[Ed. Note: May 31, 2002 - After
commissioning a professional translation of a Russian news story
used as a source in
FTW reportage, we discovered the word
"suicide" was not contained in warnings to the Bush
Administration from Russian intelligence. Although the word
"suicide" was not in the story by Izvestia, the fact remains 25
pilots training for hijack missions and attacks in the
U.S. could have
meant nothing other than suicide missions.]
April 22, 2002, 12:00 PDT
(FTW) (Revised May 18, 2002) -- A dispassionate examination of
existing reliable, open-source evidence on advance warnings of
the Sept. 11 attacks provides strong and sustainable grounds to
conclude the Bush Administration was in possession of sufficient
advance intelligence to have prevented the attacks, had it
wished to do so. With a known intelligence budget of
approximately $30 billion, it must be assumed there are
classified files that only add to the weight of the available
data presented here.
This article will focus on four primary areas where the U.S. was
in possession of information that forewarned of the attacks in
sufficient detail to have prompted their prevention. Those areas
are: Documented warnings received by the United States
Government (USG) from foreign intelligence services; Obvious and
large scale insider stock trading in the days before the
attacks; Known intelligence successes achieved by the USG in its
penetrations of Al Qaeda; and, the case of Delmart "Mike"
Vreeland, a U.S. Naval intelligence officer jailed in Canada at
the request of U.S. authorities, who -- with his attorneys --
spent months attempting to warn USG and Canadian intelligence
officials of the pending attacks, only to be rebuffed and
As a last-ditch measure in
August, Vreeland, the jailed and disowned intelligence
operative, had two pens smuggled into his jail cell of a
different color and style of ink than what was allowed by the
jail. He wrote a hasty warning listing details of the attacks
and then had the letter sealed into his jail property, out of
reach, and promptly advised jailers that he was in possession of
unapproved pens. These pens were admittedly confiscated by jail
authorities, who have retained possession of them and
acknowledged that Vreeland had no such pens in his jail cell
after that time.
This article will not focus on a number of well-known and
documented instances where the Bush Administration actively
interfered with or curtailed investigations into Al Qaeda-linked
groups that could have provided even more intelligence. Included
in this category are reports by the BBC's Gregg Palast,
the French book "The Forbidden Truth," and a lawsuit/OPR
complaint filed by an active FBI agent alleging investigations
that could have prevented the attacks were derailed by
WARNINGS FROM FOREIGN INTELLIGENCE
This section focuses on known advance warnings received by the
U.S. government from foreign intelligence services that proved
to be specific enough to have identified the date (within one
week), method, targets, and perpetrators of the attacks. It will
not include warnings issued to the USG that could be considered
vague or non-specific. The latter includes documented warnings
sent by the governments of Egypt and Israel. However, in light
of the specific warnings, these additional warnings add greater
weight to the argument that the Administration was in possession
of sufficient information to have prevented the attacks.
As reported in the respected German daily Frankfurter
Algemeine Zeitung (FAZ) on Sept. 13, the German
intelligence service, the BND, warned both the CIA and Israel in
June of 2001 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 story indicates that the information was received
directly from BND sources.
According to a Sept. 14 report in the Internet newswire
online.ie, German police, monitoring the phone calls of a
jailed Iranian man, learned the man was telephoning USG
intelligence agencies last summer to warn of an imminent attack
on the WTC in the week of Sept. 9. German officials confirmed
the calls to the USG for the story but refused to discuss
In August 2000 French intelligence sources confirmed a man
recently arrested in Boston by the FBI was an Islamic militant
and a key member of Osama bin Laden's Al Qaeda network. The FBI
knew the man had been taking flying lessons at the time of his
arrest and was in possession of technical information on Boeing
aircraft and flight manuals, as reported by Reuters on Sept. 13.
According to a story in
Izveztia on Sept. 12, Russian intelligence warned the USG
that as many as 25 pilots were training for missions involving
the crashing of airliners into important targets.
