Top Scoops

Book Reviews | Gordon Campbell | Scoop News | Wellington Scoop | Community Scoop | Search


UQ Wire: Timeline of Terror Alerts (Updated)

Distribution via the Unanswered Questions Wire
Sign up for the wire at:
Unanswered Questions : Thinking for ourselves.

Timeline of Terror Alerts
Posted By Julius Civitatus at:
& Updated Several Times…
This Version Supersedes The Version Posted By Scoop August & Includes a new graphic comparing terror alerts to poll results.


Biltud, from's TT, posted a series of correlations between past terror alerts and political events unfavorable to the Bush administration. I compiled all these correlations and organized them chronologically into a timeline. I also added additional data, detailing the terror alerts over the last few years, and locatd the original Sources for many of these news articles. Note how the terror alerts relate to the news headlines of the days immediately prior to that very alert. I think it's very easy to see a pattern recurring.


January 10, 2002 - George W. Bush, answering reporters' questions in the Oval Office regarding his close relationship with Ken Lay, head of the controversial Enron, claims that he barely knew him: "I got to know Ken Lay when he was the head of the—what they call the Governor's Business Council in Texas. He was a supporter of Ann Richards in my run in 1994 [italics Chatterbox's]. And she had named him the head of the Governor's Business Council. And I decided to leave him in place, just for the sake of continuity. And that's when I first got to know Ken. …" Source

Many see Bush's answer as less than sincere. Source - Source

February 5, 2002 - Angry lawmakers to subpoena Ken Lay over Enron scandal. Journalists inquire about Lay's close connections to the Bush administration Source

February 12, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft on Tuesday called on "all Americans to be on the highest state of alert" after an FBI warning of a possible imminent terrorist attack. Source


May 22, 2002 -- Bush goes on the record as opposing the formation of an independent commission to look into why 9/11 happened.

Mr. Bush's comments come after a two-day hearing on Capitol Hill with FBI director Robert Mueller and the agent who wrote the so-called "Phoenix memo" last summer warning about that Arab students training at U.S. aviation schools were linked to a militant Muslim group. Source - Source

Same day:

The Senate Governmental Affairs Committee votes to issue subpoenas to the Bush administration for information on its contacts with bankrupt energy trader Enron Corp. Source

May 24, 2002 - Railroad and other transit systems across the country received a Transportation Department warning based on "an unconfirmed, uncorroborated report", and were told to "remain in a heightened state of alert". Earlier this week, the government issued warnings about the Statue of Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge, leading to tightened security at an around those New York City locations. Source


June 9, 2002 -- FBI Whistleblower Talks To Congress
Coleen Rowley testifies she had tried to notify her superiors about the suspicious flight students before 9/11. She compared the agency's bureaucracy to the "Little Shop Of Horrors," telling Congress the FBI could have done more to prevent the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. Source

June 10, 2002 - Attorney General John Ashcroft conducts an unusual and urgent press conference from Russia. He announces that they had arrested Jose Padilla, the "dirty bomb" suspect had been captured, and transferred to the custody of the DOD from the Justice Department. Source

In the same press conference Ashcroft revealed that the "dirty bomb" suspect had been captured on May 8th and held incognito before the announcement on June 10.


September 20, 2002 -- In the wake of damaging Congressional 9/11 inquiry revelations, President Bush reverses course and backs efforts by many lawmakers to form an independent commission to conduct a broader investigation than the current Congressional inquiry.

The White House also refuses to turn over documents showing what Bush knew before 9/11.

September 20, 2002 -- Relatives of 9/11 victims grill the Bush Administration over their reluctance to get to the bottom of it. Source

September 21, 2002 -- The Pentagon completes and delivers to President Bush a highly detailed set of military options for attacking Iraq, said the New York Times, quoting Pentagon and White House officials on Saturday.

