Responsibility for the September 11 attacks


Responsibility for the September 11 attacks

Soon after the September 11 attacks, the Federal Bureau of Investigation was able to identify the 19 hijackers [cite press release |url=http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/092701hjpic.htm |title=The FBI releases 19 photographs of individuals believed to be the hijackers of the four airliners that crashed on September 11, 01 |publisher=Federal Bureau of Investigation |date=2001-09-27 |accessdate=2008-08-30] and connect them to al-Qaeda. [cite book |author=Wright, Lawrence |title=The Looming Tower: al-Qaeda and the Road to 9/11 |year=2006 |publisher=Alfred P. Knopf |pages=362-367 |quote=Abu Jandal conceded that he knew Shehhi and gave his Qaeda name, Abdullah al-Sharqi. He did the same with Mohammed Atta, Khaled al-Mihdhar, and four others] In a number of video, audio, interview and printed statements, Osama bin Laden and senior members of al-Qaida have also admitted responsibility for organizing the September 11 attacks. [cite book |author=Fouda, Yosri an Nick Fielding |title=Masterminds of Terror |year=2003 |publisher=Arcade Publishing |pages=pp. 113-116] [cite news |url=http://www.cbc.ca/story/world/national/2004/10/29/binladen_message041029.html |title=Bin Laden claims responsibility for 9/11 |publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation |date=2004-10-29 |accessdate=2008-08-30] [cite news |url=http://www.csmonitor.com/2007/0316/p01s03-wogi.html?page=1 |title=The self-portrait of an al-Qaeda leader |publisher=The Christian Science Monitor |date=2007-03-16 |accessdate=2008-08-30]

Identifying the hijackers

The FBI investigation into the attacks, codenamed operation PENTTBOM, was able to identify the 19 hijackers within days, as they made little effort to conceal their names on flight, credit card, and other records. [ [http://www.fbi.gov/libref/factsfigure/counterterrorism.htm FBI - Facts and Figures, 2003] By checking flight manifests and comparing them with other information, like watch lists, customs officials were able to quickly find the names of all 19 hijackers.

Various items of evidence were found in vehicles left behind at the airports, in luggage that did not make it onto the flights, and at the crash scenes. A rental car belonging to the hijackers was found at Boston's Logan International Airport, which contained an Arabic language flight manual and documents from Huffman Aviation in Florida. There, investigators were able to find Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi's previous address in Hamburg, Germany.cite news |title=Sep 14: Day the unthinkable struck at America's heart (Part III) |publisher=Financial Times |date=September 14, 2001 |url=http://specials.ft.com/aoa/FT37MC9HRRC.html] Nawaf al-Hazmi's 1988 blue Toyota Corolla was found on September 12 in Dulles International Airport's hourly parking lot. Inside the vehicle, authorities found a letter written by Mohamed Atta, maps of Washington, D.C. and New York City, a cashier's check made out to a Phoenix flight school, four drawings of a Boeing 757 cockpit, a box cutter-type knife, and a page with notes and phone numbers. [cite news |title=Authorities' Dragnet Snags More Suspects |author=Lichtblau, Eric |publisher=Los Angeles Times |date=2001-09-27]

Mohamed Atta's luggage did not make the connection from his Portland flight to American Airlines Flight 11. In his suitcase, authorities found a handwritten letter in Arabic. As well, a handwritten letter was found at the crash site of United Airlines Flight 93 near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, and another in Hazmi's vehicle. [cite web |url=http://www.fbi.gov/congress/congress01/caruso100301.htm |title=Congressional Testimony of J. T. Caruso, Deputy Assistant Director |publisher=Federal Bureau of Investigation |date=2001-10-03 |accessdate=2008-08-31] When examining Mohamed Atta's left-behind luggage, the FBI found important clues about the hijackers and their plans. Atta's luggage contained instructional videotapes for flying large aircraft, a fuel consumption calculator, and a flight plan, along with a copy of the Quran. [Cite news | url=http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2001/09/12/targets.htm |author = Willing, Richard and Kevin Johnson | title = US targets cells tied to bin Laden | work = USA Today | date = 2001-09-13 ] His luggage also contained papers that revealed the identity of all 19 hijackers, along with a copy of Atta's last will and testament. [cite news |url=http://www.newsday.com/news/nationworld/nation/ny-uslugg274705186apr17,0,6096142.story?coll=ny-nationalnews-print |title=Unraveling 9-11 was in the bags |publisher=Newsday (New York) |date=2006-04-17 |author=Dorman, Michael] The passport of hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari was also found in Mohamed Atta’s left-behind luggage.

In New York City, a passport belonging to Satam al-Suqami was found by a passerby before the towers collapsed, and given to a NYPD detective. [cite book |url=http://www.9-11commission.gov/staff_statements/911_TerrTrav_Ch2.pdf |format=PDF| title=Monograph on 9/11 and Terrorist Travel |chapter=Chronology |publisher=National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States |pages=40 |accessdate=2008-05-25] [cite web |url=http://www.911myths.com/images/5/55/Hijackers_Timeline_OCR.pdf |format=PDF| title=Hijackers Timeline |publisher=Federal Bureau of Investigation / 911myths.com |accessdate=2008-05-26] The passports of two of the hijackers of Flight 93 were also found intact at the crash site.

Passengers and crew aboard the flights also provided information about the hijackers. While the hijacking was in progress, two flight attendants on American Airlines Flight 11, Betty Ong and Madeline Amy Sweeney, contacted airline personnel on the ground. Sweeney provided the seat numbers of the hijackers, and descriptions of the men. [cite news |url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/1556096.stm |title=The last moments of Flight 11 |publisher=BBC News |date=2001-09-21] [cite web|url=http://web.archive.org/web/20020921045555/http://abcnews.go.com/sections/primetime/DailyNews/primetime_flightattendants_020718.html |title=Calm Before the Crash|publisher=ABC News|date=July 18, 2002] cite web|url=http://www.boston.com/news/packages/underattack/news/planes_reconstruction.htm |last=Johnson|first=Glen |title=Probe reconstructs horror, calculated attacks on planes |date=November 23, 2001] A flight attendant on United Airlines Flight 175 called a United Airlines mechanic and reported that hijackers had killed the crew. While the hijacking was in progress on American Airlines Flight 77, several passengers, including a flight attendant, Renee May, contacted and reported details of the hijacking to persons on the ground. [cite web|url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2004/07/23/FLIGHTS.TMP |title=Investigating 9-11 -- The doomed flights|publisher=San Francisco Chronicle|date=July 23, 2004] Sales clerks identified two individuals to whom they sold tickets on Flight 77 as the hijackers Hani Hanjour and Majed Moqed. During the hijacking of United Airlines Flight 93, Jeremy Glick identified the hijackers as Arabic-looking and carrying knives. [cite web|url=http://www.post-gazette.com/headlines/20011028flt93mainstoryp7.asp |title=Flight 93: Forty lives, one destiny|publisher=Post-gazette|date=October 28, 2001]

