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Face to Face With a Terrorist - Worker Recalls Atta Seeking Funds Before 9/11 (Cropduster!)
ABC News ^ | June 6, 2002

Posted on 06/06/2002 4:38:33 PM PDT by Shermy

June 6 — For more than an hour, a government loan officer was face to face with the man she now knows was the ringleader of the Sept. 11 hijackers, and he asked her for a $650,000 federal loan that apparently would have financed an attack on the United States with a modified crop-duster, the officer told ABCNEWS.

In an interview with Brian Ross, Johnelle Bryant, a loan officer in Florida for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recalled how Mohamed Atta sat across from her with his "very scary" black eyes, and then railed against her when the loan was denied, asking her how she would like to see the destruction of Washington, D.C., and monuments there, which he observed in a picture on her wall.

"His eyes, he had very scary-looking eyes. His eyes were black," she remembered. "How could somebody be that evil, be that close to me, and I didn't recognize it?"

Only after seeing Atta's picture in the newspaper did she realize who the man sitting inches away from her was, and alert the FBI of the interaction.

"I think it's very vital that the Americans realize that when these people come to the United States, they don't have a big 'T' on their forehead," she said, telling her story for the first time to ABCNEWS, against the wishes of her employer.

"They don't look like what you think a terrorist would look like," said Bryant, who also had visits from three other figures in the Sept. 11 plots, including one who used his real name.

"I had terrorists in my office, and I helped them," Bryant said. "I gave them information unknowingly … And I'm afraid that there probably will be a next time, unless it's stopped from the ground-floor level by an American."

Financing For an Immigrant's Dream

According to Bryant, who has worked at the USDA for 16 years, Atta arrived in her office sometime between the end of April and the middle of May 2000, inquiring about a loan to finance an aircraft.

"At first, he refused to speak with me," said Bryant, remembering that Atta called her "but a female." Bryant explained that she was the manager, but he still refused to conduct business with her. Ultimately, she says, "I told him that if he was interested in getting a farm-service agency loan in my servicing area, then he would need to deal with me."

Throughout the interview, he continued to refer to Bryant as "but a female," and Bryant says "he would say it with disgust."

During the initial applicant interview, Bryant was taking notes. "I wrote his name down, and I spelled it A-T-T-A-H, and he told me, 'No, A-T-T-A, as in "Atta boy!' "

He said he had just arrived in the United States from Afghanistan "to start his dream, which was to go flight school and get his pilot's license, and work both as a charter pilot and a crop duster, too." He said he was seeking $650,000 to start a crop-dusting business.

"He wanted to finance a twin-engine six-passenger aircraft … and remove the seats," said Bryant. "He said he was an engineer, and he wanted to build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting."

When Bryant explained that there was an application process, Atta became "very agitated." He thought the loan would be in cash, and that he would have no trouble obtaining it to purchase an aircraft.

He also remarked about the lack of security in the building, pointing specifically to a safe behind Bryant's desk. "He asked me what would prevent him from going behind my desk and cutting my throat and making off with the millions of dollars in that safe," said Bryant, who explained that there was no money in the safe because loans are never given in cash, and also that she was trained in karate.

"He wanted to know how, once he became settled down in the United States, how he could take that kind of training," she says.

Bryant turned him down for the loan because as a non-U.S. citizen he did not meet the basic eligibility requirements and because the program is intended for actual farming purposes. But she referred him to other government agencies and to a bank downstairs.

He asked questions about whether his plans to be out of the country for a few weeks would interfere with his eligibility for a loan. "I think he said he needed to go to Madrid, and somewhere in Germany, and then there was a third country," said Bryant. (--Czech?)

Being turned down for the loan altered the hijackers' plans. According to law enforcement officials, packing twin-engine planes with explosive chemicals, making it a flying bomb, had been the terrorists' plan since the mid-1990s. When Atta reported to his group that he could not get a loan to buy smaller planes, the plan was switched to hijacking passenger jets, according to Abu Zabaydah, a captured bin Laden lieutenant.

