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October 2002: State Department Restarts Propaganda Activities Edit

The State Department’s propaganda office, closed in 1996, is reopened. Called the Counter-Disinformation/Misinformation Team, this office supposedly only aims its propaganda overseas to counter propaganda from other countries. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/10/2003] Entity Tags: Counter-Disinformation/Misinformation Team, US Department of State Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion, Civil Liberties, Domestic Propaganda Category Tags: Media

October 2002: Former CIA Official Says CIA Analysts Are Upset About Use of Cooked Intelligence Vincent Cannistraro, former head of the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, says, “Basically, cooked information is working its way into high-level pronouncements and there’s a lot of unhappiness about it in intelligence, especially among analysts at the CIA.” [SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 10/10/2002] Entity Tags: Vincent Cannistraro Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

October 2002: FBI Inexplicably Fails to Detain Imam Linked to 9/11 Hijackers, Lets Him Leave US

Anwar Al Aulaqi. [Source: Public domain] Shortly after 9/11, the FBI begins to suspect that Anwar Al Aulaqi, an imam to several of the 9/11 hijackers, may have had some connection to the 9/11 plot. They interview him repeatedly, but cannot find enough evidence to charge him, and he cannot be deported since he is a US citizen. Investigators discover he had been arrested more than once for soliciting prostitutes. They learn he is consorting with prostitutes in Virginia, and contemplate jailing him on an obscure law against transporting prostitutes across state lines. However, this plan collapses when he leaves the US unexpectedly in March 2002. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/13/2004] But on October 10, 2002, he makes a surprise return to the US. His name is on a terrorist watch list and he is detained when his plane lands in New York City. Customs agents notify the FBI, but they are told that his name was taken off the watch list just the day before. He is released after only three hours. It has not been explained why he name was taken off the list. Throughout 2002, Al Aulaqi is also the subject of an active Customs investigation into money laundering called Operation Greenquest, but he is not arrested for this either, or for the earlier contemplated prostitution charges. [WORLDNETDAILY, 8/16/2003] At the time, the FBI is fighting Greenquest, and Customs officials will later accuse the FBI of sabotaging Greenquest investigations (see After March 20, 2002-Early 2003). While in the US, Al Aulaqi visits the Fairfax, Virginia, home of Ali al Timimi, the leader of a nearby Islamic center. According to a later court filing, Aulaqi attempts to get al Timimi to discuss the recruitment of young Muslims for militant causes, but al Timimi does not show interest. Al Timimi will later be sentenced to life in prison in the US for inciting young Muslims to fight in Afghanistan shortly after 9/11. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/27/2008] Al Aulaqi then leaves the US again. The FBI will later admit they were “very interested” in Al Aulaqi and yet failed to stop him from leaving the country. One FBI source says, “We don’t know how he got out.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/13/2004] He will allegedly take part in other militant attacks (see September 15, 2006). By 2008, US intelligence will conclude that he is linked to al-Qaeda (see February 27, 2008). Entity Tags: US Customs Service, Anwar Al Aulaqi, Al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Operation Greenquest Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: FBI 9/11 Investigation, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, Internal US Security After 9/11

October 2002: British Counterterrorism Officials Discuss Possible Terrorist Attack against London Underground Following the discovery of poison recipes during a series of raids on Islamist extremist fundraising networks (see September 26, 2002), British authorities hold a summit to discuss the problem of a potential terrorist attack by Islamist extremists. The meeting is attended by 200 officials from the security and intelligence services, senior civil servants, and key personnel in the transport industry, especially the London Underground. One of the possible scenarios outlined is an attack on the Underground using poison gas. [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 239] Category Tags: Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, 2005 7/7 London Bombings

October 2002-October 2005: NIST Tries to Estimate Speed of Aircraft Impacting WTC One of the key variables in the computer simulations used by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) (see (October 2002-October 2005)) to explain the WTC collapses is the speed of the aircraft that hit the towers. However, there is no consensus on how fast the planes were traveling. The first estimate was contained in an initial research paper by engineers Zdenek Bazant and Yong Zhou, who stated that the planes were traveling at 342 miles per hour. [BAZANT AND ZHOU, 1/2002 ] However, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) report said that the plane that hit the North Tower was traveling at 470 miles per hour, whereas the plane that hit the South Tower was traveling at 590 miles per hour (see May 1, 2002). [FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, 5/1/2002, PP. 31] NIST initially estimates speeds of 435 miles per hour for the plane that hit the North Tower and 497 miles per hour for the plane that hit the South Tower. These estimates closely match figures produced by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, which finds speeds of 429 miles per hour and 503 miles per hour for the two planes. However, NIST is dissatisfied with these results and does a second study, which finds speeds of 466 and 545 miles per hour. It then uses speeds of 472 and 570 miles per hour in its severe case model, on which its final report is based. In this model, the simulation of the planes traveling faster means greater damage to the towers’ structure, making them more unstable. [KAUSEL, 5/2002 ; NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS & TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 152-165 ; NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 109 ] Entity Tags: Zdenek Bazant, National Institute of Standards and Technology, World Trade Center, Yong Zhou, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, American Society of Civil Engineers, Federal Emergency Management Agency Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: WTC Investigation

October 2002-June 2003: Spanish Police Monitor House Where Madrid Bombers Will Later Build Bombs Nayat Fadal Mohamed is the wife of Mohamed Needl Acaid. In November 2001, Acaid was imprisoned with al-Qaeda cell leader Barakat Yarkas and others, and was charged with being a member of al-Qaeda (see November 13, 2001). With Acaid in prison, Nayat took over the management of her husband’s farm in the town of Morata, not far from Madrid. The farm is set off from the nearest road and is surrounded by a six-foot tall privacy fence and several trees. In October 2002, Mustapha Maymouni rents the house. That same month, Spanish police realize he has rented the house because they are monitoring him very closely since he is the leader of a group of suspicious Islamist militants. Like Acaid, Maymouni was a known associate of Yarkas before the November 2001 arrests. In May 2003, Maymouni returns to his home country of Morocco and is arrested there later that month for involvement in a series of bombings in Casablanca (see Late May-June 19, 2003 and May 16, 2003). After Maymouni leaves, the Morata farm house is not immediately rented again, but Maymouni’s brother-in-law Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet has the keys to the house and uses it sometimes. He also takes over as the leader of the Maymouni’s militant group. Police will later claim that they stop monitoring the farm house after Maymouni is arrested in Morocco. On January 28, 2004, the farm house is rented again, this time to Jamal Ahmidan, a.k.a. “El Chino.” He is a member of Fakhet’s group. He signs the rental papers using a false identity. More and more members of the group begin showing up at the house. By late February 2004, the group has bought the explosives for their bomb plot and they bring the explosives to the house. They assemble the bombs there. [EL PAIS (SPAIN), 7/31/2005; EFE, 3/6/2007] Entity Tags: Serhane Abdelmajid Fakhet, Mustapha Maymouni, Mohamed Needl Acaid, Nayat Fadal Mohamed, Jamal Ahmidan Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Spain, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings

(October 2002-October 2005): NIST Adjusts Input Data so Computer Simulations of WTC Result in Collapses During the course of its three-year investigation of the World Trade Center collapses, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) performs computer simulations of the behavior of each WTC tower on 9/11. In its final report, released in October 2005 (see October 26, 2005), it will describe having determined which variables most affected the outcome of its various simulations. Then, “[f]or each of the most influential variables, a central or middle value and reasonable high and low values were identified.” However, “[u]pon a preliminary examination of the middle cases, it became clear that the towers would likely remain standing. The less severe cases were discarded after the aircraft impact results were compared to observed events. The middle cases… were discarded after the structural response analysis of major subsystems were compared to observed events.” Therefore, the “more severe case… was used for the global analysis of each tower.” But, to “the extent that the simulations deviated from the photographic evidence or eyewitness reports, the investigators adjusted the input, but only within the range of physical reality.” [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 143-144 ] Entity Tags: National Institute of Standards and Technology, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: WTC Investigation

Early October 2002: Al-Qaeda Leader Captured Near Chechnya; Militant Safe Haven Cleared Out Saif al-Islam al-Masri, a member of al-Qaeda’s military ruling council, is among 15 Arabs captured in the Pankisi Gorge, a lawless area in the country of Georgia, near Chechnya. Georgian and US special forces work together in a raid that results in the captures. Al-Islam is transferred into US custody. The Pankisi Gorge has long been used as a support area by al-Qaeda and other groups to assist the rebels fighting in Chechnya, which is directly on the other side of the Caucasus mountain range. About 100 al-Qaeda operatives and many more Chechen rebels were said to have been living there unmolested for years, but raids around this time are said to clear out the safe haven. Al-Islam has long been a key member of al-Qaeda, although little known to the public. For instance, he fought against US troops in Somalia in 1993 (see Late 1992-October 1993). [WASHINGTON POST, 10/22/2002; MSNBC, 5/2005] What becomes of him after his capture is also mysterious. As of mid-2008, there have been no reports of what has happened to him since, not even reports by human rights groups alleging that he is being secretly held. Entity Tags: Saif al-Islam al-Masri Category Tags: Islamist Militancy in Chechnya, Key Captures and Deaths, 1993 Somalia Fighting

