Weldon: 'Able Danger' ID'd 9/ll ringleader
-- -- WASHINGTON -- Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret
military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13
different times, a congressman said Tuesday.
During a Capitol Hill news conference, Rep. Curt Weldon, R-Pa.,
said the unit - code-named "Able Danger" - also identified "a
problem" in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS Cole. It
knew the problem was tied into the port of Aden and involved a U.S.
platform, but the ship commander was not made aware of it, Weldon
The suicide bombing of the Cole killed 17 sailors on Oct. 12,
If anyone had told the Cole's commander that there was any
indication of a problem in Aden, "he would not have gone there,"
Weldon told reporters. "He had no clue."
Weldon would not say who provided evidence of such intelligence
Since August, Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee, has pushed Congress and the Pentagon to investigate the
workings of Able Danger, which used data mining to identify links
that might indicate the workings of terrorists. If he is correct, it
would change the timeline for when government officials first became
aware of Atta's links to al-Qaida.
Former members of the Sept. 11 commission have dismissed Weldon's
Cmdr. Greg Hicks, a Pentagon spokesman, released a statement
saying that Pentagon officials welcome the opportunity to address
these issues during a hearing scheduled Wednesday before a
subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee.
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