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9/11 Live: The NORAD Tapes How did the U.S. Air Force respond on 9/11? Could it have shot down United 93, as conspiracy theorists claim? Obtaining 30 hours of never-before-released tapes from the control room of NORAD's Northeast head-quarters, the author reconstructs the chaotic military history of that day—and the Pentagon's apparent attempt to cover it up. - Powell's question—"Is this real-world or exercise?"—is heard nearly verbatim over and over on the tapes as troops funnel onto the ops floor and are briefed about the hijacking. Powell, like almost everyone in the room, first assumes the phone call is from the simulations team on hand to send "inputs"—simulated scenarios—into play for the day's training exercise. - FOX: "I've never seen so much real-world stuff happen during an exercise." (Vanity Fair)
Terrorism and Western Statecraft: Al-Qaeda and Western Covert Operations After
the Cold War Abstract:
Al-Qaeda is conventionally portrayed as a monolithic, hierarchicalorganization whose activities --
coordinated by the network‟s leader Osama bin Laden
-- are the source of international terrorism today. Al-Qaeda is considered a radicaltendency within the broader Islamist Salafi movement, legitimizing its terroristoperations as a global Islamist
against Western civilization. Al-
Qaeda‟s terroristactivity today is considered “blowback” from long finished CIA and w
estern covertoperations in Afghanistan.The conventional wisdom is demonstrably false. After the Cold War, Westernconnections with al-Qaeda proliferated around the world, challenging mainstreamconceptions of al-
Qaeda‟s identity. Western covert operation
s and military-
intelligence connections in strategic regions show that “al
Qaeda” is a network whose
are inextricably embedded in a disturbingconglomerate of international Western diplomatic, financial, military and intelligencepolicies today. US, British and Western power routinely manipulates al-Qaedathrough a complex network of state-regional and human nodes. Such manipulationextended directly to the 9-11 hijackers, and thus to the events of 9-11 itself. (Nafeez Ahmed)
Extract: 'We have some planes' The report from the bipartisan commission set up to investigate the 11 September 2001 terror attacks describes in detail how the hijackings unfolded, and what is known of the final moments on board the four flights - AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 11 FROM BOSTON TO LOS ANGELES
Among the travellers were Mohamed Atta and Abdul Aziz al-Omari, who arrived at the airport in Portland, Maine.
Atta and Omari boarded a 0600 flight from Portland to Boston's Logan International Airport.
When he checked in for his flight to Boston, Atta was selected by a computerised pre-screening system known as Capps (Computer Assisted Passenger Pre-screening System), created to identify passengers who should be subject to special security measures.
Under security rules in place at the time, the only consequence of Atta's selection by Capps was that his checked bags were held off the plane until it was confirmed that he had boarded the aircraft... (BBC)
Three-minute discrepancy in tape Cockpit voice recording ends before Flight 93's official time of impact - "That's part of the whole war aspect - we don't want to tell about what we did and didn't do," said Vernon Grose, a former National Transportation Safety Board member who says he still has questions about the Flight 93 crash. He said he doubts there will ever be "a nice, open public hearing with eyewitnesses telling what they saw." (Philadelphia Daily News)
Keeping us rolling The most famous widow in America arrives for her book signing through the stock room, thereby avoiding unplanned contact with the orderly crowd of Washington suburbanites.