The president has options now, and he has not made any decisions," states Ari Fleischer. Source

September 23, 2002 -- Former Vice President Al Gore warns that President Bush's doctrine allowing for a "pre-emptive" strike against Iraq could create a global "reign of fear." Source

September 23, 2002 -- Victory for German Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder and his ruling coalition came after a campaign in which he emphasized his strong opposition to a US war with Iraq. Source

September 10-24, 2002 - The attorney general elevates the terror alert. Later on, b Based on a review of intelligence and an assessment of threats by the intelligence community, as well as the passing of the anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks and the disruption of potential terrorist operations in the United States and abroad, the Attorney General in consultation with the Homeland Security Council has made the decision to return the threat level to an elevated risk of terrorist attack, or "yellow" level. Source


February 6, 2003 -- Powell pleads with the UN Security Council for a first strike against Iraq. Source

February 9, 2003 - Citing credible threats that al Qaeda might be planning attacks on American targets, the U.S. government raised the national color-coded threat level Friday to orange, indicating a "high" risk of a terrorist attack. Source

Note: In what has become since an object of jokes and derision, the Department of Homeland Security urged citizens to stock up on plastic sheets and duct tape "in case of a chemical attack." Source

Note 2: Also keep in mind that they raised the alert level quickly after numerous anti-war organizations declared their intention to march against the plans to invade Iraq. In New York city, where nearly one million citizens voiced their opposition to the war plans, the level was placed in heightened orange alert just on time for the massive demonstrations of February 15, 2003. Source - Source -

Later news reveal that some of the previous terror alerts may have been based in false information. Source


May 12, 2003 -- Jay Garner, the retired lieutenant general who was the top civil administrator in Iraq, left his post and other senior officials were also replaced. Source

May 20, 2003 - The United States raises the nation's terror threat level Tuesday, saying the U.S. intelligence community believes al Qaeda has entered an "operational period worldwide" and might attack within the US. Source


July 25, 2003 -- After the Bush administration delayed its publication for months, Congress releases its 9/11 findings. The government also deletes 28 pages of the report believed to detail Saudi funding of members of Al Qaeda in the Untied States prior to Sept. 11. Source - Source

July 28, 2003 - US troops charged with beating Iraqi POWs. Source

Same day - 15 US soldiers die over 8 days in Iraq. Source

July 29, 2003 - Department of Homeland Security issues a warning about the possibility of suicide attacks on airplanes. Source


August 18, 2003 -- President Bush admits that major combat operations are continuing in Iraq. On May 1, Bush went on national TV to proclaim the end "major combat operations." Source

September 4, 2003 -- Both The New York Times and Vanity Fair start investigating the very damaging allegations that Top White House officials personally approved the evacuation of dozens of influential Saudis, including relatives of Osama bin Laden, from the United States in the days after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks when most flights were still grounded, a former White House adviser said today. Source

September 5, 2003 - A Department of Homeland Security advisory warns that al Qaeda is working on plans to hijack airliners flying between international points that pass near or over the continental United States. Source


December 18, 2003 -- 9/11 Chair Thomas Kean says the attacks were preventable. Source

Dec. 19 2003 -- A federal appeals court ruled the government can not detain U.S. citizen Jose Padilla indefinitely without pressing charges against him or allowing him access to the courts. Source

Same day -- The Wall Street Journal reports that auditors at the Pentagon are accusing Halliburton of refusing to hand over internal documents related to allegations that the oil service company overcharged the U.S. government in Iraq. Source

Same day -- David Kay quits, having found no WMDs. Source

Dec. 21, 2003 - Ridge raises the terror threat level just in time for the holidays. Source


March 15, 2004 -- Military families organize together to oppose the war. Source

March 16, 2004 -- Dems call for probe on Medicare cost cover-up. Source

March 17, 2004 -- Condoleeza opts of 9/11 Commission hearings. She repeats her refusal several times during the week, and later on appears on "60 Minutes" to explain her position. Source

March 18, 2004 - News report that a "high target" Al Qaeda leader has been "sorrouded" in the border with Pakistan. Cnn suggests it may be Bin Laden or al-Zawahri. Source Reports of fierce fighting continue. Source After the fighting ends, it is reported that it wasn't any "high value" target in the battle after all. Source

March 21, 2004 The State Department issues a terror alert. Source


March 21, 2004 -- Richard Clarke gives an exclusive to 60 Minutes about his book “Against All Enemies” just days before he is due to testify before the 9/11 Commission.