Early October 2002: Al-Qaeda Leader Al-Nashiri Arrested in UAE High-ranking al-Qaeda leader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is captured in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Al-Nashiri is believed to have played a role in the 1998 African embassy bombings (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998), attended a 9/11 planning summit in Malaysia in 2000 (see January 5-8, 2000), was one of the masterminds of the 2000 USS Cole bombing (see October 12, 2000), and planned the 2002 bombing of the French oil tanker Limburg (see October 6, 2002). Said to be chief of al-Qaeda’s operations in the Persian Gulf region, he is taking flight lessons in the remote UAE region of Umm Al-Qaiwain when he is arrested by local authorities and then turned over to the CIA. An unknown number of other al-Qaeda suspects are arrested with him, but apparently they are considered less important and are not handed to the CIA as well. Most reports indicate he is arrested on November 8, 2002, about two weeks before the first media leaks about his arrest. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/23/2002] However, US News and World Report will later claim that he was arrested even earlier, early in October 2002. “Al-Nashiri soon broke; he even let officials listen in as he called his associates.” This leads to intelligence on Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi, a top al-Qaeda operative, and the US assassinates him with a missile strike on November 3, 2002, after trailing him for about two weeks (see November 3, 2002). [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 6/2/2003] Al-Nashiri will remain in secret CIA prisons until 2006 and then will be transfered to the Guantanamo Bay prison (see September 2-3, 2006). Entity Tags: Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Central Intelligence Agency, Qaed Salim Sinan al-Harethi Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Key Captures and Deaths, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, High Value Detainees, 2000 USS Cole Bombing

October 2002: Mandatory Terrorist Preparation Plans for US Chemical Plants Blocked by Congressional Republicans Congressional Republicans thwart an attempt to expand the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)‘s ability to compel chemical facilities to prepare contingency plans for terrorist attacks (see December 1999 and Late September 2001). The 1990 Clean Air Act (CAA) allows the agency to force plants to plan for potentially calamitous accidents, and environmentalists and national security advocates argue that the CAA could easily be used in regards to having plants prepare for terrorist attacks. However, Republicans in Congress resist the idea. The EPA is unpopular among conservatives—Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) has called the agency a “Gestapo bureaucracy,” and House Majority Leader Tom DeLay (R-TX) has called it “the Gestapo of government”—and, along with industry representatives and lobbyists, the Republicans successfully persuade the EPA not to, in the agency’s words, “push the envelope” in interpreting the CAA. [ROBERTS, 2008, PP. 93] Entity Tags: Clean Air Act, Tom DeLay, James M. Inhofe, Environmental Protection Agency Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action After 9/11, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Internal US Security After 9/11

October 2, 2002: US Officials Leak Dubious Claim that Al-Zarqawi Stayed in Baghdad with Approval of Hussein Government The Associated Press reports that Islamist militant leader Abu Musab al-Zarqawi “was in Baghdad about two months ago, and US officials suspect his presence was known to the government of Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, a defense official said…” This anonymous US official also calls al-Zarqawi among al-Qaeda’s top two dozen leaders. The article notes that “some US officials… contend the United States has no solid evidence of Iraq and al-Qaeda working together to conduct terrorist operations.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/2/2002] But despite this caveat, just five days later, in a public speech President Bush mentions “one very senior al-Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks” (see October 7, 2002). This is a reference to al-Zarqawi, and is said to be based on communications intercepts. But the same day as the speech, Knight Ridder Newspapers reports that according to US intelligence officials, “The intercepts provide no evidence that [al-Zarqawi] was working with the Iraqi regime or that he was working on a terrorist operation while he was in Iraq.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 10/7/2002; US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] After the US invades Iraq in March 2003, evidence of this Baghdad connection will start to be questioned. Reports that al-Zarqawi was there to have a leg amputated will later be debunked (see January 26, 2003). In June 2003, Newsweek will report, “Bush Administration officials also have acknowledged that their information about al-Zarqawi’s stay in Baghdad is sketchy at best.” [NEWSWEEK, 6/25/2003] Whether al-Zarqawi stayed in Baghdad and if the Hussein government was aware of his movements remains unclear. Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

October 2-November 12, 2002: Mastermind of Series of Alleged Al-Qaeda Funded Bombings in Philippines Appears to Be Government Mole

Abdulmukim Edris, standing with his head bowed in the back, and Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, sitting in the front in purple. [Source: Erik de Castro / Reuters / Corbis] Beginning on October 2, 2002, a series of bombings take place in and around Zamboanga City in the southern Philippines. This region is a center of Islamist militancy in a majority Christian country. During the month of October, bombs explode outside a restaurant near a military camp (killing four, including a US Green Beret commando), at the entrance to a Catholic shrine, at a bus terminal (killing seven), and inside two department stores (killing seven). A total of 21 are killed and more than 200 are injured. Arrest of Alleged Mastermind - On November 14, Abdulmukim Edris is arrested and is said to have been the bomb-maker behind all the blasts. Edris is an alleged member of the Abu Sayyaf, a militant group based in the region. Two days after his arrest, he is paraded in front of cameras and stands in handcuffs directly behind Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo as she calls him “the No. 1 bomber of the Abu Sayyaf.” He admits that he and his team were already casing targets to be bombed later in the month, including the US embassy in Manila. The head of the military says that Edris was trained by two Yemeni “VIPs from al-Qaeda” in the southern Philippines in the month before the 9/11 attacks. It is later reported that another arrested Abu Sayyaf militant, Khair Mundus, received around $90,000 from al-Qaeda militants in Saudi Arabia to fund the bombings. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 11/14/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 5/14/2004] Mastermind Appears to Be Mole - But in July 2003, Edris will escape from a high-security prison with two other militants (see July 14, 2003). One week after the escape, the Philippine Daily Inquirer will report that Edris has long-time links to the Philippine military and police. A police intelligence source says that he has been a government asset since 1994. [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 7/23/2003] Edris will be killed about two weeks after this report. He allegedly is killed hours after he was arrested while trying to wrestle a gun from a soldier. Some will allege that he was deliberately killed in order to prevent him from revealing what he knew (see October 12, 2003). Another Dubious Mastermind - Another alleged mastermind of the Zamboanga bombings, Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari, is arrested on November 8, 2002, and then quickly deported, despite allegations that he helped fund the 1995 Bojinka plot and had major terrorist links. He is said to have links to Philippine intelligence and high-level government protection (see October 8-November 8, 2002). Entity Tags: Abdulmukim Edris, Al-Qaeda, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari, Abu Sayyaf Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Philippine Militant Collusion, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

Shortly After Early October 2002: Al-Qaeda Leader Al-Nashiri Is Waterboarded in Secret CIA Prison Shortly after his arrest in the United Arab Emirates in early October 2002 (see Early October 2002), al-Qaeda leader Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is taken to an unknown location and tortured. According to the Associated Press, he is waterboarded, which is a technique simulating drowning that is widely regarded as torture. He is only one of about four high-ranking detainees waterboarded, according to media reports (see May 2002-2003). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/11/2007] Much will later be written about the torture and interrogation of other top al-Qaeda leaders such as Abu Zubaida, but next to nothing is publicly known about what happens to al-Nashiri in the months after his arrest. However, in late 2007 it will be reported that at least some of his interrogations were videotaped by the CIA (see Spring-Late 2002), and his waterboarding was videotaped. [WASHINGTON POST, 12/18/2007] But these videotapes will later be destroyed in controversial circumstances (see November 2005). The waterboarding likely takes place in Thailand, because the videotape of his torture will be destroyed there in 2005 (see November 2005). [NEWSWEEK, 6/28/2008] Entity Tags: Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Destruction of CIA Tapes, High Value Detainees, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

October 4-10, 2002: French and British Deny Link Between Iraq and Al-Qaeda French and British officials deny that there is any link between al-Qaeda and Iraq. The British specifically deny any meeting between Mohamed Atta and Iraqi agents in the Czech Republic. They state that Iraq has purposely distanced itself from al-Qaeda, not embraced it. [FINANCIAL TIMES, 10/4/2002; GUARDIAN, 10/10/2002] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

October 5, 2002: FBI Refuses to Allow FBI Informant to Testify before 9/11 Inquiry The New York Times reports that the FBI is refusing to allow Abdussattar Shaikh, the FBI informant who lived with 9/11 hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar in the second half of 2000 (see May 10-Mid-December 2000), to testify before the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. The FBI claims Shaikh would have nothing interesting to say. The Justice Department also wants to learn more about him. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/5/2002] The FBI also tries to prevent Shaikh’s handler Steven Butler from testifying, but Butler will end up testifying before a secret session on October 9, 2002. Shaikh will not testify at all. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/11/2002] Butler’s testimony will uncover many curious facts about Shaikh. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/23/2002; US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 11/29/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003; SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/25/2003] Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi, US Department of Justice, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Steven Butler, Abdussattar Shaikh, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Other Possible Moles or Informants

