Internet Domain Names May Have Warned of Attacks
September 19, 2001 10:33 AM   Subscribe

Internet Domain Names May Have Warned of Attacks “Internet domain names like 'attackontwintowers.com' and 'worldtradetowerattack.com' were registered more than a year ago. It's not known at this time who registered the suspicious names or what their purpose was.” Hmm. Just (un)lucky guesses, or inside information?
posted by kd (26 comments total)

 
Ummm.... when I did a whois lookup, both of those domains came up as unregistered. Course, I didn't actually TRY to make them my own, but CORE, internic, etc... know nothing about 'em.

'Sides, it's not like this is the first attack on the World Trade Center.
posted by ph00dz at 10:43 AM on September 19, 2001


Both probably refer to the 1993 bombing.
posted by waxpancake at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2001


Serves me right for not doing my research. Playing with Me-Fi at work in hurried little stolen minutes may not be the greatest idea.
posted by kd at 10:45 AM on September 19, 2001


According to Network Solutions whois information, attackontwintowers.com was registered on 9-11-2001. Whoever wrote this article didn't do enough homework.
posted by howa2396 at 10:50 AM on September 19, 2001


Well, checked about 5 of these out before I decided this must be bogus. They were all either registered after the event or aren't registered at all as best I can tell.
posted by QrysDonnell at 10:55 AM on September 19, 2001


And whoever read it (me) should have known better than to believe it without fact-checking. There's been enough rushing to report things and getting things wrong. Ack. Feeling idiotic.
posted by kd at 10:58 AM on September 19, 2001


Non-story. None of the domains list the actual date of the attack, and some of the domains could mean anything. But:

"This is something that someone should have noticed," he said, "but privacy issues probably kept it from being noticed."

Didn't think Network Solutions gave a crap about privacy anyway.
posted by tranquileye at 11:03 AM on September 19, 2001


They don't, really. Registering a domain = spammers and telemarketers up the wazoo. No privacy whatsoever. Still feeling like an idiot, trying to make up for that, probably can't be done. *sigh*
posted by kd at 11:07 AM on September 19, 2001


It's a shame that the site is still keeping the hoax article up for display... It'll probably get them a huge number of hits for the next few hours, but is this ethical? Like I may put up a page on my site with a news story headlined MeFi Creator Haughey is actually WebMaster for Osama's ISP!!!
posted by arnab at 11:08 AM on September 19, 2001


*gasp* he IS? Oh my...oh, wait, there I go, falling for stuff again. Damn.
posted by kd at 11:12 AM on September 19, 2001


The registration information disappearing could, conceivably, be due to an ongoing investigation if this story is true (which without any supporting evidence does seem rather unlikely).

Although some of the domains may have referred to 1993's attack, "august11horror.com" and "august11terror.com" could be relevant if it was indeed preregistered, as some have speculated at a symbolic link between "11" and the twin towers.

And symbolism surely was used throughout these attacks. If maximum horror and loss of human life were the goal, surely a nuclear power plant would be a more attractive target.
posted by cps at 11:33 AM on September 19, 2001


Even if this is true, it's about the weakest lead I've heard of yet. All of the domain names that were registered before the attack could have other reasons behind them. TowerofHorror.com could be a bad movie or a garage band. WorldTradeCenter929.com could easily be a box number, or a floor and office number. And a simple websearch will tell you that August11Terror.com could be referring to Jonesboro School Shootings, the Watts Riots, or the Birth of Hulk Hogan in 1953. What a pantload! I'd also like to point out that killthepresident.com is registered.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:53 AM on September 19, 2001


Even if this is true, it's about the weakest lead I've heard of yet. All of the domain names that were registered before the attack could have other reasons behind them. TowerofHorror.com could be a bad movie or a garage band. WorldTradeCenter929.com could easily be a box number, or a floor and office number. And a simple websearch will tell you that August11Terror.com could be referring to Jonesboro School Shootings, the Watts Riots, or the Birth of Hulk Hogan in 1953. What a pantload! I'd also like to point out that killthepresident.com is registered.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:53 AM on September 19, 2001


Even if this is true, it's about the weakest lead I've heard of yet. All of the domain names that were registered before the attack could have other reasons behind them. TowerofHorror.com could be a bad movie or a garage band. WorldTradeCenter929.com could easily be a box number, or a floor and office number. And a simple websearch will tell you that August11Terror.com could be referring to Jonesboro School Shootings, the Watts Riots, or the Birth of Hulk Hogan in 1953. What a pantload! I'd also like to point out that killthepresident.com is registered.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:53 AM on September 19, 2001


Even if this is true, it's about the weakest lead I've heard of yet. All of the domain names that were registered before the attack could have other reasons behind them. TowerofHorror.com could be a bad movie or a garage band. WorldTradeCenter929.com could easily be a box number, or a floor and office number. And a simple websearch will tell you that August11Terror.com could be referring to Jonesboro School Shootings, the Watts Riots, or the Birth of Hulk Hogan in 1953. What a pantload! I'd also like to point out that killthepresident.com is registered.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:54 AM on September 19, 2001


