911 Archives

French journalist investigated over intelligence leaks pertaining to 9/11

Officers from the Directorate of Territorial Security, a counterespionage agency, searched Dasquié’s Paris home on Wednesday. They detained him for 48 hours, during which time he was interrogated and pressured to reveal his sources, according to international news reports. Dasquié faces five years in prison and a fine of 75,000 euros (US$110,000) under Article 413-11 of France’s penal code if convicted.

“We are troubled by the criminal probe against Guillaume Dasquié and his detention for two days by French security services who pressured him to reveal his sources,” CPJ’s Executive Director Joel Simon said. “Dasquié should not be prosecuted for serving the public’s right to know.”

On Thursday, investigating magistrate Philippe Coirre, who is in charge of the probe, filed preliminary charges against Dasquié. Under French law, the filing of preliminary charges means the investigation has found sufficient evidence to suggest that Dasquié has been involved in a crime, The Associated Press reported.

The probe against Dasquié stems from his April 16 article in Le Monde, titled “September 11: the French had long known,” which said French intelligence services, the General Directorate of External Security (DGSE), had warned their U.S. counterparts of a possible terrorist plot that involved the hijacking of planes and crashing them into buildings some eight months before 9/11, according to international news reports.

The article contained excerpts from a DGSE file titled “Aircraft hijack plan by radical Islamists”—part of a 328-page classified report on al-Qaeda activities, which Le Monde said it possessed. One excerpt from the report, dated January 5, 2001, said al-Qaeda had a list of potential airline targets, which included the United and American Airlines carriers used in the 9/11 attacks, the AP said. Le Monde said the DGSE files in its possession contained maps, analyses, graphics, and satellite photos, Deutsche Presse-Agentur reported.

http://www.cpj.org/news/2007/europe/france10dec07na.html

Questions About Porter Goss and His ‘Terrorist Breakfast’ Go Unanswered

http://www.prisonplanet.com/articles/august2004/110804terroristbreakfast.htm

Village Voice: Questions About Porter Goss and His ‘Terrorist Breakfast’ Go Unanswered

Village Voice | August 11 2004

Here’s the news that made many people in the Eastern Time Zone heave up their breakfasts at 8:31 this morning: President Bush introduced Porter Goss as the new CIA director.

Bush called Goss a "reformer." The two of them ought to be toast.

How fitting that this is the same House Intelligence chairman Porter Goss who was having breakfast in D.C. on 9-11 with Pakistan’s security chief, Lieutenant General Mahmoud Ahmad—who was later revealed to be hijacker Mohammed Atta’s bagman.

The Washington Post’s Rich Leiby mentioned the breakfast as a cheery aside in a May 18, 2002, puff profile of Goss. Florida senator Bob Graham was also munching with Mahmoud, as the Post and others, including the Asia Times have reported. But why didn’t the Post mention the chowdown in its first lengthy stories this morning?

Digest this: The two Floridians wound up running the joint congressional inquiry into 9-11 in their roles as chairmen of the House and Senate Intelligence committees. Not a word of the breakfast appears in Goss-Graham 858-page report. No one’s saying that Goss and Graham are necessarily hiding any big thing. But the breakfast, in retrospect, is at least somewhat embarrassing. And is it really such a worthless fact that it merited no mention at all?

And chew on another factoid: This is the same Porter Goss who stood up on the floor of the U.S. House on October 9, 2002, during the crucial debate about whether to authorize Bush to go to war against Iraq, and said, according to the Congressional Record, that the 9-11 attack "was delivered by depraved men."

Two quick questions: Was the Pakistani general too depraved to have another cinnamon roll that morning? Or was he just full?

Goss also said on October 9, 2002:

Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden and their radical ilk are at the epicenter of terrorist activity in the Middle East. Nobody doubts that. It is not debatable. President Bush, Prime Minister Blair and others have made convincing cases about the threats the despotic Iraqi regime poses to world peace and stability today—today as well as tomorrow.

