Security expert says terrorists attacks were on the radar

Wednesday, September 12, 2001

Tampa Bay Business Journal

sNet Corp. founder Barry Schlossberg says the U.S. intelligence community has the ability to monitor international voice and data communication via "echelon," the National Security Agency's electronic surveillance network.

The echelon network should have helped forecast the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, said Schlossberg.

This is a tenuous claim at best. There are simply too many variables to consider that should lead any reasonable person to conclude it is a possibility, but not necessarily "should have". If the terrorists did not use the Internet, if they did but used one of hundreds of ways to avoid attention or if their communication was recorded but not analyzed in time are just a few of the things to consider.

Schlossberg operates a cyberspace security agency out of Tampa's Rocky Point Center. He does business in Tokyo, Russia, eastern Europe and recently returned from Israel.

"There probably have been some clear indicators over the past couple of months that these events were coming," he said. "The Israelis reportedly started forecasting this as far back as three weeks ago. But there's a lack of cooperation and trust between intelligence agencies and overwhelmingly enormous amounts of data."

This quote perfectly demonstrates Schlossberg is generating soundbyte quotes for the sake of self promotion, not from any level of expertise on the subject. The F.A.A had U.S. intelligence reports about such attacks, meaning Israel and any lack of cooperation was irrelevant. For the two years leading up to the 9/11 attack, NORAD ran drills that simulated terrorists hijacking planes and crashing them into buildings (including the WTC). Even as far back as 1995, Senator Sam Nunn described a scenario of a terrorist hijacking a plane and crashing it into the nation's capitol building. If Schlossberg was well connected or an expert on this topic, he would have known some of this.

Schlossberg sees connection "traces" between terrorist attacks and attempts at intrusion into government, military and high-level institution databases.

This single sentence sums up what is wrong with journalism, and why charlatans like Schlossberg get press. What does this sentence even mean? Does he see actual traces in logs at his client sites? Hypothetical traces that "terrorists would logically attack.." such places? This vague claim is nothing but hot air.

sNet, in business since July 2000, has attracted national media attention because of involvement in the CD Universe Internet crime case.

Rob Wallace, producer of the CBS Television Network program "60 Minutes II," told The Business Journal Serving Greater Tampa Bay in May that he was working on an investigative story involving Schlossberg.

The 60 Minutes story remains in production and his appearance will "tie" into Sept. 11 events, Schlossberg said.

Several news articles mention this 60 Minutes story, but searching the CBSnews 60 Minutes site finds one article about CD Universe and none that mention Schlossberg.

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