Daniel J. Hill joined the US Army at the age of 15, by lying about his age. He eventually became a Special Forces paratrooper and served in Germany, where he participated in missions during the Hungarian Revolution and the struggle for control of Lebanon in 1958. Following his tour in Germany, he was selected for Ranger school at Fort Benning, where he was asked to return as an instructor. In 1960 he was assigned to infiltrate the Katanga insurrection in the Congo where he met his lifelong friend, Rick Rescorla.
After retiring from the US Army, he converted to Islam and spent time fighting with the Mujahideen against the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan.
In the meantime, Rescorla had become Director of Security for Dean Witter Securities (later merged with Morgan Stanley), which occupied a number of floors in the World Trade Center. Rescorla had become increasingly concerned about the potential for a terrorist attack against the center and in 1990 hired Hill to provide an assessment of the building’s vulnerabilities. Hill singled out the basement parking garage as the obvious point for a car-bomb attack, telling Rescorla that if he were a terrorist he would fill a truck with ammonium nitrate and diesel fuel and detonate it in the underground parking garage. Rescorla reported these findings to the New York Port Authority and the New York Police Department but received no official response. In 1993 the World Trade Center bombing took place in almost exactly the manner Hill had predicted.
Following the bombing, Rescorla and Hill wrote a report, which warned that the next logical step would be a suicide terrorist flying a plane into the building.
In 1998 Hill attempted to interest the FBI in a plan to assassinate Osama bin Laden. He proposed working with his Afghani contacts to ambush bin Laden as he drove between Kandahar and Kabul, but the plan was rejected, although Hill’s associates in Afghanistan could do the actual attack if they had transport and technical assistance from the U.S. In 2001, his contacts told him that a major attack against the US was imminent, and he attempted to revive the plan; but he was again turned down by the FBI. He lost his life-long friend, Rick Rescorla, in the 9/11 attack.
Hill is not done predicting terrorist attacks, He was interviewed by Lee Benson of the Deseret News and feels that something may be immanent and it it will be bigger than 9/11
Through the Internet I managed to contact Hill at his home in Florida. He’s 71 now. I asked him if his reputation as a terrorism prognosticator without parallel has changed his life much.
“Oh, that blew over pretty fast,” he said. “Most of the people even in my hometown don’t know any of that stuff.”
He didn’t want to talk about the past. He wanted to talk about the future.
The very near future.
The man who predicted 9/11 is worried that its sequel is imminent.
“Muslims that I talk to say things like, ‘America thinks they’re safe now. They’ve forgotten about 9/11. But watch, Daniel. Stay near your TV. It’s going to be bigger than 9/11,’ ” he said.
Hill said the next terrorist attack will involve suitcase nuclear bombs that will be detonated in small, low-flying two-seater private airplanes manned by men hanging onto the belief that, like the 9/11 hijackers, they are about to die as martyrs and enter paradise.
He is not alone in suggesting such a scenario. A 2007 book, “The Day of Islam,” spells out the details, as do any number of Internet sites about a plot called “American Hiroshima.”
The nukes, he said, will be detonated over New York, Washington, D.C., Chicago, Miami, Houston, Las Vegas and Los Angeles.
I asked Hill, “Why now?”
“Eight years from 1993 to 2001, eight years from that 9/11 to this 9/11,” he said. “Symbolism. They’re big on symbolism.”
“Ramadan started two weeks ago Saturday,” he said, referring to the Muslim holy month of fasting. “It always hits around Ramadan.”
Eight years ago, Hill predicted the attack would come on Oct. 16 — almost in the middle of that year’s Ramadan (the timing of Ramadan varies from year to year). He was about a month off.
“I don’t know the second, hour or day. I just know they have the means, will, motivation and desire to do it,” he said, noting that it’s believed that years ago the suitcase nukes, acquired from former USSR operatives, were smuggled into America across the Mexican border.
Hill said he has warned the FBI, the CIA and others in government. For the past two years, he’s sent out proposals for a book on the subject. All he’s gotten back are rejections.
“To most people, I am a deviant personality,” he said.
But there’s no arguing his credentials.
“I’m a Muslim,” he says. “I’m a special ops expert, I’m a terrorist and I’ve lived among Muslims. I fought the Russians with the same guys we’re now fighting in Afghanistan. I met Osama. I volunteered to assassinate him. I know (the enemy) so well because I’ve worked, slept and prayed alongside them for years. I’ve become one of them. I know their nature, I know their culture, I know how they think. I can quote the Koran like a Southern Baptist minister can quote the New Testament. I know these are people who do not tire, who do not quit. There are odds this won’t happen, but they aren’t big odds.”
“I hope you’re wrong,” I told him.
“Yeah. I hope so, too,” he said.