Alarming 9/11 Claim Is Found Baseless

A military analysts' chart did not identify hijackers beforehand, senators report.


By Greg Miller, Times Staff Writer
December 25, 2006

WASHINGTON — The Senate Intelligence Committee has rejected as untrue one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes — a congressman's contention that a team of military analysts identified Mohamed Atta or other hijackers before the attacks — according to a summary of the panel's investigation obtained by The Times.

The conclusion contradicts assertions by Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and a few military officers that U.S. national security officials ignored startling intelligence available in early 2001 that might have helped to prevent the attacks.

In particular, Weldon and other officials have repeatedly claimed that the military analysts' effort, known as Able Danger, produced a chart that included a picture of Atta and identified him as being tied to an Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn, N.Y. Weldon has also said that the chart was shared with White House officials, including Stephen J. Hadley, then deputy national security advisor.

But after a 16-month investigation, the Intelligence Committee has concluded that those assertions are unfounded.

"Able Danger did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker at any time prior to Sept. 11, 2001," the committee determined, according to an eight-page letter sent last week to panel members by the top Republican and Democrat on the committee.

Weldon, the focus of an unrelated Justice Department corruption probe, was defeated last month in his campaign for an 11th term in a suburban Philadelphia district that has a large GOP majority in voter registration. Attempts were unsuccessful Sunday to reach a Weldon spokesman and an attorney representing Weldon in the Justice Department investigation.

The Senate panel began investigating Able Danger in August 2005, after Weldon and people close to the program went public with their claims. At the time, Weldon was the vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee and the House Homeland Security Committee.

The recently completed probe also dismissed other assertions that have fueled conspiracy theories surrounding the Sept. 11 attacks.

The panel said it found "no evidence" to support claims by military officers connected to Able Danger that Defense Department lawyers prevented the team's analysts from sharing their findings with FBI counter-terrorism officials before the attacks.

Nor was the alleged chart or any information developed by Able Danger improperly destroyed at the direction of Pentagon lawyers, the panel concluded — a charge that had stoked claims of a cover-up.

Though the committee concluded that claims about Able Danger were unfounded, two of the hijackers were known to the U.S. intelligence community before the Sept. 11 attacks. The two had been observed by the CIA attending a meeting with Al Qaeda operatives in Malaysia, but that information was not shared with other agencies in time to locate them after they had entered the United States and moved to San Diego.

Able Danger was the unclassified name given to a program launched in 1999 by the U.S. Special Operations Command as part of an effort to develop military plans targeting the leadership ranks of Al Qaeda and other terrorist networks.

Military analysts assigned to the effort did create charts with pictures of Al Qaeda operatives whose identities were known publicly at the time, the committee found. But the committee concluded that none of those charts depicted Atta, and that the claims of Weldon and others may have been caused by confusion.

One of the charts, titled "The Al Qaeda Network: Snapshots of Typical Operational Cells Associated With UBL [Usama bin Laden]," was attached to the letter sent to committee members last week by Sens. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) and John D. "Jay" Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.), the panel's leaders.

"One of these individuals depicted on the chart arguably looked like Mohammed Atta," the committee concluded. "In addition, the chart contained names of Al Qaeda associates that sound like Atta, as well as numerous variations of the common Arab name Mohammed."

The committee also suggested that officials' memories may have been clouded by the flurry of charts and photographs of Atta that surfaced after the attacks. The panel noted that a defense contractor that produced the chart at the center of the controversy subsequently created a follow-up chart, after the attacks, that did include Atta.

Atta, an Egyptian-born Islamic radical, was the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks and pilot of one of the planes that struck the World Trade Center.

In June 2005, Weldon generated controversy when he declared in a speech on the House floor and in a book released that month that he had met with Hadley at the White House shortly after the attacks and had given the national security official a copy of a chart showing that Atta had been identified by Able Danger.

But the committee concluded that the chart "was not a pre-9/11 chart" and that "at no time did Mr. Hadley ever see a chart with pre-9/11 data bearing Atta's picture or name as described by Congressman Weldon."

The Senate Intelligence Committee noted in its report that its findings were consistent with those of a similar investigation of Able Danger by the Defense Department inspector general's office, released in September.

