By Anthony Summers, Neil Tweedie and Dan Christensen in Miami
The Daily Telegraph - February 18th, 2012
A Saudi Arabian accused of associating with several of the September 11 hijackers and who disappeared from his home in the United States a few weeks before the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, is in London working for his country’s state oil company.
Abdulaziz al-Hijji and his wife Anoud left three cars at their luxurious home in a gated community in Sarasota, Florida — one of them new — and flew to Saudi Arabia in August 2001. The refrigerator was full of food; furniture and clothing were left behind; and the swimming pool water was still circulating.
Security records of cars passing through a checkpoint at the Prestancia gated community indicated that Mr al-Hijji’s home, 4224 Escondito Circle, had been visited a number of times by Mohamed Atta, the leader of the 19-strong hijack team, who piloted American Airlines Flight 11 into the North Tower of the World Trade Centre in 2001.
The logs also indicated that Marwan Al-Shehhi, who crashed United Airlines Flight 175 into the South Tower, and Ziad Jarrah, who was at the controls of United Airlines Flight 93 when it crashed in a field in Pennsylvania, had visited the house.
All three men had trained to fly at Venice Airport, which is 19 miles from Sarasota.
A US counter-terrorist agent told The Daily Telegraph: “The registration numbers of vehicles that had passed through the Prestancia community’s north gate in the months before 9/11, coupled with the identification documents shown by incoming drivers on request, showed that Mohamed Atta and several of his fellow hijackers, and another Saudi suspect still at large, had visited 4224 Escondito Circle.”
As ABC+news confirmed yesterday, alleged lead 9/11 hijacker Mohamed+Atta attended a Florida mosque run by Gulshair+Shukrijumah, a radical Islamist imam. Although ABC revealed key new details, including that an FBI informer had been interested in Atta, but had been pulled away from him by his handlers, public information previously indicated Atta and fellow alleged hijacker pilot Marwan+Alshehhi had attended the mosque. Based on this, in early 2007 I wrote an entry in the 9/11 Timeline called “Atta+and+Alshehhi+Attend+Florida+Mosque,” which put together a comment in the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry report and media accounts.
Today saw the eighth anniversary of 9/11 and, as usual, there were a slew of articles. The most interesting was this+one on ABC, which probably requires three posts to digest fully. I have previously expressed extreme scepticism at some of the statements reportedly made by alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) under waterboarding and other torture, and this report further confirms my suspicions he told his interrogators a pack of lies, which they and then the 9/11 Commission believed to an unhealthy extent.
The ABC article is about an FBI mole who had penetrated a radical mosque in Florida. It begins: