Complete 911 Timeline
Open-Content investigative project managed by matt, Derek, Paul, KJF, mtuck, paxvector
This is a news item pertaining to the Complete 911 Timeline investigative project, one of several grassroots investigations being hosted on the History Commons website. The data published as part of this investigation has been collected, organized, and published by members of the public who are registered users of this website.
7/14/2008: 9/11 Hijackers' Visas, 7/7 London Bombings, and Pakistan - Additions as of July 13, 2008
There are numerous new entries about the 9/11 hijackers this week, in particular about their US visas, eleven of which were issued by the same consular official in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. Ahmed Alghamdi was issued a visa in Jeddah, but not interviewed, despite general terrorism concerns at the consulate. Wail and Waleed Alshehri got new passports from a family member in the Saudi passport office in October 2000 and used them to get US visas despite errors on their applications. The other hijackers also obtained visas despite problems with their applications: Ahmed Alnami’s application was incomplete, as were Ahmed Alhaznawi’s, Majed Moqed’s, and Ahmed Alnami’s; the consular official who issued Satam Al Suqami’s later described the interview, although, according to the 9/11 Commission, it never took place; Saeed Alghamdi lied on his application form, Abdulaziz Alomari had false travel stamps in his passport; Fayez Ahmed Banihammad had mistakes on his application, and Salem Alhazmi hit the trifecta - his application was incomplete, he appears to have lied on his application, and he had been under NSA surveillance for years.
While in the US, Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi stopped in Jacksonville, Florida, as did Ziad Jarrah, who frequented a strip club there. Jarrah was repeatedly readmitted to the US despite breaching his immigration status, once when returning from a short trip to the Bahamas, and once when he was given an unusual length of stay. Fellow flight 93 hijacker Ahmed Alhaznawi obtained a second duplicate US driving licence four days before 9/11, and Satam al Suqami allegedly obtained US ID, although the 9/11 Commission denied this, saying his lack of US ID was the reason he took his passport onto Flight 11.
Another group of entries deal with the 7/7 London bombings. Lead bomber Mohammad Sidique Khan fought with the Taliban before 9/11, and British intelligence shut down an al-Qaeda-linked fertilizer bomb plot in Britain in 2004, but, for a reason that has never been explained, the plot’s mastermind, an associate of Khan, was never arrested or questioned. Pakistan’s ISI intelligence agency warned the British Khan attended a militant training camp, and Britain gave the US the name of another of the suicide bombers.
Khan’s links to Mohammed Junaid Babar are very interesting. Khan met Babar, a known al-Qaeda operative in Britain, in 2003, when Babar was under US surveillance. Babar also attended a key al-Qaeda summit in Pakistan in 2004, and became a US informer shortly after. Despite this, British intelligence failed to monitor Khan fully. Lastly, phone calls linked the bombers to a leading Pakistani militant.
The third main group of entries this week concern Pakistan, President George Bush allegedly failed to get Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf to take action against al-Qaeda safe havens in Pakistan in 2005, when a new CIA push to get Osama bin Laden failed because all the experienced people were in Iraq. In 2006, a US commander in Afghanistan compiled a dossier showing how much support militants had obtained from the ISI, who silenced a suspect in a British trial.
In 2007, Musharraf was warned that militants were becoming dangerous in Pakistan, they seemed to be gaining in their apparent struggle against the government, and killed over 30 in an attack against the army. A secret US plan to help raids against al-Qaeda got bogged down, and Pakistani militant leaders unified.
In 2008, opposition parties won the elections, weakening president Musharraf after a new prime minister was chosen. The New York Times said the US policy on fighting the safe havens in Pakistan was “drifting”, US combat deaths in Afghanistan rose, and the ISI was allegedly involved in a recent suicide bombing in Kabul.
Finally, one high value detainee, Majid Khan, was arrested in Pakistan in March 2003, and fellow Guantanamo detainee and Malaysia summit attendee Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri is to be tried by a military commission for his role in the USS Cole bombing.