Andrews Air Force base

Why Were U.S. Intelligence Facilities in an 'Information Void' During the 9/11 Attacks?

The FBI's Strategic Information and Operations Center

When the terrorist attacks began on September 11, 2001, numerous U.S. intelligence agencies and facilities that should have been closely following the catastrophic events taking place in the skies over America were unaware that anything was wrong. Because of their particular responsibilities and their advanced capabilities, agencies such as the FBI and the National Security Agency (NSA) should have been among the first to learn the details of the crisis. But, instead, they were apparently in an information blackout, and their knowledge of the attacks was limited to what they could learn from television reports.

The fact that key intelligence agencies and facilities experienced this problem, and all at the same time, suggests that the information blackout may have been intentional--an act of sabotage committed by the perpetrators of the attacks. Such an act could have been intended to render these agencies and facilities useless when their services were urgently needed, thereby helping to ensure that the attacks were successful.

The 90-Minute Stand Down on 9/11: Why Was the Secret Service's Early Request for Fighter Jets Ignored?

Shortly after the second World Trade Center tower was hit, at 9:03 a.m. on September 11, 2001, an officer at Andrews Air Force Base, just outside Washington, DC, was notified that the Secret Service wanted fighter jets launched over the nation's capital. It was now obvious the U.S. was under terrorist attack, and Washington would have been an obvious potential target. And yet the Secret Service's request came to nothing.

No fighters had taken off from Andrews by 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon was hit. Nor had any launched by the time Flight 93 apparently crashed in Pennsylvania, shortly after 10:00 a.m., while flying toward Washington. In fact, fighters did not launch from Andrews until over 90 minutes after the second attack in New York. The first fully armed fighters did not launch from there until more than two hours after that attack. So why was the Secret Service's early request for help not acted upon? Why did fighter jets only take off from this massive Air Force base to defend the capital well after the morning's attacks had ended?

SECRET SERVICE CALLS FAA HEADQUARTERS

Did Training Exercises Prevent Andrews Air Force Base From Responding to the 9/11 Attacks?


Why did airplanes fly around for an hour and a half without interceptors being
scrambled from Andrews [Air Force Base] ... right next to the capital?

- Paul Hellyer, Canadian minister of national defense, 1963-1967

Many aircraft at a military base just outside Washington, DC, were taking part in training exercises around the time the terrorist attacks occurred on September 11, 2001, it has been revealed. But whether these exercises impaired the ability of the various units at the base to effectively respond to the attacks has never been properly investigated.

D.C. Crash Kills General Who Scrambled Jets on 9/11

D.C. Crash Kills General Who Scrambled Jets on 9/11

David F. Wherley Jr., the head of the Washington National Guard who scrambled jets over the city during the 9/11 terrorist attacks, was among those killed in the worst commuter train crash in the city’s history, officials said.
Wherley’s wife, Ann, was also among the nine people killed when a train plowed into the rear of a stopped train during rush hour on June 22, Quintin Peterson, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Police Department, said in a telephone interview. Both were 62 and lived in southeast Washington.

Wherley was commander of the 113th Fighter Wing at Andrews Air Force base in Maryland during the September 2001 terrorist attacks and sent up aircraft with orders to protect the White House and the Capitol, according to the 9/11 Commission report.

He commanded the District of Columbia National Guard from 2003 to 2008, the unit said in a statement.