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Re: Deutsche Bank Alex Brown and 9/11 Insider Trading

Deutsche-Bank

I had the feeling that there was one final thing left for me to do regarding my research of informed trading activities in connection to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001 in order to close that chapter of my journalistic work once and for all. And so I went back to the 9/11 stories involving Deutsche Bank Alex Brown. I considered it a journalistic obligation to exercise diligence.

With regard to the research that I’ve done on the topic of “9/11 Insider Trading” there was one thing that I hadn’t gone after sufficiently enough: so far I had not asked the German Bank for a statement on two particular issues. I also noticed that no one else had asked the Deutsche Bank for it – at least I could not find anything that suggested otherwise.

What those two issues were should become evident if I just cite some various e-mails. Moreover, they will give you all relevant links/sources to follow up on the whole story if you want to. I am aware that the format is a bit unusual and a bit hard to follow, but I am confident that you will understand it in the end.

On December 31, 2012, I wrote this e-mail to the press department at the headquarters of Deutsche Bank in Frankfurt, Germany (db.presse@db.com), which included two relevant excerpts from my research.

Media Request re Deutsche Bank – Alex Brown – 9/11 Informed Trading

Dear Ladies and Gentlemen,

My name is Lars Schall, I am a freelance journalist for finance. Earlier this year I’ve published an article at Asia Times Online, the biggest English news website in Asia, on the topic of alleged informed trading activities prior to the terror attacks of September 11, 2001:

http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Global_Economy/NC21Dj05.html.

In this article I’ve mentioned that something strange occurred related to Deutsche Bank’s computer systems in New York City.* The source for this, the investigative journalist Michael C. Ruppert, repeated this story again on record in this video of mine:

http://www.foreignpolicyjournal.com/2012/04/09/terror-trading-911/.

Since I have never seen that the Deutsche Bank was officially asked about this, I would like to ask you for a comment on this specific story.

I would also like to ask for a comment from you on the fact that Alex Brown, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank, traded massive put options purchases on United Airlines Company UAL through the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE).**

Kind regards,

Lars Schall.

* Excerpt:

But let’s get back to the subject of destruction. On September 11, not only human life, aircraft and buildings were destroyed in New York City, but also data on computers and in archives. For example, several federal agencies occupied space in Building 7 of the World Trade Center, including the Securities and Exchange Commission on floors 11 to 13.

Those and other data could have given information about the alleged 9/11 insider trading (though it seems to be very unlikely that no backup existed elsewhere independent of the local computer systems). In fact, some technology companies were commissioned to recover damaged hard disks, which had been recovered from the debris and dust of Ground Zero.

One of these companies was the English company group Convar, more precisely: their data rescue center in the German city Pirmasens. Erik Kirschbaum from the news agency Reuters reported in December 2001 that Convar had at that time successfully restored information from 32 computers, supporting “suspicions that some of the 911 transactions were illegal”.

‘The suspicion is that inside information about the attack was used to send financial transaction commands and authorizations in the belief that amid all the chaos the criminals would have, at the very least, a good head start,’ says Convar director Peter Henschel.” [36] Convar received the costly orders – according to Kirschbaum´s report the companies had to pay between $20,000 and $30,000 per rescued computer – in particular from credit card companies, because: “There was a sharp rise in credit card transactions moving through some computer systems at the WTC shortly before the planes hit the twin towers. This could be a criminal enterprise – in which case, did they get advance warning? Or was it only a coincidence that more than $100 million was rushed through the computers as the disaster unfolded?” [37]

The companies for which Convar was active cooperated with the FBI. If the data were reconstructed they should have been passed on to the FBI, and the FBI, according to its statutory mandate, should have initiated further investigation based on the data to find out who carried out these transactions. Henschel was optimistic at the time that the sources for the transactions would come to light.

Richard Wagner, a Convar employee, told Kirschbaum that “illegal transfers of more than $100 million might have been made immediately before and during the disaster. ‘There is a suspicion that some people had advance knowledge of the approximate time of the plane crashes in order to move out amounts exceeding $100 million,’ he says. ‘They thought that the records of their transactions could not be traced after the main frames were destroyed’.” [38]

Wagner’s observation that there had been “illegal financial transactions shortly before and during the WTC disaster” matches an observation which Ruppert describes in Crossing the Rubicon. Ruppert was contacted by an employee of Deutsche Bank, who survived the WTC disaster by leaving the scene when the second aircraft had hit its target. According to the employee, about five minutes before the attack the entire Deutsche Bank computer system had been taken over by something external that no one in the office recognized and every file was downloaded at lightning speed to an unknown location. The employee, afraid for his life, lost many of his friends on September 11, and he was well aware of the role which the Deutsche Bank subsidiary Alex Brown had played in insider trading. [39]

** I specifically asked financial journalist Max Keiser, who for years had worked on Wall Street as a stock and options trader, about the put option trades. Keiser pointed out in this context that he “had spoken with many brokers in the towers of the World Trade Center around that time. I heard firsthand about the airline put trade from brokers at Cantor Fitzgerald days before.” He then talked with me about an explosive issue, on which Ruppert elaborated in detail in Crossing the Rubicon.

Max Keiser: There are many aspects concerning these option purchases that have not been disclosed yet. I also worked at Alex Brown & Sons (ABS). Deutsche Bank bought Alex Brown & Sons in 1999. When the attacks occurred, ABS was owned by Deutsche Bank. An important person at ABS was Buzzy Krongard. I have met him several times at the offices in Baltimore. Krongard had transferred to become executive director at the CIA. The option purchases, in which ABS was involved, occurred in the offices of ABS in Baltimore. The noise which occurred between Baltimore, New York City and Langley was interesting, as you can imagine, to say the least.

Under consideration here is the fact that Alex Brown, a subsidiary of Deutsche Bank (where many of the alleged 9/11 hijackers handled their banking transactions – for example Mohammed Atta) traded massive put options purchases on United Airlines Company UAL through the Chicago Board Option Exchange (CBOE) – “to the embarrassment of investigators”, as British newspaper The Independent reported. [7]

On September 12, the chairman of the board of Deutsche Bank Alex Brown, Mayo A Shattuck III, suddenly and quietly renounced his post, although he still had a three-year contract with an annual salary of several million US dollars. One could perceive that as somehow strange.

A few weeks later, the press spokesperson of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) at that time, Tom Crispell, declined all comments, when he was contacted for a report for Ruppert’s website From the Wilderness, and had being asked “whether the Treasury Department or FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] had questioned CIA executive director and former Deutsche Bank-Alex Brown CEO [chief executive officer], A B ‘Buzzy’ Krongard, about CIA monitoring of financial markets using PROMIS and his former position as overseer of Brown’s ‘private client’ relations.” [8]

Just before he was recruited personally by former CIA chief George Tenet for the CIA, Krongard supervised mainly private client banking at Alex Brown. [9]

In any case, after 9/11 on the first trading day, when the US stock markets were open again, the stock price of UAL declined by 43%. (The four aircraft hijacked on September 11 were American Airlines Flight 11, American Airlines Flight 77 and UAL flights 175 and 93.)

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