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CIA Director Meets ISI Director about Bin Laden IssueEdit
Pakistani ISI Director Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, who is visiting Washington (see September 4-11, 2001), meets with CIA Director George Tenet. In his 2007 book[which?], Tenet will claim that he “tried to press” Mahmood to do something about Taliban support for bin Laden, since the Pakistani government has been supporting the Taliban since its creation in 1994. But Mahmood was supposedly “immovable when it came to the Taliban and al-Qaeda.” Tenet will say that Mahmood’s sole suggestion was the US should try bribing key Taliban officials to get them to turn over bin Laden. However, “even then he made it clear that neither he nor his service would have anything to do with the effort, not even to the extent of advising us whom we might approach.” 
a.m.: Mohamed Atta Witnessed Behaving Suspiciously at Logan Airport Edit
At Logan Airport, during the morning, businesswoman Jan Shineman is checking in for Flight 11 to Los Angeles, when she notices a man resembling Mohamed Atta behaving suspiciously. She later recalls him wearing “summery, holiday-type clothes… and he had no baggage, just a folder with a notebook.” She sees him again at the gate for Flight 11, “taking notes, watching the pilots in the cockpit through the window by the gate. They were running through their pre-flight checks.” She decides, “if he had boarded I would have told the captain about him, he was so odd and frightening.”  Atta will return to Logan Airport and board Flight 11 to Los Angeles on 9/11. 
9/11 Hijacker Jarrah Is Stopped for Speeding but No Red Flag in Computer Records Edit
9/11 hijacker Ziad Jarrah is stopped in Maryland for speeding, ticketed, and released. No red flags show up when his name is run through the computer by the state police, even though he already had been questioned in January 2001 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) at the request of the CIA for “suspected involvement in terrorist activities” (see January 30, 2001) Baltimore’s mayor[who?] has criticized the CIA for not informing them that Jarrah was on the CIA’s watch list.  Sen. Bob Graham will later make reference to Jarrah’s detention in the UAE and the fact that an arrest warrant had been put out for Mohamed Atta (see June 4, 2001), and comment, “Had local law enforcement been able to run the names of Jarrah and Atta against a watch list, it is likely that they would have been arrested and detained, and at least one team of hijackers would no longer have had a pilot.”  Three other hijackers are also stopped for speeding while they are in the US (see April 26, 2001).
Northern Alliance Informs CIA of Massoud Assassination; News Soon Leaks Edit
Northern Alliance leader Amrullah Saleh calls the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center to inform it of the assassination of anti-Taliban commander Ahmed Shah Massoud (see September 9, 2001). His call is taken by Richard Blee, the manager responsible for Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit. Although Congressman Dana Rohrabacher, an expert on Afghanistan, realizes the assassination means “something terrible [is] about to happen” [see 1], Blee does not appear to connect the assassination to a spike in warnings about an al-Qaeda attack against US interests, even though he has been briefing senior officials about this all summer[see 2]. The Northern Alliance realizes that the Taliban will attack them immediately, because they are leaderless, and Saleh asks for support from the CIA. However, some at the CIA think that the Northern Alliance has no chance without Massoud, who held it together. Other officers “[call] frantically around Washington to find a way to aid the rump Northern Alliance before it [is] eliminated.” The CIA informs the White House of the assassination, and the news soon leaks to CNN. This prompts the Northern Alliance to call again, this time complaining about the leak. 
NEADS Exercise Includes Scenario with Terrorist Hijackers Targeting New York Edit
Personnel at NORAD’s Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) practice their responses to a simulated plane hijacking in which terrorists plan to blow up a hijacked airliner over New York City. The scenario is part of the annual NORAD training exercise Vigilant Guardian. ; In the scenario, the fictitious hijackers take over a McDonnell Douglas DC-10 aircraft bound from London, Britain, to JFK International Airport in New York. According to a document later produced by the 9/11 Commission, the terrorist hijackers have explosives on the plane and “plan to detonate them over NYC.” As the scenario plays out, a “Blue Force” is able to divert the hijacked aircraft. When the terrorists then realize they are not near New York, they “detonate [the] explosives over land near the divert location.” There are no survivors. NEADS is based in Rome, New York, and will play a key role in coordinating the US military’s response to the 9/11 attacks two days later. On the morning of September 11, its personnel will be scheduled to practice another scenario based around an aircraft hijacking, presumably as part of the same Vigilant Guardian exercise (see (9:40 a.m.) September 11, 2001). ;
Internet Forum Message Warns of 9/11 Attack Edit
A message is posted on Alsaha.com, a website based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, warning of the 9/11 attack. It proclaims that in the next two days, a “big surprise” is coming from the Saudi Arabian region of Asir, the remote, mountainous province that produced most of the 19 hijackers who struck on September 11. Since 9/11, the FBI and CIA have closely monitored this website as “a kind of terrorist early-warning system” due to its popularity with Muslim fundamentalists. However, it is doubtful if they were monitoring the site before 9/11, or noticed this message.  Additionally, on September 10, someone in Jordan posts on a website that at attack is close to “zero hour.” 
