ISRAELI "ART STUDENT" SPY RING, ISRAELI FOREKNOWLEDGE EVIDENCE

By Paul Thompson

The key to abbreviations and other explanations can be found on the main timeline page.

Other Sections of the Timeline:

The Complete Timeline parts 1 and 2 (excluding Day of 9/11)
The Abridged Timeline (a good place to start)
Introduction and credits, help needed, and links
The latest update

Articles
The Two Ziad Jarrahs
Sept. 11's Smoking Gun: The Many Faces of Saeed Sheikh
Alhazmi & Almihdhar: The Hijackers Who Should Have Been Caught
They Tried to Warn Us
Is There More to the Capture of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Than Meets the Eye?
An Interesting Day: George Bush Jr. on 9/11
The Failure to Defend the Skies on 9/11

Summaries

9/11 Paymaster Saeed Sheikh
9/11 Mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed
ISI Director Mahmood Ahmed
Nabil al-Marabh
Would Be Hijacker Zacarias Moussaoui
Hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar
Escape from Afghanistan
Foreign Intelligence Warnings
Randy Glass

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Subdivisions
Part 1: 1979 - 2000
Part 2: Jan. 2001 - 9/11
Part 3: Day of 9/11
Part 4: 9/11 - Dec. 2001
Part 5: Jan. 2002 - present
Day of 9/11
Flight 11
Flight 175
Flight 77
Flight 93
Bush on 9/11

 

Categories

This story is so complicated and long, I've tried to break it into threads of different colors to make it easier to digest, as well as the main page, the page for the day of September 11, and the abridged timeline.

Central Asian oil, Enron and the Afghanistan pipelines. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Information that should have shown what kind of attack al-Qaeda would make. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
US preparing for a war with Afghanistan before 9/11, increasing control of Asia before and since. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Incompetence, bad luck, and/or obstruction of justice. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Suggestions of advanced knowledge that an attack would take place on or around 9/11. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Cover-up, lies, and/or contradictions. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Israeli "art student" spy ring, Israeli foreknowledge evidence. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Anthrax attacks and microbiologist deaths. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Pakistani ISI and/or opium drug connections. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Bin Laden family, Saudi Arabia corruption and support of terrorists, connections to Bush. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.
Erosion of civil liberties and erection of a police state. For a separate page of these entries only, click here.

 

Israeli

September 1, 1992: Terrorists Ahmad Ajaj and Ramzi Yousef enter the US together. Ajaj is arrested at Kennedy Airport in New York City. Ramzi Yousef is not arrested, and later masterminds the 1993 bombing of the WTC (see February 26, 1993). "The US government was pretty sure Ahmad Ajaj was a terrorist from the moment he stepped foot on US soil," because his "suitcases were stuffed with fake passports, fake IDs and a cheat sheet on how to lie to US immigration inspectors," plus "two handwritten notebooks filled with bomb recipes, six bomb-making manuals, four how-to videotapes concerning weaponry and an advanced guide to surveillance training." However, Ajaj is only charged with passport fraud, and serves a six-month sentence. From prison, Ajaj frequently calls Ramzi Yousef and others in the WTC bombing plot, but no one monitors or translates the calls until long after the bombing. [Los Angeles Times, 10/14/01] An Israeli newsweekly later reports that the Palestinian Ajaj may have been a mole for the Israeli Mossad. The Village Voice has suggested that Ajaj may have had "advance knowledge of the World Trade Center bombing, which he shared with Mossad, and that Mossad, for whatever reason, kept the secret to itself." Ajaj was not just knowledgeable, but was involved in the planning of the bombing from his prison cell. [Village Voice, 8/3/93] Ajaj is released from prison three days after the WTC bombing, but is later rearrested and sentenced to more than 100 years in prison. [Los Angeles Times, 10/14/01] One of the manuals seized from Ajaj is horribly mistranslated for the trial. For instance, the title page is said to say "The Basic Rule," published in 1982, when in fact the title says "Al-Qaeda" (which means "the base" in English), published in 1989. Investigators later complain that a proper translation could have shown an early connection between al-Qaeda and the WTC bombing. [New York Times, 1/14/01]

