Newly Declassified Government Documents: Pre 9/11 Bin Laden Hijack Plot Was Ignored By US Intelligence

by Steve Watson

File this under 9/11 government prior knowledge with the mountains of other examples from the past twelve years. Newly uncovered government documents show that the US government ignored a specific warning in 2000 that Al Qaeda planned to hijack a commercial airliner headed for the US.
After eleven years, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the country’s military intelligence arm, has released documents to watchdog group Judicial Watch, that show the warning was ignored because “nobody believed that Usama bin Laden’s organization or the Taliban could carry out such an operation.”

Judicial Watch notes that the documents “reveal that Al Qaeda had a sophisticated plan to hijack a commercial airliner departing Frankfurt International Airport between March and August 2000. The hijack team was to consist of an Arab, a Pakistani and a Chechen and their targets were U.S. airlines, Lufthansa and Air France.”

Judicial Watch requested the material in May 2002 as part of its Terrorism Research and Analysis Project.

The group notes that the files are very rich in detail and show that the US government had intricate operational information, even down to names, addresses and phone numbers of the terrorist operatives, based in Frankfurt, Germany.

The documents show that the plot was being directed by a prominent Saudi with direct ties to the Saudi royal family, operating in conjunction with Qaeda, Taliban and Chechen terrorist cells in Hamburg and Frankfurt, one of which was being headed by lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta.

Judicial Watch’s analysis also notes that the US government had intelligence indicating that Al Qaeda had gotten an operative on the inside of the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to provide EU visas to be used in forged Pakistani passports.

The watchdog group notes that “information about the plot came from an unidentified human intelligence source that provided U.S. authorities with copies of Arabic letters containing details of the Al Qaeda plot.”

Previous news reports, including this AP article, from 2007 dovetail with the DIA documents. Former intelligence officials cited within the report indicate that the information came from France’s foreign intelligence service, and that the information was also directly passed to the CIA.

Information about the hijacking plot has been known about for some time following reports by journalists with AFP, AP, and Le Monde. The details are documented in the 9/11 timeline. According to those reports, the US government had intricate details that a German based plot, personally approved by bin Laden himself, was underway.

The French intelligence agents were said to have gleaned details from Uzbek spies who had infiltrated the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a militant group based in Uzbekistan next door to Afghanistan and closely tied to bin Laden and the Taliban.

The DIA documents provide solid proof that a branch of the US intelligence community had been provided detailed warnings about the hijacking plot.

Several other examples of the US government knowing before 9/11 about detailed Al Qaeda plots to hijack airliners, and even fly them into buildings including the Pentagon, have been recorded. The DIA had detailed information on the German Qaeda cells through its Able Danger program.

The fact that no one within the intelligence community believed bin Laden, living in a cave, could pull off such a plot is telling. Indeed, many Americans believe that he didn’t pull it off, that the plot itself was hijacked and put into operation by rogue elements of US intelligence, in co-operation with Saudi and Israeli counterparts.

The DIA documents represent an important revelation, because they are declassified US government documents that confirm what intelligence insiders have already leaked, thus bolstering previous revelations of government prior knowledge.

Sadly the documents are likely to not be widely reported on by a pathetic mainstream media that in most cases is locked into 24 hour news cycles based on drivel, no longer referencing events that happened a week ago, let alone twelve years ago.

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4 decades after war ended, Agent Orange still ravaging Vietnamese

By Drew Brown

In many ways, Nguyen Thi Ly is just like any other 12-year-old girl. She has a lovely smile and is quick to laugh. She wants to be a teacher when she grows up. She enjoys skipping rope when she plays.

But Ly is also very different from other children. Her head is severely misshapen. Her eyes are unnaturally far apart and permanently askew. She’s been hospitalized with numerous ailments since her birth.

Her mother, 43-year-old Le Thi Thu, has similar deformities and health disorders. Neither of them has ever set foot on a battlefield, but they’re both casualties of war.

Le and her daughter are second- and third-generation victims of dioxin exposure, the result of the U.S. military’s use of Agent Orange during the Vietnam War, when the U.S. Air Force sprayed more than 20 million gallons of Agent Orange and other herbicides over parts of southern Vietnam and along the borders of neighboring Laos and Cambodia. The herbicides were contaminated with dioxin, a deadly compound that remains toxic for decades and causes birth defects, cancer and other illnesses.