Hijackers Drop Duffle Bag in Front of Mosque, Leave Evidence of Flight Training from 2000 Edit
Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar stay in a motel[which?] near a fundamentalist storefront mosque in Laurel, Maryland. The hijackers drop off two bags at the mosque, to which they attach a note stating: “gift for the brothers.” The FBI will recover the bags one day after 9/11. An FBI document[which?] will identify the mosque at the Ayah Islamic Center, also known as the Ayah Dawah mosque. According to the 9/11 Commission, the bags contain “fruit, clothing, flight logs, and various other materials.”  The FBI will later reveal that the bags contain pilot log books, receipts, and other evidence documenting the brief flight training that Alhazmi and Almihdhar underwent in San Diego in early 2000. It is unclear why they would have kept the receipts, some mentioning their names, for over a year and then left them at a mosque to be found. ] After 9/11, the FBI will investigate the mosque, asking people if they recognized any of the hijackers. They will determine the imam, Said Rageah, worked part-time raising money for the Global Relief Foundation. Shortly after 9/11, the US will declare this charity a terrorism financier and shut it down. The FBI will investigate him for over a year but ultimately will not find any link to the 9/11 attacks. ;; Newsweek will later ask rhetorically, “Who are these mysterious brothers the hijackers left behind when they immolated themselves on September 11? Was that just the usual endearing term that fellow Muslims use for each other? Or is there a deeper connection?” 
Northern Alliance Leader Massoud Is Assassinated in Anticipation of 9/11 Attack Edit
General Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance, is assassinated by two al-Qaeda agents posing as Moroccan journalists. A legendary mujaheddin commander and a brilliant tactician, Massoud had pledged to bring freedom and democracy to Afghanistan. The BBC says the next day, “General Massoud’s death might well have meant the end of the [Northern] alliance” because there clearly was no figure with his skills and popularity to replace him. “With Massoud out of the way, the Taliban and al-Qaeda would be rid of their most effective opponent and be in a stronger position to resist the American onslaught.”  It appears the assassination was supposed to happen earlier: the “journalists” waited for three weeks in Northern Alliance territory to meet Massoud. Finally on September 8, an aide says they “were so worried and excitable they were begging us.” They were granted an interview after threatening to leave if the interview did not happen in the next 24 hours. Meanwhile, the Taliban army (together with elements of the Pakistani army) had massed for an offensive against the Northern Alliance in the previous weeks, but the offensive began only hours after the assassination. Massoud was killed that day but Northern Alliance leaders pretend for several days that Massoud was only injured in order to keep the Northern Alliance army’s morale up, and they are able to stave off total defeat. The timing of the assassination and the actions of the Taliban army suggest that the 9/11 attacks were known to the Taliban leadership. 
Though it is not widely reported, the Northern Alliance releases a statement the next day: “Ahmed Shah Massoud was the target of an assassination attempt organized by the Pakistani [intelligence service] ISI and Osama bin Laden.”  This suggests that the ISI may also have had prior knowledge of the attack plans.
Bush’s First Budget Has Gaps for Counterterrorism Funding Edit
George W. Bush’s first budget calls for $13.6 billion on counterterrorism programs, compared with $12.8 billion in President Clinton’s last budget and $2 billion ten years earlier. However, there are gaps between what military commanders say they need to combat terrorism and what they are slated to receive. These gaps are still unresolved on September 11. 
