NU Online News Serivce, Sept. 12, 12:05 a.m. – NBC News is reporting that associates of the terrorists who attacked four U.S. passenger jets, the Pentagon and the Manhattan World Trade Center Sept. 11 may have tried to finance their activities by shorting the stocks of several large reinsurers on the European stock exchanges during the previous week.

“Shorting” is a strategy for profiting by speculating that the price of a stock will go down.

NBC, citing an Italian report, says the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are trying to find out whether, in the week before the attacks, the terrorists or associates shorted shares of AXA Group, Paris; Munich Reassurance Company, Munich; and Swiss Reinsurance Company; Zurich.

Authorities are suspicious, because the share prices of all three companies fell at least 13% in the week before the attacks for no apparent reason, NBC says.

The NBC report is posted on the MSNBC site, at http://www.msnbc.com/news/629380_asp.htm