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Main article: 2001

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

Former CIA agent Robert Baer Wikipedia 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]

August 2001: CIA Veteran David Edger Joins University of OklahomaEdit

The Norman Transcript (Feb 12, 2002). [Source: Norman Transcript] David Edger, a high-ranking CIA officer who was previously station chief in Berlin, Germany (see May 1997), joins the political science department of the University of Oklahoma at Norman as a visiting scholar. Appointment Arranged by CIA Director's Mentor - An announcement says that the appointment was arranged by the university’s president David Boren: “David Edger has joined us as a CIA officer in residence. Mr. Edger most recently was stationed at the US Embassy in Berlin as minister-counselor for coordination, where he directed both military and civilian US intelligence programs in Germany. During the two-year assignment, Mr. Edger will teach courses related to the US intelligence community and foreign policy. President David Boren arranged for his participation at OU.” [NEWSLETTER OF THE DEPARTMENT OF POLITICAL SCIENCE, THE UNIVERSITY OF OKLAHOMA, 9/2001] David Boren is a former Democratic senator who headed the Senate’s intelligence committee for many years. There, Boren acted as mentor to CIA Director George Tenet, who was a Senate staffer before joining the CIA. They have maintained a close relationship: Boren and Tenet were having breakfast together in Washington on the morning of 9/11 (see (Before 8:46 a.m.) September 11, 2001 and (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). Involved in Surveillance of Hamburg Cell - Edger’s appointment may have been connected to his previous duties in Germany, where, during the years 1997-2001, he directed CIA surveillance and infiltration attempts against the Hamburg cell of 9/11 hijackers. A 2002 article in a local newspaper makes clear that Edger, or possibly other intelligence officers, had some inside but incomplete foreknowledge of al-Qaeda’s plans: “Up until his appointment with OU six months ago, Edger’s work with the CIA focused on terrorist groups in Germany. One of the three cells he was tracking included some of the people responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks on the World Trade Center. He said although officers knew members of the cell and some of what they were doing, they had no idea that they would meet in London and go to different parts of the US, where they would learn to fly planes to crash into the World Trade Center. ‘In that case, we failed,’ Edger said.” [NORMAN TRANSCRIPT (OKLAHOMA), 2/12/2002] Several 9/11 Links to Oklahoma - Numerous 9/11 figures have connections to Oklahoma, and specifically to OU’s campus in Norman, including Zacarias Moussaoui (see Between February 23, 2001 and June 2001, February 23-June 2001, and July 29, 2001-August 3, 2001), his associate Hussein al-Attas (see August 10-11, 2001), Nick Berg (see Autumn 1999), and lead hijackers Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi who reportedly sought flight training at the nearby Airman Flight School (see July 2-3, 2000 and August 1, 2001). Post-9/11 Comments - After 9/11, Edger will make numerous public statements supporting the war on terror and the Iraq War. The Tulsa World will report in October, 2001: “‘Americans are looking for simple assurances, hoping human intelligence can warn of the next attack,’ said Dr. David Edger, a specialist in espionage operations, paramilitary activities and counter-terrorism. ‘Getting that human intelligence is not simple. Great patience is required, and classic spy recruitment does not work in such hostile environments,’ said Edger, who served 39 years in the CIA. ‘The war will last many years, and we will never be sure when it ends,’ Edger predicted.” [TULSA WORLD (OKLAHOMA), 10/12/2001; TULSA WORLD (OKLAHOMA), 11/9/2001; TULSA WORLD (OKLAHOMA), 3/25/2002; NORMAN TRANSCRIPT (OKLAHOMA), 10/11/2006] Entity Tags: David Edger, University of Oklahoma, Airman Flight School, David Boren Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Al-Qaeda in Germany

(August 2001): United Airlines Conducting Antiterrorism Training

Kathryn LaBorie. [Source: Family photo] A flight attendant who will be on board one of the hijacked planes on 9/11 reveals that she is undertaking training to deal with terrorists, but will not give any details. [ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/6/2006] Kathryn LaBorie has been working for United Airlines for nearly seven years. [ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/18/2001] While visiting her parents in Colorado Springs, Colorado in the weeks before 9/11, she mentions terrorists and the training she is undergoing at United Airlines to deal with them. Her father, Gene Yancey, later recalls: “She started to say something to me about terrorists, and the fear of, and then she wouldn’t talk to me anymore about it.” He will add, “I don’t know why to this day, but she wouldn’t talk about it any more than that introduction.” [ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/6/2006] LaBorie will be on Flight 175, the second plane to hit the World Trade Center, on 9/11. [ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 9/18/2001] Entity Tags: United Airlines, Kathryn LaBorie Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

August 2001: Hijackers Seek Help at Florida Pharmacy; Incident Later Raises Fear of Bioterrorism Pharmacist Gregg Chatterton approaches two men—later identified as Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi—after observing them spending a suspiciously long time in the skin care aisle of his drugstore, Huber Healthmart Drugs in Delray Beach, Florida. “My hands. They’re itching and they’re burning,” says Atta. Chatterton will later recall: “Both [of Atta’s] hands were red from the wrist down. If you filled your sink with bleach and stuck your hands in there for six hours, they would come out red, and that is what they looked like.” Asked the cause of his skin irritation, Atta replies evasively. After recommending a particular lotion, Chatterton is about to turn away when Atta forcefully slaps his hand against the druggist’s chest and says, “My friend, he’s got a cough.” Chatterton gives Alshehhi a bottle of Robitussin. Chatterton will remember the pair when the FBI comes calling a few weeks later. He will say, “When somebody touches you like that, you remember that customer.” According to the St. Petersburg Times, the incident will give rise “to the theory that Atta irritated his hands while handling anthrax” (See also October 14, 2001 and March-April 2002). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/13/2001; US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 10/28/2001; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/1/2002] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Gregg Chatterton, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta

August 2001: Associate of Alleged Hijackers Tells Potential Al-Qaeda Recruit ‘Something Big’ Is about to Happen Mohammed Haydar Zammar, an associate of 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi and Ziad Jarrah, tells an acquaintance that “something big” is about to happen, according to later court testimony by the acquaintance. Zammar advises the acquaintance, a radical Islamist who is thinking about going to train in paramilitary camps in Afghanistan, that he should go as soon as possible because of the forthcoming event. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/30/2003] Zammar has been under investigation by numerous intelligence agencies for years (see 1996, Early 1996, March 1997, and Summer 1999). Entity Tags: Mohammed Haydar Zammar Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Germany

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 Category Tags: Warning Signs, US Air Security

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Foreign Intelligence Warnings, Key Warnings, Other Possible Moles or Informants

August 2001: Six 9/11 Hijackers Live Near Entrance to NSA At least six 9/11 hijackers, including all of those who boarded Flight 77, live in Laurel, Maryland, from about this time. They reportedly include Hani Hanjour, Majed Moqed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, and Salem Alhazmi. Laurel, Maryland, is home to a Muslim imam named Moataz Al-Hallak who teaches at a local Islamic school and has been linked to bin Laden. He has testified three times before a grand jury investigating bin Laden. NSA expert James Bamford later states, “The terrorist cell that eventually took over the airliner that crashed into the Pentagon ended up living, working, planning and developing all their activities in Laurel, Maryland, which happens to be the home of the NSA. So they were actually living alongside NSA employees as they were plotting all these things.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/19/2001; RADIO 4 'TODAY', 6/21/2002] Entity Tags: Pentagon, Salem Alhazmi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Osama bin Laden, Moataz Al-Hallak, Hani Hanjour, National Security Agency, Majed Moqed, James Bamford, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Remote Surveillance, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Hani Hanjour, Other 9/11 Hijackers

August 2001: 9/11 Hijacker Possibly Seen Near Facility Where ‘Blind Sheikh’ Is Being Held

Mohand Alshehri. [Source: FBI] Hijacker Mohand Alshehri is apparently seen in a bar in Rochester, Minnesota, and is engaged in conversation with a woman there. Rochester is home to the Federal Medical Center prison, where the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, is held from 1998 to 2002. The hijackers have a number of tangential links to him (see Early 2000-September 10, 2001). The woman, Nancy Hanlon, often runs into Arabs at the bar, which is popular with Saudis receiving medical treatment nearby. Hanlon will later describe Alshehri as “young, dishevelled—and utterly despondent. He was slumped over a glass of beer… It was overwhelming—the despair that a person can give out! Out of every part of him. His face.” During their three-hour conversation Alshehri, who claims to be a pilot and produces a pilot’s ID, insists, “You are talking to a dead man. I don’t exist. I’m a ghost. I’m not even here, I’m dead… I’ve got myself into something there is no way out. There is no way out… It has been decided. He has decided it. It is done. It is finished.” However, he does brighten up a few times and says, “We are really going to show your country something. Something big. It’s going to be really big.” After 9/11, Hanlon apparently remains unaware of pictures showing Alshehri as one of the 9/11 hijackers. She goes to the FBI in 2002 and identifies Alshehri from a series of photographs. However, the FBI will say there is no reason to believe Alshehri ever visited Rochester. [MINNEAPOLIS ST. PAUL CITY PAGES, 6/30/2004] Entity Tags: Nancy Hanlon, Mohand Alshehri, Omar Abdul-Rahman Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Hijackers, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman

August 2001: Russia Warns US of Suicide Pilots Russian President Vladimir Putin warns the US that suicide pilots are training for attacks on US targets. [FOX NEWS, 5/17/2002] The head of Russian intelligence Nikolai Patrushev also later states, “We had clearly warned them” on several occasions, but they “did not pay the necessary attention.” [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 9/16/2001] A Russian newspaper on September 12, 2001, will claim, “Russian Intelligence agents know the organizers and executors of these terrorist attacks. More than that, Moscow warned Washington about preparation to these actions a couple of weeks before they happened.” Interestingly, the article will claim that at least two of the militants were Muslim radicals from Uzbekistan. [IZVESTIA, 9/12/2001] Entity Tags: Vladimir Putin, Nikolai Patrushev Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Warnings, Warning Signs, Foreign Intelligence Warnings

August 2001: US Learns of Plot to Crash Airplane into US Embassy in Nairobi US intelligence learns of a plot to either bomb the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, from an airplane or crash an airplane into it. Two people who were reportedly acting on instructions from bin Laden met in October 2000 to discuss this plot. [US CONGRESS, 9/18/2002] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Warning Signs

August 2001: Crown Prince Abdullah Warns Bush Against Pro-Israeli Stance in Letter Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah writes to President Bush saying that the administration’s increasingly pro-Israel stance with regard to the Palestinians and other issues is putting the Saudis in a very difficult position. The prince warns that Saudi Arabia may need to reassess its relations with the United States. Bush immediately responds by promising a new, more balanced initiative for peace in the Middle East, including support for a Palestinian state. But the new American initiative will be derailed by the events of September 11. [BBC, 11/9/2001; TEL AVIV NOTES, 5/7/2002] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Category Tags: Saudi Arabia

August 2001: FEMA Warns of Likely Terrorist Attack on New York Edit

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) issues a report warning of the three most likely catastrophes facing America. One of these is a terrorist attack on New York City. (The other two scenarios are a massive San Francisco earthquake and a hurricane hitting New Orleans.) FEMA managers compiled the list of potential disasters at a training session. [HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 12/1/2001; SALON, 8/31/2005; INDEPENDENT, 9/4/2005; NEW REPUBLIC, 9/26/2005] Entity Tags: Federal Emergency Management Agency Category Tags: Warning Signs

(August 2001): NSA Intercepts Another Call to Hijackers in US The NSA has been intercepting calls between at least two hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, in the US and an al-Qaeda communications hub in Sana’a, Yemen, run by al-Qaeda operative Ahmed al-Hada over an approximately 18-month period before 9/11 (see Early 2000-Summer 2001). According to MSNBC, the final intercepted call comes “only weeks” before 9/11. [MSNBC, 7/21/2004] Around the same time there is great alarm in the US intelligence community over a communications intercept in Yemen indicating there was going to be a major al-Qaeda attack against US interests (see June 30-July 1, 2001). Further, the investigation of the USS Cole bombing has reignited interest in Almihdhar and Alhazmi on the part of the US intelligence community since at least June 2001 (see June 11, 2001 and July 13, 2001). The two of them are placed on an international no-fly list in late August (see August 23, 2001). Entity Tags: National Security Agency, Ahmed al-Hada, Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit, Remote Surveillance, Yemen Hub, Hijacker Contact w Government in US