October 6, 2002: Christian Fundamentalists Believed to Influence Bush Foreign Policy 60 Minutes airs a program on the religious support for President Bush’s expansionist Middle Eastern policies. [CBS NEWS, 10/6/2002] A Guardian editorial from around the same time suggests that “Christian millenarians” who are “driven by visions of messiahs and Armageddon” have formed an alliance with “secular, neoconservative Jewish intellectuals, such as Richard Perle and Paul Wolfowitz” and are strongly influencing Bush’s foreign policy. [GUARDIAN, 9/17/2002] A later Washington Post article also sees the support of evangelical Christians and right-wing Jewish groups as instrumental in defining US Middle East policy. [WASHINGTON POST, 2/9/2003] Entity Tags: Richard Perle, Paul Wolfowitz, Christian fundamentalists, George W. Bush Category Tags: Other Post-9/11 Events

October 6, 2002: Al-Qaeda Attacks Oil Tanker

The Limburg after the attack. [Source: NAVSEA] Al-Qaeda conducts a suicide bombing against a French oil tanker, the Limburg. The attack takes places in the Gulf of Aden off the coast of Yemen. One crew member is killed and over 90,000 barrels of oil leak into the sea. The attack is similar to the one on the USS Cole almost two years before (see October 12, 2000) and is planned by one of the same people, Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri. [BBC, 10/16/2002; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 153] Entity Tags: Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri Category Tags: 2000 USS Cole Bombing, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

October 6, 2002: Afghan President Says Bin Laden ‘Probably’ Dead, Mullah Omar Still Alive Afghan President Hamid Karzai says that Osama bin Laden is “probably” dead, but former Taliban leader Mullah Omar is alive. Karzai makes the comments in a CNN interview on the eve of the anniversary of the start of the US-led military campaign in Afghanistan. “I would come to believe that [bin Laden] probably is dead,” Karzai says. “But still, you never know. He might be alive. Five months ago, six months ago, I was thinking that he was alive. The more we don’t hear of him, and the more time passes, there is the likelihood that he probably is either dead or seriously wounded somewhere.” However, Mullah Omar is alive. “We know of that,” he says. “And we have come close to arresting him several times, but he’s been able to escape.” Karzai adds: “I believe he is most of the time inside Afghanistan. He could go, from time to time, toward our borders, but he stays around the Afghan area, sometimes close to the borders.” [CNN, 10/6/2002] Entity Tags: Mullah Omar, Al-Qaeda, Hamid Karzai, Taliban, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden

October 7, 2002: President Bush Argues War in Iraq is ‘Crucial to Winning the War on Terror’ In a televised speech in Cincinnati (see October 7, 2002), President Bush says: “Some have argued that confronting the threat from Iraq could detract from the war against terror. To the contrary, confronting the threat posed by Iraq is crucial to winning the war on terror.” [US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] Entity Tags: George W. Bush Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Iraq War Impact on Counterterrorism

October 7, 2002: Bush Uses Groundless Evidence to Tout Hussein as a Direct Threat to US

Fallujah II chemical plant. [Source: CIA] In a televised speech, President Bush presents the administration’s case that Saddam Hussein’s regime is a threat to the security of the nation and insists that regime change would improve lifes for Iraqis. “Some worry that a change of leadership in Iraq could create instability and make the situation worse. The situation could hardly get worse, for world security and for the people of Iraq. The lives of Iraqi citizens would improve dramatically if Saddam Hussein were no longer in power, just as the lives of Afghanistan’s citizens improved after the Taliban.” The speech is widely criticized for including false and exaggerated statements. Iraq has attempted to purchase equipment used to enrich uranium for nuclear weapons - Bush claims that a shipment of 3,000 aluminum tubes to Iraq, which were intercepted in Jordan by US authorities in July of 2001 (see July 2001), had been destined for use in a uranium enrichment program. But by this time numerous experts and government scientists have already warned the administration against making this allegation. [US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] Three weeks before Bush’s speech, The Washington Post ran a story on the aluminum tubes. The article summarized a study by the Institute for Science and International Security (ISIS), disputing the administration’s claim that the tubes were to be used for gas centrifuges. The report was authored by the institute’s president and founder, David Albright, a respected nuclear physicist, who had investigated Iraq’s nuclear weapons program after the First Gulf War as a member of the International Atomic Energy Agency’s inspection team and who has spoken before Congress on numerous occasions. In his study, he concluded that Iraq’s attempts to import the tubes “are not evidence that Iraq is in possession of, or close to possessing, nuclear weapons” and “do not provide evidence that Iraq has an operating centrifuge plant or when such a plant could be operational.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/19/2002; GUARDIAN, 10/9/2002; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002; ALBRIGHT, 10/9/2003] Soon after the speech, Albright tells The Guardian newspaper that there is still no evidence to substantiate that interpretation. As one unnamed specialist at the US Department of Energy explains to the newspaper, “I would just say there is not much support for that [nuclear] theory around here.” [GUARDIAN, 10/9/2002] The Washington Post article also reported that government experts on nuclear technology who disagreed with the White House view had told Albright that the administration expected them to remain silent. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/19/2002; INDEPENDENT, 9/22/2002] Houston G. Wood III, a retired Oak Ridge physicist considered to be “among the most eminent living experts” on gas centrifuges reviewed the tube question in August 2001 (see 1950s) and concluded at that time that it was very unlikely that the tubes had been imported to be used for centrifuges in a uranium enrichment program. He later tells The Washington Post in mid-2003 that “it would have been extremely difficult to make these tubes into centrifuges,” adding that it stretched “the imagination to come up with a way.” He also says that other centrifuge experts whom he knew shared his assessment of the tubes. [WASHINGTON POST, 8/10/2003] In addition to the several outside experts who criticized the tubes allegation, analysts within the US intelligence community also doubted the claim. Less than a week before Bush’s speech, the Energy Department and the State Department’s intelligence branch, the INR, had appended a statement to a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq disputing the theory (see October 1, 2002). [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 10/1/2002 SOURCES: DAVID ALBRIGHT] Saddam Hussein ordered his nuclear program to continue in 1998 - Bush says that US intelligence has information that Saddam Hussein ordered his nuclear program to continue after inspectors left in 1998. “Before being barred from Iraq in 1998, the International Atomic Energy Agency dismantled extensive nuclear weapons-related facilities, including three uranium enrichment sites,” Bush charges. “That same year, information from a high-ranking Iraqi nuclear engineer who had defected revealed that despite his public promises, Saddam Hussein had ordered his nuclear program to continue.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002; US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] But Bush’s “high-ranking” source turns out to be Khidir Hamza, who is considered by many to be an unreliable source. Albright, who was president of the Institute for Science and International Security where Hamza worked as an analyst from 1997 to 1999, says that after Hamza defected, “he went off the edge [and] started saying irresponsible things.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002] And General Hussein Kamel, Saddam Hussein’s son-in-law who was in charge of the dictator’s former weapons program but who defected in 1995, told UNSCOM and IAEA inspectors, as well as US and British intelligence, that Khidir Hamza was “a professional liar.” Kamel explained, “He worked with us, but he was useless and always looking for promotions. He consulted with me but could not deliver anything…. He was even interrogated by a team before he left and was allowed to go.” [UNITED NATIONS SPECIAL COMMISSION, 4/16/1998; NEW YORKER, 5/12/2003] Iraq is developing drones that could deploy chemical and biological weapons - The President claims that Iraq is developing drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), which “could be used to disperse chemical or biological weapons across broad areas.” He goes so far as to say, “We’re concerned that Iraq is exploring ways of using these UAVs for missions targeting the United States.” [GUARDIAN, 10/9/2002; US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] But this claim comes shortly after US intelligence agencies completed a National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq, in which Air Force intelligence had disputed the drone allegation (see October 1, 2002). Bush’s drone allegation is quickly derided by experts and other sources. The Guardian of London reports two days later that according to US military experts, “Iraq had been converting eastern European trainer jets, known as L-29s, into drones, but… that with a maximum range of a few hundred miles they were no threat to targets in the US.” [GUARDIAN, 10/9/2002] And the San Francisco Chronicle will cite experts who say that “slow-moving unmanned aerial vehicles would likely be shot down as soon as they crossed Iraq’s borders” because “Iraqi airspace is closely monitored by US and British planes and radar systems.” The report will also note, “It’s also unclear how the vehicles would reach the US mainland—the nearest point is Maine, almost 5, 500 miles away—without being intercepted.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002] Anthony Cordesman, a security analyst at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, will say he believes the drone allegation is unrealistic. In an interview with the San Francisco Chronicle, he says, “As a guesstimate, Iraq’s present holdings of delivery systems and chemical and biological weapons seem most likely to be so limited in technology and operational lethality that they do not constrain US freedom of action or do much to intimidate Iraq’s neighbors.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002] These criticisms of Bush’s claim are validated after the US invasion of Iraq. Two US government scientists involved in the post-invasion hunt for weapons of mass destruction will tell the Associated Press in August 2003 that they inspected the drones and concluded that they were never a threat to the US. “We just looked at the UAVs and said, ‘There’s nothing here. There’s no room to put anything in here,’” one of the scientists will say. “The US scientists, weapons experts who spoke on condition of anonymity, reached their conclusions after studying the small aircraft and interviewing Iraqi missile experts, system designers and Gen. Ibrahim Hussein Ismail, the Iraqi head of the military facility where the UAVs were designed,” the Associated Press will explain in its report. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/24/2003] Saddam Hussein could give terrorists weapons of mass destruction - Bush asserts, “Iraq could decide on any given day to provide a biological or chemical weapon to a terrorist group or individual terrorists.” [US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] But not only have numerous experts and inside sources disputed this theory (see July 2002-March 19, 2003), US intelligence’s National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq—completed just one week before—concluded that this is an unlikely scenario (see October 1, 2002). “Baghdad, for now, appears to be drawing a line short of conducting terrorist attacks with conventional or CBW against the United States,” the document clearly stated. “Should Saddam conclude that a US-led attack could no longer be deterred he probably would become much less constrained in adopting terrorist actions.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002] Iraq rebuilding facilities associated with production of biological and chemical weapons - Bush claims that surveillance photos indicate that Iraq “is rebuilding facilities that it had used to produce chemical and biological weapons.” [US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] On the following day, photos are published on the White House website showing that Iraq had repaired three sites damaged by US bombs—the Al Furat Manufacturing Facility, the Nassr Engineering Establishment Manufacturing Facility, and Fallujah II. [US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] But no evidence is provided by the White House demonstrating that these sites have resumed activities related to the production of weapons of mass destruction. Iraqi authorities will give reporters a tour of the facilities on October 10 (see October 10, 2002). Iraq has trained al-Qaeda members in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases - Bush alleges that Iraq has trained al-Qaeda operatives “in bomb-making and poisons and deadly gases.” [US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] The claim is based on a September 2002 CIA document which had warned that its sources were of “varying reliability” and that the claim had not yet been substantiated (see September 2002). The report’s main source, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, an al-Qaeda operative who offered the information to CIA interrogators while in custody, later recants the claim (see February 14, 2004). A Defense Intelligence Agency report in February 2002 (see February 2002) had also expressed doubt in the claim, going so far as to suggest that al-Libi was “intentionally misleading [his] debriefers.” [CNN, 9/26/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 7/31/2004; NEWSWEEK, 7/5/2005; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/6/2005] And earlier in the month, US intelligence services had concluded in their National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq that this allegation could not be confirmed. [CNN, 9/26/2002; NEWSDAY, 10/10/2002; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 10/12/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 6/22/2003] A very senior al-Qaeda leader received medical treatment in Baghdad - Bush claims: “Some al-Qaeda leaders who fled Afghanistan went to Iraq. These include one very senior al-Qaeda leader who received medical treatment in Baghdad this year, and who has been associated with planning for chemical and biological attacks.” The allegation refers to Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, a Jordanian-born Palestinian who is the founder of al-Tawhid, an organization whose aim is to kill Jews and install an Islamic regime in Jordan. It was first leaked to the press by an anonymous US official several days before Bush’s speech (see October 2, 2002). The allegation is partly based on intercepted telephone calls in which al-Zarqawi was overheard calling friends or relatives (see December 2001-Mid-2002). But on the same day as Bush’s speech, Knight Ridder Newspapers reports that according to US intelligence officials, “The intercepts provide no evidence that the suspected terrorist was working with the Iraqi regime or that he was working on a terrorist operation while he was in Iraq.” [KNIGHT RIDDER, 10/7/2002; US PRESIDENT, 10/14/2002] Al-Zarqawi will link with al-Qaeda, but only in 2004, after the start of the war in Iraq (see October 17, 2004). Entity Tags: Al-Tawhid, Bureau of Intelligence and Research, Anthony Cordesman, David Albright, Institute for Science and International Security, Heritage Foundation and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, George W. Bush, Hussein Kamel, Houston G. Wood III, Al-Qaeda, Saddam Hussein, International Atomic Energy Agency, US Department of State, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, US Department of Energy, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi, Taliban, Ibrahim Hussein Ismail, Khidir Hamza Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

