Tom Wilshire

Who Is Margaret Gillespie?

Jon Gold has been kind enough to let me write an introduction to one of his Who Is? series. It deals with Margaret Gillespie, the FBI agent who discovered that two of the 9/11 hijackers were in the US shortly before the attacks:

Margaret Gillespie was an FBI agent who, while detailed to Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, was involved in the search for Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi in the summer of 2001. She attended the stormy 11 June meeting between the CIA and FBI and, at the suggestion of CIA manager Tom Wilshire, performed a low-key review of al-Qaeda’s Malaysia summit, where the CIA let two of the 9/11 hijackers slip through their fingers in early 2000. Because Wilshire only told her to perform the review in her “free time,” she did not find and realise the significance of CIA cables indicating Almihdhar and Alhazmi had entered the US until 21 August 2001 – even though the review started in May. However, she immediately called the FBI, alerting them they should look for the two, and had Almihdhar, Alhazmi, an alias for their associate Khallad bin Attash, and an Iraqi named Ahmad Hikmat Shakir watchlisted on 23 August.

Disconnecting the Dots - How CIA officer Tom Wilshire hid two 9/11 hijackers from the FBI

I have written a summary of the 9/11 Timeline's CIA Hiding Alhazmi and Almihdhar chapter. It begins:

Parts of the story of the CIA’s knowledge of the 9/11 hijackers have trickled out over the years since the attacks, contained in three reports, of the Congressional Inquiry, 9/11 Commission and Justice Department, as well as in books, in particular the Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, and evidence presented at the trial of Zacarias Moussoaui. When all the information is put together, two conclusions stand out: everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong, and almost every time something went wrong, the same man was at the centre of the failure: Tom Wilshire, deputy chief of Alec Station, the CIA’s bin Laden unit, and later CIA liaison to the FBI.

A meeting in Malaysia

Yemen Hub - Sumamry of 9/11 Timeline Chapter

I wrote a summary of the Yemen Hub chapter in the 9/11 Timeline. It is about the NSA listening to the hijackers' calls and how their explanation for why they didn't catch the hijackers based on the intercepts doesn't make any sense.

It begins:

Yemen Hub: NSA was listening in on the 9/11 hijackers’ calls for years

And how this became the rationale for the NSA’s warrantless wiretapping program

The “Yemen hub” was an al-Qaeda communications hub that fell under US surveillance in the mid-late 1990s and was also home to Khalid Almihdhar, said to have been on the plane that hit the Pentagon on 9/11. There are still many unanswered questions about the surveillance, such as why were the NSA and its fellow agencies unable to roll up the plot based on the intercepts? And how did it come to be used as the justification for the NSA’s current domestic warrantless program?

You can find it here:
http://www.iraqtimeline.com/blog/