Wednesday, July 23, 2014

The Telegraph March 2012, Osama bin Laden initially dismissed the prospect of 9/11 style plot against America as 'inconsequential',

March 29, 2012, Mail Online, Osama bin Laden initially dismissed the prospect of 9/11 style plot against America as 'inconsequential', By Daniel Bates,

PUBLISHED: 17:24 EST | UPDATED: 17:24 EST, 29 March 2012

Osama bin Laden initially dismissed the prospect of a 9/11 style plot

Osama bin Laden initially dismissed the prospect of a 9/11 style plot against America as ‘inconsequential’, according to a new book.

When the strike was first proposed to him in 1996 the Al Qaeda leader was ‘noncommittal’ and refused to give his backing.

It was not until three years later before he could be brought around - and another five years before the deadliest attack on U.S. soil since Pearl Harbour eventually took place.

The book also gives the first in depth account of the the problems the FBI and CIA had hunting down Al Qaeda after 9/11.

It includes one farcical raid where a key suspect who was severely wounded nearly died when after almost being dropped 20ft onto airport runway by bungling agents.

The book, called ‘The Hunt for KSM: Inside the Pursuit and Takedown of the Real 9/11 Mastermind, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’, explains that it was not actually bin Laden who came up with the idea for the September 11 plot.

Instead it was brought to him by Mohammed and Abdul Hakim Murad, one of those behind the Manila Air plot to plant bombs aboard a dozen U.S. commercial aircraft.

During a meeting in Pakistan in 1996 between the three of them Murad was the one to suggest crash landing aircraft into the CIA headquarters or perhaps a nuclear reactor.

The book says: ‘(Murad said) If you did this you needn’t go through the precise and exacting process of building bombs. You didn’t need bombs at all.

‘Murad’s idea essentially converted the airplanes into missiles. Bin Laden dismissed this as inconsequential.

‘We could do it on a broader scale, Mohammed said. Flying airplanes is not that difficult. Even Murad has a license.

The new book about the hunt to the 'Real 9/11 Mastermind' Khalid Sheikh Mohammed¿, pictured at the time of arrest, explains that the idea for the September 11 plot was brought to bin Laden by Mohammed

‘We could train pilots in the United States, then when they were ready simultaneously hijack as many as ten planes from the East and West coasts of the United States and fire them all into buildings on the ground.

‘Then Mohammed said, I would land a final airplane in the middle of the United States and walk out onto the tarmac and explain to the Americans why this terrible thing had happened and what they ought to do to prevent it from happening in the future.

‘Bin Laden was noncommittal. He told KSM (Mohammed) he appreciated the ideas and would give them due consideration’.

Revelations: The new book tells a different story to what was reported at the time that KSM was captured

It took three years before bin Laden changed his mind, but even then he only backed a ‘slimmed down’ version of the plan using four or five planes which turned into the horror that emerged on 9/11.

In ‘The Hunt for KSM’, authors Terry McDermott and Josh Meyer also lay out how the pursuit of Mohammed was badly hampered by bickering between the CIA and the FBI.

In criticisms which echo those of the 9/11 Commission, they claim there was a ‘blizzard’ of information which caused ‘a whiteout so complete investigators routinely lost their way in it’.

In the years before 9/11 the CIA was ‘confident that Al Qaeda posed no threat to the US’ and ‘failed to recognise the danger KSM (Mohammed) posed’.

McDermott and Meyer interviewed dozens of sources, some of whom had not spoken before, and unearthed one episode which was so plagued with bungles it nearly became a farce.

The incident was the capture of Abu Zubaydah, a major Al Qaeda figure who was the first to identify Mohammed as the mastermind of 9/11 in subsequent questioning.

He was considered so valuable for intelligence gathering that had he died during his arrest, it is unclear whether or not Mohammed or perhaps even bin Laden may ever have been caught.

The operation began in March 2002 when intelligence narrowed Zubaydah’s whereabouts down to 14 houses in and around the Pakistani capital of Islamabad.

But when most were checked out one turned out to be a kebab stand, one was an all girls school and several others were mud huts.

One house was eventually chosen as the target and after synchronising watches, two teams got set off but 'the mission nearly ended right there', the book says.

It reads: 'The highway to Faisalabad is a toll road and the lead car blew through the first tollbooth without paying.'

Looking better: The new book claims that numerous photos were taken of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed after his capture - to make him look as bad as possible

‘The Pakistani police chased it down and pulled it over. The whole caravan included two buses full of guys bristling with weapons and communications gear and to pull over and sit there and wait until the local cops were persuaded to let the lead car go’.

The teams eventually got to Zubaydah’s house and stormed it.

The terrorist was shot three times in the melee but as he lay on the floor in agony a Pakistani agent offered to execute him on the spot and had to be talked out of it by the CIA.

