Is There A Secret To The 9/11 Insurance Battle?
Why is Allianz really holding out
on paying Larry Silverstein?
Wednesday, March 14, 2007
A major insurance company is holding back from paying
Larry Silverstein insurance money he says he is still
owed from the destruction of the World Trade Center complex,
the question is why?
Mr Silverstein, who leased the downtown site destroyed
on September 11, 2001, claims Allianz still owes him $US553
million ($A708.57 million) and that a second insurer,
Britain's Royal & Sun Alliance, owes him $US250 million
($A320.33 million). He said their reluctance had slowed
rebuilding at the site.
Silverstein has been making a great deal
of noise this week out on the streets of Manhattan with
a crowd of about 200 cheering construction workers chanting
"We're going to make you pay!''
Silverstein has also been comparing his
case to that of Gulf Coast homeowners who are suing for
claims from Hurricane Katrina in 2005. "You can count
on some insurance companies to look for every way they
can think of to avoid paying up,'' he is quoted as saying.
The payment dispute arose when Silverstein
agreed with New York's Port Authority on terms for the
reconstruction of the new Freedom tower in April last
year. Under the deal, he was granted permission to build
the Freedom Tower but is required to hand it back to the
Port Authority after completion.
Silverstein later filed a lawsuit in June,
claiming that seven insurers had refused to provide assurances
that their obligations to pay were unaffected by the April
agreement. Silverstein has claimed that it is this that
is holding up redevelopment at ground zero.
Allianz is now the sole remaining insurance
carrier that has not affirmed they will pay out
York Times reported at the time:
But a lawyer for Allianz, which owes a maximum
of $552.5 million at ground zero, said yesterday that
the lawsuit was unnecessary, because a legal proceeding
was begun nearly five years ago to determine exactly how
much money is owed at ground zero under the terms of the
insurance policy. He said that Mr. Silverstein was merely
seeking a different venue for one of many issues now being
debated in federal court.
At the end of two trials in 2004, a federal
court decided that the insurers owed a maximum of
$4.6 billion, more than the $3.5 billion term of the insurance
policy. Silverstein had originally claimed $7 billion,
attempting to prove that the crashing of the two planes
into two towers constituted two separate events. The two
sides have been locked in a grueling appraisal process
to determine exactly how much of the $4.6 billion must
be paid out.
A spokeswoman for Allianz has said that
a mediation process between Mr Silverstein and the German
insurer began yesterday. She said she had no further details.
Reuters further reports:
The Allianz spokeswoman said the insurer had already
paid almost $US2 billion ($A2.56 billion) in claims from
the World Trade Center disaster, settling with all its
policy holders except for Silverstein and the Port Authority.
Ms Schwarzer said Allianz has paid Mr Silverstein
and the Port Authority almost $US550 million ($A704.72
million) and that the developer had more than enough
money in the bank to begin construction at the lower
Another spokeswoman for Allianz, Andreas
Shell, head of the damages department, was quoted by the
Times as saying "The reconstruction could start
immediately. This is not down to the insurers,"
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It now seems that Allianz is being forced
to back down as Brooklyn-Queens Democratic Congressman
Anthony Weiner has vowed to punish the insurers with fines
or operating restrictions if they do not pay up.
Silverstein is determined to rake in every
last penny possible from 9/11 and has already secured
billions from other insurers without a blink of an eye
over the fact that he leased the property just six weeks
before the attacks and has since been caught in an admission
that he ordered at least one of the buildings, WTC 7,
"pulled" on 9/11.
Building 7 occupied a city block immediately
north of the World Trade Center complex. Photos taken
minutes before its collapse show small fires on two or
three floors. Building 7 became only the third steel building
in history before or since 9/11 to collapse from fire
damage. The other two were the North and South towers
of the World Trade Center.
We have thoroughly documented the mystery
surrounding the collapse of building 7, an issue which
recently exploded back into the limelight with the revelations
that the BBC
reported that the building had collapsed up to an
hour before it actually fell.
Any building that was not owned by Silverstein Properties
that day strangely remained upright, despite being a lot
closer to the two towers that collapsed onto them.
Questions about the highly suspicious nature of the building's
collapse remained comparatively muted until January 2004,
when a PBS documentary, America Rebuilds, originally broadcast
in September 2002, received attention across the Internet.
The documentary was made infamous for one comment made
by Larry Silverstein on the subject of 9/11. Silverstein
states, "I remember getting a call from the, er,
fire department commander, telling me that they were not
sure they were gonna be able to contain the fire, and
I said, "We've had such terrible loss of life, maybe
the smartest thing to do is pull it. And they made that
decision to pull and we watched the building collapse."
here to watch the clip.
We know that the term 'pull it' means to bring the building
down by means of explosives because in the same documentary
a cleanup worker (in December 2001) refers to the demolition
of WTC Building 6 when he says, "...we're getting
ready to pull the building six." The term is industry
jargon for planned demolition.
here to listen to the clip.
