by David Ray Griffin
assumption that it was attacked by Muslims on that day. This
assumption was used, most prominently, to justify the wars in
a basis for attacking
were Iraqis, there was no working relation between Saddam Hussein and
Osama bin Laden, and
But it is still widely believed that the
justified. For example, the
a "war of necessity." Time magazine has dubbed it "the right war."
And Barack Obama says that one reason to wind down our involvement in
The assumption that
behind the widespread perception of Islam as an inherently violent
religion and therefore of Muslims as guilty until proven innocent.
This perception surely contributed to attempts to portray Obama as a
Muslim, which was lampooned by a controversial cartoon on the July
21, 2008, cover of The New Yorker.
As could be illustrated by reference to many other post-9/11
developments, including as spying, torture, extraordinary rendition,
enormous increase in military spending, the assumption that the World
had enormous negative consequences for both international and
Is it conceivable that this assumption might be false? Insofar as
Americans and Canadians would say "No," they would express their
belief that this assumption is not merely an "assumption" but is
instead based on strong evidence. When actually examined, however,
the proffered evidence turns out to be remarkably weak. I will
illustrate this point by means of 16 questions.
1. Were Mohamed Atta and the Other Hijackers Devout Muslims?
The picture of the hijackers conveyed by the 9/11 Commission is that
they were devout Muslims. Mohamed Atta, considered the ringleader,
was said to have become very religious, even "fanatically so."2 Being
devout Muslims, they could be portrayed as ready to meet their Maker--
-as a "cadre of trained operatives willing to die."3
But this portrayal is contradicted by various newspaper stories. The
San Francisco Chronicle reported that Atta and other hijackers had
made "at least six trips" to
some decidedly un-Islamic sampling of prohibited pleasures." These
activities were "un-Islamic" because, as the head of the Islamic
gamble, don't go to strip clubs."4
One might, to be sure, rationalize this behavior by supposing that
these were momentary lapses and that, as 9/11 approached, these young
Muslims had repented and prepared for heaven. But in the days just
before 9/11, Atta and others were reported to be drinking heavily,
cavorting with lap dancers, and bringing call girls to their rooms.
Temple University Professor Mahmoud Ayoub said: "It is
incomprehensible that a person could drink and go to a strip bar one
night, then kill themselves the next day in the name of Islam. . . .
Something here does not add up."5
In spite of the fact that these activities were reported by
mainstream newspapers and even the Wall Street Journal editorial
page,6 the 9/11 Commission wrote as if these reports did not exist,
saying: "we have seen no credible evidence explaining why, on [some
occasions], the operatives flew to or met in
Authorities Have Hard Evidence of Osama bin Laden's Responsibility
Whatever be the truth about the devoutness of the hijackers, one
might reply, there is certainly no doubt about the fact that they
were acting under the guidance of Osama bin Laden. The attack on
attacks, and the 9/11 Commission's report was written as if there
were no question about this claim.
But neither the Bush administration nor the Commission provided any
proof for it.
Two weeks after 9/11, Secretary of State Colin Powell, speaking to
Tim Russert on "Meet the Press," said he expected "in the near
future . . . to put out . . . a document that will describe quite
clearly the evidence that we have linking [bin Laden] to this
attack."8 But at a press conference with President Bush the next
morning, Powell reversed himself, saying that although the government
had information that left no question of bin Laden's
responsibility, "most of it is classified."9
Hersh, citing officials from both the CIA and the Department of
Justice, the real reason for the reversal was a "lack of solid
That same week, Bush had demanded that the Taliban turn over bin
Laden. But the Taliban, reported CNN, "refus[ed] to hand over bin
Laden without proof or evidence that he was involved in last week's
attacks on the
The Bush administration, saying "[t]here is already an indictment of
Osama bin Laden" [for the attacks in
elsewhere]," rejected the demand for evidence with regard to 9/11.11
The task of providing such evidence was taken up by British Prime
Minister Tony Blair, who on October 4 made public a document
entitled "Responsibility for the Terrorist Atrocities in the United
States." Listing "clear conclusions reached by the government," it
stated: "Osama Bin Laden and al-Qaeda, the terrorist network which he
heads, planned and carried out the atrocities on 11 September
Blair's report, however, began by saying: "This document does not
purport to provide a prosecutable case against Osama Bin Laden in a
court of law."
This weakness was noted the next day by the BBC, which said: "There
is no direct evidence in the public domain linking Osama Bin Laden to
the 11 September attacks. At best the evidence is circumstantial."13
said: "We have asked for proof of Osama's involvement, but they have
The answer to this question may be suggested by the fact that, to
this day, the FBI's "Most Wanted Terrorist" webpage on bin Laden,
while listing him as wanted for bombings in
When the FBI's chief of investigative publicity was asked why not, he
replied: "The reason why 9/11 is not mentioned on Usama Bin Laden's
Most Wanted page is because the FBI has no hard evidence connecting
Bin Laden to 9/11."16
It is often claimed that bin Laden's guilt is proved by a video,
reportedly found by US intelligence officers in
November 2001, in which bin Laden appears to report having planned
the attacks. But critics, pointing out various problems with
this "confession video," have called it a fake.17
General Hamid Gul, a former head of
there is an Osama Bin Laden look-alike."18
Actually, the man in the video is not even much of a look-alike,
being heavier and darker than bin Laden, having a broader nose,
wearing jewelry, and writing with his right hand.19 The FBI, in any
case, obviously does not consider this video hard evidence of bin
Laden's responsibility for 9/11.
What about the 9/11 Commission? I mentioned earlier that it gave the
impression of having had solid evidence of bin Laden's guilt. But
Thomas Kean and Lee Hamilton, the Commission's co-chairs, undermined
this impression in their follow-up book subtitled "the inside story
of the 9/11 Commission."20
Whenever the Commission had cited evidence for bin Ladin's
responsibility, the note in the back of the book always referred to
CIA-provided information that had (presumably) been elicited during
interrogations of al-Qaeda operatives. By far the most important of
these operatives was [torture victim] Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM),
described as the "mastermind" of the 9/11 attacks.
The Commission, for example, wrote: Bin Ladin . . . finally decided
to give the green light for the 9/11 operation sometime in late 1998
or early 1999. . . . Bin Ladin also soon selected four individuals to
serve as suicide operatives. . . . Atta---whom Bin Ladin chose to
lead the group---met with Bin Ladin several times to receive
additional instructions, including a preliminary list of approved
The note for each of these statements says "interrogation of KSM."22
Kean and Hamilton, however, reported that they had no success
in "obtaining access to star witnesses in custody . . . , most
notably Khalid Sheikh Mohammed."23 Besides not being allowed to
interview these witnesses, they were not permitted to observe the
interrogations through one-way glass or even to talk to the
interrogators.24 Therefore, they complained: "We . . . had no way of
evaluating the credibility of detainee information. How could we tell
if someone such as Khalid Sheikh Mohammed . . . was telling us the
An NBC "deep background" report in 2008 pointed out an additional
problem: KSM and the other al-Qaeda leaders had been subjected
to "enhanced interrogation techniques," i.e., torture, and it is now
widely acknowledged that statements elicited by torture lack
"At least four of the operatives whose interrogation figured in the
9/11 Commission Report," this NBC report pointed out, "have claimed
that they told interrogators critical information as a way to stop
NBC then quoted Michael Ratner, president of the Center for
Constitutional Rights, as saying: "Most people look at the 9/11
Commission Report as a trusted historical document. If their
conclusions were supported by information gained from torture, . . .
their conclusions are suspect."26
Accordingly, neither the White House, the British government, the
FBI, nor the 9/11 Commission has provided solid evidence that Osama
bin Laden was behind 9/11.
3. Was Evidence of Muslim Hijackers Provided by Phone Calls from the
Airliners? Nevertheless, many readers may respond, there can be no
doubt that the airplanes were taken over by al-Qaeda hijackers,
because their presence and actions on the planes were reported on
phone calls by passengers and flight attendants, with cell phone
calls playing an especially prominent role.
