Witness to Terror: The Twin Towers and the PA

The lecture on the subject of the PA's absorption of Islamic extremism was scheduled for the morning of September 11th, 2001. The first e-mail I received that morning asked which visual aids would be required. Then, the most horrific visual aid appeared outside the window facing east.

David Bedein,

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credit David Michael Cohen
Terror 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 new 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 Jihadist tone of the new Palestinian Authority school books, which mandated that 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, 2001, in a law office on the 24th floor at 401 Broadway in Lower Manhattan.

The first e-mail I received that morning asked which visual aids would be required for the next discussion. Then, the most horrific visual aid appeared outside the window facing east.

There was a towering inferno on top of the Twin Tower closest to us, while WINS news broadcast a report that the PFLP faction of the PLO immediately took responsibility for the destruction. 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 pictures, this reporter called the news line of the Voice of Israel Radio and reported a 10-minute report, in real time, of the collapse of the Twin Towers as I witnessed it.

Throughout the next 12 hours, I contacted security sources in Israel to hear their perspective of what had transpired.

Their feedback? Look beyond Osama Bin Laden to determine who was responsible for this horrendous crime.

One source at the Israeli Prime Minister's Office noted that Israel was warning the US 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 interviewed a former advisor on terrorism to the Prime Minister's Office, Mr. Rafi Eitan. Eitan 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 US 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 under Yasser Arafat's control could not have been organized without Arafat's direct approval. 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 demonstrations of support for the terror attacks in the US.

Furthermore, 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 US, civilian and military.

Yet, 12 hours after the attacks, after the demonstrations of joy took place, Arafat condemned the attacks. He 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.

PA Media and the 9/11 Terror Attacks

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 beforehand, the US government had ordered its delegation to walk out of the United Nations 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 Ikrim Al-Sabri, had been explicitly threatening the US and Britain in his Friday mosque sermons broadcast on Voice of Palestine and telecast on the PA's PBC television station.

On August 24, 2001, at about 12:30pm Sabri 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-Sabri called on all Muslims to unite to follow the path of Salah Al-Din (Saladin, 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 [the US], too will suffer a great disaster," the PA mufti declared.

On the morning after the bombings, on September 12, 2001, 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-sidedness and their participation in aggression against the Palestinian people."

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