pieces of Intelligence Indicating Al-Qaeda Will Attack Soon

The CIA receives several pieces of intelligence over a 24-hour period, all of which predict an imminent attack. They include: Ibn Khattab, a Chechen radical connected to Osama bin Laden (see 1986-March 19, 2002), promises his troops “very big news” (see (July 9, 2001)); Islamic extremists are traveling to Afghanistan in greater numbers; There have been significant departures of extremist families from Yemen; There are indications of threats against US interests in Lebanon, Morocco, and Mauritania. This information will be promptly communicated to CIA Director George Tenet (see July 10, 2001) and National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice (see July 10, 2001). [Tenet, 2007, pp. 151]
Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 10, 2001: Urgent CIA Request for Funds to Immediately Deal with Bin Laden Is Denied

On this date, CIA Director George Tenet and CIA counterterrorism chief Cofer Black give the White House an urgent al-Qaeda briefing that, if heeded, Black later believes could have stopped bin Laden. Tenet and Black strongly suggest that both an overall strategy and immediate covert or military action against bin Laden are needed (see July 10, 2001). According to a 2006 book by journalist Bob Woodward that is likely paraphrasing Black, one of Woodward’s sources for his book, “Black calculated that if [the White House] had given him $500 million of covert action funds right then and reasonable authorizations from the president to go kill bin Laden, he would have been able to make great strides if not do away with him.… Over the last two years—and as recently as March 2001—the CIA had deployed paramilitary teams five times into Afghanistan to work with the anti-Taliban Northern Alliance, a loose federation of militias and tribes in the north. The CIA had about 100 sources and subsources operating throughout Afghanistan. Just give him the money and the authority and he might be able to bring bin Laden’s head back in a box.” [Woodward, 2006, pp. 77-78; New York Daily News, 9/29/2006]
Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, George J. Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency, Cofer Black
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 10, 2001: CIA Director Tenet Briefed about Al-Qaeda; Urgent White House Meeting Results

CIA Counterterrorism chief Cofer Black and “Rich B,” a manager responsible for the CIA’s bin Laden unit, meet with CIA Director George Tenet and review the latest intelligence about al-Qaeda. Black lays out a case based on communications intercepts and other intelligence suggesting a growing chance that al-Qaeda will attack the US soon. There is no smoking gun per se, but there is a huge volume of data indicating an attack is coming (see July 9-10, 2001). The case is so compelling—Tenet will later say it “literally made my hair stand on end”—that he decides to brief the White House on it that same day (see July 10, 2001). [Washington Post, 10/1/2006; Tenet, 2007, pp. 151]
Entity Tags: White House, Rich B., George J. Tenet, Cofer Black, Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 10, 2001: CIA Director Gives Urgent Warning to White House of Imminent, Multiple, Simultaneous Al-Qaeda Attacks, Possibly Within US

Condoleezza Rice and George Tenet in the White House. This picture is actually taken on October 8, 2001, and President Bush is elsewhere in the room. [Source: Eric Draper / White House]CIA Director George Tenet finds the briefing that counterterrorism chief Cofer Black gave him earlier in the day (see July 10, 2001) so alarming that he calls National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice from his car as he heads to the White House and says he needs to see her right away, even though he has regular weekly meetings with her. [Washington Post, 10/1/2006] Tenet and Black let a third CIA official, “Rich B,” who is responsible for Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, brief Rice on the latest intelligence. Deputy National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley and counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke are also present. [McClatchy Newspapers, 10/2/2006] 'Significant Attack' - Rich B starts by saying, “There will be a significant terrorist attack in the coming weeks or months!” He argues that it is impossible to pick the specific day, saying bin Laden “will attack when he believes the attack will be successful.” He mentions a range of threat information including: A warning related to Chechen leader Ibn Khattab (see (July 9, 2001)) and seven pieces of intelligence the CIA recently received indicating there would soon be a terrorist attack (see July 9-10, 2001); A mid-June statement by bin Laden to trainees that there would be an attack in the near future (see Mid-June 2001); Information that talks about moving toward decisive acts; Late-June information saying a “big event” was forthcoming; Two separate bits of information collected “a few days before the meeting” in which people predicted a “stunning turn of events” in the weeks ahead. This may be a reference to intercepts of calls in Yemen, possibly involving the father-in-law of 9/11 hijacker Khalid Almihdhar (see June 30-July 1, 2001). Multiple, Simultaneous Attacks in US Possible - Rich B says that the attacks will be “spectacular,” they will be designed to inflict mass casualties against US facilities and interests, there may be multiple, simultaneous attacks, and they may be in the US itself. He outlines the CIA’s efforts to disrupt al-Qaeda by spreading incorrect word that the attack plans have been compromised, in hopes this will cause a delay in the attack. But he says this is not enough and that the CIA should go on the attack. Rich B also discounts the possibility of disinformation, as bin Laden’s threats are known to the public in the Middle East and there will be a loss of face, funds, and popularity if they are not carried out. Rich B urges that the US take a “proactive approach” by using the Northern Alliance. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 151-4] Author Bob Woodward will later write: “Black emphasize[s] that this amount[s] to a strategic warning, meaning the problem [is] so serious that it require[s] an overall plan and strategy. Second, this [is] a major foreign policy problem that need[s] to be addressed immediately. They need[…] to take action that moment—covert, military, whatever—to thwart bin Laden. The United States ha[s] human and technical sources, and all the intelligence [is] consistent…” [Woodward, 2006, pp. 80; Washington Post, 10/1/2006] Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke expresses his agreement with the CIA about the threat’s seriousness, and Black says, “This country needs to go on a war footing now.” Rice's Response - There are conflicting accounts about the CIA’s reading of Rice’s response. According to Woodward: “Tenet and Black [feel] they [are] not getting through to Rice. She [is] polite, but they [feel] the brush-off.” They leave the meeting frustrated, seeing little prospect for immediate action. Tenet and Black will both later recall the meeting as the starkest warning they gave the White House on al-Qaeda before 9/11 and one that could have potentially stopped the 9/11 attacks if Rice had acted on it (see July 10, 2001) and she conveyed their urgency to President Bush (Tenet was briefing Bush on a daily basis at this time, but he will later say that Rice had a much better rapport with Bush). Black will say, “The only thing we didn’t do was pull the trigger to the gun we were holding to her head.” [Woodward, 2006, pp. 80; Washington Post, 10/1/2006] Rice says that President Bush will align his policy with the new realities and grant new authorities. Writing in 2007, Tenet will say that this response is “just the outcome I had expected and hoped for,” and recall that as they leave the meeting Rich B and Black congratulate each other on having got the administration’s attention. Nevertheless, Rice does not take the requested action until after 9/11. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 153-4] Rice Concerned about Genoa - Clarke will recall in 2006 that Rice focuses on the possible threat to President Bush at an upcoming summit meeting in Genoa, Italy (see June 13, 2001 and July 20-22, 2001). Rice and Bush had already been briefed about the Genoa warning by this time (see July 5, 2001). Rice also promises to quickly schedule a high-level White House meeting on al-Qaeda. However, that meeting does not take place until September 4, 2001 (see September 4, 2001). [McClatchy Newspapers, 10/2/2006] Rice also directs that Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General Ashcroft be given the same briefing, and they are a short time later (see July 11-17, 2001). Meeting Not Mentioned in 9/11 Commission Report - The meeting will not be mentioned in the 9/11 Commission Report (see August 4, 2002), and there will be controversy when it is fully revealed in 2006 (see September 29, 2006, September 30-October 3, 2006, and October 1-2, 2006).
Entity Tags: Rich B., Stephen J. Hadley, White House, Osama bin Laden, Richard A. Clarke, George J. Tenet, Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, Cofer Black, Donald Rumsfeld, Condoleezza Rice, John Ashcroft
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 11-17, 2001: Rumsfeld and Ashcroft Receive Urgent Al-Qaeda Warning Recently Given to White House

