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January 2001: Interagency Group Urges Increased Protection of Federal Buildings in Manhattan

A white paper is produced, which recommends that federal buildings in Lower Manhattan, where the World Trade Center is located, receive increased protection, due to the threat of terrorism. 9/11 Commissioner Richard Ben-Veniste will describe the white paper during a public hearing of the 9/11 Commission in April 2004. It is produced, he will say, by an “interagency group” and urges “greater protection of federal buildings in Lower Manhattan.” It also notes that “Osama bin Laden, his al-Qaeda organization, and affiliated extremist groups currently pose a clear and immediate threat to US interests.” The white paper is produced in response to the concerns of John O’Neill, special agent in charge of the national security division in the FBI’s New York office. [9/11 Commission, 4/13/2004] O’Neill is the FBI’s “most committed tracker of Osama bin Laden and his al-Qaeda network of terrorists,” the New Yorker magazine will later describe. [New Yorker, 1/14/2002] He has “reiterated since 1995 to any official in Washington who would listen” that he is “sure bin Laden would attack on American soil” and he expects the al-Qaeda leader’s target will be “the Twin Towers again,” according to journalist and author Murray Weiss. [Weiss, 2003, pp. 360]

Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, John O’Neill, Osama bin Laden

Timeline Tags: Complete 911 Timeline

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