911 Explosive laden van 2-3 arrests
On the day of the 9-11 attacks, former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was asked what the attacks would mean for US-Israeli relations. His quick reply was: "It's very good.......Well, it's not good, but it will generate immediate sympathy (for Israel)"
The Five Dancing Israelis
Arrested On 9-11
As the world watched in disbelief Mossad operatives were seen dancing with joy.
A Mossad surveillance team made quite a public spectacle of themselves on 9-11.
The New York Times reported Thursday that a group of five men had set up video cameras aimed at the Twin Towers prior to the attack on Tuesday, and were seen congratulating one another afterwards. (1)
Police received several calls from angry New Jersey residents claiming "middle-eastern" men with a white van were videotaping the disaster with shouts of joy and mockery.
"They were like happy, you know ... They didn't look shocked to me" said a witness.
[T]hey were seen by New Jersey residents on Sept. 11 making fun of the World Trade Center ruins and going to extreme lengths to photograph themselves in front of the wreckage.
Witnesses saw them jumping for joy in Liberty State Park after the initial impact (5). Later on, other witnesses saw them celebrating on a roof in Weehawken, and still more witnesses later saw them celebrating with high fives in a Jersey City parking lot.
"It looked like they're hooked in with this. It looked like they knew what was going to happen when they were at Liberty State Park."
One anonymous phone call to the authorities actually led them to close down all of New York's bridges and tunnels. The mystery caller told the 9-1-1 dispatcher that a group of Palestinians were mixing a bomb inside of a white van headed for the Holland Tunnel. Here's the transcript from NBC News:
Dispatcher: Jersey City police.
Caller: Yes, we have a white van, 2 or 3 guys in there, they look like Palestinians and going around a building.
Caller: There's a minivan heading toward the Holland tunnel, I see the guy by Newark Airport mixing some junk and he has those sheikh uniform.
Dispatcher: He has what?
Caller: He's dressed like an Arab.
(*Writer's note: Why would this mystery caller specifically say that these "Arabs" were Palestinians? How would he know that? Palestinians usually dress in western style clothes, not "sheikh uniforms")
Based on that phone call, police then issued a "Be-on-the-Lookout" alert for a white mini-van heading for the city's bridges and tunnels from New Jersey.
White, 2000 Chevrolet van with 'Urban Moving Systems' sign on back seen at Liberty State Park, Jersey City, NJ, at the time of first impact of jetliner into World Trade Center Three individuals with van were seen celebrating after initial impact and subsequent explosion. FBI Newark Field Office requests that, if the van is located, hold for prints and detain individuals. (9)
When a van fitting that exact description was stopped just before crossing into New York, the suspicious "middle-easterners" were apprehended. Imagine the surprise of the police officers when these terror suspects turned out to be Israelis!
According to ABC's 20/20, when the van belonging to the cheering Israelis was stopped by the police, the driver of the van, Sivan Kurzberg, told the officers:
"We are Israelis. We are not your problem. Your problems are our problems. The Palestinians are your problem." (10)
Why did he feel that Palestinians were a problem for the NYPD?
The police and FBI field agents became very suspicious when they found maps of the city with certain places highlighted, box cutters (the same items that the hijackers supposedly used), $4700 cash stuffed in a sock, and foreign passports. Police also told the Bergen Record that bomb sniffing dogs were brought to the van and that they reacted as if they had smelled explosives. (11)
The FBI seized and developed their photos, one of which shows Sivan Kurzberg flicking a cigarette lighter in front of the smouldering ruins in an apparently celebratory gesture.
The Jerusalem Post later reported that a white van with a bomb was stopped as it approached the George Washington Bridge, but the ethnicity of the suspects was not revealed. Here's what the Jerusalem Post reported on September 12, 2001:
American security services overnight stopped a car bomb on the George Washington Bridge. The van, packed with explosives, was stopped on an approach ramp to the bridge. Authorities suspect the terrorists intended to blow up the main crossing between New Jersey and New York, Army Radio reported.
"...two suspects are in FBI custody after a truckload of explosives was discovered around the George Washington Bridge ... The FBI ... says enough explosives were in the truck to do great damage to the George Washington Bridge."