Mohamed Atta and
Rudi Dekkers Seen Together in Venice in Weeks Before Sept.
by Daniel Hopsicker
(reprinted with permission,
Mad Cow Morning News, www.madcowprod.com)
[Since a week after 9-11 FTW has
been saying repeatedly that Osama bin Laden would never
be captured because of
the long-term business relationships he and his family
had enjoyed with the Bushes and the CIA; and because his
family - from which he has never been estranged -
is a part of the Saudi government. If and when Osama bin
Laden is killed it will be the equivalent of a declaration
of war on Saudi Arabia – a statement that Osama's
and the Saudi regime's services are no longer needed.
As the Administration now congratulates itself over the
alleged capture of the 9-11 "mastermind" Khalid
Sheikh Mohammad, in spite of the fact that stories from
last year reported that he had been killed or captured,
and even as it can't seem to figure out whether he's
being held in Pakistan or Diego Garcia and as it won't
show a video of a living body, a whole new wrinkle surfaces.
journalist Dan Hopsicker - author
of "Barry and the Boys" and the producer of "Mohammad
Atta and the Venice Flying Circus" - has a
damning new revelation. In direct contradiction to statements
by the FBI and by flight school owner Rudi Dekkers that
Atta had left long before 9-11, we now have witnesses confirming
that Atta was in Florida until August of 2001 traveling
as a friend with the man who denied knowing him more than
casually. This is a great bit if investigating by Hopsicker
and a momentary diversion from the building tension over
a war that may tear the planet apart. Laugh or cry as you
read this. Either emotion is appropriate. – MCR]
Feb. 17, 2003 - Mohamed Atta was twice seen with
flight school owner Rudi Dekkers in Venice, FL. during
before he crashed American Airlines Flight 11 into
Tower of the World Trade Center, directly contradicting
Dekker's account of his relationship with the terrorist
Atta took numerous cab rides in August 2001 to and from
Huffman Aviation as well as other locations in Venice,
according to Venice Yellow Cab employees interviewed
by the FBI three days after the attack.
In an exclusive interview with the MadCowMorningNews one
Yellow Cab driver stated that on two of these occasions
Atta was accompanied by Rudi Dekkers.
"They knew each other well--really well--they
were friends," said long-time Venice resident and
Yellow Cab driver Bob Simpson. "They were going to
a nightclub in Sarasota, talking and very sociable with
each other. He and Atta were friends, you could tell."
said he first took Atta and Dekkers from Huffman Aviation
to a restaurant in downtown Venice; on a second
ride he picked them up at the Pompano Road residence of
former Huffman employee Charlie Voss (in whose home Atta
and Marwan Al-Shehhi lived for a week when they arrived
in Venice) and took the two to a Sarasota nightclub Atta
is known to have frequented.
Simpson said he has no trouble stating categorically that
it is Rudi Dekkers who was with Mohamed Atta in his cab,
since he knew Dekkers from numerous trips to Huffman Aviation
to pick up arriving flight students.
"He (Dekkers) would walk them out to the cab, and
give me the address to take them to," states Simpson.
"Then a lot of times, with a new flight student,
Rudi would take them over to Sharkey's for lunch,
and I'd get the call to pick them up. Dekkers also
regularly used our cabs to do things like go to lunch,
because he usually flew in by helicopter and didn't
have a car at the Venice Airport."
Has official story been 'rendered inoperative?'
Simpson, a U.S. Navy veteran who saw duty off Libya and
Iran during the early 1980's, comes from a family steeped
in law enforcement. His father is a police chief in California,
his brother is a cop, and an uncle works for the DEA. He
appears neither mentally disordered nor suicidal.
The Yellow Cab office manager in Sarasota confirmed that
the trips were recorded in the firm's cab logs, and said
the FBI had also expressed a keen interest in cab rides
Atta had taken with the company's other driver, who worked
nights (Simpson worked days).
News of Atta's presence in Venice during final preparations
for the attack directly contradicts the FBI's official
chronology of Atta's movements in the last month before
Sept. 11. It also contradicts numerous statements made
by the controversial Dekkers to the news media.
In sworn testimony in front of the House Judiciary Committee
in March 2002, Dekkers, recently charged with criminal
fraud in Florida, insisted that his relationship with the
terrorist ringleader had been distant, and had ended the
previous December, nine months before the attack.
