LAT : Suspected insurgents tortured in Afghanistan, U.N. says

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Suspected insurgents tortured in Afghanistan, U.N. says

The United Nations report says detainees have been subjected to beatings, shocks and other brutal abuses. The findings may complicate U.S. efforts to hand off security responsibilities.

By Laura King, Los Angeles Times | Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan | October 10, 2011

Suspected insurgents in Afghan custody have been subjected to torture including electric shocks, being hung by their hands and having their genitals twisted, the United Nations mission in Afghanistan said in a report Monday.

The 74-page report, detailing a widespread pattern of brutal abuses, will probably complicate American efforts to hand over security responsibilities to Afghan authorities as a prelude to winding down the Western combat mission in Afghanistan.

"Torture is one of the most serious human rights violations under international law, a crime under Afghan law, and strictly prohibited under both laws," said Georgette Gagnon, the director of human rights for the U.N. mission. "Accountability for torture demands prosecutions and the taking of all necessary measures by Afghan authorities to prevent and end such acts in the future."

In a preemptive move, the NATO force announced last month that it had halted prisoner transfers to more than a dozen detainee centers named in the report, a draft of which was shown to American commanders. Many of the suspected fighters who end up in detention are captured in the field by U.S. and coalition forces.

The United Nations said the abuse, while routine and systematic, was not based on Afghan government policy, but rather appeared to have been carried out at the initiative of individual jailers and security officials. It added that Afghan government ministries had cooperated in the investigation and had already moved to take action against some of the officials allegedly involved.

Nonetheless, the allegations could call into question the legality of continued Western funding of training for Afghanistan's security services — another linchpin of the U.S. pullout plan. The Obama administration is withdrawing 10,000 American troops by the end of the year, with an additional 23,000 to follow in 2012.

The report, which was researched over nearly a year, ending in August, represents a setback to enormously expensive U.S.-led efforts to bring Afghanistan's criminal justice system and security practices up to something resembling international standards. The allegations also pose an immediate day-to-day practical challenge to Western officials dealing with a backlog of security suspects who cannot be handed over to Afghan officials because of the potential for abuse.

The report, based on interviews with more than 300 detainees, cited varying degrees of abuses at nearly 50 facilities in two-thirds of Afghanistan's provinces.

Most of the security detainees were suspected of affiliation with the Taliban or other insurgent groups, and the abuse was almost always aimed at wringing confessions from them about attacks on Western and Afghan troops, or operations in the planning stages.

The detainee accounts were compelling in their consistency, the report said, with prisoners asserting that abuse often escalated from beating and slapping to spending long periods suspended by their hands, sometimes culminating in electric shocks or the detainees' genitals being twisted until the prisoners passed out.

The NATO force, responding to the formal release of the findings, reiterated that it was working to "improve detention operations" and safeguard against abuses.

Copyright © 2011, Los Angeles Times

Kurt Haskell : Looks Like I'll Be A Witness For The Defense In The Underwear Bomber Case

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Looks Like I'll Be A Witness For The Defense In The Underwear Bomber Case

by Kurt Haskell | October 6, 2011

Today was the day for final jury selection in the Underwear Bomber case. I watched some of it on Tuesday and I was interested to see which jurors were picked. The final jury was set to be picked today at 1:30. I adjusted my schedule so that I could be down there at 1:30 today. I had a trial a few blocks away that was due to last until around 1:00 today. My plan was to head over there when I finished my trial.

As my trial was ending, I got the following text from my brother "I hear that you will be testifying in the underwear bomber case". This was news to me as my status as a witness was undetermined as of Tuesday. I gave my brother a call and he said he heard on the radio, that stand-by Anthony Chambers said in court this morning that I would be testifying.

While walking to Federal Court to watch final jury selection, I ran into someone that works with stand-by attorney Chambers. He told me that final jury selection was done as it didn't take as long as expected. He also told me that it was Umar that said he would call me as a witness, not Chambers. He then said Chambers is right there, go talk to him and he pointed across the street. Chambers was standing on the sidewalk across the street. I talked to Chambers for a minute and we agreed to talk again soon. He said I won't be testifying for approximately another month as the trial is supposed to be lengthy.

I then headed back to my office and found out that I had messages from Fox National News and the A.P. I talked to Ed White from the A.P. on Tuesday and he misquoted me in the article he wrote. Specifically, Ed White asked what I though about Umar making outbursts in court. I said the following "I saw him before boarding and he never said anything, I've seen him in court several times, and I even saw him when he lit his fake bomb and his crotch was burning and he never makes a peep. This is totally out of character for him." You can see how Ed White did a cut and paste job of my quote here:

Note that Ed White left out that I saw Umar before boarding and that he lit a fake bomb.

I talked to Ed White again today and told him that I would only talk to him if he didn't twist my words around to mean something else. He agreed, but here is the hatchet job Ed White did to my interview with him today. Note that he says I have a "wild theory" among other things:

This is the last straw in my discussions with the media. The media is nothing but a 4th branch of the government. I will no longer talk to any of them except the alternative media that has been supportive all along.

Note, however, in the above article, Chambers indicates that I may be the only defense witness called. How ironic is it that I will have Umar's life in my hands just as Umar had my life in his hands (or underwear) on Christmas Day 2009? I will be up to the task. I realize that some may not agree with me and may attempt to harm me. Nevertheless, I will speak the truth and not be intimidated. I will do this for the common good of all of the citizens of the United States. It is not often that I quote a passage from the bible, but I think it is appropriate here:

"And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Denver Post : Coloradan Zazi's coded e-mail started agencies plan to stop N.Y. subway attack

Monday, October 03, 2011

Coloradan Zazi's coded e-mail started agencies plan to stop N.Y. subway attack

By Sara Burnett | The Denver Post | October 2, 2011

Jim Davis was in his backyard drinking a beer and grilling burgers for a Labor Day barbecue when his cellphone rang.

On the line was Steve Olson, the assistant special agent in charge of the FBI's Denver office national security branch.

Olson told his boss that authorities monitoring the e-mail of a key al-Qaeda operative in Pakistan had intercepted a chilling message about a potential attack.

Then came the really shocking news: The person who sent the e-mail, Olson said, was here in Aurora.

Over the next few days the scramble to learn just who Najibullah Zazi was and what, if anything, he had planned played out with stunning speed and overwhelming media attention.

Two years ago, the 24-year-old airport shuttle driver was arrested and charged with conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction and other charges.

Since then, new information from court proceedings and interviews with current and former FBI agents has emerged about Zazi's plan to set off bombs in the New York subway — a plot Justice Department officials have said was the most serious threat against the United States since the 9/11 attacks.

Zazi, Olson said recently, was part of the first operational al-Qaeda cell authorities knew was in the United States post- 9/11. He had direct contact with al-Qaeda leaders so high-ranking that one was killed by CIA drone strikes and another has a $5 million bounty on his head.

Zazi's attack was planned for sometime between Sept. 14 and 16, 2009 — less than 10 days from the time authorities learned of a possible plot — and was connected to another plot in the United Kingdom.

And like the mastermind of 9/11 who crashed the first plane into the World Trade Center, Zazi was trained and willing to die, said Davis, who was special agent in charge for the Denver FBI at the time.

"He looked like the little kid next door," Davis said. "And he was Mohamed Atta​."

"Marriage" raised alarm

What the FBI knew about Zazi on the day the call came in from headquarters was basic. He was an Afghan immigrant living legally in the United States. He was married to his cousin, who was in Pakistan, and though he had spent most of his life in New York, he now lived with his parents and other family in an apartment on Smoky Hill Road in Aurora.

They also had three e-mails that Zazi had reportedly sent, in which he asked about "mixtures."

"The marriage is ready flour and oil," one e-mail stated, in part.

It's widely known in intelligence circles that terrorists use the word "marriage" to mean an attack or suicide bombing. To see the words "marriage" and "ready" in such close proximity, the agents knew, was cause for serious alarm.

But they didn't know what Zazi was planning, where he was planning to do it or if the threat was even real.

Early on, Davis called a meeting of his three assistant special agents in charge, the CIA, FBI supervisors and the Denver Joint Terrorism Task Force.

Davis asked them: Is there anyone here who can tell me this is not the real thing?

"I went around the room," Davis recalled. "No one said yes."

Davis closed all 10 of the office's outposts in Colorado and Wyoming and brought those agents to Denver. Agents from other states were flown in to assist the Joint Terrorism Task Force, made up of law enforcement from across the Denver metro area.

All other cases were put on hold, and the command post was opened.

An intelligence analyst at FBI headquarters dubbed it Operation High Rise — "High" for Denver, the Mile High City, and "Rise" because Zazi's e-mails referred to flour, used to bake bread.

Agents soon learned Zazi had rented a suite with a stove at an Aurora motel — the same suite he had rented nine days earlier.

When they tested the vent above the stove, they found traces of chemicals that could be used to make bombs. The chemicals didn't match anything used by the hotel's cleaning staff.

Then on Sept. 8, Zazi rented a car, again setting off alarm bells — why did a guy with access to multiple vehicles through his family's shuttle business need to rent a car?

The following morning, FBI agents followed him as he got on Interstate 70 and headed east, sometimes reaching speeds of 100 mph.

"We had no idea where he was going," Davis recalled. "But we were going to the mattresses."

At the FBI's request, a Colorado State Patrol trooper pulled Zazi's red Chevy Malibu over just east of Limon. When he asked Zazi where he was going, Zazi said he was headed to New York to take care of his coffee cart business.

It was the first time New York had entered the picture.

After the trooper let Zazi go, Zazi continued his cross-country drive, with FBI agents — unbeknown to him — tailing him the entire way.

The problem was that Zazi was rarely stopping, and he was driving fast. The FBI needed to get another tail in place. So back in Denver four agents got on an FBI plane to St. Louis. They rented a car, and using radio communication were able to take over the tail all the way to Ohio. There, agents from another field office took over.

As Zazi arrived in New York, police who had been alerted of the possible threat pulled him over, saying it was a routine stop. Later, police towed his car. On a laptop Zazi had left inside, authorities found bomb-making instructions.

A local imam who had been contacted by New York police soon tipped Zazi that authorities were asking about him. Zazi — who had been staying with a friend — got spooked and flew back to Denver on Sept. 12.

By then the media was camped out in front of Zazi family's apartment.

"For that first week, every day I came in amazed at how fast things were happening," Davis said. "I felt like I was living an episode of (the television show) '24.' "

A few days later Zazi's attorney called the FBI and said Zazi wanted to come in and clear things up.

Authorities were skeptical.

"I would have bet my paycheck he wasn't coming. Why would anybody bring this guy in and let him talk to the FBI?" Olson said.

"To our absolute, complete, surprise, he showed up. Not only that, but he came back for three days."

