Centre for Research on Globalisation
Centre de recherche sur la mondialisation

Who was where on 9/11?

by George Pumphrey

www.globalresearch.ca   23 June 2003

The URL of this article is: http://globalresearch.ca/articles/PUM306B.html

It was the FBI that first claimed publicly that the trail leads to Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda. It was the FBI that published the photos and descriptions of the 19 hijacker suspects alleged to have taken part in the 9/11 attack. It was generally accepted that Osama Bin Laden and Al Qaeda were behind the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

In the meantime, every individual piece of FBI "evidence" – one after the other – has been proven to be either false or faked. Many researchers, while rejecting some – if not all – of the "evidence", accept without question the FBI's conclusion that Arabs/Muslims are behind the attacks. Based on this belief they have gone on to research the links of the administration with Arabs (Bin Laden's family members), or other Muslims, who, through a presumed guilt by association, become themselves accused of being implicated in the attacks. This not only represents a return to a policy of collective guilt, but it also creates a less than critical attitude toward evidence.

The case of Gen. Mahmud Ahmad

Several researchers have taken the fact that Gen. Mahmud Ahmad was having talks in Washington D.C. with key members of the administration and Congress at the time of the attacks, to be an important piece of evidence implicating a strong possibility of his having been involved. At the time Gen. Ahmad was director-general of Pakistan's secret service, the Inter Services Intelligence (ISI). He has since resigned from this post.

On page one of his book, War and Globalisation: The Truth behind September 11," Michel Choussudovsky1 rightfully points out: "Barely a few hours following the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, Osama bin Laden and his Al-Qaeda network were identified by the Bush administration – without supporting evidence – as 'the prime suspects'".2 This supporting evidence has yet to be presented.

In his article " The missing Link behind 9-113" Prof. Chossudovsky writes:

"The FBI confirmed in late September [2002], in an interview with ABC News (which went virtually unnoticed) that the 9-11 ring leader, Mohammed Atta, had been financed from unnamed sources in Pakistan:

"'As to September 11th, federal authorities have told ABC News they have now tracked more than $100,000 from banks in Pakistan, to two banks in Florida, to accounts held by suspected hijack ring leader, Mohammed Atta. (...) "Time Magazine" is reporting that some of that money came in the days just before the attack and can be traced directly to people connected to Osama bin Laden. It's all part of what has been a successful FBI effort so far to close in on the hijacker's high commander, the money men, the planners and the mastermind."4

This information linking Atta to Gen. Ahmad originated in the secret services of India, Pakistan's primary regional enemy. India would like to see US pressure be applied to isolate Pakistan in the international arena. But there are others who would also applaud a weakening of the country with the "Muslim Bomb".

The Times of India boasts of India's coup against Pakistan:

"While the Pakistani Inter Services Public Relations claimed that former ISI director-general Lt-Gen Mahmud Ahmad sought retirement after being superseded on Monday, the truth is more shocking.

"Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday, that the general lost his job because of the 'evidence' India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen Mahumd.

"Senior government sources have confirmed that India contributed significantly to establishing the link between the money transfer and the role played by the dismissed ISI chief. While they did not provide details, they said that Indian inputs, including Sheikh's mobile phone number, helped the FBI in tracing and establishing the link. 5

Assuming that in spite of the misspellings this article is alleging that the smoking gun is the $100,000 wired to Mohammed Atta by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the insistence of Gen Mahmud". How credible is this evidence?

Was the Mohammad Atta, who received the money, that "Muslim fundamentalist" who ostentatiously flashed his credit card in night clubs and bars, so that everyone would have a record of his name, on the night before Sept. 11? Was it the same Mohammad Atta, who was supposed to have piloted the plane into the WTC, but, who spoke to his father twice on the phone since his "suicide"?6 Or was it someone using the name Mohammad Atta with an account in Florida? Since the second telephone call to his family, the Egyptian Atta has never been seen - dead or alive - or heard from again. No tangible link – besides the FBI's word – has been made between Atta and the World Trade Center attack.