So in the fall of 2000, the hijackers who had been learning to fly small planes began to seek simulator training in the large jets they would crash into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and a field in Pennsylvania.

Familiar Places, Unfamiliar Names

Before leaving Bryant's office, Atta became fixated with an aerial photo of Washington that was hanging on her office wall.

"He just said that it was one of the prettiest, the best he'd ever seen of Washington," she said, remembering that he was impressed with the panoramic view that captured all the monuments and buildings in one photograph, pointing specifically to the Pentagon and the White House.

"He pulled out a wad of cash," she said, "and started throwing money on my desk. He wanted that picture really bad."

Bryant indicated that the picture was not for sale, and he threw more money down.

"His look on his face became very bitter at that point," Bryant remembers. "I believe he said, 'How would America like it if another country destroyed that city and some of the monuments in it' like the cities in his country had been destroyed?"

Atta also expressed an interest in visiting New York, specifically the World Trade Center, and asked Bryant about security there. He inquired about other American cities, including Phoenix, Los Angeles, Seattle and Chicago. Prompted by a souvenir she had on her desk, he also expressed interest in the Dallas Cowboys' football stadium, mentioning that the team was "America's team" and the stadium had a "whole in the roof."

Atta also talked about life in his country. "He mentioned al Qaeda, he mentioned Osama bin Laden," said Bryant. "I didn't know who Osama bin Laden was … He could have been a character on Star Wars for all I knew."

He boasted about the role that they would one day play. "He said this man would someday be known as the world's greatest leader," she said.

Bryant and Atta shook hands on his way out. "I told him I wished him luck with his endeavor," remembered Bryant.

‘How Could I Have Known?’

Bryant never thought to report her strange encounter, because she thought she was just helping a new immigrant learn about the country.

"I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from, with all the violence, as compared to the United States," she says. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could make it."

His questions about American cities, she assumed, were because he had moved to a new country and he wanted to find out about the major cities.

"How could I have known? I couldn't have known, prior to Sept. 11. I don't think anyone else would have either, if they'd been in my shoes that day," she says. "Should I have picked up the telephone and called someone? You can't ask me that more often than I have asked myself that … I don't know how I could possibly expect myself to have recognized what that man was. And yet sometimes I haven't forgiven myself."

Bryant hopes her story will serve as a warning to all Americans.

"The American people, the public, need to be aware that if these men can walk into my office, they can walk into your office, they can walk into anyone's office," she says. "If they watch this interview and they see the type of questions that Atta asked me on my first encounter with that man, and then someone walks into another American's office and behaves in the same manner, then perhaps they will recognize a terrorist, and perhaps they will pick up the phone and make the call that I didn't make."


TOPICS: Anthrax Scare; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: anthrax; atta; cropduster; terrorism
Navigation: use the links below to view more comments.
first 1-5051-71 next last

1 posted on 06/06/2002 4:38:34 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Mitchell; Okie01
What do you think of this one? How does ABC know what Zabadayah said?
2 posted on 06/06/2002 4:40:47 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Nogbad; keri; The Great Satan; aristeides; okie01; BlackVeil; muawiyah; Alamo-Girl; My Identity...
Ping.
3 posted on 06/06/2002 4:41:56 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Shermy
After this guy talked about slashing the USDA official's throat and stealing money from her safe and also destroying government buildings, threw money at her in an attempt to purchase an arial photo of Wash. DC she didn't want to sell, plus acted generally scary and spooky, she didn't even let ANYBODY know about this attempt by a non-citizen to get loan money from the US govt. to finance the purchase of an airplane with a huge "chemical tank"?

Maybe this is normal behavior for people trying to get USDA loans.