28 hours of interviews

Special agent Eric Jergenson, a member of the international terrorism squad, was chosen to be the lead interviewer, in part because of a recent success in "flipping" a key person in a different case.

Over the next few days Jergenson, with help from other agents, spent 28 hours interviewing Zazi, who was accompanied by his attorney, Art Folsom.

The interviews started out cordial.

"Zazi clearly didn't know that we knew what we knew," Olson said. "I think he honestly thought he could tell a story and make this whole thing go away."

The agents began by asking Zazi questions they already knew the answers to, and promptly caught Zazi in several lies, Olson said.

Zazi admitted he had traveled to Pakistan and was trained by al-Qaeda, for example. But he denied any plot, and said the bomb-making instructions on his laptop must have been unintentionally downloaded from the Internet.

As the FBI showed more and more of its hand — including showing Zazi one of the nine pages of bomb-making instructions they'd found on his laptop — Zazi's tenor began to change.

Zazi became more concerned about his family, and started asking for a guarantee that they wouldn't be prosecuted for immigration violations if he talked, Olson said.

When the FBI refused, Zazi stopped talking, left the interview and said he wouldn't be coming back.

Throughout those few days, tension grew among the law enforcement working the case as to when they should arrest Zazi.

"It was stressful, and there was a lot of second-guessing," Olson recalled. "If we left him out there one second too long, people are dead. If we arrest him too soon, he may have co-conspirators we don't learn about until it's too late."

But when Zazi announced he wouldn't be cooperating anymore, the decision was made.

On Sept. 19, Zazi was arrested and charged with making false statements.

The FBI, frustrated by the many leaks they believed were coming from the New York Police Department, decided this time to use the media attention to their advantage.

A caravan of police vehicles pulled up in front of the Zazis' apartment with lights and sirens going. In a made-for-TV moment that ran completely counter to the typical low-profile FBI arrest, agents walked Zazi out in front of the media. Though it was cool outside, as they drove away with Zazi in the back seat, agents made sure to leave the windows down so the cameras could capture the scene.

"All those theatrics were done with a purpose in mind," Davis said.

Perhaps it would increase pressure on Zazi; perhaps, if there were any co-conspirators out there, those images would cause them to stop what they had planned.

Less than two weeks after learning the name Najibullah Zazi, agents had him in custody and knew his target had been the New York subway system.

But they still didn't know about his network — or just how big this case was about to get.

A bad chemist

On Sept. 22, Zazi was charged in the Eastern District of New York with more serious terrorism-related charges.

In February 2010, with charges pending in New York against his father as well, Zazi agreed to a plea deal.

By then Zazi was talking again and authorities had gathered other intelligence about the extent of the plot.

Authorities say the plot on the New York subway was organized by three al-Qaeda leaders: Saleh al-Somali, Rashid Rauf and Adnan El Shukrijumah. The men were in charge of the "external operations" program, which is focused on attacks in the United States and other Western countries.

The bomb-making instructions the FBI recovered from Zazi's e-mails showed sophistication. According to the FBI, 30 grams of the substance Zazi wrote about would be enough to blow up a concrete block. Zazi's notes indicate he intended to make up to 10 pounds — enough to blow up subway cars and everyone in them, Olson said.

"These guys were familiar with the New York subway. They knew what trains are most crowded when, and that's what they focused on." Olson added. "It would have been catastrophic."

But he was caught because, starting Aug. 28, 2009, he began trying to make the explosives in the hotel room and failed every time. He frantically e-mailed an al-Qaeda facilitator in Pak istan named Ahmad, and it was those e-mails that the FBI intercepted.

In the end, Zazi's major undoing was that he was either a bad chemist or took poor notes, Olson said.

"Had he gotten it right the first time, he never would have sent the e-mails," he added. "He would have gotten in his car and driven to New York, and we would have been investigating a terrorist attack instead."

A cooperative effort

El Shukrijumah — the man who recruited Zazi — is still at large, and the FBI has a $5 million reward out for him.

Zazi's high school friends from Queens, Zarein Ahmedzay and Adis Medunjanin, who traveled to Pakistan with him to fight alongside the Taliban but were then recruited by al-Qaeda, were also charged with terror-related crimes. Ahmedzay has pleaded guilty, while Medunjanin has said he wants to go to trial.

This past summer Zazi's father, Mohammed Zazi, was convicted of lying to authorities and conspiring to conceal evidence of the plot. He is scheduled to be sentenced in December.

Najibullah Zazi, meanwhile, has a cooperation agreement with prosecutors in New York that states he could face a term of up to life in prison. It also states that he and other unnamed individuals could at some point be placed in the witness security program.

Davis and Olson point to the Zazi case as an example of how things are supposed to work in the post- 9/11 world — with various agencies sharing information and working together.

They also said it's impossible to overplay the impact the investigation had.

"This is exactly what we've been planning for since Sept. 12, 2001 — this very scenario," Olson said. "Had we — all of us — not done our job, a lot of people would have died."

Sara Burnett: 303-954-1661 or

Kurt Haskell : A Closer Look at Selected Domestic "Terrorist Attacks" From The Past Decade

Sunday, October 02, 2011

A Closer Look at Selected Domestic "Terrorist Attacks" From The Past Decade

By Kurt Haskell | October 2, 2011

Over the past 21 months, I have come into contact with many people that fail to even consider the possibility that U.S. intelligence agents could have been involved in the underwear bomber plot. It is with these people in mind that I decided to write the following article. I have noticed that recent terrorist attacks within the United States have many similar characteristics. If you look at these plots together as a series of attacks, the modus operandi of U.S. intelligence agencies begins to develop. For this article, I have decided to look at only "terrorist attacks" from January 1, 2002, to the present.

1. Mohamed Mohamud (The Portland Christmas Tree Bomber)
Date Of Incident: November 26, 2010.

The 2010 Portland car bomb plot involved an incident in which Mohamud, a Somali-American student, was arrested in an FBI sting operation, after attempting to set off what he thought was a car bomb at a Christmas tree lighting in Portland, Oregon.

Mohamud had been monitored by the FBI for months. Prior to Mohamud's arrest, an undercover FBI agent, posing as a terrorist, had been in contact with him since June 2010 (A 5 month period). In preparation for the planned bombing of a public gathering, Mohamud and undercover FBI operatives drove to a remote area of Lincoln County, Oregon, where they conducted a test run on November 4, 2010 by detonating a real bomb Mohamud believed to have been hidden inside a backpack.

The fake bomb was in a white van that carried six 55-gallon drums with what appeared to be real detonation cords and plastic caps. Mohamud tried to detonate the bomb by dialing a cell phone that was attached to it. When the device failed to explode, the undercover agent suggested he get out of the car to obtain better reception. When he did so, arresting agents moved in.

According to the FBI, the device it provided to Mohamud had no explosive components (even the detonating caps were inert) and the public was never in any danger.

2. Sami Samir Hassoun (Wrigley Field Bomber)
Date of Incident: September 19, 2010

Hassoun placed a backpack authorities say he thought contained a bomb near Chicago's Wrigley Field. The fake but ominous looking device (a paint can fitted with blasting caps and a timer) was given to him by an FBI undercover agent.

According to Hassoun's attorney, Hassoun didn't bring anything of his own making to the incident. All materials were given to him by an under cover FBI agent. Hassoun also had no apparent affiliation with extremists.

The complaint alleges he raised the specter of terrorist groups only by suggesting it would be helpful to blame them for any attacks he staged. At least two FBI undercover agents got in touch with Hassoun, posing as co-plotters and eventually helped to deliver the bogus bomb.

3. Bronx Terrorism Plot
Date of Incident: May 20, 2009

On May 20, 2009, US law enforcement arrested four black Muslim men in connection with a plot to shoot down military airplanes flying out of an Air National Guard base in Newburgh, New York and blow up two synagogues in the Riverdale community of the Bronx. The events leading up to the attempted attack began in June 2008.

Shahed Hussain, an Albany hotel owner and FBI informant, showed up at the Masjid al-Ikhlas mosque under the name "Maqsood", talking of jihad and violence. Hussain, a Pakistani immigrant, agreed to serve as an FBI informant after being arrested in 2002 over a scam involving driver's licenses. Four men expressed interest to Hussain. They planned to both bomb the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center in the Bronx, and, using Stinger surface-to-air guided missiles, shoot down military planes flying out of a nearby air base.

On May 6, 2009, the men traveled to Stamford, Connecticut, to pick up what they believed to be a surface-to-air guided-missile system and three improvised explosive devices, all of which were incapable of actually being used. The men placed fake bombs wired to cell phones in three separate cars outside the Riverdale Temple and nearby Riverdale Jewish Center, both in the Riverdale community of Bronx.

The FBI informer also served as the driver of the suspects’ vehicle. Both the car bombs and the missiles were actually fakes given to the plotters with the help of an informant for the FBI. Each of the two homemade bombs was equipped with about 37 pounds of inert material designed to look like C-4 plastic explosive, and "there was no danger to anyone," according to the FBI. The men were returning to their vehicle and heading to attack aircraft at the Stewart Air National Guard Base in Newburgh, New York, with the fake Stinger missiles when law enforcement stopped them.

4. Antonio Martinez
Date of Incident: December 8, 2010

Martinez was arrested in an FBI sting after agents said he tried to detonate a phony bomb outside a Maryland military recruitment center. The FBI began investigating Martinez in early October 2010 after an informant pointed out postings on Martinez's Facebook page.

Martinez's attorney said the lack of a recording of the informant's initial three conversations with Martinez is a sign the government was trying to obscure its role in developing the plot. It was in those conversations that Martinez first mentioned attacking the recruiting center, according to a criminal complaint.

Also according to his attorney, the government "induced him to be involved in an act which was clearly the design of the government and provided Martinez with the fake bomb".

5. Rezwan Ferdaus
Date of Incident: September 28, 2011

Federal prosecutors allege in court documents that Rezwan Ferdaus outlined an elaborate plan to undercover FBI agents posing as al-Qaeda operatives that involved the use of three drone aircraft carrying deadly payloads to attack and destroy federal government landmarks. Ferdaus was arrested after allegedly accepting delivery of materials, including three grenades, six Ak-47 assault rifles and a quantity of what he believed to be powerful C-4 explosives. U.S. Attorney Carmen Ortiz said all of the weaponry was in the control of undercover agents who were closely monitoring the plot's developments. She said the public was never in danger.

However, some legal organizations and Muslim groups have questioned whether Ferdaus, whose activities were carried out with two undercover FBI agents posing as terrorists, would have been able to carry out such a sophisticated plot if left to his own devices. In numerous previous cases in the US, the FBI has been accused of over-zealousness in its investigations and of entrapping people into terror plots who might otherwise not have carried out an attack. On April 19, 2011, undercover agents met with Ferdaus and questioned the "feasibility" of his plan. That raises the prospect that the FBI agents were somehow goading Ferdaus into more action.

