— Today's report includes two important ABCNEWS investigations: Sources tell ABCNEWS that as late as August 2001 al Qaeda was still trying to insert new hijackers into the September 11th attacks. If they had succeeded in entering the country, how much more damage could have been done? Also, did the U.S. miss an opportunity to avoid the war in Iraq? Find out from someone who says he was the middleman who tried to cut a deal which was ignored. Meanwhile, the struggle with militants continues in Saudi Arabia, as two suspects blow themselves up in Mecca.
Bigger, Deadlier Attack?
Several suspected al Qaeda terrorists who tried unsuccessfully to enter the country around the same time as the Sept. 11 hijackers may have been part of a plan to launch other attacks on targets in the United States, ABCNEWS has learned. (ABCNEWS)
Thwarted Talks Could war with Iraq have been averted? The Iraqis were prepared to cut a deal, short of Saddam Hussein stepping down - but what went wrong? (ABCNEWS)
THE WAR ON TERROR
Saudi Arabia 2 Militants Blow Themselves Up in Mecca Two suspected militants blow themselves up in the holy city of Mecca as Saudis try to arrest them. (AP)
Saudi Police Kill Militant in Riyadh Raid Saudi police shot dead a Muslim militant during a dawn raid on a Riyadh neighborhood on Thursday, the second such strike on militant hideouts this week, the official Saudi Press Agency reported. (Reuters)
Comprehensive Plan to Thwart Possible Terrorist Attacks The Kingdom's security agencies have worked out a comprehensive plan to thwart possible terrorist attacks on Saudi and foreign pilgrims in Mecca during Ramadan, say informed sources. (Arab News)
Threat to U.S. Cities Posted on the Internet A statement by the previously unheard of "Al Bayan Islamic Movement" appeared on a number of online message boards and warned against attacks on major U.S. cities. Although the statement was posted on their online message board, the statement did not originate from the Saudi opposition group Al Islah, as some reports had indicated. (ABCNEWS I-team)
For more on the statement visit MEMRI
Yemen Yemen Receives Al Qaeda Suspect Yemeni authorities announced yesterday that they've received a Yemeni al Qaeda suspect who had been imprisoned in Bosnia for five years for suspected involvement in bombings there. Nabil Ali Al Hila is also the brother of Abdel Salam Al Hila who Yemeni sources claim had disappeared during a trip to Egypt and speculate he was handed over to the U.S. Abdel Salam is believed to have been responsible for arranging the travels of Afghan Arabs. (Asharq Al Awsat)
Morocco Sources Confirm Morocco Received Six Terror Suspects from Iran Moroccan sources told the Saudi Al Watan newspaper that the authorities had indeed received six terror suspects from Iran, one of whom was killed in a Casablanca shootout with security forces. The others were tried and sentenced, said sources without specifying when the extradition took place. Iran had earlier submitted to the U.N. a list of suspects who were deported to their countries of origins. (Al Watan)
Terror Cell Planned AssassinationsAsharq Al Awsat reports according to Moroccan security sources that members of a terror cell who were recently arrested were planning the assassination of a number of government officials, including interior minister Idris Jatou. (Asharq Al Awsat)