Showing posts with label 9/11. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 9/11. Show all posts

Monday, January 2

Ron Paul says Bush was thrilled with 9/11

Ron Paul stopped in Ames, Iowa on the campaign trail on Thursday, and used some harsh words to explain.President George W Bush’s reaction to the September 11 terrorist attacks. Specifically, the Texas congressman said that the former president was pretty happy about the events. After all, said Paul, the attacks served as pretext to finally put American troops overseas in what instantly became a justifiable reason for war. “Think of what happened after 9/11,” Paul told a crowd of around 1,000 in Ames this week. “The minute before there was any assessment, there was glee in the administration because now we can invade Iraq, and so the war drums beat.”. What’s more, said the presidential hopeful, is that a decade later, the current administration is creating excitement themselves over what is erupting with enemy forces overseas. “That’s exactly what they’re doing now with Iran,”said Paul. Tensions between Washington and Tehran have been high for years, but talks of a budding nuclear program in Iran has America and its allies up in arms over what could be developing overseas.

The loss of a high-tech American drone aircraft in Iran last week has only escalated a stand-off between nations, as Washington and Tehran bicker back in forth in the days since over what the craft was doing in the skies above Iran and whether or not Iran has actually recovered the craft. Paul has been a critic of both the Bush and Obama administrations, but speaking from the campus of Iowa State this week, revealed that the excuses that each president has used to embroil American forces in overseas skirmishes are eerily similar. “I think extremists have taken over,” said Paul. “They’re the ones that run the foreign policy and that convinced us as a country to go along with all these wars.”.

From Ames on Thursday, the National Journal reports that Paul’s audience was unperturbed by the statement. A reporter with the paper relayed the statements to the rest of the world by way of Twitter, in which one critic in particular, however, shares sentiments about the libertarian-leaning GOP candidate. Former Bush administration official Ari Fleischer fired back at Paul’s statements, saying simply, “The man is nuts.”.

Paul’s statements aren’t anything new for the libertarian icon, who has opposed the Bush administration’s reaction and response to 9/11 for some time. During a televised debate of Republican Party candidates earlier this year, Paul put the blame of the attacks on America itself, saying, "They attacked us because we have been over there bombing them for 10 years."

"If we think we can do that (occupy foreign lands) and not have retaliation, we are kidding ourselves."