August-October 2001: Britain Seeks Indian Assistance in Catching Saeed Sheikh British intelligence asks India for legal assistance in catching Saeed Sheikh sometime during August 2001. Saeed has been openly living in Pakistan since 1999 and has even traveled to Britain at least twice during that time, despite having kidnapped Britons and Americans in 1993 and 1994. [LONDON TIMES, 4/21/2002; VANITY FAIR, 8/2002] According to the Indian media, informants in Germany tell the internal security service there that Saeed helped fund hijacker Mohamed Atta. [FRONTLINE, 10/13/2001] On September 23, it is revealed, without explanation, that the British have asked India for help in finding Saeed. [LONDON TIMES, 9/23/2001] Saeed Sheikh’s role in training the hijackers and financing the 9/11 attacks soon becomes public knowledge, though some elements are disputed. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/30/2001; CNN, 10/6/2001; CNN, 10/8/2001] The Gulf News claims that the US freezes the assets of Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammed on October 12, 2001, because it has established links between Saeed Sheikh and 9/11. [GULF NEWS, 10/11/2001] However, in October, an Indian magazine notes, “Curiously, there seems to have been little international pressure on Pakistan to hand [Saeed] over” [FRONTLINE, 10/13/2001] , and the US does not formally ask Pakistan for help to find Saeed until January 2002. Entity Tags: Jaish-e-Mohammed, United States, India, Pakistan, Mohamed Atta, Saeed Sheikh, United Kingdom Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Saeed Sheikh, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

Early August 2001: Government Informant Warns Congressmen of Plan to Attack the WTC

Randy Glass. [Source: Banded Artists Productions] Randy Glass, a former con artist turned government informant, later will claim that he contacts the staff of Senator Bob Graham [D] and Representative Robert Wexler [D] at this time and warns them of a plan to attack the WTC, but his warnings are ignored. [PALM BEACH POST, 10/17/2002] Glass also tells the media at this time that his recently concluded informant work has “far greater ramifications than have so far been revealed,” and, “potentially, thousands of lives [are] at risk.” [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 8/7/2001] Glass was a key informant in a sting operation involving ISI agents who were illegally trying to purchase sophisticated US military weaponry in return for cash and heroin. He later claims that in July 1999, one ISI agent named Rajaa Gulum Abbas pointed to the WTC and said, “Those towers are coming down.” [PALM BEACH POST, 10/17/2002] Most details apparently remain sealed. For instance Glass will claim that his sealed sentencing document dated June 15, 2001, lists threats against the WTC and Americans. [WPBF 25 (WEST PALM BEACH), 8/5/2002] Florida State Senator Ron Klein, who had dealings with Glass before 9/11, later will say he is surprised it took so many months for the US to listen to Glass: “Shame on us.” [PALM BEACH POST, 10/17/2002] Klein will recall getting a warning from Glass, though he cannot recall if it mentions the WTC specifically. He will say he was told US intelligence agencies would look into it. [WPTV 5 (WEST PALM BEACH), 10/7/2002] Senator Graham later will acknowledge that his office had contact with Glass before 9/11, and was told about a WTC attack: “I was concerned about that and a dozen other pieces of information which emanated from the summer of 2001.” However, Graham will say that he personally was unaware of Glass’s information until after 9/11. [PALM BEACH POST, 10/17/2002] In October 2002, Glass will testify under oath before a private session of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, stating, “I told [the inquiry] I have specific evidence, and I can document it.” [PALM BEACH POST, 10/17/2002] Entity Tags: Randy Glass, Ron Klein, Bob Graham, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Robert Wexler, Rajaa Gulum Abbas, World Trade Center Category Tags: Warning Signs, Randy Glass/ Diamondback, Key Warnings, Other Possible Moles or Informants

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 Category Tags: Warning Signs, Key Warnings

Early August 2001: Saeed Sheikh Receives Ransom Money; Sends $100,000 to Hijacker Atta The ransom for a wealthy Indian shoe manufacturer kidnapped in Calcutta, India, two weeks earlier is paid to an Indian gangster named Aftab Ansari. Ansari is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and has ties to the ISI and Saeed Sheikh. Ansari gives some of the about $830,000 in ransom money to Saeed, who sends about $100,000 of it to hijacker Mohamed Atta. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 1/23/2002; INDEPENDENT, 1/24/2002] According to some accounts, the money is moved through a charity, the Al Rashid Trust. Some of the money is also channelled to the Taliban, as well as to Pakistani and Kashmiri militant groups. [NEWSINSIGHT, 1/4/2002; PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, 4/3/2002] The money is apparently paid into two of Atta’s accounts in Florida (see Summer 2001 and before). The Al Rashid Trust is one of the first al-Qaeda funding vehicles to have its assets frozen after 9/11 (see September 24, 2001). A series of recovered e-mails shows the money is sent just after August 11. This appears to be one of a series of Indian kidnappings this gang carries out in 2001. [INDIA TODAY, 2/14/2002; TIMES OF INDIA, 2/14/2002] Saeed provides training and weapons to the kidnappers in return for a percentage of the profits. [FRONTLINE (CHENNAI), 2/2/2002; INDIA TODAY, 2/25/2002] This account is frequently mentioned in the Indian press, but appears in the US media as well. For instance, veteran Associated Press reporter Kathy Gannon will write, “Western intelligence sources believe Saeed sent $100,000 to Mohamed Atta, the suspected ringleader of the Sept. 11 terrorist hijackings,” although they apparently think the hawala system was used for this. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/9/2002] Some evidence suggests Saeed may also have sent Atta a similar amount in 2000 (see (July-August 2000) and Summer 2000). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Saeed Sheikh, Aftab Ansari, Al Rashid Trust, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Saeed Sheikh

Early August 2001: Britain Warns US Again; Specifies Multiple Airplane Hijackings Britain gives the US another warning about an al-Qaeda attack. The previous British warning on July 16, 2001 (see July 16, 2001), was vague as to method, but this warning specifies multiple airplane hijackings. This warning is said to reach President Bush. [SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 5/19/2002] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Al-Qaeda Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Foreign Intelligence Warnings, Key Warnings

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

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 Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Luai Sakra, Al-Qaeda in Germany

Early August-August 22, 2001: 9/11 Paymaster Skims Money for Hijackers? An unnamed Sudanese national living in Saudi Arabia makes two wire transfers totaling about $6,500 from the National Commercial Bank in Saudi Arabia to 9/11 plot facilitator Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi’s Standard Chartered Bank account in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The 9/11 Commission will later report that a “foreign security agency” learned from the sender that he had been asked to wire the funds by Uthman Alshehri, a brother of hijackers Waleed and Wail Alshehri. According to the commission, $4,900 of this is deposited in a UAE account of hijacker Fayez Ahmed Banihammad. What happens to the other $1,600 is unclear. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 138, 143 ] After the money is deposited in his UAE account, Banihammad receives a call from an associate in Germany on August 18 and withdraws $3,000 on August 20 and $4,800 on August 22 from the account. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 6/2002 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] Court documents suggest that more money was sent to the hijackers by al-Hawsawi. “[Khalid] Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) explained that Alshehhi was sent $81,000 (US) via al-Baluchi for Alshehhi’s, Atta’s, and Jarrah’s flight training… Most of these types of transfers were made by al-Hawsawi who was located in the UAE.” However, doubts have been expressed about the reliability of this document, which was based on KSM’s testimony, obtained through the use of torture (see June 16, 2004). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, 7/31/2006 ] For some time after 9/11, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi is described in the media as the hijackers’ paymaster, even though this is the only confirmed transfer associated with him. Moreover, there are questions about his identity and whether or not “Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi” is his real name. [CNN, 3/4/2003] Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Uthman Alshehri Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Hijackers, Terrorism Financing

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August 2-3, 2001: Taliban Official Predicts US Will Invade Afghanistan by Mid-October, Possibly in Response to Major Attack Inside US A senior official in the Taliban’s defense ministry tells journalist Hamid Mir that the US will soon invade Afghanistan. Mir will later recall that he is told, “[W]e believe Americans are going to invade Afghanistan and they will do this before October 15, 2001, and justification for this would be either one of two options: Taliban got control of Afghanistan or a big major attack against American interests either inside America or elsewhere in the world.” Mir reports this information before 9/11, presumably in the newspaper in Pakistan that he works for. [BERGEN, 2006, PP. 287] Interestingly, Afghan warlord Gulbuddin Hekmatyar made a similar prediction to Mir several months before (see April 2001). Also, several weeks earlier, US officials reportedly passed word to Taliban officials in a back channel meeting that the US may soon attack Afghanistan if the Taliban do not cooperate on building an oil and gas pipeline running through the country. According to one participant in the meeting, the US attack would take place “by the middle of October at the latest” (see July 21, 2001). Entity Tags: Taliban, Hamid Mir Category Tags: Warning Signs, Pipeline Politics

August 3, 2001: Florida Police Fail to Notice Arrest Warrant for Mohamed Atta Mohamed Atta’s rental car is queried by police in Broward County, Florida. This incident is added to the NCIC, a widely used nationwide police database. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 204 ] On June 4, a Florida warrant was issued for Atta’s arrest, as he skipped court following a previous traffic offense (see June 4, 2001). It is not clear why the existing arrest warrant does not raise a red flag, since he rented the car in his own name. Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, National Crime Information Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Hijacker Contact w Government in US

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Aug 7Edit

August 7, 2001: Version of Bush’s Al-Qaeda Briefing Is Incomplete, Poorly Distributed Edit

One day after Bush receives a Presidential Daily Briefing entitled, “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US,” a version of the same material is given to other top government officials. However, this Senior Executive Intelligence Brief (SEIB) does not contain the most important information from Bush’s briefing. It does not mention that there are 70 FBI investigations into possible al-Qaeda activity, does not mention a May 2001 threat of US-based explosives attacks, and does not mention FBI concerns about recent surveillance of buildings in New York City. The Associated Press will report that this type of memo “goes to scores of Cabinet-agency officials from the assistant secretary level up and does not include raw intelligence or sensitive information about ongoing law enforcement matters” due to fear of media leaks. SEIBs were sent to many more officials during the Clinton administration. The Associated Press will also state that “some who saw the memo said they feared it gave policy-makers and members of the congressional intelligence committees a picture of the domestic threat so stale and incomplete that it didn’t provide the necessary sense of urgency one month before the Sept. 11 attacks.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/13/2004] Attorney General John Ashcroft will later say he does not recall seeing the SEIB before 9/11 (see Between August 7 and September 10, 2001). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, George W. Bush, Bush administration, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Al-Qaeda Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Bush's Aug. 6, 2001 PDB, Presidential Level Warnings, Warning Signs


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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other Pre-9/11 Events


Between August 7 and September 10, 2001: Ashcroft Supposedly Does Not See ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’ Memo before 9/11 On August 7, 2001, a version of the Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” given to President Bush the day before is sent to other top US officials (see August 7, 2001). This version, called an SEIB, has the same title as the PDB but contains less classified information. Attorney General John Ashcroft - the head of law enforcement in the US - will later claim that he does not remember seeing this SEIB before 9/11. He will say he was at a conference in Chicago at the time and he does not remember his staff briefing him about it later. In the Clinton administration, the attorney general was a regular recipient of the same PDB given to the president. [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004] Entity Tags: John Ashcroft Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Bush's Aug. 6, 2001 PDB, Presidential Level Warnings, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Warning Signs

Between August 6 and September 11, 2001: No High-Level Meetings to Discuss ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’ Memo The Bush administration holds no high-level meetings prior to 9/11 to discuss the ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’ Presidential Daily Briefing (PDB) given to President Bush on August 6, 2001 (see August 6, 2001). Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will later suggest that 9/11 might have been stopped “if [National Security Adviser] Rice and the president had acted personally, gotten involved, shaken the trees, gotten the Cabinet members involved when they had ample warning in June and July and August that something was about to happen.… [Rice] said that the president received 40 warnings face to face from the director of central intelligence that a major al-Qaeda attack was going to take place and she admitted that the president did not have a meeting on the subject, did not convene the Cabinet. She admitted that she didn’t convene the Cabinet. And as some of the [9/11 Commissioners] pointed out, this was in marked contrast to the way the government operated in December of 1999, when it had similar information and it successfully thwarted attacks.” [ABC NEWS, 4/8/2004] Former CIA official Larry Johnson will similarly comment, “At a minimum, the details in the 6 August PDB should have motivated Rice to convene a principals’ meeting. Such a meeting would have ensured that all members of the president’s national security team were aware of the information that had been shared with the president. George Bush should have directed the different department heads to report back within one week on any information relevant to the al-Qaeda threat. Had he done this there is a high probability that the FBI field agents concerns about Arabs taking flight training would have rung some bells. There is also a high probability that the operations folks at CIA would have shared the information they had in hand about the presence of al-Qaeda operators in the United States.” [TOM PAINE (.COM), 4/12/2004] There will be one cabinet-level principals meeting to discuss terrorism on September 4, 2001, but no evidence has been released suggesting the PDB or the possibility of al-Qaeda attacking the US was discussed (see September 4, 2001). Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, Richard A. Clarke, George W. Bush, Larry C. Johnson Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Bush's Aug. 6, 2001 PDB, Presidential Level Warnings, Warning Signs

