The Story of Indira Singh
Indira Singh has been working on Wall Street since 1975. On 9/11 she was working as a senior consultant for JPMorganChase. She was tasked with developing a next-generation, operational, risk-blueprint. Which would proactively identify exposures, including money laundering, rogue trading, and illicit financing patterns. It was in this capacity 9 months later, she became aware of the biggest threat to our country, a trans-nationally protected terrorist cartel that brought us 9/11. Indira Singh is a private pilot and a climber. Prior to 9/11, she volunteered as a civilian emergency medical technician, until she was injured at ground zero.
Indira, where were you on Sept. 11th, 2001? You were living in New York City, weren’t you?
Yes, I was living and working in lower Manhattan, a couple hundred yards away from the World Trade Center. My apartment was southwest of the site, and I worked on Wall Street for JPMorganChase.
Now, where were you on that very morning of Sept. 11th? Were you at home? Were you at work?
That morning I was at home, I was late. I was supposed to have attended a risk conference that was being held on the 106th floor of the WTC, at the North Tower, and for some reason, I woke up late and didn’t make it there. So when the first plane hit I was actually on my way out in a business suit and I turned back, changed into my EMT clothes, I was a civilian Emergency Medical Technician in New York State, and the 2nd plane hit and I basically went down to the site from that point on.
So, were your offices actually in the WTC?
No, they weren’t, they were on Wall Street itself, and there were offices that I consulted in all around the WTC, but the only reason I would have been there that morning was the risk-technology seminar. Risk Orders basically invited people from all over the world, all over the country. There were close to a hundred delegates already assembled when the first plane hit, nobody made it off the 106th floor.
And that was a meeting you were scheduled to be in, and you were simply late.
I was late.
Indira, what’s an Emergency Medical Technician, and how did you become an EMT?
Well, I was Pre-Med for many years before I went into technology but I was basically a mountain climber, I traveled to Asia many times, and when you indulge in these pretty risky activities in quite remote areas, someone ought to know how to set a broken leg or take of medical emergencies. That part of the world is itself beset with terrorist attacks, I frequently saw the results of violence, or just serious accidents, buses falling over into a ravine… So about 4 or 5 years prior to 9/11, I decided to get licensed so I would know what to do in case of an emergency. And in NYC, because it’s so dense with hospitals, there are not very many volunteer Ambulance Corps, but I did belong to one in Brooklyn, I rode a bus, (an ambulance), pretty much every Friday night… so the rules are in a multi-casualty accident, one the size of the WTC attack, it’s ‘all hands on deck’.
So, you were in a business suit on the street when the first plane hit the first tower?
Yes. I was on the out of my building, technically, and I went back and I changed into my EMT clothes and I remember that being very much in slow motion, and trying to assemble my jump-kit… I went back again for my burn sheets because we knew it was an airplane incident… a lot of little things like that are the things I remember that I did at that time.
What was it like out on the street when the plane hit the towers?
It was panic, it was absolute chaos… people were running… no one knew what had happened… a lot of people wanted to get close to see it… really, the panic happened when the first tower came down… it was utter panic. I was located south of the towers and there’s no egress there, there are only the bridges, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Manhattan Bridge, so you’re basically trapped. Most people south of the towers felt trapped. Most people tried to run towards the water and then north which is the only way you get out, but it was absolute panic. I was advising people that I saw what to do, mostly my neighbors and friends, and I remember that after the first tower collapsed, I was telling them to dress for winter, I don’t know why the words ‘nuclear winter’ kept going through my head because you couldn’t see anything, you were so close to the ground, people are small and the dust-cloud was so dense you couldn’t see in front of you… I remember calling someone in California because most of my friends on the East Coast, their lines were down or busy, so I kept calling further and further west until I got someone awake in California, it was 6 o’clock, and I asked them to turn on the TV and see what was going on because we couldn’t see anything. It was just so black.
That was actually the very next thing I was going to ask you was about the dust clouds, because I’ve seen pictures of the streets of NYC… actually I have met a woman who was an artist who was there at the time, her apartment windows were blown out, and she took pictures on the street of the devastation after the plane hit, but then, more pictures after the towers came down, and you could tell the difference in frames because after the towers came down, there was this incredible dust over everything.
That’s right, you could get lost, you couldn’t see in front of you, in fact, I got lost just going around the corners. The dust clung to all the buildings, and wiped out any writing… the shapes became very surreal. You didn’t know where you were, and that was also part of the shock, that everything that was recognizable became this gray, dark blob, and I got lost many times just going a couple hundred yards.
Was there also debris in this dust cloud? It wasn’t just fine powder, was it?
No, there was everything in it. In fact, we asked the EPA later what was in it and they said there was everything in it including human remains… suitcases, glass, there was a lot of glass, so much glass… the towers were extremely high and with the fires and the winds up there, anything that was blown out was caught in an updraft and carried, there were whole windows that were carried all the way down Broadway and made it into the East River, if you can imagine. That’s thousands of yards away, people were just staring up wondering when and where it would come down it was being carried like a piece of paper. And there were suitcases… we’re just assuming that they were in the planes, but it was so random, what got thrown out… and right around the buildings themselves, there was evidence of the usual debris, human and other remains of an airplane crash, a very serious airplane crash. So, that’s not in question. I know a lot of people think that—I’ve heard everything including ‘holograms’ flew into the WTC, well, I wonder who’s paying them to put that out there? One of the things that I couldn’t do is; I’m an amateur photographer, and I couldn’t take a single photograph, because what kept going through my mind was that this was a crime scene, and here were the remains of people’s loved ones on the street, even if it was just a body part, it was somebody’s loved one, and I know it was a crime scene, I also know it was a world event, but it just seemed horrific to me to even just photograph it… in my opinion, the way I reacted to it, I couldn’t take any photographs. I understand how necessary it was to have documented every shred of it given what’s happening now.
How long then, did you work as an EMT and what is it that you were doing?
Well, there was so much chaos … when I got there we were setting up triage sites very close to the area, the triage site that I was setting up was… to the East of Building 7, where Building 7 came down, and what we were expecting… as an EMT you’re trained for live survivors… and there were people on the pile, digging and looking for survivors, and what happened is, they would bring someone out to the nearest triage center, we would stabilize them, put them in an ambulance and send them further uptown. So we were setting up triage as close to the pile as possible… on it, in many cases. So what we were doing was setting up different kinds of stations, I.V. stations, cardiac stations, wound stations, burn stations… just trying to have an organized space. What happened with that particular triage site is that pretty soon after noon, after midday on 9/11, we had to evacuate that because they told us that Building 7 was coming down. If you had been there, not being able to see very much, just flames everywhere and dark smoke, it is entirely possible… I do believe that they brought Building 7 down because I heard that they were going to bring it down, because it was unstable, because of the collateral damage. That I don’t know, I can’t attest to the validity of that, all I can attest to is that by noon or one o’clock, they told us we had to move from that triage site, up to Pace University a little further away, because Building 7 was gonna come down, or being brought down.
Did they actually use the words brought down, and who was it that was telling you this?
The Fire Department, the Fire Department, and they did use the word, we’re gonna have to bring it down. And, for us, there observing the nature of the devastation it made total sense to us that this was indeed a possibility. Given the subsequent controversy over it, I don’t know. I’m not an engineer, all I know is that was my experience. We backed off a little bit to Pace University, there was another panic around 4 o’clock because, they were bringing the building down, and people seemed to know this ahead of time, so people were panicking again and running… I went back to One Liberty, which was further south of where I was before and there were triage sites set up in there… we were treating basically people who were on the pile digging for survivors, if there were any. And it was basically chaos. I asked who was in charge for instance, because I supposed to check in with whoever was in charge, and no one seemed to know. It was complete and utter chaos there, if there was someone in charge… the normal response units around for a multi-casualty incident, they didn’t know. One of the big problems is that so many people in the Fire Dept. and in the Police Dept. at a high level had been already killed. There was complete and utter shock and disbelief and they were still trying to sort out the details.
I know you certainly weren’t concentrating on this, but did you happen to notice any fires in WTC7?
Yes… I think there was, I couldn’t get close enough because of the smoke I couldn’t really tell where the fires where coming from, I didn’t have a bird’s eye view, I was down on the ground and there was all this rubble and devastation around me. If someone told me there was a fire in Building 7 I would have likely believed it simply because there were fires everywhere, there were fires because there was so much paper, and litter on the streets, for hundreds of yards around, there were fires everywhere, it was confetti, sort of like a ticker-tape parade. As if someone on the street set fire to a ticker-tape parade. It would all burn, in a line, so there were just flames everywhere.
