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TimelineEdit

September 14, 2001: Deutsche Bank Exec Resigns, Prompting Speculations of 9/11 Connection Edit

Mayo Shattuck III resigns, effective immediately, as head of the Alex Brown unit of Deutsche Bank. No reason is given. Some speculate later that this could have to do with the role of Deutsche Bank in the pre-9/11 purchases of put options on the stock of companies most affected by 9/11. Deutsche Bank is also one of the four banks most used by the bin Laden family. [1][NEW YORK TIMES, 9/15/2001;[2] WALL STREET JOURNAL, 9/27/2001]

September 14, 2001: President Bush Says He Will ‘Rid the World of Evil’ Edit

In a speech at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, President Bush says that “our responsibility to history is already clear: to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil.” [3][SALON, 3/27/2008] Two days later, he says, “This is a new kind of evil, and we understand… this crusade, this war on terrorism, is going to take a while.” [4][NEW YORK TIMES MAGAZINE, 9/11/2005]

September 14, 2001: Lisa Beamer First Informed of Husband’s Phone Call From Flight 93 Edit

Lisa Beamer. [Source: NBC] Since 9/11, Lisa Beamer—whose husband Todd Beamer died on Flight 93—has reportedly had one “nagging question.” According to Newsweek, she’d wondered, “Why had her husband, a man so attached to his cell phone that [she] had to confiscate it when they went on vacation, not called her from the plane? Other passengers had called home from Flight 93 to say goodbye and talk to their loved ones. Why not Todd?” [NEWSWEEK, 12/3/2001] This evening, she receives a call from her family liaison with United Airlines, informing her that the FBI has released information that Todd made a call from the flight: Using a GTE Airfone, he’d spoken to an operator in the Chicago area. The FBI had been keeping the information private until it reviewed the material. The liaison reads her a summary of the call written by Lisa Jefferson, the GTE supervisor with whom Todd had spoken (see 9:45 a.m.-9:58 a.m. September 11, 2001). [BEAMER AND ABRAHAM, 2002, PP. 185-186] During the call, Jefferson had asked Todd if he’d wanted to be connected to his wife. However, as Jefferson later recalls, he’d “said no, that he did not want to upset her as they were expecting their third child in January.” [ORLANDO SENTINEL, 9/5/2002] Instead, he’d asked Jefferson to contact his family if he didn’t “make it out of this.” [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 200] In her book, published in 2002, Lisa Beamer writes that she was “so glad he didn’t” contact her from the plane, because, “Had I learned about Todd’s circumstances by hearing his voice from the plane, I no doubt would have lost it.” While Lisa Beamer only learns of her husband’s call from Flight 93 on this day, the CEO of the company for which he’d worked appears to have been aware of its details a day earlier (see September 13, 2001). [BEAMER AND ABRAHAM, 2002, PP. 184-185 AND 201-202] Entity Tags: Lisa Beamer, Todd Beamer, Lisa Jefferson, United Airlines Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other Post-9/11 Events

September 14, 2001: Atta-Iraq Spy Meeting Story Begins with Dubious Tip Edit

The CIA intelligence liaison in Prague is told by the Czech intelligence agency (BIS) that one of its informants in the local Prague Arab community believes the Hamburg “student” he had seen meeting with Iraqi diplomat Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani on April 8, 2001 in a restaurant outside of Prague was 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta. (see April 8, 2001) Czech intelligence treats the claim skeptically because it comes only after Atta’s picture has been broadcast on television and after the Czech press reported that records showed Atta had traveled to Prague. FBI agents go to the Czech Republic and are given full access to Czech intelligence material. This information leads hawks to come up with the so-called “Prague Connection” theory, which holds that 9/11 plotter Mohamed Atta flew to Prague on April 8, met with al-Ani to discuss the planning and financing of the 9/11 attacks, and returned to the US on either April 9 or 10. The theory will be widely debated but generally discounted by the end of 2004. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/21/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 11/19/2003 SOURCES: JAN KAVAN] Entity Tags: Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani, Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

September 14, 2001: FBI Director Caught in Whopper Edit

FBI Director Mueller describes reports that several of the hijackers had received flight training in the US as “news, quite obviously,” adding, “If we had understood that to be the case, we would have—perhaps one could have averted this.” It will later be discovered that contrary to Mueller’s claims, the FBI had interviewed various flight school staffs about Middle Eastern militants on numerous occasions, from 1996 until a few weeks before 9/11. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/18/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001] Three days later, he says, “There were no warning signs that I’m aware of that would indicate this type of operation in the country.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 9/17/2001] Slate magazine will contrast this with numerous other contradictory statements and articles, and will award Mueller the “Whopper of the Week.” [SLATE, 5/17/2002] Entity Tags: Robert S. Mueller III, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 9/11 Denials

September 14, 2001: Defense Department Pushes for Invasion of Iraq A Defense Department paper for a Camp David meeting with top Bush administration officials to take place the next day (see September 15, 2001) specifies three priority targets for initial action in response to the 9/11 attacks: al-Qaeda, the Taliban, and Iraq. It argues that of the three, al-Qaeda and Iraq pose a strategic threat to the US. Iraq’s alleged long-standing involvement in terrorism is cited, along with its interest in WMDs. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 335, 559] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

