DAN RATHER: “Some evil is just … it can’t be explained.”
DAVID LETTERMAN: “Are these people happy? Are they joyous now? Are they celebrating? Thank God?”
DAN RATHER: “Oh absolutely, they’re celebrating. There’s one report, this has not been confirmed but there is several eye[witness] reports that there was a cell, one of these cells across the Hudson River. And they got on the … this is the report and I emphasize that I don’t know this for a fact but there’s several witnesses who say this happened. They got on the roof of a building to look across, they knew what was gonna happen. They were waiting for it to happen and when it happened they celebrated. They jumped for joy.”
In the days after 9/11, while Ground Zero continued to smoulder, millions heard Dan Rather and various media outlets repeat vague and unconfirmed reports of arrests that took place that day. These rumors held that Middle Eastern men, presumably Arabs, were arrested in explosive-packed vans in various places around the city on September 11th, and that some had even been photographing and celebrating those events. What most do not realize is that those reports were not mere rumors, and we now have thousands of pages of FBI, CIA and DOJ reports documenting those arrests.
MARIA: “I grabbed my binoculars and I’m trying to look at the Twin Towers but what caught my attention was down there I see this van parked and I see 3 guys on top of the van. They seemed to be taking a movie and I could see that they were like happy and laughing. They didn’t look shocked to me, you know what I mean? They didn’t look shocked.”
The men were spotted shortly after 8:46 AM, yet somehow at this early stage, just minutes after the first plane strike on the World Trade Center, they were already positioned in a parking lot in Liberty State Park, taking pictures of the towers and celebrating. They left the scene shortly after being spotted and at 3:31 PM the FBI issued an all points bulletin advising officers in the Greater New York area to be on the lookout for a “White, 2000 Chevrolet van…with ‘Urban Moving Systems’ sign on back.”
At 3:56 PM, the van was spotted traveling eastward on State Route 3 in New Jersey and pulled over by Officer Scott DeCarlo and Sgt. Dennis Rivelli of the East Rutherford police department. Inside they found five men: Sivan Kurzberg and his brother, Paul, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, and Omar Marmari.
BERNICE STEGERS: “A major terrorist man-hunt began and, just 6 hours after the attack, the van was stopped at a roadblock by patrolman Scott De Carlo.”
SCOTT De CARLO: “We were asked to detain the van and the passengers. They were just removed from the vehicle, patted down for safety precautions and detained.
“I think once the FBI arrived, one of them stated that they were on our side or something to that effect.”
(SOURCE: The 9/11 Conspiracies – Ch 4)
According to the police report of the incident, Sivan Kurzberg told Officer DeCarlo: “We are Israeli. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are the problem.”
Their official story: they were just Israeli tourists working for a moving company who had heard about the first World Trade Center strike and rushed to get a better view of the events.
BERNICE STEGERS: “They told interrogators they were working for Urban Moving, a shipping and storage firm run by an Israeli businessman, who often employed Israeli students without work permits. The men say there was an innocent explanation for what was found in the van. and their behavior on 9/11. They were, they say, ‘simply on a working holiday.’”
PAUL KURZBERG: “We heard in the news that one of the plane was crashing down the buildings and we thought it was an accident at the beginning. So, we went up to the roof of Urban Moving and we saw the building burning.”
YARON SCHMUEL: “There is a better view from a building in Jersey that is up a hill, straight-line to the World Trade Center. We decided to go up there, it’s 2-3 minutes from the office, stand over there and take some pictures. Everyone wants pictures like this in his camera.”
(SOURCE: The 9/11 Conspiracies – Ch 4)
Although this narrative is still trotted out when the story of the dancing Israelis is raised in the media, it is an easily demonstrable lie.
FBI reports confirm that the men were not taking somber pictures of a horrific event. When their 76 pictures were developed, they revealed the men had indeed been celebrating; smiling, hugging each other, and high-fiving. One of the pictures even featured Sivan Kurzberg holding a lighter up with the burning tower in the background.
And these were no ordinary tourists. Oded Ellner had $4,700 stuffed into his sock. They lied to the police about where they had been that morning. They were carrying plane tickets for immediate departure to different places around the globe. The FBI confirmed that two of the men had ties to Israeli intelligence and came to suspect that they had indeed been on a mission for the Mossad.
And of course, after returning to Israel Ellner claimed on national Israeli TV that they had been sent there “to document the event.”
