“I was told about the attack on the World Trade Center
on 9/11 about a year and a half before it happened.”

– Best-selling author Nelson DeMille [1]

Members of New York’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) were predicting, almost two years before 9/11, that terrorists would fly planes into the World Trade Center. JTTF members described their prediction to best-selling thriller writer Nelson DeMille while he was interviewing them as part of the research for his novel The Lion’s Game.

The Lion’s Game, written in 1999 and published in January 2000, is about a ruthless Libyan terrorist, known as “The Lion,” who comes to the United States and goes on a killing spree. In an introduction to the paperback reissue of the book in 2010, DeMille explained that when he interviewed members of the New York JTTF during his research for the book, he kept hearing about “the next attack.” Nearly two years before 9/11, the JTTF members told him that the “World Trade Center would again be targeted, and the attack would be carried out by suicide pilots, flying small private jets loaded with fuel and explosives, which would be flown into the North and South Towers of the Trade Center.” [2]

DeMille has, in various interviews, given additional details of what the JTTF members told him.

The New York JTTF was established in 1980, to improve coordination between the FBI and the New York Police Department in the fight against terrorism. [3] The task force, which had exclusive jurisdiction over local terrorism investigations, began with 11 FBI investigators and 11 members of the NYPD. But by 1999 it had grown to more than 140 members and included personnel from numerous other agencies, including the Port Authority Police Department, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and the Secret Service. [4] It also included more than a dozen CIA officers. [5] The New York JTTF was, according to the FBI Law Enforcement Bulletin, “on the forefront of the war against terrorism.” [6]

DeMille told talk radio host Glenn Beck that while conducting research for The Lion’s Game, he had been at 26 Federal Plaza, where the New York JTTF was located, and, he recalled, “Just in passing we were talking about the 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.” DeMille had asked the JTTF members: “What do you think the next attack would be? Will there be another attack?” They replied that the target of the next terrorist attack in the United States would be the World Trade Center again. They said, “Look, they missed and they’re gonna do it next time.” [7]

(Presumably, when the JTTF members said “they missed,” they meant that the terrorists had failed to cause the Twin Towers to collapse when they bombed the WTC in 1993. After all, the bomb the terrorists used had been placed at the correct location, in the parking garage beneath the WTC, so it had not missed its target. But the terrorists supposedly intended for the explosion to topple one of the towers, causing it to crash into the other tower and bringing them both down. [8])

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