20-PAGE COMMEMORATIVE SECTION

A photographic ode to the people of New York

‘These are my inheritances — shadows and memories, scraps and souvenirs, of the greatest home town in all the world.’ By Allen Abel
VOL.4 NO.268 W E D N E S DAY, S E P T E M B E R 1 1 , 2 0 0 2

w w w. n a t i o n a l p o s t . c o m

ROBERT F. BUKATY / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

A man looks toward the Lower Manhattan skyline from Liberty State Park in Jersey City, N.J., yesterday. Allen Abel’s essay on New York anchors our special section, Pages NY1-NY20.

The fireman as moral compass
Mike Moran advised bin Laden to ‘kiss my royal Irish ass’
CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD
i n N e w Yo r k

OPINION POLL
Many Canadians feel no closer to Americans. A4 Comment, A18

THREATS PROMPT U.S. TO RAISE ALERT
CHENEY IN HIDING; FIGHTER JETS PATROL NEW YORK, D.C.
Bush says anniversary will be ‘a day of tears, and a day of prayer, a day of national resolve’
B Y JA N C I E N S K I
WA S H I N G T O N •

Cellucci defends armylinks
BY SHELDON ALBERTS
Deputy Ottawa Bureau Chief
O T TAWA •

DIANE FRANCIS
The covetous ones despise America for its success. A6

F

or the 3,892 miles of our trip across a wide swath of the United States, it was music and memories that sustained us, neither of them in the main our own. National Post photographer Kevin Van Paassen and I set out on August 29 to do what deputy editor Martin Newland called an audit of America. But from the moment we arrived in Cut Bank, Montana, through the 11 other states we traversed en route to Manhattan, we also tried to stop in places that were variously important to one or another of the victims, or to the events themselves, of last Sept. 11. In the New Jersey suburb of Secaucus (“A Town That Cares”), we found the Plank Road Inn, which turned out to be a dear little sports bar with 10-cent chicken wings, because Steven Strobert had met his wife Tara there. In Kansas City, Missouri, we tracked down the River of Life Church because it had sent 45 congregants to volunteer at the site of the World Trade Center ruins last Christmas; we spent several hours with Annie Nelson’s parents in the little town of Stanley, North Dakota; we met Karen Juday’s best friend at the factory in Elkhart, Indiana, where they’d worked side by side for a decade.
See ROAD TRIP on Page A5

RAYMOND DESOUZA
The root cause of suffering is evil in the world. A6

COMMENTARY
Editorial, Andrew Coyne, Clement’s cartoon. A19

Citing reports of increasing activity among alQaeda terrorists, U.S. officials put the country on a heightened level of alert yesterday just hours before the first anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. As fighter jets patrolled the skies over Washington and New York, Donald Rumsfeld, the U.S. Defence Secretary, took the rare step of deploying Stinger anti-aircraft missiles around the Pentagon and other military facilities in the U.S. capital. Dick Cheney, the Vice-President, cancelled a scheduled appearance yesterday and was taken to the “cave,” the secret loca-

tion where he spent weeks hiding out after Sept. 11 to preserve the chain of command in case of an attack on George W. Bush, the President. Such precautions are based on fresh intelligence that warns of renewed terrorist activity, with military bases and overseas embassies as possible targets. “The threats we have heard recently remind us of the pattern of threats we heard prior to September the 11th,” Mr. Bush said after stopping in at the Afghan Embassy in Washington. “We have no specific threat to America but we’re taking everything seriously.” Despite the heightened alert, Mr. Bush continued to make pub-

lic appearances and plans to speak today at all three sites affected by last year’s attacks: the Pentagon, the field in Pennsylvania where a hijacked airliner crashed, and the site of the World Trade Center in New York. The warnings are a grim reminder the United States is still in the midst of a war against alQaeda and that, in addition to commemorating the thousands of deaths from last year, today’s anniversary carries the potential for renewed tragedy. “It’s going to be a day of tears, and a day of prayer, a day of national resolve,” Mr. Bush said. “This also needs to be a day in which we confirm the values which make us unique and great.” Today’s ceremonies will start at 8:46 a.m., the time when the first airliner dropped out of the clear blue sky and smashed into the World Trade Center.
See ALERT on Page A14

Paul Cellucci, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, yesterday chastised Canadian critics who worry that increased military cooperation with American troops threatens Canada’s sovereignty. He praised Canada’s ongoing military contribution to the war on terrorism, but warned that the biggest danger to Canadian sovereignty is Ottawa’s continued failure to increase defence spending. “I think the issue on the Canadian side is that the same people who worry about sovereignty when we talk about this, where are they when it comes to making sure that Canada has a capable military? That is a sovereignty issue as well,” Mr. Cellucci said. The envoy was speaking in an interview on the eve of the anniversary of the terrorist attacks. He also had high praise for the help that Canadians offered in the aftermath of Sept. 11.
See SOVEREIGNT Y on Page A14

The next front: Iraq, A10-A11

ARTS & LIFE
Musicians, writers strive to catch the essence of Sept. 11. Page AL5

INDEX
ARTS & LIFE AL5 CAREERS FP9 CLASSIFIED FP10 COMMENT A18 DIVERSIONS AL10 EBERT AL1 EDITORIALS A19 S. FESCHUK AL7 FILM FESTIVAL AL1 FINANCIAL POST FP1 FP INVESTING FP11 OBITUARIES S7 N. RICHLER AL5 SPORTS S1 TV LISTINGS AL10 TORONTO A16 WEATHER S8 WORLD A12

FINANCIAL POST
Terror slows but cannot stop the markets. FP1. Watson, FP7

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∆ NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

9/11 REMEMBERED
THE RESULTS ARE IN

Should Omar Khadr, the Canadian youth being held by U.S. forces in Afghanistan for his suspected role in al-Qaeda, be given special treatment because of his age?
TODAY’S QUESTION

0 50 60 70 30 4 80 20 90 0

1

0 100

0
YES 14%

%

NO 86%

Would you support a pre-emptive attack on Iraq if sanctioned by the United Nations? Visit

www.nationalpost.com to cast your vote. We will send the results to Bill Graham, the Foreign Affairs Minister.

LOT T E R I E S

Unofficial results for Sept. 10

Pick 3: 3 1 0 Winner Take All: 827410 Encore: 327713

Daily Keno: 4, 6, 9, 10, 17, 18, 19, 21, 22, 26, 27, 40, 41, 43, 47, 50, 51, 61, 62, 66

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

Abdulaziz Alomari, one of the World Trade Center hijackers, reads a statement with a damaged Pentagon superimposed in the video.

AL-JAZEERA BROADCAST

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‘Changed face of history,’ bin Laden gloats on tape
Terrorist leader is heard but not seen, fuelling speculation he is dead
BY PETER GOODSPEED

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Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda terrorist network has produced its own grotesque home video to commemorate the first anniversary of last Sept. 11’s terror attacks on New York and Washington. Released on al-Jazeera television in Qatar, the video features an audio track of bin Laden gloating over the terrorist attacks and praising al-Qaeda hijackers who “changed the face of history” when they flew airliners into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. But the fact bin Laden fails to appear in the video has fuelled speculation he may be dead or seriously wounded. Editing additions that attempt to make the video look like a realtime documentary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have also cast doubts on its authenticity. Nevertheless, U.S. officials and anti-terrorist experts say the video, in which al-Qaeda bluntly lays claim to the murders of more than 3,000 people, is the most

conclusive link yet between alQaeda network and the Sept. 11 attacks. Purportedly filmed in Kandahar, Afghanistan, months before the hijackings took place, the video opens with a group of men, wearing turbans and full beards, reviewing flight cockpit manuals and maps in a room filled with computers. A crude sign in Arabic reading “Destruction to America” hangs on a wall. None of the men can be identified as the actual hijackers and in one close-up cutaway, which may have been re-enacted for dramatic effect after the Sept. 11 attacks, a hand is shown pointing at the site of the Pentagon on one map. The video also highlights the final filmed testament of one suicide hijacker who vows to destroy the United States. In a chilling sequence, Abdulaziz Alomari, who flew aboard the first plane to crash into the World Trade Center, sits in front of the camera, reading from a sheet of paper with his long black hair swathed in a black and white checked cloth. “This is a message to all the infidels and to America,” Alomari says. “Leave the Arabian Peninsula defeated and stop supporting the coward Jews in Palestine or you will suffer the bitterness of defeat in the world and afterworld.

