Before Able Danger and Mohamed Atta, There Was Murrah Building Bombing and Hussain Al-Hussaini; Journalist Uncovers OKC Links to 9/11
Captain Ed notes the Pentagon's decision yesterday to bar several military officials and intelligence analysts from testifying today before a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing investigating whether the Able Danger program identified Mohamed Atta months before the 9/11 attacks.
The Pentagon's decision to keep the witnesses silent "only demonstrates that the program found something that the Pentagon still wants hidden," according to the Captain. Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter is less unconcerned about the Pentagon's action, saying his panel has already established the credibility of other witnesses who will testify at the hearing.
Before anybody gets too excited about what Specter's panel may uncover, it should be known that this is not the first time Specter has looked into the strange actions of federal officials seemingly bent on burying the truth about terrorist acts carried out on American soil, nor is the Pentagon's strange attitude towards Able Danger the first time a federal department has sought to withhold critical facts about the Islamofascists who have been killing Americans here and abroad at every opportunity for more than a decade.
Ten years ago, the FBI was given powerful evidence of Iraq's involvement with Timothy McVeigh in the bombing of the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City that killed , but the federal law enforcement agency abruptly stopped its investigation.
Oklahoma City investigative reporter Jayna Davis, however, didn't stop. She doggedly developed and pursued a host of leads that make it clear McVeigh was only one cog in a cell of Iraqi terrorists that included Hussain Al-Hussaini who is the main subject of her book, "The Third Terrorist."
I recently asked Davis to provide Tapscott's Copy Desk with a summary of the profoundly disturbing evidence she found that suggests direct links between the plotters who blew up the Murrah Building in 1995 and those who hijacked four commercial airliners in 2001 and crashed them into the Twin Towers in New York City, the Pentagon and a field near Pittsburgh.
Perhaps today Specter will begin demanding answers from officials at the Pentagon and the FBI about why they have refused to provide the American people with answers to the many haunting questions about Iraqi complicity in the terrorist murders of thousands of our fellow citizens in Oklahoma, New York, Pennsyvania and Virginia.
Here's Jayna Davis:
"My tumultuous journey began ten years ago amidst widespread death and destruction on a scale Americans had never before seen. As an investigative reporter for the NBC affiliate in Oklahoma City, KFOR-TV, I was among the first correspondents on the scene of the bombing of the Alfred. P. Murrah Building.
"The concussive wave of fury had blown out windows in every office building and high-rise within my immediate range of sight and beyond. My eyes drank in the staggering devastation and the surreal panorama of human slaughter, but my mind could not comprehend the possibility of terrorism. Not in my hometown.
"On April 20, 1995, my news director assigned me to cover the international manhunt for suspects. During the first 48 hours, all eyes were trained exclusively on the Middle East. Pundits and terrorism experts, including retired officials from the CIA and FBI, opined that the destruction to the federal complex shared striking parallels with the 1993 World Trade Center attack and the modus operandi of Middle Eastern truck bombings.
"As a reporter from a Midwestern television station, I obviously did not have access to sources inside the intelligence corridors of the Washington beltway. Therefore, I did what any enterprising journalist would do - monitor the newsroom telephones, hoping to develop eyewitness testimony near the crime scene.
"I soon found myself swimming in a sea of conspiracy theories espoused by people seeking their proverbial 15 minutes of fame. That is, until, one ground-breaking tip led me directly to the doorstep of what several esteemed intelligence experts, including the former Director of the CIA Jim Woolsey, later determined to be a Middle Eastern terrorist cell living and operating in the heart of Oklahoma City.
"Outside a dilapidated business office located 30 blocks north of the burned-out Murrah Building, under the very nose of FBI investigators, I began my quest to expose the greatest law enforcement failure of the 20th century, a legal breakdown that I firmly believe might have led, in part, to the terrorism holocaust of the young 21st century.
