9/11 News StoriesExcerpts of Key 9/11 News Stories in Major Media
Note: This comprehensive list of 9/11 news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.
Sens. Jon Kyl and Pat Roberts said in a report that "the answer to the question — could 9/11 have been prevented — is yes, if State Department personnel had merely followed the law and not granted non-immigrant visas to 15 of the 19 hijackers in Saudi Arabia." If laws had been followed, "most of the hijackers would not have been able to obtain visas and 9/11 would not have happened," they said. Both [senators] were part of the House and Senate intelligence committees' inquiry into intelligence failures leading up to the attacks. Last week, in its final report, the inquiry said agencies were poorly organized and failed to share information, but didn't identify a single intelligence error that, by itself, allowed the attacks to occur. Kyl and Roberts ... said the inquiry findings, most of which remain classified, didn't dig deeply enough into the cause of intelligence problems. They said also intelligence committee leaders excluded other lawmakers from key decisions during the investigation. Their report also said the investigation's scope, confined to intelligence issues, was too limited. The most glaring omission, they said, was the failure to examine State Department procedures for issuing visas.
A new report accuses the State Department of staggering lapses in its visa program that gave Sept. 11 hijackers entry into the United States. The political journal National Review obtained the visa applications for 15 of the 19 hijackers — and evidence that all of them should have been denied entry to the country. Almost all of the hijacker's visas were issued in Saudi Arabia, at the U.S. Embassy in Riyadh or the U.S. Consulate in Jedda. Terrorist ties aside, the applications themselves should have raised red flags, say experts. The forms are incomplete and often incomprehensible — yet that didn't stop any of the 15 terrorists for whom the visa applications were obtained from coming to the United States. The only alleged would-be hijacker who failed to get a visa was Ramzi Binalshibh, who was denied entrance to the United States repeatedly. "This is a systemic problem," said Nikolai Wenzel, a former U.S. consular officer. "It's a problem of sloppiness, it's a problem of negligence which I would call criminal negligence because obviously, having reviewed all these applications, there is a pattern here." The pattern? None of the 15 applications reviewed was filled out properly. The State Department would not allow interviews with current consular affairs employees.
A seven-year effort by the Central Intelligence Agency to hide its relationship with a Swiss family who once acted as moles inside the world’s most successful atomic black market hit a turning point on [December 23] when a Swiss magistrate recommended charging the men with trafficking in technology and information for making nuclear arms. The prospect of a prosecution, and a public trial, threatens to expose some of the C.I.A.’s deepest secrets if defense lawyers try to protect their clients by revealing how they operated on the agency’s behalf. The three men — Friedrich Tinner and his two sons, Urs and Marco — helped run the atomic smuggling ring of A. Q. Khan, an architect of Pakistan’s nuclear bomb program, officials in several countries have said. In return for millions of dollars, according to former Bush administration officials, the Tinners secretly worked for the C.I.A. as well, not only providing information about the Khan network’s manufacturing and sales efforts, which stretched from Iran to Libya to North Korea, but also helping the agency introduce flaws into the equipment sent to some of those countries. A trial ... could also expose in court a tale of C.I.A. break-ins in Switzerland, and of a still unexplained decision by the agency not to seize electronic copies of a number of nuclear bomb designs found on the computers of the Tinner family. Ultimately, copies of those blueprints were found around the globe on the computers of members of the Khan network.
Note: This report establishes yet another connection between a secret nuclear materials network linking both Khan and US government officials, parts of which were divulged by FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, who identified moles working with Khan in both the US State Department and the Pentagon. For more on these highly suspicious networks, click here.