ODED ELLNER (Translation): “And at that point we were taken for another round of questioning. This time related to us allegedly being members of Mossad.
“The fact of the matter is, we are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was to document the event.”
(SOURCE: Inside Israel)
Their purpose was to “document the event”? But how could they possibly have known what “event” they were documenting at that point, before the second plane strike when those few who even knew about the situation had assumed it to be an accident or pilot error?
And when did they arrive at the parking lot to “document the event” anyway?
The FBI reports show how the men gave confused and often conflicting accounts of when and how they learned about what was happening and when they arrived at the parking lot. Oded Ellner even said they had arrived their shortly after 8:00 AM, which would have been 45 minutes before the attacks even began [see page 45 here]. This is in line with one of the eyewitnesses that had placed their Urban Moving Systems van at the parking lot at 8:00 AM [see page 33 here]. How could they have been in place and ready to “document the event” unless they knew what was about to happen?
Anyway you cut it, this story is unbelievable. Men with documented connections to Israeli intelligence and working in the United States without appropriate permits were detained after having been caught celebrating the attack on the World Trade Center at a time when no one knew that the WTC strike was an attack. So surely these men are locked behind bars to this day, right? Surely they were transferred to Guantanamo and held without trial for 15 years as part of the “War on Terror,” weren’t they?
No. They were immediately transferred to federal custody, held for 71 days, and then deported back to Israel. The owner of the “Urban Moving Systems” company that had employed them, Dominik Suter, was investigated by the FBI, too. They concluded that “Urban Moving may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation” and even seized records and computer systems from the company’s offices. When they went back to question him again on September 14th, he had fled back to Israel.
And what about the dancing Israeli’s pictures themselves? The Justice Department destroyed their copies on January 27, 2014.
And these intelligence agents on an intelligence mission who were there to “document the event” of 9/11 before anyone knew 9/11 was taking place? Don’t worry, they were just spying on Arab terrorists.
ELIZABETH VARGAS: “And while the FBI or certain sources might believe that in fact they were Israeli intelligence, they don’t believe that the US was a target. That they were actually investigating Muslim groups?”
JOHN MILLER: “They believe if this was an intelligence operation by Israel, that it was focused on the Islamic groups and charities that raise money for groups that are considered by US Law Enforcement and others terrorist groups. You’ll note that after September 11th, the US moved on many of these groups with indictments, arrests, raids on their headquarters, something that hadn’t happened prior to this.”
ELIZABETH VARGAS: “These are groups that Israel believe have been funding Hamas and other terrorists organizations?”
JOHN MILLER: “Groups that are responsible for most of the suicide bombings there.”
(SOURCE: ABC News 20/20 preview – June 21, 2002)
But this story is not merely preposterous on its face; even the implications of this story are themselves preposterous. If indeed the “official story” is a ridiculous lie, then are we to believe that these crack Israeli Mossad operatives who were presumably aware of the attack that was about to take place had been sent to photograph the burning tower from a parking lot across the Hudson River? And that these specially trained intelligence professionals on their super secret mission were celebrating, high-fiving and going out of their way to be noticed in performance of their task? This is equally preposterous.
The only other possible conclusion is that these men were serving merely as a distraction. That they were not there to photograph for Israeli intelligence one of the most heavily photographed scenes in the world on that morning, but instead to be noticed and arrested as a way to divert attention from a much bigger and more sinister story.
So if they were meant to distract from a bigger story, what story could that possibly be?
BRIT HUME: “It has been more than 16 years since a civilian working for the Navy was charged with passing secrets to Israel. Jonathan Pollard pled guilty to conspiracy to commit espionage and is serving a life sentence. At first Israeli leaders claimed Pollard was part of a rogue operation but later took responsibility for his work.
Now, Fox News has learned some US investigators believe that there are Israelis again very much engaged in spying in and on the US. Who may have known things they didn’t tell us before September 11th. Fox News correspondent Carl Cameron has details in the first of a 4 part series.”
CARL CAMERON: “Since September 11th more than 60 Israelis have been arrested or detained. Either under the new PATRIOT anti-terrorism law or for immigration violations.
“A handful of active Israeli military were among those detained, according to investigators, who say some of the detainees also failed polygraph questions when asked about alleged surveillance activities against and in the Unites States.
