Skip to comments.CIA Reportedly Warned FBI About One Suspect (6 Stories of Prior Knowledge By FBI & Government)
Posted on 09/15/2001 8:36:15 AM PDT by t-shirt
CIA reportedly warned FBI about one suspect
It is unclear, sources say, what the bureau did with the tip about Khalid al-Midhar, who was named as a hijacker.
By Alfonso Chardy, David Kidwell Jay Weaver and Jennifer Babson
KNIGHT RIDDER NEWS SERVICE
MIAMI - The CIA alerted the FBI that at least one of the suspects in Tuesday's terrorism was either on his way to the United States or already here before the attacks, three U.S. government officials familiar with intelligence matters said yesterday.
Two officials said it was unclear whether the FBI acted on the tip about Khalid al-Midhar, identified by the FBI as a hijacker on American Airlines Flight 77, which hit the Pentagon.
Another official said the FBI did check out the information and concluded the man was no longer in the country.
Both the CIA and the FBI declined to comment.
"It appears that the name of at least one of the terrorists was on a CIA watch list and that the CIA then handed off the notification to the FBI," one of the officials said. "In briefings so far, the FBI has not been able to say what it did with that piece of information."
The second U.S. official confirmed that the CIA had "some information" about a foreign national "that was troubling enough to be on a watch list." According to this official, the FBI checked the information and told the CIA that the suspect had entered the country but then departed.
It is unclear whether the CIA or the FBI became aware later that the person had returned, the official said.
The State Department and the Immigration and Naturalization Service, which are responsible for, respectively, issuing and verifying visas on the passports of foreign nationals, also declined to comment.
Since the attacks, the U.S. intelligence and law enforcement communities have been poring over all information available to them before the attack to determine whether they missed any clue about what was coming and whether the suspects were connected to foreign terrorist organizations.
According to U.S. officials familiar with intelligence operations, the agencies involved in this reassessment include the CIA, the FBI, the INS, the National Security Agency, and the Defense Intelligence Agency.
Since Tuesday's attacks, Senate and House intelligence committees have been drilling the FBI and other federal agencies about suspects and how officials might have overlooked warnings, clues and other evidence that could have prevented the hijackings and plane crashes.
Officials familiar with intelligence matters say the CIA issued a secret report to senior policymakers that Islamic militant Osama bin Laden was shifting his strategy from attacking U.S. interests abroad to the domestic United States.
The CIA's report reiterated similar warnings in June and July, officials said.
Bin Laden is considered the prime suspect behind the attacks.
Federal law enforcement and the agencies "didn't have advance warning," said Vince Cannistraro, a former CIA veteran who headed the agency's counterterrorism operations in the late 1980s. "The question is, how did they miss it?"
The 19 suspected hijackers' visas - and how they entered this country - might provide crucial evidence.
Generally, if a foreign national arrives with a U.S. visa on his or her passport, the agency responsible for issuing the visa is the State Department through a U.S. embassy abroad. The INS is then responsible for accepting the visa and admitting - or rejecting - the person.
On Thursday, federal officials confirmed that the State Department checked records showing that "approximately 15 names" linked to the suspects obtained visas without any background problems. But yesterday, the official added that the list was incomplete.
Various types of U.S. visas exist. They can be obtained by foreigners, with proper proof of birth, citizenship and residency, who do not plan to stay in this country illegally. But the applications can be denied if they have a criminal background or are suspected of being a danger to the United States.
Despite these safeguards, suspicious foreigners can still slip through U.S. borders if they obtain phony documents with aliases in their homelands.
One former federal agent familiar with the scrutiny of visa applicants said it was a porous process.
"Obtaining visas is incredibly easy; crossing the border is incredibly easy," said Thomas A. Habib, a retired Miami INS agent and former member of the FBI's counterterrorism task force. "Everybody has their own lookout books, but the government is notorious for not sharing information."
One federal investigator who is checking visas for some of the 19 suspected hijackers said there was no specific information that documents were forged, but investigators have strong suspicions they used false identification to obtain visas.
"Either that, or whoever is responsible sent people who have no background whatsoever, and would not appear on any government watchlists," the investigator said.
One underlying problem in tracking any suspicious foreigners seeking to enter the United States is that every government watchlist is not the same - nor is there one centralized database accessible to all agencies.
"Not all of the law enforcement information systems are linked up, and they don't all talk to each other," said a former Justice Department official. "You have to proactively call each agency and make sure they have these names on these lists. It doesn't necessarily take the click of a button."
FBI 'ignored leads'
Reports say warnings could have stopped the tragedy
Friday, 14 September, 2001, 13:31 GMT 14:31 UK
The German authorities have rejected reports that an Iranian man detained in Hanover could have helped avert Tuesday's devastating attacks on New York and Washington. However, a French-Algerian identified by the French media as a radical with "a profile similar to the kamikaze pilots" is being held for further questioning by US investigators after his arrest last month.
The attackers and the background to the attacks are not and were not known to him German federal prosecutor
French media have claimed that the FBI failed to follow up information supplied by French secret services that the man, who was taking flying lessons in Boston, had links to Osama Bin Laden.
The German federal prosecutor said on Friday that the Iranian - who telephoned the White House warning of attacks that would "change the world order" - had no knowledge of Tuesday's attack.
"His warnings to US authorities were limited to vague claims about danger to world peace and the world order; he could not cite details," a statement from the federal prosecutor's office said.
"The attackers and the background to the attacks are not and were not known to him," it added.
The White House hung up when the man said he was in detention, but he was interviewed by German authorities and US intelligence services in the wake of the attack.
Soldier 'sans frontieres'
The French newspaper, Liberation, reported on Friday that the French-Algerian arrested in Boston was due to have been deported, but was now being held "to check any possible links with the fanatic pilots".
A French-Algerian believed to be connected to Bin Laden was arrested in Boston
On Thursday a correspondent in Washington for the Europe 1 radio station said the man had been arrested with comprehensive documentation about Boeing aircraft and flight manuals.
"He belongs to the Pakistani-Afghan network that trains Osama Bin Laden's soldiers, his best soldiers, soldiers without borders," the correspondent said, adding that all this information had been passed by French investigators to their American colleagues.
However, the US authorities did not follow up the lead, he said: "The investigation that might have prevented everything was not launched."
The 31-year-old man, who was born in St Jean de Luz, had been living in Britain before going to Boston.
Time magazine has also reported that two of the suspected terrorists were on an FBI border watch list, but had nonetheless slipped into the United States.
The two men, who were associated with Islamic Jihad, were on the American Airlines flight which crashed into the Pentagon.
The CIA now believes the first warnings about a "spectacular" act of terror against the US came as early as June.
"A lot of this reporting we had in the summer that gained our attention and had us concerned, but wasn't specific, could have been tied to this," an intelligence officer told Time.
German police confirm Iranian deportee phoned warnings online.ie 14 Sep 2001
Irish Examiner Newspaper
German police have confirmed an Iranian man phoned US police from his deportation cell to warn of the planned attack on the World Trade Centre.
The Lower Saxony Justice Ministry has confirmed the man warned of the impending series of terrorist attacks, but had not been believed.
Spokesman Frank Woesthoff said the man phoned America "several times", but refused to give further details.
He said the US Secret Service had not told the ministry about the calls received from the Langenhagen prison until after the attacks.
"I cannot say anything about the man and the ministry does not know the content of the conversations," he added.
The Hanover daily newspaper Neue Presse reported the 29-year-old was dismissed as mentally unstable when he gave the warning of a terrorist attack to occur this week.
The ministry would not reveal when the calls had been made.
