9/11 'pager messages' go on website
An activist group has begun posting 573,000 pager messages purportedly sent on September 11 2001.
The messages range from "Second World Trade Centre tower collapses" to "I'm OK & love you..xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox".
The group, Wikileaks, says some of the messages were sent by government and local officials, but most appear to be from regular people, including frantic New Yorkers trying to reach loved ones in and around the World Trade Centre.
Wikileaks was posting the messages for most of Wednesday and was expected to finish on Thursday. The messages include "Do not get on the path train...the world trade centre is on fire" and "President has been rerouted wont be returning to washington but not sure where he will go."
Wikileaks says its goal is to promote transparency by putting leaked documents online. Its repository includes manuals, lawsuits and numerous government documents.
Daniel Schmitt, a Wikileaks spokesman from Berlin, said the pager messages were submitted to the site anonymously several weeks ago. "From the context information that the source provided we have strong reasons to believe that this is valid data," he said.
Mr Schmitt said publishing the messages "is one more building block to getting a full picture of what happened on that day".
He noted that none of the messages appeared to lend credence to conspiracy theories that suggested the US government was behind the attacks or had advance knowledge of them.
New York City's police and fire departments said they could not confirm that any of the messages were actual department communications. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, the US Secret Service and the Federal Emergency Management Administration declined to comment on the messages.
Most of the pages come from three companies, Metrocall, Skytel and Arch. USA Mobility, which merged Arch and Metrocall systems in 2004, issued a statement saying it was "troubled to learn that paging messages, including communications involving government officials, appear to have been intercepted and publicly disclosed in clear violation of federal criminal law".