The role I mention is peripheral to the operation (moral support, incitement, foreknowledge). It comes down to what bin Laden said in the 2001 videotape and interviews prior to that, plus that at least three of the hijackers had backgrounds congruent with genuine Jihadists.
It is not a secret that bin Laden did not like American policies in the Middle East and Africa and would support actions against them. You only need listen to the mentioned interviews or read the 1998 fatwa he put his name to. I really cannot imagine he would discourage anyone from a 9/11 style attack, in fact his motive was the opposite. That is, unless bin Laden was just an unbelievably accomplished actor and kept the show up for over a decade.
Then there is the 2001 videotape - this makes no sense as a fake mainly because, 1) the format is so irregular and 2) there is no confession contained within. If a fake were to be made wouldn’t you expect ‘bin Laden’ reading a scripted speech containing an actual confession, then released through al Jazeera? If you accept authenticity of the 2001 videotape, it appears clear that bin Laden both personally knew the hijackers and that an attack was to occur.
The three hijackers I mentioned are al Mihdhar and the two al Hazmi brothers. The information even before 9/11 is that they were tied to previous attacks (on the U.S. embassies and USS Cole) and had longterm connection with ‘Al Qaeda’ operations. They were not Westernised and well educated like the other hijackers. These were the hijackers who were under heavy surveillance, received assistance from a Saudi government agent and protection from the CIA after the FBI were rightly throwing a fit about their being in the United States prior 9/11. It is apparent these guys in particular would have struggled to get through the security net and bed into the country without that assistance. This all leads me to believe these guys were genuinely bin Laden’s men.
I recently discussed a bit more of bin Laden’s responsibility on the last two pages of this thread: -
In all, what I speculate happened, is that 9/11 was inspired by the Bojinka plot (oh but not by who some might think). Apparently at that time only one suicidal pilot from all of Al Qaeda could be found (unsurprisingly the terrorists wanted to plant bombs on planes and escape with their lives) so the hijacking and crashing into landmarks element got knocked on the head. The plan was uncovered and thwarted anyhow. The two most important points: lack of volunteers for the operation and U.S. sources now knew the type of plans in ‘Al Qaeda’ circles.
It was too easy to set-up bin Laden from there…
Western agents led by the Hamburg cell of Mohammed Atta, Marwan al Shehi and Ziad Jarrah (otherwise known as lead pilots of three of the 9/11 aircraft) were sent to infiltrate bin Laden’s network (not difficult to do) and drop the 9/11 operation at his feet. To which bin Laden, being bin Laden, said, “Allah is great, go for it… anyone else want to participate?” at which point the rest of the hijackers stepped forward (agents and the three genuine Jihadists alike).
And that was it - he knows the hijackers, he knows the attacks are going to happen, he morally supports it - no it wasn’t his operation but bin Laden was screwed. It was a brilliant plan because it gave a real element of truth to the official narrative.
Why do I get to a natural end point of a post and still feel I have a million things to add?