Zubaydah was then taken to hospital and stabilised but the CIA wanted to get him out of Pakistan so took him to a military base in Lahore.

But at that point the FBI, which had a frosty relationship with the CIA, got wind that Zubaydah was on the move and rushed to the airport before he left to fingerprint him.

When they arrived chaos ensued and two FBI agents were forced to wrestle Zubaydah to try and get him to cooperate.

The pilot of the plane them emerged and screamed: Who the f*** wants him fingerprinted?’ to which he was told: ‘The director of the FBI!’

But the farce did not end there.

The book says: ‘After they finally got the prints, the burly FBI agents stepped aside so the CIA could take custody.

‘Two agency officers, both far smaller than the FBI men, eased Zubaydah out of the ambulance and put him on an old fashioned litter (a stretcher) to lift him up the rickety stairway and onto the plane.

When the 9/11 style strike was first proposed to bin Laden in 1996 the Al Qaeda leader was noncommittal and refused to give his backing

‘They dropped the litter, and Zubaydah fell face-first onto the ground. Blood spat everywhere and he writhed in agony on the asphalt.

‘The FBI agents grabbed the litter back and hauled Zubaydah onto it and up the steps. As they were about the reach the top, the man on the lower end lost his balance, probably slipping on some blood, and staggered.

‘His end of the stretcher tipped down and with him Zubaydah was about to flip off one side and fall twenty feet straight onto the tarmac below.

‘That fall almost certainly would have killed him, and with the government’s best chance yet - by far - to ascertain Al Qaeda’s plots and plans.

‘The FBI agent at the head of the litter was a well-muscled man named Ty Fairman. He single-handedly held the litter aloft and kept Zubaydah on top of it until his partner regained balance and grabbed his end.’

‘The Hunt for KSM’ also details how Mohammed was eventually betrayed by somebody who could have been an extended member of his own family for the $25million reward.

The informant lured him to a meeting in Islamabad in February 2003 then alerted his CIA handlers to the location by texting them: ‘I am with KSM’.

March 28, 2012, ABC News, JetBlue Pilot Yelled About Sept. 11 and 'Push It to Full Throttle', by Jim Avila, Matt Hosford and Christina Ng,

The JetBlue pilot who had to be restrained by passengers was hit today with criminal charges as court documents reveal he ranted about Sept. 11 and yelled, "Guys, push it to full throttle."

Capt. Clayton Osbon, 49, was suspended from his duties today and charged with interfering with flight crew instructions. According to the Department of Justice, this charge could be punishable by up to 20 years in prison.

The charges were accompanied by an FBI affidavit that provides a fresh view of what went on in the cockpit of the plane before Osbon burst into the plane's cabin.

It also states that at the height of the melee on board the Las Vegas bound jetliner carrying 131 passenger and six crew members, Osbon's rant made alarming allusions to terrorists.

"Osbon also yelled jumbled comments about Jesus, September 11, Iraq, Iran, and terrorists," according to the criminal complaint. "He also yelled, 'Guys, push it to full throttle.'"

Osbon's behavior became ominous shortly after takeoff from New York's John F. Kennedy Airport. As the plane gained altitude he mentioned something about "being evaluated" to the plane's first officer. The officer was not sure what Osbon meant.

"Osbon began talking about religion, but his statements were not coherent," the affidavit said. "The [first officer] became concerned when Osbon said 'things just don't matter.' Osbon yelled over the radio to air traffic control and instructed them to be quiet."

Osbon turned off the radios and began to dim the monitor. The first officer became "really worried" when Osbon said, "We need to take a leap of faith," "We're not going to Vegas," and "began giving what the FO described as a sermon."

The captain spoke about "completely unrelated numbers" and the "sins in Las Vegas."

The concerned officer suggested to Osbon that they invite an off duty JetBlue captain who was traveling as a passenger to the cockpit, but, instead, Osbon abruptly left the cockpit.

In the cabin, Osbon allegedly "aggressively grabbed a flight attendant's hands" and mentioned "150 souls on board" before sprinting back to the galley and eventually trying to get back into the cockpit, where the first officer had already changed the security code.

Crew members also said that Osbon had "showed up at JFK later than he should have for the flight and missed the crew briefing."

The FAA called the incident a medical emergency, but law enforcement sources have called the outburst a panic attack.

"As of now, he's been taken off all active duties and responsibilities pending further investigation," JetBlue spokeswoman Tamara Young told today.

An unruly Osbon, with 131 passengers and six crew members aboard flight 191, was subdued by at least five passengers after his co-pilot reportedly locked him out of the cockpit when he displayed potentially dangerous behavior. The flight from Kennedy Airport in New York was diverted to Amarillo, Texas.