February 26, 1993: An attempt to blow up the WTC fails. Six people are killed in the misfired blast. Analysts later determine that had the terrorists not made a minor error in the placement of the bomb, both towers could have fallen and up to 50,000 people could have been killed. The attempt is organized by Ramzi Yousef, who has close ties to bin Laden. [Congressional Hearings, 2/24/98] The New York Times later reports on Emad Salem, an undercover agent who ends up being the key government witness in the trial against the bomber. Salem testifies that the FBI knew about the attack beforehand and told him they would thwart it by substituting a harmless powder for the explosives. However, this plan was called off by an FBI supervisor, and the bombing was not stopped. [New York Times, 10/28/93] Why did the FBI seemingly let the terrorists go ahead with the bombing? Others suspects are ineptly investigated before the bombing (see July 1990 and November 5, 1990). Several of the bombers were trained by the CIA to fight in the Afghan war, and the CIA later concludes in internal documents that it was "partly culpable" for this bombing attempt. [Independent, 11/1/98] Ahmad Ajaj, an associate of Yousef, may have been a mole for the Israeli Mossad, and the Mossad may have had advanced knowledge of the bombing (see September 1, 1992). US officials later state that the overall mastermind of the 9/11 attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, is a close relative of Ramzi Yousef, [Independent, 6/6/02] probably his uncle. [Los Angeles Times, 9/1/02] One of the attackers even left a message found by investigators stating, "Next time, it will be very precise." 9/11 can be seen as a completion of this failed attack. [AP, 9/30/01]

January 2000 (B): A DEA government document later leaked to the press [DEA report, 6/01] suggests that a large Israeli spy ring starts penetrating the US from at least this time, if not earlier. This ring, which will later become popularly known as the "art student spy ring," is later shown to have strange connections to the events of 9/11. [Insight, 3/11/02]

February 6, 2000: India's largest newsweekly reports that it appears a recent Mossad attempt to infiltrate al-Qaeda failed when they were stopped by Indian customs officials on their way to Bangladesh. These 11 men appeared to be from Afghanistan, but had Israeli passports. One expert states, "It is not unlikely for Mossad to recruit 11 Afghans in Iran and grant them Israeli citizenship to penetrate a network such as Bin Laden's. They would begin by infiltrating them into an Islamic radical group in an unlikely place like Bangladesh." [The Week, 2/6/00] If this shows that Mossad was trying to infiltrate al-Qaeda, did they make other attempts that succeeded, and if so, is this how they learned enough to know where to trail al-Qaeda in the US via the "art student spy ring"?

April 19, 2000: USA Today states that "Israeli crime groups ... dominate distribution" of Ecstasy. [USA Today, 4/19/00] The DEA also states that most of the Ecstasy sold in the US is "controlled by organized crime figures in Western Europe, Russia and Israel." [UPI, 10/25/01] According to DEA documents, the Israeli "art student" spy ring" has been linked to several ongoing DEA [Ecstasy] investigations in Florida, California, Texas and New York now being closely coordinated by DEA headquarters." [Insight, 3/11/02] In addition to 9/11 connections explored later, was this spy ring meant to obstruct DEA prosecution of Israeli organized crime?

December 2000-April 2001: According to later German reports, "a whole horde of Israeli counter-terror investigators, posing as students, [follow] the trails of Arab terrorists and their cells in the United States ... In the town of Hollywood, Florida, they [identify] ... Atta and Marwan Alshehhi as possible terrorists. Agents [live] in the vicinity of the apartment of the two seemingly normal flight school students, observing them around the clock." Supposedly, around April, the Israeli agents are discovered and deported, terminating the investigation. [Der Spiegel, 10/1/02] However, 80 additional agents are apprehended between June and December 2001 [Fox News, 12/12/01] and even more have been uncovered since (see May 7, 2002). Did the surveillance of Atta and others in fact end in April? Other reports have implied the story and connection (see March 5, 2002). Supposedly, the Mossad waits until late August 2001 before informing the CIA what it learns, and the CIA doesn't take the warning seriously (see August 23, 2001).