An extensive review of the nation's antiterrorism efforts shows that for years before Sept. 11, ... top leaders never reacted as if they believed the country was as vulnerable as it proved to be that morning. Dozens of interviews with current and former officials demonstrate that even as the threat of terrorism mounted through eight years of the Clinton administration and eight months of President Bush, the government did not marshal its full forces against it. The rising threat of the Islamic jihad movement was first detected by United States investigators after the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. The inquiry into that attack revealed a weakness in the immigration system used by one of the terrorists, but that hole was never plugged, and it was exploited by one of the Sept. 11 hijackers. On at least three occasions between 1998 and 2000, the C.I.A. told the White House it had learned where Mr. bin Laden was and where he might soon be. Each time, Mr. Clinton approved the strike. Each time, George Tenet, the director of central intelligence, called the president to say that the information was not reliable enough to be used in an attack, a former senior Clinton administration official said."
Over and over since Sept. 11, aviation and security officials have said they were shocked that terrorists had hijacked airliners and crashed them into landmark buildings. ''This is a whole new world for us,'' Jane F. Garvey, the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, said in testimony before a House subcommittee on Sept. 20. But the record shows that for her and others, there were numerous warnings. In 1994, two jetliners were hijacked by people who wanted to crash them into buildings, one of them by an Islamic militant group. And the 2000 edition of the F.A.A.'s annual report on Criminal Acts Against Aviation, published this year, said that although Osama bin Laden ''is not known to have attacked civil aviation, he has both the motivation and the wherewithal to do so." The previous year's edition of that report said that an exiled Islamic leader in Britain proclaimed in August 1998 that Mr. bin Laden would ''bring down an airliner, or hijack an airliner to humiliate the United States.'' The authorities appeared to draw no lessons from the two attacks in 1994.
FBI Director Robert Mueller, acknowledging serious lapses in how the FBI mishandled some information prior to Sept. 11, suggested for the first time that investigators might have detected the terrorist plot if they had pursued leads more diligently. Mueller's acknowledgment came amid two new disclosures of what could be missed hints about Sept. 11. The first was a warning from another agency to the FBI that a Middle Eastern country was seeking to buy commercial flight simulators. The second was a memo from an Oklahoma City FBI agent who reported observing large numbers of Middle Eastern pilots and flight students in his area. Neither memo apparently drew much attention at the time. Mueller's remarks came after his announcement of a broad reorganization of the FBI, partly because of its failure to predict the attacks. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced loosened restrictions on domestic spying, handing the FBI authority to monitor Internet sites and libraries. The American Civil Liberties Union has criticized the loosening of restrictions on domestic spying, saying they could renew abuses of the past. Mueller, who took over as FBI director just days before Sept. 11, is the first senior official in the Bush administration to say that counterterrorism investigators might have detected and averted the attacks if they had recognized what they were collecting.
Note: Yet no one in the US government was held accountable for these failures.
Federal authorities have been aware for years that suspected terrorists with ties to Osama bin Laden were receiving flight training at schools in the United States and abroad, according to interviews and court testimony. Three days after the attack on the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III described reports that several of the hijackers had received flight training in the United States as "news, quite obviously," adding, "If we had understood that to be the case, we would have -- perhaps one could have averted this." A senior government official yesterday acknowledged law enforcement officials were aware that ... a dozen people with links to bin Laden had attended U.S. flight schools. Abdul Hakim Murad ... was arrested in Manila in 1995 and later convicted in New York of plotting to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the Pacific, then crash a suicide plane into CIA headquarters. According to law enforcement officials and press reports, the 19 suspected terrorists received flight training from at least 10 U.S. flight schools. At least 44 people sought by the FBI for questioning received some flight instruction.
Note: Why did the upper levels of the FBI "not know" about the suspicious people in US flight schools, when so many lower-level FBI personnel were desperately trying to inform them of these facts? For many other unanswered questions about the official account of 9/11 from highly respected professionals, click here and here.