"'The Third Terrorist: The Middle East Connection to the Oklahoma City Bombing' is the culmination of nearly a decade of exhaustive research. Throughout the course of my investigation, I interviewed 80 potential witnesses, 22 of whom I deemed credible because their testimonies could be independently corroborated, and more importantly, their stories did not conflict with the government's case against McVeigh and Nichols.
"In detailed affidavits, these witnesses confidently identified eight specific Middle Eastern men, the majority of whom were former Iraqi soldiers, colluding with the Oklahoma City bombers, Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.
"All of these suspects immigrated to the United States following the Persian Gulf War, ostensibly seeking political asylum from the tyranny of Saddam Hussein. However, my investigation revealed they were, in fact, false defectors - not outspoken dissidents as they had claimed.
"This cadre of Iraqi servicemen moved to Oklahoma City in the fall of 1994 and began performing handiwork for a property management company that was owned and operated by a Palestinian expatriate.
The affluent real estate mogul, who operated under eight known aliases, funded his vast, multi-million dollar housing empire from monies contributed by siblings living in Baghdad, Jerusalem, Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, and Amman, Jordan.
"In the early 1990s, the Palestinian property owner pleaded guilty to federal insurance fraud and served time in the penitentiary. Court records revealed that the FBI once suspected the ex-convict of having ties to the Palestinian Liberation Organization.
"Six months prior to the bombing, the Palestinian felon hired a group of self-professed 'defectors' from the Iraqi army to do maintenance work on his low-income rental houses. On April 19, several witnesses watched in stunned amazement as their Middle Eastern co-workers expressed prideful excitement upon hearing the first radio broadcasts that Islamic extremists had claimed responsibility for the attack on the Murrah Building. The men cheered deliriously, exuberantly pledging their allegiance to the now deposed Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, vowing they would 'die for Saddam.'
"Nearly two dozen Oklahomans have signed sworn affidavits in which they accuse these ardent Saddam supporters and ex-enemy combatants of aiding and abetting McVeigh and Nichols during critical stages of the bombing plot.
"The most incriminating testimony centered around one man - Hussain Hashem Al-Hussaini. Al-Hussaini not only fit the FBI's physical description in the official arrest warrant for John Doe 2, but according to veteran law enforcement officials, was a dead ringer for the government's profile sketch of the elusive suspect.
"Witnesses identified this Iraqi immigrant socializing with McVeigh at an Oklahoma City nightclub prior to the bombing. An Oklahoma City gas station attendant also fingered Al-Hussaini as the customer who paid one hundred dollars cash to fill up a large Ryder truck with diesel fuel (the key chemical component used in Ryder truck bomb) on eve of the bombing - April 18, 1995.
"The next morning, a maintenance man working at the motel located adjacent to the service station observed what was very likely the same Ryder truck emanating an odorous stench of diesel, yet according to the witness, the gas cap bore a warning sticker which read: 'Unleaded Fuel Only.'
"Two downtown joggers named the Iraqi soldier as the dark-haired, olive-skinned male they observed timing his run at a breathless pace from the Murrah Building one block east shortly before daybreak on April 19.
"Moreover, several Oklahoma City residents claimed to have seen Al-Hussaini climbing into the cab of a Ryder truck that reeked of diesel fuel at a local motel an hour before the explosion. The witnesses placed Timothy McVeigh behind the wheel of that moving van as it pulled off the lot and headed toward downtown.
"Furthermore, the Iraqi soldier was positively identified sitting in the passenger seat of the Ryder truck a few blocks north of the Murrah Building at 8:30 a.m., stepping out of that truck at ground zero directly in front of the ill-fated federal complex moments before the massive fertilizer/fuel oil bomb detonated, and speeding away from downtown in the driver's seat of a brown Chevrolet pickup pursued by the FBI in an official teletype that targeted foreign suspects seen fleeing the bomb site.