October 7, 2002: CIA Declassifies Some Iraq Intelligence at Senator’s Request In response to a letter from Senator Bob Graham of the Senate Intelligence Committee (see October 4, 2002), the CIA agrees to declassify three passages from the National Intelligence Estimate on Iraq (see October 1, 2002) that said Saddam Hussein is unlikely to use chemical or biological weapons unless he is attacked. The CIA also agrees to release a portion of the October 2 exchange between Graham and Deputy CIA Director John McLaughlin, in which McLaughlin stated that the probability that Saddam would initiate and attack was low (see October 2, 2002). Finally, in response to Graham’s request for additional information on alleged links between Iraq and al-Qaeda, the CIA says its “understanding of the relationship… is evolving and is based on sources of varying reliability. Some of the information… received comes from detainees, including some of high rank.” [CENTRAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY, 10/7/2002; CBC NEWS, 11/1/2002] Entity Tags: George J. Tenet, Bob Graham Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

October 8, 2002: Former FBI Director Says FBI Could Not Have Stopped 9/11 Attacks Testifying before the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, former FBI Director Louis Freeh says, “I am aware of nothing that to me demonstrates that the FBI and the intelligence community had the type of information or tactical intelligence which could have prevented September 11th. In terms of the FBI’s capability to identify, investigate and prevent the nineteen hijackers from carrying out their attacks, the facts so far on the public record do not support the conclusion that these tragic events could have been prevented by the FBI and intelligence community acting by themselves.” [US CONGRESS, 10/8/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Louis J. Freeh Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 9/11 Denials

October 8-November 8, 2002: Suspected Bojinka Plotter Deported after Help from Sympathetic Philippine Officials A suspect in the 1995 Bojinka plot is arrested in the Philippines but is soon deported. Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari is believed to have played a key role in financing the Bojinka plot (see June 1994). After the Bojinka plot was foiled, he stayed in the Philppines and effectively took over a charity that is believed to have helped fund the plot (see 1995 and After). He is widely believed to be the successor to the local operations of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law. The Philippine military arrested al-Ghafari after concluding he was a mastermind in an October 2, 2002 bombing that killed one US soldier and three civilians in the southern city of Zamboanga. [MANILA TIMES, 10/9/2002; MANILA STANDARD TODAY, 10/19/2002] Another mastermind of the bombing, Abu Sayyaf leader Abdulmukim Edris, will later be alleged to be a government mole (see October 2-November 12, 2002). One intelligence official says al-Ghafari had been “placed under surveillance after we established that he was in constant contact with members of Jemaah Islamiyah, mostly Indonesians, in the country, Abu Sayyaf bandits, and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).” [PHILIPPINE STAR, 10/9/2002] He is also accused of heading another group that funded two new al-Qaeda training camps in the Philippines. [GULF NEWS, 10/11/2002] Further, al-Ghafari’s brother belongs to the banned Palestinian militant group Hamas, and a foundation he controls was used as a gathering place for suspected Hamas sympathizers. The Manila Times will report that while some Philippine investigators had been interested in apprehending him for years, others in the government had protected him. For instance, Rex Piad, the Deputy Director-General of the national police, confirmed he helped al-Ghafari get two clearances that allowed him to stay in the country. Furthermore, Piad and retired generals Eduardo Cuadra and Percival Adiong “are directors of the Islamic Wisdom Worldwide Mission (IWWM), a foundation headed by al-Ghafari and a suspected conduit of funds for terrorist operations.” [MANILA TIMES, 10/9/2002] In 1999, it was reported that bin Laden was funding Muslim militants through the IWWM and other charities, but these charities stayed open (see February 15, 1999). It is reported that al-Ghafari had long been in contact with Philippine intelligence agents, who tried to recruit him as a spy, supposedly unsuccessfully. He was going to meet with agents the night he was arrested. [GULF NEWS, 10/11/2002] On November 8, al-Ghafari is deported to Jordan. [MANILA STANDARD TODAY, 11/9/2002] The Zamboanga bombing will be blamed on Abu Sayyaf, a group that has often been accused of colluding with the Philippine government. [MANILA STANDARD TODAY, 4/26/2006] Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Philippine National Police, Percival Adiong, Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari, Moro Islamic Liberation Front, Jemaah Islamiyah, Eduardo Cuadra, Hamas, Islamic Wisdom Worldwide Mission, Abu Sayyaf, Abdulmukim Edris, Rex Piad Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Philippine Militant Collusion

October 9, 2002: Bin Laden Apparently Calls for Overthrow of Pakistani President Musharraf A man claiming to be Osama bin Laden calls for the overthrow of Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf in a message made public on this day. The man calls on “my Pakistani Muslim brothers… to get rid of the shameful Musharraf.” [RASHID, 2008, PP. 230, 436] Despite this, Musharraf makes no serious attempt to disrupt an al-Qaeda safe haven in Pakistan’s tribal region where most al-Qaeda leaders are believed to be hiding, and in fact elements of the Pakistani government continue to assist al-Qaeda there (see Late 2002-Late 2003). Musharraf will finally take some action against al-Qaeda’s presence in Pakistan after two failed assassination attempts against him in late 2003 (see December 14 and 25, 2003). Entity Tags: Pervez Musharraf, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Pakistan and the ISI, Haven in Pakistan Tribal Region, Alleged Al-Qaeda Media Statements

