2001, 11 Sept - Manhattan, New York

The 9/11attacks

I was driving when news reports of an aircraft striking the World Trade Centre in New York broke. Before I arrived home a few hours later every news channel was reporting that the attack was planned and commanded by a Saudi national in Afghanistan, not a Pakistani in Yemen. 

Very relieved, I accepted this narrative willingly.

Foremost in my mind that day was the frustration that I had tried to warn so many people that this attack was coming - I had told New Yorkers who had probably gone on to watch the horrific scenes of 11th September 2001 before their very eyes. I could not have been more specific with my warnings, or more concerned. If there had been any significiance in my predictions I had expected these New Yorkers to have reported me to the FBI or CIA; I had in fact hoped they would so I could tell my story discretely and report my very vague suspicions I had at that time. 

But no one called, there was no contact. The whirlwind of news after the attacks made not mention of Yemen - the attackers were Saudi, the sponsor was a Saudi, Osama bin Laden, and the attacks were planned in Afghanistan - somewhere I had never been. I dismissed my suspicions as farcical or fanciful, and joined the rest of the unquestioning world to watch the War on Terror unfold and even took part myself - serving in Afghanistan with the British army in Helmand 2012.

Truly, for some of us nothing is written, unless we write it