At the same meeting the undercover agents also gave financial assistance for Ferdaus to travel to Washington on a scouting trip: a fact that raises the question of whether he would have made the trip without that financial help. The undercover agents also supplied thousands of dollars in cash for Ferdaus to buy the F-86 Sabre miniature plane to be used in an attack.

Analysis Of These 5 Attacks:

When looking at these plots, the most obvious connection between them (Other than the Muslim male connection) is that the FBI provided each of these "terrorists" with fake weapons, including fake explosives, to carry out the plots. Also, each of the terrorists attempted to carry out the plots with the aid of undercover FBI agents. It is unclear to what extent the FBI agents came up with the initial idea. However, it certainly is questionable whether any of these attacks would have occurred without the aid of the undercover FBI agents.

Before meeting up with the undercover FBI agents, most of these men had little to no criminal record and were guilty of no more than random terroristic thoughts. It is also very apparent that the undercover FBI agents allowed the "terrorists" to conclude a significant portion of the plots including attempting to detonate fake bombs.

While researching these and other "terrorist" attacks, I could not help but notice the lack of "terrorist" attacks from 2002-2008. I can't help but question whether the increase in these attacks is related to the term of office of President Obama, which began in January 2009.

As I chose to not make this article [political], I won't delve into such aspect any further. During this same time period, on December 25, 2009, Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the "Underwear Bomber" attempted to detonate an explosive in his underwear as he sat 8 rows in front of me.

Analysis of the Underwear Bomber Incident:

Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab (Umar) allegedly received his bomb from Al Qaeda in Yemen and due to U.S. Intelligence Agencies "failing to connect the dots", was able to board flight 253 with a bomb. The U.S. Intelligence Agencies "failed to connect" the dots despite the fact that they had been warned by Umar's own father several months earlier that Umar was a threat.

Further, we are told that it was this "failing to connect the dots" that led to Umar boarding, despite the Congressional testimony of Patrick Kennedy (see his testimony here:

This testimony from Kennedy, the Under Secretary of State, indicated that a yet to be disclosed intelligence agency was tracking Umar, and wanted to track him into the U.S. to catch "bigger fish". Now how would such agency do that if it didn't allow Umar to board a plane heading to the U.S.?

What's also troubling is that nearly all of the mainstream U.S. media failed to even report on this Congressional testimony. The one newspaper that did, the Detroit News, has now erased the story from its archives. Of course, I witnessed Umar near the boarding gate of flight 253. He was escorted by a sharp dressed man, that spoke perfect American English without an accent and told the gate agent that Umar didn't have a passport, that he needed to board the plane, that he was from "Sudan, and we do this all the time".

My next question is who is the "we" that he was referring to. Obviously, I have to ask what sort of U.S. authority figure in Amsterdam could say that "we" let refugees on planes all of the time without passports and apparently, has the authority to make it happen. It seems that an undercover FBI agent would fit the bill.

Although Schiphol Airport has the most security cameras in the world, the airport audio and video remain unreleased under a court protective order.

In December 2010, Umar's stand-by attorney, Anthony Chambers reported to the Detroit Free Press that "The Government's own experts have indicated that the bomb was impossibly defective as it lacked a blasting cap". That story has now been erased from the Free Press archives.

Although pieces of the bomb laid all over the airline cabin near row 19, law enforcement officers made no effort to remove passengers from such area and passengers trampled through pieces of the bomb as they exited the plane.

The NPR interview of Jay Howard, the man who sat next to Umar, is very telling (see below) ( In this interview, Howard relates that the FBI told him not to talk about what happened and took all of his clothes that were covered with pieces of the bomb.

Although the FBI had samples of the bomb all over the airline, it seized all of his clothes to "test the bomb materials". I have to wonder if the FBI actually seized Mr. Howard's clothes in order to not let others test the bomb materials. In his NPR interview, Mr. Howard makes the following curious comment "I don't want to call him a terrorist because he hasn't been treated as a terrorist and it wasn't a national threat". Really Mr. Howard? Why wasn't it a National threat? Is this why the FBI told you not to talk about this too much?

Note that I am not saying that Jay Howard was involved in this lot, but only that he knows more than he is letting on.

Remember, after we exited the plane, we were taken to a baggage claim area where we stood with our carry on bags for an hour, not knowing if other bombs were located in the carry on bags. Law enforcement was not concerned, however. At this time, Umar had already exited the plane and told officers that "there is another bomb on board". Another man was taken into custody during this time, after a bomb sniffing dog found explosives in his carry on bag. The U.S. Government changed its story on who this man was 5 times before finally deciding to ignore the existence of the man entirely.

It's most likely that this man was an FBI undercover agent that provided Umar with his "bomb" and the bomb residue in his bag alerted the dog. In late 2010, Umar was charged with conspiring with "persons known and unknown" yet none of these persons have ever been named. Their involvement with the plot has never been explained.

Shouldn't such persons be on the FBI's 10 Most Wanted List? Shouldn't the FBI solicit the public to help identify such individuals, who should be some of the most wanted men in the world? Not if they are FBI agents.

There are very few differences between the Underwear Bomber incident and the 5 incidents I listed above. One difference being that this attack occurred on a plane which caused a fire that did indeed threaten lives. The other plots seemingly didn't risk injury to others. We must remember that the U.S. needs legitimate "terrorist attacks" to keep making money for those that benefit from the fraudulent war on terror.

Also, a legitimate airline attack was needed to usher in the body scanning machines. Without a failed bomb in a terrorist's clothes, the American public would never stand for the body scanning machines.

Lastly, the flight proceeded over Detroit before the "bomb" was lit, on Christmas Day, in order to make the biggest splash in the media. The U.S. Government's modus operandi of setting up these attacks with fake bombs and without risking injury to others was seemingly achieved. This led to Janet Napolitano's explicit comment that "the system worked" when referring to this attack.

Janet knows what happened here, and so do I. Hopefully, I have convinced [others] that read this post that the U.S. Government, via its intelligence agencies, gave Umar a fake bomb and escorted him through security in order to assure a fake "terrorist attack".

This "terrorist" attack occurred in order to continue padding the wallets of those that benefit from the war on terror and its repulsive body scanners. Would this plot have happened without the aid of the unnamed U.S. Intelligence Agency that allowed Umar to board, provided Umar with his fake bomb and God knows whatever else? Not a chance.

I sit here writing this article a mere 30 minutes from Dearborn, Michigan, which has the largest segment of Muslims in the U.S. I realize that if the U.S. were truly in danger of terrorist attacks from Muslims, this area should be in jeopardy of suicide and car bombings that frequently occur in the middle east. These attacks do not occur here. I know why, and I ask that you also ask yourself why.

Those that are hopeful that the upcoming trial will reveal anything of this sort should think again. Umar is representing himself and thereby refusing to let standy-by attorney Chambers use the entrapment defense (that he told me he would) if he was allowed to. This action by Umar is inexplicable, unless of course he is involved in the plot, has been threatened or promised a lenient sentence. I don't know which, but there seemingly is no other explanation. Obviously, there is more to this story than the FBI is telling us.

Kurt Haskell : Forged Passport In Underwear Bomber Case?

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Forged Passport In Underwear Bomber Case?

By Kurt Haskell | September 27, 2011

I spent much of this evening reading court documents from the underwear bomber (Umar) case. For those that are interested, you can read them at:

There are many gems in the documents, but I'll only focus on one of them tonight.

While reading the documents, I found what I believe to be another smoking gun. Since day one when Lori and I exited flight 253, I've maintained that Umar boarded flight 253 with the help of a sharp dressed man and WITHOUT A PASSPORT. Early on in this case, Judge Edmunds issued a protective order forbidding either side from discussing any of the evidence in the case. However, that didn't stop the U.S. Government from releasing propaganda pictures into the media. The most famous picture is a picture of Umar with law enforcement on the plane. The two that were the most obvious frauds were the picture of Umar's minimally damaged underwear and the picture of Umar's passport. The passport picture was released for no other reason then to attempt to discredit my eyewitness testimony. In no other case (to my knowledge) has the government released a picture of some one's passport to the media. I have taken great offense to the release of the passport and it is with great pleasure that I now believe I can show it was a fake. Interestingly enough, stand-by attorney Chambers indicated at the July 7, 2011 hearing that he had just received a copy of Umar's passport. Chambers referred to this (and some other evidence) document as "significant evidence". We must now ask why it is considered "significant evidence" by Chambers. I also have to wonder why such a seemingly insignificant document like a passport was withheld for 18 months from the defense (Maybe it took that long to create a good fake?).

When I looked for the picture of Umar's passport tonight, it was not easy to find. I did however, manage to find a copy of it here:

I encourage everyone to take a very good look at Umar's signature, particularly the "m" and the "a" in Umar. Also note that it doesn't include his last name. Further, the picture doesn't particularly look like Umar and seems to show a man with a receding hairline. At this time, I will leave a discussion of the picture for another day.

Now take a look at this document filed by Umar and written in his own handwriting:

Note that the "a's" are completely different in that the "a" in the passport photo has a closed loop while in the court document, the "a's" are open at the top. Further, note that Umar's "m" is significantly larger than the "a" is in the passport photo. Also, note that the "m's" in the court document look significantly different then the "m" in the passport. Specifically, the "m's" in the court document are the same size as the "a's" are and are significantly more slanted and pointed then the "m's" in the passport. In the court document, you can also see that most of the "m's" contain a side arm while the "m" in the passport photo does not. Lastly, note that the passport appears to have very neat handwriting while the court document has very sloppy handwriting.

Of course, the conclusion is that one of the documents is a fake. It is much more likely that the passport photo is a fake as there would be no legitimate reason to fake the court document. If the passport photo, is in fact a fake, we must ask why the government would release a fake passport photo. The only logical explanation is that a real passport did not exist. Obviously, the U.S. Government felt a need early on to release a fraudulent passport to discredit my eyewitness account. The reason for the attempt to discredit me is obvious and points directly at my theory in this case.

Umar was escorted through security without a passport and with an intentionally defective bomb in order to stage a false flag terrorist attack.

Note that in this court document, Chambers has indicated that U.S. Government agents have given contradictory statements (see item 9):

Surprise, surprise, U.S. Government agents are giving false statements. Why should we be surprised when their employer releases a fraudulent document?

*** I am editing this post this morning (9-28-11) to make one comment about the passport photo. The passport appears to be issued on September 15, 2005. Umar was age 18 on that date. The man in the passport piture clearly has a receding hairline (and to me doesn't look like Umar). The possibility of an 18 year old having a receding hairline is remote at best. It appears that the U.S. Government has once again been exposed in this matter.

