Complete 9/11 Timeline: Insider Trading and Other Foreknowle

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Complete 9/11 Timeline: Insider Trading and Other Foreknowle

Postby admin » Tue Mar 22, 2016 5:22 am

COMPLETE 911 TIMELINE: INSIDER TRADING AND OTHER FOREKNOWLEDGE
by Paul Thompson
Center for Cooperative Research

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Summer 2001: Bin Laden Speech Mentions 20 Martyrs in Upcoming Attack; Other Hints of Attack Spread Widely

Word begins to spread within al-Qaeda that an attack against the US is imminent, according to later prison interrogations of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed. Many within al-Qaeda are aware that Mohammed has been preparing operatives to go to the US. Additionally, bin Laden makes several remarks hinting at an upcoming attack, spawning rumors throughout Muslim extremist circles worldwide. For instance, in a recorded speech at the al Faruq training camp in Afghanistan, bin Laden specifically urges trainees to pray for the success of an upcoming attack involving 20 martyrs. [9/11 Commission Report, 6/16/04 (B)[ There are other indications that knowledge of the attacks spreads in Afghanistan. The Daily Telegraph later reports that “the idea of an attack on a skyscraper [is] discussed among [bin Laden's] supporters in Kabul.” At some unspecified point before 9/11, a neighbor in Kabul sees diagrams showing a skyscraper attack in a house known as a “nerve center” for al-Qaeda activity. [Daily Telegraph, 11/16/01] US soldiers will later find forged visas, altered passports, listings of Florida flight schools and registration papers for a flight simulator in al-Qaeda houses in Afghanistan. [New York Times, 12/6/01] A bin Laden bodyguard later claims that in May 2001 he hears bin Laden tell people in Afghanistan that the US would be hit with an attack, and thousands would die. [Guardian, 11/28/01]

People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, al-Qaeda, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

July 2001: CIA Learns Impending Attack Widely Known in Afghanistan

The CIA hears an individual who had recently been in Afghanistan say, “Everyone is talking about an impending attack.” [9/11 Congressional Inquiry, 9/18/02; Washington Post, 9/19/02] This corresponds with evidence that bin Laden and others were telling many in Afghanistan about the attacks at this time (see Summer 2001).

People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency

July 16, 2001: New York Taxi Driver Tells of E-mails Warning Imminent al-Qaeda Attack on New York and Washington

A Village Voice reporter is told by a New York taxi driver, “You know, I am leaving the country and going home to Egypt sometime in late August or September. I have gotten e-mails from people I know saying that Osama bin Laden has planned big terrorist attacks for New York and Washington for that time. It will not be safe here then.” He does in fact return to Egypt for that time. The FBI, which is not told about this lead until after 9/11, interrogates and then releases him. He claims that many others knew what he knew prior to 9/11. [Village Voice, 9/25/02 (B)]

People and organizations involved: Osama bin Laden, Federal Bureau of Investigation

August 6, 2001: Suspicious Trading of Companies Affected by 9/11 May Begin by This Date

Insider trading based on advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks may have begun on this date, if not earlier. Investigators later discover a large number of put option purchases (a speculation that the stock will go down) that expire on September 30 at the Chicago Board Options Exchange are bought on this date. If exercised, these options would have led to large profits. One analyst later says, “From what I'm hearing, it's more than coincidence.” [Reuters, 9/20/01]

People and organizations involved: Chicago Board Options Exchange

Early September 2001: NYSE Sees Unusually Heavy Trading in Airline and Related Stocks

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) later announces that they are investigating the trading of shares of 38 companies in the days just before 9/11. The San Francisco Chronicle reports that the New York Stock Exchange sees “unusually heavy trading in airline and related stocks several days before the attacks.” All 38 companies logically stand to be heavily affected by the attacks. They include parent companies of major airlines American, Continental, Delta, Northwest, Southwest, United, and US Airways as well as cruise lines Carnival and Royal Caribbean, aircraft maker Boeing and defense contractor Lockheed Martin. The SEC is also looking into suspicious short selling of numerous insurance company stocks, but, to date, no details of this investigation have been released. [Associated Press, 10/2/01; San Francisco Chronicle, 10/3/01]

People and organizations involved: Securities and Exchange Commission, New York Stock Exchange

