Former FBI agent says 9/11 ‘didn’t have to happen’

Reporter: Rich Kolko Writer: Derrick Shaw
Published: Updated:
Former FBI agent Mark Rossini. Credit: WINK News.

The 9/11 terror attacks came as a shock and wake-up call around the world, particularly for Americans.

But some feel that day never had to happen and that whispers of pending terrorist activity prior to that fateful day were silenced, even ignored.

A former FBI agent shared his inside knowledge with WINK News Safety & Security Specialist Rich Kolko.

As the American flag waved in the distance, former federal agent Mark Rossini, soaked in the grandeur of our nation’s capital, where we met him.

It’s a symbol of our freedom, government and — Rossini adds — the target of the fourth plane that crashed in Shanksville, Pennsylvania Sept. 11, 2001.

“Bin laden figured wiping out our economy, disabling our military response and crippling our government’s operations,” Rossini said. “That’s what he wanted to do. That was his bringing down our government.”

In 1996, Rossini got assigned to what was known as Alec Station, a special group of CIA and FBI agents whose mission was to track Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda. Four years later, they’d learn of a “terror summit.”

“One of the people attending that meeting had a visa to come to the U.S.,” Rossini said. “There was enough chatter on the radios and signals that indicated something was going to happen, but no one had any idea that it was going to be airplanes of that magnitude, of that coordination.”

Rossini says he tried to have the CIA pass the information to the FBI.

“In my opinion 9/11 would not have happened if the information had been passed because the FBI would have been waiting at the airport, ready to intercept at least that one terrorist,” Rossini said. “And we know he came with another gentleman.”

Khalid al Mihdhar was one of the five hijackers of American Airlines Flight 77, which was flown into the Pentagon.

“Right after the second plane, then, we hear about the pentagon. And then, it finally clicked in everyone’s head; we’re under attack,” Rossini said. “Only when we started looking at the plane manifest that it became clear that Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were on the planes as pilots, so that’s when, sometime during that day, maybe an hour or two later, we realized definitely that it was al Qaeda.”

So how did this feel in your belly knowing that this attack occurred by someone you had been tracking for several years?

“It’s a pain I live with every day,” Rossini said. “It’s a pain and anger I live with knowing the attacks did not have to happen.”

For Rossini, it’s not just about the people who died that day. It’s about the permanent scars left behind for survivors, their family members and all Americans.

“I’ve been changed by it permanently ‘cause I know in my heart it didn’t have to happen,” Rossini said.

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