4 posted on 06/06/2002 4:46:56 PM PDT by Irene Adler
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To: Shermy
I thought this was an Onion piece. Unbelievable. How could she not remember this man?
5 posted on 06/06/2002 4:52:19 PM PDT by abner
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To: Irene Adler
I have strong suspicions about this story, including adding of info for self-importance reasons. Atta admitted he was in Al Qaeda? What?

Also want to know the spin about "cropdusters" as bombs, rather than spreading anthrax or pesticides converted into crude nerve agents. Moussaoui was caught with wind pattern info. Many showed interest in cropdusters close to 9/11. Want to know the source of this Zabadiyah speculation. Could be true. But interests served by deflecting the threat would be the various industries related to agricultre.

6 posted on 06/06/2002 4:52:55 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Irene Adler
You know, I have a feeling she's making up more than a small bit of this story. I can't imagine Atta would be so incompetent.
7 posted on 06/06/2002 4:55:25 PM PDT by The Old Hoosier
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To: abner
We're doomed. This could be a Saturday Night Live skit, except that it's our government at work.
8 posted on 06/06/2002 4:56:43 PM PDT by kristinn
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To: Irene Adler
...she didn't even let ANYBODY know about this attempt by a non-citizen to get loan
money from the US govt. to finance the purchase of an airplane with a huge "chemical tank"?


I think the answer is below...she's a typical government employee.

Atta also talked about life in his country. "He mentioned al Qaeda, he mentioned
Osama bin Laden," said Bryant. "I didn't know who Osama bin Laden was …
He could have been a character on Star Wars for all I knew."


I'm pretty sure that Osama was mentioned in the news more than a few times before
9-11; what we have here is a regular governmental functionary.
Fortunately the system accidentally worked and he didn't get his loan to
build his anthrax delivery system...oops, I forgot, all that anthrax stuff is the
product of domestic right-wing nuts.
9 posted on 06/06/2002 4:58:53 PM PDT by VOA
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To: kristinn; The Old Hoosier
I seriously hope she is making most of this up. If she is an average government employee, yes, we are DOOMED.
10 posted on 06/06/2002 4:59:33 PM PDT by abner
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To: Shermy
I have strong suspicions about this story, including adding of info for self-importance
reasons. Atta admitted he was in Al Qaeda? What?


You are being too kind to the run-of-the-mill government employee.

When I'm at the Federal Building post office in West LA, I get to see
"our servants" trudge away from their jobs-for-life.
They don't look like the brightest bulbs...
11 posted on 06/06/2002 5:01:37 PM PDT by VOA
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To: abner
Sure makes me feel safer knowing that airport security has been federalized.
12 posted on 06/06/2002 5:02:16 PM PDT by beaversmom
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To: The Old Hoosier
Sounds like an incompetent crazed lunatic!
13 posted on 06/06/2002 5:11:14 PM PDT by knak
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To: VOA
...she's a typical government employee

OK, Mr Atta, you're going to have to fill out federal form Q1099-A-050, equipping a medium-size aircraft with a bomb, and form Q1101-C-017, permit for destruction of building over 50 stories. Oh, and I'll need your credit references and a five dollar application fee. You can just stop with the staring and the throat-slashing, sir, I'm a government employee. You can wait the six months for processing like everybody else. Sign here. Who is Allen Queda? Oh, I see.

14 posted on 06/06/2002 5:12:18 PM PDT by Sender
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To: Shermy
Since I haven't seen the interview all I can surmise, is she is a product of 16 years of government PC culture with a minor in sensitivity changing.
15 posted on 06/06/2002 5:15:08 PM PDT by dts32041
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To: Shermy
If this isn't embellished, then the woman needs to get a refund on her education. She was overcharged.
16 posted on 06/06/2002 5:19:31 PM PDT by piasa
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To: Shermy
Bryant hopes her story will serve as a warning to all Americans.

Who does she want to play her in the movie?

