The largest group of entries added to the 9/11 Timeline over the last couple of weeks concerns military exercises and the day of 9/11. FAA training exercises in December 2000 included scenarios
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Most of the entries published over the last couple of weeks are about video and audio messages released by al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri. We have a call for jihad in Somalia from January 2007, a request for media questions from December of that year, and a call for revenge for Israeli attacks in Gaza the following March. This was followed by his answers to the questions in two parts, the last of which was a platform for him to claim the rumors Israel was behind 9/11 were planted by the nefarious mullahs of Tehran.
DC Air National Guard on 9/11, The Many Deaths of Osama bin Laden – Updates to the 9/11 Timeline as of February 3, 2010
After a hiatus of a couple of weeks, dozens of new entries have been published in the 9/11 Timeline over the last few days. The largest chunk of them covers events at the DC Air National Guard, based at Andrews Air Force Base, on the day of the attacks. Initially, officers assumed that the first crash into the WTC was an accident. However, after the second crash, Andrews learned the Secret Service wanted fighters launched. Although the Secret Service then said it didn't on the phone, pilots started overwriting recent exercise data on their flight disks.
The vast majority of entries published by the 9/11 Timeline over the past couple of weeks concern the elusive Osama bin Laden. First, there are entries about audio recordings he has reportedly released over the last couple of years, about the Muhammad cartoons, Palestine, Palestine again, Gaza, Israel, the badness of Barack Obama, US policy, and Afghanistan.
Three entries recently published in the 9/11 Timeline cover films with 9/11-style themes made before the attacks. 1977's ''Black Sunday'' had terrorists crashing an explosive-laden blimp into the Superbowl stadium, 1996's ''Executive Decision'' featured a planned suicide attack with a commercial jet, and a late 2001 Chuck Norris vehicle originally entitled ''The President's Man: Ground Zero'' was too close to real events for comfort and CBS refused to air it.
Elsewhere, al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri was unsurprisingly unimpressed with Barrack Obama, two of the 9/11 hijackers asked a neighbour for their towel back shortly before the attacks, and some of the 2006 "liquid bomb" plotters were convicted in Britain in September, although others were acquitted. Their alleged leader Rashid Rauf was hit by a drone last year, although doubts about his death persist.
Finally, some Democrats kicked up a stink after the famous August 6 Presidential Daily Brief item was made public in 2002, former CIA agent Larry Kolb thought the US was less safe than ever in 2007, and alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and four associates expressed a desire to plead guilty to charges against them in military commissions late last year.
Reposted from here.
Destruction of Flight Controllers’ Tape, Day of 9/11 – Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of November 4, 2009
One of the main focuses at the 9/11 Timeline recently has been the destruction of a tape of FAA flight controllers' recollections. The tape was made at the FAA's New York Center about an hour and a half after the attacks ended, despite worries about the procedure by a union official and the controllers. However, when New York Center forwarded evidence about the attacks to the FBI the next day, it did not provide the tape, and its existence was not reported to superiors.
Most of the new entries in the last week have concerned the "red herring" Delta 1989, which was a suspected hijack in the day of 9/11, but was never taken over by terrorists. Shortly after the hijacking of United 93, both Delta 1989 and other aircraft had to turn to avoid the hijacked airliner, and, shortly after the Pentagon was hit, Delta Air Lines ordered the plane to land in Cleveland, but did not tell the FAA. The pilot then changed course and failed to respond to an FAA message, causing the FAA to think it may be a hijack. However, when the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) told the FAA the Delta plane was a confirmed hijack at 9:45 a.m., an FAA controller disagreed.
Some of the recently added entries go into more detail about the 9/11 Commission, which discovered the FAA was withholding documents from it in September 2003 and issued its first subpoena for them a month later. Soon after, the commission also subpoenaed the Pentagon, despite a last-ditch bid to avert it by the commission’s Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton, a good friend of Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. In addition, Commissioner John Lehman repeatedly told the White House of Saudi links to the 9/11 plotters, but the administration was uninterested.