Weldon has relished the role of calling attention to national security threats he believes are being ignored by others in government. At times he has carried around a replica of a suitcase-size nuclear bomb to highlight terrorist nuclear dangers. He has also accused Iran of hiding Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

Weldon's rising legal troubles played a role in his reelection loss last month. It was disclosed last week that a federal grand jury had subpoenaed congressional records from Weldon's office as part of an FBI probe aimed at determining whether he traded his influence to get lobbying business for his daughter Karen and others.

The House seat was won by Democrat Joe Sestak, a retired Navy vice admiral.

I would be interested...

To hear from those that really followed Able Danger.

The Time For Debate Is Over

so would i. i didnt follow

so would i. i didnt follow Able Danger as closely as i probably should have based on the fact that i didnt trust Weldon(Iraq nukes in Syria! i have a spy in Iran! etc. etc.) and figured he would tie 9/11 to Iran somehow in the end a la Robert Baer.

The government investigates itself and finds nothing wrong!

I guess we can all go home now--nothing to see here.

This reeks of cover-up. When people are willing to risk their careers to expose something, it is probably legitimate.

Zelikow called the information "not historically relevant." How can it be "not historically relevant" and then "nothing?"

They can't cover this one up--there was too much leaked.

"Now, almost exactly four years after 9/11, the facts appear to have been turned upside down. We now learn that Atta was also connected to a top secret operation of the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command (SOCOM) in the US. According to Army reserve Lieutenant-Colonel Anthony Shaffer, a top secret Pentagon project code-named Able Danger had identified Atta and three other 9/11 hijackers as members of an al-Qaida cell more than a year before the attacks.

Able Danger was an 18-month highly classified operation tasked, according to Shaffer, with “developing targeting information for al-Qaida on a global scale”, and used data-mining techniques to look for “patterns, associations, and linkages”. He said he himself had first encountered the names of the four hijackers in mid-2000.

Schaffer himself was fully aware of the delicacy of his revelations. As such, he chose to first speak to US lawmaker and Speaker of the House Dennis Hastert (Republican, Illinois) and House Intelligence Committee Chairman Peter Hoekstra (Republican, Michigan). Schaffer said the two had assured him that exposing the secret “was the right thing to do”. “I was given assurances we would not suffer any adverse consequences for bringing this to the attention of the public,” he said.

The conversations with Hastert and Hoekstra took place before Schaffer anonymously leaked the information to the media on 8 August in the offices of Republican Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania, the vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees who also supported the exposure of this secret.

Schaffer’s decision to expose Operation Able Danger has given rise to some difficult questions, not the least of which concerns the role of Atta in the top secret operation. It also raises the question of whether anyone in the Pentagon knew in advance what Atta was planning on 9/11.

For now, though, the questions are likely to go unanswered, as the Pentagon claims there is no evidence to support allegations that it had had military intelligence on a 9/11 bomber a year before the attack. The Pentagon has acknowledged the existence of Operation Able Danger, but denies claims that it had identified Atta and three others as early as 1999...

The Kean commission also recommended better oversight in order “to combat the secrecy and complexity”. Yet, at the same time, we learn from Schaffer that the Kean commission did not provide the full story on 9/11, and specifically on Able Danger. Schaffer, according to his own testimony, had personally informed Zelikow about Able Danger. Yet Zelikow covered up this piece of the puzzle and, to Schaffer’s frustration and disbelief, decided not to include this data on the pretext that it was “not historically relevant”. "

“We're an empire now, and when we act we create our own reality."

Mosque attendees

The Able Danger people say they identified the hijackers because they attended mosques visited by associates of the Blind Sheikh. Two of the Blind Sheikh's associates, one of whom was Osama Bassnan, visited the San Diego mosque Almihdhar and Alhazmi attended. Atta and Alshehhi also attended a Florida mosque (according to the Congressional Inquiry), but the FBI hasn't said which one yet. We need to find out which mosque this was. Atta was seen on 2 May 2001 with Adnan El Shukrijumah, son of a South Florida imam who previously worked as the Blind Sheikh's translator. My guess is Atta was attending Shukrijumah senior's mosque, which the FBI visited after 9/11 with pictures of the hijackers.

Able Danger clearly could identify the hijackers using the methods they say they used, so their story seems very plausible. Maybe it would have been a good idea for the Pentagon to serach the Able Danger database before deleting two terrabytes of information from it.