Another incident occurred on Tuesday during a flight from North Carolina to Florida when Peggy Albedhady-Sanchez, 50, allegedly kicked and spit on a U.S. Airways flight attendant who refused to serve her alcohol. Today, Albedhady-Sanchez was charged with three counts of battery and one count of interfering with an aircraft.

Osbon, a commercial pilot since 1989, was not at the controls but "began acting erratically, flipping switches in the cockpit and appearing confused," according to the sources. They said his co-pilot tricked him into going to the passenger compartment to check something out, then locked the door and changed the security code behind him.

Osbon's last medical exam was in December 2011, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. His FAA record has no accidents or incidents and no enforcements. Passenger David Gonzalez, a former corrections officer from New York City, said he was sitting in the second row of flight 191 when he saw the captain storm out of the cockpit and rush toward an occupied bathroom. Flight attendants struggled to control him and Gonzalez, 50, said the captain began moving in the direction of the plane's emergency exit.

Gonzalez said he had gone to help the flight attendant and asked the captain what his problem was. Gonzalez said the unruly pilot replied, "You'd better start praying right now," and was shouting about Al Qaeda, a bomb, and threatening that the plane is going down.

"I was actually the one that took him down. I noticed he was very erratic," Gonzalez said. "He was pinned against the door. I was afraid he was going to knock down the door. I was able to put a choke hold on him. I was able to get him weak from cutting his wind pipe.

"When he buckled, I realized I had him where I need him. So I put a little more pressure, and that's when he almost passed out. So I threw him to the floor. That's when the team came in and started helping me ? I just didn't want him opening up that door. I knew if he got in there, we wouldn't be sitting here now."

Gonzalez felt the man get weak and he passed out about three minutes later. The men, who took off their belts to tie his legs, as Osbon was reportedly able to break through plastic handcuffs, sat on the pilot until landing.

"If he got a second wind, I'd have to apply more pressure and I didn't want to hurt him," Gonzalez said. "I just wanted to get him calm, get the plane down and get him some medical assistance."

Gonzalez, who lives in the Poconos area of Pennsylvania and is a married father of five children, said he used to work for the New York City Department of Correction and now works for a security and surveillance company. He was on his way to Las Vegas for an annual security show.

On the ground, Osbon was taken off the plane in handcuffs and a wheelchair by Amarillo police. He is now in FBI custody. Once safe on the ground, passengers thanked Gonzalez and asked to take photos with him, hailing him a hero.

JetBlue Pilot: Should FAA Doctors Do Psychological Screen?

While airline pilots submit to yearly medical tests by an FAA doctor, psychiatric screening is not a required element of testing.

"If there's no suspicion on the part of the doctor, they will sign that they're clear to fly," Kevin Hiatt, a veteran commercial captain and now safety consultant said.

Hiatt also adds that there is no specific training for what to do if your co-pilot loses it during flight either.

"The pilots are trained on what to do if a partner becomes incapacitated and can't land the aircraft," Hiatt said.

Tuesday's incident is not the first time airline crews have alarmed or even killed passengers. In October 1999 on Egypt Air, flight 990, a 767 from New York to Cairo with 217 aboard, disappeared when the co-pilot deliberately crashed the plane into the Atlantic.

In 1997, a Silk Air 737 flying over Indonesia nose-dived, killing 104 passengers. Investigators say the pilot committed suicide, taking all of his passengers with him.

Earlier this month, an American Airlines flight attendant had to be restrained after threatening impending doom. That plane returned to the gate and the flight attendant was taken away, complaining of psychiatric problems.

ABC News' Josh Haskell and Kevin Dolak contributed to this report.

[ a third, off-duty pilot slips into the cockpit to help fly, passengers watch in disbelief as Osborn, locked out and angry paces.
Passengers, fearing another 9/11, grab him. As many as five people tackle the now shouting captain.
1:44 The men, many of them on route to a security specialist's convention in Las Vegas, sit on Osborn
Gabriel Gavilov, Passenger, JetBlue 191]

March 29, 2012, Crain's New York, Pay deal seen near at 9/11 Memorial, By Theresa Agovino, 12:53 p.m.

Subcontractors look likely to get $50 million in back pay owed by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey as result of its dispute over costs with the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Work is at near standstill.

Subcontractors are close to reaching an agreement with the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey over the approximately $50 million that they say they are owed for construction work performed on the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, according to sources familiar with the negotiations.

The subcontractors haven't been paid in about six months because they have been caught in the middle of a dispute between the Port Authority, which owns the World Trade Center site, and the Sept. 11 Memorial & Museum. The two sides have been arguing over which is responsible for $150 million in costs on the project. The subcontractors are negotiating with the Port Authority, because it signed their contracts.