"On December 24th, 2000, Atta and Alshehhi rented
a Warrior (N555HA) from Huffman Aviation for a flight," the
Dutch national stated, telling of his last encounter with
Dekkers told the hearing about complaints from his staff
that Atta and Alshehhi had behavioral problems, that they
were not following instructions, and that they also had
"Atta and Alshehhi returned
to Huffman Aviation to make final payments on their outstanding
they were not taking any more flying lessons, they were
asked to leave the facility due to their bad attitudes
and not being liked by staff and clients alike. Huffman
never heard about or from them again until September 11th,
Speaking with reporters, he had
been more colloquial. "They
did not socialize with anyone," Dekkers said three
days after the attack. "They did not go to the bar
with us. That Atta guy was an asshole."
The Sarasota FBI office, responsible for the Venice airport
investigation, has still not offered their version of what-all
Rudi Dekkers was up to.
Long cab rides to Orlando Executive Airport
The new information first came to light during interviews
with two Venice Yellow Cab drivers being questioned by
the FBI. On Friday, Sept. 14, three days after the Sept.
11 attack, cab driver Simpson was contacted by the FBI,
who he says questioned him closely about an associate of
Atta's, a Middle Eastern man who owned a local convenience
"I heard a voice say 'this is Special Agent
Joe Anderson from the FBI calling,'" remembers
Simpson. "My heart sort of skipped a beat. Then he
said don't worry, you haven't done anything
wrong, and asked if I'd seen pictures of the terrorists,
and if I had, wanted to know if I recognized any."
"I said yes, I recognized Mohamed Atta,'" Simpson
continued. "I'm the day driver for Yellow Cab
in Venice, and he was in my cab a bunch of times in August.
The night driver had him even more than I did."
"They were especially interested in a rich Saudi
guy that I'd been sent to pick up at the Orlando
Executive Airport. They said they already knew that he'd
ridden in my cab because they'd gotten my cab number
from a surveillance camera there."
The FBI agents asked specific and direct questions focused
on several trips to the Orlando Executive Airport beginning
in December 2000, said Simpson, who told them he had been
asked to drive there by a mysterious Middle Eastern convenience
store owner in Venice who was an associate of Atta's, and
who left town shortly after the attack.
A relative of the convenience store owner rode along in
the cab to the airport, where they picked up a wealthy
Saudi businessman, dressed in Armani and shades, as well
as his wife, who was wearing traditional Arab clothing.
After clearing international customs, they proceeded back
to the Venice apartment of the convenience store owner,
where Simpson said he picked up Atta several times.
Zacharias Moussaoui in Venice
Weeks later, Simpson said he drove the wealthy Saudi's
wife back to the same Orlando Airport, leaving from the
convenience store owner's Venice apartment. When he arrived
to pick up his fare they asked him to help carry a chest
down to the cab so heavy it took two people to carry.
"A big bald guy who was there helped me," Simpson
said, identifying Zacharias Moussaoui, the so-called 19th
hijacker whose trial may be transferred from Federal Court
to military tribunal, as the man who had helped carry the
The positive I.D. of Moussaoui in
Venice confirms a MadCowMorningNews report from last
Sept. 9 stating that Arne Kruithof, one
of the two 'Magic Dutch Boys' at the Venice
FL Airport, had been grilled for two days at the Sarasota
FL court house about his connections to Moussaoui by a
Justice Dept. Asst. Attorney General and top-level officials
from the FBI taking depositions from potential witnesses
in Moussaoui's upcoming trial.
Simpson also spoke of several occasions around this same
time when he drove Mohamed Atta and Marwan Al Shehhi from
Venice to the Orlando Executive Airport on one-way trips.
In the official chronology of the period, from January
to April, 2001, FBI investigators state they are not sure
where Atta and al-Shehhi were, and that they may have traveled
back to Germany, since Atta reportedly received a visitor's
visa in Hamburg and reentered the United States during
Orlando Executive Airport is also
where Huffman Aviation's
owner Wallace J. Hilliard's Learjet had been confiscated
just months earlier, by DEA agents with guns drawn, after
43 pounds of heroin was found aboard. Hilliard also owns
a flight school and commuter airline, Discover Air, there
Was Mohamed Atta flying out of Orlando Executive Airport
for Wally Hilliard?
In interviews after Sept. 11, Richard Boehlke, Dekkers'
partner in a failed airline venture, told a reporter for
ABC News in Portland that Dekker's had proposed using flight
students to ride along as co-pilots on their flights as
a way to save money and also give the students cockpit
experience, which Boehlke said is patently illegal.
"The thought that terrorists might have been allowed
access to secure airport facilities is chilling," said
Here's another thought even more chilling:
If Rudi Dekkers has been lying about the nature of his
relationship with Mohamed Atta, as now seems likely, why
have federal authorities as yet done nothing about it?
Daniel Hopsicker is the author of Barry & 'the
boys': The CIA, the Mob and America's Secret History.
Why is President Bush, "Poppy" Bush (and Prescott Bush)
part of this Secret Society? Is this driving U.S. Policy?