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What Did They Know Page

Did the U.S. know that the attacks were going to happen?

Most of the links below no longer work, but there is enough
information in each excerpt to find the article
at the Internet archive's WayBack Machine or in LexisNexis.


THE COUNTER-TERRORIST, Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, Issue of January 14, 2002:

“[I]intelligence had been streaming in concerning a likely Al Qaeda attack. ‘It all came together in the third week in June [2001],’ Clarke said. ‘The C.I.A.'s view was that a major terrorist attack was coming in the next several weeks.’ On July 5th, Clarke summoned all the domestic security agencies—the Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard, Customs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the F.B.I.—and told them to increase their security in light of an impending attack.”

Should we have spotted the conspiracy?, Hedrick Smith, Frontline, undated:

“The terrorists certainly succeeded by cunning, deception, and determination, and by taking advantage of our open society. But as you see in FRONTLINE'S ‘Inside the Terror Network,’ there were also times when alarm bells should have gone off.”

[Why did The New York Times scrub the article below, published on 9/9/2001?--Caro]

On Videotape, Bin Laden Charts a Violent Future, John F. Burns, The New York Times, September 9, 2001 (unscrubbed and archived by

“Vincent Cannistraro, former head of counterterrorist operations for the Central Intelligence Agency, who reviewed the tape, said Mr. bin Laden's warnings of new attacks should be taken seriously.”

Mystery of terror 'insider dealers', Chris Blackhurst, The Independent (London), October 14, 2001:

“Further details of the futures trades that netted such huge gains in the wake of the hijackings have been disclosed. To the embarrassment of investigators, it has also emerged that the firm used to buy many of the "put" options – where a trader, in effect, bets on a share price fall – on United Airlines stock was headed until 1998 by "Buzzy" Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.”

Tapes Suggest U.S. Spying Missed Signals, David Johnston, The New York Times, December 15, 2001:

“The comment indicating precise advance knowledge of the attacks suggested that Al Qaeda's communications network, although heavily monitored by American intelligence, succeeded in circumventing the electronic eavesdropping arrayed against Mr. bin Laden and his followers. It also suggested that if Mr. bin Laden could receive information from the hijackers, he was also able to communicate his instructions to them without alerting the authorities.”  

THE COUNTER-TERRORIST, Lawrence Wright, The New Yorker, Issue of January 14, 2002:

“[I]intelligence had been streaming in concerning a likely Al Qaeda attack. ‘It all came together in the third week in June [2001],’ Clarke said. ‘The C.I.A.'s view was that a major terrorist attack was coming in the next several weeks.’ On July 5th, Clarke summoned all the domestic security agencies—the Federal Aviation Administration, the Coast Guard, Customs, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the F.B.I.—and told them to increase their security in light of an impending attack.”

NY Times ADMITS Scrubbing 9-09 Warning, Bob Fertik,, February 21, 2002:

“[T]he NY Times has admitted that it scrubbed the article.”

Airports Screened Nine of Sept. 11 Hijackers, Officials Say , Dan Eggen, Washington Post, March 2, 2002:

[T]he disclosure that some members of the suicide crews had triggered security measures differs sharply from previous portrayals of the hijackers as meticulous planners who craftily avoided all detection.

Editorial: Flight 93's secrets / It's time to treat the American people as adults, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 28, 2002 :

If something said on the tapes isn't in accord with the version of what happened on Flight 93 now moving into the realm of mythology, set the record straight now. The American people shouldn't be treated like children, to be spoon-fed fairy stories instead of being told the truth.

Before Sept. 11, Unshared Clues and Unshaped Policy ,  Barton Gellman, Washington Post, May 17, 2002:

“‘Something really spectacular is going to happen here, and it's going to happen soon,’ the government's top counterterrorism official, Richard Clarke, told the assembled group [July 5, 2001], according to two of those present. The group included the Federal Aviation Administration, along with the Coast Guard, FBI, Secret Service and Immigration and Naturalization Service.

“Clarke directed every counterterrorist office to cancel vacations, defer nonvital travel, put off scheduled exercises and place domestic rapid-response teams on much shorter alert.”

FAA knew of Moussaoui arrest, Stepehen Power, David S. Cloud and Gary Fields, Wall Street Journal, May 20, 2002:

“A week before the Sept. 11 attack, investigators told the Federal Aviation Administration that student-pilot Zacarias Moussaoui had been arrested and was under investigation as a potential terrorist with a particular interest in flying Boeing 747s. But the agency decided against warning U.S. airlines to increase security.”

Signs of attacks well-known, Ray McGovern, Miami Herald, June 3, 2002:

“As warnings of a major terrorist operation against the United States poured in last summer, we know that George Tenet kept warning everyone who would listen. It seems to me certain that he would have kept the vacationing president up to date, including the fresh information on Moussaoui.

“And that's probably why Tenet didn't get fired after Sept. 11.”

