CIA Inspector General's Report, Mole in Londonistan, Russia – 9/11 Timeline Additions as of August 15, 2008

One of the main additions to the 9/11 Timeline this week is a category dealing exclusively with the report drafted by the CIA's inspector general about some aspects of the agency's poor performance before 9/11. It deals with the report's origins, its redrafting at the insistence of the CIA's management, and the final release of a redacted executive summary. You can read a summary of the whole chapter here.

Most of the new additions in the Londonistan category focus on Reda Hassaine, an Algerian mole who worked for a number of intelligence services against radical Islamists in London. He helped the Algerian secret service obtain the fax numbers of GIA leaders, and then assisted with their monitoring of GIA operatives in London, especially Abu Hamza al-Masri, a spiritual leader for the Algerians. Hassaine was then hired by French intelligence, which was monitoring Abu Hamza's Finsbury Park mosque. The French were so worried about attacks at the 1998 World Cup that they considered assassinating a GIA leader in London and kidnapping Abu Hamza. The French helped Hassaine launch an extremist magazine, but then fired him. He was then hired by Scotland Yard, although his relationship with the British was not always smooth.

In Russia, President Boris Yeltsin sacked his government in August 1999 and appointed Vladimir Putin prime minister, after which Yeltsin's opponents joined forces and a Moscow shopping mall was bombed. There followed more attacks on a barracks in Dagestan, a Moscow apartment block, and another Moscow apartment block, as well as a truck bombing in southern Russia. These attacks were blamed on Chechen terrorists, and pro-Yeltsin parties then won the elections in Russia, after which Yeltsin resigned in favor of Putin.

On the day of 9/11, a flight attendant on Flight 77 said there were six hijackers on the plane, Tom Burnett's wife was unable to reach him on his cell phone before the hijacking of Flight 93, and a Boston airport manager singled out the Arabs on Flights 11 and 175 as the hijackers around 9:30 a.m.

General entries regarding al-Qaeda and the CIA cover links between 1993 WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef and al-Qaeda, responsibility for Khalid Shaikh Mohammed at the CIA, and the increasing number of US mosques favorable to radical Islamist teachings in 2000. Finally, a delay by the NSA allowed a high-ranking al-Qaeda figure to evade capture, after CIA Director George Tenet declared war on al-Qaeda his deputy chaired a single meeting, and Bill Clinton rewrote a memo to the CIA about its dealings with the Northern Alliance; the changes prevented the CIA from using the Afghans to assassinate bin Laden.

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