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“We will get you,” he snarls. “We will humiliate you. We will never stop following you.” For some inexplicable reason a picture of the damaged, postSept. 11 Pentagon building has been superimposed behind Alomari’s head in the video. During his video statement, Alomari blesses the people who helped him become a terrorist. “May God reward all those who trained me and made possible this glorious act, notably the fighter Osama bin Laden,” he says. “God protect him. May God accept our deeds.” In another portion of the video, bin Laden issues a call for the release of jailed Islamic militants in the Middle East, demanding freedom for extremists jailed in Saudi Arabia and Egypt. He also calls for the release of Sheikh Omar Abdurrahman, who is serving a life sentence in the United States for his involvement in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and a plot to blow up other New York landmarks. The highlight of the video, however, is al-Qaeda’s bid to sanctify the 19 terrorists who hijacked four passenger jets and used them to kill more than 3,000 people last Sept. 11. In the video, a voice — purportedly that of bin Laden — praises the hijackers and introduces the four terrorist ringleaders, as men’s voices are heard singing Muslim hymns in the background. “There aren’t enough words to describe how great these men were and how great their deeds were,” bin Laden says, as images of the leading hijackers appear superimposed on a landscape of clouds and mountains. “When you talk about the invasion of New York and Washington, you talk about the men who changed the face of history and went against the traitors,” bin Laden says on the tape. “These great men have consolidated faith in the hearts of believers and undermined the plans of the crusaders and their agents in the region.” Al-Jazeera, the world’s first allnews Arabic satellite television channel, says al-Qaeda contacts provided it with the video on Monday — at the same time they gave the network film footage of another interview it plans to air tomorrow with two leading alQaeda terrorist leaders who were deeply involved in planning the Sept. 11 attacks. It’s not clear when the latest video aired by al-Jazeera was made. U.S. terrorist experts say it is virtually impossible to determine whether the voice attributed to bin Laden on the video is really his or when he may have taped his comments. The fact bin Laden does not appear could just as easily bolster arguments he is already dead or seriously wounded. Bin Laden has not been seen since a December video was released showing him talking to followers while squatting in a field somewhere in Afghanistan. All past videos of bin Laden

aired on al-Jazeera have shown the terrorist leader delivering his message directly to the camera. In the video al-Jazeera plans to air tomorrow, bin Laden’s aides insist their boss is alive. But at one point they refer to him in the past tense. One of al-Jazeera’s correspondents conducted the exclusive interview with the two top al-Qaeda fugitives, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and Ramzi Bin alShibh, last June in Karachi, Pakistan. At the time, the men provided the news network with details of the Sept. 11 attacks, saying they had started planning the attacks in 1999 and had originally intended to fly the hijacked airliners into several nuclear power generating stations. Mohammed said four surveillance teams were sent to the United States to scout out the targets before hijack leader Mohamed Atta and his 18 co-conspirators arrived in the country in mid-2000. Bin al-Shibh wanted to be the 20th hijacker but he was refused a visa to enter the United States. Ultimately, the nuclear targets were abandoned because the alQaeda operatives were concerned the damage might run out of control. The terrorist also revealed the fourth hijacked plane, which crashed into a Pennsylvania farm field, had originally been targeted to fly into the U.S. Capitol building in Washington. Al-Jazeera said all film of the interviews was confiscated and edited by al-Qaeda and was returned to them on Monday, so it could be broadcast the day after the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terror attacks. Al-Jazeera has aired several alQaeda videotapes since last year’s terrorist attacks and is widely re-

‘WE WILL GET YOU. WE WILL HUMILIATE YOU. WE WILL NEVER STOP FOLLOWING YOU’ Abdulaziz Alomari
garded as the chief drop-off point for bin Laden’s videos. Late yesterday, al-Jazeera broadcast what it called new video footage of bin Laden, but it is markedly similar to images already shown by the broadcaster. The video broadcast shows bin Laden in a white headdress, apparently talking to an unseen audience. He was shown only in close-up from the waist up. Those images strongly resemble video footage aired on alJazeera at the end of September, 2001. Bin Laden is dressed the same way in both shots, which are framed in exactly the same way. Al-Jazeera presented the images shown yesterday as never shown before, without specifying when they were shot. In the latest footage, bin Laden calls for the liberation of Islamists imprisoned in the United States and Saudi Arabia. The news network, which was established in 1996, broadcasts from Doha, Qatar, in the Persian Gulf but receives up to 70% of its advertising from Saudi Arabian businesses.
National Post, with files from news services pgoodspeed@nationalpost.com

NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

9/11 REMEMBERED

A3

‘What seemed a couple of hours earlier like 1,000 miles away was right on our doorstep.… It was almost as if they couldn’t believe we were doing all this for them.’ Capt. Wycliffe Reid of the Salvation Army in Gambo, Nfld.

PETER REDMAN / NATIONAL POST

Rick Brown and his wife, Lillian, will take a trip to Hawaii that had been donated to the Salvation Army in Gambo, Nfld., by a grateful American following the terrorist attacks. Airline passengers stranded in Newfoundland last year have showered Gambo with gifts in return for the town’s generosity. Brown, a grocery store owner and Salvation Army volunteer, gave stranded passengers food and transportation, and then donated $2,000 to the church.

RCMP REPORT

Muslim donors still funding al-Qaeda
Saudi Arabia a key source of bin Laden’s money, police say
B Y S T E WA R T B E L L

The RCMP believes that a “large number” of donors in the Muslim world are continuing to finance the operations of Osama bin Laden well after the Sept. 11 attacks, according to a Canadian intelligence document obtained by the National Post. A report prepared by the RCMP’s criminal intelligence branch seven weeks ago states that charities and business are funding the al-Qaeda terrorist leader responsible for the attacks one year ago today, and identifies Saudi Arabia as a key source of his money. “During the war against Russia [in Afghanistan], bin Laden persuaded Muslim clergymen to issue a religious edict making it legal for Muslims to offer their zakat, alms given annually to the poor, to the Arab fighters in the Afghan war,” the report says. “It is believed that a large number of those donors are still giving money to bin Laden. In Saudi Arabia alone, individuals were donating $1-[million] to $2-million a month through mosques and other fundraising avenues,” the RCMP said in the July 25 report. Shortly after Sept. 11, Canadian authorities ordered banks to freeze the assets of several Saudi charities, businesses and individuals but Ottawa has never publicly made such a direct link between Saudi Arabia, Muslim donors and the continued movement of money to the world’s most wanted terrorist. The report’s findings echo those of a United Nations study last week that said donations to alQaeda — which it estimated at US$16-million a year — had continued largely unabated and that part of the billions of dollars flowing through Islamic charities had ended up in the hands of al-Qaeda. “According to the Financial Intelligence Branch of the RCMP, the main source of funding of alQaeda are charities, NGOs [nongovernmental organizations] and commercial entities,” says the report by the RCMP intelligence analysts in Ottawa. “The money is given by supporters and is funnelled to al-Qaeda through the Hawala, the international underground banking system. The same method is used to transfer money to the terrorists before an attack. This ensures that there is no paper trail which could link al-Qaeda to the attacks.” Although 15 of the 19 hijackers that struck in the United States were Saudi citizens, Saudis and

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their government are highly sensitive to suggestions they have played a role in al-Qaeda terrorism, despite mounting evidence of their involvement. Last month, hundreds of family members who lost loved ones in the attacks filed a $1-trillion lawsuit against a list of Saudi charities, banks and members of the royal family, alleging they had financed al-Qaeda. Lawyers said yesterday the number of plaintiffs has surpassed 3,000. Senior Saudi officials reacted with anger, calling the allegations lies designed to malign their country, Arabs and the Muslim religion. Some of the charities being sued for allegedly funding alQaeda operated in Canada. They include Benevolence International Canada, SAAR Foundation and two Saudi-based charities called the Muslim World League and the International Islamic Relief Organization. The founder of Benevolence International has been linked by U.S. investigators to bin Laden, but Faisul Kutty, a spokesman for the group’s Canadian branch and a director of the Council on American Islamic Relations, has denied the organization is tied to terrorism. Canadian authorities are currently detaining an Egyptian man arrested in Toronto who formerly worked for the International Islamic Relief Organization in Pakistan. He is being held on the grounds he is a member of the terrorist group al Jihad, the key member of bin Laden’s alliance. Canada alleged in federal court

SAFE HARBOUR

NEWFOUNDLAND’S CONTAGIOUS GOODWILL
Passengers stranded last year return Gambo’s kindness with computers, cash
BY GRAEME HAMILTON
G A M B O, N F L D. • When the people of central Newfoundland opened their homes and emptied their pantries for thousands of airline passengers stranded last Sept. 11, they would not hear of being compensated. But in the year since the planes left, Newfoundlanders who wondered whether they would ever hear from their worldly new friends have been surprised by gifts ranging from airplane tickets to $84,000 in new computers for a school. Their generosity, it appears, was contagious. Gambo, a half-hour drive southeast of Gander International Airport, welcomed about 800 of the 6,600 people stranded when U.S. airspace was closed following the terrorist attacks. The local Salvation Army church took in the biggest group, 196 passengers off United Airlines Flight 929 from London to Chicago. Wycliffe Reid, an officer with the Salvation Army, yesterday recalled rushing to the airport to help process the passengers as they were let off their planes. “What seemed a couple of hours earlier like 1,000 miles away was right on our doorstep,” he said. After working nearly 24 hours straight, he returned to Gambo to find his church crammed with strangers. Friendships between passengers and residents formed quickly over the following days, and when their flight was cleared to leave, tears were shed. Soon afterward, cheques started arriving in the mail. “We were amazed at what came in,” Captain Reid said, adding that the other churches in town have also received donations. “It was almost as if they couldn’t believe we were doing all this for them.” One day, a courier arrived with a parcel containing a plaque from

‘THE MAIN SOURCE OF FUNDING OF AL-QAEDA ARE CHARITIES’
that the Islamic relief organization “secretly funds terrorism.” The law firm handling the 9/11 class-action suit said several Canadians had joined the suit, including Selena Dack Forsyth, the mother of Arron Dack, a 39-yearold father of two and senior vicepresident at Encompys who was on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center’s north tower when it collapsed. Last week, Canada imposed a visa requirement on Saudi citizens. The RCMP report says there have been reports al-Qaeda has been converting its assets into commodities such as gold and diamonds because of the international crackdown on terror financing. It adds the bin Laden network seems to be working with rebels in diamond-rich Sierra Leone. “Since the rebels in Sierra Leone are heavily involved in the sale of diamonds, it is possible that alQaeda is using this route to finance part of their operations, but nothing has been confirmed,” the RCMP said. “It is probably one of the many financing schemes used by al-Qaeda.” The report adds that Canada’s only diamond mine, in the Northwest Territories, has tight security measures in place, but it “remains a possibility” that so-called conflict diamonds from places such as Sierra Leone are being laundered in Canada.
National Post sbell@nationalpost.com

PETER REDMAN / NATIONAL POST

Donations from grateful Americans have made possible a new church piano, says Wycliffe Reid of Gambo’s Salvation Army.