September 14, 2001: Account of Fighter Response Times Changes Significantly CBS News announces that “contrary to early reports, US Air Force jets did get into the air on Tuesday while the attacks were under way.” According to this new account, the first fighters got airborne toward New York City at 8:52 a.m. [CBS NEWS, 9/14/2001] The day before this announcement, acting Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Richard Myers in Congressional testimony stated that the first fighters got airborne only after the Pentagon was hit at 9:37 a.m. (see September 13, 2001). [US CONGRESS, 9/13/2001] NORAD spokesman Marine Corps Major Mike Snyder also claimed no fighters launched anywhere until after the Pentagon was hit. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/15/2001] Four days later, the official NORAD timeline is changed to include this new account. [NORTH AMERICAN AEROSPACE DEFENSE COMMAND, 9/18/2001] New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani later testifies before the 9/11 Commission that he found out from the White House at about 9:58 a.m. that the first fighters were not launched toward New York City until twelve minutes earlier—9:46 a.m. [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/19/2004] This would correspond to Myers’ and Snyder’s accounts that no fighters are scrambled until after the Pentagon is hit. But the 9/11 Commission later agrees with this CBS report and by their account the first fighters launch around 8:52. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/17/2004] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Mike Snyder, 9/11 Commission, Rudolph (“Rudy”) Giuliani, US Department of Defense, Richard B. Myers, North American Aerospace Defense Command Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations

September 14-26, 2001: Former Head of Pakistani Intelligence Says Bin Laden Not Responsible for 9/11, Blames Israel and US Edit

General Hamid Gul, the former head of the Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence agency (ISI), gives several interviews in which he says Osama bin Laden is not responsible for 9/11, and that he believes the attacks were perpetrated by the Israeli overseas intelligence service, Mossad, and renegade elements within the US Air Force. [NEWSWEEK, 9/14/2001; TEHELKA (.COM), 9/14/2001; UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/26/2001] Failure of US Air Defenses - Gul points to the failure of the US Air Force to halt the 9/11 attacks. He tells Newsweek: “F-16s don’t scramble in time, though they had 18 minutes after the first plane hit the World Trade Center.… A flight to Los Angeles turns to Washington and is in the air for 45 minutes, and the world’s most sophisticated air defense doesn’t go into action.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/14/2001] In an interview with United Press International editor at large Arnaud de Borchgrave, he says: “The attacks against the Twin Towers started at 8:45 a.m. and four flights are diverted from their assigned air space and no air traffic controller sounds the alarm. And no Air Force jets scramble until 10 a.m. That also smacks of a small scale Air Force rebellion, a coup against the Pentagon perhaps? Radars are jammed, transponders fail. No IFF—friend or foe identification—challenge.” He adds: “In Pakistan, if there is no response to IFF, jets are instantly scrambled and the aircraft is shot down with no further questions asked. This was clearly an inside job.” Bin Laden Innocent - Gul says he believes Osama bin Laden would have been incapable of perpetrating such a sophisticated attack. When de Borchgrave asks, “What makes you think Osama wasn’t behind September 11?” Gul responds: “From a cave inside a mountain or a peasant’s hovel? Let’s be serious.… He doesn’t have the means for such a sophisticated operation.” He comments: “Within ten minutes of the second Twin Tower being hit… CNN said Osama bin Laden had done it. That was a planned piece of disinformation by the real perpetrators. It created an instant mindset and put public opinion into a trance, which prevented even intelligent people from thinking for themselves.” [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/26/2001] He tells the Indian news website Tehelka.com that blaming bin Laden and Afghanistan “is a convenient bogey to divert attention.” [TEHELKA (.COM), 9/14/2001] Blames Israel - Israelis are Gul’s prime suspects for 9/11. He says: “Mossad and its American associates are the obvious culprits. Who benefits from the crime?” [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/26/2001] He tells Newsweek: “I can’t say for sure who was behind [9/11], but it’s the Israelis who are creating so much misery in the world. The Israelis don’t want to see any power in Washington unless it’s subservient to their interests, and President Bush has not been subservient.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/14/2001] In his interview with Tehelka.com, he adds: “One knows that after the Florida fiasco of the presidential election, there is a big rift between the Jewish lobbies and George Bush and his administration. He has not taken a single Jew in his Cabinet. So [Israeli Prime Minister Ariel] Sharon and company are very upset with George Bush. They [the Jewish lobbies] have been told to indulge in acts of terrorism in the past. Why can’t they do it now?” [TEHELKA (.COM), 9/14/2001] Supports Taliban and Opposes US Action against Afghanistan - General Gul was the head of the ISI between 1987 and 1989 (see April 1987). [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] As Newsweek describes, he is “widely considered the architect of the Afghan jihad: the man who, with financial and logistical support from the CIA, engineered the fight of the mujaheddin against the Soviet Union and its proxy government in Kabul in the 1980s. Now, he’s a big fan of the country’s ruling Taliban.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/14/2001] He currently serves as an adviser to Pakistan’s extremist religious political parties, which oppose their government’s decision to support the US in any action against the Taliban. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/26/2001] Newsweek comments: “If General Gul were anyone else, it would be easy to dismiss him as a crackpot. But here in military-ruled Pakistan, he remains an influential figure, even in semiretirement.” [NEWSWEEK, 9/14/2001] Entity Tags: Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks (Mossad), Osama bin Laden, Hamid Gul, US Department of the Air Force, Arnaud de Borchgrave Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: US Government and 9/11 Criticism

