9/11/1981

By Christopher Harper

My 9/11 story started 20 years before the attack on the World Trade Center.

On Sept. 11, 1981, President Anwar Sadat expelled me from Egypt because I reported about his troubles with Islamic fundamentalists.

After he signed a peace treaty with Israel, Sadat faced various threats from his fellow Arabs, but the most serious one came from the mosques in Egypt.

Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, better known as the “blind sheik,” issued a fatwa against Sadat, who imprisoned about 1,500 of the sheik’s followers from a group known as Al-Jama’s al-Islamiyya, or “The Islamic Group.”

As a reporter for ABC News in Cairo, I interviewed some of Abdel-Rahman’s followers, who began widespread demonstrations after the arrests in September 1981. At a news conference shortly after that, Sadat told me, “If this were not a democracy, I would have you shot!”

The next day, I was ushered to the airport, where I boarded an Egyptian Air flight to Rome. I was the only passenger.

Less than a month later, Sadat died in an assassination carried out by Islamic fundamentalists.

The Egyptians arrested a lot of bad guys but eventually left them go free. Among the Islamists jailed after the Sadat assassination was Ayman al-Zawahiri, a confidante and colleague of the blind sheik. Together, he and Abdel-Rahman, who spent three years in Egyptian jails, spread the beliefs to the prisoners of what would become al-Qaeda.

Although many of al-Qaeda’s followers came from the war with the Soviets in Afghanistan, many more came from the prisoners held for the assassination plot against Sadat.

Al-Zawahiri received a three-year sentence for dealing in weapons and left prison in 1984. As a top leader in a key Islamist terrorist organization in Egypt, al-Zawahiri eventually joined forces with bin Laden and served as the second-in-command of al-Qaeda. He rose to head the organization when bin Laden was killed in 2011.

After Abdel-Rahman was found not guilty in the trials that accompanied the investigations into the attack on Sadat, the sheik made his way to Afghanistan, where he became a spiritual adviser to Osama bin Laden. In 1990, Abdel-Rahman set up shop at a mosque in New Jersey. There, he helped plan the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center for which he was convicted and spent the rest of his life in a U.S. prison.

I saw the 1993 attack as a significant escalation of radical Islam, and I tried to convince my bosses at ABC News to create an investigative team to look at the bombing. “Only four people died,” the executive producer of 20/20 told me. That disconnect between my analysis and that of ABC started me thinking that it was time to leave journalism, which I did a few months later.

As it turned out, the organizer of the 1993 attack, Khalid Sheikh Mohammad, was so frustrated by the mission’s failure that he became obsessed with trying again. That’s one of the reasons he chose the World Trade Center on 9/11.

I often wondered if it would have done any good if ABC had backed my desire to investigate the 1993 bombing.

So, as Paul Harvey used to say, “Now you know the rest of the story.” At least my little piece of the story.  

DaTechGuy off DaRadio NFL to fans “Pay to Watch our Protest” edition, Plus my 9/11 thoughts SPECIAL TIME 11 AM EST

Today DaTechGuy off DaRadio comes at a special earlier time 11 AM EST vs our normal 3 PM EST.

This is because due to the horrible Trump economy the volume at my evening job is so high that not only were we asked to come in early Wednesday and Thursday to help keep up but we’ve been asked to come in on our day off for an extra shift.

Today we’re going to talk about the opening of the NFL season and the outrage from democrats and sports media that fans didn’t want to be charged money to watch a protest. We’ll also touch on 9/11 and to be sure I’ll comment on the election and the Trump economy that’s forcing me to push up the podcast 4 hours today.

You can watch the podcast live here. As usual last week’s podcast is a place holder till about 5 or 10 min before I start:

As always if you like the podcast please give it a thumbs up.

Odd favor to ask / repeat

Apparently the replacement wiper motor compatible with my 1999 Buick LeSabre available to my mechanic don’t have a pulse board which regulates where they stop (those usually come with such moters)

He’s been unable to find one and thanks to the rules of inspection in MA unless I get that replaced by the end of next month my car will fail inspection and I’ll need to buy a new one

So rather than a bleg for the 4 grand for a new used car I’m blegging for a pulse board for a 1999 Buick LeSabre or a working wiper motor for a 1999 Buick LeSabre with a pulse board on. If you have one I’d be happy to buy it.

9/11 Silence, Election? What Election? Pizza? Please, Antonio Brown Suit, Playing it out Under the Fedora.

You’ll note that I didn’t do anything to commemorate 9/11 this year at all, not even the great victory on Lake Champlain in 1814 that I’ve occasionally mentioned.

I think constantly morning the dead in big ceremonies is a bad idea while we are still fighting any of these guys, all it does it give hope to our foes. Granted we are closer than we’ve ever been to them being utterly crushed, but till I think a smaller ceremony is a better idea.

Some might object and that’s your right but my take is a lot better than the NYT trying to pretend that airplanes attacks us on their own.

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Speaking on 9/11 the MSM hit Donald Trump for hitting them on 9/11. I’m not surprised, it sure beats having to report on the special election in NC where they were anticipating victory for weeks, until the President showed up the day before.

Then the 18 point deficit became a 1 1/2 point win for Dan Bishop and the media was no longer smiling

and election suddenly was no longer newsworthy.

Unexpectedly of course.

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Ok one more 9/11 thing can someone please tell me what was so offensive about this pizza? that it couldn’t be tweeted out on 9/11?

It’s one thing to want to be respectful, it’s another thing to be anal. This is anal.

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Antonio Brown is now been accused of rape in a civil lawsuit alleging that these events took place last year and in 2017.

I have no idea if this is true or not and I’m sure this is going to be topic #1 on sports media concerning the NFL, and frankly Brown’s statement concerning the event doesn’t inspire a lot of confidence in him, but regardless of how you feel about Brown who is likely one of the least popular players in the league at the moment, it seems to me that this is well within the statue of limitations so I don’t understand why the person launching this suit is not filing criminal charges in addition to the civil suit.

Whatever your opinion of Mr. Brown I think that’s a valid question that deserves an answer.

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As of this writing (9/11) the Boston Redsox tragic number for wild card spot elimination is 9. On the radio two days ago the I heard a sports talk guy say the day they were official eliminated by the Yankees for the division that you would see the players tone it down. This suggestion insults me for two reasons.

Firstly until you eliminated. Teams have been known to collapse at the end so until you’re out of it you should play like you’re in it, not just for the your own team and fan’s sake but to force the guys in front of you earn it.

Secondly as professional athletes who are paid millions of dollars to play this game you are expected to play to win. This is entertainment and in a sport whose fan base isn’t what it was you can’t afford to mail it in.

Of course it would be nice if the players were as insulted by this suggestion as I was.