8/20/2005

9/11 Panel Explains Move on Intelligence Unit - New York Times

Old news... Here just for reference purpose -- law

WASHINGTON, Aug. 12 - The Sept. 11 commission concluded that an intelligence program known as Able Danger "did not turn out to be historically significant," despite hearing a claim that the program had identified the future plot leader Mohammed Atta as a potential terrorist threat more than a year before the 2001 attacks, the commission's former leaders said in a statement on Friday evening.

The statement said a review of testimony and documents had found that the single claim in July 2004 by a Navy officer was the only time the name of Mr. Atta or any other future hijacker was mentioned to the commission as having been known before the hijackings. That account is consistent with statements this week by a commission spokesman, but it contradicts claims by a former defense intelligence official who said he had told the commission staff about Able Danger's work on Mr. Atta during a briefing in Afghanistan in October 2003.

The statement was issued by Thomas H. Kean and Lee H. Hamilton after a week in which the Able Danger program, a highly classified operation under the military's Special Operations Command, rose to public prominence. The Sept. 11 commission report made no mention of the unit, disbanded in 2002, and the statement by Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton defended that omission, saying the operation had not been significant "set against the larger context of U.S. policy and intelligence efforts" that involved Osama bin Laden and Al Qaeda.

Mr. Kean and Mr. Hamilton also noted that the name and character of Able Danger had not been publicly disclosed when the commission issued its public report in 2004. They said the commission had concluded that the July 2004 testimony by the Navy officer, who said he had seen an Able Danger document in 2000 that described Mr. Atta as connected to a cell in Brooklyn "was not sufficiently reliable" to warrant further investigation, in part because the officer could not supply documentary evidence to prove it.

The leaders said the staff learned about the program in the October 2003 briefing and later sought Defense Department documents about it. But those department documents, they said, "had mentioned nothing about Atta, nor had anyone come forward between September 2001 and July 2004 with any similar information."

9/11 Panel Explains Move on Intelligence Unit - New York Times

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home