911 Blogger

Over a million dollars’ worth of diamonds and bonds were apparently stolen from an armored truck in the basement of the World Trade Center when the terrorist attacks took place on September 11, 2001, which suggests that someone–or some people–may have had foreknowledge of the 9/11 attacks and exploited the chaos they knew the attacks would generate in order to commit their crime at a time when there was minimal risk of getting caught.

Furthermore, there was an attempt to remove an unusually large amount of gold from vaults in the basement of the World Trade Center at the time of the attacks, which indicates that other people may have known in advance about the attacks and, based on their foreknowledge, tried to get the gold out before it became buried in the rubble of the Twin Towers. Whoever was transporting the gold away from the vaults apparently abandoned their vehicle and escaped to safety before the towers collapsed, which suggests they were warned in advance about the collapses and were consequently able to get away before the buildings came down.

Only a limited amount of information has been reported about these incidents, which are described below, and so it is difficult to determine exactly what happened. However, the details that have been reported certainly seem suspicious and so there is surely a need to look into these events closely.


The apparent theft of diamonds and bonds appears to have taken place on September 11 sometime between around 9:15 a.m. and 10:28 a.m., when the second of the Twin Towers collapsed. A Brink’s armored truck, driven by 68-year-old Joseph Trombino, had arrived at the World Trade Center sometime before 8:46 a.m. that day. Trombino drove his vehicle down to the underground parking garage of the North Tower to drop off $14 million in cash.

He stayed with the vehicle while three colleagues who were with him passed on the cash to some Bank of Nova Scotia guards, who put it into canvas carts to be taken to a vault in the tower. He was in the truck at 8:46 a.m., when American Airlines Flight 11–the first plane to be hijacked that day–crashed into the North Tower, many floors above him. [1]

After the crash, Trombino’s colleagues were evacuated from the tower. However, although he was parked just 100 feet from an exit, Trombino stayed with his vehicle. [2] He was in it at 9:03 a.m., when the second hijacked plane–United Airlines Flight 175–crashed into the South Tower. [3] The truck was still in the underground garage when the North Tower came down, at 10:28 a.m. Although Trombino had left the vehicle by then, he was killed in the collapse. [4]


Recovery workers found the Brink’s armored truck in the rubble of the World Trade Center just over three months later, on December 21, 2001. Lieutenant William Keegan, who was in charge of the Port Authority Police Department’s nighttime rescue and recovery operation at Ground Zero, was promptly called and told about the discovery.

Keegan immediately called Brink’s and passed on the news. He was told during the call that the vehicle’s driver, Trombino, was still missing. He was also told that the vehicle should have in it over a million dollars’ worth of valuables, comprising $250,000 in diamonds and $750,000 in negotiable bonds. He then headed out to help recover the vehicle.

After Keegan reached the location of the truck, recovery workers cleared away enough rubble to look into the cab, to see if Trombino’s dead body was inside. They found that the cab was empty, thus showing that Trombino left the vehicle before the North Tower collapsed on September 11.

Keegan then wanted to get into the back of the truck, to remove the diamonds and bonds. The back of the truck was presumably locked, since recovery workers cut into the roof with a circular saw and created an opening to get inside. A Port Authority Police Department officer went through the opening and into the vehicle to inspect it, and found it was empty. “No bonds. No diamonds. Nothing,” Keegan described. [5]

Trombino’s body was subsequently found, although it is unclear when it was discovered. Trombino’s wife, Jean Trombino, said in January 2002 that she had been told the body had been found but not where it was found. She said the family had asked where it was discovered but, she commented, “I guess we haven’t gotten the right person yet.” [6] Brink’s reported in 2014 that the body was found near the water fountain between the Twin Towers, in the World Trade Center plaza. [7] This indicates that Trombino tried to get away from the North Tower after the South Tower collapsed, presumably fearing the North Tower would come down too, but was killed when the North Tower collapsed.

The $14 million in cash that Trombino dropped off on September 11 was found in the rubble of the World Trade Center in February 2002. However, according to Keegan, the diamonds and bonds that had been in Trombino’s truck were never recovered. [8]

Trying to determine when and how the diamonds and bonds might have been taken from Trombino’s truck is a difficult task, since Trombino’s actions between when he dropped off the $14 million in cash and his death, when the North Tower collapsed, are unclear and accounts sometimes conflict.

Trombino reportedly called the Brink’s office in Brooklyn after Flight 11 hit the North Tower, at 8:46 a.m., to find out what was going on. [9] He said to the dispatcher: “Something’s happening. What should I do?” [10] He called the company from a pay phone, according to his wife. [11] But his daughter, Bo Kirby, and Brink’s have stated that he made the call on his radio. [12]

Trombino made the call at 9:10 a.m., according to the St. Petersburg Times. [13] His daughter, though, said he made it at 9:15 a.m. This was the last time anyone heard from him, she said. [14] But Jack Walter, a friend of Trombino’s, said the driver in fact made “several calls” to Brink’s that morning. [15]


It is mysterious that Trombino stayed in the underground parking garage rather than promptly getting away to somewhere safer after Flight 11 crashed into the North Tower. The driver’s three colleagues, who offloaded the $14 million in cash at the World Trade Center, were evacuated from the North Tower sometime after the plane hit it and got away unharmed. Trombino, though, remained with his vehicle. [16]

In light of the conditions he described when he called Brink’s, he should surely have thought he might be in danger and needed to get away from the North Tower as quickly as possible. He told the dispatcher that “the walls around him were starting to crumble and water was seeping into the garage,” according to Walter. [17] Before the line went dead, he said the “building was shaking and water was cascading down,” according to his wife. [18]

It seems odder still that Trombino stayed in the underground garage when we take into consideration the advice that other people reportedly gave him. For example, a police officer instructed him to move his truck, he told the dispatcher. [19] The officer told him to do so because the North Tower was unstable, according to his daughter. [20] And the dispatcher advised him to leave his vehicle and get out of the building immediately, Brink’s stated. [21]

William Keegan suggested that Trombino may have stayed with his truck because he wanted to protect its cargo or he was unaware that his colleagues had been evacuated from the North Tower and he expected them to return to the vehicle. [22] These were just guesses, though. Certainly, if the truck was locked, it should have been unnecessary for Trombino to stay with it to protect the cargo. Trombino’s family in fact said they thought that if the driver stayed with the vehicle, he would have done so not to guard the valuables in it but, instead, simply “because he thought his crew was coming back.” [23]

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