Early September 2001: Suspicion of Insider Trading in Many Other Countries

Numerous other overseas investigations into insider trading before 9/11 are later established. There are investigations in Belgium, France, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Monte Carlo, Cyprus, and other countries. There are particularly strong suspicions British markets are manipulated. Italy will later investigate suspicious share movements on the day of the attack, as well as the previous day. Japan will also look into the trading of futures contracts. [Fox News, 9/22/01; CNN, 9/24/01; BBC, 9/18/01 (B)] The British will take just two weeks to conclude that their markets were not manipulated. [Marketplace radio report, 10/17/01]

Early September 2001: Pakistani Student Says WTC Towers ‘Won't Be Here Next Week’

At New Utrecht High School, in Brooklyn, New York City, about one week before 9/11, a Pakistani student in a bilingual class points at the WTC during a heated political argument and declares, “Look at those two buildings. They won't be here next week.” The teacher notifies New York police after 9/11, who in turn notify the FBI. The status of the FBI investigation into this incident is unknown as of early October 2001. [New York Daily News, 10/12/01]

People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, World Trade Center

Early September 2001: Unusually High Volume Trade of US Treasury Note Purchases

After 9/11, both the SEC and the Secret Service announce probes into an unusually high volume trade of five-year US Treasury note purchases around this time. These transactions include a single $5 billion trade. The Wall Street Journal explains: “Five-year Treasury notes are among the best investments in the event of a world crisis, especially one that hits the US. The notes are prized for their safety and their backing by the US government, and usually rally when investors flee riskier investments, such as stocks.” The value of these notes has risen sharply since the events of September 11. The article also points out that with these notes, “tracks would be hard to spot.” [Wall Street Journal, 10/2/01]

People and organizations involved: Secret Service, Securities and Exchange Commission

Early September 2001: New York Mosque Warning: Stay Out of Lower Manhattan on 9/11

Shortly before 9/11, people attending an unnamed mosque in the Bronx district of New York City are warned to stay out of lower Manhattan on 9/11. The FBI's Joint Terrorist Task Force interviews dozens of members of the mosque, who confirm the story. The mosque leadership denies any advanced knowledge and the case apparently remains unsolved. [New York Daily News, 10/12/01]

People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Early September 2001: Rumors in New York City's Arab-American Community About Attacks

A veteran detective involved with post-9/11 investigations later claims that rumors in New York City's Arab-American community about the 9/11 attacks are common in the days beforehand. The story “had been out on the street” and the number of leads turning up later is so “overwhelming” that it is difficult to tell who knows about the attacks from secondhand sources and who knows about it from someone who may have been a participant. After 9/11, tracking leads regarding Middle Eastern employees who did not show up for work on 9/11 are “a serious and major priority.” [Journal News, 10/11/01]

Early September 2001: Phone Call Warning of Big Event in the US in Coming Days Is Just One of Many Such Warnings Recorded by CIA

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Mamdouh Habib.

A few days before 9/11, an Islamic radical named Mamdouh Habib is in Pakistan and calls his wife in Australia. Her phone is being monitored by Australian intelligence. In the conversation he says that something big is going to happen in the US in the next few days. He is later arrested after 9/11 and is held by the US in the Guantanamo prison before finally being released in 2005. He will be released because his captors eventually decide that he didn't have any special foreknowledge or involvement in the 9/11 plot. He had been in Afghanistan training camps and had picked up the information there. The New York Times paraphrases an Australian official, “Just about everyone in Kandahar [Afghanistan] and the Qaeda camps knew that something big was coming, he said. ‘There was a buzz.’” [New York Times, 1/29/05] Furthermore, according to The Australian, this call “mirrored several other conversations between accused terrorists that were tapped around the same time by the Pakistani Internal Security Department on behalf of the CIA.” This was part of what the CIA called a sharp increase in “chatter” intercepted from operatives in al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the days just before the attacks, alluding to an imminent big event. [Australian, 2/2/05]

People and organizations involved: Mamdouh Habib, Pakistani Internal Security Department, Central Intelligence Agency

Early September 2001: Seattle Security Guard Tells Friend of Impending Attack

A few days before 9/11, a Seattle security guard of Middle Eastern descent tells an East Coast friend on the phone that terrorists will soon attack the US. After 9/11, the friend tells the FBI, and passes a lie detector test. The security guard refuses to cooperate with the FBI or take a lie detector test. He is not arrested—apparently the FBI determines that while he may have had 9/11 foreknowledge, he was not involved in the plot. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 10/12/01]