*** Second edit: See below for a copy of my fax to Anthony Chambers:

Facsimile Cover Sheet

To: Anthony Chambers, Esq.
Fax: 313-xxx-xxxx
From: Kurt R. Haskell, J.D., L.L.M.
Company: Haskell Law Firm, P.C.
Phone: 734-285-5625
Fax: 734-281-0969
Date: September 28, 2011
Pages including this cover page:
3, RE: Umar Farouk Adbulmutallab

Comments: Tony, I am assuming that since I haven’t heard from you that I will not be testifying. I assume that to mean that Umar has chosen to not use the entrapment/excessive government involvement defense. That is unfortunate and leads me to believe that Umar is complicit with the government for some reason. Nonetheless, I am attaching my recent blog post to make you aware of some passport anomalies. Obviously, I was there when Umar was posed as a Sudanese refugee and boarded without a passport. Thus, I know that he didn’t have a passport. I doubt that you will have enough control in the trial to admit the passport anomalies into evidence. However, I am providing this evidence to you for impeachment purposes on the off chance that you can use it. I know there is a great deal of evidence in this case and I just wanted to make you aware of this information. Good luck with the trial. I am not envious of your position. I will be there whenever my schedule allows.

Kurt Haskell : The Colossal Deceit Known As The Underwear Bomber Case

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Colossal Deceit Known As The Underwear Bomber Case

Kurt Haskell | September 13, 2011

With jury selection set to begin in the Underwear Bomber Trial set to begin tomorrow, I've spent the evening reminiscing about Christmas Day 2009 and the 21 months since. The Underwear Bomber attack has fundamentally changed my life. Not in the way most would think, but it has destroyed any faith I've had in the U.S. Government, the media and this country as a whole. To say that I believe the government is corrupt and the media is complicit doesn't fully explain my beliefs. Not only have I come to those conclusions, but I've witnessed that an ordinary person who sees something important can be silenced despite his efforts to spread the truth. Such is the Underwear Bomber case. I can do nothing but laugh at the TSA's new policy of "If you see something say something." That is exactly what I did, and not only did the U.S. Government not want to hear what I had to say, but it actively lied about it, attempted to get me to change my story, and hid, by withholding (secret government) evidence or putting a protective order on the evidence and nearly everything that would support my eyewitness account.

Where are we now? We now have The Underwear Bomber (Umar) representing himself with the help of standby attorney Chambers. Attorney Chambers has indicated to me that if he were Umar's attorney, that the defense would be entrapment and that I would be a key witness. Of course, such a defense would expose the U.S. Government's involvement in the plot. It is much too convenient to have Umar represent himself and be in charge of what the defense will be, what evidence is presented, what witnesses are called and what questions each witness is asked. A trial with Umar representing himself will leave the relevant facts of this case unknown for generations. I can't help but think that Umar fired his attorneys for a reason other than he is a crazy terrorist. It is much too convenient that the entity that staged the event, also controls the evidence, what information is leaked to the media, who the prosecutors are, and the prison where Umar has sbeen staying at for the last 21 months. Let's not overlook the fact that the U.S. Government has admitted to waterboarding and torturing terrorists. Do you see the pieces of the puzzle forming a clear picture yet?

Make no mistake that Umar did in fact attempt to detonate a device (although it was a defective device) on Flight 253. He is not innocent. It remains to be discovered whether my belief that Umar is complicit with the "theatre" going on before our eyes came about before or after the event of Christmas Day 2009. It really is not important except that you must understand that he is now complicit in covering up the true story of Christmas Day 2009. There is no other explanation as to why Umar is representing himself and rejecting the entrapment defense (Which I have discovered he will do).

For those that are still skeptical of my claims, please realize that I do not make my claims without a great deal of thought and research. My firm belief is that Umar was escorted around security and given an intentionally defective bomb by a U.S. intelligence agent. The bomb was never intended to detonate, but merely intended to create a "simulated terrorist attack" or a "false flag attack" if you will. In December of 2009, the U.S. Government hadn't seen a terrorist attack in 8 years, It was getting more and more difficult to spend hundreds of billions a year on terrorism and to continue to fight two fraudulent wars based on terrorism. Those making their livings off of the war on terror didn't want to lose their cash cow. Enter Umar the Underwear Bomber. A second benefit of a failed bomb being found in Umar's underwear, was to enable body scanning machines to be placed in every airport. How convenient for Michael Chertoff, a former head of the DHS, to have ties to the body scanning companies. I doubt that this was any coincidence. Once again, billions of dollars would flow from the U.S. Government for body scanning machines that were needed to protect us.

What we are now left with are the bits and pieces of the Underwear Bomber case that can form a clear picture of what happened that day. For those of you attempting to put it all together, please take your time and think about the evidence instead of glossing over it and continuing to remain in denial. The truth is that your U.S. Government staged a false terrorist attack in order to steal your tax dollars and your 4th Amendment Rights to be free of unreasonable searches and seizures. Please thoroughly consider the following with an open mind and think about why this sort of behavior must stop now:

My thoughts on this case and the list of anomalies that differ from the official version of events were made through: (a) numerous discussions with other passengers, (b) my own eyewitness account, (c) discussions with Umar's standby attorney, (d) hundreds of articles on the story (e) evidence provided to me by others "in the know" or just other concerned citizens, and (f) from the official record at hearings I attended.

Anomalies of the case in no particular order:

1. In December 2010, Chambers told the Detroit Free Press that the Government's own explosives experts indicate that the bomb was impossibly defective. The Free Press later erased this article from its online site, but did not erase earlier underwear bomber stories.

2. The FBI has admitted to supplying the Portland Christmas Tree Bomber and the Wrigley Field Bomber with intentionally defective bombs shortly after the underwear bomber event.

3. Janet Napolitano's comment that "the system worked" was a Freudian slip.

4. The plane taxied to the gate. The passengers were not allowed off of the plane for 20-30 minutes (Was the bomb still on the plane?). There was bomb material that was supposedly explosive all over the cabin of the plane. Nobody took any action to make sure the passengers were safe or that the "explosives" were of no danger to the passengers. This is evidence of foreknowledge that there was no danger to the passengers.

5. TSA admitted knowledge of the threat while the flight was over Canada/Atlantic Ocean. No measures were taken to notify the pilot or to divert the flight for an emergency landing elsewhere.

6. My eyewitness account of the sharp dressed man and the related evidence as to this man. There is no other likely explanation for this man except for government involvement. The airport video has never been released and remains under protective order of the court.

7. The government's continued release of Umar's passport picture through the media. This was done for no other reason that to attempt to discredit me. Why such an effort to show a passport picture all over the media? In no other case has a passport picture been shown in the media. A copy of the supposed "passport" of Umar, however, was not released to Chambers until June 2011. The release of the passport to standby defense counsel was delayed 19 months in order to limit the amount of time Chambers would need to have experts verify its authenticity.

8. The explanation for the cameraman is near unbelieveable. He started filming the sky just before the attack started and then he turned to film the entire attack from beginning to end. We all thought we were going to die. The last thing on anyone's mind at that time was to film something.

9. On 1-5-10 Breibart posted an article that indicated the Government had viewed over 200 hours of video from the airport and it showed no evidence of an accomplice. This article is contradicted by the 1-22-10 article of ABC News by Brian Ross that indicated that "The government is looking into the identity of a man that helped Umar at Schiphol." The article fails to mention that this "sharp dressed man" escorted Umar through security without a passpot and instead tries to paint this man as Al Qaeda. The government is contradicting itself in both of these stories and is attemptin weak coverups in each story.

10. Umar is charged with conspiracy. The accomplices names or contributions are never mentioned. They are not listed as wanted and they are never discussed. This is because they are U.S. Intelligence agents.

11. Customs spokeperson Ron Smith changed the official story about the 2nd man taken into custody in Detroit 5 times. Then he sent a half hearted apoogetic email to the media. My story as to this man has never changed. Ron Smith eventually gave up lying and quit talking about this man who was witnessed by nearly all of the passengers.

12. Why were pictures of Umar's underwear constantly released to the media? These pictures show Umar's underwear is largely intact. I have information from a credible source that due to this incident, Umar "Will never have any kids". This fact is not in line with undamaged underwear. The continued release of the underwear was used as a propaganda piece to reinforce the deceit.

13. The prosecution has continued to block evidence from Umar's standby attorney and in some cases, has provided it late. Why? If Umar was a terrorist nut, what is it that the government does not want the defense to see? It seems to me that if the official story is true, then this is an open and shut case. It appears that the government feels a need to insulate itself from civil cases filed by the passengers.

14. Why has Chambers repeatedly indicated that Umar has a very valid defense? The answer is the entrapment defense.

15. Portions of the Patriot Act were set to expire just before Christmas Day 2009. The Congressional vote to extend them was delayed until February. Body scanning machines were already built and sitting in warehouses. Michael Chertoff, the former head of the Department of Homeland Security has ties to the body scanning manufacturers. The U.S. had no terrorist attacks from 2001 until Christmas Day 2009. A new terrorist attack was needed to get the body scanning machines in the airports.

16. If flight 253 had crashed, nobody would know that the bomb was in Umar's underwear. An unsuccesful staged attack was necessary to show where the bomb was held. This was needed to sell the American public that body scanners were needed to prevent similar future attacks.

17. The story of Umar obtaining his bomb in another country and wearing it to Schiphol is not logical. It is much more likely that he was given the defective bomb at or near the airport. It is likely that the second man taken into custody in Detroit gave him the bomb at Schiphol. My theory is that the bomb sniffing dog (which we witnessed) in Detroit sniffed bomb residue in his bag after we landed.

18. Umar could have been stopped in Amsterdam after boarding and been charged with various charges that would have resulted in a life sentence. Instead he was allowed to fly into U.S. airspace and light his bomb there, over Detroit, on Christmas Day in order to make this a MUCH large media story to usher in the body scanners.

19. How did Umar pick his window seat over the gas tank when he paid cash for his ticket? (You must buy your ticket with credit in order to pick your seat).

20. Other terrorist attack videos are released within hours. The relevant video in this case has never been released. Note that Schiphol airport has more cameras than any airport in the world.

21. The bomb was lit in the cabin and not in the bathroom so that it could be filmed and make more of a media event than a dud bomb lit in a bathroom.

22. Obama's "failed to connect the dots speech" is discredited by the Congressional testimony of Patrick Kennedy of the State Department. Kennedy indicated that, in so many words, that the government was tracking Umar and did not revoke his visa in order to track him into the U.S. This is almost, but not quite an admission that he was let into the U.S. on purpose.

23. The Congressional testimony of Michael Leiter indicated that the U.S. Government frequently lets terrorists into the U.S.

24. In early 2010, a Mr. Wolf appeared on the Keith Olberman Show and indicated that the Obama administration was looking into the possibility that this was an intentional plot by a U.S. intelligence agency.

