The 9/11 7-Eleven; the blocked Path to 9/11

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While we again mourn the dead and recall the shock of 9/11/2001, we mustn't forget the path that led to 9/11 -- the Islamist preachers and philosophers who inspired the attacks, the jihadis who carried them out, and the mixture of immigration laxity and political correctness that enabled the attacks to succeed.

A few months ago, I had the pleasure of spending most of the morning with See-Dubya, a sometime guest blogger for Michelle Malkin. After breakfast, See-Dubya pointed out a number of landmarks in the Falls Church area. See-Dubya pointed out the Dar al-Hijrah mosque, where Anwar al-Awlaqi preached hatred against America and Nidal Hasan (the Ft. Hood gunman) sat under his preaching. It tells you something about this area that a restaurant named Al-Jazeera Garden could stay in business for any length of time.


(The restaurant in question is Yemeni, the name means "The Island", and it appears they've since relocated elsewhere in Falls Church under a slightly different English transliteration of the name.)

One of the landmarks See-Dubya pointed out, just a tenth of a mile away from the above photo, is a 7-Eleven convenience store on Leesburg Pike. Today, in a special appearance on, See-Dubya explains the connections between 9/11 and this particular 7-Eleven, a haven for day laborers less than a mile down the road from Dar al-Hijrah.

This particular 7-11 (you can see the sign, and the workers, in the background, through the monsoon) is in Falls Church, Virginia, on the Leesburg Pike, just down the road from the Dar al-Hijrah mosque. Ten years ago, a charismatic imam named Anwar al-Awlaki manned the pulpit there, and a U.S. soldier named Nidal Hasan listened to his sermons in the congregation.

In fact just a little over ten years ago a couple of worshipers from Dar al-Hijrah drove up to this particular 7-11. They weren't really interested in hiring the day laborers so much as getting someone to help them acquire forged identification. That turned out to be a fellow named Luis A. Martinez-Flores, himself an illegal immigrant, and he walked the two Arabs, Hani Hanjour and Khaled Almidhar, through the process of getting Virginia ID cards--after which they returned to this particular 7-11, withdrew $100 from the ATM, and handed it to Mr. Martinez-Flores....

Hanjour and Almidhar and three other young Arab men used those fake IDs (and three more derived from them) to board American Airlines Flight 77, hijack it, and fly it into the Pentagon.

See-Dubya writes that the 7-Eleven, still operating and in use as an unofficial day-labor center (check out Google Street View) is a monument to America's failure to recognize the connections between our lax enforcement of immigration laws and our vulnerability to terrorist attacks:

You would think the first thing that the newly-formed Department Homeland Security would have done would be to raid this particular labor market, frequented by illegal aliens and the document fraudsters that enable them to feign legitimacy, and shut it down for good. This is the site of our immigration policy's greatest, most shameful failure, after all. Of course, ten years on, it's just business as usual and the shame and failure continue unabated. There's no marker to commemorate what happened there. You'd never know anything historically significant had happened there ten years ago.

You'd have no indication at that particular 7-11 what a petty, commonplace, wretched little conspiracy was committed, and what a dreadful, monstrous crime was thereby abetted. That was where and when our self-deception about the illegal labor market and the security risks it presents caught up to us. Everyone should know this place. Everyone should vow that what happened there will never be permitted to happen again.

It's somewhat surprising that there hasn't been a civil action against the owner of this store for tolerating (if not harboring) the illegal activity that made one of the 9/11 attacks possible. For what it's worth, the Fairfax County property database lists as owner:

P O BOX 711

which suggests that it's corporate-owned, not a franchise. The last sale recorded was 12/31/1966.


The Path to 9/11, a miniseries dramatizing the events that began with the 1993 World Trade Center bombing leading to September 11, but grounded in documented facts, aired on ABC on the fifth anniversary in 2006, but despite public demand, it has never been released on DVD. According to the program's writer, Cyrus Nowrasteh, the problem is political:

The normal time frame from broadcast to DVD for miniseries and movies is approximately four months. Originally I was told by ABC that the DVD release date of Path would be in January [2007]. January came and went, and I was told June was the new release date. Then July. Now ABC's official statement is, "We have not decided on a release date at this time." No further explanation.

But privately, I was told by an ABC executive that "If Hillary weren't running for President, this wouldn't be a problem." The clear message is that ABC/Disney isn't eager to reopen the wound or feel the pressure again from politicians anxious to whitewash their legacy. They would rather just let the miniseries die a quiet death. Executive Producer Marc Platt, a well-known Hollywood Liberal, even had to finance the limited Emmy campaign himself because Disney/ABC refused to do so (which is unheard of for such a high-profile production). This passive self-censorship is just as effective as anything Joseph Stalin or Big Brother could impose; the result is the same, the curbing of free speech and creative expression, and the suppression of a viewpoint that may be an inconvenient truth for some politicians....

The issue is that corporate timidity is preventing millions of Americans from finding The Path to 9/11 on DVD - though other politically controversial movies are readily available, such as Loose Change, which argues that the Bush administration targeted American citizens for death in an elaborate and sinister plot; or Michael Moore's unabashedly biased Fahrenheit 9/11. These highly-charged movies, which don't even offer a pretense of balance, and others can be found online or in retail outlets and DVD rental stores across the country - and so they should be, just as The Path to 9/11 should be.

The documentary is being screened at a theater in Los Angeles today but is otherwise unavailable to the viewing public. (If you do some searching, however, you might find a torrent (ahem) of information about The Path to 9/11.) A documentary called Blocking the Path to 9/11 describes the pressure placed on ABC to cut certain scenes and dialogue and includes some of the deleted scenes.

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I don't remember exactly what I was doing this morning at 7:46 a.m. Central time, eleven years to the minute after Islamic radicals flew a large commercial jetliner into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, but I was probably scrambling to find a... Read More

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This page contains a single entry by Michael Bates published on September 11, 2011 4:36 PM.

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