Defense Secretary Rumsfeld and Attorney General Ashcroft receive the same CIA briefing about a likely imminent, multiple, and simultaneous al-Qaeda strike that was given to the White House on July 10, 2001 (see July 10, 2001). In 2006, the State Department will reveal the two were briefed within a week of the White House briefing, at the request of National Security Adviser Rice. One official who helped prepare the briefing later describes it as a “ten on a scale of one to ten” that “connected the dots” to present a stark warning that al-Qaeda is ready to launch a new attack. A Pentagon spokesman says he has no information “about what may or may not have been briefed” to Rumsfeld, and Rumsfeld does not answer questions about it. Ashcroft says he was not given any briefing and calls it “disappointing” that he was not briefed. After it is confirmed that Ashcroft was briefed, apparently on July 17, Ashcroft will still claim not to remember the briefing, and will say he only recalls another CIA briefing earlier in the month (see July 5, 2001). Journalist Andrew Cockburn later reports that, “according to several intelligence sources,” Rumsfeld’s reaction to the briefing at the time “was one of vehement dismissal, complete with cutting observations about the CIA falling victim to ‘vast doses of al-Qaeda disinformation’ and ‘mortal doses of gullibility.’” McClatchy Newspapers will comment that these briefings raise “new questions about what the Bush administration did in response, and about why so many officials have claimed they never received or don’t remember the warning.” [McClatchy Newspapers, 10/2/2006; Cockburn, 2007, pp. 9] On July 26, 2001, it will be reported that Ashcroft has stopped flying on commercial airlines within the US (see July 26, 2001).
Entity Tags: John Ashcroft, Donald Rumsfeld, Al-Qaeda, Condoleezza Rice, White House, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 11, 2001: European Parliament Report: Echelon Data Provided to US Corporations

Glyn Ford. [Source: British Labour Party]The European Parliament releases its final report on its findings about the secretive US surveillance program known as Echelon. The report, two years in the making, exhaustively details many of Echelon’s surveillance capabilities, and lists many of Echelon’s surveillance stations around the world. One of the more interesting sections of the report concerns its apparent use on behalf of US corporations. According to the report, Echelon—operated by the NSA as a highly classified surveillance program ostensibly for tracking terrorist threats and activities by nations hostile to the West—is also being used for corporate and industrial espionage, with information from the program being turned over to US corporations for their financial advantage. The report gives several instances of Echelon’s use by corporations. One is the use of Echelon to “lift… all the faxes and phone calls” between the European aircraft manufacturer Airbus and Saudi Arabian Airlines; that information was used by two American companies, Boeing and McDonnell Douglas, to outflank Airbus and win a $6 billion contract. The report also alleges that the French company Thomson-CSF lost a $1.3 billion satellite deal to Raytheon the same way. Glyn Ford, the MP who commissioned the report, says he doesn’t have a problem with Echelon itself, but in the way it is being used. “Now, you know, if we’re catching the bad guys, we’re completely in favor of that… What we’re concerned about is that some of the good guys in my constituency don’t have jobs because US corporations got an inside track on—on some global deal.” [Washington Post, 11/14/1999; CBS News, 2/27/2000; BBC, 7/6/2000; European Parliament, 7/11/2001] In 1977, the US government began providing Echelon-based intelligence to US corporations (see 1977). In April 2001, New Zealand journalist Nicky Hager testified about Echelon’s use by US allies for corporate and economic purposes (see April 2001), and former CIA director James Woolsey confirmed that US surveillance programs were used to benefit US corporations (see March 2000).
Entity Tags: US Department of Commerce, Thomson-CSF, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Glyn Ford, McDonnell Douglas, Central Intelligence Agency, Boeing Company, Echelon, Airbus, European Union Parliament, National Security Agency
Timeline Tags: Civil Liberties

July 12, 2001: Ashcroft Reputedly Uninterested in Terrorism

On July 5, the CIA briefed Attorney General Ashcroft on the al-Qaeda threat, warning that a significant overseas terrorist attack is imminent, and a strike could occur at any time (see July 5, 2001). On this day, acting FBI Director Tom Pickard briefs Ashcroft about the terror threat inside the US. Pickard later swears under oath that Ashcroft tells him, “[I do] not want to hear about this anymore.” Ashcroft, also under oath, later categorically denies the allegation, saying, “I did never speak to him saying that I didn’t want to hear about terrorism.” However, Ruben Garcia, head of the Criminal Division, and another senior FBI official corroborate Pickard’s account. Ashcroft’s account is supported by his top aide, but another official in Ashcroft’s office who could also support Ashcroft’s account says he cannot remember what happened. Pickard briefs Ashcroft on terrorism four more times that summer, but he never mentions al-Qaeda to Ashcroft again before 9/11. [MSNBC, 6/22/2004] Pickard later makes an appeal to Ashcroft for more counterterrorism funding; Ashcroft rejects the appeal on September 10, 2001 (see September 10, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 4/13/2004] Pickard later says, “Before September 11th, I couldn’t get half an hour on terrorism with Ashcroft. He was only interested in three things: guns, drugs, and civil rights.” [Miller, Stone, and Mitchell, 2002, pp. 293]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Thomas Pickard, Ruben Garcia, John Ashcroft, Al-Qaeda
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 13, 2001: Bush Administration Again Denies CIA Expanded Authority to Assassinate Bin Laden

The Bush administration again denies the CIA expanded authorities to go on the offensive against bin Laden. These authorities would include permission to assassinate bin Laden without making an attempt to capture him alive first. In March 2001, the CIA wanted to give a draft request about this to the Bush administration, but officials weren’t ready so the draft was withdrawn (see Early March 2001). On July 13, three days after a dramatic CIA presentation about a likely upcoming al-Qaeda attack (see July 10, 2001), a meeting of deputy cabinet officials is held to discuss the CIA’s expanded authorities request. However, no decisions are made. Tenet will later comment, “the bureaucracy moved slowly.” The Bush administration will grant these authorities a few days after 9/11. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 154]
Entity Tags: Bush administration, Osama bin Laden, George J. Tenet, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

