The 9/11 Investigations

Politics, History, & 'Conspiracy'
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Re: The 9/11 Investigations

Postby Daglord » Fri Feb 16, 2018 7:35 pm



Informal conversation with John Judge, co-founder of Coalition on Politcal Assassinations (COPA) and co-founder of 911citizenswatch.org, given prior to a talk at the University of Washington Ethnic Cultural Center February 12, 2002 in Seattle.

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In his work regarding more recent history, Mr. Judge cofounded the 9/11 Citizens Watch to monitor the operations of the official 9/11 Commission, the independent and bipartisan body created by congressional legislation to prepare a full account of the attacks.

He briefly worked as an assistant to then-U.S. Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-Ga.), who was widely rebuked when she suggested that President George W. Bush’s administration might have had advance notice of the terrorist strike.

Former congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (D-Ohio), who met Mr. Judge during his Capitol Hill employment, described him as “brilliant” and said he had been “very impressed” by Mr. Judge’s research abilities.

“I may not have agreed with him on everything,” Kucinich said of Mr. Judge in an interview, but he was “an original, independent thinker and someone who immersed himself in hidden history.”

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Postby Daglord » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:40 pm

watched Episode 1 of this show last night & was pleasantly surprised. wasn't expecting much (& still not), but it's a step closer to the truth (passed off as intelligence failure I'm guessing). I'm always interested to see how conspiratorial events are portrayed in mainstream films.



Hulu is portraying intelligence agencies in a very un-Hollywood way. Will the CIA stand for it?
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/business/wp/2018/02/28/hulu-is-targeting-intelligence-agencies-in-a-very-un-hollywood-way-will-the-cia-stand-for-it/?utm_term=.c4821dd8aa02

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NEW YORK — When Hulu debuts the first episode of “The Looming Tower” on Wednesday, it will attempt a rare feat in post-9/11 Hollywood: Tell a slick scripted story of U.S. intelligence that isn’t fictional.

Entertainment and politics have intersected a lot lately, so it makes sense to see TV taking a big Washington swing.

But very few Hollywood creations, from the Jason Bourne movies to “Homeland,” try the trick of “The Looming Tower.” In telling about the rise of Islamic radicalism and the inadequacy of the United States’ response to it, the 10-episode show drapes only the thinnest action-thriller garb on a work of journalism, history and policy-critique.

“We wanted to show what the very significant issues were,” showrunner Dan Futterman said in an interview this month in New York, where he lives and the show was partly shot. “There were real problems, especially with intelligence-sharing among the FBI and CIA.”

And because “The Looming Tower” lacks the cover of invention in the manner of a “Homeland,” it’s a lot more likely to stir discontent among the agencies it’s chronicling.

The CIA, which “The Looming Tower” portrays in a worse light than the FBI, had for months said nothing.

But this week a spokesman broke the silence and dismissed the show to The Washington Post.

“There is a comprehensive, factual account of the 9/11 attacks and it is the work of the 9/11 Commission — not this made-for-TV series,” said the spokesman, Dean Boyd. The CIA did not cooperate with “The Looming Tower” producers, who had sought agency input, though producers had reached some ex-officers on their own.

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The FBI did cooperate with the production, granting permission to talk to some agents, according to FBI spokesman Christopher Allen. He declined to further comment on the series.

At a time when the White House is at war with its own intelligence services — President Trump recently targeted the FBI for missing “all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter” — the series also vibrates with topicality.

Dramatized from Lawrence Wright’s 2006 Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Looming Tower” tells of FBI agents John O’Neill (Jeff Daniels) and Ali Soufan (Tahar Rahim) and their counterparts at the CIA, embodied by composite character Martin Schmidt (Peter Sarsgaard), who began tracking the terrorist threat as it emerged in the 1990s.

The groups’ intelligence was often solid. But ego, territoriality and philosophical differences resulted in paralysis — and ultimately, the material suggests, lead to an inability to prevent 9/11. The FBI wanted access to intelligence it accused the CIA of hoarding. The CIA feared that sharing would cause an arrest-minded agency to blow its operation by apprehending lower-level suspects. So everyone sat pat as al-Qaeda grew stronger.

“There’s a natural antagonism between the CIA and FBI because they do things differently,” said Wright, the author, noting that matters have improved in the interim. “The lesson here is that [when they don’t] division can be fatal.”

While “The Looming Tower” gives airtime to each side’s motivations, the CIA comes off decidedly worse than the FBI in the first three episodes, which were made available to press. FBI agents are seen as hotheaded but well-meaning; CIA officers are at times depicted as arrogant and even dangerous.

