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Follow up to the "Prior knowledge of 9/11 attacks overheard in Hebrew" story


Ed Haas

Follow up to the “Prior knowledge of 9/11 attacks overheard in Hebrew” story:

FBI looks for documents where they cannot be found

 

April 4, 2007 – His name is Andras Szekely.  He was born in Budapest, Hungary – the son of Holocaust survivors.  At age 18, Andras fled Hungary seeking work, financial opportunity, and a better life.  He landed in Italy where he sought political asylum.  From Italy he immigrated to Sweden where he says he was welcomed with “open arms”.  Young, and with a strong curiosity for exploration, Szekely set out to travel across Europe.  Soon he found himself yearning for Israel.

 

He immigrated to Israel, served in the military, and fought in the Yom Kippur War (1973).  After the war, he became disenchanted with the state of Israel because in his words, “I realized that the state of Israel was not a Jewish state, but rather a bunch of criminals from top to bottom.”  He left Zionism behind and headed back to Europe.  Eventually he found himself in the United States of America.  According to Szekely, “Thanks to President Ronald Reagan, I was able to become an American citizen.  I cannot put into words what a blessing it is…not necessarily financially, but spiritually and emotionally.” 

 

Andras Szekely is the Muckraker Report source for the articles, Prior knowledge of 9/11 attacks overheard in Hebrew and Chasing down Gomel Chesed Cemetery.  The summary of these two articles is as follows: 

 

In October 2000, approximately 11 months prior to September 11, 2001, Andras Szekely was collecting English Ivy cuttings at the Gomel Chesed Cemetery located at Mccellan and 245 Mount Olive Avenue, which is near the city lines of Elizabeth and Newark, New Jersey.    While in the cemetery, Szekely overheard three men, speaking in Hebrew, say: 

 

“The Americans will learn what it is to live with terrorists after the planes hit the twins in September.”

 

Szekely, well in advance of 9/11, contacted the FBI asking for protection in exchange for his information.  Having lived around the world in many different countries, Szekely had a healthy fear of being targeted by those he overheard in the cemetery.  Unlike too many Americans, he understands that people suddenly disappear and family members are at risk when you cross the wrong people.  So just to be clear – asking for protection in exchange for the information he had was prompted by his lifetime of cultural / governmental experiences.  It was a prudent request in my opinion.

 

  The FBI refused to guarantee protection for this individual. Even though Szekely told the FBI this much – that he had information involving a planned attack in NYC involving airplanes – the FBI refused to guarantee his protection. The former IDF member persisted, and according to his account, two FBI agents finally paid him a visit on June 26, 2001.  They left their business cards with him. 

 

The Muckraker Report contacted the FBI Newark Division on Wednesday, November 22, 2006 to confirm whether Agent Gritz and Agent Stengel met with Andras Szekely on or about June 26, 2001.  I was directed to the FBI Newark Division Legal Unit where I spoke with a woman who identified herself as Amy.  She suggested that I put my request in writing and fax it to her, which I did that same day. 

 

On Friday, November 24, 2006 I received a phone call from Amy confirming receipt of my written request.  She informed me that she would be out of the office the following week, and that somebody else from the Newark Division Legal Unit would handle my request. 

 

On Tuesday, November 28, 2006 I received a phone call from Kathy at the FBI National Press Office.  She informed me that the Legal Unit decided that I needed to file a Freedom of Information Act request. 

 

On Wednesday, November 29, 2006 I contacted Agent Robin (Gritz) Laird.  Once I had Agent Gritz on the phone, I introduced myself and immediately explained that I was attempting to confirm a meeting that herself and Agent Stengel allegedly had with Szekely on June 26, 2001.  Agent Gritz was already aware of my inquiries.  She indicated that she understood that the Press Office was handling my request.  I told her that I decided to call her directly and emphasized that I only wish to confirm the meeting.  Gritz said, “I’m not allowed to discuss this with you.  I would get in trouble.” 

 

I also filed a Freedom of Information Act request with the FBI.  In my request dated December 7, 2006, I asked for the following information.  What follows is the body of my FOIA request. 

 

I am requesting the following public records and information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Act:

 

BACKGROUND:  On or about June 26, 2001, Andras Szekely (New Jersey) was allegedly visited by two FBI Special Agents from the FBI Newark Division: Agent Robin (Gritz) Laird and Agent Stengel.  Szekely has provided me with copies of these agents’ business cards that they allegedly left with Szekely after their visit.  Szekely alleges that he had obtained information in October 2000 related to a terrorist attack in NYC in which airplanes would be used. Szekely alleges that he asked the FBI for protection and legal assistance, prior to being visited by Gritz and Stengel, in exchange for his detailed information.  Szekely has provided me with copies of two letters he had received from the FBI’s Arthur Radford Baker, Unit Chief, Office of Public and Congressional Affairs, dated March 28, 2001 and June 20, 2001.  These letters basically indicate that the FBI would offer no protection to Szekely regardless of the information he had to offer. 

 

 

INFORMATION REQUESTED: 

 

  1. Please provide any documents, reports, time sheets, schedulers / daily planners, telephone records, etc. that reflect that Agent Stengel and Agent Robin Gritz met with Andras Szekely on or about June 26, 2001. 
  2. Please provide documents and reports that the Agents might have filed after their meeting with Szekely to include the content of the meeting.
  3. Please provide all files and documents related to Andras Szekely. 

 

In response to this FOIA request, the FBI sent a letter dated December 27, 2006, which indicated that because I had requested documents on an individual, I needed to provide the FBI with either proof of death or a privacy waiver from the subject(s) of my request.  Included with this letter from the FBI was a Privacy Waiver and Certification of Identity form.