September 14, 2001
Iranian Man in Germany Warned of Attack <
- Justice Source
Filed at 3:23 a.m. ET
BERLIN (Reuters) - An Iranian man in Germany had warned German and U.S. authorities about a global danger less than a week before the terror attacks in the United States, justice ministry sources said on Friday.
The man, who was in custody in the northern city of Hanover awaiting deportation, had insisted on ringing the White House to warn them of the danger.
``The man was allowed to ring the White House, but there, as well as at the CIA, he was not taken seriously,'' an official from the justice ministry of Lower Saxony told Reuters under condition of anonymity.
The official said authorities in Germany believed the Iranian was mentally ill.
The official said the justice ministry was informed of the man and his warnings on Wednesday, the day after hijacked aircraft crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
The Federal Prosecutor's Office said it would issue a report on the matter later in the day.
One newspaper said the man was now being interviewed by German authorities and by the CIA.
The official said there was still doubt, even after the attacks, that the man really knew about the plot.
Germany has become a focal point for investigations into Tuesday's attacks after it emerged three of the suicide hijackers may have belonged to a Hamburg-based extremist group committed to attacking symbolic U.S. targets.
German authorities have to decide on Friday about whether to keep in custody an airport worker as they extend a probe into a German link to the terror attacks.
Reports of a second man being held were denied by the federal prosecutors office on Friday.
FBI looks at bin Laden's strong ties to Boston
By DENISE LAVOIE
AP 9/12/01 9:13 PM
BOSTON (AP) -- Terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden has strong family ties and a group of supporters in Boston, where the two hijacked airliners that demolished the World Trade Center took off.
One of bin Laden's brothers set up scholarship funds at Harvard, while another relative owns six condominiums in an expensive complex in the Charlestown section of Boston. Two bin Laden associates once worked as Boston cab drivers, including one who was jailed in Jordan on charges of plotting to blow up a hotel full of Americans and Israelis.
Bin Laden's ties to Boston are now being closely scrutinized as authorities focus their investigation on terrorist cells with possible ties to him, said Robert Fitzpatrick, the former second-in-command at the FBI's Boston office.
"The activity of this group here is obviously significant," Fitzpatrick said Wednesday.
Investigators are interviewing drivers from Boston Cab Co., where two known associates of bin Laden once worked, to see if they had ties to baggage handlers, who in turn may have supplied weapons to the hijackers, Fitzpatrick said.
"They are going to look at the cab drivers again -- since they are predominantly Middle Eastern -- and they are going to look at a possible link between them and the baggage handlers," Fitzpatrick said, based on his information from law enforcement colleagues.
"They could thwart the security by having a baggage handler put the material aboard the plane. That link is being investigated."
Last year, the FBI investigated the Boston activities of the two cab drivers, Bassam A. Kanj, a Lebanese native, and Raed M. Hijazi, a Palestinian. The men were tied by investigators to separate military and terrorist plots allegedly financed by bin Laden.
Both men lived for years in Boston and Everett, a suburb north of Boston.
Kanj, 35, was killed in Lebanon last year in an attack against the Lebanese army. Hijazi was charged in Jordan with plotting a New Year's Day 2000 hotel bombing.
Bin Laden, a rich Saudi exile who is believed to be living in Afghanistan, also has had family members living in the Boston area for the past decade.
In 1994, one of his brothers, Sheik Bakr Mohammed bin Laden, made a large donation to Harvard Law School to fund visiting scholars to do research in Islamic legal studies.
Harvard Law spokesman Michael Armini would not disclose the amount of the gift, but typically it takes about $1 million to establish a research fellowship. The sheik established a second scholarship at the Harvard School of Design.
Harvard officials were quick to distance the school from Osama bin Laden, emphasizing that he has no role in the scholarship programs.
"This is in no way connected to Osama bin Laden, who has been ostracized from his family and from Saudi Arabia," Armini said. "The purpose of this gift was to foster mutual understanding between the western and Islamic legal worlds."
