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(Between Late Morning and Early Afternoon) September 11, 2001: Congressional Leaders Evacuated to Secure Location outside Washington[]

Mount Weather. [Source: Department of Homeland Security] Congressional leaders are evacuated from Washington and flown to Mount Weather, a secret and secure bunker in Virginia, where they remain until late in the afternoon. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/12/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002; ABC NEWS, 9/15/2002] The Capitol building was evacuated shortly after the Pentagon was hit (see 9:48 a.m. September 11, 2001). Most of the leadership teams of both parties subsequently assemble at the Capitol Police building. [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 112] Around late morning or early afternoon, orders are given to take them to a secure location outside Washington. The Congressional leaders return to outside the Capitol building, and from there are flown by military helicopter to Mount Weather. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/27/2002] Each is allowed to bring one staff member with them. [DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 114] The Mount Weather Emergency Operations Facility in Bluemont, Virginia, is located 48 miles—about 20 minutes journey by air—from Washington. [BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, 11/2001; ABC NEWS, 9/15/2002] It was originally built to serve as the new seat of government if there was a nuclear war. [ABC NEWS, 9/11/2001] The underground complex contains about 600,000 square feet of floor space, and can accommodate several thousand people. [BULLETIN OF THE ATOMIC SCIENTISTS, 11/2001] It has extensive communication systems linking it to the nationwide network of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) bunkers, relocation sites, and the White House Situation Room. [CENTER FOR LAND USE INTERPRETATION NEWSLETTER, 3/2002] Members of Congress taken to the facility include House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R), House Majority Whip Tom DeLay (R), House Minority Leader Dick Gephardt (D), House Minority Whip David Bonior (D), Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D), Senate Minority Leader Trent Lott (R), Assistant Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D), and Senate Minority Whip Don Nickles (R). [HASTERT, 2004, PP. 10] Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert was taken there earlier on (see (9:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [BAMFORD, 2004, PP. 80-81] The Congressional leaders will remain at Mount Weather until later in the afternoon, and then return to the Capitol around 6:00 p.m. (see (Between 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [ABC NEWS, 9/15/2002; DASCHLE AND D'ORSO, 2003, PP. 116; HASTERT, 2004, PP. 10] The decision to send them outside Washington on this day has its roots in a top secret program dating back to the cold war, which serves to ensure the “Continuity of Government” (COG) in the event of an attack on the US (see 1981-1992). [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 9/11/2001; CNN, 9/11/2002; MANN, 2004, PP. 138-139] Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke activated the COG plan shortly before 10:00 a.m. this morning (see (Between 9:45 a.m. and 9:56 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 8] Entity Tags: Harry Reid, David Bonior, Don Nickles, Trent Lott, Dick Armey, Tom Daschle, Mount Weather, Tom DeLay, Richard Gephardt Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline, Civil Liberties Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events

September 11, 2001: Germans Learn of 30 People Traveling for 9/11 Plot[]

A few hours after the attacks, German intelligence intercepts a phone conversation between followers of bin Laden that leads the FBI to search frantically for two more teams of suicide hijackers, according to US and German officials. The Germans overhear the operatives refer to “the 30 people traveling for the operation.” The FBI scours flight manifests and any other clues for more conspirators still at large. [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/29/2001] Two days later, authorities claim to have identified teams of as many as 50 infiltrators who supported or carried out the strikes. About 40 are accounted for as dead or in custody; ten are missing. They also believe a total of 27 suspected operatives received some form of pilot training. This corresponds with many analyses that the attacks required a large support network. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/13/2001] Yet there is no evidence that any accomplices in the US shortly before 9/11 have since been arrested or charged. Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Germany Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, FBI 9/11 Investigation

September 11, 2001: Television News Footage of Gleeful Palestinians Shown out of Context[]

