Larry Silverstein, who owned the World Trade Center 7, gave the order to demolish the building.0
The claim is based on an interview with the American businessman Larry Silverstein in the documentary “America rebuilds, A year at”. The documentary was shown the first time on PBS on September 11 20021.
Kevin Spacey (commentator): “Pelted by debris when the North Tower collapsed, [WTC] Seven burned until late afternoon allowing occupants to evacuate to safety.”
Larry Silverstein: “I remember getting a call from the fire department commander telling me they were not sure they were going to be able to contain the fire. And I said, “you know, we’ve had such terrible loss of life, maybe the smartest thing to do is, is pull it, and they made that decision to pull, uh, and we watched the building collapse.”
The expression “pull it” is interpreted by conspiracy theorists as slang in the demolition industry for a controlled demolition. Silverstein should thus have admitted, either by giving himself away, or when the camera was rolling, that explosives had been placed in the World Trade Center 7, that he knew about it, and that he gave the order to blow up the building.
Larry Silverstein owned the World Trade Center 7 and took over the lease of the World Trade Center 1, 2, 4 and 5 at the end of May 2001, where he signed a lease for 99 years, for 3.25 billion dollars. He specifically insured the buildings against terror attacks. Six weeks later, the terror attack happened, and all of the buildings were completely destroyed2.
“Pull it” is not used by the demolition business about demolishing buildings. It is used about a technique where lower buildings with few floors that are in danger of collapsing are pulled down with cables strung over the building. One such example is the World Trade Center 6:
Events prior to the conversation
In the early afternoon on September 11 2001 Larry Silverstein had a phone conversation with Daniel Nigro, the fire chief at . Silverstein was informed that the fire crews and other rescue personnel in the area surrounding the World Trade Center 7 had reported that the building showed signs of instability and would likely collapse. Large fires had been observed on at least 6 floors where each fire under normal circumstances would have been considered a large fire. To make matters worse, the fire crews had no equipment available or water to fight the fires.
The fire department then decided around 14:30 local time to abandon the World Trade Center 7 and evacuate the area. The decision also meant that all rescue efforts concerning the World Trade Center 6 and on the ruins of the World Trade Center 1 was halted4.
It was around that time Larry Silverstein got the call from Daniel Nigro that Silverstein is referring to in the documentary.
Almost 3 hours later, at 17:20 local time, the World Trade Center 7 collapsed.
Who does what?
It is important to remember that it was the fire chief who called Larry Silverstein, not the other way around. Likewise, it is not Silverstein who made the decision:
…and they made that decision to “pull”…
Why warn in advance?
It weakens the claim that Silverstein specifically points to the dreadful loss of life as a reason to “pull it”. If Silverstein had insurance fraud in mind, he should make sure that as many people as possible lost their lives, thus making it easier for himself when he would have to explain the scope of the disaster, when the insurance sum was to be paid.
There are also great many witnesses confirming that the World Trade Center 7 was so damaged that the building would soon collapse on its own.4
Regardless of whether it was Larry Silverstein who gave the order to blow up the building, or it was the fire chief, it would mean that the fire chief and large parts of the New York Fire Department were accomplices. There is no evidence of this, and it is deeply insulting to the whole of the New York Fire Department, which lost over 300 firefighters during the catastrophe.
If Larry Silverstein really had given an order to blow up the building, he would have admitted while the camera was rolling that he not only was guilty of insurance fraud for billions of dollars, but also was guilty of causing the deaths of thousands of innocent people. It does not sound very plausible to admit to such a deed so carelessly. Nobody from thehas reported Larry Silverstein to the police for these horrid crimes.
A far more plausible explanation than Silverstein not once but twice admit being an accomplice in the terror attack, is that he believed there were still people in the area and that he thought they should be pulled out to limit the number of killed, a number that was already dreadfully high. Silverstein was at his house and had no real understanding of what the situation atwas.
There are many logical flaws embedded in the claim:
- If explosives had secretly been placed in the World Trade Center 7, it is illogical to wait 7 hours after the collapses of the World Trade Center 1 and 2, before blowing up the World Trade Center 7.
- It is illogical that no one is killed in the collapse, because it no longer looks like a part of a terror attack, but merely a controlled demolition which, according to the claim, was supposed to be a secret.
- It is illogical to let the building burn for hours. Fires could ruin the explosives, partly or totally, which supposedly took months to place in total secrecy.
- It is illogical that Silverstein is talking with anyone about blowing up the building, or make them believe that the building is in danger of collapsing. That would raise suspicion of a secret plan.
- It is illogical and extraordinarily stupid to even discuss the subject on tv.
- It is illogical that Silverstein allows a confession to be broadcast, since the interview was not live. There was plenty of time to prevent it from getting out to the public.
- If the claim is true, then it is a question of a very clever planning over a prolonged period of time, made completely invisible and involving a great number of people who all keep this dreadful secret to themselves. But at the same time, it points to an incredibly clumsy and careless planning, both because Silverstein gave himself away not once but twice (first to the fire chief and then during the interview) and because the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center 7 happens independently of the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center 1 and 2. It would have been much more plausible if the World Trade Center 7 had beel blown up when the huge dust clouds from the World Trade Center 1 were covering the area.
- It is completely idiotic to plan a controlled demolition of a building to make it look like a collapse, if the aim is to hide a lot of documents. Neither a controlled demolition or a collapse destroy every piece of paper or documents. When the City Archive of Cologne, Germany, collapsed in 2009, a lot of invaluable material was salvaged5.
If you aim to destroy a lot of paper, documents and digital data, there is a much better and proven method: A fire that lasts as long as possible.
The claim is therefore:
- “Larry Silverstein, the owner of the WTC complex, admitted on a September 2002 PBS documentary, ‘America Rebuilds’ that he and the NYFD decided to ‘pull’ WTC 7 on the day of the attack. The word ‘pull’ is industry jargon for taking a building down with explosives.”
- America Rebuilds – A Year at , dokumentar, PBS
- World Trade Center, Wikipedia
- World Trade Center 6, Wikipedia
- NIST NCSTAR 1-8: The Emergency Response Operations, Analysis of Emergency Responder Operations, side 111
- “…på sine 22 reolkilometer rummede det ikke mindre end 65.000 aktstykker fra år 922 og frem. Dertil kom bl.a. 1.800 middelalderlige håndskrifter, 150.000 kort, 50.000 plakater og 500.000 fotos.”
“Der er bjærget mere end en million små konfettistykker af gamle papirer og pergamenter. De skal samles igen. Hvis dette store arbejde skal gennemføres, skønnes det at kræve 200 mands indsats i 30 år.”
“I oktober i fjor havde man bjærget omkring 85 procent af arkivet.”
“Man anslår, at 35 procent af det bjærgede materiale er svært beskadiget. 40-50 procent er middelsvært ødelagt, mens 15-25 procent kun er let tilskadekommet.”
1.000 års historie styrtede ned i metroslugt, Politiken