To this day, dioxin continues to poison the land and the people. The United States has never accepted responsibility for these victims – it denies that Agent Orange is responsible for diseases among Vietnamese that are accepted as Agent Orange-caused among American veterans – and it’s unclear when this chain of misery will end.

On Thursday, President Barack Obama will meet with Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang at the White House, only the third meeting between chief executives of the two countries since Vietnam and the United States established diplomatic relations in 1995.

The two countries share many contemporary concerns. The White House says Obama plans to discuss cooperation on regional issues and trade, plus other U.S. priorities such as climate change and human rights. The two countries share a strong common interest in countering China, which has become increasingly assertive over potentially oil-rich areas of the South China Sea.

Many Vietnamese say it’s time for the United States to do more to address the issue of Agent Orange and its victims, so that the last tragic chapter of the Vietnam War finally can be closed.

Le Thi Thu’s father served in the North Vietnamese army and was wounded in Quang Tri province, one of the most heavily sprayed areas of the country.

“Before he went to war, my father had two children: my older brother and sister,” said Le, who was born in 1970. “They were normal. But after he came back, he had me.”

“I could see the differences in myself and others right away,” she recalled. “When I was a small child, I felt pain inside my body all the time. My parents took me to the hospital, and the doctors determined that I had been affected by Agent Orange.”

When her daughter Ly was born, “we knew right away” Agent Orange was to blame, Le said.

The Vietnam Red Cross estimates that Agent Orange has affected 3 million people spanning three generations, including at least 150,000 children born with severe birth defects since the war ended in 1975.

“During the war, we were hostile, but after the war ended, we normalized our relations and are now building a strategic partnership between Vietnam and the United States,” said retired Col. Thai Thanh Hung, the chairman of the 16,500-member Da Nang Veterans Association. “We no longer have hatred towards the Americans and the U.S. government, but we want this one lingering and remaining issue to be addressed, which is that the United States help solve the Agent Orange and dioxin problem. That’s why we’re keeping an eye on this issue, to see if the United States is really interested in healing the wounds or not.”

The most significant event to date occurred last August – 37 years after the war ended – when U.S. contractors began a project to remove dioxin from 47 acres of contaminated soil at the Da Nang International Airport, which was one of the largest U.S. bases during the war.

The $84 million effort, which is expected to take until the end of 2016 to complete, has been hailed as an important milestone in U.S.-Vietnamese relations. The airport is one of the most heavily contaminated areas in the world, with dioxin levels measuring more than 365 times the acceptable limits set by the United States and other industrialized countries.

Observers say that while the project represents a long overdue first step, more work needs to be done. More than two dozen other known or potential dioxin “hot spots” have been identified at former U.S. bases. Also left unresolved is the thorny issue of how best to help Vietnamese who’ve been sickened and disabled because of Agent Orange and dioxin exposure.

U.S. aid for these people so far has amounted to a pittance. According to the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi, only $11 million of the $61.4 million that Congress has allocated since 2007 – a year after then-President George W. Bush pledged to help clean up contaminated areas – has been earmarked for public health programs in Vietnam.

U.S. officials caution that the money is to help people with disabilities “regardless of cause,” and isn’t specifically for Agent Orange victims. This semantic sleight of hand outrages many American veterans of the war, who say the United States has a moral obligation to help Vietnamese victims of Agent Orange, just as sick and dying U.S. veterans have received government help for the last two decades.

“There’s a hypocrisy there,” says Chuck Searcy, who served in Vietnam as an intelligence analyst during the war and has lived in Hanoi since 1998, heading up a project to clear battlefields of unexploded ordnance, which also continues to kill and maim Vietnamese. “It’s a glaring disconnect, and it’s embarrassing because the whole world can see it.”

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs says that all 2.8 million Americans who served “boots on the ground” in Vietnam from 1962 to 1975 were exposed to Agent Orange and other herbicides, which were in use from 1961 to 1971. They qualify for compensation if they become sick from any of 15 illnesses presumed to have been caused by their exposure. The VA also recognizes another 18 birth defects in the children of female veterans.

In 2011, the last year for which data was published, the VA paid nearly $18 billion in disability benefits to 1.2 million Vietnam-era veterans, including 303,000 who received compensation for diabetes mellitus, the most common of the 15 diseases associated with herbicide exposure.

U.S. officials have long held, however, that there’s no proof that Agent Orange is to blame for the same diseases and birth defects in Vietnam.