January 21, 2001: George Bush Jr. is inaugurated as the 43rd US President, replacing Clinton. The only major figure to permanently remain in office is CIA Director Tenet, appointed in 1997 and reputedly a long time friend of Bush Sr. FBI Director Louis Freeh stays on until June 2001.

March 23, 2001: The Office of National Drug Control Policy issues a National Security Alert describing "apparent attempts by Israeli nationals to learn about government personnel and office layouts." This later comes to light through a leaked Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) document called "Suspicious Activities Involving Israeli Art Students at DEA Facilities." A crackdown ensues and by June around 120 Israelis are apprehended. More are apprehended later. [Read the document here: DEA report, 6/01]

June 2001 (G): A 60-page internal memo on the Israeli "art student" spy ring is prepared by the DEA's Office of Security Programs. [Read the memo here: DEA report, 6/01] The memo is a compilation of dozens of field reports, and was meant only for the eyes of senior officials at the Justice Department (of which the DEA is adjunct), but it is leaked to the press around December 2001. The report connects the spies to efforts to foil investigations into Israeli organized crime activity involving the importation of the drug Ecstasy. The spies also appear to be snooping on top secret military bases. For instance, on April 30, 2001, an Air Force alert was issued from Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City concerning "possible intelligence collection being conducted by Israeli Art Students." Tinker AFB houses AWACS surveillance craft and Stealth bombers. By the time of the report, the US has "apprehended or expelled close to 120 Israeli nationals" but many remain at large. [Le Monde, 3/5/02, Salon, 5/7/02] An additional 20 or so Israeli spies are apprehended between June and 9/11. [Fox News, 12/12/01]

August 8-15, 2001: At some point between these dates, Israel warns the US that an al-Qaeda attack is imminent. [Fox News, 5/17/02] Two high ranking agents from the Mossad come to Washington and warn the FBI and CIA that from 50 to 200 terrorists have slipped into the US and are planning "a major assault on the United States." They say indications point to a "large scale target", and that Americans would be "very vulnerable." They add there could be Iraqi connections to the al-Qaeda attack. [Telegraph, 9/16/01, Los Angeles Times, 9/20/01, Ottawa Citizen, 9/17/01] The Los Angeles Times later retracts the story after a CIA spokesman says, "There was no such warning. Allegations that there was are complete and utter nonsense." [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01]  In light of later revelations of a Mossad spy ring trailing numerous Muslim terrorists in the US, it is easy to see that Mossad would have known this info. Could this be later disinformation by the Mossad to spin the spy ring story and blame Iraq for 9/11, or it is another smoking gun showing extensive US foreknowledge?

August 23, 2001: According to German newspapers, the Mossad gives the CIA a list of terrorists living in the US and say that they appear to be planning to carry out an attack in the near future. It is unknown if these are the 19 9/11 hijackers or if the number is a coincidence. However, four names on the list are known and are names of the 9/11 hijackers: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Almihdhar, Marwan Alshehhi, and Mohamed Atta. [Die Zeit, 10/1/02, Der Spiegel, 10/1/02, BBC, 10/2/02, Haaretz, 10/3/02] The Mossad appears to have learned about this through its "art student" spy ring (see for instance, March 5, 2002). Yet apparently this warning and list are not treated as particularly urgent by the CIA and also not passed on to the FBI. It's not clear if this warning influenced the adding of Alhazmi and Almihdhar to a terrorism watch list on this same day, and if so, why only those two. [Der Spiegel, 10/1/02] Israel has denied that there were any Mossad agents in the US. [Haaretz, 10/3/02] The US has denied knowing about Atta before 9/11, despite other media reports to the contrary (see January-May 2000).

September 4, 2001 (D): Zim-American Israeli Shipping Co. moves their North American headquarters from the 16th floor of the WTC to Norfolk, Virginia, one week before the 9/11 attacks. The Israeli government owns 49 percent of the company. [Virginian-Pilot, 9/4/01] Zim announced the move and its date six months earlier. [Virginian-Pilot, 4/3/01] More than 200 workers had just been moved out; about 10 are still in the building making final moving arrangements on 9/11, but escape alive. [Jerusalem Post, 9/13/01, Journal of Commerce, 10/18/01] The move leaves only one Israeli company, ClearForest, with 18 employees, in the WTC on 9/11. The four or five employees in the building at the time manage to escape. [Jerusalem Post, 9/13/01] One year later, a Zim ship is impounded attempting to ship Israeli military equipment to Iran; it is speculated that this is done with the knowledge of Israel. [AFP, 8/29/02 (B)] Given the Israeli government ties, the Odigo warning (see September 11, 2001 (C)), and the Israeli art student spy ring (see December 2000-April 2001), some have speculated that the move was more than just lucky.