 

I contacted Andras Szekely and asked him if he would be willing to sign the waiver.  He said he would.  I mailed him the form, a copy of my original FOIA, and the response letter from the FBI.  He signed the waiver form and returned it to me.  I mailed the waiver form to the FBI on January 1, 2007. 

 

On February 7, 2007 I received a pathetic response to my FOIA from the FBI.  Bear in mind what I requested in my FOIA. 

 

  • Documents, reports, time sheets, schedulers / daily planners, telephone records, etc. that reflect that Agent Stengel and Agent Robin Gritz met with Andras Szekely on or about June 26, 2001
  • Documents and reports that the Agents might have filed after their meeting with Szekely to include the content of the meeting
  • All files and documents related to Andras Szekely

The FBI responded:

 

This is in response to your Freedom of Information-Privacy Acts (FOIPA) request noted above.

 

To promptly respond to requests, we concentrate on identifying main files in the central records system at FBI Headquarters.  No records responsive to your FOIPA request were located by a search of the automated and manual indices. 

 

The Muckraker Report didn’t ask the FBI how it searches for files or where.  In fact, I don’t give a damn that to promptly respond to requests, the FBI claims to concentrate on identifying main files in the central records system at FBI Headquarters.  What is so infuriating about this lame response is the fact that the FBI admits to looking for the documents I requested – in places they could not be found!  Why would the reports, time sheets, schedulers / daily planners, telephone records, etc. that reflect that Agent Stengel and Agent Robin Gritz met with Andras Szekely on or about June 26, 2001 be in the main files of the central records system?  These types of documents would not be in the main files because the FBI refused to provide Szekely protection – therefore it missed or purposely missed an opportunity to gain actionable intelligence for the main files.  No, the records I asked for would be found in other locations.  Clearly, when Gritz and Stengel met with Szekely, their whereabouts were documented – just not in the main file.  The FBI knows this – its just hiding relevant and important information from the American people to protect its masters and the ruling elite. 

 

Furthermore, and smelling more like a cover-up, FBI Unit Chief of the Office of Public and Congressional Affairs, Arthur Radford Baker mailed letters to Szekely on March 28, 2001 and June 20, 2001 – letters in which the FBI now claims it can locate no record of ever writing.  I did request all files and documents related to Andras Szekely.  I expected the FBI would have at least produced its copy of the letters. 

 

As with every worthless FOIA response I receive from the U.S. government, there is a provision for an appeal. 

 

What follows is the content of my appeal dated February 18, 2007.

 

February 18, 2007

 

Dear Mr. David M. Hardy,

 

Please accept this administrative appeal of Request No.: 1069088-000. 

 

In your response to my FOIA request you indicated that when your office responds to FOIA requests it “concentrates on identifying main files in the central records system at FBI Headquarters”.  Accordingly, you indicated, “no records responsive to my FOIPA request were located. 

 

The reason no records responsive to my request were found is because you looked where the records are not – thus ignoring my request.   I have requested documents that would most likely be found in administrative / personnel files, or in the files / computers / cellular phone records / day planners / schedulers of two FBI agents – Agent Andrew H. Stengel and Agent Robyn L. Gritz. 

 

I have enclosed the original FOIA, the privacy waiver signed by Andras Szekely, letters received by Szekely from the FBI, and the business cards of the two FBI agents, Stengel and Gritz, which Szekely says the FBI left with him after they met with him on or about June 26, 2001. 

 

To suggest that the FBI has no record of any meeting with Andras Szekely given the correspondence and the business cards – cards that have corrected phone numbers on them and should be easily confirmed as Stengel’s and Gritz’s handwriting – is unreasonable and unlikely. 

 

It is my belief that agent’s Stengel and Gritz did meet with Szekely on or about June 26, 2001 and in that meeting he informed the agents that he had information regarding a then “upcoming” terrorist attack in September 2001 involving airplanes and targets in New York City. I can understand how at that point the agent’s might not have taken Szekely seriously – however knowing what I now know about what information Szekely claimed to have at that time, it is in the public’s interest to understand this meeting and the content thereof. 

 

Please accept this appeal and search for the documentation I have originally request in the locations in which it could be found. 

 

On March 16, 2007 I received a response to my appeal from Priscilla Jones, Supervisory Administrative Specialist for the Office of Information and Privacy.  Jones wrote:

 

Dear Mr. Haas:

 

This is to advise you that your administrative appeal from the action of the Federal Bureau of Investigation was received by this Office on March 2, 2007.

 

The Office of Information and Privacy, which has the responsibility of adjudicating such appeals, has a substantial backlog of pending appeals received prior to yours.  In an attempt to afford each appellant equal and impartial treatment, we have adopted a general practice of assigning appeals in the approximate order of receipt.  Your appeal has been assigned number 07-0824.  Please mention this number in any future correspondence with this Office regarding this matter.

 

We will notify you of the decision on your appeal as soon as we can.  We regret the necessity of this delay and appreciate your continued patience. 

 

Let me tell you what Andras Szekely regrets.  He regrets everyday that despite his best efforts, the FBI, for reasons that remain obscure, refused to listen to him.  He regrets that the inconvenient information about 9/11 remains covered-up or dismissed as conspiratorial if it sees the light of day.  He lives with the uncertainty of whether he could have done more to save nearly 3000 lives.  I assure him every time we speak that he did his best – that he could not have done anything more because the U.S. government enabled, exploited, or created 9/11 – that prior knowledge within the U.S. government is as much of a fact as the towers no longer standing. 

 

I asked Szekely why he is willing to go public now, beyond the fact that he wants the American people to know his story and of his efforts to warn the U.S. government about the attacks.  He said, “I have nothing left to lose.” 

 

None of us do Andras.  None of us do. 

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