On September 27, 2001, the FBI released photos of the 19 hijackers, along with information about the possible nationalities and aliases of many. [cite web|url=http://www.fbi.gov/pressrel/pressrel01/092701hjpic.htm |title=Press Release|publisher=Federal Bureau of Investigation|date=September 27, 2001]

Assigning responsibility

As media covered the 9/11 attacks unfolding, many quickly speculated that Osama bin Laden was behind the attacks. [cite news |url=http://www.archive.org/details/nbc200109110912-0954 |title=NBC News (9:00 - 10:00 a.m.) |date=September 11, 2001 |publisher=NBC / Internet Archive] On the day of the attacks, the National Security Agency intercepted communications that pointed to Osama bin Laden, [cite news |title=Piece by Piece, The Jigsaw of Terror Revealed |publisher=Independent on Sunday (London) |date=September 30, 2001 |author=Blackhurst, Chris, and Paul Lashmar |url=http://news.independent.co.uk/world/americas/article218611.ece] as did German intelligence agencies. [cite news |url=http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9A0DE5DA173DF93AA1575AC0A9679C8B63 |title=A NATION CHALLENGED: GERMAN INTELLIGENCE; German Data Led US to Search For More Suicide Hijacker Teams |author=Tagliabue, John, and Raymond Bonner |publisher=The New York Times |date=September 29, 2001] Authorities in the United States and Britain also obtained electronic intercepts, including telephone conversations and electronic bank transfers, which indicate that Mohammed Atef, a bin Laden deputy, was a key figure in the planning of the 9/11 attacks. Intercepts were also obtained that revealed conversations that took place days before September 11 between bin Laden and an associate in Pakistan. In those conversations, the two referred to "an incident that would take place in America on, or around, September 11" and they discussed potential repercussions. In another conversation with an associate in Afghanistan, bin Laden discussed the "scale and effects of a forthcoming operation." These conversations did not specifically mention the World Trade Center or Pentagon, or other specifics. [cite news |title=The proof they did not revel |publisher=Sunday Times |date=October 7, 2001]

The investigators were quickly able to link the 19 men to the terrorist organization al-Qaeda, also by accessing material in their intelligence agency files. The "New York Times" reported on September 12 that: "Authorities said they had also identified accomplices in several cities who had helped plan and execute Tuesday’s attacks. Officials said they knew who these people were and important biographical details about many of them. They prepared biographies of each identified member of the hijack teams, and began tracing the recent movements of the men." FBI agents in Florida investigating the hijackers quickly "descended on flight schools, neighborhoods and restaurants in pursuit of leads." At one flight school, "students said investigators were there within hours of Tuesday’s attacks." [ [http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9805E6DC1038F930A2575AC0A9679C8B63 AFTER THE ATTACKS: THE SUSPECTS; Hijacking Trail Leads F.B.I. to Florida Flight School - New York Times ] ] The "Washington Post" later reported that "In the hours after Tuesday’s bombings, investigators searched their files on [Satam] al-Suqami and [Ahmed] al-Ghamdi, noted the pair’s ties to [Nabil] al-Marabh and launched a hunt for him." [http://nucnews.net/nucnews/2001nn/0109nn/010921nn.htm#590 NucNews, 21 Sep 2001] .]

Based on the evidence, authorities in the United States quickly asserted that Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda organization were solely responsible for the attacks, and other suspects were ruled out. The Government of the United Kingdom reached the same conclusion. [cite web|url=http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page3682.asp|title=Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001 |publisher=10 Downing Street, Office of the Prime Minister of the U.K.|date=November 2001|accessdate=2006-09-29] Although he denied the attacks at first, Osama bin Laden has since claimed full responsibility.

Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden

Intelligence experts speak of a "short list" of prime suspects -- groups that possess both the means and the motive to carry out the crime. Two of the passengers had been identified as al-Qaeda members and were on the FBI's terrorist-alert list prior to 9/11: Khalid Almihdhar, and Nawaf Alhazmi [http://www.webcom.com/hrin/magazine/la-watchlist.html] [http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline/2002/senatecommittee092602.html] . It appears certain that all hijackers had Arabic origins, and none were Afghani; moreover, both in their immense scale, careful planning and refraining from claiming responsibility, the attacks are reminiscent of al-Qaeda's previous attacks such as the 1998 US embassy bombings that killed over 200 people.

World Trade Center bombing of 1993

In the World Trade Center bombing (February 26, 1993) a car bomb was detonated by Arab Islamist terrorists in the underground parking garage below Tower One of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,500-lb urea nitrate-fuel oil device [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/sept_11/build_up_06.shtml|title=Out of Nowhere?|author= Lawrence Freedman|publisher=BBC|date=2002-08-22|accessdate=2006-10-16|archiveurl=http://www.google.com/search?q=cache:XnEl96JOe4EJ:www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/sept_11/build_up_06.shtml+bbc+%22out+of+nowhere%22&ct=clnk&cd=3|archivedate=2007-05-27] cite web|url=http://www.cnn.com/2003/US/Northeast/02/26/wtc.bombing/|author=Phil Hirschkorn|publisher=CNN|title=New York remembers 1993 WTC victims|date=2003-02-26|accessdate=2006-10-16] killed six and injured over a thousand people. It was intended to devastate the foundation of the North Tower, causing it to collapse onto its twin. [cite web|url=http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/recent/sept_11/build_up_06.shtml|title=Out of Nowhere?|author= Lawrence Freedman|publisher=BBC|date=2002-08-22|accessdate=2006-10-16]

