Two Days Before 9/11, Military Exercise Simulated Suicide Hijack Targeting New York

The US military conducted a training exercise in the five days before the September 11 attacks that included simulated aircraft hijackings by terrorists, according to a 9/11 Commission document recently found in the US National Archives. In one of the scenarios, implemented on September 9, terrorists hijacked a London to New York flight, planning to blow it up with explosives over New York.

The undated document, entitled "NORAD EXERCISES Hijack Summary," was part of a series of 9/11 Commission records moved to the National Archives at the start of the year. It was found there and posted to the History Commons site at Scribd by History Commons contributor paxvector in the files of the commission's Team 8, which focused on the failed emergency response on the day of the attacks. The summary appears to have been drafted by one of the commission's staffers, possibly Miles Kara, based on documents submitted by NORAD.

In the September 9 scenario, the fictitious terrorists' goal seems to have been to kill New Yorkers with the rain of debris following the plane's explosion. However, in the exercise, the military intercepted the plane and forced it away from the city. When the terrorists realized they were not near New York, they blew the plane up "over land near the divert location," leaving no survivors. The military unit most involved in this scenario was NORAD's Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), which also played a key role in the air defense response to the 9/11 attacks, two days later.

Numerous Hijacks Listed

Three days earlier, on September 6, NORAD simulated two hijackings as part of the same exercise, which was called "Vigilant Guardian." In one scenario, a fictitious terrorist organization called Mum Hykro hijacked a Boeing 747 from Tokyo to the US and made a "threat of harm to passengers and possibly large population within US or Canada." The terrorists intended to "rain terror from the skies onto a major US city unless the US declares withdrawal from Asian conflict." The plane is listed as being bound for Anchorage, Alaska, although the hijackers changed course for Vancouver in Canada, and then for San Francisco, California. Liaising with the FAA, NORAD provided "covert shadowing" of the hijacked plane.

In a second hijack scenario on the same day, ten members of another fictitious terrorist group, called Lin Po, hijacked another 747 to Anchorage, this time out of Seoul, South Korea. The hijackers were armed, their weapons having been smuggled onto the plane by ground crews before takeoff. They also had gas containers that could be detonated. Two of the plane’s passengers were killed, and the CIA and NSA warned that the group had the means to pull off an attack with chemical and biological weapons. In response, NORAD's commander in chief ordered fighters from the Alaskan NORAD Region (ANR) to intercept and shadow the hijacked plane, and get into "position to shoot down aircraft."

Another scenario included in the Vigilant Guardian exercise was run the day before 9/11, although this followed the more traditional scenario of Cubans hijacking a flight from Havana and demanding to be taken to New York for political asylum in the US. This scenario involved the participation of NORAD's Southeast Air Defense Sector (SEADS), and the plane eventually landed at Dobbins Air Force Base in Georgia.

The document lists hijack exercises going back to 1998 several of which had involved internal flights, originating in the US. For example, a January 1999 exercise included the simulated takeover of a Miami to Oklahoma City flight and the hijacking of a San Diego to Anchorage flight the next day.

At the release of the 9/11 Commission Report in July 2004, the panel’s chairman Tom Kean famously said that the main reason the 9/11 attacks were not prevented was that there had been a "failure of imagination." However, the hijack simulation planners were really quite imaginative and in several of the scenarios the hijackers had WMD actually on board the aircraft. For example, in a September 1999 exercise, hijackers on a 747 bound from Hong Kong to Canada had sarin gas on board, and threatened to blow up the plane. An exercise the following month included the simulation of a terrorist group hijacking a plane with American and Canadian citizens on board. The plane was bound from France to Canada, and the terrorist group was said to have the "will and means to strike North America with WMD." Communications with the plane were lost following the hijacking, but the crew overpowered the terrorists and regained control of the plane at the last second.

An exercise in October 1998 included terrorists hijacking a 747 with the intent of committing a "suicide run into [a] metropolitan area of" San Francisco. And an October 2000 exercise included the simulated hijacking of a plane bound from London to Cairo. The scenario was that "100 religious fanatics will take over the aircraft," but the "aircraft will land at JFK [airport in New York] without incident and [the] FBI will escort [the] hijackers."

Perhaps the most imaginative scenario, part of a June 2001 exercise, had a Colombian drug cartel cartel making a deal with a Haitian AIDS victim to carry out a suicide attack with a private aircraft against a SEADS command and control node. Alerted by the FBI, the military had to "work to keep aircraft from impacting SEADS." The document ominously states that the "scenario fruition" was "up to Blue Forces," meaning the group playing the US defenders in the exercise.