A representative from the Subcontractors Trade Association will not speak of the companies' financial plight as had been planned at Thursday's Port Authority board meeting because of the promising negotiations, sources said.

However, even if the Port Authority does agree to pay the subcontractors, there is still the larger issue of who is responsible for the $150 million. Some sources suggested the negotiations between the Port Authority and Memorial staff must be progressing well if the Port Authority is close to agreeing to pay contractors. They said it signals that the Port Authority wants the subcontractors to quickly get back to work once the dispute is resolved.

Construction on the museum has been at a virtual standstill for about six months because of the feud. As a result, it will miss its planned opening on the 11th anniversary of the attacks.

A Port Authority spokesman didn't have an immediate comment. Ron Berger, executive director of the Subcontractors Trade Association, declined comment. Last week, Mr. Berger told Crain's that 12 of his members reported that the dispute is costing them a total of $38 million, while a company that isn't part of the organization told him it is out $12 million.

March 28, 2012, The Star-Ledger, N.J. hero of 9/11 to be honored by federal award in his name,
By Steve Strunsky, Published: Wednesday, 9:00 AM

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger Susan
Rescorla stands alongside a bust of her husband, Rick, at her home in Mendham Township. Susan had met Rick only a few years before his death on 9/11, but they called each other soul mates and together they found happiness.

A New Jersey hero of 9/11 immortalized in print and song will now be remembered as well by the federal government, with the creation of the Rick Rescorla National Award for Resilience that will be given to civilians who respond extraordinarily to disasters.

Rescorla, a native of England who later served in the U.S. Army and last lived in Morristown, worked in the South Tower of the World Trade Center as head of security for Morgan Stanley.

Following the terror attack on Sept. 11, 2001, he led the evacuation of 2,700 employees and was last seen walking back up the stairs to look for others before the building collapsed.

Rescorla’s life was chronicled in James B. Stewart’s book, "Heart of a Soldier," which was then adapted as an opera by composer Christopher Theofanidis and librettist Donna DiNovelli.

The security chief was posthumously granted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Distinguished Public Service Medal, which Secretary Janet Napolitano presented to his widow, Susan, on the 10th anniversary of the attack.

Susan Rescorla said the department later asked her for permission to use her husband’s name for the new civilian award, which will be presented for the first time this September.

"I think it's absolutely incredible that this has been done," said Rescorla, who still lives in New Jersey. "I am truly honored, and thank Homeland Security."

The nomination period for this year’s award begins Sunday and closes May 15. More information, including eligibility requirements and how to nominate someone, is available at

September 10, 2011, The Star-Ledger, A 9/11 hero's epic love is brought to life in opera, By Ronni Reich, Published: Saturday, 12:15 PM Updated: Saturday, September 10, 2011, 12:17 PM

Sarah Rice/For The Star-Ledger

Soprano Melody Moore plays the role of Susan Rescorla during a rehearsal of "Heart of a Soldier" at the San Francisco Opera. The opera, which premieres today, tells the story of 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla and his widow Susan, who lived together in New Jersey. Rick Rescorla was killed after leading thousands of office workers to safety in the World Trade Center on 9/11.

SAN FRANCISCO — Act 2, Scene 6: Just before his morning commute from Morristown to the World Trade Center, a man wraps his wife in his arms. He wears work clothes and she wears a bathrobe as they practice the tango. An orchestra’s angular rhythms match the swivel of their hips.

"Must you leave, when September gives us such a sky?" she sings beseechingly, in a plush soprano voice.

They kiss, and she collapses blissfully onto a mocha-colored bedspread. She then picks up his jacket and continues to dance around their bedroom.

This scene depicts the last time Susan and Rick ever saw each other.

At the opera, love can happen at any time and surpass any obstacle. Chance encounters instantly change lives. A man’s final song can resonate with thousands and linger in the mind long after the music ends.

Every so often, real lives reach operatic dimensions and become immortalized in music, as has been the case with kings and queens and religious icons, including Mahatma Gandhi. Now, Rick Rescorla is the subject of "Heart of a Soldier," a world premiere production at the San Francisco Opera.

Rescorla died a hero in the south tower of the World Trade Center on 9/11 after ushering out 2,700 employees at Morgan Stanley Dean Witter, where he was head of security. He sang Cornish ballads into a bullhorn to calm evacuees as they descended the stairs from as high as the 74th floor.

Seven years in the making, "Heart of a Soldier" opens at the San Francisco Opera today. Based on Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James B. Stewart’s book of the same title, the work revolves around the lives of Rick, his wife, Susan, and Rick’s best friend, Dan Hill. A cast and creative team of the field’s most renowned artists have collaborated to give voice to their words.

"She sings as if she feels my passion," Susan Rescorla said of the soprano Melody Moore, her operatic alter ego.


