Frequently Asked Questions
Where does the podcast get its title from?
The phrase "zero hour" comes up twice in the 9/11 story.
On September 10, 2001, the National Security Agency intercepted two phone calls, in Arabic, from Afghanistan to Saudi Arabia. In one conversation, the caller from Afghanistan said “The match begins tomorrow.” In the other, the caller from Afghanistan said “Tomorrow is zero hour.” These intercepted calls were not translated until September 12, 2001.
Read the original report from CNN here.
After 9/11, Ramzi bin al-Shibh told Al Jazeera journalist Yosri al Fouda about the conversation he had with Mohammed Atta on August 29, 2001 informing him of the date of the attacks: "Two sticks is the number 11, a dash is a dash, and a cake with a stick down is the number 9. And that was the zero hour - 9/11."
This conversation is reported in al Fouda's book Masterminds of Terror: The Truth Behind the Most Devastating Terrorist Attack the World Has Ever Seen.
How did you get the idea to make this series?
In early 2021, I was listening to the first season of the Bellingcat podcast, which focuses on the shootdown of MH17. After finishing that series, I started looking for a similar series about the 9/11 attacks that would present the factual evidence and put it into the context of the bigger historical picture. When I didn’t find anything along the lines of what I was looking for, I decided to do it myself.
The original concept was to do it as a trilogy of 90-minute episodes. As I started writing, I thought it would be too superficial in terms of the depth, scope and details I wanted to cover. I eventually spread it out over the course of several episodes. Zero Hour was heavily influenced by Ken Burns documentaries and The Last Dance.
Who did you speak to for the series?
Read the interviews section of the site for the list. I interviewed 25 sources for the project, mainly from academia, law enforcement, intelligence, and media, who had direct knowledge and expertise in the subjects I interviewed them about.