Wednesday, September 8

9/11 and the 9-Year War

It has now been nine years since al Qaeda attacked the United States. It has been nine years in which the primary focus of the United States has been on the Islamic world. In addition to a massive investment in homeland security, the United States has engaged in two multi-year, multi-divisional wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, inserted forces in other countries in smaller operations and conducted a global covert campaign against al Qaeda and other radical jihadist groups.
In order to understand the last nine years you must understand the first 24 hours of the war — and recall your own feelings in those 24 hours. First, the attack was a shock, its audaciousness frightening. Second, we did not know what was coming next. The attack had destroyed the right to complacent assumptions. Were there other cells standing by in the United States? Did they have capabilities even more substantial than what they showed on Sept. 11? Could they be detected and stopped? Any American not frightened on Sept. 12 was not in touch with reality. Many who are now claiming that the United States overreacted are forgetting their own sense of panic. We are all calm and collected nine years after.
At the root of all of this was a profound lack of understanding of al Qaeda, particularly its capabilities and intentions. Since we did not know what was possible, our only prudent course was to prepare for the worst. That is what the Bush administration did. Nothing symbolized this more than the fear that al Qaeda had acquired nuclear weapons and that they would use them against the United States. The evidence was minimal, but the consequences would be overwhelming. Bush crafted a strategy based on the worst-case scenario.
Bush was the victim of a decade of failure in the intelligence community to understand what al Qaeda was and wasn’t. I am not merely talking about the failure to predict the 9/11 attack. Regardless of assertions afterwards, the intelligence community provided only vague warnings that lacked the kind of specificity that makes for actionable intelligence. To a certain degree, this is understandable. Al Qaeda learned from Soviet, Saudi, Pakistani and American intelligence during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and knew how to launch attacks without tipping off the target. The greatest failure of American intelligence was not the lack of a clear warning about 9/11 but the lack, on Sept. 12, of a clear picture of al Qaeda’s global structure, capabilities, weaknesses and intentions. Without such information, implementing U.S. policy was like piloting an airplane with faulty instruments in a snowstorm at night.
The president had to do three things: First, he had to assure the public that he knew what he was doing. Second, he had to do something that appeared decisive. Third, he had to gear up an intelligence and security apparatus to tell him what the threats actually were and what he ought to do. American policy became ready, fire, aim.
In looking back at the past nine years, two conclusions can be drawn: There were no more large-scale attacks on the United States by militant Islamists, and the United States was left with the legacy of responses that took place in the first two years after 9/11. This legacy is no longer useful, if it ever was, to the primary mission of defeating al Qaeda, and it represents an effort that is retrospectively out of proportion to the threat.
If I had been told on Sept.12, 2001, that the attack the day before would be the last major attack for at least nine years, I would not have believed it. In looking at the complexity of the security and execution of the 9/11 attack, I would have assumed that an organization capable of acting once in such a way could act again even more effectively. My assumption was wrong. Al Qaeda did not have the resources to mount other operations, and the U.S. response, in many ways clumsy and misguided and in other ways clever and targeted, disrupted any preparations in which al Qaeda might have been engaged to conduct follow-on attacks.
Knowing that about al Qaeda in 2001 was impossible. Knowing which operations were helpful in the effort to block them was impossible, in the context of what Americans knew in the first years after the war began. Therefore, Washington wound up in the contradictory situation in which American military and covert operations surged while new attacks failed to materialize. This created a massive political problem. Rather than appearing to be the cause for the lack of attacks, U.S. military operations were perceived by many as being unnecessary or actually increasing the threat of attack. Even in hindsight, aligning U.S. actions with the apparent outcome is difficult and controversial. But still we know two things: It has been nine years since Sept. 11, 2001, and the war goes on.
What happened was that an act of terrorism was allowed to redefine U.S. grand strategy. The United States operates with a grand strategy derived from the British strategy in Europe — maintaining the balance of power. For the United Kingdom, maintaining the balance of power in Europe protected any one power from emerging that could unite Europe and build a fleet to invade the United Kingdom or block its access to its empire. British strategy was to help create coalitions to block emerging hegemons such as Spain, France or Germany. Using overt and covert means, the United Kingdom aimed to ensure that no hegemonic power could emerge.
The Americans inherited that grand strategy from the British but elevated it to a global rather than regional level. Having blocked the Soviet Union from hegemony over Europe and Asia, the United States proceeded with a strategy whose goal, like that of the United Kingdom, was to nip potential regional hegemons in the bud. The U.S. war with Iraq in 1990-91 and the war with Serbia/Yugoslavia in 1999 were examples of this strategy. It involved coalition warfare, shifting America’s weight from side to side and using minimal force to disrupt the plans of regional aspirants to gain power. This U.S. strategy also was cloaked in the ideology of global liberalism and human rights.
The key to this strategy was its global nature. The emergence of a hegemonic contender that could challenge the United States globally, as the Soviet Union had done, was the worst-case scenario. Therefore, the containment of emerging powers wherever they might emerge was the centerpiece of American balance-of-power strategy.
The most significant effect of 9/11 was that it knocked the United States off its strategy. Rather than adapting its standing global strategy to better address the counterterrorism issue, the United States became obsessed with a single region, the area between the Mediterranean and the Hindu Kush. Within that region, the United States operated with a balance-of-power strategy. It played off all of the nations in the region against each other. It did the same with ethnic and religious groups throughout the region and particularly within Iraq and Afghanistan, the main theaters of the war. In both cases, the United States sought to take advantage of internal divisions, shifting its support in various directions to create a balance of power. That, in the end, was what the surge strategy was all about.
The American obsession with this region in the wake of 9/11 is understandable. Nine years later, with no clear end in sight, the question is whether this continued focus is strategically rational for the United States. Given the uncertainties of the first few years, obsession and uncertainty are understandable, but as a long-term U.S. strategy — the long war that the U.S. Department of Defense is preparing for — it leaves the rest of the world uncovered.
Consider that the Russians have used the American absorption in this region as a window of opportunity to work to reconstruct their geopolitical position. When Russia went to war with Georgia in 2008, an American ally, the United States did not have the forces with which to make a prudent intervention. Similarly, the Chinese have had a degree of freedom of action they could not have expected to enjoy prior to 9/11. The single most important result of 9/11 was that it shifted the United States from a global stance to a regional one, allowing other powers to take advantage of this focus to create significant potential challenges to the United States.
One can make the case, as I have, that whatever the origin of the Iraq war, remaining in Iraq to contain Iran is necessary. It is difficult to make a similar case for Afghanistan. Its strategic interest to the United States is minimal. The only justification for the war is that al Qaeda launched its attacks on the United States from Afghanistan. But that justification is no longer valid. Al Qaeda can launch attacks from Yemen or other countries. The fact that Afghanistan was the base from which the attacks were launched does not mean that al Qaeda depends on Afghanistan to launch attacks. And given that the apex leadership of al Qaeda has not launched attacks in a while, the question is whether al Qaeda is capable of launching such attacks any longer. In any case, managing al Qaeda today does not require nation building in Afghanistan.
But let me state a more radical thesis: The threat of terrorism cannot become the singular focus of the United States. Let me push it further: The United States cannot subordinate its grand strategy to simply fighting terrorism even if there will be occasional terrorist attacks on the United States. Three thousand people died in the 9/11 attack. That is a tragedy, but in a nation of over 300 million, 3,000 deaths cannot be permitted to define the totality of national strategy. Certainly, resources must be devoted to combating the threat and, to the extent possible, disrupting it. But it must also be recognized that terrorism cannot always be blocked, that terrorist attacks will occur and that the world’s only global power cannot be captive to this single threat.
The initial response was understandable and necessary. The United States must continue its intelligence gathering and covert operations against militant Islamists throughout the world. The intelligence failures of the 1990s must not be repeated. But waging a multi-divisional war in Afghanistan makes no strategic sense. The balance-of-power strategy must be used. Pakistan will intervene and discover the Russians and Iranians. The great game will continue. As for Iran, regional counters must be supported at limited cost to the United States. The United States should not be patrolling the far reaches of the region. It should be supporting a balance of power among the native powers of the region.
The United States is a global power and, as such, it must have a global view. It has interests and challenges beyond this region and certainly beyond Afghanistan. The issue there is not whether the United States can or can’t win, however that is defined. The issue is whether it is worth the effort considering what is going on in the rest of the world. Gen. David Petraeus cast the war in terms of whether the United States can win it. That’s reasonable; he’s the commander. But American strategy has to ask another question: What does the United States lose elsewhere while it focuses on the future of Kandahar?
The 9/11 attack shocked the United States and made counterterrorism the centerpiece of American foreign policy. That is too narrow a basis on which to base U.S. foreign policy. It is certainly an important strand of that policy, and it must be addressed, but it should be addressed through the regional balance of power. It is the good fortune of the United States that the Islamic world is torn by internal rivalries.
This is not dismissing the threat of terror. It is recognizing that the United States has done well in suppressing it over the past nine years but at a cost in other regions, a cost that can’t be sustained indefinitely and a cost that could well result in challenges more threatening than a rising Islamist militancy. The United States must now settle into a long-term strategy of managing terrorism as best as it can while not neglecting the rest of its interests.
After nine years, the issue is not what to do in Afghanistan but how the global power can return to managing all of its global interests, along with the war on al Qaeda.

"9/11 and the 9-Year War is republished with permission of STRATFOR."

Thursday, July 29

Before they realized the world had changed

The texts make for fascinating reading, and provoke some good discussions of the cliched, "Where were you when it happened?" variety. But a source I've found even more interesting, if chilling, is the Sept. 11 Television Archive (, you can watch television coverage of the event as it happened, starting even before the attacks began. The videos cover the major American broadcasters -- CNN, ABC, CBS, NBC and Fox --as well as the BBC. The passage of time has not dulled the horror. It's still as much a kick in the gut as it was eight years ago. Indeed, watching the coverage again this morning, my eyes were glued to the handy little clocks the networks insert into their broadcasts alongside their corporate logos. A literal countdown. It's like watching a tragedy from afar, knowing it's going to happen, but being helpless to stop it. The feeling of dread is still overpowering. The footage also has a whiff of surreal absurdity about it, something that would be darkly funny were it not so horrid. While the first plane struck at 8:46 that morning, setting the North Tower of the World Trade Center ablaze, the networks carried on with their original programming schedules, unaware that the world had just changed. Particularly awful is the archived footage taken from Fox 5 in Washington, D.C., where a reporter is interviewing a travel agent about cruises for singles looking for love. The segment ends with the reporter, the travel agent and a group of representative lonely hearts belting out the theme from The Love Boat. Meanwhile, several hundred miles away, thousands of New Yorkers were being forced to choose between leaping from their office windows or burning to death. While the example of Fox 5 is particularly cringe-inducing, the other networks were little better. CBS' The Early Show had a guest from Gourmet magazine discussing the arrival of fettucini alfredo in America when the North Tower was hit. ABC's Charles Gibson was interviewing Duchess Sarah Ferguson about her weight loss and self-esteem from ABC's studios not far from what had just become Ground Zero. Over at NBC, Katie Couric had just finished interviewing Harry Belafonte and Matt Lauer had begun an incredibly awkward talk with a far-too-enthusiastic author hawking his new biography of Howard Hughes when Lauer suddenly broke away and cut to commercial before delivering the somber news. It's hard to reconcile the weight 9/11 holds in our civilization's collective consciousness with the utterly irrelevent fluff that was considered news when the world awoke that morning. Everyone recalls not just the day's events, but the total hysteria of the days that followed. It was all-catastrophe, all-the-time, and it went on week after week. The footage before news of the attacks breaks is a peek back to a lost era, not necessarily better, but certainly more innocent. It can't be said that the attacks changed the nature of our media's obsession with the trivial; the interviews with television and music stars that came just moments before the attacks would not seem at all out of place today. There are other fascinating moments in the footage. The very genesis of many of the wackier 9/11 conspiracy theories can be found in the confused, panicky broadcasts (Was it a bomb? A missile? No, it was a plane, but a small plane!). It's also interesting to compare how the anchors responded to the attacks. CBS's Bryant Gumbel seems completely overwhelmed, unable to grasp that the collisions were deliberate, despite detailed reports from eyewitnesses who make it clear that the planes manoeuvred directly into the towers. Charles Gibson and Diane Sawyer at ABC are much quicker, with Gibson saying almost immediately after the second impact that a "concerted effort to attack" America was underway. As illuminating as these other issues are, however, it's still hard to get past the first minutes of the attacks, while reporters and hosts babble pleasantly through their morning shows, contentedly ignorant that the course of history was being changed forever, in some cases a mere handful of city blocks away. (Thanks to Matt Gurney and National Post)

