Pentagon's 911 Claim Debunked by Inspector General
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Claim 9/11 Terrorists Were Identified
By Philip Shenon
The New York Times
Friday 22 September 2006
Washington - The Defense Department's inspector general on Thursday dismissed claims by military officers and others who had insisted that a secret Pentagon program identified Mohamed Atta and other terrorists involved in the Sept. 11 attacks before the attacks occurred.
The inspector general's office, which acts as the Defense Department's internal watchdog, said in a report that its investigators found no evidence to suggest that the intelligence program, known as Able Danger, had identified Mr. Atta, the Egyptian-born ringleader of the attacks, or any of the other terrorists before Sept. 11.
"We concluded that prior to Sept. 11, 2001, Able Danger team members did not identify Mohamed Atta or any other 9/11 hijackers," the report said. "While we interviewed four witnesses who claimed to have seen a chart depicting Mohamed Atta and possibly other terrorists or 'cells' involved in 9/11, we determined that their recollections were not accurate."
The claim that a secret Pentagon data-mining program had known of Mr. Atta and other hijackers before Sept. 11 created a stir when the witnesses' accounts became public last year, because it suggested that the Defense Department had information that might have helped pre-empt the attacks had it been shared outside of the Pentagon.
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