9/11 leader identified by secret US mrmy unit in 2000

The complexity of the American intelligence community has once again been shown to have led to mistakes being made...

The repercussions of Watergate are still being felt.

A secret US military intelligence team identified the September 11 hijack leader Mohammed Atta and three of his accomplices as probable al-Qa'eda terrorists a year before the attacks.

But its suspicions were never shared with the FBI because the military was nervous about breaking restrictions on spying on US territory imposed after the Watergate scandal.

Until yesterday it was believed that Atta was never identified as a threat before leading the 19-man suicide squads which hit New York and Washington in 2001.

However, according to an intelligence official, a Pentagon team, Able Danger, named Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hamzi as members of an al-Qa'eda squad which it dubbed the "Brooklyn cell" a year earlier.

"We knew these were bad guys and we wanted to do something about them," the intelligence officer told the New York Times.

The officer took the information to the Special Operations command headquarters in Florida with a recommendation that it be passed to the FBI. It was not.

Able Danger, which used computers to throw up links in information from unclassified sources, had another purpose. "Ultimately, Able Danger was going to give decision-makers options for taking out al-Qa'eda targets," the officer said.

another shady unit on board HMS Endurance, called "Able Seamen "identified months in advance that a man called Galtieri was going to invade the Falklands. Nobody listened to them either :wink:

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