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"debunkers" #gifiles #occupywallstreet 7/7 bombings 9/11 9/11 attacks 9/11 Citizens Commission 9/11 Commission 9/11 Commission Report 9/11 Conspiracy Roadtrip 9/11 Fahrenheit 911 9/11 families 9/11 phone calls 9/11 survivor 9/11 truth 9/11 Truther 9/11 Truth Movement 9/11 victims 9/11 War 9/11 War Games 9/11 Wars 9/11 Whistleblowers 9/11 workers 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington 9/11: Press For Truth 10th Anniversary 28 pages 757 911 first responders 911 museum 911blogger 911truthnews.com 2012 Abbottabad Able Danger accountability ACLU activism activists Adam Curtis Adam Syed AE911truth ae911truth.org Afghanistan aftermath Ahmadinejad AIPAC Air Force One al-Awlaki al-Qaida Alan Colmes Alan Grayson Alec Baldwin Alec Station Alex Jones Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Alhazmi Ali Soufan Al Jazeera Almihdhar Al qae al Qaeda Amalgam Virgo American War Machine Among the Truthers Andrew Card Andrew Napolitano Andrews Air Force Base anniversary Ann Wright Anonymous Anthony Shaffer Anthony Summers Anthrax Antonio Martinez Anwar al-Alwlaki Anwar al-Awlaki Anwar Awlaki architects Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth artifacts assassination Atiyah abd al-Rahman Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation b BAE Ban Ki-moon Barack Obama Barcelona Barnes and Noble Barrie Zwicker baseball cards BBC BCCI Behrooz Sarshar Benedict Sliney Ben Fordham Ben Sliney Bill Clinton Bill Doyle Bill Maher Bill Moyers Bill O'Reilly bin Laden Blackwater Bloomington Bob Bowman Bob Graham Bob Kerrey Bob McIlvaine books Bosnia Brett Smith Brian Kilmeade Brooklyn Bridge Bruce Ivins Building 7 Building What bureaucracy Bush Bush Administration C-SPAN Camp David cancer capitalism Cass Sunstein censorship Champion Cheney China Chip Berlet Chris Hedges Chris Mohr Christian Chuck Schumer CIA Cindy Sheehan CIT Citizen Investigation Team Civil Disobedience civil liberties Classified Woman classroom CNN Cofer Black COG Cointelpro Cold War Cole Bombing Coleen Rowley Colin Powell Colorado Colorado Public Television Condonleezza Rice Con Edison congress conspiracies conspiracy conspiracy theory Constitution consumerism contradictions Cordoba Initiative Cornell West corporate media Cosmos Counter-Terror Expo Counterpunch counterterrorism coverup cover up CPT12 cryptome.org cybersecurity Cynthia McKinney Dahlia Wasfi Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Pipes Daniel Sunjata Dave Frasca David Chandler David Long David Ray Griffin David Swanson David Weigel DC debris debunking Deep Politics Democracy Now Democratic Party demolition Demos Dennis Kucinich detainee detainees Detroit DIA Dick Cheney Dick Gregory Disconnecting the Dots disinformation documents Donald Rumsfeld donations Donna Marsh O'Connor Downing Street drones dust Dwight D. 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Leslie Deak rachel maddow radar Radio 2GB Ramzi bin al-Shibh Rap News Rashard Mendenhall Ray Kelly Ray McGovern Raymond Davis Ray Nowosielski redacted Rediscover911 remains Remember Building 7 Rescue Me Research Rethinking Counterterrorism RIBA Richard Blee Richard Clarke Richard Falk Richard Gage Richard Mellon Scaife foundation Richard Meyers Rich Blee Rick Veitch Rita Katz Robert Fisk Robert Foster Robert Parry Robert Scheer Rock Creek Free Press Rolling Stone Rory Albanese Roseanne Barr Rosie O'Donnell Rudy Giuliani Russ Baker Russia Today Saddam Hussein Saeed Sheikh Samir Khan Sarasota Saudi Saudi Arabia Saudis SCAD scads Scott Ford Scott Noble Screw Loose Change Sean Penn secrecykills.com self-deception Senate Senator Mike Gravel Sept. 11 September 11th September 11th Advocates September 11th attacks settlement Shadow Government Shanksville Shoestring shoot down Sibel Edmonds Sibel Emonds simulations SITE skepticism sounds South Park Spain speculation speech SPLC spying State crimes against democracy State Department State Of Emergency Stephen Cozen Steve Dusterwald Steven Hatfill Steven Jones Strategy of Tension Stratfor Supreme Court surveillance surveillance state Susan Rice Syed Shazad Taliban taped terrorism terror plot Terror Timeline The Big Lie The Corrs The Daily Show The Eleventh Day of Every Month The Facts Speak For Themselves The Hard Evidence Tour The Huffington Post The Jersey Girls The New Yorker The Pentagon The Post-9/11 World The Power of Nightmares Thermate The Third Stage Thierry Meyssan think tank Thomas Kean Tom Drake Tom Owen Tom Ridge Tom Wilshire Tony Shaffer Tony Szamboti Topps Top Secret America torture Toward Justice Toxic to Democracy Truth Truth Action truthaction.org Truth Action Ottawa Truth Be Told Comics truther Truth Movement truthout.org Truth Revolution Truth Rising TSA twin towers twitter U.S. UN underwear bomber United 93 United 175 United Airlines United Nations University of Colorado University of Virginia UN Watch US government US Military vaccines Valerie Plame Vanessa Lang Langer victims videos videotaped visa express visibility Visibility 9-11 Wall Street war war crimes war games warnings War on Terror Washington Post We Are Change Welt der Wunder Whistleblower whistleblowers White House Who Is Rich Blee Whoopi Goldberg Wikileaks William Blum Willie Nelson Will McCants wiretaps World Series World Trade Center WTC WTC 7 WTC7 Xe Yemen Zacarias Moussaoui Zadroga Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Zelikow