The most famous of the reported calls were from CNN commentator
Barbara Olson to her husband, US Solicitor General Ted Olson.
According to CNN, he reported that his wife had "called him twice on
a cell phone from American Airlines Flight 77," saying that "all
passengers and flight personnel, including the pilots, were herded to
the back of the plane by . . . hijackers [armed with] knives and
Although these reported calls, as summarized by Ted Olson, did not
describe the hijackers so as to suggest that they were members of al-
Qaeda, such descriptions were supplied by calls from other flights,
especially United 93, from which about a dozen cell phone calls were
reportedly received before it crashed in
According to a Washington Post story of September 13, [P]assenger
Jeremy Glick used a cell phone to tell his wife, Lyzbeth, . . . that
the Boeing 757's cockpit had been taken over by three Middle Eastern-
looking men. . . . The terrorists, wearing red headbands, had ordered
the pilots, flight attendants and passengers to the rear of the
A story about a "cellular phone conversation" between flight
attendant Sandra Bradshaw and her husband gave this report:
She said the plane had been taken over by three men with knives. She
had gotten a close look at one of the hijackers. . . . "He had an
Islamic look," she told her husband.29
From these calls, therefore, the public was informed that the
hijackers looked Middle Eastern and even Islamic.
Still more specific information was reportedly conveyed during a 12-
minute cell phone call from flight attendant Amy Sweeney on American
Flight 11, which was to crash into the
Center.30 After reaching American Airlines employee Michael Woodward
and telling him that men of "Middle Eastern descent" had hijacked her
flight, she then gave him their seat numbers, from which he was able
to learn the identity of Mohamed Atta and two other hijackers.31 Amy
Sweeney's call was critical, ABC News explained, because without
it "the plane might have crashed with no one certain the man in
charge was tied to al Qaeda."32
There was, however, a big problem with these reported calls: Given
the technology available in 2001, cell phone calls from airliners at
altitudes of more than a few thousand feet, especially calls lasting
more than a few seconds, were not possible, and yet these calls, some
of which reportedly lasted a minute or more, reportedly occurred when
the planes were above 30,000 or even 40,000 feet. This problem was
explained by some credible people, including scientist A.K. Dewdney,
who for many years had written a column for Scientific American.33
Although some defenders of the official account, such as Popular
Mechanics, have disputed the contention that high-altitude calls from
airliners were impossible,34 the fact is that the FBI, after having
at first supported the claims that such calls were made, withdrew
this support a few years later.
With regard to the reported 12-minute call from Amy Sweeney to
Michael Woodward, an affidavit signed by FBI agent James Lechner and
dated September 12 (2001) stated that, according to Woodward, Sweeney
had been "using a cellular telephone."35 But when the 9/11 Commission
discussed this call in its Report, which appeared in July 2004, it
declared that Sweeney had used an onboard phone.36
Behind that change was an implausible claim made by the FBI earlier
in 2004: Although Woodward had failed to mention this when FBI agent
Lechner interviewed him on 9/11, he had repeated Sweeney's call
verbatim to a colleague in his office, who had in turn repeated it to
another colleague at American headquarters in Dallas, who had
recorded it; and this recording---which was discovered only in 2004---
indicated that Sweeney had used a passenger-seat phone, thanks to "an
AirFone card, given to her by another flight attendant."37
This claim is implausible because, if this relayed recording had
really been made on 9/11, we cannot believe that Woodward would have
failed to mention it to FBI agent Lechner later that same day. While
Lechner was taking notes, Woodward would surely have said: "You don't
need to rely on my memory. There is a recording of a word-for-word
repetition of Sweeney's statements down in
It is also implausible that Woodward, having repeated Sweeney's
statement that she had used "an AirFone card, given to her by another
flight attendant," would have told Lechner, as the latter's affidavit
says, that Sweeney had been "using a cellular telephone."
Lechner's affidavit shows that the FBI at first supported the claim
that Sweeney had made a 12-minute cell phone call from a high-
altitude airliner. Does not the FBI's change of story, after its
first version had been shown to be technologically impossible, create
the suspicion that the entire story was a fabrication?
This suspicion is reinforced by the FBI's change of story in relation
to United Flight 93. Although we were originally told that this
flight had been the source of about a dozen cell phone calls, some of
them when the plane was above 40,000 feet, the FBI gave a very
different report at the 2006 trial of Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-
called 20th hijacker. The FBI spokesman said: "13 of the terrified
passengers and crew members made 35 air phone calls and two cell
phone calls."38 Instead of there having been about a dozen cell phone
calls from Flight 93, the FBI declared in 2005, there were really
Why were two calls still said to have been possible? They were
reportedly made at 9:58, when the plane was reportedly down to 5,000
feet.39 Although that was still pretty high for successful cell phone
calls in 2001, these calls, unlike calls from 30,000 feet or higher,
would have been at least arguably possible.
If the truth of the FBI's new account is assumed, how can one explain
the fact that so many people had reported receiving cell phone calls?
In most cases, it seems, these people had been told by the callers
that they were using cell phones.
For example, a Newsweek story about United 93 said: "
Wainio, 27, was speaking to her stepmother in
passenger, she explains, had loaned her a cell phone and told her to
call her family."40
In such cases, we might assume that the people receiving the calls
had simply mis-heard, or mis-remembered, what they had been told. But
this would mean positing that about a dozen people had made the same
An even more serious difficulty is presented by the case of Deena
Burnett, who said that she had received three to five calls from her
husband, Tom Burnett. She knew he was using his cell phone, she
reported to the FBI that very day and then to the press and in a
book, because she had recognized his cell phone number on her phone's
Caller ID.41 We cannot suppose her to have been mistaken about this.
We also, surely, cannot accuse her of lying.
Therefore, if we accept the FBI's report, according to which Tom
Burnett did not make any cell phone calls from Flight 93, we can only
conclude that the calls were faked---that Deena Burnett was duped.
Although this suggestion may at first sight seem outlandish, there
are three facts that, taken together, show it to be more probable
than any of the alternatives.
First, voice morphing technology was sufficiently advanced at that
time to make faking the calls feasible. A 1999
article described demonstrations in which the voices of two generals,
Colin Powell and Carl Steiner, were heard saying things they had
Second, there are devices with which you can fake someone's telephone
number, so that it will show up on the recipient's Caller ID.43
Third, the conclusion that the person who called Deena Burnett was
not her husband is suggested by various features of the calls. For
example, when Deena told the caller that "the kids" were asking to
talk to him, he said: "Tell them I'll talk to them later." This was
20 minutes after Tom had purportedly realized that the hijackers were
on a suicide mission, planning to "crash this plane into the ground,"
and 10 minutes after he and other passengers had allegedly decided
that as soon as they were "over a rural area" they must try to gain
control of the plane. Also, the hijackers had reportedly already
killed one person.44
Given all this, the real Tom Burnett would have known that he would
likely die, one way or another, in the next few minutes. Is it
believable that, rather than taking this probably last opportunity to
speak to his children, he would say that he would "talk to them
later"? Is it not more likely that "Tom" made this statement to avoid
revealing that he knew nothing about "the kids," perhaps not even
Further evidence that the calls were faked is provided by timing
problems in some of them. According to the 9/11 Commission, Flight 93
crashed at 10:03 as a result of the passenger revolt, which began at
9:57. However, according to Lyzbeth Glick's account of the
aforementioned cell phone call from her husband, Jeremy Glick, she
told him about the collapse of the South Tower , and that did not
occur until 9:59, two minutes after the alleged revolt had started.
