Able Danger – and the Pentagon. When Common Sense Trumps Official Reports

When Common Sense Trumps Official Reports
Able Danger – and the Pentagon
Crisis In America

John Albanese

“The Pentagon inspector general's office said Thursday that a review of records from the unit, known as Able Danger, found no evidence it had identified ringleader Mohamed Atta or any other terrorist who participated in the 2001 attacks.”


§ The Pentagon acknowledged publicly, that they had identified five defense employees who either vividly remember identifying Mohammed Atta prior to 9/11 or seeing his name linked with a Brooklyn cell prior to 9/11.

§ Scott Philpott (ph), a Navy commanding officer, commander one of the USA’s naval warships, an Annapolis graduate, has come out publicly and risked his entire career to testify under oath that he specifically remembers identifying Mohammed Atta in January and February of 2000, specifically; that he would stake his career on it. And that he was the leader of Able Danger.

§ Lieutenant Colonel Tony Shaffer, a Bronze Star 23-year military veteran, testified under oath before the Senate that as a DIA liaison to Special Forces Command for Able Danger, he attempted to present information to the FBI on three occasions in September of 2000 about the Brooklyn cell and Mohammed Atta.

§ The woman at the FBI who set those three meetings testified under oath at the Senate hearings that she actually organized the three meetings. She knew the topics of the meetings because there had been other discussions that occurred prior to the attempt to set up those three meetings. And in each of the cases of those three meetings, they were abruptly canceled by Pentagon lawyers hours before those meetings were to take place.

§ One Pentagon employee testified under oath, on the record, that in the summer of 2000, he was ordered -- or he would lose his job and/or go to jail if he didn't comply -- to destroy 2.5 terabytes of data specific to Able Danger, the Brooklyn cell and Mohammed Atta. This is the equivalent to one-fourth of all the printed material that the Library of Congress has in their collection.

§ The Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency was in a meeting with Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer almost a year before 9/11, and Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer showed him a disk in his office with information about al Qaida and Mohamed Atta, and the Deputy Director of the Defense Intelligence Agency stopped the briefing and said, “you cannot show me that. I do not want to see it. It might contain information I cannot look at.”

§ Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer later says that an unnamed two-star general above him is “very adamant” about not looking further at Atta. “I was directed several times [to ignore Atta], to the point where he had to remind me he was a general and I was not ... [and] I would essentially be fired.” [Fox News, 8/19/2005]

§ Tony Shaffer in October of 2003 first briefed the 9/11 Commission's staff in Baghram. In January of 2004 when he was twice rebuffed by the 9/11 Commission for a personal follow-up meeting, he was assigned back to Afghanistan to lead a special classified program.

§ When he returned in March, he was called in and verbally his security clearance was temporarily lifted. By lifting his security clearance, he could not go back into DIA quarters where all the materials he had about Able Danger were, in fact, stored. He could not get access to memos that, in fact, he will tell you discussed the briefings he provided both to the previous administration and this administration.

§ The 9/11 Commission failed to investigate or mention Able Danger in their final report.

From the Congressional Record
Friday, Oct. 21, 2005

Congressman Curt Weldon:

“His (Shaffer) career is ended. He is no longer in military intelligence. They have taken his security clearance, and they are about to destroy him as a person. They are about to deny him the basic health care and the salary that he has earned, and they are doing it in this way. This is outrageous. It is evil. They do not want to fire Tony because they also do not want him to talk to the media. So by suspending him and removing his pay and his health care, they hurt him bad, but he cannot talk because he is under suspension…”

“This is outrageous, Mr. Speaker. They trumped up charges against him. They said while he was overseas in Afghanistan, forward deployed, that he forwarded cell phone calls from his official phone to his personal phone; and when they checked that out, it ran up a cost to the taxpayers of about $60. The second verbal charge they gave him was that he went to a course at the Army War College and he got reimbursed for his travel, his mileage and tolls, 100-some dollars. And they said he received a commendation for which he was not entitled, even though it was signed by his commanding officer and the acting Secretary of the Army.”

