Panel: Military analysts' chart did not identify hijackers before 9/11

Published: Monday December 25, 2006
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After a sixteen month probe, the Senate Intelligence Committee has determined that a military analysts' chart did not identify hijackers before the attacks of 9/11.

The Los Angeles Times obtained a summary of the panel's investigation which "rejected as untrue one of the most disturbing claims about the Sept. 11 terrorist strikes a congressman's contention that a team of military analysts identified Mohamed Atta or other hijackers" beforehand.

"The conclusion contradicts assertions by Rep. Curt Weldon (R-Pa.) and a few military officers that U.S. national security officials ignored startling intelligence available in early 2001 that might have helped to prevent the attacks," Greg Miller reports.

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In particular, Weldon and other officials have repeatedly claimed that the military analysts' effort, known as Able Danger, produced a chart that included a picture of Atta and identified him as being tied to an Al Qaeda cell in Brooklyn, N.Y. Weldon has also said that the chart was shared with White House officials, including Stephen J. Hadley, then deputy national security advisor.

But after a 16-month investigation, the Intelligence Committee has concluded that those assertions are unfounded.

"Able Danger did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker at any time prior to Sept. 11, 2001," the committee determined, according to an eight-page letter sent last week to panel members by the top Republican and Democrat on the committee.

Weldon, the focus of an unrelated Justice Department corruption probe, was defeated last month in his campaign for an 11th term in a suburban Philadelphia district that has a large GOP majority in voter registration. Attempts were unsuccessful Sunday to reach a Weldon spokesman and an attorney representing Weldon in the Justice Department investigation.