Former Accused Iraqi Agent Reveals Facts about 9/11 Warning
I first wrote about Susan Lindauer's struggle against the Bush-Cheney regime in October 2007, "American Cassandra: Susan Lindauer's Story." This was initially published in "Scoop" Independent Media (complete series) and carried by a wide variety of concerned Internet news sites and blogs. This interview follows the full dismissal of charges against her just before President Obama's inauguration on January 20, 2009 . This is the first in depth interview that Lindauer has offered regarding 911. Below is part one of the interview.
I asked Ms. Lindauer to make her own statement about why she's willing to go into detail now about 911 and the governments handling of pre 911 intelligence.
"For five years, I was the poster child for President Bush's retaliation against Americans who opposed his War Policy in Iraq. In March, 2004 the Justice Department indicted me for acting as an "unregistered Iraqi Agent" (not espionage), because I delivered a prescient letter to my second cousin, Andy Card, former Chief of Staff to President Bush, warning of the dire consequences of War.
"More dangerously, I had decided to talk. In February, 2004 I approached the senior staff of Senators Trent Lott and John McCain and asked to testify in front of the new blue ribbon Presidential Commission on Iraqi Pre-War Intelligence. Within a month, I was astounded to wake up one morning to hear FBI agents pounding on the door of my house in Maryland with an arrest warrant.
"The indictment called me "Symbol Susan." It was a bizarre notation unsupported by any evidence or action in the indictment. It did however have one crucial purpose?to communicate a warning that anybody breaking ranks from the Bush White House should expect to be brutally crushed like I was.To speak the truth under President George Bush was the worst crime of all. It was treason.
'But what exactly was the U.S. government trying to hide?
"The answer is more far reaching than you would expect. In the first article of this series written and edited with the help of Michael Collins, we talk about the 9/11 warning that my team delivered to the Office of Counter-Terrorism at the Justice Department in August, 2001.
"For those who think you've heard the whole story of 9/11, you might be surprised."
Susan Lindauer, March 1, 2009
Interview of Susan Lindauer by Michael Collins
Michael Collins: What confirmation can you provide that you actually warned about 9/11 several months before the attack?
Susan Lindauer: On June 17, 2008 the Court granted the Defense our first and only pre-trial evidentiary hearing in five years, which allowed my attorney to begin confirming that my relationships with my intelligence handlers were fully authentic and involved counter-terrorism.
Dr. Parke Godfrey, an associate professor of computer science at York University in Toronto, testified under oath that starting in the year 2000, and several times in the spring and summer of 2001, I warned him that we expected a major attack on the southern part of Manhattan, and that the attack would encompass the World Trade Center. Dr. Godfrey assured the Court that he had told the FBI about my 9/11 warning during a sit down interview in Toronto in September, 2004, which was jointly attended by a member of the Canadian Royal Mountie Police.
It's worth noting that Dr. Godfrey is a scientist and a precise, deliberate and methodical thinker, who chooses his words carefully.. In style, he's been compared to Dr. Spock of Star Trek fame. He does Leonard Nimoy proud. He would make an outstanding witness at any congressional hearing.
Quoting from his testimony in June 2008, he said that I told him, "A massive attack would occur in the southern part of Manhattan that would involve airplanes and possibly a nuclear weapon."
He testified that I told him "the attack would complete the cycle of the first bombing of the World Trade Center . It would finish what was started in the 1993 ( World Trade Center ) attack."
Dr. Godfrey testified that I first mentioned the possibility of an attack in the year 2000, which coincided with the Lockerbie Trial. Then throughout the spring and summer of 2001, I described the threat much more specifically as "involving airplanes" and the World Trade Center .
In August 2001, I told him the attack was "imminent."
He testified that I urged him to stay out of New York City .
Collins: What was your background that made it possible for you to issue this 9/11 warning?
Lindauer: Throughout the 1990s, the U.S. used me as a back-channel to Libyan and Iraqi officials at the United Nations, seeking to leverage my anti-sanctions and anti-war activism to establish contacts within nations under sanctions, in support of anti-terrorism goals.. I established contact with the Libyan Embassy in May, 1995, for the purpose of starting negotiations for the Lockerbie Trial. In that capacity, I met with Libyan diplomats approximately 150 times over the next eight years. I established contacts at the Iraqi Embassy in August, 1996. In addition to providing a back channel for terrorism intelligence from Baghdad , I conducted preliminary talks to resume the weapons inspections with Iraq 's Ambassador to the United Nations, Dr. Saeed Hasan, and other senior Iraqi officials. Our purpose was to guarantee that Iraq would agree to rigorous U.S. standards for transparency in the inspections process before the matter went to the U.N. Security Council.
It must be emphasized that all of my work was heavily supervised by handlers from the U.S. Intelligence Community. And most unusually, from our first meetings, Iraqi and Libyan diplomats fully understood my motivations to assist in facilitating an end to sanctions, and that I would function as a back channel to contacts tied to the United States government. We wanted diplomats to use me for that purpose. There was no deceit involved.
Collins: Who was your CIA handler?