25. Watch the Congressional testimony of Patrick Kennedy (available on the internet) and watch how he does vocabulary gymnastics to avoid saying that this was an intentional plot by U.S. intelligence.

26. Dutch military police initially indicated that Umar did not go through normal security measures. This was only reported once.

27. Why did a passenger call me in early January 2010 and attempt to convince me that I did not see Umar being escorted around security, but I instead witnessed a minor child being taken through security. This was untrue. I later found out that such passenger works for a contractor that receives a great deal of business from the Department of Defense.

28. Why does the mainstream media continue to not investigate this story and continue to not report my eyewitness account?

29. A second passenger contacted me and confirmed my acount of the Sharp Dressed Man. She is scared and refuses to come forward.

30. Why have nearly all of the passengers refused to talk about this case?

31. Why were a great deal of the passengers, military personnel, government workers and government contractors?

32. Why did the prosecution indicate at a recent hearing that it was still withholding some evidence that was deemed to be secret (top seret?). What could be so secret if the government was not involved in the plot?

33. Why has the online Detroit Free Press site erased all underwear bomber articles that support my theory on the case, but retained older articles that support the official story?

It is unfortunate that the upcoming trial will be nothing but a farce and deceitful theatre to imbed lies in the minds of the sheeple.

Guardian : Dag Hammarskjöld: evidence suggests UN chief's plane was shot down

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Dag Hammarskjöld: evidence suggests UN chief's plane was shot down

Eyewitnesses claim a second aircraft fired at the plane raising questions of British cover-up over the 1961 crash and its causes

Julian Borger and Georgina Smith in Ndola | August 17, 2011

New evidence has emerged in one of the most enduring mysteries of United Nations and African history, suggesting that the plane carrying the UN secretary general Dag Hammarskjöld was shot down over Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) 50 years ago, and the murder was covered up by British colonial authorities.

A British-run commission of inquiry blamed the crash in 1961 on pilot error and a later UN investigation largely rubber-stamped its findings. They ignored or downplayed witness testimony of villagers near the crash site which suggested foul play. The Guardian has talked to surviving witnesses who were never questioned by the official investigations and were too scared to come forward.

The residents on the western outskirts of the town of Ndola described Hammarskjöld's DC6 being shot down by a second, smaller aircraft. They say the crash site was sealed off by Northern Rhodesian security forces the next morning, hours before the wreckage was officially declared found, and they were ordered to leave the area.

The key witnesses were located and interviewed over the past three years by Göran Björkdahl, a Swedish aid worker based in Africa, who made the investigation of the Hammarskjöld mystery a personal quest since discovering his father had a fragment of the crashed DC6.

"My father was in that part of Zambia in the 70s and asking local people about what happened, and a man there, seeing that he was interested, gave him a piece of the plane. That was what got me started," Björkdahl said. When he went to work in Africa himself, he went to the site and began to question the local people systematically on what they had seen.

The investigation led Björkdahl to previously unpublished telegrams – seen by the Guardian – from the days leading up to Hammarskjöld's death on 17 September 1961, which illustrate US and British anger at an abortive UN military operation that the secretary general ordered on behalf of the Congolese government against a rebellion backed by western mining companies and mercenaries in the mineral-rich Katanga region.

Hammarskjöld was flying to Ndola for peace talks with the Katanga leadership at a meeting that the British helped arrange. The fiercely independent Swedish diplomat had, by then, enraged almost all the major powers on the security council with his support for decolonisation, but support from developing countries meant his re-election as secretary general would have been virtually guaranteed at the general assembly vote due the following year.

Björkdahl works for the Swedish international development agency, Sida, but his investigation was carried out in his own time and his report does not represent the official views of his government. However, his report echoes the scepticism about the official verdict voiced by Swedish members of the commissions of inquiry.

Björkdahl concludes that:

• Hammarskjöld's plane was almost certainly shot down by an unidentified second plane.

• The actions of the British and Northern Rhodesian officials at the scene delayed the search for the missing plane.

• The wreckage was found and sealed off by Northern Rhodesian troops and police long before its discovery was officially announced.

• The one survivor of the crash could have been saved but was allowed to die in a poorly equipped local hospital.

• At the time of his death Hammarskjöld suspected British diplomats secretly supported the Katanga rebellion and had obstructed a bid to arrange a truce.

• Days before his death, Hammarskjöld authorised a UN offensive on Katanga – codenamed Operation Morthor – despite reservations of the UN legal adviser, to the fury of the US and Britain.

The most compelling new evidence comes from witnesses who had not previously been interviewed, mostly charcoal-makers from the forest around Ndola, now in their 70s and 80s.

Dickson Mbewe, now 84, was sitting outside his house in Chifubu compound west of Ndola with a group of friends on the night of the crash.

"We saw a plane fly over Chifubu but did not pay any attention to it the first time," he told the Guardian. "When we saw it a second and third time, we thought that this plane was denied landing permission at the airport. Suddenly, we saw another aircraft approach the bigger aircraft at greater speed and release fire which appeared as a bright light.

"The plane on the top turned and went in another direction. We sensed the change in sound of the bigger plane. It went down and disappeared."

At about 5am, Mbewe went to his charcoal kiln close to the crash site, where he found soldiers and policemen already dispersing people. According to the official report the wreckage was only discovered at 3pm that afternoon.

"There was a group of white soldiers carrying a body, two in front and two behind," he said. "I heard people saying there was a man who was found alive and should be taken to hospital. Nobody was allowed to stay there."

Mbewe did not forward with that information earlier because he was never asked to, he said. "The atmosphere was not peaceful, we were chased away. I was afraid to go to the police because they might put me in prison."

Another witness, Custon Chipoya, a 75-year-old charcoal maker, also claims to have seen a second plane in the sky that night. "I saw a plane turning, it had clear lights and I could hear the roaring sound of the engine," he said. "It wasn't very high. In my opinion, it was at the height that planes are when they are going to land.

"It came back a second time, which made us look and the third time, when it was turning towards the airport, I saw a smaller plane approaching behind the bigger one. The lighter aircraft, a smaller jet type of plane, was trailing behind and had a flash light. Then it released some fire on to the bigger plane below and went in the opposite direction.

"The bigger aircraft caught fire and started exploding, crashing towards us. We thought it was following us as it chopped off branches and tree trunks. We thought it was war, so we ran away."

Chipoya said he returned to the site the next morning at about 6am and found the area cordoned off by police and army officers. He didn't mention what he had seen because: "It was impossible to talk to a police officer then. We just understood that we had to go away," he said.

Safeli Mulenga, 83, also in Chifubu on the night of the crash, did not see a second plane but witnessed an explosion.

"I saw the plane circle twice," he said. "The third time fire came from somewhere above the plane, it glowed so bright. It couldn't have been the plane exploding because the fire was coming on to it," he said.

There was no announcement for people to come forward with information following the crash, and the federal government did not want people to talk about it, he said. "There were some who witnessed the crash and they were taken away and imprisoned."

John Ngongo, now 75, out in the bush with a friend to learn how to make charcoal on the night of the crash, did not see another plane but he definitely heard one, he said.

"Suddenly, we saw a plane with fire on one side coming towards us. It was on fire before it hit the trees. The plane was not alone. I heard another plane at high speed disappearing into the distance but I didn't see it," he said.

The only survivor among the 15 people on board the DC6 was Harold Julian, an American sergeant on Hammarskjöld's security detail. The official report said he died of his injuries, but Mark Lowenthal, a doctor who helped treat Julian in Ndola, told Björkdahl he could have been saved.

"I look upon the episode as having been one of my most egregious professional failures in what has become a long career," Lowenthal wrote in an email. "I must first ask why did the US authorities not at once set out to help/rescue one of their own? Why did I not think of this at the time? Why did I not try to contact US authorities to say, 'Send urgently an aircraft to evacuate a US citizen on secondment to UN who is dying of kidney failure?'"

Julian was left in Ndola for five days. Before he died, he told police he had seen sparks in the sky and an explosion before the crash.

Björkdahl also raises questions about why the DC6 was made to circle outside Ndola. The official report claims there was no tape recorder in the air traffic control tower, despite the fact that its equipment was new. The air traffic control report of the crash was not filed until 33 hours afterwards.

According to records of the events of the night, the British high commissioner to the Rhodesian and Nyasaland Federation, Cuthbert Alport, who was at the airport that evening, "suddenly said that he had heard that Hammarskjöld had changed his mind and intended to fly somewhere else. The airport manager therefore didn't send out any emergency alert and everyone simply went to bed."

The witness accounts of another plane are consistent with other insider accounts of Hammarskjold's death. Two of his top aides, Conor Cruise O'Brien and George Ivan Smith, both became convinced that the secretary general had been shot down by mercenaries working for European industrialists in Katanga. They also believed that the British helped cover up the shooting. In 1992, the two published a letter in the Guardian spelling out their theory. Suspicion of British intentions is a recurring theme of the correspondence Björkdahl has examined from the days before Hammarskjöld's death.

Formally, the UK backed the UN mission, but, privately, the secretary general and his aides believed British officials were obstructing peace moves, possibly as a result of mining interests and sympathies with the white colonists on the Katanga side.

On the morning of 13 September the separatist leader Moise Tshombe signalled that he was ready for a truce, but changed his mind after a one-hour meeting with the UK consul in Katanga, Denzil Dunnett.

There is no doubt that at the time of his death Hammarskjöld‚ who had already alienated the Soviets, French and Belgians, had also angered the Americans and the British with his decision to launch Operation Morthor against the rebel leaders and mercenaries in Katanga.

The US secretary of state, Dean Rusk, told one of the secretary general's aides that President Kennedy was "extremely upset" and was threatening to withdraw support from the UN. The UK , Rusk said, was "equally upset".

At the end of his investigation Björkdahl is still not sure who killed Hammarskjöld, but he is fairly certain why he was killed: "It's clear there were a lot of circumstances pointing to possible involvement by western powers. The motive was there – the threat to the west's interests in Congo's huge mineral deposits. And this was the time of black African liberation, and you had whites who were desperate to cling on.

"Dag Hammarskjöld was trying to stick to the UN charter and the rules of international law. I have the impression from his telegrams and his private letters that he was disgusted by the behaviour of the big powers."

Historians at the Foreign Office said they could not comment. British officials believe that, at this late date, no amount of research would conclusively prove or disprove what they see as conspiracy theories that have always surrounded Hammarskjöld's death.

