Bush Administration Explanations for Pre-9-11
Warnings Fail the Smell Test

Warnings Received From Heads of State, Allied
Intelligence Services Specifically Warned of
Suicide Attacks by Hijackers

Insider Trading Also Clearly Warned of Attacks

by Michael C. Ruppert

(c) Copyright 2002, From The Wilderness
Publications, All Rights
Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or posted on an
Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.

May 16, 2002, 19:00 PDT (FTW) --
Never in the history of scandals involving the
United States government has an attempt to
conceal criminal conduct by an administration
been more transparently dishonest or more easily
exposed. On May 15 White House Press Secretary Ari
Fleischer -- while making the startling admission that
President Bush received CIA and FBI intelligence
briefings in August indicating Osama bin Laden
might be planning hijackings -- told major news
sources including CBS News, "All appropriate
action was taken based on the threat information we had,"
Fleischer said. "The president did not -- not --
receive information about the use of airplanes
as missiles by suicide bombers."

In other statements Fleischer told the press,
"The president was also provided information about
bin Laden wanting to engage in hijacking in the
traditional pre-9-11 sense, not for the use of
suicide bombing, not for the use of an airplane
as a missile." According to a May 16 story by
the New York Times, "Mr. Fleischer said the
information given to the president in Texas
[last August], had prompted the administration to put law
enforcement agencies on alert."

Every major position taken by an administration
in full retreat and on the defensive can be easily
deconstructed and shown to be false.

For more than seven months FTW has been
documenting specific warnings received by the U.S.
government from both foreign intelligence services and,
in one case, from Russian President Vladimir
Putin, indicating commercial airliners were
going to be used by terrorists to attack --
among other things -- the World Trade Center
in the week of Sept. 9. In order for Fleischer’s
statement to be credible he would have to assert
then that George W. Bush either ignored or was
not informed of a direct warning from a head of
state and also from the German intelligence
service, the BND.

As reported in the German daily Frankfurter
Algemeine Zeitung (FAZ)
on Sept. 14, the BND warned both the CIA and
Israel in June that Middle Eastern terrorists
were "planning to hijack commercial aircraft to
use as weapons to attack important symbols of
American and Israeli culture." The story specifically
referred to an electronic eavesdropping system known
as Echelon, wherein a number of countries tap
cell phone and electronic communications in
partner countries and then pool the information.
The BND warnings were also passed to the United

No known denial by the BND of the accuracy of
this story exists, and the FAZ report indicates the
information was received directly from BND

According to a Sept. 14 report in the Internet
German police, monitoring the phone calls of a
jailed Iranian man, learned the man was
telephoning U.S. intelligence agencies last
summer to warn of an imminent attack on the
World Trade Center in the week of
Sept. 9. German officials confirmed the calls to
the U.S. government for the story but refused to
discuss additional details.

According to a story in Izvestia on Sept. 12,
Russian intelligence warned the U.S. last summer
that as many as 25 suicide pilots were training
for suicide missions involving the crashing of airliners
into important targets.

In an MSNBC interview on Sept. 15, Russian
President Putin stated he had ordered Russian intelligence
to warn the U.S. government "in the
strongest possible terms" of imminent assaults
on airports and government buildings before the
attacks on Sept. 11. No credible information has emerged
from any source indicating that Putin omitted the
above information when issuing the warning.

Many other direct warnings were received by the
U.S. government and have been documented in
FTW’s 9-11 timeline located at:

These stories give the immediate lie to
Fleischer’s statements that Bush had no inkling of
airliners being used as weapons.

But there is more.

In 1996 -- as reported by the German paper Die
Welt on Dec. 6, and by Agence France Presse on Dec.
7 -- Western intelligence services, including the CIA,
learned after arrests in the Philippines
that Al Qaeda operatives had planned to crash commercial
airliners into the Twin Towers.
Details of the plan, as reported by a number of
American press outlets, were found on a computer
seized during the arrests. The plan was called
"Operation Bojinka." Details of the plot were
disclosed publicly in 1997 in the New York trial
of Ramsi Youssef for his involvement in the 1993
World Trade Center bombing.


