31 Days Before 9/11
August 11, 2001
- “Bootylicious” by Destiny’s Child is the number one song on the Billboard Hot 100.
- American Pie II is the top movie in box office receipts.
- The major stories of the summer involve shark attacks and a missing intern in Washington, D.C., named Chandra Levy.
- President Bush is on vacation in Crawford, Texas, where five days earlier he had been warned by the CIA of a possible attack in a paper titled: “Bin Laden Determined to Strike in U.S.” The document said al Qaeda members were believed to be in the U.S., and that a caller to the U.S. embassy in the United Arab Emirates said “a group of bin Laden supporters was in the U.S. planning attacks with explosives.” According to The One Percent Doctrine by Ron Suskind, the president told the CIA briefing officer, “All right. You’ve covered your ass now.”
- All 19 hijackers are, in fact, already in the U.S. on visas obtained under their actual names.
- On August 11, Hamza al-Ghamdi, who will be one of the hijackers in the second plane to hit the World Trade Center, buys a blue blazer at a Florida men’s store.
- Osama bin Laden has approved the targets and is only awaiting final word on which day the attack will occur.
From The New Yorker
by Nicholas Schmidle
Shortly after eleven o’clock on the night of May 1st, two MH-60 Black Hawk helicopters lifted off from Jalalabad Air Field, in eastern Afghanistan, and embarked on a covert mission into Pakistan to kill Osama bin Laden. Inside the aircraft were twenty-three Navy SEALs from Team Six, which is officially known as the Naval Special Warfare Development Group, or DEVGRU. A Pakistani-American translator, whom I will call Ahmed, and a dog named Cairo—a Belgian Malinois—were also aboard. It was a moonless evening, and the helicopters’ pilots, wearing night-vision goggles, flew without lights over mountains that straddle the border with Pakistan. Radio communications were kept to a minimum, and an eerie calm settled inside the aircraft…
(ABBOTTABAD, Pakistan) — A “huge stash” of pornography was found among the trove of evidence seized from Osama bin Laden’s Abbottabad compound by U.S. Navy SEALs, according to a report confirmed by ABC News.
An official tells ABC News the material was found in bin Laden’s bedroom, apparently stored in a wooden box.
The discovery of the pornographic videos is just the latest in a steady stream of information gleaned from evidence obtained by the SEALs during the mission that killed bin Laden nearly two weeks ago, from invaluable intelligence on al Qaeda operations to embarrassing personal revelations about the terror leader.