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Being an Accidental Witness to 9/11, 22 Years ago

by Daivd Bedein, posted here Sept 11, 2023

On Sept. 11, 2001, the attack at the Twin Towers caught this reporter in Lower Manhattan, preparing to give a talk in a week long lecture series on how the PLO, the seemingly legitimate peace partner with Israel, had incorporated Islamic terrorist organizations and Islamic philosophy within the PLO’s Palestinian Authority, in its school books, media, maps, and evolving legal system.

The specific topics addressed in these lectures were:

* The draft constitution of the Palestinian Authority, prepared as a framework for a new state, excludes any juridical status for Judaism or for Christianity within the new state, while including the borders of the state as all of Palestine.

* The new Islamic/Jihadish tone of the new Palestinian Authority school books, which mandated the liberation of all of Palestine remain the dominant features of the PA school system, with the entire population of the Arab refugee camps instructed to return to the precise homes and villages that they left in 1948.

The lecture on the subject of the PA’s absorption of Islamic extremism was scheduled for the morning of September 11th, in a law office on the 24th floor at 401 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

The first e-mail received that morning: which visual aids would be required for the next discussion?

Well, the most horrific visual aid appeared outside the window facing east: The towering inferno on top of the Twin Tower closest to us, while WINS News broadcast the news that the PFLP faction of the PLO immediately took responsibility for causing the towering inferno. WINS reported that PFLP story for the next two days.

Quickly grabbing a camera, my lens caught pictures of the World Trade Center on fire, and then its sudden implosion. While taking the pictures, I called the news line of The Voice of Israel radio station and reported a 10 minute live report, in real time, of the collapse of the twin towers as I witnessed it.

Throughout the next 12 hours, this reporter contacted security sources in Israel to hear their perspective of what had transpired, while reporting the live eyewitness story of breaking developments to the Voice of Israel Radio newsreel. With one pithy comment: What we see from this window in Lower Manhattan can only be described in one sentence: Truth is More Powerful than Fiction. My children on their various school buses in Israel were somewhat surprised to hear their father reporting straight from the Twin Tower inferno.

Meanwhile, real time feedback from almost all security sources was to look beyond Bin Laden to determine who was responsible for this horrendous crime.

One source at the Israeli prime minister’s office said that Israel was warning the U.S. to examine the cooperation of several governments, NOT individuals, in the perpetration of the act: Afghanistan, Iraq and Iran, coordinated with Syria and the PLO.

Meanwhile, veteran Jerusalem investigative reporter Dennis Eisenberg solicited a comment from former advisor on terrorism to Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, Mr. Rafi Eitan, who said that that all signs pointed to Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein as the leading perpetrator of the act.
Yet another Israeli intelligence expert remarked that the Israeli government had warned that U.S. airlines may have been infiltrated by Muslim personnel who could have been activated to carry out such attacks.

On the Palestinian side, conversations with Palestinian reporters made it quite clear that the demonstrations of joy that occurred immediately following the attacks in the cities then under Arafat’s control could not have been organized without the direct approval of Yassir Arafat. The Middle East Newsline reported that Arafat’s personnel were in the forefront of the Palestinian street demonstrations that lauded the Twin Tower attacks. It was the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Information that alerted and invited AP, Reuters, BBC, CNN and NBC to film the Palestinian demos of support for the terror attacks in the U.S.

And since September 11th marked the eve of Arafat’s first diplomatic visit to Damascus in a generation, it seemed that the PLO chieftan wanted to let the Arab world know that his people supported terrorism against ALL targets in the U.S., civilian and military.

Yet 12 hours after the attacks, AFTER demos of joy took place, Arafat condemned the attacks, and therefore benefited from both worlds with two dissonant messages: Arafat conveyed to the west that he condemned the action and simultaneously conveyed to his own people that they should express their support for such attacks.

Message Arafat’s PBC Radio Newsreel Conveyed At The Time Of The Terror Attacks On U.S.

The Palestinian Authority conveyed a strong undercurrent of vitriolic anti-American rhetoric before, during and after the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Only two weeks before, the U.S. government had ordered its delegation to walk out on the U.N. international forum on human rights in Durban, South Africa after the Palestinian delegation had engineered a series of tendentious anti-Israel events.

The Mufti of the Palestinian Authority, Sheikh Ikrem al-Sabry, had been explicitly threatening the U.S. and Britain in his Friday mosque sermons broadcast on V.O.P. and telecast on PBC. On August 24th, 2001, at about 12:30 p.m. he preached:

“O Allah, destroy America and its agents and its abettors. O Allah destroy Britain and its agents and its abettors.”

Elsewhere in the Khutba (Mosque sermon), Sheikh al-Sabry called on all Muslims to unite to follow the path of Sallah al-Din (Salladin, who repelled the Crusaders):

“O Allah, prepare and unite them (the Muslims) and guide them in the path of Salah al-Din.”

Throughout the speech, the sheikh called on Muslims to follow the path of Jihad, holy war.

“If American does not restrict Israel, then there will be a regional, even a global calamity. If the United States does not stop Israel’s aggression, then it, too (the U.S.) will suffer a great disaster.”

On the morning after the bombings, on September 12th, Voice of Palestine Radio opened its morning drive-time news show thus:
(Nizar al-Ghul.announcing):

“Tanks in Jenin, and the Resistance Continues Tanks in Nablus and the Resistance Continues, and meanwhile, there is Hell in New York”. On September 14, Sahir Habash, a senior member of the Fatah leadership, said: “We have to stand firm in these difficult days until the Americans understand that most of the catastrophes that befell them or are likely to befall them are due to their own one-sided-ness and their participation in aggression against the Palestinian people.”

Less than one month after the 9/11 attacks, during the week of Oct.5th-October 11), the Voice of Palestine relayed daily reports which claimed Israeli Mossad involvement in the World Trade Center attacks, with the complicity of American citizens, with no mention of any Arab involvement.

An aside: Hosts for the talk in Manhattan said not to bring any such graphic visual aids in the future.

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