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Evidence that the US Government had Prior Knowledge of the September 11 Attacks

["The governing classes do not really want war, but they do want to keep up a continual menace of war. They want the peril to be always averted but always present. They do not want the cannon to be fired, but they do want it to be always loaded. Those who perpetually spread abroad rumors and alarms of war only half believe them, or more often do not believe them at all, but they see great advantages to themselves in inducing the people to believe them. You know comrades, what those advantages are. They are political and financial. A people living under the perpetual menace of war and invasion is very easy to govern. It demands no social reforms. It does not haggle over expenditures on armaments and military equipment. It pays without discussion, it ruins itself, and that is an excellent thing for the syndicates of financiers and manufacturers for whom patriotic terrors are an abundant source of gain." -- Anatole France -- Inserted here by Real Union Of Social Science]


Socialist Party
P.O. Box 26479
London, NI IDY


Dear Sir/Madam

You may have heard the case made by the British MI’ and former cabinet minister, Michael Meacher - in the Guardian newspaper, and also reported on Channel 4 news (Sept 6th, 2003) - that the United States Government had prior knowledge of the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and that, lbr their own political reasons, they allowed those attacks to proceed. No doubt you have heard similar evidence from other sources. You may or may not believe the statements that you have heard. We enclose a document which includes significant evidence to support this claim. You will observe that the claims made in this document are supported by references to a large number of reliable sources. All of the information contained in this document is in the public domain, and can be verified independently. In addition, further evidence (also in the public domain) may be used to add further support to the claims made.

We have made previous attempts to bring this evidence to the attention of the media, and even to some politicians. However, this has met with indifference or scepticism. In discussing the evidence in this document with people on a personal level, we have found that their scepticism was based on their difficulty in believing that the U.S. Government would be capable of such an act. This extended to dismissing the evidence as "just coincidence," despite the improbability of such an explanation.

That a senior politician would make these claims in the national media is a measure of how much the political climate has changed in recent months. When we previously tried to publicise the enclosed document, both our countries were preparing for war, and even moderate people were swept up in the wave of patriotism. Now questions are being asked, not only about the wisdom of the war against Iraq, but about the honesty of the politicians who made the case for going to war. In this new political climate, people may be more prepared to consider evidence of serious criminal acts by the Government.

Even in today’s political climate, the media would be unlikely to sustain the interest required to uncover the truth, without additional evidence emerging to support the claims. We are therefore of the opinion that the next step must be to spread this information by personal contact. From our previous experience, people will remain sceptical unless they can be persuaded by verbal argument on a one-to-one basis. By spreading the evidence in this manner, it should be possible to bring it to the attention of a relatively large number of people. Once there is sufficient public interest in the matter, the media will be more likely to continue following the story.

We therefore ask you to circulate the enclosed document. You may use printed copies, or copy the document into an electronic form, to circulate by e-mail, etc. If you are able to add fUrther evidence to this document, we ask that it is supported by references to reliable sources. It is important that U.S. Government involvement in the events of September 11th, 2001 be exposed. Even if this does not lead to criminal proceedings against members of the Government, widespread suspicion should ensure that the Bush administration is not re-elected in 2004.

Yours sincerely

Peter Knowles (General Secretary)


Evidence that the US Government had Prior

Knowledge of the September 11 Attacks



In the immediate aftermath of the attacks on September 11, 2001, the US government and a number of military and intelligence sources stated that they had no prior knowledge of the attacks. This includes denials that they had specific intelligence about the attacks. They also deny that they had prior knowledge, of a more general nature, about attacks using hijacked aircraft, or that the World Trade Center had been targeted for attack. Even after revelations about foreknowledge started to become public, only partial admissions were made. Secretary of State Cohn Powell admitted in October 2001 that the government knew of terrorist threats against American interests, but denied any specific details, or that they knew the attacks would be against the US itself [1]. This document will compare these claims with previous statements made by various US government bodies, and with evidence which has emerged since the attacks.