What an experience. Are you still emotionally affected by this? I would imagine so…
INDIRA SINGH: Yeah, for those of us who responded, we are never prepared for anything like this. The shock of… in a lot of ways, the WTC was my backyard and to those of us who lived between the shadow of the twins, all I can basically say, this may sound silly, but I refer to the book ‘Divided We Stand’ which is a book about the building of the WTC towers, and the people who lived and worked there experienced these two controversial towers completely differently than the rest of the world… most people think that you go to the top and get vertigo looking down, but for those of us who knew, the best vertigo to be had was to be right at the bottom, hold on to one of the corners and look all the way up, you pretty much couldn’t stand, so they were mysterious international structures that were the center and the heart of our Western Civilization, basically. I thought that it was pretty remarkable that they were situated in lower Manhattan, the south end of Manhattan Island was considered sacred ground by native Americans, and a lot of people thought that one of the reasons that Wall St. was so successful was because it was built on such sacred ground. So, because… it was my choice to live there, and work there and build my career there… it hit me, it was my backyard, and my community, my neighbors, my friends, my colleagues, this was personal to us in a way that wouldn’t have been if for instance, you were just commuting into work. We were very connected to that very special area of lower Manhattan.
Now, did you work as an EMT for more than one day? How long did this go on for you?
Well, I worked pretty much non-stop, at the One Liberty triage center, it went on until Saturday or Sunday, until basically I was so sick that I was experiencing cardiac symptoms and a friend came to get me and take me out of there. I was pretty stubborn, I wouldn’t go to a hospital, but none of us really wanted to be another victim… so I was there until Sunday, I believe.
I just wanted to clarify, wasn’t it a Tuesday that this happened?
Yes. I was there fairly non-stop I don’t think I slept for more than an hour or two hours for the first 3 days. And I was at the One Liberty triage site, I was there all of that night, the night of 9/11, 9/12. That was the most remarkable night because we had nothing, we had no food, we had no coffee… I just didn’t understand how no one could know how bad it was there, we literally squeezed 30 cups of coffee out of one sorry bag of grounds! If you know anything about One Liberty, that building… there was Brooks Brothers, a very famous business clothing store for men and women, and there were coats, cashmere coats, and we had no blankets so I went upstairs to get the coats so the Firefighters would have something to keep them warm and I remember the guards thinking they couldn’t do it, so I gave them my credit card for hundreds of thousands of dollars of cashmere coats which were fairly contaminated anyway, but I remember the shift in reality, breaking all the rules, we had no food, the Firefighters broke in for food, just to get Goat cheese and chicken sandwiches, and it was simultaneously a morgue, a place for Firefighters to rest, triage station, and a place to lay out sandwiches, all there in the lobby… it was fairly incomprehensible. Outside, you could see, there was this mountain of burning debris, people with tears and horrified looks on their faces just basically arguing… there were fierce and very heated arguments about the best way to go about moving the debris to reach the survivors that we knew were still alive underneath, and we knew people were still alive, as far as I know, at least until Thursday afternoon if not Friday.
So then, you were on the scene working as an EMT until the following Saturday or Sunday, so maybe 5, 6 days?
And then what? Your health was being affected…
Yeah, I couldn’t breathe, I was experiencing cardiac symptoms, I had already treated some people, there was a 29 year-old Firefighter who went into cardiac arrest on Wednesday, so there were people who… rescue workers, who really were injuring themselves, there was glass… eye injuries were the most common because of the smoke and the debris, and the flames and the sparks from the metal cutting torches, it wasn’t uncommon to pull glass out of somebody’s eyes and for them to go right back… burning right through rubber boots… you knew that you had maybe 3 days to get somebody out of there so you were willing to go to the edge of your own safety. All the rules were broken at that point.
So are you saying that in addition to the professionals and the EMTs like yourself, were there just NY citizens in there digging through this rubble?
Well, in at least one case I know there was a young man who had broken his knee which I had splinted, I think was on Wednesday or Thursday, not sure, but he was looking for his brother, and I remember that because he didn’t wanna be moved from the site, and I think he knew that if he was moved from the site he could never come back and he would never see his brother again. So, I know they were letting him stay, so he could just stay there for a while until we evacuated him. If you weren’t there the first day, you pretty much weren’t getting in by the second or the third day. And because, believe it or not, there were people looting the bodies, we didn’t want a lot of people, a lot of chaos, there was enough chaos anyway because most of the Fire Dept. and the Police Dept., the response units, had no idea who there new bosses were because their old bosses had perished. …there’s so many levels to my 9/11 experience, just from being there because after 5 or 6 days, since I’m trained for live survivors and it was clear that… there were going to be no more live survivors, I basically returned home to see what was left of my community. That’s when the reality of how 9/11 was gonna be spun to the rest of the nation… we hit that head on because I don’t know who could possibly expect a contaminated toxic site burning… the fires burned for 3 months. The big fire went out on Dec. 18th, but the fires burned into January. I remember calling it a ‘concentration camp’ fire because they were literally cooking the remains of people, the stench was—unbelievable, and that was my backyard. And the EPA refused to declare the site unsafe, the air quality unsafe, even though they had spent enormous amounts of money protecting their own building in lower Manhattan. Basically my neighbors came to me—actually I should back up because one of the first things that we did do is, my local Firehouse had lost 14 men, Engine 4, Ladder 15, so one of the things that I did since I had organized the neighborhood with other people before is, I wanted to do a benefit. Because the Firefighter’s wives who were in desperate straits—I know that there was a lot of money that people all over the world sent in, the money was pouring in but really even at that time wasn’t getting to the right people. So I held a benefit for the local Ladder Co. and more than to raise money it was to let them know that we appreciated who they were, what they were and that our neighborhood was there and behind them, who we were and in order for us to get through this emotionally and physically we needed to do it together. It was a way to go around to all the neighbors’ houses, knock on doors, find out who was in really serious psychological or physical trouble and who wasn’t, because no one else was doing it for us. We basically had to do it. A lot of people did flee with their children never to come back, so we went around from door to door, looking at the elderly, people who didn’t have the funds to move on, and encouraged them to come to the benefit. And just to get out. To meet your neighbors and see how you’re doing. A lot of people could not because they were still burying their dead, and a lot of people did come, and they thought it was a wonderful thing. But immediately after that, the neighborhood, we began to schedule meetings because we liked it and needed it, to be with each other… I set up neighborhood post-traumatic stress counseling with Safe Horizons, these groups were beginning to form… and hold group counseling sessions, now, those counseling sessions, what everyone wanted to talk about was how physically sick we were. And how the emergency rooms and doctors did not know what to do for us. They had no idea what to do for us. We were exhibiting symptoms, physical symptoms… they didn’t know what it was.
What kind of time frame is this? Where are we since 9/11?
Right. I held the benefit October 29th, 2001… the first neighborhood meeting was early in November, and we had at that point connected with a similar thing that was going on the other side of Broadway, in Battery Park City they were organizing there because they were experiencing exactly the same things we were. So, we were beginning to coordinate lower Manhattan, we were beginning to organize and coordinate. We wanted, for instance, one person per building that would speak on behalf of all the tenants, come to meetings and try to get the politicians to do something with this EPA that had the nerve to look at a toxic waste dump burning out of control for 3 months and say that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the air. And I believe even Christy Todd Whitman, she has reversed her opinion but there were very bitter, heated meetings at the Senate hearings that our local politicians held during that time—this is November, 2001—basically everyone had been breathing that smoke for 6 to 8 weeks and it was beginning to show up.
I can’t believe that the government, the City, the State, they weren’t doing anything for people?
No, they were not. I mean the local politicians were, Gerry Nadler, and Sheldon Silver, state and local Democratic leaders, who also lived down there, were livid. And I gave testimony at those hearings—we were angry, because we were still in shock from 9/11 and could not believe this administrative betrayal would be so obvious, and of course on the news the whole focus was the Afghanistan War and ‘Where’s Osama bin Laden?’, and the anthrax attacks. Most of the news of lower Manhattan was blacked out, for instance, there were, at least that I know of, 11 anthrax scares, 11 times that buildings were evacuated for anthrax scares that caused huge commotions and panic runnings in the street that reminded everyone of 9/11.
That was never reported.
Are you talking about NYC, or Washington, DC?
NYC. Lower Manhattan specifically.
No, I never heard about that.
No, and um, so much went on that went unreported… see, it was considered unpatriotic to dwell on how bad things were down there. I don’t know of any other way to put it except—there was one morning, a father brought his 7 year-old son near the barges where they were taking away all the debris, the smoldering debris, they would truck the smoldering debris through our streets at night and off load them onto barges on the East River or wherever… they were still smoldering! I remember one father brought his 7 year-old kid there to see what the terrorists had done, and we tried to tell him that this was toxic stuff and his child was too young to smelling and breathing this, and he seemed to think it was his patriotic duty to bring his child to smell this, or inhale this toxic stuff and we realized that the world had gone crazy. But, yeah, they were spraying for cholera, all the way down to Water St. in October and November. None of that went reported.
At one point, I noticed that you testified as to your physical symptoms and how this had affected your health. What did happen to you, just on a physical level?
