"I shouldn't overreact to what I see in the media," says Bill Elliott, commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. "But there was a suggestion that the Secretary of Homeland Security in the United States made some reference linking terrorist threats in Canada to the 9/11 attacks. And there is certainly no link to be made there." - Tonda MacCharles, The Toronto Star
"On Friday, former Republican presidential candidate John McCain said he believed some of the 9/11 hijackers entered the United States from Canada, triggering a new round of frustration and anger among Canadian officials - only days after a similar remark by U.S. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano.
Mr. McCain, an Arizona senator who has championed free trade ties with Canada, told Fox News Ms. Napolitano was accurate when she suggested the terrorists responsible for the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on New York and Washington crossed into the U.S. across the Canadian border.
'Well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know,' Mr. McCain said when asked if he was worried Ms. Napolitano was misinformed." - Sheldon Alberts, The National Post
"Two men identified as hijackers Mohammed Atta, right, and Abdulaziz Alomari pass through airport security at Portland International Jetport in Maine on Sept. 11, 2001.
They did not enter the US from Canada.
'They didn't hijack Canadian planes,' a rankled Canadian spy told reporters at the time. 'They got through airport security in the U.S., not here.' - Andrew Mitrovica, The Toronto Star
"As the 9-11 Commission reported in July 2004," said Canadian Ambassador to the US Michael Wilson, "all of the 9-11 terrorists arrived in the U.S. from outside North America.
They flew to major U.S. airports.
They entered the U.S. with documents issued to them by the U.S. government.
No 9-11 terrorists came from Canada." - CTV News
"On January 15, 2000 Nawaf al Hazmi arrived in Los Angeles. It was a convenient point of entry from Asia and had the added benefit of being far away from the intended target area.
On December 8, 2000, Hani Hanjour arrived in San Diego, having traveled from Dubai via Paris and Cincinnati.
Ahmed al Ghamdi and Majed Moqed, sent to America to serve as muscle hijackers, arrived at Dulles Airport in Virginia on May 2.
Marwan al Shehhi came on May 29, arriving in Newark, NJ on a flight from Brussels.
On June 2, Mohamed Atta traveled to the Czech Republic by bus from Germany and then flew from Prague to Newark the next day.
Ziad Jarrah arrived in Newark on June 27 and then flew to Venice, Florida to attend the Florida Flight Training Center.
From Pakistan, the remaining operatives transited through the United Arab Emirates en route to the United States. Arriving in the US in late April, 2001, in most cases, they traveled in pairs on tourist visas and entered the United States in Orlando or Miami, Florida; Washington, D.C.; or New York. By the end of June, 14 of the 15 muscle hijackers had crossed the Atlantic.
The last muscle hijacker to arrive was Khalid al Mihdhar. On July 4, 2001, Mihdhar left Saudi Arabia to return to the United States, arriving at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York." - The National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (also known as the 9-11 Commission)
Let's recall that Janet Napolitano was Governor of Arizona until being named as Secretary of Homeland Security.
And which state does Senator John McCain serve as a US Senator?
"The fact that Hani Hanjour spent so much time in Arizona may be significant. A number of important al Qaeda figures attended the University of Arizona in Tucson or lived in Tucson in the 1980s and early 1990s. Some of Hanjour’s known Arizona associates from the time of his flight training in the late 1990s have also raised suspicion." - The 9-11 Commission
Let's look at McCain's quote one more time:
"Well, some of the 9/11 hijackers did come through Canada, as you know."
Is an almost-president really that removed from reality? Or does he find it convenient to blame Canada when he is fully aware of his own state's reputation as a hotbed of al Qaeda activity?
"There are 59 references to Arizona in the 9/11 Commission Report. But it tells only a fragment of the story when it comes to terrorists in the Grand Canyon State." - Arizona Monthly
As a Canadian, I am pleased to inform all of humankind:
The 9/11 terrorists did not enter the US from Canada.
Perhaps Senator McCain would like to repeat his quote here in Nova Scotia, where people took in stranded air travellers when "the United States Federal Aviation Authority ordered all international flights to the United States to be diverted to the nearest airport after the attacks. There were close to 500 aircraft affected." - CBC News
"General consensus places the numbers at 44,519 passengers (most of them Americans) on 255 diverted flights to Canada (most of them of U.S. registry). More than half of the flights landed in Atlantic Canada. Halifax International Airport received the highest number of flights at 47.
After the initial task of diverting the flights was over, thousands of stranded passengers and flight crews had to be housed and fed until the crisis was over.
The Canadian Public Relations Society presented Halifax International Airport an Amethyst Award in the Crisis Communications category, to honour the authority's response to the situation." - Operation Yellow Ribbon
Leah Braemel says Napolitano needs to state publicly that she was WRONG WRONG WRONG and apologize to Canada.
Kathleen says During this awful time in history Canadians were the first to offer help and send our firefighters, police officers and other rescue workers to the aid of those who died and who were brought to safety.
Wylie Kinson says When I saw this story break I immediately thought of that South Park song, Blame Canada. Of course, THAT was a spoof *snort*. Perhaps McCain and Napolitano didn't realize...