PRNewsWire : National Geographic Channel Presents Never-Before-Heard Revelations from U.S. Authorities on Plot to Blow Up Almost 10 Passenger Jets

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

National Geographic Channel Presents Never-Before-Heard Revelations from U.S. Authorities on Plot to Blow Up Almost 10 Passenger Jets

The Liquid Bomb Plot Presents Exclusive Interviews With CIA and Homeland Security Agents on the Chilling and Tense Global Surveillance Operation That Uncovered a Plot to Kill More Than 2,000 People

August 16, 2011

The Liquid Bomb Plot Premieres This Sunday, August 21, 2011, at 9 P.M. EDT/PDT on National Geographic Channel

WASHINGTON, Aug. 16, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In the summer of 2006, as many as 18 conspirators planned to simultaneously blow up almost 10 airplanes by bringing hydrogen peroxide-injected soda-bottles-turned-bombs onto flights bound from London to the U.S. and Canada. Now, National Geographic Channel (NGC) — with unprecedented access to undercover agents and top officials from the CIA, Homeland Security and British Counter-Terror Command — goes inside the true story behind the largest and most sophisticated terrorism plot since September 11, 2001, which changed airline security measures around the world.

The Liquid Bomb Plot details how a threat that began as a British counterterrorist investigation evolved into a global emergency. In the U.S., President Bush's administration, the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security worked feverishly to protect America from an attack on the scale of 9/11.

With remarkable access to the highest-level officials involved in foiling the terrorists — some of whom have given NGC their only interview on the plot — the complete details behind the operation are revealed. Interviews include, from the U.S., General Michael Hayden, former director, CIA; Michael Chertoff, former secretary, Department of Homeland Security; Robert Grenier, former Islamabad station chief, CIA; Kip Hawley, former director, Transportation Security Administration; and Charlie Allen, chief intelligence officer, Department of Homeland Security. Top U.K. interviews include Lord John Reid, former home secretary and former defense secretary, Britain; Andy Hayman, former assistant commissioner for specialist operations, Metropolitan Police; and Peter Clarke, OBE, former national co-coordinator of terrorist investigations, Metropolitan Police.

Now, for the first time, U.S. officials recount how they essentially forced the hand of the British to arrest the suspected terrorists ahead of schedule by making a secret trip to Pakistan. General Michael Hayden was working closely with the British government on Operation Overt, the largest surveillance operation in U.K history, with more than 200 agents involved in surveillance alone, not to mention the senior officials on both sides of the pond monitoring the situation.

General Hayden discusses on camera for the only time how he visited Pakistan and met with the head of the Pakistan Intelligence Agency without alerting the British, who had requested more time to gather evidence. During Hayden's trip, Rashid Rauf, the key Al Qaeda operative in the plot, was arrested by the Pakistani authorities, thus compelling the British to move into the "arrest phase" ahead of plan before those involved found out they might be compromised.

"The British had always suspected the Americans were behind Rauf's arrest, but this is the first and only time a senior U.S. figure has discussed the arrest publicly," explains Executive Producer Louise Norman, who worked for more than a year to gain access to the true details behind the terror plot from both the U.S. and British governments. "The Liquid Bomb Plot is by far the most comprehensive, detailed report on how this incredible terror plot was foiled. I thought I knew the full story, but what happened behind the scenes has never been fully reported until now."

The resulting arrests led to 11 terrorism-related convictions and a mountain of evidence, including 26,000 exhibits from 102 property searches, 80 seized computers and related devices, and 15,000 CDs, 500 disks and 14,000 gigs of data.

The arrests also made news around the world and changed air travel in the most substantial way since 9/11—including passengers not being allowed to go through airport security with more than 3.4 ounces of liquid.

For more information, visit

SOURCE National Geographic Channel

National Geographic : Pakistan Undercover * Facts

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Pakistan Undercover * Facts

Next Prime Time Airing Mon Aug 22

Founded in 1947, the Central Intelligence Agency remains one of America's strongest defenses against terror and foreign threats. The attacks of September 11 focused the CIA on finding the persons responsible and preventing other attacks on the nation. Learn more about the origins of the CIA and how its operations today have helped protect us:

* The Office of Strategic Services (OSS) was the precursor to the CIA, formed during World War II.

* The colloquial term “agent” for members of the CIA conducting clandestine operations is a misnomer; the actual term is CIA Officer. Agents are foreign nationals who are recruited by an officer and are traitors to their own countries.

* The CIA headquarters are located in an area of Virginia that was once called Langley. Although this area was renamed McLean in 1910, the neighborhood surrounding the CIA is still referred to as Langley. Initial construction on the headquarters began in 1959 and was completed in 1961.

* The Security Service, frequently referred to as MI5 (Military Intelligence section 5), is the UK's intelligence agency. Established in 1909, it underwent four name changes before becoming the Security Service in 1931.

* Human Intelligence or “humint” is a critical component of espionage, in which information is gathered and provided by human sources.

* The function of Pakistan's Inter-Services Intelligence Directorate, or ISI, has been likened to that of the CIA. It was formed in the early days of Pakistan's independence in 1948. There is evidence that ISI operatives have ties with militant networks working against Western interests. Some ISI members were allegedly involved in the planning of the 2008 Indian Embassy bombing in Kabul, a claim that Pakistan denies.

* The August 6, 2001, President’s Daily Brief entitled “Bin Ladin Determined to Strike in US,” provides a substantive warning of threats posed by Osama Bin Laden and Al-Qaeda a month before the attacks on 9/11. A redacted copy of the brief was made public on April 10, 2004. With the help of computer software programs, cryptographers at a conference in Switzerland suggested it was highly probable that the word ‘Egyptian’ was redacted in the following sentence: “An Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ) operative told an [redacted] service at the same time that Bin Ladin was planning to exploit the operative's access to the US to mount a terrorist strike.”

* Rashid Rauf was reportedly killed in a UAV strike in 2008. However, British Intelligence sources question whether Rauf is really dead. Some sources insist that he was involved in the Easter Manchester bomb plot of April 2009.

* Waterboarding is not a new interrogation technique. In fact, the method was used as early as the Spanish Inquisition.

* Abu Zubaydah still remains in U.S. custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. To date, no formal charges have been brought against him.

* The CIA has a history of interesting but failed projects. One such endeavor involved psychics who attempted “remote viewing” of covert foreign military facilities. Another operation, “Acoustic Kitty,” hoped to develop a mobile listening technique by implanting trained cats with microphones. The first such cat was released and promptly run over by a taxicab.

* The technique known as “dead drop” allows two parties to transfer goods or information without meeting in person. Former CIA officer Aldrich Ames used the method to interact with the Russian foreign intelligence agency. He made specific chalk marks on a mailbox on 37th and R St. NW. in Washington D.C., to arrange a meeting.

* A false flag operation is an intentional effort to mislead either the public or a detainee. In one account of Zubaydah's interrogation, CIA officers allegedly tricked him into thinking he had been turned over to the Saudi Arabian government.

* Some of the CIA gadgetry that exists in the movies has a real life counterpart. In 2000, the CIA built a swimming robot catfish named "Charlie." Other gadgets of interest include a remote-controlled dragonfly and pigeons fitted with cameras.

* The “liquid bomb plot” that was thwarted in August 2006 exposed a lack of readiness and detection capability for that type of explosive and ushered in a new set of security restrictions for traveling with liquids.

WaPo : Elaborate ruse behind vast Kabul Bank fraud

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Elaborate ruse behind vast Kabul Bank fraud

By Joshua Partlow | June 30, 2011

KABUL — The top two officials of Kabul Bank used fake names, forged documents, fictitious companies and secret records as part of an elaborate ruse to funnel hundreds of millions of dollars to shareholders and top Afghan officials, according to newly obtained documents and interviews.

The scheme overseen by Sherkhan Farnood, the bank’s former chairman, and Khaililullah Frouzi, the chief executive, helped to cover up a vast disbursal of funds to Afghanistan’s ruling elite, the documents and interviews with bank insiders as well as U.S. and Afghan officials show. Among the major recipients was Mahmoud Karzai, the president’s brother, who allegedly received $22 million in loans; some parliament members, warlords and cabinet ministers, including Mohammed Fahim, Afghanistan’s first vice president, are alleged to have received smaller sums.

Farnood and Frouzi were detained Wednesday night in the first high-level arrests since the scandal began. Both deny responsibility, and neither has been charged with a crime, but Afghanistan’s attorney general, Mohammed Ishaq Aloko, said in a brief interview that the evidence against them is “quite clear.’’

The documents, from the Afghan government and from the bank, provide the most detailed account yet of how the fraud was carried out in the years before it was discovered in 2010, forcing the Afghan government to take over the bank, split it in two, dissolve the shareholders’ assets and spend more than $800 million to bail it out.

The crisis at Kabul Bank has shaken confidence in Afghanistan’s financial system and caused the lapse of the International Monetary Fund’s line of credit, which has stymied tens of millions of dollars of foreign aid to the country. Now the job of recovering as much as possible of the $912 million in loans amounts to perhaps the most serious task for President Hamid Karzai’s government outside of fighting the Taliban.

Without a successful resolution of Kabul Bank’s problems, said one senior U.S. official, Afghanistan could face “the collapse of the banking sector.”

Senior prosecutors in Afghanistan announced the arrests of Farnood and Frouzi several days after a special commission, established by President Karzai last year to investigate charges of improper loans and financial mismanagement at the bank, completed its work and forwarded its findings privately to the government. The chairman of Afghanistan’s Central Bank, Abdul Qadir Fitrat, fled to Virginia this week and declared that his life was in danger because he had revealed the names of prominent loan recipients.

Frouzi could not be reached for comment for this article. But in an interview in May in Kabul Bank headquarters, Farnood called himself a “scapegoat” for a broader conspiracy of government and business leaders in which, he said, Frouzi had played a big part. Farnood, a world-class poker player, acknowledged that the bank had gone to extraordinary lengths to prevent Afghanistan’s Central Bank from discovering the extent of the unsecured insider lending.

To ensure that Central Bank regulators remained compliant and incurious, Farnood and another former executive said, Frouzi had paid monthly bribes to central bank officials.

But Farnood, who asserts that the illegal loans and bribes took place without his knowledge when he was out of Afghanistan, said others also bore significant responsibility. “People need to know who were the real criminals here,” he said. “At the end of the day, people need to know where the money has gone.”

Following the money

After the crisis broke out last August, Kabul Bank’s employees combed through bank records in an effort to document who received Kabul Bank’s money.

After reviewing these records, the Afghan government alleged that Farnood illegally received loans totaling $497.1 million in the name of 163 companies, while Frouzi took $79.6 million associated with 37 companies, according to government documents obtained by The Washington Post. (Farnood said that he did not end up with the vast majority of the money but that bank loans in his name were given to other people.)

To facilitate these transactions, Kabul Bank relied on Shaheen Exchange, a Dubai-based money transfer business that Farnood owned before starting Kabul Bank and that had representatives inside the bank’s headquarters. To skirt regulations about loans to insiders such as shareholders that exceeded legal limits, the bank issued loans in various names and transferred money to Shaheen Exchange, which would then reroute the money back to Afghanistan and keep records of the actual recipients, according to several former bank executives and shareholders.

