They knew but didn't act

Intelligence and security services both play important roles in preventing and responding to threats. Both collect and analyze information to predict and prevent threats to national security. Intelligence agencies such as the CIA, MI6, and Mossad often work with long-term strategies and global perspectives. Because of the often uncertain nature of intelligence, they tend to wait until there is more concrete evidence before acting or sharing information. This can lead to intelligence services not always using the information immediately but waiting — while security services are more likely to act immediately on identified threats. 

Before 9/11, both the CIA and the FBI received warnings from foreign intelligence agencies. There were warnings of potential hijackings. The German intelligence service (Bundesnachrichtendienst) warned the United States in June 2001 that terrorists from the Middle East were "planning to hijack commercial airliners to use as weapons to attack important symbols of American and Israeli culture." This warning was reportedly based on intercepted communications.   In August 2001, the Mossad allegedly provided the CIA with a list of terrorists living in the United States, which included the names of at least four of the 9/11 hijackers. In August 2001, Russian President Vladimir Putin informed the United States that his intelligence services had picked up signs of imminent attacks on the United States, which would involve hijacked airliners.

The 9/11 Commission's report revealed that while some warnings were received, they lacked the specifics needed to prevent the attacks and bureaucratic obstacles made it difficult to share and process critical information. But there was information and intelligence services were active.

The so-called "dancing Israelis" were five young Israeli men who were arrested on September 11, 2001 after being reported for exhibiting strange behavior in a parking lot in New Jersey overlooking Manhattan. They were observed by a woman who reported that they appeared to be happy and filmed the World Trade Center during the attacks.

Police tracked down their van, which belonged to a company called Urban Moving Systems. When they were arrested, police found box knives, several passports and a significant amount of cash in their possession. The five Israelis were held in federal custody and questioned by the FBI. During these interrogations, one of them admitted that he was working for Israeli intelligence, but in another country. The FBI's investigation concluded that the men were part of a Mossad operation that monitored radical Islamists.

Several reports indicate that Israeli intelligence agencies, including the Mossad and the Shin Bet security service, had warnings of a Hamas attack on Israel in the fall of 2023, but that these warnings were not taken seriously or acted upon.

A sergeant in Israel's military intelligence unit, Unit 8200, repeatedly warned of a potential major attack by Hamas but the warnings were not taken seriously by her superiors. Unit 8200 is an Israel Defense Forces intelligence unit specializing in signals intelligence and cyber security. The unit is known to be one of the most advanced and effective in its field globally and has contributed to many successful security operations. 

The Hamas attack took place on October 7, 2023, and in the early morning of October 17, Lena Huovinen from Sweden's signals intelligence service FRA was arrested on suspicion of gross unauthorized occupation with secret information. She was a counter-terrorism analyst and my guess is that detailed information about a Hamas attack was leaked to the internet through her, information that only became sensitive after the attack and was then traced to her.

Egyptian intelligence services also informed Israel of an upcoming major attack, but these warnings were dismissed or not taken seriously enough. The Shin Bet received a warning the night before the October 7 attack, but this was considered a low-risk warning and no extensive precautions were taken. 

On 9/11 -01, 3000 Americans were murdered and the attack prompted the US to declare war on militant Islam. And the Pentagon as well as the CIA and FBI received increased resources. On 7/10 -23, 1000 Israelis were murdered and the IDF was given a reason by the attack to enter Gaza and destroy Palestinian society. And many hope that new settlements will be established on conquered territory.

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