- Insider Trading Also Clearly Warned of Attacks
- By Michael C. Ruppert 5-17-2
- © Copyright 2002, From The Wilderness Publications,
www.copvcia.com. All Rights Reserved. May be reprinted, distributed or
posted on an Internet web site for non-profit purposes only.
- (FTW) - Never in the history of scandals involving the
United States government has an attempt to conceal criminal conduct by
an administration been more transparently dishonest or more easily exposed.
On May 15 White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer -- while making the
startling admission that President Bush received CIA and FBI intelligence
briefings in August indicating Osama bin Laden might be planning hijackings
-- told major news sources including CBS News, "All appropriate action
was taken based on the threat information we had," Fleischer said.
"The president did not -- not -- receive information about the use
of airplanes as missiles by suicide bombers."
- In other statements Fleischer told the press, "The
president was also provided information about bin Laden wanting to engage
in hijacking in the traditional pre-9-11 sense, not for the use of suicide
bombing, not for the use of an airplane as a missile." According to
a May 16 story by the New York Times, "Mr. Fleischer said the information
given to the president in Texas [last August], had prompted the administration
to put law enforcement agencies on alert."
- Every major position taken by an administration in full
retreat and on the defensive can be easily deconstructed and shown to be
- For more than seven months FTW has been documenting specific
warnings received by the U.S. government from both foreign intelligence
services and, in one case, from Russian President Vladimir Putin, indicating
commercial airliners were going to be used by terrorists to attack -- among
other things -- the World Trade Center in the week of Sept. 9. In order
for Fleischer's statement to be credible he would have to assert then that
George W. Bush either ignored or was not informed of a direct warning from
a head of state and also from the German intelligence service, the BND.
- As reported in the German daily Frankfurter Algemeine
Zeitung (FAZ) on Sept. 14, the BND warned both the CIA and Israel in June
that Middle Eastern terrorists were "planning to hijack commercial
aircraft to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and
Israeli culture." The story specifically referred to an electronic
eavesdropping system known as Echelon, wherein a number of countries tap
cell phone and electronic communications in partner countries and then
pool the information. The BND warnings were also passed to the United Kingdom.
- No known denial by the BND of the accuracy of this story
exists, and the FAZ report indicates the information was received directly
from BND sources.
- According to a Sept. 14 report in the Internet newswire
online.ie, German police, monitoring the phone calls of a jailed Iranian
man, learned the man was telephoning U.S. intelligence agencies last summer
to warn of an imminent attack on the World Trade Center in the week of
Sept. 9. German officials confirmed the calls to the U.S. government for
the story but refused to discuss additional details.
- According to a story in Izvestia on Sept. 12, Russian
intelligence warned the U.S. last summer that as many as 25 suicide pilots
were training for suicide missions involving the crashing of airliners
into important targets.
- In an MSNBC interview on Sept. 15, Russian President
Putin stated he had ordered Russian intelligence to warn the U.S. government
"in the strongest possible terms" of imminent assaults on airports
and government buildings before the attacks on Sept. 11. No credible information
has emerged from any source indicating that Putin omitted the above information
when issuing the warning.
- Many other direct warnings were received by the U.S.
government and have been documented in FTW's 9-11 timeline located at:
- These stories give the immediate lie to Fleischer's statements
that Bush had no inkling of airliners being used as weapons.
- But there is more.
- In 1996 -- as reported by the German paper Die Welt on
Dec. 6, and by Agence France Presse on Dec. 7 -- Western intelligence services,
including the CIA, learned after arrests in the Philippines that Al Qaeda
operatives had planned to crash commercial airliners into the Twin Towers.
Details of the plan, as reported by a number of American press outlets,
were found on a computer seized during the arrests. The plan was called
"Operation Bojinka." Details of the plot were disclosed publicly
in 1997 in the New York trial of Ramsi Youssef for his involvement in the
1993 World Trade Center bombing.
- FBI MEMOS TRIGGER WHITE HOUSE BACKSTEPPING
- In "traditional" hijackings the hijackers have
no need or desire to learn how to fly.
