Terrorist attacks document archive

This part of the archive is where documents relating to terrorist attacks are posted. From Mumbai to 9/11, this is one of three main sections that will be updated on an ongoing basis with new links to valuable material. The main headings are 9/11, 7/7, WTC 93, and Mumbai.

9/11

Exercises

NORAD hijacking exercises summary timeline. Summary written for the 9/11 Commission detailing pre-9/11 training exercises carried out by NORAD that in some way anticipated the 9/11 attacks. Covers the period October 1998 to September 10th 2001.

Amalgam Virgo 2001 Concept Proposal. Document outlining June 2001 SEADS (South Eastern Air Defense Sector) training exercise. Refers frequently to air defences and hijackings. Though it does not specify a suicide hijacking it does include the following graphics:

As the pictures indicate, one of the scenarios devised for the exercise involved a suicide hijacking. The NORAD timeline summarises the scenario thus - 'Haitian AIDS victim makes deal with Colombian cartel to destroy a C2 node for Southeastern US'.  Further details on this scenario are available via another 9/11 Commission document here.

One other relevant exercise not mentioned in the NORAD timeline was codenamed Positive Force. An email sent shortly after 9/11 and published by the Project on Government Oversight describes how, 'The Norad exercise developers wanted an event having a terrorist group hijack a commercial airliner (foreign carrier) and fly it into the Pentagon... Joint Staff action officers rejected it as unrealistic.' The original link appears to have been deleted so you can download the email here.

Several other pertinent suicide hijacking exercises left out of the NORAD summary timeline were detailed by General Richard Myers in testimony before the Senate Committee on Armed Services. You can read the transcript here.

Though very little document information is available on the exercises taking place on the morning of the 9/11 attacks, The Black Vault did manage to obtain 61 pages relating to the National Reconnaissance Office's plane-crash drill, here.  Though this probably a red herring (the simulated crash was not the result of a suicide hijacking) the files are still worth a read.

Intelligence Failures

Joint Intelligence Inquiry report.  The first attempt to investigate and explain the 'intelligence failures' that apparently allowed 9/11 to happen.  Published in 2003 and redacted in many places, this investigation has been largely superceded by those carried out by independent journalists and historians.  An object lesson in why governmental oversight is inferior to citizen oversight. 

Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General Report (redacted version released in June 2005)(unredacted version released in June 2006). Reading between the lines, this report details how key information gathered by the CIA on alleged hijackers Nawaf al-Hazmi and Khalid al-Mihdhar was withheld from the FBI. In particular, after the Malaysia summit in early 2000 the CIA did not tell the FBI that al-Mihdhar had a US entry visa.

CIA Office of the Inspector General report (unclassified summary).  This executive summary ultimately clears the CIA of blame, echoing CIA Director George Tenet's 2002 testimony that there was no 9/11 intelligence failure.  Though it redacts their names, the report places some blame on the shoulders of Tim Wilshere and David Blee for their role in the withholding of information from the FBI. Emphasising just how secret this report is, or at least was intended to be, even some of the classification designations are themselves redacted.

FBI hijacker timeline. Details what the FBI knew the alleged hijackers to have been doing in the period from Mohammed Atta's birth in 1968 through to the period just after 9/11. Perhaps the most bizarre and potentially revelatory detail is that one of the alleged hijackers - Hamza Al-Ghamdi - had plane tickets booked for trips due to take place after 9/11.  The link above is to Intelwire, a research site that had the entire collection of FBI documents referenced by the 9/11 Commission.  The FBI timeline was originally obtained by Kevin Fenton over at History Commons.

Alleged hijacker travel documents. Appendix to the 9/11 Commission monograph on terrorist travel.  Primarily interesting for the ludicrous visa applications submitted by several of the 9/11 alleged hijackers.  Some fail to explain why they are visiting the United States, some gave contradictory answers, some simply refused to answer specific questions.  All of the visa applications were granted. 

