shivered, a little, as I watched Lisa Meyers' report on NBC
the other night:
and threatening messages have been received from Al Qaeda.
There's a videotape aimed at American and Saudi Arabian rulers
and another that includes what appears to be well-produced
footage of the 9/11 attacks raising still other questions."
new 9/11 footage sure does raise a lot of other questions,
first and foremost: who shot the video? It was posted on what
is described as "a known Al-Qaeda website" last Wednesday,
although it was taken down after a few days. Aside from the
usual militaristic gymnastics by jihadi commandos,
tape also contains what U.S. counterterror experts say may
be never-before-broadcast video of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks
on New York's World Trade Center shot from across the East
River in Brooklyn. The FBI says it is familiar with the video,
which was provided by a friendly bystander. But that raises
the question how did a tape that was not widely circulated
end up on a known Al Qaeda site?"
sinister to contemplate. Video believed to have been in U.S.
government hands somehow pops up on a website alleged to be
an Al Qaeda mouthpiece, and U.S. government officials hold
it up as a reason to cower in fear before the threat of another
major terrorist attack on American soil. Meanwhile, the President
avers that Iraq is the central arena in his "war on terrorism,"
and his supporters claim that we're battling them in the streets
of Baghdad so we don't have to fight them in the streets of
Boise – or whatever
alliterative cliche first comes to mind.
idea that Al Qaeda had additional agents in the area, who
knew the attack was coming, would certainly explain the unflinching
steadiness of the camera's eye as it recorded the terror of
that moment. But instead of inventing additional elements
and players, it's always best to stick with what we already
know. So who else just happened to be videotaping the World
Trade Center attack that day?
after the terrorists struck, five
people were arrested in New Jersey as they taped the WTC
from their vantage point across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
A witness identified only as "Maria" by ABC
News said she saw:
young men kneeling on the roof of a white van in the parking
lot of her apartment building. 'They seemed to be taking a
movie,' Maria said. The men were taking video or photos of
themselves with the World Trade Center burning in the background,
struck Maria were the expressions on the men's faces. 'They
were like happy, you know … They didn't look shocked to me.
I thought it was very strange,' she said."
stranger – it turned out the five were Israelis.
When law enforcement swooped down on this crew, they found
them in possession of $4,700 in cash, box cutters, and multiple
foreign passports. Police dogs reacted as if the presence
of explosives was indicated, and, as the Bergen County Record
close to the investigation said they found other evidence
linking the men to the bombing plot. 'There are maps of the
city in the car with certain places highlighted,' the source
said. 'It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked
like they knew what was going to happen when they were at
Liberty State Park.'"
guys were held for three months, much of the time in solitary
confinement, and extensively interrogated. One refused to
take a lie detector test for weeks, and then failed it. All
five had been in the employ of Urban Moving Systems, of Weehawken,
New Jersey, the company name on their van's registration.
raided the Urban Moving Systems warehouse 48 hours later,
and carted away a lot of computer hard drives and other materials.
The owner, one Dominik Suter, fled to Israel the next day.
A few months later, Suter's name turned up on a
list of terrorist suspects circulated by the FBI to European
apprehended Israelis claimed that they were merely "documenting"
the day's events: police confiscated their photographic equipment,
and whatever film they had taken. The new film shows the World
Trade Center burning from the Brooklyn side of the East River,
while the Urban Movers were filming from the vantage point
of Liberty State Park, across the Hudson River in New Jersey.
But whomever had foreknowledge of the attack on the World
Trade Center could have taken that film – and Al Qaeda operatives
are not the only possible suspects.
have written at length about the five arrested Israelis in
my new book, The
Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, and
I commend the attention of my readers to this modest little
volume if they want to know more. I bring this up, not merely
to plug my book, but to point out that we can't begin to understand
the strange expropriation of this previously unknown footage
outside the context provided by The Terror Enigma.
I prove in my book, Al Qaeda did not carry out its plans for
a major terrorist attack entirely undetected. The Israelis
were hot on the trail of the 9/11
hijackers, and must have had some foreknowledge of what
happened that fateful day.
they shoot the footage we are just now seeing, or was an Al
Qaeda film team at the ready the moment the twin towers were
hit? Readers of The Terror Enigma will understand how
and why the former scenario is just as likely the latter.
to how, in that case, the video passed into the hands of Al
Qaeda's propagandists – it wouldn't be the first
time the fruits of Israeli spying operations in the U.S.
fell into the hands of America's enemies.
any case, how this new 9/11 footage, previously known only
to the FBI and a "friendly bystander," wound up in Al Qaeda's
possession – or in the hands of a website claiming to represent
them – is a mystery that the U.S. government seems quite uninterested
IN THE MARGIN
U.S. is now completely enclosing Iraqi villages in barbed
wire. A more appropriate metaphor for the occupation of
Iraq couldn't be created by any novelist. Like the Israelis,
the American occupiers are requiring an internal passport
of all travelers coming into and going out of these villages.
And, speaking of Israel, we are now doing to the Iraqis what
Ariel Sharon and his ultra-rightist Likud party bloc have
out to the Palestinians: arresting and detaining the relatives
of "suspected guerrillas."
can hear all the weeping and wailing on the part of the "liberal"
wing of the War Party, crying out that this is hardly going
to win "hearts and minds." The point is that it isn't meant
to: turning Iraq's villages into concentration camps is designed
to humiliate, demean, and ultimately subjugate a proud people
who refuse to be conquered. That's the real face of the American
"liberation" – flat out ugly.
Please Support Antiwar.com
1017 El Camino Real #306
Redwood City, CA 94063
or Contribute Via our Secure
Credit Card Donation Form
Your contributions are