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Sec probe finds no terrorist stock trade schemes { July 23 2004 }

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SEC probe finds no evidence of Sept. 11 terrorist trade schemes
Friday, July 23, 2004
Associated Press

Washington- After an extensive investigation, the government has found no evidence that terrorists tried to profit from stock and options trading before the Sept. 11 attacks, the Securities and Exchange Commission said Thursday.

"In the course of that review, we did not develop any evidence suggesting that anyone who had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks traded on the basis of that information," the SEC said.

That conclusion, included in the final report issued Thursday by the Sept. 11 commission, was the government's first public statement on the findings of the trading investigation. SEC spokesmen would not say when the inquiry was completed.

The world's largest options market, the Chicago Board Options Exchange, said in September 2001 that it was investigating reports of unusual trading activity before the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Germany's stock market regulator said it was looking into claims of suspicious short-selling of insurance company shares just before the attacks. Investors engaged in short selling profit if a stock's price falls.

In the days before Sept. 11, unusually high numbers of put options were purchased for the stocks of AMR Corp. and UAL Corp., the parent companies of American Airlines and United Airlines. Each carrier had two planes hijacked.

2004 The Plain Dealer. Used with permission

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