If the Gov't had no idea of who the hijackers were before 9/11,

then how the hell did they produce their names, pictures, domiciles, flight-school attendance, etc., etc., within a day or two after 9/11???

Before they knew 93 was hijacked

Richard Clarke says the FBI had 18 of 19 names by 9:59am on 9/11, 8 minutes before the NORAD tapes tell us the military was aware that UA93 had been hijacked.

Great work, G-Men! Apparently, agents now have second sight!

Ha, I had just submitted

Ha, I had just submitted this as a blog myself. I already see a few people on the left dismissing Weldon as crazy. The bipartisan coverups continue. This sucks. He was the only Republican pursuing any of these issues. Apparently, this report conflicts somewhat with the military report.

I guess one thing the Democrats were honest about is that:

"Impeachment is not on the table."

WTF is wrong with these people??? At least begin impeachment proceedings to send a message, for Christ's sake!

You expect too much.

If the dems were in on it, they won't try to impeach. If the dems weren't in on it, they're probably scared for their lives.

This is true

You have hit it on the head, homey. The Dems are most likely being blackmailed or secretly threatened with serious pain or violence to them and their families. That's how Hitler handled his opponents, so I don't see how this is any different.

I'm starting to believe this myself! What else could be holding

the Democrats back from starting impeachment? Bush's "presidency" cries out for impeachment! Who knows what further havoc that evil Chimp & the Repugs can/will cause us during the next 2 years!

Two Words:

Paul Wellstone

>>>The committee also

>>>The committee also suggested that officials' memories may have been clouded by the flurry of charts and photographs of Atta that surfaced after the attacks. <<<

Officials' memories may have been clouded????? What, all of them? These people have paid staff and secretaries to keep all the odds and sods straight---any staff/aid fails to do that this spetacularly, they get sacked! And it took them 16 months to figure out this alledged "confusion"--well that's beyond FUBAR.

Impeachment. Accountability. A better world.

>>>If the Gov't had no idea

>>>If the Gov't had no idea of who the hijackers were before 9/11,

then how the hell did they produce their names, pictures, domiciles, flight-school attendance, etc., etc., within a day or two after 9/11???<<<

A quote from comments above--this is a very good question.

before the fourth plane crashed?

Geeze, I just came across an assertion a few days ago (appeared bonified) that they released data on the highjackers the morning of 9/11 before the fourth plane even crashed. Now if my dementing brain can just remember where.....

"There are none so hoplessly enslaved as those who falsely believe they are free" (Goethe)..... a paraphrase from V: Cast aside the illusions. Only when you are finally hopeless can you truly be free.

Right up there with Faux

Right up there with Faux News suggesting Bin Laden might be responsible a minute after one of the first two planes hit. No, I don't have a link off the top of my head--hang about--

Well, that was me failing to find a link. In fact I could only find ONE video of footage from 911 live coverage on YouTube, and none on Google video. Maybe I'm searching for it with the wrong words. I probably saw this FOX news clip in a 911documentary---in which case it'll be a while. It could have been LC or In Plane Site. Whatever you think about the last movie it is ODD that a FOX commentator is suggesting Bin Laden could be responsible before the towers fell.

And has anyone else had trouble finding the basic live coverage on 911, 2001, on the web? I searched for live FOX news footage 911 .

George Tenet...

"Knew" it was Bin Laden before the second plane hit.

The Time For Debate Is Over

CIA Director George Tenet made a Batman-like statement after

the first plane struck the towers that, "This has the look of bin Laden all over it" or some other staged b.s. like that! How could Tenet have correctly known "who done it" when everyone claims they were taken totally by surprise by the whole event?

George Tenet...

