Sunday, October 01, 2006

Investigators Believe There Were Other September 11 Plotters!

Intelligence agencies would like to know "the nature and extent of support the hijackers had while in the United States, not to mention the nature and support in Germany and elsewhere..."---U.S. Intelligence Official

Here is an excerpt from an article published on 9-11-06 in the Washington Times by Rowan Scarborough and Jerry Seper that discusses the search for other 9-11 conspirators. The article was reprinted in Front Page Magazine:

'Odd travel patterns'

A U.S. intelligence official, who asked not to be named, said the CIA still doesn't know with whom the hijackers met as they traveled across the United States.

Intelligence agencies would like to know "the nature and extent of support the hijackers had while in the United States, not to mention the nature and support in Germany and elsewhere," the official said in an interview. "We can't rule out as a possibility people who either knowingly or unwittingly" aided the conspirators.

The official asked, "What was behind their odd travel patterns? Why all the trips to Las Vegas? What exactly may have happened there? There are still some unanswered questions."

September 11 commissioner Fred Fielding, White House counsel to President Reagan, has his own pet mystery.

"The one thing that always bothered me, and we never got to the bottom of," Mr. Fielding said, was why Atta and fellow hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari drove from Boston to Maine to catch a flight back to Boston to connect with American Flight 11.

"What doesn't make sense to me is, this plot had to be perfect," Mr. Fielding said in an interview. "Everything had to work right for these guys, and unfortunately, it did. They couldn't have any mistakes.

"Atta and his team went up to Portland, Maine, and they flew back and had to go through two security checks. ... I've never figured it out. Why did he go to Portland, and what [did they do] in Portland, because it doesn't make any sense. He put the whole plan in jeopardy."

FBI Special Agent James N. Fitzgerald told the September 11 commission that the bureau has not figured out why Atta went to Maine.

"So the best indication we have of why he did what he did is from that detainee reporting, indicating that he probably did so to minimize the amount of people who would be arriving at Flight 11 at one time," Mr. Fitzgerald said.

Why it matters

Some of the unsolved mysteries -- such as with whom the hijackers met -- are important in understanding the plot's true breadth and whether any conspirators remain at large in the U.S., planning the next attack.

Other questions asked by the FBI, the commission and lawmakers would, if answered, shed more light on how al Qaeda terrorists operate in the days leading up to an attack. Such a profile might tip off the next attempt at mass murder.

Among other unanswered questions:

•More conspirators. Investigators believe there were other September 11 plotters. For instance, Atta took several trips to Europe after first arriving in the United States. The presumption is he met with jihadist allies -- but who? When Atta returned to Florida from one trip, fellow conspirator Marwan Al-Shehhi went to Casablanca, Morocco, for eight days.

But why?

•Money. Investigators estimate the total cost of executing the attack at about $500,000, but do not know the ultimate source. Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who is in CIA custody, handled most of the funds, but apparently cannot cast much light on its original source.

•The 20th hijacker. Three of the hijacked jets carried five jihadists; four hijackers were aboard the fourth, United Airlines Flight 93, which crashed in a field near Shanksville, Pa., after passengers attempted to retake the plane. The FBI's theory is that Mohammed planned for a 20th, but who? [
Here is the full article.]


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