The attack was planned by a group of conspirators including Ramzi Yousef, [cite web|title=Swansea student links to bin Laden|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/wales/1549539.stm|publisher=BBC|date=2001-09-18|accessdate=2006-10-16] [cite news|title=Judges Uphold Convictions In '93 Bombing|author=Benjamin Weiser|url=http://select.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=FB0A16F63F5C0C768CDDAD0894DB404482&n=Top%2fReference%2fTimes%20Topics%2fPeople%2fY%2fYousef%2c%20Ramzi%20Ahmed|publisher=New York Times|pages=Section D, Page 5, Column 6|date=2003-04-05|accessdate=2006-10-16] Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, El Sayyid Nosair, Mahmud Abouhalima, Mohammad Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Ahmad Ajaj, and Abdul Rahman Yasin. [cite web|url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/onthisday/hi/dates/stories/february/26/newsid_2516000/2516469.stm|title=1993: World Trade Center bomb terrorises New York|publisher=BBC|accessdate=2006-10-16] They received financing from al-Qaeda member Khaled Shaikh Mohammed, Yousef's uncle, who would later allegedly admit to planning the September 11, 2001, attacks. [cite web|title= Arabic network claims taped 9/11 confessions|url=http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/09/05/alqaeda.911.claim/index.html|publisher=CNN|date=2002-09-06|accessdate=2006-09-26]

tatements of motives prior to September 11, 2001

Since 1996 Osama bin Laden has stated in public proclamations ("fatwas") and in interviews with journalists his common list of grievances which he cites as the reason for his declaration of war against the United States.

In 1998 Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, (a leader of Egyptian Islamic Jihad), co-signed a "fatwa" (binding religious edict) in the name of the , declaring:bquote| [t] he ruling to kill the Americans and their allies civilians and military - is an individual duty for every Muslim who can do it in any country in which it is possible to do it, in order to liberate the al-Aqsa Mosque (in Jerusalem) and the holy mosque (in Makka) from their grip, and in order for their armies to move out of all the lands of Islam, defeated and unable to threaten any Muslim. This is in accordance with the words of Almighty Allah, 'and fight the pagans all together as they fight you all together,' and 'fight them until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and faith in Allah'. [cite web
url=http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/fatw2.htm
title=World Islamic Front for Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders: Initial "Fatwa" Statement
accessdate=2006-09-10
author=Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin
coauthors=Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, Fazlur Rahman
date=1998-02-23
publisher=al-Quds al-Arabi
language=Arabic
] [cite web
url = http://www.fas.org/irp/world/para/docs/980223-fatwa.htm
title = Jihad Against Jews and Crusaders. World Islamic Front Statement
accessdate = 2006-09-24
author = Shaykh Usamah Bin-Muhammad Bin-Ladin
coauthors = Ayman al-Zawahiri, Abu-Yasir Rifa'i Ahmad Taha, Shaykh Mir Hamzah, Fazlur Rahman
date = 1998-02-23
publisher = al-Quds al-Arabi
English language version of the fatwa translated by the Federation of American Scientists of the [http://www.library.cornell.edu/colldev/mideast/fatw2.htm original Arabic document published in the newspaper al-Quds al-Arabi (London, UK) on 23 February, 1998, p3]
]

In an interview with journalist Rahimullah Yusufzai published in "TIME Magazine", January 11, 1999, Osama bin Laden is quoted as saying:

Planning the 9/11 attacks

According to interviews by Al-Jazeera [cite web
title=Arabic network claims taped 9/11 confessions
url=http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/09/05/alqaeda.911.claim/index.html
date=2002-09-06
accessdate=2006-10-16
] as well as United States interrogations of al-Qaeda members Ramzi Binalshibh and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (captured in 2002 and 2003 respectively), Khalid Mohammed was the instigator and prime organizer of the attacks. Binalshibh may have been picked as a hijacker but he failed to get into the United States. [cite web
title=Al-Jazeera offers accounts of 9/11 planning
url=http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/09/12/alqaeda.911.claim/
publisher=CNN
date=web
url=http://www.washtimes.com/world/20040330-120655-9785r.htm
title=Chicago, L.A. towers were next targets
author= Paul Martin
publisher=Washington Times
accessdate=2006-10-16
]

Khalid Mohammed had provided funding to his nephew Ramzi Yousef [cite web
url=http://edition.cnn.com/2003/WORLD/asiapcf/south/03/02/mohammed.biog/
title=Khalid Shaikh Mohammed: life of terror
publisher=CNN
date=2003-09-23
accessdate=2006-10-16
] [cite web
url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2002/10/09/60II/main524947.shtml
title=The Mastermind
publisher=CBS News
date=2003-03-05
accessdate=2006-10-16
] for the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. In addition, he collaborated on "Oplan Bojinka" which called for ten or more airliners to be bombed in mid-air or hijacked for use as missiles. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/south_asia/2811855.stm
title=Profile: Al-Qaeda 'kingpin'
publisher=BBC
date=2006-10-16
accessdate=2003-03-05
] Planning for Oplan Bojinka began in 1994, and was funded in part by Osama bin Laden, but was thwarted by an accidental fire in 1995. [cite news
url=http://taipeitimes.com/News/us/archives/2001/09/14/102905
title=Suicide-pilot plan uncovered six years ago in Philippines
pages=3
publisher=Taipei Times
date=2001-09-14
] [cite news
url=http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2006/08/12/2003322877
title=Terror plot echoes 1995 Pacific planes scheme
pages=6
publisher=Taipei Times
date=2006-08-12
] [cite news
url=http://www.manilatimes.net/others/special/2002/sept/11/20020911spe1.html
title=The downside to glossing over intelligence data
author=Johnna Villaviray
publisher=Manila Times
date=2002-09-11
accessdate=2003-03-05
]

In mid-1996, Khalid Mohammed presented a new plan to the leadership of al-Qaeda [cite web
url=http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/secrethistory/timeline5.html
title=The Secret History of 9/11: Planning 9/11
publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
date=2006-09-04
accessdate=2006-10-16
] that called for several airplanes on both east and west coasts [cite web
url=http://www.washtimes.com/world/20040330-120655-9785r.htm
title=Chicago, L.A. towers were next targets
author= Paul Martin
publisher=Washington Times
date=2004-03-30
accessdate=2006-10-16
] to be hijacked and flown into targets.

According to the Binalshibh and Khalid Mohammed, six of the hijackers played active parts in the planning, including the four who became the pilots. The other two were Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi. [cite web
url=http://www.cbc.ca/documentaries/secrethistory/timeline5.html
title=The Secret History of 9/11: Planning 9/11
publisher=Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
date=2006-09-04
accessdate=2006-10-16
] CIA operatives reportedly monitored the movements of these two known militants when they visited the US but did not notify the FBI or gain an inkling of what the hijackers were planning. [cite web
url=http://www.pbs.org/newshour/bb/fedagencies/jan-june02/failure_6-3.html
title=Failure to Communicate
publisher=News Hour with Jim Lehrer
date=2002-06-03
accessdate=2006-10-16
] However, during a 2006 Moussaoui trial cross-examination, [cite web| url=http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/n/a/2006/03/08/national/a090713S88.DTL| title=Moussaoui Jury Watches Video Testimony| first=Matthew| last=Barakat| date=March 8, 2006| accessdate=2006-04-27] FBI agents stated that the bureau was aware, years before the attacks in 2001, that al-Qaeda planned to use planes to destroy important buildings. Philippine Chief Superintendent Avelino Razon had noted such plans during the 1995 investigation of Oplan Bojinka, of which Razon said bquote|I didn't imagine that they would ram a 757 aircraft into the World Trade Center. I thought the suicide mission [would involve] a Cessna light aircraft loaded with several kilos of explosives, like a Japanese Kamikaze World War II pilot diving into a target. [cite news
title=Suicide-pilot plan uncovered six years ago in Philippines
url=http://taipeitimes.com/News/us/archives/2001/09/14/102905
publisher=Taipei Times
pages =3
date=2001-09-14
accessdate=2006-10-16
]

The targets ultimately chosen were the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the United States Capitol. Flight 93 was apparently meant to crash into the Capitol. The White House was considered as a target; initially dismissed as being too difficult to locate from the air, it was later included in the plans. [cite web
url=http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5224099/
title=9/11 commission staff statement No. 16
publisher=MSNBC
date=2004-06-16
accessdate=2006-10-16
] In the communications that developed as the scheme took form, the Pentagon's code name was the "Faculty of Arts", Capitol Hill was the "Faculty of Law", and the World Trade Center was coded as the "Faculty of Town Planning". [cite web
title=Al-Jazeera offers accounts of 9/11 planning
url=http://edition.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/meast/09/12/alqaeda.911.claim/
publisher=CNN
date=2002-09-12
]

Al-Qaeda statements after 9/11

Al-Qaeda's spokesman, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, said in a video sent to al Jazeera and broadcast in October 2001 the following: bquote|The Americans should know that the storm of plane attacks will not abate, with God's permission. There are thousands of the Islamic nation's youths who are eager to die just as the Americans are eager to live. [cite web
title=In full: Al-Qaeda statement. Sulaiman Abu Ghaith, a spokesman for Osama bin Laden's al-Qaeda group, has called on Muslims to join in a holy war against the United States.
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/low/middle_east/1590350.stm
date=2001-10-10
accessdate=2006-09-29
]

Osama bin Laden statements after 9/11

The FBI lists bin Laden as one of the "10 Most Wanted" in connection with several incidents including the USS Cole bombing and the 1998 United States embassy bombings in East Africa. The FBI's "FBI Most Wanted Terrorists" poster does not specifically hang responsibility for 9/11 on bin Laden, instead it only states "Bin Laden is a suspect in other terrorist attacks throughout the world." [ [http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm Most Wanted Terrorist—Usama bin Laden] ]

On September 16, 2001, an Al Jazeera news presenter read a message purportedly signed by Osama bin Laden, in which the following words were stated:bquote| I stress that I have not carried out this act, which appears to have been carried out by individuals with their own motivation. [cite web
title=Bin Laden denies being behind attacks
author=Associated Press
publisher=Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
url=http://www2.jsonline.com/news/nat/sep01/binladen-denial.asp
date=2001-09-16
accessdate=2006-09-29
] [cite web
title=Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks
url=http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/16/inv.binladen.denial/
publisher=CNN
date=2001-09-17
accessdate=2006-09-29
] [cite web
title=Pakistan to Demand Taliban Give Up bin Laden as Iran Seals Afghan Border
url=http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,34440,00.html
publisher=Fox News
date=2001-09-16
accessdate=2006-09-29
]
In a supposed interview with Osama bin Laden, published in the Pakistani newspaper "Ummat Karachi" on September 28, 2001, he stated: "I have already said that I am not involved in the 11 September attacks in the United States. As a Muslim, I try my best to avoid telling a lie. I had no knowledge of these attacks, nor do I consider the killing of innocent women, children and other humans as an appreciable act."cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=Usama bin Laden Says the Al-Qa'idah Group had Nothing to Do with the 11 September Attacks | date= | publisher= | url =http://www.robert-fisk.com/usama_interview_ummat.htm| work =Ummat Karachi | pages = | accessdate = 2008-06-14 | language = ]

But the Taliban had claimed that they had taken away all his means of communication with the outside world. [cite web
title=Bin Laden denies being behind attacks
author=Associated Press
url=http://www2.jsonline.com/news/nat/sep01/binladen-denial.asp
date=2001-09-16
accessdate=2006-09-29
] [cite web
title=Bin Laden says he wasn't behind attacks
publisher=CNN
url=http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/09/16/inv.binladen.denial/
date=2001-09-17
accessdate=2006-09-29
]