Hulu executives say the show’s hot-button nature was part of its rationale for making it.

“We don’t court controversy, but we do feel it could spark a conversation,” said Craig Erwich, the company’s senior vice president of content. Hulu had a similar effect with “The Handmaid’s Tale,” which generated a rich discussion about gender and patriarchy and won the best-drama Emmy in September.

Sarsgaard said he didn’t think the show “was blaming one side more than the other” but allowed that the CIA “did things you can question in hindsight.”

That critique has previously been made in published materials, such as the 9/11 Commission Report from 2004. It’s one thing to list findings in a dense document. But it’s another to suggest U.S. officers have blood on their hands in premium, star-laden entertainment.

“One of the hopes here is that this series can be an agent provocateur to ask tough questions about what happened,” said Alex Gibney, who created the series with Wright and directed the first episode. “We felt enough time had passed that Americans were ready to reckon with the problem.”

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He added that the populist tool of a streaming series could ensure a new swath of the public understands how the intelligence community failed it. “There’s been a huge refusal in many quarters to criticize the CIA for fear of undermining the morale of the agency,” Gibney said. “I find that to be a kind of cheap excuse. It’s time the agency was held to account, because I don’t think anyone has done that.”

The real-life Soufan, who helped produce the series, said that “all the documents that are dumped in FOIA requests are very different from being able to watch events and connect it to characters. Hopefully this will start changing minds,” added the former agent, who now runs a security consulting firm.

The CIA’s Boyd declined to say what the prospect of a popular TV series could do to the agency’s image or the views of its policies. But there is precedent for it changing how people perceive the agency.

One of the few other times Hollywood undertook a fact-based story about the agency, with Kathryn Bigelow’s Osama bin Laden story “Zero Dark Thirty,” the CIA set out to shape its reception. By chronicling how torture played a role in the manhunt, Sony Pictures’ December 2012 release had painted the agency in a competent but problematic light, prompting a backlash from both the CIA and elected officials.

Michael Morell, who was the acting agency director at the time, said then that the film “departs from reality” and urged Americans not to trust its portrayal of events. Statements like that, along with those from Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and other politicians, turned the movie into a D.C. football and sunk its once golden best-picture chances.

That pattern could be repeated here. Futterman sought to play down the comparison — “that dealt with a fundamental issue [of] ‘did a piece of information come from torture?’ ” — and he acknowledged both the precedent and the fact that the once-nonpartisan task of intelligence-gathering had become more politicized in the years since that movie came out.


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Postby Daglord » Thu Mar 01, 2018 5:55 pm

The True Story Behind John O'Neill On The Looming Tower Makes The Show Even More Sad
https://www.refinery29.com/2018/02/192024/john-oneill-true-story-looming-tower-hulu

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It’s 1998, and John O’Neill, Jeff Daniels’ FBI agent character on the new Hulu miniseries The Looming Tower, knows something is coming. Something really, really bad. Of course, we, the omniscient audience of the future, know what’s coming. The knowledge of the events that would transpire on September 11, 2001, hang over each scene in the riveting show.

Daniels’ character is based on an entirely real person. In fact, the entire TV show is adapted from a Pulitzer Prize-winning book, The Looming Tower, which recounts the years leading up to 9/11. The real John O’Neill was a larger-than-life figure who stood out among the FBI’s more conservative personalities. While working in New York, he was the kind of person who knew everyone. He once said to a friend while at Elaine’s, his favorite New York haunt, “‘What’s the point of being sheriff if you can’t act like one?’”

O’Neill was born in Atlantic City, New Jersey, in 1952. After becoming obsessed with the TV show The F.B.I., O’Neill knew what he wanted to do for a living. O'Neill's involvement with the FBI started small — he worked as a fingerprint clerk and a tour guide at the bureau. But in 1976, after getting a Masters in forensics at George Washington University, O’Neill became a full-time special agent. By that point, O’Neill had a wife and son. He married his high school sweetheart, Christine, when he was a freshman in college; they had their first son when O’Neill was 20.

After working in government fraud for over a decade, O’Neill made the transition to counterterrorism in January 1995, when he became the FBI’s Chief of the Counterterrorism Section in Washington. His first few days on the job, O’Neill orchestrated the successful capture of Ramzi Youssef, the mastermind behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. After this, O’Neill educated himself in the infrastructure of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden, and Ramzi Youssef. In January 1996, he also helped create the CIA station entirely devoted to tracking down and understanding Al Qaeda, codenamed Alex (seen in the opening shots of The Looming Tower).

As early as November 1996, O’Neill was convinced that a major attack on American soil was imminent. In a speech he gave at the Explosives Detection Symposium and Aviation Security Technology Conference in New Jersey, O’Neill said that moving forward, terrorism would be carried out by transnational groups like Al Qaeda. “We see the intent is for a large number of casualties,” he said.

At the time of The Looming Tower, O’Neill is working in New York’s FBI office. In real life, he got the job of Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Counterterrorism and National Security in New York in January 1997. His mistress, Valerie, moved to New York with him. While in New York, O’Neill became frustrated by the way the FBI fought terrorism. He wanted a more centralized system, and for different government organizations (and international agencies) to work together.

The threat of an attack on U.S. soil was heightened around the new millennium. O'Neill cancelled Christmas leave, and had employees work around the clock. Their effort paid off — a terrorist named Ahmed Ressam was caught at the U.S.-Canada border with 130 pounds of explosives, and other arrests were made.

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Despite his expertise and accomplishments when dealing with international terrorist attacks, O’Neill never ascended as high in the FBI as he aspired to. Trouble began in July 2000, when, during a FBI conference in Orlando, O’Neill left behind a briefcase containing important documents (including a detailed outline of every security initiative in New York). The bag was stolen, and O'Neill called the police. Later, the bag was returned, with nothing missing but a pen and a lighter. This incident tarnished his reputation — he was seen as unreliable. Relations with the FBI continued to deteriorate during a month-long trip to Yemen, when he clashed with Barbara Bodine, the U.S. ambassador to Yemen.

Cut to the summer of 2001, when O’Neill was, once again, sure that a terrorist attack was heading to the United States — as sure as he’d been during the millennium. But since he had significantly less power in the FBI due to the events of the last year, he felt powerless.

“He knew that there was a lot of noise out there and that there were a lot of warnings, a lot of red flags, and that it was a similar level that they were hearing before the millennium, which was an indication that there was something going on. Yet, he felt that he was frozen out, that he was not in a capacity to really do anything about it anymore because of his relationship with the FBI. So it was a source of real anguish for him,” his friend, Chris Isham, told Frontline.

The clash with Bodine and the briefcase incident were written about in the press. O’Neill was frustrated, and decided to resign from the FBI in August 2001. He had a job offer on the civilian side, one that paid twice his rate at the FBI. He was to be the head of security at the World Trade Center.

Before starting the job, O’Neill told Isher that he suspected an attack on the WTC was imminent. “They’ve always wanted to finish that job,” he said, referring to the 1993 bombing. “I think they’re going to try again.”

On the morning of September 11, 2001, O’Neill was in his office on the 34th floor of the North Tower. O’Neill managed to make it out of the building after the plane collided. He called his loved ones. And then, he turned around and walked towards the South Tower. The last person to speak to O’Neill was FBI agent Wesley Wong, who was at the command center.

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“He was in FBI mode. Then he turned and kind of looked at me and went toward the interior of the complex. From the time John walked away to the time the building collapsed was certainly not more than a half hour or 20 minutes,” Wong told Esquire.

O'Neill's body was recovered days later. The funeral was held in the church O'Neill had attended as a child in Atlantic City. Over 1,000 people were in attendance, including his wife, his lover Valerie, and two other girlfriends.

John O'Neill's legacy, and his unforgettable personality, are memorialized in The Looming Tower. To prepare for the role, Jeff Daniels spent time with O'Neill's former colleagues. One agent, Mark Rossini, told Daniels that O'Neill "gulped life."

By the agents' account, Daniels nails the part. “We’ve got some other F.B.I. people that have been working on this show and when they look at him on screen, they’ll say, ‘Well, you know, he really is John,'" Lawrence Wright, author of The Looming Tower, told Vanity Fair.



When the Twin Towers fell on Sept. 11, 2001, among the thousands killed was the one man who may have known more about Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda than any other person in America: John O’Neill.

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If only they’d listened to him, John O’Neill, FBI master counterterrorist, might have prevented the attack on the World Trade Center instead of perishing in it that day himself. Or so the story goes. The truth, like the man, is far more complicated. A tale of international espionage, multiple lives, and the first man in American intelligence to name the enemy as Osama bin Laden.