People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation

Early September 2001: Sharp Increase in Short Selling of American and United Airlines Stocks

There is a sharp increase in short selling of the stocks of American and United Airlines on the New York Stock Exchange prior to 9/11. A short sell is a bet that a particular stock will drop. There is an increase of 40 percent of short selling over the previous month for these two airlines, compared to an 11 percent increase for other big airlines and one percent for the exchange overall. A significant profit is to be made: United stock drops 43 percent and American drops 39 percent the first day the market reopens after the attack. Short selling of Munich Re, the world's largest reinsurer, is also later noted by German investigators. Inquiries into short selling millions of Munich Re shares are made in France days before the attacks. [Reuters, 9/20/01; San Francisco Chronicle, 9/22/01] Munich Re stock will plummet after the attacks, as they claim the attacks will cost them $2 billion. [Dow Jones Business News, 9/20/01] There is also suspicious trading activity involving reinsurers Swiss Reinsurance and AXA. These trades are especially curious because the insurance sector “is one of the brightest spots in a very difficult market” at this time. [Los Angeles Times, 9/19/01] There is also a short spike on Dutch airline KLM stock three to seven days before 9/11, reaching historically unprecedented levels. [USA Today, 9/26/01]

People and organizations involved: Munich Re, American Airlines, United Airlines, Swiss Reinsurance, New York Stock Exchange

Early September 2001: Almost Irrefutable Proof of Insider Trading in Germany

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Ernst Welteke.

German central bank president Ernst Welteke later reports that a study by his bank indicates, “There are ever clearer signs that there were activities on international financial markets that must have been carried out with the necessary expert knowledge,” not only in shares of heavily affected industries such as airlines and insurance companies, but also in gold and oil. [Daily Telegraph, 9/23/01 (C)] His researchers have found “almost irrefutable proof of insider trading.” [Miami Herald, 9/24/01] “If you look at movements in markets before and after the attack, it makes your brow furrow. But it is extremely difficult to really verify it.” Nevertheless, he believes that “in one or the other case it will be possible to pinpoint the source.” [Fox News, 9/22/01] Welteke reports “a fundamentally inexplicable rise” in oil prices before the attacks [Miami Herald, 9/24/01] and then a further rise of 13 percent the day after the attacks. Gold rises nonstop for days after the attacks. [Daily Telegraph, 9/23/01 (C)]

People and organizations involved: Ernst Welteke

September 6-10, 2001: Suspicious Trading of Put Option Contracts on American and United Airlines Occur

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A. B."Buzzy" Krongard.

Suspicious trading occurs on the stock of American and United, the two airlines hijacked in the 9/11 attacks. “Between 6 and 7 September, the Chicago Board Options Exchange [sees] purchases of 4,744 put option contracts [a speculation that the stock will go down] in UAL versus 396 call options—where a speculator bets on a price rising. Holders of the put options would [net] a profit of $5 million once the carrier's share price [dive] after September 11. On September 10, 4,516 put options in American Airlines, the other airline involved in the hijackings, [are] purchased in Chicago. This compares with a mere 748 call options in American purchased that day. Investigators cannot help but notice that no other airlines [see] such trading in their put options.” One analyst later says, “I saw put-call numbers higher than I've ever seen in ten years of following the markets, particularly the options markets.” [Associated Press, 9/18/01; San Francisco Chronicle, 9/19/01] “To the embarrassment of investigators, it has also [learned] that the firm used to buy many of the ‘put’ options ... on United Airlines stock was headed until 1998 by ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, now executive director of the CIA.” Krongard was chairman of Alex Brown Inc., which was bought by Deutsche Bank. “His last post before resigning to take his senior role in the CIA was to head Bankers Trust—Alex Brown's private client business, dealing with the accounts and investments of wealthy customers around the world.” [Independent, 10/14/01]

People and organizations involved: Computer Assisted Passenger Prescreening System, Chicago Board Options Exchange, United Airlines, American Airlines, Deutsche Bank