Hijacking Exercise on Day of 9/11

Although it is not listed in the document, there was also a simulated plane hijacking scheduled to take place in the Northeast US on the day of 9/11, and its timing overlapped with the real-world events. According to Vanity Fair, "The day's exercise was designed to run a range of scenarios, including a 'traditional' simulated hijack in which politically motivated perpetrators commandeer an aircraft, land on a Cuba-like island, and seek asylum."

When NEADS was informed of the first real-world hijacking, members of its staff initially assumed this was part of the exercise. For example, Master Sergeant Maureen Dooley, the leader of the ID section, told the other members of her team: "We have a hijack going on. Get your checklists. The exercise is on." Major Kevin Nasypany, the mission crew commander, actually said out loud, "The hijack's not supposed to be for another hour." Like the numerous hijacking scenarios described in the "NORAD EXERCISES" document, there was no mention of this simulated hijacking scheduled for the morning of September 11 in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Clearly, further investigation is required to verify the extraordinary details revealed in the "NORAD EXERCISES" document, and in particular find out what else the September 2001 Vigilant Guardian exercise involved. The fact that this exercise included simulations of terrorists hijacking aircraft, and that New York City was central to some of its scenarios, should be a major concern.

Originally posted here with excerpts from the document.

This is excellent work

as always.

Digg link

no "conspiracy theories" here; just the facts- 9/11 Commission records, 9/11 Commission Report and the NORAD tapes quoted in Vanity Fair.

Thank you Mr. Fenton!

Great work.


Can't believe I missed this in that archive.

Excellent find, Kevin.


"May the forces of evil get lost on the way to your house." -George Carlin

Nice find...

Thanks Kevin.

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?

NORAD Exercises Hijack

NORAD Exercises Hijack Summary

NORAD Exercises Hijack Summary HistoryCommons A document entitled "NORAD Exercises Hijack Summary" from the 9/11 Commission's files. It lists air defense training exercises involving hijackings for approximately four years before 9/11.The exercises included a suicide hijack targeting New York two days before 9/11, as well as other hijackings just before that.

Kean looke like a real fraud with this information


This is powerful!

Great find, Fenton. This is a potential bombshell and is very damaging to the OCT, because it is only 2 days before 9/11. This can be paired nicely with the fact that President Bush signed the plans to invade Afghanistan on Sept. 10th, the day before 9/11. And the fact that FEMA arrived in NYC the night before in preparation for TRIPOD II, an exercise simulating widespread emergency in NYC (which just happened to take place the following morning).

This should raise the eyebrows of any reasonable person that something was up!

Thanks to Kevin for a great write-up

The Commission Report mentions only one of the drills that intersected 9/11- Vigilant Guardian (VG)- in endnote 116 to Chp 1:

Paragraph #2241 (on page 458)
"116. On 9/11, NORAD was scheduled to conduct a military exercise, Vigilant Guardian, which postulated a bomber attack from the former Soviet Union. We investigated whether military preparations for the large-scale exercise compromised the military’s response to the real-world terrorist attack on 9/11. According to General Eberhart, “it took about 30 seconds” to make the adjustment to the real-world situation. Ralph Eberhart testimony, June 17, 2004.We found that the response was, if anything, expedited by the increased number of staff at the sectors and at NORAD because of the scheduled exercise. See Robert Marr interview (Jan. 23, 2004)."

Eberhart is an interested party who had made statements in sworn testimony

that conflicted with facts known to the Commission about NORAD's preparedness and response- this document, for some reason, doesn't mention the hijacking drill that took place on 9/11, which Bronner reported on for Vanity Fair, based on tapes provided by NORAD, which the Commission also had. In the endnote they seem to take at face value Eberhart's claim that VG on 9/11 "postulated a bomber attack from the former Soviet Union". This may be correct- the public is still in the dark about a lot of things- does anyone know if the name of the 9/11 hijacking drill was ever made known? Clarke says Myers said there was a drill called "Vigilant Warrior"- but neither of these guys is credible, and Myers could have conflated Amalgam Warrior and Vigilant Guardian, or Clarke could have simply misheard. Still, there may have been a drill called Vigilant Warrior.

