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GeneralEdit

Q1Edit

January 25, 2001: WTC Construction Manager Says Tower Could Sustain Multiple Plane Impacts Edit

Frank De Martini. [Source: New York Times] Frank De Martini, an architect who works as the World Trade Center’s construction manager, is interviewed for a History Channel documentary about the WTC towers. He says, “I believe the building probably could sustain multiple impacts of jetliners because this structure is like the mosquito netting on your screen door, this intense grid, and the jet plane is just a pencil puncturing the screen netting. It really does nothing to the screen netting.” [DWYER AND FLYNN, 2005, PP. 149] De Martini will be in his office on the 88th floor of the North Tower when it is hit on 9/11. He will die when the tower collapses, after helping more than 50 people escape. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/29/2003; NEW YORK TIMES, 8/29/2003] Entity Tags: Frank De Martini, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

March 4, 2001: Television Show Eerily Envisions 9/11 Attacks

An advertisement for the Lone Gunmen show. [Source: Fox] Contradicting later claims that no one could have envisioned what happened on 9/11, the pilot episode of a short-lived Fox television program involves a scenario chillingly similar to the attacks that occur six months later. In the episode of The Lone Gunmen, which is a spin-off of the popular show The X-Files, a small, radical faction within the US government takes over a large passenger jet plane from the ground, using remote control, and then tries to crash it into the World Trade Center. Their intention is to blame the attack on foreign terrorists and therefore revive the arms race. Their plot is thwarted at the last moment, with the pilots regaining control of the plane and steering it upwards over the Twin Towers. [KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/14/2001; JACK MYERS REPORT, 6/20/2002 ] In the program, the plane is destined for Boston, where two of the hijacked aircraft will in fact take off from on 9/11. [FOX TELEVISION, 3/4/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 9/12/2001] One of its stars, Bruce Harwood, later calls the storyline a “strange awful coincidence,” adding, “[W]ho knows if it was the source of inspiration for September 11.” [MIRROR, 11/26/2002] Ratings are good for the show, with 13 million people watching it. [TV GUIDE, 3/9/2001] Yet despite the similarity to the actual attacks on the WTC, there will be very little commentary about this after 9/11. Media commentator Jack Myers later observes, “This seems to be collective amnesia of the highest order.” [JACK MYERS REPORT, 6/20/2002 ] A best selling 1994 novel by Tom Clancy had similarly included a large passenger jet used as a weapon, being deliberately crashed into the US Capitol building (see August 17, 1994). [NEWSDAY, 5/20/2002] Entity Tags: World Trade Center, Jack Myers, Bruce Harwood Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

Q2Edit

April 2001: Speculation That Commercial Pilots Could Be Al-Qaeda Operatives Edit

A source with al-Qaeda connections speculates to US intelligence that “bin Laden would be interested in commercial pilots as potential terrorists.” The source warns that the US should not focus only on embassy bombings, because al-Qaeda is seeking “spectacular and traumatic” attacks along the lines of the WTC bombing in 1993. Because the source is offering personal speculation and not hard information, the information is not disseminated widely. [US CONGRESS, 9/18/2002; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/18/2002] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 2001: Iranian Tells of Plot to Attack WTC An Iranian in custody in New York City tells local police of a plot to attack the WTC. No more details are known. [FOX NEWS, 5/17/2002] Interestingly, an Iranian in prison in Germany will also warn of an attack on the WTC (see Early September 2001), but it is not known if the two cases are related. Entity Tags: World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