In "traditional" hijackings the hijackers have
no need or desire to learn how to fly.

As reported by the New York Times, CNN and the
Washington Post (among others) the events leading
to Fleischer’s statements were the recent disclosure of
FBI memoranda originated by field agents in Arizona
and Minnesota that warned of a possible hijack
attempt by bin Laden’s followers. In both cases
the suspects were taking flight lessons.

According to Newsweek and the New York Times,
FBI agents in Phoenix submitted a classified
memorandum in July naming Osama bin Laden and
tracking the activities of possible Middle Eastern
terrorist suspects who had enrolled in local flight
schools. The memo, according to the Times,
stated bin Laden’s followers "could use the
schools to train for terror operations." The
information in the Phoenix memo was not shared
with FBI field agents in Minnesota who had
uncovered other startling evidence.

Just days before the attacks in early-September,
FBI agents in Minnesota wrote notes that
subsequently became included in an internal FBI
document warning that accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui
"might be planning on flying something into the
World Trade Center." A story from the
May 20 issue of Newsweek by Michael Isikoff
described how a local flight instructor had reported
Moussaoui had "showed a suspicious interest in
learning how to steer [and not land] large
airliners…The [FBI] agents were ‘in a frenzy,
absolutely convinced he was planning to so something
with a plane.’"

A multitude of sources have reported the FBI
agents requested a warrant to search Moussaoui’s personal
computer but were denied by Attorney General John
Ashcroft’s Justice Department. After the 9-11
attacks the computer was seized and found to
contain information directly related to the
World Trade Center attacks.

This apparent lack of support from within the
administration is consistent with reports released last
fall by the BBC’s Gregg Palast showing that in
January 2001 the Bush Administration had issued
direct orders to the FBI to curtail
investigations of two of Osama bin Laden’s
relatives, Omar and Abdullah bin Laden. The two bin Ladens
had been connected to possible terrorist
activities and were living in Falls Church,
Va., near CIA headquarters.


Fleischer’s statement that adequate warnings had
been given to appropriate federal agencies falls flat
on its face. Two of the most "appropriate" agencies
would have been the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Air Force and
Air National Guard.

As documented by researchers like Jared Israel
at , it has been standard FAA
procedure for more than 25 years to scramble U.S.
fighters to intercept -- not shoot down -- any errant or
non-responsive aircraft under FAA control. This
protocol is even more stringent in the case of a
hijacking. Yet, Vice President Dick Cheney and
others have stated publicly there were no
fighters available in some cases, and there was
no heightened state of alert on Sept. 11. For 50 minutes
on 9-11, in direct contravention of established
policy, no fighters were scrambled to intercept
two outstanding hijacked airliners even though
it was known attacks were in progress.

Given the above information, it would have been
an obvious move to have placed fighter aircraft on
a heightened state of alert in this time period. This
unresponsiveness stands in contrast to the fact
that, in October 1999 at a time when there was
no heightened alert, the ill-fated Lear Jet
occupied by golfer Payne Stewart had an F-16 fighter
and an A-10 attack aircraft flying beside it within
minutes of losing radio contact and veering off


FTW has spent months on this important story
that proves foreknowledge of the attacks by people
who also profited from them. This was a glaring warning
signal, since such trades ran the risk of being
detected by intelligence agencies that routinely
monitor all market activity in real time.

The insider trading involves the placement of
large numbers of "put" options on stocks of companies
directly affected by the Sept. 11 attacks. They
include United Air Lines, American Air Lines,
Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, AXA Reinsurance,
Munich Reinsurance and Swiss Reinsurance. Put
options are a leveraged bet that a stock’s price will
fall dramatically.

As CBS news noted on Sept. 26, the peak of
trading activity occurred just before the attacks. There
was a jump in United Air Lines put options 90 times
(not 90 percent) above normal between Sept. 6
and Sept.10, and 285 times higher than average
on Sept. 6. Numbers for other affected stocks
were equally alarming. It is uncontested that
only United and American stocks had this level of put
buying before the attacks. No other airlines were

A May 13 story by the Washington Times’ Insight
Magazine attempted to explain the insider trading
by stating higher numbers of put options had been placed
on United and American stocks earlier in 2001. By
relying only on the numbers of put options,
Insight asserted that there was nothing unusual
about the pre-9-11 trades.