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Postby Daglord » Thu Mar 01, 2018 8:20 pm

the show's other main character, Ali Soufan: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ali_Soufan

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Ali H. Soufan is a Lebanese-American former FBI agent who was involved in a number of high-profile anti-terrorism cases both in the United States and around the world. A New Yorker article in 2006 described Soufan as coming closer than anyone to preventing the September 11 attacks, even implying that he would have succeeded had the CIA been willing to share information with him. He resigned from the FBI in 2005 after publicly chastising the CIA for not sharing intelligence with him, which could have prevented the attacks. In 2011, he published a memoir, which includes some historical background on al-Qaeda: The Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against al-Qaeda. In 2017, he published Anatomy of Terror: From the Death of Bin Laden to the Rise of the Islamic State. He is the CEO of The Soufan Group.



"we're looking for them overseas & they were here. people in our own government knew they were here & we were not told"


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Postby Masato » Fri Mar 16, 2018 7:35 pm

Hey I just found out that the construction of the Pentagon began on SEPT 11, 1941.

That sets the 9/11 2001 events exactly 60 years to the day of its inception.

I didn't really know when the Pentagon was started until I stumbled on this curious fact. Now it makes me wonder WTF was going down at that time, 1941 was right as the war was starting to get crazy.

Always lots of 'coincidences', lol

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Postby Redneck » Thu Mar 29, 2018 9:51 am

Whatever happened to 9/11 truth research in the public view?

Apart from stuff like we see in this thread, everyone has moved on and is letting it slide. Alex Jones made his name on this 9/11 CT theory but when was the last time you saw him talk about it? Now, he just mentions the Saudi thing that was released by the Government and has dropped the whole 'inside job' angle.

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Postby Canuckster » Thu Mar 29, 2018 11:56 am

Redneck wrote:Whatever happened to 9/11 truth research in the public view?

Apart from stuff like we see in this thread, everyone has moved on and is letting it slide. Alex Jones made his name on this 9/11 CT theory but when was the last time you saw him talk about it? Now, he just mentions the Saudi thing that was released by the Government and has dropped the whole 'inside job' angle.

People realized the futility of fighting the machine on this one. Too many people just don't have the ability to accept the fact that there are people in the world capable of this.
People say they all want the truth, but when they are confronted with a truth that disagrees with them, they balk at it as if it were an unwanted zombie apocalypse come to destroy civilization.

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Postby Masato » Thu Mar 29, 2018 2:25 pm

Canuckster wrote:
Redneck wrote:Whatever happened to 9/11 truth research in the public view?

Apart from stuff like we see in this thread, everyone has moved on and is letting it slide. Alex Jones made his name on this 9/11 CT theory but when was the last time you saw him talk about it? Now, he just mentions the Saudi thing that was released by the Government and has dropped the whole 'inside job' angle.

People realized the futility of fighting the machine on this one. Too many people just don't have the ability to accept the fact that there are people in the world capable of this.


Was just discussing this the other night with someone...

Realizing 9/11 is NOT just about 9/11... if you start to see that it was a false flag, it suddenly starts fractalling out, you have to see the MSM complicity, the entire war on terror, the true state of how shit works in US politics etc etc and you have no choice but to start considering conspiracy on a massive level.

The guy who I was talking with said that when he researched 9/11, most of the conspiracy info all made sense and he had no issues believing it, but it didn't hit him until 5 years later how big it actually is. It took him 5 years to start actually comprehending the scope of what a conspiracy like that implies.

Its a reality-breaker. That's why people either deny it, or they go a little loopy for a while lol :D

As for Alex Jones, I suspect he got off 9/11 for many reasons... from simply staying trendy and not looking like a dead horse, to the fact that many roads were starting to implicate Mossad-type interference. A J is clearly an Israeli apologist, criticisms of him and his stooges on this front are pretty strong imo. He never goes there. Ever.

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Postby Masato » Thu May 17, 2018 6:51 pm



Related:

Evidence for Informed Trading on the Attacks of September 11
https://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/20 ... tember-11/

[spoiler]
Just after September 11th 2001, many governments began investigations into possible insider trading related to the terrorist attacks of that day. Such investigations were initiated by the governments of Belgium, Cyprus, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, the Netherlands, Switzerland, the United States, and others. Although the investigators were clearly concerned about insider trading, and considerable evidence did exist, none of the investigations resulted in a single indictment. That’s because the people identified as having been involved in the suspicious trades were seen as unlikely to have been associated with those alleged to have committed the 9/11 crimes.