Men in the Palestiani Shatila refugee camp, Lebanon, celebrating the 9/11 attacks. [Source: Associated Press / Mohamed Zatari] Television news coverage on 9/11 repeatedly shows images of Palestinians rejoicing over the 9/11 attack. According to Mark Crispin Miller, a professor of media studies at New York University who investigated the issue, the footage was filmed during the funeral of nine people killed the day before by Israeli authorities. He said, “To show it without explaining the background, and to show it over and over again is to make propaganda for the war machine and is irresponsible.” [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 9/18/2001; AUSTRALIAN, 9/27/2001] Entity Tags: Mark Crispin Miller Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline, Domestic Propaganda Category Tags: Media

September 11, 2001: Suspected Militants Found with Calling Cards[]

An unnamed, young, Middle Eastern man flying from Amsterdam, Netherlands, to Detroit, Michigan, is arrested after his plane is diverted to Toronto, Canada. He is apparently found to be carrying a flight jacket, Palestinian Authority travel documents, and a picture of himself in a flight crew uniform in front of a fake backdrop of the WTC. [TORONTO STAR, 9/15/2001; TORONTO SUN, 9/15/2001; OTTAWA CITIZEN, 9/17/2001] Apparently, the man, who identifies himself as an aircraft maintenance engineer in Gaza, Palestine, was supposed to have arrived in the US a few days before but was delayed for unknown reasons. [CBS NEWS, 9/14/2001] A second man was arrested a few days earlier while trying to enter Canada carrying a similar photo. He also possessed maps and directions to the WTC. Both men are soon handed over to the US. [TORONTO STAR, 9/15/2001] A similar picture of suspected Egyptian al-Qaeda operative Mohammad Zeki Majoub, arrested in Canada in June 2000, in front of a fake WTC backdrop was found in the luggage of one of the US hijackers. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/1/2001; TORONTO SUN, 9/15/2001] Canadian officials “believe the photos could be calling cards used by the terrorists to identify those involved in plotting the attacks.” [TORONTO SUN, 9/15/2001] Entity Tags: Mohammad Zeki Majoub, World Trade Center Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Investigations, All Day of 9/11 Events

September 11, 2001: French Bank Allegedly Makes ‘a Fortune’ in Response to Attacks[]

Jérôme Kerviel. [Source: Agence France-Presse] French bank Société Générale supposedly makes “a fortune” through trading, in response to the 9/11 attacks. This is according to rogue trader Jérôme Kerviel, who is employed by the bank between 2000 and 2008. In a 2009 interview with the French newspaper Le Parisien, Kerviel will say: “The best trading day in the history of Société Générale was September 11, 2001. At least, that’s what one of my managers told me.” He will add, “I don’t know how much they made, but apparently the gains were colossal.” Kerviel will not state how the bank makes these gains, but indicates it is through the short-selling of stock. He will continue the interview by saying, “I had a similar experience during the London attacks in July 2005” (see July 7, 2005), and then describe how he’d bet on a fall in the share price of German insurance company Allianz a few days before those attacks. The London bombings will cause the price of Allianz stock to crash, thereby earning Kerviel ”€500,000 in a few minutes.” [EVENING STANDARD, 1/22/2009; LONDON TIMES, 1/23/2009] Société Générale is France’s second largest bank, and one of the largest banks in Europe. [GUARDIAN, 1/24/2008; INTERNATIONAL HERALD TRIBUNE, 1/24/2008] At the time of his interview with Le Parisien, Kerviel is alleged to have caused it record losses of almost €5 billion through his rogue dealings. He is under investigation for breach of trust, fabricating documents, and accessing computers illegally. [LONDON TIMES, 1/23/2009] Entity Tags: Société Générale, Jérôme Kerviel Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, Insider Trading/ Foreknowledge

September 11, 2001: Existing Files on Hijackers Enables Investigation to Start Within Hours of Attacks[]