Susan Rescorla is one of few people in the world to ever see her words turned into arias. Watching the most joyous and most painful experiences of her life play out onstage here, she said, "You feel everything."

Sarah Rice/For The Star-Ledger,
Baritone Thomas Hampson and soprano Melody Moore share an embrace in a scene from "Heart of a Soldier," based on Pulitzer Prize-winning writer James B. Stewart’s book of the same title. Hampson plays the role of Rick Rescorla and Moore plays the role of his wife, Susan.

The opera traces Rick’s life, from his childhood in England to his service with the British military in Rhodesia, where he meets Hill, a fellow soldier. Rick — born Cyril Richard Rescorla — later serves in the U.S. Army in Vietnam, retires as a decorated colonel and takes a corporate security job at the World Trade Center.

Along the way, he meets his future wife as she is walking her dog near Dorado Drive in Morristown. Susan had been married twice and had three children. Rick was divorced with two children and had been battling prostate cancer. At 56 and 59, they were convinced within months that they were soul mates. They married in 1999 after a brief courtship.

The three years Rick and Susan spent together were a made-for-opera romance. They learned the tango together and enjoyed candlelit dinners followed by cigars. Rick had studied creative writing and law and could quote lengthy passages of Shakespeare and Kipling. At their first meeting, he wore no shoes, to understand a character about whom he was writing; he often wrote poetry for her.

As in the beginning of "La Traviata" or "La Bohème," love seemed to have a curative effect. With Susan’s insistence on holistic medicine, Rick’s prostate cancer went into remission.

On 9/11, Rick was killed when he returned to Morgan Stanley Dean Witter’s offices to hunt for anyone who may have stayed behind.

Opera 'Heart of a Solider' follows Morristown 9/11 hero
Rehearsal footage from the opera - "Heart of a Soldier" - based on a true story about Morristown resident Rick Rescorla who saved the lives of 2,700 people at the World Trade Center by singing to them in a bullhorn as they evacuated down the stairs. The production takes stage at the San Francisco Opera House. (Video by Ronni Reich / The Star-Ledger)Watch video

A San Francisco opera pays homage to a hero from 9/11 attacks

Rehearsal footage from the opera - "Heart of a Soldier" - based on a true story about Rick Rescorla, a veteran and security officer killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11, who sacrificed himself to save thousands of people. The production takes stage at the San Francisco Opera House. (Video by Sarah Rice / For The Star-Ledger)Watch video


"I don’t want people to think this is just about 9/11," said Thomas Hampson, the baritone who plays Rick, at a recent rehearsal of the new opera. "That tragedy in our collective history makes a powerful backdrop to investigate, illuminate and embrace the motivations, ideals and disciplines that we all carry in everyday life."

During the rehearsal, a few wooden spikes on a worn black floor stand in for the skyscrapers that will stretch to the top of the gold-walled, red velvet-seated opera house. At the performance, the buildings will be transparent, so all the audience sees is infrastructure, the steel beams that built the twin towers, with zigzagging staircases inside.

Although spare, the set has a strong presence suited to the vast dimensions of a story that takes place over six decades and four continents.

The opera began to take shape in 2004, when director Francesca Zambello read "Heart of a Soldier" and suggested the project to San Francisco Opera General Director David Gockley, who was then working at Houston Grand Opera. Both houses are among the five most prestigious in the country.

The towers are always onstage — it was a deliberate decision that the audience never sees them fall — but the opera focuses on relationships.

Opera 'Heart of a Solider' follows Morristown 9/11 heroRehearsal footage from the opera - "Heart of a Soldier" - based on a true story about Morristown resident Rick Rescorla who saved the lives of 2,700 people at the World Trade Center by singing to them in a bullhorn as they evacuated down the stairs. The production takes stage at the San Francisco Opera House. (Video by Ronni Reich / The Star-Ledger)

"It’s a very contemporary story of brotherly love and soldierly love and romantic love that is epic like so many other operas," said Hampson, a leading international baritone.

With 12 principal cast members, a large chorus, actors who play soldiers and a full orchestra and crew of 275, the opera is a major undertaking. Opera companies typically stick to known works, and new productions are both risky and costly. "Heart of a Soldier" will cost the company $700,000 in production and commission fees. But Zambello felt the piece needed to be done.

"Opera is unique in its ability to deal with big issues, from Mozart speaking out against the aristocracy in ‘The Marriage of Figaro’ to Verdi’s historical operas," Zambello said.

The opera’s events are still raw and some topics thorny. Its creators are adamant that it not be politically charged, and tweaks were still being made three weeks before opening night.

