As the Congressional investigation on 911 nears completion, secret information has begun to leak out. Before 911, Niaz Khan, a Pakistani living in the U.K., told the FBI he'd been trained by al Qaeda to hijack airplanes and was in the U.S. to carry out an attack. The FBI questioned him, then let him go. Khan says, "I told them before the 9/11, about more than year before, [about the] hijacking in America or on American airline."
Lisa Myers and Jim Popkin write for NBC News that after training, he flew to New York by a roundabout route, then identified himself to his al-Qaeda contact using a code name. However, he got cold feet before he could go through with the hijacking, and decided to turn himself in to the FBI. He never found out exactly what role he would play, just that he?d meet up with fellow terrorists in the U.S. He was interrogated by the FBI for three weeks before they let him go, and they even drew a composite portrait of his terrorist trainer, based on his description. He passed two FBI polygraphs. A former FBI agent says word came down from headquarters to "return him to London and forget about it."
For three years, the government has denied that Saudis were allowed to leave the country after 911, but Florida knows different, because airport records show that three Saudis, accompanied part of the way by a former FBI agent and a former Tampa police officer, flew out of the Tampa International Airport two days after the terrorist attacks.
Jean Heller writes in the St. Petersburg Times that while most of the air traffic was still grounded, a small jet landed at Tampa International Airport and picked up three young Saudi men, one of whom may have been a member of the Saudi royal family. They flew to Kentucky, where they boarded an international flight. The two U.S. escorts then returned to Tampa. The government still denies this flight took place.
Manuel Perez, the retired FBI agent who accompanied the Saudis, says, "They got the approval somewhere. It must have come from the highest levels of government?The White House, the FAA and the FBI all said the flight didn't happen. Those are three agencies that are way over my head, and that's why I'm done talking about it."
Niaz Khan says, ?I just surprised because [the FBI] never came back to ask some more things. [They] believed me, but maybe not seriously.?
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