TOPICS

"debunkers" #gifiles #occupywallstreet 7/7 bombings 9/11 9/11 attacks 9/11 Citizens Commission 9/11 Commission 9/11 Commission Report 9/11 Conspiracy Roadtrip 9/11 Fahrenheit 911 9/11 families 9/11 phone calls 9/11 survivor 9/11 truth 9/11 Truther 9/11 Truth Movement 9/11 victims 9/11 War 9/11 War Games 9/11 Wars 9/11 Whistleblowers 9/11 workers 9/11 Working Group of Bloomington 9/11: Press For Truth 10th Anniversary 28 pages 757 911 first responders 911 museum 911blogger 911truthnews.com 2012 Abbottabad Able Danger accountability ACLU activism activists Adam Curtis Adam Syed AE911truth ae911truth.org Afghanistan aftermath Ahmadinejad AIPAC Air Force One al-Awlaki al-Qaida Alan Colmes Alan Grayson Alec Baldwin Alec Station Alex Jones Alfreda Frances Bikowsky Alhazmi Ali Soufan Al Jazeera Almihdhar Al qae al Qaeda Amalgam Virgo American War Machine Among the Truthers Andrew Card Andrew Napolitano Andrews Air Force Base anniversary Ann Wright Anonymous Anthony Shaffer Anthony Summers Anthrax Antonio Martinez Anwar al-Alwlaki Anwar al-Awlaki Anwar Awlaki architects Architects and Engineers for 9/11 Truth artifacts assassination Atiyah abd al-Rahman Australia Australian Broadcasting Corporation b BAE Ban Ki-moon Barack Obama Barcelona Barnes and Noble Barrie Zwicker baseball cards BBC BCCI Behrooz Sarshar Benedict Sliney Ben Fordham Ben Sliney Bill Clinton Bill Doyle Bill Maher Bill Moyers Bill O'Reilly bin Laden Blackwater Bloomington Bob Bowman Bob Graham Bob Kerrey Bob McIlvaine books Bosnia Brett Smith Brian Kilmeade Brooklyn Bridge Bruce Ivins Building 7 Building What bureaucracy Bush Bush Administration C-SPAN Camp David cancer capitalism Cass Sunstein censorship Champion Cheney China Chip Berlet Chris Hedges Chris Mohr Christian Chuck Schumer CIA Cindy Sheehan CIT Citizen Investigation Team Civil Disobedience civil liberties Classified Woman classroom CNN Cofer Black COG Cointelpro Cold War Cole Bombing Coleen Rowley Colin Powell Colorado Colorado Public Television Condonleezza Rice Con Edison congress conspiracies conspiracy conspiracy theory Constitution consumerism contradictions Cordoba Initiative Cornell West corporate media Cosmos Counter-Terror Expo Counterpunch counterterrorism coverup cover up CPT12 cryptome.org cybersecurity Cynthia McKinney Dahlia Wasfi Daniel Ellsberg Daniel Pipes Daniel Sunjata Dave Frasca David Chandler David Long David Ray Griffin David Swanson David Weigel DC debris debunking Deep Politics Democracy Now Democratic Party demolition Demos Dennis Kucinich detainee detainees Detroit DIA Dick Cheney Dick Gregory Disconnecting the Dots disinformation documents Donald Rumsfeld donations Donna Marsh O'Connor Downing Street drones dust Dwight D. Eisenhower DynCorp Egypt Egyptian Revolution Eleanor Hill Elena Kagan Eleventh actions Emanuel Sferios Emily Louise Church empire engineers entrapment Eric Bolling Eric Holder Eric Margolis espionage act Evan Dando evidence exercises explosions extremism F-16 FAA facebook Fahrenheit 9/11 Fake Phone Calls theory FBI FDR Analysis Fealgood Foundation FEMA firefighters first responders Flight 