Basis of Complaint


The 9/11 attacks caused unprecedented damage to the lives, property and livelihoods of New York residents. According to the most recent database at, used as a source by the government-appointed National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (known variously as the “9/11 Commission” or “Kean Commission”, and herein designated as the Kean Commission), there were 2,996 murdered in the September 11 attacks—2,626 dead or missing at the World Trade Center, 125 at the Pentagon, and 245 on the four airliners. Risk and security analysts estimate life insurance, worker’s compensation, property damage, and business/rental interruption costs at $55-70 billion, including $32 billion in documented insurance losses alone. In addition, the cost of the airline “bailout” package by the federal government is estimated at $2 to $5 billion. This is in addition to a vast array of other economic damages following from the attacks. (See, Appendix 1: “Taxonomy of Damages Resulting From September 11” and Appendix 2: New York State Assembly Economic Report: “New York City and September 11”).

 The people of New York are deeply dissatisfied with official investigations to date, including the 9/11 Commission Report. The 9/11 Zogby Poll (see, Appendix 3, “Zogby International 9/11 Poll and New York Legislator Survey—Results”) found that only 36 percent of New York State residents believe the Kean Commission answered “all of the important questions about what happened on September 11, 2001.”

 An ongoing survey of New York city, state and federal legislators by radio station WBAI has so far found that 15 members of the State Senate, State Assembly, and New York City Council and two members of the New York Congressional delegation support the popular call for reopening the investigation; nine of such members selected the Office of the State Attorney General as the most effective venue today for getting to the truth of 9/11 (see, Appendix 3).

    What follows is our list of thirteen reasons for requesting that an independent, in-depth investigation be undertaken, by means of a grand jury or otherwise:

1. No serious official investigation, independent or otherwise, has yet been convened in connection with the murder in New York City of 2,772 citizens of the United States and more than seventy other nations. 

The majority of the nearly 400 questions submitted for investigation to the Kean Commission by the September 11 victims’ families who lobbied the inquiry into existence were not even addressed in The 9/11 Commission Report. (See, Appendix 4, Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission: “FSC Questions to the 9/11 Commission, with Ratings of Its Performance in Providing Answers by Two FSC Members.”) Of those questions posed by the Family Steering Committee for the 9/11 Independent Commission (hereinafter, “FSC” or “9/11 Family Steering Committee”) that the Kean Commission did address, most were answered only partially or cursorily without touching the deeper issues they were meant to explore. This was the case despite assurances from Commissioner Jamie Gorelick at the opening hearing that the families’ questions would serve as the “road map” for the investigation to come. A large majority of the “unanswered questions” from the 9/11 CitizensWatch website, submitted to the Kean Commission during the same hearings in March 2003, was similarly ignored.

(See, Appendix 5, 9/11 CitizensWatch: “Questions to the Kean Commission, March 2003”; for point-by-point analysis of evidence addressed and not addressed by the Kean Commission; see also, Griffin, 9/11 Commission: Omissions and Distortions, publisher’s manuscript).

2. With the exception of two brief early hearings (on terrorist financing and building collapses), Congressional investigation has consisted only of the Joint Inquiry of the Congressional Committees on Intelligence (“Congressional Joint Inquiry”) that was convened in the summer and fall of 2002. After a negotiation with then Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, its scope was limited only to intelligence “failures.” The Joint Inquiry itself was subject to FBI harassment and its final report was in part suppressed by the White House.[4]

During this Congressional Joint Inquiry, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”)—itself a subject of the inquiry—initiated an investigation of Senate committee members for an alleged security leak and made an unprecedented demand that members of Congress submit to lie-detector tests. Senator John McCain said, “What you have here is an organization compiling dossiers on people who are investigating the same organization” Another senator told the Associated Press that the FBI is “trying to put a damper on our activities and I think they will be successful” (The Washington Post, 8/3/02 and 8/24/02; Associated Press, 8/29/02; [see also Los Angeles Times, 5/4/02]). In addition, about one-quarter of the Congress’s resulting “Report of the Joint Inquiry Into the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001” was redacted by the Administration and Central Intelligence Agency (“CIA”) on National Security Act grounds. The many deletions included the striking of most of a 28-page chapter, and of eight entries in the “Glossary of Terms and Acronyms.” (Some of the glossary entries were presumably deleted to hide the existence of secret units within the government, or else to suppress the role particular organizations or agencies may have played in the events of September 11.) If criminal laws were violated, and if government officials or private interests suppressed evidence of such violations, we respectfully suggest that the suppression could constitute obstruction of justice.