[An] FBI counter-terrorism agent [is] accusing the agency of prohibiting him from conducting his probe into terror financing activities because he complained about obstruction by bureau superiors. Chicago-based FBI Special Agent Robert Wright ... said the recent trajectory of his FBI career has taken a downward spiral since he complained about two incidents that inhibited his ability to continue terror funding and money laundering probes of members of ... Hamas and Hezbollah. The FBI has been under fire since it was revealed that FBI field alerts to Washington of Middle Eastern men training at U.S. flight schools during the summer of 2001 were buried in paperwork, and agents in Minneapolis who circumvented normal channels to contact the CIA about suspected "20th hijacker" Zacarias Moussaoui were reprimanded. Agents who have complained about bureaucratic barriers in the past have been punished, and Wright said that he is one of them. Wright has been demoted to "paper pusher" and "chief dishwasher" at the Chicago field office since he complained about the wrenches thrown into his probe. Wright is under threat of retribution should he talk to members of Congress about what he knows. Wright said throughout his six-year posting in counter-terrorism, he was involved in probes of Hamas and Hezbollah. His most successful 'get' netted $1.4 million in terrorist money in 1998, money that he said today was linked to Saudi businessman and financier Yassin Kadi, who was identified late last year as a close associate of Usama Bin Laden.
Note: For lots more on what happened with Robert Wright, click here. For many still-unanswered questions from highly respected government officials and professors about the behavior of the highest levels of the FBI and other US government agencies before, during and after the 9/11 attacks, click here and here.
In naming Henry Kissinger to direct a comprehensive examination of the government's failure to prevent the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush has selected a consummate Washington insider. Unfortunately, his affinity for power and the commercial interests he has cultivated since leaving government may make him less than the staunchly independent figure that is needed for this critical post. Indeed, it is tempting to wonder if the choice of Mr. Kissinger is not a clever maneuver by the White House to contain an investigation it long opposed. It seems improbable to expect Mr. Kissinger to report unflinchingly on the conduct of the government, including that of Mr. Bush. He would have to challenge the established order and risk sundering old friendships and business relationships. The new inquiry will be undone if the 10-member panel is hesitant to call government organizations and officials to account. There can be no place for the kind of political calculation and court flattery that Mr. Kissinger practiced so assiduously during his tenure as Richard Nixon's national security adviser and secretary of state. Nor is there any tolerance for the kind of cynicism that Mr. Kissinger applied to the prosecution of the Vietnam War.
Note: Kissinger was later forced to decline this offer as it was revealed that he was a paid advisor to members of the bin Laden family. To confirm this, watch minutes 15 to 18 of the amazing 84-minute 9/11 documentary, "9/11: Press for Truth," available here. This excellent video is focused on the revealing investigations of the "Jersey Girls," who lost their husbands in the attacks and uncovered Kissinger's bin Laden connections. Yet though the major media reported widely that Kissinger resigned for "conflict of interest" reasons, none of the media mentioned that it was because of his bin Laden connections. To find out why, click here
A senior member of the Australian trade union movement has come under fire after he claimed that the terrorist attacks on Sept 11, 2001 were part of an American conspiracy. Kevin Bracken, who is the Victorian secretary of the Maritime Union of Australia and president of the Victorian Trades Hall Council, [said] that "the official story doesn't stand up to scientific scrutiny". Mr Bracken [said] that Australia should instead hold an inquiry into the events of 9/11, claiming that elements of the former Bush administration, US military and security services were involved in the attacks and that the motive was related to a large insurance policy that had been taken out on the Twin Towers. "There are so many unanswered questions," he said. "The fact is that aviation fuel doesn't get hot enough to melt steel and no high rise steel frame building before or after September 11 has ever collapsed due to fire. "I stick to scientific facts. In my mind the buildings were imploded."
Anwar Al-Awlaki may be the first American on the CIA's kill or capture list, but he was also a lunch guest of military brass at the Pentagon within months of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. Documents exclusively obtained by Fox News ... state that Awlaki was taken to the Pentagon ... in the immediate aftermath of the attacks. A current Defense Department employee ... came forward and told investigators she helped arrange the meeting after she saw Awlaki speak in Alexandria, Va. The employee "attended this talk and ... she recalls being impressed by this imam. He condemned Al Qaeda and the terrorist attacks," reads one document. "After her vetting, Aulaqi (Awlaki) was invited to and attended a luncheon at the Pentagon in the secretary of the Army's Office of Government Counsel." Awlaki, a Yemeni-American who was born in Las Cruces, N.M., was interviewed at least four times by the FBI in the first week after the attacks because of his ties to the three [alleged] hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Hani Hanjour. The three ... were all onboard Flight 77 that [allegedly] slammed into the Pentagon.