In late October 2001, Al Jazeera journalist Tayseer Allouni conducted an interview with Osama bin Laden which was videotaped. Al-Jazeera refused to broadcast it [cite news
first = Howard
last = Kurtz
title = Interview Sheds Light On Bin Laden's Views
url = http://pqasb.pqarchiver.com/washingtonpost/access/105787627.html?dids=105787627:105787627&FMT=ABS&FMTS=ABS:FT&fmac=&date=Feb+7%2C+2002&author=Howard+Kurtz&desc=Interview+Sheds+Light+On+Bin+Laden%27s+Views
publisher = The Washington Post
pages = A12
date = 2002-02-07
accessdate = 2006-09-28
] and terminated its affiliation agreement with CNN [cite web
coauthors = Mohammed Jassim Al-Ali (Director General Al-Jazeera) and CNN
title = Al-Jazeera statement and CNN response on bin Laden interview
publisher = CNN
url = http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/01/31/gen.aljazeera.statement/index.html
date = 2002-01-31
accessdate = 2006-09-28
] due to CNN's broadcasting of the interview on January 31, 2002. [cite web
coauthors = Mohammed Jassim Al-Ali (Director General Al-Jazeera) and CNN
title = Bin Laden's sole post-September 11 TV interview aired
work =
publisher = CNN
url = http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/01/31/gen.binladen.interview/index.html
date = 2002-02-05
accessdate = 2006-09-28
] In the interview, bin Laden addressed the September 11, 2001, attacks, saying bquote|If inciting people to do that is terrorism, and if killing those who kill our sons is terrorism, then let history be witness that we are terrorists...We will work to continue this battle, God permitting, until victory or until we meet God before that occurs. [cite web
title = Transcript of bin Laden's October interview
publisher = CNN
url = http://archives.cnn.com/2002/WORLD/asiapcf/south/02/05/binladen.transcript/index.html
date = 2002-02-05
accessdate = 2006-09-28
]

In November 2001, US forces recovered a videotape from a destroyed house in Jalalabad, Afghanistan which showed Osama bin Laden talking to Khaled al-Harbi. In the tape, bin Laden seems to admit planning the attacks. Translations from the tape include the following lines: bquote
...we calculated in advance the number of casualties from the enemy, who would be killed based on the position of the tower. We calculated that the floors that would be hit would be three or four floors. I was the most optimistic of them all...We had notification since the previous Thursday that the event would take place that day. We had finished our work that day and had the radio on...Muhammad (Atta) from the Egyptian family ("meaning the al-Qaeda Egyptian group"), was in charge of the group...The brothers, who conducted the operation, all they knew was that they have a martyrdom operation and we asked each of them to go to America but they didn't know anything about the operation, not even one letter. But they were trained and we did not reveal the operation to them until they are there and just before they boarded the planes. [cite web
url=http://www.defenselink.mil/news/Dec2001/d20011213ubl.pdf
title=TRANSCRIPT OF USAMA BIN LADEN VIDEO TAPE
accessdate=2006-07-04
date=September 13, 2001|format=PDF
]

In late November 2002, a letter attributed to Osama bin Laden and translated by British Islamists surfaced. Because you attacked us and continue to attack us is the letter's simple claim of motive behind the September 11, 2001 attacks. Part of the letter includes an attempt at morally justifying the selection of a civilian target. Itemizing a list of perceived Western wrongdoings, the letter concludes that the oppressed have a right to return the aggression and hinted at further attacks. Also included are a list of demands, advice, and a statement of grievances against the American government and its people. [cite web
title= Full text: bin Laden's 'letter to America'
url=http://observer.guardian.co.uk/worldview/story/0,11581,845725,00.html
publisher=Guardian Unlimited
date= November 2002;
accessdate=2007-01-06
] On February 11, 2003, Al Jazeera broadcast an audio tape purportedly from bin Laden. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/2751019.stm
title=Bin Laden tape: Text
publisher=BBC
date=2003-02-12
accessdate=2006-10-16
]

Shortly before the US presidential election in 2004, in a taped statement, bin Laden publicly acknowledged al-Qaeda's involvement in the attacks on the US, and admitted his direct link to the attacks. He said that the attacks were carried out because "we are a free people who do not accept injustice, and we want to regain the freedom of our nation." In an audio message that surfaced on the Internet in May 2006 the speaker, who is alleged to be Osama bin Laden, defends Zacarias Moussaoui, who was undergoing a trial for his participation in the September 11 attacks. The voice in the audio message says bquote| "I begin by talking about the honorable brother Zacarias Moussaoui. The truth is that he has no connection whatsoever with the events of September 11th, and I am certain of what I say, because I was responsible for entrusting the 19 brothers — Allah have mercy upon them — with those raids, and I did not assign brother Zacarias to be with them on that mission." [cite web
url=http://abcnews.go.com/International/Terrorism/story?id=1995630&page=1
title=http://abcnews.go.com/International/Terrorism/story?id=1995630&page=1
accessdate=2006-09-12|date=2006-05-23
]

Other suspects within al-Qaeda

As of 2004, several people including Mohammed, Binalshibh and Mohamed al-Kahtani, the 20th hijacker, were being held by the US as illegal combatants; however, the United States had no one on trial for the attacks. In Germany, Mounir El Motassadeq was convicted of over 3000 counts of accessory to murder for helping finance the hijackers but the verdict was put aside and a new trial scheduled. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4690712.stm
title=Germany releases terror suspect
publisher=BBC
date=2006-02-07
accessdate=2006-10-16
] Abdelghani Mzoudi was acquitted in Germany on the same charges. [cite web
url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/4076346.stm
title=Acquittal of 9/11 suspect upheld
date=2005-06-09
accessdate=2006-10-16
]

The Taliban

On October 4, 2001, British Prime Minister Tony Blair released information compiled by Western intelligence agencies connecting Osama bin Laden to the Afghanistan's Taliban leadership as well as being the leader of the al-Qaeda organization. [cite web |url=http://www.number-10.gov.uk/output/page3682.asp
title=Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United States, 11 September 2001 |publisher=10 Downing Street, Office of the Prime Minister of the U.K.
date=November 2001|accessdate=2006-09-29
] The Taliban government gave safe haven to Osama bin Laden in the years leading up to the attack, and his al-Qaeda network may have had a close relationship with the Taliban army and police. On the day of 9/11, the Taliban foreign minister told the Arab television network Al Jazeera: "We denounce this terrorist attack, whoever is behind it." [ [http://edition.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/europe/09/11/trade.centre.reaction/ CNN.com - World shock over US attacks - September 11, 2001 ] ]

The United States requested the Taliban to shut down all al-Qaeda bases in Afghanistan, open them to inspection and turn over Osama bin Laden. The Taliban refused all these requests. Instead they offered to extradite Osama bin Laden to an Islamic country, for trial under Islamic law, if the United States presented evidence of his guilt. [cite news|url=http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2001/09/11/world/main310852.shtml|title=Taliban Won't Turn Over bin Laden|publisher=CBS News|date=2001-09-21|accessdate=2007-07-07] However the Taliban had previously refused to extradite bin Laden to the United States, or prosecute him, after he was indicted by the US federal courts for involvement in the 1998 United States embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania. [ [http://www.cnn.com/WORLD/meast/9902/13/afghan.binladen.02/index.html CNN - Taliban confirms bin Laden is missing - February 13, 1999 ] ] The Taliban deemed eyewitness testimony and satellite phone call recordings entered in the public record in February 2001 during a trial as insufficient grounds to extradite bin Laden for his involvement in the bombings.Fact|date=September 2008

Because of the Bush Doctrine, which stated "We will make no distinction between the terrorists and those who harbor them", the United States and Britain invaded and overthrew the Taleban regime in 2001, using air power, special forces and the Northern Alliance as a land army.

