Homeland Security, Al-Qaeda – Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of October 12, 2008

This week's new entries are a fairly disparate bunch, ranging from the 1997 appointment of a new CIA station chief in Germany, David Edger, to Laura Bush's decrying the Taliban's oppression of women, and her husband's perceptive insight that poor people do not always become terrorists.

HistoryCommons.org - 2001 Anthrax Timeline Updated

hyperlinks: http://911reports.wordpress.com/2008/09/15/historycommonsorg-2001-anthrax-timeline-updated/

Article by Erik Larson

The 2001 Anthrax Attacks Timeline at HistoryCommons.org (aka CooperativeResearch.org) has been moved from The Complete 9/11 Timeline to the main Timelines page, and updated with the recent developments regarding the FBI’s Anthrax investigations. New entries include the clearing of Steven Hatfill, the death of Bruce Ivins and the FBI’s case against him, and the objections and questions being raised by experts, mainstream media and critics, and members of Congress. The 2001 Anthrax Attacks Timeline now has nearly 200 unique entries, and like all the Timelines at HistoryCommons.org, it will continue to grow as new and old information comes out.

Anthrax Attacks and Chechnya: Additions to the Complete 9/11 Timeline as of August 23, 2007

Most new entries this week again look at the 2001 anthrax attacks. In October 2001, the FDA only recommended Cipro for use against the disease, despite a plentiful supply of alternatives, and the FBI investigation into the attacks was hampered when it destroyed an original batch of Ames strain anthrax. In November, reports began emerging linking the USAMRIID lab to the attacks, although its head later claimed a "lot of good" had come out of them.

The History Commons -- an online tool for journalists by Michael Tuck

Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University posts an article about CooperativeResearch.org aka HistoryCommons.org, which features:

"The 9/11 Project: One of the largest areas of the Commons is its 9/11 project, perhaps one of the most comprehensive information resources about the events and issues surrounding that tragic event. The project manager, Paul Thompson, testified in a 2005 Congressional briefing on the 911 Commission's final report."


The History Commons -- an online tool for journalists
SHOWCASE | July 10, 2008
Individuals do research to create aggregated, searchable timelines for major events and stories, creating a resource for reporters and editors.

By Michael Tuck

On April 20, the New York Times published a revelatory, and since then largely ignored, article detailing the Pentagon's systematic propaganda campaign to promote the Iraq war and manipulate public opinion through the use of retired military officers as "independent" network analysts and commentators

“We Can’t Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans” (Sibel Edmonds on Marc Grossman) by Gary Leupp


“We Can’t Afford to Let Them Spill the Beans”
Sibel Edmonds on Marc Grossman
by Gary Leupp / January 28th, 2008

I am not one to easily embrace conspiracy theories, and in particular have found the idea that 9-11 was somehow an inside job too incredible for serious consideration. On the other hand, there are some very fishy aspects to some officials’ behavior pertaining to the attacks. Justin Raimondo has made a very good case for the fact that Mossad agents posing as “Israeli art students” were tracking al-Qaeda operatives in the U.S. before 9/11.

Watch ABC, NBC, CBS, BBC, and Fox September 11, 2001 coverage live, original, un-edited. (Even the commercials are intact!)

Watch the events of September 11, 2001 unfold in real-time, complete and unedited, on the major networks, simultaneously. These streams begin about 20 minutes before the first attack, while the morning news shows go about their cheerful business of interviewing tourists, singing the Love Boat theme song, goofing off with the cast of Everybody Loves Raymond, and discussing ways to make your pets live longer...

And then the world changed.

Living 9/11

Paul Thompson: Newly-Released FBI 9/11 Timeline

The tireless Paul Thompson has just posted some very interesting information from the FBI about the alleged 9/11 hijackers and their movements in the US during the months and weeks preceding the attacks. Much of this FBI Timeline has been redacted to the point of invisibility - but what remains is still well worth reading. It suggests heavy, high-level Saudi involvement, which could hardly have taken place without the tacit approval of US authorities and intelligence agencies. It also indicates quite clearly that, far from endeavouring to avoid the police at all costs, the Nineteen Deathloving Superstudents sometimes went out of their way to contact them.

