Feeds

Hedgers or terrorists behind pre-attack stock selling?

James Bond scenario or business as usual

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

In what sounds like a plot from the latest James Bond movie, financial authorities around the world are investigating stock exchange data for strange share price movements in the days and hours previous to the suicide attacks on the World Trade Center in New York.

The suspicion is that whoever was responsible for the attacks - most likely Saudi terrorist Osama bin Laden - tried to profit from them by short selling stocks. This basically means selling loads of shares before the attacks and then buying them back once the share price had slumped. The most obvious shares for this would be airlines stocks, those companies based in the World Trade Center and insurance companies - and these are where investigations are likely to begin.

However, a likely explanation for the volatile stock movements is that some European insurance companies had just released their results, which investors would have reacted to.

Germany's stock exchange watchdog (BaWe) had already warned the US Securities and Exchange Commission of some funny goings-on days before the attack. Now the UK's FSA is to launch an investigation into London stocks.

Even if recovered data does point to peculiarly prescient stock selling, proving a link to the terrorists is likely to be extremely difficult thanks to their already elaborate financial cloaking set-ups. Bin Laden's group is known to have financial bases in Luxembourg, Switzerland, Monte Carlo and Cyprus - all renowned for their financial independence. ®

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.