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Tags 9/11 hijackers , CIA conspiracies , Saudi Arabia conspiracies

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Old 11th February 2020, 12:38 AM   #1
Allen773
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The CIA struck a deal with the Saudis to monitor the hijackers and not tell the FBI?

I’ve heard speculation of this nature from people like Richard Clarke and some angry FBI agents who remain bitter over the failure of the CIA to share critical information about two of the eventual hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar. The basic idea is that the CIA was covertly trusting Saudi intelligence to “flip” these two Saudi al-Qaeda operatives.

Supposed evidence for this is the assistance given to Hazmi and Midhar by a handful of men alleged to be Saudi spies upon the hijackers’ arrival in California, and the reported financing of those men by then-Saudi Ambassador to the United States Bandar bin Sultan (a well-connected man in Washington, to say the least) and his wife. These reports are documented to varying extents in the “28 pages” of the Joint Congressional Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, and media sources.

I am personally skeptical of a lot of this, but I remain open; on balance, I find it plausible but unlikely. I’m not sure what others here think, but I suspect there is a mix of views.
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Old 11th February 2020, 08:13 AM   #2
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The question I'd ask is why they would do that? Why would they ask the Saudis to monitor those people and not share the info with the FBI. Sure, there was a failure in information sharing. But to make that error intentional and not an artifact of the walls built between the different goals of the intelligence agencies requires a robust explanation and some proof.

It's not plausible. Doesn't pass the sniff test.
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Old 11th February 2020, 08:25 AM   #3
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Yes there was a communications disconnect between the FBI and the CIA, this has been documented and hopefully fixed. However I don't see anything nefarious about this other than the failure to share information.
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Old 11th February 2020, 09:22 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
The question I'd ask is why they would do that? Why would they ask the Saudis to monitor those people and not share the info with the FBI. ...
I think the argument goes that if the FBI knew of criminal activity[1], they would be forced to intervene and perhaps arrest, which would have gone against the alleged CIA interest of "flipping" them.




[1] Being a member of a terrorist organization is a crime, I think, although I am not an expert on US criminal code.
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Old 11th February 2020, 09:24 AM   #5
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Old 11th February 2020, 09:41 AM   #6
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My understanding is that there were actually rules in effect that limited communication between the FBI and CIA in an effort to protect civil rights.
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Old 11th February 2020, 09:46 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Oystein View Post
I think the argument goes that if the FBI knew of criminal activity[1], they would be forced to intervene and perhaps arrest, which would have gone against the alleged CIA interest of "flipping" them.




[1] Being a member of a terrorist organization is a crime, I think, although I am not an expert on US criminal code.
The thing is, once he enters the US, the CIA can't operate and can't flip him. Sure, they can get the FBI to flip him, but then the can't run him, or something.

Also not an expert, but it takes the wall that was constructed to keep our national and international intelligence agencies separate per their charter and turns it into a conspiracy.

I'm still wanting more evidence that it was intentional non-sharing and not because of policies made years, or decades ago.

The idea that a CIA agent or the agency in general would intentionally allow a terrorist attack on US soil out of, let's call it spite, is absurd.
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Old 11th February 2020, 11:24 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
The thing is, once he enters the US, the CIA can't operate and can't flip him. Sure, they can get the FBI to flip him, but then the can't run him, or something.

Also not an expert, but it takes the wall that was constructed to keep our national and international intelligence agencies separate per their charter and turns it into a conspiracy.

I'm still wanting more evidence that it was intentional non-sharing and not because of policies made years, or decades ago.

The idea that a CIA agent or the agency in general would intentionally allow a terrorist attack on US soil out of, let's call it spite, is absurd.

This.

It may be that the failure of the CIA to share intel with the FBI resulted in the suspected terrorist being able to mostly complete their task of flying airliners into buildings on 9/11, but that was an unintended consequence, not an intentional act.