Among the recipients, the documents show, was Mahmoud Karzai. The documents show that the $22.2 million he borrowed was recorded as 10 separate loans under names such as Abdul Rahim, Dawood and Sultan Mohammad Hafizullah LTD.

Mahmoud Karzai has acknowledged receiving loans, but said that he was unaware of the misleading practices and that he has now paid back all he owes, about one-third of the $22 million. He said he is not responsible for about $14 million because the sum includes a villa in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, owned by Farnood and shares of Kabul Bank that the government has stripped from him.

“They were probably thinking I was not supposed to get a loan so they put in these different names. They did this illegal stuff for all the loans,” Mahmoud Karzai said in an interview.

These lending practices raised red flags within the bank at least two years before the Central Bank takeover last August. Employees in the credit department regularly encountered loan files with missing documents, including absent business licenses and audited financial reports and sent warnings to the leadership about the problems.

Managers ignored the procedures for determining borrowers’ risks. “Whenever I sent any file with a high-risk rating,” one former bank employee recalled, “they’d send it back and say I had to change it to medium or low. So I did that.”

Internal warnings

To create a veneer of legitimacy to fictional loans, financial documents were fabricated for front companies, according to two former bank employees.

In February 2010, six months before the Central Bank would take action, an internal memo addressed to Farnood called the loan portfolio “less than satisfactory.” The memo described the loans as sanctioned “without any proper scrutiny” and said that they were serving “vested, influential, and [concocted] interested parties which needs to be scrutinized at the highest level possible.”

The depth of the bank’s problems, first reported in The Post in February 2010, spooked the bank’s leadership and shareholders. The day after the article, Frouzi’s own Kabul Bank account reached its apex, $19 million. By July 4, it had been largely emptied, never again exceeding $3,000.

Despite the internal turmoil, the loans kept flowing. On July 20, 2010, an employee in the credit department wrote to Farnood about his concerns over being pressured to issue 71 loans that had no documentation. Farnood was warned that such loans were illegal and put “the bank at great risk and in particular me.”

The employee asked Farnood to instruct management to block the loans. “Please treat this mail in good spirit and take necessary action as these practices will lead to collapse of Kabul Bank, Officials and the Banking Industry,” he wrote.

Farnood did not write back. In his defense, Farnood said he was rarely in Kabul and left all authority for day-to-day operations to Frouzi.

Several people involved with the bank disagreed, saying the two men made all key decisions together. The shareholders did not hold meetings. One former executive said: “Sherkhan’s attitude was very simple, it’s like the mafia. ‘I’m the boss. I call you and tell you and you execute.’ You become an integral part of his activities.”

“He is the main perpetrator,” Mahmoud Karzai said of Farnood. “He is the architect of the entire episode.”

The daunting challenge

Among other prominent Afghan officials listed in bank documents as having received loans is Fahim, who is the first vice president and is identified as “Marshal Fahim,” and is said to have received $373,928. Others listed include Zalmai Rasoul, the foreign minister, $105,190; and Younis Qanooni, the former parliament speaker, $1.27 million.

Farnood did not dispute the figures but said they painted an incomplete picture, as bribes and other payments to officials were often recorded as expenses and the recipients not identified in the books by name.

The officials all denied they benefited illegally from Kabul Bank; those who acknowledged receiving loans said they paid them back. A person close to Fahim said that the Kabul Bank money was used to finance his vice presidential campaign in 2009 but that he has not received any money since. An aide to Fahim who uses only a first name, Gulbuddin, said “by no means has he borrowed any money from Kabul Bank or any other bank.’’

Rasoul said through a spokesman that he borrowed money from the bank but paid it back on time. He did not disclose the amount. An aide denied that Qanooni took the $1.27 million from Kabul Bank and said Qanooni would not be available for comment. Qanooni has said in the past that he did not receive gifts but received some donations from Kaubl Bank executives for his parliamentary campaign.

The challenge of fixing Kabul Bank has posed a daunting task for the Afghan government. It has responded, under international pressure, by stripping the shareholders of their ownership, putting the bank into receivership and breaking it into two parts: the “New Kabul Bank” for depositors and functioning loans, and another part functioning as a collection agency for the bad loans.

Under a warrant from the attorney general’s office, Interpol last month put Shokrullah Shokran, a cousin of Farnood’s who was the former deputy chief executive and has left Afghanistan, on a wanted list. In an attempt to follow the money amid competing versions by bank executives, an outside firm has also begun a forensic audit of the bank.

Some borrowers have refused repayment, and the government has collected less than $100 million. The arrests of Farnood and Frouzi on Wednesday were the most significant sign yet that the government was serious about prosecution.

“It’s a ridiculous situation,” said Mohammad Qasim Hashimzai, the deputy justice minister who is on a committee to look into Kabul Bank’s problems. “You can’t trust anybody.”

Correspondent Pamela Constable and special correspondents Javed Hamdard and Sayed Salahuddin contributed to this report.

NYT : 3 Men Draw 25-Year Terms In Synagogue Bomb Plot

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

3 Men Draw 25-Year Terms In Synagogue Bomb Plot

By BENJAMIN WEISER | June 29, 2011

Three of the four men convicted in a plot to bomb synagogues in Riverdale in the Bronx were sentenced to 25 years in prison on Wednesday by a judge in Manhattan, who rejected the government’s request for life sentences.

In doing so, the judge, Colleen McMahon of United States District Court, imposed the minimum sentence. She also reiterated concerns that the government’s investigation had raised troubling questions about its tactics and its use of a cooperating witness who posed as a terrorist.

But the judge, who had refused to dismiss charges on grounds of government misconduct, said the men were “prepared to do real violence,” even though the plot had been a government-created sting operation that resulted in no injuries or deaths.

“What you attempted to do was beyond despicable,” she said. There was no doubt in her mind, she added, that whatever religious or political intent they had had was minor compared with their desire for money.

“You were not religious or political martyrs,” she said. “You were thugs for hire, pure and simple.”

The three defendants who were sentenced were James Cromitie, 45; Onta Williams, 35; and David Williams IV, 30, all of Newburgh, N.Y.

The sentencing of a fourth defendant, Laguerre Payen, has been postponed pending the result of a psychiatric review.

All four men were convicted in October 2010 in a case that relied on a government informer who, posing as a Pakistani terrorist, spent months recording discussions with the defendants about placing bombs outside synagogues in the Riverdale neighborhood, and firing Stinger missiles at military transport planes at Stewart International Airport near Newburgh.

The charges related to the missiles carried the 25-year mandatory minimum prison term. Other counts, including conspiracy to use weapons of mass destruction within the United States, carried maximum life sentences.

Mr. Cromitie first met the informer, Shahed Hussain, in June 2008 outside a mosque in Newburgh; at some point, Mr. Cromitie made anti-Semitic remarks, and indicated he wanted to do “something” to America, prosecutors have said. Mr. Cromitie, they said, later recruited the other defendants to assist in the plot.

The men were arrested on May 20, 2009, after Mr. Cromitie, with the others acting as lookouts, placed what they thought were bombs — they were fakes — outside two Riverdale synagogues.

In asking that Judge McMahon impose life sentences, a federal prosecutor, David Raskin, cited evidence that the defendants believed ball bearings would be used in the bombs to make them more lethal.

“These defendants held those ball bearings in their hands and marveled at them,” Mr. Raskin said in court, calling their crimes “as serious a set of offenses as is imaginable.”

Judge McMahon, in her May ruling, found that Mr. Cromitie ultimately “became an enthusiastic jihadist” who, while not wanting to blow himself up, “showed no compunction” about placing bombs at the synagogues.

Mr. Cromitie apologized to the judge on Wednesday for “letting myself be caught up in a sting like this one.”

“I’ve never been a terrorist and I never will be a terrorist,” he said.

The two other men also apologized. “I’m sorry I ruined my life,” Onta Williams said.

Lawyers for all three men, who had claimed entrapment, said they would file appeals. Mr. Cromitie’s lawyers had portrayed him as an impoverished, disaffected, unsophisticated man who had a long criminal record and “a big mouth.” They contended he was incapable of carrying out such a crime, and had been motivated by the informer’s promises of financial reward.

Judge McMahon called Mr. Cromitie “utterly inept” before she sentenced him.

“Only the government could have made a ‘terrorist’ out of Mr. Cromitie, whose buffoonery is positively Shakespearean in its scope,” she said. At one point, she also referred to Mr. Cromitie’s “fantasy terror operation.”

The judge refused defense requests that she ask the Federal Bureau of Prisons not to imprison the men in the same kind of extremely restrictive setting that is typically used for terrorists, as in the so-called Supermax prison in Florence, Colo.

Judge McMahon said that the nature of the men’s crimes and the length of their sentences “virtually guarantee” that they would be imprisoned under the harshest possible conditions.

“I imagine that you will be far from here, and quite isolated,” she said. “I doubt that you will receive any training or rehabilitative treatment of any sort. Your crimes were terrible. Your punishment will indeed be severe.”

Moreover, she added, “25 years in the sort of conditions I anticipate you are facing is easily the equivalent of life in other conditions.”

APN : For Activists, Architects, 9/11 Questions Linger Ten Years Later

Saturday, April 30, 2011

For Activists, Architects, 9/11 Questions Linger Ten Years Later

By GLORIA TATUM | April 30, 2011

With additional reporting by Matthew Cardinale, News Editor.

(APN) ATLANTA -- It will be ten years since September 11, 2001, in just a few months. And yet some of the most basic and fundamental questions about what happened that day--based upon physics and the forensic science of structural engineering--in the collapse of three towers at the World Trade Center in New York, still linger.

Groups such as Architects & Engineers for 9/11 Truth (A&E), founded by Richard Gage; and We Are Change Atlanta want to re-examine the evidence regarding the collapse of all three buildings.

First, the group is especially interested in new evidence of un-ignited fragments of nano-engineered thermitic pyrotechnics found in debris from the Twin Towers. The presence of these fragments would be consistent with explosives having been used in a controlled demolition.

Second, the group is also troubled that, in their view, official reports by the US government appear to defy the fundamental laws of physics.

[Before delving into these two sets of issues, an editorial note is in order. The purpose of this article is not to hypothesize what the real story behind the Towers' collapse is, but to address what we find to be reasonable and compelling questions about the government's official account.]

These issues will be addressed at an upcoming event in Atlanta. Gage; former US Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA); Luke Rudkowski, founder of We Are Change; and April Gallop, Pentagon survior will speak at First Iconium Baptist Church in East Atlanta on May 21, 2011, from 4-9pm.


