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Building 7

Building 7 was a 47-story steel-framed skyscraper that occupied a block adjacent to the World Trade Center complex, two city blocks away from the nearest of the Twin Towers. It was not hit by an aircraft. NIST alleges that it was severely damaged by large pieces of steel ejected from the North Tower, but there is no publicly verifiable evidence of this. Nonetheless, like the Twin Towers, Building 7 underwent a total collapse on 9/11/01. Whereas the Twin Towers exploded Building 7 imploded in a manner indistinguishable from conventional building demolitions.

Building 7's collapse, which occurred at 5:20 PM, is not thought to have killed anyone. According to the government's vague and inconclusive report, fires caused Building 7 to collapse. Yet, excepting 9/11/01, there has never been a case of fires, no matter how severe, causing the collapse of a steel-framed high-rise building. Why wasn't this inexplicable incident a major news story?

Building 7 occupied a block to the north of the World Trade Center Plaza. Its 23rd floor held Mayor Giuliani's Emergency Command Center. This floor had bullet- and bomb-resistant windows, an independent air and water supply, and an unobstructed view of the north faces of both towers. 1   2  

The other government agencies with offices in the building were the IRS, the EEOC, the US Secret Service, the SEC, and the CIA.

The private tenants were Salomon Smith Barney, American Express Bank International, Standard Chartered Bank, Provident Financial Management, ITT Hartford Insurance Group, First State Management Group, Inc., Federal Home Loan Bank, and NAIC Securities.

Large numbers of case files for ongoing investigations by the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) were reportedly destroyed in the collapse. The Los Angeles Times reported that "substantial files were destroyed" for 3000 to 4000 of the SEC's cases. The EEOC reported that documents for 45 active cases were destroyed. 3   Before the attack, SEC investigations of corporate fraud by companies such as Enron and Worldcom were the subject of many news reports -- reports that virtually vanished in the wake of the attack.

e x c e r p t
title: Waking Up From Our Nightmare
authors: Don Paul and Jim Hoffman

A question arises from the obvious demolition of WTC 7: Why destroy such a valuable piece of real estate?

We know that WTC7's developer and lease-holder, Silverstein Properties, and WTC7's mortgage-holders, the Blackstone Group, Banc of America Securities, and General Motors Acceptance Corporation, received a Court-awarded amount of $861 million dollars from Industrial Risk Insurers in February 2002. We know that about $386 million had been invested in WTC7 before its destruction. The Court-award meant that Silverstein Properties and the mortgage-holders would share in about $475 million of profit. [8]

Silverstein Properties is headed by Larry Silverstein, a large contributor to Democrat and Republican office-holders. Silverstein Properties became the primary owner of the WTC Twin Towers less than two months before 9/11/01 (Westfield Malls was Silverstein Properties' minority-partner). Buying from the New York Port Authority, Silverstein Properties invested only $15 million toward a total purchase-price of $3.2 billion for a 99-year lease on holdings worth an estimated $8 billion. The low-rise office buildings WTC 4, 5, and 6, and 400,000 square feet of retail space were included with the Twin Towers in this deal. Silverstein Properties immediately took out extensive insurance policies on its new holdings.

One clause in Silverstein Properties' insurance policies for the new WTC holdings soon proved instrumental. Quoting the British Financial Times of September 14, 2001, the American Reporter wrote that ‘ the lease has an all-important escape clause: If the buildings are struck by “an act of terrorism”, the new owners' obligations under the lease are void. As a result, the new owners are not required to make any payments under their lease, but they will be able to collect on the loss of the buildings that collapsed or were otherwise destroyed and damaged in the attacks. ’ [9] Silverstein Properties is still contesting the amount of pay-out due for destruction of the Twin Towers—$3.55 billion for one ‘occurrence’ or $7.1 billion for two ‘occurrences’. The “terrorism” clause in his lease has given Larry Silverstein leverage in negotiating his new deal for the site. [10]

8. ‘Rebuilding Begins for 7 WTC Despite Unanswered Questions’, Peter Grant, Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2002, http://homes.wsj.com/columnists_com/bricks/20020710-bricks.html .
9. ‘No Fraud, but Huge Profits Seen in World Trade Center Attacks’, Joe Shea, The American Reporter, August 1, 2004, reprinting piece from September 2001, http://www.american-reporter.com/2,421W/1494.html .

References

1. Giuliani Improvises After Command Center Gets Hit, Washington Technology, 10/08/01
2. Terrorism and Anti-Terrorism, Gotham Gazette, 9/12/01
3. SEC & EEOC: Attack Delays Investigations, National Law Journal, 9/17/01

page last modified: 2006-02-23
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Building 7 was one of the largest buildings in Lower Manhattan after the Twin Towers.