On November 29, 2007 a videotape was released that The Central Intelligence Agency says is likely to be from Osama bin Laden. In it the speaker claims sole responsibility for the attacks and specifically denies any prior knowledge of them by The Taliban or the Afghan people. [ [http://uk.reuters.com/article/topNews/idUKL2912911920071129?pageNumber=2&virtualBrandChannel=0 Bin Laden urges Europe to quit Afghanistan Reuters UK November 29, 2007] ]

Financing the attacks

According to the 9/11 Commission Report, the 9/11 plotters spent between $400,000 and $500,000 to plan and conduct the attack:

al-Qaeda funded the plotters. KSM [Khalid Sheikh Mohammad] provided his operatives with nearly all the money they needed to travel to the United States, train, and live... The US government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance. [ [9/11 Commission Report, pp169, 172] ]

CNN and other news outlets reported in September and October 2001 that $100,000 was wired from the United Arab Emirates to lead hijacker Mohammad Atta prior to the attacks, by Ahmed Omar Saeed (Syed) Sheikh, a long time Pakistani Inter-Services Intelligence asset. [http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/essay.jsp?article=essaysaeed Sept. 11's Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh ] ]

The report, which was later confirmed by CNN, [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2001/WORLD/asiapcf/south/10/08/india.ressa/ CNN.com - India wants terror spotlight on Kashmir - October 8, 2001 ] ] stated that "Atta then distributed the funds to conspirators in Florida... In addition, sources have said Atta sent thousands of dollars -- believed to be excess funds from the operation -- back to Syed in the United Arab Emirates in the days before September 11. Syed also is described as a key figure in the funding operation of al-Qaeda" [ [http://archives.cnn.com/2001/US/10/05/inv.terror.investigation/ CNN.com - Suspected hijack bankroller freed by India in '99 - October 6, 2001 ] ]

The day after this report was published, the head of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence, Gen. Mahmood Ahmed, was fired from his position. Indian news outlets reported the FBI was investigating the possibility that Gen. Mahmood Ahmed ordered Saeed Sheikh to send the $100,000 to Atta, while most Western media outlets only reported his connections to the Taliban as the reason for his departure.

"The Wall Street Journal" was one of the few Western news organizations to follow up on the story, citing the "Times of India": "US authorities sought [Gen. Mahmood Ahmed's] removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 [was] wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of General Mahmood." [http://www.opinionjournal.com/best/?id=95001298 The Wall Street Journal Online - Best of the Web Today ] ]

The 9/11 Commission Report stated that "to date, the US government has not been able to determine the origin of the money used for the 9/11 attacks. Ultimately the question is of little practical significance." [ [http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report_Ch5.htm 9/11 Commission Report, p172] ] It concludes: "we have seen no evidence that any foreign government - or foreign government official - supplied any funding." [9/11 Commission Report, p172] The difficulty in tracking the funding is due to the traditional means of zakat, a Muslim form of charitable giving essential to proper following of the faith [ [National Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the United States (2004). The 9/11 Commission Report. pp 170-171, New York: W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.] ] and hawala, another ancient system of transferring funds based on trust and connections, including family, clan, and regional affiliations. [ [Howard, R.D. (2005). In Terrorism and Counterterrorism, Howard, RD. & Sawyer, RL (Eds.) (2006), Understanding al-Qaeda’s Application of the New Terrorism – The Key to Victory in the Current Campaign, pp 91-106, Dubuque: McGraw Hill Contemporary Learning Series.] ]

audi Arabia

There have been suggestions that Saudi Arabia has some responsibility, having helped finance al-Qaeda, and allowing the organization to flourish. There have been claims that pre-9/11 investigations into al-Qaeda were deliberately blocked via high-level interference from Washington, and that this extends to other groups outside al-Qaeda, in particular individuals from Saudi Arabia. In June 2001, a "high-placed member of a US intelligence agency" told BBC reporter Greg Palast that "after the [2000] elections, the agencies were told to "back off" investigating the bin Ladens and Saudi royals". [cite web| url=http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/newsnight/1645527.stm| publisher=BBC News| title=NEWSNIGHT Greg Palest report transcript| year=6/11/01| accessdate=2006-04-27]

In May 2002, former FBI Agent Robert Wright delivered a tearful press conference apologizing to the families who lost loved ones on 9/11. He described how his superiors intentionally obstructed his investigation into al-Qaeda financing. [cite web| url=http://www.laweekly.com/news/news/another-fbi-agent-blows-the-whistle/3706/| title=Another FBI Agent Blows the Whistle| first=Jim| last=Crogan| date=July 31, 2002| accessdate=2006-04-27] [cite web| url=http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/searchResults.jsp?searchtext=Robert+Wright&events=on&entities=on&articles=on&topics=on&timelines=on&projects=on&titles=on&descriptions=on&dosearch=on&search=+Go+| title=Cooperative Research search result for 'Robert Wright'| accessdate=2006-04-27] Agent Wright would later tell ABC's Brian Ross that "September 11th is a direct result of the incompetence of the FBI's International Terrorism Unit," specifically referring to the Bureau's hindering of his investigation into Yassin al-Qadi (al Kadi), who Ross described as a powerful Saudi Arabian businessman with extensive financial ties in Chicago. [ [http://billstclair.com/911timeline/2002/abcnews121902b.html Primetime Investigation FBI Terrorist Cover Up ] ] One month after the attacks, the US government officially identified al-Qadi as one of Osama bin Laden's primary financiers, through his Muwafaq Foundation, and they declared him to be a global terrorist. [cite web| url=http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/10/dos101102.html| title=Fact Sheet: Updated State Dept List of Identified Terrorists and Groups| date=October 11, 2002| publisher=Office of the Coordinator for Counterterrorism| accessdate=2006-04-27] [cite journal| url=http://www.theweeklystandard.com/Content/Public/Articles/000/000/001/072kqska.asp| title=Wahhabis in the Old Dominion| first=Stephen| last=Schwartz| month=04/08| year=2002| volume=7| issue=29| accessdate=2006-04-27] A former FBI Counter Terrorism Agent commented that for someone like al-Qadi to be involved in 9/11 is "of grave concern." [cite web| url=http://wbz4.com/iteam/local_story_343145212.html| year=Dec 9, 2002| title=How Much did the FBI know about P Tech?| accessdate=2006-04-27| publisher=CBS4 Boston]