CIA documents from the 9/11 Commission (intelwire)(National Security Archive).  Collections of CIA documents used and cited by the 9/11 Commission in their final report. 

Suicide Hijackings

Samuel Byck dossier.  Collection of FBI files from their investigation of Sam Byck, the American man who invented suicide hijackings. 

Frank Corder dossier.  Extracts from FBI investigation into the man who crashed a stolen plane into the White House in 1994.

Operation Bojinka dossier.  Documents from a range of intelligence agencies relating to the 1994-95 plot to simultaneously bomb up to a dozen trans-Pacific airliners.  Also includes discussion of a suicide hijacking aimed at the CIA headquarters in Virginia. 

Charles J Bishop dossier.  Extracts from FBI investigation into the 15 year old boy who crashed a stolen plane in downtown Tampa, Florida, only weeks after the 9/11 attacks. 

7/7

Home Office narrative.  Published in May 2006, this is the official version as originally conceived by an anonymous civil servant in the Home Office.  It's a short read, far shorter than the 9/11 Commission's report, to which it is obviously compared.  Full of incriminating rhetoric and assumption, very light on factual evidence. 

Narrative amendment.  After then Home Secretary John Reid admitted that the narrative was incorrect, it then took the government a year to publish this two-paragraph amendment.  Notwithstanding the ruthless efficiency of the creaking old bureaucratic machine, the amended narrative now has the men putting on their rucksacks twice, and leaves unanswered the question of whether the timecodes on the CCTV are accurate.  It also fails to answer how the mistake over the 7:40 train time could have been made in the first place. 

ISC report 1.  The first report by the Intelligence and Security Committee, which basically concluded that MI5 were underfunded and weren't to blame for anything, at any time, ever.  The committee were not shown the video and photographs from pre-7/7 surveillance of the alleged bombers, but have consistently maintained in their subsequent reports that it wasn't important. 

ISC report 2.  The second report, titled 'Could 7/7 have been prevented?', dealing with the question of 'intelligence failures' in more detail.  Also makes tentative efforts to put down conspiracy theories about the bombings, though this effort is not helped by things like redacting the entire information on a warning received from Saudi intelligence.  Offers a detailed timeline of the Operation Crevice investigation, during which the security services came across two of the alleged 7/7 bombers. 

ISC report 3.  The annual report for the 2010/11 season, this report briefly deals with issues that emerged during the July 7th Inquests.  The report admits that the Security Service (MI5) had misled the committee during its previous investigations, though naturally this was not considered to be deliberate or of any significant consequence.  In particular, the report downplays the question of when the Operation Crevice investigation started, and at what point in the investigation MI5 first came across Mohammed Siddique Khan. 

July 7th Truth Campaign archive of 7/7 inquest transcripts and evidence.  This is perhaps the most important single research resource on 7/7 as the inquests were the fullest official exploration so far.  J7 have archived every transcript in fully-searchable pdf format (something the inquests website only did after J7 did it) and every inquest exhibit discussed in those transcripts, except for a few that were not made publicly available.  For those who want to go beyond arguing over what a photo does or doesn't show and want to examine testimony given under oath and the source information for the discredited official narrative, this is the place you should visit. 

ISC report 2 Annex A (Detailed timeline).  Timeline of pre-7/7 surveillance of the alleged bombers, according to what MI5 told the ISC before their 2009 report. 

West Yorkshire Police Gist re: Martin McDaid.  July 7th Inquests document from the West Yorkshire Police summarising the surveillance carried out in relation to 'known extremist' and probable double agent Martin McDaid.

West Yorkshire Police check on car registration seen in McDaid surveillance.  The car was found to be registered to 'Sidique Khan', who was found to have a caution for assault in the early 1990s but no other database references.

MI5 subscriber check on mobile phone connected to 'Q'.  This document contradicts the timeline of the ISC and the McDaid surveillance files and suggests that the pre-7/7 surveillance on the alleged bombers was more extensive than MI5 have admitted (it is far from the only evidence suggesting this). 