In an MSNBC interview on Sept. 15, Russian President
Vladimir Putin stated he had ordered Russian intelligence to
warn the USG "in the strongest possible terms" of imminent
assaults on airports and government buildings before the attacks
on Sept. 11.
Conclusion: From just these five press stories, then, the USG
had received credible advance warnings, some from heads of
state, that commercial aircraft would be hijacked by as many as
25 hijackers at airports, with Boston a strong candidate, during
the week of Sept. 9. The call to Odigo would have signaled the
No known preventive measures were taken.
The documented pre-Sept. 11 insider trading that occurred before
the attacks involved only companies hit hard by the attacks.
They include United Airlines, American Airlines, Morgan Stanley,
Merrill-Lynch, Axa Reinsurance, Marsh & McLennan, Munich
Reinsurance, Swiss Reinsurance, and Citigroup.
In order to argue that the massive and well-documented insider
trading that occurred in at least seven countries immediately
before the attacks of Sept. 11 did not serve as a warning to
intelligence agencies, then it is necessary to argue that no one
was aware of the trades as they were occurring, and that
intelligence and law enforcement agencies of most industrialized
nations do not monitor stock trades in real time to warn of
impending attacks. Both assertions are false. Both assertions
would also ignore the fact that the current executive vice
president of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) for enforcement
is David Doherty, a retired CIA general counsel. And also
ignored is the fact that the trading in United Airlines stock --
one of the most glaring clues -- was placed through the firm
Deutschebank/Alex Brown, which was headed until 1998 by the man
who is now the executive director of the CIA, A.B. "Buzzy"
One wonders if it was a coincidence then, that Mayo Shattuck
III, the head of the Alex Brown unit of Deutschebank -- which
had its offices in the WTC -- suddenly resigned from a $30
million, three-year contract on Sept. 12, as reported by the New
York Times and other papers.
The American exchanges that handle these trades, primarily the
Chicago Board of Options Exchange (CBOE) and the NYSE, know on a
daily basis what levels of put options are purchased. "Put
options" are highly leveraged bets, tying up blocks of stock,
that a given stock's share price will fall dramatically. 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."
It is hard to believe that they missed:
- A jump in UAL put options 90 times (not 90 percent) above
normal between Sept. 6 and Sept.10, and 285 times higher than
average on the Thursday before the attack. [CBS News,
- A jump in American Airlines put options 60 times (not 60
percent) above normal on the day before the attacks. [CBS
News, Sept. 26]
- No similar trading occurred on any other airlines. [Bloomberg
Business Report, the Institute for Counterterrorism (ICT),
Herzliyya, Israel citing data from the CBOE]
- Morgan Stanley saw, between Sept. 7 and Sept.10, an increase
of 27 times (not 27 percent) in the purchase of put options on
its shares. [ICT Report, "Mechanics of Possible
Bin-Laden Insider Trading Scam," Sept. 21, citing data from the
- Merrill-Lynch saw a jump of more than 12 times the normal
level of put options in the four trading days before the
These trades were certainly noticed
"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 on Good
Morning Texas on Sept. 20.
"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. The paper also wrote, "Agence
France Presse, on Sept. 22, reported, 'And Germany's
Bundesbank chief, Ernst Weltke, said on the sidelines of the
meeting that a report of the investigation showed "bizarre"
fiscal transactions prior to the attacks that could not have
been chalked up to coincidence.
"Weltke said the
transactions, 'could not have been planned and carried out
without a certain knowledge,' particularly heavy trading in oil
and gold futures."
ABC World News reported on Sept. 20, "Jonathan Winer,
an ABC News consultant said, 'it's absolutely
unprecedented to see cases of insider trading covering the
entire world from Japan, to the U.S., to North America, to
How much money was involved? Andreas von Bülow, a former member
of the German Parliament responsible for oversight of Germanys
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.
Not a single U.S. or foreign investigative agency has announced
any arrests or developments in the investigation of these
trades, the most telling evidence of foreknowledge of the
attacks. This, in spite of the fact that former Security and
Exchange Commission enforcement chief William McLucas told
Bloomberg News that regulators would "certainly be able to track
down every trade."