September 14, 2001: Officials Deny Flight 93 Shot Down Edit

Officials deny that Flight 93 was shot down, but propose the theory that the hijackers had a bomb on board and blew up the plane. [PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/14/2001] Later in the month, it is reported that the “FBI has determined from the on site investigation that no explosive was involved.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/25/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, North American Aerospace Defense Command, National Transportation Safety Board, Richard B. Myers Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: FBI 9/11 Investigation, Other 9/11 Investigations

September 14, 2001: Revealed: Saudi Students May Attend Florida Flight Schools Without Background Checks In interviews with the Boston Globe, flight instructors in Florida say that it was common for students with Saudi affiliations to enter the US with only cursory background checks and sometimes none. Some flight schools, including some of those attended by the hijackers, have exemptions that allow the schools to unilaterally issue paperwork that students can present at US embassies and consulates so they can obtain visas. Saudi Arabia is possibly the only Arab country with such an exemption. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 7/17/2002] Entity Tags: Saudi Arabia Category Tags: Saudi Arabia

September 14, 2001: President Bush Declares a State of Emergency President Bush issues a proclamation declaring, “A national emergency exists by reason of the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center, New York, New York, and the Pentagon, and the continuing and immediate threat of further attacks on the United States.” The national emergency, he states, has existed since September 11. [US PRESIDENT, 9/17/2001] In furtherance of this proclamation, he authorizes the Pentagon to call up 50,000 reservists to active duty for homeland defense and recovery missions. [CNN, 9/14/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/15/2001; US PRESIDENT, 9/17/2001] On September 12, 2002, Bush will announce that, “[b]ecause the terrorist threat continues,” this national emergency will continue for an additional year. [US PRESIDENT, 9/16/2002] It will be renewed again in the years up to and including 2008 (see August 28, 2008), which is Bush’s last full year in office. [WHITE HOUSE, 9/10/2004; WHITE HOUSE, 9/8/2005; WHITE HOUSE, 9/5/2006; WHITE HOUSE, 9/12/2007; WHITE HOUSE, 8/28/2008] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, George W. Bush Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Internal US Security After 9/11

September 14, 2001: Conflicting Accounts about Planes Near Flight 93’s Crash Edit

Officials admit that two planes were near Flight 93 when it crashed, which matches numerous eyewitness accounts. For example, local man Dennis Decker says that immediately after hearing an explosion, “We looked up, we saw a midsized jet flying low and fast. It appeared to make a loop or part of a circle, and then it turned fast and headed out. If you were here to see it, you’d have no doubt. It was a jet plane, and it had to be flying real close when that 757 went down… If I was the FBI, I’d find out who was driving that plane.” [BERGEN RECORD, 9/14/2001] Later the same day, the military says it can “neither confirm nor deny” the nearby planes. [PITTSBURGH TRIBUNE-REVIEW, 9/14/2001] Two days later, they claim there were two planes near, but that they were a military cargo plane and business jet, and neither had anything to do with the crash. [PITTSBURGH POST-GAZETTE, 9/16/2001] Supposedly, the business jet was requested to fly low over the crash site to help rescuers find the crash site, 25 minutes after all aircraft in the US had been ordered to land. However, the story appears physically impossible since the FBI says this jet was at 37,000 feet and asked to descend to 5,000 feet. [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/15/2001] That would have taken many minutes for that kind of plane, and witnesses report seeing the plane flying very low even before the crash. [BERGEN RECORD, 9/14/2001] Another explanation of a farmer’s plane 45 minutes later is put forth, but that also does not fit the time at all. [PITTSBURGH CHANNEL, 9/15/2001] Deputy Defense Secretary Paul Wolfowitz states: “We responded awfully quickly, I might say, on Tuesday [9/11], and, in fact, we were already tracking in on that plane that crashed in Pennsylvania. I think it was the heroism of the passengers on board that brought it down. But the Air Force was in a position to do so if we had had to.” [NEWSHOUR WITH JIM LEHRER, 9/14/2001] The next day, Maj. Gen. Paul Weaver, the director of the Air National Guard denies that any plane was scrambled after Flight 93. [SEATTLE TIMES, 9/16/2001] That in turn contradicts what Vice President Cheney will say later. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] Entity Tags: Dennis Decker, Paul Wolfowitz, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Paul Weaver Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations

September 14, 2001-2002: Contrary Accounts of Flight 93’s Speed Raise Questions It is initially reported that Flight 93 was traveling fairly slowly when it crashed on September 11. Days after the attacks, the New York Times reports that Flight 93 “slammed into the ground at a speed that law enforcement authorities said might have approached 300 miles an hour.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/14/2001] Another newspaper reports, “Flight 93 slammed into the earth nose-first at over 200 mph, according to estimates by the National Transportation Safety Board and other experts.” [NEWS JOURNAL (WILMINGTON, DE), 9/16/2001] However, by 2002 it is being reported that the plane crashed going nearly 600 mph. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 212] “It could have even broken the sound barrier for a while,” says Hank Krakowski, who was United Airlines’ director of flight operations on September 11. [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/27/2002] The design limits of the plane are 287 mph when flying below 10,000 feet. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 208] Entity Tags: National Transportation Safety Board, Hank Krakowski Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations

September 14, 2001: Investigators Find Flight 77 Black Boxes, but Accounts Conflict over Details

Flight 77’s damaged cockpit voice recorder. [Source: FBI] At around 3:40 a.m., investigators at the Pentagon recover the two “black boxes” from Flight 77. [WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/14/2001] These boxes are the plane’s flight data recorder and its cockpit voice recorder. [BBC, 9/15/2001] Some news reports claim they are found by two Fairfax County firefighters, Carlton Burkhammer and Brian Moravitz, as they comb through debris near the impact site. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/19/2001; NEWSWEEK, 9/28/2001] But according to Arlington County spokesman Dick Bridges, members of the FBI’s evidence response team find them. [PBS, 9/14/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/14/2001] Authors Patrick Creed and Rick Newman will later clarify that Burkhammer and Moravitz find an object initially believed to be one of the black boxes, but closer inspection reveals it to be just “a charred chunk of machinery.” Subsequently, FBI photographer Jennifer Hill finds the cockpit voice recorder in a stack of rubble while assisting searchers. Thirty minutes later, a National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) expert locates the flight data recorder in the same area. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 396-397 AND 400-402] But Allyn Kilsheimer, a structural engineer who helps coordinate the emergency response at the Pentagon, later claims he had “found the black box,” which, he says, he had “stepped on… by accident.” [GW MAGAZINE, 3/2002; POPULAR MECHANICS, 3/2005] Washington FBI agent Christopher Combs says, “Somebody almost threw [the black boxes] away because they didn’t know what they looked like.” [DISASTER NEWS NETWORK, 10/30/2002] Conflicting Accounts of Where Boxes Are Found - According to Dick Bridges, the two recorders are discovered “right where the plane came into the building.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/14/2001] But the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Pentagon Building Performance Report, released in 2003, will claim that the flight data recorder was found “nearly 300 ft into the structure.” [MLAKAR ET AL., 1/2003, PP. 40 ] In Creed and Newman’s account, the recorders are found in the Pentagon’s middle C Ring, near the “punch-out” hole made by the impacting aircraft. [CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 400-402] Boxes Taken Away for Analysis - The boxes are taken to the NTSB’s laboratory in Washington, where data is extracted from the flight data recorder, but they are reclaimed by the FBI later on in the morning. [WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/14/2001; CREED AND NEWMAN, 2008, PP. 402] A flight data recorder tracks an airplane’s flight movements for the last 25 hours, while the cockpit voice recorder contains radio transmissions and sounds from the cockpit for the last 30 minutes of its flight. Both are mounted in the tail of an aircraft and are encased in very strong materials like titanium. According to American Airlines and United Airlines, the black boxes aboard Flight 77 and the other hijacked planes were modern solid-state versions, which are more resistant to damage than older magnetic tape recorders. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 9/15/2001; BBC, 9/15/2001] FBI Director Robert Mueller later says that Flight 77’s data recorder has provided altitude, speed, and other information about the flight, but the voice recorder contained “nothing useful.” [CBS NEWS, 2/23/2002] The 9/11 Commission will describe the cockpit voice recorder as being “badly burned and not recoverable.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 456] According to CBS News, preliminary information shows that the cockpit voice tape “appears to be blank or erased.” [CBS NEWS, 9/16/2001] The two black boxes from Flight 93 are also recovered around this time (see September 13-14, 2001). Entity Tags: Brian Moravitz, Carlton Burkhammer, Allyn Kilsheimer, Chris Combs, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Jennifer Hill, National Transportation Safety Board, Dick Bridges Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: FBI 9/11 Investigation

