FOIA and 911
[Home] [Investigations, more] [Investigations] [FOIA and 911]

The US Freedom of Information Act generously lets anyone apply for documents from agencies like the FBI, even Brits like us. Which is good. It doesn’t seem likely that they’ll hand over any major smoking guns, but perhaps we might be able to obtain something that sheds a little light on some part of the 9/11 story?

That’s the hope, anyway, and so we’re going to start filing the occasional application. Results will be posted here, but please don’t get too excited. Apparently it can take more than a year to get some documents, and if it turns out that way then this is going to be a very, very long-term project.

#1, the Odigo message. Can we get the text?

Oct 2005

Filed application

7th Nov 2005

Application acknowledged by the FBI

9th Dec 2005

Got another letter saying that “no records responsive to your FOIA request were located by a search of the automated indices”.

13th Dec 2005

Filed an appeal with the Justice Department

2nd Mar 2006

Received an appeal number

28th Dec 2006

Appeal denied. The DoJ did tell me that a couple of FBI field offices may have “responsive records”, though, so the next step is to appeal there.

28th Dec 2006

Issued two new FOIA applications, one to each of the field offices recommended by the DoJ

23rd Jan 2007

Received an acknowledgement of one FOIA application

8th Mar 2007

Both FOIA applications denied. I don’t have the stomach to wait for another year on a DoJ appeal: I officially give up on this one.

#2, Put in a new FOIA request to the Department of Defence for the transcript of the “Air Threat Conference Call” referred to in Chapter 1 of the 9/11 Commission Report (see footnotes 191, 194 etc). Could provide some interesting information on participants, timing and so on, although of course there will be no way to prove its accuracy.

Mar 3rd 2006

Filed application

Mar 14th 2006

Application acknowledge by the DoD

Mar 27th 2006

Received a letter, saying that what the 911 Commission Report described as a “DoD Transcript” of the “Air Threat Conference Call, Sept 11” actually originated with the National Military Joint Intelligence Centre, and apparently “intelligence matters” there are handled by the Defence Intelligence Agency (DIA). So my FOIA request has been referred to them.



#3, I noticed a Department of Defence report "OT-2 Analysis of NMCC Response to Terrorist Attack on 11 SEP 01" (referenced in footnote 190 of Chapter 1 of the 9/11 Commission Report) that should also provide useful supporting information to the conference call document, and help us decide who knew what, and when. So I put in an FOIA request for that, too.

Mar 6th 2006

Filed application

Mar 14th 2006

Application acknowledged by the DoD



#4, the CIA produced a major analysis of 9/11 in a document called “11 September: The Plot and the Plotters”, referenced all over the 9/11 Commission Report. It apparently wasn’t produced until June 2003 and so questions will be raised about how complete it is, but still, we’d like to see a copy.

Mar 8th 2006

Filed application

Apr 7th 2006

Application acknowledged by the CIA

May 20th 2006

Received a letter stating that the CIA report on “11 September: The Plot and the Plotters”, for which I filed an FOIA request a couple of months ago, “is properly classified and must be denied in its entirety”. No surprise and no point appealing, so this request ends here.



#5, filed a request for the “American Airlines Airphone Usage” FBI report that was referenced in the 9/11 Commission Report.

Mar 2006

Filed application

 Mar 21st 2006

Application acknowledged by the FBI

July 31st 2006

Application may now be redundant as it appears much of the same information is available in submissions to the Moussaoui trial (see

Mar 13th 2007

The FBI released two pages of the first interview with Ted Olson, regarding calls from his wife Barbara Olson on Flight 77. You may view or download them here.

#6, Filed another FOIA request with the US Department of Defence, requesting what the 9/11 Commission call “DoD radar files, 84th Radar Evaluation Squadron, “9/11 AutoPlay””.  This should show data like the flight path of Flights 11 and 175, as well as confirming what the Otis fighters did in 9/11, and when they did it.

Apr 27th 2006

Filed application

Apr 29th 2006

The DoD sent an impolite email saying that I’d sent my FOIA request to the wrong place, it was nothing to do with them, that I needed to speak to the Air Force instead. They passed me the relevant email address and I forwarded the request on.

May 15th 2006

Application acknowledged by the Air Force

Jul 22nd 2006

Received an apologetic letter from the Air Force saying “we are still waiting for a response from our action office”, explaining that as a result they’ll need more time to process my request, but they’ll keep me updated. 

Aug 10th 2006

A letter arrived from the Air Force, saying “we are not the office of primary responsibility for the information you requested”, and said I should write to the National Archive Record Administration, instead. Subsequently most of the information I wanted has been received as a result of FOIA request #7, below, so I’ve put this on hold.



#7, submitted a new request today for the NTSB report “Flight Path Study - American Airlines Flight 77”, as cited in footnotes #60 and #61 to Chapter #1 of the 9/11 Commission Report. This should answer lots of questions about the final approach, and it seems plausible that they may actually let me have it, so it’ll be interesting to see what happens.

Jul 2nd 2006

Filed application

Jul 21st 2006

My NTSB FOIA request has been acknowledged. Nothing much else to say about it really, except they describe it a little cautiously: “concerning an aviation accident that occurred on September 11, 2001, in Arlington, Virginia”. It’s hard to imagine a good reason why they wouldn’t let me have this, but based on my experience so far it might take quite some time...

Aug 22nd 2006

I was wrong about the delay: a CD arrived from the NTSB today with everything I asked for, and more besides. See the documents here.



#8, submitted a new request today for the September 11th NEADS audio tapes. These have already been released to Michael Bronner and used in his Vanity Fair article, so presumably getting hold of them shouldn’t be difficult...?

Nov 9th 2006

Filed application

Mar 8th 2007

The previous application was sent by email, as the DoD said I could do. There’s been no response, though, so I’’ve posted an application this time.

#9, there are a number of 9/11 issues that might become clearer if we had an accurate idea of who arrived at the White House on that day, and when. With that in mind we’ve submitted a request to the Secret Service for the White House visitor logs for 9/11. There’s a serious danger that might be denied for privacy or security reasons, perhaps both, but let’s see what happens.

Nov 9th 2006

Filed application

Mar 8th 2007

No response from the very, very Secret Service. So I’ve filed the application again. Any further delays, though, and I’ll be pursuing them hard. 

Apr 17th 2007

Called the USSS FOIA people, and they tell me they aren’t able to respond to my request until the status of the visitor logs is clarified (ie are they available under the FOIA at all?) This request is on hold for potentially a long time, then.

#10, requested an FAA timetable covering their response on 9/11, including teleconference details.

Apr 18th 2007

Filed application



#11, requested an FBI chronology on the 9/11 hijackers.

Apr 18th 2007

Filed application



[Home] [Hijackers] [Foreknowledge] [Stand down] [WTC (demolition)] [WTC (other)] [WTC7 and Silverstein] [Pentagon] [Flight 93] [bin Ladin] [Obstructing Justice] [Afghanistan] [Others] [Investigations, more] [What's New?]