3. The Kean Commission, which was created only after 14 months of pressure from September 11 victims’ families, was strictly limited in its scope so as to avoid placing blame on government officials or investigating allegations of official criminality. The Commission also consisted of appointees with obvious conflicts of interest, was seriously underfunded, and its ongoing work was met with resistance from the White House.

Vice Chair Lee Hamilton said at the outset of the Commission hearings: “The focus of the Commission will be on the future. We’re not interested in trying to assess blame. We do not consider that part of the Commission’s responsibility.” Many of its members and staff, including Executive Director Philip Zelikow, have striking conflicts of interest (see, Appendix 6, “A Brief History of the Kean Commission”). Commission resources were limited; only $3 million was allocated initially. Congress later increased this amount, against White House resistance, to just $15 million. (This may be compared to the immediate $30 million appropriation for the Challenger crash investigation and the $60 million allocated for the Clinton Whitewater inquiry). According to numerous complaints from commissioners, including but not limited to Senator Max Cleland (who was forced to resign after accepting an appointment to the Export-Import Bank board), the Bush Administration and its subordinate agencies repeatedly obstructed, stalled, and restricted their investigations, opposed a two-month time extension, and demanded ultimate content approval of the final report—which was published without the redactions normally used to show suppressed content. [See, “The 9/11 Omission Report,” 9/11 CitizensWatch.] We raise the question whether such actions may constitute violations of New York State and federal laws

 4. The National Transportation and Safety Board (“NTSB”) is required by Congressional mandate to investigate airline disasters, but, due to the fact that a crime was committed in this case, the usual independent investigative work resulting from an airline disaster was preempted by the FBI, leaving NTSB as a mere “technical advisor”. [5]

No public reports on the aviation disasters of September 11 have been released by either the NTSB or the FBI. In addition, there appear to be no efforts under way to reconstruct the destroyed airplanes, as is the usual practice in airline crash investigations conducted by the NTSB. To the contrary, reports from residents of the Shanksville, Pennsylvania area indicate that disaster debris is still being found at this writing.

5. All official investigations took for granted a certain set of a priori and unquestioned assumptions, which are summarized for your examination in the list below. These items constitute what has come to be called the “official story” of 9/11 as it was portrayed to the press and the people immediately after the attacks. But evidence presented elsewhere in this Complaint and Petition casts serious doubt on the veracity of the assumptions set forth in this list in the minds of many:

a. The 9/11 plotters intended to hijack no more than four planes, which were commandeered and flown by 19 Middle Eastern hijackers. Their identities were resolved conclusively in the hours and days immediately after the attacks and have never since been in doubt.[6]

b. The 9/11 plot was set into motion and financed by a network surrounding Osama bin Ladin, without direct financial backing from his wealthy family or other Saudi agents, and without the participation, involvement, accessorial conduct or knowledge of any states or state agents, either foreign or domestic, prior to or during the plot’s execution.[7]

c. No US officials could possibly have had actionable foreknowledge of the plot, for if they did they “would have moved heaven and earth” to intervene.

d. Investigation into the actions and behavior of US government agents and Bush Administration officials could not possibly uncover any greater level of culpability than unintentional failures of intelligence, communication or surveillance, or at worst individual incompetence or negligence. And further, since any questions of foreknowledge, acquiescence, or accessorial criminality were never to be contemplated by the Kean Commission, its investigations could without difficulty be supervised by a former high-level adviser to the present Bush Administration—despite the obvious conflicts of interest of Executive Director Philip Zelikow, and virtually every other member of the Kean Commission (see, Appendix 6).

e. Suppression of relevant facts regarding 9/11 has been an undeniable necessity of national security; no elements within the US government or Administration would exercise pressure or influence[8] to avoid certain avenues of investigation or bodies of evidence in the probes carried out by the Justice Department, Congress, the National Institute for Standards and Technology (“NIST”), the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”), the General Accounting Office, the CIA, and the Kean Commission.

