Mastermind Tells Investigators Of Wider Plan
The mastermind of the
9/11 attacks on New York and Washington says the planned was scaled
back several times before 19 suicide skyjackers were sent to their
Numerous media reports claim that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,
who's been in American custody since his capture in Pakistan March
1st, said al Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden originally approved a plan
That version called for al Qaeda hijackers to commandeer five
aircraft on the East Coast and five on the West Coast. There were
also plans for a simultaneous attack somewhere in East Asia.
Mohammed also reportedly said that, in its final stages, the
hijacking plan called for as many as 22 terrorists and four planes
in a first wave, followed by a second wave of suicide hijackings
that were to be aided possibly by al-Qaida allies in southeast
But as time went on, MSNBC reports bin Laden scrapped many parts
of the Sept. 11 plan, including attacks on both coasts and
hijacking or bombing some planes in East Asia.
As the plot came closer
to fruition, Mohammed learned "there was a large group of Saudi
operatives that would be available to participate as the muscle in
the plot to hijack planes in the United States," one report says
Mohammed told his captors.
Saudi Arabia was bin Laden’s home, though it revoked his
citizenship in the 1990s, and he reviled its alliance with the
United States during the Gulf War and beyond. Saudis have suggested
for months that bin Laden has been trying to drive a wedge between
the United States and their kingdom, hoping to fracture the
American intelligence has suggested that Saudis were chosen,
instead, because there were large numbers willing to follow bin
Laden and they could more easily get into the United States because
of the countries’ friendly relations.
The interrogation reports make dramatically clear that Mohammed
and al-Qaida were still actively looking to strike US, Western and
Israeli targets across the world as of this year.