May 11, 2001: New York City Practices for Biological Terrorist Attack New York City’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM), which is located in World Trade Center Building 7, organizes a bio-terrorism drill where militant extremists attack the city with bubonic plague and Manhattan is quarantined. The “tabletop exercise” is called RED Ex—meaning “Recognition, Evaluation, and Decision-Making Exercise” —and involves about seventy different entities, agencies, and locales from the New York area. Federal legislation adopted in 1997 requires federal, state, and local authorities to conduct regular exercises as part of the Domestic Preparedness Program (DPP). The US Defense Department chose New York City as the venue for RED Ex due to its size, prominence, and level of emergency preparedness. Various high-level officials take part, including Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, OEM Director Richard Sheirer, Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen, and Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik. Agencies and organizations that participate include New York City Fire Department, New York City Police Department, the FBI, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The exercise is supposedly so intense that, according to one participant, “five minutes into that drill, everybody forgot it was a drill.” [NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENT, 5/11/2001; NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENT, 9/5/2001, PP. 74 ; NEW YORK SUN, 12/20/2003; 9/11 COMMISSION, 5/18/2004] According to OEM Director Richard Sheirer, “Operation RED Ex provided a proving ground and a great readiness training exercise for the many challenges the city routinely faces, such as weather events, heat emergencies, building collapses, fires, and public safety and health issues.” [NEW YORK CITY GOVERNMENT, 5/11/2001] In his prepared testimony before the 9/11 Commission, Bernard Kerik later states: “The City, through its OEM, had coordinated plans for many types of emergencies; and those plans were tested frequently.” The types of emergencies they prepared for, he states, included “building collapses” and “plane crashes.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 5/18/2004 ] Considering Richard Sheirer’s comments, RED Ex appears to be one example where the city tests for building collapses. Details about training for airplanes crashing into New York City remain unknown. The second part of this exercise, called Tripod, is scheduled to take place in New York on September 12, 2001, but is cancelled due to the 9/11 attacks. Entity Tags: New York City Fire Department, US Department of Defense, World Trade Center, Bernard Kerik, Rudolph (“Rudy”) Giuliani, National Air College, New York City Police Department, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June or July 2001: Hijackers Plan Attacks from German University Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and an unknown third person are seen in the ground-floor workshops of the architecture department at this time, according to at least two witnesses from the Hamburg university where Atta had studied. They are seen on at least two occasions with a white, three-foot scale model of the Pentagon. Between 60 and 80 slides of the Sears building in Chicago and the WTC are found to be missing from the technical library after 9/11. [SUNDAY TIMES (LONDON), 2/3/2002] A Hamburg friend of Atta’s, Margritte Schroeder, will confirm that Atta is in Hamburg around this time, saying later in 2001, “I saw him here in early July and he was as nice as ever.” Other eyewitnesses see Atta and Alshehhi in Hamburg as well. But there is no record of Alshehhi leaving the US around this time, which suggests that he travels on a false passport for this trip. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 251, 290] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Pentagon, Marwan Alshehhi, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June-September 11, 2001: CD Cover Depicts Scene Much Like 9/11 Attacks on WTC

The original cover design for The Coup’s album Party Music. [Source: 75 Ark] Cover artwork is designed for a forthcoming CD, which looks eerily like the attack on the World Trade Center that occurs three months later. The CD, “Party Music,” is the fourth album by a little-known hip-hop group called The Coup, which is known for its political activism. [CNN, 9/13/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 5/22/2002] The intended cover design shows the two members of the group standing in front of the Twin Towers. One of them is pressing a button on a guitar tuner, as if it was a detonator, and two fireballs are exploding from the top floors of the WTC above them. [VILLAGE VOICE, 11/2/2001] Days after 9/11, Wired magazine comments, “If it weren’t for the super-imposed images of the Oakland, California, hip-hop duo known as The Coup, the scene could pass for a remarkably precise replica of the horrific tragedy that befell New York City on Tuesday morning.” The CD is in fact initially scheduled for release in early September, but at some point before 9/11, it is pushed back two months for release in November. Furthermore, as Wired describes, “Timing of the original album printing was disturbingly in sync with real-world events. The printers were set to crank out copies of the fiery World Trade Center image on Tuesday [September 11]… when the label put in a last-minute call, urging them to stop the presses.” [WIRED NEWS, 9/13/2001] The group’s lead member, Raymond “Boots” Riley, is described by Kansas City newspaper The Pitch as a “confessed communist” who “has built a career out of making bold political statements.” [PITCH, 11/8/2001] Riley later says he’d come up with the idea for the CD cover along with his photographer, and they’d finished work on it by the beginning of June. He says, “Any similarities [with 9/11] are totally coincidental, and it was originally supposed to be more of a metaphor for destroying capitalism—where the music is making capitalist towers blow up.” [STRANGER, 9/20/2001] A new cover will be designed and used when the CD is eventually released. [PITCH, 11/8/2001] But copies are sent out prior to 9/11 to members of the press and others, and reviews appear in several publications before September 11 that show the original cover artwork of the exploding WTC. [WIRED NEWS, 9/13/2001] Entity Tags: The Coup, Raymond, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