And although all this information was available to the Kean/Hamilton/Zelikow Commission, they seem to have made a point of ignoring it.

Among the many gems:

CooperativeResearch.org Needs Donations

CooperativeResearch.org, which hosts the Complete 9/11 Timeline, is currently in the middle of an important fundraiser and badly needs donations. This is from its mailing list:

We are still broke and a long way off from our fundraising goal! Please support this very important project today. We are now 45 days into the fundraiser and still don't have operating funds for this quarter (which started more than two weeks ago). The funds will be used to support investigative projects and improve the software that runs the site.

If you are able to, please click here to give a donation.

As an example of the site's important work, here is a recently added 9/11 Timeline entry:

After September 11, 2001: Unlike Previous Incidents, NTSB Does Not Investigate 9/11 Plane Crashes

And the moon is made of green cheese.

The government would have us believe that they themselves were both incompetent and brilliant within the same 8 hour period on September 11, 2001.

8:14 to 8:20 a.m. - American Airlines Flight 11 goes off course and is hijacked.

9:37 a.m. - Pentagon gets hit.

(Timeline information courtesy of http://www.911timeline.net/)

That’s an hour and 17 minutes (77 minutes) between the time the first plane was hijacked and when flight 77 allegedly hit the pentagon.

The Complete 911 Timeline, managed by Paul Thompson [Update(s) added November 15, 2006]

Snippet(s) taken from "The Complete 911 Timeline", an online cooperative research project that evaluates mainstream press and other "credible" news and information sources. Its regular updates are mirrored in this blog to give it more overall exposure as well as provide an opportunity to discuss these research results.
      Update(s) published: Nov 15, 2006

September 5, 2000: Alhazmi Helps Housemate Cash Checks? FBI Later Flubs Investigation

A total of $1,900 is deposited in Nawaf Alhazmi’s Bank of America account from a set of traveler’s checks worth $4,000 that were issued in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on July 16, 2000 to a man named Yazeed al-Salmi. The same day, Alhazmi withdraws $1,900. US investigators will therefore later hypothesise that Alhazmi is just helping al-Salmi cash the checks, since al-Salmi does not open a US bank account of his own until September 11, 2000. Al-Salmi arrived in San Diego on a student visa on August 7, 2000 and moved in with Alhazmi and FBI counterterrorism informant Abdussatar Shaikh three days later, staying for about one month (see Summer-December 2000). Hijacker associate Omar al-Bayoumi, who nominally reports to al-Salmi’s uncle, Mohammed Ahmed al-Salmi of the Saudi Civil Aviation ministry, found him the accommodation (see September 1998-July 1999). After 9/11, the FBI will detain al-Salmi as a material witness and question him because of his contacts with Alhazmi, and he will testify before a grand jury before being deported to Saudi Arabia. However, al-Salmi does not mention the traveler’s checks in the interrogation and the FBI will not find out about them until after he is deported. Also, another associate of the hijackers, Mohdar Abdullah, will later claim that al-Salmi tells him he previously knew hijacker pilot Hani Hanjour as a child in Saudi Arabia (see (Early 2000-November 2000)). When the FBI interviews al-Salmi again, in Saudi Arabia in 2004, he will claim he no longer remembers the $1,900 transaction and the FBI will fail to ask him about his alleged childhood ties to Hanjour. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 222, 518; 9/11 Commission, 8/21/2004, pp. 139 pdf file; Time, 8/22/2004] There are later indications that al-Salmi and some of his associates have some foreknowledge of 9/11 (see Late August-September 10, 2001).