September 10, 2001 (B): An Army School of Advanced Military Studies issues a report written by elite US army officers, which is made public just prior to 9/11. The report gives the following description for the Mossad: "Wildcard. Ruthless and cunning. Has capability to target US forces and make it look like a Palestinian/Arab act." [Washington Times, 9/10/01] After 9/11 and revelations of a large Mossad spy ring operating mysteriously in the US, some suggest that the Mossad did in fact do just that on 9/11. 

September 11, 2001 (C): Two employees of Odigo, Inc., in Israel, receive warnings of an imminent attack in New York City around two hours before the first plane hits the WTC. Odigo, one of the world's largest instant messaging companies, has its headquarters two blocks from the WTC. The Odigo Research and Development offices where the warnings were received are located in Herzliyya, a suburb of Tel Aviv. Israeli security and the FBI were notified immediately after the 9/11 attacks began. The two employees claim not to know who sent the warnings. "Odigo service includes a feature called People Finder that allows users to seek out and contact others based on certain interests or demographics. [Alex] Diamandis [Odigo vice president of sales and marketing] said it was possible that the attack warning was broadcast to other Odigo members, but the company has not received reports of other recipients of the message." [Ha'aretz, 9/26/01, Washington Post, 9/27/01 (C)] FTW Odigo claims the warning did not specifically mention the WTC, but the company won't say what was specified, claiming, "Providing more details would only lead to more conjecture." [Washington Post, 9/28/01] Odigo gave the FBI the internet address of the message's sender so the name of the sender could be found. [Deutsche Presse-Agentur, 9/26/01] Two months later it is reported that the FBI is still investigating the matter, but there have been no reports since. [Courier Mail, 11/20/01] Could the message have been a mass e-mail sent to a large group? Could this be related to the "art student spy ring"? Did the original senders directly inform the FBI as well, and if not, why not?

September 11, 2001 (G): The 9/11 attack: four planes are hijacked, two crash into the WTC, one into the Pentagon, and one crashes into the Pennsylvania countryside. At least 3,000 people are killed. A more detailed timeline focusing on the hours of this attack appears on a separate page.

September 11, 2001 (W):  Five Israelis are arrested for "puzzling behavior" related to the WTC attacks. They are arrested around 4:30 P.M. after having filmed the burning WTC from the roof of their company's building near Liberty State Park, then shouting in what was interpreted as cries of joy and mockery. They were spotted by a neighbor who called the police and the FBI. The police tracked them down in a van with the words "Urban Moving Systems" written on the side. [Bergen Record, 9/12/01, Ha'aretz, 9/17/01] One man was found with $4,700 in cash hidden in his sock, another had two passports on him, and a box cutter was found in the van. [ABC News, 6/21/02Investigators say that "There are maps of the city in the car with certain places highlighted... It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen." [Bergen Record, 9/12/01] One of these Israelis later says, "Our purpose was to document the event." [ABC News, 6/21/02] The FBI later concludes at least two are Mossad agents and that all were on a Mossad surveillance mission. The FBI interrogates them for weeks. [Forward, 3/15/02] They are held on immigration violation charges and released 71 days later. [ABC News, 6/21/02] Their names are later identified as Sivan and Paul Kurzberg, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari and Yaron Shmuel. [Forward, 3/15/02]