The line of customers -- mostly white, mostly women -- snakes through the Books-a-Million store, around the table of Sept. 11 titles, and out the front door. A young man in the queue speaks into his cell phone: "Jen thinks she's the greatest woman in the world." - "Several days passed before she spoke with the GTE Airfone operator, Lisa Jefferson, who had spoken with Todd for a quarter of an hour as the passengers planned their uprising. Jefferson recounted Todd's last words. Almost as important, she explained that Todd had not called his wife directly because he was afraid she might lose the baby if he did." (St Petersburg Times)
Air Force officer disciplined for saying Bush allowed September 11 attacks Hijacker attended US military school - “Of course President Bush knew about the impending attacks on America. He did nothing to warn the American people because he needed this war on terrorism. His daddy had Saddam and he needed Osama. His presidency was going nowhere. He wasn’t elected by the American people, but placed in the Oval Office by a conservative supreme court. The economy was sliding into the usual Republican pits and he needed something on which to hang his presidency.... This guy is a joke. What is sleazy and contemptible is the President of the United States not telling the American people what he knows for political gain.” The letter provoked immediate retaliation against the 24-year Air Force veteran. Butler was transferred from the Monterey installation and threatened with court martial under Article 88 of the military code, which prohibits officers from publicly using “contemptuous words” against the president and other officials. (Jerry Isaacs)
Families say Flight 93 tapes prove heroism Relatives of the 40 passengers and crew members killed when a hijacked plane crashed into a rural Pennsylvania field September 11 said Thursday the cockpit voice recording offers further proof that those on board acted heroically -- fighting back against hijackers who commandeered United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco.
"It does indeed confirm our loved ones died as heroes," said Alice Hoglan, whose son, Mark Bingham, 31, a businessman and rugby player, was aboard the flight that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
"It was excruciating. It was wonderful," said Hoglan, who flew in from California to hear the tape.
The FBI played the 31-minute recording in closed sessions Thursday inside a Princeton, New Jersey, hotel, first for the families of the two pilots and five flight attendants and later for the families of the 33 passengers. (CNN)
Speed Likely Factor In WTC Collapse Researchers believe the second hijacked plane to hit the World Trade Center was traveling about 100 mph faster than the first, according to a published report.
Investigators are focusing on the speed of the two planes as they seek to explain what caused the south tower to collapse first, even though it was the second one hit, The New York Times reported Saturday.
Researchers have closely studied videos, sound recordings and radar to estimate how fast the two jetliners were moving. Studies show that both planes were traveling well over the federal limits for altitudes below 10,000 feet, The Times said.
The second plane was flying so fast that it was in danger of breaking up in the air as it approached the south tower, Boeing spokeswoman Liz Verdier told the Times.
"These guys exceeded even the emergency dive speed," Verdier said. "It's off the chart."
Two studies have analyzed the speed of the planes, one by the Federal Aviation Administration in consultation with the National Transportation Safety Board and the other by Eduardo Kausel, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. - "It's extremely rare that we don't get the recorders back. I can't recall another domestic case in which we did not recover the recorders," said Ted Lopatkiewicz, spokesman for the National Transportation Safety Board. (CBS)
FBI won't release Flight 93 tape The FBI is refusing to release the cockpit voice recording from United Airlines flight 93 which crashed September 11 in Pennsylvania after being hijacked by terrorists, declining a request from at least one victim's family (Washington Post)
NTSB Investigators Continue to Research the Crash Site and Data Recorders of Flight 587; The Community of Rockaway Attempts Tries to Return to Normalcy JUDY WOODRUFF, CNN ANCHOR: Investigators working the crash of American Airlines Flight 587, considering now a number of possible causes. Just a little while ago, CNN aviation analyst Jim McKenna reported a leading theory involves air turbulence caused by another airplane in front of the American Airlines flight, that it might have gotten too close to. For the latest on that theory and rest of the investigation, let's go to CNN's Kathleen Koch, she's in New York. Hello, Kathleen.
KATHLEEN KOCH, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Hello, Judy.
What we are expecting to hear from federal investigators this afternoon was that a Japanese Airlines plane, a 747, which was roughly twice the weight of this airbus, took off before flight 587 and apparently at about two minutes part, which is the appropriate distance. However, what we are expecting to hear, is that at these two planes climbed away from JFK that the airbus angled in too closely and the wake, aircraft actually spin out a wake from their wings, especially large aircraft like this JAL plane flying slowly with its gear up, with its tail flaps folded in, and that produces a wake and could have actually disrupted the plane behind it.