Entity Tags: Omar al-Bayoumi, Abdussattar Shaikh, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mohdar Abdullah, Mohammed Ahmed al-Salmi, Hani Hanjour, Nawaf Alhazmi, Yazeed al-Salmi

Early September 2000: FBI Counterterrorism Informer Helps Hijacker Open Bank Account

Hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi is helped by his landlord, FBI counterterrorism informant Abdussattar Shaikh, with whom he has been living for some time (see Summer-December 2000 and Autumn 2000) to open an account with the Lemon Grove branch of the Bank of America. Alhazmi deposits $3,000 to open the account. The origin of the $3,000 is unclear, as the last known cash injection Alhazmi received was five months earlier and totalled only $5,000 (see ). [CBS News, 9/27/2001; Associated Press, 9/20/2001] Hijacker Khalid Almihdhar had previously opened and closed a bank account in San Diego (see February 4, 2000)

Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Abdussattar Shaikh

(more items after break....)

The Complete 911 Timeline, managed by Paul Thompson [Update(s) added November 14, 2006]

Snippet(s) taken from "The Complete 911 Timeline", an online cooperative research project that evaluates mainstream press and other "credible" news and information sources. Its regular updates are mirrored in this blog to give it more overall exposure as well as provide an opportunity to discuss these research results.
      Update(s) published: Nov 14, 2006

(Mid-June-Mid-July 2000): Almihdhar Stays in Yemen House Monitored by US Intelligence

When he leaves the US in June (see June 10, 2000), hijacker Khalid Almihdhar flies to Frankfurt, Germany, and then to Oman in the Middle East. [US Congress, 7/24/2003, pp. 135 pdf file] From there he returns to his family’s home in Sana’a, Yemen. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 237] His wife and children live at an al-Qaeda communications hub that is run by his father in law, Ahmed al-Hada. The hub is being monitored by the NSA and CIA. Phone calls to and from the hub, including ones made by Almihdhar and other hijackers, are intercepted, rooms in the building are bugged, and spy satellites record visitors (see Late August 1998, Late 1998-Early 2002, and Early 2000-Summer 2001). Based on information gained from monitoring this house, the CIA and local intelligence services mounted a major operation against Almihdhar, other hijackers, and several more al-Qaeda operatives in December 1999 and January 2000, when they were followed around the Middle East and South Asia and monitored during an al-Qaeda planning meeting in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia (see December 29, 1999, January 2-5, 2000, and January 5-8, 2000). So presumably US intelligence should have been aware of this visit to the hub and who Almihdhar was, but what exactly was known and who may have known it is not clear.

Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Ahmed al-Hada, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency

Mid-July 2000: Almihdhar Reports to KSM; Claims He and Alhazmi Were Followed to US

According to a post-9/11 confession obtained from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), al-Qaeda operative Khallad bin Attash persuades hijacker Khalid Almihdhar to return to Afghanistan to meet with KSM. At the meeting, Almihdhar complains about life in the US but says he is confident he will be able to obtain another visa, as he left the US before his first one expired. He also tells Mohammed about the problems he and Nawaf Alhazmi have had enrolling in language schools and says they believe they were monitored when they flew from Bangkok to the US in January 2000 (see January 15, 2000) (it is not clear who may have monitored them). Supposedly, KSM is angry that Almihdhar left the US without permission and wishes to exclude Almihdhar from the mission, but bin Laden himself intervenes and keeps Almihdhar involved. [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 237, 269; US District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, Alexandria Division, 7/3/2006, pp. 20-21 pdf file] Doubts have been raised about the reliability of KSM’s confession, as it was obtained using torture (see June 16, 2004). According to author Ron Suskind, at one point interrogators even threaten to hurt KSM’s children, a seven-year-old boy and a nine-year-old girl, unless he provides more information. [Suskind, 2006, pp. 230]

Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Tawifiq ("Khallad") bin Attash, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi

Summer 2000: NSA Continues to Intercept Calls between Hijackers and Yemen Communications Hub

