WASHINGTON, Feb. 9 (UPI) -- President Bush said Thursday an al-Qaida's plot to attack Los Angeles was thwarted in 2002 by multinational cooperation.
Bush, speaking at a National Guard Association event in Washington, said al-Qaida had planned to use Asian operatives who would hijack a commercial airliner and crash it into the then-named Library Towers in Los Angeles.
The attackers, he added, had planned to use shoe-bombs to force entry into locked airline cockpits.
"Their plot was derailed in early 2002, when a Southeast Asian nation arrested a key al-Qaida operative. Subsequent debriefings and other intelligence operations made clear the intended target and how al-Qaida hoped to execute it," Bush said. "This critical intelligence helped other allies capture the ringleaders and other known operatives who had been recruited for this plot."
Bush said the operatives were recruited by a man named Hambali, leader in Indonesia's al-Qaida affiliate, Jemaah Islamiya. The plot was hatched by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the man who is said to have designed the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington. He was arrested in Pakistan in 2003.
Bush warned against complacency in the war against terrorism.
Bush had said last year that about 10 terrorist plots on the United States or U.S. interests had been stopped since the 2001 attacks.