17 posted on 06/06/2002 5:22:28 PM PDT by Alouette
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To: Shermy; Mitchell;
I too found this whole story reeks of invention. Like the bit: "He said he had just arrived in the United States from Afghanistan ... " That is what many uninformed people believe - that the hijackers were Afghani or had visited that country. But they were from elsewhere.
18 posted on 06/06/2002 5:30:16 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: Shermy
Bryant never thought to report her strange encounter, because she thought she was just helping a new immigrant learn about the country.

"I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from, with all the violence, as compared to the United States," she says. "I was attempting, in every manner I could, to help him make his relocation into our country as easy for him as I could make it."

Well, isn't that special?

19 posted on 06/06/2002 5:54:34 PM PDT by The Great Satan
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To: Shermy
As an American citizen can I fire her?
20 posted on 06/06/2002 5:55:12 PM PDT by ValerieUSA
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To: Mitchell
Johnelle Bryant has had her one minute of fame.
21 posted on 06/06/2002 6:12:28 PM PDT by Nogbad
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To: All

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22 posted on 06/06/2002 6:13:12 PM PDT by Bob J
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To: Shermy
bump
23 posted on 06/06/2002 6:14:34 PM PDT by RaceBannon
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To: Shermy
I have strong suspicions about this story, including adding of info for self-importance reasons

Exactly! This babe is obviously on a short track. I was and wasn't surprised that she was featured on a mainstream news program segment.

Surprised because she's obviously a quacking duck and not surprised because the media is still throwing anything against the wall to see if it will stick to 43.

24 posted on 06/06/2002 6:17:25 PM PDT by Amerigomag
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To: Shermy; Irene Adler; abner; VOA; Sender; knak
Has the credence of this lady been verified? The reason i ask is due to the fact her assertations seem a little too 'fantastical.' I really doubt Atta would go to get a federal loan, and then tell the loan officer that he was going to 'blow up American monuments' or that he could 'slit her throat and make with the cash!' That just does not fit the profile of someone who is trying to blend in as much as possible and hide from any potential discovery until his time for performing his 'duties to aLLAH' arrive!

Hence i find her story a little too 'outrageous.' Especially when you consider the number of kooks who would do anything for a spot of fame.

For example in Oklahoma they are looking for a guy who masqueraded as an 'army colonel' and went to the site of the bridge collapse, and he was actually talking to people and was captured on telly. There are a lot of people who would use national disasters for their own little nefarious plots, or maybe for simply greed, or probably just to get some attention and media spotlight.

Think of it: Why would Atta risk exposing himself through such actions? It just does not add up!

Actually after thinking it true i am prone to believe she lied! From the reports being given out on Atta one can assume he was intelligent, definitely intelligent enough not to go and apply for a federal loan that would require checks, threaten a federal officer with bodily harm, state his intentions and what group he belongs to, and even assert that certain monuments would be destroyed.

The probability of Atta being that aloof about secrecy, and of this lady being so plain dumb, is just not probable. The two occuring at the same time must have a probability approaching zero!

25 posted on 06/06/2002 7:00:41 PM PDT by spetznaz
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To: The Old Hoosier
Yep, time to break out the shovels!

Why doesn't she have any documentation to back up her meeting? She must not since she can't give a specific date ("sometime between the end of April and the middle of May 2000").

Then there's the "he told me, 'No, A-T-T-A, as in Atta boy!'". Getting really stinky!

26 posted on 06/06/2002 7:04:19 PM PDT by mikegi
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To: spetznaz
I was thinking he may have gone for the loan, but perhaps the story was spiced up a bit from things in the news.
27 posted on 06/06/2002 7:10:53 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Shermy
This one is a little hard to believe.

According to this woman, Atta essentially told her his entire plot not in so many words, including his relationship with Osama and Al-Qaeda.

I believe in the nastiness, but not the blabby mouth. Atta is not known to shoot his mouth off to anyone, let alone a woman. No way this happened the way she tells it.