It’s an interesting question because I was in excellent physical condition for my age and gender and I was training for an 8,000m mountain climb, so aerobically I knew I could be up at 19 – 20,000 feet, no oxygen, doing a fair amount of aerobic activity… what happened to me is—what happened to all of us basically, and it doesn’t sound very nice, but this is what happened—we had sores—some Firefighters I know still have these horrific sores all over their body, our hair fell out, eye infections, shortness of breath, Adult-onset Asthma, chronic coughs, tiredness, extreme fatigue, cardiac symptoms, heart palpitations where you never had any before, irritability, a lot of symptoms that were consistent with neurotoxic poisoning, those were just the physical symptoms, and in some cases people reported that their hair fell out and even their dental work fell out. And to me they were consistent with signs of radiation poisoning. However, the toxic cocktail that had been burning there… I think a California group went in and analyzed and pretty much came up with the determination that there were about 900 contaminants, 200 different kinds of dioxins, we had the particulate matter the asbestos, the concrete, they had said that particles were ground so fine that they were the smallest particles ever produced in history. And they blew past all our barriers and got lodged right in our lungs and most of us who were exposed to that are suffering from something called reactive airway disease syndrome, which is something that the coalminers get. What it means is that from that point on, you cannot be around anything much that triggers an asthma attack. Stomach problems… anytime we were ill or not feeling right, the 9/11 health services and the Red Cross would try to get us into counseling, and to me at the end of all of this, it seemed that we experienced the same thing that the Gulf War of other civilians who were exposed to local superfund site disasters, were all told it was in our head. That’s exactly what went on down in 9/11, the WTC is just another massive superfund site and we were told it was in our heads. So if we weren’t feeling well, if we were irritable… you had the feeling that it was just you. It wasn’t until I went to a detox program and got together with everyone else and compared symptoms we realized that this was an epidemic.
So traditional medicine, and I guess you mentioned before the doctors, didn’t know how to treat this…
No they didn’t, and even the Firefighters told us to go for—they said us the Chinese medicine worked… alternative… never so fast, in the history, I think, of the world had so many people who swore all this alternative stuff was junk, never so fast did they just turn around to acupuncture, and this therapy, and that therapy because, we were all in trouble. So some people took a mixture of the traditional medicine and alternative medicine… one of the things that I had insisted on in Nov. was that the hospitals start recognizing and opening programs for the residents, and I just found out that Mt. Sinai had just got funding for a WTC Program, but it was only for rescue workers. And Dr. Levin, who headed that program, because I was at the meetings advocating for the neighborhood said, “You’re sick, you can come down here. We only have room for 200 people but I’ll make sure you can get in.” The earliest appointment was Dec. 7th, 2001, and I said, “Well that’s fine, what do I go back and tell my neighbors? Because I was a rescue worker I’m eligible for your… program and they’re not?” So when the first programs began to be configured, it was only to monitor what our symptoms were and to track us over time. There were very little intervention programs available to us at the beginning. And in many cases the baseline tests were lost.
The ‘baseline test’, what do you mean by that?
Well, what happens is when you go to the WTC Program, you are evaluated, your pulmonary capacity, your cardiac, your blood, they test it for Mercury, heavy metals, a lot of heavy metal poisoning, lead and what’s in computers and modern buildings, pretty much everything… So a lot of those tests, that I heard from other people sitting in the waiting room, that I followed up with later, they couldn’t find them, they were lost, they were trucked somewhere, what happened is the programs were funded for maybe 6 months, and then some other group would come in and fund it so they would start over again, so… we were very jaded and wondered if that was deliberate or just normal administrative incompetence.
And what about your apartment? I assume you were living in an apartment in Manhattan…
… basically my apartment, when I came back, remember I’m walking on the streets and it’s completely contaminated, I walk into my apartment, the dust was everywhere. On everything. The dust fell for years. Particles were so small, the dust kept falling for years. Our dust patterns were such that if you dusted in the morning, 2 hours later you had to dust again. And every time we cleaned, we would get sick. And that’s why we called the EPA to find out what was in it. We would get really sick. To the point where we couldn’t move, we felt paralyzed, almost. Because the EPA decided that nothing was wrong with the air, they wouldn’t provide cleaning, so we had to do it ourselves. And I know a lot of the corporations hired cleaners, undocumented workers, many of whom got horrifically sick, and died. I actually went to the CDC in Dec. and insisted, and I was pretty out of control at that time, that they start a second body count because my neighbors had already started dieing. Basically, if you were elderly or had some kind of illness when 9/11 hit and you were living there, you probably didn’t make it.
Did they ever come up with the causes of the deaths?
No. They wouldn’t. A lot of people left, knew that the area was making them sick, so they scattered, and as a result we have lost the ability to track people. A lot of people who came to help us I’m sure came back home—I’m sure even Firefighters from California went back home with symptoms and the reason I know this is I talked to rescue workers who came from New Jersey and Pennsylvania, and I spoke to them as recently as 6 months ago. There are real macho types and they don’t want to admit to things and they would say well, ‘has this happened to you, too’. And I go, ‘yes, it does, it’s happening to all of us, and if you know other people who were down there, there is a way to fix it, but full-body steroids is not the way!’
Indira you mentioned a little bit earlier this very, very fine particulate dust, and you mentioned a report that talked about this particulate matter, what is that report, does it have a name?
There were several reports, because of the investigations that I ended up doing later, I put a lot of the environmental stuff away, I’m sure that if somebody googled it they could probably come up with it, it’s something that I’d have to go through my files and look for. A UPI reporter, by the name of Alex Cukan, she was amazing, she helped us through it, and she got the key stories out in Dec. and April, and in May when the EPA suddenly agreed to clean based on political and community pressure. But that was 9 months later. Alex Cukan talked to us and told us what to expect… and set our expectations about what the government would and would not do for us, and boy was she ever right. We owe her a huge debt for just helping us get through that time. Some of the things she told us, she said after an incident like this, the one month anniversary, the 3 month anniversary, the 6 month anniversary are gonna be really hard, the one year is gonna be horrific… I can’t thank her enough.
Now, your health has improved greatly since you went through detox, hasn’t it?
Yes it has… what happened is when the towers fell, I know it registered on the Richter scale, and for instance, the Federal Reserve Building, their walls cracked and there are actually signs if you go on a tour through there were you can see evidence of it, well, the building I lived in was a landmark building, very old, Revolutionary War-era and it cracked as well. So we had what the maintenance people called the 9/11 blob moving through the walls and re-contaminating us… But something very odd happened, we ended up getting the same kind of mold and fungus that was in the Deutsche Bank Building, which was right opposite the WTC and we don’t know why but it was also in my building, in my apartment. So in addition to all the dust we were exposed to this 9/11 fungus, or mold, or whatever, that came through. So after I went through detox, I was still living in the apartment and I was coming back down with symptoms and that’s when they advised me to leave and go to California, the doctors there did and so I needed to get out of the apartment as it was re-contaminating me.
Did I hear you correctly when you said your apartment went back to the Revolutionary era?
Yes, it’s basically a ‘George Washington slept here’ kind of block. The building had been built and rebuilt and rebuilt several times so when I left in 2004, last year, and came out to California, and began to pay attention to the other injuries I had sustained down there, for the longest time it was all about my lungs and organs that were being affected. I didn’t get around to the orthopedic injuries until last year.
Orthopedic injuries with regard to what? Stumbling around?
Yeah, there was a rescue worker stampede off the pile, because buildings were so unstable that it was hard to see if something would fall and collapse, so there would be a signal, 3 bells and a whistle, and people would rush off the pile, they were working in teams, 19 teams, 20 exits and I just got caught up in one of those and I got basically trampled, but, you were in another world when you were down there. You weren’t feeling pain at all. People could work with broken fingers, and just… adrenaline levels were just so high you didn’t even notice anything. …for those of us who sought compensation for some of our injuries, especially if we didn’t have health insurance, because everyone lost their jobs because of what happened there, it is something that rescue workers will not even notice that are injured for at least 2 or 3 months before they calm down and start paying attention to themselves.
So you worked as an EMT for 5 or 6 days, you continued to live in Manhattan, in that apartment for an additional three, three and a half years?
Yes, that’s correct. I have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress, but I try not to—what happened is that in order for me to be taken seriously by CBS, by any investigator, I had to put all of that away. Because they said, you know, she’s just some stressed out—I had to bury it. And it was very hard for me, even having gone through the administrative betrayal of the EPA, and the government denying us—that they had deliberately allowed this to happen. See, that’s as far I knew, that they deliberately let this happen. It wasn’t until much later, I knew so much more, that not only did they deliberately—that they actually were involved with it. What I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt by the ending of May, 2002, was that they had deliberately looked the other way and that for me, before Ground Zero had closed, was like going to the bottom of the pit again. It was like 9/11 all over again.
…now, all of this time before 9/11 and subsequently, you were working. Where were you working?
September 11th I was a senior consultant for JPMorganChase and Risk. I had cycled through several of their Risk areas as an enterprise architect, or an information architect, technology architect… which basically means that you take a look at the entire enterprise and come up with a blueprint, make sure that all the systems, not just one system, but all the systems, the blueprints for all the systems that are developed to support the business, are in-line, in tune with the business goals and the business architecture and the business processes and where the business is going. So it’s pretty high-level, we call it the CXO level, or the Chief Information Officer, Chief Technology Officer levels and there are disciplines and methodologies and very esoteric software that’s used to manage this. I did that at JPMorganChase and I also worked for a small company in Washington, D.C. that was doing some very innovative work regarding technology interoperability, they were developing some inference engines to think about how to put technology architectures together and I wanted to use that for my risk work, basically. …we were seeking funding from Incutel which was the CIA’s information technology seeking arm, I had been spending pretty much every Friday, Thursday-Friday down in D.C. trying to get that project off the ground, and trying to get it funded.
