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Tag: 9/11

FBI Releases Declassified Document on Saudi Government’s Role in 9/11 Attack

By Steve Neavling

The FBI released a newly declassified document related to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that details support given to two of the Saudi hijackers. 

But the 16-page document, which was released on the 20th anniversary of the attacks, found no conclusive evidence that the Saudi government was involved in the plot, The New York Times reports.

Of the 19 attackers, 15 were Saudis, raising questions about whether the kingdom was complicit in the terrorism plot. Osama bin Laden also was a member of a prominent Saudi family. 

Under pressure from families of the Sept. 11 victims, President Biden has pledged to release documents that have long been secret that address a potential connection between the hijackers and Saudi officials. The U.S. had refused to declassify documents that addressed whether the kingdom was involved. 

The document released over the weekend documents the FBI’s interview with an unidentified Saudi man in November 2015. He worked at the Saudi consulate in Los Angeles and was applying for American citizenship. The document describes contacts he had with people who had provided “significant logistic support” to two of the hijackers. 

Secret Service Shares Chilling, Never-Before-Seen Photos from Sept. 11 Attacks

The World Trade Center collapses. Photo: Secret Service

By Steve Neavling

As the 20th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks approach, the Secret Service is releasing chilling, never-before-released photos from attack.

The Secret Service announced this week that it will be sharing photos “from that day and the days that followed,” including some that “have never been seen” before.

Two of the photos show damaged armored limousines parked at the former Secret Service New York Field Office. Another image shows plumes of black smoke streaming out of the World Trade Center towers.

The World Trade Center towers on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo: Secret Service
Armored limousines damaged at the Secret Service’s former New York Field Office. Photo: Secret Service
New York City on Sept. 11, 2001. Photo: Secret Service

DOJ, FBI Considers Releasing 9/11 Files Amid Pressure from Victims, Families

World Trade Center after the 9/11 attacks via Wikipedia.

By Steve Neavling

Under pressure from 9/11 victims and their families, the Justice Department said it may release some classified information and documents related to the investigation into the attack. 

Survivors, victims and their families believe the documents may show a connection between the Saudi government and the terrorist attacks. They called on President Biden to skip the 20th anniversary ceremonies of the attack if his administration didn’t divulge the information. 

In a letter filed in federal court Monday, the Justice Department said it will consider releasing the records, Politico reports.

But some survivors and victims weren’t mollified, saying the government has withheld the information for far too long. 

“We appreciate that President Biden recognizes that long-standing questions about the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s involvement in the worst-ever terrorist attack on American soil remain unanswered, but nobody should be fooled by this half-hearted, insufficient commitment to transparency,” Terry Strada, whose husband, Tom, died in the attack, said.

In the DOJ’s letter, the department said the FBI is examining records related to the investigation to determine whether it can be disclosed. 

“The FBI will disclose such information on a rolling basis as expeditiously as possible,” the Justice Department said. 

A Retired FBI Agent’s Shout Out to First Responders on 9/11

The author is a retired FBI agent with 23 years experience working domestic extremist. He is also the former president of the FBI Agents Association.

By Tom O’Connor

Tom O’Connor and his wife Jean O’Connor, who was also an FBI agent, at the Pentagon after 9/11.

On September 11, 2001, the FBI mobilized teams around the country to investigate the attacks in NYC, the Pentagon in Arlington Va and a field in Shanksville Pa.

Working with hundreds from the first responder community, fire, police, medical and construction, these teams sifted thru debris searching for victim remains and evidence of the attacks. All of these first responders were exposed to toxins which have shown to be deadly.

Thousands have become ill, and almost 3,000 have died from these exposures. The FBI has lost 16 Agents and 1 PSE. Special Agent Lenny Hatton died on 9-11 rescuing people at the towers. Newly retired SA John O’Neil also perished at the towers. SA Paul Wilson, SA Bob Roth, SA Laurie Fournier, SA Jerry Jobe, SA Gerry Senatore, SA Bob Craig, SA Mark Mikuski, SA Steve Carr, SA Wes Yoo, SA Rex Stockham, SA Mark Johnston, SA Dennis Bonelli, SA Melissa Morrow, SA David LeValley, SA Brian Crews, and ET Homer Lewis all gave their lives after responding to the 9-11 attacks.

Please take time to read these names allowed. Remember all of the fallen. The first responder community today are responding in the same way to protect our citizens.

Napolitano: DHS Must Return to Its Mission of Protecting Americans, Not Attacking Them

Janet Napolitano, former head of Homeland Security.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Janet Napolitano, the former head of Homeland Security, criticized the department’s role in policing protests in Oregon, calling it “an abuse of authority.”

“This is not why DHS was created, it is not what it is supposed to do, and I’m confident that most DHS officers who have been directed to run patrols against U.S. citizens are troubled by this operation,” Napolitano says in a Washington Post op-ed. “DHS has a broad and important public safety mission, but nowhere in its foundational documents, in law or in policy, is the department authorized to target the American people who have assembled to protest the actions of their government.”

Napolitano says the “egregious misuse” of DHS has prompted renewed calls to dismantle the department, which she says would be a mistake because its task is “to protect our nation against any number of hazards and threats.”

“It defends against terrorism, cyberattacks, threats to U.S. borders, waterways, public infrastructure and aviation systems, and helps the country prepare for, respond to and recover from disasters while providing support, capacity, capability and intelligence to state and local officials,” Napolitano writes. “Since 9/11, zero planes have been weaponized as instruments of terrorism.”

DHS is now in the news “not because of the harm it is preventing but because of the harm it is doing,” citing border policies of placing “children in cages.”

Napolitano says DHS must return to its original mission.

“We were there solely for the purpose of protecting the American people. Not to attack them.”

Jacqueline Maquire becomes special agent in charge of New York Field Office’s Criminal Division

In 2004, Jacqueline Maguire testified about the 9/11 terror attacks.

By Steve Neavling

ticklethewire.com

Jacqueline Maguire has been named special agent in charge of the Criminal Division of the New York Field Office, where she began her career 19 years ago.

Maguire, who most recently served as deputy assistant director of the Office of Public Affairs at FBI headquarters, joined the FBI as a special agent in 2000 and was assigned to the New York Field Office as a member of the Joint Terrorism Task Force. A year later, Maguire was the lead agent investigating the five people who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon.

In 2006, Maguire began working at the Counterterrorism Division at FBI headquarters, serving as the supervisory special agent and then unit chief.

In 2011, Maguire moved to the Washington Field Office, serving as a supervisory special agent. Then in 2014, she became special assistant to the executive assistant director of the Human Resources Branch at FBI headquarters.

In 2016, Maguire became assistant special agent in charge of the Birmingham Field Office in Alabama, overseeing criminal and administrative issues. A year later, she was promoted to section chief in the Office of Public Affairs in 2017. A year later, she was promoted to deputy assistant director of the office.

Maguire was twice awarded for service, receiving the Attorney General’s “Award for Excellence in Furthering the Interests of U.S. National Security” in 2006 and the Attorney General’s “Award for Distinguished Service” in 2009.

Before coming to the FBI, Maguire worked at the Office of the Medical Examiner in Suffolk County, NY.

Maguire attended Villanova University, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in comprehensive science. At Long Island University, she earned a master’s degree in criminal justice. And at the Naval Postgraduate School, she earned a master’s degree in homeland defense and security.

Todd A. Wickerham Heads Up FBI’s Cincinnati Office

Todd A. Wickerham (Linkedin photo)

By Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

Todd A. Wickerham, who served as a special assistant for the FBI’s associate deputy director since 2017,  has been named special agent in charge of the Cincinnati Field Office.

Wickerham, who joined the FBI in 1997,  has held a variety of investigative, operational, and management positions in the bureau. He was first assigned to the Pittsburgh Field Office, where he investigated violent crime and criminal enterprises. He also served on the SWAT team and as a special agent bomb technician, according to a press release.

On Sept. 11, 2001, he responded to and worked the scene of the United Airlines Flight 93 crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

In 2006, Wickerham was promoted to the Criminal Investigative Division at FBI Headquarters, where he served as a supervisory special agent in the Strategic Planning Unit.

In 2008, he became the supervisory senior resident agent of the Akron Resident Agency where he managed all FBI investigative programs in the Akron area.

During that stretch, he also completed a four-month temporary assignment in Kabul, helping to establish the Major Crimes Task Force – Afghanistan.

In 2013, he was  appointed as assistant special agent in charge of FBI Cleveland’s criminal branch.

Before joining the FBI, he served as a deputy sheriff for the Richland County Sheriff’s Department in South Carolina, an investigator for the Ohio Attorney General’s Office, and a combat engineer with the Ohio Army National Guard.

He began his new post last month.

16 Years Ago Today: Department of Homeland Security Began Operations in Response to 9/11

By Steve Neavling
Ticklethewire.com

Today is the 16th anniversary of the Department of Homeland Security beginning operations in response to the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks.

The 22-agency department was established by President George W. Bush and was the largest reorganization of the federal government since the Department of Defense was created following World War II.

Bush tapped Tom Ridge, a former Republican governor of Pennsylvania, to lead an agency whose mission was to coordinate all “homeland security” efforts.

Official operations began on Jan. 24, 2003.

The department absorbed border protection, cybersecurity, immigration, the U.S. Coast Guard and the Secret Service.

The Department of Homeland Security operates with a $40.6 million budget and has 240,000 employees.