9-11 FOURTH ANNIVERSARY
Dennis L. Cuddy, Ph.D.
With the fourth anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attacks almost here, we should keep in remembrance the thousands of lives lost that day. Unfortunately, there are still members of the press/media attempting to block progress in determining who in the American government knew what and when relevant to the attacks. After the attacks, NEWSWEEK Washington bureau chief Evan Thomas repeatedly told me "I don't believe in conspiracy theories" when I asked him about his own magazine's two reports that some top Pentagon officials on September 10, 2001 had suddenly cancelled their travel plans for the morning of 9-11 apparently because of security concerns.
Now, LOS ANGELES TIMES reporter Terry McDermott in "Seeing What We Want to See" (August 26, 2005) essentially says the information provided by the members of Project "Able Danger" (AD) is simply their imagination. One of the press criticisms regarding AD is the lack of documentation for their claim that they had identified 9-11 ringleader Mohamed Atta as a member of an Al-Qaeda terrorist cell long before the 2001 attacks. However, the lack of documentation is easily explained by AD's "classified" nature, and retention of documents for personal use would have been illegal.
After AD member Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer recently came forward to reveal their identification of Atta, he was joined by Navy Captain Scott Phillpott (Special Operations Command manager of AD), who confirmed what Shaffer had revealed. Then, defense contractor James D. Smith, who coordinated AD information sources and generated the "Al-Qaeda Global Map" with Atta's picture on it, said Atta's name came from a private researcher in California who received information from contacts in the Middle East.
German law enforcement in mid-1999 learned of Atta's acquaintance with an Al-Qaeda recruiter, and they passed this information to the CIA, which surveilled Atta from January to May 2000. Early in February 2000, Atta e-mailed a friend at a Florida university about visa requirements. It was during this January-February 2000 time that AD identified Atta, and one way in which this happened was because Atta's name was connected to Omar Abdul Rahman, who was the driving force behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. Rahman headed the Al Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn, NY, and AD identified Atta in September 2000 as a member of a Brooklyn Al-Qaeda cell after he arrived in Newark, NJ, on June 3, 2000. It's logical that Atta's name would be picked up at this point in Brooklyn as connected to Rahman, because the latter was probably monitored after his connection to the 1993 bombing was known.
In July 2000, presidential candidate George W. Bush's photo was taken in Tampa, Florida, with the family of Sami Al-Arian, who was teaching at a Florida university. At the time, Bush referred to Al-Arian's son, Abdullah (who attended Duke University in North Carolina), by his nickname "Big Dude." THE WALL STREET JOURNAL reported that Sami Al-Arian headed the World Islamic Studies Enterprise, which "brought terrorists in the U.S. and raised funds for Islamic Jihad." One of the locations for the organization Islamic Jihad in the U.S. was Raleigh, NC. Raleigh is also the city in which N.C. State University is located, from which Sami Al-Arian received a computer engineering master's and doctoral degree in 1980 and 1985 respectively.
Also in North Carolina about this time, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed attended a small college in Murfreesboro before transferring to North Carolina A&T in Greensboro in the summer of 1984. This institution was known to have a group of radical Islamists known as "the mullahs," and in 1986 Mohammed graduated with an engineering degree which helped in his planning and organizing the 9-11 attacks carried out by Atta et al.
With the fourth anniversary of 9-11 coming soon, I hope the new information provided by Able Danger will help uncover who in our government knew what and when relevant to the 2001 terrorist attacks. However, U.S. Rep. Curt Weldon (vice-chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security Committees) on Sinclair Broadcasting's "News Central" (August 26, 2005) revealed: "There are people in the Pentagon who have manipulated this process, who have in fact destroyed information, and who in fact have tried to keep this (AD information) from coming forward."
The American people need to be fully informed about all information pertaining to 9-11, so that those who could have prevented the attacks will be held accountable. In that regard, U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Arlen Specter announced on August 31 that public hearings on AD would be held September 14 "to get to the bottom of this" (THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 1, 2005). Thom Shanker in "Terrorist Known Before 9/11, More Say" (THE NEW YORK TIMES, September 2, 2005) also reported that "a Defense Department inquiry has found three more people who recall seeing an intelligence briefing slide that identified the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks a year before the hijackings and terrorist strikes, Pentagon and military officials said Thursday (Sept. 1)."
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Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (major in American History, minor in political science). Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education.
Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice. Dr. Cuddy has authored or edited twenty books and booklets, and has written hundreds of articles appearing in newspapers around the nation, including The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times and USA Today. He has been a guest on numerous radio talk shows in various parts of the country, such as ABC Radio in New York City, and he has also been a guest on the national television programs USA Today and CBS's Nightwatch.
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was during this January-February 2000 time that AD identified Atta, and
one way in which this happened was because Atta's name was connected to
Omar Abdul Rahman, who was the driving force behind the 1993 World Trade