Back in 1995, the Americans knew that terrorists were learning to fly

Last year, the American special forces were often accused of their inability to prevent horrible acts of terrorism in the United States. That criticism was correct, to put it mildly. Back in 1995, the American authorities were warned that several pilots from the Middle East were undergoing training in pilot schools on US territory. The Americans had the information at their disposal that said that one of those pilots was going to seize a plane and slam it in a large building.

The AP informed that this became known after the incidental explosion in an apartment in Manila, in which, as the local government believed, the terrorists were preparing their conspiracy, the roots of which were coming from al-Qaida. The Philippine police immediately detained Abdul Hakim Murad, who was then sentenced to lifetime imprisonment in the USA for preparing explosions on board the planes that were heading from Asian countries to America. The Philippine police asserted that Murad’s intentions were a lot bigger than blowing up the airliners. Murad was planning to do something like the events of September 11.

One of the police reports of 1995 said that Murad was going to board a plane like a common citizen, to enter into the cockpit during the flight, and force the pilots to slam into the CIA building. “He was not supposed to have any bombs or explosives with him; it was a suicide mission, and he was ready to accomplish it,” – the report said. The AP informed that the government of the Philippines informed the FBI about allo of this in 1995. However, the American special forces concentrated their attention on bombs, and they did not pay any attention to the possibility of acts of terrorism with the participation of suicidal terrorists.

Murad told the Philippine police his story: he and his brother met in the USA, and they were studying to get a pilot’s licence in New York, Texas, California, and North Carolina. Murad gave out the names of ten other people from countries of the Middle East who, as he said, were preparing similar missions in American pilot schools. None of those names coincided with the 19 names that were exposed after the acts of terrorism in America. However, the investigation of Murad’s case put the Philippine police on the trail of a Muslim clerk from Malaysia. This person became the key figure during the American probe concerning the terrorist attacks of September 11th.

The Malaysian government believes that the clerk named Hambali had meetings with terrorists in 2000, who then seized the planes. Probably, Hambali was the key figure in several terrorist groups in the southeast of Asia, groups that were connected with Bin Laden. This “key figure” has not been found yet, by the way.

The Americans received the information from their colleagues in the Philippines and did not pay much of their attention to it really, thinking that bombs were more important. FBI agents think that the terrorists did not even realize that it was possible to aim a plane at the CIA headquarters near Washington. Furthermore, the Americans believed that if the terrorists had such plans, they would probably be willing to use small planes, and noone thought that huge Boeings would be used instead. The FBI checked out the people who Murad mentioned anyway, but they did not find any direct proof of a conspiracy and left the Arabs alone.

The head of the intelligence department of the Philippine police recollected Murad’s words immediately when he was watching the footage of the September 11 events on television: “This was exactly what the terrorist was saying,” he said to his colleagues. Murad had other targets. In addition to the CIA, he was thinking about the Pentagon building.

Sergey Borisov PRAVDA.Ru

Translated by Dmitry Sudakov

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