Now the NTSB, what you are seeing is video that the NTSB created when their was a similar incident of a U.S. air crash back in 1994. And they studied the problem, because it can be very disruptive to a plane that is following, especially a larger plane. We are expecting to hear more about that today.
Another issue, the cockpit voice recorder and the flight data recorder both now found, both in Washington and being examined for vital clues. One problem, however, that the flight data recorder was damaged by the impact -- is being sent however to its manufacturer in Sarastoa, Florida. And investigators are still hoping that they will be able to get vital information from it about the mechanical functioning of the plane as it was going down. (CNN)
Final Contact Will rules change concerning wireless calls on planes?
Early Sept. 11, airline passengers all over the country boarded their flights like any other day. Many chatted on their wireless phones. As the doors closed and the pilots prepared the planes for take-off, flight attendants asked passengers to turn off their wireless phones until the planes had landed at their destinations.
But on four flights, these phones would offer the last contact passengers would have with their loved ones. They would be using their wireless phones to say goodbye. - “On land, we have antenna sectors that point in three directions — say north, southwest, and southeast,” she explained. “Those signals are radiating across the land, and those signals do go up, too, due to leakage.”
From high altitudes, the call quality is not very good, and most callers will experience drops. Although calls are not reliable, callers can pick up and hold calls for a little while below a certain altitude, she added.
Brenda Raney, Verizon Wireless spokesperson, said that RF signals actually can broadcast fairly high. On Sept. 11, the planes were flying low when people started using their phones. And, each call lasted 60 seconds or less.
“They also were digital phones, and there's a little bit more leeway on those digital phones, so it worked,” she said. (Telephony Online)
Flight 93: Forty lives, one destiny Late. They were late. United Airlines Flight 93 had been scheduled to take off at 8:01 a.m. Now it was sitting on the tarmac, waiting for clearance to depart for San Francisco.
Tucked into a flatland from which the New York skyline shone in the distance, Newark International Airport was ringed with new construction. Two days earlier, a fire had started at one of the sites, briefly closing the airport. Flights already delayed by construction around an overtaxed airport had backed up even further.
The Flight 93 passengers had walked down the concourse of Terminal A, where they breezed past the security gate, then walked the 100 yards to a long circular hallway from which the boarding ramps jutted out like spokes. - "No. I'm on United Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco. The plane has been hijacked. We are in the air. They've already knifed a guy. There is a bomb on board. Call the FBI." (Pittsburg Post-Gazette)
Still Alive? FBI Mixed Up on True Identities of Perpetrators At least six men the FBI says were part of the ring of 19 hijackers who seized passenger jets with box cutters on Sept. 11 and crashed them into the World Trade Center buildings and the Pentagon are "alive and well," report Mideast officials.
Information Times, an on-line publication, reported that Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal told the Arabic Press after meeting with President George W. Bush on Sept. 20: "It was proved that five of the names included in the FBI list had nothing to do with what happened."
According to The Orlando Sentinel, the Saudi Arabian embassy confirmed that four of the five mentioned by Al-Faisal -Saeed Alghamdi, Mohand Alshehri, Abdul aziz Alo mari and Salem Alhazmi-are not dead and had nothing to do with the heinous terror attacks in New York and Washington.
Saudi officials at the embassy were un able to verify the whereabouts of the fifth accused hijacker, Khalid Al-Mihdhar. However, Arab newspapers say Al-Mihd har is still alive. (American Free Press)
Suppressed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA's Highest Ranks CIA Executive Director "Buzz" Krongard Managed Firm That Handled "Put" Options On UAL - Until 1997 A.B. "Buzzy" Krongard had been Chairman of the investment bank A.B. Brown. A.B. Brown was acquired by Banker's Trust in 1997. Krongard then became, as part of the merger, Vice Chairman of Banker's Trust-AB Brown, one of 20 major U.S. banks named by Senator Carl Levin this year as being connected to money laundering. - The levels of put options purchased above were more than six times higher than normal. (From the Wilderness)
Revealed: the men with stolen identities
THEIR names were flashed around the world as suicide hijackers who carried out the attacks on America. But yesterday four innocent men told how their identities had been stolen by Osama bin Laden's teams to cover their tracks.
