Sunday, April 5, 2009

10/2/2001: Secret Post-9/11 Briefing To World Leaders

Shortly after 9/11, U.S. embassies around the world were instructed to deliver a top-secret briefing to world leaders on the attacks of September 11. The report was a snapshot of everything the U.S. knew about al Qaeda at the time, including highly sensitive and classified intelligence helping prove the case that Al Qaeda had carried out the attack. The briefing also implicated Al Qaeda for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the 1995 thwarted Bojinka plot. Embassies were instructed on Oct. 2, 2001, to deliver "oral briefings only and not [repeat] not leave the document" in hard copy form.

According to the briefing:

  • "In the run-up to September 11, Bin Ladin and his associates seemed to be anticipating what we could only identify as an important event or activity, possibly an attack, although location and target were not clear."

  • An Al Qaeda informant "positively identified several of the September 11 hijackers as known Bin Ladin associates from photo spreads and possibly recognized other additional hijackers as well."

  • "All source intelligence reporting indicates that Bin Ladin and senior lieutenants had advance knowledge of the operational planning and timing for the attacks. Specific warnings went out to selected Bin Ladin confidents in Afghanistan and elsewhere to move to safe havens in anticipation of an immediate U.S. response following the attacks."

    The document lists several key figures involved in the 9/11 attack, but notably fails to identify the plot's mastermind and operational commander, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed -- despite several references to the 1995 Bojinka plot, in which Mohammed conspired with his nephew Ramzi Yousef to execute a massive attack using civilian airliners.

    Click here to read the briefing document