Note: This article certainly raises suspicions that the amazing connections of Awlaki to so many recent terror incidents may not be unrelated to his now-established connections to the Pentagon shortly after 9/11.
If WikiLeaks had been around in 2001, could the events of 9/11 have been prevented? The idea is worth considering. There were a lot of us in the run-up to Sept. 11 who had seen warning signs that something devastating might be in the planning stages. One of us, Coleen Rowley, was a special agent/legal counsel at the FBI's Minneapolis division and worked closely with those who arrested would-be terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui on an immigration violation less than a month before the World Trade Center was destroyed. Following up on a tip from flight school instructors who had become suspicious of the French Moroccan who claimed to want to fly a jet as an "ego boost," Special Agent Harry Samit and an INS colleague had detained Moussaoui. A foreign intelligence service promptly reported that he had connections with a foreign terrorist group, but FBI officials in Washington inexplicably turned down Samit's request for authority to search Moussaoui's laptop computer and personal effects. Later, testifying at Moussaoui's trial, Samit testified that he believed the behavior of his FBI superiors in Washington constituted "criminal negligence." WikiLeaks might have provided a pressure valve for those agents who were terribly worried about what might happen and frustrated by their superiors' seeming indifference.
Outside this country, there is a widespread belief that U.S. military deployments in Central Asia mostly are about oil. An article in the Guardian of London headlined, "A pro-western regime in Kabul should give the U.S. an Afghan route for Caspian oil," foreshadowed the kind of skeptical coverage the U.S. war now receives in many countries. Author George Monbiot ... wrote that the U.S. oil company Unocal Corp. had been negotiating with the Taliban since 1995 to build "oil and gas pipelines from Turkmenistan, through Afghanistan and into Pakistani ports on the Arabian sea." Unocal pulled out of the deal after the 1998 terrorist attacks on U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania were linked to terrorists based in Afghanistan. The terrorist acts of Sept. 11, though tragic, provided the Bush administration a [pretext] to invade Afghanistan, oust the recalcitrant Taliban and, coincidentally, smooth the way for the pipeline. To make things even smoother, the U.S. engineered the rise to power of two former Unocal employees: Hamid Karzai, the new interim president of Afghanistan, and Zalmay Khalizad, the Bush administration's Afghanistan envoy. [Uri] Averny, a former member of the Israeli Knesset ... argues that the war on terrorism provides a perfect pretext for America's imperial interests. "If one looks at the map of the big American bases created for the war, one is struck by the fact that they are completely identical to the route of the projected oil pipeline to the Indian Ocean." No wonder the rest of the world is a bit skeptical about our war on evildoers.
Note: Why do so few people know that these two top officials of Afghanistan were once paid by an American oil company? For important reports from major media sources on the realities of the "war on terror," click here.
A document obtained and witnesses interviewed by Fox News raise new questions over whether there was an effort by the Defense Department to cover up a pre-9/11 military intelligence program known as "Able Danger." At least five witnesses questioned by the Defense Department's Inspector General told Fox News that their statements were distorted by investigators in the final IG's report -- or it left out key information, backing up assertions that lead hijacker Mohammed Atta was identified a year before 9/11. Lt. Col Tony Shaffer, an operative involved with Able Danger [and author of Operation Dark Heart, a recent book which discussed the Able Danger operation, and all copies of which were destroyed by the Pentagon] said, "My last interview was very, very hostile." When asked why the IG's report was so aggressive in its denials of his claims and those of other witnesses -- that the data mining project had identified Atta as a threat to the U.S. before 9/11 -- Shaffer said [the] Defense Department was worried about taking some of the blame for 9/11. Specifically, the Defense Intelligence Agency ... wanted the removal of references to a meeting between Shaffer and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. Shaffer alleges that in that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, the commission was told about Able Danger and the identification of Atta before the attacks. Shaffer, who was undercover at the time, said there was "stunned silence" at the meeting. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 Commission report.
