Skip to comments.US knew about al Qaeda in 1990s, FBI agent says (BREAKING NEWS!!!)
Posted on 03/07/2006 12:21:36 PM PST by jcb8199
ALEXANDRIA, Virginia (Reuters) - The U.S. government knew by the 1990s how al Qaeda trained suicide operatives but missed capturing the man who masterminded the September 11 attacks about four years before they occurred, an FBI agent said on Tuesday.
FBI agent Michael Anticev said in testimony at a sentencing trial for September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui that the U.S. government knew by the mid 1990s that there were several al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan and other countries.
Operatives at the training camps were taught how to carry out terrorist operations, including suicide missions, and were trained in how to avoid detection, he said.
At that time, the U.S. government was tracking several top al Qaeda members, Anticev said, and between 1996 and 1998 made an attempt to arrest Khalid Sheikh Mohammed -- the man who has been described as the brains behind the September 11 hijackings.
Anticev said the attempt, made "somewhere in the Middle East," failed after Mohammed was apparently tipped off.
Anticev was responding to questions from defense attorney, Edward MacMahon, who was trying to refute the government's argument that if Moussaoui had not lied to the FBI in the days before September 11, 2001, the hijackings could have been stopped.
The question of Moussaoui's lies while in custody on immigration charges from August 16, 2001, are at the heart of a sentencing trial to determine if he receives the death penalty for conspiracy in connection with the September 11 attacks.
Moussaoui's lawyers have said the government will be hard-pressed to prove that Moussaoui could have told the FBI anything that would have prevented the hijackings.
Moussaoui, an admitted al Qaeda member, pleaded guilty in April to all six conspiracy charges against him. The sentencing trial is being held to determine if he will be executed for his crimes or sentenced to life in prison.
When he pleaded guilty last year, Moussaoui said he was not meant to be part of the attacks on the World Trade Center in New York and the Pentagon which killed 3,000 people.
But he said he was part of a broader conspiracy to use airplanes as a weapon and said he was being trained on a 747 airliner to strike the White House.
The 37-year-old Frenchman of Moroccan descent did not speak while the court was in session, but sat stroking his bushy beard and smiling at times when FBI agents identified the September 11 hijackers and explained the overall plot.
In response to questions from MacMahon, Anticev said the U.S. government was also aware before September 11 there had been a plan in the 1990s to blow up 12 U.S. airlines.
"Do you know if the FBI was concerned before 9/11 about the possibility of al Qaeda using planes as weapons?" MacMahon asked.
"I don't know if that's correct," Anticev replied, but then said the FBI had been concerned about possible hijackings.
If it were a Republican Administration you can bet you @ss they would.
But...but...the DUmmies continually say Clinton was Osama's worst nightmare and he had a plan to get him!!
For the sake of those who don't know.. search for the term "Able Danger"
Read some of the Congressional Intel Committee reports for 2000 and some previous years. al-Qaeda wasn't unknown. bin Laden wasn't unknown. Even Congress had more info available than they would ever admit to.
But, as we know from Reid, Kerry, and other -- they admit they didn't attend meetings, read reports, etc.
we should release this guy now so he stops telling all these lies. /s
You are right. It just wasn't on the front page like it has been in the past 4.5 years. It certainly isn't breaking news.
If you read some of the old Jim Traficant one minute speeches you'll find that he names Bin Laden as a serious threat throughout the 90s.
Right. He just got distracted by cigars and interns.
I think we can all do the math.
OJ should claim that Osama is the real murderer. Osama doesn't play golf so that is why OJ has never found him.
If Clinton knew, then I presume the Bush admin knew, too.
I forget. Salman Pak, now where was that?
Or were they 727s..
We don't need this sort of inquiry anyway, we already have the 9/11 commission report, don't we? (fumbling for more free cheese)
It's almost as if the MSM thinks that al quaida magically formed in the months after Bush's election, yet before 9/11