A senior U.S. official said last week that the 9/11 Commission has uncovered evidence suggesting that between eight and ten of the 14 hijackers passed through Iran in the period from October 2000 to February 2001. Sources also told Time magazine that Commission investigators found that Iran had a history of allowing al Qaeda members to enter and exit Iran across the Afghan border.
Additionally, the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks is to recommend in its final report the appointment of a top government official to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies, the New York Times reported Saturday. Acting CIA Director John McLaughlin says the agency has made changes since the 9/11 terrorist attacks and he sees no need for a new national intelligence chief.
And a group led by suspected al Qaeda ally Abu Musab al Zarqawi offered a $282,000 reward on Sunday for the killing of Iraqi Prime Minister Iyad Allawi, according to a statement posted on an Islamist Web site, news wires report. The authenticity of the message by the Khalid bin al-Walid Brigade could not be verified and it was unclear why the offer was made in Jordanian currency. The brigade, which said it was part of Zarqawi's Tawhid and Jihad Group, blasted Allawi as an "American agent." Several earlier purported Zarqawi messages have threatened Allawi. The United States has offered a $25 million reward for the capture of Zarqawi, its top militant target in Iraq.
THE WAR ON TERROR
9/11 Commission 9/11 Commission Finds Ties Between al Qaeda and Iran Next week's much anticipated final report by a bipartisan commission on the origins of the 9/11 attacks will contain new evidence of contacts between al-Qaeda and Iran-just weeks after the Administration has come under fire for overstating its claims of contacts between al Qaeda and Saddam Hussein's Iraq. (Time)
Panel Said To Call For Intel Czar The commission investigating the Sept. 11 attacks is to recommend in its final report the appointment of a top government official to oversee the nation's intelligence agencies, The New York Times reported Saturday. (New York Times)
CIA Chief Opposes Cabinet Intel Post The bipartisan commission investigating the 2001 hijackings will release its final report this week, and it is expected to recommend the creation of a Cabinet-level position to oversee the nation's 15 intelligence agencies and control their budgets. (AP)
1998 Memo Cited Suspected Hijack Plot by Bin Laden A secret intelligence document prepared for President Bill Clinton in December 1998 reported on a suspected plot by Osama bin Laden to hijack a U.S. airliner in an effort to force the United States to release imprisoned conspirators in the 1993 World Trade Center attacks. (Washington Post)
United States C.I.A. Sends Terror Experts to Tell Small Towns of Risk The Central Intelligence Agency has begun a series of terrorism briefings for state and local law enforcement personnel, for the first time dispatching counterterrorism experts to cities and small towns to warn of the possibility of an attack by Al Qaeda this year, government officials said this week. (New York Times)
Al Qaeda Recruiting Non-Arabs, FBI Says Al Qaeda may be recruiting non-Arabs less likely to attract the notice of security personnel to carry out attacks inside the United States, the FBI warned yesterday. (Washington Post)