July 13, 2001: CIA Manager Says Extra Person to be Allocated to Malaysia Summit Re-evaluation, Unclear If this Happens

A CIA manager says that an additional intelligence officer, Doug Miller, will be assigned to help an ongoing low-key review of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit when Miller returns from holiday (see January 5-8, 2000 and Mid-May 2001). The statement is made in response to an e-mail by CIA manager Tom Wilshire, who pointed out that al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash attended the summit, meaning it was important (see January 4, 2001). Presumably, the manager that sends this e-mail is Rich B, who is responsible for Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit. Rich B appears to have received the e-mail to which this is a response (see July 13, 2001). The review is currently only being conducted by one intelligence officer, Margaret Gillespie, who is only told to do it in her spare time and whom it takes over three months to find CIA cables indicating two of the 9/11 hijackers have entered the US (see August 21-22, 2001). Miller’s help would certainly benefit the review, as he is already aware one of the hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar, has a US visa, but a cable he drafted to notify the FBI about this was blocked by Wilshire (see January 4-6, 2000). However, there is no mention of Miller actually being given the assignment on his return and no sign he does any work on this. Wilshire also asked that the FBI be officially told bin Attash attended the summit in Malaysia, but this information is again withheld (see January 5, 2001 and After) [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 298-9 ]
Entity Tags: Tom Wilshire, Rich B., Central Intelligence Agency, Doug Miller, Counterterrorist Center, Margaret Gillespie
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 13, 2001: CIA Reexamines Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit but ‘Major League Killer’ Is Not Put on Watch List

Tom Wilshire, a CIA manager assigned to the FBI who expressed interest two months earlier in surveillance photos from the al-Qaeda Malaysia summit (see January 5-8, 2000), now finds a cable he had been looking for regarding that same summit. The cable, from January 2001, discusses al-Qaeda leader Khallad bin Attash’s presence at the summit. Wilshire explains later that bin Attash’s presence there had been troubling him. He writes an e-mail to the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center (CTC), stating, “[Khallad] is a major league killer, who orchestrated the Cole attack (see October 12, 2000) and possibly the Africa bombings (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998).” Yet Khallad is still not put on a terrorist watch list. Wilshire asks that the FBI be passed this information, but the FBI will not actually be given the information until August 30, a week after it learns hijacker Khalid Almihdhar is in the US. [US Congress, 7/24/2003, pp. 157 ; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 298 ] Although the CIA managers that receive this e-mail are not named, Rich B, in charge of the CIA’s bin Laden unit and Wilshire’s former boss, appears to be one of the recipients—according to an endnote to the 9/11 Commission report, on the very same day Wilshire sends this e-mail Rich B writes his own e-mail entitled “Identification of Khallad,” which is sent to another CIA officer. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 537] An FBI analyst assigned to the CTC is given the task of reviewing all other CIA cables about the Malaysian summit. It takes this analyst until August 21—over five weeks later—to put together that Khalid Almihdhar had a US visa and that Nawaf Alhazmi had traveled to the US. Yet other CIA agents are already very aware of these facts but are not sharing the information (see August 22, 2001). Working with immigration officials, this analyst then learns that Almihdhar entered and left the US in 2000, and entered again on July 4, 2001, and that Alhazmi appears to still be in the US. [US Congress, 7/24/2003, pp. 157 ; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 298 ]
Entity Tags: Rich B., Nawaf Alhazmi, Tom Wilshire, Tawfiq bin Attash, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Almihdhar, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Central Intelligence Agency, Alec Station
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 16, 2001: British Spy Agencies Warn Al-Qaeda Is in The Final Stages of Attack in the West

British spy agencies send a report to British Prime Minister Tony Blair and other top officials warning that al-Qaeda is in “the final stages” of preparing an attack in the West. The prediction is “based on intelligence gleaned not just from [British intelligence] but also from US agencies, including the CIA and the National Security Agency,” which cooperate with the British. “The contents of the July 16 warning would have been passed to the Americans, Whitehall sources confirmed.” The report states there is “an acute awareness” that the attack is “a very serious threat.” [London Times, 6/14/2002]
Entity Tags: Tony Blair, Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 23, 2001: CIA Officer Says Al-Qaeda Leader’s Associates like Almihdhar Are of ‘Very High Interest’, Mentions Mysterious Almihdhar Connection

Due to a lack of response to a previous request that information about the Cole bombing and al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit be passed to the FBI (see July 13, 2001), CIA officer Tom Wilshire e-mails another CIA manager asking about the request’s status. The manager’s identity is not known, but the previous request was received by Rich B, a close associate of Wilshire’s who is responsible for the CIA’s bin Laden unit (see June 1999 and Between Mid-January and July 2000), so presumably he receives this request as well. Wilshire writes: “When the next big op is carried out by [bin Laden’s] hardcore cadre, [Khallad bin Attash] will be at or near the top of the command food chain—and probably nowhere near either the attack site or Afghanistan. That makes people who are available and who have direct access to him of very high interest. Khalid [Almihdhar] should be very high interest anyway, given his connection to the [redacted].” The name of the redacted event or entity is unclear, [US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, 7/31/2006 ] but one logical possibility is the Cole bombing, since Wilshire registered a concern between Almihdhar and the Cole bombers earlier in the month (see July 5, 2001) and Almihdhar was likely directly involved in the bombing (see Around October 12, 2000).
Entity Tags: Tawfiq bin Attash, Tom Wilshire, Khalid Almihdhar, Central Intelligence Agency, Rich B.
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

July 27, 2001: Clarke Says Immediate Threat Is Over but Attacks Still Going Forward

Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke informs National Security Adviser Rice and her deputy Stephen Hadley that the spike in intelligence about a near-term al-Qaeda attack has stopped. However, he urges keeping readiness at a high level during August, when President Bush and many other top US leaders go on vacation. He warns that another recent report suggests that an attack has just been postponed for a few months “but will still happen.” Similarly, on August 3, the CIA sends a cable to the US intelligence community warning that the threat of impending al-Qaeda attacks is likely to continue indefinitely. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 260, 534]
Entity Tags: Richard A. Clarke, Condoleezza Rice, Central Intelligence Agency, Stephen J. Hadley
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

(July 27, 2001): CIA Checks Out Radicals Mentioned in Phoenix Memo, Also Receives Memo?