After that, she reported, their conversation continued for several
more minutes before he told her that the passengers were taking a
vote about whether to attack. According to Lyzbeth Glick's account,
therefore, the revolt was only beginning by 10:03, when the plane
(according to the official account) was crashing.45
A timing problem also occurred in the aforementioned call from flight
attendant Amy Sweeney. While she was describing the hijackers,
according to the FBI's account of her call, they stormed and took
control of the cockpit.46 However, although the hijacking of Flight
11 "began at 8:14 or shortly thereafter," the 9/11 Commission said,
Sweeney's call did not go through until 8:25.47 Her alleged call, in
other words, described the hijacking as beginning over 11 minutes
after it, according to the official timeline, had been successfully
Multiple lines of evidence, therefore, imply that the cell phone
calls were faked. This fact has vast implications, because it implies
that all the reported calls from the planes, including those from
onboard phones, were faked. Why? Because if the planes had really
been taken over in surprise hijackings, no one would have been ready
to make fake cell phone calls.
Moreover, the FBI, besides implying, most clearly in the case of
Deena Burnett, that the phone calls reporting the hijackings had been
faked, comes right out and says, in its report about calls from
Flight 77, that no calls from Barbara Olson occurred. It does mention
her. But besides attributing only one call to her, not two, the FBI
report refers to it as an "unconnected call," which (of course)
lasted "0 seconds."48 In 2006, in other words, the FBI, which is part
of the Department of Justice, implied that the story told by the
DOJ's former solicitor general was untrue. Although not mentioned by
the press, this was an astounding development.
This FBI report leaves only two possible explanations for Ted Olson's
story: Either he made it up or else he, like Deena Burnett and
several others, was duped. In either case, the story about Barbara
Olson's calls, with their reports of hijackers taking over Flight 77,
was based on deception.
The opening section of The 9/11 Commission Report is entitled "Inside
the Four Flights." The information contained in this section is based
almost entirely on the reported phone calls. But if the reported
calls were faked, we have no idea what happened inside these planes.
Insofar as the idea that the planes were taken over by hijackers who
looked "Middle Eastern," even "Islamic," has been based on the
reported calls, this idea is groundless.
4. Was the Presence of Hijackers Proved by a Radio Transmission "from
It might be objected, in reply, that this is not true, because we
know that American Flight 11, at least, was hijacked, thanks to a
radio transmission in which the voice of one of its hijackers is
According to the 9/11 Commission, the air traffic controller for this
flight heard a radio transmission at 8:25 AM in which someone---
widely assumed to be Mohamed Atta---told the passengers: "We have
some planes. Just stay quiet, and you'll be okay. We are returning to
After quoting this transmission, the Commission wrote: "The
controller told us that he then knew it was a hijacking."49 Was this
transmission not indeed proof that Flight 11 had been hijacked?
It might provide such proof if we knew that, as the Commission
claimed, the "transmission came from American 11."50 But we do not.
According to the FAA's "Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events,"
published September 17, 2001, the transmission was "from an unknown
origin."51 Bill Peacock, the FAA's air traffic director, said: "We
didn't know where the transmission came from."52 The Commission's
claim that it came from American 11 was merely an inference. The
transmission could have come from the same room from which the calls
to Deena Burnett originated.
Therefore, the alleged radio transmission from Flight 11, like the
alleged phone calls from the planes, provides no evidence that the
planes were taken over by al-Qaeda hijackers.
5. Did Passports and a Headband Provide Evidence that al-Qaeda
Operatives Were on the Flights?
However, the government's case for al-Qaeda hijackers on also rested
in part on claims that passports and a headband belonging to al-Qaeda
operatives were found at the crash sites. But these claims are
A week after the attacks, the FBI reported that a search of the
streets after the destruction of the
discovered the passport of one of the Flight 11 hijackers, Satam al-
Suqami.53 But this claim did not pass the giggle test.
"[T]he idea that [this] passport had escaped from that inferno
unsinged," wrote one British reporter, "would [test] the credulity of
the staunchest supporter of the FBI's crackdown on terrorism."54
By 2004, when the 9/11 Commission was discussing the alleged
discovery of this passport, the story had been modified to say
that "a passer-by picked it up and gave it to a NYPD detective
shortly before the
So, rather than needing to survive the collapse of the
the passport merely needed to escape from the plane's cabin, avoid
being destroyed or even singed by the instantaneous jet-fuel fire,
and then escape from the building so that it could fall to the
Equally absurd is the claim that the passport of Ziad Jarrah, the
alleged pilot of Flight 93, was found at this plane's crash site in
Pennsylvania.56 This passport was reportedly found on the ground even
though there was virtually nothing at the site to indicate that an
airliner had crashed there. The reason for this absence of wreckage,
we were told, was that the plane had been headed downward at 580
miles per hour and, when it hit the spongy
itself deep in the ground.
New York Times journalist Jere Longman, surely repeating what he had
been told by authorities, wrote: "The fuselage accordioned on itself
more than thirty feet into the porous, backfilled ground. It was as
if a marble had been dropped into water."57
So, we are to believe, just before the plane buried itself in the
earth, Jarrah's passport escaped from the cockpit and landed on the
ground. Did Jarrah, going 580 miles per hour, have the window open?58
Also found on the ground, according to the government's evidence
presented to the Moussaoui trial, was a red headband.59 This was
considered evidence that al-Qaeda hijackers were on Flight 93 because
they were, according to some of the phone calls, wearing red
headbands. But besides being absurd for the same reason as was the
claim about Jarrah's passport, this claim about the headband was
problematic for another reason. Former CIA agent Milt Bearden, who
helped train the Mujahideen fighters in
that it would have been very unlikely that members of al-Qaeda would
have worn such headbands:
[The red headband] is a uniquely Shi'a Muslim adornment. It is
something that dates back to the formation of the Shi'a sect. . . .
[I]t represents the preparation of he who wears this red headband to
sacrifice his life, to murder himself for the cause. Sunnis are by
and large most of the people following Osama bin Laden [and they] do
not do this.60
We learned shortly after the invasion of
Muslims. Did such people decide that the hijackers would be described
as wearing red headbands?
6. Did the Information in Atta's Luggage Prove the Responsibility of
I come now to the evidence that is said to provide the strongest
proof that the planes had been hijacked by Mohamed Atta and other
members of al-Qaeda. This evidence was reportedly found in two pieces
of Atta's luggage that were discovered inside the
after the attacks. The luggage was there, we were told, because
although Atta was already in
al-Qaeda operative, Abdul al-Omari, rented a blue Nissan and drove up
flight back to
American Flight 11, but Atta's luggage did not make it.
This luggage, according to the FBI affidavit signed by James Lechner,
contained much incriminating material, including a handheld flight
computer, flight simulator manuals, two videotapes about Boeing
aircraft, a slide-rule flight calculator, a copy of the Koran, and
Atta's last will and testament.61 This material was widely taken as
proof that al-Qaeda and hence Osama bin Laden were behind the 9/11
When closely examined, however, the Atta-to-Portland story loses all
One problem is the very idea that Atta would have planned to take all
these things in baggage that was to be transferred to Flight 11. What
good would a flight computer and other flying aids do inside a
suitcase in the plane's luggage compartment? Why would he have
planned to take his will on a plane he planned to crash into the
A second problem involves the question of why Atta's luggage did not
get transferred onto Flight 11. According to an Associated Press
story that appeared four days after 9/11, Atta's flight "arrived at
flight 11 to
loaded."62 The 9/11 Commission had at one time evidently planned to
endorse this claim.63
But when The 9/11 Commission Report appeared, it said: "Atta and
Omari arrived in
American Airlines Flight 11," which was "scheduled to depart at
7:45."64 By thus admitting that there was almost a full hour for the
luggage to be transferred to Flight 11, the Commission was left with
no explanation as to why it was not.
Still another problem with the Atta-to-Portland story was the
question why he would have taken this trip. If the commuter flight
had been late, Atta, being the ringleader of the hijackers as well as
the intended pilot for Flight 11, would have had to call off the
whole operation, which he had reportedly been planning for two years.
The 9/11 Commission, like the FBI before it, admitted that it had no
answer to this question.65
The fourth and biggest problem with the story, however, is that it
did not appear until September 16, five days after 9/11, following
the collapse of an earlier story.
According to news reports immediately after 9/11, the incriminating
materials, rather than being found in Atta's luggage inside the
airport, were found in a white Mitsubishi, which Atta had left in the
morning, but their names were Adnan and Ameer Bukhari.66 This story
fell apart on the afternoon of September 13, when it was discovered
that the Bukharis, to whom authorities had reportedly been led by
material in the Nissan at the Portland Jetport, had not died on 9/11:
Adnan was still alive and Ameer had died the year before.67
The next day, September 14, an Associated Press story said that it
was Atta and a companion who had driven the blue Nissan to
stayed overnight, and then taken the commuter flight back to
The incriminating materials, however, were still said to have been
found in a car in the
rented by "additional suspects."68 Finally, on September 16, a
Washington Post story, besides saying that the Nissan had been taken
material had been found in Atta's luggage inside the
Given this history of the Atta-to-Portland story, how can we avoid
the conclusion that it was a fabrication?
7. Were al-Qaeda Operatives Captured on Airport Security Videos?
Still another type of evidence for the claim that al-Qaeda operatives
were on the planes consisted of frames from videos, purportedly taken
by airport security cameras, said to show hijackers checking into
airports. Shortly after the attacks, for example, photos showing Atta
and al-Omari at an airport "were flashed round the world."70
However, although it was widely assumed that these photos were from
the airport at
No photos showing Atta or any of the other alleged hijackers at
photographic evidence that Atta and al-Omari were at the
Moreover, in light of the fact that the story of Atta and al-Omari
the photographic evidence that they were at the Portland Jetport on
the morning of September 11 to be problematic. And indeed it is. It
shows Atta and Omari without either jackets or ties on, whereas the
Also, a photo showing Atta and al-Omari passing through the security
checkpoint is marked both 05:45 and 05:53.72
Another airport video was distributed on the day in 2004 that The
9/11 Commission Report was published. The Associated Press, using a
frame from it as corroboration of the official story, provided this
Hijacker Khalid al-Mihdhar . . . passes through the security
11 2001, just hours before American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into
the Pentagon in this image from a surveillance video.73
However, as Rowland Morgan and Ian Henshall have pointed out, a
normal security video has time and date burned into the integral
video image by proprietary equipment according to an authenticated
pattern, along with camera identification and the location that the
camera covered. The video released in 2004 contained no such
The Associated Press notwithstanding, therefore, this video contains
no evidence that it was taken at Dulles on September 11.
Another problem with this so-called Dulles video is that, although
one of the men on it was identified by the 9/11 Commission as Hani
Hanjour,75 he "does not remotely resemble Hanjour." Whereas Hanjour
was thin and had a receding hairline (as shown by a photo taken six
days before 9/11), the man in the video had a somewhat muscular build
and a full head of hair, with no receding hairline.76
In sum: Video proof that the named hijackers checked into airports on
9/11 is nonexistent. Besides the fact that the videos purportedly
showing hijackers for Flights 11 and 77 reek of inauthenticity, there
are no videos even purportedly showing the hijackers for the other
two flights. If these 19 men had really checked into the
Dulles airports that day, there should be authentic security videos
to prove this.
8. Were the Names of the "Hijackers" on the Passenger Manifests?
What about the passenger manifests, which list all the passengers on
the flights? If the alleged hijackers purchased tickets and boarded
the flights, their names would have been on the manifests for these
flights. And we were told that they were.
According to counterterrorism coordinator Richard Clarke, the FBI
told him at about 10:00 that morning that it recognized the names of
some al-Qaeda operatives on passenger manifests it had received from
the airlines.77 As to how the FBI itself acquired its list, Robert
Bonner, the head of Customs and Border Protection, said to the 9/11
Commission in 2004:
On the morning of 9/11, through an evaluation of data related to the
passenger manifest for the four terrorist hijacked aircraft, Customs
Office of Intelligence was able to identify the likely terrorist
hijackers. Within 45 minutes of the attacks, Customs forwarded the
passenger lists with the names of the victims and 19 probable
hijackers to the FBI and the intelligence community.78
Under questioning, Bonner added: We were able to pull from the
airlines the passenger manifest for each of the four flights. We ran
the manifest through [our lookout] system. . . . [B]y 11:00 AM, I'd
seen a sheet that essentially identified the 19 probable hijackers.
And in fact, they turned out to be, based upon further follow-up in
detailed investigation, to be the 19.79
Bonner's statement, however, is doubly problematic. In the first
place, the initial FBI list, as reported by CNN on September 13 and
14, contained only 18 names.80 Why would that be if 19 men had
already been identified on 9/11?
Second, several of the names on the FBI's first list, having quickly
become problematic, were replaced by other names. For example, the
previously discussed men named Bukhari, thought to be brothers, were
replaced on American 11's list of hijackers by brothers named Waleed
and Wail al-Shehri. Two other replacements for this flight were Satam
al-Suqami, whose passport was allegedly found at Ground Zero, and
Abdul al-Omari, who allegedly went to
before 9/11. Also, the initial list for American 77 did not include
the name of Hani Hanjour, who would later be called the pilot of this
flight. Rather, it contained a name that, after being read aloud by a
CNN correspondent, was transcribed "Mosear Caned."81 All in all, the
final list of 19 hijackers contained six names that were not on the
original list of 18---a fact that contradicts Bonner's claim that by
11:00 AM on 9/11 his agency had identified 19 probable hijackers who,
in fact, "turned out to be. . . the 19."
These replacements to the initial list also undermine the claim that
Amy Sweeney, by giving the seat numbers of three of the hijackers to
Michael Woodward of American Airlines, allowed him to identify Atta
and two others. This second claim is impossible because the two
others were Abdul al-Omari and Satam al-Suqami,82 and they were
replacements for two men on the original list---who, like Adnan
Bukhari, turned up alive after 9/11.83 Woodward could not possibly
have identified men who were not added to the list until several days
For all these reasons, the claim that the names of the 19 alleged
hijackers were on the airlines' passenger manifests must be
This conclusion is supported by the fact that the passenger manifests
that were released to the public included no names of any of the 19
alleged hijackers and, in fact, no Middle Eastern names whatsoever.85
These manifests, therefore, support the suspicion that there were no
al-Qaeda hijackers on the planes.
It might appear that this conclusion is contradicted by the fact that
passenger manifests with the names of the alleged hijackers have
appeared. A photocopy of a portion of an apparent passenger manifest
for American Flight 11, with the names of three of the alleged
hijackers, was published in a 2005 book by Terry McDermott, Perfect
Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers.86 McDermott reportedly said that he
received these manifests from the FBI.87 But the idea that these were
the original manifests is problematic.
For one thing, they were not included in the evidence presented by
the FBI to the Moussaoui trial in 2006.88 If even the FBI will not
cite them as evidence, why should anyone think they are genuine?
Another problem with these purported manifests, copies of which can
be viewed on the Internet,89 is that they show signs of being late
One such sign is that Ziad Jarrah's last name is spelled correctly,
whereas in the early days after 9/11, the FBI was referring to him
as "Jarrahi," as news reports from the time show.90
A second sign is that the manifest for American Flight 77 contains
Hani Hanjour's name, even though its absence from the original list
of hijackers had led the Washington Post to wonder why
Hanjour's "name was not on the American Airlines manifest for the
A third sign is that the purported manifest for American Flight 11
contains the names of Wail al-Shehri, Waleed al-Shehri, Satam al-
Suqami, and Abdul al-Omari, all of whom were added some days after
In sum, no credible evidence that al-Qaeda operatives were on the
flights is provided by the passenger manifests.
9. Did DNA Tests Identify Five Hijackers among the Victims at the
Another type of evidence that the alleged hijackers were really on
the planes could have been provided by autopsies. But no such
evidence has been forthcoming. In its book defending the official
account of 9/11, to be sure, Popular Mechanics claims that, according
to a report on the victims of the Pentagon attack by the Armed Forces
identified."92 But this claim is false.
