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The document that started the war in 2001

USA / MILITARIZATION / : Niels Harrit points out in this article that the participation of European countries in the attack on Afghanistan in 2001 was illegal – according to the UN Treaty. Were a number of countries tricked into the "war on terror"?


The children who go to Danish and Norwegian schools have never experienced their country in peace. Since the oldest vintage was born, our countries have participated in it apparently endless destruction of the countries of the Middle East.1 Europe is disintegrating under the weight of refugees from these areas. Were these wars legal? The legal basis for the initial decisions has never been identified.

In 2016, the Danish government under Lars Løkke Rasmussen requested a historical report from the University of Copenhagen on the decision-making processes prior to Denmark's participation in the wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq.

The report was published on 5 February 2019 with the title: «Why did it go Denmark and War? » It consists of four volumes that can be freely downloaded from the Internet.2 The second half of volume 2 is about the attack on Afghanistan. with the child title: With all the way.


The decision-making process that led to the deployment of Danish soldiers began on September 12, 2001, when the North Atlantic Council was convened in Brussels. It is highly remarkable that EU Foreign Ministers also took part NATOmeeting of ambassadors. The meeting resulted in a decision to activate article 5 in the NATO Treaty in response to the terrorist attack in the United States less than 24 hours before.

Article 5 of the NATO Treaty also called musketeer-eden, because it is here, the members' collective responsibility for the area security is expressed:3

“Participants agree that an armed attack on one or more of them in Europe or North America should be considered an attack on all of them; and they accordingly agree that, in the event of such an attack, each of them, in exercising the right of individual or collective self-defense recognized by Article 51 of the Charter of the United Nations, shall assist the participating country or countries so affected by: , individually and in agreement with the other participating countries, to take such steps, including the use of armed force as each of them considers necessary to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area. "

After the meeting, one was sent out Press release,4 where i.a. stood:

"... if it can be stated that this attack on USA was controlled by a power outside the Alliance, the attack must be considered an act covered by Article 5 of the NATO Treaty, which affirms that an armed attack on one or more of the allies in Europe or North America must be regarded as an attack on all of them. »

Frank Taylor's report and the minutes of the meeting were classified…

This decision requires unanimity among the Member States. However, as the investigation was not completed for good reasons, the adoption was accompanied by a reservation ("provided the attack was directed from abroad"). One apparently had a suspect in the binoculars and the decisive evidence would be presented later.

Frank Taylor

This evidence was formally presented to the Council on October 2, 2001, by a diplomat by name Frank Taylor. He held the title of traveling ambassador and was the coordinator of counterterrorism in the U.S. State Department.

The evidence

NATO Secretary General Lord Robertson subsequently held a press conference in which he explained that Frank Taylor's report and the minutes of the meeting were classified. Lord Robertson could only pass on the main conclusion:5

«The evidence is clear and convincing. The information presented unequivocally points to Al-Qaeda's role in the 11/XNUMX attacks. We know that the people who carried out these attacks were part of the worldwide Al-Qaeda network, which is led by Osama bin Laden and his deputy commander, and which is protected by the Taliban. "

It was further stated: "On the basis of this report, it has now been established that the attack on the United States on 11 September was directed from a foreign power ('directed from abroad') and that the action is therefore covered by Article 5 of NATO the Treaty. "

Lord Robertson

Lord Robertson also stated that there would be "briefings" in NATO's national capitals. It also happened in Copenhagen, which appears from footnote 257 on page 407 in the war investigation report,6 that reads:

«Oral briefing of this US defense adviser […]» (October 2, 2001, doc. No. 801,, FMN. For the content of the briefing, see U.S. Department of State 2001, "September 11: Working Together to Fight the Plague of Global Terrorism and the Case Against Al-Qa'ida," October 2, 2001.). October 2, 2001, doc. No. 801,, FMN. For the content of the briefing, see U.S. Department of State 2001, "September 11: Working Together to Fight the Plague of Global Terrorism and the Case Against Al-Qa'ida," October 2, 2001. "

The Danish government and the 17 other NATO countries must have taken note of similar briefings, as the activation of Article 5 was adopted at a meeting in Brussels two days later, on 4 October. In the subsequent communiqué and the accompanying press conference Lord Robertson announced that the North Atlantic Council had approved Frank Taylor's report.7

Article 5 was now formally acceded to by NATO. This had never happened before in NATO's 51-year history. Nor has it happened since.

Article 5 was now formally acceded to by NATO. This had never happened before in NATO's 51-year history. Nor has it happened since.

Three days later – on October 7 – the first bombs fell in Kabul.

On December 14, 2001, the Danish Parliament decided to send troops to Afghanistan. It happened Parliamentary resolution B-37,8 it was very short: "The Folketing announces its consent for Danish military forces to be made available for the US-led international efforts to combat terrorist networks in Afghanistan."

