The collection includes rarely released CIA emails, raw intelligence cables, analytical summaries, high-level briefing materials, and comprehensive counter-terrorism reports that are usually withheld from the public because of their sensitivity. Today’s posting covers a variety of topics of major public interest, including background to al Qaeda’s planning for the attacks; the origins of the Predator program now in heavy use over Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iran; al Qaeda’s relationship with Pakistan; CIA attempts to warn about the impending threat; and the impact of budget constraints on the U.S. government’s hunt for bin Laden.
The documents released by the CIA detail the meticulousness of al Qaeda’s plot against the United States and CIA attempts to counter the rising terrorist threat. A previously undisclosed raw intelligence report that became the basis for the December 4, 1998, President’s Daily Brief, notes that five years before the actual attack, al Qaeda operatives had successfully evaded security at a New York airport in a test-run for bin Laden’s plan to hijack a U.S. airplane. [1998-12-03]. CIA analytical reports also provide interesting insights into al Qaeda’s evolving political strategies. “In our view, the hijackers were carefully selected with an eye to their operational and political value. For instance, the large number of Saudi nationals was most likely chosen not only because of the ease with which Saudi nationals could get US visas but also because Bin Laden could send a message to the Saudi Royal family.” [2003-06-01]
Reports on early attempts to apprehend bin Laden detail the beginning of the U.S. Predator drone program in Afghanistan and Pakistan. “First Predator mission over Afghanistan [excised] September 7, 2000.”  “Twice in the fall of 2000, the Predator observed an individual most likely to be Bin Laden; however we had no way at the time to react to this information.” [2004-03-19] American UAVs did not have sufficient weapons capabilities at the time the CIA likely spotted bin Laden in 2000 to fire on the suspect using the UAV.
Have you heard about the airliner which was ordered back to the gate on 9/11 when the terrorist attacks began, only to have four young Arab passengers jump off the plane, after which box cutters and Al Qaeda documents were found in their abandoned bags?
I’ve heard that story before, but since it was never reported by the U.S. government, and not mentioned by the 9/11 Commission in their official report, I thought it might be another of those urban myths. Until now. Yesterday’s Wilmington (Delaware) News-Journal featured a front-page article on the Delaware Air National Guard’s first female general, Carol Timmons, who was promoted to that rank at a ceremony on Saturday. General Timmons has had a long career as a pilot, including time as a commercial pilot for Pan Am and United Airlines. The profile of General Timmons recounts that on the morning of September 11, 2001, she was the first officer on United Airlines flight 23 preparing to take-off from New York’s JFK Airport bound for Los Angeles. The plane had already pulled away from the gate and was taxiing down the runway when the airport was shut down and the crew was ordered to secure the cockpit. Timmons confirmed that as the pilot grabbed the crash ax, she jumped from her seat and started barricading the cockpit door. From the other side of the barricade the cabin crew relayed their concern about four young Arab men in first-class who became agitated when the take-off was cancelled, and fled from the plane when it returned to the terminal. Box cutters and Al Qaeda documents were later found in their luggage. Timmons, the pilot, and the rest of the crew were repeatedly questioned by the FBI, though the findings were never shared. The pilot concluded that Flight 23 would have been the next plane hijacked by terrorists if the airport shutdown order had been delayed.
“The FBI asks questions,” General Timmons is quoted as saying, “They don’t tell you things.”
Why wouldn’t the U.S. government want to report the incident? Why didn’t the 9/11 Commission mention it in their official report? Were they concerned about panicking the public? Were they trying to apprehend the four passengers who fled? Why maintain official silence about the incident a decade later?
Court documents recently filed by the government further rock the credibility of Russia Special Counsel Robert Mueller because they show that as FBI Director Mueller he worked to cover up the connection between a Florida Saudi family and the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The documents reveal that Mueller was likely involved in publicly releasing deceptive official agency statements about a secret investigation of the Saudis, who lived in Sarasota, with ties to the hijackers. A Florida journalism nonprofit uncovered the existence of the secret FBI investigation that was also kept from Congress.