September 6-10, 2001: Suspicious Trading on Stocks of Two Large WTC Tenants

The Chicago Board Options Exchange sees suspicious trading on Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley, two of the largest WTC tenants. In the first week of September, an average of 27 put option contracts in its shares are bought each day. Then the total for the three days before the attacks is 2,157. Merrill Lynch, another WTC tenant, see 12,215 put options bought between September 7-10, when the previous days had seen averages of 252 contracts a day. [Independent, 10/14/01] Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News, speaking of the trading on Morgan Stanley and other companies, says, “This would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind if it was a coincidence.” [ABC News, 9/20/01]

People and organizations involved: Chicago Board Options Exchange, American Airlines, Dylan Ratigan, World Trade Center, Morgan Stanley

September 6, 2001: Bin Laden Allegedly Informed of Exact Attack Date

According to a later interview with would-be hijacker Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, a courier sent by bin al-Shibh tells bin Laden on this day when the 9/11 attacks will take place. [Australian, 9/9/02] However, there are doubts about this interview (see April, June, or August 2002).

People and organizations involved: Ramzi Bin al-Shibh, Osama bin Laden

September 6, 2001: New York Student Forecasts Destruction of WTC

Antoinette DiLorenzo, teaching English to a class of Pakistani immigrants, asks a student gazing out the window, “What are you looking at?” The student points towards the WTC, and says, “Do you see those two buildings? They won't be standing there next week.” At the time, nothing is thought of it, but on September 13, the FBI will interview all the people in the classroom and confirm the event. The FBI later places the boy's family under surveillance but apparently is unable to find a connection to the 9/11 plot. An MSNBC reporter later sets out to disprove this “urban myth,” but to his surprise, finds all the details of the story are confirmed. The fact that the family members are recent immigrants from Pakistan might mean the information came from Pakistan. [MSNBC, 10/12/01] Supposedly, on November 9, 2001, the same student predicts there will be a plane crash on November 12. On that day, American Airlines Flight 587 will crash on takeoff from New York, killing 260 people. Investigators will later determine that the crash is accidental. One official at the school later says many Arab-American students have come forward with their own stories about having prior knowledge before 9/11: “Kids are telling us that the attacks didn't surprise them. This was a nicely protected little secret that circulated in the community around here.” [Insight, 9/10/02]

People and organizations involved: World Trade Center, Antoinette DiLorenzo, Federal Bureau of Investigation

September 7-10, 2001: Dubai Banker Claims al-Qaeda Agent Speculates on Airline and Blue-Chip Stocks

French author Bernard-Henri Levy claims to know an anonymous manager at a Dubai, United Arab Emirates, bank who gives him astute and accurate tips on Arab banking. The manager tells Henri-Levy in 2002, “We know a bank here that made [a put option] transaction between the 8th and 10th of September on certain Dow Jones blue-chip stocks for accounts linked to bin Laden. I know the name of a bank that, by shorting 8,000 shares of United Airlines on the 7th of September, then 1,200 shares of American Airlines on the morning of the 10th, allowed the attack to finance itself.” The manager won't name the bank, but he quotes bin Laden from a late September 2001 interview, stating, “al-Qaeda is full of young, modern, and educated people who are aware of the cracks inside the Western financial system, and know how to exploit them. These faults and weaknesses are like a sliding noose strangling the system.” [Who Killed Daniel Pearl?, by Bernard-Henri Levy, 9/03, pp 312-313; Daily Ummat, 9/28/01] The timing and amount of type of stock speculation mentioned in this account is similar to, but not the same as, previously published reports (see September 6-10, 2001). Levy suspects the al-Qaeda agent making these transactions is the financially astute Saeed Sheikh, graduate of the London School of Economics. An al-Qaeda agent using the alias Mustafa Ahmad is captured by a surveillance camera entering the Bank of Dubai on September 10, Dubai time, to pick up money sent by Mohamed Atta in previous days, but this video footage has never been publicly released. Levy and others argue that Mustafa Ahmad and Saeed Sheikh are one and the same (see September 8-11, 2001). [Who Killed Daniel Pearl?, by Bernard-Henri Levy, 9/03, pp 312-313]

People and organizations involved: al-Qaeda, Saeed Sheikh, American Airlines, United Airlines, Osama bin Laden

