9/11 Commission Report/Notes/Part 5
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9/11 Commission Report Notes
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Al Qaeda Aims at the American Homeland
1.Though KSM and Bin Ladin knew each other from the anti-Soviet campaign of the 1980s, KSM apparently did not begin working with al Qaeda until after the 1998 East Africa embassy bombings. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Nov. 21, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004.
2.Those detainees are Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, Riduan Isamuddin (also known as Ham-bali), Abd al Rahim al Nashiri,Tawfiq bin Attash (also known as Khallad), Ramzi Binalshibh, Mohamed al Kah-tani,Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al Ani,Ali Abd al Rahman al Faqasi al Ghamdi (also known as Abu Bakr al Azdi), and Hassan Ghul.
3. On KSM's relationship to Yousef and his ethnicity, see CIA analytic report, Khalid Sheik Muhammad's Nephews, CTC 2003-300013, Jan. 31, 2003. On KSM's biography, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003; FBI electronic communication, requests for information on KSM colleges/universities, June 10, 2002.
4. In an uncorroborated post-capture claim that may be mere bravado, KSM has stated that he considered assassinating Rabbi Meir Kahane when Kahane lectured in Greensboro at some point between 1984 and 1986. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. On KSM's connection to Sayyaf, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 3, 2003; July 12, 2003; FBI electronic communication,"Summary of Information . . . with regard to . . . KSM," July 8, 1999. On KSM's battle experience and his electronics work, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 3, 2003; July 12, 2003. On KSM's anti-Soviet activities, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 17, 2004 (in which KSM says he apparently met Bin Ladin for the first time when the Sayyaf group and Bin Ladin's Arab mujahideen group were next to each other along the front line).
5. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also notes that his group continued fighting in the Jalalabad area, and his brother Abid was killed there). KSM claims that Ramzi Yousef visited the NGO's establishment in Jalalabad while Yousef was undergoing training. KSM adds that between 1993 and 1996, he traveled to China, the Philippines, Pakistan, Bosnia (a second time), Brazil, Sudan, and Malaysia. Most, if not all, of this travel appears to have been related to his abiding interest in carrying out terrorist operations.Although KSM claims that Sheikh Abdallah was not a member, financier, or supporter of al Qaeda, he admits that Abdallah underwrote a 1995 trip KSM took to join the Bosnia jihad. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 23, 2003.
6. On KSM's learning of Yousef 's plans, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004 (in which KSM also contends that Yousef never divulged to him the intended target of the attack). On KSM/Yousef phone conversations, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 17, 2004 (in which KSM also says that most of his phone conversations with Yousef were social in nature, but that Yousef did discuss mixing explosives ingredients once or twice and that on one occasion,Yousef asked him to send the passport Yousef had in his true name,Abdul Basit). On KSM's money transfer, see FBI report,Tradebom investigation, Mar. 20, 1993.
7. Evidence gathered at the time of Yousef 's February 1995 arrest included dolls wearing clothes containing nitrocellulose. FBI evidence, Manila air investigation. On KSM's rationale for attacking the United States, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003 (in this regard, KSM's statements echo those of Yousef, who delivered an extensive polemic against U.S. foreign policy at his January 1998 sentencing). On the Manila air plot, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM,Apr. 17, 2003; July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also says bojinka is not Serbo-Croatian for "big bang," as has been widely reported, but rather a nonsense word he adopted after hearing it on the front lines in Afghanistan).According to KSM, the plot was to receive financing from a variety of sources, including associates of co-conspirator Wali Khan and KSM's own funds. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Nov. 26, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004. On activities during the summer of 1994, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, May 3, 2003; July 12, 2003; Nov. 10, 2003; Feb. 21, 2004; Feb. 24, 2004.
8. On recruiting Wali Khan in Karachi, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Abdul Hakim Murad,Apr. 13, 1995; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM recounts how he knew Wali Khan from Afghanistan). On the testing of the timer, see Brief for the United States of America, United States v. Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, No. 98-1041(L) (2d Cir. filed Aug. 25, 2000), pp. 85-86, 88-91. The latter explosion caused the death of a passenger and extensive damage to the aircraft, which was forced to make an emergency landing in Okinawa. In 1996,Yousef was convicted on charges arising out of the Bojinka plot, including the bombing of the Philippine Airlines flight. See ibid., p. 8. On KSM's travels, see generally Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003.Yousef managed to escape to Pakistan, but his accomplice, Murad-whom KSM claims to have sent to Yousef with $3,000 to help fund the operation-was arrested and disclosed details of the plot while under interrogation. Contrary to Murad's confession, in which he described his intended role as one of the five operatives who would plant bombs on board the targeted aircraft, KSM has said that Murad's role was limited to carrying the $3,000 from Dubai to Manila. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004; (two reports); Feb. 24, 2004;Apr. 2, 2004.This aspect of KSM's account is not credible, as it conflicts not just with Murad's confession but also with physical evidence tying Murad to the very core of the plot, and with KSM's own statements elsewhere that Murad was involved in planning and executing the operation. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 24, 2004 (in which KSM also claims that while he was in Qatar in February 1995, he and Yousef consulted by telephone regarding the cargo carrier plan, and Yousef proceeded with the operation despite KSM's advice that he hide instead).We have uncovered no evidence that KSM was present at the guesthouse in Islamabad where Yousef 's arrest took place, as has been suggested in the press.
9. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. KSM's presence in Bosnia coincided with a police station bombing in Zagreb where the timing device of the bomb (a modified Casio watch) resembled those manufactured by KSM and Yousef in the Philippines for the Manila air operation. FBI report, Manila air investigation, May 23, 1999. On the Sudanese trip and Afghanistan, see Intelligence report, interrogation of SM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also claims to have encountered Sayf al Adl while in Yemen; apparently KSM has not divulged the substance of this meeting).
10. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. In another interrogation report, however, KSM downplays the significance of his relationship to Yousef in enabling him to meet with Bin Ladin. Specifically, KSM notes that Yousef was not a member of al Qaeda and that Yousef never met Bin Ladin. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.
11. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004.With respect to KSM's additional proposal to bomb cargo planes by shipping jackets containing nitrocellulose, KSM states that Bin Ladin expressed interest in changing the operation so that it would involve a suicide operative. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 10, 2003.
12. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.
13. Probably inflating his own role, KSM says he and a small group of colleagues, including Yousef and Wali Khan, were among the earliest advocates of attacking the United States. KSM asserts that Bin Ladin and some of the other jihadist leaders concentrated on overthrowing Arab regimes and argued for limiting confrontation with the United States to places like Somalia. On KSM's description of Bin Ladin's agenda, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003. As discussed in chapter 2, we do not agree with this assessment. On Bin Ladin's reactions to KSM's proposal, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004. On KSM's intent to target the United States and Bin Ladin's interest in Somalia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003.
14. On KSM's independence, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. Even after he began working with Bin Ladin and al Qaeda, KSM concealed from them his ongoing relationship with Sayyaf. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 30, 2003. Although KSM says he would have accepted the support of another organization to stage a 9/11-type operation, there is no evidence he ever peddled this idea to any other group. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004. On his travels after meeting Bin Ladin, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003. Hambali also was one of the founders of Konsojaya, a Malaysian company run by a close associate of Wali Khan. FBI report, Manila air investigation, May 23, 1999. Hambali claims he was asked to serve on the company's board of directors as a formality and insists that he did not recognize the "Arabs" who were to run the company or play any role in its operations. Intelligence report, interrogation of Ham-bali, Nov. 19, 2003.
15. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Feb. 19, 2004 (two reports). KSM maintains that he provided similar services for other mujahideen groups at this time, including the Libyan Islamic Fighting Group and a group headed by Abu Zubaydah. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.
16. On KSM's understanding of Bin Ladin's commitment, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb.
19, 2004. On KSM's assistance to al Qaeda, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003 (two reports). On Bin Ladin's decision to approve 9/11 operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. KSM has observed that the East Africa bombings and the subsequent bombing of the USS Cole yielded a recruiting bonanza for al Qaeda, as increasing numbers of Arab youth became enamored of the idea of waging jihad against the United States. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 5, 2003.
17. On KSM's decision to move to Kandahar, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. On the media committee, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 12, 2003 (in which KSM also says that as head of the media committee, he would take charge of producing the propaganda video al Qaeda issued following the bombing of the USS Cole). On the oath, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003 (in which KSM also claims his reluctance stemmed from a concern that he would lose the ability to persevere with the 9/11 operation should Bin Ladin subsequently decide to cancel it).
18. On a possible Southeast Asian operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 4, 2003. On a possible U.S. operation, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, June 27, 2003; July 14, 2003. On a possible Israeli operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, June 30, 2003. On other possible targets discussed with Atef, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 4, 2003 (Thailand); Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 4, 2004 (Singapore, Indonesia, Maldives).
19. For an example of KSM's popularity, see Intelligence report, interrogation of al Qaeda facilitator, Oct. 11, 2002. See also Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Nov. 7, 2002; Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Feb. 10, 2003.
20. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Hambali, Jan. 14, 2003; Mar. 5, 2004.
21. Rohan Gunaratna, Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror (Columbia Univ. Press, 2002), pp. 187, 199.
22. On the trip to Karachi, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 12, 2003. On Hambali's relationship with Atef and receipt of al Qaeda funds, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Mar. 5, 2004. Al Qaeda began providing funds to JI for terrorist operations as early as 1999. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Mar. 3, 2004.
23. On Hambali's role as coordinator, see Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Mar. 4, 2004. On Sufaat, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 12, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee,Apr. 30, 2003. In 1987, Sufaat received a bachelor's degree in biological sciences, with a minor in chemistry, from California State University, Sacramento. Sufaat did not start on the al Qaeda biological weapons program until after JI's December 2000 church bombings in Indonesia, in which he was involved. Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 8, 2003. On Sufaat's schooling, see Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Dec. 14, 2001.
24. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, June 9, 2003. KSM also maintains that he persuaded Hambali to focus on "soft" targets in Singapore, such as oil tankers, the U.S. and Israeli embassies, and Western airlines. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, June 24, 2003.
25. As discussed in greater detail in section 5.2, Khallad was sent by Bin Ladin to Kuala Lumpur to case U.S. airline flights in the Far East for possible future attacks there, whereas Hazmi and Mihdhar were on the first leg of their travel from Karachi to Los Angeles, where they would arrive on January 15, 2000. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 31, 2003. On Hambali's assistance at KSM's request, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 31, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 8, 2003. On assistance to Moussaoui, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Mar. 24, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee,Apr. 9, 2002. According to statements attributed to Hambali and Sufaat, in each of these instances the al Qaeda guests were lodged at Sufaat's condominium, an apartment on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Jan. 22, 2002; Intelligence reports, interrogations of Hambali, Sept. 8, 2003; Sept. 12, 2003.
26. On Hambali's relationship with Bin Ladin, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Hambali,Aug. 29, 2003; Sept. 5, 2003 (in which Hambali also explains his relationship with al Qaeda as follows: he received his marching orders from JI, but al Qaeda would lead any joint operation involving members of both organizations). On Ham-bali's objections, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 8, 2003. On KSM's coordination with Ham-bali, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 17, 2003. On KSM's recognition of Hambali's domain, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. According to KSM, his close relationship with Hambali prompted criticism from Bashir, the JI leader, who thought Hambali should focus more directly on Indonesia and Malaysia instead of involving himself in al Qaeda's broader terrorist program. Indeed, KSM describes Hambali as an al Qaeda member working in Malaysia. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003. Nashiri observes that al Qaeda's standard security practice dictated that no senior member could manage terrorist activities in a location where another senior member was operating. Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Jan. 14, 2003.Yet al Qaeda's deference to Hambali's turf apparently had limits. Khallad says he and Hambali never discussed the intended Southeast Asia portion of the original 9/11 plan. Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Apr. 27, 2004.
27. On Nashiri's recruitment, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Nasser Ahmad Naser al Bahri, a.k.a. Abu Jandal, Sept. 17-Oct. 2, 2001. On Nashiri's refusal to swear allegiance, see Intelligence report, interrogation of
KSM, Nov. 21, 2003. On Nashiri's idea for his first terrorist operation and his travels, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Nashiri, Nov. 21, 2002; Dec. 26, 2002.
28. Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Dec. 26, 2002.Although Nashiri's account of this episode dates his return to Afghanistan in 1996, the 1997 date is likely more accurate. On Nashiri's involvement in the missile-smuggling and embassy-bombing plots, see Intelligence report, seizure of antitank missiles in Saudi Arabia, June 14, 1998; FBI report of investigation, interview of Mohammad Rashed Daoud al Owahli, Sept. 9, 1998, p. 6.
29. For Nashiri's version, which may not be true, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Dec. 26, 2002. On communication between Nashiri and Bin Ladin about attacking U.S. vessels, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Nov. 21, 2002.The reporting of Nashiri's statements on this subject is somewhat inconsistent, especially as to the exact timing of the original proposal. Some corroboration does exist, however, for Nashiri's claim that the original proposal was his. A detainee says that 9/11 hijacker Khalid al Mihdhar told him about the maritime operation sometime in late 1999 and credited Nashiri as its originator. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Dec. 2, 2001.
30. Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Jan. 27, 2003. Nashiri claims not to have had any telephone or email contact with Bin Ladin while planning the Cole operation; rather, whenever Bin Ladin wanted to meet, he would have an al Qaeda member travel to Pakistan to summon Nashiri by telephone. Ibid.
31.As an example of Nashiri's status, see FBI report of investigation, interview of Abu Jandal, Sept. 17-Oct. 2, 2001 (in which Nashiri is described as widely known to be one of al Qaeda's most committed terrorists and, according to one of his mujahideen colleagues, so extreme in his ferocity in waging jihad that he "would commit a terrorist act 'in Mecca inside the Ka'aba itself ' [the holiest site in Islam] if he believed there was a need to do so"). On Nashiri's role on the Arabian Peninsula, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Jan. 14, 2004. Nashiri also enjoyed a reputation as a productive recruiter for al Qaeda. See Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, Aug. 29, 2002. On Nashiri's discretion, see, e.g., Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Nov. 20, 2002. On Nashiri seeking Bin Ladin's approval, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 14, 2004. On the Limburg operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, May 21, 2003. On Nashiri's security concerns, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Feb. 20, 2003.