This document is a "Hijack Summary"; versions of VG that didn't involve a hijacking would presumably have been left off. But NINE versions of Vigilant Guardian planned for the week prior to 9/11 involved a hijacking- mighty big "coincidence". Notice how certain details with similarities to 9/11 are in red, bold and/or highlighted- you can almost see the wheels turning in the document drafter's head- this is from a series called "Miles Kara's Work Files"- Team 8, Box 20, NEADS Trip 2 of 3 Folder (i'm paxvector at historycommons, btw)- I assume Kara made this document himself, to try and make sense of info being received from NORAD in response to the subpoena- NORAD had been withholding docs prior to the see DOD Document Request 4 and 18- 4 asks for documents related to exercises, 18 specifically names many of the exercises summarized in the Hijack Summary

Hopefully someone with expertise/knowledge can shed additional light on this document. One thing that's definitely clear- with 28 hijacking exercises in the 3 years prior to 9/11, many of which involved fighters shadowing the planes- and with VG in 98 and 9/6/01, and Amazon Condor in 99, and possibly Amalgam Virgo 01 (AV) all involving shoot-down- and VG and AV involving planes being crashed into cities/sensitive sites- it's clear that NORAD had actively planned for a 9/11 type event- and the Commission did not tell the truth about this:

Paragraph #1680 (on page 346)
"The North American Aerospace Defense Command imagined the possible use of aircraft as weapons, too, and developed exercises to counter such a threat—from planes coming to the United States from overseas, perhaps carrying a weapon of mass destruction. None of this speculation was based on actual intelligence of such a threat. One idea, intended to test command and control plans and NORAD’s readiness, postulated a hijacked airliner coming from overseas and crashing into the Pentagon. The idea was put aside in the early planning of the exercise as too much of a distraction from the main focus (war in Korea), and as too unrealistic.As we pointed out in chapter 1, the military planners assumed that since such aircraft would be coming from overseas; they would have time to identify the target and scramble interceptors."

PS- I found this unclassified Amalgam Virgo summary in the same folder- the Hijack Summary paraphrases and quotes from it:


In the endnote 116 you quoted I think the commission must have been mixing up Vigilant Guardian and another exercise, maybe Northern Vigilance or whatever the bomber attack was called. Vigilant Guardian had three days of drills against one or two hijacked planes in the days before 9/11. It would be pretty strange if, after these relatively small-scale drills, it went off and did something completely different over the North Pole.

mixing, lying, something's definitely not right about it

Northern Vigilance was an actual NORAD operation to monitor a Russian bomber drill; it was not an exercise, and it makes no sense that an operation involved "injects", as reported.

We know that NORAD lied to the Commission about a number of things, and that the Commission deceived the public about a number of things as well- would not be surprising if Eberhart intended to deceive the Commission about the exercises and the Commission went along with it.

Full investigations are in order.

Alerted by Shenon, Miles Kara weighs in

thanks to Kevin for the heads up on this: Miles Kara has a blog:

9-11: Training, Exercises, and War Games; some collected thoughts

"The most serious event and potential threat of the day was a scheduled Russian cruise missile live-fire exercise. This was a first in nearly a decade and signaled a return of the old Soviet threat. In response, NORAD was participating in Operation Northern Vigilance; not an exercise."

The Commission Report does not mention Northern Vigilance, and note 116 referring to Vigilant Guardian seems to imply the Northern Vigilance operation. In Eberhart's testimony to the Commission, and Myers testimony in Congress to answer to McKinney, both referred to Soviet/Russian bombers- this is the first mention I've seen of a "Russian cruise missile live-fire exercise".

I only gave this a preliminary skim, but will be pondering and following up this- everyone, please think of some good, civil questions and evidence for Kara- a member of the 9/11 Commission willing to engage with the public is a great opportunity.


just to clear up one point. It wasn't me that found it, it was paxvector, a.k.a. Loose Nuke here. I just write up what he finds.

Kevin's being modest

i scan and upload the docs and tip him off to stuff i find that looks significant, but he sees stuff that I miss, and his analytical and writing skills really help illuminate the info in these records.

Kevin's been going thru the records at scribd one by one, reviewing them, adding descriptions and blogging them here:

9/11 Commission Documents Masterlist

and the really significant stuff he writes full articles on- keep an eye on cuz he doesn't always cross-post them here, and there's other stuff being blogged there as well.

Account at Scribd

I have created an account at Scribd.

Username: 911blogger
Password: 911blogger

I encourage everyone here to use this account from now on to download PDF files from Scribd, whenever 'enabled'.

The "holy fuck" documents

I urge everyone to send this information to every professional reporter IN THE WORLD, repeatedly, until they get it.

Include the relevant quotes (lies) from Bush junta operatives.

Call out every lie you can find, and make sure the reporters know this is covered-up official documentation which they can VERIFY easily.

Some reporters may take this up, seeing how 9/11 cover up is a long dead issue, and can possibly appear in print now.

Kevin is, of course, a national hero. I'm amazed at the progress that has been made.



An international hero. He's not from the U.S.A.

Do these people deserve to know how and why their loved ones were murdered? The facts speak for themselves.