So, at this time you were working for two different companies?
Could you explain a little bit about what ‘Enterprise Architecture’ is, and some of the other terms you’ve used, you’re talking about information technology, and data, right?
It is, but at some point, the systems and the computers that are used in a business are used to support the functions and processes of that business, and at the highest level, for instance, in a Bank, they have trading floors, they have retail operations, and they need systems that will help execute the business, help conduct the business, and clear to all the front office, middle office, back office, kind of functions, make sure that all the business efforts are consolidated and reported on and comply with the rules internal and external that govern the industry. So it’s a fairly tall order. And the end of the day, you want your systems that are for instance doing trading swaps in Tokyo, to be consistent with those systems that are trading something else in New York, and at the end of the day you wanna know what your total business was, and if you want to change your product service offering, that means your systems have to change in sync with it. And so the best way to make this happen is to work off blueprints rather than have one-off systems, so pretty much everyone has a business blueprint, a technology blueprint, and various other aspects of everything that works together, it’s pretty much like what you would expect if you were building a building, you couldn’t just go in with a load of bricks and put them down. Similarly, you couldn’t just go in with a bunch of computers and expect to help run the business, you need some form of blueprint, so Enterprise Architecture is the discipline, and we use the word architecture as the blueprinting of the business and resources and systems that help implement and support it.
This sounds like it’s highly technical.
…it’s highly technical but what’s interesting about this is it requires you to understand the business inside out, so it’s not only the technology that you need to know about, but you also need to know the intricacies of banking, and in banking it’s all about ‘risk’. So, it’s about credit risk, it’s about operational risk, it’s about market risk, and so on. …which is why I was pioneering the field of Risk Enterprise Architecture, or Risk Architecture, and why I called myself a Risk Architect, because my point was that unless you really understood risk management, and Enterprise Architecture and merged the field, you really weren’t going to get that synergy between where the business was headed, and what you needed to make sure nothing went wrong in the business, (which was risk management), keep that, and all those rules and goals and ideas in sync with the systems, which are implemented to conduct the business. So, you needed a pretty smart piece of software to think about this to even blueprint all of this, and once you’ve blueprinted it, to keep track of what was going on in the organization, and to make sure that every system was in sync or the results of the business transactions and the bank were in sync with… what should be.
So in your position with risk management with JPMorganChase, were you developing software to do this?
Yes, I was developing the methodology, how to think about it, that was Part One. Part Two was gaining consensus firm-wide that this was the way, for instance, we were going to look at operational risk management, this was how we were going to look at operational risk management at JPMorganChase, and once everyone had agreed to that, we were going to phase in by developing software that would help implement it. So, it was a multi-phase project. Of course the agreement was done at a very high level, once we had gotten the agreement, we would go out and look at vendors that would help us implement our ideas.
And so you were developing an architecture then that would take a look at all aspects of the business at JPMorganChase.
Right, in real-time. Because the thing about risk… in the financial industry over the past 10 years, you have these huge horror stories, for example Berings, where you had a rogue trader that basically exploited holes in the system and by the time he was caught it was too late, the bank went down, and brought a lot of other businesses and enterprises down. So we wanted to move from a reactive to a proactive way of looking at what was going on, you wait until the horse is bolted too far out of the barn—you really have to take a look at what’s going on, because financial crimes can be so complex, money laundering, it’s not just looking at one transaction it’s looking at a whole pattern or system over time of transactions to see what someone might or might not be up to. And then of course there are the normal errors that occur, innocent errors, careless errors, that sort of thing.
I remember that case that you mentioned with Barings, wasn’t that trader in Singapore?
Yes, he was… and really it was because he was allowed to take positions, that if someone was paying attention, they would have stopped him before he went too far… there is, in banking and financial institutes, a number of transactions… how shall I put this… wherein we are basically forced to look the other way. So, it becomes a matter of not knowing… not knowing what’s what. For instance, in my work in credit risk, I could not get compliance in certain offices, to comply with the informational blueprint, no matter who I went to. There was just never going to be compliance. So I just wrote up what I saw, and I figured as long as I could write, and the regulators could read, that was it. I wasn’t gonna go any further than that as a senior consultant, I had done my job. I could bang my head against the wall maybe a little bit more than others, but I know that there were other analysts, other risk managers who for instance with some of the vehicles that were used, were created to support the activities of Enron, they were highly incensed and they left the firm… that’s a whole other show!
Now, Indira while you were developing this software you had to go to an outside vendor, right? To either develop additional software or help you with what you were doing… and you considered going to Microsoft or IBM or some other tech-type company.
…imagine you have a huge blueprint and you decide that for this piece of it, you’re going to develop it in house or for this piece of it, you can get some off the shelf software, but for the most important pieces of it you might have to go to a specialty house, and at the end of the day, you would have your own operational risk management system. The most important piece that we wanted to have developed was not found in Microsoft or IBM, however it was found with a small company, and when small companies have ‘boutique’ software, they usually align themselves with a larger company… because software is generally provides some very high-level functionality, chances are a major corporation will want to use it and major corporations tend not to want to deal with very small companies, for very good reasons. What happens if they’re poorly managed and go out of business? Then a very critical piece of their software is all of a sudden no longer available for the business. So, most of these small companies do align themselves with larger companies, so we would go an IBM and say, ‘do you have any alliance with a smaller vendor that you think is pretty good in this field’, or the other field and of course we utilize that tactic in fulfilling our software requirements.
So who did you wind up consulting with or choosing to work on this software with you?
I went to the gurus in the industry including those in D.C. who were in enterprise architecture which is a pretty select field, pretty small niche, fairly high-level people, I showed them pretty much my ideas, what I wanted to do, and I asked them for recommendations, to come up with a list of 2 or 3, and I’m a very consensus-oriented person and they actually said P-Tech… They recommended this company that was based in Boston, actually a suburb of Boston, Quincy, by the name of P-Tech, which stands for ‘Process Technology’. I didn’t know very much about it, I had utilized consultants prior, who had used P-Tech and were very familiar with it and spoke highly of the capabilities of the software, and so I moved ahead with it, especially when I found out they had forged an alliance with IBM and IBM was basically their corporate “big brother” that would fund them and shepherd them through, give them marketing opportunities. Because they had signed an agreement with IBM, we were able to bring in the company under IBM security clearances and non-disclosure agreements that IBM had JPMorgan because it was a very large company, most large companies have agreements with the major software vendors, like IBM or Microsoft. So, that’s how we were evaluating many software packages, software houses, risk houses, and P-Tech was one of several that came on board.
So now, you invited them over for a business meeting to see whether or not you wanted to hire them.
I had basically been told, “Why not P-Tech?”, April 28th, 2002. So, in the following weeks I had worked out the details with IBM, with our security, with my supervisors, with my boss, with the various other groups that would be interested for instance, in any large company you can’t make unilateral decisions, especially if dealing on an enterprise level, you have to get buy-in with the various technology advisory boards which are internal, and a lot of people were interested in evaluating P-Tech, my project was one of the first out the door so, we had pretty much a lot of consensus that this was the thing to do, bring them in. And that took a couple of weeks so it wasn’t until the 3rd week of May, 2002 that everything was clear for them to come up, we had pre-arranged that they would have a one-day session with us and would provide a presentation to a group of high-level people in risk and other corporate departments that I was responsible for assembling. And one of the important characteristics that we wanted to have tested was the ability to change things on the fly, the adaptability and flexibility of the software. And in order for us to test that out, we set them a test, basically. That they would arrive at the premises at a particular time, and they would modify their software to address some of our requirements, and we would then demo this at one or two in the afternoon and make a decision whether we would go to the next step, and bring them on board for the next level of software development. So, we had a number of conversations in how we would set up the presentation prior to this. A lot of emails confirming who would be there, security clearances, their backgrounds, what would happen pretty much on an hour-to-hour basis.
So Indira, how did your meeting with P-Tech go?
