Prelude 9/11 morning Flight 11 hijacked Flight 175 hijacked WTC 1 hit Flight 77 hijacked WTC 2 hit Flight 93 hijacked Pentagon hit WTC 2 collapses Flight 93 crashes WTC 1 collapses WTC 7 collapses Epilogue

Claim

Put options in the two airline companies American Airlines and United Airlines and companies located in the Twin Towers rose with up to 11 times the normal in the days before 9/11 (put options are contracts to sell at a specified price by a predetermined date). Insider knowledge was never investigated0.

Background

The claim is used to support the overall claim by conspiracy theorists of a world-wide secret organization which not only plans and carries out terror attacks and wars but also profits from them.

Put/call options are contracts where buyers and sellers agree to a future deal of e.g. stocks at a predetermined price. Put options is when you hope that the price is going down and call options is the opposite, that the price is going up1 A catastrophe as huge as the terror attack would likely cause stocks in the airline companies involved to go way down. Thus, a large number of put options would secure huge earnings.

Facts

Leading up to September 11th, American Airlines, among other companies, had issued a statement that they expected considerable losses. The value on American Airlines shares had dropped a whopping 13% in the month before the terror attack3. On September 7, 2001, American Airlines announced considerable losses3. The whole airline sector was experiencing economic problems, so investment companies encouraged their clients to act accordingly.

The Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) will always investigate thoroughly in the case of suspected fraud. In this case, it was revealed that in the days leading up to the attack, a higher than normal number of put/call options were made, but the SEC could find no evidence of fraud. On the contrary, the person who was responsible for 95% of United Airlines trades on September 10, 2001 also bought 115,000 American Airlines shares which would result in a loss:

Highly publicized allegations of insider trading in advance of 9/11 generally rest on reports of unusual pre-9/11 trading activity in companies whose stock plummeted after the attacks. Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options — instruments that pay off only when a stock drops in price — surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10 — highly suspicious trading on its face. Yet, further investigation has revealed that the trading had no connection with 9/11. A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al-Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific U.S.-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades. The SEC and FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments. These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous.3

Logic

If the case really wasn’t investigated, it would mean that the SEC was also involved in the conspiracy surrounding September 11.

It is likewise deeply illogical that the catastrophe should have been orchestrated with the four planes with the intent of committing stock market fraud. It would be an absurdly huge and risky project to make a profit, given that there would be other ways, far easier to carry out. It would even have sufficed with two planes, one from each airline company, to influence the stocks, or to use planes from four different airline companies so that even more stocks could be included in the speculation. It would also not be required to let the planes hit buildings but merely to let them crash.

Stock fraud does simply not fit as a motive.

Conclusion

The claim is therefore:

  • False
  • Misleading
  • Illogical

Sources

  1. Løbeseddel, i11time.dk
    “Although uniformly ignored by the mainstream U.S. media, there is abundant and clear evidence that a number of transactions in financial markets indicated specific (criminal) foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. In the case of at least one of these trades — which has left a $2.5 million prize unclaimed — the firm used to place the “put options” on United Airlines stock was, until 1998, managed by the man who is now in the number three Executive Director position at the Central Intelligence Agency.”
    Suppressed Details of Criminal Insider Trading Lead Directly into the CIA’s Highest Ranks, Mike Ruppert
  2. Put option, Wikipedia
    Call option, Wikipedia
  3. Put Options, 911myths.com
  4. 911 Commission Report, page 499

Q & A