(8:50 a.m.) September 11, 2001: CIA Director, Told of Attack, Immediately Suspects bin Laden
CIA Director Tenet is told of the first WTC crash while he is eating breakfast with his mentor, former Senator David Boren (D). They are interrupted when CIA bodyguards converge on the table to hand Tenet the cell phone. Tenet is told that the WTC has been attacked by an airplane. Boren later says, “I was struck by the fact that [the messenger] used the word ‘attacked.’” Tenet then hands a cell phone back to an aide and says to Boren, “You know, this has bin Laden’s fingerprints all over it.” “‘He was very collected,’ Boren recalls. ‘He said he would be at the CIA in 15 minutes, what people he needed in the room and what he needed to talk about.’” [USA Today, 9/24/2001; ABC News, 9/14/2002] According to other accounts, Tenet responds to the caller, “They steered the plane directly into the building?” Tenet then says to Boren, “That looks like bin Laden.” Tenet muses aloud, “I wonder if this has something to do with the guy [Zacarias Moussaoui] who trained for a pilot’s license.” (Moussaoui had been arrested several weeks earlier.) [Stern, 8/13/2003; St. Paul Pioneer Press, 5/29/2002] According to another account, Tenet pauses while on the phone to tell Boren, “The World Trade Center has been hit. We’re pretty sure it wasn’t an accident. It looks like a terrorist act,” then returns to the phone to identify who should be summoned to the CIA situation room. [Time, 9/14/2001] (Note that according to two accounts, Tenet was not informed of the developing crisis until after the second WTC tower had been struck. [Washington Post, 1/27/2002; Bamford, 2004, pp. 18-19] However, the majority of reports indicate that Tenet was informed of the crisis right after the first WTC tower was struck.)

The Time For Debate Is Over

Thanks for the info, Jon. That's much too psychic...

of Tenet to have guessed bin Laden, and Moussaoui too by one account. (Even Boren seems amazed at Tenet’s clairvoyant abilities.)

Thanks, Jon, though that

Thanks, Jon, though that wasn't the reference I was looking for. Still, damming, innit?

In the film I watched it was two FOX correspondents, speculating over the live footage, watching the towers burn, and one of them aludes to terrorist organizations, and the other one interjects, "Like Osama Bin Laden," or words to that effect.

Even more spooky than Tenet--Tenet's a spook, of course he's up to his eye balls in cloak and dagger shite. But FOX? That would imply Ruppert Murdoch is much more compromised than many suspect.

YES!!! Never underestimate

YES!!! Never underestimate the arrogance of power. It's on FOX's own site. Click this link:

Then click on the first video box in the right hand column:

" United Flight 175 hits south tower of World Trade Center"

It's the last couple of seconds that the anchor, now knowing the attacks are deliberate, suggests Osama Bin Laden, a little more than 30 seconds after the second plane hits. He says "with what's going on with the world right now" but frankly I'd never thought of Bin Laden until he became a boogy man.

Hm-- a really good guess? Or did he get coached? (Kid, anything truely horrific happens, it might be Osama.)

FBI had hijackers' names before they knew 93 had crashed

Peter Dale Scott has been discussing this fact as a parallel to the JFK assassination. He provides sources:

"Now the parallel to that for 9/11 is, I have to say, even more astounding, because of Richard Clarke, who was director for counter-terrorism activities in the White House, and a very important eyewitness. His book Against All Enemies is almost totally ignored by the 9/11 Commission, and it had to be ignored by the Commission because it is at odds, in many important respects, with what the 9/11 Report says (which I will get back to). But he tells us that at 9:59 am on September 11, which is the time when the second tower collapses, the North Tower, the FBI already had a list of the alleged hijackers.[5]

This is extraordinary in the first place because the FBI always says about itself that it doesn’t do much intelligence in the field of terrorism; its specialty is criminal investigation afterwards. They had the names of hijackers at 9:59; at 9:59 am Flight 93 had not yet crashed. And even more astonishingly, if we believe the 9/11 Report (which of course on this point I do not believe), NORAD, which was searching for the hijacked planes, wasn’t aware that Flight 93 had been hijacked until 10:08, which is nine minutes later."

Keep in mind that this timeline is according to the NORAD tapes, which appear to have been doctored. That is, there is significant evidence that the military knew 93 was hijacked well before 10:08.

Don't worry the FBI confirmed the "hijackers" identities. None

of them would ever use fake names or anything tricky like that:



A little blurb I wrote about Able Danger.

The Time For Debate Is Over


Didn't Peter Dale Scott recently mention something in regards to Dietrich Schnell?