“Few independent studies have been conducted in Vietnam to assess possible health effects on the local population,” said Chris Hodges, a spokesman for the U.S. Embassy in Hanoi. “The lack of validated data and scientific review makes it difficult to estimate accurately the number of actual or potentially affected people or the extent of related health effects.”

In many ways, the fight for recognition of Vietnam’s Agent Orange victims mirrors the 20-year struggle that U.S. veterans endured before Congress granted them compensation in 1991.

Hoping to emulate a case that resulted in a 1984 settlement requiring Dow Chemical, the Monsanto Corp. and other Agent Orange manufacturers to pay $197 million in damages to sick U.S. veterans, a group of Vietnamese victims sued in 2004, only to have the same federal judge dismiss their case a year later, saying the companies were immune because they were following government orders. The Supreme Court declined to hear the case in 2009.

As occurred with U.S. veterans, momentum in Congress appears to be shifting favorably toward the Vietnamese. In 2011, lawmakers directed the U.S. Agency for International Development to develop a plan for assisting Vietnam with Agent Orange programs in the coming years. The agency hasn’t yet released its proposals.

For its part, Vietnam has put into motion a set of steps that it says will “fundamentally solve” its problems with Agent Orange by 2020. The document, signed in June 2012 by Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung, outlines preferential treatment for all ailing veterans who fought against the Americans, monthly stipends and health coverage for families with disabled members and special care for pregnant women from contaminated areas.

The Aspen Institute, a Washington-based research center, has called on the United States to spend $450 million over 10 years to clean up Vietnam’s dioxin hot spots, restored damaged ecosystems and expand health care for people with disabilities.

It’s unclear how much Congress is willing to do. Rep. Barbara Lee, D-Calif., introduced a bill last month that would commit the United States to cleaning up all remaining sites and would provide assistance to help Vietnam give better

health care and other resources to Agent Orange victims. An identical bill introduced two years ago failed to make it out of committee.

Searcy, the former intelligence analyst who lives in Hanoi, points out that after nearly 40 years, Vietnam’s expectations of the United States remain modest.

The Vietnamese have never demanded that the U.S. do for the Vietnamese what they’ve done for U.S. veterans,” he said. “But the Vietnamese have left the door open to do what’s fair.”

“I think it’s possible to bring some closure to this within the next decade,” he added.

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US eastern seaboard narrowly averted nuclear incineration in 1961

By Robert Myles

Goldsboro – Papers recently obtained by a journalist under freedom of information laws (FOIA requests) show just how close the US Eastern seaboard came to being engulfed in a nuclear holocaust in 1961.

According to a report carried by The Guardian, an atomic bomb, 260 times more powerful than that exploded over Hiroshima in 1945, almost went critical in North Carolina. The incident occurred on Jan. 23, 1961 when a B-52 bomber broke up in flight. As a consequence, two Mark 39 hydrogen bombs were released over Goldsboro N.C.

Normally, in such an incident, fail-safes would have prevented nuclear weapons from posing a threat but in the Goldsboro incident, one of the bombs behaved as though it had been dropped intentionally.
The bomb’s parachute opened to slow down its descent but as The Guardian reports, “The bombs fell to earth after a B-52 bomber broke up in mid-air, and one of the devices behaved precisely as a nuclear weapon was designed to behave in warfare: its parachute opened, its trigger mechanisms engaged, and only one low-voltage switch prevented untold carnage.”
The nuclear bomb which nearly went live over North Carolina was in a different league from the first and, to date, only nuclear devices detonated in wartime over Hiroshima and Nagasaki, hastening the end of World War II. The Goldsboro bomb had a yield of 4 megatons, the equivalent of 4 million tons of explosive TNT. By comparison, the nuclear bomb which laid waste to Hiroshima, known as “Little Boy” and dropped from a B-29 predecessor of the B-52 which broke up in 1961, had an explosive yield of 16 kilotons of TNT — a mere 0.4 per cent of the Goldsboro weapon.
Had it detonated, the Goldsboro bomb would have caused an event of apocalyptic proportions, affecting heavily populated cities as far away as Washington, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York.
At the time of the North Carolina incident there was speculation as to its possible severity but fears of a nuclear disaster were played down by US government officials, who consistently denied that inadequate safety measures had put lives at risk.
In a report of 1961 incident written eight years after the event, Parker Jones, an engineer at Sandia National Laboratories, charged with responsibility for the mechanical safety of the US nuclear arsenal said that three of the four mechanisms designed to prevent accidental firing had not worked properly.
In his report, Jones concluded, “The bomb MK 39 Mod 2 did not have the appropriate security mechanisms for airborne use on board a B-52.”
In a hat-tip to Stanley Kubrick’s 1964 movie, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb,” a satire concerning a nuclear holocaust, Jones titled his report, “Goldsboro Revisited or: How I learned to Mistrust the H-Bomb.”
Further information on the Goldsboro incident was uncovered by journalist Eric Schlosser in the course of research associated with an upcoming book concerning the nuclear arms race titled, “Command and Control.”
But what happened in the skies above North Carolina in 1961 is by no means an isolated incident. As a result of numerous Through FOIA requests, Schlosser said he stumbled on 700 “significant” accidents and incidents involving 1,250 nuclear weapons between 1950 and 1968 alone.
Commenting on the revelations, Schlosser told The Guardian, “The US government has consistently tried to withhold information from the American people in order to prevent questions being asked about our nuclear weapons policy.”
Jones continued, “We were told there was no possibility of these weapons accidentally detonating, yet here’s one that very nearly did.”