“There is no indication that the Israelis were involved in the 9/11 attacks but investigators suspect that the Israelis may have gathered intelligence about the attacks in advance and not shared it. A highly placed investigator said there are “tie-ins” but when asked for details he flatly refused to describe them saying: “Evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about the evidence that has been gathered. It is classified information.”
“Asked this week about another sprawling investigation and the detention of 60 Israelis since September 11th, the Bush administration treated the questions like hot potatoes.”
ARI FLEISCHER: “I would just refer you to the Department of Justice with it. I’m not familiar with the report.”
COLIN POWELL: “I’m aware that some Israeli citizens have been detained. With respect to why they are being detained and the other aspects of your question, whether it’s because they are in intelligence services or what they were doing, I will defer to the Department of Justice and the FBI to answer that.”
CARL CAMERON: “Beyond the 60 apprehended or detained and many deported since September 11th, another group of 140 Israeli individuals have been arrested and detained in this year. In what government documents describe as, “An organized intelligence gathering operation designed to “penetrate government facilities”.” Most of those individuals said they had served in the Israeli military, which is compulsory there, but they also had, most of them, intelligence expertise and either worked for AMDOCS or other companies in Israel that specialize in wiretapping. Earlier this week the Israeli Embassy here in Washington denied any spying against or in the United States.”
BRIT HUME: “Carl, what about this question of advanced knowledge of what was going to happen on 9/11? How clear are investigators that some Israeli agents may have known something?
CARL CAMERON: “Well it’s very explosive information obviously and there is a great deal of evidence that they say they have collected. None of it necessarily conclusive. It’s more when they put it all together a big question they say is, “How could they have not have known?”, almost a direct quote, Brit.”
The most phenomenal part of this report is not that it was eventually erased from the web by Fox News itself, but that it ever made it to the air at all. In December of 2001, Fox News investigative reporter Carl Cameron filed an explosive 4-part series that went in-depth into an Israeli art student spying ring that had been under investigation before 9/11, extensive Israeli wiretapping of sensitive US government communications, and the 60 Israeli spies that were detained in the wake of the September 11th attacks. Unsurprisingly, the story was quickly dropped and no mainstream journalists dared to continue probing into the matter.
This is the real story of Israeli spies and 9/11; not some vague rumours about some dancing Israelis but an FBI dragnet that swept up the largest foreign spying ring ever caught red-handed on American soil. And although the FBI were convinced that these spies knew about 9/11 in advance, their investigations were stifled and the issue was swept under the rug. Rather than making Israel enemy number one in the war on terror, Israel remains to this day the US’ “most important ally.”
HILLARY CLINTON: “And if I’m fortunate enough to be elected President, the United States will re-affirm we have a strong and enduring national interest in Israels security.”
DONALD TRUMP: “In 2001, weeks after the attacks on New York City and on Washington and frankly the attacks on all of us, attacks that were perpetrated by the Islamic fundamentalists, Mayor Rudy Giuliani visited Israel to show solidarity with terror victims. I sent my plane because I backed the mission for Israel 100%.”
But perhaps this is understandable. After all, we all remember how Yasser Arafat gloated about 9/11 and said it was good for Palestinians, right?
Oh wait, that wasn’t Yasser Arafat. It was Benjamin Netanyahu.
AMY GOODMAN: “The Israeli newspaper, Maariv, has reported Israels former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has publicly said the September 11th attacks have been good for Israel. Netanyahu said:
“We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq.”
DONALD TRUMP: “My name is Donald Trump and I’m a big fan of Israel. And frankly a strong Prime Minister, is a strong Israel and you truly have a great Prime Minister in Benajim Netanyahu, there’s nobody like him. He’s a winner, he’s highly respected, he’s highly thought of by all.
“And people really do have great, great respect for whats happened in Israel.
“So vote for Benjamin, terrific guy, terrific leader, great for Israel.”
Given that the ultimate consequence of 9/11 was the beginning of a now 15 year long struggle to transform the Middle East, a struggle that the neocons that went on to populate the Bush administration had been openly advocating since the “Clean Break” policy paper in the mid-1990s, it isn’t hard to see how the September 11th attacks were indeed a boon for Israel. But information linking Israeli spies to advance knowledge of 9/11 remains “classified information.”
In a world of true justice, the dancing Israelis and other Israeli spies with insider advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, who openly celebrated those attacks, would be the targets of the “war on terror,” not its beneficiaries.