the passengers of Flight 929 thanking the people of Gambo “for their outpouring of love and kindness.” The plaque now hangs at the entrance to the Salvation Army church. The church has received $15,000 in donations so far and yesterday another two cheques arrived from grateful passengers. One passenger, the assistant manager at a Honolulu hotel, arranged with United Airlines to donate a trip for two to Hawaii. Since the Salvation Army does not sanction any form of gambling, a raffle was out of the question. Instead, the vacation was given to a Salvation Army volunteer, Rick Brown, the owner of the local SaveEasy grocery store. He, in turn, donated $2,000, which was used to replace the church’s old, out-of-tune piano. During a special anniversary service on Friday for volunteers, the new Yamaha digital piano will be played for the first time. Mr. Brown, who leaves next month for a week in Hawaii with his wife, Lillian, said he and his staff thought nothing of working through the night last year to provide for the passengers. They donated bottled water, juice and enough potatoes for the folks at the Lion’s Club to cook an armysized Jiggs dinner, a traditional Newfoundland meal of vegetables and salt beef. In the store’s vans, they shuttled passengers on sightseeing tours up the coast. “There were a lot of people who were very grateful for what we did,” he said. “It made us feel pretty good to find that people appreciated it.” A few passengers have returned this week to say thanks in person, including a couple who met a year ago while stuck in Gambo and got married last weekend in Dallas. They declined a request for an interview, saying they preferred to spend the time privately with their Gambo friends. Another couple who met in Gambo, a woman from Colorado and a man from Sweden, recently wrote the Salvation Army to share the news of their imminent wedding. In Lewisporte, northwest of Gander, students are benefitting from the gratitude of passengers who were billeted there last year. The 315 students at Lewisporte Middle School this month began using a new, 33-station computer lab purchased with an $84,000 donation from the New York-based Rockefeller Foundation. A year ago, a stranded passenger named Gordon approached Ellis Pope, the school’s vice-principal, to see if he could use the school’s computers to run his small business. Mr. Pope said “sure,” and it was not until the passengers were about to leave that he learned the businessman was Gordon Conway, president of the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the largest

philanthropic organizations in the world. Six foundation staff returning home from a meeting in Italy had been stuck in Lewisporte, and as they were preparing to leave, Denise Gray-Felder, a foundation vice-president, offered to pay back the town for its generosity. “They were, I think, slightly mortified that I was suggesting we could somehow repay them,” Ms. Gray-Felder said yesterday. “They were so completely surprised.” After a bit of arm-twisting, the money was accepted. On another flight leaving GanW W W

der for Atlanta after its passengers had been put up in Lewisporte, Shirley Brooks-Jones and Robert Ferguson hatched a plan to create a scholarship fund for the town’s graduating high school students. Ms. Brooks-Jones, a retired Ohio State University administrator, was allowed to make an appeal for donations over the airplane’s public-address system and before the flight landed, they had gathered $15,000 in pledges. The fund now stands at US$50,000, and last June, 14 graduates received $300 each for their post-secondary education. Ms. Brooks-Jones attended the ceremony to present the scholarships, and she is back in Lewisporte this week for events surrounding the anniversary. She said experiencing the kindness of Newfoundlanders last year and subsequently working to give something back has helped soften the blow all Americans felt last Sept. 11. “It’s a positive kind of thing,” she said. “I’m sure if I didn’t have this, I would dwell on the horror.”
National Post
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A4

9/11 REMEMBERED

NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

‘If you have the Americans on your side, you can punch above your weight.... If the Americans are either indifferent to you or hostile to you, internationally you’re going to achieve nothing.’ — Brian Mulroney, former prime minister
FACING THE CENTURY
PUBLIC OPINION
DIP LOMACY
I Since the events of Sept. 11, which of the following best describes how you
feel about Americans?

Sympathy toward U.S. did not last, poll finds
BY ADRIAN HUMPHREYS

Closer Less close About the same
Canada and the United States?

30.2% 6.9% 62.4%

I Which of the following best describes the current relationship between Family Close friends Business partners Unequal partners Competitors Adversaries
translated into? 5.4% 21.1% 32.6% 26% 9.4% 3.7%

I What would you say Canada’s participation in the war on terrorism has Much greater influence for Canada in the U.S. Somewhat greater influence Neither greater nor less influence Somewhat less influence Much less influence
15.4% 38.8% 21.1% 16.8% 6.6%
SOURCE: NAVIGATOR

The display of heart-wrenching sympathy by Canadians toward Americans following the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States did not translate into a lasting closeness felt toward our southern neighbours, a public opinion survey suggests. A sizeable majority of Canadians surveyed said they feel no closer to Americans after the shocking events of a year ago today, according to a National Post / Global National poll that also found Canadians most often describe their relationship with the U.S. in economic or competitive terms rather than in warm, friendly terms. With 7% of Canadian respondents describing their feelings toward Americans after Sept. 11 as being less close and 30% as closer, both answers were overshadowed by the more than 62% saying their feelings remain unchanged. “There was a tremendous, positive sense of solidarity with the Americans over the disaster,” said Stephen Clarkson, a professor of political economy at the University of Toronto who specializes in Canada-U.S. relations. “In Canadians expressing their attitudes toward Americans, some of the respondents would be expressing that reality. Then others might be basing it on the actions of the American government and more recent news events,” Dr. Clarkson said. When asked to describe the current relationship between the countries, almost one-third of respondents said business partners; followed by unequal partners, at 26%; and close friends, at 21%. Most Canadians, however, felt the country’s participation in the war on terrorism has translated into Canada having more influence in the United States, according to the poll. Dr. Clarkson said it is not a misplaced feeling. Mexico was the only country on the mind of George W. Bush, the U.S. President, when he took office. The events of Sept. 11 changed that, he said. “The Canadian reality has become much more important in Washington. We are no longer irrelevant. Mr. Bush has had to learn quite a bit about where Canada is on the map and what its importance is,” he said. “We sent troops, Mexico did not.” This week’s meeting between Mr. Bush and Jean Chrétien, the Prime Minister, in the lead-up to the anniversary of the Sept. 11, may be a sign of that importance.

But if Canada has become more influential with U.S. political leaders, the country still does not make waves with the American people, the poll suggests. Americans overwhelmingly consider Britain to be their closest ally. With almost 60% of Americans surveyed choosing Britain, it far out-paced the 15% who picked Canada, which was a distance second choice. (Oddly, as the U.S. threatens to go to war with Iraq to topple Saddam Hussein, 0.5% of Americans surveyed said Iraq was their closest ally.) “The fact that some 60% of Americans consider Great Britain their closest ally is indicative of the total collapse of Canadian diplomacy post-9/11,” said Rudyard Griffiths, executive director of the Dominion Institute of Canada, an organization promoting knowledge of Canadian history and a sponsor of the poll.

‘AN INVISIBLE AND INAUDIBLE FRIEND’
“If it wasn’t so humiliating, we could all enjoy the incredible irony that Americans now overwhelmingly identify with their former colonial oppressor and master,” he said. The favour with which Britain is viewed is thought to be enhanced by the strong role Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, has played in the U.S.-led war against terrorism. Relations between the United States and Britain have become particularly cozy in the aftermath of the attacks. While Mr. Bush neglected to mention Canada in his nation-rallying speech to Congress shortly after the attacks, he heaped praise upon Mr. Blair, who sat in the audience beside the President’s wife. Mr. Griffiths said the poll suggests Canada still has an opportunity to strengthen its ties. “When 46% of Americans list shared values as an important quality in a close ally, it is clear the basis exist to repair our relationship with the United States. Supporting military measures against the criminal regime in Iraq could

be an important first step for Canada to show that our values and the values of Americans are one and the same,” he said. Stuart Fischoff, professor of media psychology at California State University in Los Angeles, said Americans are very fond of Canada and we should not feel slighted by the poll. “Everyone likes Canada. You are an invisible and inaudible friend — and that is often the highest praise when talking about a neighbour. You’re not a noisy neighbour. The same certainly cannot be said of Mexico,” he said. “The reputation Canada has is as a place without any sharp edges — maybe there is something about the Québécois, but most Americans wouldn’t know about that either,” he said. Rick Mercer, a Canadian comedian who tours the United States interviewing people for his television show Talking To Americans, said: “Americans always look kindly on Canada, they just don’t look here often enough.” For most Americans, their encounters with anything to do with Canada come when the television weather reports shows a cold front coming across the Canadian border, Dr. Clarkson said. That may also be reflected in the poll. Americans were asked what the first thing they thought of was when thinking of Canada. The top answer was neighbour, followed by the maple leaf. A spokesperson for the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa declined to comment on the poll. The poll surveyed 1,048 Canadians and 600 Americans between Aug. 8 and Aug. 15. It has a margin of error of three percentage points for questions to Canadians and four percentage points for those to Americans, according to Navigator. Facing the Century is a project of the Dominion Institute, in partnership with the National Post and the Global Television Network and sponsored by the Donner Canadian Foundation and Navigator.
National Post ahumphreys@nationalpost.com

RYAN REMIORZ / THE CANADIAN PRESS

Brian Mulroney, left, the former prime minister who was criticized for his friendship with former U.S. president Ronald Reagan, right, says Canada will “pay a price” for its lack of support for the United States.