The Time For Debate Is Over

Hey Jon..This is part of the article from the March 9th

Counterpunch issue..from Sam Karmilowicz;

Another prominent figure suspected of quashing the truth is Dietrich L. Snell, the Senior Counsel and Team Leader of the Official 9-11 Commission. Peter Lance writes extensively in his books Cover Up and 1000 Years for Revenge about Snell's shenanigans in cherry-picking evidence and excluding credible witness testimony, including information collected by the Defense Department's Able Danger Unit concerning pre-9/11 sightings of Mohammed Atta, one of the nineteen suspected hijackers. These allegations are now resurfacing in the news. The Associated Press (AP) reported on February 15, 2005 that U.S. Representative Curt Weldon, the vice Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee advised the public that the Able Danger Unit had identified Atta more than a dozen times before the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Weldon also reportedly said the secret team found "a problem" in Yemen two weeks before the deadly Al Qaeda attack on the USS Cole in 2000, of which the ship commander was not told. Former (unidentified) members of the 9/11 Commission reportedly dismissed Weldon's findings.

My experience in the Philippines also appears to overlap Snell's involvement in the Murad case that Snell prosecuted. The Cooperative Research 9-11 Timeline ( contains a very peculiar account entitled: Early 1998:Prosecutors Turn Down Deal That Could Reveal Bojinka Third Plot.

The entry said: "Abdul Hakim Murad, a conspirator in the 1995 Bojinka plot with Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaik Mohammed, and others, was convicted in 1996 of his role in the Bojinka plot. He is about to be sentenced for that crime. He offers to cooperate with federal prosecutors in return for a reduction in his sentence, but prosecutors turn down his offer. Dietrich Snell, the prosecutor who convicted Murad, says after 9-11 that he doesn't remember any such offer. But court papers and others familiar with the case later confirmed that Murad does offer to cooperate at this time. Snell claimed he only remembers hearing that Murad had described an intention to hijack a plan and fly it into the CIA headquarters. However, in 1995 Murad had confessed to Philippine investigators that this would have been only one part of a larger plot to crash a number of airplanes into prominent U.S. buildings, including the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, a plot that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed later adjusts and turns in the 9-11 plot. While Philippine investigators claim this information was passed on to U.S. intelligence, it's not clear just which U.S. officials may have learned this information and what they did with it, if anything. [New York Daily News, 9/25/01] Murad is sentenced in May 1998 and given life in prison plus 60 years. [Albany Times Union, 9/22/02] After 9-11, Snell goes on to become Senior Counsel and a team leader for the 9-11 Commission. Author Peter Lance later calls Snell "one of the fixers, hired early on to sanitize the Commission's final report." Lance says Snell ignored evidence presented to the Commission that shows direct ties between the Bojinka plot and 9-11, and in so doing covers up Snell's own role in the failure to make use of evidence learned from Murad and other Bojinka plotters. [FrontPage Magazine, 1/27/05].

I know who the intelligence officials were at the U.S. embassy at the time of Murad's arrest and interrogation. These are the same officials who discounted the threat information I received about Rana. Do these people have something to hide? You bet they do!

Peter Lance was entirely correct when he told CNN anchor Lou Dobbs in a December 5, 2005 interview that the 9-11 Commission was essentially "a whitewash" and that it intentionally limited its investigation to 1996-forward. He said the Commission moved the plot's origin "to 1996 from 1994"and in so doing omitted information that linked Mohammed Atta to the terrorists responsible for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. Lance said Congress should put Dietrich Snell under oath to find out why the 9-11 staffer prevented the Able Danger information from getting to the 9-11 Commission.

Clearly, the 9-11 Commission's decision to use 1996 as the date that the 9-11 plot originated was also designed to omit the information that I obtained concerning Tariq Rana, and the connection he had with the Al Qaeda operatives who conceived the 9-11 plot.

Did Sandy Berger steal some "Able Danger" documents when

he burglarized the classified documents from the National Archives??? Hmmm....

Weldon seems to mislead also

calling attention to Iran by accusing them of hiding Bin Laden.
So why would He say that Iran is hiding OBL when the FBI has concluded that OBL was not found to have a connection to 9/11? And that the MSM does not push this statement and neither does Weldon.
What that seems to Me is an attempt to keep the focus on Iran, to dissuade pressure from the government, and ....the war on terror continues.
Perhaps somebody watched "Joe Versus The Volcano" and got the idea to use the "brain cloud" diagnosis from that Then applied it to officials memory.

The Media Strikes Again...

Look how many media outlets covered this little tidbit, and with such a pro 9/11 Truth Movement title to boot.

Compare that to something like this...

And it really makes you want to go throw up.

The Time For Debate Is Over