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Bush's Aug. 6, 2001 PDB

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Israel, Warning Signs, Foreign Intelligence Warnings, Key Warnings

Aug 10Edit

August 10-11, 2001: Moussaoui Moves to Minnesota; Apartment Vandalized

Zacarias Moussaoui. [Source: US Justice Department] Zacarias Moussaoui moves from Oklahoma to Minnesota, in order to attend flight school training there. Moussaoui drives there with Hussein al-Attas, a friend who will stay with him in Minnesota. Curiously, on August 11, someone breaks into the Norman, Oklahoma, apartment that remained unoccupied since Moussaoui moved out of it at the end of May 2001. A neighbor’s bicycle is used to break through the door of the vacant apartment and a bloodstain is left on the wall. A neighbor “[tells] reporters that furniture was overturned as if someone was looking for something.” [MSNBC, 12/11/2001; ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 9/10/2002; US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002] Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Hussein al-Attas Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 11-15, 2001: Flight School Staff Become Suspicious of Moussaoui, Fear He May Be Hijacker Edit

Hugh Sims (left) and Tim Nelson (right). [Source: Flysouth and Andy King / Associated Press] Flight engineer Tim Nelson and pilot Hugh Sims, who work at the Pan Am International Flight School where Zacarias Moussaoui trains to fly a Boeing 747-400, are immediately suspicious of Moussaoui, and their suspicions continue to grow after his arrival because:

He sends unusual emails that are signed “zuluman tangotango” and laced with grammatical errors, even though he says he is a British businessman; [CNN, 3/2/2006] His e-mails also include abnormal comments such as, “E[mail] is not secure;” [NEWSWEEK, 10/1/2001] 
He pays most of his $8,300 fee in hundred dollar bills. This makes Nelson suspicious, because he thinks cash is hard to track; [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/8/2002; STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005; CNN, 3/2/2006] 
He is alone, whereas most trainees arrive in groups; [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005] 
He says he wants to fly a 747 not because he plans to be a pilot, but as an “ego boosting thing.” However, within hours of his arrival, it is clear he is “not some affluent joyrider,” as he is shabbily dressed; [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/8/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/18/2002; STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005] 
In addition, it is unusual that he has no aviation background, very little experience, and no pilot’s license. All other pilots at the center, even “vanity pilots”—wealthy individuals who just want the thrill of flying a large jet—have many times more flying hours than Moussaoui and are all licensed; [US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002; STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005; RAKE, 5/2005] 
He has flown for 57 hours at flight school in Oklahoma, but not yet flown solo, which is unusual. The school’s manager of pilot training, Alan McHale, will later comment, “My worst student was a grandma, and I got her to solo after 21 hours;” [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005] 
He is not just buying a one-period joyride, but a whole course; [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005] 
He seems determined to pack a large amount of training in a short period for no apparent reason; [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/8/2002] 
He is “extremely” interested in the operation of the plane’s doors and control panel. [US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002] He also is very keen to learn the protocol for communicating with the flight tower, despite claiming to have no plans to become an actual pilot; [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/8/2002] 
He talks to some Syrian airline pilots training at the facility, and the pilots tell Nelson that Moussaoui is fluent in Arabic. Nelson, who is already worried Moussaoui might be up to no good, thinks, “One more red flag;” [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005; CNN, 3/2/2006] 
The school’s accountant complains that Moussaoui’s payment is a couple of hundred dollars short, but that he does not have a credit card with him, even though he says he is an international businessman; [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005] and

Nelson thinks back to an incident in Japan when the captain was stabbed to death and the killer then flew the plane for 45 minutes before the co-captain regained control. He is concerned Moussaoui might perform a suicide hijacking, “Here’s the problem: You’ve got an aircraft that weighs upwards of 900,000 pounds fully loaded and carries between 50,000 and 57,000 gallons of jet fuel. If you fly it at 350 knots [about 400 miles per hour] into a heavily populated area, you’re going to kill a boatload of people.” After talking to instructor Clancy Prevost, who is also suspicious of Moussaoui (see August 13-15, 2001), both Sims and Nelson independently decide to call the FBI and Moussaoui is arrested soon after the calls are made (see August 16, 2001). [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 4/24/2005] Entity Tags: Tim Nelson, Zacarias Moussaoui, Alan McHale, Hugh Sims Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 13-14, 2001: 9/11 Hijackers Meet in Las Vegas for Summit Edit

Mohamed Atta stayed at the Las Vegas Econolodge. [Source: Chris Farina/Corbis] The lead hijackers meet in Las Vegas for a summit a few weeks before 9/11. Investigators will believe that this is the “most crucial planning in the United States,” but will not understand why the hijackers choose Vegas, since they are all living on the East Coast at this time (see March 2001-September 1, 2001 and August 6-September 9, 2001). One senior official will speculate, “Perhaps they figured it would be easy to blend in.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/4/2001] At least three of the plot leaders are in Las Vegas at this time. Hani Hanjour and Nawaf Alhazmi fly from Dulles Airport to Los Angeles on an American Airlines Boeing 757, the same sort of plane they hijack on 9/11, and then continue to Las Vegas. Mohamed Atta also flies to Las Vegas from Washington National Airport. This is his second trip to Vegas, which was also previously visited by some of the other hijackers (see May 24-August 14, 2001). A few weeks earlier, Atta had traveled to Spain, possibly with some of the other hijackers, to finalize the plans for the attack with their associate Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see July 8-19, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 1, 17, 21 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 57-8 ] Alhazmi will later be recalled by a hotel employee, who will say she ran into him at the Days Inn. According to her later account, he is “cold and abrupt,” in Vegas on “important business,” and will soon be traveling to Los Angeles. He asks for a list of Days Inns in Los Angeles, but does not want a reservation to be made. He also claims to be from Florida, although he is only thought to have spent a week there (see June 19-25, 2001). [LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL, 10/26/2001] A close associate of the hijackers, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, will later say in a 2002 interview that Ziad Jarrah, Marwan Alshehhi, and Khalid Almihdhar are also present in Vegas at this time. [FOUDA AND FIELDING, 2003, PP. 137] Newsweek calls Vegas an “odd location” and comments: “They stayed in cheap hotels on a dreary stretch of the Strip frequented by dope dealers and $10 street hookers. Perhaps they wished to be fortified for their mission by visiting a shrine to American decadence. Or maybe they just wanted a city that was easy to reach by air from their various cells in Florida, New Jersey and San Diego.” [NEWSWEEK, 10/15/2001] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Khalid Almihdhar, Hani Hanjour, Ziad Jarrah, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohamed Atta, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Hani Hanjour, Ziad Jarrah

August 13-15, 2001: Flight Instructor Becomes Suspicious of Moussaoui Edit

Pan Am International Flight School. [Source: FBI] (click image to enlarge) Although some staff at the Pan Am International Flight School became a little suspicious of Zacarias Moussaoui before he arrived (see August 11-15, 2001), within two days of his arrival at the school, Moussaoui’s behaviour makes his assigned instructor Clancy Prevost highly suspicious. This is because:

Moussaoui has only flown for under 60 hours, whereas the second least experienced student Prevost ever had had 10 times as many hours. This lack of experience means Moussaoui does not really understand the instruction; [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006] 
When Moussaoui is asked what his goal is, he tells Prevost he wants to fly a 747 from London to New York, the same goal he gave in his original e-mail to the flight school. [RAKE, 5/2005] This raises fears he has plans to hijack such a flight; [US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002] 
When Prevost relates a story about a charter flight in the Middle East where getting the doors open was a problem, the story causes Prevost to ask Moussaoui whether he is a Muslim and Moussaoui replies in a strange tone, “I am nothing.” This makes Prevost worry so much that he ends the session, goes back to his motel, and calls the flight school to express his reservations about Moussaoui. He talks to his manager in the morning and says, “We’ll care [about having trained Moussaoui] when there’s a hijacking and he knows how to throw the switches and put them in the right position and all the lawsuits start coming in when they figure out we taught him how to do this”; 
Prevost then goes into a supervisors’ meeting and recommends calling the FBI, but becomes even more upset when he is told Moussaoui paid for his training in $100 bills.

As Moussaoui does not learn much during the day, Prevost invites him to observe a simulator session that evening, which Moussaoui does with interest. The following day Prevost meets the FBI, which has now been alerted by the school, and shares his feeling it would be a good idea to do a background check on Moussaoui. The FBI subsequently arrests Moussaoui (see August 16, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006] Some claims later made about Moussaoui in the media may be inaccurate:

He is said to mostly practice flying in the air, not taking off or landing. [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 12/21/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 2/8/2002; SLATE, 5/21/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 5/22/2002] However, he is arrested after ground instruction and never flies the simulator, so it is unclear how this could happen. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006] 9/11 Congressional Inquiry staff director Eleanor Hill will also later say that the reports saying he only wanted to pilot a plane in the air are untrue. [US CONGRESS, 9/24/2002] In addition, the 9/11 Commission will comment, “Contrary to popular belief, Moussaoui did not say he was not interested in learning how to take off or land”; [9/11 COMMISSION, 4/13/2004] 
It will be reported that he appears not to understand French, despite being from France, and does not specify the Middle Eastern country he says he comes from. [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 12/21/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/2/2002] However, at the trial Prevost will recall that Moussaoui spoke good French and that Moussaoui told him he had both French and Moroccan passports. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006]

Prevost will later receive a controversial $5 million reward from the US Department of State’s Reward for Justice program. [NEWSWEEK, 1/30/2008] Entity Tags: Clancy Prevost, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Zacarias Moussaoui, Pan Am International Flight School Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 14, 2001: Atta’s Hamburg Associates Purchase Tickets to Pakistan Edit

Two apparent associates of Mohamed Atta’s Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, Ismail Ben Mrabete and Ahmed Taleb, purchase tickets to fly to Pakistan on September 3, 2001. They will be joined on that flight by cell member Said Bahaji. All three will disappear into Afghanistan thereafter. It is later discovered that Taleb had been in e-mail contact with al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 2/25/2003] Note that these purchases occur one day before Zacarias Moussaoui’s arrest in Minnesota, suggesting the date for the 9/11 attacks was set before his arrest (see August 16, 2001). Entity Tags: Abu Zubaida, Said Bahaji, Ismail Ben Mrabete, Ahmed Taleb Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Germany, Abu Zubaida

15Edit

Main article: 15 August 2001

August 15-20, 2001: Minneapolis FBI Immediately Suspects Wider Airline Hijacking Plot Immediately after learning of Zacarias Moussaoui’s suspicious behavior, Minneapolis FBI agent Harry Samit, one of the agents who arrests Moussaoui (see August 16, 2001), suspects he is preparing to hijack an airliner. He writes to a colleague, “That’s pretty ominous and obviously suggests some sort of hijacking plan.” [ST. PAUL PIONEER PRESS, 4/4/2006] Interviews with Moussaoui after his arrest will reinforce the Minneapolis FBI’s suspicions that he is involved in a wider terrorist plot against airliners (see August 16-17, 2001). And after interviewing Moussaoui’s associate Hussein al-Attas as well (see August 16, 2001), Samit is unequivocally “convinced… a hundred percent that Moussaoui [is] a bad actor, [is] probably a professional mujaheddin and this [is] not a joyride, that he [is] completely bent on the use of this aircraft for destructive purposes.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 114-5, 120-2 ] In the main initial memo from Samit to other FBI units, Samit describes Moussaoui as “extremely evasive” and “extremely agitated.” Samit also writes that Moussaoui appeared to by lying when he denied he had weapons training. Samit says, “Minneapolis believes that Moussaoui is an Islamic extremist preparing for some future act in furtherance of radical fundamentalist goals.” Samit expresses his belief Moussaoui is planning something with a 747-400. He is aware Moussaoui’s plan probably involves co-conspirators and writes “Moussaoui, al-Attas, and others yet unknown are conspiring to commit violations of [Federal anti-terrorism statutes],” and “there is reason to believe that Moussaoui and al-Attas are part of a larger international radical fundamentalist group.” Samit even suspects Moussaoui of two of the offenses he will eventually be charged with and plead guilty to (see April 22, 2005). The e-mail accompanying the main memo concludes, “[p]lease let me know a soon as [the Department] gives the go-ahead. We’re all counting on you!” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 120-2 ; MINNEAPOLIS STAR TRIBUNE, 6/4/2006] Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI Headquarters, Harry Samit, Hussein al-Attas Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August-Early September 2001: Bin Laden Closes Al-Qaeda’s Afghanistan Training Camps In a 2007 book about the “Lackawanna Six” entitled The Jihad Next Door, author Dina Temple-Raston will write that al-Qaeda “shuttered the training camps in August 2001, leaving little sign of the encampments that once dotted the Pakistan-Afghan border.” After 9/11, the camps are not reopened. [TEMPLE-RASTON, 2007, PP. 130] One article shortly after 9/11 suggests that bin Laden moves his training camps in Afghanistan “in the days before the attacks.” [PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, 9/16/2001] Presumably the CIA notices. CIA Director George Tenet will later claim a group of men from an allied intelligence agency penetrated the camps not long before 9/11 (see Early September 2001), satellites are monitoring Afghanistan from the sky, and the CIA had over 100 assets in Afghanistan before 9/11 (see Before September 11, 2001). FBI agent Jack Cloonan will also later say, “There were agents run into the camps” (see Before September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Warnings, Warning Signs, Remote Surveillance

