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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

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To: caa26
Atta was crazy, but he had to have some deal of control to pull off the whole plot.

Agreed. But every so often his true nature might have emerged.

Most of the highjackers didn't even know they were on a suicide mission,

I know that this has been speculated, but we don't really know if the others knew or not.

it seems unlikely to me he would blab his intentions to a federal paper pusher.

That was my first reaction. But, if Atta did say these things, it wasn't in a way that got Bryant to report the threat even to the local police.

It also wouldn't be the only incident of this sort. Didn't Atta express strange questions about a chemical plant? And one of the hijackers (Alhaznawi) got treatment for what, in retrospect, seems to have been cutaneous anthrax. They really didn't cover t

51 posted on 06/07/2002 2:03:13 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: caa26
Atta was crazy, but he had to have some deal of control to pull off the whole plot.

Agreed. But every so often his true nature might have emerged.

Most of the highjackers didn't even know they were on a suicide mission,

I know that this has been speculated, but we don't really know if the others knew or not.

it seems unlikely to me he would blab his intentions to a federal paper pusher.

That was my first reaction. But, if Atta did say these things, it wasn't in a way that got Bryant to report the threat even to the local police.

It also wouldn't be the only incident of this sort. Didn't Atta express strange questions about a chemical plant? And one of the hijackers (Alhaznawi) got treatment for what, in retrospect, seems to have been cutaneous anthrax.

They really didn't cover their tracks that meticulously. Unfortunately, it's only obvious in hindsight.

52 posted on 06/07/2002 2:04:11 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell; caa26
Sorry about the nearly duplicate post (minus a sentence and a half at the end). I'm not sure what caused that.
53 posted on 06/07/2002 2:06:43 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
Embellishment? My word man! Have you never held an interview or a phone conversation with a member of the public who WANTS SOMETHING FROM THE GOVERNMENT?

I've lived many years without having a name tag up on my office, desk or cubicle for the simple reason that sometimes you get a walk-in who might want to kill you. Frequently they will tell you just that.

Mr. Atta's conversation with the SBA/USDA loan officer sounds very typical of the sort of thing that those folks run into every day. You would not believe how bad the public can be!

54 posted on 06/07/2002 5:08:33 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Shermy
"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?"

Huh? What did he mean by this? Wasn't Atta Egyptian? Does this mean he considered Palestine part of his "country"? Or might it mean that Atta was really Palestinian?

55 posted on 06/07/2002 6:34:12 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: spetznaz
Think of it: Why would Atta risk exposing himself through such actions? It just does not add up!

Exactly. With Osama and other wealthy Arabs bankrolling their murderous plots, they hardly needed to apply for a freepin' federal loan.

56 posted on 06/07/2002 7:03:34 AM PDT by seamus
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To: muawiyah
If you look at my later posts (41, 43, and 52, I think), you'll see that I agree that it's possible that she's not embellishing.
57 posted on 06/07/2002 7:55:26 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
Yes, that was clear. I was just amplifying. The later research clearly indicates that this story was partly out there in November.

No doubt she will remember this for the rest of her life.

The only thing that's happened to her story since then is that she's put it in a coherent order and highlighted parts of the conversation that now make some sense.

The question is, was Mr. Atta going to take anthrax and spray it over South Florida or New York or Washington, or was he going to turn that plane into a flying bomb?

Or, maybe he was going to do both?

Regarding AlQeada financial responsibility, I would suppose somebody told him to just get a government loan to "help out". He tried. Didn't get it. Then he undertook a less expensive option. Some AlQeada paymaster simply refused to pay the bill for this "risky scheme", eh?!

58 posted on 06/07/2002 8:17:55 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: abner
I seriously hope she is making most of this up. If she is an average government employee, yes, we are DOOMED.

Oh I believe it! Half of the people in this country can't tell you the name of our Vice President, much less the name of a Saudi Arabian terrorist. I also believe Atta would have boasted (perhaps not as much as she claims), because they are convinced we Americans are totally inept. They're only half right and it's gonna be up the the other half to keep their eyes open.

59 posted on 06/07/2002 8:34:42 AM PDT by Attillathehon
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To: muawiyah
It does sounds plausible to me. He was talking with a female. In his culture, females are non-human and he just thought he could say what he wanted and she would do nothing. In this case he was correct.

Now I don't care how many times a day a person is threatened on the job, if a middle eastern man came in and made those statements, I believe the fog would lift enough for me to make a report on this. But then, I haven't been brainwashed with such 'tolerance' messages as the goverment employees have.

