January 28, 2004

9/11 Commission Revelations. Paul Thompson is the author of The Complete 9/11 Timeline, the most extensive collection of mainstream news stories about the terrorist attacks (and a timeline I'm proud to say I've helped research and edit; I also co-wrote this article). After the 9/11 Commission's held public hearings yesterday, Thompson posted this information to a website (I've made slight edits):

"There's been a lot of new 9/11 news in the past few days, but I think the most important stuff is being buried. It all has to do with hijackers Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar.

"(1) These two were able "to enter the United States in early 2000 despite evidence suggesting they had ties to Al Qaeda. The report said that 'the top officials in the U.S. government' — it did not identify exactly who — were advised in early 2000 about a terrorist summit meeting the two men had attended in Malaysia." NY Times "The top officials" - that's key. There's a major potential scandal here. Up until now the story has always been that US intelligence didn't realize this meeting was important until much later. "Malaysian security forces secretly videotaped the gathering and alerted the CIA. But U.S. intelligence agents say they didn't realize the significance of the meeting until they learned of the Cole connection sometime around August 2001." Cox News

"(2) There in fact was a no-fly list being used by the airlines at the time of 9/11. "On Sept. 11 there were about two dozen people on the FAA's 'no fly' list, designed to protect the nation's skies from terrorists." Knight Ridder "Yet, incredibly, the CIA figures out these two are inside the US, but they are not put on that list, nor is Khallad bin Attash, who was known to be the mastermind of the USS Cole attack in 2000. So let me get this straight. The known mastermind of the most recent bin Laden attack is not worthy to put on the FAA's no-fly list?!?

"(3) It had previously been reported that 9 hijackers had been selected for extra screening before boarding the hijacked planes. But it was said in October 2001 that Almihdhar and Alhazmi were not screened. "Despite their presence on the terrorist watch list, Almihdhar and Alhazmi raised no alarms when they arrived at Dulles before the scheduled 8:10 a.m. departure Sept. 11. They and their three cohorts entered through Gate D26." Cox News "That turns out to be another lie: "All five hijackers aboard American Flight 77 -- which crashed into the Pentagon -- were selectees and their luggage was held before they were confirmed on the aircraft, and no further screening was done." Washington Post They're not even mentioned by name - you just have to know they were on that flight to figure out that these two got extra screening.

"(4) But wait, there's more! "Investigators also found that two other passports, those of hijackers Khalid al Mihdhar and Salem al Hazmi, were 'suspicious' in other ways and could have been linked to al-Qaida, but they did not elaborate." Baltimore Sun The fact these two were able to get on the hijacked planes grows more and more incredible with every new revelation."

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