Alec Station Blocked Cable to FBI about Almihdhar â€“ Additions to the 9/11 Timeline as of January 25, 2009
Most of this week's new entries in the 9/11 Timeline are about one of the best-known pre-9/11 failures. After tracking alleged Pentagon hijacker Khalid Almihdhar from Yemen to Dubai in January 2000, the CIA learned he had a US visa. An FBI agent named Doug Miller on loan to Alec Station, the CIA's bin Laden unit, drafted a cable to the bureau warning them of the visa, and that Almihdhar would soon probably arrive in the US. However, another Alec Station officer, known only as "Michelle," said their boss, Deputy Station Chief Tom Wilshire, did not want the cable to be sent. Michelle then sent out a cable falsely stating that the information about Almihdhar's visa had been passed to the FBI. Miller complained to Mark Rossini, a fellow FBI agent on loan to Alec Station, and Rossini went to see Michelle, who told him the FBI would not be told of Almihdhar's visa because she knew the next al-Qaeda attack was going to be in Southeast Asia. Miller again asked Wilshire for permission to send the draft cable a week later, but Wilshire failed to grant it.
When the post-9/11 investigations started, the CIA failed to pass the draft cable over to the Justice Department's office of inspector general (OIG), but the OIG discovered it by itself. When interviewed by the OIG, Miller and Rossini lied, claiming they could not recall anything about the draft cable. Michelle, who had reportedly lied to CIA director George Tenet about the cable before his testimony to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, also told the OIG she had no memory of anything. Although Miller and Rossini later confessed to an internal FBI investigation, they were not subpoenaed by the 9/11 Commission, although they were eager to testify.
George Tenet's 2007 book about his time at the CIA contains a false claim about the blocking of the draft cable, and in the autumn of last year the FBI tried to prevent Miller and Rossini from talking about the cable in a documentary being made by author James Bamford.
The Londonistan category contains new entries about the establishment of al-Muhajiroun, one of the main extremist organizations in Britain run by an informer for the authorities, and about the term 'Londonistan' itself, which was invented by the French to express their frustration at all the radicals the British protected. One of the main informers for the British security services, Abu Qatada, was convicted on terror charges in Jordan in 1999, and when another, Abu Hamza, was linked to terror activities in Italy, the British authorities refused to let an Italian judge question him. British officials later offered a string of excuses for their failures.
Miscellaneous entries cover a bio terror exercise in the summer of 2001 that simulated a smallpox outbreak, and a unsuccessful request filed by the 9/11 Commission with the CIA for presidential daily brief items.