September 9, 2001: Internet Forum Message Warns of 9/11 Attack

A message is posted on Alsaha.com, a website based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, warning of the 9/11 attack. It proclaims that in the next two days, a “big surprise” is coming from the Saudi Arabian region of Asir, the remote, mountainous province that produced most of the 19 hijackers who struck on September 11. Since 9/11, the FBI and CIA have closely monitored this website as “a kind of terrorist early-warning system” due to its popularity with Muslim fundamentalists. However, it is doubtful if they were monitoring the site before 9/11, or noticed this message. [Newsweek, 5/25/03]

People and organizations involved: Alsaha.com, Central Intelligence Agency, United Arab Emirates, Federal Bureau of Investigation

September 10, 2001: Florida Man Predicts Imminent American Bloodshed

In a bar in Daytona Beach, Florida the night before the 9/11 attacks, three men make anti-American sentiments and talk of impending bloodshed. One says, “Wait 'til tomorrow. America is going to see bloodshed.” These are not any of the hijackers, since they had all left Florida by this time. [MSNBC, 9/23/01; Associated Press, 9/14/01]

September 10, 2001: Alarm Bells Sound over Unusual Trading in US Stock Options Market

According to CBS News, in the afternoon before the attack, “alarm bells were sounding over unusual trading in the US stock options market.” It has been documented that the CIA, the Mossad, and many other intelligence agencies monitor stock trading in real time using highly advanced programs such as Promis. Both the FBI and the Justice Department have confirmed the use of such programs for US intelligence gathering through at least this summer. This would confirm that the CIA should have had additional advance warning of imminent attacks against American and United Airlines planes. [CBS News, 9/19/01] There are even allegations that bin Laden was able to get a copy of Promis. [Fox News, 10/16/01]

People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Justice, Central Intelligence Agency, Israel Institute for Intelligence and Special Tasks, Promis

September 10, 2001: New Jersey Student Warns Teacher to Stay Away from Lower Manhattan

A sixth-grade student of Middle Eastern descent in Jersey City, New Jersey, says something that alarms his teacher at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School. “Essentially, he [warns] her to stay away from lower Manhattan because something bad [is] going to happen,” says Sgt. Edgar Martinez, deputy director of police services for the Jersey City Police Department. [Insight, 9/10/02]

September 10, 2001: Trader Makes Suspicious Investments Moves; Later Accused of 9/11 Foreknowledge

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Amr "Tony" Elgindy.

Amr Elgindy orders his broker to liquidate his children's $300,000 trust account fearing a sudden crash in the market. He also tells his stockbroker that the Dow Jones average, then at 9,600, will fall to below 3,000. Elgindy is arrested in San Diego in May 2002, along with FBI agents Jeffrey Royer and Lynn Wingate, who, according to government prosecutors, were using their FBI positions to obtain inside information on various corporations. They also questioned whether Elgindy had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks. [New York Times, 5/23/02; Times of London, 5/30/02; New York Times, 6/8/02] A report published in the San Diego Union-Tribune, however, casts some doubt on the government's allegations. [San Diego Union-Tribune, 6/16/02] In 2005, now former FBI agent Jeffrey Royer admits to giving Elgindy confidential details of federal investigations, including a probe of the 9/11 attacks. Royer claims he did it to use Elgindy's knowledge to help develop evidence of criminal wrongdoing. A court case against Royer and Elgindy continues. [Associated Press, 1/5/05]

People and organizations involved: Amr Elgindy, Lynn Wingate, Jeffrey Royer

September 10, 2001: Dallas Fifth Grader Forecasts World War III

A fifth grader in Dallas, Texas, casually tells his teacher, “Tomorrow, World War III will begin. It will begin in the United States, and the United States will lose.” The teacher reports the comment to the FBI, but does not know if they act on it at the time. The student skips the next two days of school. The event may be completely coincidental, but the newspaper that reports the story also notes that two charities located in an adjacent suburb have been under investigation based on suspected fund-raising activities for Islamic militant organizations. [Houston Chronicle, 9/19/01] The FBI investigates and decides “no further investigation [is] warranted.” [Houston Chronicle, 10/1/01]

People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation

September 10, 2001: Suspicious Trading on United Airlines Stock Occurs at Pacific Exchange

The trading ratio on United Airlines is 25 times greater than normal at the Pacific Exchange. Pacific Exchange officials later decline to state whether this abnormality is being investigated. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/19/01]

People and organizations involved: Pacific Exchange, United Airlines

September 10, 2001: Hours Before Attacks, San Francisco Mayor Receives Warning

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Willie Brown.