After hijacker Khaled Almihdhar returns to the Middle East (see June 10, 2000 and (Mid-June-Mid-July 2000)), the NSA continues to intercept his telephone calls to and from an al-Qaeda communications hub in Sana’a, Yemen, where his wife and children live. US intelligence understands that this is one of the most important al-Qaeda hot spots, and has been closely monitoring it since at least late 1998 (see August 5-25, 1998 and Late 1998-Early 2002). It also intercepts calls between hijacker Salem Alhazmi and the hub, as well as conversations between his brother, hijacker Nawaf Alhazmi, in the US and the hub (see Mid-October 2000-Summer 2001). [US Congress, 7/24/2003, pp. 157 pdf file; Wright, 2006, pp. 343; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 222] The NSA had previously intercepted calls made by the hijackers to and from the communications hub, both when they were in the US and outside it (see Early 2000-Summer 2001).

Entity Tags: National Security Agency, Nawaf Alhazmi, Salem Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar

For access to the complete 911 Timeline (as well as research results on other, non-911 topics) please visit "Cooperative Research".

The Complete 911 Timeline, managed by Paul Thompson [Update(s) added November 13, 2006]

Snippet(s) taken from "The Complete 911 Timeline", an online cooperative research project that evaluates mainstream press and other "credible" news and information sources. Its regular updates are mirrored in this blog to give it more overall exposure as well as provide an opportunity to discuss these research results.
      Update(s) published: Nov 13, 2006

August 5-25, 1998: Embassy Bomber’s Arrest Points to Vital Al-Qaeda Communications Hub

Before and after the August 7, 1998 attack on the US embassy in Nairobi, Kenya (see August 7, 1998), a bomber involved in that attack named Mohamed al-Owhali makes a series of calls to al-Qaeda associate Ahmed al-Hada, who runs an al-Qaeda communications hub in Sana’a, Yemen. Al-Owhali, who was supposed to be martyred in the attack, is asking al-Hada for help getting out of Kenya and eventually receives $1,000 from him. Al-Hada also receives three calls from bin Laden’s satellite phone, which is being monitored by the NSA (see November 1996-Late August 1998). Following a raid by London police, the FBI trace a fax claiming responsibility for the attack through Baku, Azerbaijan to bin Laden’s satellite phone, which leads them to the communications hub in Sana’a. Phone records for the hub direct them to al-Owhali in Nairobi. Al-Owhali has already been arrested based on a tip-off and, after the FBI interrogators realise he is lying to them, he confesses to calling the number. Author Lawrence Wright will say, “This Yemeni telephone number would prove to be one of the most important pieces of information the FBI would ever discover, allowing investigators to map the links of the al-Qaeda network all across the globe.” [United States of America v. Usama bin Laden, et al., 3/27/2001; The Observer, 8/5/2001; Wright, 2006, pp. 275-8; United States of America v. Usama bin Laden, et al., 3/7/2001] The NSA may well already have been aware of the number since bin Laden’s monitored phone called it many times, but the US intelligence community now begins a joint effort to exploit it (see Late-August 1998 and Late 1998-Early 2002). Other apparently inaccurate stories about how al-Owhali was captured have been reported in the press. [Reeve, 1999]

Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ahmed al-Hada, Mohamed al-Owhali, National Security Agency, Osama bin Laden

February 4, 2000: Hijackers Open San Diego Bank Account

Hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi open an account at the Bank of America in San Diego with a $9,900 deposit. The 9/11 Commission will later report, “The $16,000 that [Khalid Shaikh Mohammed] said he gave Alhazmi to support his and Almihdhar’s travel and living expenses in the United States is the likely source of their funds.” [9/11 Commission, 8/21/2004, pp. 135-136 ] The account is closed in early June when Almihdhar returns to the Middle East (see June 10, 2000). [9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 222]

Entity Tags: Khalid Almihdhar, Nawaf Alhazmi

(more items after break....)