28 posted on 06/06/2002 7:24:04 PM PDT by denydenydeny
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To: Shermy; Mitchell; Nogbad; The Great Satan; aristeides; Black Veil; muawiyah; My Identity; Alamo-Girl
What interests me most about this conversation is exactly how it came to take place.

She contacted ABC? They called her, based on a tip? From whom? And why? She is doing this "against the wishes of her employer". Why?

This may be the key sentence -- the message and the disregard for "instructions".

"I think it's very vital that the Americans realize that when these people come to the United States, they don't have a big 'T' on their forehead," she said, telling her story for the first time to ABCNEWS, against the wishes of her employer.

Why is she doing this? For her 15 minutes of fame? Why has she not spoken out before, then? Or is it because she was "allowed" to have this interview? Is she really who she says she is? And did it really happen the way she described it?

Most specifically, was it a way to introduce the cropduster-as-bomb theory?

You all get my point. On its surface, the story seems a little too pat, a little too structured. Maybe it's true. Maybe it's not. And, if it's not, what is its purpose?

29 posted on 06/06/2002 7:33:14 PM PDT by okie01
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To: abner
Incredible story! After reading it all, the only part I believe is that Atta did not want to conduct business with her. I could also be convinced that he called her stupid to her face. Oops--she omitted that in her fairy tale.
30 posted on 06/06/2002 7:49:06 PM PDT by NautiNurse
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To: okie01
they don't have a big 'T' on their forehead

No?
He mentioned al Qaeda
He mentioned Osama bin Laden
He boasted about the role that they would one day play
He refused to speak with Bryant, called her "but a female" in disgust.
He asked what would prevent him from cutting Bryant's throat.
He asked what would prevent him from stealing money from her safe.
He asked 'How would America like it if another country destroyed Washington, DC'
He asked about security specifically for the World Trade Center

"I didn't know who Osama bin Laden was - He could have been a character on Star Wars for all I knew."

I guess ignorance is no barrier to getting a job with the US govt.

"I felt that he was trying to make the cultural leap from the country that he came from"

Multicultural PC groupthink!

The terrorists may not have a "T" on their forehead,
but bureaucrats sure should have a "B" on theirs.
31 posted on 06/06/2002 7:54:02 PM PDT by My Identity
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To: spetznaz
Has the credence of this lady been verified? The reason i ask is due to the fact her
assertations seem a little too 'fantastical.'


This report is being covered as "for real" on ABC's AM radio station in Los Angeles,
KABC.

I agree that it does sound more like a Saturday Night Live sketch.

And maybe we'll find out it's a hoax in a couple of days.

BUT...I think it could be true. And here's my amateur reasoning.

I think that to some degree The Talented Mr. Atta and his Butt Boys must have gauged something
about the American approach to terrorists: if you walk in from off the street acting like one,
we presume that you aren't.

IIRC (in all the flood of 9-11 aftermath reports) Atta and a colleague flew into a small airport
in rural Tennessee near a large, but mostly inactive, chemical plant.
Atta supposedly quizzed a pilot (or airport employee) at the small airport about the plant.
I think the guy said he told Atta the plant was basically just a shell...and then
Atta got p-ssed and accused the guy of not telling the truth, then Atta and his friend left
in a huff.
Now...what terrorist would have done that?

And it is documented that Atta and a friend ABANDONED the small plane they had
moved into line for take-off at the major Miami airport when it stalled.
They just walked off, leaving the plane to sit there, blocking take-off traffice.
The airport towed it off so traffic could resume.
Did Atta and friend get a rectal exam from the INS, local police and the FBI?
Heck no! The incident was just chalked up to those stupid foreigners in flight school.

And this sort of stupidity that should have been fatal to Atta's enterprise also went on with
Moussaui, the 20th hijacker.
The Los Angeles Times had a full-page article about his odyssey about two months ago.
Reprints of his e-mails revealed a guy whose English is so poor that an honest
flight school probably should have insisted on cram school in English before taking him.