I have long believed that the failure of US intelligence services to realize a major terrorist attack was going to happen was more of a failure by policy makers that it was by intelligence analysts. It begins in the early 1990s after the fall of the Iron Curtain and the end of the Cold War, with the mistaken belief on the part of policy makers that electronic gadgetry and satellite surveillance could replace human agents on the ground. This was an abject failure to understand how espionage works on the part of those whose job it was to understand.

There is no substitute for agents on the ground. A satellite cannot follow a suspect into buildings; it cannot watch closely and in detail, what a subject does; it can't use its experience gained over years of operational espionage and intelligence gathering, to predict the possible future actions of a suspect; it cannot analyse, in real time, the reasons why a suspect might be acting the way they are. Spy satellites and remote electronic surveillance will never be able to gather the sort of precise, tactical-level intelligence you need to allow analysts to analyse the data and draw the correct conclusions. Only human resources can give you this - you can't make good decisions if the data you are trying to analyse is poor, deficient or incomplete.

A case in point. In January 2000, the CIA Kuala Lumpur station were running surveillance on three suspected al-Qaeda operatives who were attending a secret meeting of Al Qaeda operatives from around the world. Among the participants was Khalid al-Mihdhar. By the time the meeting disbanded, the CIA had photographed al-Mihdhar, found out his full name and passport number, and found he held a multiple-entry visa to the United States. He and two other operatives boarded a flight to Bangkok, and there the trail went cold.

Khalid al-Mihdhar was one of the September 11 hijackers on Flight 77.

Now you can read a bit of a timeline of this here...

http://www.historycommons.org/entity...gkok_station_1

It reads like Keystone Cops in some ways, the level of poor communications and incompetence is astounding. However, Bangkok Station was severely undermanned, an early victim of replacement of experienced human spies with satellites and technology.
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Old 11th February 2020, 12:53 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Allen773 View Post
I’ve heard speculation of this nature from people like Richard Clarke and some angry FBI agents who remain bitter over the failure of the CIA to share critical information about two of the eventual hijackers, Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Midhar. The basic idea is that the CIA was covertly trusting Saudi intelligence to “flip” these two Saudi al-Qaeda operatives.

Supposed evidence for this is the assistance given to Hazmi and Midhar by a handful of men alleged to be Saudi spies upon the hijackers’ arrival in California, and the reported financing of those men by then-Saudi Ambassador to the United States Bandar bin Sultan (a well-connected man in Washington, to say the least) and his wife. These reports are documented to varying extents in the “28 pages” of the Joint Congressional Report, the 9/11 Commission Report, and media sources.

I am personally skeptical of a lot of this, but I remain open; on balance, I find it plausible but unlikely. I’m not sure what others here think, but I suspect there is a mix of views.
The allegation has floated around for a while but it is not consistent with the CIA's professional conduct in the Clinton-Era 1990's.

First off, the CIA cannot operate (meaning track or spy on people) within CONUS on their own, they are required by law to have a domestic law enforcement agency attached as their lead. This agency can be Customs/Border Patrol, FBI, DEA, etc but they can't run a surveillance superstition on their own. To do so is a career ender and officers can end up in prison.

It is clear from the 911 Commission Report and the dozen memoirs written by FBI and CIA officers that the CIA was not willing to take ANY RISKS during the lead up to the attacks of 911.

The next problem is Al Qaeda. They used their considerable resources to run background checks on their key operatives before they would be allowed to advance within the organization. The whole purpose of their camps in Afghanistan was to have a place for incoming volunteers to be housed while they were investigated. If they didn't trust an applicant they sent him on his way, and if they felt he was linked to foreign intelligence then they had the option of killing him or using him to spread disinformation.

The problem throughout the 911 discussion since BEFORE 911 is the under estimation of just how good Al Qaeda was and is at conducting itself on every level. They openly state that they are a learning organization. If they were a business they'd be Amazon.
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Old 14th February 2020, 11:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
There is no substitute for agents on the ground. A satellite cannot follow a suspect into buildings; it cannot watch closely and in detail, what a subject does; it can't use its experience gained over years of operational espionage and intelligence gathering, to predict the possible future actions of a suspect; it cannot analyse, in real time, the reasons why a suspect might be acting the way they are. Spy satellites and remote electronic surveillance will never be able to gather the sort of precise, tactical-level intelligence you need to allow analysts to analyse the data and draw the correct conclusions. Only human resources can give you this - you can't make good decisions if the data you are trying to analyse is poor, deficient or incomplete.


