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9/11/01 World Trade Center Attack Related News

Navy Christens Warship New York in Tribute to 9/11 Victims - Ship incorporates steel from the World Trade Center
MyFoxNews, March 1, 2008

MYFOXNY.COM -- The U.S. Navy christened a new warship Saturday that pays tribute to the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks. The amphibious transport dock ship New York officially named for the state but informally paying tribute to the city and the victims of the attacks. More than seven tons of steel salvaged from the wreckage of the World Trade Center was melted down and used in the construction of the bow stem.

It was named the New York at the request of Gov. George Pataki, who wrote a letter to the Navy after the attacks. Thousands of people, including friends and families of 9/11 victims, gathered Saturday at the ceremony at Northrop Grumman Shipbuilding facilities outside of New Orleans. The official motto of New York is "Never Forget," which is painted on the hull.
Temporary 9/11 center makes lasting imprint
By Charisse Jones, USA TODAY, February 29, 2008

NEW YORK — Across the street from the yawning void left when the World Trade Center collapsed on Sept. 11, 2001, sits a center imbued with the memory of the 2,750 people who died there.

The completion of a permanent memorial is at least two years away, and the Tribute Center is the sole space near Ground Zero where a visitor can hear the anxious radio transmissions of a firefighter inside the south tower; see a twisted steel beam from the Trade Center's core; study the ID card of a husband who never made it home.

It has become a destination in its own right, and on Monday, less than a year and a half after it opened, the center welcomed its 400,000th visitor, a man from Kent, England, and his wife.
Newly Released FBI Timeline Reveals New Information about 9/11 Hijackers that Was Ignored by 9/11 Commission
By Diesen Artikel for Two Day, February 28, 2008

Cooperativeresearch & Stephan Fuchs- A contributor to the History Commons has obtained a 298-page document entitled Hijackers Timeline (Redacted) from the FBI, subsequent to a Freedom of Information Act request. The document was a major source of information for the 9/11 Commission’s final report. Though the commission cited the timeline 52 times in its report, it failed to include some of the document’s most important material.
9/11 Redux: 'Thousands of Aliens' in U.S. Flight Schools Illegally
By BRIAN ROSS, VIC WALTER and ERIC LONGABARDI for ABC News, February 27, 2008

Thousands of foreign student pilots have been able to enroll and obtain pilot licenses from U.S. flight schools, despite tough laws passed in the wake of the 9/ll attacks, according to internal government documents obtained by ABC News.

"Some of the very same conditions that allowed the 9-11 tragedy to happen in the first place are still very much in existence today," wrote one regional security official to his boss at the TSA, the Transportation Security Administration.
Government to appeal compensation ruling for Algerian '9/11' accused
AFP, February 27, 2008

LONDON, Feb 27, 2008 (AFP) — The government intends to appeal a court ruling allowing an Algerian airline pilot wrongly accused of training the September 11, 2001 hijackers to claim compensation, the government announced Wednesday.

Earlier this month, the Court of Appeal reversed a lower court ruling last year that had barred Lotfi Raissi from seeking damages from the British government for his wrongful arrest and imprisonment.
9/11 first responders head to Washington rally
BY CARL MACGOWAN for Newsday, February 26, 2008

Mike McCormack, of Ridge, was part of a search team that found a battered American flag at the World Trade Center after the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks.

The flag had flown over the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City and on a U.S. Navy ship during the war in Afghanistan.

But McCormack, 49, says he is getting the cold shoulder from the Bush administration, which has proposed what the group says is a severe cut in health care for 9/11 first responders.
9/11 victims identified from new DNA finds
By James Randerson for The Guardian, February 25, 2008

A fresh effort to identify victims of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Centre is under way in New York following the discovery of fragments of human remains in the area around Ground Zero.

So far a handful of people whose remains were not found in the initial trawl through the rubble have been identified. But forensic scientists hope that when DNA identification begins in earnest more victims will be found, scientists at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Forensic Sciences in Washington DC were told on Saturday.

After the September 11 attacks, 1,597 of the presumed 2,789 victims were identified from the DNA of 19,946 pieces of human remains found in the rubble. In October 2006 a further discovery of remains prompted another forensic operation. "An electrical company was in this dead manhole trying to clean it out for the rebuilding effort," Dr Bradley Adams, of the New York Chief Medical Examiner's Office, told the meeting. "Someone said they had found what might be human remains." His team found 208 bone fragments in the manhole
Defense stymied in 9/11 death-penalty case
By CAROL ROSENBERG for the Miami Herald, February 24, 2008

Two weeks after the Pentagon announced plans to stage death-penalty trials for six Guantánamo captives as alleged Sept. 11 co-conspirators, none of the men has seen a military defense lawyer.

