On September 12, 2001, the Internet edition of the Jerusalem Post reported, “The Israeli foreign ministry has collected the names of 4,000 Israelis believed to have been in the areas of the World Trade Center and the Pentagon at the time of the attack.”
Yet only one Israeli was killed at the WTC and two were reportedly killed on the “hijacked” aircraft.
Although a total of three Israeli lives were reportedly lost on 9/11, speechwriters for President George W. Bush grossly inflated the number of Israeli dead to 130 in the president’s address to a joint session of Congress on September 20, 2001.
The fact that only one Israeli died at the WTC, while 4,000 Israelis were thought to have been at the scene of the attacks on 9/11 naturally led to a widespread rumor, blamed on Arabic sources, that Israelis had been forewarned to stay away that day.
“Whether this story was the origin of the rumor,” Bret Stephens, the Post’s editor-in-chief wrote in 2003, “I cannot say. What I can say is that there was no mistake in our reporting.”
ODIGO INSTANT MESSAGES
Evidence that Israelis had been forewarned several hours before the attacks surfaced at an Israeli instant messaging service, known as Odigo. This story, clear evidence of Israeli prior knowledge, was reported only briefly in the U.S. media – and quickly forgotten.
At least two Israel-based employees of Odigo received warnings of an imminent attack in New York City more than two hours before the first plane hit the WTC. Odigo had its U.S. headquarters two blocks from the WTC. The Odigo employees, however, did not pass the warning on to the authorities in New York City, a move that could have saved thousands of lives.