How, Where & When the 9/11 Plot Started

06 July 2021, by Anthony C Heaford / 3500 words


Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell initiated the 9/11 plot on Wednesday 24 September 1997 while based in a secure front company in Yemen. That happened two days after a visiting service technician had first spoken to them of the danger of a hijacked civilian airliner being used as a missile to strike New York's World Trade Centre. 

I was that visiting service technician. 

dave dean

Unbeknown to me at that time, my employer - a British manufacturer and exporter of printing machinery - had worked with the United State’s Central Intelligence Agency since 1986. It was my employer's US salesman Dave Dean (a US military Special Forces veteran and associate of infamous CIA contractor Billy Waugh) who I believe setup the machine sale in Chicago to furnish Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s (KSM) front company in Yemen. Dean is pictured here c.2018:

April 1997 - McCormick Place Exhibition Centre, Chicago

Executives from a London based company called Longulf Trading (the London office of the multi-billion dollar Hayel Saeed Anam Group global conglomerate) went on a remarkable shopping spree at the Converting Machinery Manufacturer’s international trade show in Chicago. They ordered about $3-million worth of top-end graphics, printing and packaging equipment for an ill-defined end-customer in Yemen.

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I was demonstrating a machine on my employer’s exhibition stand when a few men of south Asian appearance approached and enquired about purchasing one. Within ½-an-hour I'd shown them the practical bits and the salesmen were holding a signed contract for a $100,000 deal with payment to be made upfront and in full. The Longulf executives said the end customer was in Yemen, but they were very vague about the end-customer's name. First they said it was GenPak but then changed it to GemPak, after being told GenPak was an existing multi-national company. When installing the machine in Yemen in September 1997 I was told the company name was YemPak - an abbreviation of Yemen-Pakistan-collaberation. 

No delivery address or machine specifications were given and the sale was immediately referred to as suspicious  by one salesman. A second salesman responded to that suspicion by saying: 

“Don’t ask any questions, they just paid list price for our top machine."

Although present at the exhibition the company’s managing director (my Father) and his US salesman, Dave Dean, were away from the sales stand for the duration of the Longulf executives' visit, watching from a cafe overlooking the exhibition hall. I knew Dean was ex-US special forces, but he said, and I believed, he was retired. In December 2019 I discovered information linking Dean via his Special Forces service to infamous CIA contractor Billy Waugh. Waugh admits training al Qaeda in 1990s Yemen in his 2004 autobiography “Hunting the Jackal”.

Longulf Trading are a subsiduary of a multi-billion dollar Yemeni owned global conglomerate called the Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group. The HSA Group's documented links to terrorism funding are detailed at the end.

11 June 1997 — Departing Boston’s Logan Airport

At the aircraft door of a Toronto bound flight I stopped and cautioned the crew member checking boarding passes. I told her there’d been no security checks whatsoever in the airport, literally none, nada, nothing. She told me:  

“Don’t worry, that’s normal"

The next morning I was attending a service visit at an important customer in Toronto but I refused to start work until the Sunworthy Decorative factory manager had given me an assurance that he'd pass on my airport security concerns to Canadian security services, along with my business card. My caution on 12 June 1997 was:

“I think the same terrorists who attacked the WTC in 1993 will try again, but next time they’ll use a hijacked civilian airliner departing Logan airport as a missile."

I think the factory manager did say he had passed my warning on to a contact he had in the security services but there was no feedback and I was never contacted back either.

September 1997 — Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s Front Company, Yemen

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Monday 22 September the Pakistani chemistry graduate I was training to operate the machine I was installing asked about visiting New York as a tourist and specifically the WTC. My response was very specific:

“Don’t visit the WTC and take care whilst flying - I think the same terrorists who attacked the WTC in 1993 will try again, but next time they’ll use a hijacked civilian airliner as a missile."

We discussed my warning for a few minutes - I explained how I thought it could happen based on my experience at Logan airport in June - but I don’t recall an extended conversation about it. It was just a travel warning, one I’d given whenever the topic - travelling in the USA - was raised.

