Federal Bureau of Investigation

FBI Informant Knew 9/11 Hijacker Worked Illegally, Failed to Tell Handler

An FBI informant knew that one of the 9/11 hijackers breached the terms of his visa by working illegally, according to a 9/11 Commission document released by the National Archives at the start of the year. The document, a memo on the interview of the informer, Abdussattar Shaikh, was found in the archives by History Commons contributor paxvector and posted to the History Commons site at Scribd.

The memo shows that:

* Shaikh knew that one of the hijackers, Nawaf Alhazmi, worked illegally in the US. According to the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry, the job was at a gas station run by people who the FBI had investigated over terrorism links.
* He knew Alhazmi was interested in news about the war in Chechnya, and became angry when the Russians did well.
* Instead of using the apartment phone, Alhazmi and Almihdhar would drive to another neighbourhood to use a pay phone, apparently a vain attempt to avoid NSA surveillance.

DNA of One 9/11 Hijacker Positively Identified

A new document obtained from the 9/11 Commission’s files shows that the DNA of one of the alleged 9/11 hijackers, presumed Flight 93 pilot Ziad Jarrah, was positively identified. A sample taken from the plane’s crash site in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, was matched with a sample taken by German authorities from the residence of his girlfriend. The document was found at the National Archives by History Commons contributor paxvector, and posted at the History Commons site at Scribd.

DNA samples of fourteen of the nineteen hijackers were reportedly found at the three crash sites after the attacks. However, it was previously thought that the DNA samples were only identified by a process of elimination–if a DNA sample at a crash site did not match that of a victim it was presumed to be from a hijacker. In addition, the FBI took DNA samples from places–such as hotel rooms–it thought the hijackers had been and matched them with the non-victim samples from the crash sites.

Former 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Makes Bizarre Comments about Intelligence Failures before Attacks

Former 9/11 Commission Vice Chairman Lee Hamilton recently made some bizarre comments about the Zacarias Moussaoui case in an interview for Vanity Fair. The interview was used for a wide-ranging and very interesting oral history of the Bush White House. Hamilton’s comments appear to show complete ignorance of a key aspect of the investigation of which he was vice chair.

Moussaoui was arrested on an immigration violation due to suspicious he was planning to hijack an aircraft by the Minneapolis FBI on 16 August 2001, nearly four weeks before 9/11. His personal effects contained evidence linking him to eleven of the nineteen alleged hijackers and the local FBI suspected that he was part of a wider plot. It correctly assumed a search of the effects would uncover his links to the other conspirators. However, due to obstruction by FBI headquarters, no warrant was ever granted to search Moussaoui’s belongings. Middle managers at headquarters also failed to properly inform their superiors of the case.

Here are Hamilton’s comments on the Moussaoui case: