RealNews

Encounter on a Train Led Hamburg Cell to Bin Laden

Two years before the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the United States, the ringleaders of the plot had a different destination in mind: Chechnya. But a chance encounter with a stranger on a train in Germany led the conspirators in a new direction, eventually putting them in touch for the first time with Osama bin Laden and the leadership of al Qaeda. The 1999 episode on the German train, disclosed in the final report of the U.S. commission that investigated the attacks, is based on interrogation reports that until recently were kept secret. According to the account, a mysterious passenger — identified as Khalid Masri, a name that has not previously surfaced in public records of the investigation — urged the Islamic radicals from Hamburg to put off their mission to Chechnya until they could speak with a Mauritanian businessman, who in turn arranged a personal introduction to bin Laden. Full Story

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