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Did Al Qaeda Cash in on the 9/11 Attacks?

So says James Rickards, author of the hot bestseller, The Death of Money, The Coming Collapse of the International Monetary System, which presents a persuasive argument that citizens of planet earth face an imminent global financial meltdown, one that will make 2008 look like a warm up.

Rickards’ book includes insightful chapters about Germany and the Eurozone, the BRICS, China, the IMF, as well as a clear analysis about how the Federal Reserve has painted itself into a fiscal corner from which there is no exit and now faces insolvency.

Unfortunately, to get to all of this valuable material the reader must first wade through hip-deep hogwash in chapter one, in which the author reviews the evidence for insider trading in the days before the 9/11 attacks.

In chapter one Rickards’ otherwise clear vision fails him.

The author is absolutely correct that pre-9/11 insider trading did occur. Rickards also correctly notes that “every transaction has two parties,” meaning that every put and call option leaves a paper trail. But Rickards insults our intelligence when he tells us that associates of Osama bin Laden were responsible for the insider trading.

Rickards would have us believe, for example, that the terrorists were behind the 600% spike in call options for the military contractor Raytheon, whose stock surged 37% in the weeks after 9/11. Other big winners were L-3 Communications, Northrop Grumman, and Allied Techsystems.

According to Paul Zarembka, professor of econometrics at SUNY Buffalo, the put/call options were exercised, meaning that whoever purchased them later collected the profits, blood money. But is it believable that the very same terrorists who sought to destroy America got away with profiting from the subsequent vast expansion of the US war machine?

Catching those responsible certainly was the intent of the Securities and Exchange Commission, which led the probe into allegations of insider trading in the weeks after 9/11. At the time, SEC chairman Harvey Pitt told the press “We will do everything in our power to track those [guilty] people down and bring them to justice.” Everyone took it for granted that the paper trail would lead to al Qaeda.

Yet, weeks later, the SEC quietly and inexplicably tabled its investigation. Why? Instead of issuing indictments, the SEC took the unprecedented step of deputizing everyone associated with its probe. This totaled hundreds, possibly thousands, of people. Why did the SEC do this? The answer was transparently obvious to former LAPD narcotics investigator Mike Ruppert, who pointed out that the SEC deputized its investigators to effectively gag them, no doubt, to prevent leakage of its actual findings. And what were those findings? Well, probably the inconvenient truth that the paper trail led not to bin Laden but back to Wall Street.

As we know, there was leakage despite the SEC’s best efforts to keep a lid on things. The Independent (UK) reported that “to the embarrassment of investigators, it has emerged that the firm used to buy the put options on United Airlines was headed until 1998 by Alvin “Buzzy” Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.” George Tenet had personally recruited Krongard, probably to serve as his liaison with Wall Street.

The firm in question was America’s oldest investment bank, A.B. Brown, which merged with Bankers Trust in 1997. In 1999, when B.T. - Alex Brown pled guilty to criminal conspiracy charges, after it was revealed that top-level executives had created a $20 million slush fund out of unclaimed funds, B.T. - Alex Brown was on the verge of being closed down when Deutsche Bank scooped it up.

Krongard’s former associate at Alex Brown, Mayo Shattuck III, who helped engineer the merger with Bankers Trust, went on to assume Krongard’s former duties as private banker to the firm’s wealthiest clients, personally arranging confidential transactions and transfers. According to the New York Times, in January 2001, Shattuck was named “co-head of investment banking….overseeing Deutsche Bank’s 400 brokers who cater to wealthy clients.”

Shattuck’s sudden resignation on September 12, 2001 must therefor be viewed as highly suspicious. Shattuck retired without a word of explanation even though he reportedly had three years remaining on his contract.

All of the above is conspicuously absent from Rickards’ discussion about insider trading. One may draw his/her own conclusions -- I have drawn mine. Even as we teeter on the brink of a financial meltdown of historic proportions, the insider-writer who would explain all of this cannot bring himself to acknowledge the true extent of Wall Street corruption and criminality, especially regarding 9/11, the fulcrum event that produced the world as we know it.

Mark H Gaffney is the author of Black 9/11 (2012). He may be reached for comment at markhgaffney@earthlink.net