Abu Hamza and More – Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of May 31, 2009

Several of the new entries in the past couple of weeks concern leading radical cleric and British intelligence informer Abu Hamza al-Masri and his activities in Yemen. Despite having been an informer for the British security services since early 1997, in around June 1998 he concluded a training and funding agreement with the al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic Army of Aden (IAA), which by this time had already become irksome to local authorities. He issued a warning of an attack in Yemen in October, and a series of bombings was planned.

However, the plotters were arrested thanks to a government mole. The IAA then allegedly went to see the half-brother of Yemen's president and, in collusion with Abu Hamza, plotted a kidnapping to free them. Abu Hamza repeatedly appeared in the British media to defend the kidnappings, but confessions were beaten out of his supporters in Yemen, and, when the captured leader of the IAA went on trial in early 1999, the focus was on Abu Hamza.

The 9/11 Commission began highly secret moves to get rid of Max Cleland, a Democrat the other commissioners had come to dislike because of his strident criticism of the Bush administration, in the summer of 2003, and the FAA falsely claimed it had produced all relevant documents that August.

Upon the publication of its final report, the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) ruled out the diesel tanks in WTC 7 as a cause of its collapse, although some critics were unconvinced the building was not demolished with explosives.

Miscellaneous entries cover a 1997 report that said the US was unprepared for WMD terrorism, the arrest of key al-Qaeda leader Abu Doha in Europe in early 2001, and the illegal passage of classified information about al-Qaeda by US officials to Israel. Finally, a Justice Department official recently said a principled legal framework was necessary to combat terrorism, and on the 2004 campaign trail former president George Bush--who received a briefing entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US" that discussed airplane hijackings in August 2001--said he would have done everything he could to stop the attacks, if he had known the plot involved planes.

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Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? Do we deserve to know how and why 9/11 happened?