The Complete 911 Timeline, managed by Paul Thompson [Update(s) added November 10, 2006]

Snippet(s) taken from "The Complete 911 Timeline", an online cooperative research project that evaluates mainstream press and other "credible" news and information sources. Its regular updates are mirrored in this blog to give it more overall exposure as well as provide an opportunity to discuss these research results.
      Update(s) published: Nov 10, 2006

(Mid-July - December 2000): Atta and Alshehhi Frequent Venice Bars

While attending flight school in Venice, Florida (see July 6-December 19, 2000), Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi regularly visit a couple of local bars. Most nights, after flying classes, they drink beer at the Outlook. They are observed there as being well dressed and well spoken. Atta comes across as cold and unfriendly, and is disapproving of the presence of women servers behind the bar. Bartender Lizsa Lehman will later say that, after the 9/11 attacks, “I remember thinking that [Atta] was capable of everything they had said was done.” In contrast, Alshehhi is “friendly and jovial and ... always eager to interact with bartenders and patrons.” Lehman later says, “I, to this day, have trouble seeing [Alshehhi] doing it [i.e., participating in 9/11].” [Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/2006; Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/10/2006] Atta and several friends are also regulars at the 44th Aero Squadron bar. The group drinks Bud Light, talks quietly, and stays sober. The bar’s owner, Ken Schortzmann, says Atta has “a fanny pack with a big roll of cash in it,” and comments, “I never had any problems with them. ... They ... didn’t drink heavily or flirt with the waitresses, like some of the other flight students.” While he regularly goes to these bars during this period, Atta never visits any of the three mosques in Southwest Florida, and avoids contact with local Muslims. [Newsweek, 9/24/2001; Sarasota Herald-Tribune, 9/28/2001]

Entity Tags: Marwan Alshehhi, Mohamed Atta

September 11, 2001, (8:38 a.m.-8:52 a.m.): NEADS Calls NORAD Public Affairs Officer

Lt. Col. Dawne Deskins of NEADS twice calls Major Don Arias, the 1st Air Force and Continental United States NORAD Region public affairs officer, who is at the 1st Air Force public affairs office at Tyndall Air Force, Florida. She first calls him after NEADS is informed of the hijacking of Flight 11 (see (8:37 a.m.)). She says that NEADS has “a hijacked plane—no, not the simulation—likely heading for JFK [International Airport in New York City].” [Newhouse News Service, 1/25/2002] The “simulation” refers to a NORAD air defense exercise, presumably Vigilant Guardian, that Arias is involved in. Deskins informs him that fighters are going to be launched after the aircraft. Arias then starts working on a public statement about the incident, but soon after sees the smoking WTC tower on CNN. He says that he thinks, “Wow, I bet that’s the hijacked plane.” [Florida State Times, 11/2001; Airman, 9/2002; Filson, 2004, pp. 122] Minutes after the crash, Deskins calls Arias again and tells him, “We think the aircraft that just hit the World Trade Center was American Airlines Flight 11.” According to Deskins, Arias responds, “Oh, God. My brother works in the World Trade Center.” [Newhouse News Service, 1/25/2002; ABC News, 9/11/2002; Bamford, 2004, pp. 13-14] Arias will quickly contact his brother (see (8:53 a.m.)).

Entity Tags: Northeast Air Defense Sector, North American Aerospace Defense Command, Dawne Deskins, Don Arias

(more items after break....)

The Complete 911 Timeline, managed by Paul Thompson [Update(s) added November 9, 2006]

Snippet(s) taken from "The Complete 911 Timeline", an online cooperative research project that evaluates mainstream press and other "credible" news and information sources. Its regular updates are mirrored in this blog to give it more overall exposure as well as provide an opportunity to discuss these research results.
      Update(s) published: Nov 9, 2006

September 11, 2001, (After 9:20 a.m.): FAA Administrator Frustrated That Military Is Not Involved in Teleconference