But even if this Atta were the terrorist – does the word of someone in the Indian secret service that Gen. Ahmad insisted on having money wired to (a) Mohammad Atta make him a party to an act of terror? If Ahmad really had been the person to have had the money wired, is this proof that he knew of a terrorist plot? Wiring money – like flashing a credit card – is a convenient way to leave a trail. The head of the Pakistani secret service would know this. And given the lack of tangible evidence, Atta remains innocent until his guilt is proven.

Was the Sheikh's mobile phone number given to the FBI in order to play the "trojan relay" trick? Faking phone calls is particularly easy with an FBI that refuses to investigate.7 Is the FBI allowing itself to be manipulated into helping isolate the enemy of a friend?

Is the FBI's $100,000 financial smoking gun any more credible than Atta's "meeting" at the Iraqi embassy in Prague?

What is the source of the Times of India's information? The journal cites "Top sources," "Senior government sources" and "Indian officials" as their information sources. In most circles this can be translated to mean the secret services of India. The Times boasts:

"A direct link between the ISI and the WTC attack could have enormous repercussions. The US cannot but suspect whether or not there were other senior Pakistani Army commanders who were in the know of things. Evidence of a larger conspiracy could shake US confidence in Pakistan's ability to participate in the anti-terrorism coalition."8

Hardly an unbiased journalistic motivation. Has there been verification of this "ISI-terrorist link" or has it simply been repeated often enough that it is now unquestionably taken as fact?

This "terrorist link" is totally dependent upon belief in an Osama Bin Laden/Al Qaeda link to 9/11 which, though widely repeated, has yet to be proven.

Much has been written concerning with whom Gen. Ahmad met and spoke. But nothing has been said about at whose invitation he happened to be on US territory?

Was he invited by his counterpart, CIA Director Tenet? For what purpose? Was it coincidental or deliberate from the side of his hosts, that Gen. Ahmad was present in Washington at the time of the attacks?9

Another leader of a close US ally, for example, was refused permission to visit New York, by his country's secret services. He was due to be a keynote speaker at the World Trade Center building. He officially informed his hosts, Sept. 10, 2001, that he would not be attending.

If Gen. Ahmad had known attacks were planned, (after all he, himself, was the head of the ISI) would he have accepted to be on US territory at the time of the attacks? Wouldn't he have avoided the grounds for accusations that were raised by India and the FBI?

What purpose would Gen. Ahmad's presence in Washington serve, other than to create one new piece of circumstantial evidence of inferred guilt-by-religion. What purpose was his presence on the western shores of the Atlantic supposed to serve in connection with the hijackings?

The series in the Washington Post furnishes very interesting information on this question. General Ahmad is mentioned for the first time under the date Thursday, September 13th.

"By now, the war cabinet was moving in many different directions. At the State Department, Powell and his team were working on building an international coalition against terrorism.

"They were focusing on Pakistan, regarding it as the linchpin of their plan. It was one of only two nations in the world that formally recognized the Taliban as the official government of Afghanistan, and the radical Islamic movement had a substantial following within its borders. Gen. Pervez Musharraf had come to power in a military coup in 1999, and the year before the United States had imposed sanctions after the Pakistanis set off a nuclear test. This had significantly increased the danger of nuclear war with India and raised tensions in the South Asian subcontinent.

"Powell had told Bush that whatever action he took, it could not be done without Pakistan's support. But the Pakistanis had to be put on notice, and Powell had in mind a pitcher's brushback pitch to a particularly dangerous batter – high, fast and hard to the head. Squeezing Musharraf too hard was risky, given the potential for fundamentalist unrest inside his country, but Powell believed they had no other choice.

"'Do what you have to do,' the president said. Working with his deputy, Richard L. Armitage, Powell realized he had a blank check. Let's make it up, he said to Armitage. What do we want out of these guys? The two started making a list:

"'Stop al Qaeda operatives at your border, intercept arms shipments through Pakistan and end ALL logistical support for bin Laden.'