Under Mueller’s leadership, the FBI tried to discredit the story, publicly countering that agents found no connection between the Sarasota Saudi family and the 2001 terrorist plot. The reality is that the FBI’s own files contained several reports that said the opposite, according to the Ft. Lauderdale-based news group’s ongoing investigation. Files obtained by reporters in the course of their lengthy probe reveal that federal agents found “many connections” between the family and “individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001.” The FBI was forced to release the once-secret reports because the news group sued in federal court when the information wasn’t provided under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The disingenuous statements were issued by FBI officials in Miami and Tampa in a desperate effort to disparage a 2011 story exposing the agency’s covert investigation of the Sarasota Saudis as well as reporting that it had been concealed from Congress. Mueller is referenced in a document index that was ordered by a federal judge to be created in late November 2017. The south Florida judge, William J. Zloch, a Ronald Reagan appointee, asked the FBI to explain where it had discovered dozens of pages of documents in the public-records case filed six years ago. The index reference to then-FBI Director Mueller appears in an item involving an agency white paper written a week after the publication of a news story about the abrupt departure of Saudis Abdulaziz and Anoud al-Hijji from their Sarasota area home about two weeks before 9/11. The couple left behind their cars, clothes, furniture, jewelry and other personal items. “It was created to brief the FBI Director concerning the FBI’s investigation of 4224 Escondito Circle,” the al-Hijjis’ address, the index says.
Though the recently filed court documents reveal Mueller received a briefing about the Sarasota Saudi investigation, the FBI continued to publicly deny it existed and it appears that the lies were approved by Mueller. Not surprisingly, he didn’t respond to questions about this new discovery emailed to his office by the news organization that uncovered it. Though the mainstream media has neglected to report this relevant development, it’s difficult to ignore that it chips away at Mueller’s credibility as special counsel to investigate if Russia influenced the 2016 presidential election. Even before the Saudi coverup documents were exposed by nonprofit journalists, Mueller’s credentials were questionable to head any probe. Back in May Judicial Watch reminded of Mueller’s misguided handiwork and collaboration with radical Islamist organizations as FBI director.
Back in 2013 Judicial Watch exclusively obtained droves of records documenting how, under Mueller’s leadership, the FBI purged all anti-terrorism training material deemed “offensive” to Muslims after secret meetings between Islamic organizations and the then-FBI chief. Judicial Watch had to sue to get the records and published an in-depth report on the scandal in 2013 and a lengthier, updated follow-up in 2015. As FBI director, Mueller bent over backwards to please radical Islamist groups and caved into their demands. The agency eliminated the valuable anti-terrorism training material and curricula after Mueller met with various Islamist organizations, including those with documented ties to terrorism. Among them were two organizations— Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR)—named by the U.S. government as unindicted co-conspirators in the 2007 Holy Land Foundation terrorist financing case. CAIR is a terrorist front group with extensive links to foreign and domestic Islamists. It was founded in 1994 by three Middle Eastern extremists (Omar Ahmad, Nihad Awad and Rafeeq Jaber) who ran the American propaganda wing of Hamas, known then as the Islamic Association for Palestine.
Front Page Magazine
by Daniel Greenfield
“In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate,” a terrorist declares on the Flight 93 cockpit recording. That’s followed by the sounds of the terrorists assaulting a passenger.
“Please don’t hurt me,” he pleads. “Oh God.”
As the passengers rush the cabin, a Muslim terrorist proclaims, “In the name of Allah.”
As New York firefighters struggle up the South Tower with 100 pounds of equipment on their backs trying to save lives until the very last moment, the Flight 93 passengers push toward the cockpit. The Islamic hijackers call out, “Allahu Akbar.” The Islamic supremacist term originated with Mohammed’s massacre of the Jews of Khaybar and means that Allah is greater than the gods of non-Muslims.
Mohammed Atta had advised his fellow terrorists that when the fighting begins, “Shout, ‘Allahu Akbar,’ because this strikes fear in the hearts of the non-believers.” He quoted the Koran’s command that Muslim holy warriors terrorize non-believers by beheading them and urged them to follow Mohammed’s approach, “Take prisoners and kill them.”
The 9/11 ringleader quoted the Koran again. “No prophet should have prisoners until he has soaked the land with blood.”
Family Security Matters
by JANET LEVY
The Muslim Brotherhood has penetrated every one of our national security agencies, including our intelligence agencies, according to retired Navy admiral James “Ace” Lyons, former commander of the U.S. Pacific fleet. Adm. Lyons made this startling declaration Jan. 16, 2015 during a conference sponsored by the Center for Security Policy, a conservative Washington, D.C. think-tank.
In the two years since, no action has been taken to reverse this dangerous situation. Empowerment of individuals of questionable loyalties within our intelligence community continues unabated, as does a counterfactual view of Islam and thwarting of terrorist investigations. Our government routinely targets and cashiers productive, legitimate counter-terrorism experts and fails to label terrorist organizations as such. U.S. intelligence failures and feckless politicization have gone on for years, rendering our protections against terrorism ineffectual and putting our country at grave risk.