C A N A DA A N D T H E U N I T E D S TAT E S

Cool relations will prove costly, Mulroneysays
U.S. REMEMBERS ITS FRIENDS
B Y DAV I D V I E N N E AU
O T TAWA •

Essays by Allan Gotlieb and Gordon Giffin, Page A18

The Chrétien government’s determination to score cheap political points has so severely damaged Canada’s relationship with the United States it will take years to repair, says Brian Mulroney, the former prime minister. “We’re going to get a cheap thrill back home in Canada by convincing people how virile we are by kicking sand in the Americans’ face and trying to humiliate them,’’ he says in a 60-minute Global Television special, to be aired tonight. “If you do that, you go nowhere.” Mr. Mulroney, who led the Tories to two huge electoral victories in 1984 and 1988, says anyone who believes Canada is an equal partner with the United States in world affairs needs a lesson in political reality. And, he warns, the United States always remembers its friends. “There’s a myth abroad that, for example, at the G7 [Group of Seven Western industrialized nations] and elsewhere, that once the leaders sit down at the table that we’re all equal,’’ he says. “If you have the Americans on your side, you can accomplish —

you can punch above your weight as a country Canada’s size. If the Americans are either indifferent to you or hostile to you, internationally you’re going to achieve nothing.” The show, Facing the Century, hosted by Global National’s Kevin Newman, examines some of the military, political and economic issues facing Canada in the 21st century, one year after the terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Mr. Mulroney never mentions Jean Chrétien by name. But it is clear he agrees with others who criticized the Prime Minister for taking too long to express his condolences to Americans after the events of Sept. 11 and for not offering Canada’s immediate, unqualified support. Instead, Mr. Mulroney predicts Britain will be the big winner because of Tony Blair’s actions. The British Prime Minister offered his unabashed support to George W. Bush, the U.S. President, immediately following the terrorist attacks and he has never relented in that resolve. “Look what happened in the days, in the hours after? Who was sitting in the gallery when the President addressed Congress in the wake of the attack?” Mr. Mulroney says. “How come we’re not there and some fellow

from overseas is — 6,000 miles away? You explain that to me.” Mr. Bush called Britain “a true friend” of the United States and went on to thank Mr. Blair for being there in America’s time of need. The President also thanked a number of other countries for their support. Absent from that list was Canada. Mr. Mulroney, in a segment of the exclusive interview that is not televised, says, “Blair pre-empted the role normally reserved for the prime minister of Canada. “In terms of support and visibility, and so, in many ways, and not malicious ways necessarily, we’ll pay a price for that. Blair will be and the United Kingdom will be the beneficiary of that. I know that, having heard it from the Americans at the highest levels. “There’s no question about it. It’s not that they’re going to punish Canada, but they remember who was there right at the beginning, instinctively.” Mr. Mulroney is among a number of prominent Canadians interviewed in Global’s prime-time special, including John Manley, the Deputy Prime Minister; Frank McKenna, the former New Brunswick premier; Andrew Coyne, National Post columnist; and writers Rick Salutin and Geoff Pevere. Mr. Mulroney remembers the criticisms he faced from Mr. Chrétien and other Liberals because of his warm relationships with former U.S. presidents Ronald Reagan and George Bush Sr. He says friends know who to call on in times of crisis, recalling how Mr. Bush Sr., during the Gulf War, sought his assistance in building a coalition against Iraq.
Global National

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NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

9/11 REMEMBERED

A5

Ladder No. 3 lost 12 of its complement of 33 men, officers and chiefs, all the day shift, and most of the night shift too, on Sept. 11. Mike Moran, a firefighter with Ladder 3 for 12 years, lost his big brother, battalion commander John Moran
‘OUR FLAG WAS STILL THERE’

KEVIN VAN PAASSEN / NATIONAL POST

Mike Moran, a firefighter in Manhattan, had just got off shift when the planes hit the World Trade Center. By the time he returned to the fire station that day the orders were to stay put.

‘I’m going to make a difference’
CHRISTIE BLATCHFORD

RO A D T R I P
Continued from Page A1

We went to the Pennsylvania field where United Airlines Flight 93 had crashed after the passengers fought back. We didn’t do nearly all we wanted to do, but we did what time allowed. But until yesterday, when we dropped off our silver truck at a rental agency at LaGuardia Airport on what was easily the most harrowing leg of the trip, I still had not phoned Mike Moran, though we had been in the New York area for three days. It was his voice we had come to know, and need, on the road. We had listened to New Jersey’s native son, Bruce Springsteen, because he was overwhelmingly the guy for so many victims; we’d listened to a best-of CD of the Grateful Dead for the Deadheads; we had listened to a fabulous compilation of road music put together by a writer friend of mine, Eric Duhatschek, and which included Neil Young’s anthem, Let’s Roll. But whenever we really needed inspiration, whether to stay awake or focused, it was the double disc from The Concert for New York City we played. We tried to be judicious about using it, and kept it as our big gun, but we loved one part of it. The concert was a benefit gig held at Madison Square Garden last Oct. 20, the funds going to the Robin Hood Fund for all those affected by the terrorist attacks. More than 6,000 firefighters, police officers and rescue workers attended as guests. I’d watched it, live, on television in Toronto, dancing, and crying, in the dark of my own living room. I saw Mr. Moran come on stage to introduce The Who. He talked about his brother, John, one of 343 members of the Fire Department of New York who had perished, and about the FDNY

football team that was so decimated, and then he’d said, “In the spirit of the Irish people, Osama bin Laden, you can kiss my royal Irish ass!” The thunder that greeted his remarks was a great roar that rose and rose and became a chant of, “USA! USA! USA!” And it was this, called “Spoken Word, Mike Moran FDNY” on the second disc, that Mr. Van Paassen and I grew to know by heart. I was afraid to phone; cold calls are the bread-and-butter of reporters and salesmen both, but they never get easier. I tried Mr. Moran at home, got his answering machine, and heard the dear familiar voice of the man who was made in Rockaway Beach, the son of a firefighter, the brother of a firefighter, the cousin of seven or eight firefighters. In Rockaway, which is an idyllic beachfront part of the borough of Queens, when boys reach a certain age, someone brings home the application forms for the FDNY and the New York Police Department, and the boys fill them out. Mr. Van Paassen and I stopped by the fire hall near our hotel, Engine Co. 65, to ask where we could find Hook and Ladder Co. 3. A gorgeous young man — for every woman I know, firefighters are the equivalent of Hooters girls, all physically astonishing — directed us to 108 East 13th St. in the East Village in Lower Manhattan. The firefighters were just returning from a call when our cab pulled up; the big doors to the fire house shut before we could get there, and I went down an alley to ring the buzzer. No one answered, because, as a man who works nearby and had stopped to sit on the bench before the station explained, “They were eating pizza when they got called out.” He figured the men were probably just finishing their lunch. Within a few minutes, the doors rolled open, and the men were there. Two women handed over a card of sympathy, and when they had said their goodbyes, I asked Bill Rantenstrauch if Mr. Moran was on duty, and if so, if I could talk to him, and he went to fetch him. Soon, a huge bear of a man was standing in the doorway in his shorts and FDNY T-shirt. He had big dimples in a lumpen, lovely face, and grave green eyes edged in black such that it almost looked as though he were wearing eyeliner. He smiled warmly,

KEVIN VAN PAASSEN / NATIONAL POST

The duty roster of Ladder No. 3 company for Sept. 11, 2001, has been turned into a permanent memorial. All the firefighters perished.

and we began to talk. Ladder No. 3 lost 12 of its complement of 33 men, officers and chiefs, all the day shift, and most of the night shift too, because, though these men were technically off by the time the first plane hit the first tower, many had obligingly hung around the firehouse because a cooking show was being filmed and the crew needed the hall to look busy. Mr. Moran himself phoned his brother, a battalion commander with the Special Operations Command, when he got off at 7 a.m., to see if they could go home together, but Sept. 11 was one of the few mornings John Moran didn’t have to hurry home to look after his two children, and he was staying late to do some paperwork. By the time Mr. Moran got home, the first jet had torn into the first tower. But it didn’t look so serious on television. Still, he phoned John, who he thought would be home but wasn’t. He phoned him again, when the second plane hit, and John Moran told his 38-year-old baby brother to get his ass down to the World Trade Center. He could hear the fire radios going berserk in the background. He told him there was a second plane. “I know,” said John, “we’re right here. The plane went right over our heads.” “How bad is it?” Mr. Moran asked. “Mike, it’s a f---ing catastrophe,” his brother said. It took Mr. Moran forever to make his way down from Queens. He tried, en route, to hitch rides

on other trucks, to no avail: They were already jam-packed with men. By the time he made it to the Ladder 3 house, the orders had come down to stay put; there were enough firefighters at the site. He later learned, from the firefighter who had driven his brother to the Twin Towers, about John’s last minutes. As their truck came off the little ramp to the Twin Towers from FDR Drive, the road was backed up with cars, whose terrified drivers were stopped short by the debris raining down upon them. John and a colleague had to get out of the fire truck and order people to move ahead, so they could get through. “There was a cab that wouldn’t move,” Mr. Moran said, “and my brother must have thought that maybe it was on purpose. The driver was an Arab. He dragged the guy out of the cab, punched him, and took over the cab,” and moved it aside. John Moran was then only about 100 yards from the south tower. The last thing he told the driver was, “I’m going to make a difference in here.” Mr. Moran had tried to switch shifts, so that he would work that Tuesday; neither of the men he asked to make the change could oblige. Both were among the dozen men Ladder 3 lost. Mr. Moran took us over to a collage of their photos, including, as a kindness to him, one of John. They were veterans like Joe Maloney, who’d been on the job for 20 years, and Jim Coyle, who had only 10 months under his belt but all the promise in the

world, a skinny kid who was a great athlete and had the knack. There was their great captain, Patrick Brown, a former Marine who did two tours of Vietnam, had a black belt in karate (and taught the blind), but was most recently obsessed with yoga. Capt. Brown wanted his ashes spread in Central Park, from a spot where the city is at its most glorious, but his remains were not found for months. His men put a plaque in his memory by a tree in the park, but city authorities later demanded it be moved. “We didn’t,” said Mr. Moran with a rueful grin, “have a permit.” The plaque is now in the big hall where the trucks sit. “Every fire house has its own institutional memory,” Mr. Moran said. When he first arrived at Ladder 3 12 years ago from a firehouse in Brooklyn, he was inculcated in the “3 truck way”: You get to the house before your shift; you check all the tools; you do things right. Ladder 3 has a storied history — more winners of the James Gordon Bennett medals, the department’s most prestigious, and the only battlefield promotion, in 1893, in the FDNY. Firefighters, he said, aren’t like police (and he was a cop for two years before he joined the FDNY, largely because the NYPD takes ’em at 20, the FDNY at 21). Firefighters prefer the busiest halls, and so he loved Ladder 3. Compared to Brooklyn, where they answered a lot of calls but many in empty buildings, Mr. Moran said, it hopped. “Everything in Manhattan is occupied,” he said. Since Sept. 11, four or five new men have transferred in to Ladder 3. A couple of others have been promoted, and moved on. One senior guy, he said, couldn’t return, and has moved to a different house. Two others were forced by age to retire. Two more suffered such severe lung damage from the yellow cloud at Ground Zero, they’re on lighter duties. In the ordinary course, Mr. Moran said, “Two new guys a year would be a lot.” In a little glass case, the order that came at 8:48.12 that morning has been preserved. Firefighters call it a ticket. “2nd alarm in WTC lobby CMD [command] desk,” it reads. “Via Liberty Street.” In another place, on another wall, is the blackboard, now lacquered, which shows the last run of Ladder 3 that day: Capt.