The FBI sends a request to the CIA, asking the agency to check for information on eight Islamist radicals mentioned in the Phoenix memo (see July 10, 2001). However, the CIA apparently does not find any additional information about them. [USA Today, 5/20/2002; Washington Times, 5/23/2002; Wright, 2006, pp. 350-1] Had the CIA investigated these men closely they might have turned up ties connecting them to al-Qaeda. For instance, in 2000, two friends of the main target of the Phoenix memo were detained and deported after twice attempting to enter a US airplane cockpit in what may have been practice for the 9/11 attacks. That same year it was learned by US intelligence that one of these men had received explosives and car bombing training in Afghanistan (see November 1999-August 2001). Other ties between the men in the memo go undiscovered; for instance, another person targeted in the memo had trained in al-Qaeda camps in Afghanistan and will later be arrested with a top al-Qaeda leader (see July 10, 2001). Around this time, the Phoenix memo is sent to FBI headquarters and its I-49 squad in New York (see July 27, 2001 and after and July 27, 2001 or Shortly After). After 9/11, the CIA will say it did not receive the memo and its Office of Inspector General will agree with this. [US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, 3/28/2005 ] However, in a 2006 book journalist Lawrence Wright will report that the memo was also sent to the CIA’s bin Laden unit. One of the sources Wright cites for this passage is Mark Rossini. Rossini is an FBI agent who at one time worked in the unit’s I-49 squad in New York, but was detailed to the bin Laden station in the summer of 2001. [Wright, 2006, pp. 316, 350, 381, 426 Sources: Mark Rossini]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Ken Williams, Alec Station, Mark Rossini, I-49
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late July 2001: FBI Agent Possibly Confused by Error in CIA Cable, Fails to Tell FBI Hijacker Almihdhar Has US Visa

An FBI agent assigned to the CIA’s bin Laden unit locates a CIA cable that says hijacker Khalid Almihdhar has a US visa, but fails to disseminate the information to the FBI. It is not clear why the agent, Margaret Gillespie, fails to do this. However, at the same time she locates another CIA cable which mistakenly states that the information about the visa has already been passed to the FBI (see January 4-6, 2000). [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 299 ]
Entity Tags: Margaret Gillespie, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Alec Station, Khalid Almihdhar, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late July 2001: Egypt Warns CIA of 20 Al-Qaeda Operatives in US; Four Training to Fly; CIA Is Not Interested

CBS later reports, in a long story on another topic: “Just days after [Mohamed] Atta return[s] to the US from Spain, Egyptian intelligence in Cairo says it received a report from one of its operatives in Afghanistan that 20 al-Qaeda members had slipped into the US and four of them had received flight training on Cessnas. To the Egyptians, pilots of small planes didn’t sound terribly alarming, but they [pass] on the message to the CIA anyway, fully expecting Washington to request information. The request never [comes].” [CBS News, 10/9/2002] This appears to be just one of several accurate Egyptian warnings from their informants inside al-Qaeda.
Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Late July 2001: Taliban Intelligence Chief Wants Secret Contact with US to ‘Save Afghanistan’

In his 2007 book, CIA Director George Tenet will write that on this day, “From Afghanistan came word that the Taliban intelligence chief, Qari Amadullah, was interested in establishing secret contact, outside the country and without Mullah Omar’s knowledge, “to save Afghanistan.” [Tenet, 2007, pp. 156] However, it is unclear if the offer was acted upon because Tenet has nothing more to say about it. The 9/11 Commission will later report that in July a deep schism developed in the Taliban and even al-Qaeda leadership over the wisdom of going through with the 9/11 attacks. Apparently, even top Taliban leader Mullah Omar was ideologically opposed to the attacks at this time, though he may have changed his mind before 9/11. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 251-252]
Entity Tags: Mullah Omar, Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet, Taliban, Qari Amadullah
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Late July 2001: CIA Official Says of Al-Qaeda, ‘They’re Coming Here’

CIA Director George Tenet will recall in his 2007 book that “during one of my updates in late July when, as we speculated about the kind of [al-Qaeda] attacks we could face, Rich B. suddenly said, with complete conviction, ‘They’re coming here.’ I’ll never forget the silence that followed.” Rich B.‘s full last name is not known, nor is his position in the CIA, but he appears to have a leadership role in al-Qaeda related efforts. It is also not known who else is at the meeting. [Tenet, 2007, pp. 158]
Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Rich B., Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Late July-August 2001: US Fails to Capture or Kill Al-Zawahiri

Ayman al-Zawahiri. [Source: FBI]The US receives intelligence that bin Laden’s right-hand man, Ayman al-Zawahiri, is receiving medical treatment at a clinic in Sana’a, Yemen. However, the Bush administration rejects a plan to capture him, as officials are not 100 percent sure the patient is al-Zawahiri. Officials later regret the missed opportunity. [ABC News, 2/20/2002] In another account, an anonymous CIA source claims that the “Egyptian intelligence service briefed us that he was in a hospital in Sana’a. We sent a few people over there, and they made a colossal screwup. While our guys were conducting a surveillance of the hospital, the guards caught them with their videocameras.” [New Yorker, 9/9/2002] CIA Director Tenet will touch on this incident in his 2007 book, saying that only that on July 24, 2001, “we had reporting that al-Zawahiri was in Yemen and we were pursuing confirmation and a plan to exfiltrate him to the United States. Although we doubted this information, it was out intention to play this hand out.” He doesn’t mention what happened after that. [Tenet, 2007] Al-Zawahiri also appears to have spent time in Yemen in 1998 (see Spring-Summer 1998).
Entity Tags: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet, Bush administration
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Late Summer 2001: Jordan Warns US that Aircraft Will Be Used in Major Attack Inside the US

Jordanian intelligence (the GID) makes a communications intercept deemed so important that King Abdullah’s men relay it to Washington, probably through the CIA station in Amman. To make doubly sure the message gets through it is passed through an Arab intermediary to a German intelligence agent. The message states that a major attack, code named “The Big Wedding,” is planned inside the US and that aircraft will be used. “When it became clear that the information was embarrassing to Bush administration officials and congressmen who at first denied that there had been any such warnings before September 11, senior Jordanian officials backed away from their earlier confirmations.” The Christian Science Monitor will call the story “confidently authenticated” even though Jordan has backed away from it. [International Herald Tribune, 5/21/2002; Christian Science Monitor, 5/23/2002] It has been reported elsewhere that in July 2001, Jordan warns the US that al-Qaeda is planning an attack inside the US, but it is unknown if this is referring to the same warning or a separate one (see July 2001). In late July 2001, the king of Jordan will offer the US to send two battalions of Jordanian special forces to Afghanistan to eliminate al-Qaeda havens there (see July 24, 2001).
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Abdullah II ibn al-Hussein, Jordan General Intelligence Department, Bush administration
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 2001: Moroccan Informant Warns US of Large Scale, Imminent Attack in New York