77 flight 93 Florida FOIA foreknowledge FOX FOX News Frances Bikowsky Frank Legge Fran Townsend fraud Fred Burton fresh kills funding FX Gareth Newnham Gawker General Assemby George Bush George Tenet George W. Bush Geraldo Rivera Germany Geronimo Gladio Glenn Beck Glenn Greenwald globalization Global Jihad Unit Graeme MacQueen Green Party Gregg Roberts Ground Zero Ground Zero mosque groups Guantanamo Guantanamo Bay Gulf of Tonkin hackers Hamid Karzai Haqqani health Health Bill hearing Heather Penney Heroin hijackers hijacking Hilary Clinton Hillary Clinton History Commons historycommons.org hit piece Homeland Security Howie Hawkins HR 847 Huffington Post humor Hypothesis Image Comics immunity Indefinite Detention India infiltration inside job Inspire magazine Intelligence Advisory Board intelligence failures intercept International Center for 9/11 Studies investigation Iowa Iran Iran-Contra Iraq Iraq War ISI Islam Israel issues James Bamford James Gourley Jane Mayer Janet Napolitano Janette MacKinlay Jason Leopold Jay Carney Jeffery Farrar Jellyfish Jersey Girls Jesse Ventura JICI Jim Corr Jim Fetzer Joe Biden Joe Rogan John Albanese John Ashcroft John Bursill John Duffy John Feal John Gross John Judge John Lennon John Pilger John Stewart John Walker Lindh Joint Congressional Inquiry Joint Forces Intelligence Command Jonathan Barnett Jonathan Cole Jonathan Kay Jon Cole Jon Faine Jon Gold Jon Stewart Joseph Doyle journalism Journal of 9/11 Studies Joy Behar Judge Hellerstein Judy Wood Julia Gillard Julian Assange justice Justice Department KALW Katherine Bigelow kdub Keith Olbermann Kent Gibson Kevin Barrett Kevin Bracken Kevin Fenton Kevin Ryan Khalid Sheikh Mohammed Korey Rowe Kosovo Kristen Breitweiser KSM LaborTech Langley Larry Silverstein Laurie Manwell Lawrence Wilkerson lawsuit Lee Hamilton Leon Panetta Libya lies limited hangout Link TV Liz Cheney Lloyd's of London London Truth Action Loose Change Loose Change 9/11: An American Coup Lorie Van Auken Lupe Fiasco Mahmoud Ahmed mainstream mainstream media Manny Badillo Mark Basile Mark Bavis Mark Rossini Mark Ruffalo Matt Taibbi Media Matters Media Roots MEK Mexican drug cartel Michael Anne Casey Michael Canavan Michael Goodwin Michael Moore Michael Mukasey Michael Mullen Michael Ruppert Michael Scheuer Mickey Huff Mike Gravel Mike Huckabee milestone Military Tribunals Mindy Kleinberg MK-Ultra Mohamed Osman Mohamud Mohammad Atta Mohammed Junaid Babar Morocco Mosque Mother Jones motive msnbc Muburak Muhammad Hussain Mumbai attacks Murdoch Muslim Muslim Center My Pet Goat Nafeez Ahmed nano-thermite Naomi Klein Naomi Wolf National Institute of Standards and Technology National September 11 Memorial NATO NBC NDAA Netanyahu Newburgh 4 news News Corp New York New York City New York magazine New York TImes New Zealand NFL Niels Harrit NIST Noam Chomsky NORAD NORAD. FAA Norman Mineta Norway NSA NYC NYCCAN NYPD Obama Occupy Wall Street official account Official Government Version oil Oliver North Olympia Snowe onion Operation Dark Heart Operation Northwoods Opium Osama Bin Laden Oslo Ottawa OWS P2 Pakistan Palestine