Tuesday, February 16

9/11: Criminal justice or military tribunal?

16 February, 2010, 07:37

The Obama administration is considering "multiple options" for trying the alleged mastermind of the 9/11 attacks - Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

        But the idea of holding the trial in a New York court – or by special military tribunal instead – has sparked a furious row with U.S. Vice President Joe Biden accusing New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg of exaggerating the estimated trial costs.

Biden has said that New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg exaggerated and inflated the potential cost that the 9/11 trial would come to if held in New York City.

Hundreds of millions of dollars that Bloomberg has suggested are actually much more than would have been needed, Biden said.

Over the past few days the White House has reconsidering holding the trial in New York and, rather, in the form of a criminal hearing. US officials are saying that trying Haled Sheikh Mohammed in a military tribunal is a distinct possibility.

Legal experts are saying that there is a very big difference between a military tribunal and the criminal justice system for the simple reason that the criminal justice system has been around for two hundred years and the military tribunal has no charted system of how trials should be held.

Monday, February 15

9/11 Trial Plan, Holder Hones Political Ear

Last winter, when Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. called the United States a “nation of cowards” for avoiding frank conversations on race, President Obama mildly rebuked him in public. 

Monday, January 18

11 settembre 2001: NOI NON VI CREDIAMO!

Un numero sempre maggiore di persone dubita della teoria ufficiale dell'11 settembre. Tra questi più di 400 scienziati. Leggi qui.

Thursday, December 17

“World Trade Center”


In an effort that has stretched nearly a decade, some families of 9/11 victims have fought to have the remains of their relatives identified and put to rest.

In 2002, they organized as the WTC Families for Proper Burial Inc. They sued the city in 2005, then appealed after they lost in 2008.

On Wednesday, in a spirited hearing interrupted occasionally by gasps, a three-judge panel of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit listened to arguments on behalf of the 17 plaintiffs in what is quite likely their final legal chance. The families seek to have nearly one million tons of material from Fresh Kills on Staten Island, where debris from the World Trade Center collapse was taken, moved to a nearby site so it can be sifted and put in a cemetery.

“It comes down to this: Are we prepared to leave hundreds of body parts and human remains on top of a garbage dump?” said Norman Siegel, the lawyer for the plaintiffs, arguing that to do less would deprive relatives of their constitutional rights.

The group of plaintiffs, which says it has support from 1,000 other relatives, was challenging a July 2008 decision by Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein of Federal District Court, who found that city workers had done everything in their power to find remains.

But as it did last year, the city argues that the plaintiffs have no claims to the remains because they cannot prove they belong to their relatives, which also makes them ineligible to bring a complaint on behalf of non-family members. The removal would also be too costly, the city says.

In the hearing’s sharpest exchange, when Judge Anthony O. Calabrese Jr. asked what it would take to prove someone’s identity, James E. Tyrrell, a lawyer representing the city, said, “You have to be able to particularize and say it’s your body part.”

“All that’s left here is a bunch of undifferentiated dust,” Mr. Tyrrell added, eliciting gasps and muttered “no’s” from a crowd whose members wore laminated photos of deceased relatives around their necks.

But Diane Horning of Scotch Plains, N.J., whose son Matthew worked on the 95th floor of the north tower, said she found many trade center-related items at the landfill on dozens of trips there. She produced some of them outside the courtroom.

A corroded key, marked with the words  came from a gulley formed after a rainstorm, she said. In a plastic bag, there were two sizeable bone fragments that Ms. Horning said came from Fresh Kills, though she had never had them tested for DNA to see if they belonged to victims of 9/11.

With methane gas bubbling up from the soil there, “it’s a disrespectful, dishonorable place,” said Ms. Horning, the president of the group.

During the hearing, which was also presided over by Judge José A. Cabranes and Judge Barrington D. Parker, Mr. Siegel accused the city of reneging on its promise to set aside victims’ remains, a change in policy that he said happened in July 2002.

“They commingled it, and then they dumped it,” Mr. Siegel said of the remains’ being mixed with household trash, adding that a Fresh Kills worker had witnessed city employees use that mixture to fill potholes.

The reference brought a shake of the head from Valerie Speller, who was there to honor her brother John Candela, who worked in the north tower.

“I think the whole thing’s pretty deplorable,” Ms. Speller said after the hearing. “I don’t think there was any human compassion from the city.”

Monday, November 23


New York, 12 set. - (Adnkronos/Newsday) - Nelle ultime due settimane erano stati rafforzate le misure di sicurezza al World Trade Center, in seguito ad una serie di telefonate di minaccia. Ma proprio ieri erano state abolite le misure extra di sicurezza, mentre i cani addestrati a fiutare l'esplosivo non erano piu' in servizio da giovedi. Lo ha riferito Daria Coard, 37 anni, di guardia alla Torre Uno. Ha pero' aggiunto che le misure di sicurezza puntavano ad impedire un ATTACCO a livello dell'ingresso. ''Non ci immaginavamo che l'avrebbero fatto con gli aerei'' -ha detto. (Civ/Zn/Adnkronos) 12-SET-01 12:13