And this leads to another problem with a lot of the CTs based on CIA operations: in quite a few cases, the "agents on the ground" will not be nice people with clean records, because nice people with clean records can't get close to the targets they're trying to surveil.

When you're trying to track terrorists, you have to work with people who are, if not terrorists themselves, at least terrorist-adjacent. And that always looks bad when it shows up on the front page of a newspaper, but it's really the only way to get the job done.

Of course, working with these guys comes with the risk that they'll screw you over, because that's what bad guys do.
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Old 15th February 2020, 12:59 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
The next problem is Al Qaeda. They used their considerable resources to run background checks on their key operatives before they would be allowed to advance within the organization. The whole purpose of their camps in Afghanistan was to have a place for incoming volunteers to be housed while they were investigated. If they didn't trust an applicant they sent him on his way, and if they felt he was linked to foreign intelligence then they had the option of killing him or using him to spread disinformation.
I’m curious...do you find it plausible that bin Laden and his confederates had plenty of “friendly faces” directly or indirectly connected to Saudi intelligence whom they could count on to turn a blind eye to al Qaeda fundraising and even (in some cases) operations?

The Saudis have a massive and bloated government bureaucracy, after all - most Saudis who aren’t “on the dole” are in government jobs, and a lot of those Saudis are “ghost employees” who sit at home and collect state paychecks -, which would total millions of people. I find if hard to believe, especially before 9/11 when bin Laden was getting more aggressive and influential in his campaigns and especially before the 2003-onward al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia itself, that there wasn’t a somewhat significant level of support, even if mostly from more junior levels. Not sure if the highest levels of the House of Saud could have policed this stuff even if they wanted to - and I’m not convinced that they had the stomach to pick a fight with bin Laden’s followers (a personality and ideological cult that the Saudi government had sponsored and arguably helped create in the 1980s as part of the anti-Soviet effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan) - certainly not before 9/11.

If the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of the United States weren’t really willing to take serious action against al Qaeda before 9/11, as you argue, how much more in denial about the threat do you reckon the Saudis and other Gulf monarchies were? What about our old ally and conduit in the 1980s anti-Soviet effort Pakistan, whose military and intelligence services outright created the Taliban, sponsor the Haqqani network, and have trained jihadists whom have promptly gone on to attack targets in India and elsewhere?

I think governments across the world were in denial about al-Qaeda, if not outright dismissive of them. Even after 9/11, Dick Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld, and their advisors were pushing the narrative that it couldn’t have been “one guy and his motley crew in Afghanistan.” Ie. the Butcher of Baghdad that Bush 41 had given a massive black eye a decade prior but was still very much in power had to be involved somehow.

Even now, some members of the Trump administration are trying to use the 2001 AUMF against al-Qaeda and their allies to justify potential military action against Iran, of all countries - based on murky and frankly dubious alleged connections.

It’s hard for America the Exceptional to accept that a small, dedicated core of people could sneak by our national security and law enforcement agencies and destroy the World Trade Center, damage the Pentagon, and kill thousands of people in the process without there being some much grander, master plot behind them. Yes, I find it very plausible that there were people in or connected to several governments who helped al-Qaeda, however wittingly or directly (often not either). No, I don’t think any government had command and control over Osama bin Laden’s show.

Even the Taliban - even most of bin Laden’s top advisers! - were opposed to “The Planes Operation.” Bin Laden overruled them regardless and cut them out of the loop as he blessed and directed Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s operation to accomplish what KSM’s nephew had failed to do in February 1993 - in addition to the targets in Washington ie, the Pentagon and Capitol building.
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Old 15th February 2020, 06:21 PM   #12
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Working backwards:

Half of Al Qaeda was against the Planes Operation and there was a split. That side figured they had a good thing going in the Middle East and SE Asia and knew that attacking the USA directly would ruin everything (which it did).