Brown was the officer; Michael Carroll the chauffeur; Steven Olson the OVM (outside vent man); Gerry Dewan the Irons, which meant he carried the tools; Jay Ogren the Can-Man (he was the junior and carried the fire extinguisher); Tim McSweeney the Roof-Man, meaning he was the guy who normally would head straight to the roof, which usually results in the greatest number of lives saved. All perished. In May, Mr. Moran married his girlfriend, Donna. “I knew I loved my girlfriend,” he said, “but I didn’t realize how important it was to have something bigger.” His green eyes filled with tears. I asked him how it is that so many firefighters appear to be from another era, so sure is their moral compass, so strong the sense of family. “If you want to be a good family man,” he said, “this is a good job.” The shiftwork allows for a man to spend long hours at home. But he seemed puzzled by the question, as though it had not occurred to him before. On the eve of the anniversary of the day that shook his life, stole his brother and friends, Mr. Moran had all the time in the world for his two Canadian visitors. He was exactly as I imagined he would be, but infinitely more gentle. I asked if he was still as filled with rage as he had been at the concert, last October. “I’ve kind of blacked the concert out,” he said. New York, he noted, yesterday went on heightened terrorist alert, “and sometimes I wonder why we haven’t done more.” But it was clear that the big anger was an aberration, and has long ago leaked from him. “Hey Mike,” cried one of his colleagues as he pulled out of the station, “you can kiss my royal Irish ass!” Mike Moran just grinned. He has volunteered to work today, and will be on duty at Ladder 3 when the whole city falls silent.
National Post Christie Blatchford can be contacted at cblatchford@nationalpost.com

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Catch up on previous instalments from Christie Blatchford at www.nationalpost.com/ ourflag

A6

9/11 REMEMBERED

NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

The line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. On Sept. 11, a few dozen hearts embraced that evil and erased the World Trade Center. Evil does not go away, and we ignore it at our own peril
COMMENT
Americans are the world’s “new Jews”. This is not because the United States remains Israel’s most faithful ally. It’s because Americans, like Jews around the world, are a successful “nation.” In fact, they are too darn successful for the dispossessed or the pathologically covetous. And those whom you envy, you also hate. That’s why they are despised. Both “nations” are similar. Jews are scattered around the world, united by a religion as well as a set of values. Americans are in one geographic location and are also united in their beliefs. Both “nations” consist of immigrants, or their descendants, who have learned to live with all other nationalities and to work hard to overcome dislocation and strife. The result is that both “nations” have emerged to become successful, pluralistic, self confident and proud. Which makes the envious detest them even more. Once targeted as enemies, Americans, like Jews, are objectified. Their flaws are exaggerated. They are blamed for everything that is wrong with the world. And, like the woman in my newsroom, they are not sympathetic victims even when thousands of them are being slaughtered by religious fanatics. As we know, this type of hatred and envy eventually drove most Jews out of Europe, then the Arab nations, in 1948, when the State of Israel was founded. Then Jews were hated even more because they turned a desert into the Middle East’s only developed, educated democracy. The attacks on 9/11 revealed how a similar, irrational hatred toward the Americans has become nationthreatening. There are even those who blame the Americans, along with the Jews, for that old bigoted mantra, the “world-banking conspiracy.” Arab radicals, clerics and leaders spew this stuff and actually imagine the two are Great Satans who are buying up the entire world economy, exploiting all its poor people and are responsible for all human misery. It’s the AmericanJewish Evil Empire. I’m far from an apologist for everything that America has done, or will do. I was a civil rights activist, objected to the Vietnam War and came to Canada as a result of its 1960s politics. I’m also concerned about some actions taken by the government in Israel. But both nations openly report and debate such matters because they are transparent and enlightened societies. For that reason alone, the demonization of both is misplaced, even ruinous to mankind. The “new Jews” are victims of intolerance and their victims should be remembered. And that’s why I’m in New York. God bless America.
National Post

D AY O F R E M E M B R A N C E

The U.S. is hated for its success
DIANE FRANCIS
in New York

TORONTO PAYS TRIBUTE TO 9/11 DEAD
IN CLASSROOMS AND OFFICES
BY GILLIAN COSGROVE AND MALCOLM KELLY
TORONTO •

immigrated from the United States in the late 1960s, but in many ways have never left. That’s why nothing could have prevented me from coming to New York during the week commemorating the 9/11 tragedy. Like a shiva, I had to be here to share the grief, with plenty of Kleenex and lots of admiration and respect for a great country. I have learned that being American is not something one displays, but this occasion warrants a change of voice for me. I’ve never written about an incident that took place last Sept. 11 in my newsroom. A woman whom I did not know, and haven’t seen since, said to a group of us who were watching the first tower collapse: “Well, that’s what the Americans get for poking their noses into everyone’s affairs.” If I hadn’t walked away to another television in the room, I would’ve just slugged her. My anger wasn’t a knee-jerk reaction resulting from the Stars-andStripes childhood that every American kid like me experienced: the pledge of allegiance every morning, marching in my Brownie uniform with my baby sister beside real soldiers in my town’s annual Memorial Day parade, squatting under my school desk listening to sirens during the Cuban Missile Crisis or getting news that someone I knew had been blown to bits in Vietnam’s jungles or incinerated in the World Trade towers. My anger toward this woman wasn’t because I was brainwashed. It was because she was. Unfortunately, this mentality is all too prevalent in Canada and around the world. Now it’s apparent that it has become institutionalized among radical Islamic sects that are violent. To me, this type of anti-Americanism — whether violent or not — is an ideology rooted in dishonesty, envy and intolerance toward a country that’s far from perfect but possesses more good values and characteristics than do most nations. So, you might ask, if America’s so great then why are Americans increasingly hated around the world? The answer is quite simple:

I

KRISTEN BROCHMANN / THE NEW YORK TIMES

When hijackers flew airplanes into the World Trade Center’s twin towers, the world witnessed an act of evil that staggered the soul.

Mystery of evil cannot be ignored
T
he anniversary is upon us. Our mind’s eye turns again to the scenes of savagery that exploded across the Manhattan skyline, searing images at once spectacular and sinister into our memory. Yet what most demands our attention is what we cannot see. What we saw was a conflagration that reduced to rubble the proud achievements of architecture and industry and science and economic freedom. That we could watch on TV. What we could not see was the spiritual drama, an interior battle against flames too hot for any firefighter to put out. I learned a few days ago that New York firefighters have a nickname for the fire they do battle with. They call it the devil. Man is made for happiness in this world and eternal blessedness in the next, so we quite easily recognize and celebrate the good among us. It’s our nature and our vocation. Therefore today’s memorials will celebrate, quite properly, the goodness of Sept. 11 — the last-minute testimonials of love whispered into cellphones, the heroism of the rescue workers, the sacrificial courage of the passengers who thwarted the hijackers in the skies over Pennsylvania. We are not so good at recognizing evil. It lives among us too, yet we are loathe to acknowledge it. We are not made for evil — it is not our eternal vocation — and so when it enters our lives, we try so hard to explain it away. In the past year, there have been many such attempts to explain Sept. 11, often under the guise of looking for root causes. The problem with the search for root causes it that it goes too far, and not far enough. It goes too far in that it skips over the actual evildoers, in this case the hijackers and their accomplices. Root causes don’t fly planes into buildings. Highly intelligent, capable and disciplined men do, men who have freely chosen to do an evil thing. The search also does not go far enough. The ultimate root cause of all suffering is evil in the world. While it is alien to our contemporary chattering classes, the knowledge that evil exists in the world is part of the common religious patrimony of mankind. “The devil” is not just a nickname.