I hope Dubya's planned reorganization will stop another 9-11 from happening.

But seeing all the cock-ups that Atta and his buddies made...maybe the next group will
put on the same sort of "these guys are too stupid to be terrorists" front.

But one thing does really sound like this is a true report. The lady didn't have a
clue who Osama bin Laden was. This sounds about the level of world knowledge I'd
expect from a lower-level Federal employee.
(Although if this is all real, I do appreciate this report that she has made.)
32 posted on 06/06/2002 8:45:30 PM PDT by VOA
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To: okie01; the Great Satan;
was it a way to introduce the cropduster-as-bomb theory? That might be it. Very inept though. Not like the more subltle "spinning" of stories on anthrax, which TGS commented on preivously.
33 posted on 06/06/2002 8:47:58 PM PDT by BlackVeil
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To: My Identity
they don't have a big 'T' on their forehead

If this story is right, he did have a big 'T" on his forehead, but the woman telling the story obviously didn't get that far in the alphabet. Another product of government schools.

34 posted on 06/06/2002 8:57:31 PM PDT by AZLiberty
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To: The Old Hoosier
I think this story is a load of crap. Remeber everyone, with Al Qaeda's finances they could have bought a plane if they wanted one. Why would Atta attempt to get a federal loan and act like a lunatic in front of her? Al Qaeda operatives were attempting to blend in this country.
35 posted on 06/06/2002 9:09:12 PM PDT by caa26
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To: caa26
Al Qaeda operatives were attempting to blend in this country.

Yes, but I don't think they totally succeeded. (see my post 32 above, especially the
abandoned airplane story)

I really do wonder if Atta and Co. were told to not be totally "slick", that way
they'd appear to be too incompetent and bumbling to be disciplined terrorists.

It will be interesting to see if this lady's story is exposed as B.S.
Associated Press says that ABC reports that the lady passed a lie detector...
maybe she's just a head case who truly believes in a delusion...
36 posted on 06/06/2002 9:14:27 PM PDT by VOA
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To: caa26
Rem[em]eber everyone, with Al Qaeda's finances they could have bought a plane if they wanted one. Why would Atta attempt to get a federal loan and act like a lunatic in front of her?

Isn't it more amusing to have your enemy foot the cost of their own destruction than to pay for it yourself? Don't you recall the SEC investigation into the short sales on airline stocks in the weeks leading up to 9/11? (Still haven't heard the results of that one.)

Al Qaeda doesn't want to invest its own money in operations when it can finance its operations by using US tax dollars or investment dollars (you and I both have probably contributed, albeit unknowingly and involuntarily).

37 posted on 06/06/2002 10:04:34 PM PDT by tank_sherman
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To: okie01; Shermy; Nogbad; Black Veil; denydenydeny
Why has she not spoken out before, then? Or is it because she was "allowed" to have this interview? Is she really who she says she is? And did it really happen the way she described it?

I saw this story months ago. I know because I specifically remember the unusual name Johnell. A search yields very little, but look at this excerpt from an AP story that appeared in the Sept. 25, 2001, Stockton (CA) Record:

Epling [Robert Epling, president of the Community Bank of Florida] said Monday that his bank, headquartered in Homestead, received a call from the FBI seven to 10 days ago saying that Atta had gone into a USDA office that until recently was in the bank's building. The agents asked if Atta had applied for such a loan from Community Bank, since USDA employees had apparently suggested to Atta that he try Epling's bank. Several USDA employees had recently identified Atta to the FBI, and recalled that he wore Tommy Hilfiger clothes and a lot of cologne, according to the FBI version of events provided to the bank.