New York, 11 set. - (Adnkronos) - ''Non e' un ATTACCO isolato, un ATTACCO da un'ambasciata, ma un ATTACCO integrato: qualsiasi organizzazione che sia dietro a questo deve avere grandi risorse, non e' un ATTACCO che si prepara in un retrobottega''. Cosi' l'ex segretario di Stato americano, Henry Kissinger, intervistato dalla Cnn in Germania (''stavo pronunciando un discorso, mi hanno interrotto per darmi la notizia, non ci volevo credere, nessuno ci voleva credere nella sala''), esprime la convinzione che gli Stati Uniti si trovano di fronte al peggior ATTACCO contro il proprio territorio della storia. ''Sono d'accordo con i senatori che hanno detto che e' peggio di Pearl Harbour'' ha aggiunto. Per questo ora gli Stati Uniti dovranno formulare un piano ''per sdradicare la fonte di questo attacco'' e per mettere sotto pressione i paesi che danno ospitalita' e rifugio a queste organizzazioni. (Ses/Rs/Adnkronos) 11-SET-01 20:12


TRA I SOSPETTABILI ANCHE IL FPLP E L'IRAQ Londra, 12 set. (Adnkronos/Dpa) - Anche i sospetti della prestigiosa rivista di Difesa britannica 'Jane's' si concentrano principalmente su Osama Bin Laden e sulla rete terroristica che il miliardario che guida la lista dei ricercati dalle autorita' americane gestisce nel mondo, 'Al Qa'eda'. Bin Laden, ricorda infatti 'Jane's', ha dimostrato di avere la capacita' di gestire con implacabile efficacia le operazioni che intraprende: a lui e' attribuita tra l'altro la paternita' del duplice attentato dinamitardo compiuto contro le ambasciate americane in Kenya e Tanzania nel 1998. ''L'ideologia estremista che guida Bin Laden - prosegue la rivista - e' tale da includere molto probabilmente tra i 'modus operandi' suoi e dei suoi seguaci la formula dell'attentato suicida''. Senza dimenticare infine - come riportato dalla Bbc - che tre settimane fa Bin Laden aveva avvertito che ci sarebbe stato un ATTACCO contro New York come rappresaglia per l'appoggio americano a Israele. Tra gli altri sospetti, 'Jane's' indica il Fronte Popolare per la Liberazione della Palestina, che avrebbe sia un possibile ''movente'' per compiere un ATTACCO contro gli Stati Uniti, visti come principali alleati di Israele, in seguito all'assassinio del suo segretario generale Abu Ali Mustafa, sia una lunga esperienza di atti terroristici alle spalle, dai dirottamenti agli attentati dinamitardi. Ma al FPLP mancherebbe la rete organizzativa necessaria per realizzare un ATTACCO delle proporzioni di quello di ieri. Infine Saddam Hussein: secondo la rivista britannica il rais iracheno potrebbe essere un plausibile candidato al coinvolgimento in azioni di questo tipo: finanziamenti e appoggio logistico da parte di Baghdad non possono essere esclusi, scrive, anche se l'Iraq non ha alle spalle una lunga lista di attacchi lanciati al di fuori della regione mediorientale. (Nic/Pe/Adnkronos) 12-SET-01 16:34


Washington, 19 mar. (Adnkronos) - ''Le truppe angloamericane entreranno in IRAQ dal Kuwait, mentre gli aerei bombarderanno senza pausa. Bassora cadra' dopo 24 ore, Baghdad dopo 96. La capitale non diventera' una nuova Stalingrado. E Saddam non usera' armi chimiche. Entro una settimana il paese sara' liberato. Il difficile viene dopo''. Queste le previsioni della vigilia del consulente del Pentagono, Edward Luttwak, che in un'intervista al 'Quotidiano Nazionale mentre e' in partenza per il Kuwait, afferma che la guerra durera' ''una settimana al massimo''. (Rre-Pag/Gs/Adnkronos) 19-MAR-03 09:52

Saturday, November 14

A Look at Law Enforcement After 9/11

(NCJ 227346, 32 pp.) provides the findings of a study on the two law enforcement agencies that dealt most directly with the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. This report discusses best practices for responding to future incidents; it is designed for chiefs and managers of law enforcement and other first-responder agencies. (NIJ)

Friday, September 11



Mourns 9/11 attack victims

11 September, 2009, 15:00
A memorial service to commemorate the victims of the 9/11 attacks on the US has been held at the Church of St. Catherine the Great Martyr in Moscow.
The US Ambassador to Russia, John Beyrle, gave an emotional speech. He said people, for the sake of their children, should join forces to build a world in which terrorists would not be able to justify their actions or to find refuge.
"The United States remembers how after those attacks, people were bringing flowers, icons and toys to its embassies all over the world, including in Moscow," Beyrle said.
People in all countries denounced the September 11 attacks, as well as the Beslan and Nord Ost tragedies, he added.
"This fight against terrorism involves those who believe in tolerance and love and those who are on the side of hatred and fear," the American ambassador said.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, speaking at the sixth session of the Valdai Discussion Club, said Russia mourns the victims of September 11 attacks, “just as we did back in 2001.”
“We mourn the victims of the September 11 attacks, just as we did back in 2001. Like no other country, Russia knows what a terrorist act is like. On September 3, we too commemorated those killed in terror attacks in Russia,” he said.
“It’s yet another reminder that we have to put aside any differences and join forces in the face of common challenges,” Putin added.
The Valdai Club is a gathering of the world’s leading experts on Russia.

“Sixty-seven times in that year, 2001,” says Judge, “there had been air emergencies. They can get a plane up in 6 to 10 minutes, and scrambled 67 times that year in air emergencies, but there was not an instance where an air emergency went ignored for long periods of time – until 9/11.”

911 Reason why 9/11 was (probably) an inside job. Part II. The Pentagon Crash

11 September, 2009, 14:28
Andrews Air Force Base is a mere 10 miles away from the Pentagon, yetT 3: Osama bin Laden: America’s most-unwanted wanted man 1 hour and 20 minutes after the attacks began not a single fighter jet had been activated to intercept American Airlines Flight 77.


Consider the following: On October 25, 1999, a tiny Learjet 35 departed from Orlando, Florida that was carrying Payne Stewart, a professional American golfer. About 14 minutes after departing from the airport, the control tower lost contact with his plane. So the air-traffic controllers, following rigid protocol regarding lost aircraft, immediately notified the US Air Force.
According to FAA official transcripts, “At 9:52 a U.S. Air Force F-16 from the 40th Flight Test Squadron at the Englin Air Force was vectored toward the aircraft.”
At 9:54 – just two minutes after the command to intercept had been ordered – the fighter jet had already spotted Payne Stewart's wayward aircraft.
The pilot of the F-16 reported that both engines on the plane were working, but the cockpit windows were covered with condensation or frost, a sign that the cabin had depressurized without the necessary oxygen reserves. Things looked very bad for the occupants of the aircraft.
Both the Learjet and the F-16 were now over the state of Illinois, many miles from the departing point. The F-16 from Englin stopped pursuing the Learjet and landed at Scott Air Force Base in Illinois for refueling and probably a cigarette.

