U.S. missed 9/11 clues years before the tragedy
During the September 11 attacks of 2001, 2,996 people were killed (including the 19 hijackers) and more than 6,000 others injured. These immediate deaths included 265 on the four planes (including the terrorists), 2,606 in the World Trade Center and in the surrounding area, and 125 at the Pentagon.
MANILA, Philippines (CNN) – CNN has obtained documents showing a Philippine police report about the terrorist plot of September 11, 2001 that was given to the FBI in 1995 and the U.S. agency’s summary document of the report, which left out any mention of the plot.
‘Philippine authorities said the United States did not take their information seriously. ‘
The documents come on the heels of a congressional report that indicates the U.S. intelligence community missed several clues that could have added up to the terrorist plot before the attacks.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, the alleged mastermind of those attacks and the highest-ranking al Qaeda operative in custody, told his U.S. interrogators that planning for the attacks on New York and Washington began in 1994 in the Philippine capital.
In the mid-1990s, Mohammed, who had become al Qaeda’s third-highest-ranking leader by the time he was arrested in 2003, lived in an apartment in Manila.
Mohammed told his U.S. interrogators that he and his nephew, Ramzi Yousef — who is serving a life sentence for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing — began plotting what would become the September 11 attacks seven years earlier.
Col. Rodolfo Mendoza, a counterterroism expert with the Philippines police, interrogated Murad and discovered what he believes is the blueprint for September 11.
In addition, the plots uncovered in Manila included one to assassinate the U.S. president and plans to attack nuclear power plants.
“They had a plan to crash the airplane — the commercial jetliner — into the specific target,” Mendoza said. “They have done it after seven years. So I believe all these plans, old plans, are supposed to be executed.”
The 1995 report listed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon as targets. Philippine authorities say all the information they discovered was handed over to the FBI.
Photo by The U.S. National Archives