People Could Have Planted Bombs In the World Trade Center Without Anyone Noticing

Washington's Blog

Preface: This essay does not argue that bombs brought down the Twin Towers or World Trade Building 7. It simply addresses the often-made argument that no one could have planted explosives without people noticing.

Tightrope walker Philippe Petit snuck into the World Trade Center with a friend in 1974 with massive amounts of equipment, smuggled the equipment to the top floor and rigged up a highwire for his tightrope walking stunt without being detected.

In 1978, the 59-story story Citicorp building was secretly retrofitted at night over the course of several months without the knowledge of tenants, the general public, or the media: 

In 2009, Raw Story notes:

A Government Accountability Office investigator smuggled live bomb components into a federal building in just 27 seconds, then assembled a bomb in a restroom and ventured throughout the building without being detected, a leaked tape revealed Wednesday.

In addition, congressional investigators were able to penetrate every single federal building they probed without any difficulty — 10 in all.

And see this.

In fact, there is additional evidence that bombs could have been planted in the World Trade Center without anyone knowing:

The chief electrical engineer who wired the World Trade Centers (Richard Humenn) says that people working on the elevators could have planted explosives:

Mechanical engineer Gordon Ross, in his talk on the destruction of the Twin Towers, pointed out that:

“Those [core] columns which were situated adjacent to and accessible from inside the elevator shafts failed at an early stage of the collapse.

Those columns which were remote from the elevator shafts, and not accessible from the elevator shafts, survived the early stages of the collapse."*

Indeed, a top demolition expert says that with access to the elevator shaft, a team of loading experts would have access to the columns and beams:

According to USA Today: "On Sept. 11, ACE Elevator of Palisades Park, N.J., had 80 elevator mechanics inside the World Trade Center".

And NIST itself says that, on 9/11, "Elevators 6A and 7A were out of service for modernization". (NIST NCSTAR 1-8, p.97).

In addition, Ace worked in and around structural steel:

A run of approximately 80 vertical feet, employed over 300 running feet of 2-1/2" x 8" and 2"x 2" trough raceway. This run traveled through plaster ceilings, concrete floors and around structural steel.

Indeed, there had been numerous elevator renovation and and asbestos removal projects in the 6 years prior to 9/11 which allowed access to core building structures, including:

These are just a few of the known, public examples of opportunities to plant bombs. There were undoubtedly many additional opportunities available to skilled operatives.

And as experts such as one of the world's top structural engineers - Hugo Bachmann, Professor Emeritus and former Chairman of the Department of Structural Dynamics and Earthquake Engineering, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology - notes, there could have been tenants of the World Trade Centers who planted bombs in their own, rented space, before moving out and vacating their office spaces. 


great, informative article!

I wish it was named "People could have planted explosives charges.."

Good piece

but I have to point out an error: Securacom did not run security at the WTC. It provided electronic security. The Port Authority was in charge of security.

To preempt other errors usually made in conjunction with this one: Marvin Bush had left the company in 2000 and Wirt D. Walker III is not related to the Bush family. (Even History Commons gets this wrong)

Kroll Security is never mentioned, while Kroll is in some ways more interesting than Securacom.

By the way, venturing into a building with a bomb is in no way, shape or form comparable to rigging an entire building for destruction.

This video should have been mentioned... this involves the secret modification of the Citibank Tower, preparations for which actually involved Leslie Robertson, one of the WTC's assistant structural engineers (The main structural engineer was John Skilling)

So....Leslie Robertson certainly shouldn't be the one denying a skyscraper can be secretly rigged for destruction (e.g. under the guise of maintenance), as he did in the debate with Steven Jones.

Citicorp Case

I often make reference to the Citicorp example when someone is arguing that it would have been impossible to plant explosive devices in the towers without detection. The Citibank Tower is 59 stories and stands 915 feet tall. If an entire building of that size can be retrofitted without the tenants, the general public, or the media being aware during the three month operation, then certainly demolition charges can be placed on some core and perimeter columns without detection.