f. No reports from foreign governments, agencies or news services alleging facts directly contradicting those set forth by official US sources need be examined or explored.

g. The catastrophic collapses of the World Trade Center’s North and South Towers were solely due to the plane strikes and fire.

h. It is not to be considered problematic that World Trade Center Building 7 was the first steel-beam skyscraper in history to collapse solely from the effects of fire. No serious investigation of this mysterious collapse is required despite the fact that its owner appeared to admit on national television that it was pulled (i.e., purposely demolished).

i. The anthrax poisonings and attempted poisonings of elected representatives and media figures were carried out by an as-yet unidentified lone scientist without the knowledge or support of any state agency or agents. Moreover, these rogue attacks had no coordination or connection to the 9/11 plot, did not influence any 9/11 inquiries, and did not appreciably affect the post-9/11 balance of domestic political power.

6. All formal investigations have started with the premise that the “official story” presents an accurate, objective outline of relevant events on and preceding 9/11. This is assumed to be the case despite the rapid accumulation of evidence that the official accounts (some of which contradict each other) cannot possibly explain the events as they transpired. The effect of this unwarranted presumption has been to exclude critical lines of inquiry and bodies of evidence from the outset.

7. The FEMA investigation of the building collapses drew no meaningful conclusions. The subsequent investigation by NIST began with an open call for video and photographic evidence, because the relevant physical evidence (e.g., steel beams from the collapse zones) had already been scrapped.

8. Extensive and crucial sections of the Kean Commission’s findings and consequent conclusions are based on uncorroborated interrogation reports channeled from captive government suspects. Examples include Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh, and Abu Zubaydah, who were never made available for questioning by the commissioners, staff, or any Kean Commission representative.

9. In the absence of legitimate investigation by official institutions, a wide variety of citizens’ groups, insiders, researchers, and journalists all across the country and across the political spectrum have attempted to conduct what investigations they can and have demanded evaluation of probative, yet unexamined bodies of evidence.

The most prominent of these individuals and groups, listed below, have raised incisive questions and have brought forth significant facts and findings:

a. Website-based and ad-hoc citizens’ efforts such as, 9/11 CitizensWatch, and the international citizens’ inquiries held in Germany, San Francisco, Toronto, Los Angeles, etc. (all accessible from

b. September 11 victims’ family groups such as the Family Steering Committee for the Independent 9/11 Commission (; Peaceful Tomorrows (; the Skyscraper Safety Committee (; the HispanicVictims Group, Ground Zero for Peace, World Trade Center Environmental Organization, and others.

c. A veteran officials’ group involving FBI whistleblower Sibel Edmonds, retired CIA analyst Ray McGovern, and 25 former intelligence and law enforcement employees, facilitated by Daniel Ellsberg’s Truth-Telling Project ( and the Project on Government Oversight (

d. Writers and journalists devoted to research, too numerous to list comprehensively, but including Michael Ruppert (, author of Crossing the Rubicon (New Society Publshers: 2004); David Ray Griffin, author of The New Pearl Harbor (Olive Branch Press: 2004) which has been translated into multiple languages, and the soon-to-be released manuscript The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, provided with this Complaint and Petition; The Center for Cooperative Research (, home of the “The Complete 9/11 Timeline” by Paul Thompson, now in book form as The Terror Timeline (Harper-Collins: 2004); The Center for Research on Globalization (, publisher of War and Globalisation: The Truth Behind September 11 by Michel Chossudovsky; and the website of Jim Hoffman (

e. A 9/11 Citizens’ Commission convened in New York on September 9, 2004 to hear certain testimony not heard or considered by the Kean Commission. Chaired by former Georgia Congressional Representative Cynthia McKinney (who regained her seat in the November 2004 election), these hearings are referred to in this Complaint and Petition as “The 9/11 Omissions Hearings” (see, Appendix 7 for index and introduction). As the result of evidence heard at the hearings, the 9/11 Citizens’ Commission recommended the filing of a complaint with the Attorney General for the State of New York.