Tuesday 23 September the second machine operator I was training, another Pakistani national chemistry graduate, asked me about my travel warning. He asked me:

Q. What if the hijackers couldn’t smuggle guns aboard?
A. I showed him my boxcutters in my document wallet and told him I’d accidentally carried on several flights without once being stopped

Q. Where would they put the bomb?
A. I said a fully fuel ladened 767 was the bomb

Wednesday 24 September was a typical day for me, ten hours inside a windowless factory building. I spent a few hours training the factory mechanic but there were no questions about visiting New York, and no repetition of my travel warning that day. I think Wednesday 24 September 1997 was the day the 9/11 plot was initiated: 

— my travel warning was discussed with and deemed a viable attack plan by KSM

— planning was immediately passed to the Hamburg Cell [the hijacker/pilots] led by Mohammed Atta, communication likely via Yemeni national Ramzi bin al-Shibh 

— I think the future Saudi muscle hijackers were the men I met on 26 September at the training camp by al Qaidah town, just ten miles north of KSM’s front company in Taiz

— “the Chief” of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell, Hayel Saeed Anam Group HQ managing director Saeed Alrobaidi, oversaw all this. Mr Alrobaidi said he was from Oman.

Suporting Evidence:

"In September 1997, Jarrah [a 9/11hijacker/pilot] abruptly switched his intended course of study from dentistry to aircraft engineering at the Technical University of Hamburg-Harburg. His motivation for this decision remains unclear." 

The 9/11 Commission Report (2004), Page 163:

There’s a very good chance that future hijacker/pilot Ziad Jarrah made his abrupt course change application on Wednesday 24 September 1997 or very soon after, confirmation of which would provide very strong documented evidence in support of my claims.

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Thursday 25 September was the first time I saw Khalid Sheikh Mohammed; he was on the far side of the factory chatting to “the Chief”, Saeed Alrobaidi. The Chief approached me alone and casually confirmed my travel warning about a hijacked plane being used as a missile and then gave me the afternoon off. He also said a dinner companion not connected to the HSA Group would come to my hotel at about four o’clock.

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My evening walk and dinner with Yousef were interesting distractions for me but I now realise he was vetting me before two further meetings planned for the next day. We spoke about my 9/11 style attack fears. Yousef raised the possibility of more than one plane being used and we both speculated on likely reactions. Yousef specifically lamented the murder of a Jew too, the political assassination of Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin in November 1995, saying it was a lost last hope for a negotiated resolution between Israel and the Palestinians.

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Friday 26 September
was the morning I had my photo taken with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed - introduced to me as “the Engineer” . We didn’t speak or shake hands. Thirty minutes later I was at a second meeting ten miles away, at bin Laden's original training camp besides al Qaidah town, established in 1987 for Arab-Mujahideen returning from defeating the Soviets in Afghanistan. 

That second meeting at the base was cut short at my behest but I suspect if I'd stayed, lunch would've been followed by more photos - incriminating group shots of me holding or firing a Kalashnikov assault rifle perhaps, before a military helicopter ride to catch my flight from Sanaa. As it was I skipped their itinerary, opting instead for a four hour drive back to Sanaa, in an uncomfortable and somewhat unnerving silence with a new driver.

My flight’s departure had been delayed solely for me and after being whisked through Sanaa airport like a VIP, the plane took off as soon as I sat down.

Saturday 27 September I tried to raise my first concerns about the customer in Yemen. I told the first person I spoke too, my works manager, saying:

Me: "there's something very suspicious about the Yemen customer"

He said:  "Don't worry they've already paid in full” 

 I said, "No, really, there was... “ 

 He shooed me out of his office, saying "It doesn't matter"

I rasied my concerns a second time with my employer a few weeks later, asking the senior service technician where I could report my concerns about US airport security and the potential for a kamikazze hijacking terrorist attack. It was a short conversation, with him advising:

“Oh God, never say anything like that. Your card will be marked by airport security if you do. Don’t worry about it, there’s people whose job it is to look out for stuff like that."

October 1997 — Hamburg Cell Activated

Lead hijacker pilot Mohammed Atta and his second-in-command Ramzi bin al-Shibh disappeared from Germany for a few months in late 1997. They have a party upon their return in early 1998, when the Hamburg Cell coalesces. 