The report of the US Commission on National Security/21st Century, chartered by the Department of Defence and supported by Congress and the White House, was released on March 15, 2001 [2]. The panel included the Director of the CIA. Among its findings were the following:

"The combination of unconventional weapons proliferation with the persistence of international terrorism will end the relative invulnerability of the US homeland to catastrophic attack. To deter attack against the homeland in the 21 century, the United States requires a new triad of prevention, protection and response."

"America’s present global predominance does not render it immune from these dangers. To the contrary, US pre-eminence makes the American homeland more appealing as a target, while America’s openness and freedoms make it more vulnerable."

On September 11, as the Capitol Building was being evacuated, David Welna, Congressional correspondent of National Public Radio, reported [3]:

"I spoke with Congressman Ike Skelton - a Democrat from Missouri and a member of the Armed Services Committee - who said that just recently the Director of the CIA warned that there could be an attack - an imminent attack - on the United States of this nature. So this is not entirely unexpected."

These statements show that the US government was aware of a general threat to America. Other documentation shows prior awareness both of the possibility of using hijacked aircraft and that the World Trade Center was considered a potential target.

A conference on terrorism was held at Langley Air Force Base in 1993 [4]. The group consisted of military officials and experts in terrorism, and was led by Marvin J. Cetron. One of the possible threats discussed was the use of planes to ram targets. Commenting in the Futurist magazine, Cetron wrote:

"Targets such as the World Trade Centre not only provide the requisite casualties but, because of their symbolic nature, provide more bang for the buck. In order to maximise their odds for success, terrorist groups will likely consider mounting multiple, simultaneous operations with the aim of overtaxing a government's ability to respond, as well as demonstrating their professionalism and reach."

Yossef Bodansky is the Director of the Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare in the US House of Representatives. In 1993 he wrote a book entitled Target America: Terrorism in the US Today [5]. In this book, he wrote:

"According to a former trainee in Wakilabad (Than), one of the excercises included having an Islamic Jihad detachment seize (or hijack) a transport aircraft. Then, trained air crews from among the terrorists would crash the airliner with its passengers into a selected objective."

This latter quote indicates that not only was the US government aware of the possibility of such an attack, they knew that training for such an attack was already taking place.

In 1995, a fire broke out in an apartment in Manila. Subsequent investigation showed the flat to be a bomb making factory, and that it was a hideout for Ramzi Yousef, who had been convicted as the mastermind of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Although he escaped, the Philippines authorities arrested his accomplice, Abdul Hakim Murad, who had been trained as a pilot in the US. An investigator with Philippine intelligence said:

"Murad narrated to us about a plan by the Rainzi cell in the continental US to hijack a commercial plane and ram it into the CIA headquarters in Langley Virginia, and also the Pentagon."[6]

Investigators found evidence that the terrorists were also planning kamikaze attacks on the White House, the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Transamerica Tower, and the World Trade Center. This information was passed on to the FBI.

The evidence presented so far indicates that the US government and intelligence services knew for some time that an attack against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, using hijacked aircraft, was being planned for a date some time in the future.

Claims that the US government did not anticipate the possibility of using hijacked aircrafl as weapons are further countered by considering the following incidents [7].

In 1986, Muslim militants attempted to hijack Pan Am Flight 76 in Pakistan, and explode it over Tel Aviv. The hijackers were captured before the plane took off [8].

In 1994, Algerian terrorists hijacked Air France Flight 8969 from Algiers, and loaded it with explosives, with the intention of crashing into the Eiffel Tower in Paris. They landed at Marseilles, to take on extra fuel, at which point the plane was stormed and the hijackers killed [9].

Italian intelligence uncoverd a plan to assassinate President Bush during the 08 Summit in Genoa, July 2001, by crashing a hijacked commercial airliner either into Air Force One or one of the buildings being used for the summit. According to three sources - Italian Deputy Prime Minister Fini, Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, and Russian President Vladimir Putin’s bodyguard service - the threat came from Osama bin Laden [10].

The US government could argue that the evidence presented above would be sufficient to predict that an attack would take place, as well as the targets and the manner of the attack, but that there was insufficient intelligence to anticipate the actual attack, in particular the time and the identities of the terrorists. Further examination of the available intelligence should clarify this matter.