September 14-October 25, 2001: Egyptian President Mubarak Reveals Doubts about 9/11 Perpetrators In interviews, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak raises questions about who was behind the 9/11 attacks, in particular questioning whether the alleged perpetrators had the necessary flying skills to carry out the attacks. Before becoming president, Mubarak had a successful career in the Egyptian Air Force, having been a pilot, instructor, and squadron leader. He’d eventually become director of the Air Force Academy, Air Force chief of staff, commander of the Air Force, and deputy minister for military affairs. [EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY, 1997; GEORGE WASHINGTON UNIVERSITY, 6/29/1999] Just days after 9/11, he discusses the attack on the Pentagon, saying, “The Pentagon is not very high, a pilot could come straight to the Pentagon like this to hit, he should have flown a lot in this area to know the obstacles which could meet him when he is flying very low with a big commercial plane to hit the Pentagon in a special place.” He adds, “Somebody has studied this very well, someone has flown in this area very much.” When asked, “Are you suggesting it was an inside operation?” he replies, “Frankly speaking, I don’t want to jump to conclusions.” [EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY, 9/15/2001] In an interview six weeks later, he repeats his concerns, saying, “I find it hard to believe that people who were learning to fly in Florida could, within a year and a half, fly large commercial airlines and hit with accuracy the towers of the World Trade Center which would appear, to the pilot from the air, the size of a pencil. Only a professional pilot could carry out this mission, not someone who learned to fly for 18 months in Florida.” [EGYPTIAN PRESIDENCY, 10/25/2001] Mubarak also later claims that Egyptian intelligence had warned American officials 12 days before 9/11 that al-Qaeda was in the advance stages of conducting a significant operation against a US target (see August 30, 2001-September 4, 2001). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/7/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 6/4/2002] Entity Tags: Hosni Mubarak Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: US Government and 9/11 Criticism

September 14, 2001: Head of Shadowy Company Flees US Edit

Dominick Suter, owner of the company Urban Moving Systems, flees the country to Israel. The FBI later tells ABC News, “Urban Moving may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation.” Suter has been tied to the five Israeli agents caught filming the WTC attack. The FBI had questioned Suter around September 12, removing boxes of documents and a dozen computer hard drives. However, when the FBI returns a few days later, he is gone. [NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF LAW AND PUBLIC SAFETY, 12/13/2001; FORWARD, 3/15/2002; ABC NEWS, 6/21/2002] Entity Tags: Dominick Suter, Federal Bureau of Investigation Category Tags: Israel

September 14, 2001: FAA New York Center Instructed to Retain 9/11 Evidence, yet Tape of Controllers’ Accounts Later Destroyed Edit

The FAA’s New York Center receives an e-mail, directing it to retain all data and records for September 11, yet Kevin Delaney will later ignore this directive and deliberately destroy a tape on which six of the center’s air traffic controllers recalled their interactions with two of the hijacked aircraft.[5][6]

The directive has been issued by the air traffic evaluations and investigations staff at the FAA’s headquarters in Washington, DC. These are the FAA’s policy authority on aircraft accident and incident investigations. According to its manager, the intent of the directive is to preserve all voice communications, radar data, and facility records that would have been returned to service after the normal 15-day retention period.

The directive is communicated to the New York Center in an e-mail from the FAA’s eastern region quality assurance manager. The e-mail states: “Retain and secure until further notice ALL administrative/operational data and records.… If a question arises whether or not you should retain the data, RETAIN IT.” It includes a phone number to call, should the recipients have any questions. [7][8]

Both Mike McCormick, the New York Center manager, and Kevin Delaney Wikipedia, the center’s quality assurance manager, who was instructed to tape-record the controllers’ witness accounts on September 11 [see 1], receive this e-mail. Yet Delaney does not follow the directive, as he will subsequently destroy the tape with the controllers’ statements on [see 2][9][10]

Delaney will later give Department of Transportation investigators two reasons why he ignores the directive. Firstly, he will say he did not consider it to apply to the tape of the controllers’ statements, “because he felt the tape had been created in violation of FAA air traffic policy.” Secondly, he will claim the directive “could not have been intended to apply to the tape-recorded statements, since the region and FAA headquarters did not know of the tape’s existence” [see 3].[11][12] However, Air Safety Week will state that, according to “experienced criminal investigators,” “[w]hether higher authorities were aware or not, [and] whether the tape was a temporary or permanent record, is immaterial.” [13][14]

September 14, 2001-April 2002: Engineers Study Flight 77 Crash, But Are Granted Only Limited Access to Crash Site Edit

The American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) studies the crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon and the building’s architectural response to the impact, blast, and subsequent fires. [AMERICAN SOCIETY OF CIVIL ENGINEERS, 1/17/2003] The six-member Pentagon Building Performance Study team is headed by Lead Technical Director Paul F. Mlakar, and also includes Mete A. Sozen. Mlakar and Sozen had previously worked together on the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) investigation into the Oklahoma City bombing under W. Gene Corley, who is now assigned as FEMA/ASCE’s team leader for the World Trade Center investigation (see September 12, 2001). [CORLEY ET AL., 10/1997; MLAKAR ET AL., 1/2003, PP. I ] Some aspects of the Oklahoma City investigation were controversial. [GUARDIAN, 5/5/2001] Sozen is also tasked with “project conception” for Purdue University’s computer simulation of the Pentagon attack, images from which are also used in the Performance Report, when it is issued later (see January 23, 2003). [PURDUE UNIVERSITY DEPARTMENT OF COMPUTER SCIENCE, 9/11/2002] The Building Performance Study team only inspects the Pentagon on two occasions. Team leader Mlakar is granted “limited access” to the site for a week from September 14-21, and on October 4, “controlled access” is granted to the full team, which meets with Corley and inspects the site “for approximately four hours.” All airplane debris has been removed by this time, as well as most of the loose debris from the impact and collapse. Along with interviews and technical information provided by the Pentagon Renovation Project, the photos and data gleaned on these visits are the basis of the team’s analysis of the building’s response to the impact of Flight 77. The study is completed in April 2002, though the report will not be released for another nine months. [MLAKAR ET AL., 1/2003, PP. 1, 18 ] Entity Tags: American Society of Civil Engineers, Mete Sozen, Paul Mlakar, Purdue University, W. Gene Corley, Pentagon Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations

