Newly Declassified Government Documents: Pre 9/11 Bin Laden Hijack Plot Was Ignored By US Intelligence
by Steve Watson
No one believed al Qaeda, Taliban could pull it off
File this under 9/11 government prior knowledge with the mountains of other examples from the past twelve years. Newly uncovered government documents show that the US government ignored a specific warning in 2000 that Al Qaeda planned to hijack a commercial airliner headed for the US.
After eleven years, the Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), the country’s military intelligence arm, has released documents to watchdog group Judicial Watch, that show the warning was ignored because “nobody believed that Usama bin Laden’s organization or the Taliban could carry out such an operation.”
Judicial Watch notes that the documents “reveal that Al Qaeda had a sophisticated plan to hijack a commercial airliner departing Frankfurt International Airport between March and August 2000. The hijack team was to consist of an Arab, a Pakistani and a Chechen and their targets were U.S. airlines, Lufthansa and Air France.”
Judicial Watch requested the material in May 2002 as part of its Terrorism Research and Analysis Project.
The group notes that the files are very rich in detail and show that the US government had intricate operational information, even down to names, addresses and phone numbers of the terrorist operatives, based in Frankfurt, Germany.
The documents show that the plot was being directed by a prominent Saudi with direct ties to the Saudi royal family, operating in conjunction with Qaeda, Taliban and Chechen terrorist cells in Hamburg and Frankfurt, one of which was being headed by lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta.
Judicial Watch’s analysis also notes that the US government had intelligence indicating that Al Qaeda had gotten an operative on the inside of the German Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan, to provide EU visas to be used in forged Pakistani passports.
The watchdog group notes that “information about the plot came from an unidentified human intelligence source that provided U.S. authorities with copies of Arabic letters containing details of the Al Qaeda plot.”
Previous news reports, including this AP article, from 2007 dovetail with the DIA documents. Former intelligence officials cited within the report indicate that the information came from France’s foreign intelligence service, and that the information was also directly passed to the CIA.
Information about the hijacking plot has been known about for some time following reports by journalists with AFP, AP, and Le Monde. The details are documented in the 9/11 timeline. According to those reports, the US government had intricate details that a German based plot, personally approved by bin Laden himself, was underway.
The French intelligence agents were said to have gleaned details from Uzbek spies who had infiltrated the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU), a militant group based in Uzbekistan next door to Afghanistan and closely tied to bin Laden and the Taliban.
The DIA documents provide solid proof that a branch of the US intelligence community had been provided detailed warnings about the hijacking plot.
Several other examples of the US government knowing before 9/11 about detailed Al Qaeda plots to hijack airliners, and even fly them into buildings including the Pentagon, have been recorded. The DIA had detailed information on the German Qaeda cells through its Able Danger program.
The fact that no one within the intelligence community believed bin Laden, living in a cave, could pull off such a plot is telling. Indeed, many Americans believe that he didn’t pull it off, that the plot itself was hijacked and put into operation by rogue elements of US intelligence, in co-operation with Saudi and Israeli counterparts.
The DIA documents represent an important revelation, because they are declassified US government documents that confirm what intelligence insiders have already leaked, thus bolstering previous revelations of government prior knowledge.
Sadly the documents are likely to not be widely reported on by a pathetic mainstream media that in most cases is locked into 24 hour news cycles based on drivel, no longer referencing events that happened a week ago, let alone twelve years ago.