The Saudi government's competence depends on many factors. Saudi Intelligence relies mostly what it can buy. The have a lot of third-party (non-Saudi) operatives who do much of the leg work, and they work with (i.e. Buy intelligence) from Jordan, UAE, Yeman, Egypt, Turkey, and private security firms run by former Mossad agents. After 911 there was a minor house-cleaning and the new guy has done some recent major house-cleaning. What the Saudis really knew about Al Qaeda is unknown and certainly unspoken. I'm suspicious by nature and I'm sure they knew what everyone else in the Middle East knew - Al Qaeda was planning to attack the US - because Al Qaeda had stated that was their plan, and they had quasi spokesmen showing up on Arab TV and in Arab newspapers clearly stating something was in the works.

If they knew more details of the pending attack they'll never tell anyone.

In short, if you watched or read the news you knew Al Qaeda was going to strike inside the US. In May, 2001 the DoD closed off public access to all military installations in the US citing concerns of a terrorist attack. The DoS issued a travel warning in July, 2001 warning that they had information about Al Qaeda planning to hijack or blow jetliners, but the warning was for the Middle East and the Mediterranean. The travel warning expired the first week of September, 2001. These are facts that are ignored by truthers because it undermines every CT.

Trump's dysfunctional NSC will cite 911 only because Ayman Al Zawahiri is hiding out in Iran (at least there is a 85% certainty that he is there).

As I said before, The Bush NSC were basically 911 Truthers who refused to believe Al Qaeda could have pulled off the attacks without a state sponsor.
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Old 21st February 2020, 04:17 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
The question I'd ask is why they would do that? Why would they ask the Saudis to monitor those people and not share the info with the FBI.
Why use Saudi's? Why wouldn't they? Imagine a Saudi terrorist being approached by a couple of US CIA agents asking them to change teams and start working for the US Government.....

But what if you could get a couple of Saudi intelligence officers to befriend them, and then try? Convince them that they will become Saudi informants. Give them a realistic motivation (I'm sure they both had extensive families still living in Saudi-Arabia that could benefit from it etc etc). As far as they know, they will have only changed allegiance from one Saudi to another Saudi. In secrete of course Saudi Intelligence would be sharing everything they learn from them with the CIA. So indirectly they would become CIA informants via Saudi Intelligence.

Why not share it with the FBI? Because this was all happening inside the US. Far as I am aware FBI have total jurisdiction. If CIA tell FBI, then the FBI can say 'no, they're in the US, this is our territory, etc etc' and they will screw up everything.

So CIA had good reasons to use Saudi's, and to not tell the FBI.
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Old 21st February 2020, 04:23 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
The idea that a CIA agent or the agency in general would intentionally allow a terrorist attack on US soil out of, let's call it spite, is absurd.
Who said they intentionally allowed it? CIA may have very well been convinced for over 16 months that these two Saudi's were on their side. Evidently at some stage they realise this isn't the case, and when they do, they tell the FBI. That is why the FBI was told 4 weeks or so before the attacks about these two. It had nothing to do with spite. It perhaps did have a little bit to do with arse covering though, as once it was clear to the CIA the entire operation had gone tits up, they still didn't tell Clarke, the White House, anyone else, except the FBI, that two al qaeda terrorists were inside the US. Even when they were begging the White House for action just days prior to the attacks, the CIA still never mentioned it. Nor mentioned that, by this stage, they had told the FBI.
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Old 21st February 2020, 05:04 PM   #15
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To address the OP, I am at least 70% convinced that the CIA were trying to recruit al-Hazmi and al-Midhar inside the US. To do this they had to use Saudi Intelligence officers, and they had to hide it from everyone, including the FBI.

At some stage the CIA realise it wasn't going as planned, sent a low level memo to the FBI and hid the rest from everyone else to cover their own buts. I don't believe they knew when, where, or how the terrorists would attack. I'm 100% sure they didn't know it was going to devastate Manhattan and kill 3000 people.

A really good interview to watch is this one with Richard Clarke. Really worth the watch.