Eight hours prior to the attacks, San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown receives a warning from “my security people at the airport,” advising him to be cautious in traveling. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/12/01] Later reports claim that this is because someone saw the State Department warning of September 7 (see September 7, 2001), which focused on the threat to military personnel in Asia. Brown is scheduled to fly to New York the next morning. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/14/01; San Francisco Chronicle, 9/12/01; US State Department, 9/7/01] The source of the warning, and why it was personally issued to Brown, remains unknown.

People and organizations involved: Willie Brown

September 11, 2001: More Than $100 Million Rushed from WTC

Data recovery experts later looking at 32 hard drives salvaged from the 9/11 attacks discover a surge in credit card transactions from the WTC in the hours before and during the attacks. Unusually large sums of money are rushed through computers even as the disaster unfolds. Investigators later say, “There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million. They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the mainframes were destroyed.” [Reuters, 12/19/01]

People and organizations involved: World Trade Center

September 14, 2001: Deutsche Bank Exec Resigns, Prompting Speculations of 9/11 Connection

Mayo Shattuck III resigns, effective immediately, as head of the Alex Brown unit of Deutsche Bank. No reason is given. Some speculate later that this could have to do with the role of Deutsche Bank in the pre-9/11 purchases of put options on the stock of companies most affected by 9/11. Deutsche Bank is also one of the four banks most used by the bin Laden family. [New York Times, 9/15/01; Wall Street Journal, 9/27/01]

People and organizations involved: Deutsche Bank, Mayo Shattuck III, Osama bin Laden

September 29, 2001: $2.5 Million in Airline Options Go Unclaimed

$2.5 million in put options on American Airlines and United Airlines are reported unclaimed. This is likely the result of the suspension in trading on the New York Stock Exchange after the attacks which gave the SEC time to be waiting if the owners showed up to redeem their put options placed the week before the 9/11 attacks. [San Francisco Chronicle, 9/29/01]

People and organizations involved: New York Stock Exchange, United Airlines, American Airlines

October 16, 2001: Bin Laden Cleared of Insider Trading in Britain

“The Financial Services Authority—Britain's main financial regulator—has cleared bin Laden and his henchmen of insider trading. There has been a widespread suspicion that members of the al-Qaeda organization had cashed in on the US attacks, dumping airline, aerospace and insurance company shares before September 11th. The Authority says that after a thorough investigation, it has found no hard evidence of any such deals in London.” [Marketplace radio report, 10/17/01] On September 24, Belgium's Financial Minister had claimed there were strong suspicions that British markets may have been used for 9/11-related insider trading in early September. [CNN, 9/24/01]

People and organizations involved: Financial Services Authority, al-Qaeda

April 2002: CIA Promotes False Hijacker ‘Superman’ Theory

CIA Deputy Director for Operations James Pavitt says of the hijackers: “The terror cells that we're going up against are typically small and all terrorist personnel ... were carefully screened. The number of personnel who know vital information, targets, timing, the exact methods to be used had to be smaller still. ... Against that degree of control, that kind of compartmentalization, that depth of discipline and fanaticism, I personally doubt—and I draw again upon my thirty years of experience in this business—that anything short of one of the knowledgeable inner-circle personnel or hijackers turning himself in to us would have given us sufficient foreknowledge to have prevented [9/11].” An FBI official calls this “the superman scenario.” [New Yorker, 5/27/02] The media repeats this notion. For instance, later in the year, the Chicago Tribune will comment, “The operational discipline surrounding Sept. 11 was so professional, and impenetrable, that intercepted telephone conversations, or even well-placed spies, might not have made a difference.” [Chicago Tribune, 9/5/02] But even in the same article that quotes Pavitt, a senior FBI official states that serious and potentially fatal errors were made by the hijackers. The article also notes that the hijackers did not maintain tight compartmentalization and discipline. [New Yorker, 5/27/02] Eventually, more and more details will come out proving the “superman” notion false. The hijackers even told vital details of their plot to complete strangers .