And he added:

Iraq has expanded its weapons of mass destruction capabilities against its pledge not to. It still has deadly chemical weapons hidden throughout the country, and it has tried to develop nuclear devices as well. It is certain that Iraq has ties to many Islamic terror groups in the region, including Al Qaeda. Evidence supports Iraq’s involvement in the first and probably the second World Trade Center bombing.

So, let’s see: Goss, a former CIA agent, ignored studying something that did happen—his breakfast with the bagman of a 9-11 hijacker—while strongly pushing for a war based on a "threat" to our security that didn’t exist.

Sure, let’s make him CIA director. What the hell. He’s been an effective stonewaller and excuse-maker ever since 9-11.

"No smoking gun," he said in 2002, when the Goss-Graham report was released.

It’s "not about blame," he said in 2003. Here’s his full quote from that rare public hearing of his House panel on 9-11 investigations, as reported by PBS at the time: "None of remarks we’re talking about, nor any of history, and this certainly carries over to the 9-11 review, it’s not about blame. This is about better protecting the United States of America in the world as it is today."

Keep this in mind: Since 9-11, various probes have found that the hijackers and other Al Qaeda operatives were constantly coming and going through Pakistan before the fateful day.

In the Goss-Graham report, you’ll find Pakistan all over the 858 pages, but not a crumb from the 9-11 breakfast. What was talked about? Why was Pakistan’s version of a CIA-FBI director in D.C. at that time? Who knew what? And when?

At the time of the attacks, the U.S. had a complex and rocky relationship with Pakistan. During the Reagan era, the U.S. helped finance and arm Arab militants so they could drive the Soviets out of Afghanistan. It’s common knowledge that neighboring Pakistan was the base for those militants. And the agency Ahmad ran, Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI), was often on friendly terms with the Taliban and other Arab militants but on shaky terms with the U.S.

Judge for yourself who’s smoking what by going to the Center for Cooperative Research’s unparalleled website of heavily annotated 9-11 timelines and essays. Search "Goss" and see what comes up.

The best analysis of this naggingly curious breakfast is perhaps this piece by Michel Chossudovsky, director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, a Canadian outfit that boldly goes where most other probers don’t.

It’s more interesting than the congressional report produced by Goss and Graham. Or is it? Would you like an after-meal HUMINT?

Document Reveals Osama Bin Laden Was CIA Asset Named Tim Osman

:

When Osama Bin Laden Was Tim Osman

by J. Orlin Grabbe

The two men headed to the Hilton Hotel in Sherman Oaks, California in the late Spring of 1986 were on their way to meet representatives of the mujahadeen, the Afghan fighters resisting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

One of the two, Ted Gunderson, had had a distinguished career in the FBI, serving as some sort of supervisor over Special Agents in the early 60s, as head of the Dallas field office from 1973-75, and as head of the Los Angeles field office from 1977-1979. He retired to become an investigator for, among others, well-known attorney F. Lee Bailey. And all along the way, Gunderson, whether or not actually a CIA contract agent, had been around to provide services to various CIA and National Security Council operations, as he was doing now.

In more recent years Gunderson was to become controversial for his investigations into child prostitution rings, after he became convinced of the innocence of an Army medical doctor named Jeffrey McDonald, who had been convicted of the murder of his wife and three young children in the 1970s. This has led to various attempts by the patrons and operators of the child prostitution industry to smear Gunderson’s reputation.

Michael Riconosciuto was there to discuss assisting the mujahadeen with MANPADs—Man Portable Air Defense Systems. Stinger missiles were one possibility. If the U.S. would permit their export, Riconosciuto could modify the Stinger’s electronics, so the guided missile would still be effective against Soviet aircraft, but would not be a threat to U.S. or NATO forces.