At 9:20 a.m. (or earlier, according to some accounts), the FAA set up a hijacking teleconference with several agencies (see (9:20 a.m.)). FAA records indicate that the National Military Command Center within the Pentagon was included in the communication network “no later than 9:20 a.m.” [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004 pdf file] Yet at some point later in the morning, Acting FAA Deputy Administrator Monte Belger becomes aware that the military is not involved in the teleconference in any meaningful way. Presumably referring to tape recordings of the FAA headquarters, 9/11 Commissioner Jamie Gorelick will later say to Belger, “We heard some rather colorful language came from your mouth at that point.” The absence of the NMCC from the teleconference is unusual. Belger says, “I’ve lived through dozens of hijackings in my 30-year FAA career ... and [the NMCC] were always there. They were always on the net, and were always listening in with everybody else.” He adds, “The most frustrating after-the-fact scenario for me to understand is to explain ... the communication link on that morning between the FAA operations center and the NMCC. ... I know how it’s supposed to work, but ... it’s still a little frustrating for me to understand how it actually did work on that day.” [9/11 Commission, 6/17/2004; 9/11 Commission, 7/24/2004, pp. 36]

Entity Tags: National Military Command Center, Monty Belger

September 11, 2001, (Soon After 9:37 a.m.): Air Force Liaison Said to Join Teleconference; FAA Disputes Timing

A statement provided by the FAA in 2003 will claim that, minutes after the first WTC tower was hit, the FAA established a teleconference with several agencies. It will claim that the “US Air Force liaison to the FAA immediately joined the FAA headquarters phone bridge and established contact with NORAD on a separate line” (see (8:50 a.m.)). [9/11 Commission, 5/23/2003] However the Air Force liaison subsequently disputes this, saying she only arrived at FAA headquarters five or ten minutes after the first tower was hit. She says, “I went to my office. Everybody was there around the TV. We watched the events unfold. At first, we were kind of hanging back and saying, you know, there’s something awful going on with the air traffic system ... But at a certain point, not too long after that, it became obvious that ... something really strange is going on and so ... I relocated. I went upstairs to the 10th floor.” She therefore only joins the FAA teleconference after 9:37 a.m., when the Pentagon was hit. [US Department of Transportation, 8/31/2006 pdf file]

(more items after break....)

The Complete 911 Timeline, managed by Paul Thompson [Update(s) added November 8, 2006]

Snippet(s) taken from "The Complete 911 Timeline", an online cooperative research project that evaluates mainstream press and other "credible" news and information sources. Its regular updates are mirrored in this blog to give it more overall exposure as well as provide an opportunity to discuss these research results.
      Update(s) published: Nov 8, 2006

(Before July 24, 2001): Risk Assessment Identifies Aircraft Striking WTC as One of the ‘Maximum Foreseeable Losses’

A property risk assessment report is prepared for Silverstein Properties before it acquires the lease for the World Trade Center (see July 24, 2001). It identifies the scenario of an aircraft hitting one of the WTC towers as one of the “maximum foreseeable losses.” The report says, “This scenario is within the realm of the possible, but highly unlikely.” Further details of the assessment, such as who prepared it, are unreported. [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 5/2003, pp. 16 pdf file; Barrett and Collins, 2006, pp. 189; American Prospect, 9/1/2006]

Entity Tags: Silverstein Properties, World Trade Center

July 24, 2001: World Trade Center Ownership Changes Hands For the First Time

Larry Silverstein.
[Source: Silverstein Properties publicity photo]
Larry Silverstein.

Private businessman Larry Silverstein’s $3.2 billion purchase of the World Trade Center is finalized, giving him de facto ownership with a 99-year lease of the building. [IREIzine, 7/26/2001] It is the only time the WTC has ever changed hands. It was previously owned by the New York Port Authority, a bi-state government agency. [International Council of Shopping Centers, 4/27/2001] After 9/11, Silverstein attempts to get $7 billion in insurance for the 9/11 destruction of the WTC towers. [Guardian, 10/24/2001] In late 2004, he will be tentatively awarded $2.2 billion, double what insurance companies offered to pay him. [United Press International, 12/6/2004] A judge also makes a ruling that keeps open the possibility he could eventually receive as much as $6.4 billion. [Associated Press, 12/7/2004]