What is striking is that a National Public Radio report on Oct.
16 reported Britain’s Financial Services Authority had cleared
bin Laden and his henchmen of insider trading. If not bin Laden,
then who else had advance knowledge?
It has been standard and established USG policy to be alert and
responsive to anything even remotely resembling an attack on
U.S. companies and/or the economy. The word "remote" does not
apply here. The possible claim by the Bush Administration that,
'Gee, we just happened to miss this,' becomes even more
implausible when considering the lengths intelligence agencies
go to in order to track stock trades.
Note that the Israeli Institute for Counter-Terrorism was the
first entity to release a detailed report on the insider
trading. That alone is prima facie evidence of a direct
relationship between the financial markets and terrorist
CIA AND THE MARKETS
We can thank Fox News on Oct. 16 for breaking post 9-11
stories disclosing the use of sophisticated PROMIS software by
the FBI and the Justice Department. A multitude of court records
and investigative reports have established not only the reality,
but the versatility of a program initially designed to
incorporate data from a variety of data bases in different
languages into one readable format. PROMIS has since been
refined to include artificial intelligence and "back doors"
inserted by intelligence agencies to allow for surreptitious
retrieval and/or removal and alteration of data.
The Fox stories clearly confirmed, especially when
added to stories from last summer by the Washington Times
which were based on interviews with Justice Department
officials, that PROMIS was used to monitor banking and financial
transactions in a virtual real-time environment.
This writer has written extensively on the software. More
information can be found on the Web site at
However, one point is critical to this report. In fall 2000 I
was visited in Los Angeles by two members of the Royal Canadian
Mounted Police (RCMP) national security staff. They were
conducting a major investigation inside the U.S. to determine
whether or not the RCMP's version of the software had been
compromised. During discussions with the Mounties, I confirmed
several times that the software was used to monitor stock trades
in real time. A subsequent investigation led me to contact
several people in Canada who had been interviewed in the same
investigation. They were stockbrokers.
In a taped panel
discussion, which aired March 14 on Canada's Vision-TV,
I faced a panel of three Canadian experts on the issue of U.S.
foreknowledge of, and possible complicity in, the 9-11 attacks.
Among them was Ron Atkey, former Canadian immigration minister
and the former parliamentary head of the committee charged with
oversight of Canada's military and intelligence operations. Over
the course of the program I made specific statements, relying
not only on the RCMP interactions but also on previous
investigations, that it was documented that intelligence
services track stock trades in real time. On camera, I produced
the business cards of the two RCMP agents. Atkey, who had not
hesitated to challenge me on other points during the show, went
Four basic intelligence successes need to be acknowledged here.
These admitted successes, while not addressing any other still
secret penetrations of the Al Qaeda network, further diminish
any Bush Administration assertion that it did not know of the
On Feb. 13 United Press International terrorism
correspondent Richard Sale, while covering a Manhattan trial of
one of Osama bin Laden's followers, reported the National
Security Agency had broken bin Laden's encrypted communications.
Even if that prompted an immediate change in bin Laden's methods
of communication, just six months before the attacks, the
administration has consistently maintained -- and military and
covert experience dictates -- that the attacks were planned for
at least several years.
The FAZ story indicates that the secret eavesdropping
program Echelon had been successful in securing details of the
pending attacks. Echelon employs highly sophisticated computer
programs capable of both voice and word recognition to filter
billions of telephone conversations and locate specific targets.
Assuming, as some sources indicate, Al Qaeda stopped using
encrypted communications after it was known that their system
was compromised, why was the NSA not able to pick up any cell
phone calls or e-mails? Mohammed Atta and other alleged
hijackers were known to have used cell phones. The FAZ
story establishes that as late as June, Al Qaeda operatives were
being tracked in this manner.