September 14-18, 2001: Congress to Bush: Use All Necessary Military Force The US Congress adopts a joint resolution, the Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), that determines that “the president is authorized to use all necessary and appropriate force against those nations, organizations, or persons he determines planned, authorized, committed, or aided the terrorist attacks that occurred on September 11, 2001, or harbored such organizations or persons, in order to prevent any future acts of international terrorism against the United States by such nations, organizations or persons.” Congress also states that the “grave acts of violence” committed on the US “continue to pose an unusual and extraordinary threat to [its] national security and foreign policy.” [US CONGRESS, 9/14/2001] President Bush signs the resolution into law on September 18. [WHITE HOUSE, 9/18/2001] The passage of the AUMF served another purpose: to extend presidential power. While the Defense Department and the Joint Chiefs of Staff intended the AUMF to define the conflict in narrow terms, and authorize the US to move militarily against al-Qaeda and its confederates, and the Taliban, Vice President Dick Cheney and his chief of staff, David Addington, had a larger goal. Attorney Scott Horton, who has written two major studies on interrogation of terrorism suspects for the New York City Bar Association, says in 2005 that Cheney and Addington “really wanted [the AUMF defined more broadly], because it provided the trigger for this radical redefinition of presidential power.” Addington helped draft a Justice Department opinion in late 2001, written by lawyer John Yoo (see Late September 2001), that asserted Congress cannot “place any limits on the president’s determinations as to any terrorist threat, the amount of military force to be used in response, or the method, timing, and nature of the response.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 5/21/2006] Entity Tags: US Department of Defense, Taliban, Richard (“Dick”) Cheney, Scott Horton, John C. Yoo, Joint Chiefs of Staff, Al-Qaeda, George W. Bush, Authorization to Use Military Force (AUMF), David S. Addington Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives, Civil Liberties Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

September 14-26, 2001: Bush Makes Public Appearances with Suspected Terrorism Supporters Edit

President Bush in front of the Islamic Center on September 17, 2001. Alamoudi is on the far right. [Source: Martin H. Simon/ Corbis] In the weeks after 9/11, President Bush makes a number of public appearances with Muslim leaders in an attempt to reach out to what is perceived as the moderate Muslim community. However, some leaders invited to appear with Bush are actually radical Islamists with suspected terrorism ties. For instance, on September 14, 2001, Bush appears at a prayer service dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 attacks with Abdurahaman Alamoudi, the president of the American Muslim Council. US intelligence had suspected Alamoudi of ties with bin Laden and other terrorist leaders since 1994 (see Shortly After March 1994), and in late 2000 the Bush campaign returned a campaign contribution from Alamoudi because of his controversial ties (see July 2000). Alamoudi also proclaimed his support for Hamas and Hezbollah, both officially designated terrorist groups by the US, at a 2000 public rally in Washington. Another invited attendee at the prayer service is Muzzammil Siddiqi, the spiritual leader of the Islamic Society of Orange County. Siddiqi said of the US government a year earlier, “If you remain on the side of injustice the wrath of God will come.” [FOX NEWS, 10/1/2001] In the early 1990s, the “Blind Sheikh,” Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman, lectured about violent jihad at Siddiqi’s mosque while Siddiqi sat beside him to translate. Several members of an al-Qaeda sleeper cell, including Khalil Deek and Adam Gadahn, were regular attendees at his mosque. [NEW YORKER, 1/22/2007] “Former Secret Service officer Ron Williams says, “The intelligence community has known for sometime the association of Dr. Muzammil Siddiqi and Mr. Alamoudi and their association with terrorist organizations.” [FOX NEWS, 10/1/2001] Agha Jafri, a Shia Muslim leader, calls Siddiqi part of a Saudi-backed “mafia” intent on crushing moderate Sufi and Shiite Muslims in the US and says, “They hate us.” [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 3/11/2003] On September 17, 2001, Bush speaks before the Islamic Center, a Washington mosque. Alamoudi is again pictured with Bush. On September 26, Bush meets with 15 prominent Muslim leaders at the White House. Siddiqi sits next to Bush. Other Muslim leaders at these meetings have expressed support for Hamas and other officially designated terrorist groups. Influential Republican lobbyist Grover Norquist has been working to build a political alliance between the Republican Party and Muslim Americans since at least 1998 (see 1998-September 2001), and he is allegedly responsible for arranging these meetings and vouching for the attendees. [NEW REPUBLIC, 11/1/2001] Bush apparently does not make any more public appearances with Alamoudi or Siddiqi after a Fox News report in early October 2001 regarding their appearances with him. [FOX NEWS, 10/1/2001] It will later come out that Alamoudi met with two of the 9/11 hijackers’ suspected associates in 2000 (see October-November 2000), and in 2004, Alamoudi will be sentenced to a long prison term for illegal dealings with Libya (see October 15, 2004). Siddiqi remains an imam in Orange County and denies any terrorism links. An FBI official will say in 2007, “We have a very strong relationship with Dr. Siddiqi.” [NEW YORKER, 1/22/2007] Entity Tags: Grover Norquist, George W. Bush, American Muslim Council, Hamas, Agha Jafri, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Muzzammil Siddiqi, Hezbollah, Abdurahman Alamoudi Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Internal US Security After 9/11