June 12, 2001: Sting Operation Exposes Al-Qaeda, ISI, and Drug Connections; Investigators Face Obstacles to Learn More

Kevin Ingram, Randy Glass, and Diaa Mohsen in August 1999. [Source: Getty Images] (click image to enlarge) Operation Diamondback, a sting operation uncovering an attempt to buy weapons illegally for the Taliban, bin Laden, and others, ends with a number of arrests. An Egyptian named Diaa Mohsen and a Pakistani named Mohammed Malik are arrested and accused of attempting to buy Stinger missiles, nuclear weapon components, and other sophisticated military weaponry for the Pakistani ISI. [CNN, 6/15/2001; SOUTH FLORIDA SUN-SENTINEL, 8/23/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 8/2/2002] Malik appears to have had links to important Pakistani officials and Kashmiri militants, and Mohsen claims a connection to a man “who is very connected to the Taliban” and funded by bin Laden. [WASHINGTON POST, 8/2/2002; MSNBC, 8/2/2002] Some other ISI agents came to Florida on several occasions to negotiate, but they escaped being arrested. They wanted to pay partially in heroin. One mentioned that the WTC would be destroyed. These ISI agents said some of their purchases would go to the Taliban in Afghanistan and/or militants associated with bin Laden. [WASHINGTON POST, 8/2/2002; MSNBC, 8/2/2002] Both Malik and Mohsen lived in Jersey City, New Jersey. [JERSEY JOURNAL, 6/20/2001] Mohsen pleads guilty after 9/11, “but remarkably, even though [he was] apparently willing to supply America’s enemies with sophisticated weapons, even nuclear weapons technology, Mohsen was sentenced to just 30 months in prison.” [MSNBC, 8/2/2002] Malik’s case appears to have been dropped, and reporters find him working in a store in Florida less than a year after the trial ended. [MSNBC, 8/2/2002] Malik’s court files remain completely sealed, and in Mohsen’s court case, prosecutors “removed references to Pakistan from public filings because of diplomatic concerns.” [WASHINGTON POST, 8/2/2002] Also arrested are Kevin Ingram and Walter Kapij. Ingram pleads guilty to laundering $350,000 and he is sentenced to 18 months in prison. [CNN, 6/15/2001; BLACK ENTERPRISE, 6/19/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 12/1/2001] Ingram was a former senior investment banker with Deutsche Bank, but resigned in January 1999 after his division suffered costly losses. [BLACK ENTERPRISE, 6/19/2001; JERSEY JOURNAL, 6/20/2001] Walter Kapij, a pilot with a minor role in the plot, is given the longest sentence, 33 months in prison. [CNN, 6/15/2001; BLACK ENTERPRISE, 6/19/2001; PALM BEACH POST, 1/12/2002] Informant Randy Glass plays a key role in the sting, and has thirteen felony fraud charges against him reduced as a result, serving only seven months in prison. Federal agents involved in the case later express puzzlement that Washington higher-ups did not make the case a higher priority, pointing out that bin Laden could have gotten a nuclear bomb if the deal was for real. Agents on the case complain that the FBI did not make the case a counterterrorism matter, which would have improved bureaucratic backing and opened access to FBI information and US intelligence from around the world. [WASHINGTON POST, 8/2/2002; MSNBC, 8/2/2002] Federal agents frequently couldn’t get prosecutors to approve wiretaps. [COX NEWS SERVICE, 8/2/2002] Glass says, “Wouldn’t you think that there should have been a wire tap on Diaa [Mohsen]‘s phone and Malik’s phone?” [WPBF 25 (WEST PALM BEACH), 8/5/2002] An FBI supervisor in Miami refused to front money for the sting, forcing agents to use money from US Customs and even Glass’s own money to help keep the sting going. [COX NEWS SERVICE, 8/2/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohammed Malik, Kevin Ingram, World Trade Center, Diaa Mohsen, US Customs Service, Walter Kapij, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Osama bin Laden, Taliban, Randy Glass, Operation Diamondback Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, A. Q. Khan's Nuclear Network