However, FTW has contacted several experienced
traders and reviewed existing documentation from financial
experts, which indicate the alarm for insider
trading is to look for any "imbalance" between
the level of put options (a bet that a stock’s
price will fall) and the level of call options
(a bet that a stock’s price will rise). It is a
significant imbalance in puts vs. calls that indicates
criminal insider trading. The Insight piece did not
address this point.

Several traders have stated that in a fairly
flat market with high trading volumes, it has been a
routine procedure for experienced traders to
place roughly equal numbers of puts and calls on
various stocks in order to generate a paper cash
flow. They were quick to point out that by
September, the market had gone into sharp decline
and trading volumes were way down. Thus, lower numbers of
put options did not mean that everything was
normal. They stressed it was the imbalance in
put-to-call ratios that signaled the insider
trading. [Ed. Note: FTW has undertaken a more
detailed investigation of this trading activity and
hopes to have a more comprehensive report within 4-6

Part of the problem in Insight’s research stems
from the fact that since Sept. 11, there has been
no transparency from either the government or the
financial sector on how the trades worked or how
the markets tracked them. Secrecy is everywhere.
Telephone calls have not been returned, and the
government refuses to divulge any information
about probes it admits are still ongoing. But simplistic
dismissals from sources quoted in the Insight story
contradict not only other evidence, but
statements made by financial experts and major
news sources just after the attacks.

"This could very well be insider trading at the
worst, most horrific, most evil use you’ve ever seen
in your entire life…This would be one of the most
extraordinary coincidences in the history of
mankind if it was a coincidence," said Dylan
Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News, interviewed
Sept. 20 on Good Morning Texas.

"’I saw put-call numbers higher than I’ve ever
seen in 10 years of following the markets, particularly
the options markets,’ said John Kinnucan, principal
of Broadband Research, as quoted in the San
Francisco Chronicle," reported the Montreal
Gazette on Sept. 19.

To quote 60 Minutes from Sept. 19, "Sources tell
CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm
bells were sounding over unusual trading in the U.S.
stock options market."

Assertions that the reported number of puts
involved were not abnormal also failed to analyze highly
intricate shell games that involve the movement of
put options to markets outside the U.S. or
hidden in what traders refer to as "net
positions." Serious financial experts have indicated
the profits from insider trading could have been in the
billions. Andreas von Bulow, a former member of
the German parliament responsible for oversight
of Germany’s intelligence services, estimated
the worldwide amount at $15 billion, according
to Tagesspiegel on Jan. 13. Other experts have
estimated the amount at $12 billion. CBS News gave a
conservative estimate of $100 million.

A hasty conclusion reached by many is the
insider trades were placed by bin Laden and his associates.
Such a notion is flatly contradicted by the now
absolute certainty that such insider trades
would have -- and apparently did -- set off
alarm bells. It makes little sense to argue bin
Laden et al would have risked compromising at the last
minute an operation planned in total secrecy for at
least four years.

Also lacking credibility is the argument that
many of the trades were what some brokers described
as inconsequential amounts valued at $1 million or $2
million. This does not address the possibility
that U.S. intelligence officials decided in a
few cases to make a quick profit from attacks
they knew were going to succeed. As distasteful
as it may seem, this explanation is far more credible than
an assumption that bin Laden made the trades
himself and risked the exposure of what the
world has been led to believe was his life’s

For more information on 9-11 insider trading
please visit

The explanations offered by the Bush Administration
over the last 48 hours will not withstand even the
slightest scrutiny if a major press organization
asks any question about the warnings received
from credible foreign government sources and
heads of state. Other questions must inevitably
follow that will implode an oil dictatorship whose sins
and crimes are exposed and just waiting for someone
to pick them up and run with them.