In 1999, a Moroccan named Hassan Dabou infiltrated al-Qaeda for the Moroccan intelligence agency. He was sent to Afghanistan, posing as an Islamic radical on the run from the Moroccan government. While there, he was able to grow close to bin Laden. He heard bin Laden repeatedly vent his anger at the failure of the World Trade Center bombing in 1993 (see February 26, 1993). Bin Laden was “very disappointed” that the towers did not fall. Dabou heard that bin Laden had planned “something spectacular” involving “large scale operations in New York in the summer or fall of 2001.” Moroccan intelligence passed this information to US. Around this time, US intelligence is so interested that they call Dabou to Washington to report on this information in person. Dabout makes the trip in secret, but apparently his cover is blown and he is unable to go back and gather more intelligence. Dabou is still in Washington cooperating with US intelligence agents when 9/11 occurs. After 9/11 he will remain in Washington, get a new identity, and continue to work with US intelligence. [Agence France-Presse, 11/22/2001; International Herald Tribune, 5/21/2002; London Times, 6/12/2002]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda, Hassan Dabou, World Trade Center, Osama bin Laden
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 2001: FAA Told to Warn Airlines of Hijacking or Airliner Bombing in New York, Atlanta, and Other Locations

The CIA sends a message to the FAA asking the FAA to advise corporate security directors of US airlines, “A group of six Pakistanis currently based in La Paz, Bolivia may be planning to conduct a hijacking, or possibly a bombing or an act of sabotage against a commercial airliner. While we have no details of the carrier, the date, or the location of this or these possibly planned action(s), we have learned the group has had discussions in which Canada, England, Malaysia, Cuba, South Africa, Mexico, Atlanta, New York, Madrid, Moscow, and Dubai have come up, and India and Islamabad have been described as possible travel destinations.” [US Congress, 9/18/2002] In late July, the government of Bolivia arrested six Pakistanis, though it is not clear if they are the same six or an additional six. One of them appeared to be related to Mir Aimal Kasi, a militant who killed two CIA employees in front of CIA headquarters in 1993 (see January 25, 1993). [Tenet, 2007, pp. 156] The 9/11 Congressional Inquiry will later note, “While this information was not related to an attack planned by al-Qaeda, it did alert the aviation community to the possibility that a hijacking plot might occur in the US shortly before the September 11 attacks occurred.” [US Congress, 9/18/2002] It has not been reported if the FAA actually passed this message on to the US airlines or not. There have been no reports of any extra security measures taken by the airlines, airports, or the FAA in the month before 9/11 in places such as New York City and Atlanta.
Entity Tags: Mir Aimal Kasi, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Aviation Administration
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

August 2001: Persian Gulf Informant Gives Ex-CIA Agent Information About ‘Spectacular Terrorist Operation’

Former CIA agent Robert Baer is advising a prince in a Persian Gulf royal family, when a military associate of this prince passes information to him about a “spectacular terrorist operation” that will take place shortly. He is given a computer record of around 600 secret al-Qaeda operatives in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. The list includes ten names that will be placed on the FBI’s most wanted terrorists list after 9/11. He is also given evidence that a Saudi merchant family had funded the USS Cole bombing on October 12, 2000, and that the Yemeni government is covering up information related to that bombing. At the military officer’s request, he offers all this information to the Saudi Arabian government. However, an aide to the Saudi defense minister, Prince Sultan, refuses to look at the list or to pass the names on (Sultan is later sued for his complicity in the 9/11 plot in August 2002). Baer also passes the information on to a senior CIA official and the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, but there is no response or action. Portions of Baer’s book describing his experience wil be blacked out, having been censored by the CIA. [Baer, 2002, pp. 55-58; Financial Times, 1/12/2002]
Entity Tags: Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency, USS Cole, Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Saudi Arabia, Robert Baer, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Al-Qaeda
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Early August 2001: CIA’s Concern over Planned Bin Laden Strikes Inside US Are Heightened

The Associated Press later reports that the “CIA had developed general information a month before the attacks that heightened concerns that bin Laden and his followers were increasingly determined to strike on US soil.” A CIA official will affirm, “[t]here was something specific in early August that said to us that [bin Laden] was determined in striking on US soil.” [Associated Press, 10/3/2001]
Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Early August 2001: Alleged Informant with 9/11 Foreknowledge Arrested in Turkey and Let Go

Al-Qaeda operative Luai Sakra is reportedly arrested by Turkish intelligence in Turkey and then let go. It will later appear that Sakra was an informant for the CIA, Turkish intelligence, and Syrian intelligence before 9/11. He appears to have begun working for the CIA and Turkish intelligence in 2000 (see 2000). Sakra will later claim to have been arrested and quickly released twice by Turkish intelligence. It seems the first time was in 2000 and this was the second time. [Der Spiegel (Hamburg), 8/24/2005] It would make sense that he was released at this time if he was a secret informant for Turkey. It will later come to light that Sakra had some foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and warned Syrian intelligence about them one day before the attacks (see September 10, 2001). But it is not known if he used this arrest to warn Turkish intelligence and/or the CIA as well.
Entity Tags: Luai Sakra, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Summer 2001: IAEA Scientist: US ‘Wants to Attack’ Iraq

After CIA analyst Joe Turner’s presentation to UN atomic energy scientists (see Late July 2001), one of the scientists calls David Albright, a nuclear physicist who runs the Washington-based Institute for Science and International Security, and warns him that the “people across the river [i.e., the CIA] are trying to start a war. They are really beating the drum. They want to attack.” [Isikoff and Corn, 2006, pp. 37]
Entity Tags: David Albright, Institute for Science and International Security, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

August 2, 2001: Defense Intelligence Report Mentions Diverging Views on Aluminum Tubes

The Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) publishes an internal background paper explaining the debate within the US intelligence community over Iraq’s intended use for the aluminum tubes it attempted to import from China (see July 2001). The paper describes the assessments of both the CIA and the Department of Energy, the latter of which does not believe the tubes are suitable for use as rotors in a gas centrifuge (see August 17, 2001). The DIA says its “analysts found the CIA WINPAC presentation to be very compelling.” [US Congress, 7/7/2004]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, US Department of Energy, Defense Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion

(August 4-5, 2001): Phoenix Memo Agent Vets Bush PDB, Fails to Add Relevant Information, Does Not Contact Phoenix Office

