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WTC News Briefs



This page will be updated as information becomes available. Reader submissions are encouraged.

IMPORTANT PEOPLE WHO MAY HAVE CHEATED DEATH:
"President Bush's cousin should have been in the World Trade Centre when it was attacked. Jim Pierce, managing director of AON Corporations, had arranged a business conference on the 105th floor of the South Tower where its New York offices were based. But his group was too large so they decided to move across the street to the Millenium Hotel. Two hundred AON staff are missing."
Ananova, September 18, 2001

"For Mayor Willie Brown, the first signs that something was amiss came late Monday when he got a call from what he described as his airport security -- a full eight hours before yesterday's string of terrorist attacks -- advising him that Americans should be cautious about their air travel ... Exactly where the call came from is a bit of a mystery. The mayor would say only that it came from 'my security people at the airport.' Mike McCarron, assistant deputy director at SFO, said the Federal Aviation Administration 'routinely' issues security notices about possible threats. He said two or three such notices have been received in the past couple of months, but none in recent days."
San Francisco Chronicle, September 12, 2001

"Sarah Ferguson, Duchess of York, is among those thanking their lucky stars they weren't in the World Trade Center as planned last Tuesday. The ex-wife of Prince Andrew had an 8:45 a.m. meeting scheduled that day for her Chances for Children charity, which is based at the WTC, but was running late ..."
Los Angeles Daily News, September 19, 2001

PEOPLE WHO WERE SURPRISED TO FIND OUT THAT THEY WERE SUPPOSED TO BE DEAD:
"A man named by the U.S. Department of Justice as a suicide hijacker of American Airlines flight 11, the first airliner to smash into the World Trade Centre, is very much alive and living in Jeddah. Abdulrahman al-Omari, a pilot with Saudi Airlines, was astonished to find himself accused of hijacking, as well as being dead, and has visited the U.S. consulate in Jeddah to demand an explanation. None has been forthcoming."
The Independent and Middle East News Online, September 17, 2001

"Like everyone else on the unofficial list of victims from last week's terrorist attacks, the Larsons of Los Angeles symbolized lives cut heartbreakingly short. Jude, 31, was a medical student. Natalie, 24, was a fashion model, and four months pregnant. Both had wrapped up a visit with Natalie's family near Boston and were headed home on American Airlines Flight 11 when it plowed into the World Trade Center Sept. 11. None of it is true ... Jude Larson - whose real name is Jude Olsen, and who is 30, not 31 - e-mailed the Honolulu Star-Bulletin saying he is alive and living in Olympia, Wash. Tuesday, the three Hawaiian newspapers published stories saying the couple are safe. Jude is not in medical school. Natalie is not pregnant and is not from Boston. They did not fly on a plane that tragic day. And Olsen has visited his father in Maui just once, not 19 times. Curtis Larson [Jude's father] also told the papers Monday he was the victim of a hoax - that someone pretending to be his ex-wife called him, followed by one of the airlines."
The Boston Globe, reprinted in the Los Angeles Daily News, September 19, 2001
Points to ponder: How could this guy be fooled by someone "pretending to be his ex-wife"?