The men - all from Saudi Arabia - spoke of their shock at being mistakenly named by the FBI as suicide terrorists. None of the four was in the United States on September 11 and all are alive in their home country.
The Telegraph obtained the first interviews with the men since they learnt that they were on the FBI's list of hijackers who died in the crashes in New York, Washington and Pennsylvania.
All four said that they were "outraged" to be identified as terrorists. One has never been to America and another is a Saudi Airlines pilot who was on a training course in Tunisia at the time of the attacks. - "He said that CNN had probably got the picture from the Flight Safety flying school he attended in Florida. CNN has since broadcast a clarification saying that the photograph may not be that of the accused" (London Telegraph)
FBI Chief Raises New Doubts Over Hijackers' Identities FBI Director Robert Mueller acknowledged Thursday that investigators may not know the true identities of some of the 19 suspected airplane hijackers from last week's suicide attacks.
Mueller said last week that he had "a fairly high level of confidence" that the FBI knew the real names of the hijackers, based on flight manifests and follow-up interviews. - Officials refused to say how many hijackers may have used false identities, but officials of the Saudi Arabian government said Thursday that six of the men that the United States has named as hijackers killed in the attacks appear to be living in the Middle East.
Investigators believe that some of the 19 suspected hijackers may have stolen the identities of law-abiding Middle Easterners, further complicating the probe. (Los Angeles Times)
More Attacks Planned? Second Wave of Terrorist Strikes Feared The Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Chicago exchange have launched a major investigation into some suspicious and highly sophisticated stock trading just prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Investigators are probing highly unusual trading in "puts" — basically bets made by an investor that a stock's price will fall by a certain date. The week before the attack, virtually unheard of numbers of puts were sold for United Airlines and American Airlines, which operated the four hijacked planes; Morgan Stanley, the investment bank which occupied more than 20 floors in the now-destroyed twin towers; and a number of other companies that were adversely affected by the tragedy and whose stocks plunged as a result. "This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence," Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News said today on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America. (ABC)
Profiting From Disaster? When The Stocks Fell, $5 Million Profit Was Made Sources tell CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market. An extraordinary number of trades were betting that American Airlines stock price would fall. The trades are called "puts" and they involved at least 450,000 shares of American. But what raised the red flag is more than 80 percent of the orders were "puts", far outnumbering "call" options, those betting the stock would rise. (CBS)
Terrorist trade probe widens Options buying rose in firms that attack affected - "The day before the attacks, put volume on American Airlines stock was 4,516, nearly 11 times its average daily volume for the year" (Chicago Tribune)
Alleged hijackers may have trained at u.s. bases U.S. military sources have given the FBI information that suggests five of the alleged hijackers of the planes that were used in Tuesday's terror attacks received training at secure U.S. military installations in the 1990s. Three of the alleged hijackers listed their address on drivers licenses and car registrations as the Naval Air Station in Pensacola, Fla.-known as the "Cradle of U.S. Navy Aviation," according to a high-ranking U.S. Navy source. (Newsweek)
FBI Announces List of 19 Hijackers The following is a list of the nineteen (19) individuals who have been identified as hijackers aboard the four airliners that crashed on September 11, 2001, into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the Pentagon, and Stony Creek Township, Pennsylvania. Information listed for each hijacker differs, but may include date of birth, address provided, or visa status. This is the extent of the information available at this time.
The FBI requests that anyone who may have information about these individuals-even though they are presumed to be dead- to immediately contact an FBI field office or call the toll-free hotline at 1-866-483-5137. (Federal Bureau of Investigation)
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