But Riconosciuto had another idea. Through his connections with the Chinese industrial and military group Norinco, he could obtain the basic components for the unassembled Chinese 107 MM rocket system. These could be reconfigured into a man-portable, shoulder-fired, anti-aircraft guided missile sytem, and produced in Pakistan at a facility called the Pakistan Ordinance Works. The mujahadeen would then have a lethal weapon against Soviet helicopter, observation, and transport aircraft.

Riconosciuto was more than just an expert on missile electronics; he was also an expert on electronic computers and associated subjects such as cryptology (see my "Michael Riconosciuto on Encryption").

Riconosciuto was a prodigy who had grown up in the spook community. The Riconosciuto family had once run Hercules, California, as a company town. In the early days (1861) a company called California Powder Works had been established in Santa Cruz, CA. It later purchased land on San Pablo Bay, and in 1881 started producing dynamite, locating buildings in gullies and ravines for safety purposes. A particularly potent type of black powder was named "Hercules Powder", which gave the name to the town of Hercules, formally incorporated in 1900. In World War I, Hercules became the largest producer of TNT in the U.S. Hercules, however, had gotten out of the explosives business by 1940 when an anhydrous ammonia plant was constructed. In 1959 Hercules began a new manufacturing facility to produce methanol, formaldehyde, and urea formaldehyde. In 1966 the plant was sold to Valley Nitrogen Producers. Labor problems led to a plant closure in 1977. In 1979 the plant and site was purchased by a group of investors calling themselves Hercules Properties, Ltd.

However, Michael and his father Marshall Riconosciuto, a friend of Richard Nixon, continued to run the Hercules Research Corporation. In the early 1980s Michael also served as the Director of Research for a joint venture between the Wackenhut Corporation of Coral Gables, Florida, and the Cabazon Band of Indians in Indio, California. Riconosciuto’s talents were much in demand. He had created the a-neutronic bomb (or "Electro-Hydrodynamic Gaseous Fuel Device"), which sank the ground level of the Nevada test site by 30 feet when a prototype was tested. Samuel Cohen, the inventor of the neutron bomb, said of Riconosciuto: "I’ve spoken to Michael Riconosciuto (the inventor of the a-neutronic bomb) and he’s an extraordinarily bright guy. I also have a hunch, which I can’t prove, that they both (Riconosciuto and Lavos, his partner) indirectly work for the CIA."

Riconosciuto’s bomb made suitcase nukes obsolete, because it achieved near-atomic explosive yields, but could be more easily minaturized. You could have a suitcase a-neutronic bomb, or a briefcase a-neutronic bomb, or simply a lady’s purse a-neutronic bomb. Or just pull out your wallet for identification and —. The Meridian Arms Corporation, as well as the Universities of California and Chicago owned a piece of the technology.

But there was more than explosives in the portfolios of the CIA agents who surrounded Riconosciuto like moths around a candle. Both Robert Booth Nichols, the shady head of Meridian Arms Corporation (with both CIA and organized crime conections), and Dr. John Phillip Nichols, the manager of the Cabazon reservation, were involved in bio-warfare work—the first in trying to sell bio-warfare products to the army through Wackenhut, the second in giving tribal permission for research to take place at Cabazon. According to Riconosciuto, the Pentagon’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) was in charge of the classified contracts for biological warfare research. Riconosciuto would later testify under oath that Stormont Laboratories (which did research on the genetics of blood type and which was founded by this man) was involved in the DARPA-Wackenhut-Cabazon project. Jonathan Littman, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle would relate: "Cabazons and Wackenhut appeared to be acting as middlemen between the Pentagon’s DARPA and Stormont Laboratories, a small facility in Woodland near Sacramento."