- As reported by the New York Times, CNN and the Washington
Post (among others) the events leading to Fleischer's statements were the
recent disclosure of FBI memoranda originated by field agents in Arizona
and Minnesota that warned of a possible hijack attempt by bin Laden's followers.
In both cases the suspects were taking flight lessons.
- According to Newsweek and the New York Times, FBI agents
in Phoenix submitted a classified memorandum in July naming Osama bin Laden
and tracking the activities of possible Middle Eastern terrorist suspects
who had enrolled in local flight schools. The memo, according to the Times,
stated bin Laden's followers "could use the schools to train for terror
operations." The information in the Phoenix memo was not shared with
FBI field agents in Minnesota who had uncovered other startling evidence.
- Just days before the attacks in early-September, FBI
agents in Minnesota wrote notes that subsequently became included in an
internal FBI document warning that accused terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui
"might be planning on flying something into the World Trade Center."
A story from the May 20 issue of Newsweek by Michael Isikoff described
how a local flight instructor had reported Moussaoui had "showed a
suspicious interest in learning how to steer [and not land] large airlinersThe
[FBI] agents were 'in a frenzy, absolutely convinced he was planning to
so something with a plane.'"
- A multitude of sources have reported the FBI agents requested
a warrant to search Moussaoui's personal computer but were denied by Attorney
General John Ashcroft's Justice Department. After the 9-11 attacks the
computer was seized and found to contain information directly related to
the World Trade Center attacks.
- This apparent lack of support from within the administration
is consistent with reports released last fall by the BBC's Gregg Palast
showing that in January 2001 the Bush Administration had issued direct
orders to the FBI to curtail investigations of two of Osama bin Laden's
relatives, Omar and Abdullah bin Laden. The two bin Ladens had been connected
to possible terrorist activities and were living in Falls Church, Va.,
near CIA headquarters.
- APPROPRIATE WARNINGS?
- Fleischer's statement that adequate warnings had been
given to appropriate federal agencies falls flat on its face. Two of the
most "appropriate" agencies would have been the Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and the U.S. Air Force and Air National Guard.
- As documented by researchers like Jared Israel at www.tenc.net,
it has been standard FAA procedure for more than 25 years to scramble U.S.
fighters to intercept -- not shoot down -- any errant or non-responsive
aircraft under FAA control. This protocol is even more stringent in the
case of a hijacking. Yet, Vice President Dick Cheney and others have stated
publicly there were no fighters available in some cases, and there was
no heightened state of alert on Sept. 11. For 50 minutes on 9-11, in direct
contravention of established policy, no fighters were scrambled to intercept
two outstanding hijacked airliners even though it was known attacks were
- Given the above information, it would have been an obvious
move to have placed fighter aircraft on a heightened state of alert in
this time period. This unresponsiveness stands in contrast to the fact
that, in October 1999 at a time when there was no heightened alert, the
ill-fated Lear Jet occupied by golfer Payne Stewart had an F-16 fighter
and an A-10 attack aircraft flying beside it within minutes of losing radio
contact and veering off course.
- INSIDER TRADING
- FTW has spent months on this important story that proves
foreknowledge of the attacks by people who also profited from them. This
was a glaring warning signal, since such trades ran the risk of being detected
by intelligence agencies that routinely monitor all market activity in
- The insider trading involves the placement of large numbers
of "put" options on stocks of companies directly affected by
the Sept. 11 attacks. They include United Air Lines, American Air Lines,
Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, AXA Reinsurance, Munich Reinsurance and
Swiss Reinsurance. Put options are a leveraged bet that a stock's price
will fall dramatically.
- As CBS news noted on Sept. 26, the peak of trading activity
occurred just before the attacks. There was a jump in United Air Line's
put options 90 times (not 90 percent) above normal between Sept. 6 and
Sept.10, and 285 times higher than average on Sept. 6. Numbers for other
affected stocks were equally alarming. It is uncontested that only United
and American stocks had this level of put buying before the attacks. No
other airlines were affected.
- A May 13 story by the Washington Times' Insight Magazine
attempted to explain the insider trading by stating higher numbers of put
options had been placed on United and American stocks earlier in 2001.
By relying only on the numbers of put options, Insight asserted that there
was nothing unusual about the pre-9-11 trades.
- However, FTW has contacted several experienced traders
and reviewed existing documentation from financial experts, which indicate
the alarm for insider trading is to look for any "imbalance"
between the level of put options (a bet that a stock's price will fall)
and the level of call options (a bet that a stock's price will rise). It
is a significant imbalance in puts vs. calls that indicates criminal insider
trading. The Insight piece did not address this point.
- Several traders have stated that in a fairly flat market
with high trading volumes, it has been a routine procedure for experienced
traders to place roughly equal numbers of puts and calls on various stocks
in order to generate a paper cash flow. They were quick to point out that
by September, the market had gone into sharp decline and trading volumes
were way down. Thus, lower numbers of put options did not mean that everything
was normal. They stressed it was the imbalance in put-to-call ratios that
signaled the insider trading. [Ed. Note: FTW has undertaken a more detailed
investigation of this trading activity and hopes to have a more comprehensive
report within 4-6 weeks].
- Part of the problem in Insight's research stems from
the fact that since Sept. 11, there has been no transparency from either
the government or the financial sector on how the trades worked or how
the markets tracked them. Secrecy is everywhere. Telephone calls have not
been returned, and the government refuses to divulge any information about
probes it admits are still ongoing. But simplistic dismissals from sources
quoted in the Insight story contradict not only other evidence, but statements
made by financial experts and major news sources just after the attacks.
- "This could very well be insider trading at the
worst, most horrific, most evil use you've ever seen in your entire lifeThis
would be one of the most extraordinary coincidences in the history of mankind
if it was a coincidence," said Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business
News, interviewed Sept. 20 on Good Morning Texas.
- "'I saw put-call numbers higher than I've ever seen
in 10 years of following the markets, particularly the options markets,'
said John Kinnucan, principal of Broadband Research, as quoted in the San
Francisco Chronicle," reported the Montreal Gazette on Sept. 19.
- To quote 60 Minutes from Sept. 19, "Sources tell
CBS News that the afternoon before the attack, alarm bells were sounding
over unusual trading in the U.S. stock options market."
- Assertions that the reported number of puts involved
were not abnormal also failed to analyze highly intricate shell games that
involve the movement of put options to markets outside the U.S. or hidden
in what traders refer to as "net positions." Serious financial
experts have indicated the profits from insider trading could have been
in the billions. Andreas von Bulow, a former member of the German parliament
responsible for oversight of Germany's intelligence services, estimated
the worldwide amount at $15 billion, according to Tagesspiegel on Jan.
13. Other experts have estimated the amount at $12 billion. CBS News gave
a conservative estimate of $100 million.
- A hasty conclusion reached by many is the insider trades
were placed by bin Laden and his associates. Such a notion is flatly contradicted
by the now absolute certainty that such insider trades would have -- and
apparently did -- set off alarm bells. It makes little sense to argue bin
Laden et al would have risked compromising at the last minute an operation
planned in total secrecy for at least four years.
- Also lacking credibility is the argument that many of
the trades were what some brokers described as inconsequential amounts
valued at $1 million or $2 million. This does not address the possibility
that U.S. intelligence officials decided in a few cases to make a quick
profit from attacks they knew were going to succeed. As distasteful as
it may seem, this explanation is far more credible than an assumption that
bin Laden made the trades himself and risked the exposure of what the world
has been led to believe was his life's "masterpiece."
- For more information on 9-11 insider trading please visit
- The explanations offered by the Bush Administration over
the last 48 hours will not withstand even the slightest scrutiny if a major
press organization asks any question about the warnings received from credible
foreign government sources and heads of state. Other questions must inevitably
follow that will implode an oil dictatorship whose sins and crimes are
exposed and just waiting for someone to pick them up and run with them.