Probe: Sept. 11 hijackers not identified

Dec. 25, 2006 at 7:39 AM

WASHINGTON, Dec. 25 (UPI) -- The U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee denies a congressman's claim that military analysts identified the hijackers before the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist strikes.

A summery of the committee's investigation obtained by the Los Angeles Times said claims that military analysts identified hijacker Mohamed Atta or his colleagues before the 2001 attack are false, the newspaper said Monday.

The findings contradict statements made by Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa., and some U.S. military officers that a program known as Able Danger identified Atta as a member of an al-Qaida cell in New York but the information was ignored by U.S. national security officials, including then-national security adviser Stephen J. Hadley.

"Able Danger did not identify Mohammed Atta or any other 9/11 hijacker at any time prior to Sept. 11, 2001," top ranking Republicans and Democrats said in an eight-page letter to panel members after a 16-month investigation.

The committee said some terror suspects identified by the program may have resembled Atta, and the program's "chart contained names of al-Qaida associates that sound like Atta, as well as numerous variations of the common Arab name Mohamed."

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