On Thursday September 13, 2001, the New York Times reported on a group of middle-eastern men who had positioned film cameras towards the World Trade Center in advance of the attacks. According to the article the police had received many calls from shocked New Jersey residents claiming the men had been filming the disaster and then congratulating themselves afterwards. One witness stated ‘They did not look shocked to me, they were happy like, you know.’
Others pointed out the men were making fun of the disaster and taking photographs of themselves in front of the ruins, while other witnesses reported them to be ‘dancing with joy’ in a Jersey City car park and later were ‘jumping for joy’ in Liberty State Park following the first impact. ‘They were happy,’ said one caller. ‘They looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were in Liberty State Park.’ Could all of these sightings have been of the same men, or were there more than one group of dancing Arabs in New York on September 11, 2001?
Another, anonymous, caller reported that he had seen a group of Palestinians preparing a bomb inside a white van and then heading towards the Holland Tunnel.
Dispatcher: Jersey City police.
Caller: Yes, we have a white van with two or three guys in there, they look like Palestinians and going around a building.
Caller: There’s a minivan heading toward the Holland tunnel, I see the guy by Newark Airport mixing some junk and he has those sheikh uniforms.
Dispatcher: He has what?
Caller: He’s dressed like an Arab.
This is curious because obviously not all people ‘dressed like Arabs’ are Palestinian so how could he have known, or why did he think they were? In fact Palestinians usually wear western style clothing, especially when they are in the West. So why did these men want to look like Arabs? The New York authorities immediately closed down the city’s bridges and tunnels and issued a ‘be on the lookout’ warning for a white van near these locations.
A white Chevrolet van with an ‘Urban Moving Systems’ logo was spotted towards the rear of the Liberty State Park when the first aircraft hit the building and the occupants were seen celebrating the explosion. A little later a van of the exact same description, with suspicious looking ‘Arabs’ inside, was stopped by police just before entering New York City. The Arab occupants were arrested at gunpoint and found to be in possession of box cutters, false passports and nearly $5000 in cash, hidden in a shoe. Police also reported that the sniffer dogs brought to the van reacted as if they had detected explosive, although none was found.
According to the first local news report, which is now unavailable, and the subsequent reports dismissed by the FBI as ‘unhelpful,’ the driver Sivan Kurzberg identified himself as Israeli, not Arab. He then told Officer Scott DiMarlo, ‘we are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are our problem.’ The five men, Kurzberg, his brother Paul Kurzberg, Omer Marmari, Oded Ellner and Yaron Shmuel were arrested and held in jail for seventy-one days, and a big part of that was in solitary confinement. During this time they were given as many as seven lie detector tests and most of them were failed.
A search and arrest warrant was issued for the offices of Urban Moving Systems and many boxes of files and computer hard drives were removed for examination. The owner, Dominick Suter, was questioned at length and released. His lawyer insisted he co-operated fully with the police but when they returned with some follow up questions a few days later he was gone. The company offices were closed down in a hurry, leaving expensive equipment lying around and valuable customer properly still locked up in the warehouse. (It took them months and several court orders to get any of it back.)
Suter’s New Jersey home had a for sale sign outside and his family had already returned to Israel. Dominick Suter was later placed on the same FBI suspect list as hijacker Mohammed Atta and other suspected Al-Qaeda sympathizers, suggesting that U.S. authorities felt they all may have known something about the attacks in advance. Suter has now disappeared from the radar and only shows up, tellingly, in FBI files and during an internet search of conspiracy theory websites. Apart from that he is nowhere to be seen.
Steven Gordon, the lawyer for the five dancing Israelis, went on record as saying that his client’s actions on 9/11 could easily have aroused certain suspicions. ‘You’ve got a group of guys that are taking pictures, from on top of a roof, of the World Trade Centre. They’re speaking in a foreign language. They got two passports on ’em. One of them has a wad of cash in his shoe and they have box cutters. Now that’s a scary situation.’ He insisted his clients were ‘just five young lads who had come to America on vacation, ended up working for a moving company and were taking pictures of the event.’
Vince Cannistraro, the former chief of operations for counter terrorism at the CIA, and who is now a consultant for ABC NEWS, said the federal authorities’ interest in the case was heightened when some of the men’s names were found in a search of a national intelligence database. According to Cannistraro many people in the intelligence community concluded that some of the detained men were working for the Israeli Intelligence. Cannistraro said there was speculation as to whether Urban Moving Systems had been ‘set up’ for the purpose of launching an intelligence operation against radical Islamists known to be living in the city, particularly in the New Jersey-New York area.’
