A slip of the tongue by a member of al-Qaeda may have betrayed the fact that Osama bin-Laden is dead. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who has confessed to being one of the masterminds behind the September 11 attacks, made the mistake during a TV interview to be broadcast on the first anniversary of 911 on al-Jazeera, the Arab satellite TV network. During the interview, he referred to bin-Laden, who has not been seen since the fall of the Taliban, in the past tense.
During the interview, he disclosed many of the secrets behind the atrocities. He says the target of the fourth hijack attack, which was thwarted by the plane?s passengers, was Congress, not the White House. The original plan was to crash aircraft into atomic power stations, and the plotters used simple codes to keep in touch by internet.
TV journalist Yosri Fouda was taken to the city of Karachi in Pakistan, where he was driven five miles into the countryside, blindfolded, then brought to a secret apartment on the fourth floor of a building for the interview, which lasted two days. He met with Mohammed, as well as with Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a former roommate of Mohamed Atta, the ringleader of the 911 highjackings, who is also a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000.
The men disclosed that it took 2? years to plan the attacks. Atta, who was an al-Qaeda sleeper agent studying town planning in Hamburg, Germany since 1992, was chosen as a pilot and Nawaf al-Hazemi as his second-in-command. Bin al-Shibh wanted to be the twentieth hijacker. He applied for a visa for flight training three times, but was turned down for security reasons. The leading hijackers were summoned to Kandahar for a planning meeting, and four advance reconnaissance units were sent to America.
The chosen pilots enrolled in U.S. flight schools. Meanwhile, Saudi volunteers were picked to help in the hijacking of the aircraft. ?They knew it was a martyrdom operation, but did not know the details,? Mohammed says. Atta used an internet chatroom to send messages in German from America, posing as a student writing to his girlfriend ?Jenny.? The messages actually went to bin al-Shibh.
In al-Qaeda?s code, the World Trade Center was ?the faculty of town planning,? the Pentagon was ?the faculty of fine arts,? and Congress was the ?faculty of law.? In a final telephone call, Atta told bin al-Shibh the date for the attacks. ?Two sticks, a dash and a cake with a stick down,? he said, meaning 11-9. The news reached bin-Laden on September 6, giving him only five days? warning.
During their discussions with the reporter, the al-Qaeda operatives tried to suggest that bin-Laden was still alive, but Mohammed?s slip of the tongue may have given away the truth, as well as the fact that the reporter was taken to meet to al-Qaeda officials, rather than bin-Laden himself. Al-Jazeera has previously interviewed bin-Laden in person twice, in 1997 and 1998. ?I am driven to the interpretation that something is wrong with the upper reaches of al-Qaeda ? some sort of disruption,? says reporter Foudra. ?I now believe it is more than likely bin Laden is dead
To read the July 8 story, ?Is Bin-Laden Dead??, click here.
Now we know that the FBI had 2 ? years to catch on to the 911 plot?so why didn?t they? Also, it?s clear al-Qaeda top brass are hiding in Pakistan right now?so why can?t we find them? To find out, read ?The Bureau: The Secret History of the FBI? by Ronald Kessler, click here.
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