(Before July 24, 2001): Risk Assessment Identifies Aircraft Striking WTC as One of the ‘Maximum Foreseeable Losses’ A property risk assessment report is prepared for Silverstein Properties before it acquires the lease for the World Trade Center (see July 24, 2001). It identifies the scenario of an aircraft hitting one of the WTC towers as one of the “maximum foreseeable losses.” The report says, “This scenario is within the realm of the possible, but highly unlikely.” Further details of the assessment, such as who prepared it, are unreported. [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 5/2003, PP. 16 ; BARRETT AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 189; AMERICAN PROSPECT, 9/1/2006] Entity Tags: Silverstein Properties, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

Q3Edit

Main article: World Trade Center:Q3 2001

Q4 2001Edit

October 2001: Three of Four Black Boxes from WTC Crashes Secretly Found? Edit

A poster to help law enforcement officers locate the missing “black boxes” in the WTC debris. [Source: FBI/Smithsonian Institution] According to two men who work extensively in the wreckage of the World Trade Center, three of the four black boxes from Flight 11 and Flight 175 are actually found during this month, but the public is not told. New York City Firefighter Nicholas DeMasi will mention the finding in a book published in 2003. He claims to drive federal agents on an all-terrain vehicle during their search and to see the found boxes himself. The Philadelphia Daily News will report on the story in 2004 when another rescue worker, volunteer Mike Bellone, backs up DeMasi’s account and claims to have seen one of the boxes as well. Spokesmen for the FBI and the New York City Fire Department will deny the claims of these two workers. [PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS, 10/28/2004] In 2005, it will be reported: “A source at the National Transportation Safety Board, the agency that has the task of deciphering the data from the black boxes retrieved from crash sites—including those that are being handled as crimes and fall under the jurisdiction of the FBI—says the boxes were in fact recovered and were analyzed by the NTSB. ‘Off the record, we had the boxes,’ the source says. ‘You’d have to get the official word from the FBI as to where they are, but we worked on them here.’” An NTSB spokesperson denies that the FBI ever gave them the boxes. [COUNTERPUNCH, 12/19/2005] Entity Tags: World Trade Center, Nicholas DeMasi, Mike Bellone, National Transportation Safety Board, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York City Fire Department Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

October 7, 2001: ISI Director Replaced at US Urging; Role in Funding 9/11 Plot Is One Explanation

The on-line Wall Street Journal article discussing the connections between Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, Saeed Sheikh, and Mohamed Atta. [Source: Public domain] ISI Director Lt. Gen. Mahmood Ahmed is replaced in the face of US pressure after links are discovered between him, Saeed Sheikh, and the funding of the 9/11 attacks. Mahmood instructed Saeed to transfer $100,000 into hijacker Mohamed Atta’s bank account prior to 9/11. This is according to Indian intelligence, which claims the FBI has privately confirmed the story. [PRESS TRUST OF INDIA, 10/8/2001; TIMES OF INDIA, 10/9/2001; INDIA TODAY, 10/15/2001; DAILY EXCELSIOR (JAMMU), 10/18/2001] The story is not widely reported in Western countries, though it makes the Wall Street Journal. [AUSTRALIAN, 10/10/2001; AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 10/10/2001; WALL STREET JOURNAL, 10/10/2001] It is reported in Pakistan as well. [DAWN (KARACHI), 10/8/2001] The Northern Alliance also repeats the claim in late October. [FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, 10/31/2001] In Western countries, the usual explanation is that Mahmood is fired for being too close to the Taliban. [LONDON TIMES, 10/9/2001; GUARDIAN, 10/9/2001] The Times of India reports that Indian intelligence helped the FBI discover the link, and says, “A direct link between the ISI and the WTC attack could have enormous repercussions. The US cannot but suspect whether or not there were other senior Pakistani Army commanders who were in the know of things. Evidence of a larger conspiracy could shake US confidence in Pakistan’s ability to participate in the anti-terrorism coalition.” [TIMES OF INDIA, 10/9/2001] There is evidence some ISI officers may have known of a plan to destroy the WTC as early as July 1999. Two other ISI leaders, Lt. Gen. Mohammed Aziz Khan and Lt. Gen. Muzaffar Usmani, are sidelined on the same day as Mahmood (see October 8, 2001). [FOX NEWS, 10/8/2001] Saeed had been working under Khan. The firings are said to have purged the ISI of its fundamentalists. However, according to one diplomat, “To remove the top two or three doesn’t matter at all. The philosophy remains.… [The ISI is] a parallel government of its own. If you go through the officer list, almost all of the ISI regulars would say, of the Taliban, ‘They are my boys.’” [NEW YORKER, 10/29/2001] It is believed Mahmood has been living under virtual house arrest in Pakistan (which would seem to imply more than just a difference of opinion over the Taliban), but no charges have been brought against him, and there is no evidence the US has asked to question him. [ASIA TIMES, 1/5/2002] He also has refused to speak to reporters since being fired [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 2/21/2002] , and outside India and Pakistan, the story has only been mentioned infrequently in the media since. [SUNDAY HERALD (GLASGOW), 2/24/2002; LONDON TIMES, 4/21/2002] He will reemerge as a businessman in 2003, but still will not speak to the media (see July 2003). Entity Tags: Muzaffar Usmani, Mohamed Atta, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Northern Alliance, Mohammed Aziz Khan, Taliban, Saeed Sheikh, Pakistan Directorate for Inter-Services Intelligence, Mahmood Ahmed, India, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