According to a summary of this pathology report by Andrew Baker,
M.D., the remains of 183 victims were subjected to DNA analysis,
which resulted in "178 positive identifications." Although Baker says
that "[s]ome remains for each of the terrorists were recovered," this
was merely an inference from the fact that there were "five unique
postmortem profiles that did not match any antemortem material
provided by victims' families."93
A Washington Post story made even clearer the fact that this
conclusion---that the unmatched remains were those of "the five
hijackers"---was merely an inference. It wrote: "The remains of the
five hijackers have been identified through a process of exclusion,
as they did not match DNA samples contributed by family members of
all 183 victims who died at the site" (emphasis added).94
All the report said, in other words, was that there were five bodies
whose DNA did not match that of any of the known Pentagon victims or
any of the regular passengers or crew members on Flight 77.
We have no way of knowing where these five bodies came from. For the
claim that they came from the attack site at the Pentagon, we have
only the word of the FBI and the military, which insisted on taking
charge of the bodies of everyone killed at the Pentagon and
transporting them to the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology.95
In any case, the alleged hijackers could have been positively
identified only if samples had been obtained from their relatives,
and there is no indication that this occurred. Indeed, one can wonder
why not. The FBI had lots of information about the men identified as
the hijackers. They could easily have located relatives. And these
relatives, most of whom reportedly did not believe that their own
flesh and blood had been involved in the attacks, would have surely
been willing to supply the needed DNA.
Indeed, a story about Ziad Jarrah, the alleged pilot of Flight 93,
said: "Jarrah's family has indicated they would be willing to provide
DNA samples to US researchers, . . . [but] the FBI has shown no
interest thus far."96
The lack of positive identification of the alleged hijackers is
consistent with the autopsy report, which was released to Dr. Thomas
Olmsted, who had made a FOIA request for it. Like the flight manifest
for Flight 77, he revealed, this report also contains no Arab
10. Has the Claim That Some of the "Hijackers" Are Still Alive Been
Another problem with the claim that the 19 hijackers were correctly
identified on 9/11, or at least a few days later, is that some of the
men on the FBI's final list reportedly turned up alive after 9/11.
Although Der Spiegel and the BBC claim to have debunked these
reports, I will show this is untrue by examining the case of one of
the alleged hijackers, Waleed al-Shehri---who, we saw earlier, was a
replacement for Adnan Bukhari, who himself had shown up alive after
In spite of the fact that al-Shehri was a replacement, the 9/11
Commission revealed no doubts about his presence on Flight 11,
speculating that he and his brother Wail---another replacement---
stabbed two of the flight attendants.98 But the Commission certainly
should have had doubts.
On September 22, 2001, the BBC published an article by David Bamford
entitled "Hijack 'Suspect' Alive in
Waleed al-Shehri identified by the FBI as one of the hijackers was
Explaining why the problem could not be dismissed as a case of
mistaken identity, Bamford wrote: His photograph was released by the
FBI, and has been shown in newspapers and on television around the
world. That same Mr Al-Shehri has turned up in
clearly that he was not a member of the suicide attack. He told Saudi
the American authorities, who apologised for the misunderstanding.99
The following day, September 23, the BBC published another
story, "Hijack 'Suspects' Alive and Well."
Discussing several alleged hijackers who had shown up alive, it said
of al-Shehri in particular: "He acknowledges that he attended flight
training school at
Arabian airlines and is currently on a further training course in
In 2003, an article in Der Spiegel tried to debunk these two BBC
stories, characterizing them as "nonsense about surviving
terrorists." It claimed that the reported still-alive hijackers were
all cases of mistaken identity, involving men with "coincidentally
identical names." This claim by Der Spiegel depended on its assertion
that, at the time of the reports, the FBI had released only a list of
names: "The FBI did not release photographs until four days after the
cited reports, on September 27th."101 But that was not true. B
Bamford's BBC story of September 22, as we saw, reported that Waleed
al-Shehri's photograph had been "released by the FBI" and "shown in
newspapers and on television around the world."
In 2006, nevertheless, the BBC used the same claim to withdraw its
support for its own stories. Steve Herrmann, the editor of the BBC
News website, claimed that confusion had arisen because "these were
common Arabic and Islamic names."
Accordingly, he said, the BBC had changed its September 23 story in
one respect: "Under the FBI picture of Waleed al Shehri we have added
the words "-A man called Waleed Al Shehri...' to make it as clear as
possible that there was confusion over the identity."102
But Bamford's BBC story of September 22, which Herrmann failed to
mention, had made it "as clear as possible" that there could not have
been any confusion.
These attempts by Der Spiegel and the BBC, in which they tried to
discredit the reports that Waleed al-Shehri was still alive after
9/11, have been refuted by Jay Kolar, who shows that FBI photographs
had been published by Saudi newspapers as early as September 19.
Kolar thereby undermines the only argument against Bamford's
assertion, according to which there could have been no possibility of
mistaken identity because al-Shehri had seen his published photograph
prior to September 22, when Bamford's story appeared.103
The fact that al-Shehri, along with several other alleged
hijackers,104 was alive after 9/11 shows unambiguously that at least
some of the men on the FBI's final list were not on the planes. It
would appear that the FBI, after replacing some of its first-round
candidates because of their continued existence, decided not to
replace any more, in spite of their exhibition of the same defect.
11. Is There Positive Evidence That No Hijackers Were on the Planes?
At this point, defenders of the official story might argue: The fact
that some of the men labeled hijackers were still alive after 9/11
shows only that the FBI list contained some errors; it does not prove
that there were no al-Qaeda hijackers on board. And although the
previous points do undermine the evidence for such hijackers, absence
of evidence is not necessarily evidence of absence.
Evidence of absence, however, is implicit in the prior points in two
First, the lack of Arab names on the Pentagon autopsy report and on
any of the issued passenger manifests does suggest the absence of al-
Second, if al-Qaeda hijackers really were on the flights, why was
evidence to prove this fact fabricated?
Beyond those two points, moreover, there is a feature of the reported
events that contradicts the claim that hijackers broke into the
pilots' cabins. This feature can be introduced by reference to Conan
Doyle's short story "Silver Blaze," which is about a famous race
horse that had disappeared the night before a big race. Although the
local Scotland Yard detective believed that Silver Blaze had been
stolen by an intruder, Sherlock Holmes brought up "the curious
incident of the dog in the night-time." When the inspector pointed
out that "[t]he dog did nothing in the night-time," Holmes
replied: "That was the curious incident."105 Had there really been an
intruder, in other words, the dog would have barked. This has become
known as the case of "the dog that didn't bark."
A similar curious incident occurred on each of the four flights. In
the event of a hijacking, pilots are trained to enter the standard
hijack code (7500) into their transponders to alert controllers on
the ground. Using the transponder to send a code is
called "squawking." One of the big puzzles about 9/11 was why none of
the pilots squawked the hijack code.
CNN provided a good treatment of this issue, saying with regard to
the first flight: Flight 11 was hijacked apparently by knife-
wielding men. Airline pilots are trained to handle such situations by
keeping calm, complying with requests, and if possible, dialing in an
emergency four digit code on a device called a transponder. . . . The
action takes seconds, but it appears no such code was entered.106
The crucial issue was indicated by the phrase "if possible": Would it
have been possible for the pilots of Flight 11 to have performed this
action? A positive answer was suggested by CNN's next statement:
[I]n the cabin, a frantic flight attendant managed to use a phone to
trouble. And according to "The Christian Science Monitor," a pilot
apparently keyed the microphone, transmitting a cockpit
If there was time for both of those actions to be taken, there would
have been time for one of the pilots to enter the four-digit hijack
That would have been all the more true of the pilots on United Flight
93, given the (purported) tapes from this flight.
A reporter at the Moussaoui trial, where these tapes had been played,
wrote: In those tapes, the pilots shouted as hijackers broke into
the cockpit. "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday!" a pilot screamed in the first
tape. In the second tape, 30 seconds later, a pilot shouted: "Mayday!
