This was posted on the afternoon of Sunday, September 9, 2007, and will remain on top until Tuesday, September 11, the sixth anniversary, is over in the United States (PDT).
For other new material, scroll down.
For sources, see the original posts.
From my previous post, You Can't Touch This:
Frank A. Demartini, on-site construction manager for the World Trade Center, spoke of the resilience of the towers in an interview recorded on January 25, 2001.
"The building was designed to have a fully loaded 707 crash into it. That was the largest plane at the time. I believe that the building probably could sustain multiple impacts of jetliners because this structure is like the mosquito netting on your screen door -- this intense grid -- and the jet plane is just a pencil puncturing that screen netting. It really does nothing to the screen netting."
In the wake of the WTC bombing, the Seattle Times interviews John Skilling who was one of the two structural engineers responsible for designing the Trade Center. Skilling recounts his people having carried out an analysis which found the twin towers could withstand the impact of a Boeing 707. He says, "Our analysis indicated the biggest problem would be the fact that all the fuel (from the airplane) would dump into the building. There would be a horrendous fire. A lot of people would be killed." But, he says, "The building structure would still be there." [Seattle Times, 2/27/1993] The analysis Skilling is referring to is likely one done in early 1964, during the design phase of the towers. A three-page white paper, dated February 3, 1964, described its findings: "The buildings have been investigated and found to be safe in an assumed collision with a large jet airliner (Boeing 707—DC 8) traveling at 600 miles per hour. Analysis indicates that such collision would result in only local damage which could not cause collapse or substantial damage to the building and would not endanger the lives and safety of occupants not in the immediate area of impact."
According to the calculations of engineers who worked on the Towers' design, all the columns on one side of a Tower could be cut, as well as the two corners and some of the columns on each adjacent side, and the building would still be strong enough to withstand a 100-mile-per-hour wind.
Skilling - a recognized expert in tall buildings - doesn't think a single 200-pound car bomb would topple or do major structural damage to a Trade Center tower. The supporting columns are closely spaced and even if several were disabled, the others would carry the load.
"However," he added, "I'm not saying that properly applied explosives - shaped explosives - of that magnitude could not do a tremendous amount of damage."
Although Skilling is not an explosives expert, he says there are people who do know enough about building demolition to bring a structure like the Trade Center down.
"I would imagine that if you took the top expert in that type of work and gave him the assignment of bringing these buildings down with explosives, I would bet that he could do it."
Battalion Chief Brian Dixon
it actually looked -- the lowest floor of fire in the south tower actually looked like someone had planted explosives around it because the whole bottom I could see -- I could see two sides of it and the other side -- it just looked like that floor blew out.
Firefighter Christopher Fenyo
At that point a debate began to rage because the perception was that the building looked like it had been taken out with charges.
Battalion Chief Dominick DeRubbio
It was weird how it started to come down. It looked like it was a timed explosion
Paramedic Daniel Rivera
At first thought it was -- do you ever see professional demolition where they set the charges on certain floors and then you hear "Pop, pop, pop, pop, pop"? That's exactly what -- because I thought it was that.
Firefighter Edward Cachia
It actually gave at a lower floor, not the floor where the plane hit, because we originally had thought there was like an internal detonation explosives because it went in succession, boom, boom, boom, boom, and then the tower came down.
Chief Frank Cruthers
there was what appeared to be at first an explosion. It appeared at the very top, simultaneously from all four sides, materials shot out horizontally. And then there seemed to be a momentary delay before you could see the beginning of the collapse.
Firefighter James Curran
everything was getting blown out of the floors before it actually collapsed
Captain Karin Deshore
Somewhere around the middle of the World Trade Center, there was this orange and red flash coming out. Initially it was just one flash. Then this flash just kept popping all the way around the building and that building had started to explode. The popping sound, and with each popping sound it was initially an orange and then a red flash came out of the building and then it would just go all around the building on both sides as far as I could see. These popping sounds and the explosions were getting bigger, going both up and down and then all around the building.
Firefighter Kenneth Rogers
One floor under another after another and when it hit about the fifth floor, I figured it was a bomb, because it looked like a synchronized deliberate kind of thing. I was there in '93.
Firefighter Richard Banaciski
It seemed like on television they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions.
Assistant Commissioner Stephen Gregory
You know like when they demolish a building, how when they blow up a building, when it falls down? That's what I thought I saw.
Deputy Commissioner Thomas Fitzpatrick
My initial reaction was that this was exactly the way it looks when they show you those implosions on TV.
In October 2001, approximately one month after the September 11 attack, an agent from a [city name omitted] field office, re-sent a certain document to the FBI Washington Field Office, so that it could be re-translated. This special agent, in light of the [September 11] terrorist attacks, rightfully believed that, considering his target of investigation (the suspect under surveillance), and the issues involved, the original translation might have missed certain information that could prove to be valuable in the investigation of terrorist activities. After this document was received by the FBI Washington Field Office and re-translated verbatim, the field agent's hunch appeared to be correct. The new translation revealed certain information regarding blueprints, pictures, and building material for skyscrapers being sent overseas. It also revealed certain illegal activities in obtaining visas from certain embassies in the Middle East, through network contacts and bribery. However, after the re-translation was completed and the new significant information was revealed, the unit supervisor in charge of certain Middle Eastern languages, Mike Feghali, decided not to send the re-translated information to the special agent who had requested it. Instead, this supervisor decided to send this agent a note stating that the translation was reviewed and that the original translation was accurate.
...more than four months prior to the September 11 terrorist attacks, in April 2001, a long-term FBI informant/asset who had been providing the bureau with information since 1990, provided two FBI agents and a translator with specific information regarding a terrorist attack being planned by Osama bin Laden. This asset/informant was previously a high-level intelligence officer in Iran in charge of intelligence from Afghanistan. Through his contacts in Afghanistan he received information that: 1) Osama Bin Laden was planning a major terrorist attack in the United States targeting four to five major cities, 2) the attack was going to involve airplanes, 3) some of the individuals in charge of carrying out this attack were already in place in the United States, 4) the attack was going to be carried out soon, in a few months. The agents who received this information reported it to their superior, Special Agent in Charge of Counter-terrorism Thomas Frields, at the FBI Washington Field Office, by filing "302" forms, and the translator translated and documented this information. No action was taken by the special agent in charge, and after [September 11] the agents and the translators were told to "keep quiet" regarding this issue.
From my previous post, 9/11 at WTC: Somebody Made a Killing:
In the days following the terror attacks, suspicious and unusual stock trading activity indicated that people used inside information to make huge profits. The money made from the trades done with apparent inside information has been estimated at up to $15 billion worldwide.
One data recovery expert, Richard Wagner, has estimated that more than $100 million in illegal transactions appeared to have rushed through the WTC computers before and during the disaster.