September 14-19, 2001: Bin Laden Family Members, Saudi Royals Quietly Leave US Edit

Khalil bin Laden at the Orlando, Florida, airport, about to be flown out of the country in the days after 9/11. [Source: Lions Gate Films] Following a secret flight inside the US that is in violation of a national private airplane flight ban, members of the bin Laden family and Saudi royalty quietly depart the US. The flights are only publicly acknowledged after all the Saudis have left. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/21/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/30/2001] About 140 Saudis, including around 24 members of the bin Laden family, are passengers in these flights. The identities of most of these passengers are not known. However, some of the passengers include:

The son of the Saudi Defense Minister Prince Sultan. Sultan is sued in August 2002 for alleged complicity in the 9/11 plot. [TAMPA TRIBUNE, 10/5/2001] He is alleged to have contributed at least $6 million since 1994 to four charities that finance al-Qaeda. [VANITY FAIR, 10/2003] 
Khalil bin Laden. He has been investigated by the Brazilian government for possible terrorist connections. [VANITY FAIR, 10/2003] 
Abdullah bin Laden and Omar bin Laden, cousins of bin Laden. Abdullah was the US director of the Muslim charity World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY). The governments of India, Pakistan, Philippines, and Bosnia have all accused WAMY of funding terrorism. These two relatives were investigated by the FBI in 1996 (see February-September 11, 1996) in a case involving espionage, murder, and national security. Their case is reopened on September 19, right after they leave the country. [VANITY FAIR, 10/2003] Remarkably, four of the 9/11 hijackers briefly lived in the town of Falls Church, Virginia, three blocks from the WAMY office headed by Abdullah bin Laden. [BBC, 11/6/2001] 
Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen. He is a prominent Saudi official who was in the same hotel as three of the hijackers the night before 9/11. He leaves on one of the first flights to Saudi Arabia before the FBI can properly interview him about this. [WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2003] 
Akberali Moawalla. A Pakistani and business partner of Osama’s brother Yeslam bin Laden. In 2000, a transfer of over $250 million was made from a bank account belonging jointly to Moawalla and Osama bin Laden (see 2000). [WASHINGTON POST, 7/22/2004] 

There is a later dispute regarding how thoroughly the Saudis are interviewed before they leave and who approves the flights. Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke says he agrees to the flights after the FBI assures him none of those on board has connections to terrorism and that it is “a conscious decision with complete review at the highest levels of the State Department and the FBI and the White House.” [US CONGRESS, 9/3/2003] Clarke says the decision to approve the flights “didn’t get any higher than me.” [HILL, 5/18/2004] According to Vanity Fair, both the FBI and the State Department “deny playing any role whatsoever in the episode.” However, Dale Watson, the head of the FBI’s Counterterrorism Division, says the Saudis on the planes “[are] identified, but they [are] not subject to serious interviews or interrogations” before they leave. [VANITY FAIR, 10/2003] An FBI spokesperson says the bin Laden relatives are only interviewed by the FBI “at the airport, as they [are] about to leave.” [NATIONAL REVIEW, 9/11/2002] There are claims that some passengers are not interviewed by the FBI at all. [VANITY FAIR, 10/2003] Abdullah bin Laden, who stays in the US, says that even a month after 9/11, his only contact with the FBI is a brief phone call. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/21/2001; NEW YORKER, 11/5/2001] The FBI official responsible for coordinating with Clarke is Assistant Director Michael Rolince, who is in charge of the Bureau’s International Terrorism Operations Section and assumes responsibility for the Saudi flights. Rolince decides that the Saudis can leave after their faces are matched to their passport photos and their names are run through various databases, including some watch lists, to check the FBI has no derogatory information about them.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 196-197, 209 ] Numerous experts are surprised that the bin Ladens are not interviewed more extensively before leaving, pointing out that interviewing the relatives of suspects is standard investigative procedure. [NATIONAL REVIEW, 9/11/2002; VANITY FAIR, 10/2003] MSNBC claims that “members of the Saudi royal family met frequently with bin Laden—both before and after 9/11” [MSNBC, 9/5/2003] , and many Saudi royals and bin Laden relatives are being sued for their alleged role in 9/11. The Boston Globe opines that the flights occur “too soon after 9/11 for the FBI even to know what questions to ask, much less to decide conclusively that each Saudi [royal] and bin Laden relative [deserve] an ‘all clear,’ never to be available for questions again.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/30/2003] Senator Charles Schumer (D) says of the secret flights: “This is just another example of our country coddling the Saudis and giving them special privileges that others would never get. It’s almost as if we didn’t want to find out what links existed.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/4/2003] Judicial Watch will disclose FBI documents that say, “Osama bin Laden may have chartered one of the Saudi flights.” [JUDICIAL WATCH, 6/20/2007] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Dale Watson, Khalil bin Laden, Al-Qaeda, Bin Laden Family, Abdullah bin Laden, Michael Rolince, Osama bin Laden, Bush administration, World Assembly of Muslim Youth, Omar bin Laden, US Department of State, Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, Sultan bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, Charles Schumer, Richard A. Clarke Category Tags: Saudi Arabia, Bin Laden Family