Well, they came a little late, immediately there were some issues with how the day would proceed, for instance, they showed up without the agreed on software in hand. The most important thing about it is that their chief scientist, Dr. Hussein Ibrahim came. He’s an Egyptian-American and he had a very good reputation in the field, very bright, someone you would like working with. Very knowledgeable. But they had showed up without the software, and what I had done was isolated a work station, took it off the net, after all we were testing whether this software would meet our criteria, and if I had said it did, then that would be a big deal if it subsequently couldn’t so we needed to start with an out-the-box version of P-Tech. They didn’t bring that, and Dr. Ibrahim said that’s not a problem, we can develop the demo on his laptop. And if you know anything about these things… that’s a no-no, because at the end of the day, he’s walking out the door and I don’t have anything and he’s walking away with pretty much enough of how we’re thinking about doing operational risk. Operational Risk is about how to spot bad things that are going on in a financial institution, things like rogue trading, money laundering, and so on and so forth. And it’s very subtle, our intellectual property, at least what JPMorgan was hiring me for, was to think innovatively, out of the box, in the next generation, how do you proactively design a blueprint to spot these things? It was pretty big. These people are definitely smart enough to get an idea, “Oh, they’re thinking of going down this road!” It’s a big deal. So, I was the risk person, so I was very aware not to expose our intellectual property, or that of the company I am consulting for, I’m very protective. So, they showed up without the software, and that was a huge enough red flag that I began paying attention to them. A couple other things went on and within half an hour I just walked over to the same people who had recommended them and began calling and I said to one of them, “I have the P-Tech people here” and the reaction was not the reaction I would have ever expected. It was, “What are they doing on site!?” “Well, you recommended them…” and they said, “No, you should come through a distributor, an American distributor.” And I said, “Uh-uh, JPMorgan reserves the right to work directly with a company and besides which, they are a preferred vendor of IBM.”… and that’s the way we work, we don’t work for small distributors, if we’re going to go with this software as a standard, we’re gonna go right to the source, and make the agreements there. So I said, “What is the problem?” and basically this person said, “Don’t let them out of your sight.” And that’s when my stomach sank. So, you have to understand that all of a sudden I’m beginning to see these people in a different way, because when they said, “Don’t let them out of your sight”, I have a Middle Eastern company there, and we’re taught not to discriminate, that was not something that I was about to do… so that is never going to be a bone of contention, although later people made that an issue. But if I had a problem working with a Middle Eastern company, they would have never been there in the first place, much less before Ground Zero closed… no problem whatsoever having them up there.
What do you mean P-Tech was a ‘Middle Eastern’ company?
Well, that’s what subsequently was revealed in the phone calls, that their financiers, their founder, their investors, were all Saudis. And I said, “So? What?” And they said, “One Saudi has been placed on the US terror list, October 12, 2001.” It got very quiet and I said, “You better have proof of that because having thrown that into my lap now, this is not something that I can ignore. I have to follow up on it.” This is not something I could ignore, or pretend would go away or have someone else handle. This is risk management, the highest levels of one of the largest banks in the world, it is my responsibility to deal with this. And I said, “How can I get proof of this?” And that’s when they started saying, you need to talk to Jeff Goins, one of 3 people in P-Tech who knew of this relationship. You see, it was that well hidden within P-Tech. And so I subsequently called Jeff Goins and I said, “If this is true… (P-Tech is a private company, so this information would only be privy to those on the inside.)… did you report it anywhere? That someone who has been placed on the US terror list is Key Funder, Angel Investor, to a company whose software is utilized at the highest levels of almost every government and military and defense organization in this country, including, the Secret Service, the FBI, the Department of Defense, the House of Representatives, the Treasury Dept., the IRS, the US Navy, the USAF, and, last but not least, the FAA.”
Are you saying these were all P-Tech clients?
These were all P-Tech clients, so when I was evaluating them, I was pretty impressed. “Why not P-Tech?” Exactly, they’re being at the highest levels of all of these organizations, so I was very excited about using them and having their software be able to be at the heart of what I wanted to develop. And I had no reason to believe that if they were in use everywhere, at that caliber, that I would have a problem. They were also used at Enron, perhaps I should thought twice about that, but uhm, they’re in use at IBM of course, and the top accounting firms, and even in the FBI. In Mitre—
What is Mitre?
Mitre is a large company that does specialized technology for defense and intelligence, you would not expect to have an exposure with a company that was so well-entrenched and embedded in these kinds of organizations.
So what about the meeting then, did they leave?
No. Because basically my position was until I had proof, I could not react. That would have been very unprofessional of me, and so I thought of a number of scenarios that could be going on, at that point I felt that it might have been competitiveness, out of control distributors wanting the JPMorgan account… it could have been anything. However, the one thing that was true is that the chief investor, Sheik Yassin Kadi, was indeed placed on the US terror list, because while I was still talking to them, while they were still there, I checked out a website that had a list of everyone who had been placed on the terror list. The missing piece was of course proving that Sheik Yassin Kadi was indeed affiliated with P-Tech, was an owner of P-Tech, because it was a private company. You could say that anybody was an investor, anybody good guy or bad guy was an investor, proving it was another thing. So I let everything ride, but I kept an eye on things, in fact we did have a presentation that went very, very well, because in no way shape or form was I going to jeopardize that.
So what happened next? Did you go on working with them or did you start to investigate P-Tech?
Well, I continued multitasking, I was working them, I place a few phone calls and people got back to me later that day, while they were still on premises. So I was able to separate the concerns, accomplish the task, evaluate the software, anyway, start the phone calls to start getting more information. Then my report would have been, “This is the software, it’s used everywhere, it can do what we want it to do, however, we have this issue with the company…” and present that to my superiors and let them decide.
Then did you start investigating the company?
INDIRA SINGH: Yes, what happened next was, I spoke with Jeff Goins and he told me that basically not only was Yassin Kadi an investor, but that a Yacub Mirza was on the Board of Directors and he had been the subject of Operation Green Quest. Many of his Herndon, Virginia vehicles and companies, and financing companies had been raided in March, 2002. And again, Mirza was on the Board of Directors. As we spoke, other names started to come out, my head was pretty much spinning at this point, and I said, “Have you reported any of this to the FBI?” And the answer came back, “Yes. I wrote a report to the FBI.” And I said, “Okay, if the boss in the FBI has been told, I need to speak with people there.” Because, it wasn’t just my group that was evaluating them, it’s so many other groups, but couldn’t believe that if this was all true that P-Tech was still being used by the DOD, there’s something a little bizarre about all of this, and really, I was beginning to understand, unwillingly, that the world was not the way we thought of it.
Now this person you were discussing this with, Jeff Goins? Was he an employee of P-Tech?
Yes, he was. He was one of the key people at P-Tech. He held several important positions, he traveled to Saudi Arabia and he had met with Yassin Kadi and he had met with most of the ambassadors. His last position was as Vice President of Sales, which for a small company is pretty significant. He worked with P-Tech, helping build the company for 5 years, and he was the one that was based in Virginia who was responsible for getting a lot of the government accounts. With of course, Oussama Ziade, who was the President. Oussama Ziade is a Lebanese American, who according to Jeff got his citizenship under very questionable circumstances, which involves the INS. Now, this is all according to Jeff, so at some point later in the week, I had decided to go down to Virginia and meet with not only Jeff but a number of other P-Tech and ex-P-Tech employees, because this was beginning to sound like a Tom Clancy novel. And I needed proof, I told them I need emails, I needed documents, I needed hard evidence, but in the meantime, within a day or two, I had contacted my rep at IBM, and I said, “I need to walk outside with you and talk about something. If you guys are thinking about seriously getting in bed with this company, I would suggest that you do some background investigation, so that your clients like JPMorgan and myself don’t end up in this situation.” His name was Kyle Hiligoss, Kyle told me that he wrote a “book report” and sent it to his legal department, and he was told to just back off the whole thing, in fact he didn’t want to have anything to do with me as I continued investigating. Jeff did get the agents at the FBI, the Boston FBI office to call me back, and with Kyle listening in, so it wasn’t just me reporting on what Jeff had said, we spoke to the FBI agent who had picked up the information that Jeff had reported on P-Tech when Yassin Kadi was placed on the terror list in October, 2001. Remember, this is 8 or 9 months later, so my question to him is, “If you have an investigation that is ongoing, that’s fine, we don’t want to get involved with it or impede it in any way, but in the meantime, this country’s infrastructure is seriously exposed… I need some evidence, something that you can give me to hang my hat on when I report this, that this is true, that this isn’t just somebody making a terrorism report.” And what he said was, “Indira, you’re in a better position on the outside to get the proof that’s needed, than I am.” And I asked him to check with his supervisor, and I said, “You understand how serious this is? To have a company with this alleged terrorism connection at the highest levels of corporate America and the US infrastructure? If you don’t know, we need to make you aware of this.” He apparently went to his supervisor; the supervisor said that the position wouldn’t change. And the Boston FBI office… it was rated as one of the worst in terms of corruption. And I believe the Whitey Bulger incident… the connections between the FBI and the Mafia have been… extremely well explored in the Boston FBI office, the ex-Governor of Massachusetts, I believe… anyway, this mob character, Whitey Bulger’s brother was in a very high level political position in Massachusetts, in Boston, and in fact if people were to read Peter Lance’s book, “Cover-Up”, he explores it very well, and it backs up a lot of what I had found here, the interaction between organized crime and the FBI. So, when they said that they weren’t going to proceed, I said, “I need something to hang my hat on.” So he sent me a videotape. And the videotape, which I have here, the substance of the videotape was a news clip. It was a news clip of a CBS affiliate based in Boston called WBZTV, and their investigative reporting team, the ‘I-Team’, which was led by investigative reporter, Joe Bergantino, had investigated a number of Middle Eastern men who were sought after 9/11, they were affiliated with Muslim Islamic terrorism-financing charities. He had created this clip to show the connection between the 9/11 terror attack and the financial vehicles that were supposedly used to fund it. And what he did was very interesting, the I-Team connected CARE International, not the big CARE International, but something called CARE International that was based in Boston, all the way back to Al Kifah, which was the financing vehicle at the center of the WTC bombing in 1993, all the way back to Maktab al Khidamar, which means ‘the Office’ which was a financing vehicle that was set up by the CIA, for the Pakistani ISI, back in the days when Osama bin Laden was America’s fair-haired boy, and was on our side fighting with the Mujahadin, fighting the Soviet Union. So, the question to me was, my goodness, what was Maktab al Khidamar doing being run out of P-Tech on 9/11? And the reason I say being ‘run out of P-Tech’ is that the faces in the videotape were the faces of core employees at P-Tech. Now, remember, this is a small company, there are only one or two people who had access to the source code at P-Tech and that is a very trusted position, and he was one of them, his name was Suheil Laheir. The people who started CARE International, some of them were actually on a FBI terror watch list prior to 9/11, in Boston.