First, the discovery of thermite and nano-thermitic composites in the dust and debris following the collapse of the three buildings was published in The Open Chemical Physics Journal in 2009, as proof that explosives were used in the destruction of the Twin Towers.

Jeremy Lynes, We Are Change Atlanta, explained nano-thermite to Atlanta Progressive News, "Thermite has been around over a century and refers to aluminum's highly energetic reaction to iron when in a certain form. When ignited, thermite releases large amounts of energy and will destroy iron's integrity fast. Nano refers to the modern technology of constructing materials much smaller, on the supra-molecular scale, than previously possible, creating chemical reactions never-before imaginable. Nano-thermite is an advanced type of thermite which is more explosive and gives a faster complete burn."

The 2009 article was titled "Active Thermitic Material Discovered in Dust from the 9/11 World Trade Center Catastrophe," and was written by Niels Harrit, Department of Chemistry, University of Copenhagen, Denmark; Jeffrey Farrer, Department of Physics and Astronomy, Brigham Young University; Steven Jones; Kevin Ryan; Frank Legge; Daniel Farnsworth; Gregg Roberts; James Gourley; and Bradley Larsen.

"The destruction of three skyscrapers (WTC 1, 2 and 7) on September 11, 2001 was an immensely tragic catastrophe that not only impacted thousands of people and families directly, due to injury and loss of life, but also provided the motivation for numerous expensive and radical changes in domestic and foreign policy. For these and other reasons, knowing what really happened that fateful day is of grave importance," the authors wrote.

The collapse of the towers generated a surprisingly large amount of fine, toxic dust. Four different Manhattan residents took samples of this dust and later responded to a call for such samples.

The authors conduct a variety of highly technical tests upon the small red and gray chips they found in the dust, to conclude as follows: "Based on these observations, we conclude that the red layer of the red/gray chips we have discovered in the WTC dust is active, unreacted thermitic material, incorporating nanotechnology, and is a highly energetic pyrotechnic or explosive material."

The publication of this article was highly controversial, leading to the resignation of editor-in-chief, Marie-Paule Pileni, who had no specific scientific rebuttal to the article. And for many activists, architects, and engineers who had already believed that explosives were involved in the collapse of the three towers, it confirmed their suspicions.


The US government's official explanation of how terrorists came to hijack two planes and fly them into two buildings is provided in the 9/11 Commission Report. But its explanation of how those two plane collisions led to the buildings later collapsing into their own footprint is provided by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

The NIST official report on 9/11 states that a "total progressive collapse or disproportionate collapse" occurred in WTC 1, 2, and 7, as in each case the entire building above the damaged area moved downward as a single unit.

Three buildings collapsed on 9/11, although only two were hit by a plane.

A growing chorus of activists, scholars, architects, and engineers--including several groups and activists in Atlanta--have been questioning the official account by NIST of how the three towers fell.

In WTC 1, NIST states fires weakened the core columns and caused the floors on the south side to sag. Other neighboring columns became overloaded and columns on the south wall buckled causing the top section of the building to tilt and begin its descent.

In WTC 2, NIST states fires caused the floors on the east side of the building to buckle and sag, which pulled neighboring columns and caused them to buckle causing the top section to tilt and begin its descent.

In WTC 7, NIST states fire-induced thermal expansion of the floor system surrounding column 79 led to the collapse of floor 13 which triggered a cascade of floor failures.

Last September, Derek Johnson, Structural Steel Inspector & Mechanical Engineer, visited Atlanta to make a multi-media presentation at the historic Plaza Theater on Ponce de Leon Avenue in Midtown, which called into question the official government report on the collapse of WTC 1, 2, and 7. 250 people attended the event hosted by We Are Change Atlanta.

Johnson's presentation blasted holes in NIST's report of a fire-induced total progressive collapse.

"NIST's conclusion of a fire-induced collapse of building 7 is based on computer simulation and not on physical evidence that can be tested and confirmed by others. NIST manipulated the computer inputs by using unrealistic values for the weight, strength, and flexibility of steel and concrete in their model," Johnson said.

"The model NIST used was more representative of Lincoln Logs that fall like a house of cards than the very strong welted and bolted large steel beams used throughout WTC 7," Johnson explained.

"The three buildings that were destroyed on 9/11 were designed and built using fire resistance plans that were thorough and continually updated, and that ensured the buildings could not fail from fires," Johnson said.

WTC 7 was not hit by a plane and received only minor damage from the falls of WTC 1 and 2. WTC 7 did exhibit all the characteristics of classic controlled demolition with explosives, such as rapid onset of collapse, sounds of explosions, free-fall acceleration, and collapsing completely in its own footprint with expanding pyroclastic dust clouds.

WTC 7 housed Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) files relating to numerous Wall Street investigations including Enron, Citigroup, and WorldCom. All files and evidence from government agencies in WTC7 such as the CIA, Secret Service, DOD, and INS were destroyed.

Other high-rise building with much larger, hotter, and longer-lasting fires have never collapsed. WTC 4, which was next to WTC 2, was destroyed by tons of falling and buring debris with large permanent deformations and sagging of many beams, but it did not collapse.

WTC 5 was also destroyed by extensive fire-related damage, but it did not collapse.

Johnson reported "NIST would not release over three thousand documents on their investigation of the collapse of WTC 7 to Ron Brookman, a structural engineer... NIST's reason for refusing to release the documents was that it might jeopardize public safety."

"This is the first time in history that a steel and concrete framed building has collapsed due to office fires where one damaged column caused a total progressive collapse of the entire building at near free fall speed," Mike Smith, an Atlanta-based electrical engineer and member of A&E, said.

"If the official story of the collapse of the towers is true," Mr. Lynes said, "then the top floors, above the plane's impact, acted like a pile driver of incredible pressure, forcing its way to the ground through the other ninety floors at free fall speed--impossible, according to laws of conservation of energy. Therefore, after this demolishing, the top twenty or thirty stories would be sitting atop the rubble intact. Since they were not, it shows they were not the cause of the collapse."

The South Tower collapsed at 9:59 am and the North Tower collapsed at 10:28 am, while building 7 collapsed at 5:21 pm. The WTC7 collapsed in under seven seconds, while The Twin Towers collapsed somewhere between 8.5 and fifteen seconds.

"The accelerated speeds of collapses evident in videos of all three buildings prove that these are not progressive collapses as the government contends. In a progressive collapse a failed structure will encounter resistance--thousands of tons of steel and concrete--and exhibit jolts which will slow down, not accelerate, its decent and will not disintegrate symmetrically into its own footprint. The government's miraculous steel and concrete disintegration theory is fraudulent science. Only in a controlled implosion, using explosives to remove the internal support system, will you get the free-fall speed and vertical decent leaving only a pile of dust and rubble," Smith said.

"The rate of free fall or the gravitational acceleration of Earth is 9.8 meters per second per second, or 9.8/s^2 without air friction coefficients or drag. It is impossible for a gravitational collapse to proceed so destructively through a path of such great resistance in anywhere near free-fall time of 8.5 to 15 seconds," Smith explained.

In addition to the speed and symmetry of the collapse of WTC 7 and the Twin Towers, many eye witnesses, firefighters, and police officers reported hearing violent explosions from all three building before they fell.

"Amazing, incredible... For the third time today, it's reminiscent of those pictures we've all seen too much on television before where a building was deliberately destroyed by well-placed dynamite to knock it down," Dan Rather of CBS News said, for example, according to a clip posted widely on Youtube.


The Pink Elephant Collective, a group of local artists, painted a 9/11 Pink Elephant Mural on the wall at Euclid and Colquitt Avenues in Atlanta's Little Five Points during the summer of 2010. The mural shows several pink elephants drudging through oil, with the words "9-11 Truth" and "Nano-thermite?"

Camron Wiltshire, a member of the Pink Elephant Collective, said, "We painted the mural as a means to connect directly with people on the street and to have an authentic discussion of the facts. It is a visual invocation to awaken the heroic within us all and look at the evidence being brought forward by concerned citizens all over the world."

"The US is now immersed in two illegal wars of occupation and 9/11 is given as the righteous precedence, for our invasion, destruction, and occupation of these sovereign countries. Over one million innocent Iraqi men, women, and children have been murdered by our tax funded military occupation, not to mention the thousands of US soldiers and public servants. If we can be brave and look for ourselves at the evidence, we can begin fixing our country," Wiltshire said.

"The mainstream media is not willing to look at the evidence and spends much of its efforts demonizing or smearing anyone who is speaking out," Wiltshire said.


Since 9/11, there has been a code of silence surrounding any questions towards the accuracy of the US government's official account. This code of silence has been antithetical to the very values of freedom of speech, democracy, and open inquiry which are fundamental to our country.

Indeed, when former US Rep. McKinney asked in a 2002 radio interview what the President knew and when he know it, she was viciously attacked, and this led to her electoral defeat by former US Rep. Denise Majette (D-GA) in 2002.

A February 2010 article in the American Behavioral Scientist, “Beyond Conspiracy Theory: Patterns of High Crime in American Government,” by Lance deHaven-Smith, Professor of Public Administration at Florida State University, examines the characteristics of what he refers to as State Crimes Against Democracy (SCAD). SCAD is a term intended to replace the term conspiracy theory, because government agencies frequently engage in illegal conspiracies as a proven fact.

DeHaven-Smith includes 9/11 as a suspected SCAD in a list of actual and suspected SCADs.

SCADs involve high-level government officials, often in combination with private interests, that engage in covert activities for political advantages and power, according to deHaven-Smith. Proven SCADs since World War II include McCarthyism, the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, burglary of the office of Daniel Ellsberg’s psychiatrist in effort to discredit Ellsberg, the Watergate break-in, Iran-Contra, Florida’s 2000 Election (felon disenfranchisement program), and fixed intelligence on weapons of mass destruction to justify the US invasion of Iraq.

“Research shows that people are far less willing to examine information that disputes, rather than confirms, their beliefs... pre-existing beliefs can interfere with SCADs inquiry, especially in regards to September 11, 2001," Psychologist Laurie Manwell, University of Guelph, wrote, also in an article in the same February 2010 issue of ABS.

Professor Steven Hoffman, visiting scholar at the University of Buffalo, expanded upon this in his ABS article, “There Must Be a Reason: Osama, Saddam and Inferred Justification.”

“Our data shows substantial support for a cognitive theory known as ‘motivated reasoning,’ which suggests that rather than search rationally for information that either confirms or disconfirms a particular belief, people actually seek out information that confirms what they already believe. In fact, for the most part people completely ignore contrary information," Hoffman wrote.

The present APN article is intended to increase citizens' awareness of the lingering questions, architectural analyses, and new physical evidence as it relates to 9/11. It is hoped that this article may advance public discourse and lead to an open conversation, including in the comments section of this article.