32. See Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 1, 2003; Sept. 5, 2003.
33. For KSM's learning from the first World Trade Center bombing and his interest in a more novel form of attack, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 1, 2003. For KSM's interest in aircraft as weapons and speculation about striking the World Trade Center and CIA, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004. KSM has stated that he and Yousef at this time never advanced the notion of using aircraft as weapons past the idea stage. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 2, 2004.
After 9/11, some Philippine government officials claimed that while in Philippine custody in February 1995, KSM's Manila air plot co-conspirator Abdul Hakim Murad had confessed having discussed with Yousef the idea of attacking targets, including the World Trade Center, with hijacked commercial airliners flown by U.S.-trained Middle Eastern pilots. See Peter Lance, 1000 Years for Revenge: International Terrorism and the FBI-the Untold Story (HarperCollins, 2003), pp. 278-280. In Murad's initial taped confession, he referred to an idea of crashing a plane into CIA headquarters. Lance gave us his copy of an apparent 1995 Philippine National Police document on an interrogation of Murad.That document reports Murad describing his idea of crashing a plane into CIA headquarters, but in this report Murad claims he was thinking of hijacking a commercial aircraft to do it, saying the idea had come up in a casual conversation with Yousef with no specific plan for its execution. We have seen no pre-9/11 evidence that Murad referred in interrogations to the training of other pilots, or referred in this casual conversation to targets other than the CIA. According to Lance, the Philippine police officer, who after 9/11 offered the much more elaborate account of Murad's statements reported in Lance's book, claims to have passed this added information to U.S. officials. But Lance states the Philippine officer declined to identify these officials. Peter Lance interview (Mar. 15, 2004). If such information was provided to a U.S. official, we have seen no indication that it was written down or disseminated within the U.S. government. Incidentally, KSM says he never discussed his idea for the planes operation with Murad, a person KSM regarded as a minor figure. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Apr. 2, 2004.
34. Intelligence report, 1996 Atef study on airplane hijacking operations, Sept. 26, 2001.
35. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 12, 2003; Nov. 6, 2003.Abu Zubaydah, who worked closely with the al Qaeda leadership, has stated that KSM originally presented Bin Ladin with a scaled-down version of the 9/11 plan, and that Bin Ladin urged KSM to expand the operation with the comment, "Why do you use an axe when you can use a bulldozer?" Intelligence report, interrogation of Abu Zubaydah, May 16, 2003.The only possible corroboration we have found for Abu Zubaydah's statement is Khallad's suggestion that Bin Ladin may have expanded KSM's original idea for an attack using planes. Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Apr. 22, 2004. Neither Abu Zubaydah nor Khallad claims to have been present when KSM says he first pitched his proposal to Bin Ladin in 1996.
36. For the scheme's lukewarm reception, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 6, 2003. For Bin Ladin's response, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003; Feb. 19, 2004.
37. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004.
38. For KSM's joining al Qaeda, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 13, 2003. KSM has provided inconsistent information about whether Bin Ladin first approved his proposal for what became the 9/11 attacks in late 1998 or in early 1999. Compare Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003; Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 19, 2004; Apr. 3, 2004. For KSM's antipathy to the United States, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 19, 2004. For Atef 's role, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004. For Atef's death, see DOS report,"Comprehensive List of Terrorists and Groups Identified Under Executive Order 13224,"Dec. 31, 2001.
39. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003.
40. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003; Feb. 20, 2004; Apr. 30, 2004. An earlier KSM interrogation report, however, states that Bin Ladin preferred the Capitol over the White House as a target. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 17, 2003. KSM has admitted that his statement in a post-9/11 interview with Al Jazeera reporter Yosri Fouda-that an al Qaeda "reconnaissance committee" had identified 30 potential targets in the United States during the late 1990s-was a lie designed to inflate the perceived scale of the 9/11 operation. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 23, 2004. For the specific targets, see Intelligence report, selection of 9/11 targets, Aug. 13, 2003 (citing KSM interrogation).
41. For the four individuals, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003.Abu Bara al Yemeni is also known by the names Abu al Bara al Taizi, Suhail Shurabi, and Barakat. Ibid. KSM has also stated that he did not learn of the selection of Hazmi and Mihdhar for the planes operation until November 1999. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Apr. 2, 2004. For Mihdhar's and Hazmi's eagerness, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Jan. 9, 2004; Feb. 20, 2004 . For Bin Ladin's instruction, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004. Hazmi obtained a B-1/B-2 multiple-entry visa issued at Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on April 3, 1999; Mihdhar obtained the same type of visa at the same location on April 7, 1999. DOS records, NIV applicant details for Hazmi and Mihdhar, Nov. 8, 2001. Hazmi and Mihdhar both obtained new passports shortly before they applied for visas. FBI report,"Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Jan. 31, 2003, p. 9.
42. For Hazmi and Mihdhar's city of birth, see CIA analytic report,"11 September:The Plot and the Plotters," CTC 2003-40044HC, June 1, 2003, pp. 49-50. For their travel to Bosnia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Saudi al Qaeda member, Oct. 3, 2001. For their visits to Afghanistan, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of detainee, Feb. 5, 2002; Feb. 11, 2002; Intelligence reports, interrogations of Saudi al Qaeda member, Oct. 2, 2001; Oct. 18, 2001.
43. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, June 25, 2003; Sept. 5, 2003.
44. For Khallad's visa application under a false name and its rejection, see DOS record, visa application of Salah Saeed Mohammed bin Yousaf (alias for Khallad), Apr. 3, 1999; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 20, 2003. Khallad's visa denial was based not on terrorism concerns but apparently on his failure to submit sufficient documentation in support of his application. See DOS record, NIV applicant detail, Mar. 31, 2004. For Khal-lad's 1999 mission to Yemen, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 20, 2003. For the U.S. point of contact, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 22, 2003. Khallad claims he cannot remember his
U.S. contact's full name but says it sounded like "Barzan." According to the CIA, "Barzan" is possibly identifiable with Sarbarz Mohammed, the person who resided at the address in Bothell,Washington, that Khallad listed on his visa application as his final destination. Ibid. For his contacts with "Barzan" and his arrest, see ibid.; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 20, 2003. Nashiri has confirmed that Khallad had been assigned to help procure explosives for the ship-bombing plot, and that his arrest caused work on the operation to stop temporarily. Intelligence report, interrogation of Nashiri, Feb. 21, 2004.
45. For the interventions, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 20, 2003. Khallad has provided inconsistent information as to his release date. Ibid. (June 1999); Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Jan. 6, 2004 (August 1999). Khallad's brother reportedly has confirmed that Khallad was released from custody only after negotiations with the Yemeni director for political security in which a deal was struck prohibiting Khallad and his associates from conducting operations in Yemen. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Oct. 1, 2002. For his giving up on a visa and his return to Afghanistan, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, July 31, 2003; Aug. 22, 2003.