Get out of here! Get out of here!"108
According to these tapes, therefore, the pilots were still alive and
coherent 30 seconds after realizing that hijackers were breaking into
the cockpit. And yet in all that time, neither of them did the most
important thing they had been trained to do---turn the transponder to
In addition to the four pilots on Flights 11 and 93, furthermore, the
four pilots on Flights 175 and 77 failed to do this as well.
In "Silver Blaze," the absence of an intruder was shown by the dog
that didn't bark. On 9/11, the absence of hijackers was shown by the
pilots who didn't squawk.
12. Were bin Laden and al-Qaeda Capable of Orchestrating the
For prosecutors to prove that defendants committed a crime, they must
show that they had the ability (as well as the motive and
opportunity) to do so. But several political and military leaders
from other countries have stated that bin Laden and al-Qaeda simply
could not have carried out the attacks. General Leonid Ivashov, who
in 2001 was the chief of staff for the Russian armed forces, wrote:
Only secret services and their current chiefs---or those retired but
still having influence inside the state organizations---have the
ability to plan, organize and conduct an operation of such
magnitude. . . . . Osama bin Laden and "Al Qaeda" cannot be the
organizers nor the performers of the September 11 attacks. They do
not have the necessary organization, resources or leaders.
Mohamed Hassanein Heikal, the former foreign minister of
wrote: Bin Laden does not have the capabilities for an operation of
this magnitude. When I hear Bush talking about al-Qaida as if it was
Nazi Germany or the communist party of the
because I know what is there.
Similar statements have been made by Andreas von Bülow, the former
state secretary of
Mirza Aslam Beg, former chief of staff of
General Musharraf, the president of
same point was also made by veteran CIA agent Milt Bearden.
Speaking disparagingly of "the myth of Osama bin Laden" on CBS News
the day after 9/11, Bearden said: "I was there [in
the same time bin Laden was there. He was not the great warrior."
With regard to the widespread view that bin Laden was behind the
attacks, he said: "This was a tremendously sophisticated operation
have ascribed to Osama bin Laden." Pointing out that a group capable
of such a sophisticated attack would have had a way to cover their
tracks, he added: "This group who was responsible for that, if they
didn't have an Osama bin Laden out there, they'd invent one, because
he's a terrific diversion."110
13. Could Hani Hanjour Have Flown Flight 77 into the Pentagon? The
inability of al-Qaeda to have carried out the operation can be
illustrated in terms of Hani Hanjour, the al-Qaeda operative said to
have flown Flight 77 into the Pentagon.
On September 12, before it was stated that Hanjour had been the pilot
of American 77, the final minutes of this plane's trajectory had been
described as one requiring great skill. A Washington Post story
[J]ust as the plane seemed to be on a suicide mission into the White
House, the unidentified pilot executed a pivot so tight that it
reminded observers of a fighter jet maneuver. . . . Aviation sources
said the plane was flown with extraordinary skill, making it highly
likely that a trained pilot was at the helm.111
But Hani Hanjour was not that. Indeed, a CBS story reported, an
bad . . . they didn't think he should keep his pilot's license."
The manager stated: "I couldn't believe he had a commercial license
of any kind with the skills that he had."112
A New York Times story, entitled "A Trainee Noted for Incompetence,"
quoted one of his instructors as saying that Hanjour "could not fly
The 9/11 Commission even admitted that in the summer of 2001, just
months before 9/11, a flight instructor in
with Hanjour in a small plane, "declined a second request because of
what he considered Hanjour's poor piloting skills."114
The Commission failed to address the question of how Hanjour,
incapable of flying a single-engine plane, could have flown a giant
757 through the trajectory reportedly taken by Flight 77: descending
8,000 feet in three minutes and then coming in at ground level to
strike Wedge 1 of the Pentagon between the first and second floors,
without even scraping the lawn.
Several pilots have said this would have been impossible. Russ
serving as a fighter pilot in
been "totally impossible for an amateur who couldn't even fly a
Cessna" to fly that downward spiral and then "crash into the
Pentagon's first floor wall without touching the lawn."115
Ralph Omholt, a former 757 pilot, has bluntly said: "The idea that an
unskilled pilot could have flown this trajectory is simply too
ridiculous to consider."116
Ralph Kolstad, who was a US Navy "top gun" pilot before becoming a
commercial airline pilot for 27 years, has said: "I have 6,000 hours
of flight time in Boeing 757's and 767's and I could not have flown
it the way the flight path was described. . . . Something stinks to
The authors of the Popular Mechanics book about 9/11 offered to solve
this problem. While acknowledging that Hanjour "may not have been
highly skilled," they said that he did not need to be, because all he
had to do was, using a GPS unit, put his plane on autopilot.118
"He steered the plane manually for only the final eight minutes of
the flight," they state triumphantly119---ignoring the fact that it
was precisely during those minutes that Hanjour had allegedly
performed the impossible.
14. Would an al-Qaeda Pilot Have Executed that Maneuver?
A further question is: Even if one of the al-Qaeda operatives on that
flight could have executed that maneuver, would he have done so? This
question arises out of the fact that the plane could easily have
crashed into the roof on the side of the Pentagon that housed
Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and all the top brass. The
difficult maneuver would have been required only by the decision to
strike Wedge 1 on the side.
But this was the worst possible place, given the assumed motives of
the al-Qaeda operatives: They would have wanted to kill Rumsfeld and
the top brass, but Wedge 1 was as far removed from their offices as
possible. They would have wanted to cause as much destruction as
possible, but Wedge 1---and only it---had been renovated to make it
less vulnerable to attack. Al-Qaeda operatives would have wanted to
kill as many Pentagon employees as possible, but because the
renovation was not quite complete, Wedge 1 was only sparsely
occupied. The attack also occurred on the only part of the Pentagon
that would have presented physical obstacles to an attacking
airplane. All of these facts were public knowledge. So even if an al-
Qaeda pilot had been capable of executing the maneuver to strike the
ground floor of Wedge 1, he would not have done so.
15. Could al-Qaeda Operatives Have Brought Down the World Trade
Center Buildings? Returning to the issue of competence, another
question is whether al-Qaeda operatives could have brought down the
With regard to the
brought down by the impact of the airplanes plus the ensuing fires.
But this theory cannot explain why the towers, after exploding
outwards at the top, came straight down, because this type of
collapse would have required all 287 of each building's steel columns-
--which ran from the basement to the roof---to have failed
simultaneously; it cannot explain why the top parts of the buildings
came straight down at virtually free-fall speed, because this
required that the lower parts of the building, with all of their
steel and concrete, offered no resistance; it cannot explain why
sections of steel beams, weighing thousands of tons, were blown out
horizontally more than 500 feet; it cannot explain why some of the
steel had melted, because this melting required temperatures far
hotter than the fires in the buildings could possibly have been; and
it cannot explain why many firefighters and WTC employees reported
massive explosions in the buildings long after all the jet-fuel had
burned up. But all of these phenomena are easily explainable by the
hypothesis that the buildings were brought down by explosives in the
procedure known as controlled demolition.120
This conclusion now constitutes the consensus of independent
physicists, chemists, architects, engineers, and demolition experts
who have studied the facts.121 For example, Edward Munyak, a
mechanical and fire protection engineer who worked in the
departments of energy and defense, says: "The concentric nearly
freefall speed exhibited by each building was identical to most
controlled demolitions. . . . Collapse [was] not caused by fire
Dwain Deets, the former director of the research engineering division
structural members being hurled horizontally" as one of the factors
leaving him with "no doubt [that] explosives were involved."123
Given the fact that WTC 7 was not even hit by a plane, its vertical
collapse at virtually free-fall speed, which also was preceded by
explosions and involved the melting of steel, was still more
obviously an example of controlled demolition.124 For example, Jack
Keller, emeritus professor of engineering at
who has been given special recognition by Scientific American,
said: "Obviously it was the result of controlled demolition."125
Likewise, when Danny Jowenko---a controlled demolition expert in the
asked to comment on a video of its collapse, he said: "They simply
blew up columns, and the rest caved in afterwards. . . . [I]t's been
imploded. . . . A team of experts did this."126
question becomes: Who would have had the ability to place the
explosives? This question involves two parts: First, who could have
obtained access to the buildings for all the hours it would have
taken to plant the explosives? The answer is: Only someone with
connections to people in charge of security for the World Trade
The second part of the question is: Who, if they had such access,
would have had the expertise to engineer the controlled demolition of
these three buildings? As Jowenko's statement indicated, the kind of
controlled demolition to which these buildings were subjected was
implosion, which makes the building come straight down. According to
ImplosionWorld.com, an implosion is "by far the trickiest type of
explosive project, and there are only a handful of blasting companies
in the world that possess enough experience . . . to perform these
true building implosions."127
Both parts of the question, therefore, rule out al-Qaeda operatives.