Mid-AugustEdit

Mid-August 2001: Afghan Leader Organizes Taliban Resistance Without US SupportEdit

Abdul Haq, a famous Afghan leader of the mujaheddin, returns to Peshawar, Pakistan, from the US. Having failed to gain US support, except for that of some private individuals such as former National Security Adviser Robert McFarlane, Haq begins organizing subversive operations in Afghanistan. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/28/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 11/2/2001] He is later killed entering Afghanistan in October 2001, after his position is reportedly betrayed to the Taliban by the ISI. Entity Tags: Taliban, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Abdul Haq, Robert C. McFarlane Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden

Mid-August 2001: Hijacker Hanjour Still Not Skilled Enough to Fly Solo Edit

Hani Hanjour. [Source: FBI] 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour goes to the Freeway Airport in Bowie, Maryland, about 20 miles west of Washington. He wants to rent a single engine Cessna airplane. However, when two instructors take him on three test runs, they find he has trouble controlling and landing the plane. One instructor has to help him land. Due to his poor skills, therefore, he is not allowed to rent one of their planes without more lessons. Further, while Hanjour appears to have logged over 600 hours of flying experience and possesses a valid pilot’s license (though it has in fact expired), he refuses to provide contact information: He gives no phone number and only gives his address as being a hotel in Laurel. In spite of Hanjour’s lack of flying skills, chief instructor Marcel Bernard later claims, “There’s no doubt in my mind that once [Flight 77] got going, he could have pointed that plane at a building and hit it.” [CAPITAL NEWS, 9/19/2001; GAZETTE (GREENBELT), 9/21/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 10/15/2001] However, on 9/11, in piloting Flight 77 into the Pentagon, Hanjour would have needed to do much more than simply point the plane at a target. Because Flight 77 at first seemed to overshoot its target, the Washington Post will note that “the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver. The plane circled 270 degrees to the right to approach the Pentagon from the west, whereupon Flight 77 fell below radar level.… Aviation sources said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill, making it highly likely that a trained pilot was at the helm.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/12/2001] One Washington air traffic controller will later comment, “The speed, the maneuverability, the way that he turned, we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane.” [ABC NEWS, 10/24/2001] One law enforcement official who will study Flight 77’s descent after 9/11 will call it the work of “a great talent… virtually a textbook turn and landing.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/10/2002] Remarkably, the 9/11 Commission will overlook the numerous accounts of Hanjour’s terrible piloting skills (see April 15, 1999 and January-February 2001) and state that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed assigned the Pentagon target specifically to Hanjour because he was “the operation’s most experienced pilot.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 530] Entity Tags: Hani Hanjour, Marcel Bernard, 9/11 Commission, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Hani Hanjour, Alleged Hijackers' Flight Training

Mid-August 2001: FBI Fails to Act When Known Al-Qaeda Sniper Moves to Minneapolis Edit

Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi moves to Minneapolis, Minnesota. Elzahabi has a long association with al-Qaeda, and has just returned from Chechnya where he fought as a sniper (see April 16, 2004-June 25, 2004). His “name was known to the FBI well before the Sept. 11 attacks, according to law enforcement officials who declined to be identified. He also was on a list of possible or suspected terrorists” circulated to foreign airlines and banks shortly after 9/11. [FOX NEWS, 6/26/2004; STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 6/30/2004] In fact, Canadian intelligence began investigating him for suspected militant ties in 1997, and the Boston FBI began investigating him in 1999, but lost track of him when he left the US later that year (see 1997 and 1999). He was connected to al-Qaeda operatives Raed Hijazi, Nabil al-Marabh, and Bassam Kanj. He worked as a Boston taxi driver with them (see June 1995-Early 1999), and also fought with them in Afghanistan (see Late 1980s). Fox News will later note that Elzahabi has a “potential link to Zacarias Moussaoui” since Moussaoui moved to Minneapolis in early August 2001 and is arrested on August 15, but no firm connection between the two has been shown. It has not been reported exactly when Elzahabi arrives in Minneapolis, but he applies for a commercial driver’s license on August 23, 2001. He is fingerprinted for a criminal background check at that time, which presumably would alert the FBI that he is living in Minneapolis if they do not know already. But it is not known if Minneapolis FBI agents, desperately trying to get a warrant for Moussaoui, are told about Elzahabi before 9/11. In January 2002, the FBI will run his name through a database. Despite the FBI’s knowledge of his al-Qaeda ties, he is cleared to get the license. This allows him to haul hazardous materials. His friend and al-Qaeda operative Nabil al-Marabh received a similar license the year before (see August 2000-January 2001). Elzahabi will apply for a license allowing him to carry general freight in September 2003 and he will get insurance clearance to start work in April 2004. However, he will be arrested by FBI that same month (see April 16, 2004-June 25, 2004). [FOX NEWS, 6/26/2004; STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 6/30/2004] Entity Tags: Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, Nabil al-Marabh Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Nabil Al-Marabh, Zacarias Moussaoui

Mid-August 2001: Bin Laden Meets with Pakistani Nuclear Scientists and Discusses Building Nuclear Weapon Edit

Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood. [Source: Public domain] Two retired Pakistani nuclear scientists meet with Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri at a campfire in a compound near Kandahar, Afghanistan. The more prominent scientist, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood, worked with A. Q. Khan for two decades before having a falling out with him in the early 1990s (however, he was seen with Khan earlier in 2001 (see April 2001)). A highly regarded scientist, he also became an advocate of the Taliban and published a pamphlet predicting that “by 2002 millions may die through mass destruction weapons… terrorist attack, and suicide.” He was forced to retire in 1999 after publicly advocating sharing nuclear technology with other Islamic countries. The other scientist, Chaudiri Abdul Majeed, also retired in 1999 after a long career. In 2000, the two men set up a charity, Ummah Tameer-e-Nau, purporting to conduct relief work in Afghanistan (see 2000). Bin Laden allegedly tells the scientists that he has made great headway in advancing the apocalypse predicted by Mahmood. He claims that he has acquired highly enriched uranium from the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) and wants their help to turn it into a bomb. The scientists reply that while they could help with the science of fissile materials, they are not weapons designers. They are also asked with other Pakistani weapons experts could be approached for help. [LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 310-311] They spend two or three days at the compound and discuss how the material could be used to create a so-called dirty bomb, in which radioactive material is blown up using conventional explosives to spread radiation. But the discussion apparently ends inconclusively when bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, and others depart abruptly for the mountains. Before leaving, bin Laden says that something great is going to happen soon and Muslims around the world will join them in holy war. [FRANTZ AND COLLINS, 2007, PP. 264-265] Both US intelligence and Pakistani ISI learn about this meeting prior to the 9/11 attacks, but neither group will take any effective action as a result (see Shortly Before September 11, 2001 and Between Mid-August and September 10, 2001). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Chaudiri Abdul Majeed, Ummah Tameer-e-Nau, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Sultan Bashiruddin Mahmood Timeline Tags: A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network Category Tags: Warning Signs, Pakistan and the ISI, Pakistani Nukes & Islamic Militancy


Aug 16Edit

Main article: 16 August 2001

OtherEdit

August 16-19, 2001: Atta Rents Plane at Southeast Florida Airport; Accompanied by Unknown Passengers On August 16, Mohamed Atta arrives at Palm Beach Flight Training, located at an airport in the town of Lantana, southeast Florida. According to Marian Smith, the flight school’s owner, Atta says he wants to get in 100 hours in the air. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/13/2001] He already accumulated about 300 hours of flying time during his earlier training. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/27/2001; TIME, 9/30/2001] Smith describes him as being “well-spoken, well-dressed,” and says, “He seemed normal to me.” [LOCAL 10 NEWS (MIAMI), 9/13/2001; MIAMI HERALD, 9/13/2001] Atta rents a single-engine Piper Archer. He makes his first flight accompanied by an instructor. Having demonstrated his competence, he returns the following day and again two days later. Each time he has a different companion who flies with him. The identities of these men are unknown, but Smith will later recollect that none of them was among the men identified as 9/11 hijackers. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/13/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/14/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/14/2001] On his final day at the school, Atta is heard speaking in Arabic over the plane’s radio. An instructor who speaks Arabic himself hears him happily exclaim, “God is great!” [OBSERVER, 12/23/2001] Workers at the school suspect nothing criminal about Atta, though. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Marian Smith, Palm Beach Flight Training, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Alleged Hijackers' Flight Training

otherEdit

August 16-17, 2001: Moussaoui Interviews Raise Concerns for FBI Agents Edit

After Zacarias Moussaoui is arrested, he consents to be interviewed on the day of the arrest and the next day by FBI agent Harry Samit. However, the interviews only alarm the FBI more, as Moussaoui makes a number of suspicious statements and his answers are extremely evasive: [CNN, 9/28/2002; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006]

Moussaoui says he does not want the French consul to be informed of his arrest, which makes the FBI think he is a criminal or an Islamic militant; 
Although Moussaoui says he works for a British company called NOP, he cannot remember what the letters stand for, neither can he recall his salary, job description, or any details of the business; [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006] 
He says he works as a “marketing consultant” for Infocus Tech, a Southeast Asian technology company, but also fails to provide information about that company; [MSNBC, 12/11/2001; US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006] 
When asked about his $32,000 bank balance, he initially says it is his savings, but then admits it was given to him by friends and associates, most of whose names he cannot remember (see August 17, 2001); 
Moussaoui’s passport, which indicates he spent two months in Pakistan shortly before arriving in the US, is new and he tells the FBI his old one was destroyed in the washing machine, which the agents know is a common lie for international criminals.

When Samit asks Moussaoui about his trips to Pakistan and tells Moussaoui his story does not add up and they are suspicious, Moussaoui requests an attorney and the interview ends. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 3/9/2006] Moussaoui’s associate Hussein al-Attas is also interviewed around this time and makes several statements indicating Moussaoui may be linked with a militant group (see August 16, 2001). Entity Tags: Harry Samit, Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI Minnesota field office Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui


After August 16, 2001: INS Agent Presses for Moussaoui Warrant Edit

INS agent Steve Nordmann. [Source: INS] Immigration and Naturalization Service agent Steve Nordmann, one of the officers who arrested Zacarias Moussaoui (see August 16, 2001), presses for a warrant so that law enforcement bodies can search Moussaoui’s computer files. He will later write of his regret that they were not allowed to access Moussaoui’s laptop. More details are not known as Nordmann will die in a motorcycle accident in 2003 and will not testify at Moussaoui’s trial. [STAR-TRIBUNE (MINNEAPOLIS), 6/28/2003; ST. CLOUD TIMES, 9/7/2003] FBI agents also press for a warrant to search Moussaoui’s belongings (see August 21, 2001 and August 23-27, 2001), which contain potentially enough information to prevent 9/11 (see August 16, 2001). However, the warrant is blocked by the Radical Fundamentalist Unit at FBI headquarters (see August 20-September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Steve Nordmann Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

17 AugEdit

Main article: 17 Aug 2001

August 17 and 31, 2001: CIA Director Tenet Briefs President Bush; Fails to Mention Moussaoui Edit

CIA records show that CIA Director George Tenet briefed President Bush twice in August—once in Crawford, Texas, on August 17, and once in Washington, on August 31. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/15/2004] In Tenet’s 2007 book, he will briefly mention that “A few weeks after the August 6 PDB [titled ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’ (see August 6, 2001)] was delivered, I followed it to Crawford to make sure the president stayed current on events. That was my first visit to the ranch.” [TENET, 2007, PP. 145] Later asked about what he told Bush at this meeting, Tenet will only say, “I held nothing back from the president. He understood our concerns about threats. He understood what we were doing around the world at the time.” [MSNBC, 5/7/2007] By the time of the second briefing, Tenet has been briefed about Zacarias Moussaoui’s arrest (see August 23, 2001), but, apparently, he fails to tell Bush about it. [WASHINGTON POST, 4/15/2004] In April 2004, Tenet will testify under oath before the 9/11 Commission that he had no direct communication with President Bush during the month of August. [NEW YORK TIMES, 4/15/2004] This is quickly discovered to be untrue. A CIA spokesperson will then claim, “He momentarily forgot [about the briefings]” (see April 14, 2004). [WASHINGTON POST, 4/15/2004] Tenet will personally brief Bush six more times before 9/11 and will still apparently fail to mention Moussaoui to him (see September 1-8, 2001). Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, George J. Tenet, George W. Bush, 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Presidential Level Warnings, Zacarias Moussaoui, Warning Signs