This is an example of the circular logic often used by those who created the official explanations for 9/11. The reasoning goes like this: if we assume that we know who the perpetrators were (i.e. the popular version of “al Qaeda”) and those who were involved in the trades did not appear to be connected to those assumed perpetrators, then insider trading did not occur.

That’s basically what the 9/11 Commission told us. The Commission concluded that “exhaustive investigations” by the SEC and the FBI “uncovered no evidence that anyone with advance knowledge of the attacks profited through securities transactions.” What they meant was that someone did profit through securities transactions but, based on the Commission’s assumptions of guilt, those who profited were not associated with those who were guilty of conducting the attacks. In a footnote, the Commission report acknowledged “highly suspicious trading on its face,” but said that this trading on United Airlines was traced back to “A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda.”[1]

With respect to insider trading, or what is more technically called informed trading, the Commission report was itself suspect for several reasons. First, the informed trades relating to 9/11 covered far more than just airline company stock. The stocks of financial and reinsurance companies, as well as other financial vehicles, were identified as being associated with suspicious trades. Huge credit card transactions, completed just before the attacks, were also involved. The Commission ultimately tried to frame all of this highly suspicious trading in terms of a series of misunderstandings. However, the possibility that so many leading financial experts were so completely wrong is doubtful at best and, if true, would constitute another unbelievable scenario in the already highly improbable sequence of events represented by the official story of 9/11.

In the last few years, new evidence has come to light on these matters. In 2006 and 2010, financial experts at a number of universities have established new evidence, through statistical analyses, that informed trades did occur with respect to the 9/11 attacks. Additionally, in 2007, the 911 Commission released a memorandum summary of the FBI investigations on which its report was based.[2] A careful review of this memorandum indicates that some of the people who were briefly investigated by the FBI, and then acquitted without due diligence, had links to al Qaeda and to US intelligence agencies. Although the elapsed time between the informed trades and these new confirmations might prevent legal action against the guilty, the facts of the matter can help lead us to the truth about 9/11.

Early signs

Within a week of the attacks, Germany’s stock market regulator, BAWe, began looking into claims of suspicious trading.[3] That same week, Italy’s foreign minister, Antonio Martino, made it clear that he had concerns by issuing this public statement: “I think that there are terrorist states and organisations behind speculation on the international markets.”[4]

Within two weeks of the attacks, CNN reported that regulators were seeing “ever-clearer signs” that someone “manipulated financial markets ahead of the terror attack in the hope of profiting from it.” Belgian Finance Minister, Didier Reynders, said that there were strong suspicions that British markets were used for transactions.[5] The CIA was reported to have asked the British regulators to investigate some of the trades.[6] Unfortunately, the British regulator, The Financial Services Authority, wrote off its investigation by simply clearing “bin Laden and his henchmen of insider trading.”[7]

Conversely, German central bank president, Ernst Welteke, said his bank conducted a study that strongly indicated “terrorism insider trading” associated with 9/11. He stated that his researchers had found “almost irrefutable proof of insider trading.”[8] Welteke suggested that the insider trading occurred not only in shares of companies affected by the attacks, such as airlines and insurance companies, but also in gold and oil. [9]

The extent of the 9/11-related informed trading was unprecedented. An ABC News Consultant, Jonathan Winer, said, “it’s absolutely unprecedented to see cases of insider trading covering the entire world from Japan to the US to North America to Europe.”[10]

By October 2001, the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE) and the four other options exchanges in the US had joined forces with the FBI and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to investigate a list of 38 stocks, as well as multiple options and Treasury bonds, that were flagged in relation to potential informed trades. SEC Chairman Harvey Pitt gave testimony to the House Financial Services Committee at the time, saying, “We will do everything in our power to track those people down and bring them to justice.”[11]

Mary Bender, chief regulatory officer at the CBOE, stated “We’ve never really had anything like this, [the option exchanges are] using the same investigative tools as we would in an insider-trading case. The point is to find people who are connected to these heinous crimes.”

The people ultimately found included an unnamed customer of Deutsche Bank Alex. Brown (DBAB). This involved a trade on United Airlines (UAL) stock consisting of a 2,500-contract order that was, for some reason, split into chunks of 500 contracts each and then directed to multiple exchanges around the country simultaneously.[12] When the 9/11 Commission report pointed to a “single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda,” it was referring to either DBAB or its customer in that questionable trade.