For the following year and a half the Internet and alternative
talk radio was aflame with talk of Building 7 and Silverstein's
apparent admission. For many it is now the central issue
In January last year we reported that the State Department,
as part of its pathetic efforts to debunk 9/11 research,
had posted a response from Silverstein's spokesperson
Dara McQuillan to the "pull it" saga.
The statement read:
Seven World Trade Center collapsed at 5:20 p.m.
on September 11, 2001, after burning for seven hours.
There were no casualties, thanks to the heroism of the
Fire Department and the work of Silverstein Properties
employees who evacuated tenants from the building.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
conducted a thorough investigation of the collapse of
all the World Trade Center buildings. The FEMA report
concluded that the collapse of Seven World Trade Center
was a direct result of fires triggered by debris from
the collapse of WTC Tower 1.
In the afternoon of September 11, Mr. Silverstein
spoke to the Fire Department Commander on site at Seven
World Trade Center. The Commander told Mr. Silverstein
that there were several firefighters in the building
working to contain the fires. Mr. Silverstein expressed
his view that the most important thing was to protect
the safety of those firefighters, including, if necessary,
to have them withdraw from the building.
Later in the day, the Fire Commander ordered his
firefighters out of the building and at 5:20 p.m. the
building collapsed. No lives were lost at Seven World
Trade Center on September 11, 2001.
As noted above, when Mr. Silverstein was recounting
these events for a television documentary he stated, “I
said, you know, we've had such terrible loss of life. Maybe
the smartest thing to do is to pull it.” Mr. McQuillan
has stated that by “it,” Mr. Silverstein meant
the contingent of firefighters remaining in the building.
The insurmountable problem with this explanation
of Silverstein's statement is that there were no firefighters inside
Dr. Shyam Sunder, of the National Institutes of Standards and Technology
(NIST), which investigated the collapse of WTC 7, is quoted in Popular
Debunking the Myths, March, 2005) as saying: "There was
no firefighting in WTC 7."
The FEMA report
on the collapses, from May, 2002, also says about the WTC 7 collapse:
"no manual firefighting operations were taken by FDNY."
article by James Glanz in the New York Times on November 29,
2001 says about WTC 7: "By 11:30 a.m., the fire commander in
charge of that area, Assistant Chief Frank Fellini, ordered firefighters
away from it for safety reasons."
Silverstein's explanation, after two years of stonewalling, that
"pull it" meant to withdraw the firefighters is a lie.
There were no firefighters in the building for hours before the
Furthermore, even if he did mean "pull the firefighters"
then why did he say "pull it", with no reference to anything
other than the building? Consider also the timing: "they made
that decision to pull and then we watched the building collapse."
Could it really be possible that some (nonexistent) fire brigade
was removed from the building and just at that moment ("then")
the building collapsed? Is there really any doubt here about what
The only reasonable conclusion is that Larry Silverstein's statement
is an admission that WTC 7 was brought down by a controlled demolition,
meaning that the official version of what happened to WTC 7 is false,
and casting serious doubt on the official story that terrorists
of a foreign origin destroyed the twin towers, as well as on the
rest of the official account of 9/11. Note that this admission is
a statement against Silverstein's own interests (putting him at
odds with the official version of events and potentially jeopardizing
his insurance claims). Such statements are given great weight as
a matter of law.
In February of 2002 Silverstein Properties won $861 million from
Industrial Risk Insurers to rebuild on the site of WTC 7. Silverstein
Properties' estimated investment in WTC 7 was $386 million. This
building's collapse alone resulted in a profit of about $500 million.
Since then a total of nine insurance companies have continued to
pay Silverstein as the legal wrangle continues. The only ones who
have resisted in any way have been Allianz.
Interesting it is then that Allianz are also the only insurance
company involved to also refer to the Silverstein "pull it"
In May 2005 we carried
a report from press release website PR Web which highlighted
a proposal by a small shareholder to withhold approval from the
Board of Directors for failure to investigate signs of insurance
fraud on 9/11 had been published on the website of the Allianz Group
in preparation for its May 4th annual meeting.
The report stated:
Allianz Group published a shareholder proposal on April 20th
faulting management for ignoring signs of insurance fraud on 9/11/2001.
Allianz carried a significant portion of the insurance coverage
on the WTC, and stands to pay a corresponding portion of the $3.5
billion payout currently being litigated in New York. In his proposal,
shareholder John Leonard, a California native and a publisher
of books on 9/11, pointed to reports that building WTC 7 apparently
collapsed by demolition, and for no plausible reason related to
the 9/11 attacks. Management replied that it relied on official
US government reports which made no mention of such evidence.
The Allianz Group is incorporated in Germany and has approximately
570,000 shareholders. Under German Stock Companies law, publicly
held companies are required to publish shareholder proposals that
meet certain criteria.
The full text of the proposal can be read at the bottom of our
original posting of this report here.
Is it possible that Allianz have indeed looked into these claims
and are withholding any more pay outs partially due to these factors?
If so there may be a secret to this insurance battle that Silverstein
properties and certainly the federal government would not want to
expose. This is certainly an interesting possibility and a case
we shall be keeping close watch on.
Paul Joseph Watson contributed research to this report.
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