Stephen Walt, a professor of international politics at the JFK School of Government at Harvard, likened the relationship of the bin Laden brothers to that of University of Massachusetts President William Bulger and his brother, reputed mobster James "Whitey" Bulger, who is among the FBI's 10 Most Wanted.
"I think that bin Laden is responsible for his action, but his brother is not responsible for Osama's actions, and vice versa," Walt said.
Another relative, Mohammed M. bin Laden, owns six condominiums in the ritzy Flagship Wharf condominium complex in Charlestown. His relation to bin Laden could not immediately be determined. A woman who answered the telephone at the management company for the complex refused to answer questions.
The condos were bought in the mid-1990s and range in assessed value from $296,000 to $877,000, The Boston Globe reported.
Juliette Kayyem, a former member of the National Commission on Terrorism, said Boston has several factors that may have attracted bin Laden's supporters.
"Our proximity to the Canadian border and Boston being a big city where people can hide is likely why Boston became the center," Kayyem said. "Also being on the Eastern Seaboard, we have wide-bodied jets with large fuel tanks. When you don't have other weapons, that's your weapon."
Authorities Release Terror Suspect
September 14, 2001
F.A.Z. FRANKFURT. Hamburg authorities on Friday released a man suspected of having been involved in this week's terrorist attacks on the United States.
The man, an employee at the Hamburg airport, was detained on Thursday after police searched apartments in the city's Harburg district while looking for clues leading to the terrorists who carried out the U.S. attacks. A legal spokeswoman said the man was not suspected of committing any crime.
Hamburg police are also searching for another man with an Arab background, officials said.
The apartments were searched after U.S. investigators included among the roughly 50 suspects in the attacks three men from the United Arab Emirates who lived in Hamburg temporarily, studying engineering at a Hamburg technical university in the Harburg neighborhood. Two of them also attended flight school in Florida from July 2000 until January 2001.
The federal public prosecutor, Kay Nehm, said on Thursday that German prosecutors had taken over the investigation of the three men, all of whom died aboard two flights that crashed on Tuesday into the World Trade Center and in Pennsylvania. The Federal Prosecutor's Office said the men were thought to have been involved in an Islamic terrorist cell founded in Hamburg early this year, which, working with other Islamic groups, planned spectacular U.S. attacks.
Also on Friday, German authorities discounted the claim of an Iranian who tried to warn U.S. authorities of impending terrorist attacks, Hannover's Neue Presse newspaper reported. The paper said the man, identified only as Ali S., 29, was jailed in Germany after having entered the country illegally and had been awaiting deportation. He had claimed to have "important information" on attacks that he insisted were to occur this week.
Lower Saxony's top justice official, Christian Pfeiffer, said the illegal immigrant was allowed to call the United States 12 times to relay his information. He also made two calls to U.S. officials in Germany. On one of the calls to the United States, he reportedly reached an operator at the White House, who hung up after learning he was a prisoner.
Mr. Pfeiffer said Ali S. was examined last week by doctors who found him to be psychologically disturbed. He also was questioned by German investigators, with FBI representatives in attendance.
"He knows nothing about the terrorists or the background to the attacks, the German Federal Prosecutor's Office said in a statement. "His warnings to U.S. authorities were based on vague assertions about a danger to world peace and the world order -- he could provide no details.
In Berlin on Friday, Interior Minister Otto Schily, a Social Democrat, rejected the suggestion by Saarland's premier, Christian Democrat Peter Müller, that the Schengen Agreement be suspended and border controls be strengthened. The agreement permits citizens of any of the 15 participating European countries to travel freely among those countries.
"We have already introduced a great number of measures that compensate for the lessening of border controls," Mr. Schily said during a television interview on Thursday night. But he called for increased means of personal identification, saying that "I don't think it would hurt anyone if there were not only a photograph in passports, but also a fingerprint.