Michael Ruppert has since written about DBAB, noting that the company had previously been a financier of The Carlyle Group and also of Brown Brothers Harriman, both of which are companies closely related to the Bush family. Ruppert also noted that Alex. Brown, the company purchased by Deutsche Bank to become DBAB, was managed by A.B. (Buzzy) Krongard, who left the firm in 1998 to join the CIA as counsel to director George Tenet.[13] Krongard had been a consultant to CIA director James Woolsey in the mid 1990s and, on September 11th, he was the Executive Director of the CIA, the third highest position in the agency.

Stock and Treasury bonds traded

In 2002, investigator Kyle Hence wrote about the stocks involved in the SEC’s target list. Those that had the highest examples of trade volume over the average were UAL [285 times over average], Marsh & McLennan (Marsh) [93 times over average], American Airlines (AMR) [60 times over average], and Citigroup [45 times over average].[14] Other stocks flagged included financial firms, defense-related companies, and the reinsurance firms Munich Re, Swiss Re and the AXA Group. Put options for these reinsurance firms, or bets that the stock would drop, were placed at double the normal levels in the few days before the attacks. Regulators were concerned about “large block trades” on these stocks because the three firms were liable for billions in insurance payouts due to the damage inflicted on 9/11.[15]

The four highest-volume suspect stocks — UAL, Marsh, AMR and Citigroup — were closely linked to the attacks of 9/11. The two airline companies each had two planes hijacked and destroyed. Marsh was located in the exact 8 floors out of 110 in the north tower of the WTC where Flight 11 impacted and the fires occurred. Citigroup was the parent of Travelers Insurance, which was expected to see $500 million in claims, and also Salomon Smith Barney, which occupied all but ten floors in World Trade Center (WTC) building 7. Oddly enough, Salomon Smith Barney had both Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney on its advisory board until January 2001.

Marsh occupied a number of floors in the south tower as well. This is where the office of Marsh executive, L. Paul Bremer, was located. Bremer was a former managing director at Kissinger Associates and had just completed leading a national terrorism commission in 2000. The San Francisco Chronicle noted that Bremer was a source of early claims that rich Arabs were financing Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network. In an article on the 9/11 informed trades, the Chronicle reported that “The former chairman of the State Department’s National Commission on Terrorism, L. Paul Bremer, said he obtained classified government analyses early last year of bin Laden’s finances confirming the assistance of affluent Middle Easterners.”[16]

On the day of 9/11, Bremer was interviewed by NBC News and stated that he believed Osama bin Laden was responsible and that possibly Iraq and Iran were involved too, and he called for the most severe military response possible. For unknown reasons, Google removed the interview video from its servers three times, and blocked it once.[17]

The trading of Treasury bonds just before 9/11 was also flagged as being suspicious. Reporters from The Wall street Journal wrote that the “U.S. Secret Service contacted a number of bond traders regarding large purchases of five-year Treasury notes before the attacks, according to people familiar with the probe. The investigators, acting on a tip from traders, are examining whether terrorists, or people affiliated with terrorist organizations, bought five-year notes, including a single $5 billion trade.”[18]

Some reports claimed that the 9/11 informed trades were such that millions of dollars were made, and some of that went unclaimed. [19] Others suggested that the trades resulted in the winning of billions of dollars in profits. One such suggestion was made by the former German Minister of Technology, Andreas von Buelow, who said that the value of the informed trades was on the order of $15 billion.[20]

The FBI Investigations

In May 2007, a 9/11 Commission document that summarized the FBI investigations into potential 9/11-related informed trading was declassified. [21] This document was redacted to remove the names of two FBI agents from the New York office, and to remove the names of select suspects in the informed trading investigations. The names of other FBI agents and suspects were left in. Regardless, some information can be gleaned from the document to help reveal the trades and traders investigated.

On September 21, 2001, the SEC referred two specific transactions to the FBI for criminal investigation as potential informed trades. One of those trades was a September 6, 2001 purchase of 56,000 shares of a company called Stratesec, which in the few years before 9/11 was a security contractor for several of the facilities that were compromised on 9/11. These facilities included the WTC buildings, Dulles airport, where American Airlines Flight 77 took off, and also United Airlines, which owned two of the other three ill-fated planes.