But, apparently, the alleged spying operation was not to be directed towards the United States, but at radical fund-raising and support networks in the Muslim communities, such as Paterson, N.J where several of the hijackers lived in the months prior to September 11. Sources say the Israelis were targeting these fund-raising networks because they were thought to be directing cash to Hamas and Islamic Jihad groups responsible for many of the suicide bombings in Israel. ‘The Israeli Government has been very concerned about the activity of radical Islamic groups in the United States that could form a support network to Hamas and Islamic Jihad,’ Cannistraro said.
However, the men repeatedly denied that they had been working for Israeli Intelligence and were, instead, simple removal men. Ram Horvitz, their Israeli lawyer, dismissed the allegations as ‘stupid.’ Mark Regev, a spokesman at the Israeli Embassy in Washington, put it more firmly when he ‘confirmed’ that the issue was never even discussed with U.S. officials. ‘These five men were not involved in any intelligence operation in the United States and the American intelligence authorities have never even asked us about them.’ He also said, ‘The story is simply false.’
The Jerusalem Post later reported that a white van with a bomb was stopped as it approached the George Washington Bridge, but the ethnicity of the suspects was not revealed. Their story read, ‘American security services stopped a car bomb overnight on the George Washington Bridge. The van, packed with explosives, was stopped on an approach ramp to the bridge. Authorities suspect the terrorists intended to blow up the main crossing between New Jersey and New York. (Army Radio reported.)
The New York Post, The New Jersey Bergen Record and ABC News Network all reported that the white van was stopped on the route leading to Lincoln Tunnel. However, the Jerusalem Post, Yediot America and the Israeli National News Channel all clearly reported that the van was stopped on the ramp leading to George Washington Bridge, many miles north of the Lincoln Tunnel.
Clearly there was more than one white van in New York on that day, each at different locations and each with celebrating Arabs inside, as many credible eyewitnesses have confirmed. It has been suggested that one of the vans was to contain a bomb and the other used as a confusion diversion and to pick up the occupants of the first. Both vans stayed clear of the Holland Tunnel area where the anonymous caller had reported a ‘van with explosives,’ heading towards, suggesting a classic misdirection move.
However, the police reported all five men were arrested in one van which had traces of explosives on it. So, who was in the second van the police stopped? And where are the explosives, or where are the men driving it and seen celebrating at one of locations some of the eye witnesses reported. The bomb didn’t go off, but two white vans were apprehended. Was there a third, or a fourth? And how many more Israeli tourists/removal men where there in New York that day with obvious prior knowledge of the attack? Removal vans are commonly used in surveillance operations as they attract little, or no, attention. Was Urban Moving Systems really a cover operation for the Israeli Intelligence Agency as many in the FBI suspect?
The Forward (a weekly Jewish newspaper) later reported that the FBI had finally concluded that at least two of the five dancing Israelis were Mossad agents and that Urban Moving Systems was indeed their cover operation. But, by then the investigation had been quietly closed down after an order from the White House. The five men were taken from jail, driven directly to the airport, and deported to Israel. The CIA saw this as a cover up in an effort not to involve Israel in any way, however large or small, in the events of 9/11.
Amazingly some of the Dancing Israelis allowed themselves to be interviewed on national television when they returned and denied they had been laughing and celebrating. Oded Ellner said, ‘The fact of the matter is we are coming from a country that experiences terror daily. Our purpose was observation.’ Nobody asked him how they knew this ‘event’ was to take place and why they had trained their cameras towards the World Trade Centre in advance of the surprise Al Qaeda attack. This revelation alone (confirmation of advanced knowledge by Israeli Intelligence) should be enough cause good citizens concern. Even without any of the WTC7 details.
Did one of the Israelis make that call to emergency services about the Palestinian bombers in their white van heading for the Lincoln Tunnel? Did they then head for the George Washington Bridge hoping to leave a time bomb before heading back to Urban Moving Systems? Were they not expecting the authorities to close ALL the bridges and tunnels which led to their capture and detention? After all, there must have been a fairly small chance that New York would close down all of the crossing points if they had specific information about an attack on only one of them. The disruption to the city would have be immeasurable, as indeed it turned out to be.
And not to mention that, since the confession on national television by Oded Ellner that they were there only to observe, we now know that their Israeli lawyer, Ram Horvitz, Mark Regev the Israeli Embassy Spokesman in Washington, Dominik Suter the Spy Master and each of the five students/tourists/removal men/Dancing Israelis were all lying to the FBI about their activities and involvement during the most serious criminal investigation since the Second World War. But no charges have been brought and no extradition has been sought. There are people being snatched from the streets in Pakistan and water-boarded for much less.