In the trial of a former Deutschebank executive Kevin Ingram,
who pled guilty to laundering drug money to finance terrorist
operations linked to Al Qaeda just two weeks before the 9-11
attacks, indications surfaced that the Justice Department had
penetrated the terrorists’ financial network. A Nov. 16
Associated Press story by Catherine Wilson stated, "Numerous
promised wire transfers never arrived, but there were
discussions of foreign bankers taking payoffs to move the money
to purchase weapons into the United States, said prosecutor
Two questions are begged but unanswered. How were the wire
transfers blocked and how was the Justice Department able to
monitor the money flows without alerting either the bankers or
Finally, 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 WTC. 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
Details of the plot were disclosed publicly in 1997 in the New
York trial of Ramsi Youssef for his involvement in the 1993 WTC
"I believe that, from the information
I have seen,"Mike"Vreeland tried to pass information to the
Canadian government that should have been passed to the U.S.
government. That information had to do with the attacks of Sept.
11. Whatever other attempts were made by Vreeland and his
attorneys to alert U.S. and Canadian officials of the attacks,
it is clear that he did pass information about the pending
attacks to his guards in August. I am willing to go to the
Secretary of the Navy to determine whether or not he was
actually a Navy officer.
"I know that there have been other U.S. citizens with a similar
background used on missions similar to what has been alleged by
Vreeland. This man fits a pattern. I would like for the Secret
Service to put him on a polygraph."
--"Mike" Osborne, a veteran former CIA case officer with 26
years of experience in counter-terrorism.
With a court record now estimated to approach 10,000 pages, the
case of Delmart "Mike" Vreeland is starting to attract worldwide
attention. Vreeland, with a growing amount of evidence admitted
into court record in Toronto, Canada, claims to be a former U.S.
Naval lieutenant assigned to the Office of Naval Intelligence.
He was jailed in Canada -- at the request of U.S. authorities --
in December 2000 after returning from Moscow.
Although Canadian authorities initially alleged vague fraud
charges against him and also held him on an extradition warrant
alleging credit card fraud in Michigan, the actual motive for
his arrest now seems to be something quite different. All
Canadian charges against Vreeland were dropped this March and he
has been granted political refugee status in Canada until the
extradition issues are resolved.
Vreeland's position is he returned from Russia to meet with a
Canadian and a Russian intelligence operative, and had intended
to hand over a sealed pouch containing intelligence documents.
When the handoff was compromised and the Canadian did not show
for the Toronto meet, Vreeland opened the pouch and looked at
some of the documents. Those documents, which he later had
translated, gave specific warnings of the pending WTC attacks
that took place nine months later. Again, on its face, since
these documents were in a sealed intelligence pouch, this
indicates intelligence operatives were aware of the contents
because they had placed them there originally.
According to both Vreeland and his lawyers, as reported in
numerous interviews with this writer and other members of the
staff immediately after his arrest, Vreeland began making urgent
attempts to alert both Canadian and U.S. intelligence officials
of the coming danger.
After eight months of unsuccessful attempts to have either
Canadian or U.S. intelligence services debrief him, Vreeland
wrote a desperate, last-ditch warning in August. Through means
he will not disclose, he acquired two high-tech Pilot
water-based pens with light blue ink and used them to write the
letter. The only pens permitted by Canadian jail authorities
were oil-based, dark blue Bic pens.
Immediately after writing the letter, Vreeland notified his
jailers that he had pens which might be considered contraband. A
Sept. 17 letter from the Ministry of Correctional Services was
entered as Exhibit "M" into court records on Oct. 7, along with
Vreeland's warning letter which had been opened on Sept. 14 and
marked as Exhibit "N." The letter states, "On August 13, 2001
inmate Vreeland's corridor #2 was searched and as far as we know
2 blue ink pens were removed from his cell because they were
considered contraband. There is no written record of them being
placed in his personal property. He did submit a request to have
them returned to him on August 14, 2001, but was denied."
Since the ink on the warning letter, if tested, will match the
ink in the confiscated pens, there can be no doubt that the
letter was written a month before the attacks.
In an interview with this writer published on April 4,
Vreeland clearly stated his belief that Al Qaeda operations had
been completely penetrated by U.S. intelligence services. That
belief is supported by a statement in his warning letter.
