LONDON – The United States is conducting a manhunt for a previously unknown group believed to be involved in the planning of the 9/11 attacks, according to a US cable published in Wednesday’s Telegraph newspaper.
In the memo, leaked by the WikiLeaks website, a US official in Qatar told the Department for Homeland Security in Washington that three Qatari men were under suspicion of conducting surveillance operations on the attack sites.
The team, who flew from the US to London a day before the attacks, aroused suspicion after refusing to allow cleaners into their Los Angeles hotel room which staff earlier noted contained several “pilot type uniforms.”
According to the cable sent by Mirembe Nantongo, the deputy chief of mission in Doha, the men “visited the World Trade Centre, the Statue of Liberty, the White House and various areas in Virginia,” weeks before the attacks.
The group had tickets to fly on an American Airlines Boeing 757 jet from Los Angeles to Washington DC on September 10 but failed to board, and flew to London instead. A day later, the 757 plane was flown into the Pentagon, killing 184 people.
The cable, sent in February 2010, revealed the concerns of hotel staff during the group’s stay in Los Angeles.
“Hotel cleaning staff grew suspicious of the men because they noticed pilot type uniforms, several laptops and several cardboard boxes addressed to Syria, Jerusalem, Afghanistan and Jordan in the room,” the memo stated.
“The men had… a cellular phone attached by wire to a computer,” it added. “The room also contained pin feed computer paper print outs with headers listing pilot names, airlines, flight numbers, and flight times.”
A subsequent FBI investigation found that the men’s flight tickets and hotel were paid for by a “convicted terrorist,” according to the memo.
According to the cable, the three men, named as Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid, were helped by a fourth man, Mohamed Al Mansoori, while in the US.
Mansoori, who has never been publicly named in connection with the 9/11 attacks, is suspected of “aiding people who entered the US before the attacks to conduct surveillance… and providing other support to the hijackers.”
Mansoori is under FBI investigation and had his visa revoked after the information came to light but “his name was not watchlisted in the class system,” implying he may have left the US.
The three Qatari suspects were mentioned in a leaked list of 300 people that the FBI wanted to question over the attacks, which killed over 3,000 people.
The 9/11 Commission report, released in 2004, confirmed that at least two of the hijackers had a “brief stay in Los Angeles about which we know little.”
What Zelensky knew: The devastating and darkly ironic impact of Trump’s attempt to bribe Ukraine
In their effort to exculpate President Donald Trump in the impeachment inquiry, Republicans put Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky’s denial that he ever felt pressure from the White House to open up investigations into Democrats at the center of their argument. A new GOP memo says that both leaders have acknowledged “there was no pressure” on the famous July 25 call that sparked the inquiry and thus argues that the allegations made by Democrats that Trump abused his power don’t hold.
Greta Thunberg says ‘people must finally wake up’ to the fact Trump is ‘so extreme’ on climate change
Swedish teen activist Greta Thunberg said Tuesday that US President Donald Trump's climate change denialism was "so extreme" that it had helped galvanize the movement to halt long term planetary warming.
She spoke in an interview with AFP on the eve of her departure from North America where she has spent almost three months.
"He's so extreme and he says so extreme things, so I think people wake up by that in a way," the 16-year-old said from on board a sailboat preparing to depart from the East Coast town of Hampton, Virginia for Europe early Wednesday.
"I thought when he got elected, now people will finally, now people must finally wake up," she continued.
Trump praises ‘amazing warrior’ Sean Hannity for saying impeachment hearings are a ‘phony showtrial’
President Donald Trump thanked Fox News personality Sean Hannity for his over-the-top defense the evening before impeachment hearings begin.
According to Trump's quoting, Hannity said Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) was a, "corrupt, compromised, coward and congenital liar."
Hannity called the Schiff's Intelligence Committee hearings a "phony showtrial" -- despite the reality that an impeachment trial would occur in the GOP-controlled Senate.
Still, Hannity lashed out at the inquiry as "another fraudulent hoax conspiracy theory" and "witch hunt."
Trump thanked, "Sean the amazing warrior!"