The Race Weapon

Riconosciuto would make additional claims about Bio-Rad corporation, a medical supplier which had gradually taken over Hercules, California. They were also, Riconosciuto would say, covertly engaged in bio-warfare research—producing some of the deadliest toxins known to man. The focus of Bio-Rad’s research was said to be bio-active elements that could be tailored to attack those with certain types of DNA. Weapons could thus be produced that were specifically designed to wipe out specific races or genetic classes of human beings. (Alternatively, particular DNA types could be immunized against a deadly biological agent; the agent could then be released, and everyone else would die.)

A couple of years later, Meridian International Logistics, the parent company of Meridian Arms, was to farm similar research out to the Japanese. This included (according to minutes of a corporate meeting dated Aug. 26, 1988) methods for "induction and activation of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes". Associated with Meridian’s Robert Booth Nichols in a Middle Eastern operation called FIDCO, a company that ran arms into and heroin out of Lebanon’s Beqaa (Bekaa) Valley, was Harold Okimoto, a high-ranking member of the Yakuza. Okimoto had longed worked under Frank Carlucci (who served as Secretary of Defense and Deputy Director of the CIA before becoming Chairman of The Carlyle Group). Okimoto owned food concessions in casinos around the world—Las Vega, Reno, Macao, and the Middle East. (Free drinks and anthrax while you play blackjack, anyone?)

Meeting Riconosciuto and Gunderson at the hotel were two representatives of the mujahadeen, waiting to discuss their armament needs. One of the two was named "Ralph Olberg." The other one was called Tim Osman (or Ossman).

"Ralph Olberg" was an American businesman who was leading the procurement of American weapons and technology on behalf of the Afghan rebels. He worked through the Afghan desk at the U.S. State Department, as well as through Senator Hubert Humphrey’s office. Olberg looked after the Afghanis through a curious front called MSH—Management Sciences for Health.

The other man, dressed in Docker’s clothing, was not a native Afghan any more than Olberg was. He was a 27-year-old Saudi. Tim Osman (Ossman) has recently become better known as Osama Bin Laden. "Tim Osman" was the name assigned to him by the CIA for his tour of the U.S. and U.S. military bases, in search of political support and armaments.

Gunderson and Riconosciuto were not on an altruistic mission. They had some conditions for their help. And they had some bad news to deliver. The mujahadeen needed to be willing to test new weapons in the field and to return a research report, complete with photos.

The bad news was that some factions of the CIA didn’t feel that Oldberg and Osman’s group were the real representatives of the Afghans. Upon hearing this both Tim and Ralph were indignant. They wanted to mount a full-court press. Round up other members of their group and do a congressional and White House lobbying effort in Washington, D.C.

"Pleased to meet you. Hope you guess my name."

—The Rolling Stones, Sympathy for the Devil

Did the lobbying effort take place? I don’t know. There is some evidence that Tim Osman and Ralph Oldberg visited the White House. There is certainty that Tim Osman toured some U.S. military bases, even receiving special demonstrations of the latest equipment. Why hasn’t this been reported in the major media?

One week after giving an affidavit to Inslaw regarding the PROMIS software in 1991, Riconosciuto was arrested on trumped-up drug charges. The Assistant U.S. Attorney prosecuting the case attempted to cover up Riconosciuto’s intelligence background by claiming to the jury he was "delusional." A TV station came and pointed a camera out at the desert at Cabazon and said, "Riconosciuto says he modified the PROMIS software here." Of course Riconosciuto didn’t modify the software out between the cacti and yucca. Sand isn’t good for computers. He did the modifications in offices in nearby Indio, California. The AUSA told reporters Riconosciuto had been diagnosed with a mental condition, the implication being "he’s making all this stuff up". Yes, there had been a mental evaluation of Riconosciuto. I have a copy of the report. The diagnosis? Here it is: NO MENTAL DISORDER. The Department of Justice consistently and maliciously lied to the jury, just as had been threatened by Justice Department official Peter Viednicks if Riconosciuto cooperated with the congressional investigation of PROMIS.