Lindauer: Dr. Richard Fuisz (FUZE) is the most fascinating individual I have encountered in my life.
Dr. Fuisz was a major CIA operative in Syria and Lebanon in the 1980s. Dr. Fuisz coordinated the hostage rescue of Terry Anderson et al out of Beirut , Lebanon . His team located their make-shift prisons and called in the Delta Force for a daring raid. He testified before Congress about U.S. corporations that supplied Iraq with weapons systems before the first Gulf War. He got outed as CIA by Damascus after stealing the blueprints for Syria 's brand new telecommunications system.
Finally, Dr. Fuisz claims to know the real story of Lockerbie, including the identities of the terrorist masterminds, whom he insisted were not Libyan at all. It was he who suggested that somebody needed to approach Libya about the Lockerbie Trial. An individual who passionately opposed sanctions and recognized possible terrorist scenarios, he thought, would be ideal to start up the talks.
That was me. Despite my ordeal, I am extremely proud of our work together. I remain deeply grateful that Dr. Fuisz invited me to embark on this extraordinary adventure inside the most interesting Middle Eastern embassies at the United Nations. I loved every moment of it.
Collins: What first triggered your concern about a possible attack involving airplanes and the World Trade Center? How did Lockerbie figure into the 9/11 warning?
Lindauer: The Lockerbie Trial in the year 2000 got us thinking of what the next terrorist scenario would look like. The bombings of Pan Am 103 in December, 1988 and UTA (French airlines) in September, 1989 were the last attacks involving airplanes prior to September 11, 2001 . Our team worried openly that the Trial of the two accused Libyans would inspire a sort of "tribute attack" to the success of Lockerbie.
The problem is that while most Americans have refused to accept that Libya 's man, Mr. Megraghi was innocent of the crime, it happens to be true. And terrorists groups know that. They know very well who was responsible for planting the bomb on Pan Am 103, and they know that those individuals have never been brought to justice. Indeed, throughout the Trial, when the U.S. made such a poor showing of forensic evidence against the accused Libyans, that U.S. failure was gossip throughout the Middle East . As Dr. Fuisz used to say, terrorist groups thought that for all the mighty resources of U.S. Intelligence, the U.S. was either too stupid to catch them. Or we were afraid because the real terrorists are "too big."
Either of those beliefs stood to create a huge and irresistible provocation to the younger generation of jihadis. It was an easy step to anticipate that younger terrorists would be inspired to launch a tribute attack to the "heroes" who came before them. On that basis, we drew up an extreme threat scenario that the next major attack would most likely involve airplane hijackings or airplane bombings.
That is exactly what happened by the way. Back in the 1980s, Osama bin Laden called Ahmed Jibril "a hero" and "the greatest fighter against Israel who ever lived."
Sure enough, my own extensive sources in the Middle East have repeatedly told me that Ahmed Jibril was the true mastermind of Lockerbie. And so we find the 9/11 puzzle fits together exactly.
Collins: When did your concern jump from "hypothetical scenario" to the belief that an attack was actively being planned?
Lindauer: I remember it all vividly. In April, 2001 I received a summons to visit Dr. Fuisz at his office in Virginia . We met almost weekly anyway. On this occasion, he phoned my home and asked me to come right away. He also inquired how quickly I was making my next trip to New York to see the Embassies. He wanted to talk to me before I left, and he wanted me to go soon.
Of course I visited him immediately. Dr. Fuisz demanded that I must warn diplomats at the Iraqi and Libyan Missions that their nations would suffer a major military offensive if it was discovered that either had possessed intelligence about possible airplane attacks, and failed to notify the United States through my back channel.
I was reluctant to deliver such a harsh message. I have always been an anti-war activist. That's a major reason for my success in dealing with the Arabs, because they appreciate the consistency of my opposition to violence on both sides. So, on my next trip to New York , I soft pedaled Dr. Fuisz's warning. I requested that diplomats send messages to Baghdad and Tripoli seeking intelligence on possible airplane attacks. But I made no threats of violent reprisal against them.
When I got home to Washington , I met with Dr. Fuisz, who demanded to know how diplomats had responded to his threat. I had to admit that I had stopped short of actually threatening them. But I assured him that I had requested their cooperation.
At that point, Dr. Fuisz became enraged. As I recall, in all our years together, there was never any other time that he lost his temper and yelled at me. He stormed up and down the room. He demanded that I must return to New York immediately, and I must tell diplomats "the United States will bomb them into the Stone Age, worse than they've ever been bombed before, if they don't help us identify any terrorist conspiracies involving airplanes. They will lose everything. We will destroy them." He was not pacified until I promised to deliver that message exactly as he had communicated it. He expressed great satisfaction when I promised that I would make sure they understood the warning came from him, not me, backed by forces above him.
Dr. Fuisz was determined the Arabs should know the threat was deadly serious.
Right then I knew terrorists were actively plotting an attack. This was more than checking our trap lines, or putting out inquiries. Something was moving. Dr. Fuisz was firing back to stop cooperation.
Reinforcing that tension, throughout the summer of 2001, Dr. Fuisz continued to prod and push hard for any fragment of intelligence from Iraq or Libya involving airplane hijackings or airplane bombings. He urged me not to filter intelligence or test its accuracy before informing him. During numerous meetings, he tried to explain how urgently he needed to collect even fragments of intelligence, whether it appeared to make sense to me or not. He begged me to hold nothing back.
That's when I knew that something bigger was going on. Dr. Fuisz was already onto it. Again and again, our talks turned to airplane hijackings and/or airplane bombings in a reprise of the 1993 World Trade Center attack. It sounds uncanny but we all understood exactly what was going to happen.
In turn, I shared those fears and dangers with other friends and family, including Dr. Parke Godfrey.
All of us took the danger very seriously. Our team was strong, proactive and fiercely protective of American security.
Collins: Ultimately, did Libya or Iraq provide any intelligence regarding the attack?
Lindauer: No, they did not. After the attack, it became clear that neither country could have been party to the conspiracy. Gadhaffi and bin Laden hated each other. Back in 1995, Libya was the first country in the world to warn Interpol about Osama, and urge an international warrant for his arrest. Saddam's government hated him, too. Baghdad considered Osama's extreme brand of Sunni fundamentalism to pose a serious destabilizing threat to Iraq 's moderate Sunni elite. Osama was a wrecking ball to Arab governments. They all despised him.
In fact, we pushed Iraq so hard for intelligence in the months before 9/11 that afterwards Iraqi diplomats aggressively challenged our U.S. claims of ignorance. A couple of diplomats put it to me bluntly: "Obviously you knew it was coming, because you kept telling us about it. So why didn't you stop it? Why didn't you do something before this, instead of blaming us now. You should be blaming yourselves."
No, even before the 9/11 attack, I deduced that Dr. Fuisz's advance intelligence was derived from an entirely different source. It just happened to be one I had not expected.
Collins: All right. Who did you warn about this attack?
Lindauer: By early August, 2001, our team was gravely concerned that an attack was "imminent."
When Robert Mueller was nominated to be Director of the FBI, we dallied with going to his confirmation hearings to put a buzz in the ears of congressional staffers about our fears.
Instead, Dr. Fuisz instructed me to telephone U. S. Attorney General John Ashcroft's office.
In mid-August, I phoned the staff of his private office at the Justice Department, which probably consists of about 20 people. Identifying myself as an asset covering Libya and Iraq , I made a formal request that his private office issue an emergency alert throughout the department for any fragment of intelligence pertaining to possible airplane hijackings or airplane bombings. I explained that we expected a major attack involving that scenario, and we urgently needed cooperation from all other agencies.
Ashcroft's office told me to contact the Office of Counter-Terrorism at the Justice Department, and repeat what I had just told them. I did so immediately.
Collins: What happened after that?
Lindauer: I didn't stop there. Most Americans would be stunned to know that in mid-August, 2001, our team was so convinced a 9/11 style attack was imminent that I visited my second cousin, Andy Card at his house in Arlington, Virginia, so that we could warn him.
I parked on the street and waited in my car, chain smoking for almost two hours. Occasionally, I could see neighbors peering out of their windows. In my head, I rehearsed what I would tell the police if they showed up to investigate this strange car parked outside the house of the Chief of Staff to the President of the United States .
Unhappily, he did not return home, and I finally left without sharing our fears.
Driving away, I remember feeling that I was making the greatest mistake of my life. Throughout all these years, it is one of my few regrets.
Collins: Who appears to have been Dr. Fuisz's other source on 9/11?
Lindauer: Dr. Fuisz never formally revealed his source to me. But within about 30 minutes after airplanes struck the Twin Towers , he blurted something to me over the phone.
He told me the Israeli Mossad had advance warning about the attack. As I recall, he said it before the buildings collapsed.
He asked me if I thought it was "an accident that a man and woman happened to be waiting on the sidewalk with a video camera, ready to record the attack." He was highly agitated. He challenged me "how often a bystander has a camera cued up to record a car accident?"
Then he said, "Those are Israeli agents. It's not an accident. They knew this attack was coming. And they were waiting for it."
I was outraged and shocked by the images on the television. I shot back something to the effect of, "You mean, we've been looking for an attack all this time! And the Israelis knew about it? And they didn't tell us?" In retrospect, outside the passion of that particular moment, the Israelis may have told us much more than Richard Fuisz may have known.
Immediately the phone line cut dead between us.
I called him right back. Very calmly, he said, "Susan, we must never talk about that again."
There's a couple more details regarding this Mossad team with the video camera. Dr. Fuisz was able to announce their identities before the media publicized who they are. The attack was so new when he said it, that it seemed to me that he already knew about them.
I could be wrong. But I don't think so.
Collins: Thank you Ms. Lindauer. Part two of this series Susan Lindauer will describe the extraordinary efforts by the Justice Department to deceive U.S. Judge Michael Mukasey in the Southern District of New York of the authenticity of Ms. Lindauer's 9/11 warning.
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