Summer 2001 and before: Hijacker Atta Receives $100,000 from Pakistan Mohamed Atta receives $100,000 from accounts in Pakistan. The money is transferred to two of his accounts in Florida. [FOX NEWS, 10/2/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/2/2001; US CONGRESS, 10/3/2001; CNN, 10/6/2001; CNN, 10/8/2001] This will later be reported in various media, for example, ABC News will say that federal authorities track “more than $100,000 from banks in Pakistan to two banks in Florida to accounts held by suspected hijack ringleader Mohamed Atta.” [ABC NEWS, 9/30/2001] Law enforcement sources will tell CNN, “[T]he wire transfers from Pakistan were sent to Atta through two banks in Florida.” [CNN, 10/1/2001] One of the hijackers’ financiers, the Pakistan-based Omar Saeed Sheikh, is said to wire Atta around $100,000 in August (see Early August 2001). The transfers from Pakistan will be disclosed a few weeks after 9/11 but will then fade from view (see September 30-October 7, 2001), until 2003 when John S. Pistole, deputy assistant director of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, tells the Senate Committee on Governmental Affairs that the FBI has traced the origin of funding for 9/11 back to accounts in Pakistan (see July 31, 2003). However, in 2004 the 9/11 Commission will fail to mention any funding coming directly from Pakistan (see Late-September 2001-August 2004). Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, John S. Pistole, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Saeed Sheikh Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Saeed Sheikh, Key Hijacker Events

otherEdit

August 17-November 11, 2001 and After: FBI Fails to Check Moussaoui Computer Lead Edit

When Zacarias Moussaoui is arrested (see August 16, 2001), he has a receipt on him for a Kinko’s store where he used a computer on August 12. The FBI does not go to this Kinko’s store to collect information about Moussaoui immediately after the arrest, but only on September 19, after the rest of Moussaoui’s belongings have been searched (see September 11, 2001). The FBI is told that the computers have been wiped and no information about Moussaoui’s use can be obtained. Due to the frequency with which Kinko’s computers are wiped, if the FBI visited the Kinko’s store immediately after the arrest, it is possible information about Moussaoui could have been recovered. Although the FBI is initially aware of some of Moussaoui’s e-mail addresses, in summer 2002 Moussaoui will reveal additional addresses he used and say he used them from this Kinko’s outlet. Although the Kinko’s computers have been wiped by 9/11, Microsoft, which operates the Hotmail service Moussaoui uses, can recover information up to 90 days after an account is last used, so the FBI could get the information it seeks from Microsoft until Mid-November 2001 (see (Late July-Early August, 2002)). However, the FBI does not know about the additional accounts at this point, partly because it was prevented from interviewing Moussaoui after 9/11 (see September 11-12, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 1/1/2003] Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Minnesota field office Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 19, 2001: FBI’s Best Al-Qaeda Expert Under Investigation for Trivial Issue, His Retirement Soon Follows

John O’Neill. [Source: FBI] The New York Times reports that counterterrorism expert John O’Neill is under investigation for an incident involving a missing briefcase. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/19/2001] In July 2000, he misplaced a briefcase containing important classified information, but it was found a couple of hours later still locked and untouched. Why such a trivial issue would come up over a year later and be published in the New York Times seems entirely due to politics. Says the New Yorker, “The leak seemed to be timed to destroy O’Neill’s chance of being confirmed for [a National Security Council] job,” and force him into retirement. A high-ranking colleague says the leak was “somebody being pretty vicious to John.” [NEW YORKER, 1/14/2002] John O’Neill suspects his enemy Tom Pickard, then interim director of the FBI, orchestrated the article. [PBS FRONTLINE, 10/3/2002] The New Yorker later speculates that with the retirement of FBI Director Freeh in June, it appears O’Neill lost his friends in high places, and the new FBI director wanted him replaced with a Bush ally. [NEW YORKER, 1/14/2002] O’Neill retires a few days later. Entity Tags: Louis J. Freeh, Thomas Pickard, John O’Neill Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

aug 20Edit

Main article: 20 August 2001

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: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit, Search for Alhazmi/ Almihdhar in US


August 20-September 11, 2001: FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit Unhelpful with Moussaoui Search Warrant The FBI Minneapolis field office wishes to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings, which will later be found to contain enough information to potentially stop 9/11 (see August 16, 2001). To do so it must get the approval of the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters. However, the RFU throws obstacles in the warrant request’s path:

RFU chief Dave Frasca stops the Minneapolis office from pursuing a criminal warrant (see August 21, 2001); 
When French authorities say that Moussaoui is connected to the Chechen rebels, RFU agent Mike Maltbie insists that the FBI representative in Paris go through all telephone directories in France to see how many Zacarias Moussaouis live there (see August 22, 2001); 
Maltbie stops Minneapolis from informing the Justice Department’s Criminal Division about the case (see August 22, 2001); 
When RFU agent Rita Flack, who is working on the Moussaoui case, reads the Phoenix memo suggesting that bin Laden is sending pilots to the US for training, she apparently does not tell her colleagues about it, even though it was addressed to several of them, including Frasca (see July 10, 2001 and August 22, 2001); 
The RFU does not provide the relevant documentation to attorneys consulted about the request. In particular, Flack does not tell them about the Phoenix Memo, even though one of the attorneys will later say she asked Flack if anyone is sending radical Islamists to the US to learn to fly (see August 22-28, 2001); 
When Minneapolis learns Moussaoui apparently wants to go on jihad, Frasca is not concerned and says jihad does not necessarily mean holy war. However, a top Justice Department attorney will later say “he would have tied bells and whistles” to this comment in a request for a search warrant had he known this (see August 17, 2001 and August 29, 2001); 
Maltbie tells the Minneapolis office that getting a warrant will “take a few months” (see August 24, 2001). He also tells Minneapolis, “We know what’s going on. You will not question us.” (see August 27, 2001); 
Maltbie weakens the warrant request by editing it and removing a statement by a CIA officer that Chechen rebel leader Ibn Khattab was closely connected to Osama bin Laden, despite their being intelligence linking that leader to bin Laden (see August 28, 2001); 
In a key meeting with an attorney about the request, Maltbie and Flack, who are submitting the warrant, are adamant that it is not sufficiently supported (see August 28, 2001); 
Frasca opposes a plan to put an undercover officer in the jail cell with Moussaoui to find out more information about his connections to Islamic militants (August 29, 2001 and Shortly After); 
The RFU does not want a Minneapolis agent to accompany Moussaoui when he is deported (see (August 30-September 10, 2001)); 
The RFU does not re-consider getting a criminal search warrant after a decision is taken not to seek a warrant under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (see After August 28, 2001); 
Frasca and Maltbie are said to oppose a search warrant after 9/11 (see September 11, 2001).

It is unclear why the RFU opposes the warrant so strongly. The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General will later criticize the RFU staff, but will conclude that they did not intentionally sabotage the warrant application. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 101-222 ] A 2004 book by independent researcher Mike Ruppert will speculate that Frasca is actually a CIA agent. Ruppert suggests that the CIA placed Frasca in the FBI to prevent CIA operations from being compromised by FBI investigations. But he does not provide any direct evidence of ties between Frasca and the CIA (see October 1, 2004). The Minneapolis agents will offer a different interpretation of RFU actions. Coleen Rowley will say, “I feel that certain facts… have, up to now, been omitted, downplayed, glossed over and/or mischaracterized in an effort to avoid or minimize personal and/or institutional embarrassment on the part of the FBI and/or perhaps even for improper political reasons.” She asks, “Why would an FBI agent deliberately sabotage a case? The superiors acted so strangely that some agents in the Minneapolis office openly joked that these higher-ups ‘had to be spies or moles… working for Osama bin Laden.’… Our best real guess, however, is that, in most cases avoidance of all ‘unnecessary’ actions/decisions by FBI [headquarters] managers… has, in recent years, been seen as the safest FBI career course. Numerous high-ranking FBI officials who have made decisions or have taken actions which, in hindsight, turned out to be mistaken or just turned out badly… have seen their careers plummet and end. This has in turn resulted in a climate of fear which has chilled aggressive FBI law enforcement action/decisions.” [TIME, 5/21/2002] Minneapolis FBI agent Harry Samit will agree with explanation, telling the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General that the RFU is guilty of “obstructionism, criminal negligence, and careerism.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/20/2006] Samit will also say that Maltbie even told him he was acting this way to “preserve the existence of his advancement potential” in the FBI. [NEWSDAY, 3/21/2006] Entity Tags: David Frasca, Rita Flack, Coleen Rowley, Radical Fundamentalist Unit, Harry Samit, Michael Maltbie, FBI Headquarters Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

Between August 20-September 10, 2001: FBI Headquarters Agent Apparently Worried Moussaoui Case Will Damage His Career Mike Maltbie, a supervisory agent with the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters, tells Minneapolis agent Harry Samit, who has arrested Zacarias Moussaoui and wants to search his belongings, that getting an intelligence warrant can be bad for an agent’s career if it gets fouled up. Maltbie comments that he wants to “preserve the existence of his advancement potential.” The Minneapolis field office is in dispute with the RFU over whether a warrant should be granted to search Moussaoui’s belongings, which contain enough information to potentially prevent 9/11 (see August 16, 2001 and August 20-September 11, 2001). At a key meeting with an attorney about whether to go forward with the warrant request, Maltbie is adamant that the warrant should not be granted (see August 28, 2001). [NEWSDAY, 3/21/2006] Entity Tags: Harry Samit, FBI Headquarters, Michael Maltbie, FBI Minnesota field office, Zacarias Moussaoui, Radical Fundamentalist Unit Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

aug 21Edit

Main article: 21 August 2001

Late August-September 10, 2001: Hijackers’ San Diego Associates Appear to Have Foreknowledge of Attacks Edit

Osama Awadallah. [Source: Chris Park / Associated Press] Associates of hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in San Diego reportedly change their behavior and seem to be aware that “something big” is about to happen. But it is not clear how they would have obtained this information. The 9/11 Commission will suggest that there is evidence Alhazmi calls Mohdar Abdullah in late August. Abdullah, a friend of these two hijackers in San Diego, may have been told some about the 9/11 plot back in 2000 and even invited to join in (see Early 2000 and June 10, 2000). He will later brag to someone in prison that he was told of the attack date three weeks in advance (see Early 2000). Both Abdullah and another former associate of the hijackers, Yazeed al-Salmi, suddenly become intent on marrying before 9/11. The 9/11 Commission will quote a witness saying al-Salmi told him, “I knew they were going to do something, that is why I got married.” In addition, employees at the Texaco station where Alhazmi worked (see Autumn 2000) apparently expect that law enforcement authorities will visit them in the near future. Further, according to one witness, early on the morning of September 10, Abdullah, Osama Awadallah, Omar Bakarbashat, and others behave suspiciously at the gas station. The witness will say that after the group meets, Awadallah tells the others, “[I]t is finally going to happen” and they celebrate with high fives. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 219-220, 249-50, 532] Entity Tags: Yazeed al-Salmi, Omar Bakarbashat, Mohdar Abdullah, Osama Awadallah, Nawaf Alhazmi Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Insider Trading/ Foreknowledge, Alhazmi and Almihdhar

aug 22Edit

Main article: 22 August 2001

23Edit

Main article: 23 August 2001

otherEdit

August 23, 2001-April 2004: Owner of Flight School Attended by Two 9/11 Hijackers Faces Numerous Legal Suits Rudi Dekkers, owner of Huffman Aviation—the Venice, Florida flight school attended by Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi—faces a series of legal suits. On August 23, 2001, a former female employee initiates a suit to enforce the settlement of a charge of “severe” sexual harassment by Dekkers. Huffman Aviation earlier agreed to pay her $15,000 in return for her not suing them. [CHARLOTTE SUN, 10/3/2001; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/25/2004] In August 2002, Dekkers’ former business partner Wally Hilliard files a suit, claiming Dekkers has failed to repay several loans, including one for $1.7 million, and also owes money for Huffman stock he sold him. [VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 8/24/2002] In January 2003, the state attorney’s office files criminal fraud charges against Dekkers for securing a loan of $200,000 with a mortgage on property his company had no legal interest in. The suit could result in a five-year prison sentence, but is later dismissed. [VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 1/18/2003; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 1/22/2003; VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 1/25/2003; VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 12/6/2003] And in April 2004, along with Hilliard, he is accused of making as many as 26 unauthorized passenger flights during 1999, and faces a fine of up to $286,000. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/14/2004] In July 2004, the St. Petersburg Times will comment that Dekkers “continues to drive expensive vehicles and live in a million-dollar waterfront home, even though a Naples lawyer had ‘to chase him around’ to get him to pay a $359 judgment.” Even before 2001, Dekkers had a history of troubled businesses and being the subject of legal suits. In spite of this, following 9/11 he becomes a much sought-after figure by the media, later remarking, “I’m always on television somewhere.” He is even invited to testify before Congress regarding the two hijackers’ attendance at his flight school. [US CONGRESS, 3/19/2002; VENICE GONDOLIER SUN, 8/24/2002; ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 7/25/2004] Entity Tags: Wally Hilliard, Rudi Dekkers Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Alleged Hijackers' Flight Training