“They even went to this length, Mr. Speaker: the Defense Intelligence Agency wrote in an official document that Lieutenant Colonel Shaffer stole public property. A serious charge. Well, when you check what that public property was, it was an assortment of pens, government pens. But what they did not say in the Defense Intelligence report was that he took those pens when he was 15 years of age and was with his father when he was on assignment at one of our embassy outposts. He took the pens to give to other students at the school when he was 15 years of age.”

- Congressman Curt Weldon

Who was Muhammad Atta, and why was he afforded special protection by high-ranking members of the Pentagon, including a two-star general?

Why was he essentially off-limits?

Instead of answering these questions the Pentagon has chosen to issue a report denying any of these events took place.

It appears that the events associated with Able Danger go far beyond a simple Limited Hangout explanation in that we have evidence of “special protection” for the alleged hijackers. This goes far beyond the limited hangout of a cover-up associated with ‘simple incompetence.”

We are forced to conclude that the evidence, as we know it, strongly supports either a LIHOP (let it happen on purpose) or MIHOP (made it happen on purpose) theory of why these operatives were allowed to continue operating in the USA.

read all about it...

in the report [PDF] found in the DOD pressroom

Connections to the Blind Sheikh

Good blog entry, by the way.

I've found three connections (of the sort suggested by Able Danger, i.e. people going to the same mosques) between the hijackers and associates of the Blind Sheikh.
(1) Atta and Al Shehhi were connected to Gulshair and Adnan El Shukrijumah.
Gulshair Shukrijumah was a Saudi missionary who had a mosque in Miramar, FL, near where many of the hijackers worked and trained. He was previously an imam at the Al Farouq mosuqe in Brooklyn; served as the Blind Sheikh's interpreter; and appeared as a defence witness as the trial for the 1993 WTC bombing (as a character witness for Clement Hampton-El).
The connection is not nailed-on, but I've developed some evidence to support it:
(a) His son Adnan, an Al Qaeda operative who now has a USD 5 million bounty on his head, was seen with Mohamed Atta on 2 May 2001 (Terrorist Travel, p. 40). Link:
(b) As I mentioned, most of the hijackers lived near the Al Hijrah mosque in Miramar (for example Atta lived in Coral Springs);
(c) According to the Joint Inquiry, Atta and Al Shehhi attended a Florida mosque (p. 169);
(d) After 9/11, the FBI went to the mosque, showed Gulshair El Shukrijumah and his wife pictures of Atta and the other hijackers and asked them if they recognised their faces (his wife replied her memory was hazy ,by the way). Links:
There's another article in the LA Times that mentions this, but it's not available online.
(e) Before 9/11, Adnan El Shukrijumah travelled around the United States. According to the FBI he cased targets in New York, Washington, Chicago and Montreal for Al Qaeda. He then left the US around the time of the attacks and went to Trinidad and Tobago (where he was brought up). Link:

Naturally, the 9/11 Commission ignored the Florida mosque.

Like I said, it's not nailed on, but it's not bad.

(2) Khalid Al Mihdhar and Nawaf Al Hazmi attended the same mosque in San Diego as Osama Basnan, who allegedly threw a party for the Blind Sheikh in 1992.
Party link:

(3) The mosque was also visited by a person who was "closely associated" with the Blind Sheikh who was being investigated by the FBI in Los Angeles (Joint Inquiry report, p. 179).

So that's the three. Could we show a picture of Gulshair El Shukrijumah to Shaffer to see if it jogs his memory?


Several excerpts reproduced at the following thread directly contradict the IG report's conclusions:

Not to quible.......

.....but I think this blog should be moved to the Daily News section.

I believe Able Danger is one of the biggest smoking guns associated with 9/11. The fact that a whistleblower's career is being ruined - combined with the fact that he claims a general told him "hands off" Atta - and now this ludicrous report by the DoD - makes this an explosive story.