What do you mean by the ‘source code’.
Well all software products has some group or organization or person who writes code that is then packaged up, and for instance the Word Processor on your desk, the spreadsheet and so on and so forth, the browser, it’s all written in some sort of code, those are the keys to it, and if you wanted to improve it, add new functionality, you would change the original code and add new functionality and then repackage it and send it out there. So whoever had access to the source code at P-Tech, that was where the value was, if you lost the source code you essentially lost the product for all intents and purposes from a marketing point of view. So only one or two people would have access to the source code, it would be like having the formula for Coca Cola, basically.
Now, let’s go over that a little bit, again. You were talking about CARE International, and some other funding groups that have been funding international terrorism…
…and also have been funded by what, the CIA?
Well the roots of Al Kifah and CARE International… were way back in the late 80’s, around the time of Iran/Contra, for instance. Maktab al Khidamar was set up so that monies could be passed to Osama bin Laden and the Mujahadin when they were fighting the Soviets. Now, I won’t go into a lot of detail but it ended up that Osama bin Laden took that over, and was running Al Qaeda through that. The connections to the Pakistani ISI still stood, the connections to the CIA still stood, not in the way that was originally set up, but through a black or a gray operation, that had been later confirmed to me. By the end of the day when I was finished with certain parts of the investigations, it was clear to me that there was no way P-Tech could have done all of this without a lot of inside help. And that’s what I began focusing on, that it was a cutout, it was a front, was it a regular CIA front, was it a clandestine front, what was it? …there are walls within the FBI, walls within the CIA, behind which these operations take place, and who is behind those operations, is a key question. Now, people might say, “Oh, this is all conspiracy theory”, but I would like to remind people that ‘conspiracy’ is very much recognized by the US Federal Code, and it’s called RICO racketeering and influence and it’s very much recognized because there’s so much power in these organizations that they have rules in place, for instance, the DCIA, the Director of CIA, cannot after his term of DCIA subsequently run for Vice President or President, which is what happened with George Herbert Walker Bush, that rule was bent for him. He went on from being the DCIA to running for Vice President. That’s a no-no.
It sounds like you’re describing an interlocking relationship than, between this software company, funded by Saudis, and funded by whomever, the US government, US corporations, and then, known groups globally that are accused of staging terrorist attacks… it’s all of a piece.
Absolutely… and one of the things I wanna say is maybe those organizations don’t fully know who their masters are. P-Tech is the one thread, the one golden thread you pull on, all of this is unraveled. Because it goes into the corporations, it goes into these government entities, it goes into the terrorism financing entities… none of which have been taken to task… there are just so many questions about what does this all mean? And as I investigated further, we found that the origins of P-Tech were very interesting. Where did this company come from? Obviously, that is the first question. And how did they get to be so powerful? Who were the people, who were the organizations that brought them in who knew, who gave them the power?
Who for instance signed off on the Ziade’s citizenship without doing background checks? Who said that they ‘had a bad feeling’ doing that? …I remember that P-Tech’s competitor’s, US companies, were extremely annoyed at the fact that they could not get equal time, all the plum contracts were going to a foreign-owned company. And I said, “Well, did you know that they were foreign-owned? And if they were foreign-owned, they could not get certain classified projects…” and he said, “Indira, everyone knew that they were Saudi-owned and that meant that they got favorable treatment on Capitol Hill.” And I said, “Well, are you saying that they just got ‘favored treatment’ or there’s something more going on?” They wouldn’t answer, their lawyers instructed them not to answer, so they knew a lot of what was going on.
Who were you talking to about this?
Well, in one particular case I was talking to one of their competitors, Popkin Software… I have no problem naming names, because I think that in the memory of 3,000 US civilians and world-wide civilians who were murdered, if we are going to wage wars and spill blood around the world, we oughtta take a look at this, and just have the truth come out, because the truth has not come out. There’s been a lot of speculation, there’s been a lot of innuendo, but there hasn’t been hard proof, and P-Tech is the one situation where you can get hard proof. When we investigated P-Tech and the people behind it, where they came from, we found out that one of the founding members was a man by the name of Soliman Behei, who was one of the founding directors, and he had put together a vehicle called BMI… now, BMI was identified as being involved with terror financing, but this is just not going to be, ‘The Muslims Hate America!’, that’s not what it is, there is something else going on here, they’re being used as a tool, just as the good people of the US are being used, are being misled, and frightened and terrorized into, ‘if we don’t wage these horrific wars, our way of life will be over’. Who benefits?
What else did your investigation of P-Tech turn up? Didn’t you meet with several employees or former employees of P-Tech?
Yes, this goes back to when all of this was being revealed to me, this is the last week of May, 2002…. Lo and Behold, out of nowhere the Chicago FBI enters the picture. We have agent Robert Wright of the Chicago FBI, he’s giving congressional testimony and he stands on the steps of the Capitol, bursts into tears, apologizes to the 9/11 families, victims, that he didn’t do everything he could to prevent 9/11 from happening. That his investigations were repeatedly shut down. And I almost fell over, because he announced that his investigation was into Yassin Kadi, the same Sheik Yassin Kadi who was the money man behind P-Tech. And you could not ask for a more direct connection to 9/11 than that. I will even discount the fact that some ex-P-Tech employees told me… when I went to see them I presented all the terror list faces and they indicated that they had seen some pass through P-Tech, in fact one or two had mentioned that they thought one of the hijackers had actually passed through P-Tech. And I said, “Did you report this to the FBI? Can you tell me when? Can you get evidence of it? Can you get litigation-quality evidence that would stand up? Whatever you can get, give it to me. Make copies, give it to the FBI.” I still thought they were on our side.
The FBI, you mean.
The FBI. In fact, this has to be made very clear, there are some extraordinarily real patriotic Americans, and good people in the FBI, as has been said by Colleen Rowley, one of the FBI whistleblowers, there’s a wall in the FBI. And this has been validated to me by various in Houston who are very close to the power bases and are pretty ticked off at what’s happening in this country and are speaking out. As are many CIA agents who are very concerned that it has gone too far, as are many NSA agents who are concerned that it has gone too far, and FBI agents. So we have a lot of people who are speaking out, they have kept quiet too long, they’re afraid, they are afraid of what’s happening to this country, and when I say the 3rd Reich, what is happening to this country, they say, (and I will identify ‘they’ if pressed), they say will make the 3rd Reich look like a Tea Party. I guess we have that many more people to control on this planet.
And when you say, ‘they say’ are you speaking of people you have spoken with in the FBI?
Absolutely. Within the FBI, within the CIA… one of things that I didn’t wanna have happen is that when P-Tech was finally raided in December, 2002, something that took all of 6 months, a tremendous amount of agony to have happen, the White House, Ari Fleischer spun it to find sugar that day. He said, ‘There’s nothing wrong. Nothing to see here, everything’s fine.’ So they did a token raid and that was basically it. But everything that I have done since that time has been for one reason and one reason only, that there may come a time, that people will find the trail to P-Tech, and it won’t be hidden or buried, I’ve kept it alive, whether they’ve renamed their company and moved on I wanna keep the names, the details, everything alive, no matter what I have to do, so that, should there come a time for justice and accounting for 9/11, and for what’s happening in the world today, it makes it easier for other people to unravel the truth. So I have gone to the mainstream press, I have gone to people on the left, the left of left, on the right of right, and I’ve talked to them face to face and said, this is wrong. Whatever you’re political inclinations, this is wrong. This is criminal, this is murder, this is worldwide atrocity. And I have reached some very good people on the left and on the right, who are willing to speak out about P-Tech. I’ve contacted the alternative press, the alternative press has very much like the ‘Nine Blind Men and the Elephant’ they touch a piece of P-Tech, they understand it, and they say well, this fits my theory of how things went wrong, I have no problem with that, because the facts are the facts. If someone wants to spin it to fit their particular viewpoint, for instance From The Wilderness has said the software that’s in P-Tech is very much like PROMIS… Mike Ruppert’s thesis is that Dick Cheney was running an alternate command and control center that day, confusing everyone. And in fact there were 4 war games that were going on, on 9/11, and who knows why the fighters weren’t scrambled in time. Who knows all this, in fact, the fighter from Pennsylvania WAS scrambled in time, because we have firsthand proof, whistleblowers within the correct organizations that that was shot down. It’s just that “Lets’ Roll” was a better story. Perhaps a story that the American people could handle, but no, I was told at ground zero that day, we heard them go over, and we knew they were shot down, we were told, it’s later we were told ‘the passengers brought it down’. Well, if you’re running a country and you’re under terrorist attack, that might be the way to go. Empower people by saying if this bad thing happens to you, do something and have a story, I don’t really have such a big problem with that but the fact of the matter is it was shot down.