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I AGREE
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Old 21st February 2020, 06:17 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by cjnewson88 View Post
Who said they intentionally allowed it? CIA may have very well been convinced for over 16 months that these two Saudi's were on their side. Evidently at some stage they realise this isn't the case, and when they do, they tell the FBI. That is why the FBI was told 4 weeks or so before the attacks about these two. It had nothing to do with spite. It perhaps did have a little bit to do with arse covering though, as once it was clear to the CIA the entire operation had gone tits up, they still didn't tell Clarke, the White House, anyone else, except the FBI, that two al qaeda terrorists were inside the US. Even when they were begging the White House for action just days prior to the attacks, the CIA still never mentioned it. Nor mentioned that, by this stage, they had told the FBI.
You don't have a conspiracy theory without intentionally allowing it. If the CIA knew and couldn't share, it's just a screwup. Without intent, you've got a nothing burger.
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Old 21st February 2020, 06:29 PM   #17
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This assumes that the two hijackers could be recruited and that's a hell of a leap and the Saudis would have known this.

The flip side is that it is possible they courted Saudi money and aid hoping that it would be the dagger in the heart of the US/Saudi relationship, and this would make more sense because it would have been a smart move. Think about it, why does Al Qaeda choose Saudi nationals as hijackers? If you were looking for a frame job their presence would be exactly the kind smoking gun that would lead to US JDAM's falling on Riyadh.

In the interview you posted Richard Clarke leaves out the fact that the DoD had closed off access to all military bases due to an unspecified terrorist threat in May, 2001. What was their intel? Why didn't the FBI know or if they did then what did they know and why wasn't it enough to launch a manhunt?

And I'll ask again for the thousandth time, what did Sandy Berger steal from the National Archives and destroy that was directly related to the 9-11 investigations? Why does no one in the 911 Truth crowd ever chase this one down?
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Old 21st February 2020, 09:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
In the interview you posted Richard Clarke leaves out the fact that the DoD had closed off access to all military bases due to an unspecified terrorist threat in May, 2001. What was their intel? Why didn't the FBI know or if they did then what did they know and why wasn't it enough to launch a manhunt?
Do we know whether this had any connection to 9/11?

Quote:
And I'll ask again for the thousandth time, what did Sandy Berger steal from the National Archives and destroy that was directly related to the 9-11 investigations? Why does no one in the 911 Truth crowd ever chase this one down?
I've not heard of this, got a link please?
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Old 21st February 2020, 11:11 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by cjnewson88 View Post
Do we know whether this had any connection to 9/11?
Yup. And I already pointed out, as I often do, that the State Department issued a travel warning in July, 2001 specifically warning about Al Qaeda possibly hijacking commercial jetliners. The warning was for the Middle East and Mediterranean. It expired the first week of September 2001.

The warning has been removed from the DoS online archive yet it was never explored by the 911 Commission or anyone else which is a shame because the DoD and DoS draw their intelligence from the DIA as their primary, not the CIA. This means there is a line of Al Qaeda intelligence that was followed which included the possibility of hijackings, and this line of intelligence was external from CIA and the FBI. I don't have a link but if you have access to LexisNexis you should be able to find the original travel warning mentioned in most of the July newspapers.

Quote:
I've not heard of this, got a link please?
https://www.realclearpolitics.com/ar...d_he_take.html

https://www.archives.gov/research/re...le-thefts.html

https://fas.org/irp/congress/2007_rpt/berger.pdf

https://www.usnews.com/news/blogs/wa...rchives-agents

https://www.cnn.com/2005/POLITICS/09...ger.sentenced/

http://www.spectacle.org/0804/wilson.html

https://www.cato.org/blog/sandy-berg...den-them-under

http://gogov.com/bergerwatch.htm

https://www.chron.com/news/nation-wo...ed-1677687.php

Gosh I hope this is enough.

