WHO SHOT NEW 9/11 TAPES? AL QAEDA OR SOMEONE
By: Justin Raimondo
I shivered, a little, as I watched Lisa Meyers' report on NBC the other
"New and threatening messages have been received from Al Qaeda. There's a
videotape aimed at American and Saudi Arabian rulers and another that includes what
appears to be well-produced footage of the 9/11 attacks raising still other
This new 9/11 footage sure does raise a lot of other questions, first
and foremost: who shot the video? It was posted on what is described as "a known
Al-Qaeda website" last Wednesday, although it was taken down after a few days. Aside
from the usual militaristic gymnastics by jihadi commandos, Meyers reports:
"The tape also contains what U.S. counterterror experts say may be
never-before-broadcast video of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York's World Trade
Center shot from across the East River in Brooklyn. The FBI says it is familiar with the
video, which was provided by a friendly bystander. But that raises the question how
did a tape that was not widely circulated end up on a known Al Qaeda site?"
It's sinister to contemplate. Video believed to have been in U.S. government hands
somehow pops up on a website alleged to be an Al Qaeda mouthpiece, and U.S. government
officials hold it up as a reason to cower in fear before the threat of another major
terrorist attack on American soil. Meanwhile, the President avers that Iraq is the central
arena in his "war on terrorism," and his supporters claim that we're battling
them in the streets of Baghdad so we don't have to fight them in the streets of Boise
alliterative cliche first comes to mind.
The idea that Al Qaeda had additional agents in the area, who knew the attack was
coming, would certainly explain the unflinching steadiness of the camera's eye as it
recorded the terror of that moment. But instead of inventing additional elements and
players, it's always best to stick with what we already know. So who else just happened to
be videotaping the World Trade Center attack that day?
Hours after the terrorist struck, five
people were arrested in New Jersey as they taped the WTC from their vantage point
across the Hudson River in New Jersey. A witness identified only as "Maria" by ABC News
said she saw:
"Three young men kneeling on the roof of a white van in the parking lot of her
apartment building. 'They seemed to be taking a movie,' Maria said. The men were taking
video or photos of themselves with the World Trade Center burning in the background, she
"What struck Maria were the expressions on the men's faces. 'They were like
happy, you know
They didn't look shocked to me. I thought it was very strange,' she
Even stranger it turned out the five were Israelis.
When law enforcement swooped down on this crew, they found them in possession of $4,700 in
cash, box cutters, and multiple foreign passports. Police dogs reacted as if the presence
of explosives was indicated, and, as the Bergen County Record reported:
"Sources close to the investigation said they found other evidence linking the
men to the bombing plot. 'There are maps of the city in the car with certain places
highlighted,' the source said. 'It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like
they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park.'"
These guys were held for three months, much of the time in solitary confinement, and
extensively interrogated. One refused to take a lie detector test for weeks, and then
failed it. All five had been in the employ of Urban Moving Systems, of Weehawken, New
Jersey, the company name on their van's registration.
Police raided the Urban Moving Systems warehouse 48 hours later, and carted away a lot
of computer hard drives and other materials. The owner, one Dominik Suter, fled to Israel
the next day. A few months later, Suter's name turned up on a list of terrorist suspects circulated
by the FBI to European financial institutions.
The apprehended Israelis claimed that they were merely "documenting" the
day's events: police confiscated their photographic equipment, and whatever film they had
taken. The new film shows the World Trade Center burning from the Brooklyn side of the
East River, while the Urban Movers were filming from the vantage point of Liberty State
Park, across the Hudson River in New Jersey. But whomever had foreknowledge of the attack
on the World Trade Center could have taken that film and Al Qaeda operatives are
not the only possible suspects.
I have written at length about the five arrested Israelis in my new book, The
Terror Enigma: 9/11 and the Israeli Connection, and I commend the attention of my
readers to this modest little volume if they want to know more. I bring this up, not
merely to plug my book, but to point out that we can't begin to understand the strange
expropriation of this previously unknown footage outside the context provided by The
As I prove in my book, Al Qaeda did not carry out its plans for a major terrorist
attack entirely undetected. The Israelis were hot on the trail of the 9/11 hijackers,
and must have had some foreknowledge of what happened that fateful day.
Did they shoot the footage we are just now seeing, or was an Al Qaeda film team at the
ready the moment the twin towers were hit? Readers of The Terror Enigma will
understand how and why the former scenario is just as likely the latter.
As to how, in that case, the video passed into the hands of Al Qaeda's propagandists
it wouldn't be the
first time the fruits of Israeli spying operations in the U.S. fell into the hands of
In any case, how this new 9/11 footage, previously known only to the FBI and a
"friendly bystander," wound up in Al Qaeda's possession or in the hands
of a website claiming to represent them is a mystery that the U.S. government seems
quite uninterested in unraveling.
Justin Raimondo is Editorial Director
He is a regular columnist for Ether Zone.
Justin Raimondo may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org
Published in the December 8, 2003 issue of Ether Zone
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