That’s interesting. And you heard that on the day of September 11th?
Yes, I did. And it was corroborated a couple of weeks ago by people who were in a particular situation room.
Did you want to tell us anything more about that?
It was possible that there was an alternate command and control system… could you technically use P-Tech software to do the surveillance and intervention? Well, gosh, yes, that’s exactly what I was planning on using it for in one of the largest banks in the world. It’s not a problem. So if someone wants to make it their thesis, I’ve no problem with that, however, I can’t say for sure that was going on because I don’t have direct firsthand knowledge of that, no one has told me and offered me proof of that. But could I state that it could happen? Absolutely it could have happened. Was it necessary for it to have happened in order for us to have 9/11? I dunno. I don’t think so. Maybe, maybe not. That’s not my point, the Towers came down, 3,000 people were killed, and what I know is the characters behind the funding of it, were totally in bed with characters in the US. And not only just for 9/11, but going on through our nation’s history, and the big question is, “Why?” What are they up to?
Could you describe the relationship of P-Tech with the FAA? P-Tech worked with the FAA for several years, didn’t they?
It was a joint project between P-Tech and Mitre, and they were looking at holes, basically in the FAA’s interoperability, responding with other agencies, law enforcement, in the case of an emergency such as hijacking. So they were looking for… what people would do, how they would respond in case of an emergency, and find the holes, and make recommendations to fix it. Now, if anyone was in a position to know where the holes were, P-Tech was. And that’s exactly the point. If anybody was in a position to write software to take advantage of those holes, it would have been P-Tech.
Explain what interoperability is.
Most people are familiar with Ebay, and you know that it’s a collaborative bidding situation, you bid for a particular item and a certain amount of time passes and the winning bid is selected according to certain rules, and once the winning bid is selected, them something else happens. The thing is bought and taken down off Ebay, it’s a sequence of steps that occur, it’s a process, and it’s a process that a lot of people are familiar with, everything we do involves a process. Now if Ebay had one big gigantic computer, these processes would take place on one computer, however, interoperability comes into play when you jump computer systems or organizations, so for instance what if Ebay had to pass on some information to PayPal? PayPal is a separate operation, they have their own computers, so they have to come up with a way to handshake, to agree when this happens at Ebay, so and so will happen on PayPal, that’s all interoperability, so it happens on a business process level, and it also happens on a system transaction level. PayPal says, well you send me this in this format, I’ll expect it and do this with it, that’s all interoperability. It operates on a technical level, on an information level, and on a business process level. Now, with the FAA in particular, if something goes wrong, and there is an emergency with a particular flight, and the DOD needs to be notified, well that’s a really major interoperability thing, a signal has to be sent in some way, shape or form, either mediated by a human in most cases, or automatically, or even if its mediated by a human something needs to be initiated on a separate computer to start a whole other sequence of events, interventions, scrambling a jet, notification up and downstream with many other organizations, such as NORAD, such as other terminal radar areas, such as local law enforcement, you name it. So, this all has to be blueprinted, mapped out, and that’s where Enterprise Architecture comes in, you need some kind of blueprint to keep all of this together and that’s what P-Tech was so good at.
Now was there a reference to P-Tech having operated in the basement, out of the FAA?
Yes. Now, typically, because the scope of such projects are so overarching and so wide-ranging, when you are doing an enterprise architecture project, you pretty much have access to how anything in the organization is being done, where it’s being done, on what systems, what the information is, and you pretty much have carte blanche. Now if it’s a major project that spans several years, the team that comes in has literally access to almost anything they want because you’re operating on a blueprint level, on a massive scale. So, yes, they were everywhere, and I was told that they were in places that required clearances, I was told they had log-on access to FAA flight control computers, I was told that they had passwords to many computers that you may not on the surface… let’s say you… isolated part of a notification process that was mediated by a computer, and you wanted to investigate it further, then you typically get log-on access to that computer, and from that back upstream or downstream, so, who knows? In my experience, I could have access to almost anything I wanted to in JPMorganChase… and didn’t, for the reason if anything went wrong, I didn’t wanna have the access. But if you were up to no good, as an enterprise architect, with such a mandate, you typically could have anything you wanted. Access to anything.
What do you think of the claim by the so-called 9/11 Independent Commission, and the testimony before it, and their report… the intelligence agencies didn’t know how to talk to each other… what did you think of their so-called report?
Uhm, completely flawed. Governor Kean was the second choice for the head of the Commission, I believe Henry Kissinger was the first, Governor Kean, ‘oh by the way’ had done business deals with BMI, (Soliman Behei – P-Tech), none of which came out, which he should have volunteered, and recused himself as being head of the Commission, or had it out there in the open, there were 3 other members of the Commission who had similar kinds of relationships in the past, and they were all on the team. Their findings were so flawed. They’re using an excuse. Yes, there are interoperability communication issues in any organization. Yes, there are, but in the case of an emergency, it doesn’t get that bollixed up. Unless of course, Ruppert is right and Cheney was running interference somewhere, or someone was running interference, or whoever, you know, we don’t know. But there were 4 war games, 4 simulations going on the morning of 9/11, and I just want people to remember that the whole nature of what Mitre, they also developed software for intelligence, which includes the CIA, Mitre and P-Tech would have, if they were going to test whether they had fixed these holes, would have probably run a simulation. I don’t know that they did, but that’s how we do things, but there were 4 of them going on. So was there room for confusion? I don’t think these people were stupid, I think they were deliberately confused, if anything.
Well we know very well that there was a simulation of the very event taking place during the event.
…and I believe there is proof there was more than one. Just in case the first one didn’t confuse people enough. So what does this say? I can be very objective about this and say, “Well, the terrorists knew that there were war games scheduled for this day and they took advantage of it and called 9/11 a particular day, however, we do know that 9/11 had been selected prior… ok, so maybe the war games were set many weeks prior for 9/11…” and you can play this game over and over and over. Yes, it was the perfect day, and yes, you needed inside knowledge, and yes, P-Tech with all its myriad associations would have had the inside knowledge, and yes, P-Tech was a CIA front, and yes, P-Tech was protected.
So, was it an inside job? You don’t have to look at this indirectly, this is direct, this requires direct investigation. …you have pretty much come up with evidence that… P-Tech was a CIA cutout or front, or whatever.
That’s correct. I had this validated to me by… high-level people within. In fact during my investigation when I was reaching out to the people that I had worked with, because remember, I did do work for a small company called the Interoperability Clearing House, or the ICH, and they were DARPA funded, and they weren’t a DARPA company, they were DARPA funded, they got funding from many, many organizations including Boeing… because they were providing a wonderful service software. And we were seeking funding from Incutel, which is the TI seeking arm of the CIA. Interestingly enough the funding decision was supposed to come through on Sept. 12th. I’m not saying that it would have come through but after 9/11 there was no funding coming through on 9/12, so subsequent to that I was still picking up the pieces and remaining in contact with that group, and tried to form another group and company while I was working at JPMorgan, after 9/11, while we were going through the environmental nightmares that we were going through, still trying to pick up the pieces of that life, to create a really good risk blueprint to prevent the kinds of things like 9/11 from happening to us. And I was pretty ignorant about a lot of this inside, clandestine betrayals. I kept in touch with a lot of these people and when P-Tech fell into my lap, I did reach out to them, I said to them, “Can you tell me if what I’m looking at is true, is real, how could it be real?” and one of the people that I reached out to did work for the CIA and he said he could not discuss ‘front office operations’. I never knew what he meant by that, but anyway, subsequent to that, there were two or three points down the road, that I had higher and higher-level confirmation that it was being utilized. Eventually I came across a report, the FBI ‘Twin Towers Investigative Report’ that the FBI had commissioned a private investigator to do on certain people, and in there it was so clear… in the presence of CARE International, whose roots were in Maktab al Khidamar, that was glaring, and that they were all over every place in the US infrastructure, you do not get that without very high-level help, and that’s what the vendors, the competitors of P-Tech said everyone knew…
And this was a second company in Washington, D.C. that you were doing some work with prior to 9/11 that got some funding from DARPA.