Most of the recently published entries at the 9/11 Timeline focus on the day of the attacks. The Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS), which had been briefed on the possibility of a plane hitting the WTC at some time before 9/11, asked Langley Air Force Base to get a third plane ready to launch at 9:10 or shortly after, meaning that the unit there would have no supervisor of flying. It also took control of Washington airspace and directed the Langley fighters to the White House at 9:36, around the same time tankers refuelled jets launched from Otis Air Force Base near New York.
Several of the new entries added to the 9/11 Timeline over the last couple of weeks focus on the issue of Londonistan--co-operation between radicals and British authorities. Shortly after 9/11, a Spanish judge named radical cleric Abu Qatada as al-Qaeda's spiritual leader in Europe, although Abu Qatada was also an informer for British intelligence who had been convicted in the Millennium bomb plot trial in Jordan. In the early 1990s, imam Bakri Mohammed called for the assassination of British Prime Minister John Major and Bakri also worked for the British at some point, as did Abu Hamza, who linked up with an al-Qaeda recruiting sergeant in 1999. Meanwhile, the British had failed to act on intelligence that could have prevented a wave of attacks in France.
9/11 Commission, ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’ PDB – Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of January 11, 2009
Most of this week's additions to the 9/11 Timeline focus on the 9/11 Commission, in particular its treatment of the August 6 Presidential Daily Brief (PDB) item entitled "Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US." Philip Zelikow, the commission's executive director, allegedly pressured one of the CIA analysts who wrote the PDB to accept the White House's interpretation of what it said, but this conversation was overheard by a staffer, who reported it through a back-channel network used to monitor Zelikow's behaviour. Zelikow tried to prevent a formal interview of the CIA analysts who wrote the PDB item, but was unsuccessful and they told the commission the PDB was neither "historical" nor ordered by Bush.
Most of this week’s new entries in the 9/11 Timeline again deal with the day of 9/11, shortly before which NORAD was preparing a major war game. On the day itself, the Northeast Air Defense Sector (NEADS) called an air defence unit in Atlantic City, just before the first plane hit the World Trade Center, but the phone was not answered. FAA manager Ben Sliney began responding to the crisis around the same time and the air space over New York was closed after the second plane hit.
Many of this week's new entries in the 9/11 Timeline again cover the day of 9/11. The control tower at Otis Air Force Base, from which fighters were launched to intercept the hijacked airliners, called Otis operations center shortly after 8:34 a.m. and the military liaison at Boston Center, Colin Scoggins, updated NEADS around the same time. After the first crash, FAA manager Ben Sliney failed to realize it was Flight 11 that had hit the WTC, but Scoggins wondered if it was.
The main area for new entries in the 9/11 Timeline this week is the day of 9/11. A sergeant at NEADS passed on news of Flight 11's hijacking to colleagues at 8:38 a.m., after which NEADS technicians attempted to locate the flight. Flight 175 entered New York Center's airspace, making radio contact, at 8:40 a.m., shortly after which the military liaison at Boston Center called New York Center about Flight 11's hijacking. The order to launch fighters from Otis air force base was given at 8:45 a.m., although New Jersey Air National Guard fighters on a training mission at the same time were unaware of the attacks.
Several entries have been added to the 9/11 Timeline in the past fortnight, in particular concerning tracking of the 9/11 hijackers by Saudi authorities. Nawaf Alhazmi obtained a new passport in Saudi Arabia in March 1999. The passport contained an indicator the Saudi authorities used to track his movements. Alhazmi obtained a US visa with the passport and entered the US with it. Another hijacker, Ahmed Alhaznawi, possibly obtained a passport with the same indicator before November 2000 and then left Saudi Arabia. It has also been suggested that a third hijacker, Ahmed Alnami, had a similar indicator in his passport.