46. For KSM's realization of visa complications, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. According to both KSM and Khallad, Abu Bara never applied for a U.S. visa. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Feb. 17, 2004. KSM has noted that Ramzi Binalshibh, another Yemeni slated early on to participate in the 9/11 attacks, likewise would prove unable to acquire a
U.S. visa the following year. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Jan. 7, 2004. For KSM's desire to keep Khallad and Abu Bara involved, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. For Saudis being chosen for the planes operation, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Jan. 7, 2004; Jan. 23, 2004. For KSM's splitting the operation into two parts, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Apr. 27, 2004.
47. For the second part of the operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18. 2003. For the alternate scenario, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Apr. 30, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Apr. 21, 2004. Khallad has provided contradictory statements about the number of planes to be destroyed in East Asia. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad,Aug. 13, 2003;Apr. 5, 2004.According to Khallad,Thai-land, South Korea, Hong Kong, and Malaysia were likely origins of the flights because Yemenis did not need visas to enter them. Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 13, 2003. For the importance of simultaneity, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003.
48. For the four operatives' training, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003. For the elite nature of the course and Nibras's participation, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, Sept. 8, 2003; Sept. 11, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 15, 2003. For KSM's view, see ibid.; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. For KSM's visit, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004.
49. For a description of the camp and the commando course, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 15, 2003. For Bin Ladin's interest and the decision on the number of trainees, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Sept. 8, 2003.
50. For the nature of the commando course, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Sept. 8, 2003. KSM claims that the course proved so rigorous that Mihdhar quit after a week and returned to his family in Yemen. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003. However, two of Mihdhar's al Qaeda colleagues who were present during the training have provided different accounts. Khallad apparently has stated both that Bin Ladin pulled Mihdhar and Nawaf al Hazmi out of the course early and that Mihdhar actually completed the course. See Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, Sept. 1, 2003; May 21, 2004. See also FBI report of investigation, interview of Abu Jandal, Oct. 2, 2001 (indicating that Mihdhar completed the course).
51. For instruction on Western culture and travel, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Mar. 24, 2003; June 15, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 21, 2003. For KSM's mid-1999 activity and Bin Ladin's payment, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004. According to KSM, he received a total of $10,000 from Bin Ladin for 9/11-related expenses. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Apr. 5, 2004.
52. For Khallad, Abu Bara, and Hazmi's travels, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, May 30, 2003. Khallad has provided a second version, namely that all three traveled together to Karachi. Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003. For Hazmi and Atta's simultaneous presence in Quetta, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004; Mar. 31, 2004. KSM maintains it was a coincidence. Ibid.
53. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Mar. 31, 2004. In his initial post-capture statements, KSM claimed that Mihdhar did not have to attend the training because he had previously received similar training from KSM. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Mar. 24, 2003. KSM subsequently expressed uncertainty about why Bin Ladin and Atef excused Mihdhar from the training. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004.
54. For the varying accounts of the course's length, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003; Feb. 20, 2004; Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, Nov. 6, 2003; July 31, 2003. For KSM's description, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Mar. 24, 2003; Aug. 18, 2003; Feb. 20, 2004. For Khallad's description, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Apr. 5, 2004. KSM says that he permitted the trainees to view Hollywood films about hijackings only after he edited the films to cover the female characters. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Nov. 10, 2003. For the use of game software and discussions of casing flights, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Nov. 6, 2003. For KSM's instructions regarding casing, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003. For visits to travel agencies, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 13, 2003.
55. For the travels of Khallad,Abu Bara, and Hazmi via Karachi, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. For Mihdhar's travel from Yemen, see FBI report,"Hijackers Timeline,"Nov. 14, 2003 (citing 265A-NY-280350, serial 24808).
56. For the operatives' knowledge, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003. For Hazmi and Mihdhar being sent to Malaysia, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 29, 2003. For passport doctoring, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. For casing, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 29, 2003. For Khallad and Abu Bara's departure, as well as Hazmi's travel, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 31, 2003. Khallad maintains that Abu Bara did not participate in the casing operation and simply traveled to Kuala Lumpur as Khallad's companion. Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, May 30, 2003.
57. For the trip's original purpose and Bin Ladin's suggestion, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003. On Malaysia, Endolite, and the financing of Khallad's trip, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 22, 2003.
58. On informing Hambali, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Aug. 18, 2003. For Hambali's assistance, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of Hambali, Sept. 4, 2003. For the colleague who spoke Arabic, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, May 30, 2003.
59. For the dates of Khallad's travel, his mistake in seating, and his other efforts to case flights, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, July 31, 2003;Aug. 21, 2003. Khallad says he put the box cutter alongside tubes
of toothpaste and shaving cream with metallic exteriors, so that if the metal detector at the airport was triggered, the inspector would attribute the alarm to the other items. He also carried art supplies, which he hoped would explain the presence of a box cutter if anyone asked. Ibid.
60. For Khallad's return to Kuala Lumpur, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, May 30, 2003. For Hazmi's arrival and stay at the clinic, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003. For Mihdhar's arrival, see FBI report,"Hijackers Timeline," Nov. 14, 2003 (citing 265A-NY-280350, serial 24808). For their stay at Sufaat's apartment, see CIA analytic report,"The Plot and the Plotters," June 1, 2003, p. 11; Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 22, 2003. For Khallad's discussions with Hazmi and Khallad's knowledge of the operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003.
61. For the Bangkok meeting, see CIA analytic report, "The Plot and the Plotters," June 1, 2003, pp. 49-50. For relocation of the meeting to Bangkok, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad,Aug. 18, 2003; Jan. 7, 2004. Fahd al Quso, a close friend of Khallad's, accompanied Nibras on the trip to Bangkok to take money to Khallad. Quso claims that the amount was $36,000. FBI report of investigation, interview of Quso, Jan. 31, 2001. Khallad claims that it was only $10,000 to $12,000. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad, May 30, 2003;Aug. 18, 2003. Khallad has identified contradictory purposes for the money: a donation to charities benefiting amputees, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 8, 2003; and to advance the ship-bombing operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Jan. 7, 2004. Khallad has explicitly denied giving any of the money he received from Nibras and Quso to Hazmi and Mihdhar. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Khallad,Aug. 8, 2003; Jan. 7, 2004. Given the separate reporting from KSM that he gave Hazmi and Mihdhar $8,000 each before they traveled to the United States, we have insufficient evidence to conclude that the Nibras/Quso money helped finance the planes operation. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, June 15, 2004. For Hazmi and Mihdhar's interest in traveling to Bangkok, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Jan. 7, 2004. For Hambali's assistance, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 8, 2003. For Abu Bara's return to Yemen, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, May 30, 2003.
62. For the hotel arrangements, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Jan. 7, 2004. For the two groups not meeting with each other, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad,Aug. 18, 2003. For Khallad's subsequent actions, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, July 31, 2003.
63. For Bin Ladin's cancellation of the East Asian operation, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM,Aug. 18, 2003. For Hazmi and Mihdhar's departure, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad, Aug. 8, 2003. For their arrival in Los Angeles, see FBI report, "Hijackers Timeline," Nov. 14, 2003 (citing 265A-NY-280350-CG, serial 4062; 265A-NY-280350-302, serial 7134).