Even if this is true, it's about the weakest lead I've heard of yet. All of the domain names that were registered before the attack could have other reasons behind them. TowerofHorror.com could be a bad movie or a garage band. WorldTradeCenter929.com could easily be a box number, or a floor and office number. And a simple websearch will tell you that August11Terror.com could be referring to Jonesboro School Shootings, the Watts Riots, or the Birth of Hulk Hogan in 1953. What a pantload! I'd also like to point out that killthepresident.com is registered.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:54 AM on September 19, 2001


Even if this is true, it's about the weakest lead I've heard of yet. All of the domain names that were registered before the attack could have other reasons behind them. TowerofHorror.com could be a bad movie or a garage band. WorldTradeCenter929.com could easily be a box number, or a floor and office number. And a simple websearch will tell you that August11Terror.com could be referring to Jonesboro School Shootings, the Watts Riots, or the Birth of Hulk Hogan in 1953. What a pantload! I'd also like to point out that killthepresident.com is registered.
posted by Samsonov14 at 11:54 AM on September 19, 2001


Samsonov14 --
I don't think I get your point. Could you repeat it please?
posted by Dirjy at 12:05 PM on September 19, 2001


Quick, get some numerologists down here to interpret the significance of Samsonov14's six identical posts.
posted by barkingmoose at 12:29 PM on September 19, 2001


Let's see:
6 identical posts, each containing
6 lines of text, and the time difference between posts 1-3 and 4-6 are:
60 seconds!


666(0)!!!

AIIEEEE! THE TIME IS NIGH!!!!
posted by Dirjy at 12:35 PM on September 19, 2001


Oh, no. And this is all my fault. I'm SO sorry.
posted by kd at 12:54 PM on September 19, 2001


The Billing Contact for CNSNews.com is:
Accounting@MEDIARESEARCH.ORG
Media Research Center
113 S. West Street 2nd Floor
Alexandria,, VA 22314
US 703-683-9733


MediaResearch.org is a Conservative pseudo-news organization that tries to prove how liberal the media is.

Could this false and alarmist story be some kind of insidious trick or scheme on their part?
posted by stevis at 1:27 PM on September 19, 2001


A false and alarmist story hatched as some sort of scheme by the far right? Surely you jest. That's just lefty pinko paranoia.
posted by UnReality at 2:09 PM on September 19, 2001


I think these people reporting these domains were already registered are just looking for morbid publicity. I don't find evidence of the registrations a year ago.
posted by Counselco at 4:09 PM on September 19, 2001


I was a little rash (and perhaps a little rude) and fired off an e-mail to the author of the article, Jeff Johnson, CNSNews.com Congressional Bureau Chief. I still doubt these domains had anything to do with the planning of the attack (and like tranquileye the phrase "...but privacy issues probably kept it from being noticed" worries me), I thought it was only fair to share part of Johnson's response:

>From the story:

"A domain name search Tuesday indicated that hundreds of web addresses containing references to the terrorist attacks were registered in the past week, and four of the older domain names provided by Livingstone have already been re-registered."

As you can see, I indicated in the story that four of the domain names have been *RE*-registered. I got this information directly from the WhoIs database you referenced.

Again, from the story:

"According to Livingstone, at least 17 domain names, including 'pearlharborinmanhattan.com' and 'worldtradetowerstrike.com,' were registered as early as June 2000, 15 months prior to the attacks."

The names were registered sometime around June 2000 for one year, according to Livingstone's source. Once a registration expires, the domain name is eventually put back into the pool of available names. That is what our investigation indicates happened with these names.

To quote our Executive Editor, Scott Hogenson, "All facts in this article and all CNSNews.com articles, are thoroughly checked and re-checked, and sources vetted. I stand by this article and its contents 100%"....I sincerely believe that the story is correct and that determining who registered these domain names in 2000 *MIGHT* lead to additional information about the terrorists.

It's also possible that we will find out that 17 different people used 17 different registrars to register 17 VERY coincidental domain names. Whatever the outcome, I believe our readers have a right to know.

Sincerely,
Jeff Johnson
CNSNews.com
posted by UnReality at 7:30 PM on September 19, 2001


OK. After some research, most of the links referenced came up no match. Four came up with two of them having actual content:

attackontwintowers.com was registered to Evolution R in Simi Valley, CA on 9/11/2001

attackonamerica.com was registered (whois.naame.com was not found, so no additional info)

worldtradecenterbombs.com was registered to Prime Item Promotions in San Diego, CA on 9/13/2001

attackamerica.com was registered to yoo sung-yong in Pusan, Korea

The last two work and are arguably Pro-American. I think "Prime Item Promotions" should've started a new guestbook because the beginning of it is was pre-9/11 and not in line with the topic of the site.

So...I think that article was crap!
posted by omen68x at 9:44 PM on September 19, 2001


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