RealNews

Al Qaeda Effort to Enter U.S. in August 2001 Reported

An al Qaeda operative made an unsuccessful effort to enter the United States in August 2001 to join the hijack plot that would unfold the following month, one of several members of the terror group who tried to enter the country in the months before the attacks, federal officials said yesterday. Neither FBI nor Justice Department officials would identify the al Qaeda operative or discuss his current whereabouts, saying the information is classified. “We know that al Qaeda tried to get a number of operatives into the country in the mid-2001 time frame,” a Justice Department official said. The portrayal of the plan to hijack four planes as still in flux by August 2001, with al Qaeda attempting to add a participant, is a departure from earlier descriptions by FBI and Justice officials, who have characterized the details as largely in place by early summer 2001. That viewpoint was also reflected in the findings of a joint House-Senate intelligence inquiry report completed in December 2002. Full Story

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