Note: Able Danger was the program which identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as a potential terror threat before 9/11. To read major media reports on the intense controversy around this program (which is likely why Shaffer's book is being burned by the Pentagon), click here. For a highly revealing Fox News interview with Col. Shaffer on these major deceptions, click here.
Ahmed Wali Karzai, the half-brother of Afghanistan’s president and boss of the strategically important Kandahar province, has been on the CIA payroll for over a decade, Bob Woodward writes in his new book, Obama’s Wars. By the fall of 2008, Woodward says, “Ahmed Wali Karzai had been on the CIA payroll for years, beginning before 9/11. He had belonged to the CIA's small network of paid agents and informants inside Afghanistan. In addition, the CIA paid him money through his half-brother, the president.” Hamid Karzai was plucked from obscurity and installed as president after U.S.-backed Afghan forces chased the Taliban from power following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. There have been many accounts of his brother’s relationship with the CIA over the years, leaving the impression that he is a CIA “agent,” i.e., a controlled asset of the spy agency. But Woodward’s account of the CIA’s relationship with Karzai, who has also been accused repeatedly -- but not charged with -- protecting the illicit opium trade, is more nuanced. “He was not in any sense a controlled agent who always responded to U.S. and CIA requests and pressure,” Woodward writes. “He was his own man, playing all sides against the others -- the United States, the drug dealers, the Taliban and even his brother if necessary.”
Note: What this article fails to mention is that President Karzai was also an employee of the major oil company Unocal, as reported in this Chicago Tribune article.
The Pentagon has burned 9,500 copies of Army Reserve Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer's memoir Operation Dark Heart, his book about going undercover in Afghanistan. A Department of Defense official tells Fox News that the department purchased copies of the first printing because they contained information which could cause damage to national security. The U.S. Army originally cleared the book for release. The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency attempted to block the book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called "Able Danger." In a letter obtained by Fox News, the DIA says national security could be breached if Operation Dark Heart is published in its current form. The agency also attempted to block key portions of the book that claim "Able Danger" successfully identified hijacker Mohammed Atta as a threat to the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.
Note: Able Danger was the program which identified Mohamed Atta and three other alleged 9/11 hijackers as a potential terror threat before 9/11. To read major media reports on the intense controversy around this program (which is likely why the book is being burned), click here.
About a week ago, Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad declared to the United Nations that most people in the world believe the United States was behind the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001. Surveys show that a majority of the world does not in fact believe that the U.S. orchestrated the attacks. However, the belief persists strongly among a minority, even with U.S. allies like Turkey or in the U.S. itself. A 2006 survey by the Pew Global Attitudes Project found that significant majorities in Egypt, Indonesia, Jordan and Turkey ... said they did not believe Arabs carried out the attacks. Such beliefs have currency even in the United States. In 2006, a Scripps Howard poll of 1,010 Americans found 36 percent thought it somewhat or very likely that U.S. officials either participated in the attacks or took no action to stop them. Tod Fletcher of [WantToKnow.info] has worked as an assistant to David Ray Griffin, on books that question the Sept. 11 record. He was cautious about the Iranian president's comments about conspiracy theories, suggesting Ahmadinejad may have been politically motivated by his enmity with the U.S. government. "It seems like it's the sort of thing that could lead to further vilification of people who criticize the official account here in the United States," Fletcher said.
Note: To listen to Tod Fletcher's commentary on WantToKnow team member David Ray Griffin's recent book, Cognitive Infiltration: an Obama Appointee's Plan to Undermine the 9/11 Conspiracy Theory, about the latest attempts by the US government to vilify 9/11 truth movement members as "extremist," "violent" and "likely to resort to terrorism", click here.