The destruction of the
16. Would al-Qaeda Operatives Have Imploded the Buildings?
Finally, we can also ask whether, even if al-Qaeda operatives had
possessed the ability to cause the
implode so as to come straight down, they would have done so? The
answer to this question becomes obvious once we reflect upon the
purpose of this kind of controlled demolition, which is to avoid
damaging near-by buildings. Had the 110-story
sideways, they would have caused massive destruction in lower
thousands of people. Would al-Qaeda have had the courtesy to make
sure that the buildings came straight down?
All the proffered evidence that
9/11, when subjected to critical scrutiny, appears to have been
fabricated. If that is determined indeed to be the case, the
implications would be enormous. Discovering and prosecuting the true
perpetrators of the 9/11 attacks would obviously be important. The
most immediate consequence, however, should be to reverse those
attitudes and policies that have been based on the assumption that
David Ray Griffin is Emeritus Professor of Philosophy of Religion at
has published 34 books, including seven about 9/11, most recently The
1. On the ways in which torture, extraordinary rendition, government
spying, and the military tribunals have undermined US constitutional
principles, see Louis Fisher, The Constitution and 9/11: Recurring
2. The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National
Commission on Terrorist Attacks upon the
3. 9/11CR 154.
4. Kevin Fagan, "Agents of Terror Leave Their Mark on
Francisco Chronicle, 4 October 2001 (http://sfgate.com/cgi-
5. See ibid.; David Wedge, "Terrorists Partied with Hooker at Hub-
/attack/investigation/ausprob10102001.htm); and Jody A.
Benjamin, "Suspects? Actions Don?t Add Up,"
Sentinel, 16 September 2001
6. "Terrorist Stag Parties," Wall Street Journal, 10 October 2001
7. 9/11CR 248.
8. "Meet the Press," NBC, 23 September, 2001
9. "Remarks by the President, Secretary of the Treasury O'Neill and
Secretary of State Powell on Executive Order," White House, 24
American Intelligence," New Yorker, 1 October 2001
11. "White House Warns Taliban: ?We Will Defeat You,?" CNN, 21
12. Office of the Prime Minister, "Responsibility for the Terrorist
Atrocities in the
13. "The Investigation and the Evidence," BBC News, 5 October 2001
14. Kathy Gannon, "Taliban Willing to Talk, But Wants
Associated Press, 1 November 2001 (click here
15. Federal Bureau of Investigation, "Most Wanted Terrorists: Usama
bin Laden" (http://www.fbi.gov/wanted/terrorists/terbinladen.htm).
16. Ed Haas, "FBI says, ?No Hard Evidence Connecting Bin Laden to
9/11?" Muckraker Report, 6 June 2006
17. See my discussion in The New Pearl Harbor Revisited: 9/11, the
Cover-Up, and the Expos? (
18. BBC News, "Tape ?Proves Bin Laden?s Guilt,?" 14 December 2001
19. See "The Fake 2001 bin Laden Video Tape"
20. Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton, with Benjamin Rhodes, Without
Precedent: The Inside Story of the 9/11 Commission (
A. Knopf, 2006).
21. 9/11CR 149, 155, 166.
22. See 9/11CR Ch. 5, notes 16, 41, and 92.
23. Kean and Hamilton, Without Precedent, 118.
24. Ibid., 122-24.
25. Ibid., 119.
26. Robert Windrem and Victor Limjoco, "The 9/11 Commission
Controversy," Deep Background: NBC News Investigations, 30 January
27. Tim O?Brien, "Wife of Solicitor General Alerted Him of Hijacking
from Plane," CNN, 11 September 2001
29. Kerry Hall, "Flight Attendant Helped Fight Hijackers," News &
30. 9/11CR 6.
31. Gail Sheehy, "Stewardess ID'd Hijackers Early, Transcripts Show,"
32. "Calm Before the Crash: Flight 11 Crew Sent Key Details Before
Hitting the Twin Towers," ABC News, 18 July 2002
33. A. K. Dewdney, "The Cellphone and Airfone Calls from Flight
UA93," Physics 911, 9 June 2003
(http://physics911.net/cellphoneflight93.htm). For discussion of this
issue, see The New Pearl Harbor Revisited, 112-14.
34. See Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why Conspiracy Theories Can?t Stand Up
to the Facts: An In-Depth Investigation by Popular Mechanics, ed.
David Dunbar and Brad Reagan (
35. Lechner FBI Affidavit; available at
.htm). Woodward and Sweeney are not identified by name in the
affidavit, which refers simply to the former as "an employee of
American Airlines at
on AA11." But their names were revealed in an "investigative document
compiled by the FBI" to which Eric Lichtblau referred in "Aboard
Flight 11, a Chilling Voice,"
36. 9/11CR 453n32.
37. Gail Sheehy, "9/11 Tapes Reveal Ground Personnel Muffled
38. Greg Gordon, "Prosecutors Play Flight 93 Cockpit Recording,"
McClatchy Newspapers, KnoxNews.com, 12 April 2006
06&cat=WW). The quoted statement is Gordon?s paraphrase of the
testimony of "a member of the FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force." ?
ion/flights/P200054.html). This graphics presentation can be more
easily viewed in "Detailed Account of Phone Calls from September 11th
Flights" at 9-11 Research (click here
40. "The Final Moments of United Flight 93," Newsweek, 22 September
2001 (click here See "Interview with Deena Lynne Burnett (re: phone
call from hijacked flight)," 9/11 Commission, FBI Source Documents,
Chronological, September 11, 2001, Intelfiles.com, 14 March 2008
documents.html); Greg Gordon, "Widow Tells of Poignant Last Calls,"
Sacramento Bee, 11 September 2002 (http://holtz.org/Library/Social%
20story.htm); and Deena L. Burnett (with Anthony F. Giombetti),
Fighting Back: Living Beyond Ourselves (
Inspirational Books, 2006), where she wrote: "I looked at the caller
ID and indeed it was Tom?s cell phone number" (61).
42. William M. Arkin, "When Seeing and Hearing Isn't Believing,"
Washington Post, 1 February 1999 (click here Although Brickhouse
Security?s advertisement for Telephone Voice Changers
been modified in recent years, it previously included a device
called "FoneFaker," the ad for which said: "Record any call you make,
fake your Caller ID and change your voice, all with one service you
can use from any phone."
44. For Deena Burnett?s reconstruction of the calls, see
45. See The New
46. Lichtblau, "Aboard Flight 11, a Chilling Voice" (see note 34,
47. 9/11CR 4, 6.
48. See note 38, above.
49. 9/11CR 19.
51. "Summary of Air Traffic Hijack Events: September 11, 2001," FAA,
17 September 2001
52. Frank J. Murray, "Americans Feel Touch of Evil; Fury Spurs
53. "Ashcroft Says More Attacks May Be Planned," CNN, 18 September
x.html); "Terrorist Hunt," ABC News (click here
54. Anne Karpf, "Uncle Sam?s Lucky Finds," Guardian, 19 March 2002
Like some others, this article mistakenly said the passport belonged
to Mohamed Atta.
