Is bin Laden Responsible for the 9/11 attacks? July 26, 2007 — To those who are not familiar with our work, Ed Haas and I have done extensive research regarding the authenticity of the “bin Laden Confession Tape” that was released by the U.S. government on December 13, 2001. Bush administration officials pointed to the video as the smoking gun and proof that Osama bin Laden was responsible for 9/11. After more than a year of research, we were able to show with a very high degree of certainty that the tape was the result of a sting operation run by U.S. intelligence, with the help of Saudi intelligence, and that bin Laden could have been captured on the date he was taped, September 26, 2001, ten days prior to the war in Afghanistan. We concluded that bin Laden was allowed to walk because if he were captured instead of just being taped, there would have been diminished justification and therefore less support for military actions in Afghanistan. Arguably, if bin Laden had been captured or killed when the CIA had the chance on September 26, 2001 – the Bush Administration would have met much greater resistance against its invasion of Afghanistan. This fact has many legal ramifications in many jurisdictions, from the local level, Manhattan, to the federal level, and internationally. Respectively, the Bush administration engaged in crimes ranging from aiding and abetting a murderer, bin Laden was wanted at the time by the FBI for the 1998 embassy bombings in Africa, to dereliction of duty, high treason, and finally, a high crime against humanity. But is bin Laden truly responsible for 9/11? We, instead of assigning guilt, preferred to call for an official, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances surrounding the videotape and the prosecution of anyone that has committed a crime – to include the President and Vice President.
Our findings have been shared with law enforcement and investigative bodies in all the mentioned jurisdictions along with the national and international media – but no action has been taken. The other factor that prevented us from assigning guilt or voicing our personal opinion was the fact that the 9/11 truth movement, the most vocal movement that shares our goal of a new and transparent investigation, consists of many people who believe that bin Laden is a direct asset of the CIA and working under the CIA’s direction. Since our findings do not support this assertion, the logical option was to present our information knowing that it would be controversial in some circles, with the hope that it would promote renewed open-mindedness and prompt further debate. We understood the challenge associated with changing engrained belief systems.
After our recent appearance on the Kevin Barrett Show, we decided to co-author this piece and explain to all that are interested what we really think based on what we understand from the information that can be accessed in the public domain. The word that we need to pay particularly close attention to is STING. A sting operation is a highly scripted series of circumstances, chain of events, dialogs, actions and reactions that relies on exploiting the weaknesses of a target with the intention of causing a very specific outcome. All has to fall into place as choreographed or the sting may fail. The more complex the sting operation is, the longer it takes to develop and rehearse.
This sting that targeted bin Laden and yielded the “confession tape” hinged on the following circumstances. First, bin Laden needed to have done something horrific or been accused of having done something horrific that caused him to go into deep hiding. Second, bin Laden needed to be eager for information he could not access from his hideout. Third, the person who had this information had to have serious difficulties hiking up mountain trails or reaching caves. Osama bin Laden was more likely to go to this person, whom we later learned bin Laden knew and somewhat trusted, thereby giving the person and the sting team control over the meeting location. This is crucial as bin Laden seldom allows meetings on terms that require concessions. The person that bin Laden agreed to meet on different terms was the paraplegic, wheelchair bound Saudi sheikh – Khaled Al-Harbi.
The first two circumstances were satisfied by the events of 9/11. Osama bin Laden, suspected to be behind the attacks, wanted “dead or alive” by Bush, went into deep hiding. On the other hand, bin Laden, the devout Muslim, was unhappy to hear that some Muslim scholars view his alleged act to be against Islamic teachings. Osama bin Laden was eager, as revealed on the videotape, to learn how certain influential Saudi religious scholars viewed the attacks. Once these two conditions were satisfied, the sting could be launched. The person in the wheelchair, Khaled Al-Harbi, and the rest of the sting team, his necessary travel companions – one of which had a hidden video camera, were mobilized in Saudi Arabia and headed towards Afghanistan. Here are the facts: the first specific mention of a sting operation in the corporate media was in the form of a report by UPI from Pakistan. The date of that report was August 17, 2001.
UPI – August 17, 2001: “The U.S. government has requested Pakistan to provide active support for an operation inside Afghanistan to catch terrorism-suspect Osama bin Laden, a report said Friday. The United States has also discussed with Pakistani officials the possibility of “using U.S. special forces” for a sting operation inside Afghanistan, the newspaper reported.”
How could such a leak be interpreted when some believe that Pakistani authority and intelligence services are an extension of the CIA while others believe that at the time, they were supporters of Bin Laden? It would be naïve to think that those in authority in Pakistan are a homogeneous camp; those in the Pakistani government who were genuinely on the side of bin Laden leaked the information. I say that because they could have informed bin Laden of the sting operation either directly or through channels and did not have to leak it to the media. By leaking it to the papers (UPI), they were actively protecting bin Laden. The leak was an indirect message to the Americans that bin Laden was informed, thereby, making the sting more difficult to execute. Also, the leak was an embarrassment to the Pakistani authorities that could no longer co-operate even if they wanted.