September 11 , 2001 (X): An FAA memo written on the evening of 9/11 suggests a man on Flight 11 was shot and killed by a gun before the plane crashed into the WTC. [See the leaked FAA memo, originally posted at World Net Daily] The "Executive Summary," based on information relayed by a flight attendant to the American Airlines Operation Center, stated "that a passenger located in seat 10B shot and killed a passenger in seat 9B at 9:20 A.M [since Flight 11 crashed at 8:46, the time must be a typo, probably meaning 8:20]. The passenger killed was Daniel Lewin, shot by passenger Satam Al Suqami." The FAA claims that the document is a "first draft" and declines to release the final draft, calling it "protected information." A report in Israeli newspaper Ha'aretz on September 17 identifies Lewin as a former member of the Israel Defense Force Sayeret Matkal, Israel's most successful special-operations unit [UPI, 3/6/02]. Sayeret Matkal is a deep-penetration unit that has been involved in assassinations, the theft of foreign signals-intelligence materials, and the theft and destruction of foreign nuclear weaponry. Sayeret Matkal is best known for the 1976 rescue of 106 passengers at Entebbe Airport in Uganda. [New Yorker, 10/29/01] Officials later deny the gun story and suggest that Lewin was probably stabbed to death instead (which would still be very interesting). [UPI, 3/6/02, Washington Post, 3/2/02] Note that Lewin founded Akamai, a successful computer company, and his connections to Sayeret Mat'kal remained hidden until the gun story came to light. [Guardian, 9/15/01] Perhaps Lewin just happened to be there, and, with his past training, tried to be a hero and stop the hijack? What are the odds that an Israeli counter-terrorist expert would not only be on this hijacked flight, but also have terrorists sitting in the seats directly in front and behind him?

September 11, 2001 (BB): Former Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, when asked what the 9/11 attacks mean for relations between the US and Israel, replies, "It's very good." Then he edited himself: "Well, not very good, but it will generate immediate sympathy." [New York Times, 9/12/01] A week later, the Village Voice states, "From national networks to small-town newspapers, the view that America's terrible taste of terrorism will finally do away with even modest calls for the restraint of Israel's military attacks on Palestinian towns has become an instant, unshakable axiom. ... Now, support for Israel in America is officially absolute, and Palestinians are cast once again as players in a global terrorist conspiracy." [Village Voice, 9/19/01]

September 14, 2001 (approx.): According to Seymour Hersh of the New Yorker, a few days after 9/11 members of the elite Israeli counter-terrorism unit Sayeret Matkal arrive in the US and begin training with US Special Forces in a secret location. The two groups are developing contingency plans to attack Pakistan's military bases and remove its nuclear weapons if the Pakistani government or the nuclear weapons fall into the wrong hands. [New Yorker, 10/29/01] There may have been threats to enact this plan on September 13, 2001 (see September 11-16, 2001). The Japan Times later notes that this "threat to divest Pakistan of its 'crown jewels' was cleverly used by the US, first to force Musharraf to support its military campaign in Afghanistan, and then to warn would-be coup plotters against Musharraf." [Japan Times, 11/10/01] Note the curious connection between Sayeret Matkal and one of the 9/11 passengers on Flight 11 (see September 11, 2001 (X)).

September 14, 2001 (K): Dominick Suter, owner of the company Urban Moving Systems, flees the country to Israel. The FBI later tells ABC News that "Urban Moving may have been providing cover for an Israeli intelligence operation." Suter has been tied to the five Israeli agents caught filming the WTC attack. The FBI had questioned him around September 12, removing boxes of documents and a dozen computer hard drives. But when they returned a few days later, Suter is gone (see September 11, 2001 (W)). [Forward, 3/15/02, New Jersey Department of Law and Public Safety, 12/13/01, ABC News, 6/21/01]

September 29-30, 2001:  Police in the Midwest stop six men carrying suspicious documents. They possess photos and descriptions of a nuclear power plant in Florida and the Trans-Alaska pipeline, and also have "box cutters and other equipment." All six have Israeli passports. They are let released the same day after their passports are shown to be valid, but before anyone interviews them. The FBI is reportedly furious about their release. [Miami Herald, 10/3/01, Knight Ridder, 10/31/01, London Times, 11/2/01] The six men may have been Mossad agents. In addition to snooping on the DEA and Muslim terrorists, some Mossad agents in the "art student" spy ring have been caught trying to break into military bases and other top secret facilities. [Salon, 5/7/02] Perhaps they were gathering information, not planning a hijack? 