55. Statement by Susan Ginsburg, senior counsel to the 9/11
Commission, at the 9/11 Commission Hearing, 26 January 2004
11Commission_Hearing_2004-01-26.htm). The Commission?s account
reflected a CBS report that the passport had been found "minutes
after" the attack, which was stated by the Associated Press, 27
56. Sheila MacVicar and Caroline Faraj, "September 11 Hijacker
Questioned in January 2001," CNN, 1 August 2002
Commission Hearing, 26 January 2004.
57. 9/11CR 14; Jere Longman, Among the Heroes: United 93 and the
Passengers and Crew Who Fought Back (
58. In light of the absurdity of the claims about the passports of al-
Suqami and Jarrah, we can safely assume that the ID cards of Majed
Moqed, Nawaf al-Hazmi, and
discovered at the Pentagon crash site (see "9/11 and Terrorist
Travel," 9/11 Commission Staff Report [http://www.9-
42), were also planted.
59. For a photograph of the headband, see 9-11 Research, "The Crash
of Flight 93"
60. Quoted in Ross Coulthart, "Terrorists Target
61. Lechner FBI Affidavit (see note 34, above).
62. Sydney Morning Herald, 15 September 2001;
63. The 9/11 Commission?s Staff Statement No. 16, dated 16 June 2004
(http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/5224099), said: "The
almost prevented Atta and Omari from making Flight 11 out of
In fact, the luggage they checked in
64. 9/11CR 1-2.
65. 9/11CR 451n1; FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, "Statement for
the Record," Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry, 26 September 2002
66. "Two Brothers among Hijackers," CNN Report, 13 September 2001
67. "Feds Think They?ve Identified Some Hijackers," CNN, 13 September
Herald, 14 September 2001
69. Joel Achenbach, "'You Never Imagine' A Hijacker Next Door,"
Washington Post, 16 September 2001 (click here Rowland Morgan and Ian
Henshall, 9/11 Revealed: The Unanswered Questions (
& Graf, 2005), 181.
71. David Hench, "Ticket Agent Haunted by Brush with 9/11 Hijackers,"
72. This photo can be seen at click here
73. Associated Press, 22 July 2004. The photo with this caption can
be seen in Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 117-18, along with a
genuine security video (with identification data), or at
http://killtown.911review.org/flight77/hijackers.html (scroll half-
74. Rowland and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 118.
75. 9/11CR 452n11.
76. Jay Kolar, "What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11 Hijackers,"
in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11 (
Stories, 2008), 3-44, at 8 (emphasis Kolar?s).
77. Richard A. Clarke, Against All Enemies: Inside
78. "Statement of Robert C. Bonner to the National Commission on
Terrorist Attacks upon the
80. "FBI: Early Probe Results Show 18 Hijackers Took Part," CNN, 13
of Names of 18 Suspected Hijackers," CNN, 14 September 2001
81. "List of Names of 18 Suspected Hijackers."
82. Gail Sheehy, "Stewardess ID'd Hijackers Early, Transcripts Show,"
83. Satam al-Suqami replaced a man named Amer Kamfar, and Abdulaziz
al-Omari replaced a man with a similar name, Abdulrahman al-Omari;
see Kolar, "What We Now Know," 12-15.
84. Another problem with the claim that Woodward had identified these
three men is that the seat numbers reportedly used to identify Atta
and al-Omari (see Gail Sheehy, "Stewardess ID'd Hijackers Early") did
not match the numbers of the seats assigned to these two men (9/11CR
85. All four passenger manifests can be found at click here
86. Terry McDermott, Perfect Soldiers: The 9/11 Hijackers: Who They
Were, Why They Did It (
after p. 140.
87. This is stated at "The Passengers," 911myths.com
88. Although discussions on the Internet have often claimed that
these manifests were included in the FBI?s evidence for the Moussaoui
trial, several researchers failed to find them. See Jim Hoffman?s
89. To view them, see "Passenger Lists," 9-11 Research
To download them and/or read cleaned-up versions, see "The
90. "Hijackers Linked to USS Cole Attack? Investigators Have
Identified All the Hijackers; Photos to Be Released," CBS News, 14
Elizabeth Neuffer, "Hijack Suspect Lived a Life, or a
Globe, 25 September 2001
91. "Four Planes, Four Coordinated Teams,"
September 2001 (click here
92. David Dunbar and Brad Reagan, eds., Debunking 9/11 Myths: Why
Conspiracy Theories Can?t Stand Up to the Facts (
Books, 2006), 63.
93. Andrew M. Baker, M.D., "Human Identification in a Post-9/11
World: Attack on American Airlines Flight 77 and the Pentagon
Identification and Pathology"
94. Steve Vogel, "Remains Unidentified for 5 Pentagon Victims,"
Washington Post, 21 November 2001 (click here See my discussion in
Debunking 9/11 Debunking: An Answer to Popular Mechanics and Other
Defenders of the Official Conspiracy Theory, revised & updated
96. "Ziad Jarrah," Wikipedia, as the article existed prior to
September 8, 2006. On that date, that passage was removed. However,
the earlier version of the article, containing the passage, is
available at http://www.wanttoknow.info/articles/ziad_jarrah.
97. Thomas R. Olmsted, M.D. "Still No Arabs on Flight 77," Rense.com,
23 June 2003 (http://www.rense.com/general38/77.htm).
98. 9/11CR 5.
99. David Bamford, "Hijack ?Suspect? Alive in
100. "Hijack ?Suspects? Alive and Well," BBC News, 23 September 2001
(click here "Panoply of the Absurd," Der Spiegel, 8 September 2003
102. Steve Herrmann, "9/11 Conspiracy Theory," The Editors, BBC News,
27 October 2006
103. Jay Kolar, "Update: What We Now Know about the Alleged 9-11
Hijackers," Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11: 293-304, at
104. For discussion of some of these other men, see ibid., 295-98.
105. The story "Silver Blaze" is available at Wikisource
106. "America Under Attack: How could It Happen?" CNN Live Event, 12
107. Ibid. This was the "radio transmission" discussed earlier.
108. Richard A. Serrano, "Heroism, Fatalism Aboard Flight 93," Los
Angeles Times, 12 April 2006
109. All of these statements are contained in the section
headed "Senior Military, Intelligence, Law Enforcement, and
Government Officials" at Patriots Question 9/11
110. "9/12/2001: CIA Veteran Doubts Bin Laden Capable of 9/11
Attacks, Suspects Larger Plot," Aidan Monaghan?s Blog, 11 March 2008
111. Marc Fisher and Don Phillips, "On Flight 77: ?Our Plane Is Being
Hijacked,?" Washington Post, 12 September 2001 (click here
112. "FAA Was Alerted To Sept. 11 Hijacker," CBS News, 10 May 2002
113. Jim Yardley, "A Trainee Noted for Incompetence," New York Times,
4 May 2002 (click here 9/11CR 242.
115. Greg Szymanski, "Former
Believer 9/11 Was Inside Government Job," Arctic Beacon, 17 July 2005
(click here Email from Ralph Omholt, 27 October 2006.
117. Alan Miller, "
Story," OpedNews.com, 5 September 2007 (click here Dunbar and Reagan,
eds., Debunking 9/11 Myths, 6.
120. These problems and more are discussed in The New Pearl Harbor
121. For such people who have been willing to go public, see Patriots
Question 9/11 (http://PatriotsQuestion911.com).
122. Patriots Question 9/11
123. Stated at Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth
124. For anyone aware of the facts, NIST?s report on the collapse of
WTC 7, issued August 22, 2008, is laughable. For one thing, as I had
predicted (Ch. 1 of The New Pearl Harbor Revisited), NIST simply
ignored all the facts to which its fire theory cannot do justice,
such as the melted steel, the thermite residue, and the reports of
explosions in the building.
125. Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth (click here This
interview can be seen at "Controlled Demolition Expert and WTC7"
(http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k3DRhwRN06I). A portion is contained
in the film Loose Change Final Cut.
127. "The Myth of Implosion"
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