FDNY operating in the South Tower on 9/11

Flight 175 just before impacting the South Tower
Flight 175 just before impacting the South Tower

“Hey Ladder 15, we got two isolated pockets of fire. We should be able to knock it down with two lines. Radio that. 78th floor, South Tower. Numerous 10-45 code ones.” — FDNY Battalion 7 Chief Orio Palmer to Ladder 15 Lieutenant Joseph Leavey, 9:55 a.m., September 11, 2001

At 9:03 a.m., on 9/11, terrorists crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the World Trade Center’s South Tower. Four minutes later, the FDNY’s Battalion 7 Chief, his aide, and five firefighters from Ladder 15 — led by my wife’s brother — arrived in that tower’s lobby. While a FDNY City-Wide Tour Commander set up the command post there, a Deputy Chief (4 Bravo) moved from there to Tower 2’s staging area at West and Liberty Streets and the Battalion 7 Chief attempted to establish communications with the Battalion 1 Chief at the command post in the North Tower.

Battalion 7, his aide, and the five members of Ladder 15 then used a working service elevator that they had found and proceeded to the 40th floor. Their mission was to reach the fire floor, report on the situation there, and begin to direct the deployment of the additional units. This initial audio is of those firefighters, beginning at 9:07 and running through approximately 9:19 a.m. [Note: I have removed the ‘open air’ (the periods when no transmissions were made), extraneous transmissions, and several actual calls from within the South Tower from these audio recordings]:


Once they all reached the 40th floor, they began the ascent, with each carrying 60 to 80 pounds of gear. While climbing, they received a report of a way to those trapped above the fire floor from the “Director of Morgan Stanley” whom is believed to have actually been Morgan Stanley’s head of security. Ladder 15 also received a report of another plane (probably while monitoring other radio channels). Additional units began arriving on the 40th floor. This audio runs from approximately 9:21 to 9:35 a.m.


They encountered the injured and directed them to the elevator. The following are brief excerpts from the New York Times’ Accounts from the South Tower, beginning on page 9, as published on May 26, 2002: [Also see this USAToday report, September 3, 2002.]

Judy Wein, survivor: Gigi [Singer] and Judy, along with a man she had never before met [Ed Nicholls, also of Aon, who is interviewed separately] headed into the stairs. One at a time they moved down. Judy moved quickly down the stairs, so fast that she left Gigi at times behind her, one or two flights. Gigi would yell out Judy’s name on occasion, Judy announcing the floor numbers as they went down, 60, 55, 53. It was somewhere in the 50s that they encountered the first firefighter, she said. They were moving in small packs, carrying a load of heavy equipment, which clearly slowed them down. She told them that there were many injured people on the 78th floor, please help them. And they continued up. They told her to keep going down to the 40th floor, where there was an elevator bank. Her legs were trembling by the time she got there. She encountered two security guards and a firefighter, they told her to calm down. Not to rush. Take her time. But Judy just wanted to get out. An elevator came. Within another 10 minutes, they were outside. She was in the ambulance. The door was closed. She heard a noise. She turned to look. The south tower was coming down.

Ling Young, survivor: At the 51st floor, she met two firemen, and one of them decided to go down with her. She wasn’t aware of the fact that he had joined her until they got to the 40th floor, when he told her they could take the service elevator the rest of the way. She got out to Church Street, where she was placed in an ambulance. Moments after the ambulance pulled away to take her to a hospital, the tower she had been in fell to the ground.

Ed Nicholls, survivor: “These two guys came over. They were trying to figure out, because the fire was getting so bad. We knew we had to get out of there.” “The fire was not too far from us. We were watching it burn. It was decided between these two guys, one of them said, `Lets go back over to the other side where they came from.’ He thought that might be the best way to get down.” The other guy said “No, I don’t think so, I think there is a stairway over here. At this point it was getting very smoky.” One of those men pointed to the stairwell. [Other accounts say this man was wearing a red handkerchief] This was to be the route to safety. “And then the three of us, myself, Gigi and Judy headed toward that stairwell and started to go down the stairs.”

They continued to climb, attempted to find an elevator that terminated below the fire, and relayed to each other what they saw and who they found. More firefighters came up on their radio channel and, along with at least one NYPD Emergency Services Unit, were coming up the stairs behind them to assist. This audio runs from 9:37 a.m. to 9:50 a.m., approximately:


They reached the fire floor, witnessed the devastation, fought fires, found the way to those trapped above, and called for more units. This audio begins about 9:52 a.m:


South Tower Collapses 9:59 a.m.

The audio went silent at 9:59 a.m., when the South Tower collapsed.

We will never forget.


Editor — To view individual tributes to those killed, please visit Legacy.com.

Originally posted September 9, 2007.

Ilhan Omar married her brother? The liberal media has shaded this real news story for nearly three years.

Ilhan Omar (center) with then legally married husband Ahmed Elmi (right) in 2016. Click on image to learn why this photograph matters.

There are court documents, photographs, and social media posts with which to credibly allege Ilhan Omar perjured herself in her 2017 divorce’s legal filings. That may not be her only crime. There is much that supports the assertions that in 2009 she married her biological brother with fraudulent intent and later violated federal tax law. If the investigative reporters are correct, Omar and members of her family committed immigration fraud – not once, but twice.

This is America; everyone here is innocent until proven guilty. Yet Congresswoman Omar is being shaded from scrutiny because she is the liberal media’s Muslim of color progressive Democrat poster lady. So, they didn’t report indisputable facts and they misled.

Where are the bastions of America’s free press?

The Washington Post’s motto is ‘Democracy dies in darkness.’ Yet that major newspaper has not reported or fact-checked the allegations against Ilhan Omar. Instead, they went after President Trump under the guise of political news analysis and a liberal columnist there served as her lead cheer leader (See ‘Ilhan Omar, quintessentially American’).

Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (born April 4, 1985) and Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1982) married on February 12, 2009. (A Christian minister conducted the ceremony.) But the New York Times’ fact-checker failed in her only attempt to debunk the story when she wrote, “… he is also three years younger than Ms. Omar, whose mother died when she was 2 years old.” As you can see, Elmi was born 30 months after Omar while she was 2 years old.

The “fact-checkers” inexplicably did not report that: In 2008, four months before Ilhan Omar married Ahmed Elmi, the State Department stopped taking Refugee Family Reunification (Priority Three) Program applications from a list of countries – including Somalia – because DNA testing showed more than 80% of applications were fraudulent.

What indicates they are related … and about the name Omar.

Scott Johnson at PowerlineBlog.com reported that: Congresswoman Ilhan Abdullahi Omar’s name before applying for asylum was Ilhan Nur Said Elmi; her father’s name before applying for asylum was Nur Said Elmi Mohamed; and when Ahmed Elmi applied for asylum in the U.K., his name was Ahmed Nur Said Elmi. Official records in the U.K. and U.S. and multiple social media posts indicate Ahmed and Ilhan are the son and daughter of the same man: Nur Said Elmi Mohamed.

(See ‘How Somali children are named‘ – St. Cloud Times, February 22, 2016.)

Where did Ilhan get the name ‘Omar’ from? An Omar family sponsored Ilhan when she became a citizen in 2000 at age 17. In addition, the Omar family was granted asylum in the U.S. in 1995 and her father falsely claimed they were members of that family. There exists credible evidence that they gamed our immigration system.

(That alleged immigration fraud was her father’s doing as Ilhan was just a minor child of 12. While I may disagree with Congresswoman Omar’s politics, it would be cruel and inhumane to punish her for the “sins” of her father. Instead, we need to fix our immigration system.)

Minnesota records show Ahmed N. Elmi (born April 4, 1985) attended his senior year of high school there 2002 to 2003 while living with his father Nur Said Elmi Mohamed. Fast forward to 2009: Ahmed Nur Said Elmi (born April 4, 1985) married Ilhan Abdullahi Omar (born October 4, 1982) in Minnesota.

Investigative reporters discovered official records in the U.K. and U.S., that are available to the public, which layout the family relationships; they are listed here. On that same page, there are captured social media posts (since scrubbed by Ilhan et al) which further confirm those family relationships. They indicate Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Elmi are biological sister and brother.

Yet Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has adamantly refused to confirm the names of any of her siblings.

Records, photographs, and social media posts show Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Hirsi remained together continuously (a British tabloid says they split up last week) since marrying in their faith tradition in 2002. For example, on May 21, 2009 – three months after Ahmed Elmi and Omar were married – Hirsi used the same address as the one the other two used on their marriage license in his application for a license to open his ‘One to One Café’ lounge.

Ahmed Elmi attended college in North Dakota from 2009 to 2012. Ilhan Omar and Ahmed Hirsi also moved to Fargo in 2009. She attended the same university and graduated in 2011. A free press might want to determine if Ahmed Elmi applied for tuition assistance, federally backed student loans, and citizenship using his marriage license.

State and federal crimes.

In her 2017 divorce filing – submitted under penalty of perjury – Ilhan Omar claimed to the court that she had no contact with Ahmed Elmi since June 2011; that statement appears to be untrue.

In June, WCCO in Minnesota reported the state election board announced it had found that Ilhan Omar filed state joint tax forms in 2014 and 2015 with an Ahmed Hirsi while she was legally married to another man, Ahmed Elmi. She was ordered to repay the $3500 inappropriately taken from campaign funds and used for personal expenses – including to help pay for her 2017 divorce – and to pay a $500 fine. Omar expressed relief that the matter was closed. Her spokesperson added, “All of Rep. Omar’s tax filings are fully compliant with all applicable tax law.”

They hoped the story would just go away. It did not …

It is reasonable to suspect Omar and Hirsi also filed ‘married filing jointly’ federal 1040 tax forms for those two years; the IRS usually treats such filings as a crime when they are made with fraudulent intent. They might not get prosecuted for what is presumably a difference of a few hundred dollars. But conspiracy to commit benefits fraud to gain an immigration benefit is a serious federal crime (see ‘Marriage Fraud’), and the statute of limitations has not expired. 

What real journalism looks like.

Being a conservative, Republican, or Trump supporter does not make one alt-right, a sexist, or anti-Muslim any more than being a liberal, Democrat, or Muslim makes one un-American, a communist, or a terrorist. A free press would check the extensive investigative reporting done by Scott Johnson, Preya Samsundar, and David Steinberg.  

Mr. Johnson, a Minneapolis attorney, has a long record of credible investigative reporting. His articles have appeared in newspapers including the New York Times, the New York Post, the Minneapolis Star Tribune and the St. Paul Pioneer Press, as well as magazines including the National Review and Weekly Standard.

In 2004, Johnson was instrumental in discrediting forged documents on George W. Bush’s National Guard service. He first reported ‘The Curious Case of Ilhan Omar‘ in 2016, two years before she was elected to Congress.

Congresswoman Omar is neither above the law nor immune from scrutiny because she is a Democrat or because of her skin color, gender, and religion. Yet the liberal media has shaded the facts in this real news story for nearly three years. They act like a free press only when it suits them, and they’ve revealed their selective disdain for the Rule of Law.


Tim Sumner is retired U.S. Army and also a graduate of the DoD’s prestigious Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute, Class 87-3. He co-founded 9/11 Families for a Safe & Strong America in 2004.

Post updated at 11:11 AM, August 2, 2019.