Only one of the six has an assigned lawyer, U.S. Army Lt. Col. Bryan Broyles. But Broyles failed to see his client during a Feb. 13-16 visit to the isolated Navy base
2 Quotes to be Changed on Arizona's 9/11 Memorial
By My Fox Phoenix, February 23, 2008

It's the only 9-11 memorial in the state, but it's causing a lot of controversy. Built only two years ago, it is now fenced off. The memorial has 54 quotes on it and some say they are offensive and need to be removed. FOX 10's Alexis Vance has more.
Judge: Memorial might be best way to honor 9/11 remains
By LARRY NEUMEISTER for the Associated Press, February 22, 2008

NEW YORK - A judge said Friday that he hopes a memorial will be created at a landfill where some Sept. 11 victims' ashes may rest _ but warned families they are unlikely to get a cemetery at the spot.

U.S. District Judge Alvin K. Hellerstein urged a settlement as he spoke to lawyers for the city and for some families of victims of the terrorist attacks.

He said it did not appear the families have a constitutional right to force the city to move debris that may contain Sept. 11 remains from the now-closed Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island to land across the street that could be made into a cemetery.
CIA set up 12 bogus companies mostly in Europe after 9/11: report
By Associated Press, February 17, 2008

AFP - Following the September 11, 2001, attacks, the US Central Intelligence Agency set up 12 bogus companies in Europe and other parts of the world in the hope of penetrating Islamic organizations, The Los Angeles Times reported on its website late Saturday.
Military Figures Seek Death Penalty For 9-11 Attacks
By Associated Press, February 11, 2008

The Pentagon is planning to charge six detainees at Guantanamo Bay for the Sept. 11 terror attacks on America.
WTC fire probe focuses on contractors
By AMY WESTFELDT, Associated Press Writer, January 13, 2008

AP - The August blaze that killed two firefighters at a condemned skyscraper across from ground zero exposed incompetence at multiple government agencies that either owned it or oversaw its long-delayed demolition.
Study links 9/11 stress to heart disease
By AMY WESTFELDT, Associated Press Writer, January 7, 2008

AP - Americans who said they became anxious and stressed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks — some just from watching the collapse of the twin towers on television — reported higher rates of heart disease up to three years later, researchers said.
Australia's Westfield to invest in New York's Ground Zero
By AFP, January 6, 2008

AFP - Australian major shopping centre owner Westfield will invest 625 million US dollars in a retail project at the site of the World Trade Center in New York, it said Monday.
Terror insurance renewal seen via Senate bill
Reuters, 12/14/07

A post-Sept 11, 2001 federal terrorism risk insurance program is likely to be extended next week for seven years along lines proposed by the Senate, said sources familiar with the matter on Friday.
Feds probe Sept. 11 insurance fund
By DEVLIN BARRETT, Associated Press Writer, 12/3/07

AP - Federal officials said Monday they will investigate why a $1 billion Sept. 11 insurance fund created by Congress to cover claims of sick ground zero workers is fighting the cases in court rather than distributing money.
Bush seeks dramatic cuts in state, local security grants
By EILEEN SULLIVAN and DEVLIN BARRETT, The Associated Press, 11/30/07

WASHINGTON - The Bush administration intends to slash counterterrorism funding for police, firefighters and rescue departments across the country by more than half next year, according to budget documents obtained by The Associated Press.
Moussaoui judge questions government
By MATTHEW BARAKAT, Associated Press Writer, 11/20/07

AP - A federal judge expressed frustration Tuesday that the government provided incorrect information about evidence in the prosecution of Sept. 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui and raised the possibility of ordering a new trial in another high-profile terrorism case.
Congress to New York (and Chicago and L.A.): Drop dead
Popular proposals to choke off federal support to immigrant-friendly "sanctuary cities" would also dry up anti-terror funding for the cities most at risk.
By Alex Koppelman for Salon.Com 10/4/07

Al-Qaida's targets on 9/11 were in New York City and Washington. But if Tom Tancredo, R-Colo., and 233 other members of the U.S. House have their way, those cities and others at high risk of terrorist attacks, including some that have reportedly been the target of foiled plots, would be stripped of the federal funding intended to keep their citizens safe from attack.

At issue are so-called sanctuary cities. There is no single definition of a "sanctuary city," but in essence it is one that takes a "don't ask, don't tell" stance toward the immigration status of its residents. For example, a sanctuary city might bar local police from inquiring about or disclosing the status of a victim or witness of a crime. A comprehensive list of sanctuary cities would have to include a huge swath of urban America.
GAO Criticizes Homeland Security's Efforts to Fulfill Its Mission
By Spencer S. Hsu for the Washington Post
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, September 6, 2007

Hobbled by inadequate funding, unclear priorities, continuing reorganizations and the absence of an overarching strategy, the Department of Homeland Security is failing to achieve its mission of preventing and responding to terrorist attacks or natural disasters, according to a comprehensive report by the Government Accountability Office.