At this point, two Oklahoma F-16s (Codenamed, TULSA 13) were then vectored to intercept the “accident airplane” by the Minneapolis ARTCC (Air Route Traffic Control Center). Neither pilots of those two planes, which flew within meters of the disabled aircraft, noticed anything mechanically wrong with the tiny aircraft. But still the pilot of the Learjet did not respond. Minutes later, the TULSA 13 jets handed off the plane to two F-16s stationed in North Dakota (Codenamed, NODAK 32). One of the pilots from this new sortie reported, “We’ve got two visuals on it… the cockpit window is iced over and there’s no displacement in any of the control surfaces…”
Twenty minutes later, one of the jets from the NODAK 32 team remained to the west of the Learjet, while the TULSA 13 F-16 followed the Learjet down.
“The target is descending and he is doing multiple aileron rolls, looks like he is out of control,”  the TULSA 13 pilot radioed back to his command station. “It’s soon to impact the ground he is in a descending spiral.”
The plane crashes and all of the passengers, who probably died long before the plane had hit the ground, were killed.
Compare: On Sept. 11 at 9:37 a.m., one hour and twenty minutes after the hijackings were reported, American Airlines Flight 77 slams into the west wall of the Pentagon without ever being followed, intercepted or shot down by US fighter jets.
How does NORAD account for the fact that five (5) state-of-the-art F-16 fighter jets, activated from various air force bases, trailed a tiny wayward Learjet halfway across the United States, yet failed to vector a single aircraft to inspect four commercial jets that were carrying hundreds of passengers across many miles of heavily populated, strategically sensitive territory? It does not compute.
Despite possessing highly sophisticated aircraft that can fly faster than the speed of sound (2,400 km per hour), and shoot down targets from many miles away, the U.S. Air Force opted not to activate a single fighter jet to intercept, tag, or at least investigate, four lumbering commercial jets that had wandered off their courses for periods ranging from 20 to 90 minutes.
“Anytime an airliner goes off course,” says Robert Bowman, a pilot and decorated Vietnam veteran, “or loses radio communication, or loses its transponder signal – anytime any one of those three things happen, the aircraft is supposed to be intercepted.”
“On 9/11, all three of those things happen,” continues Bowman in the film Zero, “and still there was no intercept. Those planes flew for 20 minutes to an hour-and-a-half without ever being intercepted.”
But there was no shortage of fighter jets available, we must assume, since there are sixteen (16) Air Force bases located in the northeast of the United States. So why weren’t the large, slow-moving Boeing jets intercepted?
The official version of the story says that NORAD was notified too late; in other words, the air traffic controllers were not on the ball on 9/11. This argument seems equally implausible. John Judge, a 9/11 investigator for former Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, said that 9/11 was the first time in the year 2001 that an air emergency went ignored.
“Sixty-seven times in that year, 2001,” says Judge, “there had been air emergencies. They can get a plane up in 6 to 10 minutes, and scrambled 67 times that year in air emergencies, but there was not an instance where an air emergency went ignored for long periods of time – until 9/11.”
One good explanation for the eerily empty skies over New York, Washington and Pennsylvania on 9/11 had a lot to do with a bizarre memorandum (entitled “Aircraft Piracy and Destruction of Derelict Airborne Objects”) that former Vice President Dick Cheney rammed through the Defense Department on June 1, 2001, exactly three months before 9/11.
Despite warnings from intelligence-collecting agencies that a terrorist strike was becoming an increasing threat (a presidential brief, for example, entitled “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in US” landed on George W. Bush’s desk from the FBI on August 6 that makes direct mention of the Al-Qaeda leader wanting to “hijack a US aircraft to… gain release of US-held extremists”), Cheney inexplicably relieves NORAD of its long-standing responsibility to intercept and shoot down hijacked airplanes that pose a major threat on the ground.
In other words, the U.S. generals had their hands tied on 9/11, and could not even scramble jets without a direct order from the Pentagon. That command, of course, never came.
It should be no surprise as to who failed to pick up the telephone at the Pentagon on the morning of Sept. 11. Yes, Donald Rumsfeld. Where was he? Strangely, nobody could find him. Indeed, the official 9/11 Commission report states that the Defense Secretary “was untraceable until 10:30a.m.”
Eventually, US Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld was caught on film shortly after the crash of Flight 77, assisting with the rescue efforts on the lawn of the Pentagon. Although this humanly gesture must be commended, it seems to be completely at odds with Rumsfeld’s most critical job duty, which was to give clearance for NORAD to shoot down or intercept hijacked aircraft according to Cheney’s updated (and short-lived) memorandum mentioned above.
On the lawn of the Pentagon, tending to the wounded was not the right place for the Defense Secretary who should have been sitting near the phone, coordinating our national defenses. And how did Rumsfeld know for certain that another plane might not drop out of the sky, indeed as had been wildly rumored? Wouldn’t his expertise and command have been much more helpful inside of the Pentagon?
Or maybe the absence of any aircraft in America’s skies besides hijacked ones had something to do with a secret exercise that was based upon “the fiction” of a hijacked plane crashing into a building. When did that military exercise occur? Yes, on the very morning of Sept. 11.
“In what the government describes as a bizarre coincidence,” reports the Associated Press exactly one year after 9/11, “one US intelligence agency was planning an exercise last Sept. 11 in which an errant aircraft would crash into one of its buildings"
“Officials at the… National Reconnaissance Office had scheduled an exercise that morning in which a small corporate jet would crash into one of the four towers at the agency’s headquarters…,” the AP article revealed.
Is what follows just another coincidence? You be the judge: The National Reconnaissance Office, which operates many of the nation’s spy satellites, sits just four miles away from Washington’s Dulles International Airport. And it was from Dulles Airport where American Airlines Flight 77 – the Boeing 757 that was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon – departed at 8:10 a.m. on Sept. 11, fifty minutes before the crash exercise at the intelligence agency was scheduled to begin.
If there was a better way to obfuscate the already high level of pandemonium that existed on Sept. 11 than to plan a terrorist hijacking exercise similar to the “real-world” one in progress, I personally cannot imagine it. Indeed, precious minutes were wasted as the agency and the air traffic controllers debated if it was the exercise they were witnessing on their radar screens, or “the real thing.”
Alright, so one of the most elite air forces in the world allowed a large, lumbering commercial jet to strike one of the world’s best protected military installations in the world. Fine, mistakes happen, even impossible mistakes, we could say with a shrug. But what about the batteries of surface-to-air missiles that reportedly surround the Pentagon? Surely the Pentagon’s defense ring would have intercepted American Airlines Flight 77 (Thierry Meyssan, the French journalist who caused a sensation with his book entitled “9/11: The Big Lie,” stated that the Pentagon is protected by “five missile batteries.” Some commentators refute that claim, saying there are no such batteries on the grounds of the Pentagon. Meyssan, however, defends his source of information: “The presence of these anti-missile batteries was testified to me by French officers to whom they were shown during an official visit to the Pentagon. This was later confirmed to me by a Saudi officer”).
April Gallop, a US Army administrative specialist, was working inside the Pentagon on 9/11. In response to a question presented by George Washington’s blog, Gallop responded that the real question is, “what is the probability or likelihood that no anti-aircraft defense, warning alarms or additional security mechanism functioned on that particular day?”
Gallop has since retired from the Pentagon due to her injuries sustained on 9/11.

