The family of Geoffrey Thomas Campbell, a British national who died in the World Trade Center attacks on September 11, 2001, submitted an application today under the UK Coroners Act 1988 requesting a new inquest into his death nearly 20 years ago.
The Campbell family — which includes Mr. Campbell’s parents Maureen and Malcolm, two brothers Matt and Rob, and his former fiancée — applied for the new inquest citing significant evidence not heard by the coroner at Mr. Campbell’s first inquest in 2013.
The family contends that the unheard evidence contradicts the coroner’s official finding that the impact of the aircraft into World Trade Center 1 at 8:46 AM and the ensuing fires are what caused the building’s total destruction at 10:28 AM, taking Mr. Campbell’s life. They allege that the unheard evidence overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the destruction of WTC 1 — as well as the destruction of WTC 2 and WTC 7 — was caused by the use of explosives and incendiaries.
“For 20 years, my family has suffered because Geoff was taken from us long before it was his time,” said Matt Campbell, Mr. Campbell’s surviving brother. “Our grief was then compounded by the gradual realization that we did not have the full truth about his murder. Today, we are one step closer to knowing the truth.”
“Asking for this inquest is an important step,” said Maureen Campbell, Mr. Campbell’s mother. “We need the truth in order to heal.”
The Campbell family’s application includes letters of support from five other family members who lost loved ones in the destruction of the Twin Towers: Drew DePalma, son of Jean DePalma; Barbara Krukowski-Rastelli, mother of firefighter William Krukowski; Bob McIlvaine, father of Bobby McIlvaine; Kacee Papa, daughter of Edward Papa; and Iryna Upham, daughter of Iouri Mouchinski.
The application also includes witness statements from six scientific experts and from five eyewitnesses to the World Trade Center’s destruction, four of whom were first responders that day. All of the experts and eyewitness have offered to give testimony at the new inquest. Altogether, the application contains around 2,500 pages of evidence as well as select volumes of the official reports issued by the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology.
The Campbell family submitted the application to the attorney general for England and Wales — currently Michael Ellis, who is standing in for Suella Braverman while she is on parental leave — whose authority must be obtained in order for the family to apply to the High Court for an order granting a fresh inquest.
For the attorney general’s authority to be granted and a new inquest to be ordered, the family merely needs to demonstrate that evidence not considered at the first inquest may lead to a different verdict. The family does not have the burden of proving to the attorney general or the High Court that a different verdict is likely.
The Campbell family also submitted the application to the senior coroner at the West London Coroner’s Court, inviting him to consent to a fresh inquest. If he consents, the High Court can order a fresh inquest without the need for the attorney general’s authority or a court hearing.
Should a new inquest be held, the Campbell family will pursue the verdict that their son was killed in the explosive demolition of WTC 1. This verdict would not automatically trigger any criminal legal actions. However, the family hopes that it would show the need for further public inquiries and criminal investigations that would help establish the full truth surrounding the attacks of September 11, 2001.
The Campbell family is represented by Nick Stanage, a barrister at Doughty Street Chambers in London. Mr. Stanage specializes in actions and complaints against the police and in inquests, public inquiries, human rights, and judicial review. He sits as an Assistant Coroner and as a Legally Qualified Chair of Police Misconduct Hearings.
As is customary and proper in such proceedings, the application to the attorney general is not being publicly disclosed.
Geoffrey Thomas Campbell was attending a Risk Waters conference on the 106th floor of WTC 1 (also known at the North Tower) when the building was struck by an aircraft at 8:46 AM on September 11, 2001. He died in the destruction of WTC 1 at 10:28 AM. His fragmented remains were identified by DNA analysis in 2002, 2004, 2008, and 2013.
An inquest into Mr. Campbell’s death was held at West London Coroner’s Court before Her Majesty’s Coroner Alison Mary Thompson on January 29, 2013. In the same hearing the coroner also heard and concluded inquests into the deaths of nine other British victims who perished in the destruction of the Twin Towers and whose remains had been repatriated to the UK.
The coroner’s findings regarding the time, place, and circumstances in which Mr. Campbell sustained his injuries were as follows (underlining added):
At 8.46 am on 11 September 2001 the deceased was on the 106th floor of the North Tower of World Trade Centre when an aircraft (AA11) was deliberately flown into the building, causing its collapse at 10.28am. This event was part of a coordinated attack by the Islamist militant group Al-Qaeda.
On the basis of substantial evidence not considered at the first inquest, the Campbell family disputes the coroner’s finding that the impact of the aircraft into WTC 1 caused the building’s subsequent total destruction.
The Campbell family maintains that the substantial evidence not considered at the first inquest overwhelmingly supports the conclusion that the destruction of WTC 1 — as well as the destruction of WTC 2 and WTC 7 — was caused by the use of explosives and incendiaries. This evidence is organized into the following five categories in the family’s application:
- Extreme temperatures and thermitic reactions
- WTC 1’s downward motion
- WTC 1’s and 2’s explosive behavior
- Eyewitness and seismic evidence of explosions
- Demonstrable inadequacy of the NIST investigation
Based on the strength of the evidence, the Campbell family fully expects that the attorney general will grant his authority to apply to the High Court and that the High Court will order a fresh inquest — or, alternatively, that the senior coroner at the West London Coroner’s Court will consent to a fresh inquest.