Epling said one employee had a vague memory of an encounter. ''All he remembers is an inquiry about a loan for buying crop-dusters,'' Epling said of his employee. The employee thought the inquiry was in 2000 and did not remember the customer well enough to identify him as Atta, Epling said. The FBI said Atta may have gone to the USDA offices in April 2000, Epling said.

Employees in the USDA's Farm Service Agency, whose local office has since moved to neighboring Florida City, referred questions to a supervisor in the state headquarters. At a reporter's request, Kevin Kelley, state executive director for the USDA's Florida Farm Service Agency, contacted Johnell Bryant, a USDA loan manager in Florida City, to ask what had happened.

Kelley said Bryant declined to comment. ''She said she was told by authorities not to speak about it,'' Kelley said. FBI officials said they could not confirm the account.
This story has Bryant refusing to comment, but I think there may have been another story at the time with more details. Does anybody recall this, or have a link?
38 posted on 06/06/2002 10:35:41 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: tank_sherman; Mitchell
Why would Atta attempt to get a federal loan

It now is almost certain that Al Qaeda members in Toronto were
(and possibly still are)
receiving welfare payments from the Ontario government.
I even heard a story the other night
that Atta himself was collecting welfare cheques
during his stay in Toronto.

39 posted on 06/06/2002 10:41:28 PM PDT by Nogbad
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To: Nogbad; okie01; Shermy; Black Veil
Johnelle Bryant has had her one minute of fame.

I think her one minute of fame is real (see my other post with a link to a 9/25/2001 article mentioning her story). However she seems to be embellishing her story considerably; she wants her full 15 minutes! Perhaps she's thinking of selling her story to the tabloids?

40 posted on 06/06/2002 10:42:06 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: caa26
Why would Atta attempt to get a federal loan and act like a lunatic in front of her?

Maybe because he was a lunatic? Many a lunatic can't help but act like a lunatic, at least some of the time.

41 posted on 06/06/2002 10:46:25 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
It is possible her story is not embellished.
More and more, Atta seems a character
straight out of Dostoyevsky
someone who enjoys presenting the aura of menace.
That's why I think the 09-11-01 letters were composed by Atta, himself.
("You die now", etc.)

The conversation she remembers
with slight alteration
easily could have come out of "The Devils"
with Stavrogin as interlocutor.

42 posted on 06/06/2002 10:52:10 PM PDT by Nogbad
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To: Mitchell
Kelley said Bryant declined to comment. ''She said she was told by authorities not to speak about it,'' Kelley said.

Thanks for the research. Bryant, then, is probably legit. But laying it on a little thick for the benefit of the klieg lights.

But I still wonder where ABC got the info on Zubaydah's testimony...

43 posted on 06/06/2002 10:56:53 PM PDT by okie01
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To: Nogbad
It is possible her story is not embellished. More and more, Atta seems a character... who enjoys presenting the aura of menace.

After I made my previous post, I started thinking the same thing as you. Atta has consistently been described by many people as an unpleasant, threatening individual.

That's why I think the 09-11-01 letters were composed by Atta, himself. ("You die now", etc.)

His name is in the letters to NBC News and the NY Post (the highlighted A-T-T-A that it looks like he may have gone over repeatedly with his pen, as a "signature").

44 posted on 06/06/2002 11:03:38 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Shermy
People are asking the question "why" about this story. The more important question is "why now". Expect to see more stories like this until the November elections. After that, no more. Her story seems to make an indirect point that the media is now beating us with that if she knew all of this from one meeting, how much did other government officials know? Standard Democrat fare these days.
45 posted on 06/06/2002 11:06:35 PM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult
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To: Mitchell
Atta was crazy, but he had to have some deal of control to pull off the whole plot. Most of the highjackers didn't even know they were on a suicide mission, it seems unlikely to me he would blab his intentions to a federal paper pusher.
46 posted on 06/06/2002 11:13:54 PM PDT by caa26
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To: Shermy
This woman is obviously a bit short of a byte. If there is any truth to her account of Atta's blatant conduct, it's likely he correctly gauged her IQ and couldn't resist amusing himself by toying with her mind. Doubtless he found it fun to put down a mere woman and watch her take it! But how many times could he risk such behavior before underestimating somebody and blowing the mission?

