British soccer star poised to join NY team once mocked Americans after 9/11 attacks

A British soccer star poised to ink a deal to play in New York City once got in trouble for mocking grieving Americans after the 9/11 attacks. Frank Lampard, 36, is reportedly in negotiations to join the New York City FC Major League Soccer team, which is owned by the Yankees and the Premier League champion Manchester City. “We don’t comment on signing rumors,” said team spokeswoman Risa Heller. In 2001, Lampard was among four British players who mocked American tourists stranded at a hotel near Heathrow Airport because of the Sept. 11 attacks. Just 24 hours after the tragedy, Lampard and his Chelsea teammates drunkenly stripped, swore and vomited in front of the upset U.S. tourists. He and his mates were fined by the club. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Rep. Pete King probing American-born Al Qaeda imam Anwar Al-Awlaki’s role in 9/11 attacks

WASHINGTON - Rep. Pete King is reexamining whether an American imam turned top Al Qaeda recruiter played a role in the 9/11 attacks.New Mexico-born Anwar Al-Awlaki, now on the run from U.S. drones in Yemen, preached to two of the 9/11 hijackers at a San Diego mosque.When Al-Awlaki moved to a Northern Virginia mosque in 2000, the two terrorists soon joined him there.The 9/11 Commission found that the events "may not have been coincidental," but could not determine whether the cleric knew about the attack plot, which killed nearly 3,000 people.King (R-Nassau), the boss of the House Homeland Security Committee, requested Al Awlaki's dossier from Attorney General Eric Holder.King said he believes Al-Awlaki "may have played greater roles in the terrorist attacks of 9/11, as well as other terrorist plots, than those of which we have been previously aware."After fleeing the U.S. in 2002, Al-Awlaki took to the internet to incite terrorist violence, with great effect.Al-Awlaki corresponded with "underwear" bomber Umar Farouk Amdulmutallab, traded e-mails with Maj. Nidal Hasan, who awaits trial for the Fort Hood Massacre, and inspired Faisal Shahzad to mount his failed bombing attack on Times Square last year. Al-Awlaki preached to two of the hijackers at mosques in both San Diego and Virginia (Marty Lederhandler/AP) Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Khalid Shaikh Mohammad faces death penalty for masterminding the 9/11 attacks

WASHINGTON - Terror thug Khalid Shaikh Mohammad faces the death penalty - again - this time before a military commission. Eight years after his capture and four years after he confessed to masterminding the murder of nearly 3,000 people on 9/11, KSM and four alleged co-conspirators were formally "sworn" yesterday with eight charges that qualify for the death penalty. Military prosecutors charged KSM and four co-defendants with conspiracy, murder in violation of the law of war, attacking civilians, attacking civilian objects, intentionally causing serious bodily injury, destruction of property in violation of the law of war, hijacking aircraft, and terrorism. "The conspiracy charge (alone) details 167 overt acts allegedly committed in furtherance of the 9/11 attacks," a letter to victims' families said. In December 2008 Mohammad told a military judge at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, that he and alleged co-conspirators Walid bin Attash, Ramzi Binalshibh, Ali Abd al-Aziz Ali and Mustapha Ahmed wanted to plead guilty to their roles in the 9/11 attacks. President Obama took office the next month, and later in 2009 Attorney General Eric Holder announced the controversial decision to try KSM in a Lower Manhattan federal court. The Pentagon then dropped its charges, but re-filed them yesterday so a trial before a military commission can proceed. Mayor Bloomberg and the city's Congressional delegation led criticism of that decision, citing the massive price tag for securing what would be the biggest terror trial in history just blocks from the scene of the crime. Resistance to the civilian court intensified and last month the Administration flip-flopped, deciding to put Mohammad and the other defendants on trial at the U.S. naval base in Cuba. Once a judge has been assigned and a panel of officers selected to form the tribunal, the defendants will be arraigned within 30 days. The 46-year-old Kuwaiti claims a role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing that Continue Reading

Anwar Al-Awlaki supported 9/11 attacks, suggests evidence:  Rep. Pete King calls for probe

