01/21/2014
George W Bush secret service Training exercises

A significant number of apparent terrorist incidents occurred on September 11, 2001, in which President Bush or locations associated with him, like the White House and Camp David, seemed to be the target. And yet for all these incidents, the apparent threat was subsequently claimed to be unfounded, perhaps having come about due to a misunderstanding. A possibility that has remained unexamined, however, is that the incidents were in fact scenarios in training exercises taking place that day.

It seems reasonable to assume that if the incidents were indeed exercise scenarios, the Secret Service, as the agency responsible for protecting the president and the White House, would have been participating in them. Alarmingly, though, the times at which some of the incidents occurred indicates that if they were scenarios in training exercises, these exercises were not canceled in response to the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, but instead continued until well after the real-world crisis ended. If the Secret Service was indeed involved in exercises at the time of the 9/11 attacks, then, we surely need to consider what effect these exercises had on the agency’s ability to respond to the attacks.

Below are descriptions of eight apparent terrorist incidents that occurred around the time of the 9/11 attacks, in which the president or a location associated with the president appeared to be the target. The first two incidents involved the president himself seeming to be the terrorists’ target; the next three involved Air Force One, the president’s plane, being the apparent target; and the final incidents involved the places where President Bush lived, such as the White House, being the apparent target.

POLICE WERE ALERTED TO A MAN WHO COULD HAVE BEEN A DANGER TO THE PRESIDENT WHILE HE WAS IN FLORIDA
One of the apparent threats which involved President Bush himself seeming to be a terrorist target came to light early on the morning of September 11, when a Sudanese man called Zainelabdeen Ibrahim Omer contacted the police in Sarasota, Florida–the city Bush was scheduled to visit later that day–and alerted them to the possible danger. When police officers visited him shortly after 4:00 a.m., Omer told them a friend of his, who he referred to as “Gandi,” was in Sarasota with two companions, and he feared they might be a danger to Bush.

Gandi, Omer said, had “made several remarks in the past that indicated extremely violent thoughts.” Gandi, it was later reported, also had links to the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, a guerrilla group. Omer told the police officers that considering the man’s “past inclinations,” the fact that Gandi was in Sarasota at the same time as Bush was visiting the area “might not be coincidental.”

The police contacted the Secret Service to pass on Omer’s warning. Police officers and Secret Service agents then visited an address in Sarasota, where they found 11 Arab men. One of the men had a card for a club located near the resort in Longboat Key where Bush had been spending the night.

The men were questioned and held until Bush left Sarasota, and then released. An unnamed law enforcement source later told authors Anthony Summers and Robbyn Swan there was no evidence indicating the men were linked to the 9/11 plotters. [1] Despite occurring on September 11, the incident received almost no publicity and is still largely unknown.

It certainly seems plausible that this series of events came about because of a training exercise run by the Secret Service. Omer’s report to the police, which was passed on to the Secret Service, could have been intended to test the ability of police officers and Secret Service agents to respond to a potential threat to the president, and the 11 men found at the address in Sarasota could have been actors in the exercise, playing potential terrorists.

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