December 2001: Scientific Journal Describes ‘Eutectic Mixture’ in WTC Steel

A sample of WTC steel eroded and corroded due to eutectic formations. [Source: FEMA] The Journal of the Minerals, Metals and Materials Society (JOM) reports that the examination of a beam from the remains of WTC Building 7—which collapsed late in the afternoon of 9/11 (see (5:20 p.m.) September 11, 2001)—has revealed “unexpected erosion” of the steel. The article states: “The formation of the eutectic mixture of iron oxide and iron sulfide lowers the temperature at which liquid can form in this steel. This strongly suggests that the temperatures in this region of the steel beam approached around 1,000°C, forming the eutectic liquid by a process similar to making a ‘blacksmith’s weld’ in a hand forge.” [BARNETT, BIEDERMAN, AND SISSON, 12/2001] The New York Times will call this “perhaps the deepest mystery uncovered in the investigation.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 2/2/2002] FEMA’s World Trade Center Building Performance Study, released in May 2002 (see May 1, 2002), will add that the same “unusual erosion patterns” have been observed in a sample of the remaining structural steel from one of the Twin Towers. It will state, “This sulfur-rich liquid penetrated preferentially down grain boundaries of the steel, severely weakening the beam and making it susceptible to erosion.” FEMA is unable to explain this phenomenon, saying, “The severe corrosion and subsequent erosion… are a very unusual event. No clear explanation for the source of the sulfur has been identified.… It is possible that this is the result of long-term heating in the ground following the collapse of the buildings. It is also possible that the phenomenon started prior to collapse and accelerated the weakening of the steel structure.” [FEDERAL EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT AGENCY, 5/1/2002, PP. C-1 - C-13] Despite FEMA’s call for further research, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will make no mention of the eutectic formations in its final report into the WTC collapses, released in late 2005, following its three-year investigation. [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 9/2005, PP. 13 ] Entity Tags: National Institute of Standards and Technology, World Trade Center, Federal Emergency Management Agency Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

December 25, 2001: Experts: WTC Collapse Investigation Inadequate The New York Times reports that “some of the nation’s leading structural engineers and fire-safety experts” believe the investigation into the collapse of the WTC is “inadequate” and “are calling for a new, independent and better-financed inquiry that could produce the kinds of conclusions vital for skyscrapers and future buildings nationwide.” Experts critical of the investigation include “some of those people who are actually conducting it.” They point out that the current team of 20 or so investigators has no subpoena power, inadequate financial support, and little staff support. Additionally, it has been prevented from interviewing witnesses and frequently prevented from examining the disaster site, and has even been unable to obtain basic information like detailed blueprints of the buildings that collapsed. The decision to recycle the steel columns, beams, and trusses from the WTC rapidly in the days immediately after 9/11 means definitive answers may never be known. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/25/2001] Incredibly, some of the steel is reforged into commemorative medallions selling for $30 apiece. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 1/30/2002] Entity Tags: World Trade Center Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline, 9/11 Timeline

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