WASHINGTON - New evidence bolsters the FBI's longstanding suspicion that radical American imam Anwar al-Awlaki supported the 9/11 attacks. Rep. Pete King (R-L.I.) said that in 2001 Daoud Chehazeh, a Syrian living in the U.S. and a fake document peddler, directed a cohort to al-Awlaki's mosque in Virginia for "work." Chehazeh told his comrade that two would-be hijackers were "special police" and "important" men. Once there, al-Awlaki connected hijackers Hani Hanjour and Nawaf al-Hamzi with the middleman, Palestinian Eyad al-Rababah, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee said in a letter released late Thursday. King has asked Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Attorney General Eric Holder to stall deportation proceedings for Chehazeh - now living in New Jersey - until he's questioned about his dealings. King also wants the Pentagon to question its terrorist detainees about the matter, and he's asked Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to seek information from al-Rababah, who is currently in Jordan. In August King launched an investigation into the matter that continues after al-Awlaki's Sept. 30 death by a CIA drone strike in Yemen. The 9/11 Commission noted al-Awlaki's acquaintance with three of the hijackers in 2000 and 2001 when the jihadist - then seen as a moderate - preached at mosques in California and Northern Virginia. In its 2004 report the panel shared FBI agents' suspicion about a material link to the plot. [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Al Qaeda should pay $9B for 9/11 attacks: judge

A Manhattan federal magistrate judge thinks al Qaeda should pay $9 billion for the 9/11 attacks.Judge Frank Mass recommended on Friday that the terror group owes a group of insurance companies for the damage they caused in the attacks.The group of British, American and Canadian insurance companies sued al Qaeda for damages under the federal Anti-Terrorism Act for $3.1 billion in claims the companies had paid out since Sept. 11, 2001.Al Qaeda did not respond and defaulted. Now, Magistrate Frank Maas says the group should pay the additional penalty called "treble damages," tripling the amount owed to the insurance companies.The companies paid for "property loss, business interruption, and related damages, and attest that these damages were directly caused by the September 11th terrorist attacks," Mass wrote.The report is a recommendation and must be approved by a federal judge.Then the insurance companies have to collect. Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

SADDAM OFF 9-11 HOOK. No ties to Qaeda – Senate

WASHINGTON - Saddam Hussein had nothing to do with the 9/11 attacks or with Al Qaeda despite pre-war claims by President Bush of close links between the terror group and the then-Iraqi dictator, a Senate panel said yesterday. Nevertheless, two recent polls showed that 43%-46% of Americans continue to believe Saddam was involved in 9/11. Bush and Vice President Cheney frequently cited Abu Musab al-Zarqawi's presence in Iraq before the war as evidence of a Saddam connection. Cheney several times cited what he called Saddam's "long-established ties to Al Qaeda." But the Senate Intelligence Committee report found that Saddam never collaborated with Osama Bin Laden or al-Zarqawi. The report said Saddam "attempted, unsuccessfully, to locate and capture Zarqawi." Zarqawi was killed by a U.S. air strike in June. As a secular Muslim, Saddam "was distrustful of Al Qaeda and viewed Islamic extremists as a threat to his regime," the report said. A separate section of the 400-page report said the Bush administration also used bogus claims about Saddam's weapons of mass destruction by the Iraqi National Congress led by Ahmed Chalabi to boost support for the war. Republicans and Democrats on the committee quickly differed on how the findings should be interpreted. "The administration's repeated allegations of a past, present and future relationship between Al Qaeda and Iraq were wrong and intended to exploit the deep sense of insecurity among Americans," Sen. Jay Rockefeller (D-W.Va.). Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.), the panel's chairman, accused the Democrats of "election-year politicking." White House Press Secretary Tony Snow dismissed the report as "nothing new" and noted that "in 2002 and 2003, members of both parties got a good look at the intelligence we had" and still overwhelmingly voted to support the Iraq war. [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading


FORMER PRESIDENT Bill Clinton said yesterday that his administration had thwarted a number of large-scale terror attacks but acknowledged its efforts were "not enough" to prevent the horror of 9/11. Clinton would not comment directly on the ABC miniseries that began airing Sunday that suggests he was soft on Al Qaeda, but he said yesterday that his administration stopped other attacks similar to 9/11. During his administration "some attacks were prevented, a couple that would have done as much damage as 9/11," he said. "Many cells were rooted out," Clinton said at a dedication of a 9/11 memorial in Bayonne, N.J., "but in the end, it was not enough" to prevent 9/11. Clinton aides ripped ABC's "Path to 9/11," which concluded last night. A spokesman noted the pro football game featuring quarterback brothers Peyton and Eli Manning overwhelmingly drew more viewers Sunday night. Clinton "made the choice that most Americans made," said Jay Carson, a Clinton Foundation spokesman. "Of a fictionalized drama version of Sept. 11 or the Manning brothers playing football against one another, he chose the latter." In Washington, the 9/11 commission co-chairmen politely disagreed on the movie. Former Gov. Tom Kean (R-N.J.), a paid consultant to the production, said, "I think they did a pretty good job." But former Rep. Lee Hamilton (D-Ind.) said, "It is either a documentary or it is a drama and to fudge it causes me a great deal of concern and suggests to me that news and entertainment are getting dangerously intertwined. And I do not think that is good for the country." [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading

Americans ‘overreacted’ to 9/11 attacks, says newly appointed Oxford University vice chancellor Louise Richardson