f. Whistleblower Indira Singh presented to the 9/11 Citizens’ Commission, and previously to the FBI, allegedly incriminating information she had about Ptech, Inc., a Quincy, Massachusetts-based company that was raided by a Joint Terrorism Task Force on December 6, 2002 for unspecified allegations connected with terrorism financing and possibly even 9/11-related operations.[9] Says Singh, “That no one seems to know of Ptech is due to the power of Ari Fleischer’s statement that day that there was nothing wrong with Ptech’s software. ‘Nothing to see here folks’ [he said] and the story went away, subsumed in the war on Iraq.”[10]

  1. Private lawsuits, which thus far have made little progress in uncovering the truth of the events surrounding September 11.

We believe this to be largely due to judicial resistance, government obstruction of access to evidence and witnesses, and inadequate investigative funds (but in part due to the limited ability of any private lawsuit to resolve issues of this magnitude in a timely manner). In addition, it should be noted that a principal condition for the 9/11 victim family members to apply to the unprecedented Victims Compensation Fund for partial redress was formal renunciation of their right to pursue damages or discovery of truth through litigation against US companies or government agencies.[11] Examples of these lawsuits are cited below:

a. Sibel Edmonds filed a suit against the Department of Justice to challenge excessive classification of a Department of Justice Inspector General’s report known to establish that she was fired, at least “in part,” for her whistleblowing activities (filed with US District Court for the District of Columbia under the Freedom of Information and Privacy Acts, Mark Zaid, Esq., 9/22/04).[12]

b. The Project on Government Oversight (“POGO“) filed a second lawsuit connected with the Sibel Edmonds case requesting declaratory and injunctive relief and challenging the reclassification of the information she had provided to Congress.[13]

c. The “Saudi Class Action Suit” (see, has been similarly impeded. In particular, plaintiffs’ attorneys have been denied access to the critical testimony of former FBI translator Sibel Edmonds, who has been effectively silenced after the Justice Department quashed her subpoena, a federal judge postponed the trial on the appeal of her own lawsuit (referred to in the previous paragraph above), and the Justice Department issued an unprecedented “retroactive classification order” [14] covering information she had already released to the Congress (see, stories in Boston Globe, 7/5/04; New York Times, 7/29/04).

d.In November of 2003, former Deputy Attorney General of Pennsylvania Phil Berg filed an amended RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) complaint against top members of the Bush Administration for wrongful death, criminal conspiracy, and obstruction of justice on behalf of 9/11 widow Ellen Mariani.[15] This was refiled as Rodriguez v. Bush et al. in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania as of 10/21/04. [Civil action no. 04 CV 4952.] [See,]

e. Since 2002, FBI special agent Robert Wright, along with Judicial Watch, has pursued a suit under the Whistleblower Protection Act to allow publication of information alleging high-level obstruction of counterterrorism investigations that shared prime suspects with the Singh/Ptech case cited above. The case remains bogged down. His counsel, David Schippers, former Republican House Judiciary Committee Counsel during the Congressional impeachment hearings of William J. Clinton, has stated he saw evidence that the “dates and targets” as well as the funding sources of the 9/11 attacks were known in advance to unnamed FBI agents, whom he represents.[16]

f. Judicial Watch and Sierra Club sued Vice-President Cheney for the release of documents from his Energy Task Force meetings in 2001, which are reported to have involved discussions of military action to secure foreign supplies of oil. The case remains tied up in the courts after a Supreme Court decision in June, 2004 not to force a release.

g. Also languishing is a Judicial Watch suit demanding the White House clarify the rationale for placing some of its staff on the antibiotic Cipro immediately after the 9/11 attacks (on September 11, but before the anthrax attacks).[17]

h. On March 10, 2004 a coalition of New York City residents, office workers, parents and students filed a class action lawsuit against the Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) for deliberately deceiving the public about the highly hazardous dust and air around Ground Zero in the months following the attacks, endangering in particular first responders, clean-up crews, neighboring children, and seniors and failing to comply with its federally mandated responsibility to clean contaminated buildings after terrorist incidents.[18]

i. World Trade Center insurance suits: The welter of insurance claims and litigation relating to the World Trade Center destruction has focused almost entirely upon policy language, precedents and contractual process, and thus devoted little if any useful attention to exploring the actual facts and circumstances of the attacks and the subsequent collapse of WTC buildings #1, #2 and #7.

