Project “Able Danger”

Recently, there has been revealing news about the U.S. Army’s Project “Able Danger,” which was established in September 1999 by Gen. Peter J. Schoomaker, then head of the Special Operations Command. Schoomaker had previously advised Texas Governor Ann Richards and the FBI regarding what military equipment could be used in the attack upon the Branch Davidians at Waco (a mock-up of the Davidians’ compound was at Fort Hood, Texas, where Schoomaker was an assistant to Gen. Wesley Clark, a Rhodes Scholar named by fellow Rhodes Scholar President Bill Clinton to be military head of NATO). Schoomaker has also advocated joint military training exercises with the Communist Chinese, and on August 1, 2003 President George W. Bush named him Army Chief of Staff.

Able Danger used advanced technology and data analysis to identify and target Al-Qaeda members around the world. Long before the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, Able Danger identified 9-11 ringleader Mohammed Atta in September 2000 as part of an Al-Qaeda cell in Brooklyn, and eventually 60 members of Al-Qaeda were identified.

Concerning Atta’s background, in November 1998 he and several other terrorists moved into a 4-bedroom apartment in Hamburg, Germany. On February 17 of the next year, German intelligence began tapping suspected Al-Qaeda terrorist Mohammed Haydar Zammar’s phone, and they heard Zammar was at a meeting with Atta. By December 1999, the CIA began to recruit German businessman Mamoun Darkazanli for information because he knew Atta and others of the Hamburg Al-Qaeda terrorist cell.

The next month (January 2000), according to the German intelligence magazine FOCUS (September 24, 2001), the CIA began surveillance of Atta which lasted to May 2000. Christian Elflein and others wrote in the FOCUS article that “U.S. agents followed him (Atta) mainly in the area around Frankfurt am Main and noted that Atta bought large quantities of chemicals for the possible production of explosives….On May 18, 2000 the U.S. Embassy in Berlin gave (Atta) a visa….Strange that the visa application and granting it happened in the period when the (CIA) was still observing the suspicious buying of chemicals by the person (Atta) concerned….Someone from the (German) intelligence service (told) FOCUS: ‘We can no longer exclude the possibility that the Americans wanted to keep an eye on Atta after his entry in the USA.’…German security experts are still stunned about the speed with which the FBI could present the conspirative ties of Atta and his presumed Hamburg accomplices. ‘As (if all it needed was) a push on a button,’ an insider says, ‘As if the Americans for a long time already had loads of info on their computers about the culprits.’”

At this point, it is worth mentioning that Yossef Bodansky (director of the U.S. House of Representatives Task Force on Terrorism and Unconventional Warfare) in TARGET AMERICA: TERRORISM IN THE U.S. TODAY (1993) referred to a large Islamist network spanning the U.S. including “all the components of a mature terrorist support system (with) safe houses in major cities, weapons, ammunition, money, systems to provide medical and legal aid, false identity papers, and intelligence for the operative.” The point in including this here is to ask how Bodansky would know about all this unless the terrorist network were already being monitored by the federal government?

Returning to Mohammed Atta, he used his aforementioned visa to come to the U.S. on June 3, 2000. He stayed at the Wayne Inn on Route 23 in New Jersey, and in July went to Venice, Florida to take flying lessons at Huffman Aviation flight school. Then in May 2001, he rented an apartment in Hollywood, Florida.

Several months later, Atta received $100,000 wired to him at the request of Gen. Mahmoud Ahmad, head of the ISI, Pakistani intelligence (also see my NewsWithViews.com article “Richard Armitage and the ISI”). Shortly thereafter, September 3-5, 2001, members of Atta’s Hamburg terrorist cell left Germany for Pakistan. At about this same time (the week before the 9-11 attacks), Gen. Ahmad came to the U.S. to talk to top Pentagon, CIA and NSC (National Security Council) officials (in May 2001 Gen. Ahmad already had an unusually long meeting in Pakistan with CIA Director George Tenet and Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage).

Then, on September 10, 2001 some top Pentagon officials suddenly cancelled their travel plans for the morning of 9-11 apparently because of security concerns. Late that same night (September 10), San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown also received a phone call warning him and all Americans to watch out for air travel (Mayor Brown was supposed to fly to New York City the morning of 9-11). In case you think these top Pentagon officials and Mayor Brown simply received a general warning, alert or emergency ruling from the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration), I filed 2 Freedom of Information requests and received replies from the Department of Homeland Security stating that while there were 12 warnings, alerts or emergency rulings between May and September 15, 2001, none occurred from September 2 through September 11.

At the end of the Preface of long-time Middle East CIA agent Robert Baer’s 2002 book, SEE NO EVIL, one finds the following: “The other day a reporter friend told me that one of the highest-ranking CIA officials had said to him, off the record, that when the dust finally clears, Americans will see that September 11 was a triumph for the intelligence community, not a failure.”

In October 2003, Able Danger officer Lt. Col. Tony Shaffer testified to the 9-11 Commission about their monitoring Mohammed Atta and other 9-11 terrorists long before the attacks of 9-11, but the Commission did not include this information in its report. Regarding this, NATIONAL REVIEW’s Jim Geraghty exclaimed: “As for the 9-11 commission, after all that patting themselves on the back, all that gushing praise from left, right and center, after their work was called ‘miraculous’ by NEWSDAY, and the nomination for a National Book Award, and calling their own work ‘extraordinary’…man, these guys stink. Really, if this checks out, and the staffers had information like this and they disregarded it, never believing that we in the public deserved to know that the plot’s ringleader was identified, located and recommended to be arrested a year before the attacks…boy, these guys ought to be in stocks in the public square and have rotten fruit thrown at them. What a sham.” In addition, members of the organization SEPTEMBER 11 ADVOCATES released a statement saying in part: “As 9-11 widows who fought tirelessly for the creation of the 9-11 commission, we are wholly disappointed to learn that the commission’s Final Report is a hollow failure.”

Concerning the July 7, 2005 London terrorist bombings, the terrorist ringleader also trained with Al-Qaeda in Pakistan. The photo of the 4 bombers widely shown in the press and media appears to be doctored, as the man in the white cap supposedly in front of the railed fence actually has one of the rails in front of his left arm. In a July 29, 2005 interview on Fox News Channel’s “Day Side” program, former U.S. Justice Department prosecutor and terror expert John Loftus said that 7-7 mastermind, Haroon Rashid Aswat, came to America in 1999. Loftus then revealed: “The Justice Department wanted to indict him in Seattle because him and his buddy were trying to set up a terrorist training school in Oregon….We’ve just learned that the headquarters of the U.S. Justice Department ordered the Seattle prosecutors not to touch Aswat…, apparently Aswat was working for British intelligence….The Brits know that the CIA wants to get a hold of Haroon. So what happens? He takes off again, goes right to London. He isn’t arrested when he lands, he isn’t arrested when he leaves….He’s on the watch list. The only reason he could get away with that was if he was working for British intelligence. He was a wanted man.” Aswat allegedly left London on July 6, 2005, the day before the bombings, to go to Pakistan where he was arrested but released within 24 hours.

Dennis Laurence Cuddy, historian and political analyst, received a Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  Dr. Cuddy has taught at the university level, has been a political and economic risk analyst for an international consulting firm, and has been a Senior Associate with the U.S. Department of Education. Cuddy has also testified before members of Congress on behalf of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Articles by: Dr. Dennis L. Cuddy

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