"Second: 'Blanket overflight and landing rights.'

"Third: Access to Pakistan, naval bases, air bases and borders.

"Fourth: Immediate intelligence and immigration information.

"Fifth: Condemn the Sept. 11 attacks and 'curb all domestic expressions of support for terrorism against the [United States], its friends or allies.' Powell and Armitage knew that was something they couldn't even do in the United States.

"Sixth: Cut off all shipments of fuel to the Taliban and stop Pakistani volunteers from going into Afghanistan to join the Taliban.

"The seventh demand was one Powell thought would trip up the Pakistanis or cause Musharraf to go into a fetal position: 'Should the evidence strongly implicate Osama bin Laden and the al Qaeda network in Afghanistan AND should Afghanistan and the Taliban continue to harbor him and this network, Pakistan will break diplomatic relations with the Taliban government, end support for the Taliban and assist us in the aforementioned ways to destroy Osama bin Laden and his al Qaeda network.'

"In so many words, Powell and Armitage would be asking Pakistan to help destroy what its intelligence service had helped create and maintain: the Taliban.

"Armitage called the Pakistani intelligence chief, Gen. Mahmud Ahmad, with whom he had met the previous day, to the State Department. This is not negotiable, he told the general, handing him a single sheet of paper with the seven demands. You must accept all seven parts.

"At 1:30 p.m. Powell called Musharraf. 'As one general to another,' Powell said, 'we need someone on our flank fighting with us. Speaking candidly, the American people would not understand if Pakistan was not in this fight with the United States.'

"Musharraf said that Pakistan would support the United States with each of the seven demanded actions."10

It would seem clear that Gen. Ahmad was "invited" to Washington IN ORDER to have someone from the Pakistani government – the "linchpin of their plan" – receive the orders for the, long since planned, war on Afghanistan. With the resignation of Gen. Ahmad India breathed a sigh of relief.11

Not only does the Washington Post series furnish information about who WAS in Washington during the attacks, but even more interesting is the information about who was NOT. The Post reports:

"That morning the president's key advisers were scattered. Cheney and Rice were at their offices in the West Wing. Rumsfeld was at his office in the Pentagon, meeting with a delegation from Capitol Hill. Powell had just sat down for breakfast with the new president of Peru, Alejandro Toledo, in Lima. Tenet was at breakfast with his old friend and mentor, former senator David Boren (D-Okla.), at the St. Regis Hotel, three blocks from the White House. Gen. Henry H. Shelton, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was halfway across the Atlantic on the way to Europe. Attorney General John D. Ashcroft was bound for Milwaukee. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III, on the job for just a week, was in his office at FBI headquarters on Pennsylvania Avenue."12

FBI Director Robert Mueller had been on the job for just one week. He couldn't have had any idea of all the "unconnected dots" that had to be in place for 9/11 to have run so smoothly. What role was played by former director, Louis J. Freeh and acting director, Thomas J. Pickard in the lead-up to 9/11?

Other interesting points are given about who had access to Washington DC:

"In Lima, Powell abruptly ended his breakfast with the Peruvian president after getting word of the second strike on the trade center and made plans to return to Washington. 'Get the plane,' he told an assistant. 'Go tell them we're leaving.' He had a seven-hour flight, with poor phone connections, ahead of him.

"(...)[9:30 a.m. Sept. 11] 'This has bin Laden all over it,' Tenet said to Boren. "I've got to go."

"(...) 9:32 a.m. Over the Atlantic, Shelton ordered his plane to return to Washington. But he couldn't get approval from air traffic controllers, who were diverting all planes, even the one used by the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. He was ready to defy the controllers, figuring it was easier to ask later for forgiveness, when his deputy called to say he had obtained the necessary clearance."13

George Tenet gives the spin, minutes after the first attacks.