j. A lawsuit filed against Riggs Bank alleges that “Riggs’ constant failure to comply with banking oversight laws resulted in funds being forwarded from high risk Saudi Embassy accounts at Riggs Bank to at least two September 11 hijackers.” The suit was drafted by the torts firm Motley Rice of Mount Pleasant, S.C.[19]


11. Some alleged perpetrators have been held without charges, potential witnesses or co-conspirators have been released from US jurisdiction, and critical witnesses have been fired by a Justice Department that has prioritized official secrecy over defendants’ normal Constitutional rights.[20]

The case of Zacarias Moussaoui, for example, is currently bogged down due to the government’s refusal to allow Moussaoui or his attorneys access to potential defense witnesses such as the captured alleged 9/11 plotters Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Ramzi Binalshibh and Abu Zubaydah.[21] Further, members of the bin Ladin family, members of the royal family of Saudi Arabia and many other prominent Saudis who might have provided key information as to the whereabouts of Osama bin Ladin, terrorist financing and other matters directly related to an investigation of the hijackings on September 11 were reportedly transported within the US on privately chartered jets shortly after the attacks and allowed to leave the country shortly after the national air traffic ban was lifted. Only a few of these witnesses were interviewed, and then, only cursorily, before their departure from the US, which departure appears to have been achieved only after high-level governmental clearance (see, for example,

12. Tools available to citizens have not worked or are not sufficient to the requirements of getting at key facts in this complex case:

a. Citizens lack subpoena enforcement power.

b. The Administration generally is not honoring Freedom of Information Act requests. For example, the Justice Department chose to go to court rather than honor Sibel Edmonds’ lawful, successful FOIA request.

c. The Justice Department and FBI contend that key evidence sought by plaintiffs is either covered by the National Security Act and constitutes a related body of state secrets or must remain confidential due to ongoing cases and investigations.[22] In the case of Sibel Edmonds, they have engaged in highly unusual after-the-fact classification of public testimony.

d. Critical evidence has been destroyed.[23] Recordings of Federal Aviation Administration (“FAA”) controllers’ accounts of September 11 events taped immediately after the attacks were later meticulously cut to shreds and thrown away, despite orders to save them for investigative reference (New York Times, 5/6/04). CIA and Congressional staff complained that the National Security Agency was needlessly destroying evidence related to US companies and citizens that could “perhaps redirect” the investigation (Boston Globe, 10/27/01). The editor of the nation’s oldest firefighting magazine, Bill Manning, objected to the accelerated scrapping of World Trade Center rubble before investigators could determine the actual mechanics of the building collapse (Fire Engineering, 1/02) and in an angry editorial, called the government’s investigation “a half-baked farce.” At the end of October, 2004, a firefighter with the New York Fire Department as well as a Ground Zero recovery worker came forward to claim that the three of the four “black boxes” from the aircraft at Ground Zero were found during the clean-up work (Philadelphia Daily News, 10/28/04), contrary to the government’s longstanding assertion that no trace of these devices was ever discovered, which assertion was reiterated in The 9/11 Commission Report (Ch. 1, fn. 76, p. 468). A full investigation would pursue this claim and locate this vital evidence of the attacks, if it still exists.

e. Many of the aforementioned acts, coupled with the rapid confiscation and top-secret classification of other important evidence, suggest at best a blatant contempt for the normal prerequisites to a truthful and confidence-inspiring inquiry and at worst obstruction of justice. Such behavior inevitably undermines trust in government in related matters, such as the veracity of uncorroborated “confessions” from alleged 9/11 conspirators held at undisclosed locations for well over a year in some cases without formal charges being brought against them for the 9/11 murders. [e.g., Ramzi Binalshibh, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah.]