I'd love to know why you can't look this up, it took me 30 seconds.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 08:44 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
And I'll ask again for the thousandth time, what did Sandy Berger steal from the National Archives and destroy that was directly related to the 9-11 investigations? Why does no one in the 911 Truth crowd ever chase this one down?
I know the answer to the last part. It will offer no information about planes that never took off, missiles that don't exist, controlled demolition contracts and reems of NDAs. But it's probably filled with original footage of Rodan.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 12:40 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by Leftus View Post
I know the answer to the last part. It will offer no information about planes that never took off, missiles that don't exist, controlled demolition contracts and reems of NDAs. But it's probably filled with original footage of Rodan.
O-Nay Alking-Tay Odan-Ray in-ay a-ay Ublic-Pay Orum-Fay.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 01:04 PM   #22
Allen773
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
The flip side is that it is possible they courted Saudi money and aid hoping that it would be the dagger in the heart of the US/Saudi relationship, and this would make more sense because it would have been a smart move. Think about it, why does Al Qaeda choose Saudi nationals as hijackers? If you were looking for a frame job their presence would be exactly the kind smoking gun that would lead to US JDAM's falling on Riyadh.
I read in an article somewhere (can't remember where unfortunately) that for the Planes Operation KSM ideally wanted hijackers from as many countries as possible but bin Laden was determined for it to be a Saudi-heavy operation. KSM was ultimately fine with Saudis for pragmatic reasons (easy to get visas to the US and the fact that so many would-be jihadists in the Al Qaeda training camps were Saudis so that skewed the recruitment pool).

Not sure if that bit about KSM's preferences is true but it's extremely likely that Osama bin Laden's dream scenario was for ALL of the hijackers to have been Saudis.

Last edited by Allen773; 22nd February 2020 at 01:06 PM.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 01:20 PM   #23
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post

Gosh I hope this is enough.

I'd love to know why you can't look this up, it took me 30 seconds.

Well, I'm busy at work most the day and figured you'd be able to throw a quick link in the reply to send me right to the source. If you're going to be a cock about it, forget it.
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Old 22nd February 2020, 04:44 PM   #24
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I'm at work. I also stay on top of the news and I'm not particularly smart so it bugs me when people with access to the internet can't be bothered to use it.
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Old 15th September 2020, 09:19 PM   #25
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Instead of starting another thread I'll leave this here:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/michae...americans-dead

This is about the creator of the CIA's Alec Station and it is a revealing analysis.

Quote:
Scheuer’s advocacy of violence follows a long trajectory. In December, he endorsed the increasingly violent QAnon conspiracy movement, which the FBI has called a potential wellspring of domestic terrorism. Those who deny QAnon’s unhinged hallucinations are, to Scheuer, “coup-ists [and] insurrectionists.” Last month, Scheuer claimed vindication against critics when Trump seemed to acknowledge QAnon. Scheuer has long been comfortable with violence. His career-making 2004 book Imperial Hubris argued that America would need to wage a far bloodier war, including the destruction of civilian infrastructure, unless it divests its imperial role in the Mideast. Sixteen years later, Scheuer’s enemy is domestic. “The only thing I would be upset about if it came to war is that not enough Democrats would get killed,” he said on his podcast in July.

To some this will be a disturbing article. I think it adds a foundation for understanding why THIS GUY didn't share information with the FBI. 911 was about ego, bin Laden's ego, Scheuer's ego, Clarke's ego, and John O'Neil's ego.

Yes, you can still debate the question of if the attacks could have been prevented. I think they would have simply been postponed, and would have been larger in scale.
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Old 16th September 2020, 10:02 AM   #26
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Originally Posted by Axxman300 View Post
Instead of starting another thread I'll leave this here:

https://www.thedailybeast.com/michae...americans-dead

This is about the creator of the CIA's Alec Station and it is a revealing analysis.




To some this will be a disturbing article. I think it adds a foundation for understanding why THIS GUY didn't share information with the FBI. 911 was about ego, bin Laden's ego, Scheuer's ego, Clarke's ego, and John O'Neil's ego.

Yes, you can still debate the question of if the attacks could have been prevented. I think they would have simply been postponed, and would have been larger in scale.
For what it's worth, Osama bin Laden recommended Scheuer's books. Takes one to know one...
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