The highly critical report disputes recent upbeat assessments by the Bush administration by concluding that the DHS has failed to make even moderate progress toward eight of 14 internal government benchmarks more than four years after its creation.

The report is to be released to lawmakers today, as the Democratic Congress, Republican White House and presidential candidates from both parties are beginning to debate the administration's record of accomplishments since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, whose sixth anniversary will be on Tuesday.

It echoes a sober report card issued by the former Sept. 11 commission in December 2005, which awarded mostly failing and mediocre grades to the administration's efforts to prevent another terrorist attack.

The GAO states that after the largest government merger in more than half a century, the DHS met fewer than half of its performance objectives, or 78 of 171 directives identified by President Bush, Congress and the department's own strategic plans. The department strongly disputed the report.

In one of its harshest conclusions, the 320-page document states that the DHS has made the least progress toward some of the fundamental goals identified after the 2001 attacks and again after Hurricane Katrina in August 2005: improving emergency preparedness; capitalizing on the nation's wealth and scientific prowess through "Manhattan project"-style research initiatives; and eliminating bureaucratic and technical barriers to information-sharing.

Yesterday, Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) said that although the DHS "has made important progress," it requires more focused attention and money. "Clearly, we have a long way to go before the department achieves the goals we set out for it four and a half years ago," said Lieberman, who will chair a hearing on the matter this afternoon.

The panel's ranking Republican, Sen. Susan Collins (Maine), who faces a reelection race next year, also called on the DHS to "pick up the pace. . . . With so much at stake and so many areas where progress is still required, America cannot settle for a mixed report card."

At a hearing before the House Homeland Security Committee yesterday, Secretary Michael Chertoff sought to preempt the GAO's findings, saying the Bush administration has "unequivocally" made the nation safer since 2001 and deserves credit for the absence of another strike on U.S. soil.

At the time, "no one would have been bold enough to predict that six years would pass without a further successful attack on the homeland," Chertoff said. He also complained that Congress itself has failed to streamline its oversight of the DHS.

Analysts from across the political spectrum have complained that the DHS has spent $241 billion over four years without performing a disciplined analysis of threats and implications.

The GAO report is the most exhaustive and independent look at the department since its creation, drawing on more than 400 earlier reviews and 700 recommendations by congressional investigators and the department's inspector general, as well as the goals set by the Sept.11 commission, the Century Foundation, congressional legislation and spending bills, and the administration's own plans and internal strategic documents, such as the White House's National Strategy for Homeland Security from July 2002.
THREATS AND RESPONSES: THE HEARING; F.B.I. Account Outlines Activities Of Hijackers Before 9/11 Attacks
Published: September 27, 2002

An F.B.I. account of the Sept. 11 plot disclosed today that Mohamed Atta, known to other hijackers as the ''boss,'' met monthly with an associate before the attacks. The account also told of how one hijacker coordinated the so-called muscle hijackers who kept passengers on the airliners at bay.

The account said a hijacker who crashed into the Pentagon and who was tracked by the Central Intelligence Agency in the months before the attacks, Khalid al-Mihdhar, organized the travel to the United States for the hijackers who helped seize the flights and who in some instances herded passengers to the rear of the aircrafts.

The account, a written statement delivered in closed-door testimony in June by the director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Robert S. Mueller III, revealed that another hijacker, Nawaf al-Hazmi, lived so openly in the United States before the attacks that he called the police when he was the victim of an attempted robbery in Fairfax, Va. on May 1, 2001. He later declined to press charges.

The release of Mr. Mueller's statement by the joint Congressional committee investigating the Sept. 11 attacks came on a day when the two officials who were in charge of counterterrorism operations at the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. on Sept. 11 defended the performance of their agencies, which have been buffeted by criticism in two weeks of hearings by the intelligence committees.

Dale Watson, who is retiring this month as the head of counterterrorism for the F.B.I., and Cofer Black, who until recently led the C.I.A.'s counterterrorism center, said the additional money they received to combat terrorism in the 1990's was never enough to meet the threat.

Mr. Black said that before Sept. 11, the counterterrorism center had only enough staff members to fill three infantry companies. ''Three infantry companies can be expected to cover a front of a few kilometers,'' Mr. Black said. ''Our counterterrorism center has worldwide responsibilities for all terrorist threats.''

In his statement in June, Mr. Mueller said that after one of the most extensive inquiries ever undertaken by the F.B.I. the bureau had not been able to identify anyone in the United States besides the hijackers themselves who had had prior knowledge of the plot.

''While here, the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage,'' Mr. Mueller said. ''As far as we know, they contacted no known terrorist sympathizers in the United States. They committed no crimes, with the exception of minor traffic violations. They dressed and acted like Americans, shopping and eating at places like Wal-Mart and Pizza Hut.''