One day after 9/11, the New York Times will report that FBI agents in Florida investigating the hijackers quickly “descended on flight schools, neighborhoods and restaurants in pursuit of leads.” At one flight school, “students said investigators were there within hours of Tuesday’s attacks.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001] Also on September 12, the Times will report, “Authorities said they had also identified accomplices in several cities who had helped plan and execute Tuesday’s attacks. Officials said they knew who these people were and important biographical details about many of them. They prepared biographies of each identified member of the hijack teams, and began tracing the recent movements of the men.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/13/2001] In September 2002, 9/11 victim’s relative Kristen Breitweiser, testifying before the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, will cite these news reports and will ask, “How did the FBI know exactly where to go only a few hours after the attacks? How did they know which neighborhoods, which flight schools and which restaurants to investigate so soon in the case?… How are complete biographies of the terrorists, and their accomplices, created in such short time? Did our intelligence agencies already have open files on these men? Were they already investigating them? Could the attacks of September 11th been prevented?” [US CONGRESS, 9/18/2002] In at least some cases, it appears that US intelligence did quickly access existing files on the hijackers. The Washington Post reports, “In the hours after Tuesday’s bombings, investigators searched their files on [Satam] Al Suqami and [Ahmed] Alghamdi, noted the pair’s ties to [Nabil] al-Marabh and launched a hunt for him.” A top Customs official claims that by checking flight manifests and comparing them with other information such as watch lists, he is able to determine the names of all 19 hijackers by 11:00 a.m.(see (11:00 a.m.) September 11, 2001). [WASHINGTON POST, 9/21/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Ahmed Alghamdi, Satam Al Suqami, Kristen Breitweiser, Nabil al-Marabh Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: FBI 9/11 Investigation, All Day of 9/11 Events

(Between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.) September 11, 2001: World Trade Center Leaseholder Discusses Possible Controlled Demolition of WTC 7 with Insurer, Reporter Will Later Claim

Jeffrey Scott Shapiro. [Source: University of Florida] Larry Silverstein, who recently took over the lease of the World Trade Center complex (see July 24, 2001), discusses possibly bringing down WTC Building 7 in a controlled demolition in a telephone conversation with his insurance carrier, according to a reporter who is at the WTC site this afternoon. [FOX NEWS, 4/22/2010] WTC 7 is a 47-story office building located just north of the Twin Towers. The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) will say it suffered some structural damage (see 10:28 a.m. September 11, 2001) when the North Tower collapsed (see 10:28 a.m. September 11, 2001) and it has fires on several floors (see (10:28 a.m.-5:20 p.m.) September 11, 2001). It will collapse at 5:20 p.m., apparently becoming the first tall building ever to come down primarily as a result of fire (see (5:20 p.m.) September 11, 2001). [NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF STANDARDS AND TECHNOLOGY, 11/2008, PP. XXXV-XXXVI ] Silverstein Allegedly Wants WTC 7 Demolished - Investigative reporter Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, who is at the scene of the attacks in New York, will later recall: “Shortly before [WTC 7] collapsed, several NYPD officers and Con Edison workers told me that Larry Silverstein… was on the phone with his insurance carrier to see if they would authorize the controlled demolition of the building, since its foundation was already unstable and expected to fall. A controlled demolition would have minimized the damage caused by the building’s imminent collapse and potentially save lives.” Shapiro will add: “Many law enforcement personnel, firefighters, and other journalists were aware of this possible option. There was no secret.” [FOX NEWS, 4/22/2010] Preparing a large building for demolition usually takes weeks, or even months. This time is spent on operations such as wrapping concrete columns to ensure pieces do not fly off. [BALTIMORE SUN, 2/26/1995; PBS NOVA, 12/1996; CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT GUIDE, 2/24/2005] Discussion of Demolition Later Denied - Silverstein will later recall discussing WTC 7 over the phone with the commander of the New York Fire Department, and telling him, “We’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is pull it” (see After 12:00 Noon September 11, 2001), but a spokesman will subsequently claim that Silverstein was referring to withdrawing firefighters from the building, not bringing WTC 7 down with explosives. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 9/16/2005; BBC, 7/4/2008] At the end of a three-year investigation into the building’s collapse, NIST will say WTC 7 “did not collapse from explosives,” but critics will dispute this conclusion (see August 21, 2008). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/21/2008; NEW YORK TIMES, 8/21/2008] Entity Tags: Jeffrey Scott Shapiro, New York City Police Department, Con Edison, World Trade Center, Larry Silverstein Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: All Day of 9/11 Events, World Trade Center

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Timeline links[]

September 8 September 9 September 10 September 11