The National Security Agency uses its Echelon electronic monitoring system to listen to conversations between Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda operatives in Afghanistan, Kenya, Yemen, Nairobi, Britain and the US. In February 2001, a number of intelligence officials stated to United Press International that the encryption used by the terrorists had been broken. Furthermore, they stated that al Qaeda doesn’t always use secure channels of communication, since doing so is cumbersome [11].

The German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung published a statement that members of German intelligence confirmed that US, UK and Israeli intelligence agencies had picked up on theplot by Muslim terrorists to hijack jetliners and crash them into US landmarks [12].

FBI Director Robert Mueller has repeatedly denied knowing that terrorists were training to be pilots in the US 13]. However, the FBI twice interviewed the vice president of the Airman Flight School in Oklahoma regarding suspected terrorists training at the school. On the first occasion, in 1999, they investigated Ihab Au Nawawi, who had been charged in relation to the US embassy bombings in East Africa.

On the second occasion, three weeks before the attacks on September Il, they asked questions about Zacarias Moussaoui, who was already being held in New York over his suspected ties to terrorists [14]. He had several passports and technical information on Boeing aircraft. He had asked to learn to fly a Boeing 747, despite minimal training, and offered thousands of dollars in cash to anyone who would train him. He was interested only in flying the plane in the air, not in taking off or landing. He asked questions about flying in New York City airspace and about opening cabin doors in flight. At least ten days before the attack, French intelligence warned the FBI that Moussaoui had connections to Muslim militants and may have been trained at terrorist camps in Afghanistan. The FBI confirmed that Moussaoui was involved with Osama bin Laden’s group, but they did not take him into federal custody. In addition, the Justice Department wouldn’t give permission to examine the hard drive of his computer [15]. (Moussaoui is believed to have been the missing twentieth hijacker, who would have been on Flight 93, which crashed in Pennsylvania.)

On an earlier occasion, in 1996, the FBI questioned instructors at two other flight schools - Coastal Aviation in North Carolina and Richmor Aviation in New York about Abdul Hakim Murad (arrested in the Philippines, as mentioned earlier) and several other Arab pilots.

In total, 37 of the hijackers and their associates are known to have trained at US flight schools [16]. The Washington Pact has discovered that three of the hijackers trained at the Naval Air Station at Pensacola, Florida.

From January to May 2000, Mohamed Atta - considered the leader of the hijackers - lived in Frankfurt, Germany, where he was under surveillance by the CIA [17]. He then moved to America, where he trained as a pilot at Maxwell Air Force Base, Alabama. Normal security vetting procedures would almost certainly have involved consultation with the CIA. The authorities claimed that when Atta re-entered America in January 2001, they did not know of his terrorist connections. Although it is possible that the CIA did not inform the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) of Atta’s activities, they would almost certainly have maintained their own surveillance of him, on all occasions when he was in America.

Further evidence of the US government’s prior knowledge of the attack, as well as an indication of its motives, is provided by the following reports.

A report by the BBC stated [18]:

"Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told be senior American officials in mid July [2001] that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. Mr Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin."

An attack planned for October would have required a major incident in the preceding period, which could be used as justification for the attack. As that event was the attack of September 11, it must have been a known factor in the military planning.

The BBC continues:

"Mr Naik was told that Washington would launch its operations from bases in Tajikistan, where American advisers were already in place."

The term "adviser" is a well-known euphemism for combat soldier, as confirmed by subsequent events. The question must be asked:

"Did President Bush give Presidential Authority for the placing of US troops in Tajikistan, prior to September 11?"

Evidence that September 11, although the justification for military action, was not necessarily the primary motive is provided by the following:

In an appearance on French news November 2001, Mr Naik stated that, during the talks in July, the US representative, Tom Simons said:

"Either the Taliban behave as they ought to, or Pakistan convinces them to do so, or we use another option (military operation - in Simons’ original words)."