"Five witnesses independently fingered Al-Hussaini and several of his Middle Eastern associates as frequent visitors at an Oklahoma City motel in the months, weeks, days, and hours leading up to 9:02 a.m. on April 19. On numerous occasions the Arab subjects were seen in the company of Timothy McVeigh, and during a few rare instances, associating with Terry Nichols.
"More significantly, detailed interviews with key witnesses proved conclusively that the man whom witnesses named as the nefarious 'third terrorist' had no provable alibi for the critical hours of April 19.
"Colonel Patrick Lang, a Middle East expert who formerly served as the chief of human intelligence for the Defense Intelligence Agency, determined that the Iraqi soldier's military tattoo and immigration file indicated that he was likely a trusted member of Saddam Hussein's elite Republican Guard before being recruited into the elite Unit 999 of the Estikhabarat, more commonly known as the Iraqi Military Intelligence Service.
"Before the 2003 Iraq War, Unit 999 was headquartered in Salman Pak, southeast of Baghdad, and was tasked with clandestine operations at home and overseas. Several defense and intelligence analysts, with whom I consulted, concurred with Colonel Lang's conclusions.
"Soon after that fateful day in 1995, Al-Hussaini moved to Massachusetts and sought employment at the Boston Logan International Airport. In November 1997, four years before two planes were hijacked from that very airport on a deadly trek to incinerate the World Trade Center, the Iraqi national began suffering panic attacks about his airport job and sought psychiatric hospitalization. When his therapist asked why he was experiencing sudden and intense trepidation about working at Boston Logan, the patient replied, 'If something happens there, I will be a suspect.'
"I later learned that during this same time frame, Al-Hussaini was residing with two former Iraqi Gulf War veterans who provided food-catering services to the commercial airlines at the Boston airport. In the wake of the suicide hijackings of 2001, law enforcement speculated that food services workers might have planted box cutters aboard the doomed flights.
"Hussain Al-Hussaini's uncanny foreknowledge of a possible dire event slated to take place at Boston Logan Airport, the point of origin for Al-Qaeda's murderous rampage of 2001, just grazes the surface of the disturbing nexus I have uncovered between 4-19 and 9-11. Was the Oklahoma bombing the silver bullet that could have prevented Black Tuesday?
"To this day, the Justice Department has refused my requests to officially clear the Iraqi soldier whom multiple witnesses identified as the mysterious third terrorist who delivered the weapon of mass destruction to the intersection of 5th and Harvey Streets on that dreadful spring morning.
"Yet the Bureau did not hesitate to exonerate several innocent men who were named in the media as having been collared and questioned simply because they bore a slight resemblance to the sketch of John Doe 2.
"My meticulous research into Hussain Al-Hussaini's whereabouts for the morning of April 19 roundly discredits his publicly espoused alibi. Why the FBI has never questioned Hussain Al-Hussaini or his Middle Eastern cohorts, I am at a loss to explain. That question should be posed to the former administration and the handful of officials who were charged with investigating and prosecuting the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building.
"The Oklahoma City bombing, if orchestrated by an Iraqi/Al-Qaeda hit squad, certainly provides a salient rationale for war. How many more Americans would have been marked for death had the United States military not invaded Iraq to oust Saddam Hussein, a bloodthirsty broker of terror?
"The fallen heroes of Operation Iraqi Freedom did not die in vain to end the proliferation of phantom weapons of mass destruction, but died to prevent another horrifying replay of April 19 and September 11."
Dr.Sanity live-blogged the Able Danger hearing. Go here for her posts, which are doubly important in view of the lack of broadcast news coverage of the hearing. There is also a link to Rep. Curt Weldon's testimony. QT Monster's Place is tracking significant Able Danger posts from the MSM and blogosphere.
JustOneMinute has an excellent roundup of the coverage. NRO's The Buzz notes what may be the most significant fact about this hearing - who wasn't there, which is to say Specter was the only GOPer in attendance and Biden the lone Democrat, with the latter sticking around just long enough to ask one question and get some camera time.