Sidique Khan's Last Will and Testament (extract).  This document has been used to frame Khan as a suicide bomber but a close examination shows that he only uses the word 'shaheed' in a passage to his daughter about buying her ice cream and eid presents.

Sidique Khan's resignation letter.  A letter and attached form relating to Sidique Khan's resignation from Hillside Primary School in Leeds in December 2004.  This letter contradicts the Home Office narrative's account of when Khan went to Pakistan, and why. 

Charts of forensic links between alleged bombers and so-called bomb factory.  Exhibits produced at the July 7th inquests that show that none of the alleged bombers were forensically linked to the plastic tubs that supposedly contained homemade explosives of the type used in the attacks.  (HQ version)(LQ version)

WTC 93

Hakim Murad 302.  FBI document detailing conversations with Abdul Hakim Murad - a co-conspirator in the Bojinka plot and an old friend of WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef.  Murad, who had been in custody in the Philippines and then in the US since early January 1995, gave this information to the FBI in April.  He explained most of the Bojinka plot and reiterated much of what he had told the PNP (Philippines equivalent of the FBI), and also what he knew of Yousef's role in the WTC bombing two years earlier. 

Ramzi Yousef 302s.  An FBI document detailing an initial conversation with Ramzi Yousef in Islamabad on February 7th 1995, shortly after Yousef's arrest.  Yousef admitted to 'masterminding' the 1993 WTC bombing, and explained his motivation for his career as an international terrorist.  The second FBI document outlines a proffer session in New York several days later, when Yousef outlined what the bomb was made of, how the plot developed, and his intention that the explosion would make one tower collapse into the other, destroying both. 

Fred Whitehurst testimony.  FBI crime lab expert Frederic Whitehurst testified at the US vs Rahman et al trial in 1995, at which the Blind Sheikh was convicted on several charges, including the WTC bombing.  Whitehurst explained the problems with the prosecution's arguments about the chemical composition of the bomb, and some of his own amusingly-devised tests that showed the flaws in the forensic science of the TRADEBOM investigation.

DOJ OIG report into FBI crime lab.  Whitehurst's testimony, and his long-standing complaints about procedures in the FBI crime lab, eventually led to a Department of Justice Office of the Inspector General inquiry.  This report in many ways vindicates Whitehurst's whistleblowing efforts, though it does also (unfairly) criticise him. 

State Department Cable revoking Blind Sheikh's US visas.  Cable sent in late 1990 confirming that the Blind Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman's US visas had been revoked.  Despite this revocation, Rahman remained in the US for years.  Given that the visas had originally been granted by CIA agents posing as consular officials it begs the question of how Rahman managed to live openly in New York, without a visa, for three years. 

State Dept documents on appropriate of visas Blind Sheikh.  Like the above, this file is provided by History Commons.  This file includes a July 1993 letter by State Dept official Mary Ryan to the Inspector General in which Ryan makes it clear that she doesn't really know why the visas were issued, and 'cannot definitely' state whether it was the right or wrong decision to issue them.  The attached report goes into more detail, but is heavily redacted in key places. 

Cables on meetings between US agents and followers of the Blind Sheikh.  These messages detail how in the year before Rahman moved to the US on his CIA-supplied visa that consular officials in Cairo met with his followers.  There were several meetings in 1989, as the Soviet-Afghan war was winding down.  This strongly suggests that the relationship between the CIA (and other agencies) and the mujahideen was continuing beyond the war. 

Terror 2000: The Future Face of Terror.  A report compiled in 1994 by a group of futurists and military/intelligence specialists.  Inspired by the WTC93 attack the report predicted a 'holy war' of Islamic terrorism, noting that 'Targets such as the World Trade Center not only provide the requisite casualties but, because of their symbolic nature, provide more bang for the buck. In order to maximize their odds for success, terrorists will likely consider multiple, simultaneous operations.'  The original version of the report also included the idea that a hijacked plane could be crashed into the White House or the Pentagon, but that idea was dropped from this edition. 