Panetta Pat Curley Patriot Act Patriot Defense Group Patty Casazza Paul Thompson Peace of the Action Pentagon Pentagon Papers PENTTBOM Peter Dale Scott Peter King Peter Phillips petition Philadelphia Philip Giraldi Philip Zelikow phone hacking photographs photos physical evidence Pilots for 9/11 Truth Pinochet Pipeline Pittsburgh Steelers plane crash PNAC podcast Political Prisoners political research associates Port Authority Preet Bharara press press release Press TV Prince Bandar Project Censored propaganda protest pseudo-journalism psychology Pumpitout Radio Qatar Quantico questions R. Leslie Deak rachel maddow radar Radio 2GB Ramzi bin al-Shibh Rap News Rashard Mendenhall Ray Kelly Ray McGovern Raymond Davis Ray Nowosielski redacted Rediscover911 remains Remember Building 7 Rescue Me Research Rethinking Counterterrorism RIBA Richard Blee Richard Clarke Richard Falk Richard Gage Richard Mellon Scaife foundation Richard Meyers Rich Blee Rick Veitch Rita Katz Robert Fisk Robert Foster Robert Parry Robert Scheer Rock Creek Free Press Rolling Stone Rory Albanese Roseanne Barr Rosie O'Donnell Rudy Giuliani Russ Baker Russia Today Saddam Hussein Saeed Sheikh Samir Khan Sarasota Saudi Saudi Arabia Saudis SCAD scads Scott Ford Scott Noble Screw Loose Change Sean Penn secrecykills.com self-deception Senate Senator Mike Gravel Sept. 11 September 11th September 11th Advocates September 11th attacks settlement Shadow Government Shanksville Shoestring shoot down Sibel Edmonds Sibel Emonds simulations SITE skepticism sounds South Park Spain speculation speech SPLC spying State crimes against democracy State Department State Of Emergency Stephen Cozen Steve Dusterwald Steven Hatfill Steven Jones Strategy of Tension Stratfor Supreme Court surveillance surveillance state Susan Rice Syed Shazad Taliban taped terrorism terror plot Terror Timeline The Big Lie The Corrs The Daily Show The Eleventh Day of Every Month The Facts Speak For Themselves The Hard Evidence Tour The Huffington Post The Jersey Girls The New Yorker The Pentagon The Post-9/11 World The Power of Nightmares Thermate The Third Stage Thierry Meyssan think tank Thomas Kean Tom Drake Tom Owen Tom Ridge Tom Wilshire Tony Shaffer Tony Szamboti Topps Top Secret America torture Toward Justice Toxic to Democracy Truth Truth Action truthaction.org Truth Action Ottawa Truth Be Told Comics truther Truth Movement truthout.org Truth Revolution Truth Rising TSA twin towers twitter U.S. UN underwear bomber United 93 United 175 United Airlines United Nations University of Colorado University of Virginia UN Watch US government US Military vaccines Valerie Plame Vanessa Lang Langer victims videos videotaped visa express visibility Visibility 9-11 Wall Street war war crimes war games warnings War on Terror Washington Post We Are Change Welt der Wunder Whistleblower whistleblowers White House Who Is Rich Blee Whoopi Goldberg Wikileaks William Blum Willie Nelson Will McCants wiretaps World Series World Trade Center WTC WTC 7 WTC7 Xe Yemen Zacarias Moussaoui Zadroga Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act Zelikow

