By Dennis Cuddy, Ph.D.
Periodically, noted WASHINGTON POST columnist William Raspberry would write articles based on interviews with me regarding a wide range of subjects, and in his September 9, 2002 POST column, he wrote regarding my book, SEPTEMBER 11 PRIOR KNOWLEDGE, “Cuddy’s point is that we had sufficient prior knowledge to have prevented 9/11.” In the summer of 2001, the federal government knew something big was in the works. The terrorists’ Project Bojinka (hijacking airliners and crashing them into high value American targets) was even mentioned on the Northwest Airlines flight attendants website. This is one reason President George W. Bush on August 6 received a presidential memorandum indicating Osama bin Laden was determined to strike inside the U.S. At that point, President Bush could have convened a meeting of his national security personnel to develop contingency plans for various scenarios (e.g. sarin gas or truck bomb attack). New York City’s Twin Towers would be a likely target since terrorists had already tried to destroy them in 1993, and in the event of an air attack, the preventive solution was simple. Just have an Apache Longbow helicopter with its 30mm chain guns, rockets and missile on standby alert at one of the city’s several forts. When the terrorists turned off the planes’ transponders the morning of 9/11, the Apache could have been quickly beside the towers.
When I called NBC’s Andrea Mitchell and told her how 9/11 could have been easily prevented, she exclaimed: “Oh my, thank you for calling, thank you!” Former chief investigative counsel for the U.S. House Judiciary Committee David Schippers wrote, “I intend to make it (SEPTEMBER 11 PRIOR KNOWLEDGE) required reading for my children and grandchildren.” In that volume as well as my subsequent book, COVER-UP, I pose questions that still linger 20 years after the terrorist attack of 9/11. While Congress has been reluctant to open new comprehensive hearings regarding the attack, hopefully the Senate or House will at least conduct hearings regarding the 12 questions below.
1) Why were 24 members of Osama bin Laden’s family secretly removed from the U.S. under FBI guard after the 9/11 attacks and flown back to Saudi Arabia (“How FBI helped bin Laden family flee U.S.,” LONDON TIMES, October 1, 2001)? And remember in the global satellite relay system known as Iridium, the one in the Middle East is owned by the Saudi bin Laden Group!
2) Has anyone interviewed all the children who brought cameras to school that day (to take pictures of the event) to find out how they knew something was going to happen? A boy at New Utrecht High School in Brooklyn on September 6, 2001 said, “Do you see those two buildings (World Trade Center, WTC)? They won’t be standing there next week.”
3) Has anyone pursued the question of how two almost pristine passports of the hijackers in New York and Pennsylvania survived when nearly everything else from the planes was incinerated or vaporized?
4) Has anyone filed a Freedom of Information request with the government to see if they were monitoring hijack ringleader Mohamed Atta in the U.S. prior to the event, as German intelligence believed we were. In the German intelligence magazine FOCUS (September 24, 2001), one reads that the CIA began surveillance of Atta in Germany from January to May 2000, and “We can no longer exclude the possibility that the Americans wanted to keep an eye on Atta after his entry in the USA…”
5) Has anyone asked how government agents knew the details of a conversation between terrorist hijackers a week before 9/11 unless they were already being monitored (see Congressional testimony by Kristin Breitweiser)?
6) Has anyone asked authorities to explain how so much debris from the plane that supposedly nose-dived in Pennsylvania could be found so many miles from the crash site?
7) Has anyone pursued authorities for an explanation of how such a large plane could disappear into such a small hole (before the façade collapsed) in the Pentagon wall with no major debris (e.g. plane’s engines or tail) left on the lawn? The videos of the plane striking the Pentagon have never been released!
8) Has anyone asked government officials why there were not plans to prevent air attacks in New York City and Washington, DC when between December 1994 and September 2001 there were 12 specific intelligence indicators that al-Qaeda was planning to use aircraft to attack U.S. targets, particularly in New York City and Washington, DC (the Senate intelligence Committee found that between March and September 2001, there were 11 specific intelligence indicators of an imminent attack within the U.S.)? In 1993, the director of the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism had written about jihadists training as suicide pilots, hijacking airliners with passengers, and crashing into selected objects! And in September 1999, there was a federal report stating “suicide bomber(s) belonging to al-Qaida’s Martyrdom Battalion could crash land an aircraft into the Pentagon”!
9) Has anyone asked Mayor Willie Brown of San Francisco who called him late at night on September 10, 2001, warning him about his air travel the next morning to New York City. The press/media just assumed this was one of the usual FAA warnings, but when I filed a Freedom of Information request with the FAA, they indicated they issued no warnings for at least 2 weeks before 9/11!
10) Has anyone pressed then Attorney-General John Ashcroft as to why he didn’t develop a plan to prevent a land or air attack on the WTC when terrorists had already attacked it in 1993, and when one of the subjects of the FBI’s 31-month Operation Diamondback (ending June 2001) said on July 14, 1999: “Those towers (WTC) are coming down.”
11) Given that most of the CIA’s operations in South Asia were run through Pakistan’s intelligence service (ISI), why didn’t American officials demand that Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad (head of the ISI) be turned over since he had $100,000 wired to Mohamed Atta a month before 9/11? On September 4, 2001, Gen. Ahmad arrived in the U.S. for conversations with top Pentagon officials, and on September 13 and 24 NEWSWEEK reported that “a particularly urgent warning may have been received the night before the attacks” and “a group of top Pentagon officials suddenly cancelled travel plans the next morning, apparently because of security concerns.”
12) Has anyone ever asked former long-time Middle East CIA agent Robert Baer why one of the highest ranking CIA officials told a reporter friend of Baer “that when the dust finally clears, Americans will see that September 11 was a triumph for the intelligence community, not a failure”?
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