9/11 Conspirators Stole Identities of Murdered Students:
September 22, 2001 6:18 AM   Subscribe

9/11 Conspirators Stole Identities of Murdered Students: "HAD FBI agents bothered to ask college lecturers in South Wales about the terrorist bomber they supposedly taught over a decade ago, then security chiefs would have realised how Osama bin Laden had carefully created a generation of impostors . . . his agents stole the identities and life histories of at least a dozen Western-educated young men who were all murdered in 1990, according to a former head of the CIA."
posted by ryanshepard (15 comments total)
Exactly as I fear. It strikes me that the very first thing these terrorists would have done would be to travel under false identities.

Please bear this kind of thing in mind, people, when the FBI conveniently pulls out an intact passport belonging to one of the WTC attackers, or finds a car filled with Arab flight manuals. Bear it in mind, also, when pointing fingers at alleged conspirators in the tragedy. I'm not saying bin Laden and his crew didn't do it, just that it would be terrible to jail or kill an innocent person.
posted by skylar at 6:37 AM on September 22, 2001

If this story is substantiated . . . damn. Those slick mothers. The more I read about these attacks, the more I'm amazed at the time and effort that these criminals put into their attacks. These bastards really had their act together. I can't begin to imagine the amount of work that's going to be put into this investigation until the end. Whenever it does end.
posted by estopped at 6:47 AM on September 22, 2001

Errr, not that I doubt that this was the M.O. in the recent attacks, but this article says absolutely nothing about the 9/11 event. Furthermore, although the wrong name was attached, no one was falsely accused. The have the right man in jail for the 1993 WTC bombing. That is assuming that justice was done. In either case, no one was wrongly convicted because of a fake identity...

Just a clarification.
posted by fooljay at 6:49 AM on September 22, 2001

The article is chilling because it suggests how long term and internationally extensive the planning of the attacks were. And even though the most important thing is to get the culprit, in terms of combatting terrorism, a easily corrected mistake of this sort by the investigators is disturbing.
posted by Charmian at 8:55 AM on September 22, 2001

The original article from the New Republic. Which was posted on 9/13, so it's not based on the latest findings at all.
posted by smackfu at 9:17 AM on September 22, 2001

My, my, my. Talk about a hard-core, first-rate espionage network.

And a gross underestimation by American intelligence of their capabilities. Yousef has been in prison for how long, and they're only now realizing they've been buying a cover story inside a cover story?

If this is the crew that the U.S. is up against, we will be fortunate if 9.11 is the worst atrocity inflicted on us.
posted by sacre_bleu at 9:22 AM on September 22, 2001

Good lord. I mean, we all knew they were using fake names, but this is so much deeper than just stealing someone else's passport.

At the time of the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre, [Woolsey] says, it was easier to blame Osama bin Laden rather than examine who else was involved.

Hopefully this mistake won't be made again.
posted by Dean King at 9:59 AM on September 22, 2001


what have I been saying?
posted by rebeccablood at 11:59 AM on September 22, 2001

Jesus. I can't believe how slack our agencies have been. What, do they think nefarious multiplicity occurs only in movies?
posted by donkeyschlong at 1:47 PM on September 22, 2001

Errr, not that I doubt that this was the M.O. in the recent attacks, but this article says absolutely nothing about the 9/11 event.

But there have been numerous reports of named "hijackers" alive and well in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. At least one was a Saudi airline pilot whose passport had been stolen. I can't locate the most informative stories on this right now, but:

posted by Zurishaddai at 3:10 PM on September 22, 2001

Sure, but the article said nothing of those things, contrary to the original post... That was all I was saying. In my comment you'll see that I said that I probably think that the 9/11 attackers were doing the same.
posted by fooljay at 3:21 PM on September 22, 2001

Why is it so suprising when America's enemies show evidence of good planning and preparedness?
posted by websavvy at 6:17 PM on September 22, 2001

What I don't get is, and excuse my ignorance, but were we already an enemy of Iraq and Saddam before they invaded Kuwait? If not, why go to so much trouble to steal all those identities, plant false fingerprints, etc.? I thought we became enemies *after* they invaded Kuwait. We supported them before when they were fighting Iran, who was already our enemy...(uh, deja vu with Afghanistan, who we supported when they were fighting the Russians?). I'm so confused...
posted by airgirl at 6:33 PM on September 22, 2001

BBC now has a more current story on "hijackers" alive and well.
P.S. fooljay, I understood what you meant, and didn't mean my contribution to sound like a correction. I quoted a snippet from your post only b/c I was meaning to fill in the information gap to which you called attention.
posted by Zurishaddai at 4:38 PM on September 23, 2001

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