Tony said: "I know; I hear what you are saying, man; but doing something about this won't be up to us. Plus, we don't have enough information to take any action here. We don't know when, how, or exactly where. The only thing we have is: Mujahideen, Kamikaze Pilots, Bin Laden, five cities, and airplanes. That ain't enough.'
The informant reasoned:
"I've been thinking about this; trying to make more sense out of it myself. The source mumbled something about tall buildings. Maybe they will blow up the plane over some tall buildings; I don't know. Maybe the FBI can get more specifics from the Pakistanis; ISI. Have they tried? After all they are your guys, and they already know all about this.'
The agents were getting exasperated and impatient, "We've got to go; we have a lot of work back there. We have done all we could. We reported it to the guy in charge; now, it is up to them.'
As we turned around and walked away, the informant yelled in Farsi:
"Why don't you discuss it with the CIA? They know. Tell the White House. Don't let "them' sit on this until it is too late"'
I asked Tony, "Maybe sharing this with other agencies is not a bad idea. What do you think?'
He rolled his eyes "not up to us Behrooz. As far as the White House goes, the HQ guys will include it in their briefings; I'm sure they've already done so. Frields is obligated to submit what he got, everything he gets under Counterterrorism, to the HQ guys in charge of Whitehouse National Security Briefings. He always does. So, the White House and other agencies have already heard about this. Let's drop this man; will ya?'
That was the last time we ever discussed this case before the 9/11 attacks took place. The only other person I told this to and showed the 302 forms and the translation report, before September 11, was Amin here. Then, on that Tuesday morning on September 11 everything came back to me and hit me on the head like several tons of bricks.
That morning, we heard the news, and all of us ran out to the next unit to watch the CNN footage on the TV screens installed out there. As soon as I saw the planes hitting those buildings I said to myself: "Oh my God, oh dear God; we were warned about this; we were told about this; very specifically' I almost fainted; I kept hearing the informant's words; I kept hearing his last warnings begging us to do something fast. And we had done NOTHING. Now it was already way too late. I felt nauseous; I felt sick.
A few minutes later I saw one of the two agents; I started making my way into the crowd gathered in front of the TV screens, hundreds of people, and walked toward the agent. He spotted me before I got to him; we locked eyes; knowing eyes. He felt what I was feeling; he knew what I knew; he thought what I was thinking; we were responsible for this. Someone in the FBI would be hung for this.
When I got close to him I asked "what are we going to do? What should we do next?' He shook his head and whispered: "I don't know. I cannot even think straight right now. I don't know Behrooz. We fucked this up; the Bureau fucked our country. Why?! Oh God; we let this happen.' With that said he ran out of the room. I went back to check my drawer and make sure that I still had everything: the 302 forms, from both meetings, my translation reports; both of them. They were all there.
A few days later, when I got together with both agents and Amin to go over an assignment, I brought up the topic. They avoided eye contact with me. I asked the agents what they were going to do; if they'd already done something. At first they were evasive. Then, after I insisted, one of them, Tony, said: "Listen; Frields called us into his office and gave us an order; an absolute order.' I asked them what the order was. He said "we never got any warnings. Those conversations never existed; it never happened; period. He said this is very sensitive"and that no one should ever mention a word about this case; period.'