The comments to the Folketing resolution state:8 "On October 2, 2001, the NATO Council found that the terrorist attacks on the United States on September 11, 2001, were of foreign origin. Therefore, in line with NATO's earlier declaration of 12 September 2001, the terrorist attacks were considered to be covered by Article 5 of the Washington Treaty. "

So it was the content of Frank Taylor's report that determined why it was precisely Afghanistan that should be attacked.

A talking paper

According to the Danish Ministerial Accountability Act §5, subsection 2,9  the comments on a bill or resolution in the Folketing are liable. In other words, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs Per Stig Møller is responsible for ensuring that what is written is correct.

However, on May 19, 2008, the US State Department declassified a directive that was issued in 2001 to all US embassies and representations regarding the 11/XNUMX terrorist attacks.

It's called: «September 11: Working Together to Fight the Plague of Global Terrorism and the Case against Al-Qa'ida ».

As can be seen (footnote 257, cited above6), then it is simply this document that formed the basis for the briefing of the Danish government on October 2, 2001!

The document is addressed to all U.S. embassies and diplomatic missions. The text begins with an instruction to all addressees to inform senior politicians in the respective countries of the contents of this document and to put the Al-Qaeda terrorist network, Osama bin Laden and the Taliban government in connection with the terrorist attack on 11 September .

It also appears that the document may not be passed on or left in a written copy. It is a «speech paper». US diplomats and others instructed to use the contents of the material moisture meter shows you the oral manufacturing («The oral presentation»). One is instructed to emphasize it overall threat picture and on President George W. Bush's plan to attack the states that are home to terrorism. This is followed by 28 pages with the text itself.

Lord Robertson's statement at the press conference after the NATO meeting on 2 October is quoted in Danish translation above.5 Anyone can see for themselves that the Secretary-General quotes «cut´n-paste» from the said document.

The conclusion is inevitable: This document is the manuscript – not just for Frank Taylors orientering of the North Atlantic Council – but also to the briefings that the national governments received at the same time on 2 October from the respective US embassies.

There is no report from Frank Taylor.  There is only this manuscript.


But Article 5 of the NATO Treaty only allows for an individual or collective selvforsvar, recognized by Article 51 of the United Nations Charter! It reads:10

Nothing in this Convention shall prejudice the natural right of individual or collective self-defense in the event of an armed attack on a Member of the United Nations until the Security Council has taken the necessary measures to maintain international peace and security. Precautions taken by members in the exercise of this right of self-defense shall be promptly reported to the Security Council and shall in no way affect its authority and responsibility under this Covenant with respect to implementation at any time of such steps as it deems necessary for maintaining or restoring international peace and security '.

Denmark and Norway were not attacked by Afghanistan

Denmark and Norway was not attacked by Afghanistan. The legality of the NATO countries' participation in the war is therefore entirely conditioned by the factual content of Frank Taylor's manuscript.

So what does this document say that could serve as a legal basis for that Denmark and the other NATO countries took part in the attack on a poor country on the other side of the globe? Nothing! Nothing!

Only a minor part of the text is about September 11 in the form of vertical, summary official claims about the events of that day. There is no evidence. Most of the text is about the alleged acts of al-Qaeda and the Taliban in the 1990s.

The participation of European countries in the attack on Afghanistan is therefore illegal under the UN Treaty.

A briefing is something you take note of. On October 2, 2001, NATO member countries took over for information, that we were at war.

We still are – five ruined countries, tens of thousands of dead, millions of refugees, and billions of dollars later.1

On May 25, 2017, NATO inaugurated its new headquarters in Brussels. On that occasion, they also unveiled a «9/11 Memorial and Article 5». In front of NATO heads of government with Donald Trump at the helm, Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg revive the story of the activation of Article 5. But the powerful politicians do not look very enthusiastic.11


1 Costs of war.
2 Why did Denmark go to war?
3 Article 5:
Lord Robertson's Press Release September 12, 2001.
5 Lord Robertson's Press Release, October 2, 2001. “The facts are clear and compelling. The information presented points conclusively to an Al-Qaida role in the 11 September attacks.We know that the individuals who carried out these attacks were part of the world-wide terrorist network of Al-Qaida, headed by Osama bin Laden and his key lieutenants and protected by the Taliban. »
6  Page 407, footnote 257
7 NATO meeting 4 October. Implementation of Article 5.
8 The Danish Parliament decides to send soldiers to Afghanistan
9 Ministerial Responsibility Act:
Article 10.
11 Inauguration of «9/11 and Article 5 memorial» at the new NATO Headquarters 25 May, 2017.


Niels Harris
Niels Harrit
Ph.D., Dragør, Denmark.

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