Mike Kasper at Able Danger Blog updates us about the new book from Peter Lance that finally delves feet first into the 9/11 conspiracy. This time there is no backroom dealing to leave stuff out or gloss over the facts as the 9/11 Commission did:
Able Danger is mentioned throughout the book, but some other chapters which focus on it include Chapter 31, “Operation Able Danger”, Chapter 32, “Obliterating the Dots”, and Chapter 33, “Able Danger Part Two”. Over the past nine months, I was beginning to doubt if anyone would ever give the Able Danger story the treatment it deserves. Peter Lance has gone above and beyond my expectations in “Triple Cross” and anyone who is interested in getting to the bottom of the Able Danger story should read it.
Among other things, he points out flaws in the IG Report on Able Danger:
It’s also clear that, in attempting to impeach Capt. Phillpott, the IG relied heavily on the word of Dietrich Snell, the 9/11 Commission senior counsel, who found Phillpott’s account of the Able Danger findings “not sufficiently reliable to warrant revision of the [Commission] report or further investigation.” That was Snell’s conclusion following a July 12, 2004, meeting with Phillpott ten days before the Commission’s “final report” was to go to press:
“We considered Mr. Snell’s negative assessment of Capt. Phillpott’s claims particularly persuasive given Mr. Snell’s knowledge and background in antiterrorist efforts involving al Qaeda. Mr. Snell considered Capt. Phillpott’s recollection with respect to Able Danger identification of Mohammed Atta inaccurate because it was ‘one hundred per cent inconsistent with everything we knew about Mohammed Atta and his collegues at the time.’ Mr. Snell went on to describe his knowledge of Mohammed Atta’s overseas travel and associations before 9/11 noting the “utter absense of any information suggesting any kind of a tie between Atta and anyone located in this country during the first half of the year 2000,” when Able Danger had allegedly identified him.”
But in this book we’ve demonstrated that there was massive evidence on the high visibility of 9/11 hijackers al-Mihdhar and al-Hazmi, who were living openly in San Diego as early as January 2000. We showed how Atta himself entered the United States on June 3 and rented a room in Brooklyn near the Al Farooq Mosque, using his own name. Just how difficult would it have been for the Able Danger analysts to track his movements via airline reservations and immigration sources, since, according to the IG’s report, the Able Danger data harvest was “collecting data from 10,000 websites each day”?
In an interview following release of the report, one operative close to the data-mining operation told me that “we also accessed INS databases in the data harvest, so picking up Atta who had to get airline tickers and a visa prior to his arrival in early June was no big deal.”
Mike also has the press release announcing the book:
In TRIPLE CROSS, five-time Emmy-award winning investigative reporter Peter Lance reveals how U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald and the FBI’s elite bin Laden squad failed to stop Ali Mohamed, al-Qaeda’s master spy, in the years leading up to the 9/11 attacks. Recruited as an FBI informant as early as 1992, Mohamed — an intimate of Osama bin Laden — was allowed to remain free for years, planning and executing multiple acts of terror, including the 1998 African embassy bombings that killed 224 and injured 4000 — while Fitzgerald and key FBI agents did little to stop him.
Mohamed had been on the FBI’s radar since 1989, when the FBI’s Special Operations Group photographed a cell of his trainees firing AK-47s at a Long Island shooting range. Yet despite their prior knowledge of this New York cell, the Bureau ended its investigation, paving the way for multiple acts of terror in the years that followed.
Of the Islamic radicals trained by Ali Mohamed and photographed by the FBI: one went on to kill Rabbi Meier Kahane in 1990, three were convicted in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993, and another American Muslim was convicted by Patrick Fitzgerald in 1995 in a plot to blow up the bridge and tunnels into Manhattan. Mohamed himself was opened as a Bureau informant on the West Coast in 1992-a year before the WTC bombing. Worse, he continued to snooker Fitzgerald and other FBI and Justice Department officials for years as he learned the FBI’s playbook on al-Qaeda.
After a five-year investigation into FBI negligence on the road to 9/11, Lance reveals:
How Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who was directing the FBI’s elite bin Laden squad (I-49), allowed Ali Mohamed to remain an active al-Qaeda agent despite the fact that the FBI knew he had sworn allegiance to bin Laden as early as 1993. Mohamed moved the Saudi billionaire from Afghanistan to Sudan, trained his personal bodyguard, set up al-Qaeda terror camps in Khartoum, and trained the terrorists responsible for the 1993 WTC bombing and Day of Terror plots.
How Fitzgerald and other top officials buried a treasure trove of al-Qaeda-related evidence in 1996 — including proof of a liquid-based airliner bomb plot that was a precursor to the August 2006 plot revealed by U.K. authorities. The evidence included proof of an active al-Qaeda cell operating in NYC five years before
How Mohamed twice smuggled al-Qaeda’s second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, into the U.S. in the 1990s to raise half a million dollars for the Jihad — and left his post at Fort Bragg, against orders, to hunt down Soviet Spetsnaz commandos in Afghanistan in the midst of America’s covert war.
How Mohamed stole TOP SECRET memos and other classified intelligence from Fort Bragg and passed it onto the al-Qaeda leadership, including memos to the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the positions of all Special Forces units worldwide. Copies of that intelligence, with Mohamed’s notes in Arabic, are part of more than 30 pages of declassified or formerly SECRET documents included as appendices to the book.
How, after meeting Mohamed face-to-face in 1997, Fitzgerald called him “the most dangerous man I have ever met” and vowed, “We cannot let this man out on the street.” Yet for another ten months he allowed Mohamed to remain free, while the al-Qaeda spy continued to support the African embassy bombing plot he had set in motion in 1993-after being freed from custody on the word of his FBI control agent.
How Mohamed had told Fitzgerald that he had “hundreds” of al-Qaeda sleepers ready to go “operational” at any time — and yet to this day the FBI has failed to detect them. Mohamed, who wasn’t even arrested until a month after the 1998 embassy bombings, remained in U.S. custody for three full years before 9/11. But even after cutting a deal that allowed him to escape the death penalty and enter witness protection, Fitzgerald failed to extract the 9/11 planes-as-missiles plot from Mohamed.
How as early as 1991 the FBI was aware of a New Jersey mail box store directly linked to al-Qaeda, but failed to monitor the location. Fitzgerald himself had named the store owner as an unindicted coconspirator in the 1995 Day of Terror case. Six years later, in July 2001 , the FBI blew an extraordinary chance to interdict the 9/11 plot when two of the 9/11 hijackers got their fake IDS at the very same store. “All the FBI had to do was monitor that location, the way they sat on John Gotti’s Ravenite Social Club,” says Lance, “and they would have been in the middle of the 9/11 plot.”
Just when I thought Able Danger was going to be filed away and forgotten comes a book that will once again show how close we came to stopping Atta.
I’ve already pre-ordered my copy of the book, don’t miss out.