The administration talking immediately about being at "war" while the highest officer in the chain of command, the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is being delayed and kept at bay, hovering over the Atlantic.

In a "chicken hawk" cabinet, the 2 falcons with combat experience, Gen. Colin Powell and Gen. Henry Shelton were both hours away from US shores. A coincidence? Or was It planned that way?

Who arranged the invitation to Peru and the Shelton trip to Europe? Were the dates coincidental or deliberate? "Ironically," writes the London Observer "the Pentagon hawks' principal obstacles apart from Powell is the military itself, much of which remains loyal to the view of its erstwhile chief, Powell, that 'American GIs are not pawns on some global game board'."14

It is in the immediate aftermath of the attacks, that the political/ideological spin is set. With both Gen. Powell and Gen. Shelton out of the country, the spin doctors were able to set the stage at will, leaving room for none other than their own interpretations of events and their consequences. They had a free hand at designating their scapegoats.

Combat tested officers could not be so easily duped by "weekend warriors" dead-bent on playing "cowboys and colored people" with the Arab world. They would have had a more realistic assessment of the Afghani, and even Saudi warfare capabilities, and weighed these against the highly developed capabilities in countries of the western world. But returning to the scene, hours later, it would be useless for the generals to correct the exaggerations and falsifications that had already been massively propagated.

If those responsible for 9/11 could keep Shelton and Powell out of the picture, they could also bring Ahmad into the picture. That is what false flag terrorism is all about: having a set of dots readied so that they could be connected in a desired direction, while shutting out interference during the time the dots are being put in place.


  1. Professor of Economics at the University of Ottawa and Director of the Center for Research on Globalization, Prof. Chossudovsky is co-editor of the magazine "Global Outlook"
  2.  Chossudovsky, Michel "War and Globalisation: The Truth Behind September 11", Global Outlook 2002, p. 1
  3.  Chossudovsky, Michel, "Political Deception: The Missing Link behind 9-11," Global Outlook, No. 2. Summer 2002 Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG), globalresearch.ca , 20 June 2002 (revised 27 June), Chapter 10 of his book War and Globalisation is a slightly abridged version of the article quoted here. URL: http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO111A.html http://www.globalresearch.ca/articles/CHO206A.html .
  4.  Statement of Brian Ross reporting on information conveyed to him by the FBI, ABC News, This Week, September 30, 2001(Footnote in Chossudovsky's original)
  5.  See: JOSHI, MANOJ, India helped FBI trace ISI-terrorist links; Pakistani Lt-Gen Ahmad Wired $100,000 to WTC Hijacker Mohammed Atta, 'The Times Of India', October 12, 2001, http://www.timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1454238160 http://www.timesofindia.com/articleshow.asp?art_id=1454238160
  6.  "Das kann nur der Mossad", Der Spiegel, (Hamburg) Oct. 8, 2001
  7.  For description of the Trojan, see chapter: "What are they Hiding?" in the main text
  8.  JOSHI op. cit.
  9.  See chapter: "9/11: A Case Of False Flag Terrorism?" in the main text.
  10.  Balz, D., Woodward, B. and Himmelman, J., "Afghan Campaign's Blueprint Emerges," Washington Post, Jan. 29, 2002
  11.  This is in no way a value judgement on the politics of the Pakistani or Indian governments. They are locked in a warfare situation and each will use the tools that fall from the heavens to overcome the adversary. The fact that Pakistan is a Muslim state, is a convenient opportunity. But it says nothing about the complicity of Pakistan in this attack.
  12.  Balz, Dan and Woodward, Bob, America's Chaotic Road to War: Bush's Global Strategy Began to Take Shape in First Frantic Hours After Attack, Washington Post January 27, 2002;
  13.  ibid
  14. Vulliamy, Ed, Inside the Pentagon Hawks and doves fight for control of campaign; America weighs up its military options War on Terrorism The Observer, September 30, 2001

 Copyright G Pumphrey 2003.  For fair use only/ pour usage ιquitable seulement .