New York Times Reports Bin Laden ‘Promises More Attacks’; Article Will Be Removed Shortly After 9/11 Edit
Just two days before 9/11, the New York Times publishes an article on their website examining the threat of an al-Qaeda attack on US interests. The article focuses on a videotape made by bin Laden which was released in June 2001 (see June 19, 2001). The article notes that “When the two-hour videotape surfaced last June, it attracted little attention, partly because much of it was spliced from previous bin Laden interviews and tapes. But since then the tape has proliferated on Islamic Web sites and in mosques and bazaars across the Muslim world.” It further notes that in the video, bin Laden “promises more attacks.” Referring to the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen, he says, “The victory of Yemen will continue.” He promises to aid Palestinians fighting Israel, an important shift in emphasis from previous pronouncements. He also praises the Taliban, suggesting that previous reports of a split between bin Laden and the Taliban were a ruse. The article comments, “With his mockery of American power, Mr. bin Laden seems to be almost taunting the United States.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/9/2001] Curiously, shortly after 9/11, the New York Times will remove the article from their website archive and redirect all links from the article’s web address, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/09/international/asia/09OSAM.html, to the address of another article written by the same author shortly after 9/11, http://www.nytimes.com/2001/09/12/international/12OSAM.html. (Note the dates contained within the addresses.) Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Warning Signs
Congressman Foresees Something Terrible Will Happen in Wake of Massoud Assassination Edit
Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (right) in Afghanistan in 1988. [Source: Public domain] Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R), who has long experience in Afghanistan and even fought with the mujaheddin there, later will claim he immediately sees the assassination of Northern Alliance leader Ahmed Shah Massoud (see September 9, 2001) as a sign that “something terrible [is] about to happen.” He is only able to make an appointment to meet with top White House and National Security Council officials for 2:30 pm. on 9/11. The events of that morning will make the meeting moot. [US CONGRESS, 9/17/2001] Entity Tags: National Security Council, Dana Rohrabacher, Ahmed Shah Massoud Category Tags: Warning Signs
Osama Tells His Stepmother that Big News Will Come in Two Days Edit
It will later be reported that on this day, Osama bin Laden calls his stepmother and says, “In two days, you’re going to hear big news and you’re not going to hear from me for a while.” US officials later will tell CNN that “in recent years they’ve been able to monitor some of bin Laden’s telephone communications with his [step]mother. Bin Laden at the time was using a satellite telephone, and the signals were intercepted and sometimes recorded.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/2/2001] Stepmother Al-Khalifa bin Laden, who raised Osama bin Laden after his natural mother died, is apparently waiting in Damascus, Syria, to meet Osama there, so he calls to cancel the meeting. [SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 10/7/2001] They had met periodically in recent years. Before 9/11, to impress important visitors, NSA analysts would occasionally play audio tapes of bin Laden talking to his stepmother. The next day government officials say about the call, “I would view those reports with skepticism.” [CNN, 10/2/2001] Bin Laden gave his natural mother a similar warning some months before that was also overheard by the NSA (see Spring-Summer 2001). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Al-Khalifa bin Laden, National Security Agency Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Remote Surveillance, Key Warnings, Osama Bin Laden
Media Leak Leads to Investigation into Israeli Spying in US Edit
National Security Adviser Rice, upset with a media leak, orders an investigation that will uncover evidence of widespread Israeli spying in the US. The Saudis had recently threatened to end their close alliance with the US (see August 27, 2001 and August 29-September 6, 2001), and on September 6, 2001, President Bush held a meeting attended by Rice and others to work on how to appease Saudi concerns (see September 6, 2001). Just three days after the meeting, there is a story by Jane Perlez in the New York Times accurately detailing what was discussed in the meeting. It will later be reported that Rice is furious about the leak to Perlez and immediately demands a clampdown on leakers. The determination to improve secrecy increases in the wake of the 9/11 attacks. This leak investigation focuses on Israelis in the US. No one is ever prosecuted for the leak to Perlez, but the investigation will takes on a life of its own and continue for years. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/9/2001; JTA (JEWISH TELEGRAPHIC AGENCY, 5/17/2005; NATION, 7/14/2005] It appears the FBI had been investigating Israeli spying in the US since at least 1999 (see April 13, 1999-2004), and there are reports of a discovery of a “massive” Israeli spy operation in the US in 2001 (see 2001) and/or the discovery of the Israeli art student spy ring (see March 23, 2001 and June 2001). It is unclear if there is any connection between these investigations and this media link investigation or not. Entity Tags: Jane Perlez, Condoleezza Rice Category Tags: Israel