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Airmen From Vietnam War Identified

The Department of Defense POW/Missing Personnel Office (DPMO) announced today that the remains of Air Force pilots Maj. James E. Sizemore of Lawrenceville, Ill., and Maj. Howard V. Andre Jr., of Memphis, Tenn., have been identified and will be returned to their families for burial with full military honors on Sept. 23 at Arlington National Cemetery.

On July 8, 1969, Sizemore and Andre were on a night armed reconnaissance mission when their A-26A Invader aircraft crashed in Xiangkhoang Province, Laos. Both men died in the crash but their remains were unaccounted for until April 2013.

In 1993, a joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic team investigated an aircraft crash site in Laos. They recovered aircraft wreckage from an A-26. The team was not able to conduct a complete excavation of the site at that time.

Twice in 2010, joint U.S./Lao People’s Democratic Republic teams conducted excavations of the crash site recovering human remains, aircraft wreckage, personal effects and military equipment associated with Sizemore and Andre.

In the identification of the remains, scientists from the Joint POW/MIA Accounting Command (JPAC) used circumstantial evidence and forensic identification tools, such as dental comparison – which matched Sizemore’s records.

There are more than 1,640 American service members that are still unaccounted-for from the Vietnam War.

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FBI Followed Terrorist Killed by Drone to Pentagon Luncheon


The al Qaeda terrorist that President Obama ordered assassinated by drone was closely monitored by the FBI and even followed to the Pentagon’s front door years before his murder, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch.

The files, more than 250 pages of FBI surveillance logs, illustrate alarming incompetence by the U.S. national security establishment involving American-born al Qaeda leader Anwar al-Aulaqi. In late 2011 al-Aulaqi was killed in Yemen by a CIA-led drone strike. President Obama called it a major “milestone” in the fight against al Qaeda and its affiliates, saying that al-Aulaqi took the lead in planning and directing efforts to murder innocent Americans.

But years earlier it appears that he was considered an asset protected by the U.S. government, according to the documents obtained by JW through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit. At the very least the files raise serious questions about the nature of the relationship between the al Qaeda operative and the U.S. government. For instance, the files indicate that the U.S. may have tried to recruit the radical Islamic cleric as an intelligence source in 2002.

That year al-Aulaqi spoke as an invited guest at a Department of Defense (DOD) luncheon that included top Pentagon officials, according to a Fox news report. Incredibly, the FBI had already identified him as a “terrorist organization member,” the files obtained by JW show, and the agency had issued an alert warning to approach al-Aulaqi with caution.

The reports and logs show that agents from the FBI’s elite Special Surveillance Group (SSG) trailed al- Aulaqi to the front door of the Pentagon on the day he broke bread with DOD brass. Here’s a sampling from the government files: “Aulaqi boarded the Metro train, blue line north for the Pentagon.” At 11:32 am, “Aulaqi exited the Metro train, walked through the turnstyle [sic] and greeted two unidentified white females.” At 11:40 am, “Aulaqi and the two unidentified females walked through the train station, onto the escalator, walked southwest and west adjacent to the Pentagon, up the steps and walked northeast towards the entrance to the Pentagon.” And at 12:00 pm, “Surveillance discontinued at the Pentagon.”