Missing-in-action video camera footage

Although we may never know for sure if the Pentagon is surrounded with a surface-to-air missile defense system, we do know that the building employs a small contingency of video cameras – 85 to be exact – that dutifully capture every conceivable angle of the hallowed grounds. And according to a senior journalist from the US Department of Defense, the FBI collected all of the footage from these cameras shortly after the attacks.
“The FBI was immediately at the scene and took the surveillance tapes and confiscated 85 videotapes,” said Barbara Honegger, a senior journalist with the Department of Defense (DoD).
Although collecting the videos may be considered “routine intelligence gathering,” failing to share the footage with your fellow citizens for no apparent reason seems a bit odd, if not outright scandalous. But in yet another inexplicable move, that is exactly what the FBI did. Not until 2006 did the Department of Defense (DoD) back down to freedom of information requests, handing over four tapes from their stash of 85 available. Isn’t that being a bit stingy with the vintage video collection? Beggars can’t be choosers, apparently.

Pentagon on fire after terrorist attack, September 11, 2001 (Photo by Dennis Whitehead)
Anyways, two of the tapes released by the DoD show only a vague plume of smoke in the distance and so are of absolutely no use to researchers. The remaining two tapes, taken from the Pentagon’s parking lot entrance, show what appears to be the tip of some sort of approaching vehicle – and that is all – before a huge fireball is seen erupting against the wall of the building. Nothing remotely resembling a Boeing 757, or even the smallest airplane for that matter, is evident in the released video clip.
“Quite frankly, there’s not enough in those photographs to tell exactly what it was,” says Captain Russ Wittemberg, a pilot with 30 years experience in military and civilian aviation. “But you can tell what it wasn’t. It didn’t have the size… If it was a real 757-200 it would be much bigger than the vehicle we do see in the picture.”
The Pentagon explained that the lack of an airplane in the video clip was due to the speed of the aircraft; the lumbering commercial aircraft somehow managed to squeeze its formidbel proportions right between the frames of the video! Yes, the Boeing 757-200 was just too tiny a target, it seems, to have been captured on those sophisticated surveillance cameras.
According to an affidavit by Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent Counterterrorism Division of the FBI, “fifty-six (56) of these videotapes did not show either the Pentagon building, the Pentagon crash site, or the impact of Flight 77 into the Pentagon on Sept. 11, 2001.”
Maguire goes on to explain that “I personally viewed the remaining twenty-nine (29) videotapes.” Yet she concluded that there was “nothing of interest” for the public to gain from having access to those tapes.
Again, we are reduced to asking more silly “why” questions, which should have been provided from the beginning: If the Pentagon perimeter was ringed with security cameras, why were approximately three-fourths of the devices not aimed at the building itself? And if they were aimed away from the complex, as alleged, how could a Boeing 757-200 commercial jet fail to get captured by all of the video cameras? Finally, why did Maguire “personally view” just 29 of the available 85 tapes? Why did she not have privilege to all of them? Certainly she must have been curious. And if it was not Maguire who viewed the other 56 tapes, who did view them?

Boeing 757s (and amateur pilots) cannot perform acrobatic maneuvers

Perhaps the reason that the Pentagon’s army of video cameras failed to catch any sign of a commercial jet was because the hulking Boeing 757 was up in the air performing graceful acrobatic maneuvers before its final descent and crash. At least this is what the official version of the Pentagon crash would have us believe.
Before plowing into the Pentagon building, the Boeing 757 seems to have performed a death defying 270-degree turn at the speed of approximately 88 kilometers per hour, official data says. Experienced flight personnel, however, say “no way.”
“That is a really difficult maneuver,” commented Robin Hordon, a flight controller for 11 years at Boston Center. “And what I will say to you is that an experienced pilot with thousands of hours probably would have to take between 10 and 20 attempts… before they would be able to pull off that maneuver.”

Boeing 757
“A 757 is not designed to do that,” Hordon continued. “The 757 is designed to be a cruise ship in the sky. It’s not acrobatic. So you just can’t do that with one of those big airplanes.”
“The speed, the maneuverability, the way that it turned,” commented Danielle O’Brien, air traffic controller from Dulles airport, “we all thought in the radar room, all of us experienced air traffic controllers, that that was a military plane.”
Then there is the assertion that the aircraft was flying at 6 meters above the ground at 580 kilometers per hour for one kilometer before hitting its target.
“The story is Flight 77 was going 530 miles per hour, 460 knots… it can’t go that fast down that low,” says Wittemberg. “The air is too dense at such low altitudes.”
“I challenge any pilot,” says Nila Sagadevan, a pilot and aeronautical engineer, “give him a Boeing 757 and tell him to do 400 knots 20 feet above the ground for half a mile. You can’t do it. It’s aerodynamically impossible.”
So given the extreme unlikelihood that even a seasoned pilot would be able to pull off such a maneuver, how could Hani Hanjour, who could not even negotiate a tiny Cessna 172, be the man who performed these next-to-impossible flying maneuvers before zeroing in on the Pentagon.
“I’m still to this day amazed that he could have flown into the Pentagon,” said one of Hanjour’s past flight instructors in an interview with The New York Times. “He could not fly at all.”
“His instructor described him as a terrible pilot,” admitted the 9/11 Commission report, quoting an FBI memorandum. Another flight instructor went so far as to call Mohamed Atta and Abdulaziz Al-Omari, the alleged hijackers of Flight 11, “dumb and dumber in an airplane.”
“For a guy to just jump into the cockpit and fly like an ace is impossible,” says Wittenberg, in an interview with Lewis News. “There is not one chance in a thousand.”
The ex-commercial pilot then recalled that when he made the jump from Boeing’s 727 to the much more sophisticated 737’s and then on to the 767’s it took him “considerable time” to feel comfortable with the changes.
So it is little wonder that the 9/11 commission report says that “the President (George W. Bush) was struck by the apparent sophistication of the operation and some of the piloting, especially Hanjour’s high-speed dive into the Pentagon.”
Yes, almost unbelievable.