On the other hand, it's known the terrorists were interested in crop dusters — either to spread anthrax or to use as kamikaze weapons. Check out this essay in Technology Review by Richard A. Muller, which explores the flying Molotov theory.

47 posted on 06/07/2002 12:07:51 AM PDT by cynwoody
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To: caa26;Mitchell;Nogbad; okie01; Shermy; Black Veil
My point exactly! I find it hard to believe that guy could hide the real plans for the hijackings from most of his fellow men, and proceed to go to a federal facility and yak-yak it all to that lady! It just does not compute!

The only way it could happen is if Atta was a schizo, and everynow and then he becomes a raving idiot blabbing to everyone; and that at the same time she is so STUPID that she would keep quiet when a person made threatening remarks towards her and Washington DC.

I might accept her lack of intelligence, but i refuse to believe for one moment Atta would be so dumb as to reveal all to someone who could potentially ruin all his plans, and by doing so prevent him from getting his harem of virgins!

He had to keep it secret from everyone, including the majority of the hijackers/terrorists/kamikaze pilots. And these were people he had to trust, at least to the level of taking over the planes. And yet he did not tell most of them everything.

However he would have the temerity to go do this lady, and put himself, his cronies, and his 'mission' in jeopardy? It does not add up!

The only way this could have happened as the lady said it did was if Atta had some sort of subconscious wish to put the mission in jeopardy. Maybe he did not want to die, and the only way he could get out of it was to get arrested (since the alternative would be for him to refuse the mission, and die a horrible death at the hands of some MiddleEastern hitmen a few months later). That is the only scenario where the lady's assertions could be possible.

However i doubt that was the case since these ppl are completely brainwashed, and filled with so much zeal that they are virtual automatons for the terrorist demagogues!

Once this turns out to be a fake someone should tell that lady never again to waste peoples time, and federal resources, on some snipe hunt!

48 posted on 06/07/2002 12:56:12 AM PDT by spetznaz
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To: spetznaz
I might accept her lack of intelligence, but i refuse to believe for one moment Atta
would be so dumb as to reveal all to someone who could potentially ruin all his plans,
and by doing so prevent him from getting his harem of virgins!


The general "remote psychological autopsy" of The Talented Mr. Atta reveals
a pretty strange, screwed-up guy.

The first time I saw Atta's picture on television, I involuntarily said to myself
"I wonder if that is pre-op or post-op?"
With eyes that looked like they'd been subjected to too much eye-liner, he could easily
pass for some sort of transexual/transvestite in Hollywood.

I usually am not that harsh in evealuating people on their looks; surely I had been
simply driven by anger towards what this little sh-t of a monster and his buddies had done
to our country.

But as the days after 9-11 passed, it became clear that Mr. M. Atta WAS a walking
sexual-identity crisis.

Atta's father, an attorney, made a defense of his son...basically saying he had
tried to "toughen up" the boy. Thus his father couldn't believe that his somewhat
effeminsnt son could have possibly participated in the testosterone air-rage of 9-11.

Later it was revealed that Atta forbid women to (and I can't remember which) attend his
funeral service and/or visit his gravesite.

Atta is an intriging figure. I suspect that if an actor of even modest caliber plays
him in a film, it's Oscar nomination time.

And I won't be suprised if Atta, upon being ushered into Paradise, asked for 72 male
virgins.

I suspect that the Ag. Dept. lady maybe set him off and he just couldn't help himself.
49 posted on 06/07/2002 1:33:40 AM PDT by VOA
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To: VOA
Interesting assesment! And what is even more interesting is that you may very well be right!
50 posted on 06/07/2002 1:47:54 AM PDT by spetznaz
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