People and organizations involved: James Pavitt

June 3, 2002: The Results of 9/11 Related Insider Trading Inquiries Are Still Unknown

A rare follow-up article about insider trading based on 9/11 foreknowledge confirms that numerous inquiries in the US and around the world are still ongoing. However, “all are treating these inquiries as if they were state secrets.” The author speculates: “The silence from the investigating camps could mean any of several things: Either terrorists are responsible for the puts on the airline stocks; others besides terrorists had foreknowledge; the puts were just lucky bets by credible investors; or, there is nothing whatsoever to support the insider-trading rumors.” [Insight, 6/3/02] Another article notes that Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, the American investment banking arm of German giant Deutsche Bank, purchased at least some of these options. Deutsche Bank Alex Brown was once headed by “Buzzy” Krongard, who quit that company in March 2001 and became Executive Director of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). “This fact may not be significant. And then again, it may. After all, there has traditionally been a close link between the CIA, big banks, and the brokerage business.” [Business Line, 2/11/02]

People and organizations involved: Central Intelligence Agency, Deutsche Bank, A.B. ("Buzzy") Krongard

September 10, 2003: SEC, Others Still Keep Mum About Insider Trading Investigations

Slate reports that two years after the 9/11 attacks, neither the Chicago Board Options Exchange nor the Securities and Exchange Commission will make any comment about their investigations into insider trading before 9/11. “Neither has announced any conclusion. The SEC has not filed any complaint alleging illegal activity, nor has the Justice Department announced any investigation or prosecution. ... So, unless the SEC decides to file a complaint—unlikely at this late stage—we may never know what they learned about terror trading.” [Slate, 9/10/03]

People and organizations involved: Chicago Board Options Exchange, Securities and Exchange Commission, US Department of Justice

September 19, 2003: FBI Finds No Insider Trading

Spokesperson Paul Bresson announces that the FBI has concluded that there was no insider trading in US securities markets by people with advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks. According to Bresson, the “vast majority” of a pre-attack surge of trading in options that bet on a drop in the stock of AMR Corp., which owns American Airlines, and UAL Corp., which owns United Airlines, was conducted by investment hedge funds implementing bearish investment strategies or hedging a line position of common stock and was not linked to terrorists. [St. Petersburg Times, 9/19/03; Washington Post, 9/19/03] Independent research will indicate otherwise a few months later.

People and organizations involved: Paul Bresson, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United Airlines, American Airlines

April 25, 2004: Academic Paper Determines 9/11 Insider Trading Not Due to Chance

Allen Poteshman, a professor of finance at the University of Illinois, publishes a paper demonstrating that the insider trading in options on United and American airline stocks indicates someone profited from foreknowledge of 9/11. Poteshman concludes, “There is evidence of unusual option market activity in the days leading up to September 11.” [Chicago Tribune, 4/25/04; Poteshman, 3/10/04]

People and organizations involved: Allen Poteshman

July 22, 2004: 9/11 Commission Finds No Insider Trading

In a footnote contained in its Final Report, the 9/11 Commission dismissed allegations of insider trading in the days preceding 9/11. According to the Final Report, the put options of the parent companies of United Airlines were placed by a “US-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda” “as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10.” With respect to the highly suspicious trading on the parent company of American Airlines, the Commission stated that much of the trades were “traced to a specific US-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades.” According to the Commission, “The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments. These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous.” [9/11 Commission, 7/22/2004, pp 499]

130. Highly publicized allegations of insider trading in advance of 9/11 generally rest on reports of unusual pre-9/11 trading activity in companies whose stock plummeted after the attacks. Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options- investments that pay off only when a stock drops in price-surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10-highly suspicious trading on its face. Yet, further investigation has revealed that the trading had no connection with 9/11.A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific U.S.-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades. These examples typify the evidence examined by the investigation. The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments. These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous. Joseph Cella interview (Sept. 16, 2003; May 7, 2004; May 10-11, 2004); FBI briefing (Aug. 15, 2003); SEC memo, Division of Enforcement to SEC Chair and Commissioners, "Pre-September 11, 2001 Trading Review," May 15, 2002; Ken Breen interview (Apr. 23, 2004); Ed G. interview (Feb. 3, 2004).

-- The 9/11 Commission Report, by The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States


People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, United Airlines, 9/11 Commission, al-Qaeda, Securities and Exchange Commission, American Airlines
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