"In the aftermath of Sept. 11, President Bush ordered his then top anti-terrorism adviser to look for a link between Iraq and the attacks, despite being told there didn't seem to be one. The charge comes from the adviser, Richard Clarke, in an exclusive interview on 60 Minutes." Source

March 30, 2004 -- Rice continues to refuse to testify publicly in front of 9/11 Commission. Source

April 1, 2004 -- US contractors killed and mutilated in Iraq. Source

Same Day – The Pentagon issues a report that medical evacuations in Iraq hit 18,000. Source

Same day. Bush refuses to release Clinton papers to 9/11 Commission. Source

Also same day, Richard Clarke is all over the news. Source

April 2, 2004 - A bulletin sent from the FBI & Homeland Security warn of terrorists that may try to bomb buses and rail lines in major U.S. cities this summer. Source


May 10, 2004 -- Bush approval rating hits lowest point (46%) - Source

May 18, 2004 -- Colin Powell tells Meet the Press that he was deliberately mislead about WMD information. Powell's aide tries to cut him off mid-air. Source

May 18, 2004 – Former Abu Ghraib Intel Staffer Says Army Concealed Involvement in Abu Ghraib Abuse Scandal. Source

May 19, 2004 -- Newsweek reports that President Bush's top lawyer warned two years ago that Bush could be prosecuted for war crimes as a result of how his administration was fighting the war on terror. Source

Same day – White House stonewalls UN on papers about Halliburton’s contracts in Iraq. Source

Same day – Tom Ridge testifies before 9/11 Commission on this second day of hearings in NYC. Source

Same day - The 9/11 Commission begins another round of hearings in NYC. Source

May 19, 2004 -- Nothing but bad news about prisoner abuse in Iraq, including breaking news that the Pentagon was told about the abuses back in November. Source

Senate Armed Forces Committee holds hearings on Abu Ghraib abuses. Source

May 25, 2004 - Homeland Security issues a terror alert: Major terror attack possible this summer. Source


June 7, 2004 -- The Wall Street Journal publishes exclusive report demonstrating that the Pentagon provided legal rationales and loopholes in 2003 to use torture and methods of near-torture, and how to avoid various international treaties and US laws. Furthermore, the leaked memos suggest that they circumvent US and international laws, the US president should change the rules as they may see fit. All media outlets pick up on this explosive report. Source - Source

June 14, 2004 - VP Dick Cheney is caught lying about the alleged ties of Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda. Cheney is unable to provide any evidence to his assertions after journalists inquire. On June 15 Bush Bush defends Cheney's unSourced assertions but does not provide any evidence either that there was a "link" between Iraq and al Qaeda or the 9/11 attacks. Source

June 15, 2004 - The Justice Department announces to the press they have thwarted an imminent terror plot to bomb malls in Ohio. Somali immigrant arrested and charged on the case. Source

Later on it is revealed that the Somali immigrant had been arrested one year earlier for his connections to terrorism, but there was nothing "imminent" in that case. The suspect was arrested in Nov. 28, 2003, and the Court papers filed by the government allege that a plot dated to March 2000. His indictment wasn't announced until June 15, 2004. Source - Source


July 6, 2004 -- Kerry names Edwards as his running mate. Source

July 8, 2004 - Tom Ridge holds a press conference on terror alerts over the summer and during the conventions. Source

July 11, 2004 -- Senior White House officials discuss the possibility of delaying the elections in case of a terrorist attack. Source


July 22, 2004 -- The 9/11 Commission releases their findings. While many criticize the commission for not going far enough, their report includes many examples of inaction and lack of leadership from the Bush administration. Source

July 26-29 -- Democratic Convention shows party unity and strong leadership. Kerry/Edwards provide electrifying acceptance speeches. John Kerry's acceptance speech is praised even by some conservative analysts. Campaign appearances immediately following the convention draw larger-than-expected crowds.

August 1, 2004 -- White House Projects Highest Deficit Ever. Source

August 2, 2004 - The Department of Homeland Security raises the terror alert at several large financial institutions in the New York City and Washington areas. Source

Later it is revealed that much of the information that led the authorities to raise the terror alert was three or four years old. Source

Same day - Bush's daughters, Jenna and Barbara, visit the Citicorp Building in New York City. This is one of the buildings that Tom Ridge implied was under a dire and imminent threat from terrorists. It seems odd that the President's daughters would be allowed to visit a building supposedly about to be attacked by terrorists. Source


Can you connect the dots?