Entity Tags: New York Port Authority, World Trade Center, Larry Silverstein

September 11, 2001, (9:59 a.m.): Some Witnesses Hear Explosions as South Tower Collapses

Numerous witnesses, including firefighters and other rescue workers, hear explosions at the start of, and during, the collapse of the south WTC tower. Some of them report hearing a single explosion:
bullet Jeff Birnbaum: “There was an explosion and the whole top leaned toward us and started coming down.” [Electrical Wholesaling, 2/1/2002]
bullet Battalion Chief John Sudnik: “[W]e heard a loud explosion or what sounded like a loud explosion and looked up and I saw tower two start coming down.” [City of New York, 11/7/2001]
bullet Firefighter Edward Kennedy hears “a tremendous boom, explosion ... and the top of the building was coming down at us.” [City of New York, 1/17/2002]
bullet Firefighter Edward Sheehey hears “an explosion, looked up, and the building started to collapse.” [City of New York, 12/4/2001]
bullet Battalion Chief Thomas Vallebuona: “I heard ‘boom,’ an exploding sound, a real loud bang. I looked up, and I could see the Trade Center starting to come down.” [City of New York, 1/2/2002]
bullet EMT Julio Marrero: “I heard a loud bang. We looked up, and we just saw the building starting to collapse.” [City of New York, 10/25/2001] Other witnesses report hearing multiple explosions:
bullet Journalist Pete Hamill: “We heard snapping sounds, pops, little explosions, and then the walls bulged out, and we heard a sound like an avalanche.” [New York Daily News, 9/11/2001]
bullet Police officer Sue Keane, who is an Army veteran, is located in the north WTC tower: “[I]t sounded like bombs going off. That’s when the explosions happened. ... It started to get dark, then all of a sudden there was this massive explosion.” [Hagen and Carouba, 2002, pp. 65]
bullet Firefighter Keith Murphy, who is in the lobby of the north tower: “[T]he first thing that happened, which I still think is strange to me, the lights went out. ... I had heard right before the lights went out, I had heard a distant boom boom boom, sounded like three explosions. ... At the time, I would have said they sounded like bombs, but it was boom boom boom and then the lights all go out. ... I would say about 3, 4 seconds, all of a sudden this tremendous roar.” [City of New York, 12/5/2001]
bullet Firefighter Craig Carlsen hears “explosions coming from building two, the south tower. It seemed like it took forever, but there were about ten explosions. ... We then realized the building started to come down.” [City of New York, 1/25/2002]
bullet Firefighter Thomas Turilli, who is in the lobby of the north tower: “[A]ll of a sudden you just heard like it almost actually that day sounded like bombs going off, like boom, boom, boom, like seven or eight, and then just a huge wind gust just came ... It just seemed like a huge explosion.” [City of New York, 1/17/2002]
bullet Firefighter Stephen Viola: “[T]hat’s when the south tower collapsed, and it sounded like a bunch of explosions. You heard like loud booms.” [City of New York, 1/10/2002]
bullet Firefighter Lance Lizzul: “[W]e heard some bangs. That made us look up, and that’s when the first Trade Center came down.” [City of New York, 12/10/2001]
bullet Paramedic Kevin Darnowski: “I heard three explosions, and then we heard like groaning and grinding, and tower two started to come down.” [City of New York, 11/9/2001] However, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, which conducts a three-year study of the WTC collapses, will subsequently claim it found “no corroborating evidence for alternative hypotheses suggesting that the WTC towers were brought down by controlled demolition using explosives” (see October 26, 2005). [National Institute of Standards and Technology, 9/2005, pp. 146 pdf file]

Entity Tags: Thomas Turilli, Edward Sheehey, World Trade Center, Julio Marrero, Kevin Darnowski, John Sudnik, Pete Hamill, Keith Murphy, Stephen Viola, Ed Kennedy, Jeff Birnbaum, Thomas Vallebuona, Sue Keane, Lance Lizzul, Craig Carlsen

(more items after break....)