August 23-27, 2001: Minnesota FBI Agents ‘Absolutely Convinced’ Moussaoui Plans to Hijack Plane; They Are Undermined by FBI Headquarters

Zacarias Moussaoui’™s laptop, not opened until after 9/11. [Source: FBI] In the wake of the French intelligence report (see August 22, 2001) on Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI agents in Minneapolis, Minnesota, are “in a frenzy” and “absolutely convinced he [is] planning to do something with a plane.” Agent Greg Jones tells FBI headquarters that Moussaoui might “fly something into the World Trade Center.” [NEWSWEEK, 5/20/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 153 ] Minneapolis FBI agents become “desperate to search the computer lap top” and “conduct a more thorough search of his personal effects,” especially since Moussaoui acted as if he was hiding something important in the laptop when arrested. [TIME, 5/21/2002; TIME, 5/27/2002] As the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters has already blocked an application for a criminal warrant (see August 21, 2001), the FBI’s Minneapolis field office must apply for one under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). Minneapolis agent Harry Samit completes an application for a warrant to search Moussaoui’s belongings on August 25. To obtain the warrant, he has to show there is probable cause to believe Moussaoui is an agent of a foreign power. The memo states that Moussaoui recruited a fighter for a particular Chechen rebel group connected to al-Qaeda, so he is connected to al-Qaeda through the Chechens. However, the RFU at FBI headquarters believes that the Chechen rebels should not be described as a foreign power and that the link between the Chechens and bin Laden is not strong enough. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 128-132 ; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 3/1/2006 ] However, earlier in 2001 the FBI had received information indicating that this Chechen group and bin Laden were planning to attack US interests (see Before April 13, 2001). Minneapolis FBI agent Coleen Rowley later sums up how the Minneapolis agents feel at this point, when she says FBI headquarters “almost inexplicably, throw up roadblocks” and undermine their efforts. Headquarters personnel bring up “almost ridiculous questions in their apparent efforts to undermine the probable cause.” One of Jones’ e-mails to FBI headquarters says they are “setting this up for failure.” That turns out to be correct. [TIME, 5/21/2002; TIME, 5/27/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 161 ] Entity Tags: World Trade Center, Zacarias Moussaoui, Harry Samit, Radical Fundamentalist Unit, FBI Headquarters, FBI Minnesota field office, Greg Jones, Coleen Rowley, Clinton administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Zacarias Moussaoui, Key Warnings

(August 23-September 10, 2001): Flight 77 Hijackers Stay at Valencia Motel

The Valencia Motel. [Source: PBS NOVA] From September 2 (or August 23, according to some reports) until the day before the attacks, five of the hijackers stay in Room 343 at the rundown Valencia Motel in Laurel, Maryland. The five men—Khalid Almihdhar, Majed Moqed, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, and Hani Hanjour—are later identified as the hijackers of Flight 77. Their suite has only one bedroom, with two double beds. Reportedly, they all leave it at 10 each morning and go out for the day in an old Toyota Corolla with California license plates. The motel’s manager later will state that only two men rented the room for one week, paying $308 for it with a credit card, though several long-term motel residents will remember a larger group. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/19/2001; BALTIMORE SUN, 9/20/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/23/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/23/2001; WASHINGTON CITY PAPER, 9/28/2001; COX NEWS SERVICE, 10/15/2001] During their time at the motel the five men show up several times at a nearby gym (see May 6-September 6, 2001). However, there are conflicting accounts that Almihdhar, Hanjour, and Nawaf Alhazmi stayed in San Diego until about September 9 (see Early September 2001). Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Majed Moqed, Salem Alhazmi, Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Hani Hanjour, Other 9/11 Hijackers

24Edit

Main article: 24 August 2001


25Edit

late Late August-Early September 2001: Hijacker Atta Receives Money from Egypt Mohamed Atta receives two wire transfers from Egypt through a small Florida money-wiring business. [TIME, 10/1/2001] These transfers are not mentioned by the 9/11 Commission. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004 ] Atta, an Egyptian, was in contact with his family in Cairo, Egypt, about once a month while he was in the US, although his father subsequently claimed not to know he was there (see September 19, 2001). Atta celebrates his birthday roughly around this time, on August 27 (8 Jumada al-Thani 1388 A.H.) or September 1, depending on whether he was going be the Muslim or Western calendar. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DISTRICT, 7/31/2006 ; RABIAH (.COM), 12/3/2006] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta

Late August-Early September 2001: FBI Fails to Ask Failed Millennium Bomber to Identify Moussaoui The FBI fails to ask Ahmed Ressam, an al-Qaeda operative arrested during the Millennium alert (see December 14, 1999), whether he can identify Zacarias Moussaoui. Agents in Seattle holding Ressam receive a general notification about the Moussaoui case, but it lacks urgency and they do not follow up on it with Ressam (see September 4, 2001). When asked shortly after 9/11, Ressam will say he recognizes Moussaoui from al-Qaeda’s training camps in Afghanistan. The 9/11 Commission will conclude that had Ressam been shown photos of Moussaoui and identified him before 9/11, the FBI would have been able to search his belongings. The belongings contain enough information to potentially prevent 9/11 (see August 16, 2001). The FBI also fails to ask Ressam whether he recognizes Khalid Almihdhar at this time, although Ressam has never met Almihdhar and will not identify him after 9/11 (see August 21, 2001). [SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON), 2/3/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 275-6, 541] Entity Tags: Ahmed Ressam, FBI Headquarters, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Zacarias Moussaoui Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

25Edit

August 25, 2001: 9/11 Facilitator Obtains Credit Card for KSM A supplemental Visa credit card on a “Mustafa al-Hawsawi” bank account is issued in the name of Abdulrahman A. A. al-Ghamdi, which the FBI says is an alias for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). The FBI believes this helps prove KSM is a superior to 9/11 facilitator al-Hawsawi (see July 23, 2001). [HOUSTON CHRONICLE, 6/5/2002; US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] Entity Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Mustafa al-Hawsawi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Abdulrahman A. A. al-Ghamdi Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

August 25, 2001: Bin Laden Publicly Hints at Attack on US Bin Laden gives an interview to Middle Eastern television. According to ABC News, “When asked about his supporters, he says with a significant and knowing smile there is going to be a surprise to the United States.” [ABC NEWS, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Warning Signs, Key Warnings

August 25-September 5, 2001: Hijackers Spend Over $30,000 on 9/11 Tickets All the hijackers book their flights for 9/11, using their apparent real names. The total cost of the tickets is in excess of $30,000:

August 25: Khalid Almihdhar, who was watchlisted two days previously (see August 23, 2001), and Majed Moqed book tickets for American Airlines flight 77 using the AA.com website. They are collected from the American Airlines ticket counter at Baltimore Washington International Airport on September 5. The tickets were not mailed, because the shipping address did not match the credit card address. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72, 74 ] 
August 26: Wail Alshehri buys a ticket for American Airlines flight 11 over the phone with his debit card. His brother Waleed buys a ticket for the same flight at the AA.com website using his debit card. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72 ] 
August 27: Nawaf Alhazmi, who was watchlisted four days before (see August 23, 2001), buys tickets for himself and his brother Salem for American Airlines flight 77 through Travelocity from a Kinkos computer in Laurel, Maryland, using his debit card (see August 25-27, 2001). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72 ] 
August 27: Saeed Alghamdi uses his debit card to purchase tickets for United Airlines flight 93 for himself and Ahmed Alnami from the UA.com website. The tickets are not paid for until September 5, 2001, due to a problem with the debit card. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72 ] 
August 27: Fayez Ahmed Banihammad uses his visa card to purchase tickets for himself and Mohamed Alshehri for United Airlines flight 175 over the telephone. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 72-73 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 28: Mohamed Atta uses his debit card to buy tickets for American Airlines flight 11 for himself and Abdulaziz Alomari from the AA.com website. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 28: Waleed Alshehri purchases a ticket for Satam Al Suqami for American Airlines flight 11 in person from the company’s counter at Fort Lauderdale Airport. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 73 ] 
August 28: Marwan Alshehhi purchases a ticket for United Airlines flight 175 from the company’s counter at Miami International Airport. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 73 ] 
August 29: Hamza Alghamdi books tickets for himself and Ahmed Alghamdi for United Airlines flight 175 from the UA.com website. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 29: Ahmed Alhaznawi creates a new e-mail account and Travelocity.com account and uses them to book a ticket for himself on United Airlines flight 93. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006, PP. 74 ]
August 30: Ziad Jarrah purchases a ticket for himself for United Airlines flight 93 from the UA website. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] 
August 31: Hani Hanjour purchases a ticket for American Airlines flight 77 from ATS Advanced Travel Services in Totowa, New Jersey, paying in cash. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ]

At least five tickets are one way only. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/18/2001] There are numerous connections between the hijackers booked on the four flights by this point:

Hijackers on different 9/11 flights arrived in the US on the same plane. For example, Salem Alhazmi (Flight 77) arrived with Abdulaziz Alomari (Flight 11), and Fayez Ahmed Banihammad (Flight 175) arrived with Saeed Alghamdi (Flight 93) (see April 23-June 29, 2001); 
Two of the pilots, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi, train and live together, and have a joint bank account (see (Mid-July 2000 - Early January 2001), July 6-December 19, 2000, and June 28-July 7, 2000); 
Hijackers from different planes open bank accounts together (see May 1-July 18, 2001 and June 27-August 23, 2001); and 
The hijackers obtain identity documents together (see April 12-September 7, 2001 and August 1-2, 2001).

Six hijackers also provide the same phone number and three use the same address. [MIAMI HERALD, 9/22/2001] Entity Tags: Ahmed Alnami, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Hamza Alghamdi, Khalid Almihdhar, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Hani Hanjour, Marwan Alshehhi, Majed Moqed, Ahmed Alghamdi, Wail Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, Waleed M. Alshehri, Abdulaziz Alomari, Satam Al Suqami, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Mohand Alshehri, Saeed Alghamdi Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Hijacker Events, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta, Hani Hanjour, Ziad Jarrah, Other 9/11 Hijackers

August 25-27, 2001: Alhazmi and Almihdhar Buy 9/11 Plane Tickets Despite Presence on Watch List Hijacker Khalid Almihdhar buys his 9/11 plane ticket on-line using a credit card; hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi does the same two days later, and also buys a ticket for his brother Salem (see August 25-September 5, 2001). Both men were put on a terrorist watch list on August 23 (see August 23, 2001), but the watch list only means they will be stopped if trying to enter or leave the US. There is another watch list that applies to domestic flights that some of their associates are on, but they are only placed on the international watch list (see April 24, 2000). Procedures are in place for law enforcement agencies to share watch list information with airlines and airports and such sharing is common, but the FAA and the airlines are not notified about this case, so the purchases raise no red flags. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/20/2001; US CONGRESS, 9/26/2002] An official later states that had the FAA been properly warned, “they should have been picked up in the reservation process.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2002] On September 4 and 5, 2001, an FBI agent will attempt to find Alhazmi and Almihdhar in the US, but will fail to conduct a simple credit card check that should have revealed these purchases (see September 4-5, 2001). Entity Tags: Salem Alhazmi, Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Federal Aviation Administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Search for Alhazmi/ Almihdhar in US, Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit

Late August 2001: Future Alleged Ricin Plotter Arrested in Netherlands, but Released Mohammed Meguerba, a radical Islamist who will later confess to being part of a ricin plot under torture in Algeria (see September 18, 2002-January 3, 2003), is arrested at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. He is stopped because police realize he is using a false passport, and is held for six months. He will make five asylum appeals, but they are all rejected. According to authors Sean O’Neill and Daniel McGrory, he is then “suddenly released” in February 2002, and travels to Paris, continuing to Italy and then Britain. [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 243] Entity Tags: Mohammed Meguerba Category Tags: Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

Between August 26 and September 9, 2001: Hijacker Leaves Clues behind at Florida Motel