If the war against Osama Bin Laden (Tim Osman) is not a total fraud, then what is Michael Riconosciuto doing in prison? Why doesn’t he have an office next to Colin Powell so he can give realistic advice on Bin Laden’s thinking? And where is Ralph Olberg?

Thirty-four days before the East African embassy bombings of August 7, 1998, Riconosciuto notified the FBI in Miami that the bombings were going to take place. Two days prior to the bombings he requested of BOP (Bureau of Prisons) officials at the Federal Corrections Institution (FCI) in Coleman, FL., that he be allowed to call ECOMOG security headquarters to warn African officials. The BOP denied the request. Riconosciuto was mystified at being ignored by the relevant government authorities. I’m not mystified. I suspect the reason Riconosciuto was ignored was that the relevant parties, including especially the Miami FBI office, knew all along the bombings would take place. And they wanted them to happen.

The same is true with respect to the recent plane bombings of the WTC. It wasn’t an intelligence "failure". The terrorist acts were deliberately allowed to happen. The actors may have been foreign. But the stage directors appear to have been all along here in the U.S. Cui bono?

Isn’t it time to let Michael Riconosciuto out of prison, and wipe the slate clean of the trumped up drug charges, and let him be a national security advisor—at least with respect to the government’s pursuit of Osama Bin Laden? Isn’t it time to quit pretending Osama Bin Laden came out of nowhere?

This is not an academic argument. Sources say three dozen MANPADs have been imported into Quebec, Canada, from Colombia (where they arrived from Eastern Europe). The missile shipments followed the "northern" drug route—from Colombia into Canada. The missiles involved are Russian Strellas and Iglas. These will serve just fine to take down commercial airline flights. Just like TWA 800. Which group of terrorists has the missiles? Meanwhile, how many biological warfare agents are in the hands of organized crime? Maybe you should ask Riconosciuto about all this.

Michael Riconosciuto is now incarcerated at the FCI Allenwood, PA. You know where to find him.


Note: Michael Riconosciuto has just been moved to Springfield, MO. His address is:

Michael J. Riconosciuto
21309-086 Box 4000
U.S. Medical Center
Springfield, MO
65801-4000


J. Orlin Grabbe’s homepage is located at http://www.aci.net/kalliste/homepage.html.

-30-

from The Laissez Faire City Times, Vol 5, No 46, November 12, 2001

CIA says it cooperated with 9/11 panel

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20071224/ap_on_go_ot/cia_videotapes;_ylt=AqHP3yNUIBN40rWJGVoGKx0NJ_wE

CIA says it cooperated with 9/11 panel

Mon Dec 24, 10:55 AM ET

The CIA on Saturday rebutted suggestions the spy agency was uncooperative and hid from the Sept. 11 commission the videotaped interrogations of two suspected terrorists, saying it waited until the panel went out of business before destroying the material now in question.

The destruction in late 2005 of the videotapes of two al-Qaida suspects has upset a federal judge and riled the Democratic-controlled Congress, which has promised an investigation. The Justice Department also is trying to find out what happened and whether any laws were broken.

A recent memo by Philip Zelikow, the former executive director of the Sept. 11 commission, suggests the CIA was less than forthcoming when asked for documents and other information from the panel, which investigated the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The CIA disputed that characterization and suggested the panel should have requested interrogation videotapes specifically if it wanted them.

"The notion that the CIA wasn’t cooperative or forthcoming with the 9/11 commission is just plain wrong. It is utterly without foundation," spokesman Mark Mansfield said Saturday. "The CIA’s cooperation and assistance is what enabled the 9/11 commission to reconstruct the plot in their very comprehensive report."

In a statement e-mailed separately Saturday, Mansfield suggested the commission should have been specific about wanting videotapes.

"Because it was thought the commission could ask about tapes at some point, they were not destroyed while the commission was active," he said. Mansfield, citing similar comments this month by CIA Director Michael Hayden, added that "the tapes were destroyed only when it was determined they were no longer of intelligence value and not relevant to any internal, legislative, or judicial inquiries."