On the eve of the 9th anniversary of 9/11, support for the war in Afghanistan took a serious blow today. Simultaneous press conferences were held in New York and Los Angeles to present startling new information refuting the official 9/11 narrative, used to justify the war. Also announced were three major professional groups which have joined the worldwide, and ever-growing, "9/11 Truth Movement." Representatives of "Scientists for 9/11 Truth," "U.S. Military Officers for 9/11 Truth" and "Actors & Artists for 9/11 Truth" presented their findings and unveiled their eye-opening websites. Each non-profit group has launched a petition calling for a new, transparent investigation. In NY, representing "Scientists," Professor Niels Harrit said, "The official account put forth by NIST violates the fundamental laws of physics and chemistry." In LA, physics teacher David Chandler discussed the swift destruction of the WTC towers, including Building 7, the little-known third tower. Having demonstrated its free fall, he confronted the US government agency NIST with his analyses and forced NIST to revise its November 2008 Final Report on WTC 7. NIST's Draft Report had claimed free fall was impossible but NIST ultimately acknowledged WTC 7 was in absolute free fall for over two seconds. Concluded Chandler, "Free fall is physically impossible without explosives." In LA, former Director of Advanced Space Programs Development Lt. Col. Robert Bowman stated, "9/11 has been an excuse to use our brave young troops as cannon fodder in unjust wars of aggression."
Note: To view a powerful video of the joint press conferences of these three new 9/11 truth organizations, click here.
The National Security Agency, headquarters for the government’s eavesdroppers and code breakers, has been located at Fort Meade, Md., for half a century. Its nickname, the Fort, has been familiar for decades to neighbors and government workers alike. Yet that nickname is one of hundreds of supposed secrets Pentagon reviewers blacked out in the new, censored edition of an intelligence officer’s Afghan war memoir. The Defense Department is buying and destroying the entire uncensored first printing of Operation Dark Heart, by Anthony Shaffer, a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve and former Defense Intelligence Agency officer, in the name of protecting national security. Another supposed secret removed from the second printing: the location of the Central Intelligence Agency’s training facility — Camp Peary, Va., a fact discoverable from Wikipedia. And the name and abbreviation of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps, routinely mentioned in news articles. And the fact that Sigint means “signals intelligence.” Not only did the Pentagon black out Colonel Shaffer’s cover name in Afghanistan, Chris Stryker, it deleted the source of his pseudonym: the name of John Wayne’s character in the 1949 movie “The Sands of Iwo Jima.” The redactions offer a rare glimpse behind the bureaucratic veil that cloaks information the government considers too important for public airing.
Note: Interesting that this NY Times article fails to even mention the "Able Danger" program which Shaffer publicly revealed had identified some of the hijackers before 9/11. For powerful information suggesting government foreknowledge of 9/11 through this program, click here. Yet a Fox News article available here gives all the details. For lots more from major media sources on government secrecy, click here.
The U.S. Defense Intelligence Agency has attempted to block a book about the tipping point in Afghanistan and a controversial pre-9/11 data mining project called "Able Danger." In a letter obtained by Fox News, the DIA says national security could be breached if Operation Dark Heart is published in its current form. The agency also attempted to block key portions of the book that claim "Able Danger" successfully identified hijacker Mohammed Atta as a threat to the United States before the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks. In a highly unusual move, the Department of Defense is now negotiating with the publisher, St. Martin's Press, to buy all 10,000 copies of the first printing of the book to keep it off shelves -- even after the U.S. Army had cleared the book for release. Specifically, the DIA wanted references to a meeting between Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer, the book's author, and the executive director of the 9/11 Commission, Philip Zelikow, removed. In that meeting, which took place in Afghanistan, Shaffer alleges the commission was told about "Able Danger" and the identification of Atta before the attacks. No mention of this was made in the final 9/11 report. Once back in the U.S., Shaffer says he contacted the commission. Without explanation, the commission was no longer interested.
Important Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.