Allegations of supporting Osama bin Laden and al-Qaeda

The bin Laden family

Although the wealthy bin Laden family disowned Osama in 1994 after his alleged involvement in terrorism like the 1993 World Trade Center bombings, the events of 9/11 brought to attention connections between the bin Laden family and the Bush family. [http://www.history.com/encyclopedia.do?articleId=202969 bin Laden, Osama.] "The History Channel website." Retrieved on 8 April, 2007.] It has been alleged that Osama was never disowned and that his family were aware of his activities in the years preceding 9/11. The connections between the bin Laden family and Bush family have led to conspiracy theories that President George Bush was also aware of Osama's activities and deliberately allowed 9/11 to take place.

The movie "Fahrenheit 9/11" shows some business connections between the Bush family and the bin Laden family. It relates how Salem bin Laden invested heavily in Arbusto Energy, a company run by George W. Bush, through his friend . [cite news
url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn?pagename=article&node=&contentId=A25406-2003Mar14&notFound=true
title=Connections and Then Some: David Rubenstein Has Made Millions Pairing the Powerful With the Rich |author=Greg Schneider |date=March 16 2003 |publisher=The Washington Post |accessdate=2007-03-06
] On September 10 2001, former President George H.W. Bush and several members of his cabinet had been present at a Carlyle Group business conference with Shafig bin Laden, a half-brother of Osama bin Laden, at the Ritz-Carlton hotel located several miles from the Pentagon. The conference was continuing with the remaining cabinet members and bin Laden's brother at the time of the Pentagon attack. [cite web|url=http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/entity.jsp?id=1521846767-479|title=Profile: Carlyle Group|year=Profile: Carlyle Group] [ [http://observer.guardian.co.uk/magazine/story/0,11913,738196,00.html Dark heart of the American dream] June 16, 2002] George H.W. Bush remained an advisor to the Carlyle Group for two years after the attacks.

"The New York Times" reported that members of the bin Laden family were driven or flown under Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) supervision to a secret assembly point in Texas and then to Washington from where they left the country on a private charter plane when airports reopened three days after the attacks. ["Fearing Harm, bin Laden Kin Fled From US", by Patrick E. Tyler. "The New York Times", September 30, 2001] The 9/11 commission later concluded that "the FBI conducted a satisfactory screening of Saudi nationals who left the United States on charter flights" and that the exodus was approved by special advisor Richard Clarke after a request by Saudi Arabia who feared for the safety of their nationals. On June 20, 2007 the public interest group Judicial Watch released FBI documents that it says suggested that Osama bin Laden himself may have chartered one of the flights. Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton accused the FBI of conducting a "slapdash" investigation of the flights. [cite web|url=http://judicialwatch.org/6322.shtml|title=Judicial Watch]

Author Steve Coll in his 2008 book "The bin Ladens: An Arabian Family in the American Century" writes that most members of the family barely know Osama. Richard Clark in a column about the book notes that because it was custom at that time for successful Muslim men to have multiple wives this claim rings true. Clark also theorizes that the FBI did not question the bin Ladens before they were flown out of the US and have not questioned them since because they already had extensive knowledge about them. [ [http://www.boston.com/ae/books/articles/2008/03/26/story_of_the_bin_ladens_offers_a_window_into_two_different_worlds/?page=1 Story of the bin Ladens offers a window into two different worlds Richard Clark for The Boston Globe March 26, 2008] ]

Iraq

Immediately after the attacks, rumors began that Iraq could have played a role. The state-run Iraqi media praised the attacks but denied that Iraq was responsible.Fact|date=February 2008 In September 2003, President Bush told the press, "we've had no evidence that Saddam Hussein was involved with September the 11th." [cite news| work=Seattle Post-Intelligencer| title=Bush: No Iraq link to 9/11 found| url=http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/attack/140133_bushiraq18.html| author=Scott Shepard| date=2003-09-18]

On June 29, 2005 Robin Hayes, a Republican Congressman from North Carolina and vice chairman of the House Subcommittee on Terrorism at that time, stated "evidence is clear" that "Saddam Hussein and people like him were very much involved in 9/11". Senator John McCain reacting to the Congressman's statement said "I haven't seen compelling evidence of that." [cite news|url=http://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/06/29/hayes.911/|title=GOP lawmaker: Saddam linked to 9/11| publisher=CNN| date=2005-06-29] The 9/11 Commission Report stated that there is "no credible evidence" that Saddam Hussein's government in Iraq collaborated with the al-Qaeda terrorist network on any attacks on the United States. In September 2006, the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence concluded that "there is no evidence that Saddam Hussein had prewar ties to al-Qaeda and one of the terror organization’s most notorious members, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi" and that there was no evidence of any Iraqi support of al-Qaeda or foreknowledge of the September 11th attacks. [cite news| url=http://www.nytimes.com/2006/09/08/washington/09intelcnd.html| work=New York Times| date=2006-09-08| title=Senate Panel Releases Report on Iraq Intelligence | author=Mark Mazzetti]

Despite this, a number of 9/11 opinion polls have shown that a significant minority of the American public believe that Saddam was "personally involved". In 2002, NewsMax.com reported that people within and outside the US government believed that then Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein conspired in the 9/11 attacks and the Oklahoma City Bombing. [cite news| publisher=NewsMax Media| url=http://archive.newsmax.com/archives/articles/2002/9/9/111622.shtml| date=2002-09-09| title= Iraq Linked to 9-11 and Oklahoma City Bombing| author=Wes Vernon] The theory extended from the one advanced by investigative journalist Jayna Davis in her book "The Third Terrorist" linking Hussein to the Oklahoma City Bombing. It was discussed in a 2002 op-ed piece in the "Wall Street Journal". [cite news| work=Wall Street Journal| url=http://www.opinionjournal.com/extra/?id=110002217| title=The Iraq Connection: Was Saddam involved in Oklahoma City and the first WTC bombing?| author=Micah Morrison| date=2002-09-05]

United States advanced knowledge

The 9/11 Commission Report concluded that both Presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush had been "not well served" by the FBI and CIA prior to 9/11. [ [http://www.abc.net.au/am/content/2004/s1160100.htm 9/11 Commission finds 'deep institutional failings'] ] It also explained that the military response protocols were unsuited for the nature of the attack, and identified operational failures in the emergency response.

