Website Wikileaks publishes '9/11 messages'
November 26, 2009
By BBC News
A website has published what it says are 573,000 intercepted pager messages sent during the 9/11 attacks in the United States.
Wikileaks says it will not reveal who gave it the messages - some of which are from federal agencies as well as ordinary citizens.
Internet analysts say they believe the messages are genuine but federal authorities have refused to comment.
The attacks on 11 September 2001 left nearly 3,000 people dead.
The messages are being published over a 24-hour period, ending at 0800GMT on Thursday. They are being released simultaneously on Wikileaks and social networking site Twitter.
'Live' broadcast The website is broadcasting each message at the time it was sent originally in 2001.
The first message was from 0300 local time (0800 GMT), five hours before the first attack in New York and the last 24 hours later.
The messages are not all about the attacks. Some are mundane questions about what people are having for lunch.
However, many are about the deadly plane attacks and range from people trying to find out if their loved ones are safe, to government messages, to computer server errors.
They include messages such as
- This is Myrna, I will not rest until you get home, the second tower is down, I don't want to have to keep calling you after every event. Pls just go home
- President has been rerouted won't be returning to Washington but not sure where he will go
- Bomb detonated in World Trade Ctr. Pls get back to Mike Brady w/a quick assessment of your areas and contact us if anything is needed
New York's fire and police departments said they could not comment on whether messages purportedly sent from them were genuine while the US Secret Service refused to comment.
Pager company USA Mobility said it was troubled by the alleged interceptions, the Associated Press news agency reported.
Wikileaks allows people to anonymously post documents on the web, saying its aim is to promote transparency.
It was created in 2006 by dissidents, journalists, mathematicians and technologists from the US, Taiwan, Europe, Australia and South Africa.
Wikileaks spokesman Daniel Schmitt said the messages were submitted anonymously to the site several weeks ago.
He told Associated Press: "From the context information that the source provided we have strong reasons to believe that this is valid data."
He said the messages would help provide a fuller picture of what happened that day.
Imam Anwar al-Awlaki of Virgnia initially condemned the attacks. But just six days after the attack, he wrote on the IslamOnline.net website a suggestion that Israeli intelligence agents might have been responsible for the attacks, and that the FBI "went into the roster of the airplanes and whoever had a Muslim or Arab name became the hijacker by default. ABC news cited this report on June 21, 2002, adding that the FBI had concluded that the five Israelis had no foreknowledge of the attacks.
As published in BBC News. Thanks to BBC News for covering this material. Copyright remains with the aforementioned.
Any intelligence agency will disavow any knowledge of the spies actions if they are ever caught.