Two French intelligence analysts, in a book Bin Laden: La Verite Interite (Bin Laden: The Forbidden Truth), give details of a deal offered by the Bush Administration for a pipeline through Afghanistan, connecting the oil fields of Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan to the Indian Ocean [19]. When Afghanistan did not co-operate, the US representative told the Taliban:

"Either you accept our offer of a carpet of gold, or we bury you under a carpet of bombs."[20]

Much of the information in this book comes from the late John O’Neill, who resigned in protest asDeputy Director of the FBI in July 2001, because the Bush Administration was preventing himfrom pursuing Islamic terrorists.

There is further evidence of interference with FBI investigations. David Shipper, who led the impeachment case against President Clinton, is now representing several FBI agents who state that they knew about the attacks ahead of time but were forbidden by superiors from doing anything about them. Often they specialized in Muslim terrorism but were taken of their cases when they uncovered important information. David Shipper himself tried to warn members of Congress about a planned attack involving the use of hijacked aircraft to ram buildings. For months he tried to get members to listen, but they did not respond [21].

There is evidence of specific knowledge about the time and location of the attack, in the period leading up to September 11. Security at the World Trade Center was increased three weeks before the attacks [22]. This included, for the first time, sniffer dogs and searches of vehicles prior to entering the building. At 10 pm on September 10, San Fransisco Mayor Willie Brown received a phone call tautioning him about his scheduled flight to New York the next day [23]. He revealed only that the caller was one of "my security people at the airport". A number of Arab-Americans, including members of a mosque in the Bronx, informed the FBI that they had been warned to stay out of lower Manhattan on or around September 11 [24].

Based on the evidence presented, it has been demonstrated that the US government and/or its intelligence services knew the following:

Al Qaeda had been planning to attack a number of targets in the US, including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, by crashing hijacked planes into them.

US intelligence had Al Qaeda under surveillance, and had broken their encryption.

The FBI and CIA knew that Muslim terrorists were training as pilots in America, some of them at US Armed Forces Training Schools.

As of August 2001, security services knew that an attack against the World Trade Center was imminent.

As of early September, security services, including the FBI, knew that an attack would take place in New York on September 11.

The intelligence agencies have denied prior knowledge of the attacks. This is inconsistent with many of the facts which have since emerged. Given the scale of the attacks, this apparent negligence is a serious charge. If the intelligence agencies are leaving themselves open to such acharge, it can only be to cover up even more serious charges. In view of this, the following points should be consicfrred.

A number of members of the FBI were prevented from investigating the activities of Muslim terrorists, on the orders of the Bush Administration.

The attacks of September 11 were used to justify military operations against Afghanistan, which had been planned and prepared for before that date, and which were motivated by America’s desire to secure its oil supply.

Considering all of the evidence presented leads to one conclusion.

The US government and its intelligence agencies knew in advance about the attacks of September 11. Those who could have acted to avert the attacks were actively prevented from doing so by the government. The US government used the attacks to justify military operations against Afghanistan, which had been planned before the attacks and which were motivated by other reasons. The US government is continuing to use the attacks of September 11 as justification for further military operations, many of which were also planned before this date.