f. Whistleblowers and elected officials who have called attention to these matters have been ignored, ridiculed, fired, threatened, subjected to gag orders, and harassed.[24] We draw your attention in particular to the cases of Sibel Edmonds, Behrouz Sarshar, Robert Wright, Indira Singh, US Air Force Col. Steve Butler, and Rep. Cynthia McKinney (D-GA). Such examples coincide with legal changes under the USA PATRIOT Act and other statutes and regulations, excessive classification orders, and constant invocation of a state of threat in the homeland. These factors have a powerful silencing effect on others who would come forward.

g. Officials and military officers associated with the “failures” of investigation and defense response have not been held accountable; on the contrary, several of them have been confirmed in elevated positions, given awards or promoted following September 11. We draw your attention in particular to the cases of Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Richard Myers, Gen. Ralph Eberhart (Commander of NORAD on 9/11/01), Brig. Gen. Montague Winfield (director of the National Military Command Center), FBI officials David Frasca, Marion Bowman, Michael Maltbie and an unnamed FBI official alleged to have tolerated penetration by foreign agents at the Bureau’s translations department (CBS News, 8/8/04). 

h. In the Swiss Re suit against Larry Silverstein, the owner of World Trade Center Building 7 and of a 99-year lease on the entire World Trade Center complex, the insurance company’s motions for access to foreign conspirators’ statements (obtained by the Kean Commission) were denied.

i. Members of the major media clearly have been afraid and/or loath to examine the contradictions and anomalies implicit in the Administration’s official 9/11 story.[25] Sensational, simplistic and relentless coverage of the attacks and ensuing wars based on the official narrative also proved so profitable for media news divisions that we may never see any serious skeptical investigation into its truth or legitimacy. Members of the mainstream press, by and large, have failed to note ample evidence of cover-ups relating to September 11, question official accounts like The 9/11 Commission Report despite its obvious omissions, distortions, and inconsistencies, pursue the unanswered questions and bodies of evidence cited in Part II of this Complaint and Petition, or even report on the stunning findings of the 9/11 Zogby Poll.

j. Congress also has abdicated its responsibility to provide full oversight, conduct exhaustive investigations, provide a credible accounting or even hold in-depth hearings into the most important lines of inquiry put forward by the 9/11 Family Steering Committee. Congress has failed to examine the Kean Commision’s questionable “findings of fact and circumstances” on which were based some of the most far-reaching reform recommendations ever proposed in US legislation. Nor has it pursued demands made by Minnesota Senator Mark Dayton for an investigation into NORAD’s representations regarding air defense issues.

k. The CIA has yet to release an internal report, based upon two years of work, on the September 11 events, which apparently attributes individual accountability for particular failures. The document was withheld until after the November 2, 2004 election and is still being withheld today, amid reports that the new CIA director, Porter Goss, wishes to remove sections “drawing conclusions about whether individual CIA officers should be held accountable for any failures” before releasing the report to the public (New York Times, 11/2/04). This is further indication that possible negligence or complicity on the part of individual officials is being hidden from public and Congressional scrutiny.

l. The Justice Department also continues, months after its completion, to suppress “one last chapter” of the The 9/11 Commission Report, which reportedly deals with the “broadly inaccurate accounts provided by several civil and military officials about efforts to track and chase the hijacked aircraft on Sept. 11.” (New York Times, 10/30/04). This action, if it occurred, provides further documentation of the US government’s overall pattern of suppressing evidence pointing to individual accountability. An independent criminal investigation or impartial grand jury is therefore the only discernible source of redress remaining to the People.

13. Democracy itself is endangered when the following conditions are found to be the case in the political culture of a nation:

a. Government in all-too-many cases refuses to assign responsibility, promote transparency, or demand accountability from governing officials.

b. Government encourages a stifling environment that suppresses dissent, persecutes whistleblowers, spurns the Freedom of Information Act, weakens personal privacy protections, inflates public fear, and extols “patriotic” obedience and militarization, etc.

c. States are excluded from matters impacting their citizens by federal preemption, intervention, and “state secrets” arguments.

d. Potential suspects/defendants control investigative and public access to evidence that may tend to incriminate them.[26]

e. A majority of citizens come to suspect high crimes and treachery within their own government, but cannot find officials with enough courage, power or independence to thoroughly investigate their concerns and restore the public trust.

(Forward to PART 2: Factual Matters Giving Rise to Suspicion)