September 14, 2001 and After: FBI Alerted to Suspicious Bookings on Flight 11 An employee of a company running an Internet-based airline reservation system alerts the FBI to unusual reservations made on American Airlines Flight 11. Seven individuals reserved seats in the early hours of September 11 through a Pakistani travel agency, but did not show up for the flight. The reservation records are anomalous in many respects. The reservations included four individuals with the last name of “Cooper” and three with the last name of “Norris,” but without a full first name, which is against company policy. The records contain no credit card information or telephone numbers, which is also against standard practice. In addition, the same passengers were also booked on another flight, going from Los Angeles to St. Louis, with a schedule incompatible with Flight 11’s. FBI investigators wonder if these “no show” reservations were part of the 9/11 plot. One theory is that the suspected hijackers and/or unknown associates purchased multiple tickets on the targeted flights in an attempt to ensure the number of passengers aboard each flight remained tactically manageable. A second theory is that the suspected hijackers specifically chose Flights 11 and 77 because they knew their passenger loads were typically low. But after inquiring with American Airlines, investigators establish that the average passenger loads for Flights 11 and 77 on Tuesdays were 38 percent and 26 percent respectively, whereas the passenger loads for Flights 11 and 77 on 9/11 were higher than normal, at 53 percent and 38 percent respectively. It is unclear whether the seven “no shows” are ever identified or if they and the travel agency are subsequently cleared of any terrorist connection. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 2002] The FBI will also investigate no shows on the two United Airlines flights targeted on 9/11, without uncovering anything suspicious. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 2002; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 2002] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation Category Tags: FBI 9/11 Investigation

September 14, 2001 and After: Anticiapted Debate about Poor Fighter Response on 9/11 Never Occurs The Miami Herald reports, “Forty-five minutes. That’s how long American Airlines Flight 77 meandered through the air headed for the White House, its flight plan abandoned, its radar beacon silent… Who was watching in those 45 minutes? ‘That’s a question that more and more people are going to ask,’ said one controller in Miami. ‘What the hell went on here? Was anyone doing anything about it? Just as a national defense thing, how are they able to fly around and no one go after them?’” [MIAMI HERALD, 9/14/2001] In the year after this article and a similar one in the Village Voice [VILLAGE VOICE, 9/13/2001] , there will be only one other US article questioning slow fighter response times, and that article notes the strange lack of articles on the topic. [SLATE, 1/16/2002] The fighter response issue finally makes news in 9/11 Commission hearings in 2004. Entity Tags: 9/11 Commission Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Media, Other 9/11 Investigations

Mid-September 2001: Israel and US Plan Contingency to Steal Nuclear Weapons from Pakistan Edit

According to Seymour Hersh of The New Yorker, a few days after 9/11 members of the elite Israeli counterterrorism unit Sayeret Matkal arrive in the US and begin training with US Special Forces in a secret location. The two groups are developing contingency plans to attack Pakistan’s military bases and remove its nuclear weapons if the Pakistani government or the nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands. [NEW YORKER, 10/29/2001] There may have been threats to enact this plan on September 13, 2001. The Japan Times later notes that this “threat to divest Pakistan of its ‘crown jewels’ was cleverly used by the US, first to force [Pakistani President] Musharraf to support its military campaign in Afghanistan, and then to warn would-be coup plotters against Musharraf.” [JAPAN TIMES, 11/10/2001] Entity Tags: Pervez Musharraf, Pakistan, Sayeret Matkal Timeline Tags: A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Pakistani Nukes & Islamic Militancy

Mid-September 2001: Evangelist Tells Bush that Bush Is ‘God’s Man for This Hour’ A few days after the 9/11 attacks, President Bush invites a small group of evangelical, conservative Christians to the White House to discuss the theological implications of the attacks. James Merritt, president of the Southern Baptist Convention, says, “Mr President, you and I are fellow believers in Jesus Christ.” Bush nods. “We both believe there is a sovereign God in control of this universe.” Bush again agrees. “Since God knew that those planes would hit those towers before you and I were born,” Merritt says, “since God knew that you would be sitting in that chair before this world was ever created, I can only draw the conclusion that you are God’s man for this hour.” Upon hearing these words, Bush begins to cry. [UNGER, 2007, PP. 218-219] Entity Tags: George W. Bush, James Merritt Category Tags: Other Post-9/11 Events


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