Zelikow’s seven-page memo, dated Dec. 13, reviews the commission’s requests for information from the CIA.

It cites a Jan. 26, 2004, meeting of commission members and administration officials, including then-CIA Director George Tenet, at which the government offered to present written questions to the detainees and relay their answers back to the commission.

"None of the government officials in any of these 2004 meetings alluded to the existence of recordings of interrogations or any further information in the government’s possession that was relevant to the commission’s requests," Zelikow wrote.

Near the end of the commission’s work, and in response to a request by the commission to all agencies, John McLaughlin, then the deputy CIA director, confirmed on June 29, 2004, that the CIA had "taken and completed all reasonable steps necessary to find the documents in its possession, custody or control responsive" to the commission’s formal requests and "has produced or made available for review" all such documents, the memo said.

The existence of Zelikow’s memo was first reported by The New York Times.

Giuliani: It was impossible for the 9/11 firefighters to have working radios

Giuliani: It was ‘impossible’ for the 9/11 firefighters to have working radios

12/23/2007 @ 1:05 pm

Filed by Nick Langewis and David Edwards

Former New York City mayor and Republican presidential candidate Rudy Giuliani talks to George Stephanopoulos about accusations that firefighters died on 9/11 due to radios that Giuliani himself knew weren’t suitable for use.

Giuliani has been personally blamed for the deaths of firefighters on September 11, 2001, including by NYFD Deputy Fire Chief James Riches, whose son, also a firefighter, died at Ground Zero. Giuliani is not only accused of providing faulty equipment, but also of ending the search for survivors too early.

"I feel very bad about that," responds Giuliani. "I mean, I feel very bad about the whole situation."

"Myself," he continues, "and all the people that are involved in this have been very hurt by this, and it creates a lot of pain. It creates a lot of suffering. And, if they’re angry at me, so be it. I did everything I could–I did everything I could think of doing in that situation to help.

"I think I made mostly the right decisions."

Says Giuliani about the radios in question: "Well, the radios that you’re talking about weren’t put online for three, four, five years after, so it would have been impossible for me to have those radios ready.

"It took the city two, three more years."

Responds Stephanopoulos, "But they had a malfunction in 1993."

As Think Progress points out, it wasn’t impossible for firefighters to have working radios when entering the twin towers, had the no-bid contract with Motorola produced a product that worked properly after the 1993 malfunctions; the faulty replacements were decommissioned in March of 2001, leaving the firefighters using the same radios inside the World Trade Center in 2001 that they had in 1993.

One Think Progress commenter, identifying as "Comrade Rutherford," says that New York City might be continually equipping firefighters with radios that aren’t suitable to begin with:

As a amatuer (sic) radio enthusiast I was flabbergasted to learn (back in the day) that the NYFD were on VHF, but the NYPD was on UHF. The higher frequenices (sic) of the police band at 460 MHz can get out of buildings better than VHF, making for more reliable communications from *inside buildings*. The fire dept was on 154 MHz for many, many years (are they still?). This frequency range has larger dead areas inside buidlings (sic) meaning that you have to carefully move around to get your radio into a hot spot to be able to communicate reliably. If you move at all, you lose the signal. Now imagine having to do that while the building is burning around you and the message you need to send is of life or death. Many other cities have long ago moved their emergency comm to 800 MHz, and digital radio is now here. But wasn’t it Giuliani that made a sweet-heart deal with Motorola for the Radios That Didn’t Work?

Video of the exchange is available below, as broadcast on ABC’s This Week on December 23, 2007.

Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga Says CIA, Mossad Behind 9/11

ITALIAN SAYS 9-11 SOLVED

It’s common knowledge, he reveals, CIA, Mossad behind terror attacks

http://www.americanfreepress.net/html/9-11_solved118.html

By the Staff of American Free Press

Former Italian President Francesco Cossiga, who revealed the existence of Operation Gladio, has told Italy’s oldest and most widely read newspaper that the 9-11 terrorist attacks were run by the CIA and Mossad, and that this was common knowledge among global intelligence agencies. In what translates awkwardly into English, Cossiga told the newspaper Corriere della Sera:

“All the [intelligence services] of America and Europe…know well that the disastrous attack has been planned and realized from the Mossad, with the aid of the Zionist world in order to put under accusation the Arabic countries and in order to induce the western powers to take part … in Iraq [and] Afghanistan.”

Cossiga was elected president of the Italian Senate in July 1983 before winning a landslide election to become president of the country in 1985, and he remained until 1992.

Cossiga’s tendency to be outspoken upset the Italian political establishment, and he was forced to resign after revealing the existence of, and his part in setting up, Operation Gladio. This was a rogue intelligence network under NATO auspices that carried out bombings across Europe in the 1960s, 1970s and ’80s. Gladio’s specialty was to carry out what they termed “false flag” operations—terror attacks that were blamed on their domestic and geopolitical opposition.

In March 2001, Gladio agent Vincenzo Vinciguerra stated, in sworn testimony, “You had to attack civilians, the people, women, children, innocent people, unknown people far removed from any political game. The reason was quite simple: to force … the public to turn to the state to ask for greater security.”

Cossiga first expressed his doubts about 9-11 in 2001, and is quoted by 9-11 researcherWebster Tarpley saying “The mastermind of the attack must have been a sophisticated mind, provided with ample means not only to recruit fanatic kamikazes, but also highly specialized personnel. I add one thing: it could not be accomplished without infiltrations in the radar and
flight security personnel.”

Coming from a widely respected former head of state, Cossiga’s assertion that the 9-11 attacks were an inside job and that this is common knowledge among global intelligence agencies is illuminating. It is one more eye-opening confirmation that has not been mentioned by America’s propaganda machine in print or on TV. Nevertheless, because of his experience and status in the world, Cossiga cannot be discounted as a crackpot.

(Issue #52, December 24, 2007)

Sources: Hijackers’ ex-landlord was FBI informant

Sources: Hijackers’ ex-landlord was FBI informant

From Dana Bash, Kelli Arena and David Ensor
CNN

WASHINGTON (CNN) —A former landlord of two of the September 11 hijackers was an FBI informant at the time, knowledgeable sources confirm to CNN.

The two hijackers, Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi, lived in San Diego in the fall of 2000 and were taken in by a Muslim man after he met them at a local Islamic center. The landlord had been an informant for the FBI, supplying information about the Islamic terrorist groups Hamas and Hezbollah.

The revelation, first reported by Newsweek, focuses renewed attention on possible mistakes made by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence prior to September 11. Newsweek reported that the FBI informant lived in close quarters with the two future hijackers.

"The FBI concedes that a San Diego case agent appears to have been at least aware that Saudi visitors were renting rooms in the informant’s house," Newsweek reported.

Some members of the congressional committee investigating the intelligence failures and the September 11 attacks knew about the relationship between the landlord and the FBI, and the point will probably come up when the panel holds public hearings, expected later this month.

U.S. intelligence officials said that in January of 2000, when Almidhar and Alhazmi attended a meeting of known terrorists in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, that fact was communicated by the CIA to the FBI. Yet it was not until August 23, 2001, that the CIA warned the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to watch for the two men, and that they might try to enter the United States.

By that time, Almidhar and Alhazmi had been in the U.S. for more than 11 months.

The FBI contends the agency was never told about the two men before August 23 and says it can find no record of any such communication between CIA and FBI to show the information might have been overlooked. The FBI has maintained that position in its dealings with congressional investigators and has asked the CIA to document, if possible, having sent word earlier.

The San Diego landlord, reached by CNN on Monday, has refused comment.

 
Find this article at:
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/09/11/ar911.hijackers.landlord
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