The Panther Motel. [Source: Chris Zuppa / St. Petersburg Times] Marwan Alshehhi and another unidentified man stay at the Panther Motel in Deerfield Beach, Florida. During their stay, the manager, Richard Surma, observes that they have covered two paintings with towels, apparently for religious reasons, and that they are frequently visited by a third individual. When they leave on September 9, Surma finds several items left behind in a dumpster: a box cutter, aeronautical maps of the East Coast, martial arts books, and a tote bag from a flying school. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/15/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/16/2001 ; PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/30/2001; U.S.D.C EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, 7/31/2006, PP. 3 ] Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Richard Surma Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Marwan Alshehhi

27Edit

August 27, 2001: Saudis Threaten to End Their Alliance with US Crown Prince Abdullah, the effective leader of Saudi Arabia, is upset with US policy over Israel and Palestine and threatens to break the Saudi alliance with the US. He has Prince Bandar, Saudi ambassador to the US, personally deliver a message to President Bush on August 27. Bandar says, “This is the most difficult message I have had to convey to you that I have ever conveyed between the two governments since I started working here in Washington in 1982.” He brings up a number of issues, including the complaint that since Bush became president US policy has tilted towards Israel so much that the US has allowed Israeli Prime Minister Sharon to “determine everything in the Middle East.” The message concludes, “Therefore the Crown Prince will not communicate in any form, type or shape with you, and Saudi Arabia will take all its political, economic and security decisions based on how it sees its own interest in the region without taking into account American interests anymore because it is obvious that the United States has taken a strategic decision adopting Sharon’s policy.” Bush seems shocked and replies, “I want to assure you that the United States did not make any strategic decision.” Secretary of State Powell later confronts Bandar and says, “What the fuck are you doing? You’re putting the fear of God in everybody here. You scared the shit out of everybody.” Bandar reportedly replies, “I don’t give a damn what you feel. We are scared ourselves.” Two days later, Bush replies with a message designed to appease the Saudi concerns (see August 29-September 6, 2001). [WOODWARD, 2006, PP. 77-79] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Bandar bin Sultan, Colin Powell, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Category Tags: Saudi Arabia

August 27, 2001: Conflict between Minneapolis and FBI Headquarters Comes into the Open FBI agents at the bureau’s Minneapolis field office have been arguing with the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) over whether there is sufficient evidence to secure a warrant to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings (see August 20-September 11, 2001). The tensions surface in a call between Minneapolis agent Greg Jones and Supervisory Special Agent Mike Maltbie. This is a partial reconstruction of the conversation based on Jones’ notes: Maltbie: “What you have done is couched [the request] in such a way that people get spun up.” Jones: “Good. We want to make sure he doesn’t get control of an airplane and crash it into the [World Trade Center] or something like that.” Maltbie: “[T]hat’ not going to happen. We don’t know he’s a terrorist. You don’t have enough to show he is a terrorist. You have a guy interested in this type of aircraft—that is it.” Jones also asks whether the warrant request has been shown to Section Chief Michael Rolince yet, and Maltbie replies it has not. [US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 153-5 ; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 3/1/2006 ] Another Minneapolis agent, Harry Samit, also contacts Maltbie and expresses his frustration with RFU’s position that they do not have enough evidence. In an interview with the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General he recalls telling Maltbie: “… if you’re not going to advance this the FISA route, or if you don’t believe we have enough for a FISA, I shudder to think—and that’s all I got out. And [Maltbie] cut me off and said, ‘You will not question the unit chief and you will not question me. We’ve been through a lot. We know what’s going on. You will not question us.’ And that could be the mantra for FBI supervisors.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 155 ] Entity Tags: Radical Fundamentalist Unit, Greg Jones, FBI Minnesota field office, FBI Headquarters, Harry Samit, Michael Maltbie Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 27, 2001: Minneapolis Chief Calls FBI Headquarters to Discuss Moussaoui Harry Samit and Greg Jones, agents at the FBI’s Minneapolis field office investigating Zacarias Moussaoui, are having some problems with Mike Maltbie, a supervisory special agent at FBI headquarters’ Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) (see August 20-September 11, 2001). They ask their boss to call RFU head Dave Frasca to “find out what [Maltbie]‘s problem [is].” Jones and his boss place the call. According to Jones, when the call starts, Frasca is “immediately defensive” and asks Maltbie to join the call. Jones’ notes indicate that he asks what is going to happen if “they won’t let us go criminal” and there is not enough information for a warrant under FISA. Jones asks what will happen if Moussaoui cannot be connected to a known group. The answer recorded in his notes is “That isn’t something for you to worry about.” However, Frasca will state he never said this. Maltbie’s performance—the original reason for the call—is apparently not discussed. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 155-8 ; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 3/1/2006 ] Entity Tags: Harry Samit, David Frasca, FBI Headquarters, Greg Jones, Michael Maltbie, FBI Minnesota field office, Radical Fundamentalist Unit Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 27, 2001: Spanish Police Tape Phone Calls Indicating Aviation-Based Plans to Attack US

Farid Hilali, a.k.a. Shakur. [Source: Reuters] Spanish police tape a series of cryptic, coded phone calls from a caller in Britain using the codename “Shakur” to Barakat Yarkas (also known as Abu Dahdah), the leader of a Spanish al-Qaeda cell presumably visited by Mohamed Atta in July. A Spanish judge will claim that a call by a man using the alias “Shakur” on this day shows foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. “Shakur” says that he is “giving classes” and that “in our classes, we have entered the field of aviation, and we have even cut the bird’s throat.” Another possible translation is, “We are even going to cut the eagle’s throat,” which would be a clearer metaphor for the US. [OBSERVER, 11/25/2001; GUARDIAN, 2/14/2002] Spanish authorities later claim that detective work and voice analysis shows “Shakur” is Farid Hilali, a young Moroccan who had lived mostly in Britain since 1987. The Spanish later will charge him for involvement in the 9/11 plot, claiming that, in the 45 days preceding 9/11, he travels constantly in airplanes “to analyse them and to be prepared for action.” It will be claimed that he is training on aircraft in the days leading up to 9/11. It will further be said that he is connected to the Madrid train bombing in 2003. [LONDON TIMES, 6/30/2004; SCOTSMAN, 7/15/2004; LONDON TIMES, 7/16/2004] The Spanish Islamic militant cell led by Yarkas is allegedly a hub of financing, recruitment, and support services for al-Qaeda in Europe. Yarkas’s phone number will later also be found in the address book of Said Bahaji, and he had ties with Mohammed Haydar Zammar and Mamoun Darkazanli. All three are associates of Atta in Hamburg. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11/23/2001] Yarkas also “reportedly met with bin Laden twice and was in close contact with” top deputy Muhammad Atef. [WASHINGTON POST, 11/19/2001] On November 11, 2001, Yarkas and ten other Spaniards will be arrested and charged with al-Qaeda activity. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/20/2001] Entity Tags: Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Mohamed Atta, Farid Hilali, Said Bahaji, Al-Qaeda, Mamoun Darkazanli, Barakat Yarkas Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Remote Surveillance, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

August 27, 2001: INS Given Non-Urgent Request to Determine Visa Status of Alhazmi and Almihdhar The FBI contacts the State Department and the INS to determine the visa status of recently watch listed hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar. Almihdhar’s visa obtained in June is revoked the same day; Alhazmi’s visa has already expired and he is in the country illegally. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] However neither agency is asked “to assist in locating the individuals, nor was any other information provided [that] would have indicated either a high priority or imminent danger.” An INS official later states, “if [the INS] had been asked to locate the two suspected terrorists… in late August on an urgent, emergency basis, it would have been able to run those names through its extensive database system and might have been able to locate them.” The State Department says that “it might have been able to locate the two suspected terrorists if it had been asked to do so.” [US CONGRESS, 9/20/2002] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, US Department of State, Immigration and Naturalization Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit, Search for Alhazmi/ Almihdhar in US

August 27-31, 2001: Power Failure at Washington Medical Center Helps Prepare 9/11 Response

Walter Reed Army Medical Center. [Source: US Army] The Walter Reed Army Medical Center (WRAMC) in Washington, DC suffers a four-day power loss following an electrical transformer fire on August 27. Backup generators ensure patient care is minimally affected, but as a precaution 77 of the hospital’s roughly 100 patients are moved to other facilities until it regains full power. Most go to the National Naval Medical Center (NNMC) in Bethesda. According to Capt. Tom Sizemore, the acting commander of the NNMC, precautionary measures are necessary due to the size of the patient transfer. So on August 28 he sets the hospital into a mass casualty condition. Usually such a condition is only set in response to a major incident with many seriously injured people. Sizemore says, “This most unfortunate opportunity has provided NNMC with a very special opportunity. We were able to exercise our response system, with real patients, but (thank God) not with patients involved in some mass disaster.” [STRIPE, 8/31/2001; BETHESDA JOURNAL, 9/6/2001; STRIPE, 9/6/2001; OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 146] Walter Reed is about six miles from the Pentagon, and its ambulance teams will respond to the attack there on September 11. Many believe that coping with the power failure helps prepare them for this. One member of staff later says, “A lot of the procedures that we used in the September 11 tragedy, we had just come out of this power loss where we had implemented a lot of what we did. We had good procedures in place that we had already just executed. It was really eerie.” [NURSEWEEK, 9/17/2001; OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. 145-146] A similar incident also occurs around this time at DeWitt Army Community Hospital at Fort Belvoir, an army base roughly 12 miles south of the Pentagon. The details of this are unspecified. [STRIPE, 9/20/2001] Ambulance teams from DeWitt will also be involved in the emergency response to the Pentagon attack. [OFFICE OF MEDICAL HISTORY, 9/2004, PP. I] Entity Tags: Tom Sizemore, Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Fort Belvoir, National Naval Medical Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Military Exercises

August 27-September 1, 2001: Hijackers Stay at Maryland Motel at Different Times

The Pin-Del Motel. [Source: Michael Springer / Zuma Press] On August 27, Flight 93 hijacker Ziad Jarrah checks into the Pin-Del, a budget motel in Laurel, Maryland. Giving a Florida address and driver’s license number, he pays for three nights with a Visa card, but leaves the following evening. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/19/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/19/2001] Days later, Nawaf Alhazmi spends the night of September 1 at the same motel. He uses a New York driver’s license as identification, which gives his address as a Manhattan hotel. But the records of this hotel later will show he never stayed there, and his driver’s license will also be found to be a fake. On September 2, he joins the other Flight 77 hijackers at another motel, about a mile from the Pin-Del (See (August 23-September 10, 2001)). Jarrah is apparently never seen with any of the other hijackers while in the US. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/19/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/21/2001] Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Ziad Jarrah Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Ziad Jarrah

August 27-28, 2001: NSA Approves Passage of Key Information about Almihdhar to Cole Investigators, but FBI Headquarters Continues to Withhold It The NSA’s representative to the FBI asks the NSA for permission to pass intelligence information about hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi to FBI criminal agents investigating the bombing of the USS Cole and permission is granted the same day, but FBI headquarters does not forward this information to the Cole investigators. The request is made on behalf of FBI headquarters agent Dina Corsi, but Corsi does not want the agents to launch a criminal investigation to find Almihdhar in the US—she believes the information will be useful to them because of Almihdhar’s connection to the Cole bombing. The information identifies Almihdhar as an “Islamic extremist” and says that he traveled to Kuala Lumpur, where he met an associate named Nawaf (see January 5-8, 2000). This links Almihdhar to the Cole bombing because the FBI thinks one of the bombers, Fahad al-Quso, may have traveled to Kuala Lumpur at the same time as Almihdhar. Although the 9/11 Commission will say that Corsi “had permission to share the information” with the Cole investigators, she apparently does not do so, even though it is clear from conversations they have around this time that they want it (see August 28, 2001, and August 28, 2001, August 28-29, 2001, and August 29, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 271, 539; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 276-7, 283, 286, 294, 304 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] Entity Tags: Usama bin Laden Unit (FBI), Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, National Security Agency, FBI Headquarters, Fahad al-Quso, FBI New York Field Office, Dina Corsi Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 2000 USS Cole Bombing, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Search for Alhazmi/ Almihdhar in US, Key Hijacker Events

Late August 2001: Moussaoui Case Mentioned to Head of FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section Dave Frasca, head of the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalism Unit (RFU), and Michael Rolince, the assistant director in charge of the FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section (ITOS), have at least two brief conversations about the Zacarias Moussaoui case. Moussaoui, suspected of having ties to Islamic militants, was arrested in mid-August (see August 16, 2001). Though it is not known what Frasca and Rolince talk about, it is possible their discussions concern complaints from the Minneapolis field office about how RFU is handling the case (see August 27, 2001). According to the 9/11 Commission, there is no evidence that this discussion ever reaches Assistant Director for Counterterrorism Dale Watson or Acting FBI Director Thomas Pickard. If this is true, the FBI’s handling of the case is remarkably different than the approach taken in the CIA, where Director George Tenet is briefed repeatedly on the matter (see August 23, 2001). [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 275; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/21/2006] A warning that Osama bin Laden and Chechen rebel leader Ibn Khattab were planning a joint operation against the US was sent to Rolince earlier in the year (see Before April 13, 2001) and the FBI is aware that Moussaoui had recruited for the Chechen rebels (see August 22, 2001). Rolince will be involved in preparations for Moussaoui’s deportation to France shortly before 9/11 (see (August 30-September 10, 2001)). Entity Tags: FBI Minnesota field office, Michael Rolince, David Frasca, FBI Headquarters, Radical Fundamentalist Unit Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

