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Thread: Before 9/11, Warnings On Bin Laden

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    Before 9/11, Warnings On Bin Laden

    Before 9/11, Warnings on bin Laden

    http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/09/na...g+nvRhFKtjmNeA

    (Gold9472: How nice of them to warn the Saudis, and not their own people.)

    By SCOTT SHANE
    Published: December 9, 2005

    WASHINGTON, Dec. 8 - More than three years before the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, American diplomats warned Saudi officials that Osama bin Laden might target civilian aircraft, according to a newly declassified State Department cable.

    The cable was one of two documents released Thursday by the National Security Archive, a research organization at George Washington University that obtained them under the Freedom of Information Act. The other was a memorandum written five days after the 2001 attacks by George J. Tenet, then director of central intelligence, to his top deputies, titled "We're at War."

    The June 1998 cable reported to Washington that three American officials, the State Department's regional security officer, an economics officer and an aviation specialist had met Saudi officials at King Khalid International Airport in Riyadh to pass along a warning based on an interview Mr. bin Laden, the Saudi-born leader of Al Qaeda, had just given to ABC News.

    They said he had threatened in the interview to strike in the next "few weeks" against "military passenger aircraft," mentioning surface-to-air missiles. The cable said there was "no specific information that indicates bin Laden is targeting civilian aircraft," but added, "We could not rule out that a terrorist might take the course of least resistance and turn to a civilian target."

    Part of the Tenet memo had been reported previously in Bob Woodward's 2002 book, "Bush At War." The eight-paragraph Tenet letter was a call to arms, declaring "a worldwide war against Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations" and saying that the effort would require "our absolute and total dedication."

    The 2001 document echoed an earlier memo about Al Qaeda that Mr. Tenet had sent on Dec. 4, 1998, to top C.I.A. officials and other intelligence agencies, stating: "We are at war. I want no resources or people spared in this effort." But the national 9/11 commission concluded last year that the 1998 memo had "little overall effect" on mobilizing the agencies to fight terrorism.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    Memo notes U.S. feared jet attack prior to 9/11
    NBC: U.S. told Saudi Arabia bin Laden could strike with civilian plane

    http://msnbc.msn.com/id/10398375/

    Actual Memo
    Click Here

    Updated: 3:13 p.m. ET Dec. 9, 2005

    The U.S. government warned Saudi Arabia more than three years before the Sept. 11 attacks that Osama bin Laden might use civilian airplanes in terror attacks, according to a memo released Friday by the National Security Archive, NBC News reported.

    The June 1998 note says bin Laden “might take the course of least resistance and turn to a civilian [aircraft] target.”

    The warning came from a U.S. regional security officer, diplomatic officials and a civil aviation official in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. It was based on a public threat from bin Laden against “military passenger aircraft.” The memo, however, said that bin Laden did “not differentiate between those dressed in military uniforms and civilians,” NBC News’ Robert Windrem reported.

    The Sept. 11 Commission, a panel appointed by Congress in 2002 to investigate U.S. security, made no mention of the memo in any of its reports, Windrem said. It is unknown why the report did not address the warning.

    The document was first disclosed by Washington Post editor Bob Woodward, in his behind-the-scenes book, “Bush at War,” written in 2004. It was made public on Friday by the National Security Archive, a private group that uses Freedom of Information requests to obtain classified data.

    On Friday, the National Security Archive also released a letter from former CIA Director George Tenet written five days after Sept. 11. Titled “We’re at War,” the letter to top deputies urges an “unrelenting focus” on using all of America’s capabilities, “not only to protect the U.S. both here and abroad from additional terrorist attacks — but also, and more importantly, to neutralize and destroy al-Qaida and its partners.”

    The Sept. 16 letter was written in the wake of criticism directed at Tenet and the CIA for the agency’s shortcomings in preventing an assault on U.S. soil.

    There have been a slew of reports over the past decade of plots to use planes to strike American targets. In 1995, U.S. and Filipino authorities uncovered a plot by Ramsey Yusef, nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind behind Sept. 11. Yusef threatened to hide bombs on planes and blow them up over the Pacific.

    The most notable security warning, Windrem said, was a presidential briefing on an Aug. 6, 2000, that mentioned the possibility of passenger airliners being used in terrorist attacks.

    NBC News’ Robert Windrem contributed to this report.
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    bump
    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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    No One Knows Everything. Only Together May We Find The Truth JG


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