References

1. Leyne, John. "U.S. Received Signs of Terror Plan" BBC News, 3 Oct 2001.
Perlez, Jane and David E. Sanger. "Powell Says U.S. Had Signs, but Not Clear Ones, of a Plot." New York Times, 3 Oct 2001.
2. Evans, Harold. "We Can’t Say They Didn’t Warn Us." Guardian (London), 2 Oct 2001. Website of the U.S. Commission on National Security/2l" Century www.nssg.czov
3. Welna, David. Report on Morning Edition. National Public Radio, 11 Sept 2001.
4. Wan-ick, Joby, and Joe Stephens. "Before Attack, U.S. Expected Different Hit." Washington Post, 2 Oct 2001.
5. Bodansky, Yossef Target America: Terrorism in the US. Today. New York: Shapolsky Publishers, 1993.
6. Neuffer, Elizabeth. "Feds Knew Bin Laden’s Allies Trained as Pilots." Boston Globe, 15 Sept 2001.
7. Wald, Matthew L. "Earlier Hijackings Offered Signals That Were Missed." New York Times, 3 Oct 2001.
8. Sheley, Chuck. "Smokejumper Training Thwarts Hijacking of Pan-Am Clipper 76." The Smokejumper (No date).
9. Hansen, Chris. 'The Lesson of Air France Flight 8969. ' NBC News, 30 Sept 2001.
10. Unsigned. 'Italy: Bush Targeted at G8. ' New York Newsday 19 Sept 2001.
Unsigned. "Extremists Planned Genoa Attack on Bush." BBC News, 27 Sept 2001. 11. Scarborough, Rowan. "Intercepts Foretold of ‘Big Attack’." Washington Times, 22 Sept 2001
Stafford, Ned. "Newspaper: Echelon Gave Authorities Warning of Attacks." Newsbytes (Washington Post) 13 Sept 2001.
12. Unsigned. "Hints for Months." Translated by F.S. Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 18 Sept 2001.
13. Cullen, Kevin and Ralph Ranalli. "Flight School Said FBI Trailed Suspect Prior to Hijackings." Boston Globe, 18 Sept 2001.
Drogin, Bob and Eric Lichtblau. "Search for Suspects Was on for Weeks." Los Angeles Times l6 Sept 200l.
Fainaru, Steve and James V. Grimaldi. FBI Knew Terrorists Were Using Flight Schools. Washington Post, 23 Sept 2001.
Neuffer, Elizabeth. "Feds Knew Bin Laden’s Allies Trained as Pilots." Boston Globe, 15 Sept 2001.
Unsigned. "Report: FBI Ignored French Warning on Extremist." Reuters, 13 Sept 2001.
Unsigned. "Report: FBI ‘Ignored Leads’." BBC News, 14 Sept 2001.
14. Grimaldi, James V. "FBI Had Warning on Man Now Held in Attacks." Washington Post, 23 Sept2001.
Unsigned. "FBI Tracked Man in Custody 2 Weeks Before Attacks." CNN, 18 Sept 2001.
15. Gullo, Karen. "Investigators Earlier Turned Down Chance to Search Computer of Man Questioned in Terror Attacks." Associated Press, 2 Oct 2001.
Isikoff, Michael and Daniel Klaidman. "Access Denied." Newsweek.com, 1 Oct 2001.
16. Wehrfritz, George, Catherine Skipp, and John Barry. "Alleged Hijackers May Have Trained at US Bases." Newsweek, 15 Sept 2001.
Gugliotta, Guy and David S. Fallis. "2nd Witness Arrested; 25 Held for Questioning." Washington Post, 16 Sept 2001.
17. Stafford, Ned. "CIA Was Shadowing Hijacker While Still in Germany." News Box, 23 Sept 2001.
Rising, David. "Key Suspect Had Been Under German Surveillance." Associated Press, 29 Sept 2001.
Unsigned. "Immigration Service Denies It Was Lax With Atta." Reuters, 22 Oct 2001.
18. Arney, George. "US ‘Planned Attack on Taliban’." BBC News, 18 Sept 2001.
Leigh, David. "Attack and Counter-Attack." Guardian (London) 26 Sept 2001.
19. Godoy, Julian. "US Policy Towards Taliban Influenced by Oil." Inter Press Services, 15 Nov 2001.
20. Steele, Jonathan, Ewen MacAskill, Richard Norton-Taylor, and Ed Harriman. "Threat of US Strikes Passed to Taliban Weeks Before US Attack." Guardian (London), 22 Sept 2001.
21. Interview of David Shippers by Alex Jones. Info Wars (radio program), 10 Oct 2001.
22. Cockburn, Alexander, and Jeffrey St. Clair. "Sense and Nonsense About Sept 11." CounterPunch Website, 12 Sept 2001.
23. Matier, Philip, and Andrew Ross. "Willie Brown Got Low-Key Early Warning About Air Travel." San Fransisco Chronicle, 12 Sept 2001.
24. Doqgherty, Hugh. "FBI Tipped off Before Attacks." Independent (London), 13 Oct 2001.
Shapiro, Jeffrey Scott. "Police: Student Spoke of Attacks Before Sept 11." The Journal News (Westchester, New York), 11 Oct 2001.