64. On Atta's family background, see FBI report, "Hijackers Timeline," Nov. 14, 2003 (citing FBI electronic communication from Cairo dated Sept. 13, 2001); CIA analytic report,"The Plot and the Plotters," June 1, 2003,
p. 23. For details on his study in Germany, see German Bundeskriminalamt (BKA) report, investigative summary re Atta, June 24, 2002; Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, pp. 3-4. Atta's host family in Hamburg soon asked him to move out. Between 1993 and 1998, Atta shared a one-bedroom apartment in Hamburg with a fellow student, who moved out after having problems with Atta and was succeeded by another roommate. See German BKA report, investigative summary re Atta, June 24, 2002. On Atta's character, see German BKA investigation of Said Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Shahid Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001.
65. On the Muslim student association in Hamburg, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, Oct. 2, 2002. On the Muslim-Christian working group and Atta, see German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Michael Krause on Oct. 11, 2001; German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001. Much of the information about Atta and his friends in Hamburg comes from Nickels, a German national who converted to Islam while in high school and spent considerable time with Atta's circle between 1997 and 1999. Nickels testified at the trials in Germany of Mounir el Motassadeq and Abdelghani Mzoudi on 9/11-related charges.
66. German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001, pp. 8, 15; federal prosecutor's closing argument, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 5, 2003. On Atta's fundamentalism, see FBI electronic com-munication,"Khaled A. Shoukry," June 17, 2002.
67. German BKA report, investigative summary re Binalshibh, July 4, 2002; Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, pp. 3-4; FBI report of investigation, interview of Fuad Omar Bazarah,Apr. 9, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Sept. 24, 2002. Binalshibh used various names, such as Ramzi Omar and Ramzi al Sheiba. In May 1998, months before he was expelled from school, German authorities had issued a warrant to arrest and deport "Ramzi Omar." German BKA report, investigative summary re Binalshibh, July 4, 2002. But Binalshibh was no longer using this alias, so the German authorities did not discover that he and Ramzi Omar were the same person until after the attacks of September 11. Ibid.
68. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Oct. 2, 2002; German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001; German BKA report, investigative summary re Binalshibh, July 4, 2002.
69. German BKA report, investigative summary re Binalshibh, July 4, 2002.
70. CIA analytic report, "The Plot and the Plotters," June 1, 2003, p. 23; German BKA report, investigative summary re Shehhi, July 9, 2002.
71. German BKA report, investigative summary re Shehhi, July 9, 2002; Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, pp. 3-4; FBI electronic communication, summary of testimony of Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed Awady on Oct. 24, 2003, at the Mzoudi trial, Dec. 5, 2003.
72. German BKA report, investigative summary re Shehhi, July 9, 2002.
73. Ibid.
74. FBI electronic communication, summary of testimony of Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed Awady on Oct. 24, 2003, at the Mzoudi trial, Dec. 5, 2003.
75. Federal prosecutor's closing argument, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 5, 2003.
76. German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002; Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, pp. 3-4. In 1999, Jarrah and Senguen allegedly married in an Islamic ceremony not recognized under German law. Senguen has only acknowledged that she and Jarrah were engaged. German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002.
77. German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002.
78. Ibid.
79. Ibid.
80. On Jarrah's accommodations in Hamburg and his meeting with Binalshibh, see ibid. On Jarrah and Zammar, see German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001; see generally Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Nov. 6, 2003; Intelligence report, "Terrorism: Background Information on Usama Bin Ladin Associate Muhammad Haydar Zammar," Jan. 14, 2002. For Zammar encouraging jihad, see Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Jan. 14, 2002.
81. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Nov. 6, 2003; German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001. On one occasion, German authorities intercepted a call in which such a gathering was mentioned. An individual phoning Zammar's house on February 17, 1999, was told that he was away on a trip to a distant,"bad" region, but that "people" at 54 Marienstrasse knew where he was.The same conversation revealed that these "people" included "Said, Mohamed Amir, [and] Omar," likely a reference to the apartment's original occupants, Said Bahaji,Atta, and Binalshibh. Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, p. 9. Shehhi also appears to have lived there briefly, in November 1998 and again in the summer of 1999. German BKA report, investigative summary re Shehhi, July 9, 2002.The Marienstrasse apartment remained an important location for the group even after Binalshibh, Atta, and Shehhi all moved out, as some of their closest associates, including Zakariya Essabar and Abdelghani Mzoudi, moved in. See German BKA report, investigative summary re Binalshibh, July 4, 2002.
82. German BKA report, investigative summary re Bahaji, Mar. 6, 2002. A document containing a biography of Bin Ladin-seized from the residence of Said Bahaji, a member of Atta's circle-also contains the phrase "Dar el Ansar," which refers to the name of a guesthouse Bin Ladin established in Afghanistan for mujahideen recruits. Ibid.
83. German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Nov. 7, 2001; German BKA report, investigative summary re Bahaji, Mar. 6, 2002; federal prosecutor's closing argument, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 5, 2003.The diskettes seized from Bahaji's residence also contained bomb-making instructions. Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, p. 10.A videotape of Bahaji's October 9, 1999, wedding at the Quds mosque, recovered by German authorities after the September 11 attacks, depicts Binalshibh giving a speech denouncing Jews as a problem for all Muslims. On the videotape, Binalshibh also reads a Palestinian war poem, and Shehhi and Mzoudi sing a jihad song. Also shown attending the wedding are Jarrah and Zammar. FBI report,"Hijackers Timeline," Nov. 14, 2003 (citing 265A-NY-280350-BN-415).
84. German BKA report, investigative summary re Essabar; CIA report, interrogation of Binalshibh, May 27, 2003; federal prosecutor's closing argument, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 5, 2003. After arriving in Afghanistan in 2001, he became a member of al Qaeda's media committee. Intelligence report, interrogations of KSM and Binalshibh, May 27, 2003.
85. German BKA report, investigative summary re Motassadeq, Oct. 22, 2001.
86. German BKA report, investigative summary re Mzoudi, Jan. 13, 2003; German BKA report, investigative summary re Motassadeq, Oct. 22, 2001. Mzoudi and Motassadeq were both tried in Germany on charges related to the 9/11 attacks. Mzoudi was acquitted in February 2004, in part because Binalshibh was not produced as a witness. Motassadeq was convicted in 2003 for being an accessory to the attacks and received a 15-year prison sentence, but his conviction was reversed. See Richard Bernstein,"Germans Free Moroccan Convicted of a 9/11 Role," New York Times, Apr. 8, 2004, p. A18.
87. Summary of Judgment and Sentencing Order by Hanseatic Regional High Court, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 19, 2003; German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Oct. 30, 2001.According to Nickels, who was distancing himself from the group by this time,"Atta was just too strange." Ibid.
88. Shehhi and other members of the group used to frequent a library in Hamburg to use the Internet.Accord-ing to one of the librarians, in 1999 Shehhi, unprompted, inveighed against America, and boasted that "something was going to happen" and that "there would be thousands of dead people." FBI electronic communication, summary of testimony of Angela Duile on Aug. 28, 2003, at Mzoudi trial, Oct. 27, 2003.Another witness who lived in the same dormitory as Motassadeq testified that in late 1998 or early 1999, he overheard a conversation in which Motassadeq told someone that "we will do something bad again" and that "we will dance on their graves." The conversation also contained a reference to the "burning of people." FBI electronic communication, summary of testimony of Holger Liszkowski on Sept. 9, 2003, at Mzoudi trial, Nov. 17, 2003. On another occasion, according to the same witness, Motassadeq apparently identified Atta as "our pilot."Another witness recalled Atta ominously observing in 1999 that the United States was not omnipotent and that "something can be done." German BKA investigation of Bahaji, summary of interrogation of Nickels on Nov. 20, 2001.