More than an hour was spent debating language in a scene in which Rick and Hill assess the twin towers’ vulnerability. At Morgan Stanley, where Rick was vice president of security, he warned his supervisors of a possible air attack after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and urged the company to move to New Jersey. Rick’s pleas went unheeded — a 2002 History Channel documentary later dubbed him "The Man Who Predicted 9/11" — but the company did comply with his emergency evacuation plans.


Composer Christopher Theofanidis, a Guggenheim winner, and librettist Donna DiNovelli met with Susan Rescorla and Dan Hill as soon as they found out about the project. Both cooperated absolutely; Hill even sent the creative team the lucky lion’s tooth that Rick took as a trophy from the beast he had killed while serving in the military in Rhodesia.

Robert Sciarrino/The Star-Ledger
Susan Rescorla stands alongside a bust of her husband, Rick, at her home in Mendham Township. Susan had met Rick only a few years before his death on 9/11, but they called each other soul mates and together they found happiness.

Hill's unsentimental style of speech and Rick's emotional generosity set the tone for their characters. Composer Giacomo Puccini, known for "La Bohème" and "Madama Butterfly," also provided musical inspiration. So did the music of Rick’s life, including the bagpipes from his native Cornwall, England.

DiNovelli saw her primary task as translation — not just condensing Stewart’s 300-page book, but using poetic license to turn romance and friendship developed over years into a two-act opera. The opera is 2 hours, 10 minutes long and will have one intermission.

In Susan’s last phone call with Rick on the morning of 9/11, she wept. DiNovelli asked her what her tears meant. The lyric became "stay." Moore, who plays Susan, said, "This may be the biggest honor of my life so far."

The soprano, who appeared at New York City Opera last season, was nervous about meeting Susan and said she was unsure how to approach her at one of the opera’s early workshops. Susan walked up to each of the singers and shook their hands — with a hug and some special words for Moore.

"Thank God you have long legs," said the shorter woman.

With the ice broken, the women began to form a close, almost familial bond. At first, Moore hesitated to ask direct questions.

"You never know with grief what’s a tender part and what isn’t and what won't be someday, if it ever will not be," said Moore, 39.

Moore's father committed suicide when she was 24.

"You can have grief over something you expected to happen and then grief over a trauma you did not expect," Moore said, her voice breaking slightly during a phone interview. "When it happens that you didn’t see something coming, it’s the loneliest place to be."


A giant piano crash reverberates through the rehearsal room, followed by the slap of bodies against the floor and a chorus of groans and sobs. Moore, as Susan, clutches her phone desperately trying to reach Rick on the morning of 9/11, wailing an agonized high B flat at the top of her voice.

"If something happens to me," Rick tells her, "I want you to know you have made my life."

Tears streamed down Susan Rescorla’s face when she saw this scene last winter. The conductor, Patrick Summers, kept turning to ask if she was all right.

"When you get up to the last scene … and you know what’s going on, the part where he’s calling me …"

Rescorla's voice trails off as she recounts the experience on the couch in her Mendham Township home, where a bronze bust and an illustration of Rick are among many memorials. Her blue eyes well and then she starts to laugh at the strength of the pain.

A San Francisco opera pays homage to a hero from 9/11 attacksRehearsal footage from the opera - "Heart of a Soldier" - based on a true story about Rick Rescorla, a veteran and security officer killed in the World Trade Center on 9/11, who sacrificed himself to save thousands of people. The production takes stage at the San Francisco Opera House. (Video by Sarah Rice / For The Star-Ledger)

"That part is gut-wrenching," she said.

Susan stayed in the Morristown house where she lived with Rick for two years along with Buddy, the dog who brought them together. It had rained on Sept. 10, 2001, soaking Rick’s suit. Susan had planned to bring it to the dry cleaners but wound up keeping his jacket in a plastic bag in the closet.

"I can smell him," she said. "I go in there and I can still have a whiff."

Susan's mailbox has been flooded with letters of thanks from those who knew her husband as well as those who did not. Tributes to Rick range from murals by soldiers in Afghanistan to a statue that stands in Fort Benning, Ga., alongside steel from the collapsed towers. Susan traveled 1,000 miles by motorcycle with that steel from the Brooklyn Navy Yard over three days in September 2009.

Prince Charles invited Susan to an event for those who lost loved ones with ties to the U.K. in 2001. Though temporarily in a wheelchair as a result of high blood pressure, she attended and gave the prince Stewart’s book about her husband.

Susan has published a journal of her thoughts, "Touched by a Hero," which also includes words from those who knew Rick in the Army, in his native Cornwall and in his student days and from those who have been inspired to create a documentary and an art exhibit in his honor. He is described as a courtly Renaissance man.

"I know more about him in death than I did in life," Susan said. "I feel like he was ripped from me."


In the opening scene of the opera, Rick is a young, sandy-haired boy who leaps onto the shoulders of a soldier and teaches a song to a stage full of troops stationed in England. The song is meant to resemble one of the Cornish tunes Rick later sang to his men in Vietnam and to his co-workers as they evacuated the World Trade Center.

