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Claim

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen was warned of the unthinkable0.

Background

The claim refers to a documentary on the Danish National Broadcasting Company, channel DR2, where Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, who was Prime Minister of Denmark on September 11, 2001, should have stated that he knew that the first tower would collapse before it happened.

The claim is used to support the conspiracy theory that powerful people knew in advance that the terror attack on September 11, 2001, would happen and that the World Trade Center 1, 2, and 7 would collapse because there had supposedly been placed many tons of nanothermite and explosives in the buildings.

In an article in the Danish Newspaper “The Worker”0, Niels Harrit quotes then-Prime Minister Poul Nyrup Rasmussen:

“We! Ehh! I received a message, I think 5-10 minutes before it physically happens, that there is an overwhelming risk that the towers will collapse. So I knew the catastrophe was on the way!”0

Niels Harrit continues:

“Hey! What is the basis for this forewarning? How could anyone predict that the World Trade Center would collapse? All expectation is based on experience. You cannot predict a phenomenon that has never happened before.

A meteorologist cannot predict rain if he or she has never experienced rain and the phenomenon is not in the textbooks. The thought simply cannot be thought0.

And Niels Harrit concludes:

“The possibility that the WTC would collapse did not exist among professionals before 9/11. Not even the most experienced building expert, not even the most experienced fireproofing expert could expect that the WTC towers would collapse.

Their experience simply did not include ‘collapse’. Nevertheless, a report was sent to the Danish Prime Minister about the impending collapse of the south tower.

But when the basis for this prediction could not have been based on a building expert’s estimation, the forewarning implies that the collapse was not caused by office fires.

The Danish secret service is often criticized. But maybe that is not such a bad thing after all. This presumably innocent video clip of Poul Nyrup Rasmussen is a piece of condensed world history in 30 seconds0.

Facts

Garbling of quotes
Note the difference between Poul Nyrup Rasmussen’s choice of words and how Niels Harrit interprets them:

“that there is an overwhelming risk that the towers collapse”

This is changed by Niels Harrit to:

“How could anyone predict that the WTC would collapse?”

It is quite a leap from being told that there is a risk of something happening and being told that something will happen. Niels Harrit is clearly overinterpreting what Poul Nyrup Rasmussen says.

The full quote, also found in the clip used by Niels Harrit, goes as follows:

Poul Nyrup Rasmussen: “About at that moment I enter the Prime Minister’s Office, I am told that the first tower has collapsed completely. We, eh, I get a report, I think 5-10 minutes before it physically happens, that there is an overwhelming risk that the towers collapse. So I knew the catastrophe was on the way and get a final confirmation at the moment I enter, I think, eh, in the house.”

Clear signs of impending collapse
Prior to the collapse of the World Trade Center 1 and 2, there were clear signs that the buildings were giving in. It is very clear in the case of the World Trade Center 2 as described by the investigation from NIST:

9:03 a.m. to 9:36 a.m. EDT
Dire structural changes were occurring in the building interior. Core columns, including the massive southeast corner column, had been severed by the aircraft. The loads from these columns had been redistributed to other, intact core columns and to the east exterior wall. The core leaned to the south and east, restrained from further movement by the east and south walls through the floors and the hat truss.

The fires were weakening the structure in a manner different from WTC1. First, the severed core columns in the southeast corner led to the failure of some column splices to the hat truss. Nonetheless, the hat truss continued to transfer loads from the core to the perimeter walls. Second, the overall load redistribution increased the loads on the east wall. Third, the increasing temperatures over time on the long-span floors on the east side had led to significant sagging on the 79th through 83rd floors, resulting in an inward pull force. Fourth, within 18 minutes of the aircraft impact, there was inward bowing of the east perimeter columns as a result of the floors sagging. As the exposure time to the high temperatures lengthened, these pull-in forces from the sagging floors increased the inward bowing of the east perimeter columns.1

9:36 a.m. to 9:58 a.m. EDT
The physical condition of the tower had deteriorated seriously. The inward bowing of columns on the east wall spread along the east face. The east wall lost its ability to support gravity loads, and, consequently, redistributed the loads to the weakened core through the hat truss and to the adjacent north and south walls through the spandrels. But the loads could not be supported by the weakened structure, and the entire section of the building above the impact zone began tilting as a rigid block to the east and south (Figure 3.5). Column failure continued from the east wall around the corners to the north and south faces. The top of the building continued to tilt to the east and south, as, at 9:58:59 a.m., WTC2 began to collapse.2

It takes almost an hour from the first signs of the impending collapse of the World Trade Center 2 until Poul Nyrup Rasmussen hears of it in Denmark.

Logic

“The possibility that the WTC would collapse did not exist among professionals before 9/11.” is an absurd claim. When a building is severely damaged by a big passenger plane filled with jet fuel and the fires are not fought, the risk of collapse is always present, regardless of what the building is made of.

All expectation is not based on experience from previous events. In science – which Niels Harrit knows intimately as he is a trained scientist – hypotheses are frequently proposed without there necessarily being any experience what will happen.

One example of how scientists operate with hypotheses with unknown consequences is the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN)3, where billions of dollars have been invested in a 27 km long ring-shaped particle accelerator to investigate a hypothesis of the existence of dark matter in the universe.

If Poul Nyrup Rasmussen really had prior knowledge that the World Trade Center 2 was about to be blown to smithereens, he would thus have confessed before the rolling camera that he was an accomplice in the death of thousands of innocent people. That is hardly plausible. Not a single person from the Truth Movement has reported Poul Nyrup Rasmussen to the police for these alleged heinous crimes.

Conclusion

The claim is therefore:

  • Misleading
  • Illogical
  • Self-contradicting
  • Manipulating

Sources

  1. Poul Nyrup Rasmussen fik varsel om det utænkelige, Niels Harrit, Arbejderen, 25. november, 2009
  2. Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, NIST, side 43
  3. Final Report on the Collapse of the World Trade Center Towers, NIST, side 44
  4. Large Hadron Collider, Wikipedia

Q & A