Nov 16, 2021
The System Was Blinking Red
2000 - 2001
While planning 9/11 and running Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden somehow finds time to marry a new bride, and his other wives aren't happy about it. As 9/11 approaches, his family life begins to fall apart, and eventually he is forced to make a choice.
In Washington, George W. Bush is sworn in as president several months after a closely contested election. His government is filled with experienced Republican public servants, particularly on the foreign policy and national security side. What did or didn't they do about Al Qaeda during his first eight months in office?
Meanwhile, as the terrorist chatter increases in the months before the attacks, intelligence and law enforcement officials miss crucial warning signs that don't make sense until after the attacks. Two days before 9/11 and half a world away, Ahmed Shah Massoud, a war hero in the fight against the Soviets and leader of the Northern Alliance, is assassinated by two Al Qaeda operatives posing as journalists.
Less than twenty-four hours before the attacks, all nineteen hijackers are in position, wrapping up loose ends, and waiting.