Wednesday, November 20, 2019

Israel, 9/11 and the Mysterious Dancing Israelis

A recent release under the Freedom of Information Act provides us with background information on the acts of September 11, 2001 that have received little coverage in the mainstream media.  While the story did receive minor coverage at the time of the attacks, the events of the day greatly overshadowed what could be a critical aspect of the overall tragedy.

Let's open with this coverage of the story from ABC News dated June 21, 2002:

Note that the van was bearing markings for a company called "Urban Moving Systems".  

After 71 days in detention, the five individuals that were detained (Sivan Kurzberg, Paul Kurzberg, Olid Ellner, Yaron Shimuel and Omari Maramri) were released as part of a deal between the United States and Israeli governments, put on an airplane and returned to Israel.  

In a previous very heavily redacted 141 page document release, the FBI had clearly noted the reported behaviour of the five individuals and what they found in their possession.  Here is the first page of the report dated September 14, 2001:

Here is a page in the document that shows that the FBI found 76 black and white photos in possession of the men involved as well as the cameras that were seized:

Here is a document showing that the men had passports from more than one nation (Germany and Israel):

In addition, the FBI found student identification that was assumed to be fake.
Here is the original complaint lodged by a concerned citizen on September 11, 2001:

Here is the FBI synopsis of the case against the five individuals:

According to one of the witnesses, the complainant who was watching the events of the day from her apartment at about 9:00 am EST on September 11, 2001 stated that they were taking still photographs and video (which was not located) of the other males with the World Trade Center complex in the background.  The report states that "...all of the males appeared to be jovial in that they smiled, hugged one another, and gave "high fives" as the towers burned and collapsed."  Once the photographs on the 35 mm camera were developed, they corroborated the statement that the Israelis appeared visibly happy on nearly all of the photographs as shown here:

Given that the white van was branded with the name "Urban Moving Systems", one would think that there would be typical moving company equipment located inside the van.  According to the FBI, this was not the case as shown here:

As if all of this wasn't odd enough, as shown on this page, a search of Urban Moving Systems office in Weehawken New Jersey revealed that the business was possibly a fraudulent operation:

Now, let's look at the most recent release from the FBI.  Thanks to a Freedom of Information Act request, the FBI has now released photographs which appear to be photocopies of photocopies of the five individuals that were taken on September 11, 2001.  While the time stamp on one photo shows September 10, 2001, all of the rest with dates show only the month and year.  The FBI has not released any explanation for this discrepancy although it is possible that the incorrect date is the result of a camera configuration error.  Here are some of the photos released under the recent FOIA, none of which show the state of the Twin Towers thanks to the very poor quality of the released photos and none of which show the facial expressions of the Israelis who were described as "visibly happy" as shown on this excerpt from the report:

Here are two of the recently released photos:

Of the 76 pictures that were found on the cameras, the FBI has chosen to release only 14  heavily redacted versions which make it impossible to determine the expressions on each individual's face and also makes it impossible to tell what is going on in the background (i.e. are the Twin Towers burning?).  It is also important to note that the FBI had previously declared that the photos had been destroyed in January 2014.

This photo appears to show one of the Israelis holding a lighted lighter in the foreground while the Twin Towers smoulder in the background:

Going back in time once again, this is what the Jewish Daily Forward had to say about the five men in March 2002:

"According to one former high-ranking American intelligence official, who asked not to be named, the FBI came to the conclusion at the end of its investigation that the five Israelis arrested in New Jersey last September were conducting a Mossad surveillance mission and that their employer, Urban Moving Systems of Weehawken, N.J., served as a front.

After their arrest, the men were held in detention for two-and-a-half months and were deported at the end of November, officially for visa violations.

However, a counterintelligence investigation by the FBI concluded that at least two of them were in fact Mossad operatives, according to the former American official, who said he was regularly briefed on the investigation by two separate law enforcement officials.

"The assessment was that Urban Moving Systems was a front for the Mossad and operatives employed by it," he said. "The conclusion of the FBI was that they were spying on local Arabs but that they could leave because they did not know anything about 9/11."…

However, he added, the bureau was "very irritated because it was a case of so-called unilateral espionage, meaning they didn't know about it."...

However, the former American official said that after American authorities confronted Jerusalem on the issue at the end of last year, the Israeli government acknowledged the operation and apologized for not coordinating it with Washington.

The five men — Sivan and Paul Kurzberg, Oded Ellner, Omer Marmari and Yaron Shmuel — were arrested eight hours after the attacks by the Bergen County, N.J., police while driving in an Urban Moving Systems van. The police acted on an FBI alert after the men allegedly were seen acting strangely while watching the events from the roof of their warehouse and the roof of their van.

In addition to their strange behavior and their Middle Eastern looks, the suspicions were compounded when a box cutter and $4,000 in cash were found in the van. Moreover, one man carried two passports and another had fresh pictures of the men standing with the smoldering wreckage of the World Trade Center in the background….

However, the former official said, this is just the official story.

In fact, he said, the nature of the investigation changed after the names of two of the five Israelis showed up on a CIA-FBI database of foreign intelligence operatives, he said. At that point, he said, the bureau took control of the investigation and launched a Foreign Counterintelligence Investigation, or FCI.

FBI investigations into possible links to the September 11 attacks are usually carried by the bureau's counterterrorism division, not its counterintelligence division.

"An FCI means not only that it was serious but also that it was handled at a very high level and very tightly," the former official said. That view was echoed by several former FBI officials interviewed.

Steven Gordon, an American lawyer hired by the families to help secure their release, said he could not confirm which FBI division was in charge of the investigation. However, he acknowledged that "there were a lot of people involved, including counterintelligence officials from the FBI."

The men all underwent at least two polygraph tests each, the lawyer added. He said one of the Israelis took the test seven times, a very unusual total according to several polygraph experts interviewed by the Forward."

At the very least, it appears that the FBI is hiding something.  The fact that only very poor reproductions of the photos of the five "dancing" Israeli intelligence network employees that were arrested after the events of September 11, 2001 were released to the public along with the suspicious behaviour of the men suggest that this largely ignored story is far deeper than we are being led to believe.  

Let's close with two quotes.  The first quote is from the FBI report cited at the beginning of this posting.  According to a former Urban Moving Systems' employee, that had left the company because of a high amount of anti-American sentiment present among Urban's employees quoted an Israeli employee who stated the following:

"Give us twenty years and we'll take over your media and destroy your country" shown here:

The second quote is from Haaretz regarding comments made by Benjamin Netanyahu to an audience at  Bar Ilan University and is dated April 16, 2008:

"We are benefiting from one thing, and that is the attack on the Twin Towers and Pentagon, and the American struggle in Iraq," Ma'ariv quoted the former prime minister as saying. He reportedly added that these events "swung American public opinion in our favor." shown here:

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