Zacarias Moussaoui: What We Don’t Know Might Hurt Us

zacharias_moussaoui
August 10, 2011
Category: RESEARCH

Zacarias Moussaoui, one of the numerous “20th hijackers,” was arrested ten years ago next Tuesday, outside the Residence Inn in Eagan, Minnesota. The arrest was one of the first events in a case that gave the FBI a chance to blow open the 9/11 plot, but resulted in abject humiliation for the bureau when its headquarters’ string of errors was exposed in the press.

The Moussaoui case is a poster boy for the state of our knowledge about the attacks: we have some of the details, but know some are missing. Also, two key questions remain unanswered. This despite the wealth of information that came out at the trial and the fact that Moussaoui, although largely ignored by the 9/11 Commission’s final report—partly due to the forthcoming trial—was a major topic of the Justice Department inspector general’s report into the FBI’s pre-attack failings.

>These are the bare bones of the case: Moussaoui had been a known extremist for years prior to his arrest. Before the bureau first heard his name on August 15, he had been under surveillance by French and British intelligence and the CIA, although the agency would claim it only knew him under an alias. He was sent to the US for flight training by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, possibly to participate in 9/11, possibly to participate in a follow-up operation. However, he was a poor student and dropped out of basic flight school before obtaining a licence and went to learn about flying a Boeing 747, which aroused suspicion.

When the FBI was brought in, the Minneapolis agents realized he was dangerous and arrested him on an immigration violation—despite being told not to do so by headquarters. This was the first of many times the Minneapolis field office and FBI headquarters clashed over the case. Essentially, even though they did not know he was linked to al-Qaeda, the local agents understood the risk Moussaoui posed—one even speculated he would fly a large airliner into the World Trade Center—and they wanted a warrant to search his belongings to get information that would lead to his accomplices. On the other hand, headquarters seemed to think they were alarmist and there was nothing to the case. They kept throwing up roadblocks.

Although it is uncertain whether Moussaoui would have participated in the 9/11 attacks if he had remained free, or whether he ever met any of the nineteen hijackers, he certainly had very visible links to some of their key associates, such as Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Ahmed al-Hawsawi and Yazid Sufaat. These links would have led to eleven of the nineteen. Some of the connections between what Moussaoui had in his possession and the hijackers would have been easy to make. For example, the CIA knew that Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi had stayed at Sufaat’s apartment during al-Qaeda’s January 2000 summit in Kuala Lumpur.

There were four key figures who dealt with the case at FBI headquarters: Rita Flack, an intelligence operations specialist at the FBI’s Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU); Michael Maltbie, a supervisory special agent with the RFU; their unit chief Dave Frasca; and Tom Wilshire, a CIA officer on loan to FBI headquarters. Wilshire was either a consultant to Michael Rolince, head of the FBI’s International Terrorism Operations Section, or his deputy. Wilshire was also the key figure in the CIA’s withholding of information about Almihdhar and Alhazmi from the bureau.

