A Saudi Arabian official told ABCNEWS two of the men named as hijackers by the FBI have been confirmed to be alive and well. And newspapers in the Middle East also reported three additional men named as hijackers are alive.
Suspected Terrorist Stock Trading Probed
New evidence has emerged of a possible effort by the terrorists who perpetrated last week's attacks to profit financially from the tragedy.
The Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and a Chicago exchange have launched a major investigation into some suspicious and highly sophisticated stock trading just prior to the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The week before the attack, virtually unheard of numbers of "puts" — basically bets made by an investor that a stock's price will fall by a certain date — were sold for United Airlines and American Airlines, which operated the four hijacked planes; Morgan Stanley, the investment bank which occupied more than 20 floors in the now-destroyed twin towers; and a number of other companies that were adversely affected by the tragedy and whose stocks plunged as a result.
"This could very well be insider trading at the most horrific, most evil use you've ever seen in your entire life," Dylan Ratigan of Bloomberg Business News said Thursday on ABCNEWS' Good Morning America.
If the money trail does in fact lead to terrorist groups, they will have made a fortune.
"Millions of dollars, tens of millions of dollars on a bet that all told could be $600,000 turned into $10 million, $20 million," Ratigan said.
A senior intelligence official told ABCNEWS Thursday: "We still don't have any direct confirmation that [bin Laden] was involved in selling stocks short — yet."
The Treasury Department's Foreign Terrorist Asset Tracking Center has launched an effort to track financial transactions of members of bin Laden's terrorist network. The FBI Thursday asked banks to check their records and report any transactions with any of the named terrorist suspects.