October 16, 2001 (C):  Two men, Moshe Elmakias and Ron Katar, are arrested after being found with a detailed video of the Sears Tower in Chicago. In addition, a woman named Ayelet Reisler is found with them, carrying conflicting identification information. They are arrested for illegal dumping, using a van with the name Moving Systems Incorporated. The video contains extensive zoom in shots of the Sears Tower; it is not known when the video was filmed. [Philadelphia Mercury, 10/18/01] Given the moving van cover (see September 11, 2001 (W) and [DEA report, 6/01]), and the Jewish names, it is likely these three are part of the Israeli spy ring. Could they have been videotaping the Sears Tower on 9/11 in the expectation that it would be hit by a plane? Had Flight 93 not been delayed 40 minutes on the runway and stayed on course, it would have been near Chicago at the same time as the other attacks, and it turned towards Washington 20 minutes after the FAA informed the military that the plane had been hijacked.

November 20, 2001: The five Israelis arrested on 9/11 for videotaping the WTC attack and then cheering about it (see September 11, 2001 (W)) are released and return to Israel. Some of the men's names appeared in a US national intelligence database, and the FBI concluded that at least two of the men were working for the Mossad, according to ABC News. But the FBI says that none of them had any advanced knowledge of the 9/11 attacks, and they were released as part of a deal between the US and the Israel government. After their release they claim to have been tortured. [Forward, 3/15/02, ABC News, 6/21/02]

November 23, 2001 (B): The Washington Post reports, "At least 60 young Israeli Jews have been arrested and detained around the country on immigration charges since the Sept. 11 attacks, many of them held on US government officials' invocation of national security." An INS official who requested anonymity says the use of the term "special interest" for Israelis being held in Cleveland, St. Louis and other places means the case in question is "related to the investigation of September 11th." [Washington Post, 11/23/01] Could this be more "art school" spy ring activity?

December 12-15, 2001: Fox News broadcasts a remarkable series about the Israeli "art student" spy ring. The report mentions that at least 60 more Israelis have been detained or arrested since 9/11. "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." When a government source is asked if the Israeli spies knew about the 9/11 attacks before they happened, he responds "The principal question is 'how could they have not known?'" "Investigators within the DEA, INS and FBI have all told Fox News that to pursue or even suggest Israeli spying ... is considered career suicide." A highly placed investigator says there are 'tie-ins' between the spy ring and 9/11. But when asked for details, he flatly refuses to describe them, saying, 'evidence linking these Israelis to 9-11 is classified. I cannot tell you about evidence that has been gathered. It's classified information.'" The report also reveals that Amdocs, an Israeli company, is recording virtually every phone call in the US and could be passing information on to the Israeli government (similar claims were first raised in 2000 [Insight, 5/29/00]). Fox News suggests they might be using this position to impede the 9/11 investigation. [Fox News, 12/12/01]

December 16, 2001: Fox News removes its series on the "art student" spy ring (see December 12-15, 2001) from its website after only two days, in response to pressure from the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA), the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America (CAMERA) and others (see for instance, [CAMERA, 12/12/01, CAMERA, 12/13/01]). CAMERA for instance, suggests the reporter "has something, personally, about Israel... Maybe he's very sympathetic to the Arab side." [Salon, 5/7/02] The head of the ADL calls the report "sinister dangerous innuendo which fuels anti-Semitism." [Forward, 12/21/01] Yet there doesn't appear to be any substance to these personal attacks (and Forward later reverses its stance on the spy ring [Forward, 3/15/02]). Fox News also never makes a formal repudiation or correction about the series. The contents of the series continues to be mostly ignored by the mainstream media, but it makes a big impact inside the US government. For instance, an internal DEA communiqué from December 18 mentions the Fox report by name, and warns of security breaches in telecommunications as described in the Fox report. [Salon, 5/7/02]

March 5, 2002: It is reported that many spies in the uncovered Israeli spy ring seemed to have been trailing the 9/11 hijackers. For instance, five Israeli spies are intercepted in the tiny town of Hollywood, Florida, and four 9/11 hijackers are known to have spent time in Hollywood, Florida. [Le Monde, 3/5/02, Reuters, 3/5/02, Jane's Intelligence Digest, 3/15/02] In one case, some Israeli spies lived at 4220 Sheridan Street, only a few hundred feet from where Atta was living at 3389 Sheridan Street. Israeli spies appear to have been close to at least 10 of the 19 9/11 hijackers. [Salon, 5/7/02]