Mr. Mueller's testimony about Mr. al-Mihdhar and Mr. al-Hazmi is significant because it reveals fresh details about the role played by the two hijackers who were being tracked by intelligence agencies before the attacks. The handling of information about Mr. al-Mihdhar and Mr. al-Hazmi by the C.I.A. and the F.B.I. in the 18 months before Sept. 11 has been a central focus of the Congressional inquiry.

In his testimony, Mr. Mueller also made these disclosures:

*A cellphone message from one of the hijackers, Ziad Jarrah, to Mr. Atta referred to him as the ''boss,'' reinforcing the authorities' view that he was the plot's ringleader.

*During the summer of 2001, some hijackers, including Mr. Atta and Nawaf al Hazmi, met face-to-face for regular monthly meetings that Mr. Mueller said were to discuss the status of the operation and final preparations for the attacks.

*In a coordinated movement in the days before the attacks, the hijackers moved from places around the country to their final departure cities, with several beginning to assemble on Sept. 5, 2001, and others on Sept. 8.

*The hijackers communicated with each other frequently using 133 different prepaid calling cards to call from pay phones, cellphones and other telephone lines.

*The 19 hijackers financed their activities using checking accounts at American banks and debit cards, and some maintained joint bank accounts with other hijackers or shared money to buy airline tickets.

*The first of the hijackers to enter the United States was Hani Hanjour, a pilot aboard American Airlines Flight 77 who arrived in New York on Oct. 3, 1991, from Saudi Arabia.

*Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni who was recently captured in Pakistan and turned over to American authorities, tried to enroll in the Florida Flight Training Center in Venice, Fla., and in August 2000 wired $2,200 as a deposit to the school.

*When their training was complete, the hijackers made a series of surveillance flights in first class seats aboard cross-country flights from the East Coast to California.

*Each surveillance flight included a return stop in Las Vegas, which some officials said were meant to be recreational. Mr. Mueller said the authorities were not sure of the purpose of the stops.

*The hijackers who were not pilots arrived in the United States in pairs within a ''fairly short window'' in 2001, Mr. Mueller said, with the first pair arriving on April 23 and the last pair on June 29.

In January 2000, the C.I.A. found that Mr. al-Mihdhar had attended a meeting of suspected operatives for Al Qaeda in Malaysia and that he was traveling with Mr. al-Hazmi. By January 2001, the agency concluded that the two were probably Qaeda operatives, but the agency did not ask until late August that they be placed on a State Department watch list to prevent their entry into the country. By then they were both in the country.

Mr. Black, the C.I.A.'s former chief of counterterrorism, told the joint committee today that the agency had erred in failing to ask that the two men be placed on a watch list sooner.

Mr. Mueller's account shows that the F.B.I. has learned much more about the rest of the hijackers and the financial support they received from other Qaeda operatives overseas. He disclosed that investigators had determined that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is believed to be the operations chief of Al Qaeda, was one of several people who provided either direct or indirect financial support for the hijackers. Records of a Visa card issued in an alias believed to have been used by Mr. Mohammed provide one of the most concrete pieces of evidence linking Al Qaeda's leaders with the 19 hijackers.

Mr. Mueller said that the plot was ''hatched and financed overseas over a several-year period'' and that Mr. Atta, the suspected ringleader of the plan, first inquired about flight training in the United States in March 2000, when he sent an e-mail message from Germany to several American flight schools. The F.B.I. director added that the hijackers were ''apparently purposely selected to avoid notice.''

The director of central intelligence, George J. Tenet, testified about what was known about the overseas portion of the plot on the same day Mr. Mueller gave his account to the joint committee, but his testimony has not been declassified.

Today's hearing completed the second week of public testimony by the joint Congressional committee, providing an opportunity for senior officials of the F.B.I. and C.I.A. to respond to the joint inquiry's initial reports of its findings.

On Thursday, Mr. Black and Mr. Watson said it was difficult to judge the way they dealt with terrorism before Sept. 11 by the standards imposed after the attacks.

Mr. Watson said he did not believe there was the political will in the country before Sept. 11 for an all-out war on terrorism of the kind the government has waged since the attacks. And he said the defensive battle of the F.B.I. was nearly impossible to win. ''We're like a soccer goalkeeper,'' he said. ''We can block 99 shots, and nobody wants to talk about any of those. And the only thing anyone wants to talk about is the one that gets through.''

Mr. Black suggested that the C.I.A. recognized before Sept. 11 that military action in Afghanistan was the only way to thwart Al Qaeda but that the country was not yet prepared for it.

''Nobody regrets more that we did not stop the attacks on Sept. 11,'' Mr. Black said. ''Frankly, from an intelligence perspective, in order to have a fighting chance to protect this country from Al Qaeda, we needed to attack the Afghan terrorist sanctuary protected by the Taliban. C.I.A. appreciated this all too well.''