Immediately following the attacks, the Bush Administration stated that "nobody in our government at least, and I don't the think the prior government, could envisage flying air planes into buildings" (George Bush) and that no-one "could have predicted that they would try to use an airplane as a missile" (Condoleezza Rice). An Air Force general called the attack "something we had never seen before, something we had never even thought of." FBI Director Robert Mueller announced "there were no warning signs that I'm aware of." [ [http://web.archive.org/web/20021208092449/http://www.publicedcenter.org/faaterrorist.htm The Public Education Center ] ]

Some mainstream media reports have conflicted with these statements, claiming that the FBI and CIA knew of the threat of planes being used as missiles as early as 1995, following the foiling of the Bojinka Plot. The Chicago Sun-Times reported that:

The FBI had advance indications of plans to hijack US airliners and use them as weapons, but neither acted on them nor distributed the intelligence to local police agencies. From the moment of the September 11th attacks, high-ranking federal officials insisted that the terrorists’ method of operation surprised them. Many stick to that story. Actually, elements of the hijacking plan were known to the FBI as early as 1995 and, if coupled with current information, might have uncovered the plot.

The 9/11 Commission Report stated that "the 9/11 attacks were a shock, but they should not have come as a surprise. Islamic extremists had given plenty of warnings that they meant to kill Americans indiscriminately and in large numbers." [9/11 Commission Report Executive Summary, p2] During the spring and summer of 2001, US intelligence agencies received a stream of warnings about an imminent al-Qaeda attack; according to George Tenet, Director of Central Intelligence, "the system was blinking red." [9/11 Commission Report Executive Summary, p6] The warnings varied in their level of detail and specificity, and included warnings from both domestic intelligence operations and warnings from foreign governments and intelligence agencies. [ [http://www.cooperativeresearch.org/timeline.jsp?timeline=complete_911_timeline&complete_911_timeline_key_events=complete_911_timeline_key_warnings Complete 911 Timeline: Key Warnings ] ]

In her testimony to the 9/11 Commission, Condoleezza Rice stated that "the threat reporting that we received in the spring and summer of 2001 was not specific as to time nor place nor manner of attack. Almost all the reports focussed on al-Qaeda activities outside the United States." This statement has been criticised by family members of victims of the attacks and who described it as "an insult". [9/11 Press for Truth film] On August 6th 2001, President Bush's Presidential Daily Briefing, which was entitled "Bin Laden determined to attack inside the United States" warns that bin Laden was planning to exploit his operatives' access to the US to mount a terrorist strike: "FBI information... indicates patterns of suspicious activity in this country, consistent with preparations for hijackings or other types of attack."

The 9/11 Commission Report outlined the following "opportunities that were not or could not be exploited by the organizations and systems of the time":
*not watchlisting future hijackers Hazmi and Mihdhar, not trailing them after they traveled to Bangkok, and not informing the FBI about one future hijacker's US visa or his companion's travel to the United States;
*not sharing information linking individuals in the "Cole" attack to Mihdhar;
*not taking adequate steps in time to find Mihdhar or Hazmi in the United States;
*not linking the arrest of Zacarias Moussaoui, described as interested in flight training for the purpose of using an airplane in a terrorist attack, to the heightened indications of an attack;
*not discovering false statements on visa applications;
*not recognizing passports manipulated in a fraudulent manner;
*not expanding no-fly lists to include names from terrorist watchlists;
*not searching airline passengers identified by the computer-based CAPPS screening system; and
*not hardening aircraft cockpit doors or taking other measures to prepare for the possibility of suicide hijackings. [9/11 Commission Report Executive Summary, pp8-9]

With regard to the failures of the US air defense system on the morning of the attacks, the Report explains that:

Existing protocols on 9/11 were unsuited in every respect for an attack in which hijacked planes were used as weapons. What ensued was a hurried attempt to improvise a defense by civilians who had never handled a hijacked aircraft that attempted to disappear, and by a military unprepared for the transformation of commercial aircraft into weapons of mass destruction. [9/11 Commission Report Executive Summary, p7]

The Report explains that the emergency response was also "necessarily improvised": there were "weaknesses in preparations for disaster, failure to achieve unified incident command, and inadequate communications among responding agencies... At the Pentagon, [there were] problems of command and control." [9/11 Commission Report Executive Summary, p8]

ee also

* Justification for Terrorism

References

* [http://www.voxfux.com/features/stranger_than_fiction.htm "Stranger than Fiction" investigation by Dr Albert Pastore]

Further reading

*cite book
last = McDermott
first = Terry
year = 2005
title = Perfect Soldiers : The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They Were, Why They Did It
publisher = Politico's Publishing Ltd
id = ISBN 1-84275-145-X

*"1000 YEARS FOR REVENGE: International Terrorism and the FBI" by Peter Lance (2003). Covers the plotting, motives, and unsuccessful investigations of al-Qaeda in the US leading up to 9/11. ISBN 0-06-054354-X

External links

* [http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/events/newsnight/1645527.stm Has someone been sitting on the FBI? - "BBC Newsnight"]
* [http://www.laweekly.com/ink/02/37/news-crogan.php Another FBI Agent Blows the Whistle - "LA Weekly"]
* [http://billstclair.com/911timeline/2002/abcnews121902b.html Primetime Investigation FBI Terrorist Cover Up - "ABC News: Primetime Live"]
* [http://www.fas.org/irp/news/2002/10/dos101102.html Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under Executive Order 13224]
* [http://www.computerworld.com/securitytopics/security/story/0,10801,77682,00.html Ptech workers tell the story behind the search - "Computerworld"]


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