October 9, 2002: FBI Agent Handled Hijackers’ Landlord San Diego FBI agent Steven Butler reportedly gives “explosive” testimony to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. Butler, recently retired, has been unable to speak to the media, but he was the handler for Abdussattar Shaikh, an FBI asset who rented a room to hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar. Butler claims he might have uncovered the 9/11 plot if the CIA had provided the FBI with more information earlier about Alhazmi and Almihdhar. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/22/2002] He says, “It would have made a huge difference.” He suggests they would have quickly found the two hijackers because they were “very, very close.” “We would have immediately opened… investigations. We would have given them the full court press. We would… have done everything—physical surveillance, technical surveillance, and other assets.” [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ; SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE, 7/25/2003] Butler discloses that he had been monitoring a flow of Saudi Arabian money that wound up in the hands of two of the 9/11 hijackers, but his supervisors failed to take any action on the warnings. It is not known when Butler started investigating the money flow, or when he warned his supervisors. [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 11/29/2002] The FBI unsuccessfully tries to prevent Butler from testifying. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/11/2002] This testimony doesn’t stop the US government from deporting Basnan to Saudi Arabia several weeks later. [WASHINGTON POST, 11/24/2002] Entity Tags: Abdussattar Shaikh, Khalid Almihdhar, Central Intelligence Agency, Steven Butler, Nawaf Alhazmi, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Other Possible Moles or Informants

October 9, 2002: Handling of 9/11 Hijackers’ Visa Applications Denounced Visa applications for the 15 Saudi Arabian hijackers are made public, and six separate experts agree: “All of them should have been denied entry [into the US].” Joel Mowbray, who first breaks the story for the conservative National Review, says he is shocked by what he saw: “I really was expecting al-Qaeda to have trained their operatives well, to beat the system. They didn’t have to beat the system, the system was rigged in their favor from the get-go.” A former US consular officer says the visas show a pattern of criminal negligence. Some examples: “Abdulaziz Alomari claimed to be a student but didn’t name a school; claimed to be married but didn’t name a spouse; under nationality and gender, he didn’t list anything.” “Khalid Almihdhar… simply listed ‘Hotel’ as his US destination—no name, no city, no state but no problem getting a visa.” Only one actually gave a US destination, and one stated his destination as “no.” Only Hani Hanjour had a slight delay in acquiring his visa. His first application was flagged because he wrote he wanted to visit for three years when the legal limit is two. When he returned two weeks later, he simply changed the form to read “one year” and was accepted. The experts agree that even allowing for chance, incompetence, and human error, the odds were that only a few should have been approved. [NATIONAL REVIEW, 10/9/2002; NEW YORK POST, 10/9/2002; ABC NEWS, 10/23/2002] In response to the revelation, the State Department says, “The fact is that with 20/20 hindsight, I’m sure one can always find a reason that you might have turned down a visa.” [NATION REVIEW ONLINE, 10/10/2002; STATE DEPARTMENT, 10/10/2002] Entity Tags: US Consulate, Jeddah, Saudi Arabia Office, US Department of State, Al-Qaeda, Khalid Almihdhar, Abdulaziz Alomari, Hani Hanjour Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations, Key Hijacker Events

October 10, 2002: President Bush Backtracks on Support for Independent 9/11 Commission A tentative congressional deal to create an independent commission to investigate the 9/11 attacks falls apart hours after the White House objected to the plan (it appears Vice President Cheney called Republican leaders and told them to renege on the agreement [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/2/2002] ). Bush had pledged to support such a commission a few weeks earlier (see September 20, 2002), but doubters who questioned his sincerity appear to have been proven correct. Hours after top Republican leaders announced at a press conference that an agreement had been reached, House Republican leaders said they wouldn’t bring the legislation to the full House for a vote unless the commission proposal was changed. There are worries that if the White House can delay the legislation for a few more days until Congress adjourns, it could stop the creation of a commission for months, if not permanently. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/11/2002] Another deal is made a few weeks later (see November 15, 2002) and the commission goes forward. Entity Tags: Richard (“Dick”) Cheney Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Commission

October 10, 2002: Australian Intelligence Privately Warns Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Is Likely to Attack US Interests Soon in Southeast Asia, but Public Not Warned The Australian Office of National Assessments (ONA) issues an internal classified report. It says that further terror attacks in Southeast Asia are “on the cards”, including US targets in Indonesia. The Australian Security Intelligence Organization (ASIO) also warns that Jemaah Islamiyah, the al-Qaeda affiliate in Southeast Asia, is planning attacks on Singaporean interests, but Australian interests may be affected. It says that terrorist activity is likely to be focused on US economic interests, but could involve action against US allies such as Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald will later comment: “These warnings were never made public. Until the bombings, travel warnings continued to say that tourist services were operating normally, although there was a warning that further terrorist acts were possible.” [SYDNEY MORNING HERALD, 6/19/2003] Entity Tags: Office of National Assessments, Australian Security Intelligence Organization Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, 2002 Bali Bombings

October 11, 2002: US Ambassador Warns Indonesian Leaders about Imminent Attack; Publicly Threatens to Withdraw Some US Personnel

Ralph Boyce meeting with Megawati Sukarnoputri in September 2004. [Source: Reuters / Corbis] Ralph Boyce, the US ambassador to Indonesia, warns Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri and her top advisers that a group linked to al-Qaeda is planning an attack in Indonesia. The warning does not specify when and where an attack might occur, but it is the latest of several warnings based on the interrogations of al-Qaeda operative Omar al-Faruq and Mohammed Mansour Jabarah (see June 5, 2002 and August 21, 2002). Boyce gives Megawati until October 24 to take action. He says that if Indonesia does not take action by then, the US is going to order all but the most essential US diplomats out of the country as a public warning that Indonesia is a safe haven for terrorists. An unnamed US official will later tell the New York Times: “We told them: ‘Wrap it up. Block it. Demonstrate that you are serious about eliminating the threat against us.’” Boyce publicly warns that the US is considering withdrawing non-essential personnel just hours before two bombs explode in Bali on October 12 (see October 12, 2002). As part of an effort to convince Megawati of the threat, the US allows Indonesian intelligence and police officials to interview al-Faruq, who is in US custody and being held in a secret location. Their interrogation of al-Faruq is still taking place when the Bali bombings occur. [AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL REVIEW, 10/14/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/16/2002] Entity Tags: Ralph Boyce, Megawati Sukarnoputri Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, 2002 Bali Bombings

October 11, 2002: Pentagon and CIA at Odds Over Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Ties The Los Angeles Times reports that there is an escalating “war” between the Pentagon and the CIA over tying Iraq to al-Qaeda. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/11/2002] Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

October 11-14, 2002: Indonesia’s Largest Violent Islamist Group Supposedly Disbands Hours before Bali Bombings Laskar Jihad, Indonesia’s largest violent Islamist militant group, supposedly disbands itself just hours before the Bali bombings (see October 12, 2002). However, the announcement is not made public until several days after the bombings, so it is unclear if the disbanding took place before or after. The group was formed in 2000 and had as many as 15,000 members. It sent thousands of militants to the Maluku islands to fight Christians, but fighting there has largely died down by this time (see January 1999-July 2001). Several days after the Bali bombings, the group’s legal adviser says the disbanding of the group “has nothing to do with the [Bali] bombs,” adding: “There was no pressure on us from military. The clerics in Indonesia and in the Middle East have disagreed with Jafar Umar Thalib’s teachings and have asked him to disband the group.” Thalib is the leader of the group. [GUARDIAN, 10/15/2002] Several days after the Bali bombings, a Muslim fighter in the Malukus who used to fight with Laskar Jihad, tells CNN: “the group was ordered to disband by rogue military generals to hide the generals’ involvement with the group.… These generals backed Laskar Jihad and they acted on their own, outside of the institution. They are afraid of being found out now that there are so many foreign investigators in Bali.” Curiously, General Djaja Suparman, the general who founded a militia that later morphed into Laskar Jihad, was in Bali with some other high-ranking military leaders in the days just before the Bali bombings. The military confirms he and others were there, but says they were only there to have a vacation. [ASIA TIMES, 11/7/2002] While Laskar Jihad activity is greatly reduced in the Malukus after this time, the group remains active in remote regions of Indonesia. For instance, in March 2005, the Australian television program SBS Dateline will report that Laskar Jihad is active fighting separatists in West Papua, the Indonesian half of the island of New Guinea. [SBS DATELINE, 3/16/2005] Entity Tags: Laskar Jihad, Jafar Umar Thalib, Djaja Suparman Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, 2002 Bali Bombings, Indonesian Militant Collusion