There are reported sightings of Atta and Shibh in Afghanistan that winter, where they may well have been, but I think their principle destination was KSM’s front company in Yemen and the training camp I visited besides al Qaidah town. I think this is where the Hamburg Cell, KSM and the Saudi hijackers formulated their 9/11 plan, starting September 1997 till about February 1998. KSM will then have presented that formulated plan to his boss in Afghanistan, the NATO backed, CIA linked, Saudi sponsored, Wahhabi Warlord Abdul Rasul Sayyaf

November 1997 — The First 9/11 Reconnaissance 

Saudi national Hani Hanjour had spent six months in the US in 1991/92 studying English language and returned in 1996 for six months when he started flying lessons but dropped out and returned home in November 1996 citing financial pressures. 

November 16 1997, fifty days after my visit to Yemen, Hanjour re-entered the US and resumed his English classes and his flying lessons. I believe this was the first reconnaissance mission specifically for the 9/11 plot.

December 1997 — My Last Warning & Another al Qaeda Meeting

New York

December 02 1997, during my last visit to the the United States I gave my clearest and most specific 9/11 warning. I gave that warning to a business owner in Brooklyn, New York during a machine installation. Mr Dan Barkochba of Ultra Flex Packaging at 975 Essex Street said he had good security services contacts and that he would pass my warning and my business card on to them. My caution to Mr Barkochba was:

“I think the same terrorists who attacked the WTC in 1993 will try again,
but next time they’ll use a hijacked civilian airliner departing Logan airport as a missile."

I visited the Empire State building the next day, photographing the World Trade Centre whilst pondering the horror and impact of such an attack. I was never contacted back about my warnings, ever by anyone. No one appeared to care.

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December 1997, close to Christmas a customer in Dubai’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (JAFZ) specifically requested that I install their recently machine purchase. My accountant sister lived in Dubai and I had visited her there before (c.1991 & 1994), but I did not know this customer or why they should specifically request that I attend.

There was nothing unusual about the visit except in hindsight: the customer’s address (PO Box 16797, JAFZ) was very similar to an address used by 9/11 accomplice and Guantanamo detainee Ammar al-Baluchi (PO Box 16958, JAFZ) in August 1998 when transfering cash from bank accounts in the United Arab Emirates. The addresses are similar enough - 16797 and 16958 - that they are very likely to have been in the same building or the same block of buildings.

January 1998 — The First Formal 9/11 Warning

Veteran field agent Robert Baer tells the CIA that

"Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is going to hijack some planes.” 

This warning originated from Qatar’s former minister of the economy and ex-chief of police, Hamad bin Jassim bin Hamad al Thani. Robert Baer passed that warning to the CIA in early 1998 and repeated it after 9/11 but he said no one was interested.

March 1998 — Meetings with al Qaeda in Dubai and MI6 in London

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Supposedly choosing to come out of retirement whilst on a family holiday to Dubai (visitng my accountant sister), my Father (JMH in customer data base entry pictured right) decided to visit the customer I’d attended at the industial Jebel Ali Free Zone three months earlier. He returned from the holiday and told me that he had seen operator problems and I needed to visit this customer again, except at our cost. I protested, saying there was nothing wrong with the work I’d done but my Father treated it very flippantly. He said not to worry and just treat it like a holiday.

I attended the Dubai customer’s factory again on what was a very strange (unnecessary) visit marked by what appeared to be the company's entire management team greeting me and giving me their contact details. In retrospect I believe both visits (December and March) were in connection to my meetings and conversations in Yemen in September 1997. I think members of al Qaeda and the 9/11 plotters will have used the opportunity to observe me, given that six months earlier in Yemen I had unwittingly told them exactly how to carryout an attack on the World Trade Centre.

Central London

Coming out of retirement once more my Father called me at work in late March and said he'd set up a business meeting for me in London the next day; I was in Scotland at the time on a planned sales trip. He told me the customer was a Mr Jones of Printo Wrappings who wanted to sign a contract for the purchase of a £50,000 machine. They - my Father and Mr Jones - wanted me to drive from Scotland and hand the contract to him personally in London the next morning. 