The statement, following a list of potential targets that
included the WTC, the Pentagon and the White House said, "Let
one happen, stop the rest." Such a statement could only imply
complete penetration or compromise of the terrorist cells
perpetrating the attacks.
Compelling evidence continues to grow that Vreeland was, in
fact, a U.S. Navy officer. On Jan. 10 from open court with a
court reporter recording the conversation, his attorneys placed
a speaker-phone call to the Pentagon. A Pentagon operator, after
checking a military database, confirmed Vreeland was a U.S. Navy
officer and provided an office listing and a telephone number
for his office. In addition, redacted and incomplete military
records provided by the Pentagon to the Canadian courts indicate
Vreeland had a service record of more than 1,200 pages.
This is difficult to reconcile with the U.S. Navy's assertion
that Vreeland was discharged as a seaman recruit after four
months of unsatisfactory service in 1986.
No press entity has covered the Vreeland case more than
This writer has traveled twice to Toronto, sat in on court
proceedings, and retained the services of a Canadian
correspondent to cover the case. I have interviewed Vreeland
personally and conducted numerous interviews with his attorneys.
Greta Knutzen, FTW's
Canadian correspondent, has also interviewed Vreeland and his
attorneys, as well as Vreeland's mother. Knutzen has attended
every court proceeding since January. All of our previous
reporting on the case can be located on the Internet at
www.copvcia.com. "Mike" Vreeland believes that if he is
successfully extradited to the U.S., he will be assassinated.
Previous press stories concerning Vreeland's criminal past and a
criminal arrest record fail to account for the fact that, as an
undercover operative who targeted organized crime and terrorist
organizations, a criminal record would have been necessary to
give him credibility with organizations that previously
demonstrated capabilities to retrieve law enforcement records.
They also fail to account for an Oct. 2, 1986 Los Angeles
Times story that lists Vreeland as a non-criminal witness
to a major cocaine bust carried out by LAPD investigators known
to have contacts with USG intelligence services.
There is much about Vreeland's past that is objectionable,
questionable, or both. But even in a worst-case scenario,
nothing in his past explains how he was able to write a detailed
warning of the attacks before they occurred, and why the
intelligence services of both Canada and the U.S. ignored
attempts to warn them while both Vreeland and his attorneys were
banging down their doors.
There is clear and substantial evidence to suggest that the Bush
Administration had sufficient foreknowledge of the attacks of
Sept. 11 to have prevented them. Rather than viewing each of the
four listed areas as a separate piece of evidence, they should
be considered as a body, in the exact same way exhibits
presented to a jury in a criminal trial are viewed as a body. By
viewing the evidence in this manner, an unavoidable conclusion
is reached -- the USG knew 25 hijackers during the week of Sept.
9 were going to use United and American airlines commercial
planes, some of them likely originating in Boston, to attack the
WTC and the Pentagon. A multitude of press stories and
intelligence reports indicate the WTC would have been the
Given the financial commitments made during insider trading
activity that occurred immediately before the attacks involving
businesses that were directly damaged by the attacks, the
threats had clearly moved from the realm of speculation to
reality. Why else would mysterious investors have risked
millions of dollars to purchase the put options? There is
compelling evidence to suggest these trades were noted by the
CIA and other USG entities.
Recently, Rep. Cynthia McKinney, D-Ga., has been widely
criticized in the mainstream press for raising the need for a
Congressional investigation to answer some of these obvious
questions. This, in spite of the fact that popular reaction
indicates a different sentiment. An opinion poll, conducted by
the Atlanta Journal-Constitution just a day after McKinney's
remarks received wide public attention in a Washington Post
story dated April 12, was pulled after poll numbers showed that
51 percent of the respondents agreed with McKinney.
The people seem to recognize and agree with the opinion of
former CIA officer "Mike" Osborne who says, "I think that the
U.S. government needs to get behind McKinney's questions because
her agenda is truth and justice, and nothing else."