89. Intelligence reports, interrogations of Binalshibh, Oct. 7, 2002; May 20, 2003.
90. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, May 20, 2003. A detainee has confirmed Binalshibh's account about being advised to go to Afghanistan rather than trying to travel directly to Chechnya.The detainee dates the Slahi meeting to October 1999. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Oct. 17, 2003.The detainee, however, also suggests that Slahi and Binalshibh may have met earlier in 1999 in Frankfurt, through a mutual acquaintance. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Oct. 27, 2003.The acquaintance apparently tells a different story, claiming that Slahi introduced him to Binalshibh and Jarrah at Slahi's home in 1997 or 1998, and that he later lived with them in Hamburg. Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, July 2, 2003.
91. FBI report, "Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004, p. 8; Intelligence reports, interrogations of Binalshibh, Sept. 24, 2002; Mar. 4, 2003; May 20, 2003.
92. On meetings with Atef and Bin Ladin, see Intelligence reports, interrogations of Binalshibh, Dec. 10, 2002; Mar. 4, 2003; Mar. 31, 2003; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004.Atta reportedly had between two and five meetings with Bin Ladin before leaving Kandahar and was the only 9/11 hijacker who knew the entire scope of the operation from the outset. Intelligence report, comments of Binalshibh on Atta, Apr. 21, 2003.
93. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Dec. 10, 2002. According to KSM, Bin Ladin designated Hazmi to be Atta's second in command. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Feb. 20, 2004.
94. In addition,Atta obtained a new passport in June 1998, even though his current one was still valid for nearly a year, a sign that he may have been following the al Qaeda practice of concealing travel to Pakistan. Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, p. 11.
95. German BKA report, investigative summary re Motassadeq, Oct. 22, 2001; Summary of Judgment and Sentencing Order by Hanseatic Regional High Court, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 19, 2003. Motassadeq continued to handle some of Shehhi's affairs even after Shehhi returned to Hamburg. Most importantly, in March 2000, Motassadeq paid Shehhi's semester fees at the university, to ensure Shehhi's continued receipt of scholarship payments from the UAE. Ibid.
96. German BKA report, investigative summary re Motassadeq, Oct. 22, 2001. After 9/11, Motassadeq admitted to German authorities that Shehhi had asked him to handle matters in a way that would conceal Shehhi's absence. Motassadeq also would claim later that he did not know why his friends had gone to Afghanistan, saying he thought they were planning to go fight in Chechnya. For assistance provided by both Motassadeq and Bahaji, see Federal Prosecutor General (Germany), response to Commission letter, June 25, 2004, pp. 13-14.
97. Jarrah encountered a minor problem during his return trip to Hamburg. On January 30, 2000, while transiting Dubai on his way from Karachi to Germany, Jarrah drew questioning from UAE authorities about an overlay of the Qu'ran that appeared on one page of his passport.The officials also noticed the religious tapes and books Jarrah had in his possession, but released him after he pointed out that he had lived in Hamburg for a number of years and was studying aircraft construction there. FBI report,"Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004, p. 13.
98. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Sep. 24, 2002; FBI report, "Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004, pp. 11, 13.According to a KSM interrogation report, Shehhi may have been present for at least some of the training that Atta and Binalshibh received in Karachi. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Mar. 31, 2004.
99. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Nov. 6, 2003. Binalshibh and the others kept their distance from Zammar even before visiting Afghanistan and getting their instructions from Bin Ladin and Atef. Ibid.
100. On Atta, see FBI analytic report,"The 11 September Hijacker Cell Model," Feb. 2003, p. 28. On Jarrah, see German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002. Note that although Jarrah's attitude was now much more congenial, he told Senguen nothing about being in Afghanistan. On Shehhi's wedding celebration, see German BKA report, investigative summary re Shehhi, July 9, 2002; on his changed appearance and behavior, see FBI electronic communication, summary of testimony of Mohamed Abdulla Mohamed Awady on Oct. 24, 2003, at the Mzoudi trial, Dec. 5, 2003.
101. German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002.
102. On Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, also known as Ammar al Baluchi, see FBI report,"Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004, p. 78. Ali, in turn, would ship these materials to his uncle, KSM, in Karachi. Intelligence report, interrogation of Ali Abdul Aziz Ali, Feb. 11, 2004. On Jarrah, see German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002. Following his sudden decision to study aircraft engineering in Hamburg, Jarrah had expressed interest in becoming a pilot around the end of 1998, well before he traveled to Afghanistan. According to Senguen, Jarrah told her about friends of his who had interrupted their studies to join the Germany army so that they could become pilots. Jarrah's pre-Afghanistan interest in aviation also is confirmed by a January 22, 1999, email recovered after the September 11, 2001, attacks, in which Jarrah told a friend from Beirut that he might "come next year and . . . have something to tell about airplanes." Ibid. On Binalshibh, see Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Sept. 24, 2002.
103. Summary of Judgment and Sentencing Order by Hanseatic Regional High Court, Motassadeq trial, Feb. 19, 2003, pp. 10-11. Zacarias Moussaoui later would benefit from the results of all this research. Following his August 2001 arrest, the FBI discovered among his possessions a fax copy of an advertisement for U.S. flight schools.Accord-ing to Binalshibh, notes in the margin of the advertisement were written by Atta. Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Dec. 19, 2002.
104. DOS record, NIV applicant detail, Marwan al Shehhi, Mohamed Atta, Ziad Jarrah, Nov. 8, 2001.The visa applications were destroyed by the State Department according to routine document handling practices before their significance was known.
105. DOS records, visa applications of Ramzi Binalshibh, May 17, 2000; June 15, 2000; Oct. 25 2000. CIA analytic report, "The Plot and the Plotters," June 1, 2003, pp. 9-10; German BKA report, investigative summary re Binalshibh, July 4, 2002. Atta had twice explored the possibility of obtaining a U.S. green card shortly before his November 1999 trip to Afghanistan. FBI report, "Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004, p. 8. Both Binalshibh and Jarrah listed the same person as a point of contact in the United States, an Indonesian national who had previously lived in Hamburg. Although this individual knew some members of the Hamburg cell, including Mohamed Atta and Razmi Binalshibh, there is no indication that any of the hijackers actually contacted him while they were in the United States. See German BKA report, investigative summary re Jarrah, July 18, 2002. Binalshibh had applied for a visa years earlier along with Fuad Bazarah, a co-worker in Yemen whose father contacted the U.S. embassy on Binalshibh's behalf. Bazarah obtained a visa application and moved to Los Angeles, but Binalshibh's application was denied. Bazarah would later live in Los Angeles with Ramez Noaman, an individual who knew Nawaf al Hazmi in San Diego. FBI electronic communication,"Penttbom," Oct. 23, 2001.
106. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 9, 2003; CIA analytic report, Al Qaeda travel issues, Jan. 2004, p. 1. On the role of KSM, see, e.g., Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh, Oct. 11, 2002. On the role of Abu Zubaydah, see, e.g., Intelligence report, biographical information on Abu Zubayda, Feb. 25, 2002.Al Qaeda also relied on outside travel facilitators, including fraudulent document vendors, corrupt officials, travel agencies, and smugglers, to help move operatives around the world by obtaining fraudulent documents, arranging visas (real or fake), making airline reservations, etc. See CIA analytic report,"Clandestine Travel Facilitators: Key Enablers of Terrorism," Dec. 31, 2002; CIA analytic report,Al Qaeda travel issues, Jan. 2004.
107. On passport collection schemes, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Sept. 9, 2003. On recycled passports, see Intelligence report, Collection of passports June 7, 2002.
108. See Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, Nov. 12, 2003; May 25, 2004; CIA analytic report, Al Qaeda travel issues, Jan. 2004, pp. 1, 3, 19.A detainee has admitted attending several security and specialized courses, including ones in counterfeiting and seal removal. Intelligence report, interrogation of al Qaeda associates,Apr. 11, 2002.Atta reportedly learned alteration techniques in Afghanistan, cleaning Ramzi Binalshibh's passport of its Pakistani visa and travel cachets. CIA analytic report, Al Qaeda travel issues, Jan. 2004, p. 1.
109. Intelligence report, Information on Mujahideen Travel, Mar. 13, 2002.
110. Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 25, 2003.A small amount of the plot's backing came from Shehhi's own funds. He received a salary from the UAE military, which was sponsoring his studies in Germany, through December 23, 2000. Binalshibh apparently used some of this money to wire just over $10,000 to Shehhi in the United States and pay some of his own plot-related expenses.Adam Drucker interview (Jan. 12, 2004); FBI Report,"Summary of Penttbom Investigation," Feb. 29, 2004, pp. 20-22.
111. CIA analytic report,"Terrorism:Amount of Money It Takes to Keep al-Qa'ida Functioning,"Aug. 7, 2002; CIA analytic report, "Terrorism: Al-Qa'ida Operating on a Shoestring," undated (post-9/11); Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004).
112. In the wake of the East Africa embassy bombings, the NSC led trips to Saudi Arabia in 1999 and 2000 to meet with Saudi officials on terrorist financing. These meetings, and subsequent interviews of Bin Ladin family members in the United States, helped the U.S. government revise its understanding of Bin Ladin's wealth. Rick Newcomb interview (Feb. 4, 2004);William Wechsler interview (Jan. 7, 2004).
113. See William Wechsler interview (Jan. 7, 2004); Rick Newcomb interview (Feb. 4, 2004); Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004); Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003). See also DOS cable, State 035243,"January 2000 Meeting Regarding UBL Finances," Feb. 27, 2000; DOS cable, Riyadh 000475, "The Saudi Binladin Group: Builders to the King," Feb. 16, 1999;Treasury memo, Office of Foreign Asset Control to DOS, Draft Cable on Meeting with Two of UBL's Brothers, May 19, 2000;Youssef M. Ibrahim,"Saudis Strip Citizenship from Backers of Militants," New York Times ,Apr. 10, 1994, p. 15;"Saudi Family Disassociates Itself from 'Terrorist' Member," Associated Press, Feb. 19, 1994.
114. Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003); Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004); Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 30, 2003; Robert Block,"In War on Terrorism, Sudan Struck a Blow by Fleecing Bin Laden," Wall Street Journal, Dec. 3, 2001, p. A1. Despite substantial evidence to the contrary and his own assertion that Bin Ladin arrived in Afghanistan with no money, KSM has told his interrogators that he believes the bulk of the money (85-95 percent) for the planes operation came from Bin Ladin's personal fortune. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, July 30, 2003; Apr. 5, 2004; June 15, 2004.
115. Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004); CIA analytic report, Financial Support for Terrorist Organizations, CTC 2002-40117CH, Nov. 14, 2002.The United States was not a primary source of al Qaeda funding, although some funds raised in the United States may have made their way to al Qaeda or its affiliated groups. Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003).
116. Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004); CIA analytic report,"Identifying al-Qa'ida's Donors and Fundraisers: A Status Report," CTC 2002-40029CH, Feb. 27, 2002.
117. CIA analytic report,"Identifying al-Qa'ida's Donors and Fundraisers:A Status Report," Feb. 27, 2002; CIA analytic report, spectrum of al Qaeda donors, CTC 2003-30199HC, Oct. 30, 2003; Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004).
118. CIA analytic report,"How Bin Ladin Commands a Global Terrorist Network," CTC 99-40003, Jan. 27, 1999; CIA analytic report, "Gauging the War against al-Qa'ida's Finances," CTC 2002-30078CH, Aug. 8, 2002; CIA analytic report, paper on Al-Haramain, CTC 2002-30014C, Mar. 22, 2002.
119. CIA analytic report,"Al Qa'ida's Financial Ties to Islamic Youth Programs," CTC 2002-40132HCX, Jan. 17, 2003; CIA analytic report, Al Qaeda Financial Network, CTC 2002-40094H, Aug. 7, 2002.
120. Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004); CIA analytic report, Financial Links of Al Qaeda Operative, CTC 200230060CH, June 27, 2002.
121. Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003).The Taliban's support was limited to the period immediately following Bin Ladin's arrival in Afghanistan, before he reinvigorated fund-raising efforts. By 9/11, al Qaeda was returning the favor, providing substantial financial support to the Taliban.
122. David Aufhauser interview (Feb. 12, 2004).We have found no evidence that Saudi Princess Haifa al Faisal provided any funds to the conspiracy, either directly or indirectly. See Adam Drucker interview (May 19, 2004).
123. On limited Saudi oversight, see Bob Jordan interview (Jan. 14, 2004). In Saudi Arabia, zakat is broader and more pervasive than Western ideas of charity, in that it functions not only as charity but also as social welfare, educational assistance, foreign aid, a form of income tax, and a source of political influence.
124. A hawala, at least in the "pure" form, transfers value without the use of a negotiable instrument or other commonly recognized method for the exchange of money. For example, a U.S. resident who wanted to send money to a person in another country, such as Pakistan, would give her money, in dollars, to a U.S.-based hawaladar.The
U.S. hawaladar would then contact his counterpart in Pakistan, giving the Pakistani hawaladar the particulars of the transaction, such as the amount of money, the code, and perhaps the identity of the recipient.The ultimate recipient in Pakistan would then go to the Pakistani hawaladar and receive his money, in rupees, from whatever money the Pakistani hawaladar has on hand. As far as the sender and ultimate recipient are concerned, the transaction is then complete.The two hawaladars would have a variety of mechanisms to settle their debt, either through offsetting transactions (e.g., someone in Pakistan sending money to the United States using the same two hawaladars), a periodic settling wire transfer from the U.S. hawaladar's bank to the Pakistani hawaladar's bank, or a commercial transaction, such as the U.S. hawaladar paying a debt or an invoice, in dollars, that the Pakistani hawaladar owes in the United States. Hawalas typically do not have a large central control office for settling transactions, maintaining instead a loose association with other hawaladars to transfer value, generally without any formal or legally binding agreements. See Treasury report,"A Report to Congress in Accordance with Section 359 of the [USA PATRIOT Act]" Nov. 2002;Treasury report,"Hawala:The Hawala Alternate Remittance System and its Role in Money Laundering," undated (prepared by the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network in cooperation with INTERPOL, probably in 1996).
125. Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003); CIA analytic report Al-Qa'ida Financiers, CTC 200230138H, Jan. 3, 2003. Moreover, because al Qaeda initially was living hand to mouth, there was no need to store funds.
126. CIA analytic report,"Pursuing the Bin Ladin Financial Target," CTC 01-40003HCS,Apr. 12, 2001; CIA analytic report,"Couriers, Hawaladars Key to Moving Al-Qa'ida Money," CTC 2003-40063CH, May 16, 2003.
127. For al Qaeda spending, see Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003).The 1998 U.S. embassy bombings in East Africa cost approximately $10,000. CIA analytic report,"Gauging the War on Terrorism: Most 11 September Practices Still Viable," Jan. 30, 2002; Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, June 3, 2003.Although there is evidence that al Qaeda experienced funding shortfalls as part of the cyclical fund-raising process (with more money coming during the holy month of Ramadan), we are not aware of any intelligence indicating that terrorist acts were interrupted as a result. For al Qaeda expenditures, see, e.g., CIA analytic report, "Usama Bin Ladin's Finances: Some Estimates of Wealth, Income, and Expenditures," CTC IR 98-40006, Nov. 17, 1998. For payments to the Taliban, see Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003); CIA analytic report,"Terrorism:Amount of Money It Takes to Keep al-Qa'ida Functioning,"PWR080702-05,Aug. 7, 2002. On start-up funds, see Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004).
128. Doug Wankel interview (Mar. 15, 2004); Frank G. and Mary S. briefing (July 15, 2003). Although some reporting alleges that Bin Ladin may have been an investor, or even had an operational role, in drug trafficking before 9/11, this intelligence cannot be substantiated. Ibid. Frank G. interview (Mar. 2, 2004). No evidence indicates any such involvement in drug trafficking, and none of the detained al Qaeda operatives has indicated that this was a method of fund-raising.
129. "Conflict diamonds" refers to rough diamonds that finance armed conflict in Africa. The international community has tried to restrict trade in such gems. FBI report, "Allegations of Al Qaeda Trafficking in Conflict Diamonds," July 18, 2003; CIA analytic report,"Terrorism:Assessing al-Qa'ida and Hizballah Ties to Conflict Diamonds," CTC 2002-40121CH, Jan. 13, 2003; CIA analytic report,"Couriers, Hawaladars Key to Moving Al-Qa'ida Money," CTC 2003-40063CH, May 16, 2003; DOS cable, Brussels 05994,"WP Reporter Claims More Witnesses to 2001 Al-Qaida/Conflict Diamonds Link," Dec. 12, 2002; DOS cable, Brussels 001054, terrorism and conflict diamonds, Mar. 1, 2002. Greg R. interviews (Oct. 3, 2003; July 6, 2004);Alan White interview (June 23, 2004); FBI situation reports and supporting documents from the Sierra Leone trip, Feb. 2004.
130. Highly publicized allegations of insider trading in advance of 9/11 generally rest on reports of unusual pre-9/11 trading activity in companies whose stock plummeted after the attacks. Some unusual trading did in fact occur, but each such trade proved to have an innocuous explanation. For example, the volume of put options- investments that pay off only when a stock drops in price-surged in the parent companies of United Airlines on September 6 and American Airlines on September 10-highly suspicious trading on its face.Yet, further investigation has revealed that the trading had no connection with 9/11.A single U.S.-based institutional investor with no conceivable ties to al Qaeda purchased 95 percent of the UAL puts on September 6 as part of a trading strategy that also included buying 115,000 shares of American on September 10. Similarly, much of the seemingly suspicious trading in American on September 10 was traced to a specific U.S.-based options trading newsletter, faxed to its subscribers on Sunday, September 9, which recommended these trades.These examples typify the evidence examined by the investigation.The SEC and the FBI, aided by other agencies and the securities industry, devoted enormous resources to investigating this issue, including securing the cooperation of many foreign governments.These investigators have found that the apparently suspicious consistently proved innocuous. Joseph Cella interview (Sept. 16, 2003; May 7, 2004; May 10-11, 2004); FBI briefing (Aug. 15, 2003); SEC memo, Division of Enforcement to SEC Chair and Commissioners, "Pre-September 11, 2001 Trading Review," May 15, 2002; Ken Breen interview (Apr. 23, 2004); Ed G. interview (Feb. 3, 2004).
131. The hijackers spent more than $270,000 in the United States, and the costs associated with Moussaoui were at least $50,000. The additional expenses included travel to obtain passports and visas, travel to the United States, expenses incurred by the plot leaders and facilitators, and the expenses incurred by the people selected to be hijackers who ultimately did not participate. For many of these expenses, we have only fragmentary evidence and/or unconfirmed detainee reports, and can make only a rough estimate of costs.The $400,000 to $500,000 estimate does not include the cost of running training camps in Afghanistan, where the hijackers were recruited and trained, or the marginal cost of the training itself. Finally, the architect of the plot, KSM, put the total cost at approximately $400,000, apparently excluding Moussaoui's expenses. Intelligence reports, interrogations of KSM, June 3, 2003; Apr. 5, 2004. Our investigation has uncovered no evidence that the 9/11 conspirators employed hawala as a means to move the money that funded the operation. Indeed, the surviving plot participants have either not mentioned hawala or have explicitly denied using it to send money to the United States.Adam Drucker interview (Jan. 12, 2004); Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, April 5, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of detainee, Apr. 2, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of Ramzi Binalshibh, Apr. 7, 2004. On domestic U.S. and foreign government funding, see, e.g., Adam Drucker interviews (Jan. 12, 2004; May 19, 2004); Dennis Lormel interview (Jan. 16, 2004); FBI response to Commission question for the record, July 13, 2004. As discussed in chapter 7, we have examined three transactions involving individuals in San Diego. Based on all of the evidence, we have concluded that none of these transactions involved a net transfer of funds to the hijackers.
132. Shehhi received a salary from the UAE military, which was sponsoring his studies in Germany. Adam Drucker interview (Jan. 12, 2004). For funds received by facilitators, see Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, Apr. 5, 2004; Intelligence report, interrogation of Binalshibh,Apr. 9, 2004. Notwithstanding persistent press reports to the contrary, there is no convincing evidence that the Spanish al Qaeda cell, led by Imad Barkat Yarkas and al Qaeda European financier Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, provided any funding to support the 9/11 attacks or the Hamburg participants. Zouaydi may have provided funds to Hamburg associate Mamoun Darkazanli-see, e.g., FBI letterhead memorandum,Yarkas and Spanish Cell investigation, Jan. 8, 2003-but there is no evidence that Zouaydi provided money to the plot participants or that any of his funds were used to support the plot. Adam Drucker interview (Jan. 12, 2004); Ed G. interview (Feb. 3, 2004).
Last edited on 29 June 2018, at 07:42
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