My Country Right Or Wrong: Questioning September 11th, Mark Elsis,, undated:

“1. The North American Aerospace Defense Command ( NORAD ) had almost an hour and a half to scramble F-16 jets from Langley Air Force Base ( AFB ) to protect Washington D.C. and the Pentagon. How could they incredibly fail to do so? For this most impossible error, the United States government and military only give the lame excuse, we didn't have enough time to respond.”

The above is only one of 23 unsettling questions raised by this author.  The full series of articles is long, but very important.

Listen To Meria Heller’s Feb. 21 Net Radio Live Interview with Mark Elsis

Dan Rather interviews a FEMA representative a few days after the attacks:

Click here to listen to the clip of an interview Dan Rather had with a FEMA representative soon after the September 11 tragedy.  The text is below:

Rather:  Tom Kennedy...  Kennedy, a rescue worker with the National Urban Search and Rescue, it’s part of FEMA…

Kennedy:  We’re currently one of the first teams that was deployed to support the city of New York for this disaster.  We arrived on late Monday night, and went into action on Tuesday morning.  And not until today did we get a full opportunity to work the entire site.

Downloaded from

FEMA will not allow Tom Kennedy to comment on this interview.  

Before you scoff at the following article, read about the author.

The So-Called Evidence Is a Farce, Stan Goff, Retired US Special Forces Master Sergeant, Centre for Research on Globalisation, October 20, 2001:

“[A]t the least, this so-called Commander-in-Chief and his staff that we are all supposed to follow blindly into some ill-defined war on terrorism is criminally negligent or unspeakably stupid. And at the worst, if more is known or was known, and there is an effort to conceal the facts, there is a criminal conspiracy going on.”

GW Bush on 9/11 Conspiracy Theories, Robert Lederman, November 23, 2001:

“The ‘conspiracy theories’ Bush is referring to similarly have three basic premises and many divergent subsets. The first is that the attack was known about (and possibly, planned) by various elements of the U.S. government before 9/11 and was allowed to take place in order to bring about certain conditions, including the suspension of our guaranteed civil liberties. The second premise is that even if bin Laden and the al Queda network based in Afghanistan were immediately responsible for the attack that those supporting, funding and protecting them are not for the most part based in Afghanistan but are in fact closely connected to the Bush administration and to the allies President Bush has taken such efforts to rally to our side. The third premise is that a U.S. built oil pipeline through Afghanistan which has been in the planning stages for more than a decade is the real goal of the war and that a U.S. invasion of Afghanistan was in the works long before September 11th. [Click Here for earlier Essay associated with this topic.].

“What makes these alternative viewpoints, ‘conspiracy theories’? It certainly isn't a lack of evidence.”  

Online Journal’s Hopsicker series

Death in Venice (Florida), September 28, 2001:

Authorities are probing the European business associations of a Venice flight school owner, whose school at the Venice airport trained the nucleus of foreign national terrorist pilots, looking for possible links to international organized crime groups, reported by the San Francisco Chronicle on Sunday to be laundering large sums of drug money for major terrorist organizations. Organized crime is said to launder billions for terrorists.”

What are they hiding down in Venice, Florida?, October 9, 2001:

“We called someone who used to work at something like the CIA. ‘How could the agency not have known about 15 foreign pilots all paid from one source?’

“He chose his words carefully. ‘I would assume that they did know. It would seem almost impossible for them not to.’”

Rudi Dekkers and the Lone (nut) Cadre, October 24, 2001:

Two Dutch nationals, Arne Kruithof and Rudi Dekkers, buy two flight training schools at the ‘way-off-the-beaten-track’ Venice, Florida, airport in 1998.

Dekkers begins extensive ‘marketing’ in Belgium and Germany. Atta lived in Germany. Mohamed Atta and at least four of his terrorist cadre leave Germany. They move directly to Venice, Florida.”

Did terrorist pilots train at U.S. military schools?, October 30, 2001:

“[I]f foreign nationals who would eventually become terrorist pilots were training at the Pensacola Naval Air Station, or going through the U.S. Air Forces’ International Officer’s School at Maxwell Air Force Base, they would most likely have had connections to Arab governments considered friendly to the United States.”

Was the CIA running a terrorist flight school?, November 7, 2001:

Was the CIA running a covert, or black, operation out of the Venice Airport? Might they have been training pilots for bin Laden in an effort to penetrate his organization that went more-than-just-slightly-horrifically awry?”

Jackson Stephens active in Venice, FL, November 25, 2001:

Jackson Stephens, a name often linked with America's super-secret National Security Agency, has been an influential presence for several decades in the tiny town that served as port of entry into U.S. flight and even military training for the terrorist cadre implicated in the Sept 11 attacks.”

Venice, Florida, flight school linked to CIA , March 2, 2002:

“New evidence linking the owner of the Venice, Florida, flight school that trained Mohamed Atta to the Central Intelligence Agency surfaced last month.”

What Did They Know Page

Last changed: December 13, 2009