The affected 56,000 shares of Stratesec stock were purchased by a director of the company, Wirt D. Walker III, and his wife Sally Walker. This is clear from the memorandum generated to record the FBI summary of the trades investigated.[22] The Stratesec stock that the Walkers purchased doubled in value in the one trading day between September 11th and when the stock market reopened on September 17th. The Commission memorandum suggests that the trade generated a profit of $50,000 for the Walkers. Unfortunately, the FBI did not interview either of the Walkers and they were both cleared of any wrongdoing because they were said to have “no ties to terrorism or other negative information.” [23]

However, Wirt Walker was connected to people who had connections to al Qaeda. For example, Stratesec director James Abrahamson was the business partner of Mansoor Ijaz, who claimed on several occasions to be able to contact Osama bin Laden.[24] Additionally, Walker hired a number of Stratesec employees away from a subsidiary of The Carlyle Group called BDM International, which ran secret (black) projects for government agencies. The Carlyle Group was partly financed by members of the bin Laden family.[25] Mr. Walker ran a number of suspicious companies that went bankrupt, including Stratesec, some of which were underwritten by a company run by a first cousin of former CIA director (and President) George H.W. Bush. Additionally, Walker was the child of a CIA employee and his first job was at an investment firm run by former US intelligence guru, James “Russ” Forgan, where he worked with another former CIA director, William Casey.[26] Of course, Osama bin Laden had links to the CIA as well.[27]

Another trade investigated by the FBI, on request from the SEC, focused on Amir Ibrahim Elgindy, an Egyptian-born, San Diego stock advisor who on the day before 9/11 had allegedly attempted to liquidate $300,000 in assets through his broker at Salomon Smith Barney. During the attempted liquidation, Elgindy was said to have “predicted that the Dow Jones industrial average, which at the time stood at about 9,600, would soon crash to below 3,000.”[28]

The 9/11 Commission memorandum suggests that the FBI never interviewed Mr. Elgindy either, and had planned to exonerate him because there was “no evidence he was seeking to establish a position whereby he would profit from the terrorist attacks.” Apparently, the prediction of a precipitous drop in the stock market, centered on the events of 9/11, was not sufficient cause for the FBI to interview the suspect.

In late May 2002, Elgindy was arrested along with four others, including an FBI agent and a former FBI agent, and charged with conspiracy to manipulate stock prices and extort money from companies. The FBI agents, Jeffrey A Royer and Lynn Wingate, were said to have “used their access to F.B.I. databases to monitor the progress of the criminal investigation against Mr. Elgindy.”[29] A federal prosecutor later accused Elgindy, who also went by several aliases, of having prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. Although the judge in that case did not agree with the prosecutor on the 9/11 informed trading accusation, Mr. Elgindy was eventually convicted, in 2005, of multiple crimes including racketeering, securities fraud, and making false statements.

The Boston office of the FBI investigated stock trades related to two companies. The first was Viisage Technologies, a facial recognition company that stood to benefit from an increase in terrorism legislation. The Viisage purchase, made by a former employee of the Saudi American Bank, “revealed no connection with 9/11.” However, the Saudi American Bank was named in a lawsuit brought by the 9/11 victims’ families due to the bank having — “financed development projects in Sudan benefiting bin Laden in the early 1990s.”[30]

The second company investigated by the Boston FBI office was Wellington Management, a company that allegedly held a large account for Osama bin Laden. The FBI found that Wellington Management maintained an account for “members of the bin Laden family” but dropped the investigation because it could not link this to “Osama, al Qaeda, or terrorism.”[31]

Although the connections to al Qaeda in three of these cases (Walker, the Viisage trader, and Wellington Management) can be seen as circumstantial, the amount of such evidence is considerable. The quality of the FBI investigations, considering the suspects were not even interviewed, was therefore much less than “exhaustive”, as the 9/11 Commission characterized it.

The summary of FBI investigations released by the 9/11 Commission also described how the Commission questioned the FBI about damaged computer hard drives that might have been recovered from the WTC. This questioning was the result of “press reports [contending] that large volumes of suspicious transactions flowed through the computers housed in the WTC on the morning of 9/11 as part of some illicit but ill-defined effort to profit from the attacks.”[32] The Commission came to the conclusion that no such activity occurred because “the assembled agents expressed no knowledge of the reported hard-drive recovery effort” and “everything at the WTC was pulverized to near powder, making it extremely unlikely that any hard-drives survived.”

The truth, however, is that many such hard-drives were recovered from the WTC and were sent to specialist companies to be cleaned and have data recovered. A German company named Convar did a good deal of the recovery work.