I do not think it is at all strange that he thought he could get a loan from the government. First, I do not believe being a non-citizen would prevent you from getting such a loan. I have no proof, but I truly believe our government does give loans to non-citizens and very-newly made citizens. There is no way, in this economy, they could afford to buy motels, convenience stores, etc. In fact, the local motel owner, who quickly told my son he was Hindu (after 9/11) said he got a low interest loan of 250,000 to purchase and refurbish the motel, from the US government.

Why wouldn't foreigners think we would give them money for this. I believe the word is out around the world, just show up in America and they will set you up for life.

60 posted on 06/07/2002 8:37:44 AM PDT by nanny
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To: Hillarys Gate Cult
"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."

If there is a political angle to Bryant's revelations, we'll know soon enough. Her "15 minutes of fame" will turn into 15 weeks -- in front of Democrat-chaired committees and Democrat-inspired media coverage.

61 posted on 06/07/2002 9:33:26 AM PDT by okie01
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To: Abner , Alouette , Amerigomag , Aristeides , Attillathehon , AZLiberty , Beaversmom , Black_veil
One of the things I noticed in the responses to this article, actually SEVERAL of the things I noticed, were the names of folks I have found to be supportive of the idea that Saddam Hussein carried out the anthrax attacks, or, alternatively, that the anthrax attacks were done by a middle-aged white male American scientist with a grudge against the government.

Some of you really jump on that "grudge against the government" and show us why you think it is so important - namely your own "grudge against the government" and its employees.

Makes me want to ask if you wait until the letter carrier is coming down the street before you let your doberman out for his morning run. You know who you are, so no need to respond to that.

Let's pass on beyond the slasher statements and get into the real importance of this particular article.

The loan evaluator's statement seems to have spurred an investigative thread that led the Fibbies to the conclusion that the Terrorists really were interested in crop sprayers as a possible weapon - maybe pumping out hundreds of gallons of anthrax on an unsuspecting city.

No doubt the Fibbies went looking for all that anthrax the Terrorists would have stored, but they didn't find it. Instead, they went looking for "other" and smaller anthrax stashes that might be vectored by a finding in any one of thousands of mailboxes in Central New Jersey. They didn't find it there either.

The Fibbies were then left with only two investigative threads. One was to find evidence that blamed Saddam Hussein. The other was to find someone that had nothing to do with the Middle-East. Interviews with Saddam are much more difficult than inventing the middle-aged white male, eh?!

It's quite obvious why the Fibbies told this lady to be quiet. It's equally obvious why they now let her speak. Just three days ago the Czechs were able to authenticate a meeting between Mr. Atta and Iraqi agents. What they were up to is a good question, but it is now the case that implicating the Terrorists in the anthrax attack also implicates Saddam Hussein. Of course, if Mr. Atta was going to spray this stuff from a crop duster, he still would have had to have had access to a large scale anthrax producer. Iraq is undoubtedly one such choice. But, was it the real choice?

Try this idea out. The Iraqis gave Atta a small quantity of anthrax to test on a victim of his choice. Unfortunately for him, he didn't get his USDA guaranteed loan for a crop duster, so he didn't test it and he didn't put in a larger order for a mass quantity of anthrax to be delivered at a future date. In the end he used the anthrax anyway.

Alternatively, Atta did get a large shipment of anthrax and it's still in storage somewhere in Florida. We will find it someday.

There are a number of other ways to look at this, but finding Mr. Atta involved in the anthrax attack does not absolve Iraq of responsibility in the matter. A rational analysis of the situation ties Iraq even that much closer to the problem.

62 posted on 06/07/2002 3:55:34 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah; Mitchell; Shermy; Nogbad; The Great Satan; My Identity
"There are a number of other ways to look at this, but finding Mr. Atta involved in the anthrax attack does not absolve Iraq of responsibility in the matter. A rational analysis of the situation ties Iraq even that much closer to the problem."

Solid point. This development is strongly suggestive that somewhere, somehow, Atta had access to more than a few grams of the material, doesn't it?

We've always assumed as much. But this serves as convincing confirmation.

63 posted on 06/07/2002 4:17:13 PM PDT by okie01
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To: muawiyah
Just three days ago the Czechs were able to authenticate a meeting between Mr. Atta and Iraqi agents. What they were up to is a good question, but it is now the case that implicating the Terrorists in the anthrax attack also implicates Saddam Hussein. Of course, if Mr. Atta was going to spray this stuff from a crop duster

There are three different pieces of evidence here, and it's not clear how they are linked:

  1. Atta met with Iraq agent al-Ani in Prague. Al-Ani may have given Atta a vacuum bottle.
  2. Atta was interested in cropdusters.
  3. Atta is connected to the anthrax mailings.
We do not know that it was anthrax he was thinking of using the cropdusters for. It could have been for some other biological or chemical attack. We really don't know.