Buck up, America.  Americans "overreacted" to the 9/11 attacks and would be wise to learn a thing or two from the unflappable Brits, a prominent U.K. professor said Tuesday. Louise Richardson, the newly-appointed vice chancellor of Oxford University, said British people responded better to numerous small-scale and domestic terror attacks than the U.S. did to the unforgettable tragedy that claimed more than 3,000 lives in New  York, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pa. "Central to any counter-terrorism campaign should be a resilient population," Richardson said at the British Council's 2015 Going Global conference. "And the British public, through the troubles in Northern Ireland, proved to be quite resilient, far more so than the U.S. "The scale of the over-reaction to the 9/11 atrocity was a reflection of the fact it was such a new experience for the U.S.," Richardson added.  Try telling that to people like Sally Regenhard, who lost her son Christian in the attacks. "I don't feel it's possible to overreact to the brutal and needless death of over 3,000 people," Regenhard told the Daily News. "We don't want this country to be a country where we're just going to take terrorism attacks in stride." Richardson, a former Harvard University professor, made her remarks as part of a discussion about what universities can do to fight radicalization.  Regenhard said the government's hypervigilance could prevent future attacks, though she said she opposed the decision to go to war with Iraq. Nancy Meyer, a Cedar Bluffs, Neb., resident who lost her sister-in-law Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas on Flight 93, agreed with the contention that the U.S. overreacted. She said Americans began "flag-waving and chest-pounding" and pointed to rising Islamophobia. Meyer said she was troubled by the form America's reaction took, which included a vastly expanded intelligence gathering aparatus and other measures, launched Continue Reading


WASHINGTON - In speech after speech, President Bush claims that if the National Security Agency could have wiretapped two Al Qaeda operatives living in San Diego, the 9/11 attacks might have been thwarted. That's a whopper, critics say. "We didn't realize they were here plotting the attack until it was too late," Bush said Wednesday at NSA headquarters. "It's not true," ex-9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey, president of the New School in Manhattan, told the Daily News. "We knew about those two guys - the CIA lost them." The two men were Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, who hijacked American Airlines Flight 77 and flew it into the Pentagon. They were identified in late 1999 by the NSA as Al Qaeda agents and tracked by the CIA to Malaysia and Thailand, where they were lost, according to the 9/11 commission's report. The CIA learned in March 2000 that Alhazmi flew to Los Angeles in January, but kept it secret. "The problem was the CIA and FBI not communicating and not picking them up," said Thomas Kean, the commission's former chairman. Yet Bush and Vice President Cheney repeatedly have cited the case as an example of how warrantless spying inside the U.S. might have saved 3,000 lives - a claim Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) yesterday blasted as "revisionism." "The White House has thrown together a public relations campaign to invent excuses for why they have done this program illegally and this claim is part of that effort," Leahy said. Asked yesterday why he maintains the NSA could have stopped the 9/11 plot, Bush pinned it on his No. 2 intelligence aide, the ex-NSA director, saying, "Well, [Gen.] Michael Hayden said that because he believes that had we had the capacity to listen to the phone calls from those from San Diego, we might have gotten information necessary to prevent the attack." [email protected] Join the Conversation: Continue Reading


WASHINGTON - Vice President Cheney told a conservative think-tank audience yesterday that President Bush's supersecret domestic eavesdropping program might have thwarted one of the 9/11 attacks had it been in place then. In a muscular defense of the controversial National Security Agency operation that listens in on U.S. phone calls to or from suspected terrorists or their sympathizers, Cheney said the program might have learned about the two terrorists who commandeered an American Airlines jetliner and crashed it into the Pentagon. "There are no communications more important to the safety of the United States than those related to Al Qaeda that have one end in the United States," Cheney told the Heritage Foundation. "If we'd been able to do this before 9/11, we might have been able to pick up on two hijackers who subsequently flew a jet into the Pentagon. "They were in the United States, communicating with Al Qaeda associates overseas," Cheney added. "But we did not know they were here plotting until it was too late." Bush approved the highly classified listening program shortly after the 9/11 disaster and has reauthorized it more than 30 times. Cheney called the operation "critical to the national security of the United States" and said it had prevented possible terrorist attacks against the U.S. He also said the program was "limited in scope" and protected civil liberties. "The enemy that struck on 9/11 is weakened and fractured," Cheney said, "yet it is still lethal and trying to hit us again. Either we are serious about fighting this war or we are not. As long as George W. Bush is President of the United States, we are serious - and we will not let down our guard." Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), a leading critic of the Bush program, called Cheney's arguments "the kind people like to make sometimes when they're trying to cover their tracks." "The purpose here is to determine if the President acted within the law," Feingold told reporters. "I'm Continue Reading