These four people somehow managed to convince themselves that the Moussaoui case was a minor matter that deserved little attention and that the Minneapolis agents were, in Flack’s words, “maniacs.” Although very little is known about Wilshire’s involvement in the case, an e-mail used as evidence at the trial shows he shared this attitude; on August 24 he e-mailed his three colleagues asking for the latest on the “Minneapolis Airplane IV crowd,” although it is unclear whether this was a reference to Moussaoui and an associate or the Minneapolis field office.

This is one of the two key questions outstanding: where did this attitude come from? With hindsight, what the Minneapolis agents foresaw was not half as bad as what happened. It was not one airliner that flew into the WTC, but two, with another at the Pentagon and a fourth also aimed for Washington. Given the circumstances of the case, Minneapolis’ fears were reasonable and were shared both by a CIA detailee to the FBI, who predicted Moussaoui may crash a 747 into the White House, and at least one officer in the CIA’s Counterterrorist Center. Given that we still lack information about the interactions between the four participants, we cannot say with whom this bad attitude originated. However, we can say that Wilshire shared and supported it.

It would take too long to summarise all the obstacles thrown up, but here are two examples: when French intelligence reported that, yes, they knew Moussaoui and, yes, he was an Islamist militant, Maltbie objected that maybe they were talking about some other guy with the same name. Therefore, Maltbie argued, the FBI should search all the telephone directories in France to see how many people called Zacarias Moussaoui actually lived there.

The second example involves a comment made by Moussaoui’s imam on a phone monitored by the FBI to the presumed accomplice arrested with him. “I heard you guys wanted to go on jihad,” said the imam. “Don’t talk about that now,” was the reply. Frasca’s response upon learning this? “The jihad comment doesn’t concern me by itself in that this word can mean many things in various [M]uslim cultures and is frequently taken out of context.”

Other roadblocks included Frasca’s ban on Minneapolis applying for a criminal warrant itself, Maltbie blocking a referral to the Justice Department’s criminal division, Flack’s inability to provide the Phoenix memo to anyone else after she read it, the withholding of the relevant documentation from attorneys asked to assess the case, the deletion of key passages from an application for an intelligence warrant, etc., etc.

When the case became public knowledge after the attacks the bureau was a laughing stock—they arrested one of the hijackers (actually more of an associate) over three weeks before the attacks but were unable to even file a warrant application to search his luggage. What’s worse, the bureau was so completely clueless that it even failed to inform its own acting director, Thomas Pickard, of the case. How much more incompetent could it get? This dynamic was made even worse when one of the Minneapolis office employees, Coleen Rowley, went public with her criticism of FBI headquarters, becoming one of Time’s people of the year for 2002.

Logically, if the information came into FBI headquarters, but didn’t get to the acting director, it must have stopped with someone. So who was that someone? The most senior official to be told about the case was Rolince, but he received scant information on it for nearly two weeks. The two people below him were his consultant/deputy Tom Wilshire and RFU chief Dave Frasca and the blame needs to be shared between them. Exactly how it should be apportioned out we don’t know—the relevant reports, by the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/11 Commission, and Justice Department inspector general, are silent on who should carry the can—and the inspector general omits even to mention that not informing the bureau’s director was a failure. This is symptomatic of the reports’ approach—nobody who performed badly was held accountable.

Wilshire’s role in the deliberate withholding of information from the FBI about Pentagon hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi makes his presence in the Moussaoui case alarming. However, although Wilshire certainly had a malign influence on the case, there is no smoking-gun proof of wilful malfeasance on his part. What we do know, however, is that this case was a significant stimulus for the reform of the US intelligence community. Without knowing what actually happened here and why, we have no way of judging whether those reforms were warranted and appropriate. Perhaps it would have been better to fire those who performed badly, instead of promoting them.

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Kevin Fenton is the author of Disconnecting the Dots: How CIA and FBI Officials Helped Enable 9/11 and Evaded Government Investigations.

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