"Train your heart to not give out/ though what’s to come it cannot know," Rick sings, as the soldiers echo his anthem.

Sarah Rice/For The Star-Ledger

The opera, "Heart of a Soldier" tells the story of 9/11 hero Rick Rescorla and his widow Susan, who lived together in New Jersey.

He clings to the soldier, who tells him to remember his song, even in times of loss.

That sentiment, which opens the opera, is also one that its creators take with them.

"One of the great themes is that you carry someone’s strength and memory forward," said Theofanidis, the composer.

Asked what he hoped the impact of the opera will be, Hampson said, "I hope that people will love their families better, cherish their friendships deeper and clean up their own (messes) and move forward and do the right thing. That’s what Rick did."

In previous years, Susan marked the anniversary of 9/11 by visiting the Raptor Trust, a wild bird sanctuary in Millington she used to frequent with her husband.

For this anniversary, she will return to San Francisco for the opera premiere.

"I am no longer grieving for my husband because he’s flying with the eagles," she said.

© 2012 All rights reserved.

Video tribute to Chaz Fudge, a Sept. 11th survivor who succumbed to lung cancer
Posted on Wednesday, January 11, 2012 5:29PM

An October visit to the World Trade Center construction site was a homecoming for Newark man, Chaz Fudge. The former telecom analyst, 55, was on the 82nd floor of the north tower when the first plane hit. Last year's visit, his first since September 11, 2001, allowed Fudge to say thank you - and also goodbye: Chaz Fudge had stage-four lung cancer. Doctors gave him 6 months to a year. He made it another 8 weeks. (Video by Dream Foundation)

January 12, 2012, The Star-Ledger, 9/11 survivor succumbs to lung cancer, By Richard Khavkine, Published: Thursday, 7:38 PM, Updated: Thursday, January 12, 2012, 7:38 PM,

John O'Boyle/The Star-Ledger

Chaz Fudge, who is believed to have developed lung cancer from asbestos inhalation during the 9/11 attacks, looks at the area where the Twin Towers once stood during a visit to Ground Zero Tuesday.

NEW YORK — Last fall, on an overcast afternoon, Chaz Fudge stepped out of a car outside the budding World Trade Center, looked up at the towers, and wept.

Fudge's visit was a homecoming of sorts: The Newark native and retired telecommunications executive had been in the north tower when the first plane hit. For Fudge, who was battling terminal cancer, the sojourn provided closure.

Fudge's sister, Annie Pearl Etchison, reported this week that Fudge died on Dec. 15, his birthday, at St. Joseph’s Wayne Hospital. He was 56.

Fudge was at a meeting on the 82nd floor when the jet slammed into the tower. Although a firewall saved his life, he was badly hurt by falling debris and took years to mend.

His journey to Ground Zero three months ago was his first since Sept. 11, 2001. It took on aspects of a pilgrimage.

Video tribute to Chaz Fudge, a Sept. 11th survivor who succumbed to lung cancerAn October visit to the World Trade Center construction site was a homecoming for Newark man, Chaz Fudge. The former telecom analyst, 55, was on the 82nd floor of the north tower when the first plane hit. Last year's visit, his first since September 11, 2001, allowed Fudge to say thank you - and also goodbye: Chaz Fudge had stage-four lung cancer. Doctors gave him 6 months to a year. He made it another 8 weeks. (Video by Dream Foundation)

Last year, Fudge, who was living in Philadelphia, was diagnosed with stage-four lung cancer. He was given a year to live.

At Fudge’s request, the California-based Dream Foundation paid for and facilitated his trip to New York.

"He wanted to come home before he died," said Etchison, who lives in Orange.

March 28, 2012, The Telegraph, FBI 'missed chance to uncover 9/11 plot', By James Kirkup, Deputy Political Editor, 6:20AM BST,

US intelligence agencies used "closed" court hearings to suppress information about how a row between the CIA and FBI could have prevented them from uncovering the 9/11 terrorist plot, the House of Commons has heard.

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An airliner explodes in a fireball as it hits the south tower of the World Trade Centre on September 11, 2001 Photo: GETTY

In 2009, the two British businessmen returned to the UK and began a High Court action over their dispute. According to Mr Davis, the US court order prevented them discussing some details of their dispute in the London court. Photo: PAUL GROVER

David Davis, the former Conservative shadow home secretary, disclosed details of the “extraordinary” case to illustrate why the Coalition should abandon plans to allow similar secret hearings for intelligence cases to be held in British courts.

He said that the American authorities had “sealed” a case in a US court relating to a dispute between two British businessmen and an Afghan billionaire over the setting up of a mobile phone network in Afghanistan in the late 1990s.