Disappearance of Flight 77 after hitting the Pentagon

Whenever an airplane crashes, we are only too familiar with grim television news reports that show close-up footage of physical wreckage, including engines, seats, luggage, and wheel assemblies. But this is the truly inexplicable thing about the crash of Flight 77 into the Pentagon: there is practically no sign of a wrecked aircraft after the crash. All that remains of Flight 77 is about a dozen small pieces, most of which can be lifted by hand.
On September 9, 1994, US Air Flight 427 crashed into a wooded area outside of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. According to data retrieved from the plane’s black box, the plane went into a vertical roll at a height of 3,600 feet just after the captain announced an emergency. Witnesses at the scene told investigators that the plane “dove into the ground at full speed.”
Despite slamming into the ground at a great speed and distance and exploding, large remains of the aircraft were nevertheless discovered over a wide area.
“The largest part of the plane… believed to be the tail,” reported the EmergencyNet news Service. “Bits of baggage, shredded parts of the plane, and severed limbs are reportedly strewn over a large area.”
Compare this routine crash scene with that reported (once) by a CNN anchor from his “close-up inspection” at the Pentagon:
“From my close-up inspection, there’s no evidence of a plane having crashed anywhere near the Pentagon,” he commented live from the scene. “The only pieces left that you can see are small enough that you can pick up in your hand. There are no large tail sections, wing sections, a fuselage, nothing like that anywhere around which would indicate that the entire plane crashed into the side of the Pentagon.”
There was also a firsthand report from a fighter pilot who was ordered by Major General Larry Arnold, the commander of NORAD, the agency that is charged with protecting the airspace over North America.
According to Honegger, the senior journalist with the U.S. Department of Defense, the pilot made an overpass of the crash zone and reported back to command center that “there was no evidence, zero evidence, of an impact of a plane at the Pentagon.”
As questions over the whereabouts of the mysteriously disappearing aircraft began to mount, the Department of the Defense began to support the theory that Flight 77 simply “vaporized” due to the speed that it was traveling.
So, in addition to being forced to accept the new science that steel buildings collapse due to fire, we are also expected to swallow yet another “unprecedented event” that happened on that truly mysterious morning of September 11: all those practically indestructible components of an aircraft – engines, landing gear, tail and wings – just vaporized into thin air.
The engines of a Boeing 757-200 are about 9 feet long and composed of titanium, the strongest of metals that resists melting even at 3,000 degrees Celsius. So why was there no evidence of these engines against the wall of the Pentagon? The two big holes that we would expect to see are not there. There should have been a line of complete destruction before the collapse of the building’s external wall. It’s simply not there. Instead, where the wings of the aircraft should have struck the building, in cooperation with the mighty engines, there are unbroken windows clearly visible.
Only a small hole, 16 foot (5 meters) in diameter, was visible in the side of the Pentagon 45 minutes before the wall collapsed. Certainly, a Boeing 757-200, which weighs over 100 tons, carries a much larger footprint.
Boeing 757’s are 150 feet long. The engines of these monster aircraft are 9 feet long. The landing gear also contains huge metal components, made of titanium, that are virtually indestructible. How can 60 tons of airplane vanish into thin air with barely a trace?
“There’s no indication of the wings hitting anything at the Pentagon,” says Capt. Russ Wittemberg, a 30-year veteran of military and civilian aviation.
“Perhaps at a certain moment,” quipped Dario Fo, a Nobel Prize winner, “the airplane somehow closed up its wings, just as dragon flies do, and the plane entered the hole!”
“I look at the hole in the Pentagon,” said Maj. General Albert Stubblebine, whose former job was to measure pieces of Soviet equipment taken from photographs during the Cold War, “and I look at the size of the airplane that was supposed to have hit the Pentagon, and the plane does not fit in that hole.”
Stubblebine then asked, with no lack of emotion: “So what did hit the Pentagon? What’s going on?”
Whatever it was that hit the Pentagon on 9/11, it slammed through 6 massive walls before leaving a nearly perfect circular exit hole deep inside the military complex that measured approximately 12 feet across. In other words, nothing remotely resembling an airplane.
“With all the evidence readily available at the Pentagon crash site,” concludes Col. George Nelson, an aircraft accident investigator with the US Air Force, “any unbiased, rational investigator could only conclude that a Boeing 757 did not fly into the Pentagon.”
Not a single individual lost their job following the worst terrorist attacks to strike the USA.

911 Reason why 9/11 was (probably) an inside job. Part II. The Pentagon Crash

“Stop the 9-11 cover-up”

American citizens are pounding the streets, still searching for answers because the official version of the 9/11events has failed to satisfy many people, and there are calls for a fresh investigation into the tragedy.The push for another investigation into the 9/11 attacks grows larger with each passing year, particularly today when the US is commemorating the eighth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, which claimed almost three thousand lives.

Manuel Badillo’s uncle died when the Twin Towers came down. He believes the US leaders had prior knowledge of the impending attacks but consciously failed to act.
He asks, “Why was there no justice yet? Why is there no accountability?”

Badillo is among roughly 80,000 New Yorkers petitioning for a new, impartial, probe to answer the questions many believe state and federal officials are failing to address.
Manuel Badillo says, "The majority of family members do not believe the story. First responders do not believe what they were told by the government. All of this turned out to be lies, what we have been told. 60% of the commissioners do not believe the story they received."
Critics say the 9/11 Commission Report, presented as the official version of events, failed to hold a single individual accountable for the numerous warnings leading up to, on and after September 11.
The NYC Coalition of Accountability Now (CAN) is an organization that is focused on getting a referendum during this November’s mayoral election, to allow New Yorkers the chance to vote for a new 9/11 investigation.
“It’s absolutely essential for the world, for the well-being of the world, that we understand why 9/11 occurred; who was behind it,” says Ted Walter, executive director of CAN. “Because if we have a false understanding, we’re going to be basing policies on that false understanding.”
Pressure’s even coming from the west coast – Hollywood actor Charlie Sheen has written a 15-page public letter to the president calling for another 9/11 inquiry.
But a move like Sheen’s can be quite a gamble in the domain of American public opinion. Just ask Van Jones, Obama’s former ‘green jobs tsar’. He stepped down because of hysteria over his support for and association with 9/11 truth-finders.
“Van Jones should have stuck to his feelings and to his democratic actions that he took, and his intuition, because the majority of Americans, the majority of New Yorkers, all the polls show it, know the government did not tell us the entire story about 9/11,” says Manuel Badillo.
Eight years ago all New Yorkers were standing shoulder-to-shoulder on the day nearly three thousand people perished from terrorist attacks. Now the citizens are standing on one side, police officers on the other, and many are asking for accountability, a demand from which these Americans refuse to back off.

11/09/01 - 11/09/09. IL NUOVO BIN LADEN.

Parli oggi di Osama bin Laden ai guerrieri di Hezbollah, ai miliziani ' di Hamas, ai più radicali tra i nazionalisti arabi, e la loro prima reazione, di solito, è un ghigno. Dopo quel ghigno ti spiegano che loro non l'hanno mai bevuta, avevano capito subito che bin Laden è un uomo del Mossad, uno strumento della Cia, proprio a voler essere generosi l'utile idiota usato dal neocolonialismo occidentale per invadere l'Iraq, l'Afghanistan, le terre dell' Islam...