It’s beyond comprehension that the FBI, charged with protecting the United States against terrorism and foreign intelligence threats, followed a known terrorist to the Pentagon for his high-level meeting with top officials. This certainly seems to indicate that the Obama administration is not telling the American people the whole story.

If you recall, Judicial Watch previously obtained separate FBI documents showing that the agency was aware as far back as September 27, 2001, that al-Aulaqi may have purchased airplane tickets for three of the 9/11 terrorist hijackers, including mastermind Mohammed Atta. On October 10, 2002, al-Aulaqi was detained at New York’s JFK airport under a warrant for passport fraud, a felony punishable by up to 10 years in prison. However, the FBI ordered al-Aulaqi’s release, even though the arrest warrant was still active the time of his detention.

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Major air rescue planned in flooded Colorado county

Residents of Boulder County, Colorado are being asked to help guide helicopter pilots to their locations Monday as a major air rescue is being planned to take advantage of a clear weather forecast.

“The pilots are going to go anywhere and everywhere they can,” Gabrielle Boerkircher, Boulder County spokeswoman Gabrielle Boerkircher told the Daily Camera. “People need to be prepared to be evacuated. They need to try to flag down the choppers in any way they can.”

Residents are being encouraged to use white sheets, reflective mirrors, flares and signal fires to attract the attentions of the pilots and told to have a bag of medications, clothes, and other important items ready for when help arrives.

Elsewhere, emergency officials say at least 1,000 people in Larimer County were still waiting to be rescued from the floodwaters, but adverse weather conditions had grounded helicopters and supply drops.

Type 2 Rocky Mountain Incident Management Team commander
Shane Del Grosso said Sunday that many people had made contact with requests for evacuations, but authorities were in a “waiting game” due to the rain.

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Chinese ‘Birth Tourists’ Getting Attention From US Authorities

U.S. authorities are getting tough on pregnant Chinese women visiting the Northern Mariana Islands to give birth. In what is called “birth tourism,” prospective mothers can at once evade penalties imposed by the One Child Policy in China, and gain U.S. citizenship for their newborn.

Eloy Inos, governor of the Northern Marianas, told the Saipan Tribune that immigration agents had sent home about 20 “birth tourists” in the past three to four months because of “documentation problems.” In August, a pregnant tourist arrived on a charter flight from Shanghai one evening was sent back home early the next morning. Her tour leader Fenny He told the Tribune the woman ” refused to listen” when she advised her not to go.

The number of women delivering babies in the island chain, located between the Philippines and Hawaii, has seen a massive increase in the last two years, according to a Marianas Variety report. This is due to the constitutionally-protected clause granting citizenship to all those born on American soil. U.S. territory includes the Northern Mariana Islands, which were ceded by Japan following World War II.

Today, the territory is a tourist hotspot. In an exception to U.S. immigration laws intended to encourage tourism, Chinese citizens are permitted to visit Saipan and other islands in the Northern Marianas for up to 45 days without a visa. According to USA Today, the total number of Chinese arrivals in 2012 has already been surpassed by July of this year, and about 11,000 Chinese visited the islands in the month of July alone. It’s unclear how many of them are birth tourists.

Avoiding the penalties associated with violation of the One-Child Policy, which was introduced by the Chinese communist regime in 1979, appears to be a major motivation for birth tourism.

He Peihua, chief associate of Guangdong International Business Law Firm, told Chinese media Southern Metropolis Daily that if a Chinese family has their first child in China, and the second in the U.S, it does not constitute a violation of China’s family planning regulations.

According to the Southern Metropolis Daily’s report, one netizen under the name Great Mom wrote: “I’m planning to give birth to my baby in America. I did research from multiple sources to make sure I don’t break the rules. Giving birth in the United States is the best way.”

She added: “There are many centers run by Taiwanese in the United States. It takes two months to get ready for birth and one month after that. You can go back to China after three months.”

Another Internet user quoted in the report said she gave birth in the United States to avoid the one child policy – so her son wouldn’t be an only child.

Sohu, a Chinese Internet portal, lays out 10 reasons Chinese people might consider giving birth in the United States: American citizens are eligible for a retirement pension, for example, even if they never return to the United States, and they may be afforded greater opportunities to enter prestigious American universities.

Americans can visit over 180 countries visa-free, Sohu noted, whereas holders of a passport from the People’s Republic of China can only enter a handful of African and Southeast Asian countries visa free.

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