October 12, 2002: Bali Bombings Kill Over 200; Al-Qaeda-Linked Group Is Blamed

An explosion lights up the sky on the island of Bali, Indonesia. [Source: Agence France-Presse] A car bomb detonates in front of a discotheque at Kuta Beach, on the Indonesian resort island of Bali, starting a fire that rages through a dozen buildings. A backpack-mounted device carried by a suicide bomber explodes in another Kuta Beach discotheque. 202 people are killed and 209 are injured. Eighty-eight of those killed are Australian, while most of the rest are Indonesian. A much smaller device explodes outside the US consulate in nearby Denpasar, causing only minor damage and no casualties. No group claims responsibility, but Jemaah Islamiyah (JI), al-Qaeda’s main affiliate in Southeast Asia, is believed to be behind the bombings. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/13/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/14/2002; BBC, 2/19/2003] Hambali, a key leader in both al-Qaeda and JI, is said to have been involved. He will be arrested in 2003 and taken into US custody (see August 12, 2003). [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 12/7/2003] Three alleged JI operatives, Ali Gufron (a.k.a. Mukhlas), Imam Samudra, and Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, will be arrested in Indonesia and sentenced to death in 2003 for their roles in the Bali bombings. Ali Imron, brother to both Gufron and Amrozi, will be sentenced to life in prison. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/19/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/3/2003] JI operatives Dulmatin, Azhari Husin, and Noordin Mohammed Top also are said to have major roles in the bombings. Husin will be killed in a police shootout in 2005, while Dulmatin and Top remain at large (see October 6, 2005 and After). It will later turn out that the US was given a “stunningly explicit and specific” advanced warning that Hambali and JI were planning to attack nightclubs in Bali (see August 21, 2002). Entity Tags: Ali Gufron, Azhari Husin, Dulmatin, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, Imam Samudra, Ali Imron, Hambali, Noordin Mohammed Top, Jemaah Islamiyah Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Hambali, 2002 Bali Bombings, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

Mid-October 2002: British Administrator Fires Bosnian Official Vigorously Investigating Terrorism and Corruption

Munir Alibabic. [Source: Dani] By 2002, the Muslim Bosnian government is controlled by the Social Democrats, now that Alija Izetbegovic has retired and his SDA party is out of power. To deal with the issues of corruption and terrorism, in July 2002 the new government brings Munir Alibabic out of retirement to run Bosnia’s intelligence agency. Alibabic had been fired in 1994 as head of the secret police in Sarajevo for opposing government corruption and the support of the mujaheddin, and he is widely respected for his integrity. He vows to stop the cover-up of Bosnian Muslim ties to terrorism, stating, “A crime is a crime, regardless which side commits it.” He works aggressively with other intelligence agencies to uncover the al-Qaeda network in Bosnia. He soon completes a report detailing ties between the SDA party and organized crime. The report names Elfatih Hassanein, Hasan Cengic, Irfan Ljevakovic, Bakir Alispahic, and Alija Delimustafic as key co-consiprators. The first three were central figures in the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA), a bin Laden-linked charity front active in the early 1990s (see Mid-1991-1996). But in October 2002 elections, the SDA returns to power. Paddy Ashdown, a British politician serving as the Office of the High Representative in Bosnia, publicly supported the SDA over secularists and reformers in the election and shortly after they win he fires Alibabic. Author John Schindler will later write that “By the end of 2002, it was evident that the post-9/11 drive to run al-Qaeda out of Bosnia and force its local supporters to heel had run out of steam.” [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 289-291] The Telegraph will later report that Ashdown fired Alibabic on the advice of the British intelligence agency MI6, but it isn’t clear why. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/27/2004] Entity Tags: Hasan Cengic, Alija Delimustafic, Elfatih Hassanein, UK Secret Intelligence Service (MI6), Paddy Ashdown, Party of Democratic Action (SDA), Munir Alibabic, Irfan Ljevakovic, Bakir Alispahic, Third World Relief Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

Before October 17, 2002: CIA Officer Apparently Lies to Director about Withholding of Hijacker Information before 9/11 A CIA officer who served with Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, before 9/11 is interviewed by CIA Director George Tenet about a failure to pass on information to the FBI about one of the 9/11 hijackers, Khalid Almihdhar. Although information about Almihdhar’s US visa was not passed to the FBI, the officer, known only as “Michelle,” drafted a cable falsely stating that it had been passed (see Around 7:00 p.m. January 5, 2000). According to Tenet’s testimony to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry (see October 17, 2002), the officer “believes she never would have written this cable unless she believes this had happened.” Tenet will be impressed with her, calling her a “terrific officer” at an open hearing of the inquiry. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/17/2002] However, it was Michelle herself who blocked the cable, on the orders of her boss, Tom Wilshire (see 9:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. January 5, 2000). In addition, the day after she sent the cable falsely stating the information had been passed, she again insisted that the information not be provided to the FBI (see January 6, 2000). Michelle will later repeat the same lie to the Justice Department’s inspector general (see February 2004). Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, George J. Tenet, ’Michelle’ Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Alhazmi and Almihdhar, CIA Hiding Alhazmi & Almihdhar, Other 9/11 Investigations

October 16, 2002: Former Indonesian Military Officer Reportedly Confesses Role in Bali Bombings The Washington Post reports that a former Indonesian military official has confessed to assembling the main bomb that blew up a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, several days earlier (see October 12, 2002). According to an unnamed Indonesian security official, former Air Force Lieutenant Colonel Dedy Masrukhin says he regrets the loss of life, but will not disclose who ordered him to make the bomb. He was discharged from the military in September 2001 for involvement in a drug case. He received explosives training in the US while he was still in the military. However, less than 24 hours later, an Indonesian military spokesman acknowledges Masrukhin was intensively interrogated but denies that he confessed. [JAKARTA POST, 10/16/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 10/16/2002] Several days later, the Jakarta Post, an English language newspaper in Indonesia, reports that their sources say “the police received orders to release [Masrukhin] although suspicions of his link to the Bali blasts remain strong.” [JAKARTA POST, 10/21/2002] Interestingly, the London Times reports that the explosives used in the bombings were bought from the Indonesian military (see September-October 2002). [LONDON TIMES, 10/20/2002] Entity Tags: Tentara Nasional Indonesia, Dedy Masrukhin Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: 2002 Bali Bombings, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, Indonesian Militant Collusion

October 17, 2002: Tenet Misinforms Congressional Inquiry about CIA Knowledge of Hijackers’ Entry into US In sworn testimony to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, CIA Director George Tenet repeatedly claims that a March 2000 cable sent to CIA headquarters reporting that hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi had entered the US was not read by anybody. He says, “I know that nobody read that cable,” “Nobody read that cable in the March timeframe,” and “[N]obody read that information only cable.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/17/2002] Former Counterterrorist Center Director Cofer Black will also claim that the cable was not read. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. 51 ] However, a later investigation by the CIA Office of Inspector General will find that numerous CIA officers had actually read the cable shortly after it was sent (see March 6, 2000 and After). Nevertheless, the 9/11 Commission will later assert that, “No-one outside the Counterterrorist Center was told any of this” (about Alhazmi’s arrival in the US) and neglect to mention that Tenet had previously misstated the CIA’s knowledge of the hijackers. Neither will the 9/11 Commission investigate the cause of the CIA’s apparent inaction. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 181] Entity Tags: 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/11 Commission, Nawaf Alhazmi, Cofer Black, George J. Tenet Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Alhazmi and Almihdhar, Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit, 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Key Hijacker Events, CIA Hiding Alhazmi & Almihdhar

October 17, 2002: None Punished at US Intelligence Agencies for 9/11 Failures The directors of the US’s three most famous intelligence agencies, the CIA, FBI and NSA, testify before a Congressional inquiry on 9/11. [US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002; US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002] All three say no individual at their agencies has been punished or fired for any of missteps connected to 9/11. This does not satisfy several on the inquiry, including Senator Carl Levin (D), who says “People have to be held accountable.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/18/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Agency, Carl Levin Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Congressional Inquiry

October 17, 2002: NSA Denies Having Indications of 9/11 Planning

NSA Director Michael Hayden. [Source: NSA] NSA Director Michael Hayden testifies before the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that the “NSA had no [indications] that al-Qaeda was specifically targeting New York and Washington… or even that it was planning an attack on US soil.” Before 9/11, the “NSA had no knowledge… that any of the attackers were in the United States.” Supposedly, a post-9/11 NSA review found no intercepts of calls involving any of the 19 hijackers. [REUTERS, 10/17/2002; US CONGRESS, 10/17/2002; USA TODAY, 10/18/2002] Yet, in the summer of 2001 (see Summer 2001), the NSA intercepted communications between Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, and hijacker Mohamed Atta, when he was in charge of operations in the US. [INDEPENDENT, 6/6/2002; INDEPENDENT, 9/15/2002] What was said between the two has not been revealed. The NSA also intercepted multiple phone calls from al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida to the US in the days before 9/11 (see Early September 2001). But who was called or what was said has not been revealed. [ABC NEWS, 2/18/2002] In addition, Hayden testified three times in secret on June 18, June 19, and July 18, but little is known about what he said, as not much information is disclosed in the media and many sections of the Inquiry’s final report about the NSA are heavily redacted. The main revelations at the time of the summer hearings are that the NSA intercepted two messages apparently pertaining to the forthcoming attack one day before 9/11, and this sparks a controversial leak inquiry by the FBI (see August 2, 2002). [CNN, 6/18/2002; CBS NEWS, 6/19/2002; CNN, 6/20/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003 ] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, National Security Agency, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Michael Hayden Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Remote Surveillance, Yemen Hub, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry

October 18, 2002: Ashcroft Invokes ‘State-Secrets Privilege’ to Prevent FBI Whistleblower’s Suit from Being Heard in Court At the request of FBI Director Robert Mueller, Attorney General John Ashcroft files a declaration invoking the “state secrets” privilege (see March 9, 1953) to block FBI translator Sibel Edmonds’ lawsuit against the government from being heard in court. [NEW YORK OBSERVER, 1/22/2004] The Justice Department insists that disclosing her evidence, even at a closed hearing in court, “could reasonably be expected to cause serious damage to the foreign policy and national security of the United States.” The “state secrets privilege,” derived from English common law, has never been the subject of any congressional vote or statute. Normally, the privilege is used to block the discovery of a specific piece of evidence that could put the nation’s security at risk. But Ashcroft’s declaration asserts that the very subject of her lawsuit constitutes a state secret, thus barring her from even presenting her case in court. The text of Ashcroft’s declaration is classified. [VANITY FAIR, 9/2005] The Justice Department’s Director of Public Affairs, Barbara Comstock, says in a press release: “To prevent disclosure of certain classified and sensitive national security information, Attorney General Ashcroft today asserted the state secrets privilege.… The state secrets privilege is well established in federal law… and allows the Executive Branch to safeguard vital information regarding the nation’s security or diplomatic relations. In the past, this privilege has been applied many times to protect our nation’s secrets from disclosure, and to require dismissal of cases when other litigation mechanisms would be inadequate. It is an absolute privilege that renders the information unavailable in litigation.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 10/18/2002; SIEGEL, 2008, PP. 201] Entity Tags: Robert S. Mueller III, Sibel Edmonds, Barbara Comstock, John Ashcroft, US Department of Justice Timeline Tags: Civil Liberties Category Tags: Sibel Edmonds

October 18, 2002: Saudi Acquaintance of Bin Laden Given Immunity by Becoming Ambassador to Britain Saudi Arabia announces that Turki al-Faisal will be its next ambassador to Britain. Turki is a controversial figure because of his long-standing relationship to bin Laden. He has also been named in a lawsuit (see August 15, 2002) by 9/11 victims’ relatives against Saudi Arabians for their support of al-Qaeda before 9/11. It is later noted that his ambassador position could give him diplomatic immunity from the lawsuit. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/30/2002] Turki’s predecessor as ambassador was recalled after it was revealed he had written poems praising suicide bombers. [OBSERVER, 3/2/2003] Articles reporting on his new posting suggest that Turki last met bin Laden in the early 1990s, before bin Laden became wanted by the US for his anti-American militancy. [LONDON TIMES, 10/18/2002; GUARDIAN, 10/19/2002] However, these reports fail to mention other reported contacts with bin Laden, including a possible secret meeting in 1998 (see July 1998). Entity Tags: Turki al-Faisal, Osama bin Laden, Saudi Arabia Category Tags: Saudi Arabia, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

October 21, 2002: New York Times Article Uncovers Details Concerning the Bogus Prague Connection Claim Two articles by reporter James Risen on the “Prague Connection” are published in the New York Times. One article reveals that early in 2002 (see Early 2002, probably May or later), Czech President Vaclav Havel had informed Washington that there was no evidence to substantiate claims that 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta had met with Iraqi diplomat Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani in Prague in April 2001 (see April 8, 2001). The article also reveals that analysts in the Czech intelligence service had been furious with the Prime Minister for stovepiping unsubstantiated reports straight to Washington, before they had had the opportunity to investigate further. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/21/2002] Risen’s other article explains how rivalry within the BIS and problematic relations with Britain’s MI6 had resulted in reporters receiving misinformation from sources with grievances and conflicting agendas. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/21/2002] His two articles seemingly put to rest the “Prague Connection” theory, though a November 2003 article in Slate by Edward Jay Epstein will note that many questions remain unanswered. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/19/2003] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Vaclav Havel Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

October 21, 2002: 13 Hijackers Were Never Interviewed by US Consular Officials The General Accounting Office, the nonpartisan investigative arm of Congress, releases a report asserting that at least 13 of the 19 9/11 hijackers were never interviewed by US consular officials before being granted visas to enter the US. This contradicts previous assurances from the State Department that 12 of the hijackers had been interviewed. It also found that, for 15 hijackers whose applications could be found, none had filled in the documents properly. Records for four other hijackers (the four non-Saudis, i.e., Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, and Marwan Al Shehhi) could not be checked because they were accidentally destroyed. [NATIONAL REVIEW ONLINE, 10/21/2002; UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 10/21/2002 ; WASHINGTON POST, 10/22/2002] The State Department maintains that visa procedures were properly followed. In December 2002, Senators Jon Kyl (R) and Pat Roberts (R) state in a chapter of the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry that “if State Department personnel had merely followed the law and not granted non-immigrant visas to 15 of the 19 hijackers in Saudi Arabia… 9/11 would not have happened.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/19/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. PP. 653-673 ] Entity Tags: Pat Roberts, Salem Alhazmi, Waleed M. Alshehri, US Department of State, Satam Al Suqami, Ziad Jarrah, Wail Alshehri, Nawaf Alhazmi, Saeed Alghamdi, Marwan Alshehhi, Ahmed Alhaznawi, Ahmed Alnami, Ahmed Alghamdi, 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, Abdulaziz Alomari, Mohand Alshehri, Mohamed Atta, Khalid Almihdhar, Fayez Ahmed Banihammad, Jon Kyl, Hamza Alghamdi, Hani Hanjour, Government Accountability Office, Majed Moqed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations

October 23, 2002: London Imam Abu Qatada Arrested Shortly after Praising the 9/11 Attacks London imam Abu Qatada is arrested at a house in South London by Scotland Yard and MI5 officials. Intelligence agencies in eight countries, including Italy, France, and Germany, have claimed that Qatada has extensive al-Qaeda links, and he is believed to be a member of al-Qaeda’s fatwa (religious) committee (see June 1996-1997). Using anti-terrorist laws passed in December 2001, he is held at the Belmarsh high security prison without charge. He “disappeared” hours before the new laws went into effect (see Early December 2001). Several days before his arrest, Qatada came out of hiding to release a new document justifying the 9/11 attacks. He posted a ten-page document on the Internet entitled “The Legal Vision for the September 11 Events.” In it, he outlined the “moral” case for the attacks and praised Osama bin Laden for challenging the US. [LONDON TIMES, 10/25/2002] Another radical London imam, Sheik Omar Bakri Mohamed, tells the press that Abu Qatada was arrested after family members visited his house and one of them used a cell phone that was apparently traced by the authorities. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/26/2002] Qatada worked as an MI5 informant beginning in 1996 (see June 1996-February 1997). Entity Tags: Abu Qatada, UK Security Service (MI5), Sheikh Omar Bakri Mohammed Category Tags: Abu Qatada, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, Key Captures and Deaths

October 23, 2002: Study Blames WTC Collapses on Failure of Support Columns

Matthys Levy. [Source: PBS] A report is made publicly available, which the Engineering News-Record calls the “most comprehensive study yet on the destruction of the World Trade Center.” The study was commissioned by WTC leaseholder Silverstein Properties Inc. to support a $7 billion insurance claim, and conducted by a team of engineers from several leading firms, including Weidlinger Associates, LZA Technology/Thornton-Tomasetti, and ARUPFire. It is intended to build on a previous study sponsored by FEMA (see May 1, 2002). The report’s findings are based on an analysis of original structural drawings, thousands of photos, and dozens of videos. Investigators used fire evaluation techniques and powerful computer software to simulate the condition of each tower at critical times between the planes’ impacts and the towers’ collapses. The earlier FEMA investigators had no access to such computer modeling. Matthys Levy, the chairman of Weidlinger Associates and one of the engineers on the study team, says, “The buildings had tremendous reserve capacity and that was reflected in all of the elements we analyzed. In fact, because there were so much excess capacity, the columns even in the impact floors did not buckle immediately, but failed as the result of the fire.” The report states that failure of the WTC’s steel floor supports (“trusses”) did not contribute to the collapses. Instead, the collapses were caused by the failure of steel structural columns that were either destroyed when the planes hit or lost fireproofing, leaving them vulnerable to the weakening effects of the ensuing fires. It says that debris and dust distributed by the plane crashes inhibited the fires, such that the average air temperatures on the impact floors were between 400 and 700°C (750-1,300°F): significantly lower than those associated with typical “fully developed” office fires. However, says Matthys Levy, “By the time the temperature inside the buildings reached 400 degrees, the steel would have lost approximately 50% of its strength. Eventually, gravity took over and the towers began to fall.” Then, according to the analysis led by researchers from LZA Technology/Thornton-Tomasetti, “Once collapse initiated in each tower, essentially all of the interior structure of the tower fell straight down with floors pancaking on top of one another. The network of perimeter steel columns and spandrels acted like a chute to funnel the interior contents into the tower footprint.” According to the computer simulations, the damage to the South Tower’s steel core columns was so severe that the tower should have collapsed immediately after the plane hit. Civil engineer John Osteraas says this incorrect result casts doubt upon some of the study’s predictions. The report concludes that the collapse of the South Tower did not cause or contribute to the subsequent collapse of the North Tower, thus supporting Silverstein Properties’ claim that the terrorist attack represented two occurrences, entitling it to two $3.5 billion insurance policy limits. A separate study commissioned by the insurers contradicts this (see October 23, 2002). The Silverstein report apparently does not examine the collapse of WTC Building 7, a 47-story skyscraper that also collapsed on 9/11 (see (5:20 p.m.) September 11, 2001). It has been passed on to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is undertaking its own investigation of the WTC collapses (see August 21, 2002). [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/30/2002; BUSINESS INSURANCE, 10/23/2002; SILVERSTEIN PROPERTIES, INC., 10/23/2002 ; ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD, 10/25/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/29/2002; ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD, 11/4/2002; REAL ESTATE WEEKLY, 4/30/2003] Entity Tags: World Trade Center, Silverstein Properties, Thornton-Tomasetti Engineers, Weidlinger Associates, Matthys Levy Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: WTC Investigation