The CIA officers who draft a presidential daily briefing (PDB) item given to George Bush on August 6 (see August 6, 2001) ask an FBI agent for additional information and also to review a draft of the memo, but she does not provide all the additional information she could. The 9/11 Commission will refer to the FBI agent as “Jen M,” so she is presumably Jennifer Maitner, an agent with the Osama bin Laden unit at FBI headquarters. The purpose of the memo is to communicate to the president the intelligence community’s view that the threat of attacks by bin Laden is both current and serious. But Maitner fails to add some important information that she has: around the end of July, she was informed of the Phoenix memo, which suggests that an inordinate number of bin Laden-related Arabs are taking flying lessons in the US (see July 10, 2001). She does not link this to the portion of the memo discussing aircraft hijackings. Responsibility for dealing with the Phoenix memo is formally transferred to her on August 7, when she reads the full text. The finished PDB item discusses the possibility bin Laden operatives may hijack an airliner and says that there are “patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings.” It is unclear whether the draft PDB item Maitner reviews contains this information. However, if it does, it apparently does not inspire her to take any significant action on the memo before 9/11, such as contacting the agents in Phoenix to notify them of the preparations for hijackings (see July 27, 2001 and after). The PDB will contain an error, saying that the FBI was conducting 70 full field investigations of bin Laden-related individuals (see August 6, 2001), but this error is added after Maitner reviews the draft, so she does not have the opportunity to remove it. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 260-2, 535; US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 69-77 ]
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, FBI Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Usama bin Laden Unit (FBI), Jennifer Maitner
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 6, 2001: Bush Tells CIA Regarding Bin Laden Warning, ‘You’ve Covered Your Ass, Now’

Supposedly, just after a CIA briefer presents President Bush the later infamous PDB (Presidential Daily Briefing) entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US”(see August 6, 2001), Bush tells the briefer, “You’ve covered your ass, now.” This account is according to journalist Ron Suskind, whose 2006 book “The One Percent Doctrine”And, at an eyeball-to-eyeball intelligence briefing during this urgent summer, George W. Bush seems to have made the wrong choice. He looked hard at the panicked CIA briefer. ‘All right,’ he said. ‘You’ve covered your ass, now.’ [Suskind, 2006, pp. 2; Washington Post, 6/20/2006]
Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 6, 2001: Bush Briefing Titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’

President Bush at his Crawford, Texas, ranch on August 6, 2001. Advisors wait with classified briefings. [Source: White House]President Bush receives a classified presidential daily briefing (PDB) at his Crawford, Texas ranch indicating that bin Laden might be planning to hijack commercial airliners. The PDB provided to him is entitled, “bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” The entire briefing focuses on the possibility of terrorist attacks inside the US. [New York Times, 5/15/2002; Newsweek, 5/27/2002] In 2004, Bush will state that he requested a briefing on a topic after threats relating to a conference in Genoa, Italy in July 2001, where Western intelligence agencies believed bin Laden was planning a plot to crash an airplane into a building to kill Bush and other leaders (see April 13, 2004). Two CIA analysts prepared the briefing; they will later explain that they saw it as an opportunity to convey that the threat of an al-Qaeda attack in the US was both current and serious. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 260] The existence of this briefing is kept secret, until it is leaked in May 2002, causing a storm of controversy (see May 15, 2002). While National Security Adviser Rice claims the memo is only one and a half pages long, other accounts state it is 11 1/2 pages instead of the usual two or three. [New York Times, 5/15/2002; Newsweek, 5/27/2002; Die Zeit (Hamburg), 10/1/2002] A page and a half of the contents will be released on April 10, 2004; this reportedly is the full content of the briefing. [Washington Post, 4/10/2004] The briefing, as released, states as follows (note that the spelling of certain words are corrected and links have been added): Clandestine, foreign government, and media reports indicate bin Laden since 1997 has wanted to conduct terrorist attacks in the US (see December 1, 1998). Bin Laden implied in US television interviews in 1997 and 1998 that his followers would follow the example of World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef and “bring the fighting to America” (see May 26, 1998). After US missile strikes on his base in Afghanistan in 1998, bin Laden told followers he wanted to retaliate in Washington, according to a -REDACTED-service (see December 21, 1998). An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told -REDACTED- service at the same time that bin Laden was planning to exploit the operative’s access to the US to mount a terrorist strike. The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of bin Laden’s first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself (see December 14, 1999), but that bin Laden lieutenant Abu Zubaida encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaida was planning his own US attack (see Late March-Early April 2001 and May 30, 2001). Ressam says bin Laden was aware of the Los Angeles operation. Although bin Laden has not succeeded, his attacks against the US Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998) demonstrate that he prepares operations years in advance and is not deterred by setbacks. Bin Laden associates surveyed our embassies in Nairobi and Dar es Salaam as early as 1993 (see Late 1993-Late 1994), and some members of the Nairobi cell planning the bombings were arrested and deported in 1997. Al-Qaeda members—including some who are US citizens—have resided in or traveled to the US for years, and the group apparently maintains a support structure that could aid attacks (see January 25, 2001). Two al-Qaeda members found guilty in the conspiracy to bomb our embassies in East Africa were US citizens (see September 15, 1998), and a senior EIJ member lived in California in the mid-1990s (see November 1989 and September 10, 1998). A clandestine source said in 1998 that a bin Laden cell in New York was recruiting Muslim-American youth for attacks (see October-November 1998). We have not been able to corroborate some of the more sensational threat reporting, such as that from a -REDACTED- service in 1998 saying that bin Laden wanted to hijack a US aircraft to gain the release of “Blind Sheikh” Omar Abdul-Rahman and other US-held extremists (see 1998, December 4, 1998, and May 23, 2001). Nevertheless, FBI information since that time indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attacks, including recent surveillance of federal buildings in New York (see May 30, 2001). The FBI is conducting approximately 70 full-field investigations throughout the US that it considers bin Laden-related (see August 6, 2001). CIA and the FBI are investigating a call to our embassy in the UAE in May saying that a group or bin Laden supporters was in the US planning attacks with explosives (see May 16-17, 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 223] In retrospect, the briefing is remarkable for the many warnings that apparently were not included (see for instance, from the summer of 2001 prior to August alone: May 2001, June 2001, June 12, 2001, June 19, 2001, Late Summer 2001, July 2001, July 16, 2001, Late July 2001, Late July 2001, Summer 2001, June 30-July 1, 2001, July 10, 2001, and Early August 2001). According to one account, after the PDB has been given to him, Bush tells the CIA briefer, “You’ve covered your ass, now” (see August 6, 2001). Incredibly, the New York Times later reports that after being given the briefing, Bush “[breaks] off from work early and [spends] most of the day fishing.” [New York Times, 5/25/2002] In 2002 and again in 2004, National Security Adviser Rice will incorrectly claim under oath that the briefing only contained historical information from 1998 and before (see May 16, 2002 and April 8, 2004).
Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Islamic Jihad, Los Angeles International Airport, Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, World Trade Center, 9/11 Commission, Abu Zubaida, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Ahmed Ressam, Al-Qaeda, Condoleezza Rice
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 7-September 10, 2001: Fire and Evacuation at CIA Headquarters Helps Prepare for Response on 9/11

CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. [Source: GlobeXplorer]A fire lasting several hours leads to the forced evacuation of the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. [Reuters, 8/8/2001] The fire is discovered on August 7 at around 5:45 p.m., in the northeast section of the agency’s older headquarters building, and more than 60 firefighters are involved in putting it out. It was reportedly caused by a workman at the top of an elevator shaft dropping a welder, which ignited wood at the bottom of the shaft. Both the older headquarters building and the agency’s new headquarters building nearby are evacuated. Following this fire, A. B. “Buzzy” Krongard—the executive director of the CIA since March this year—is dismayed to find that plans for an evacuation of the headquarters are patchy, and that some of the fire alarms do not work. In the ensuing month he therefore initiates regular fire drills and equips key agency officials with tiny walkie-talkies, meaning communication will still be possible should cell phones ever go out. Krongard declares that evacuating safely is to be more important than storing classified material, and has the agency’s computer network reprogrammed so an evacuation warning could be flashed on all computer screens. Journalist and author Ronald Kessler will describe the August 7 fire as being “fortuitous,” as little over a month later, on the morning of September 11, CIA Director George Tenet will order the evacuation of the headquarters building due to fears that it might be targeted (see (9:50 a.m.-10:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). On that day, Tenet and other top officials will reconvene at an alternate location on the CIA campus, “[f]ollowing procedures laid out by Krongard after the fire.” [Central Intelligence Agency, 3/16/2001; Associated Press, 8/7/2001; Washington Post, 8/8/2001; Kessler, 2003, pp. 222-223]
Entity Tags: A.B. (“Buzzy”) Krongard, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Between August 6 and September 10, 2001: ’Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’ Memo Is Not Acted Upon

The 9/11 Commission will later state that after the now famous “bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” memo is given to President Bush on August 6, 2001 (see August 6, 2001), “We have found no indication of any further discussion before September 11 among the president and his top advisers of the possibility of a threat of an al-Qaeda attack in the United States.” [Newsweek, 4/28/2005] 9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey will later state to CNN,“[B]y the way, there’s a credible case that the president’s own negligence prior to 9/11 at least in part contributed to the disaster in the first place.… [I]n the summer of 2001, the government ignored repeated warnings by the CIA, ignored, and didn’t do anything to harden our border security, didn’t do anything to harden airport country, didn’t do anything to engage local law enforcement, didn’t do anything to round up INS and consular offices and say we have to shut this down, and didn’t warn the American people. The famous presidential daily briefing on August 6, we say in the report that the briefing officers believed that there was a considerable sense of urgency and it was current. So there was a case to be made that wasn’t made.… The president says, if I had only known that 19 Islamic men would come into the United States of America and on the morning of 11 September hijack four American aircraft, fly two into the World Trade Center, one into the Pentagon, and one into an unknown Pennsylvania that crashed in Shanksville, I would have moved heaven and earth. That’s what he said. Mr. President, you don’t need to know that. This is an Islamic Jihadist movement that has been organized since the early 1990s, declared war on the United States twice, in ‘96 and ‘98. You knew they were in the United States. You were warned by the CIA. You knew in July they were inside the United States. You were told again by briefing officers in August that it was a dire threat. And what did you do? Nothing, so far as we could see on the 9/11 Commission.” [CNN, 11/8/2004]
Entity Tags: World Trade Center, Pentagon, Central Intelligence Agency, George W. Bush, Bob Kerrey, Al-Qaeda, 9/11 Commission, Bush administration, Osama bin Laden
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 8-15, 2001: Israel Reportedly Warns of Major Assault on the US

Ephraim Halevy was head of the Israeli Mossad from 1998 to 2002. [Source: Associated Press]At some point between these dates, Israel warns the US that an al-Qaeda attack is imminent. [Fox News, 5/17/2002] Reportedly, two high-ranking agents from the Mossad come to Washington and warn the FBI and CIA that from 50 to 200 terrorists have slipped into the US and are planning “a major assault on the United States.” They say indications point to a “large scale target,” and that Americans would be “very vulnerable.” They add there could be Iraqi connections to the al-Qaeda attack. [Daily Telegraph, 9/16/2001; Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/2001; Los Angeles Times, 9/20/2001] The Los Angeles Times later retracts its story after a CIA spokesperson says, “There was no such warning. Allegations that there was are complete and utter nonsense.” [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/2001] Other newspapers do not retract it.
Entity Tags: Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Mossad), Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 15, 2001: CIA Told of Moussaoui’s Forthcoming Arrest, Searches for Information

The FBI’s Minneapolis field office tells the CIA that Zacarias Moussaoui will be arrested the next day (see August 16, 2001). The information is communicated to a CIA field office, which then informs the Counterterrorist Center (CTC) at CIA headquarters. The CTC searches for information on Moussaoui, but does not find anything. The CIA has information on Moussaoui at this point, but the information is related to one of Moussaoui’s aliases and the CIA apparently does not understand that the alias is used by Moussaoui (see April 2001). [Tenet, 2007, pp. 200-201]
Entity Tags: FBI Minnesota field office, Charles Frahm, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Harry Samit, Zacarias Moussaoui, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 16, 2001: Roommate Interview Strengthens Case against Moussaoui

Hussein al-Attas. [Source: Public domain]Hours after Zacarias Moussaoui is taken into custody in Minnesota, his friend and roommate Hussein al-Attas is interviewed by the FBI. The two men had recently driven together to Minnesota from Oklahoma (see August 10-11, 2001). According to a summary of the interview written at the time, “Al-Attas indicated that Moussaoui believes that it is acceptable to kill civilians who harm Muslims and that he approves of martyrs.” Al-Attas says Moussaoui talked about holy war every day when they roomed together. When asked if he had ever heard Moussaoui make a plan to kill those who harm Muslims, “Al-Attas admit[s] that he may have heard him do so, but that because it is not in [al-Attas’] own heart to carry out acts of this nature, he claimed that he kept himself from actually hearing and understanding.” Al-Attas says Moussaoui holds strong anti-American views and might be willing to act on his beliefs. Al-Attas describes Moussaoui as so secretive that he refuses to give his full name, identifying himself only as “Shaqil.” He also says that Moussaoui told him “true” Muslims must prepare themselves to fight and they should understand the suffering of Muslims in places like Palestine and Kosovo. He mentions that he and Moussaoui are carrying fighting gloves and shin guards to practice martial arts as part of Moussaoui’s philosophy that Muslims should be ready to fight nonbelievers. He has not heard Moussaoui mention any specific terrorist plot, but says that Moussaoui “is suspicious to me, too.” FBI agents interview al-Attas again the following day, then charge him with violating the terms of his student visa by working at a mosque in Oklahoma, and arrest him. During the second interview, al-Attas says that Moussaoui follows the teachings of a sheikh whose name he would not disclose to him (see August 17, 2001). The agents contact FBI supervisors in Washington to seek approval to get a warrant to search Moussaoui’s computer. The supervisors are aware of what al-Attas said in the interview, but nevertheless they tell the Minnesota FBI agents that they do not want to attempt to get the warrant because it has not been shown that Moussaoui is an agent of a foreign power. The New York Times will note that the content of al-Attas’ interview “raise[s] new questions about whether top [FBI] officials… were aggressive enough in responding to that information.” [Washington Post, 1/31/2002; New York Times, 5/24/2002; Associated Press, 3/21/2006] Al-Attas will be arrested shortly after 9/11 and held as a material witness. He will later plead guilty to lying about Moussaoui. He lied in claiming that he did not know Moussaoui’s real name, lied about plans to go with Moussaoui to New York City in late August 2001, lied about Moussaoui’s desire to participate in holy war, and lied about a planned trip to speak to religious scholars who would encourage al-Attas to participate in holy war. He will be sentenced to time served, but will be kept imprisoned until the conclusion of Moussaoui’s trial in 2006 (see March 6-May 4, 2006). [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 7/22/2002; Associated Press, 10/22/2002] It is also later revealed that Moussaoui had recently convinced al-Attas to fight in Chechnya in order to prepare for holy war. [Wall Street Journal, 2/4/2002] Furthermore, the person who attempts to post bond for al-Attas had been the subject of a full-field FBI international terrorism investigation in Oklahoma. This unnamed person was a recruiter for a radical Palestinian group and a member of the Muslim Brotherhood. [US Congress, 7/24/2003] In post-9/11 media accounts, al-Attas is generally portrayed as someone who had been innocently and accidentally caught up with Moussaoui. But it appears that in the weeks before 9/11, US intelligence will consider the possibility that al-Attas may have been plotting with Moussaoui. For instance, a CIA cable that will be sent on August 24 is titled “Subjects Involved in Suspicious 747 Flight Training,” (see August 24, 2001) one that will be sent on August 28 has Moussaoui and al-Attas’ names as the title. [Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, 7/22/2002; Associated Press, 10/22/2002; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 540]
Entity Tags: Hussein al-Attas, Zacarias Moussaoui, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 18, 2001 or Shortly Before: Minneapolis FBI Contacts CIA Headquarters for Help with Moussaoui Case