Lord Michael Cecil, a British aristocrat, and his business partner, Stuart Bentham, claimed they were cheated out of shares in the mobile phone firm by Ehsan Bayat.

According to reports, US intelligence agencies had privately backed the venture, hoping to be able to monitor calls made over the new network. Mr Bayat was an FBI informer, Mr Davis said. Progress on the network was slowed by “bickering” between the FBI and the CIA, meaning that it was not fully operational until 2002, the year after the al-Qaeda attacks on Washington and New York.

“We cannot say for certain that if US intelligence agencies had tapped the Afghan phone network sooner, we would have intercepted evidence in time to stop the 9/11 attacks. But it seems likely,” Mr Davis said. “It looks like a huge opportunity was missed.”

The businessmen’s dispute was heard in a New York court. In November 2003, Mr Davis said, an American judge sealed the case under national security laws after a request by the US Justice Department.

“The US intelligence agencies feared the consequences if the truth about their infighting emerged, and they were determined to stop this happening,” he said.

In 2009, the two British businessmen returned to the UK and began a High Court action over their dispute. According to Mr Davis, the US court order prevented them discussing some details of their dispute in the London court.

The MP said that the case illustrated the danger of Coalition plans to hold “closed-material procedures” where judges would hear national security cases in secret.

Jeremy Browne, a Foreign Office minister, insisted that the Government's plans would not lead to situations like the one Mr Davis described.

"This is not about covering up embarrassments. It is about putting more information before the courts than is currently possible," he said.

September 11 suspect spotted in Pakistan tribal region 28 Mar 2012

9/11: a lasting legacy for the Ground Zero victims 11 Sep 2011

How America was changed forever 10 Sep 2011

Samantha Cameron shares her memories of 9/11 15 Mar 2012

Cameron pays his respects at Ground Zero 15 Mar 2012

March 29, 2012, The Telegraph,Osama bin Laden's family scattered following September 11,
By Rob Crilly, Islamabad, 3:39PM BST,

Osama bin Laden's family scattered for their own safety in the immediate aftermath of the September 11 attacks, according to the testimony of his youngest wife, before meeting up in Pakistan the following year.

Former al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden Photo: EPA

A summary of evidence provided by Amal Ahmed Abdel-Fatah al-Sadah and seen by The Daily Telegraph offers a glimpse into life on the run and fills in some of the blanks of the terrorist leader's whereabouts, raising fresh questions about how the world's most wanted man evaded capture.

Amal, 29, from Yemen, was shot in the leg during the raid last year when the al-Qaeda leader was killed by US forces.

She is being held with two other wives in a heavily guarded house in a residential sector of Islamabad as they wait to be charged with illegally entering the country.

During interrogation, she said she travelled in Karachi in 2000 because she wanted to "marry a Mujahid" and arrived using a genuine visa issued for medical treatment in Pakistan.

However, the trip had been arranged so she could be married to bin Laden as part of a political arrangement between bin Laden and an influential Yemeni tribe.

She lived in Kandahar – spiritual home of the Taliban – with two other wives in the run up to September 2001.

"She further revealed that immediately after the incident of 9/11, they all scattered and she came to Karachi with one of her daughters Safia," said a summary of the interrogation compiled by the Pakistani police.

"According to her memory, she stayed in a flat for about 8/9 months and all the things were arranged by some Pakistan family and Saad (elder son of Osama) was coordinating all the issues." They moved constantly, changing addresses six or seven times.

In 2002 she travelled to the north-western city of Peshawar where she linked up with bin Laden who had arrived from Afghanistan.

From there they travelled to the Swat Valley before settling in Haripur, a town just over 20 miles from Islamabad, while a three-storey villa in Abbottabad was being readied for bin Laden and his entourage.

Earlier this month The Daily Telegraph tracked down the four-bedroom house in Haripur that intelligence officers believe was bin Laden's home for almost a year.

Amal told her interrogators that she gave birth to two children in a government hospital in Haripur, and two more during her time in Abbottabad.

No evidence has yet emerged that Pakistan's security apparatus colluded with al-Qaeda to protect bin Laden.

However, the latest claims will raise suspicion that more could have been done to find bin Laden before the May 2 raid.

Meanwhile it emerged that a government surgeon recruited by the CIA to help find bin Laden had been sacked, amid calls for him to face treason charges.

Shakeel Afridi set up a fake immunisation campaign as a ploy to extract DNA from family members living at the house in Abbottabad.

US drone strikes on Yemen escalate as US stokes 'secret war' 29 Mar 2012

Bin Laden 'ordered al-Qaeda to kill Obama' 16 Mar 2012

Osama bin Laden plotted to kill Barack Obama to throw US into crisis 17 Mar 2012

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