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In 2000, BND knew about 9/11 terror attacks

The US-American and German secret services CIA and BND have built back doors in encryption machines made by the Swiss company Crypto AG. The manipulation of encryption technology was called Operation Rubikon. Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA and BND through a shell company in Liechtenstein.

In 2000, due to Operation Rubikon, BND got intelligence about the upcoming 9/11 terrorist attacks.


This is written in a BND file that describes an incident from 2000. BND spied on government communications in Italy using the encryption devices manipulated by Crypto AG. In this way, a warning from the Italian secret service reached the Central Office for Encryption (ZfCh) of the BND near Bonn.

After a successfully decoding, the message was evaluated by a BND analyst. The file literally says: “A group of male Arabs have registered as flight students in the USA. Landing and starting the plane is not important to them, but flying straight instead. Money doesn’t matter to them.”

This message should have ringed all alarm bells at the BND. But the analyst allegedly misjudged the urgency of the message, rated it incorrectly, or not even processed it at all.

The BND employee should actually have passed on the information to the responsible group leader immediately: “Contrary to the internal instructions, she did not present such an explosive report to her group leader, but went into the weekend,” said secret service expert Erich Schmidt-Eenboom.

However, the warning “went to the evaluation in Munich, no reaction,” notes the author of an internal BND paper. Munich was BND’s headquarter at that time.

In 2002, former BND President August Hanning confirmed that BND had information about the 9/11 terrorist plot: “We said that we expect attacks from al-Qaida, but for us it was still not entirely clear where these attacks would take place, how they would take place, and of course what dimension these attacks would have.”

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Martin Lejeune

Martin Lejeune

Martin Lejeune is a freelance journalist, correspondent, political analyst and photographer based in Berlin, Germany

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