The meeting in Prague connects Iraq with 9/11, but it's not clear that it connects Iraq with the anthrax mailings. The vacuum bottle is suggestive, but it's not definitive (and I'm not even sure that the story of the bottle is accurate, since it has not been widely reported).

It is possible that Atta received the anthrax from the Iraqi agent in Prague, was thinking of delivering it via cropdusters, but ultimately arranged to have it mailed instead. But that's only one scenario. Other scenarios are also consistent with the limited evidence we have.

64 posted on 06/07/2002 11:27:35 PM PDT by Mitchell
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To: muawiyah
Alternatively, Atta did get a large shipment of anthrax and it's still in storage somewhere in Florida. We will find it someday.

He may have gotten this, but it may not be in Florida. Atta traveled thousands of miles in rental cars during the summer of 2001. It is unknown where he went, or why. Maybe anthrax was stashed in a number of U.S. cities. It could have been placed in storage lockers or the like, or it could conceivably have been delivered to trusted agents.

65 posted on 06/08/2002 12:03:34 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: aristeides; Nogbad
From the article: "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?"

Your comment: Huh? What did he mean by this? Wasn't Atta Egyptian? Does this mean he considered Palestine part of his "country"? Or might it mean that Atta was really Palestinian?

I too find this a curious comment. It's well-documented that Atta was Egyptian (unless, of course, there's a stolen identity involved here in some way, which seems doubtful, given the many photographs, etc.). Could he have been talking about Afghanistan, or Iraq? But none of these really make much sense.

Perhaps what he meant is that the U.S. has, from his perspective, "destroyed" the cities in Egypt via the introduction of Western culture, by supporting a pro-Western government, by not allowing the implementation of an Islamic state. To him, that would represent far greater "destruction" than physical bombs.

66 posted on 06/08/2002 1:01:37 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell
Keep the "scale of things" in mind. In a meeting with an "agent" Atta probably didn't walk away with a large amount of anthrax.

On the other hand, when thinking of a crop duster, he would ultimately need a large amount.

So, have him getting a sample "to test on a victim of his choice" initially, with delivery of a large amount later later.

Sounds just like a wholesale honey trade in fact! (Osama Bin Laden was the world's largest honey broker - keep that in mind - this whole crowd knew how to trade.)

In the end, when he couldn't buy a plane and had to hijack airliners, that sample of anthrax he received prior to purchase of the bulk quantities, got used anyway!

Now, let me put a twist on this that I just thought of while considering the fact these guys are traders. Imagine that Mr. Atta got a sample of anthrax to test from the Iraqi agents. However, this was not actually Iraqi anthrax - rather it had been taken from an American laboratory. The Iraqis imagined that it was really good stuff, and in light of their own miserable results using their own stuff, they didn't want to miss a chance on making the sale.

In short, Saddam Hussein's anthrax merchants may have carried out a "bait and switch" transaction on Osama Bin Laden's anthrax purchasers.

That's been the history of the relationship between the city Arabs and the desert Arabs for thousands of years! These guys cheat. They are also gullible. Hence the need for mordita.

67 posted on 06/08/2002 5:34:00 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Mitchell
In another thread, and maybe this one, it seems Atta didn't like tall buildings. When they started building skyscrapers in Cairo many traditionalists took the position that the city was being destroyed with Western "trash".

This is not an unusual belief. In fact, the US Congress shares it. In Washington DC no building may be taller than the US Capitol.

68 posted on 06/08/2002 5:38:12 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: muawiyah
In Washington DC no building may be taller than the US Capitol.

That is the current law, but the Old Post Office Building is taller than the U.S. Capitol (315 ft. vs. 288 ft.). It was built in 1899, 36 after the completion of the Capitol building. See this link.

In 1899, Congress passed the Heights of Building Act, saying that no building in Washington could be taller than the Capitor or other significant government buildings. A 1910 law further limits building heights to 20 feet more than the width of the street that the building fronts on. The situation with regard to architectural embellishments and the like is more complicated and somewhat controversial. See this Washington Post article.

Not that this has anything to do with Mohamed Atta, but I found this interesting and I didn't know it before I looked it up.

69 posted on 06/08/2002 10:06:13 AM PDT by Mitchell
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To: Mitchell; muawiyah
That was supposed to be 36 years between the completion of the Capitol and that of the Old Post Office Building. Sorry about the omitted word.
70 posted on 06/08/2002 3:03:00 PM PDT by Mitchell
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bump
71 posted on 08/09/2002 3:35:37 PM PDT by Shermy
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