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Tag: September 11

Lengel: We May Never Feel as Safe As We Did on Sept. 10, 2001

Allan Lengel

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Thirteen years  ago today, I was walking down Connecticut Avenue NW  in Washington, D.C.,  on my way to work, about to get on the subway, when I ran into a friend who asked if I had heard about a plane crashing into the World Trade Center.

I hadn’t. By the time I got off the subway at the Farragut North stop downtown, the city was in a panic. I ran into my editor at the Washington Post, who said she had heard that planes had crashed into the Pentagon and the State Department. Rumors were running rampant.

We got to the newsroom and everyone was standing around TVs watching the incredulous events unfold. 

A second plane had already crashed into the World Trade Center and a third had crashed into the Pentagon, not all that far away. We were under attack.

We all got our assignments. I was sent to D.C. Police headquarters on Indiana Avenue NW to hang out all day. I walked there, about 1.5 miles.  On the way over there, you could hear everyone on the street calling loved ones, checking in.

At police headquarters, a  group of reporters stood out front, hanging out. The police chief, Charles Ramsey, (who is now the Philadelphia Police chief) would occasionally drive by and give us updates. A plane in Pennsylvania was still unaccounted for. We kept looking up at the sky wondering if it just might come our way.

The world changed that day. We had been shaken before as Americans. We had the Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, but this was of a magnitude we had never seen before.

We’ve learned a lot since that time. At first, the FBI, jittery from not unearthing the 9/11 plot, and getting plenty blame for that, followed up on every tip it got, regardless of how silly it might have seemed. In time, it learned to separate the wheat from the chaff. Also, for a while, authorities were overly paranoid about anyone in D.C. taking photos or video of buildings. That eventually changed.

Plus, the government, the White House, the FBI and other agencies,  had a lot to learn about Islam.  The FBI shifted its top priority to terrorism, and we created the Department of Homeland Security, which frankly, the verdict is still out on how effective that has been.

Since that day, Sept. 11, 2001, we’ve become far more aware of  the potential terrorism threat.

Frankly, in the days that followed Sept. 11, 2001, I thought life would never be normal again.  Fortunately, things have returned to some semblance of normalcy.

But we’ll likely never feel as safe as we did on Sept. 10, 2001.

Defense Team: FBI’s Attempt to Gather Information from Suspects’ Attorney Has Serious Ramifications

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Defense attorneys for five defendants accused of helping orchestrate the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks warned of “staggering” implications after divulging that the FBI tried to recruit a member of the defense team.

The Associated Press reports that the defense team is urging the war crimes tribunal to aggressively pursue allegations of what would be an unprecedented breach.

According to the defense, two agents with the FBI’s Terrorism Task Force approached one of the attorneys at home and asked about the counsel’s work. At issue is whether the visit created a conflict of interest that compromised the defense team’s loyalty to is clients.
The allegations brought the case to an abrupt halt.

Outgoing FBI Director Mueller III Speaks About How Sept. 11 Changed the FBI

Robert Mueller

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

Outgoing FBI Director Robert S Mueller III never imagined that his bureau would be consumed with the fight on terror.

After all, Mueller started his job as director a week before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“I love prosecuting cases, and I love doing investigations, particularly homicide investigations and the like, and that’s why I became a prosecutor,” Mueller said in a rare interview with reporters at FBI headquarters, the Washington Post reports.“I did not expect to be spending my time preventing terrorist attacks,”

Twelve years later, Mueller is exiting a bureau that has been transformed to handle the global war on terror. Since the attacks, the FBI has invested heavily in intelligence programs and information technology, while opening 18 overseas posts.

“You have one metric, and that is preventing all attacks. . . . If there’s one attack, you are unsuccessful,” he said.

FBI Records: Agents Suspected Saudis Living in Florida Provided help to Sept. 11 Hijackers

Steve Neavling
ticklethewire.com

New FBI records suggest that Saudis who had lived in Florida before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks helped the hijackers, prompting revived calls for an investigation into co-conspirators, BrowardBulldog.org reports.

“One question that has gone unanswered through the investigation of 9/11 is ‘Did the hijackers operate alone or did they have accomplices who facilitated their ability to act?” said former Florida Sen. Bob Graham. “I think the information we have now makes a very strong case that they did.”

The relatively obscure news organization BrowardBulldog.com broke the news after acquiring FBI records that showed agents were suspicious of three people who had been living in Sarasota. Two of them were students at the Venice flight school attended by two of the hijackers.

“Further investigation of the [ name deleted ] family revealed many connections between the [ name deleted ] and individuals associated with the terrorist attacks on 9/11/2001,” says an April 16, 2002 FBI report.

Daily Beast: Former FBI Agent Ali Soufan on Bin Laden’s Death, War on Terror

By John Avlon
Daily Beast

Ali Soufan, former FBI agent, security consultant and author of “Black Banners: The Inside Story of 9/11 and the War Against Al Qaeda” talks to the Daily Beast about terrorism.

How’s the Obama administration doing?

“Total elimination of Al Qaeda.” Soufan said.  “They are hitting leaders of al Qaeda, and anyone who is known to be plotting against the United States. But at the same time they are trying to stop all the incubating factors that help terrorist recruitment, funding, P.R. and so forth.  They are hitting them on different levels.  A lot of people see the success of the drones…but the global partnerships that have been created have been effective – and that includes law enforcement, diplomacy, economic aid, educational program and definitely boots on the ground when needed, ie, killing Osama Bin Laden.  So, I think it’s more comprehensive in nature.”

“We joke sometimes that Obama does a lot of the same tactics as George Bush, but he keeps his mouth shut,” Soufan says. “The Bush administration’s war on terror wasn’t actually working because most of our allies around the world— including England, Germany, other European countries and Muslim world—did not have the same concept the war on terror.  So, it makes it difficult when you have a strategy that your partners are not buying into. No. 2, it was wrongfully viewed in the Muslim world as a war on Islam,” said Soufan.

Soufan clarified that he doesn’t “want to blame everything on the Bush Administration. I think you have to put yourself in their shoes at the time. But the two things I disagree with the Bush Administration on: the invasion of Iraq and EITs (Enhanced Interrogation Techniques), because it just created a lot of problems to our reputation around the world.”

To read more click here.

 

FBI Tells its Side of the Story on the Doomed Flight 93

By ALYSSA CHOINIERE
Daily American Staff Writer

Even the most tragic of stories needs a hero so that the listeners can eventually make sense of its ending.

The passengers of Flight 93 were those heroes for Americans on Sept. 11.

For the FBI investigators, the actions of the Flight 93 passengers made sense of the tragedy in ways they never could have anticipated.

“This was the most important site for our investigation,” FBI digital Evidence Section Chief Todd McCall said. “This is where we tied everything together.”

Members of the Flight 93 FBI investigation and recovery team spoke Sunday about their investigation as part of the “Learning Centers Without Walls” panel discussions at the Flight 93 National Memorial. The investigators’ stories started out that morning like the stories of most every other American old enough to remember the day.

To read more click here.