Saudi Tracking of 9/11 Hijackers - Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of November 2, 2008

Several entries have been added to the 9/11 Timeline in the past fortnight, in particular concerning tracking of the 9/11 hijackers by Saudi authorities. Nawaf Alhazmi obtained a new passport in Saudi Arabia in March 1999. The passport contained an indicator the Saudi authorities used to track his movements. Alhazmi obtained a US visa with the passport and entered the US with it. Another hijacker, Ahmed Alhaznawi, possibly obtained a passport with the same indicator before November 2000 and then left Saudi Arabia. It has also been suggested that a third hijacker, Ahmed Alnami, had a similar indicator in his passport.

Some of the new entries just concern al-Qaeda in general, covering its plans for manufacturing anthrax, its gassing of a dog, and a discovery of videos showing its global reach. What's interesting to note is that one of the Pakistanis involved in these plans was arrested and released by Pakistani authorities, who refused to let the FBI extradite him.

There is also more about alleged al-Qaeda plots, against the Sydney Olympics and US embassy in Rome, although this later turned out to be pretty much a figment of the intelligence agencies' imagination and the alleged plotters were acquitted .

Miscellaneous entries cover a recent statement by former MI5 chief Stella Rimington that the US "over-reacted" to 9/11, as well as two questions asked in 2006 by Senator Patrick Leahy: "Why did they allow attacks to happen?" and "Why didn't they get bin Laden?" Before being appointed to the 9/11 Commission, its executive director, Philip Zelikow, made some interesting comments about "public assumptions", and during the commission's hearings Commissioner Jamie Gorelick sparred with General Richard Myers over the air force's lack of response on the day of the attacks. Finally, the CIA began tracking Islamist militants in Europe in 1995 and funded a counterterrorist "hit squad" in Egypt.

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