Entries in September 11th (6)


Osama Bin Laden Wanted 9/11 Follow-Up to Doom Economy, Terrorist Says

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- A convicted terrorist said that shortly after the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks, Osama bin Laden told him that the next attack would strike a fatal blow to the American economy.

In a video testimony played in a New York court Monday, Saajid Badat, who was convicted in London of a December 2001 plot to blow up a U.S.-bound flight with a bomb in his shoes, recounted his meeting with the al Qaeda leader just after the 9/11 attacks.

"So he said the American economy is like a chain," Badat said. "If you break one -- one link of the chain, the whole economy will be brought down. So after [the] Sept. 11 attacks, this operation will ruin the aviation industry and in turn the whole economy will come down."

By "this operation," Badat was apparently referring to his own mission -- the destruction of an American Airlines flight from Paris to Miami just three months after 9/11. Badat backed out of the plot at the last minute, but another convicted terrorist, Richard Reid, attempted to go through with it on Dec. 22, 2001. The explosives hidden in his shoes, however, did not ignite and Reid was arrested.

Badat's testimony came as part of the trial of Adis Medunjanin, who stands accused of plotting to attack New York's subway system with suicide bombs in 2009. The admitted ringleader of that plot, Najibullah Zazi, broke down in tears on the stand last week while testifying against his comrade.

When asked then by the prosecutor if he still considered Medunjanin a good friend, Zazi began to cry, and said, "I love him." Zazi's tears became sobs when he was asked if he believed Medunjanin intended to carry out the suicide bombings. Zazi hung his head, and after a short pause, whispered, "yes."

Officials previously told ABC News that documents recovered in the Navy SEAL raid that killed Osama bin Laden nearly a year ago showed that the terror leader grew increasingly frustrated with his organization's inability to pull off other another attack on the scale of 9/11.

After it was revealed that bin Laden plotted to kill President Barack Obama and then-military commander David Petraeus, one national security official said bin Laden "clearly had bold ambitions to kill as many innocent people as possible. But al Qaeda's capabilities did not match Bin Laden's intent. Leading up to and since bin Laden's death we know that al Qaeda's capacity to pull off those types of complex attacks has been greatly diminished, and that Bin Laden himself spent much of his time brooding and providing guidance that often fell on deaf ears."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Al Qaeda Releases New Video Lauding 9/11 Attacks

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Al Qaeda's latest message came too late to upstage America's commemoration of the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Still, the newest video posted on radical Islamic websites from new leader Ayman al-Zawahiri offered a stark reminder that the terrorist group is still bent on wreaking more havoc in the U.S. a decade after 19 hijackers disrupted the American way of life.

The monitoring group SITE Intelligence said Tuesday that the video entitled "The Dawn of Imminent Victory" features remarks by al-Zawahiri about this year's revolutions in Arab nations and the death of his predecessor, Osama bin Laden, while praising the attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people on Sept. 11, 2001.

It also features footage of bin Laden, which is from the same videos seized by Navy SEALS in Pakistan after they killed the al Qaeda chief last May.

Al-Zawahiri has also been targeted for assassination by the U.S. and remains in hiding.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


On Anniversary, Iranian President Says US Planned 9/11 Attacks

BEHROUZ MEHRI/AFP/Getty Images(TEHRAN, Iran) -- As thousands of Americans gather across the country for tearful ceremonies to remember the nearly 3,000 killed in the Sept. 11 terror attacks 10 years ago on Sunday, Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad marked the anniversary by repeating the conspiracy theory that the attacks were orchestrated by the U.S. as a pretext for war.

"The Sept. 11 [attacks] were actually a planned game to provoke the human community's sentiments and find an excuse for launching attacks on Muslim regions and occupying Iraq and Afghanistan, which led to the massacre of one million innocent people," Ahmadinejad said Sunday according to Iranian press reports.

Ahmadinejad also said the U.S. and its allies attempt to wage war in different parts of the world in an attempt to increase the sale of small arms.

Ahmadinejad -- and several others -- have made the conspiracy theory claim previously.  Last year, the Iranian president asked the U.N. General Assembly to form an independent fact-finding group to investigate the 9/11 attacks.

Iran's Fars News Agency paraphrased previous remarks by a senior Iranian foreign ministry official in a report Sunday as saying the 9/11 attacks were a plot by neo-conservatives in Washington, D.C., to victimize "thousands of Americans in a bid to attain an array of large-scale goals, including finding control over the world nations and their wealth."

Despite a painstaking, years-long investigation by the 9/11 Commission which found the attacks were the work of al Qaeda, conspiracy theories about what actually happened on Sept. 11, 2001, survive.  Those who doubt the official account, known by some as "9/11 Truthers", allege the twin towers were actually brought down by controlled demolitions and the Pentagon was actually hit by a cruise missile, rather than an airplane.

Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, told ABC News that anyone positing such conspiracy theories "trivializes" the "most tragic event to affect the United States."

"People making these claims are disgraceful, and they should be ashamed of themselves," King said Friday.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Four Arrested in Sweden over Possible Terror Plot

Digital Vision/Thinkstock(STOCKHOLM) -- Four people were arrested in Sweden Sunday on suspicion of plotting a terror attack on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, local authorities said.

The arrests took place in Goteborg, where a celebration was taking place at the Roda Sten arts center to mark the opening of an international festival for contemporary art.  Following a terror threat, the near 400 people at the center were evacuated overnight.

It is not yet known if there is a connection between the four arrests and the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001 terror attacks.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Osama bin Laden Killed

AFP/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Osama bin Laden, the world's most wanted person and the man responsible for the September 11th, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, has been killed in a ground attack.

In a statement from the White House just after 11:30 p.m. ET Sunday, President Obama said that a small team, acting on his orders, moved in on a compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan, where bin Laden was believed to have been hiding. The al Qaeda leader was then shot dead by U.S. forces and his body recovered, the president said.

Sources tell ABC News that the identity of the body has been confirmed.

President Obama called the killing of bin Laden the "most significant achievement to date" in the effort to defeat al Qaeda.

"Last August, after years of painstaking work by our intelligence community, I was briefed on a possible lead to Bin Laden," the president said. "It was far from certain. It took many months to run this thread to ground. I met repeatedly with my National Security team as we developed more information about the possibility that we had located Bin Laden hiding within a compound deep inside Pakistan.

The president said that last week he authorized an operation to "to get Osama Bin Laden and bring him to justice."

"A small team of Americans carried out the operation with extraordinary courage and capability," Obama said. Sources told ABC News the attack was carried out by Joint Special Operations Command forces working with the CIA.

"After a firefight, they killed Osama Bin Laden and took custody of his body," Obama said, noting that no Americans were harmed in the operation.

Former President George W. Bush, who led America through the days and years following the September 11th attacks, said that President Obama informed him by phone Sunday that bin Laden had been killed.

"I congratulated him and the men and women of our military and intelligence communities who devoted their lives to this mission," Bush said in a statement Sunday. "They have our everlasting gratitude.  This momentous achievement marks a victory for America, for people who seek peace around the world, and for all those who lost loved ones on September 11, 2001.  The fight against terror goes on, but tonight America has sent an unmistakable message:  No matter how long it takes, justice will be done."

There was "jubilance" throughout the White House Sunday night, ahead of the president's announcement, according to ABC News Senior White House Correspondent Jake Tapper.

Bin Laden, 54, was the leader of the al Qaeda terrorist network that carried out the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and United Airlines flight 93.  He's also responsible for the 1998 U.S. Embassy bombings at the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania and Nairobi, Kenya.  Al Qaeda was also responsible for the attack on the U.S. warship USS Cole on October 12, 2000.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


WikiLeaks Releases Documents on Gitmo Detainees, Al Qaeda 

John Moore/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- WikiLeaks’ latest document dump has again infuriated the Obama administration and will likely raise the ire of former President Bush and his one-time senior advisers.

The website has passed along materials to The New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio that concerns formerly classified information about current and past detainees held at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, as well as new details about how al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden and second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri escaped from coalition forces in Afghanistan in late 2001 and have managed to keep the terrorist operation going.

Among the 700 internal U.S. military documents about the Gitmo detainees are details about schemes designed by admitted 9/11 plotter Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, along with intelligence gathered by interrogators from their interviews with other detainees.

The New York Times says the documents reveal that most of the remaining detainees of the 600 that have been released over the past eight years are considered “high risk” to American interests if they were freed. There’s also a speculation that 200 of the detainees previously released, most under the watch of the Bush White House, were deemed "high risk."

Among one of the more explosive pieces of information made public is the alleged treatment of Mohammed Qanhati, who was believed to have been prepared to take part in the hijackings on Sept. 11, 2001 that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, D.C. and Pennsylvania.

Qahanti, a Saudi held at Gitmo, was reportedly leashed like a dog, made to urinate on himself and sexually humiliated. According to his file, “Although publicly released records allege detainee was subject to harsh interrogation techniques in the early stages of detention,” his confessions “appear to be true and are corroborated in reporting from other sources.”

“It is unfortunate that several news organizations have made the decision to publish numerous documents obtained illegally by Wikileaks [sic] concerning the Guantanamo detention facility," Defense Department spokesmen Dan Fried and Geoff Morrell said in a joint statement. "These documents contain classified information about current and former GTMO detainees, and we strongly condemn the leaking of this sensitive information.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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