Security remained at top level on Friday in Berlin, where authorities said daily bomb threats were being received. Source:
Please pray for the families of those needlessly killed, and those who survived and especially right now pray for those who may still be trapped alive--that they are found and rescued. God Bless America.
Remember not to allow this allowed terror to be used by government to take away your rights and expand the power of the government---(synthesis).
FBI 'Ignored Leads'
Iranian Man in Germany Warned of Attack (WasAllowed to Ring WhiteHouse &CIA,Wasn't TakenSerious)
U.S. Gets Promise of Pakistani Cooperation
How the World Trade Center Fell (Deadly Mistakes Made "I Would Have Given Order To Get Out!"Expert)
Ashcroft: 18 Hijackers Involved in Attack (How Could So Many CarryOut Plot Undetected?ClintonHelp?)
(5)Suspects Caught Crashes on Camera (They Watched Crashes & Celebrated, Also Some Suspects Abroad) http://www.freerepublic.com/forum/a3ba0e1b83f28.htm
FBI Looks at bin Laden's Strong Ties to Boston (Why Didn't They Look & Act Before?!!)
48 Iraqi & MidEasterns Caugh At Tightened Mexican Border Following U.S. Terrorist Attacks!
ABC NEWS REPORTS 12 Plane HighJackers/Suspects Identified (Dead) & Arrest Warrants Issued For Others
Already Weak Airlines Stand to Lose Billions
FBI Seizes 911 Tape (He Heard Some Sort of Explosion, Was It Shot Down Before Reaching Camp David?)
B-25&767 Hit WTC,3 Planes Hit Pentagon, Bomb Near WhiteHouse,PittsBHit,Who Coordinated?,10000Die
(This thread has over 50 different news stories on it.)
Breaking: US Congress Subpoena Orders Ashcroft To Release Clinton Evidence on Sept. 11, 2001
By Matt Kelley
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
WASHINGTON Most came from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, two of the Arab countries most friendly to the United States.
They said they were pilots, or airplane mechanics, or students, or tourists. Many claimed to work for Saudi Arabian Airlines, a government air carrier.
They betrayed not a word to their neighbors about what drove their suicide missions: commandeering airliners and flying them into two of America's most-treasured landmarks.
"They didn't talk to anyone about anything at all," said Azzan Ali, a fellow student at a Florida flight school attended by two men named by the FBI as hijackers.
The FBI on Friday released names of the 19 men it identified as the hijackers of the four planes used in the attacks.
Some of the men left little trace of their time in America. Others stayed for years, taking flight classes, buying cars, moving from apartments to boarding houses to rented homes.
Several clustered around Mohamed Atta, a square-jawed 33year-old pilot who ended up on the first plane to smash into New York's World Trade Center.
Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, 23, trained as pilots together in Florida and stayed together in the home of a former flight school worker in the summer of last year. Those who came across them said they called each other "cousin" the two are believed to be from the United Arab Emirates and kept to themselves.he had a federal pilot's license.
Atta and Al-Shehhi also were together in Hamburg, Germany. Authorities there say they were part of an extremist group that planned attacks against high-profile American targets. The two also took classes at a technical school there.
Ziad Jarrahi had a pilot's license listing a Hamburg address. Jarrahi was on United Airlines Flight 93, a plane that was hijacked from a Newark, N.J., to San Francisco route and crashed in rural Pennsylvania.
When it came time for their fateful flights, Atta and Al-Shehhi split up. Al-Shehhi was on United Flight 175, the plane which hit the second World Trade Center tower. The plane carrying Atta hit the first.
Authorities believe Atta flew from Portland, Maine, to Boston on Tuesday morning with another hijacker, Abdulaziz Alomari.
Alomari also apparently took flight training in Florida. A man named Abdulrahman Alomari, whose rental house was searched by the FBI this week, told his landlord that he was a Saudi Arabian Airlines pilot getting more training at Flight Safety International, the flight school in Vero Beach where John F. Kennedy Jr. trained. A federal pilot's license for an Abdulrahman Saeed Alomari lists the pilot's address as the airline's post office box in Saudi Arabia.