Right. Interestingly enough, I did not let people know that it was P-Tech until maybe August, 2002 at ICH… we had pretty much moved on and uh, I accidentally let slip to one of my colleagues there that the name of the company that was being investigated was P-Tech. And she was horrified… she said, “They’re everywhere.” And I said, “Yeah, fancy that. Wonder who put them there.” They didn’t get there by accident. P-Tech came about in 1993, actually, they were reformed in 1993, that’s when Yassin Kadi invested in them.
What happened with the raid the FBI staged on P-Tech?
Well, what happened was, when I took all of this information back to JPMorgan, after agent Wright had appeared on the steps of the Capitol, I went down to Virginia, I got all the information together, I had the P-Tech people actually write it out, so it wouldn’t be, ‘Indira says’, it would be, ‘this is what they put together’. And I had emails, documentation, photographs, photographs that flew around the world, plastered all over network TV, that’s what I got from these people, and I interviewed a bunch of scared people, ‘what is going on… the FBI knows about it and they’re doing nothing… what is going on… what do you think this tells you?’ And I didn’t wanna go there without proof. I wasn’t gonna go there. Really what I did, and I think the most powerful thing, I think, anyone can do, is not just make an accusation, or get a little bit of proof which can be hushed up and denied, but I took what I had to everyone. Before P-Tech was ever raided, before it ever became public, I took it all the way up to the top of the FBI. I took it everywhere. The reality of the situation is proven by the response I got there. More telling than the actual deed itself. Their response to that is really what indicts them all.
What was their response?
Uhm, “Shut up and go away, or you will be killed.” Basically.
Now, you got that response from all different levels in government…
I got that response from JPMorgan. I got that response from P-Tech. I got that warning from people within the FBI. Mostly the FBI. See, when the Boston FBI sent me that tape that Joe Bergantino had run the story on, I looked at the tape and it was all P-Tech people… I was really scared. And I contacted Joe Bergantino to tell him I’ve been threatened, people had been in my house, I’m a 9/11 survivor, I can’t back down on this, and if anything happens to me, the story that you did… did you know that these people worked at P-Tech? He said, “We had some suspicion, we didn’t know.” And I said, “Well let me tell you what P-Tech does…” When I went out there and I spoke to them in June, 2002, they thought I had a flowerpot growing out of my head. They didn’t believe me at all. I said, “You’ve done the original story, you just don’t realize that they’re connected to corporate America and the government in this way…” So what they did is they initiated their own investigation, and their own investigation, they came back to me and said, “We’re sorry for having doubted you, it’s not only as bad as you said, it’s much, much worse.” This is a CBS affiliate by the way… and they had interviewed me and taped me and this is August, 2002, they had said, “We’re going to run this story on the one-year anniversary of 9/11.” And I was horrified, I begged them I said, “Please do not delay, get it out now.” And they said, “No, it’s not gonna play well in August, because everyone’s on vacation…” And I was banging my head against the wall, I was in tears. And I said, “They’re gonna shut this down. People are gonna talk, they’re gonna find out about it and shut you down.” And sure enough, they did. There were 7 networks that caught wind of this story, and they shut down the investigation. Their excuse was that hey, ya know, P-Tech is everywhere… we need to find out if we do anything to them, what will they do to our infrastructure? Which is complete baloney, because they had known all along… and they (P-Tech) were being evaluated for use in Homeland Security… so much for their trite little excuse… so, we knew that it was a cover-up at that time. And I was concerned that they weren’t ever gonna raid P-Tech. That no one would ever know. That this would never be made public. If I had spoken out about it, I could be sued, “Where is your proof? You’ve told the government, they have done nothing, you’ve told the FBI, they’ve done nothing…” I then embarked on my own campaign. I had written a report and I pretty good email list of people in D.C., and I said, “You know what, I’m gonna send this report exposing P-Tech and their connections to terrorism to 10 Chief Information Officers a week until P-Tech is raided.” And I began calling people. And I began sending things out, I began scheduling appointments and showing up and instead of talking about Enterprise Architecture, I was talking about, “What software do you use?” And I watched more people’s faces turn absolutely white, I watched people get almost physically ill, and I watched them circle the wagons… and I’m talking about major chemical companies, major energy companies, and one of the CIO’s of the DOD… it was kind of a meeting I interrupted to talk about P-Tech… yeah, the line went dead. But, within a week after that, P-Tech was raided and Ari Fleischer said, “There’s nothing wrong with the company.” I watched my life go down the drain.
So what about P-Tech now, I mean, are they still in use?
They’re still in use… they’ve renamed themselves, they’re called ‘Go Agile’ and they’re still going… when we try to find out what the status of the investigation is, we’ve been told alternatively that they’ve been cleared or it’s still in limbo. Nothing definitive has been done. Soliman Behei had been arrested, a minor slap on the wrist.
And what kind of response did you get from JPMorganChase, your employers at the time when you went to them with what you had found out about P-Tech?
Well, they had told me that I should be killed for getting all this evidence… I was intimidated. I wrote a letter to my boss saying that I had been intimidated, and the person who had intimidated me, the 3rd highest ranking person in the bank, the General Auditor, so this has gone all the way up to the top, they were very aware of it, and that they were going to deny using P-Tech at JPMorganChase. In fact they would even explicitly deny the URL to the website, so that no one could even look into them. Now the name has changed, so you wonder what is going on there, but, when he asked me, ‘where did you get this from and that from?’, I was basically thoroughly intimidated. They treated me as though I was the bad guy. That’s what happened. They treated me as if I was the bad guy for having dug up all of this stuff.
And you were told by the Chief Auditor at JPMorganChase that the different individuals that you had gotten this information from should have been killed?
Yeah… I pointed down the street, I said, “I lost people there.” And he said, “I lost people there, too. Look, look, this is about 9/11… I put it in a folder named 9/11…” and it got pretty ugly from that point on. Basically he said that, “He needed to be sure that I would never mention P-Tech again.” And I said, “Here’s the problem. I’m a senior consultant, I consult with a lot of people… you may deny P-Tech business here… what happens to CITIBANK, what happens to Goldman-Sachs, what happens to the rest?” He said, “That’s not my problem.” And I said, “That’s why we have that hole in the ground up the street. It is everyone’s problem.” In fact, Director Mueller of the FBI said, that preventing terrorism was everyone’s problem so, I’m going along with an FBI directive to the general population. So, I had written a letter to Wilson Lowry who at that point in time had been his right-hand administrative person, who was an ex-CEO of IBM… Wilson Lowry turned out to be the one who came down hard on Colleen Rowley for being a whistleblower! So guess what his politics were on P-Tech.
As a senior consultant with JPMorganChase, were you on a consulting contract or were you an employee?
I was on a consulting contract, however, I had a 10-year relationship with them. I was given tasks there that were not given to employees, even trusted employees, I was given responsibilities way above and beyond a lot of other employees, I was given pretty much carte blanche to think out of the box and do things that I funded out of a strategic fund called ‘LabMorgan’ where they experimented with new ideas, so I had a lot of latitude and the people I reported to were on the Board of Directors and were very senior-level, they trusted me keeping their best interest at heart. My behavior around P-Tech was predictably in line with someone who held a light for risk and integrity in business dealings. In fact, one of the colleagues said, of all the people whose lap this could have fallen into, you’re about the only one with enough latitude to not look the other way.
So then what happened? Was your contract cancelled?
I was summarily terminated… June 28th, 2002.
And you stayed on in NYC until 2004?
I stayed on in the same apartment, I reached out to friends of mine in the FBI… I asked them what was going on, I got pretty close with one of them who, I understood, was on the counter-terrorism team in the North-East, and was part of the A-Team, so to speak, and he looked at what I was looking at, I passed a lot of my information through him and I said, “Am I crazy? Please tell me that I’m crazy, I’d rather be crazy than this be true.” And he said, “Nope, and it is worse than you think.” So he validated a lot of things, he could not break any rules and I wouldn’t let him because he was my friend, but he helped me see and interpret things. One of the most powerful things I could have done was to push this through the system and see how the system responded. And it’s the system’s response that indicts them in the end. Just as the EPA’s response to the environmental disaster in lower Manhattan indicts them. If this were a true terrorist attack, you would have been seeing pictures of our lungs all over national TV for years to come, metaphorically, that sort of thing. You never saw what it was really like. So, basically, after I got thrown out of JPMorgan my attitude was, as soon as everyone knows what P-Tech really is, and they understand that it is for real, all will be forgiven and I will be back in business, and uhm, that sure didn’t happen. And I’m not even sure at this stage if I want anything to do with corporate America or the government because look at what’s happening, I’m looking at the people that are being put in place like Negroponte, Director of Intel, I’m hearing the inside response to that, I know where he comes from, what his pedigree is, politically, and one by one, we’re seeing the handwriting on the wall. And most people are looking for exit strategies, you might say, leave the country, go to France, go to Canada, but, there are no exit strategies for this. All of this stuff took money to fund. And it was funded through major financial crimes, money laundering, and looting, looting of the SNL’s, looting of the banking system, what we’re in the middle of now which is the looting of Social Security. And this is all being done, the looting of HUD, it’s all being done systematically to keep the slush funds up for the game at play.
Where do you think this is headed?
Not any place good for people. And it isn’t just going to be America, it is going to be global.