The Cigarette Lighter

Just after the first plane hit the North Tower of the World Trade Center on September 11th, a New Jersey woman was looking out her window toward Manhattan, and saw three young men in the parking lot of her apartment building. She thought it looked as though they were making a movie. They were taking video and or photos of themselves with the World Trade Center on fire in the background. Since they seemed happy to her, she decided their behavior warranted a call to the local police.1

The FBI arrived on the scene and issued a BOLO (Be on the lookout) alert for a white van, with New Jersey plates JYJ 13Y, and the words "Urban Moving Systems" written on the back.2

Around 4:00 PM on the afternoon of September 11th, the van was spotted on a service road off Route 3, near Giants Stadium. At this point there were five men in the van. One had two passports, and the police found $4,700 hidden in a sock. The men identified themselves as Israelis.3 The license plate was JRJ 13Y - off by one letter from the plate described in the BOLO.4

The Israelis were later identified as Sivan Kurzberg, his brother Paul Kurzberg, Yaron Shmuel, Oded Ellner, and Omer Gavriel Marmari.5 The driver of the van was Sivan Kurzberg,6 who before being driven back to New Jersey State Police Barracks at Giants Stadium, said “We are Israelis, we are not your problem. Your problems are our problem. Palestinians are the problem.”7 The van also contained a Stanley Knife box cutter - the same brand of box cutter used by the 9/11 hijackers8 The men claimed to be tourists.9 One of the men had a a ticket to fly to Bangkok, Thailand on September 13.10

Dogs provided by the Bergen County police K-9 unit alerted to the presence of explosives in the van.11

The van was traced to a Weehawken, New Jersey moving company called Urban Moving Systems, corresponding to the description of the van described in the BOLO.

Another Sixty-four Dollar Question

There were also newly developed pictures in the van. One of them showed a hand with a lit cigarette lighter with the ruins of the World Trade Center in the background.12

OK. In a subject loaded with sixty-four dollar questions, here's another one. Suppose you're watching a mime. Bear with me. Suppose somebody's paying you to watch a mime, and you're offered a thousand dollars if you can guess what the mime's trying to communicate. The mime flicks a lighter in front of a burning building or the wreckage of a burning building. What would you say that he's portraying?

Urban Moving Systems

The Weehawken warehouse of Urban Moving Systems was eventually searched. According to interviews with the neighbors of the moving company, collected by Wayne Madsen, the FBI discovered pipes, fertilizer, blasting caps, chemicals, and traces of anthrax in the Urban Moving Systems warehouse. At one point those investigating the warehouse began wearing haz-mat suits, according to these interviews.13 When crews from the ABC News program 20/20 entered the warehouse, three months later, it looked as though the business had been shut down in a hurry. Cell phones were lying around, and some office phones were still connected.14

The FBI interviewed the company's owner, Dominick Otto Suter, but when they returned to reinterview him, he had gone.

An employee of Urban Moving said that his co-workers laughed about the 9/11 attacks.15

Vince Cannistraro, a former counter-terrorism chief with the CIA, said that some of the Israeli's names were found in a search of an intelligence database.16

The men were eventually released back to Israel, after federal authorities decided, somehow, that they weren't connected to the 9/11 attacks.17

1 Chris Isham, John Miller, Glenn Silber and Chris Vlasto, "The White Van," ABC News,
2 Information from the East Rutherford, NJ Police Department, quoted in Wayne Madsen, "The Israeli Art Students and Movers Story," August 7, 2005,
3 Isham, Miller, Silber, and Vlasto
4 Information from the East Rutherford Police, quoted in Madsen
5 Alison Leigh Cowan, "5 Young Israelis, Caught in Net of Suspicion," The New York Times, October 8, 2001, F3
6 Isham, Miller, Silber, and Vlasto
7 Information from the East Rutherford Police, quoted in Madsen
8 Neil MacKay, "Five Israelis were seen filming as jet liners ploughed into the Twin Towers on September 11, 2001 ...", The Sunday Herald, November 2, 2003, Available on the net, Example:
9 Paulo Lima, “Five Men Detained as Suspected Conspirators,” The Record (Bergen County), September 12, 2001, quoted in Madsen
10 Jim Galloway, “Innocent Israelis Caught Up in Arrests,” Palm Beach Post, November 18, 2001, p. 21A, quoted in Madsen
11 Information from the East Rutherford Police, quoted in Madsen
12 MacKay
13 Interviews with residents of “The Shades,” the Weehawken neighborhood where Urban Moving Systems was located, Madsen
14 Isham, Miller, Silber, and Vlasto
15 MacKay
16 MacKay
17 MacKay

The Dancers

The same license plate - JRJ 13Y - on a white van was associated with another incident on September 11th, in New Jersey's Liberty State Park - a locale that also commands a view of the skyline of Lower Manhattan. Wayne Madsen collected interviews with those who lived or worked nearby, and discovered that the occupants of this van, almost certainly an Urban Moving Systems van, were seen dancing in the park. This time, the men were dressed as Arabs. 1

The van was chased out of Liberty State Park by a park ranger.2

1 Management and residents of Liberty State Park Marina and personnel of Liberty State Park Water Taxi. quoted in Wayne Madsen, "The Israeli Art Students and Movers Story," August 7, 2005,
2 Madsen

Union Park

The Israelis who were arrested near Giants stadium lived in Union City at the Doric Apartment. According to an interview collected by Wayne Madsen, an off-duty police officer saw three men filming the Manhattan skyline in Union Park, a few blocks from the Doric, before the first impact on the North Tower of the World Trade Center. The park is located next to the, since demolished, Doric Temple.1

The officer said the three were high-fiving each other, and that he unsuccessfully pursued them. He later reported that they headed toward Jersey City by car.2

1 Interviews of Union City and Weehawken witnesses to 911 attack, October 2004. quoted in Wayne Madsen, "The Israeli Art Students and Movers Story," August 7, 2005,
2 Madsen



Israeli Connections to the Events of September 11, 2001

April, 2001 - Zim Shipping Announces It Will Move Out of the World Trade Center

British Intelligence Report: Mossad Controlled the Hijackers

The Israeli "Art Students"

The Modus Operandi of a Pre-9/11 Israeli "Art Student"

Did Former Mossad Chief Isser Harel Predict 9/11?

A Combination of Circumstances: Lessees With Very Close Ties to Israel, Buildings That Fall Quickly, Molten Steel