October 23, 2002: Report Concludes that Destruction of One WTC Tower Would Have Left Other Unusable An engineering report is released concluding that the destruction of one of the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers would have rendered the other unusable. Swiss Re and other insurance companies involved in the WTC coverage commissioned the study, which was written by California-based Exponent Failure Analysis Associates. It is released the same day as a report on the collapses by WTC leaseholder Silverstein Properties Inc. (see October 23, 2002). Contradicting the Silverstein report, it concludes: “[T]he collapse of one tower in the World Trade Center complex would have severely compromised the future viability of the entire complex.” This supports the insurance companies’ contention that the WTC attacks constituted one loss event, not two, as claimed by Silverstein Properties, thereby entitling Silverstein to a policy limit of $3.5 billion instead of $7 billion. The report, along with the underlying data, computer models, and engineering analyses, have been passed on to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), which is conducting an investigation into the collapses (see August 21, 2002). [BUSINESS INSURANCE, 10/23/2002; INSURANCE JOURNAL, 10/23/2002; ENGINEERING NEWS-RECORD, 11/4/2002] In late 2004, a jury will rule that the WTC attacks were two events, and Silverstein Properties will be tentatively awarded $2.2 billion in insurance for the destruction of the Twin Towers. [BBC, 12/7/2004; INSURANCE JOURNAL, 12/7/2004] Entity Tags: Silverstein Properties, Exponent Failure Analysis Associates, Swiss Reinsurance, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: WTC Investigation, 9/11 Related Lawsuits

October 24, 2002: US and UN Declare Jemaah Islamiyah a Terrorist Organization The US and the United Nations officially declare Jemaah Islamiyah (JI) to be a terrorist organization. JI is considered to be al-Qaeda’s main affiliate in Southeast Asia. Australia, Malaysia, New Zealand, Indonesia, and other nations support the UN declaration. The Indonesian government had previously maintained that JI did not even exist, but immediately changed its position on JI after the Bali bombings earlier in the month (see October 12, 2002). However, even though the Indonesian government supports the UN declaration, it does not actually declare JI an illegal organization within Indonesia. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/24/2002; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 10/31/2002] It will take until 2008 for an Indonesian court to officially declare JI an illegal organization (see April 21, 2008). The key breakthrough to identifying the bombers takes place on November 2, 2002. The first suspect, an alleged JI operative named Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, is arrested on November 5. [BBC, 12/3/2002] Indonesia officially declares JI the prime suspect in the bombings on November 16. [JAKARTA POST, 1/3/2003] Entity Tags: United States, Jemaah Islamiyah, Amrozi bin Nurhasyim, United Nations Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, 2002 Bali Bombings, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

October 25, 2002: German-US Breakdown in Communications Hampers Anti-Terrorism Measures PBS Newshour reports, “[German authorities] say they’re not getting the cooperation they need from the authorities in the [US], and they’re worried that a political dispute between Washington and Berlin is hampering their ability to protect the public… In Hamburg, the police say that breakdown in communications between the US and German governments has also led to a dramatic reduction in the amount of investigative help they’re getting from the [US]” The Bush administration has not spoken to the German government since it won re-election four months earlier while openly opposing Bush’s planned war on Iraq. Germans say existing prosecutions of 9/11 suspects are now threatened by the information breakdown. [ONLINE NEWSHOUR, 10/25/2002] The Germans helped capture suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohamed Heidar Zammar and turned him over to a third country, yet now they’re learning very little from his interrogations, even though he has admitted to being involved in a plot to attack a consulate in Germany. A US State Department official denies there is any problem, aside from a few “bumps in the road.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/4/2002] June 2004, German prosecutor Matthias Krauss, who investigated the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell, will be scheduled to testify before the 9/11 Commission about both pre-9/11 communication problems between German and US intelligence officials and the US government’s cooperation with foreign governments prosecuting suspected terrorists in the post-9/11 period. However, he will unexpectedly cancel at the last minute. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/15/2004] Entity Tags: Matthias Krauss, Germany, Bush administration, 9/11 Commission, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Germany

October 27, 2002: Author Gore Vidal Says Bush Used 9/11 as Pretext

Gore Vidal. [Source: David Rentas] The Observer reports: “America’s most controversial writer Gore Vidal has launched the most scathing attack to date on George W. Bush’s Presidency, calling for an investigation into the events of 9/11 to discover whether the Bush administration deliberately chose not to act on warnings of al-Qaeda’s plans. Vidal’s highly controversial 7,000 word polemic titled ‘The Enemy Within’… argues that what he calls a ‘Bush junta’ used the terrorist attacks as a pretext to enact a preexisting agenda to invade Afghanistan and crack down on civil liberties at home.” Vidal also said, “Apparently, ‘conspiracy stuff’ is now shorthand for unspeakable truth.” [OBSERVER, 10/27/2002] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, Bush administration, Al-Qaeda, Gore Vidal Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: US Government and 9/11 Criticism

October 28, 2002: Indonesian Newspapers Suspect Several High-Ranking Indonesian Government Figures Were Involved in Bali Bombings Six of Indonesia’s main newspapers, including the Jakarta Post, Jawa Pos, and Bali Pos, suggest that several high-ranking Indonesian government figures could be suspects in the Bali bombings that took place earlier in the month (see October 12, 2002). These newspapers note that Gen. Djaja Suparman and former Jakarta police chief Nugroho Jayusman had flown to Bali just before the bombings. Army chief of staff Gen. Ryamizard Ryacudu was also reportedly in Bali at the time of the bombings. [JAKARTA POST, 1/3/2003; PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH, 3/31/2003] Gen. Endriartono Sutarto, head of the Indonesian military, admits to the movements, but claims that Suparman was on vacation, while Riyacudu was in Bali for “health reasons.” An Indonesian human-rights activist says, “General Suparman is one of the generals who was behind the extremist jihad groups. He set up militias composed of gangsters and religious fanatics to counter student demonstrations in 1998. One of these militias, Pram Swarkasa, became the embryo of Laskar Jihad.” Laskar Jihad collaborated with the Indonesian military to kill thousands of Christians in the Indonesian province of Maluku in previous years (see January 1999-July 2001); al-Qaeda and its Southeast Asian affiliate Jemaah Islamiyah provided assistance (see Late 2000-Mid-2001). [ASIA TIMES, 11/7/2002] Wimar Witoelar, spokesman for the previous Indonesian president, Abdurrahman Wahid, also says around this time, “The plot is probably hatched by hardline military rogues. This is certainly an excuse for a military takeover unless it is pre-empted.” Suparman threatens to sue for libel, as does Sutarto, who is accused by the Washington Post around the same time for tacitly approving the killing of a group of US citizens in Indonesia less than two months before the Bali bombings (see Mid-September 2002). But the lawsuits apparently never occur, and an Indonesian press council apparently never rules if the newspapers were irresponsible for making the allegations. None of the government figures are ever charged or officially named as suspects in the bombings. [JAKARTA POST, 11/9/2002; PACIFIC MEDIA WATCH, 3/31/2003; REPORTERS WITHOUT BORDERS, 6/3/2004] Entity Tags: Laskar Jihad, Tentara Nasional Indonesia, Nugroho Jayusman, Wimar Witoelar, Djaja Suparman, Ryamizard Ryacudu Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia, 2002 Bali Bombings, Indonesian Militant Collusion

October 28, 2002: US Diplomat Is Murdered in Jordan; Al-Zarqawi Is Allegedly to Blame

Laurence Foley. [Source: Public domain] US diplomat Laurence Foley, a senior administrator of the US Agency for International Development (USAID), is shot and killed in front of his house in Amman, Jordan. It will later be claimed that his two killers were working for Islamist militant Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. According to Jordanian court documents, in the summer of 2002 al-Zarqawi began training a small group of fighters in Syria to attack Western and Jewish targets in Jordan. Foley was their first target. The two killers met with al-Zarqawi in Syria and got money for the operation. [WASHINGTON POST, 6/8/2006] Al-Zarqawi’s alleged role in this murder will be widely reported in December 2002 and used as further justification for a US invasion of Iraq, since US officials are (incorrectly) arguing at the time that al-Zarqawi is linked to both al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government. For instance, one CNN story about the arrest of Foley’s two killers is titled, “Arrests May Link Al-Qaeda, Iraq.” [CNN, 12/14/2002; CNN, 12/14/2002] Entity Tags: Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, Laurence Foley Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

October 30, 2002: No Evidence of Iraqi Ties to Al-Qaeda, Says British Foreign Minister When asked about claims that Iraq has ties to al-Qaeda, British Foreign Minister Jack Straw responds: “It could well be the case that there were links, active links, between al-Qaeda and the Iraqi regime before Sept. 11. What I’m asked is if I’ve seen any evidence of that. And the answer is: I haven’t.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11/4/2002] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Jack Straw Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

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