Saturday, April 23, 2005

Moussaoui - tool of the security services?

Moussaoui was arrested a month before the September 11 attacks.

Moussaoui had been attending a flight school. The instructor and a vice president of the flight school tried repeatedly to get the FBI to investigate Moussaoui. (Minneapolis Star-Tribune, New York Times December 22.)

The vice president of the flight school, who briefed Minnesota Congressmen James Oberstar and Martin Sabo, said it took four to six phone calls to the FBI to find an agent who would help.

Moussaoui was eventually detained by the Immigration and Naturalization Service on visa charges.

Local FBI investigators in Minneapolis suspected Moussaoui of being a terrorist and sought a warrant to search the hard drive of Moussaoui's home computer. This was rejected by higher-level officials in Washington, who claimed there was insufficient evidence to meet the legal requirements for the warrant.

In 1996, Abdul Hakim Murad testified in court that he worked for Al Qaeda and that he had trained at the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma. FBI agents knew Moussaoui had attended the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma.

On August 26, FBI headquarters was told by French intelligence that Moussaoui had ties to the Al Qaeda organization and Osama bin Laden.

A special counterterrorism panel of the FBI and CIA concluded there was insufficient evidence that Moussaoui represented any threat, despite his refusal to answer questions and the French allegations. Moussaoui was not transferred from INS detention to FBI custody until after September 11.

Several of the September 11 hijackers, including Mohammed Atta, the alleged ringleader, were under direct surveillance by US agencies as suspected terrorists during 2000 and 2001.Yet they were allowed to travel freely into and out of the US and eventually carry out their plans.

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