Monday, August 09, 2004

The Price of Freedom

Late last week, Biltud and I posted the now famous timeline in this blog. The next day I posted the chart. It’s been very popular and many people have sent us good feedback on how to improve it. Others wondered why the mainstream media never had the courage to do something as simple as to track this readily available information.

On the other hand, since Friday my email account has been inundated with pernicious emails containing all sorts of computer viruses and worms. Yesterday my home computer was attacked and the hard drive was rendered inoperable. On Sunday my firewall caught several attempts to intrusion, so at this point I'm not sure if it was a virus or an intruder. I’m still working with my ISP to further track these logs. Tonight I’ll see if I can recover anything in that hard drive. Since this morning the virus-emails are being sent en masse to my email account, and I am tracking every single one of them and their original ISP.

This is what Freedom of Speech has become in this very divided environment. We can only defend our civil rights by exercising them, so no, I won’t censor my opinions. Not only I will not remove the graphic and timeline, but I have posted an updated version with a higher degree of detail. On this new chart we separate terror alerts that involved a change to "orange level" from those terror warnings that did not involve a change in the color system.

By the way, let me remind you that we do this with very little resources. Please help us maintain this site by donating through the PayPal link on the left column. (See…

Thank you.

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Chart: Bush Ratings vs. Terror Alerts

I have put together a chart comparing Bush approval numbers to the timeline of terror alerts. (Thanks to Stuart Eugene Thiel for the amazing daily graphics that he prepares, comparing the approval ratings from different polls and media sources.) You can see it by clicking in the graphic below:

Click for big version

There are few things that are quite evident from the chart:

- Whenever his ratings dip, there's a new terror alert.

- Every terror alert is followed by a slight uptick of Bush approval ratings.

- Whenever there are many unfavorable headlines, there's another alert or announcement (distraction effect).

- As we approach the 2004 elections, the number and frequency of terror alerts keeps growing, to the point that they collapse in the graphic. At the same time, Bush ratings are lower than ever.

Update: for the record, we are not claiming that all these alerts are politically motivated. We are sure a considerable amount of these alerts were legit and caused by real and immediate information of potential threats. What is important to note is that many of these "immediate" terror alerts were later on discredited (in some cases they used old data, in other cases the announcements were less immediate and less urgent that we were lead to believe, as the press reported.) Those are the cases that could be interpreted as politically motivated, especially when they seemed to coincide with political news and events unfavorable to the administration.

******* ENDS *******

STANDARD DISCLAIMER FROM UQ.ORG: does not necessarily endorse the views expressed in the above article. We present this in the interests of research -for the relevant information we believe it contains. We hope that the reader finds in it inspiration to work with us further, in helping to build bridges between our various investigative communities, towards a greater, common understanding of the unanswered questions which now lie before us.

© Scoop Media

Top Scoops Headlines


Using Scoop Professionally? Introducing ScoopPro

ScoopPro is a new offering aimed at ensuring professional users get the most out of Scoop and support us to continue improving it so that Scoop continues to exist as a public service for all New Zealanders. More>>


Don Rennie: Is It Time To Take ACC Back To First Principles?

The word “investing” has played a major part in the operations of the ACC since 1998... More>>

27-29 Sept: Social Enterprise World Forum Live Blog

1600+ delegates from more than 45 countries have came together to share wisdom, build networks and discuss how to create a more sustainable future using social enterprise as a vehicle. Attending the Forum were social enterprise practitioners, social entrepreneurs, policy makers, community leaders, investors, activists, academics and more from across the globe... More>>

HiveMind Report: A Universal Basic Income For Aotearoa NZ

Results from this HiveMind suggests that an overwhelming majority of Kiwis believe that due to changing circumstances and inefficiencies in the current system, we need a better system to take care of welfare of struggling members in our society. More>>


Scoop Hivemind: Medical Cannabis - Co-Creating A Policy For Aotearoa

Welcome to the fourth and final HiveMind for Scoop’s Opening the Election campaign for 2017. This HiveMind explores the question: what would a fair, humane and safe Medical Cannabis policy look like for Aotearoa, NZ in 2018? More>>