Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Who warned Israelis on 9/11?

Two Israel-based employees of the now-defunct Odigo instant messaging service received a message warning of a big attack in lower Manhattan about two hours before the first plane struck. Stories appeared in Haaretz and the Washington Post (the stories survive on the web but may have been purged from the newspaper web sites).

That's on the public record. After that, the picture gets murky.

Of 4,000 Israeli nationals in New York that day (source: Anti-Defamation League) few were killed in the attacks. Specifically, three died in the twin towers and two were among those listed as plane casualties (let's be clear: military drone planes struck the towers).

So there is at least some ground to believe that the two Odigo employees alerted the Odigo office near the World Trade Center and that those employees messaged Israelis in Manhattan.

Odigo refused to disclose the content of the message but said that Israeli security and the FBI had been notified, apparently after the attacks began, though this point is fuzzy. I don't recall anything on Odigo in the 9/11 commission report, which lacks an index. If you know of some closely held method of searching the report and its appendixes online, let me know.

Now here's a question for New Yorkers Rudolph Giuliani and Hillary Clinton: who tipped off Israelis that an attack was imminent? What does the Israeli government have to say about that?

One later report implied that some terrorist group had sent the message to the Israelis, but this smells like disinformation. It seems more likely that Israeli intelligence knew the attack was coming and that some Israeli spook leaked the information to his or her countrymen. One can't help but wonder whether Israeli intelligence had been monitoring the plotting and that an insider had signaled the plot was a "go" about two hours in advance.

Mere speculation, you object. Yes, and why so? Because U.S. and Israeli authorities have been extremely tight-lipped on a matter that many Americans might wish to know more about, especially in light of the fact that the 9/11 attacks were used to implement the militarist Israel lobby's war agenda.

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