If we can accept that there are factions within Pakistani government, we can also understand the extraction of bin Laden from Tora Bora by his Pakistani supporters. The pro-American camp, led by the head of ISI, seems to have been playing a dual role on behalf of American intelligence. On the one hand, the head of ISI is reported to have sent Mohammad Atta, alleged leader of the 9/11 hijackers, $100,000 prior to 9/11. On the other hand, he spent two weeks at CIA headquarters in Langley assisting with War on Terror planning. We need to carefully examine the period between August 17, 2001, the date of the leak to the Pakistani press of “a” sting operation, and, September 21, 2001, thirty five days later, the date when “the” sting team was dispatched from Saudi Arabia to Afghanistan. First of all, the sting scenario that yielded the “confession tape” is quite complex and could not have been developed between September 11, 2001, and September 21, 2001. Since it hinged on events similar to 9/11, it must have been developed by U.S. intelligence based on knowledge of bin Laden’s behavior after the bombing of the embassies in Africa or the U.S.S. Cole in Yemen, meaning, developed prior to 9/11. This is clear evidence of prior knowledge of the 9/11 events that exceeds any notion that the only failure of the Bush Administration was its inability to connect the dots as then CIA director George Tenet described it. Some people “on our side” – Americans – knew clearly of the 9/11 attacks – and at a minimum – allowed the events to unfold.
Despite the fact that nobody working for or on behalf of the U.S. government has been prosecuted for their failings or involvement with the 9/11 attacks, there were creditable warnings in August 2001 about an al-Qaeda attack. Remember the August 6, 2001 Presidential Daily Briefing titled “bin Laden Determined to Strike in US’’, the starkest of warnings? The Bush Administration also received warnings from other countries, some of which were fairly specific. It could be assumed that the attempt to launch the sting operation in August 2001 through Pakistan was a high priority and urgent operation intended to stop the attack. Yet, American intelligence and law enforcement did not act with any urgency in the United States in terms of following up on leads by FBI agents and informants, alerting airlines, or even dispatching fighter jets after it was determined airliners were hijacked and the attack was unfolded. That said, and considering its proximity to September 11, 2001, the fact that the August 2001 attempt to launch the sting operation through Pakistan had no visible urgency, and it is reasonable to suspect that the 9/11 events were allowed to unfold. Also, even though bin Laden’s camp within Pakistan thwarted the August 2001 sting operation, even before its details were shared with Pakistani authorities, it wasn’t the end of the operation. All that was needed was a different launching country to replace Pakistan. Iran was the next plausible choice.
The originally intended August 2001 sting operation was launched the day the sting team was mobilized from Saudi Arabia, September 21, 2001, ten days after 9/11. A member of the sting team tells us in the video released by the Pentagon that they left Saudi Arabia in a rush as soon as travel arrangements were concluded. From that same tape, we understand that the sting team was composed of at least three individuals, two of which, volunteered after 9/11 to travel with the paraplegic sheikh to Afghanistan. What I find incredible with the timeline, this ten-day period, is that these three individuals already had their passports, all three managed to get visas to Iran, and made transportation arrangements on very short notice. Not to mention having to contact bin Laden, convince him to meet with them, and agree on a meeting time and place on the Iranian-Afghani border through which they were smuggled. We know the Saudi visitors were part of one of the most ingenious stings. Would those overseeing the sting wait until the last minute to secure Iranian visas, especially for the most critical member of the sting team, bin Laden’s lure, the visiting sheikh in the wheelchair? The answer is no. Visas were secured way in advance, probably before 9/11, and all that was left was convincing bin Laden to meet with them.
Based on this evaluation of the time period between August 17, 2001 and September 21, 2001, it can be concluded that a component of U.S. intelligence had prior knowledge of the 9/11 attacks and was poised to exploit it instead of stop it. Ed Haas’ later work regarding the authenticity of the “confession tape” caught the FBI saying: “the FBI has no hard evidence connecting bin Laden to 9/11.” Ed also caught the FBI admitting that authentication work on the “confession tape” is in a sealed investigative file. The FBI would rather say bin Laden is not connected to 9/11 because revealing the results of any tape authentication, a necessary process prior to submitting it in evidence to a Grand Jury, would have also revealed the complicity of U.S. intelligence.
This brings us back to the question: Is bin Laden truly responsible for 9/11? The answer is NO. Osama bin Laden is a patsy in the sense that his terror plans where most likely hijacked by intelligence operatives and who was aided and abetted at every turn during the execution of the attacks. He may actually believe that he pulled off the sum of 9/11 with his own resources, but he did not. The plan might have originated with bin Laden, but covert intelligence operatives orchestrated the outcome and aftermath. If law enforcement were allowed to do their work, bin Laden’s complicity would have been limited to conspiring and planning the attacks and thousands in Manhattan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, would have been alive today. We join hands with everyone seeking the truth about 9/11. We add our work to that of others and our voice in calling for an international and transparent investigation into the 9/11 attacks and the wars that followed.