Neppure la popolarità di George W. Bush è precipitata alla velocità vertiginosa con la quale è caduto il consenso di cui godeva il saudita nelle opinioni pubbliche arabe, anche le più inclini all'estremismo. Alla fine del 2001 bin Laden appariva a molti la nuova Spada dell'Islam, il Vendicatore, il Condottiero che avrebbe guidato la nazione araba alla riscossa. L'11 settembre 2001 colpi l'America e terrorizzò il mondo. Ma oggi la popolarità di Osama bin Laden, è in netto calo fra gli islamici. Nonostante tutto, però, lo sceicco è riuscito a trovare nuovi seguaci tra I monti di Afghanistan e Pakistan. 

Giganteggiava nel nostro immaginario nel ruolo antico dell'Invasore musulmano. Pareva riuscito a scatenare in Oriente come in Occidente un delirio di rappresentazioni che pretendevano tutte la maiuscola, lo Scontro tra Civiltà, i Nostri Valori, la loro Cultura. Otto anni dopo, queste scorie ingombrano ancora il nostro orizzonte mentale. Ma non v'è sondaggio che non confermi la disillusione araba per Bin Laden, questa estate ribadita dallo scontro cruentissimo di Gaza. I miliziani di Hamas per disciplina e cupezza l'equivalente islamico dello stalinismo, contro i terroristi di Al Qaeda. Ha vinto la polizia segreta di Hamas, Al Qaeda è in fuga.

Così l'organizzazione di Bin Laden sembrerebbe ormai avviata al destino di quei movimenti rivoluzionari che finiscono divorati dalla propria furia distruttiva, condannati a perire da una cecità teologica e politica che impedisce di trovare alleanze e consenso nella popolazione. E in questo caso Al Qaeda sarebbe ricordata soltanto come un detonatore della Storia, un fiammifero caduto sulla benzina. Combattuti a Gaza da Hamas, nella West Bank da Fatah, in Libano da Hezbollah, in Iraq dagli stessi americani, gli apostoli di Al Qaeda devono constatare che il loro piano è fallito. L'Arabia non li vuole. Neppure i più smodati fondamentalisti ormai credono che bin Laden sia il nuovo Saladino.

Eppure c'è una terra promessa dove Al Qaida pare essere riuscita ad agganciare non solo alleati, ma anche, per la prima volta, un movimento di massa. Paradossalmente non è in quel Medio Oriente che dal 1998 Bin Laden chiama inutilmente a insorgere contro gli Ebrei e i Crociati. Non è neppure dentro i confini storici del Califfato, l'impero islamico che i Qaedisti sognano di ricreare. È in Asia. In Pakistan, in Afghanistan: oggi il centro di quello scontro complicato che talvolta chiamiamo ancora "guerra al terrorismo". 

Lo scenario in cui Al Qaeda prova a reinventarsi è diverso dal paesaggio delle origini. Non ci sono Crociati, invasori delle terre care al Profeta: ma ci sono comunque infedeli, i soldati della Nato. Non ci sono Ebrei: ma ci sono induisti, che gli estremisti locali odiano con la stessa intensità con la quale bin Laden odia gli israeliani. E soprattutto, ci sono un 60-100 atomiche pachistane sulle quali Al Qaeda ha messo gli occhi. Per usarle «contro gli americani», nelle parole esplicite del numero due di Al Qaeda nella regione, interpellato in giugno da Al Jazeera.

La gran parte di quelle testate è dislocata a ridosso di territori dove i guerrieri di Al Qaeda si muovono con una certa facilità. Ma sono tutte ben sorvegliate (da personale pachistano addestrato da istruttori Usa) e in teoria ciascuna smembrata in tré diversi siti, sicché andrebbe riassemblata prima dell'uso. Come ha dimostrato in luglio 1979: un attentato contro ricercatori che lavorano al nucleare pachistano, Al Qaeda ha occhi e orecchie nell'apparato militare. Però l'impresa di impossessarsi di una bomba (nel caso una di quelle al plutonio, miniaturizzate e facilmente trasportabili, che il Pakistan ha cominciato a produrre di recente) al momento non sembra nella sue possibilità. Al momento. In futuro, chissà. 

La situazione nell'area è sufficientemente caotica perché i qaedisti possano coltivare i loro sogni atomici. L'Afghanistan è in bilico. E in Pakistan la gente di Al Qaeda ormai si è radicatanelle aree tribali, grazie ad un telaio di relazioni familiari e politiche con i Taliban locali
che in parte data dagli anni Settanta. Al sodalizio si sono aggregate alcune bande islamiste del Punjab, in passato utilizzate dai Servizi segreti pachistani nella guerra segreta in Kashmir. E la somma di tutto questo è, almeno inpotenza, unmovimento dimassa devoto alla Jihad. I suoi primi germogli sono fioriti quest'anno nello Swat, la provincia pachistana dove i Taliban e gli alleati di Al Qaeda hanno scoperto quali luminose prospettive offra la sovrapposizione tra la guerra santa e la guerra di classe.
L'uccisione o l'espulsione dei próprietari terrieri, e la distribuzione ai contadini guerriglieri delle loro proprietà, hanno fruttato ai Taliban il consenso che prima non avevano. Ma hanno svegliato la classe dirigente pachistana. Per la prima volta quest'ultima ha avvertito nei Taliban una minaccia ai propri interessi e ha mandato l'esercito a debellarli. Anche se i militari hanno messo a segno alcuni buoni colpi, quella guerra pachistana sembra solo agli inizi.

Gli inviati di Al Qaeda saranno tra i protagonisti. L'influenza che esercitano sui compagni d'armi pachistani è fondata su una ragione semplice e universale, i soldi. Maneggiano una singolare quantità di denaro. Provenienti dall'Europa e soprattutto dalla penisola arabica, quei flussi finanziari assicurano ad alcuni potentati arabi la protezione del terrorismo (perché sono cosi rari gli attentati negli Emirati?), ad altri la benevolenza del clero radicale, e a tutti la certezza che un buon numero di teste calde se ne resterà inAfghanistan e in Pakistan, comunque lontano dalla penisola arabica. Ma la disponibilità a foraggiare  quei guerrieri sarebbe minore se la classe dirigente di Paesi che si definiscono islamici avvertissero i Talibane l'Afghanistan come un problema anche loro, invece di augurarsi la sconfitta degli infedeli che hanno osato poggiare lo stivale sul suolo "musulmano". Per la "guerra al terrorismo" questo è uno scacco ben maggiore che la latitanza di Bin Laden. Ultima traccia del saudita: un bidet, rivenuto nel suo ultimo nascondiglio noto, i sotterranei di Torà Bora, montagna afghana. Forse il segno più idoneo per chiudere l'avventura di un miliardario senza qualità che non avrebbe fatto tanti danni senza le troppe inettitudini occidentali e orientali.

Monday, May 18


“All the [intelligence Services] of USA and Europe…know well that the disastrous terrorist attacks of the 9-11, has been planned and realized from the Mossad, with the aid of the Zionist world, in order to put under accusation the Arabic countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part … in Iraq [and] Afghanistan.”

Former President of the Italian Republic Francesco Cossiga