Was Iran behind 9/11?
Some interesting linkages....
In July of 2004, members of the National Commission established to look into the September 11 attacks were facing immense pressure. The target date for submitting the report the whole of America was waiting for had passed, and commission members were given a 60-day extension that was also about to expire. However, eight days before the final submission date, some commission members received word of new information; a real intelligence time bomb.
Commission members didn’t know what to do. On one hand, a whole new lead emerged; yet on the other hand, nobody could process this huge amount of information within days. At the end of the day, the commission chose a solution that turned out to be the worst of all: It crammed some of the information into three pages (pp. 240-242 in the report) written hectically, ignored most of the information, and in fact left the big question open.
As it turned out, the prominent building housing the National Security Agency’s headquarters in Fort Meade includes a particularly interesting room. In this room, the NSA accumulated tens of thousands of conversation records pertaining to one subject: The ties between Iran’s intelligence service and al-Qaeda from the 1990s to the eve of the 9/11 attacks. The piles of information included 75 intelligence documents characterized as critical to understanding the relationship between Tehran and al-Qaeda.
At the end of the day, the commission noted in its report that the issue deserves further scrutiny by the US Administration. However, such examination was not undertaken and may have never materialized. Indeed, this entire affair may have remained buried in the three abovementioned pages, had it not been for one brave woman: Ellen Saracini.
Saracini is not an intelligence analyst or counter-terrorism expert. She is the widow of pilot victor Saracini, the captain of the Boeing jet that took off from Boston aboard United flight 175, which was crashed into the southern tower. However, Ellen was unwilling to see the death of her husband and father of her two daughters end with yet another line in the commission’s report; she decided to seek justice on her own.
Saracini approached attorney Thomas Mellon, who specializes in lawsuits against large corporations. Mellon’s team members launched an investigation. They met potential witnesses, interviewed intelligence officials, CIA agents, Iranian defectors, a French judge and others. They even reached Israel in their search (in the interest of full disclosure, the writer of this article was also summoned to testify in the trial, as one of nine expert witnesses.)
The investigation kept progressing, diving deep into the dark corners of the global world of intelligence and terrorism. Ten years later, Mellon and his team are convinced that they possess the “smoking gun” that will tie Iran to the September 11 attacks.
The legal team drafted a huge lawsuit, recently submitted to the Manhattan District Court. What hides inside it is far from being routine. The lawsuit is premised on a dramatic charge: The responsibility for the 9/11 attacks lies not only with al-Qaeda, but also with Iran and Hezbollah, based on what attorneys say is clear, unequivocal evidence.
The case has far-reaching implications, which explain why the US government is not eager to look into the conversation records in the abovementioned NSA room. A ruling that Iran is linked to the attacks would pose a tough test to Administration officials: On the one hand, they would not be able to ignore such verdict. Yet on the other hand, what exactly will they do with it? Will they attack Iran, just as they invaded Afghanistan and Iraq?