Following the attacks the U.S. Justice Department detained over one-thousand Arabs for small immigration violations and held them in jail. This conveniently kept the story away from the five Israelis and news media began reporting that they had simply been caught up in the same operation and were being processed before they could be released. Much to the concern, and anger, of local FBI men who had been involved in the arrest and questioning in the first place. ‘What about all those failed lie detector tests?’ they asked. ‘Or the bomb trace detected by the dogs?’
Instead of any real attention being directed towards Israel, Osama Bin Laden and his Al Qaeda network was immediately blamed for the attack, shifting the media focus from Israel before it even had a chance to get started. Directly after the first plane hit the first building the Director of the CIA, George Tenet, said ‘you know this has bin Laden’s fingerprints all over it.’ The main stream media never considered any other possibility and all the attention was focused upon bin Laden and Al Qaeda from the very beginning. Every news item linked the attack to that source. Every terrorism expert and military analyst agreed, wisely suggesting the likelihood of an Al Qaeda operation.
Soon, and still without any new evidence, it was being CONFIRMED that bin Laden was behind the attack. It appeared to the more cautious observer that a propaganda programme was being wound out and no reference to anything other than bin Laden hating American freedom and democracy. Medieval Muslims attempting to destroy our wealth and way of life and who were offended by everything good that we represent. ‘Well,’ said some. ‘All of this may be very true, but what about those five Israelis you have in jail? Who knew about the attack in advance and had set up filming equipment. The ones who were dancing with joy in the park? What about them? Even bin Laden himself denied any part of the 9/11 attacks and blamed Zionist organisations. ‘Well, he would say that wouldn’t he? replied the television ‘experts.’
This was bin Laden’s statement to the BBC before he ran off into hiding;
‘I was not involved in the September 11 attacks in the United States and nor did I have knowledge of them. There exists a government within a government within the United States. The United States should try to trace the perpetrators of these attacks within itself; to the people who want to make the present century a century of conflict between Islam and Christianity. That secret government must be asked as to who carried out the attacks. … The American system is totally in the control of the Jews, whose first priority is Israel, not the United States.’
Now, you have not read that in any of the U.S. newspapers or quoted on any television network have you?
Many senior intelligence officials both in America and in Britain & Europe have expressed doubts about bin Laden’s involvement with 9/11. Rex Tomb, Chief of Investigative Publicity for the FBI tried to explain why 9/11 did not appear in the detail of bin Laden’s page on the FBI’s Most Wanted website. ‘The reason for that,’ Tomb told reporters, ‘is that the FBI have no evidence connecting him to 9/11.’ The journalists wrote this down, and reported it, but this quote did not make it through to the final cut of any newspaper report.
One senior CIA intelligence official noted; ‘This guy sits in a cave in Afghanistan and he’s running the operation? It is so huge he could not have done it.’ Another senior military analyst agreed and suggested that given the size and scope of the operation and the number of visas needed to infiltrate the team into America that there must have been a major foreign intelligence service involved.
Senator Bob Graham, former Chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, concluded that ‘there is very compelling evidence that at least some of the terrorists were assisted and not just with financing – although that was part of it – by a sovereign foreign government and that we have been derelict in our duty to track that down, make the further case, or find the evidence that would indicate that this is not true and we can look for other reasons why the terrorists were able to function so effectively in the United States.’
Graham continued by suggesting that ‘It will become public at some point when it’s turned over to the archives, but that’s twenty or thirty years from now. But we need to have this information now because it’s relevant to the threat that the people of the United States are facing today.’ And the Vice President of the United States, Dick Cheney himself, conceded ‘So we’ve never made the case, or argued the case, that somehow Osama bin Laden was directly involved in 9/11. That evidence has never been forthcoming.’
On September 16, 2004 four of the five Dancing Israelis, Omer Marmari, Yaron Shuel, Paul Kurzberg and Sivan Kurzberg filed multi-million dollar lawsuits against the U.S. Justice Department claiming false arrest, imprisonment and torture. Their attorney argues that the case will serve as a counter to any claims and theories that Israel had anything to do with the 9/11 attacks on America. The case never reached the courts and nothing has been mentioned about it in the news media since 2010.
The Israeli Government were well aware of how the 9/11 attacks affected them, and were quite comfortable with the outcome. When current Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Larry Silverstein and George Bush’s close ally, was asked what the attacks would mean for US-Israeli relations, his immediate response was: ‘Obviously it is very good for us. Well, it’s not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy for Israel.’ Which an interesting first reaction for man who can list the President of the United States, a former President of the United States and the man who owned the only three buildings to be destroyed on that day, as his close personal friends.