March 6, 2002: A Washington Post article completely denies the existence of any Israeli spy ring. A "wide array of US officials" supposedly deny it, and Justice Department spokeswoman Susan Dryden says: "This seems to be an urban myth that has been circulating for months. The department has no information at this time to substantiate these widespread reports about Israeli art students involved in espionage." [Washington Post, 3/6/02] The New York Times fails to cover the story at all, even months later. [Salon, 5/7/02] By mid-March, Jane's, the respected British intelligence and military analysis service, notes: "It is rather strange that the US media seems to be ignoring what may well be the most explosive story since the 11 September attacks - the alleged breakup of a major Israeli espionage operation in the USA." [Jane's Intelligence Digest, 3/13/02]

March 11, 2002: A newspaper reports that the DEA study on Israeli "art students" determined the "students" all had "recently served in the Israeli military, the majority in intelligence, electronic signal intercept or explosive ordnance units." [Palm Beach Post, 3/11/02]

March 15, 2002: Forward, a US publication with a large Jewish audience, admits that there has been an Israeli spy ring in the US. This is a reversal of their earlier stance (see [Forward, 12/21/01]). But, "far from pointing to Israeli spying against US government and military facilities, as reported in Europe last week, the incidents in question appear to represent a case of Israelis in the United States spying on a common enemy, radical Islamic networks suspected of links to Middle East terrorism." [Forward, 3/15/02]

May 7, 2002: In the middle of the night a moving truck is pulled over for speeding in Oak Harbor, Washington, near the Whidbey Island Naval Air Station. The base is the home of the advanced electronic warfare Prowler jets. A bomb-sniffing dog detects explosives on one of the men and inside the truck. High-tech equipment is then later used to confirm the presence of TNT on the gearshift and RDX plastic explosive on the steering wheel. Both men turn out to be Israeli (one with an altered passport), and in the country illegally. [Fox News, 5/13/02] However, later the FBI clears the two men, saying both the dog and the tests just detected false positives from "residue left by a cigarette lighter." [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 5/14/02, Jerusalem Post, 5/14/02] The "art student spy ring" frequently uses moving vans as cover, and has been caught spying on the most top secret military bases. [Salon, 5/7/02] In a possibly related story, the Seattle FBI office that handled this case appears to have been broken into a few weeks later, and even a room containing evidence was penetrated. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer, 7/29/02] Does it not appear that the spy ring is still active, and the FBI is covering up for them and releasing them, no matter what they're caught doing? Why?

May 7, 2002 (B): Salon reports on the Israeli "art student" ring. All the "students" claim to have come from either Bezalel Academy, or the University of Jerusalem. A look in the Bezalel database shows that not a single one of them appear to have attended school there. There is no such thing as the University of Jerusalem. In fact, the article points out that the sheer sloppiness and brazenness of the spy operation appears to be a great mystery, especially since the Mossad is renowned as one of the best spy agencies in the world. One government source suggests a theory to Salon that the "art students" were actually a smoke screen. They were meant to be caught and connected to DEA surveillance so that a smaller number of spies also posing as art students could complete other missions. One such mission could have been the monitoring of al-Qaeda terrorists. [Salon, 5/7/02] Shortly afterwards, a major Israeli newspaper publishes a story about the spy ring, but doesn't come to any conclusions. [Ha'aretz, 5/14/02] Could it be that Israel assisted the US in keeping an eye on the terrorists, thus allowing the US to maintain plausible deniability and a detachment if there were investigations on what the US knew?

November 2002: Saudi Interior Minister Prince Nayef blames Zionists and Jews for the 9/11 attacks. He tells journalists, "Who has benefited from Sept. 11 attacks? I think [the Jews] were the protagonists of such attacks." Nayef is in charge of the Saudi investigation into the attacks, and some US congresspeople respond to the comments by questioning how strongly Saudi Arabia is investigating the involvement of the 15 Saudi 9/11 hijackers. [AP, 12/5/02]