Beginning about 1998,
in Hamburg, Germany, Mohamed Atta, Marwan al- Shehhi,
Ziad al-Jarrar and others formed an Al Qaeda terrorist
cell aimed at the United States. Atta was its leader
and carried out orders Osama Bin Laden to carry out
a massive attack on American targets. In June 2000,
Atta and his lieutenants, al-Shehhi and al-Jarrar, arrived
in Florida and with funds provided to them by Osama
Bin Laden's agent, "Mustafa Ahmed," proceeded
with the plan. They then enrolled in flight training
courses for three months or so to learn how to fly propeller-driven
planes, purchased flight video tapes from a store in
Ohio and several hours on flight simulators to acquaint
themselves with jet liners and joined gyms to learn
kick-boxing, knife- fighting and other martial arts.
In the Spring of 2001,
they were joined by others, including thirteen men from
Saudi Arabia, two men who were on the CIA's watch list
for their connection with a group of suspected terrorists
in Malaysia and Hani Hanjour, an Arab pilot living in
These 19 men were then
divided in four groups. They bought tickets on American
Airlines Flight 11, a Boeing 767, scheduled to depart
from Boston on the morning September 11th, United Airlines
Flight 175, also Boeing 767, scheduled to depart from
Boston on the morning of September 11th, American Airlines
Flight 77, , a Boeing 77, scheduled to depart from Virginia
on the morning of September 11th and United airlines
Flight 93, a Boeing 757, scheduled to depart from Newark
on the morning of September 11th. The four groups then
proceeded to the airports in Boston, Virginia and Newark,
with the exception of Atta and an associate named Alomari.
Atta and Alomari went to Portland, Maine on September
10th and then caught a commuter plane to Boston at 6
am on September 11th.
These men carried through
the security check points box
cutters and plastic knives, which were legal
impairments to bring aboard planes (So neither the airlines
nor the airports nor the government had any legal liability
in allowing them aboard.) When the planes reached their
cruising altitudes, the conspirators used their plastic
knives and box cutters to hijack all four planes. Attorney
General John Ashcroft explained that "investigators
believed that each of the commandeered planes had been
hijacked by groups of three to six men armed with box
cutters and plastic knives." Donald Rumsfeld added
"It was beyond one's imagination that plastic knives
and our own commercial aircraft filled with our own
people would be used as the implement of war."
Once in control of the
planes, Atta piloted Flight 11 and crashed it into one
tower of the World Trade Center. Al-Shehhi piloted Flight
175 into the other tower of the World Trade Center.
Hanjour piloted Flight 77 into the Pentagon. Al-Jarrar
piloted Flight 93 towards Washington, but the passengers
stormed the cockpit, causing al-Jarrar to crash the
plane in a field i Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
All 19 conspirators
were killed in the crashes and their bodies incinerated
beyond recognition. The money man, "Mustafa Ahmed,"
after retrieving the money the hijackers did not spend,
disappeared. Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind, is either
dead or hiding
in a deep cave in Afghanistan or Pakistan.
As for the five separate anthrax attacks
in 2001, they were all the work of a single person.
This individual— "probably a male loner" stole a sample
of the strain of the virulent Ames strain from one of
the few laboratories that possessed it at some undetermined
The "loner" then grew new batches of
it with his own equipment, somehow dried and reduced
the spores in size and packed them into envelopes. He
then mailed them without leaving a fingerprint, saliva
DNA or other traceable clue to his identity. He was
not part of any conspiracy and had such attributes as
"scientific knowledge, a grudge against society and
a familiarity with the Trenton, N.J., area, where the
letters were postmarked."