PEOPLE WHO PROFITED BY HAVING ADVANCE KNOWLEDGE OF THE ATTACKS:
"The Chicago Board Options Exchange, the world's biggest options market, has joined a widening probe of whether terrorists may have profited from bearish trades in airline, insurance and brokerage stocks before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Officials with the exchange said Tuesday that they are investigating an unusually high volume of sales of 'put' options on stocks such as UAL Corp. and AMR Corp., parent companies of United Airlines and American Airlines, in the days before their jets were used to destroy the World Trade Center and severely damage the Pentagon. Buyers of put options are guaranteed the right to sell stocks at a targeted price, and they make a profit if the shares' value goes down ... The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and securities regulators in Europe and Japan also are looking into whether shares in particularly vulnerable industries could have been subject to a ghoulish form of insider trading by people with advance knowledge of the attacks ... Reports of suspicious trading activity began circulating over the weekend in Europe, involving three big reinsurance firms Munich Reinsurance, Swiss Reinsurance and AXA. Reinsurers sell backup insurance to protect major insurers from big losses. In the days leading up to the Sept. 11 attacks, the companies' shares were hit hard by 'short' selling by investors who were counting on the prices to drop ... Bloomberg News said three trading days before the attack, the volume of put option contracts sold for UAL was 285 times higher than average ... John C. Coffee, a Columbia University law professor [said] 'I can only speculate on how many entities there could be between the mastermind and the purchase' ..."
Los Angeles Times, September 19, 2001 (emphasis added)
Points to ponder: Was it really 'terrorists' who had the financial resources and connections, and the market savvy, to pull off such a scam? That doesn't seem too likely given that, according to King George, they "live in caves." And exactly how extensive was the planning for this attack that allegedly completely escaped the notice of U.S. intelligence services?

"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. Until 1997, Mr Krongard was chairman of Alex Brown Inc, America's oldest investment banking firm. Alex Brown was acquired by Bankers Trust, which in turn was bought by Deutsche Bank. His last post before resigning to take his senior role in the CIA was to head Bankers Trust Alex Brown's private client business, dealing with the accounts and investments of wealthy customers around the world."
The Independent, October 14, 2001

WHY DID THOSE TWO TOWERS COLLAPSE?
"Televised images of the attacks on the World Trade Center suggest that explosives devices caused the collapse of both towers, a New Mexico Tech explosion expert said Tuesday. The collapse of the buildings appears 'too methodical' to be a chance result of airplanes colliding with the structures, said Van Romero, vice president for research at New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. 'My opinion is, based on the videotapes, that after the airplanes hit the World Trade Center there were some explosive devices inside the buildings that caused the towers to collapse,' Romero said. Romero is a former director of the Energetic Materials Research and Testing Center at Tech, which studies explosive materials and the effects of explosions on buildings, aircraft and other structures ... Romero said the collapse of the structures resembled those of controlled implosions used to demolish old structures. 'It would be difficult for something from the plane to trigger an event like that,' Romero said in a phone interview from Washington, D.C. ... 'It could have been a relatively small amount of explosives placed in strategic points,' Romero said."
Albuquerque Journal, September 11, 2001
Editors note: After allegedly consulting with other experts, though quite possibly for very different reasons, Mr. Romero felt compelled to radically reverse his position just ten days later, bringing it fully into line with the official version of events. A follow-up report published by the Albuquerque Journal on September 21 holds that:
"A New Mexico explosives expert says he now believes there were no explosives in the World Trade Center towers, contrary to comments he made the day of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack. 'Certainly the fire is what caused the building to fail,' said Van Romero, a vice president at the New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology ... Romero supports other experts, who have said the intense heat of the jet fuel fires weakened the skyscrapers' steel structural beams to the point that they gave way under the weight of the floors above ... Conspiracy theorists have seized on Romero's comments as evidence for their argument that someone else, possibly the U.S. government, was behind the attack on the Trade Center. Romero said he has been bombarded with electronic mail from the conspiracy theorists. 'I'm very upset about that,' he said. 'I'm not trying to say anything did or didn't happen.'"
Note here the contemptuous references to 'conspiracy theorists.' Interestingly though, there was in fact a massive conspiracy behind the suicide attacks. Webster's New World Dictionary defines conspire as: to plan together secretly, esp. to commit a crime or to work together toward a single end. Any rational person would have to agree that that was in fact what transpired. The only debate is over who was behind the conspiracy. Of course, suggesting that a band of Arab 'terrorists' planned together secretly to commit a crime is not derided as a 'conspiracy theory,' whereas suggesting that a group of covert U.S. operatives planned together secretly to commit a crime is always dismissed as such. Go figure.