September 9-11, 2001: NORAD Begins Northern Vigilance Military Operation Edit
NORAD begins Operation Northern Vigilance. For this military operation, it deploys fighters to Alaska and Northern Canada to monitor a Russian air force exercise in the Russian Arctic and North Pacific Ocean, scheduled for September 10 to September 14. The Russian exercise involves its bombers staging a mock attack against NATO planes that are supposedly planning an assault on Russia. [BBC, 2001, PP. 161; NORAD, 9/9/2001; WASHINGTON TIMES, 9/11/2001] The NORAD fighters are due to stay in Alaska and Canada until the end of the Russian exercise. At some time between 10:32 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. on 9/11, Russian President Vladimir Putin will call the White House to say the Russians are voluntarily halting their exercise. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] It is unknown from which bases NORAD sends fighters for Operation Northern Vigilance, and how many US military personnel are involved. However, in December 2000, it took similar action—called Operation Northern Denial—in response to a “smaller scale” Russian “long-range aviation activity in northern Russia and the Arctic.” More than 350 American and Canadian military personnel were involved on that occasion. [CANADIAN CHIEF OF DEFENSE STAFF, 5/30/2001, PP. 6 ; NORAD, 9/9/2001] Entity Tags: Bush administration, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Operation Northern Vigilance, Vladimir Putin Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Military Exercises, US Air Security
September 9-11, 2001: 9/11 Plot Facilitators Leave United Arab Emirates Edit
9/11 facilitators Ali Abdul Aziz Ali and Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi leave the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a hurry. At a hearing held in Guantanamo Bay in 2007 to determine Ali’s combat status, his departure from the UAE just before 9/11 will be included in the facts supporting his designation as an enemy combatant. However, he will deny having foreknowledge of 9/11 and say he had to leave the UAE as his work permit was canceled. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 4/12/2007 ] Al-Hawsawi leaves Dubai on the morning of 9/11 for Karachi. Shortly before, he had learned that the operation for which the hijackers had traveled to the US would take place on September 11, and had been advised by fellow operatives Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed that he should return to Pakistan. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 3/21/2007 ] Before leaving, al-Hawsawi transferred $40,000 the hijackers had returned to him to his Visa card (see September 5-10, 2001). He makes six ATM withdrawals on the card in Pakistan two days later and then disappears. [MSNBC, 12/11/2001] Entity Tags: Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
Mostly taken from the lovely historycommons.org timeline.
- ↑ [TENET, 2007, PP. 141-142]
- ↑ [GUARDIAN, 7/5/2002;
- ↑ CORBIN, 2003, PP. 229]
- ↑ [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 1-2]
- ↑ [SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 12/13/2001
- ↑ ; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/14/2001
- ↑ [GRAHAM AND NUSSBAUM, 2004, PP. 37]
- ↑ [COLL, 2004, PP. 582-4]
- ↑ 9.0 9.1 9/11 Commission (2004). NORAD Exercises Hijack Summary. scribd.com. pp. 4. [9/11 COMMISSION, 2004
- ↑ SPENCER, 2008, PP. 3]
- ↑ [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 17
- ↑ VANITY FAIR, 8/1/2006]
- ↑ [NEWSWEEK, 5/25/2003]
- ↑ [TENET, 2007, PP. 233]
- ↑ [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 53 ]9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 53
- ↑ [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 10/2001, PP. 273, 295
- ↑ [WASHINGTON POST, 1/6/2002
- ↑ NEWSWEEK, 9/30/2002
- ↑ 9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 53
- ↑ [NEWSWEEK, 9/30/2002]
- ↑ .
- ↑ [TIME, 8/4/2002]
- ↑ . [BBC, 9/10/2001; BBC, 9/10/2001]
- ↑ . [ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, 9/9/2002]
- ↑ . [TIME, 8/4/2002]
- ↑ [RADIO FREE EUROPE, 9/10/2001; NEWSDAY, 9/15/2001; REUTERS, 10/4/2001]
- ↑ . [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/27/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/20/2002; TIME, 8/4/2002]
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