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Jews and Christians used to be able to speak frankly of the mystery of evil in the world. We used have a shorthand expression for what happens when people freely choose to accede to the temptations of that evil. We used to call it sin. There are small sins and there are serious sins and then there are sins that stagger the soul. That’s what happened on Sept. 11. A few dozen men around the world decided to freely do something horribly wicked and staggeringly sinful. In the flat world of materialism, in which evil is a shorthand expression for psychological angst and evil spirits are only symptoms of mental illness, the terrorists of Sept. 11 need to be understood. Such an approach produces fruitless natterings about better education or socioeconomic factors, as if poor kids need to be told that it is wrong to obliterate office buildings full of innocent workers. C.S. Lewis, the Oxford don, wrote perceptively that the greatest trick of the devil was to persuade people that he didn’t exist. The spiritual mystery of evil in the world is not to be understood but simply recognized. Recognized and fought. It is a battle that is at the heart of every human life — it is, in fact, the adventure that animates all of human existence. Aleksandr Isaevich Solzhenitsyn, who saw more evil in the Soviet gulag than most men, wrote that the line between good and evil runs through the heart of every man. On Sept. 11, a few dozen hearts embraced that evil and erased the World Trade Center. The mystery of evil can be ignored, but it does not go away for our pretending that it is not there. We ignore it at our peril. On Easter Sunday, the Latin hymn for the Catholic Mass sings of good and evil, of the “mortal combat” between life and death. Sept. 11 was one episode in that cosmic mortal combat, with the hijackers using their own bodies to bring death. The heroes gave their own bodies to save lives. It was mortal and it was combat — something that should be familiar to every Jew who celebrates Passover and to every Christian who looks upon a crucifix. The mystery of evil is with us always. It is a fact of human existence. And just as every fire has its root causes — faulty wiring, lightning in a forest, several tons of jet fuel slamming into a skyscraper — one can trace the itinerary of evil in the world. Firefighters exist because there is fire in the world, and it will flare up, more or less regardless of whatever specific combination of root causes may be cobbled together on any given day. And when the devil comes, they go and fight it. Evil, too, exists in the world. And when the devil comes, there is no time to explain it away. It is time to fight. To the death.
National Post

A hush will fall across Bay Street at 8:46 this morning as corporate Toronto observes a moment of silence for victims of the terrorist attacks in New York a year ago. The silent vigil will mirror memorial ceremonies planned for Ground Zero in Manhattan, at the moment the first plane smashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. Many corporations — especially those that lost one of their own — will observe another moment of silence at 10:29 a.m., the moment the second tower collapsed. Many of the Canadian victims of 9/11 were from Toronto or had extensive Toronto connections, and events are scheduled in the city. Official ceremonies begin at 9:30 a.m. at Nathan Phillips Square where police, fire and emergency services and the Toronto Transit Commission will participate in a ceremony that also includes James Bartleman, the Lieutenant-Governor, Ernie Eves, the Premier, and Mel Lastman, the Mayor. Public, separate and private schools will also observe Sept. 11 with ceremonies and activities. And TTC vehicles will stop for a moment’s silence at 10:05 a.m., the time the first tower collapsed. At the Bank of Montreal, staff members plan to lay a wreath on the trading room floor. It will be an emotional moment for colleagues of David Barkway, the former managing director of capital markets at BMO Nesbitt Burns, who perished that day. In honour of the golf enthusiast, a putting green called Barky’s Way was installed on the terrace outside the trading room. “This first anniversary of Sept. 11 will not and cannot be like any other normal business day, certainly not for people like us, whose lives have been etched one way or another by what we saw and heard and felt one year ago,” Tony Comper, Bank of Montreal chairman and CEO, told employees. When searching for a respectful way to commemorate Sept. 11, staff at Royal Bank Financial Group turned to their colleagues at RBC Capital Markets in New York (situated directly across the street from Ground Zero) for ideas. In the end, Royal Bank opted for a “less is more” approach and the recognition that individual emotions have to be respected. At Toronto schools, most of the cermonies have been left for individual schools to plan. Prayer services will be held in each of the Toronto Catholic District School Board’s schools, said Emmy Milne, a communications supervisor. The Toronto District School Board considered not holding any official ceremonies and leaving the choice of how to mark the occasion to individual parents, but “the senior staff and principals felt there was a need for the school system to respond to the day in a sense that we needed to so something purposeful that would demonstrate a respect and consideration for the day itself, for those who sacrificed their lives,” said David Reid, director of education. Private schools will also be holding ceremonies in their own ways. At Branksome Hall, an all-girls private school, an assembly will commemorate those who were lost and look toward the future “and what [the students] can do to increase the sense of respect for each other’s differences,” said the school’s Nancy Smith.
National Post

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Visit canada.com/sept11 for stories on where people were when they heard the news, an interactive chronology of the attack, photo galleries, newspaper front pages from the day after and a discussion forum on how Sept. 11 changed lives.

Today
we remember a day we can’t forget
CBC Radio
Loss & Legacy: Reflections of September 11
A nine-and-a-half hour special dedicated to helping Canadians understand and share their views. A day of contemplation.

CBC Television and CBC Newsworld
Remembering September 11
Peter Mansbridge anchors full-day coverage, commemorating the tragic events of a year ago and exploring, from a distinctly Canadian perspective, the endless issues left in their wake.

cbc.ca

A8

9/11 REMEMBERED

NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

The presence of three of the hijackers and others involved in the plot at a wedding in Hamburg, Germany, in October, 1999, has led investigators to believe the plan to attack the United States had essentially been formed by then.

The hijackers’ long
BY RICHARD BERNSTEIN

n Nov. 29, 1999, a 31-year-old architecture student in Germany named Mohamed Atta, unknown to the world but already determined to strike an unforgettable blow against those he believed to be his enemies, boarded Turkish Airlines Flight 1662 from Istanbul to Karachi, Pakistan. Atta took at least a couple of days to reach his final destination: a training camp in Afghanistan run by al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden’s sprawling, international terrorist organization. There, investigators say, Atta was accorded the greatest honour a soldier in the international Islamic army can receive: an audience with bin Laden himself. Atta’s visit with bin Laden, which has not been disclosed previously, is among the latest discoveries by U.S. investigators trying to reconstruct the hijacking plot that brought so much death and havoc to the United States. The investigators believe Atta was accompanied by other leaders of the plot and they talked to bin Laden about undertaking a terrorist operation. The new information, much of it gleaned from interviews with al-Qaeda members captured in Afghanistan and Pakistan, provides the strongest evidence that bin Laden personally supported the 19 men who carried out the deadliest foreign attack on U.S. soil. Over the past year, investigators have reached other conclusions as well. They have identified several figures aside from the hijackers who seemed to form a penumbra of support for the terrorist network, serving as recruiters, messengers and handlers of the $500,000 to $600,000 needed to carry out the attacks. Atta himself has emerged as an even more important organizer than was previously known, a figure who might not have created the plot, but who took early command of it and was viewed, in the words of one of the other hijackers, as “the boss.” Foreign intelligence officials also say one of the most important supporters, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, who lived with Atta in Hamburg and accompanied him to Afghanistan, was present at a critical meeting in early 2000 in Malaysia, which was attended by two other al-Qaeda operatives who later formed the core of one of the hijacking teams. Bin al-Shibh’s presence at the meeting is the earliest known link between Atta’s Hamburg team, which included three of the suicide-hijacker pilots, trained mainly in Florida, and the men who commandeered the fourth plane, who trained in California and Arizona. In addition, U.S. law enforcement officials have become increasingly confident that a 37-year-old Kuwaiti, Khalid Shaik Mohammed, was one of the plot’s central planners. Interviews with al-Qaeda prisoners, including Abu Zubaydah, the highest-ranking operative in custody, have confirmed suspicions about Mohammed, whom investigators believe is an uncle of Ramzi Yousef, the convicted mastermind of the attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. This new information, disclosed by officials as the anniversary approached, helps fill in significant gaps in the narrative of what happened that Tuesday, helping explain a diabolical plot that in-

O

volved years of planning and training across three continents yet required nothing more to execute than 19 driven and suicidal men, a half million dollars and a handful of knives. In the days after the attacks, government investigators quickly determined many details of the plot, including the identities of the hijackers and their itineraries from several points around the globe to flights schools in Florida, California and Arizona, and then to their targets in the United States. But much else about Sept. 11 remained mysterious. Investigators were sure from the beginning that bin Laden and al-Qaeda were ultimately behind it, but they did not know who exercised practical control, when and where the plot was hatched or how al-Qaeda recruited and maintained contact with the killers. Even now, they have not filled in all the gaps. “There are many aspects of the plot that we’ll never know unless you get a participant to tell you when it began and how it was put together,” said one senior U.S. law-enforcement official. But in the year since Sept. 11, investigators have pored over cellphone records, flight manifests, financial receipts and interviews with captured al-Qaeda members to develop a richer picture of the plot, particularly how it came together overseas. One general conclusion that can be drawn is this: The attacks last year were the deadly outgrowth of a series of terrorist efforts that began with the truck bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993 and a foiled plot two years later in the Philippines, where terrorists schemed to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners as they crossed the Pacific. The investigation in this sense has not turned up evidence that the same groups were responsible for all those plots, but rather that there is a kind of interlocking terrorist directorate, with one group taking the baton from another, and one group’s goals becoming those of the next group. The form of terrorism that struck on Sept. 11 involves a still shadowy and fluid network of people and groups, and it clearly shows that since the mid-1990s, many parts of that network have gravitated toward al-Qaeda. The attack on the United States, with three separate groups of young men from scattered places coming together, was the culmination of that process. In October, 1999, at the radical al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, Germany, several men attended the wedding of Said Bahaji, a German-born Muslim of Moroccan descent, who is believed to have been in charge of logistics for the local cell of al-Qaeda. Looking back, investigators see it as a gathering of the most important of the Sept. 11 terrorist teams just as the plotting began. Among the men at the wedding were Atta, who was from a middle-class family in Egypt; Ziad Jarrahi, who had left his native Lebanon in April, 1996, to fulfill a dream of studying aeronautical engineering in Europe; and Marwan al-Shehhi, a citizen of the United Arab Emirates who, also arriving in Germany in 1996, seems to have been almost inseparable from Atta. Investigators believe the men were at the controls of three of the four planes that were commandeered. Others were at the ceremony as well, men from several countries who, investigators believe,

PORTLAND POLICE DEPARTMENT / THE ASSOCIATED PRESS

Hijackers Mohamed Atta, right, and Abdulaziz Alomari were captured on tape on Sept. 11, 2001, by a security camera at the airport in Portland, Me., where they caught an early-morning commuter flight to Logan Airport in Boston. There, they boarded United Airlines Flight 11.