"I can't confirm there was any link between any of these individuals and Saudi Arabian Airlines," airline spokesman Thomas Quinn said. "There's been no indication to this office that these individuals were our employees."
With Atta on the first plane was Waleed M. Alshehri, 25. Records show he had been in the United States since at least 1994, when he got a Social Security number and a Florida driver's license. In 1997, he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida with a commercial pilot's training degree; he also has a commercial pilot's license.
Alshehri gave birth dates from 1974 to 1979 on various documents. Records show he lived in several different apartments in a complex in Daytona Beach, Fla., where EmbryRiddle is based. He also may have lived for a time at a boarding house in Vienna, Va., a Washington suburb.
Two other hijackers on American Flight 11, Wail Alshehri and Satam Al Suqami, had Florida driver's licenses listing the same apartment in Boynton Beach as their address. Records say Suqami had a Saudi driver's license.
Another hijacker who may have had a commercial pilot's license was Hani Hanjour,
who was aboard the American Airlines flight that slammed into the Pentagon. Federal records show a Hani Hanjoor received a commercial pilot's license in 1999, listing a Saudi address
I HAVE HEAR THEY DID
Do you ahve a story on it?
They must have some agents in our government.
By Matt Kelley Associated Press
WASHINGTON | Most came from Saudi Arabia or the United Arab Emirates, two of the Arab countries most friendly to the United States.
They said they were pilots, or airplane mechanics, or students, or tourists. Many claimed to work for Saudi Arabian Airlines, a government air carrier.
They betrayed not a word to their neighbors about what drove their suicide missions: commandeering airliners and flying them into two of Americas most treasured landmarks. They didnt talk to anyone about anything at all, said Azzan Ali, a fellow student at a Florida flight school of two men named by the FBI as hijackers.
The FBI on Friday released names of the 19 men it identified as the hijackers of the four planes used in the attacks. Some of the men left little trace of their time in America. Others stayed for years, taking flight classes, buying cars, moving from apartments to boarding houses to rented homes.
Several clustered around Mohamed Atta, a square-jawed 33-year-old pilot who ended up on the first plane to smash into New Yorks World Trade Center.
Atta and Marwan Al-Shehhi, 23, trained as pilots together in Florida and stayed together in the home of a former flight school worker in the summer of last year. Those who came across them said they called each other cousin the two are believed to be from the United Arab Emirates and kept to themselves.
Al-Shehhi was in the United States on a tourist visa. Like Atta, he had a federal pilots license. Atta and Al-Shehhi also were together in Hamburg, Germany. Authorities there say they were part of an extremist group that planned attacks against high-profile American targets. The two also took classes at a technical school there.
Ziad Jarrahi had a pilots license listing a Hamburg address. Jarrahi was on United Airlines Flight 93, a plane hijacked from a Newark, N.J., to San Francisco route that crashed in rural Pennsylvania. When it came time for their fateful flights, Atta and Al-Shehhi split up. Al-Shehhi was on United Flight 175, the plane which hit the second World Trade Center tower. The plane carrying Atta hit the first.
Authorities believe Atta flew from Portland, Maine, to Boston on Tuesday morning with another hijacker, Abdulaziz Alomari.
Alomari also took flight training in Florida. He told his landlord that he was a Saudi Arabian Airlines pilot getting more training at FlightSafety International,
the flight school in Vero Beach where John F. Kennedy Jr. trained. A federal pilots license for an Abdulrahman Saeed Alomari lists the airlines address in Saudi Arabia.
I cant confirm there was any link between any of these individuals and Saudi Arabian Airlines, airline spokesman Thomas Quinn said. Theres been no indication to this office that these individuals were our employees. Neighbors say Alomari was a family man. Living with him in the $1,400- a-month home were his wife and four school-age children. Neighbor Jim Smith said he noticed that when school started last month, Alomaris wife and children were gone. Alomari moved out on Sept. 3.
