The Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, New York City
A week before the 11th of September 2001, according to an exclusive interview published in the Evening Standard of London on the 16th of September, the German Federal Police had in their custody an individual who shared an apartment in Hamburg with the Saudi pilot Atta, before he departed Germany for a rather torturous route into the United States, the city of Boston, Massachusetts, and finally Logan Airport.
And, he was telling the German Federal Police a fantastic story. He spoke of an event planned for the United States in which some of those who lived in the apartment with him would be involved, that in his words "would change the world as we know it."
What happened over the course of the week leading up to the events of 9/11, should remind each and every one of us that communications between the United States and our allies are critical to our national security and theirs. A lesson that has fallen upon deaf ears in the first two years of a tumultuous Trump administration and presidency.
The German Federal police, as is customary, dutifully posted the information they gained in their interrogations on the network of international police services. And, in addition, made specific and direct communications with British and American intelligence services and then the wider network of European and select other regional capitols. Yet, and to the utter amazement of the German Federal Police, no one responded.
Desperation, is not a description that one can easily attribute to the most least likely to moralize excessively German federal police, intelligence and security officials, but in this singularly unique circumstance, the German authorities undertook extraordinary measures to illicit a response from their counterparts in London, Washington, Paris, Ottawa and beyond, to no avail.
Finally, towards the end of the week before the event that would 'change the world as we know it' the German Federal Police made a direct call to the White House, to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the Hollywood thriller/drama movie, Air Force One, untoward circumstances on a flight compels the president to make a telephone call to the White House. The person who answers, when they are told that it is the president calling, treats that information with dismissive incredulity. Whereupon, the president, portrayed by Harrison Ford, tells the person on the other end of the phone at the White House to follow protocol and trace the call. They do, and the movie progresses with those in the White House now aware of the upheaval taking place on Air Force One.
One should realise that the telephone system at the White House, at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, even in 2001 was and remains rather sophisticated. For example, most will be aware that any call made from a telephone at an airport is accompanied by audible beeps which clearly identify that the call is made from an airport. Well the system in the White House has enhanced capabilities to identify and distinguish incoming calls from officials domestic and foreign.
After the German Federal police had been on the phone trying to get someone to listen, the call was interrupted, dropped as it were by the person who answered the call. The German Federal police continued their effort to convey the seriousness of the information they had, right up and until the planes began flying into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York City and later the Pentagon.
When President Bush met with the German chancellor shortly after 9/11 and in a joint press conference Bush spoke about never letting - it - happen again, it was that specific telephone call that he and the chancellor were referring to. We will never let it happen again, Bush said.
During the trial of the 1993 Twin Towers bombers
in process: Ctrl+D and bookmark this page, you are going to want to read the ending to this article, it concerns a certain ex-mayor, who now is a spokesperson for our present perfect president.