In December 2001, Reuters reported that “Convar has recovered information from 32 computers that support assumptions of dirty doomsday dealings.” Richard Wagner, a data retrieval expert at Convar, testified that “There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million. They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed.” Director of Convar, Peter Henschel, said that it was “not only the volume, but the size of the transactions [that] was far higher than usual for a day like that.”[33]

By late December 2001, Convar had completed processing 39 out of 81 drives, and expected to receive 20 more WTC hard drives the next month. Obviously, the 911 Commission memorandum drafted in August 2003 was not particularly reliable considering it reported that the FBI and the 911 Commission had no knowledge of any of this.

Statistical confirmations

Considering that the FBI and 9/11 Commission overlooked the suspicious connections of informed trading suspects like Wirt Walker, and also claimed in 2003 to have no knowledge of hard drive recoveries publicly reported in 2001, we must assume that they did a poor job of investigating. Today, however, we know that several peer-reviewed academic papers have reported solid evidence that informed trades did occur. That is, the conclusions reached by the official investigations have now been shown, through scientific analysis, to be quite wrong.

In 2006, a professor of Finance from the University of Illinois named Allen Poteshman published an analysis of the airline stock option trades preceding the attacks. This study came to the conclusion that an indicator of long put volume was “unusually high which is consistent with informed investors having traded in the option market in advance of the attacks.”[34] Long puts are bets that a stock or option will fall in price.

The unusually high volume of long puts, purchased on UAL and AMR stock before these stocks declined dramatically due to the 9/11 attacks, are evidence that the traders knew that the stocks would decline. Using statistical techniques to evaluate conditional and unconditional distributions of historical stock option activity, Professor Poteshman showed that the data indicate that informed trading did occur.

In January 2010, a team of financial experts from Switzerland published evidence for at least thirteen informed trades in which the investors appeared to have had foreknowledge of the attacks. This study focused again on a limited number of companies but, of those, the informed trades centered on five airline companies and four financial companies. The airline companies were American Airlines, United Airlines and Boeing. Three of the financial companies involved were located in the WTC towers and the fourth was Citigroup, which stood to lose doubly as the parent of both Travelers Insurance and the WTC 7 tenant, Salomon Smith Barney.[35]

More recently, in April 2010, an international team of experts examined trading activities of options on the Standard & Poors 500 index, as well as a volatility index of the CBOE called VIX. These researchers showed that there was a significant abnormal increase in trading volume in the option market just before the 9/11 attacks, and they demonstrated that this was in contrast to the absence of abnormal trading volume over periods long before the attacks. The study also showed that the relevant abnormal increase in trading volume was not simply due to a declining market.[36] Their findings were “consistent with insiders anticipating the 9-11 attacks.”

Conclusion

In the early days just after 9/11, financial regulators around the world gave testimony to unprecedented evidence for informed trading related to the terrorist attacks of that day. One central bank president (Welteke) said there was irrefutable proof of such trading. This evidence led US regulators to vow, in Congressional testimony, to bring those responsible to justice. Those vows were not fulfilled, as the people in charge of the investigations let the suspects off the hook by conducting weak inquiries and concluding that informed trading could not have occurred if it was not done directly by Osama bin Laden or al Qaeda.

The “exhaustive investigations” conducted by the FBI, on which the 9/11 Commission report was based, were clearly bogus. The FBI did not interview the suspects and did not appear to compare notes with the 9/11 Commission to help make a determination if any of the people being investigated might have had ties to al Qaeda. The Commission’s memorandum summary suggests that the FBI simply made decisions on its own regarding the possible connections of the suspects and the alleged terrorist organizations. Those unilateral decisions were not appropriate, as at least three of the suspected informed trades (those of Walker, the Viisage trader, and Wellington Management) involved reasonably suspicious links to Osama bin Laden or his family. Another suspect (Elgindy) was a soon-to-be convicted criminal who had direct links to FBI employees who were later arrested for securities-related crimes.

The FBI also claimed in August 2003 that it had no knowledge of hard drives recovered from the WTC, which were publicly reported in 2001. According to the people who retrieved the associated data, the hard drives gave evidence for “dirty doomsday dealings.”

The evidence for informed trading on 9/11 includes many financial vehicles, from stock options to Treasury bonds to credit card transactions made at the WTC just before it was destroyed. Today we know that financial experts from around the world have provided strong evidence, through established and reliable statistical techniques, that the early expert suspicions were correct, and that 9/11 informed trading did occur.

People knew in advance about the crimes of 9/11, and they profited from that knowledge. Those people are among us today, and our families and communities are at risk of future terrorist attacks and further criminal profiteering if we do not respond to the evidence. It is time for an independent, international investigation into the informed trades and the traders who benefited from the terrorist acts of September 11th.


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