I agree with you about Kroll Security Group. They are much more interesting than Securacom. But the Office of Emergency Management(OEM) is the most interesting(i.e. suspicious). If we had to go hunting for suspects that's where I would start.


(Partial Listing)

$19.4M-- HVAC and Electrical Upgrade, JUN 1995

WTC Asbestos and Vinyl Tiles via Work Order ,DEC 2000

$552,350--WTC1 Asbestos, Floor 19, FEB 1998

$650,000--WTC2 Asbestos Floor 40, AUG 1998

Extensive WTC Elevator Shaft-Based Renovations Pre-9/11

Port Authority of NY/NJ: Records For Reported WTC Renovation Work Destroyed On 9/11

(One apparently participating company was headed by a close Bush associate and who in 2000, demolished the Seattle Kingdome. All records for such work were apparently all destroyed on 9/11)


$680,484--WTC1 Elevators 10/11 Asbestos & Re-Fireproofing, DEC 1997

You may have heard about

the four artists from "Gelitin" who occupied the 91st floor and made a balcony stunt. While I doubt they did something sinister, as proclaimed by some, they showed how easily the security was duped. They brought all kinds of material in that shouldn't be there, sometimes even large wood frames, and they were absolutly successfully with that operation.

See (german link, found no english one, translated via google:)

Rainer Fuchs, Link 18

"To install the balcony, it had to succeed first to get the building materials unnoticed by the security establishments of the entrance to sluices. Through selective deflection the house staff and the input controls were bypassed and large parts of pieces of wood items smuggled into the studio."

"Once wood and glass had been stored, the work process had to remain undetected, even the roommate of the other studio should not notice anything about the true intentions Gelatins. To this end, the balcony project was disguised by another trick, issued to all visible and noticeable creative activity as the project itself: So Gelatin built in her studio along the walls of a room installation by means of boxes and boxes made ​​of cardboard."

Background information:

Please notice that it's highly unlikely that these guys were agents, they were artists for about 20 years, so apparantly it was no cover, and one of them died on 9/11.
But I post this video and link for the pictures in it, that you can draw your own conclusion, what was possible regarding duping security.

You may have heard about

Sakher Hammads basement pass, "Magic Plumbing and Heating", and himself stating that he worked on the sprinklers in the B floors on 9/5 and 9/6.

The Port Authority denied to know such a company, and tenants are simply not allowed to let someone work on the sprinkler.

Therefore this is a hot lead, but was never addressed accordingly by officials.

"If someone really wants to take the WTC, he will. Our job here is to discourage those interested in doing so in the hope that they go elsewhere."- Douglas Karpiloff, (former) Head of Security WTC

And consider the working of front companies:

About the USA today article,

the investigators for the story determined many of the elevators even at the lower levels stopped functioning immediately on plane impact. This begs the question, WHY did they loose power? Is not the power source for the elevators in the basement? Did USA today not ask the question "By what physical process could a plane strike so far from the power source cut the power to the lower elevators?"

Another case of failing to connect the dots.

I think you'll find that most elevators in tall buildings

have safety features that kick in when enough building motion is detected, stopping all the elevators automatically to prevent further failure(s).

This is most likely what happened after the plane strike.

Hope that helps.

The truth shall set us free, sometimes the truth is rather mundane.

Love is the only way forward.

See Fairbanks

Electrical disturbance in the lights upper left on impact (Flickering)

Obviously various factors are going to stop the elevators, including when the building maintenance system detects a fire.

Good post overall, but

another point that I think should be revised is this:

"Mechanical engineer Gordon Ross, in his talk on the destruction of the Twin Towers, pointed out that:

"Those [core] columns which were situated adjacent to and accessible from inside the elevator shafts failed at an early stage of the collapse.

Those columns which were remote from the elevator shafts, and not accessible from the elevator shafts, survived the early stages of the collapse."*

But according to Mark Roberts, this isn't true:

Now I think Roberts is full of it saying the picture doesn't show the core of the South Tower, and I think the outer core columns could still be accessed in some way, but it's apparently incorrect to say that most of the outer core columns were directly adjacent to the elevator shafts.