were part of the plot’s network of support. Among them, for example, was a 300-pound German of Moroccan ancestry named Mohammed Heidar Zammar, who is believed to have recruited for al-Qaeda among the young radical Muslims who prayed at the al-Quds mosque. Another was bin al-Shibh of Yemen, the Atta roommate who would probably have been among the suicide-hijackers, except his repeated applications for visas to the United States were rejected. In fact, the men almost surely knew one another for a year or so before the Bahaji wedding, which was when Atta, bin al-Shibh and Bahaji signed a lease for an apartment at 54 Marienstrasse, a nar-

globe, participating in a movement whose chief backer and inspiration was the renegade Saudi millionaire bin Laden. In February, 1998, bin Laden had issued a well-publicized fatwa, or Muslim religious order, calling on all Muslims to “comply with God’s order to kill the Americans and plunder their money wherever and whenever they find it.” Then, in August, 1998, al-Qaeda succeeded in simultaneous truck bombings of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi and Dar Es Salaam, killing 250 people, including 11 Americans, events that no doubt electrified the members of alQaeda cells in other countries. In addition, Hamburg, and specifically the al-Quds mosque,

‘You will see. In America, something is going to happen.’
row, sloping street in a workingclass suburb of Hamburg. According to the investigators, it was when the men became roommates that the plan to take some action together in the service of Islamic holy war began to be formed. “For us, the decisive moment is the move into the Marienstrasse 54,” Kay Nehm, Germany’s general prosecutor, said in a recent German television interview. “This is when there were intensive discussions concentrating on the question of what can be done. The hate was there, the hate against the U.S., the hate against international Judaism. Those were the discussion topics, and then they say, ‘Actually, we have to do something.’ ” In forming a terrorist cell in Hamburg, Atta and company were doing what radical young Muslims were doing across the were important centres for recruitment into the radical Muslim cause. And because there are no strong signs that Atta, al-Shehhi or Jarrahi were Islamic radicals before they arrived in Germany as students, it seems safe to assume they were recruited into the cause locally, possibly by Zammar. “The typical pattern of recruitment is that the recruiters find you,” said Magnus Ranstorp, an expert in terrorism at the Center for the Study of Terrorism and Political Violence, at The University of St. Andrews in Scotland. “They are talent spotters. You go to a radical mosque, they notice you.” The first litmus test, Mr. Ranstorp said, is a show of religious devotion, specifically a willingness to regularly attend morning prayers, held at 5 a.m. “Then they conduct background checks. Then comes the test for

psychological strength — commitment is not enough.” The presence of all these men at the wedding of Bahaji has led investigators to believe the plan to attack the United States had essentially been formed by then, a little under two years before Sept. 11, 2001. A videotape of the wedding obtained by German officials shows bin al-Shibh speaking of the “danger” posed by Jews, and then he recited a paean to holy war, or jihad, against the supposed enemies of Islam. Soon after the wedding of Bahaji, who fled Germany after Sept. 11, the men in the Hamburg cell began to take concrete steps to put a plan into effect. Most important, according to German investigators, all three of the Hamburg hijackers plus bin al-Shibh and Bahaji went to Afghanistan for training at an al-Qaeda camp. Klaus Ulrich Kersten, director of Germany’s federal anti-crime agency, the Bundeskriminalamt, said the men were all in Afghanistan from late 1999 to early 2000. In going to Afghanistan, the members of the Hamburg cell entered into a culture of holy war that was already well established. The Muslim men who journeyed to Afghanistan to join al-Qaeda went through a similar, demanding program of basic military training. Then, those who showed exceptional promise were singled out for special missions, including what were called martyrdom operations, such as the 1998 African embassy bombings, or the attacks on the United States. That pattern seems to have been broken in at least a minor way in connection with the Hamburg group, which arrived in Afghanistan together and was allowed to stay together. Did Atta and company already know precisely what mission they would undertake? Or did the specific

plan to hijack airliners and use them to attack targets in the United States come from the alQaeda leadership itself? Mohammed, the Kuwaiti whom some investigators now see as one of the main planners of Sept. 11, is a man with a past that connects him to other efforts to inflict maximum harm on the United States. In 1995, he was in Manila, Philippines, where he was close to Ramzi Yousef, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center attack and a man who was planning, before he was forced to escape the Philippines, to blow up a dozen U.S. airliners over the Pacific on the same day. Among the notes found in Yousef ’s computer after his sudden flight from the Philippines was the outline of a plan to hijack a U.S. airliner and crash it into the headquarters of the CIA. Yousef was captured a few weeks after he left the Philippines, but Mohammed has remained at large and, while there are no signs that he and Yousef were members of al-Qaeda at that time, investigators believe Mohammed became an important figure in al-Qaeda later. Some investigators think Atta and other mid-level al-Qaeda members could have devised the plot and taken it to senior leaders for approval. But most U.S. and German investigators believe the plan originated with Mohammed or others in Afghanistan and Atta became involved after he conveyed a message that he wanted to carry out a terrorist attack. If that assumption is true, these investigators say, Atta and his associates went to Afghanistan for training by al-Qaeda, which presented them a plan inspired both by the 1993 World Trade Center attack and Yousef’s scheme of using a hijacked airliner to attack the CIA.
Continued on next page

TOMORROW

POST 9/11
For the most comprehensive coverage of today’s events in New York and around the world, don’t miss Thursday’s National Post.

NATIONAL POST, WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 11, 2002

9/11 REMEMBERED

A9

Investigators found that members of both the Florida and California terrorist teams were in Las Vegas in August, 2001. They believe final plans may have been co-ordinated then, including which flights would be hijacked

journey to infamy
THE STATUS OF AL-QAEDA’S LEADERS
Intelligence officials say al-Qaeda has become less hierarchical than it was before its haven in Afghanistan was disrupted by U.S. military strikes and the defeat of the Taliban. Here is the status of some major al-Qaeda leaders and operatives, according to U.S. and Pakistani intelligence sources.

AT L A R G E O R S TAT U S U N K N O W N Abu Hafs the Mauritanian

CAPTURED Riyadh the Facilitator, a.k.a Abu Haytham Ibn alSheikh alLibi

Mauritanian
Religious indoctrination

L E A D E R S AT L A R G E O R S TAT U S U N K N O W N ‘TIER 1’ LEADERS A designation used by the military to denote the three most senior leaders after bin Laden Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah Fazul Abdullah Muhammad Anas al-Libi

Libyan
Training camp leader

Yemeni
Logistics

Libyan
Operational planner

Saad bin Laden

Egyptian
Operational planner

Comoros Islander
Operational planner

Saudi
One of bin Laden’s sons

Abu Zubaydah

Abu Zubair al-Haili

Egyptian
Operations chief

Saudi
Operations

Amin ul-Haq

Afghan
Bodyguard to bin Laden

BELIEVED KILLED Abu Jafar alJaziri Tariq Anwar al-Sayyid Ahmad

Ayman alZawahiri Osama bin Laden

Khalid Shaikh Mohammed

Saif al-Adel

Mustafa Ahmed alHawsawi Mustafa Muhammad Fadhil Fahid Muhammad Ally Msalam Muhsin Musa Saudi Matwalli Finance Atwah Midhat Mursi Egyptian
Operational planner

Algerian
Finances and logistics

Egyptian
Trainer

Egyptian
Top deputy to bin Laden

Kuwaiti
Chief of operations

Egyptian
Chief of security for leadership

Saudi
Head of al-Qaeda

Egyptian
Operational planner

Kenyan
Operational planner

Muhammad Atef

Abu Salih alYamani

Muhammad Salah

Egyptian

Egyptian
Military commander

Yemeni
Planning and logistics

Egyptian
Trainer

Weapons research

SOURCE: THE NEW YORK TIMES

The investigators think senior al-Qaeda leaders then deemed Atta and the others up to the job and entrusted it to them. “We know that the initial decision to carry out a terrorist act came from Afghanistan, more specifically from the top al-Qaeda leadership,” the German investigator, Mr. Kersten, said. “We believe, too, that there were then further phases, when the plans were made more precise, not only in Germany and involving many other people.” Atta himself was a near-perfect person to carry out the plot. He had no record of terrorist activities and so he would not be under suspicion by Western intelligence agencies. He was well-educated and spoke both German and English fluently, enabling him to operate without difficulty in the United States. And he was a grimly determined man, disciplined, reliable and not likely to flinch. In recent weeks, U.S. officials say, some al-Qaeda members being interrogated in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and elsewhere have confirmed that Atta and some of his associates met with bin Laden while they were in Afghanistan. That would have been consistent with the standard practice in alQaeda camps where an audience with bin Laden was regarded as a high honour reserved for those selected for important missions. When the Hamburg men returned to Germany toward the end of February, 2000, they began sending e-mail messages to ask for information from 31 flight schools in the United States. Kay Nehm, the German prosecutor, described a conversation in which al-Shehhi mentioned the World Trade Center to a Hamburg librarian, in April or May, 2000, and boasted: “There will be thousands of dead. You will all think of me.” “You will see,” the prosecutor quoted al-Shehhi as saying. “In America, something is going to happen. There will be many people killed.” Two months after the wedding in Hamburg and halfway around the world, a group of seven or eight Muslim militants got together in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, at the apartment of a local supporter of al-Qaeda. The CIA, which had learned of the meeting in advance, tipped off Malaysian intelligence, which secretly photographed it. Two of the men photographed, Khalid Almidhar and Nawaq Alhazmi, would later be among the 19 hijackers. Malaysian intelligence had no listening devices planted at the meeting, so it is not clear what its main purpose was. The main item on the agenda may have been the plans for an attack on a U.S. naval vessel. One of the men present in Kuala Lumpur was later implicated in the attack on USS Cole, which took place in October, 2000. But it is possible that the emerging plans for an assault on U.S. territory were also discussed. American officials have said they are not certain that bin al-Shibh was there, but in recent interviews, foreign investigators, who have seen the photographs of the Kuala Lumpur meeting, say they are convinced he was. Creditcard records also indicate bin alShibh was in Malaysia at the time of the meeting.

The signs also are strong that just after the Kuala Lumpur meeting, Almidhar and Alhazmi had become part of the Sept. 11 plan. A few weeks later, in January, 2000, the two men became the first of the suicide-hijackers to land in the United States, arriving in Los Angeles on a flight from Bangkok. Within weeks, the two of them registered at a flight school in San Diego and began learning to fly, although they showed very little aptitude for it and were soon dropped by the flight instructor. Why did the plot involve two separate groups, one that prepared in California and one in Florida, where Atta, al-Shehhi and Jarrahi arrived a few months later? One possibility is that Almidhar and Alhazmi were better known within al-Qaeda than any of the young men from Hamburg. Intelligence officials say Almidhar’s father-in-law ran a safe house in Yemen that relayed messages between al-Qaeda leaders and operatives. Al-Qaeda leaders may have wanted the hijackers to enter from two separate tracks for added security, and it is possible that Almidhar and Alhazmi were supposed to keep an eye on Atta from enough of a distance so as not to arouse the suspicion of U.S. law enforcement authorities, and to report on him to al-Qaeda headquarters in Afghanistan. At some point, Almidhar and Alhazmi were joined by Hani Hanjour, a 29-year-old member of a well-off Saudi family. Hanjour is believed to have been the pilot of United Flight 77, which was hijacked after taking off from Dulles Airport and was used to crash into the Pentagon. He had been in the United States since 1996, when he attended a flying school in Scottsdale, Ariz. Despite a poor record as a student, he was able to get a commercial pilot’s licence in 1999. Almidhar and Alhazmi settled in San Diego, attending activities at the local Islamic Center. Almidhar also travelled extensively outside the United States, but Alhazmi seems to have stayed put. He even advertised for a wife on an Arab-language Internet dating service and received two replies — an odd thing for a man on a suicide mission to do. The members of the Hamburg group arrived in the United States several months after the Malaysian group. Al-Shehhi was first, arriving in Newark, N.J., on May 29. Atta came on June 3, also through Newark, but in another of the unresolved mysteries in the case, he arrived via Prague, where he took considerable trouble to go. He first went to Prague via airplane, but was turned away because he did not have a valid visa. He went back to Germany on the first flight, obtained a visa in Bonn and then returned to Prague by bus. He stayed just one night and left for the United States the next day. Several weeks later, on June 27, Jarrahi arrived in Atlanta on a flight from Munich. Within a few weeks of their arrival, all three undertook the first task of the plot: they took flying lessons at various academies, getting their licences around the end of 2000. After learning to fly small planes, all the men paid for time on a simulator, learning the techniques of flying bigger planes, specifically wide-bodied

lieve that Zubaydah, who ran the training camps before his capture and who is the highest-ranking al-Qaeda leader under interrogation, may have played a role in selecting them. At about this time, one other mysterious figure entered the picture, a French-Moroccan Muslim named Zacarias Moussaoui. He was arrested in August in Minnesota after instructors at a flight school reported to the FBI that he was behaving suspiciously. Federal prosecutors say Moussaoui also received money transfers from bin al-Shibh, and they contend he was to have been the 20th hijacker, the replacement for bin alShibh, who had been unable to get into the United States. But investigators concede it is also possible Moussaoui was training for a separate mission. In the final few weeks before the attacks, the 19 men busied themselves with practical details. Many of the Saudis opened bank accounts at the Sun Trust Bank. They got driver’s licences, satisfying the airlines’ requirement that all passengers show government-issued photo IDs before boarding a plane. Several of the men obtained Virginia identification cards via a black market that operated out of a parking lot in Arlington, Va. To maintain discipline and to stay in good condition, most of the men got temporary memberships in health clubs in Florida. Then, over the course of the summer, the various teams went to separate locations on the East Coast. One group took up residence at motels in Laurel, Md., not far from Dulles International Airport, where one of the four planes was hijacked. Several other men rented an apartment in Paterson, N.J., just across the river from Manhattan, where they would have had distant views of their main target, the World Trade Center. Others, including Atta, continued to live in Florida. Airline, rental car and cellphone records show that Atta was furiously busy. He rented cars often and put thousands of miles on them. U.S. officials say he also made regular trips from Florida to Newark, presumably to meet with the group in Paterson. Because some of those living in Paterson had come across the country from California, it may have been on one these trips that the Florida group and the California group began to co-ordinate their plans. The FBI has also noticed spikes in cellphone use at what seem to be key points in the plan — for example, just after the arrest of Moussaoui and just before the men began, in late August, to buy tickets for the flights they would hijack. Investigators found that members of both the Florida and California teams were in Las Vegas in August. They believe final plans may have been co-ordinated then, including, quite possibly, what flights to hijack and which team members would be on which flight. As Sept. 11 neared, the teams were geographically in place. The men who hijacked American Airlines 77 from Dulles airport were installed in Laurel; those who seized United Airlines 93 were placed at hotels near Newark; and most of the 10 men who hijacked two planes at Boston’s Logan Airport took up residence at a hotel in downtown Boston.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

Mohamed Atta, who piloted one of the planes that crashed into the World Trade Center, may not have created the terrorist plot, but in the words of one of the other hijackers, he was viewed as “the boss.”

Boeing passenger jets. Then, in the first half of 2001, all three members of the Hamburg contingent travelled several times outside the United States. Early in January, for example, Atta made a short trip to Spain. He made a second trip to Spain in July, going via Zurich where, according to one government document, he bought a knife. Bin alShibh was there at the same time, according to the Spanish police. Aside from whatever role he played in planning the attacks, bin al-Shibh was apparently the operation’s co-ordinator and pay-

Republic, some intelligence officials say the source of the alleged meeting was an Arab informant who approached the Czech intelligence service with his sighting of Atta only after Atta’s photograph had appeared in newspapers around the world. It is possible the informant mistook another man for Atta, and many investigators now lean to the conclusion that the meeting never took place. When Atta returned to Florida from Spain on July 19, the plot swung into its final phase. Over the next several weeks, 13 men, all

‘Strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world’
master. Shortly after Atta and alShehhi arrived in Florida, bin alShibh wired approximately $115,000 to their accounts at the Sun Trust Bank there. According to officials of the Czech Interior Ministry, Atta made another trip to Prague in April, 2001. While he was there, the Czechs said, he met with an Iraqi intelligence agent named Ahmed Khalil Ibrahim Samir alAni. But some U.S. investigators doubt this account. Those who believe he did go to Prague and meet al-Ani note that the Czech Interior Minister, Stanislav Gross, has reaffirmed it several times. Those who are skeptical say no U.S. immigration records show Atta travelling outside the United States in April. And in the Czech of them Saudi Arabians, entered the country, all on valid visas, to join Atta, the three other pilots and Alhazmi and Almidhar. The 13 men came to provide muscle for the plot, helping execute the hijackings and keeping passengers and crew at bay while the newly trained pilots flew the planes to their targets. It seems likely that the Saudis were among the legions of young Muslim men who went to Afghanistan in response to the call to make holy war against the enemies of Islam. In previous al-Qaeda operations — most important, the 1998 African embassy bombings — those entrusted on missions were chosen from among the recruits training in the camps in Afghanistan. And some investigators be-

In one of the most mysterious aspects of the plot, Atta and one of the Saudi recruits, Abdulaziz Alomari, drove to Portland, Me., on the night of Sept. 10. The two men stayed in a motel in Portland and took an early morning commuter flight to Boston the next day. In doing so, they took a risk. They did not have much time to make the connection from their commuter flight to United Airlines Flight 11, the flight they commandeered. Indeed, the connection was so close that, had the commuter flight been at all late, they would have missed the very flight they intended to hijack, even as their confederates coming from downtown Boston were already assembled at Logan Airport. There have been many theories of this: that they made contact with a confederate in Portland who gave them the final go-ahead, or more likely, that by arriving on a connecting flight, they would avoid the security check in Boston. None of those explanations seems entirely satisfactory, given the risk and especially given that only Atta and Alomari, who were on the same hijack team, took the steps they did. Whatever their motivation, it apparently did not apply to the three other teams. Perhaps the best explanation is that Atta saw arriving on a connecting flight in Boston as a kind of insurance policy. Assuming security procedures were less rigorous at a smaller airport, he may have believed he and Alomari had a better chance of getting their knives through the checkpoint than in Boston. That would mean that, even if all the other team members failed in their assigned tasks, at least Atta and one confederate would succeed in theirs. It was perhaps a final measure of Atta’s determination and fanaticism. If the plot succeeded in hijacking only one plane and flying it to its target, he wanted to be sure it was the plane he was on. On the last night, the suicide-hijackers were supposed to read some handwritten instructions that Atta had distributed to them. The instructions told the men to shave excess hair from their bodies, to read certain passages of the Koran and to remember that the most beautiful virgins, “the women of paradise,” awaited the martyrs of Islam. “When the confrontation begins,” the instructions continued, “strike like champions who do not want to go back to this world.” The men who waited to strike and to die were near the end of a long journey. Atta had gone from Cairo to Hamburg to Afghanistan to the Czech Republic, to Switzerland to Spain and, of course, to the United States. Others came from Saudi Arabia, Yemen, Lebanon, the United Arab Republic; they had passed through Malaysia, Thailand and states of the Persian Gulf on their way to what would come to be called Ground Zero. There the complex plot to murder Americans in fulfilment of Osama bin Laden’s fatwa would take its terrible toll of thousands of unsuspecting men and women who got up on Sept. 11 to go to work or to travel on airplanes and who died before the morning was over.
The New York Times, with files from Douglas Frantz, Don Van Natta Jr. and David Johnston

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