"The owners of the demolished World Trade Center in lower Manhattan acquired the buildings just two months ago under a 99-year lease allowing them to walk away from their investment in the event of 'an act of terrorism.' The owners, Silverstein Properties and Westfield America - a shopping mall specialist - purchased the buildings from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey for $3.2bn in July and completed the financing just two weeks ago ... It is understood that the buildings are insured for more than $3bn, enough to cover rebuilding costs."
The Financial Times Limited, September 14, 2001

GEORGE W. BUSH AND OSAMA BIN LADEN:
"In the late 1980s ... Houston airplane broker James R. Bath ... represented, as a sort of business agent, at least four prominent and wealthy Saudi Arabian citizens in their U.S. investments. According to public records, those citizens included Salem (sometimes spelled Salim) bin Laden, the favored son of the founder of a great Saudi construction empire, and one of dozens of half-brothers to a then-obscure man named Osama bin Laden. Bath's associations did not exclusively involve Saudi petrodollars. Among other things, he also counted as a friend and minor business partner another man who, except for his family connections, was not well known to the wider public: George W. Bush."
Former Houston Post reporter John Mecklin, September 19, 2001

"George W. Bush said he met Bath [in the 1970s] when both were fighter pilots at the ANG [Air National Guard] base at Ellington [Field, a former Air Force base near Houston]."
The Houston Post, October 1990

"Tax documents and personal financial records show that Bath personally had a 5 percent interest in Arbusto '79 Ltd., and Arbusto '80 Ltd., limited partnerships controlled by George W. Bush, President Bush's eldest son. Arbusto means 'bush' in Spanish."
The Houston Chronicle, 1991

"Bath controlled a fleet of companies connected to his aircraft business, and he enjoyed unusual carte blanche to direct the U.S. investments of several wealthy Middle Easterners. Associates confirm that Bath has brokered more than $150 million in private plane deals in recent years, concentrated in sales and leases to Middle Eastern royalty and other influential figures ... The firm that incorporated Bath's companies in the Cayman Islands is the same one that set up a money-collecting front company for Oliver North in the Iran-contra affair ... Bath, while insisting he is nothing more than a 'small, obscure businessman,' is associated with some of the the most powerful figures in the U.S. and Middle East."
Time Magazine, 1991

GEORGE H. W. BUSH AND THE BIN LADEN FAMILY:
"Through this investment* and its ties to Saudi royalty, the bin Laden family has become acquainted with some of the biggest names in the Republican Party. In recent years, former President Bush, ex-Secretary of State James Baker and ex-Secretary of Defense Frank Carlucci have made the pilgrimage to the bin Laden family's headquarters in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia."
Wall Street Journal, September 27, 2001
* The investment referred to is what the Journal described as "a fund established by the Carlyle Group, a well-connected Washington merchant bank specializing in buyouts of defense and aerospace companies."

WHEN DID THE PLANNING FOR THIS MILITARY VENTURE REALLY BEGIN?
"A former Pakistani diplomat has told the BBC that the US was planning military action against Osama bin Laden and the Taleban even before last week's attacks. Niaz Naik, a former Pakistani Foreign Secretary, was told by senior American officials in mid-July that military action against Afghanistan would go ahead by the middle of October. Mr. Naik said US officials told him of the plan at a UN-sponsored international contact group on Afghanistan which took place in Berlin ... Mr. Naik was told that if the military action went ahead it would take place before the snows started falling in Afghanistan, by the middle of October at the latest."
BBC News, September 18, 2001

DID THE FDNY KNOW SOMETHING THAT THE REST OF US DID NOT?
"Other [New York City] firefighters complained that they were ill-equipped and untrained to deal with the September 11 disaster and its aftermath. Every member of the department, one of them said, had received a course on dealing with terrorist incidents. The four-hour slide show that was instituted in recent years provided little in the way of guidance. Rather, they were told that those fire companies responding first to the scene were expected to die. The booklet they received for the course had a cover bearing an image of the World Trade Center towers with a bull's eye drawn over them."
World Socialist Web Site, November 5, 2001
 
 

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