That summons from my retired Father was very unusual in itself, as was the meeting with Mr. Jones the next day. He had no interest in discussing the machine he was buying but he did ask me about my travels. 

I recall I was abrupt in my answers as I was perturbed by such intrusions and it ended up being a short meeting. But I had my contract signed and thought little more of this unusual meeting, until very recently. I now believe Mr Jones was my Father’s MI6 handler or contact, wanting to know more about my conversations and experiences in Yemen a few months earlier and more recently in Dubai.


I have no doubt that 9/11 was initiated by my travel warnings unwittingly given to Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell in September 1997 Yemen. I know they had talked of crashing an explosive ladened cargo aircraft into the White House before, and countless other variations on that no doubt. But until 1997 not one of them had thought of hijacking a civilian 767 airline departing Logan airport using boxcutters, then using the fuel ladened planes as missiles to strike the World Trade Centre. That was the hijacking warning I described to members of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell over a few days in late September 1997.

I've no doubt my business trip to Sheikh Mohammed’s terror cell’s front company in Yemen was a direct result of my Father’s relationships with British and American elements of the so called Security Services. His employing Dave Dean, a former Special Forces soldier turned CIA contractor, as his US sales agent for example. And his contact with Mr Jones of Printo Wrappings, a distinguished looking grey-suited man whose role I can only guess at, but surely it all must be worthy of further investigation?

The Hayel Saeed Anam Group, Pacific Interlink and al Qaeda

My employer's machine sale was made at a Chicago trade show where both Dave Dean and I were present in April 1997. The sale was made via a London based purchase agent called Longulf Trading. Longulf Trading is a subsiduary of the multi-billion dollar Yemeni Hayel Saeed Anam Group, in whose Yemeni HQ compound KSM's front company was located. KSM's front company was called YemPak - an abbreviation of Yemen-Pakistan they told me.

Since the Hayel Saeed Anam (HSA) Group founding in the British Protectorate of Aden in 1938 (the same year Saudi discovered its first commercial oil well) business has flourished for them. But the HSA Group suffered after the British Empire's ignoble exit from Aden in 1967; by 1970 the new socialist republic government had confiscated all of HSA’s assets and the group had to move to Taiz in the religiously orientated north. Reestablishing themselves from scratch, the Saeed family dynasty has enjoyed remarkable success since then.

HSA opened its London office in 1977, Longulf Trading. 

In 1984 one Saeed family member and HSA director - Abdul Rahman Hayel Saeed - gave his power of attorney for a Swiss shell company called MIGA to a known terrorist fund-raiser, Ahmed Idris Nasreddin. In 2001 the UN described Nasreddin as a supporter of terrorism" involved in "an extensive financial network providing support to Al Qaeda and other terrorist-related organizations.

Osama bin Laden was from Yemeni linage and his closest advisors in the 1980s were Yemeni too. Yemeni General Ali Mohsen was a principle conduit for Arab-Afghan Mujahideen recruits for OBL, even visiting him in Afghanistan during the War against the Soviets. In 1987 it’s known OBL requested permission to visit Yemen, and it was during that visit I think he established his training camp one mile from al Qaidah town in Ibb Governorate, the camp I visited in 1997. Ibb Governorate was also home to OBL’s last wife whom he married in 2000. It’s also widely reported that OBL gave General Mohsen $20-million around 1988, presumably to finance the camp. 

Just two months before al Qaeda was formed in August 1988 the HSA Group established Pacific-Interlink, a shipping company based in Malaysia with a global business footprint matching al Qaeda’s almost exactly. The timing coincidence (two months apart) and the logistical match make al Qaeda and Pacific Interlink being parallel organisations possible. HSA’s 1984 terrorism funding link via Switzerland and Khalid Sheikh Mohammed’s presence in their headquarters (ten miles from al Qaidah town) in 1997 make it a close certainty that Pacific Interlink is a legitimate business providing logistic support to the group known as al Qaeda, since its very inception. 

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it 
© Anthony C Heaford - The Quiet Mancunian