A candid book on 9-11

Book:  9/11 the pretext
Author: N M Hussain
Publisher: Other Books, Calicut, Kerala
Year: 2011
Price: Rs 375
Pages: 347
ISBN: 978-93-80081-07-6
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander

More than a decade has passed since the gory, inhuman and terrorist attacks of 9/11 which killed thousands of innocent civilians, but the controversy surrounding these attacks still rages. The official U.S government version is that terrorists belonging to Al Qaeda executed these attacks by hijacking planes and using them as missiles to attack various economic and military establishments of U.S. It was for these reasons that Uncle Sam attacked Afghanistan and Iraq in the aftermath of 9/11 to annihilate the Al Qaeda and its support base.

The alternative version is that U.S used the 9/11 attacks as an excuse to attack other sovereign nations for strategic, economic and hegemonic aims. The alternative ideologues of this version also state that US security agencies beforehand knew about the coming attacks but they kept mum. Some further claim that the government of George W Bush guided these attacks in order to gain sympathy and cash on hate and fear of the masses in order to remain in power and legitimize attacks on other countries.

The present book by N M Hussain is a beginner’s alternative version about 9/11. The author is an investigative journalist, hence this book is a piece of creative investigation which raises many brutally honest facts about the loopholes and shortcomings of the official version about 9/11. Hussain very aptly writes about the dilemma and difficulty of investigating such a difficult topic: “9/11 requires overcoming the complex surveillance net woven by the FBI, CIA, NSA and other armed to teeth intelligence networks” (p. 18).

Hussain is aghast at the apathy of media which is supposed to be the fourth pillar of democracy. He lambasts journalists who blindly accepted the official version as gospel truth instead of questioning it rigorously: “it should be noted in passing that the media that have all but become a propaganda tool of the imperialists have been in a fix. First, they circulated the story that the investigative agencies had been in the dark about the intelligence warnings about the terror attacks for months after September 11. But the story changed drastically after that. Then the media started to print stories on intelligence warnings on the 9/11 attack. There have been revelations by the FBI-CIA circle that the investigative wings had smelt of an impending attack and gave the US administration warnings on it. But the US administration failed to act on the tips. Many Americans were aware that the government was trying to hide something from them. This awareness has also changed the attitude of the government supporters as well. However, mainstream media left no stones unturned to keep the official opinion intact in the public” (pp. 21-22).

He further states that, “The White House message was clear: No one should ask such questions or engage in any kind of free enquiries. The U.S President George Bush would ask the questions that he thinks appropriate and in appropriate time!” (p. 33).

Hussain in a serious Sherlock Homles kind of investigation describes with irrevocable and unequivocal proofs and facts how U.S Security agencies beforehand knew about the attack. He critically questions how despite spending millions on intelligence gathering, these agencies failed to predict the most gruesome terrorist attack of 9/11? He  depicts that it was previously known through mock drills how planes can be used as missiles. Thus he factually lays threadbare how US intelligence had prior information of hijacking and attacks. Then he painstakingly brings to fore the serious flaws in 9/11 official Commission report, and how US administration tried to sabotage the 9/11 investigations: “The concerned US authorities deliberately and extensively tried to hide everything related with the attacks which reinforces the conclusion that the entire official version is a farce. 9/11 Commission led by Thomas Kean is nothing but a political whitewash group” (p. 100). He describes the 9/11 Commission report as “The 567-page long report by the 9/11 Commission is virtually a compilation of mainstream pulp newspaper stories appeared since Sept. 11 attacks. The specific treatment of the Sept. 11 incidents had been short-circuited into mere 46 pages. Even this part lacks vigorous analysis and flawless deduction. The remaining portion can be rightly called a mere superficial account of the pre-September 11 events and has nothing to do with verified facts or investigation in pursuit of truth” (p. 101).

Operation Northwoods, which forms an essential portion of the book, depicts, delves, deliberates, debates and discusses various previous conspiracies and self-imposed attacks by US in order to fulfill its hegemonic hunger for global conquests by self-inflicting wounds which provide justification for attacks.

Operation Northwoods was one such operation which failed but 9/11 was successful to achieve its objectives. Hussain as a serious academic must have burnt much midnight oil to painstakingly dig out the material and assemble it in coherence of which the book is a living testimony. He writes, “An ostensible reason for the attack had to be devised. General Lyman Lemnitzer, the then Joint Chief-of-Staff, was entrusted with fabricating a justification for the assault. He came up with an astute strategy named ‘Operation Northwoods’. It involved wrecking of an American ship in Guantanamo Bay and launching of a campaign of terror in some of the American cities like Miami, Florida and Washington. The wiliest of the wiles is that having done all these by the US Secret agencies, Cuba was to be made to bear the responsibility. This, they thought, could serve as a pretext for the invasion of Cuba. The specifications and intricacies of execution also find place in the conspiracy with intriguing details. Lemnitzer insists on using a US passenger aircraft for the task. He proposes to make a false passenger’s list too!” (p. 160).

Hussain lifts the veil over the politics of oil and capturing the essential energy reserves as the main feature and reason for Uncle Sam’s global wars. He quotes from a source, “That is why America did not drop a single bomb in Saudi Arabia where most of the September 11 hijackers came from as per the official version and barbarically destroyed Afghanistan and Iraq where not a single hijacker originated, thus implicating their policy on terrorism as a foolish one by their own declared standards” (p. 246).

The 9/11 attacks were essential for the US because, “People in Europe and US needed someone they could hate -- this would strengthen their identification with their own society” (p. 252).

Overall the book is a must read for anyone who wants to know the real facts behind the 9/11 attacks and their aftermath. The book is a testimony to the same, but the appendices which contain a summary and review of scores of books on alternative version of 9/11 as well as numerous resourceful websites dealing with 9/11, add to the academic quality of the book. The author as well as its publishers deserve our appreciation for bringing out such a hard hitting and brutal work, full of facts and truths.

Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander is based in Srinagar, Kashmir and can be reached at