26/11 Mumbai massacre

Indian government dossier on the attacks.  One of many dossiers of evidence compiled by the Indian authorities and forwarded to the Pakistan government for action.  The dossier includes transcripts of phonecalls between the gunmen in Mumbai and their handlers in Pakistan.  So far the Pakistan authorities do not seem to have responded to this evidence in any meaningful way. 

FBI/Dept of Homeland Security Intelligence Bulletin on arrests of Headley and Rana.  From October 2009, this bulletin details how Headley and Rana had been arrested for the Danish newspaper conspiracy.  It makes no mention of the Mumbai attacks, even though at that point Headley was openly confessing.  It does note that, 'despite Headley and Ranas actions in furtherance of possible terrorist attacks overseas, the FBI and DHS are not aware of any current plotting against specific targets within the Homeland.'

Tahawwur Rana interrogation binder.  Piecemeal transcripts of Tahawwur Rana's interrogation by the FBI shortly after his arrest.  Rana openly talked about what he knew of the Pakistani terrorist groups and individuals, information relayed to him by Headley.  Rana repeatedly says that Ilyas Kashmiri was a 'ranker' - an officer in the Pakistan army.  Kashmiri denied this before his reported death at the end of Rana's trial in June 2011. 

Cables on Headley/Mumbai case.  The Guardian's collection of relevant cables from the Wikileaks embassy cables dump.  For some reason the Guardian's collection does not include a December 2009 cable detailing a meeting between the US ambassador to India, Timothy Roemer and the Indian National Security Advisor M.K. Narayanan.  Roemer told his Indian counterpart not to extradite David Headley, who by that point had been arrested and begun co-operating, but had not yet pleaded guilty.  Narayanan responded that, 'it was "difficult not to be seen making the effort," but that the government was not seeking extradition "at this time."  Narayanan added that the Indian government would be "in the hot seat" if it were seen as pre-emptively relinquishing extradition.'  Other cables in the Guardian's collection talk of a rapid improvement in Indian-US relations in the wake of the Mumbai attack. 

National Investigation Agency (India) report on interrogation of David Coleman Headley.  Full, unredacted report summarising what Headley told Indian investigators when they came to Chicago in mid-2010.  This is the fullest account of Headley's role in planning and enabling the massacre, though we have to wonder at the questions that weren't asked.  Perhaps, as indicated by the cables, the Indian authorities were explicitly told not to ask about Headley's relationship with the US government. 

David Headley Plea Agreement.  Record of Headley's guilty plea in March 2010, where he admitted to all 12 counts in the indictment against him.  Exactly what Headley got out of the agreement is not made clear, but he has not yet been sentenced and there's no indication of him being extradited to face charges in any other country than the US. 

November 2001 hearing transcript.  Record of a hearing in November 2001 where Headley's supervised release from a prior drugs case was brought to an end.  It is likely at this point that the CIA recruited Headley, if they did recruit him, because the DEA say that they didn't work with Headley after this proceeding.   

Daood Gilani becomes David Headley.  Copy of a legal decree from when Headley changed his name.  In the NIA report above, Headley said that this was his own idea, as a white-skinned man with an English name would find it easier to travel in and out of India without arousing suspicion.  What it also shows is that Headley had no fear of the US authorities, to whom this would be a big red flag if they had been watching him. 

CIA Red Cell memo on the US Exporting Terrorism.  Wikileaks-obtained document where the CIA's 'Red Cell' considered the Headley case as an example of the US 'exporting terrorism', and the implications for foreign relations.  The memo notes how, 'If the US were seen as an exporter of terrorism, foreign partners may be less willing to cooperate with the United States on extrajudicial activities, including detention, transfer, and interrogation of suspects in third party countries. As a recent victim of high-profile terrorism originating from abroad, the US Government has had significant leverage to press foreign regimes to acquiesce to requests for extraditing terrorist suspects from their soil. However, if the US were seen as an "exporter of terrorism," foreign governments could request a reciprocal arrangement that would impact US sovereignty.'