He told his landlord he was going home. With Atta on the first plane was Waleed M. Alshehri, 25. Records show he had been in the United States since at least 1994, when he got a Social Security number and a Florida drivers license. In 1997, he graduated from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida with a commercial pilots training degree; he also has a commercial pilots license.
Alshehri gave birthdates from 1974 to 1979 on various documents. Records show he lived in several different apartments in a complex in Daytona Beach, Fla., where Embry-Riddle is based. He also may have lived for a time at a boarding house in Vienna, Va., a Washington suburb. FBI agents interviewed current tenants at the house, which is about three blocks from the Central Intelligence Agencys headquarters.
Abdul Latif Darab, a native of Afghanistan who has lived in the United States since 1982, said he told the FBI that Alshehri had not lived at the address for at least the past 14 months. Darab said learned from the landlord that Alshehri was from Saudi Arabia. He told the landlord he was going back home and that his father was a Saudi diplomat, Darab said.
Another hijacker who may have had a commercial pilots license was Hani Hanjour, who was aboard the American Airlines flight which slammed into the Pentagon. Federal records show a Hani Hanjoor got a commercial pilots license in 1999, listing a Saudi Arabian address
By Bill Gertz
THE WASHINGTON TIMES
Pressure mounted yesterday to fix intelligence shortfalls in the battle against terrorism after what is being termed one of the nation's worst intelligence failures.
Sen. Richard C. Shelby, Alabama Republican and ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, declined to comment directly when asked if CIA Director George J. Tenet is to blame for what he called "a gigantic failure of intelligence."
"When you have an operation this big, this well-planned and executed that goes undetected and, of course, unstopped, that is a failure of intelligence," Mr. Shelby said.
"We have to do better," he said, noting that funds must be added to "rebuild the human intelligence element of the intelligence community."
Sen. Pat Roberts, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, called for reforming weak U.S. intelligence analysis.
"I must tell you, I think in terms of the analytical side of the intelligence community we need a shake-up," Mr. Roberts, Kansas Republican, said in an interview.
The CIA and numerous other U.S. spy agencies had no warning that as many as 50 terrorists were planning the sophisticated operation to hijack four airliners and crash them into buildings in suicide attacks.
The CIA has said it had no warning of Tuesday's attacks and only vague indications that terrorist mastermind Osama bin Laden was planning a major attack on U.S. soil. Bin Laden and his Islamic extremist group, al-Qeada, are the intelligence community's chief suspects.
Groups such as al-Qeada often avoid electronic communications such as telephones to prevent eavesdropping, according to intelligence specialists. They also maintain tight security for their groups by requiring members to commit crimes to prove they are not intelligence agents. There are also indications that terrorists use the Internet to communicate.
Mr. Roberts said he expected to carefully question Mr. Tenet when he appears before the committee to brief senators on the twin attacks in the coming days.
Asked if Mr. Tenet should be held accountable, Mr. Roberts said: "I think it's too early.
"There's going be a lot of speculation [about his future]," Mr. Roberts said. "He does have the ear of the president and he does have the trust of the president, so it's going to be pretty hard for people in Congress to do anything."
Mr. Roberts said the problem with U.S. intelligence analysts is that "they concentrate on the probable and what happened in the past instead of thinking out of the box and about the improbable."
Mr. Shelby said one key improvement would be the appointment of a Cabinet-level intelligence "czar" who could direct disparate U.S. intelligence agencies.
Former President George Bush said on CNN yesterday that U.S. intelligence agencies currently face too many restrictions.
"We have to free up the intelligence system from some of its constraints," Mr. Bush, a former CIA director, said. "I think we ought to take a hard look at whether we've gone too far in denying the intelligence community human intelligence capabilities."
Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania Republican, said the surprise attacks are a "total indictment of our intelligence capabilities" against terrorism.
Mr. Weldon declined to point the finger of blame directly at Mr. Tenet. But he said there needs to be "a complete top-to-bottom review of our intelligence capabilities as it relates to terrorism."
"How can you not have any intercept; how can you not have any data that show that this plot was occurring?" Mr. Weldon said.
Mr. Weldon is proposing an intelligence-reform effort that would create a joint intelligence center combining the data and networks of some 32 U.S. intelligence agencies. The creation of a National Operations and Analysis Hub has been resisted by the CIA and FBI because they fear losing bureaucratic power, he said.
Mr. Tenet said in a statement to CIA employees on Wednesday that while U.S. intelligence failed to stop the latest mass attacks, "CIA and our intelligence community have done much to combat terrorism in the past."
Fighter Response After Attacks Questioned
Senators Grill Nominee for Joint Chiefs Chairman on Military Readiness at Home
By Bradley Graham
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, September 14, 2001; Page A08
Forty minutes passed between the time New York's second World Trade Center tower was struck by a hijacked commercial airliner Tuesday and another commandeered plane crashed into the Pentagon, and 27 more minutes elapsed before still another terrorist-directed plane went down in a Pennsylvania forest.
Yet no U.S. fighter jets were able to get into the air in time to prevent the assault on the Defense Department.
Whole story can be found Here:
New York Post
September 14, 2001 -- MIAMI - Three men spewed anti-American sentiments in a bar and talked of impending bloodshed the night before the terrorist attacks on New York and Washington, a Daytona Beach strip-club manager interviewed by the FBI said yesterday.
"They were talking about what a bad place America is. They said Wait 'til tomorrow. America is going to see bloodshed,' " said John Kap, manager of the Pink Pony and Red Eyed Jack's Sports Bar. Kap said they made the claims to a bartender and a patron.
Federal agents were investigating on several fronts in Florida yesterday after searching homes and rental car documents and poring over flight school student records.
Kap said he told FBI investigators the men in his bar spent $200 to $300 apiece on lap dances and drinks, paying with credit cards. Kap said he gave the FBI credit card receipts, photocopied driver's licenses, a business card left by one man and a copy of the Koran that was left at the bar.
The FBI asked him not to reveal the men's names publicly, Kap said. He said they lived in three central Florida communities between Daytona Beach and Orlando.
While investigators pieced together evidence, two former Florida flight school students were identified by German authorities as terrorists aboard the two planes that smashed into the World Trade Center.
Hamburg investigators said Mohamed Atta, 33, and Marwan al-Shehhi, 23, had studied at the Technical University in Hamburg and had passports from the United Arab Emirates. Both men received pilot training at Huffman Aviation, a flight school in Venice, Fla., where FBI investigators are examining student records.
FBI investigators learned that Atta and al-Shehhi also took two three-hour courses at SimCenter Inc. in Opa-Locka, said Brian George, son of flight school owner Henry George.
"We were completely stunned and shocked," Brian George said yesterday. "My father said that if he didn't have a family to support he would stop teaching tomorrow. To think that someone would take what he taught them and turn it into a weapon."
Both men trained on a Boeing 727 full-motion simulator, he said.
The FBI issued a bulletin for authorities to look out for a silver 1996 Plymouth and its possible driver, Amer Kamfar, a flight engineer who listed a Saudi Airlines post office box as his address and lived in Vero Beach.
Agents were questioning Saudi flight engineer Adnan Bukhari, 41, whom a county sheriff's official said was cooperating with FBI inquiries. Bukhari was a student at Flight Safety, which trains commercial jet crews.
"It looks like he had an association with someone else involved," said a neighbor, Wendy Harp.
Agents searched four Vero Beach homes, including Bukhari's and the house next door, where another Flight Safety student, Abdulrahman Alomari, lived with his wife and four children.
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