28Edit

Main article: 28 August 2001

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August 29-September 6, 2001: Bush Tries to Repair Relations with Saudis, But Policy Change Halted by 9/11 Attacks The Bush administration attempts to repair its relation with Saudi Arabia after a dramatic letter from Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah. On August 27, 2001, Abdullah, the de facto leader of Saudi Arabia, sent a message to President Bush threatening to end the Saudi alliance with the US because of what they see as US favoritism towards Israel (see August 27, 2001). Two days later, Bush sends a two-page letter to Abdullah: “Let me make one thing clear up front: nothing should ever break the relationship between us. There has been no change in the strategic equation. I firmly believe the Palestinian people have a right to self-determination and to live peacefully and securely in their own state, in their own homeland, just as the Israelis have the right to live peacefully and safely in their own state.” Journalist Bob Woodward will later note that this “was a much bigger step than President Clinton had taken. Even as Clinton had tried to fashion a Middle East peace agreement as his legacy, he had never directly supported a separate Palestinian state.” On September 6, Abdullah replies, “Mr. President, it was a great relief to me to find in your letter a clear commitment confirming the principle in which the peace process was established. I was particularly pleased with your commitment to the right of the Palestinians to self-determination as well as the right to peace without humiliation, within their independent state.” The Saudis appear appeased. [WOODWARD, 2006, PP. 77-79] Also on September 6, Bush holds a meeting with his top advisers and suggests a change of policy towards Palestine, including public support for a separate Palestinian state. However, days before Bush is to announce these new policies, the 9/11 attacks take place. None of the planned US policy changes materialize (see September 6, 2001). Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud Category Tags: Israel, Saudi Arabia

August 29-September 4, 2001: Minneapolis Memo to FAA Warning of Moussaoui Is Blocked by FBI Headquarters Harry Samit, an agent at the FBI’s Minneapolis field office, drafts a memo to the FAA summarizing the facts of the Zacarias Moussaoui case. In it, he writes, “Minneapolis believes that Moussaoui, [his roommate Hussein] al-Attas, and others not yet known were engaged in preparing to seize a Boeing 747-400 in commission of a terrorist act. As Moussaoui denied requests for consent to search his belongings and was arrested before sufficient evidence of criminal activity was revealed, it is not known how far advanced were his plans to do so.” He also mentions Moussaoui’s physical and marital arts training and expresses concern that France, where Moussaoui will soon be deported, may not be able to hold him or his property for long. But Mike Maltbie of the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) instructs the Minneapolis field office not to send the memo because he is also drafting a memo on the Moussaoui case that will be sent to the FAA and other agencies. However Maltbie’s memo lacks a threat assessment and does not mention Minneapolis’ suspicions that Moussaoui might be planning a terrorist act involving a hijacked airplane. The memo does not result in any FAA action. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 174-7 ; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 3/20/2006] A meeting between Samit and a Minneapolis FAA officer will also fail to produce any FAA action (see September 4, 2001). Entity Tags: Michael Maltbie, FBI Headquarters, Harry Samit, Zacarias Moussaoui, FBI Minnesota field office, Radical Fundamentalist Unit Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, US Air Security

August 29Edit

Main article: 29 August 2001

Aug 30Edit

Main article: 30 August 2001

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August 30, 2001-September 4, 2001: Egypt Warns Al-Qaeda Is in Advanced Stages of Planning Significant Attack on US According to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Egyptian intelligence warns American officials that bin Laden’s network is in the advanced stages of executing a significant operation against an American target, probably within the US. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/7/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 6/4/2002] He says he learned this information from an agent working inside al-Qaeda. US officials will deny receiving any such warning from Egypt. [ABC NEWS, 6/4/2002] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Hosni Mubarak Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Foreign Intelligence Warnings, Key Warnings

August 30-September 6, 2001: Oklahoma FBI Blows Second Moussaoui Lead The FBI’s Oklahoma City field office again fails to provide help with the Moussaoui investigation. They had been asked by colleagues in Minneapolis to investigate El Hadj Ndiaye, an associate of Moussaoui who knew Moussaoui wanted to go on jihad (see August 17, 2001). However, instead of interviewing the list of people Minneapolis wanted them to talk to, they just speak to one person. On September 6, Minneapolis agent Harry Samit notes that the interviewee seems to be close to Ndaiye and that he would “be willing to throw the Bureau off the trail” because of this closeness. The same field office had previously failed to make connections related to another lead in the investigation (see August 23, 2001). Samit also expresses his disappointment at their performance: “Oklahoma City continues to fall short of expectations… Anyway, we know for future reference how weak they are.” [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, El Hadj Ndiaye, FBI Oklahoma City field office, Harry Samit, FBI Minnesota field office Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

(August 30-September 10, 2001): FBI Plans to Deport Moussaoui So Belongings Can Be Searched in France Following the collapse of the FBI’s attempts to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings (see August 28, 2001), the FBI begins working on a plan to deport him to France so his belongings can be searched there. The French ask that a law enforcement officer from the US accompany Moussaoui. The FBI’s Minneapolis field office and the FBI’s assistant legal attache in Paris ask that Minneapolis agent Harry Samit and an INS agent go to France with Moussaoui to brief the French and await the results of the search of his belongings. Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) chief Dave Frasca opposes this plan. Michael Rolince, head of the bureau’s International Terrorism Operations Section, opposes it as well, later claiming that he thought Samit might try to obtain information from Moussaoui on the journey. For several days, Frasca and one of his subordinates, Mike Maltbie, continue to haggle with Minneapolis over whether Samit can accompany Moussaoui. But when the French and the assistant legal attache insist, they drop their objections. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 171-3 ] Minneapolis is highly unsatisfied with this solution and would have preferred to obtain a warrant to search his belongings. Samit writes before 9/11 that deporting Moussaoui “was a distant third in my list of desired outcomes, but at this point I am so desperate to get into his computer I’ll take anything.” [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/10/2001 ] Samit will later accuse the RFU of “criminal negligence” because they were trying to “run out the clock” and deport Moussaoui, instead of prosecuting him. [WASHINGTON POST, 3/21/2006] The 9/11 attacks occur before the deportation can take place (see September 11, 2001). Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Michael Rolince, Michael Maltbie, Federal Bureau of Investigation, FBI Headquarters, Harry Samit, Radical Fundamentalist Unit, David Frasca Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

August 29, 2001 and Shortly After: FBI Headquarters Rejects Plan to Place Undercover Officer in Moussaoui’s Cell After failing to obtain a warrant to search Zacarias Moussaoui’s belongings (see August 28, 2001), the FBI’s Minneapolis field office considers inserting an Arabic speaking undercover officer into Moussaoui’s cell “in an attempt to learn the name or description of the recognized foreign power with whom Moussaoui is aligned.” Minneapolis sees no problem with the idea and contacts the Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters about it. RFU chief Dave Frasca replies, “Let us look into this asap. Do NOT go forward with the [undercover officer] until we weigh in…” Frasca then discusses the idea with an expert at the FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section, who says the proposal is “ridiculous” and should not be implemented. Frasca also tells Minneapolis the idea is problematic because in the event of criminal proceedings the undercover officer will not be in a position to testify. The plan is abandoned and the FBI continues with preparations to deport Moussaoui (see (August 30-September 10, 2001)). [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 166-7 ] Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Radical Fundamentalist Unit, FBI Headquarters, Coleen Rowley, David Frasca, Harry Samit, Greg Jones, FBI Minnesota field office Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui

late augustEdit

Late August 2001: Bin Laden Boasts in Interview of ‘Very, Very Big Attacks’ Against US In an interview with the London-based newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi, bin Laden boasts that he is planning an “unprecedented” strike against the US. Abdel-Bari Atwan, editor of the newspaper, will say, “Personally, we received information that he planned very, very big attacks against American interests. We received several warnings like this. We did not take it so seriously, preferring to see what would happen before reporting it.” [ABC NEWS, 9/12/2001; INDEPENDENT, 9/17/2001] The Washington Post will similarly report just after 9/11, “Interviewed last month in the mountains of southern Afghanistan by a London-based Arab journalist, he boasted—without going into detail—that he and his followers were planning ‘a very big one.’” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/13/2001] Atwan’s comment implies the warning is not published before 9/11. But Senator Diane Feinstein (D) will say shortly after 9/11, “Bin Laden’s people had made statements three weeks ago carried in the Arab press in [Britain] that they were preparing to carry out unprecedented attacks in the US.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Dianne Feinstein, Abdel-Bari Atwan Category Tags: Key Warnings, Warning Signs

Late August 2001: Hussein Puts His Troops on Highest Military Alert Since Gulf War A Daily Telegraph article later claims that Iraq leader Saddam Hussein puts his troops on their highest military alert since the Gulf War. A CIA official states that there was nothing obvious to warrant this move: “He was clearly expecting a massive attack and it leads you to wonder why.” Hussein apparently makes a number of other moves suggesting foreknowledge, and the article strongly suggests Iraqi complicity in the 9/11 attacks. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] Iraq will later be sued by 9/11 victims’ relatives on the grounds that they had 9/11 foreknowledge but did not warn the US. Entity Tags: Saddam Hussein Category Tags: Warning Signs

Late August 2001: French Warning to US Echoes Earlier Israeli Warning French intelligence gives a general terrorist warning to the US; apparently, its contents echo an Israeli warning from earlier in the month (see August 8-15, 2001). [FOX NEWS, 5/17/2002] Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Foreign Intelligence Warnings

Late August 2001: Mystery Arab Rap Group Records CD about Terrorism A mysterious Arab rap band records a CD, which includes songs apparently about upcoming terrorist attacks. The group, called the Arab Assassins, records its songs at the GHC Recording Studio in Sarasota, Florida. According to the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, their lyrics “range from generic references to Palestinian beliefs to verses that could be considered by some as a warning of what unfolded in New York City and Washington, DC” on 9/11. These refer to subjects such as bombings, New York, and fundamentalist Islamic martyrs. Lyrics include, “I know I’m going to die,” “I’m next on God’s list,” “Partners torn, transformed to martyrs,” “to turn wives into widows,” and “the US will remember this.” After 9/11, the recording studio’s owner Chris Musgrave will comment, “There are some weird coincidences here.” The rap group is made up of three brothers who claim to be from Brooklyn. Yet officials with the Recording Industry Association of America later say they have never heard of the Arab Assassins, and none of the large Internet music sites offer any recordings by them. After recording several songs at the studio, the Arab Assassins take six copies of their CD, and then leave a telephone number that is listed as disconnected. The day after 9/11, the local FBI will seize a copy of the CD from the studio, but offer no comments to the press on the band. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/13/2001; SARASOTA HERALD-TRIBUNE, 9/13/2001] Some Middle Eastern men will be witnessed in Sarasota early in the morning of 9/11 acting suspiciously, though details of their identities are unknown (see (6:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001) (see (8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [LONGBOAT OBSERVER, 9/26/2001] Entity Tags: Arab Assassins Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other Pre-9/11 Events

31 AugEdit

Main article: 31 August 2011

Late August 2001: Hijackers Reportedly Tell Motel Manager, ‘We Are on a Mission’ According to Paul Dragomir, the manager of the Longshore Motel in Hollywood, Florida, two individuals who may be Mohamed Atta and Ziad Jarrah rent a room in his motel. They sign in using apparent aliases, claiming to be computer engineers from Iran, and say they are down from Canada to find jobs. However, they leave the motel after a few hours because of a dispute over Internet access, which the motel cannot provide on a 24-hour basis. The Washington Post will write: “The need to be online at any moment suggests they were looking for Web pages or messages that would signal phases of the operation, experts say. Dragomir said he refunded their $175 in cash and they left. ‘They got very angry. One of the guys said, You don’t understand. We are here on a mission.’” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/5/2001] While the Post’s account will say that the motel manager recognizes Atta and Jarrah, other press accounts differ. According to the Chicago Tribune, Dragomir “said he was uncertain whether the pair had any connection to the Sept. 11 events, except for general physical descriptions.” [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 9/18/2001] And according to Wired Magazine, Dragomir “suggested that they were closely linked to the 19 hijackers, but that they were not among those men.” [WIRED, 9/20/2001] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Paul Dragomir Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah

up 1 levelEdit

Timeline linksEdit

September 8 September 9 September 10 September 11

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