Minneapolis FBI agent Harry Samit contacts Charles Frahm, an FBI agent who is working with the CIA’s bin Laden unit as a deputy chief, to discuss the Moussaoui case. Frahm passes on information to other CIA officers. Frahm will also be contacted by FBI headquarters about the case (see (August 20, 2001)) and will provide information linking the Chechen rebels, to which Moussaoui is connected, to Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda (see August 24, 2001). [Tenet, 2007, pp. 201]
Entity Tags: Charles Frahm, Central Intelligence Agency, FBI Minnesota field office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Zacarias Moussaoui, Harry Samit
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Before August 22, 2001: Threat Information about ‘Khalid’ Increases Interest in Hijacker Almihdhar

The CIA receives some threat information about a man named “Khalid” and begins to examine data on everybody it knows whose first name is “Khalid”. In an August 22 e-mail FBI agent Dina Corsi writes that this is one of the reasons for the interest in hijacker Khalid Almihdhar at this time: “the reason [the intelligence community] were looking at [Almihdhar] is relatively general—basically they were looking at all individuals using the name Khalid because of some threat information.” [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 285 ] The identity of the man named Khalid they are looking for is not revealed, however, the there is threat reporting starting in June 2001 concerning someone an informant called Khalid, who is later revealed to be Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (see June 12, 2001).
Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Almihdhar, Dina Corsi
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

(August 20, 2001): FBI Headquarters Opens Informal Communication Channel with CIA over Moussaoui

After the Zacarias Moussaoui case (see August 16, 2001) is transferred from the Iran unit to the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters (see August 20-September 11, 2001), RFU chief Dave Frasca contacts Charles Frahm, an FBI manager detailed to the CIA with responsibility for Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit. According to Frahm, who has already been contacted by the FBI Minneapolis field office (see August 18, 2001 or Shortly Before), Frasca asks CIA headquarters to quickly share any information it has on Moussaoui with the FBI, but does not send the agency a formal request, even though FBI headquarters continues to coordinate the case with the CIA. In an e-mail sent around August 28, Frahm will indicate that the CIA has still not received a formal request from the bureau. [US Department of Justice, 11/2004, pp. 123, 154-5, 231-2 ; Wright, 2006, pp. 313] The CIA will tell FBI agent Harry Samit that it thinks there is enough information to firmly link Moussaoui to a terrorist group (see August 24, 2001).
Entity Tags: Radical Fundamentalist Unit, David Frasca, Charles Frahm, Central Intelligence Agency, Alec Station, FBI Headquarters
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 21, 2001: FBI Fails to Ask Al-Qaeda Operative in Custody about Almihdhar

Margaret Gillespie, an FBI agent detailed to the CIA who has just found out hijacker Khalid Almihdhar is in the US (see August 21-22, 2001), suggests asking failed Millennium bomber Ahmed Ressam whether he recognizes Almihdhar, but the proposal is not acted on. Ressam was arrested on his way to bomb Los Angeles airport (see December 14, 1999), but has been co-operating with the US government against al-Qaeda (see May 30, 2001). Gillespie makes the suggestion in an e-mail to Tom Wilshire, a CIA representative to the FBI. It is unclear what Wilshire does with the suggestion, but Ressam is not interviewed. When shown photos of Almihdhar after 9/11, Ressam will not recognize him. The FBI also fails to ask Ressam about Zacarias Moussaoui before 9/11, but Ressam will identity Moussaoui as a person that attended al-Qaeda’s camps in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11 (see Late August-Early September 2001). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 275-6, 541]
Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Central Intelligence Agency, Zacarias Moussaoui, Margaret Gillespie, Ahmed Ressam, Khalid Almihdhar, Tom Wilshire
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

August 21, 2001-September 13, 2001: FBI and CIA Ask British about Moussaoui But Get No Answer until After 9/11

On August 21, the FBI’s legal attache in London hand-delivers a request for information about Zacarias Moussaoui to British officials. On August 24, the CIA tells the British that Moussaoui is a possible “suicide hijacker” who is involved in “suspicious 747 flight training.” The CIA asks for information on him on August 28. The FBI raises the matter with the British again on September 3 and again on September 5. Although the British do not respond to these requests until just after 9/11, French intelligence, which has been sharing information about Moussaoui with the British (see 1999), sends the FBI some information about Moussaoui’s activities and history in England (see August 22, 2001). Then, on September 13, 2001, the British supposedly learn new information that Moussaoui attended an al-Qaeda training camp in Afghanistan (see 1995-1998). The 9/11 Commission will conclude, “Had this information been available in late August 2001, the Moussaoui case would almost certainly have received intense and much higher-level attention.” A British official will complain, “We passed on all the relevant information [about Moussaoui] as soon as we obtained it.” [Guardian, 4/14/2004; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 274-75] However, the British had Moussaoui under surveillance in 2000 (see Mid-2000-December 9, 2000), and appear to have failed to pass on any information about this surveillance or what it uncovered.
Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/11 Commission, United Kingdom, Central Intelligence Agency
Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline