On August 27, 2005, an article, sub-titled, ''9/11 Ringleader Connected to Secret Pentagon Operation,'' by Dr. Daniele Ganser of the Zurich Polytechnic Institute, was published by the International Relations and Security Network (ISN). It identifies the role of 9/11 ringleader Mohammed Atta and three other hijackers in a secret Pentagon operation – an operation that largely refutes the official U.S. government narrative as presented by the 9/11 Commission.
As well, the Australian Department of Defense's highly sophisticated research system shows that numerous meetings took place between Atta and Zacarais Moussaoui, the would-be 20th 9-11 hijacker.
In addition to revealing that Atta was connected to a top-secret operation of the Pentagon's Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Dr. Ganser joins many other investigators in claiming that a top-secret Pentagon project code-named ''Able Danger'' identified Atta as a member of an al-Qaeda cell more than a year before the 9/11 attacks.
So what was the role (or link) that Atta had vis-à-vis the top-secret operation of the Pentagon's Special Operations Command (SOCOM)? Did anyone in the Pentagon or higher (such as Dick Cheney) know in advance what Atta was planning? Was Atta working for (or with) someone in the Bush administration? Who was really in charge of how things went down – or were allowed to go down -- on 9/11?
Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Shaffer, a 42-year-old native of Kansas City who worked for the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA) in Washington at the time of the 9/11 attacks, and had insights into the Pentagon's top secret operation, urged the FBI to arrest Atta -- but the Pentagon's lawyers intervened and ''protected Atta for reasons that remain unclear.'' What were those reasons?
Note how similar this protection of Atta is to how Moussaoui has been ''protected.'' When he was arrested, why was the FBI so reluctant to inspect Moussaoui's laptop computer? Why were both men in some ways protected? And on whose orders?
"Moussaoui's computer and apartment were not searched until after 9/11." http://judiciary.senate.gov/member_statement.cfm?id=1858&wit_id=1011
Perhaps quite significantly, the 9/11 Commission Report fails to even mention Operation Able Danger or any other U.S.-based SOCOM operations.
Also quite significantly, U.S. senators from both parties accused the U.S. Defense Department of obstructing an investigation into ''Able Danger'' and the associated claims that its documents and personnel could have identified Mohammed Atta and other hijackers well before 9/11! The Pentagon blocked several witnesses from testifying before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Even Republican Senator Arlen Spector regarded the Able Danger assertions as credible. Democrat Joseph Biden took it further, accusing the Pentagon of a cover-up.
A longtime Army intelligence officer went public with his allegations about a cover-up in the 9/11 investigation, giving an on-the-record interview Monday night to the New York Times and Fox News, and then further interviews Tuesday to other news outlets.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, 42, confirmed that he had been a source for previous reports in the Times and the Norristown Times-Herald, a Philadelphia-area newspaper, about a secret data-mining operation known as Able Danger, which he said had identified Mohammed Atta and three other 9/11 suicide hijackers in 2000, more than a year before the terrorist attacks.
Shaffer said that his unit had contacted the FBI repeatedly during 2000 to warn that a US-based terrorist cell was at work, but three times was forced to cancel meetings to brief the FBI at the instruction of the Strategic Operations Command (SOCOM), the Pentagon unit in charge of all counter-terrorism work.
He charged that the information withheld might have made it possible to arrest Atta and other terrorists before they could carry out their plans. "I was at the point of near insubordination over the fact that this was something important, that this was something that should have been pursued," Shaffer told the Times. He said the Pentagon officials did not want the information circulated because it would reveal the existence of the secret military intelligence project and lead to criticism that the military was collecting information on the American people.
By his account, Shaffer was not directly involved in data collection or analysis, but served as liaison between Able Danger and the Defense Intelligence Agency, the largest unit of the vast US intelligence apparatus. Defense Department officials did not dispute his version of events, but declined any further comment.