A truckload of explosives

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A forgotten story?

In the evening of 9/11, Dan Rather delivered a brief but alarming report:

CNN posted a similar report around the same time:

A report was also carried on Army Radio, apparently:

There's another version in this story:

However, it's not clear how independent this confirmation might be. The delivery truck driver may not have seen of this, and could simply be repeating an explanation heard on the radio, itself an echo of one of the original stories.

In any event, the story is now to be found all over the web, usually in conjunction with the Dan Rather video.

What Really Happened were a high profile example, attempting to tie the story in with an Israeli truck bombing plot (exactly why this would be necessary is never clearly explained).

Prison Planet mention the Rather report amongst others, and complain that "multiple reports of truck bombs were made on 9/11 yet none of them were seriously considered during the 9/11 Commission investigation".

And the idea that this was an important story that's been forgotten is repeated across countless blogs, forum posts, and video-sharing sites.

And yet, virtually all these accounts leave out some very relevant details.


Many 9/11 sites are happy to give you links and videos repeating the "truckload of explosives" story, yet mysteriously few point out that these were questioned or retracted later.

In the CNN report above, for instance, the reporter said she was waiting for a briefing that would provide more information. Here's the transcript:

The Chief of Detectives has told Kerik that there were arrests, but the van contained no explosives. Amusingly, I've seen this supposedly explained away by talking of Kerik's later history, saying he's a liar and therefore we can't believe what he says. Which, as per usual for supposed "debunkings" of this site, sidesteps the real issue completely, which is the one-sided cherry-picking of the record, where 9/11 truth reports only the items it wants you to hear and buries everything else.

As another example (only now available at the Web Archive), What Really Happened reported this story as evidence that the Israelis’ van contained explosives:

Yet they fail to mention this correction from the same source, issued less than 8 minutes after the first story.

Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting later commented on Rather's treatment of the story:

And the "truckload of explosives" was mentioned in other accounts of the many false stories that appeared on 9/11, from sources like the New York Times and New York Daily News:

There's a very good reason why this particular report wasn't investigated by the 9/11 Commission, then: it was retracted within hours, and long before they started work.

Still, there will be those who say the retraction was false. We've yet to see any evidence for that, so this seems to be wishful thinking more than anything else, but there is the question of how the report originated in the first place.

The "dancing Israelis"

Some researcher connect the explosives report to the so-called "dancing Israelis" story. This is separately summarised by Nafeez Ahmed here, in The War on Freedom:

This is an incomplete version of the story, though. Here's the full article, with some of the missing text emphasised:

This differs from the original CBS and CNN accounts in the number of arrests, and the location. Also Kerik's denial of explosives talks of a van with three people in it, not five.

However, the initial reports were themselves confused, and this one does match in some areas. The suspects were in a van, and arrested. The bomb-sniffing dogs reacted "as if they had detected explosives", generating an alert that resulted in the road being closed. There was a long delay, while they waited for a warrant to search the van, and the timing could be right. The above report talks of the van being inspected at 10:00 pm; Police Commissioner Kerik said just after 11:30 pm that he'd been told there were no explosives "by phone after I left the last briefing."

It seems at least possible that this story played a part in the "truckload of explosives" claim, then. Police had reason to believe that there were explosives in the van, closed a road and evacuated a building as a result. Could a misunderstanding then lead to a jump from "it might" to "it does" contain explosives, and been mixed with another stopped van to produce the reports we've seen? It's hard to see how that can be ruled out, on what must have been one of the busiest news days ever for all involved.

It's also conceivable that there were two vans, in which case it could be argued that Kerik's denial of explosives referred to the second, at George Washington bridge (and that would explain his mention of three men). However, the Bergen Record piece above makes it clear that the Israeli's van was also free of explosives, so again it looks like nothing more than an understandable false alarm.

There will always be those who claim something else: the van really was part of an "inside job" plot, and the story was covered up. But then this idea has problems of its own.

Why would it have been necessary to have a bomb at all, for instance? What would that have added to 9/11 that had not been achieved by the hijackings themselves?

If the conspirators are in control of the police, then why did the report of explosives ever reach the media? If that was because they don't control all the police, then why are the officers on the scene, who would have known all about this, gone along with a cover-up? Are we really to believe that, if there was any hint of these incidents connecting to 9/11, that officers who had seen so many colleagues killed that day wouldn't have exposed them?

This makes little sense to us. But then, of course, opinion and speculation are of little value here. What really matters are the facts, and they tell us that the reports of finding explosives were denied. If someone wants to show otherwise, then forget the conjecture: let's see some solid evidence.


Dan Rather tells of a "truckload of explosives"; CNN covers the same story; Bernard Kerik reports that the truck didn't contain explosives, after all.