An FBI manhunt is on for a team of Al Qaeda operatives who helped plan and support the 9/11 attacks, according to a secret document obtained by Wikileaks and revealed by the London Telegraph.
Three Qatari men arrived in New York from London aboard British Airways Flight 185 on August 15th, 2001, three weeks before the deadliest terrorist attack in U.S. history. The trio of Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid allegedly scouted the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty and the White House. They also visited Virginia, possibly to conduct surveillance of the Pentagon and/or CIA headquarters.
The cable was sent from the American Embassy in Doha, Qatar to the Department of Homeland Security on February 11, 2010, with the intention of adding a fourth Qatari man who is suspected of aiding the other three, Mohamed Ali Mohamed Al Mansoori, to the TSA’s “no-fly list.”
On August 24th the men flew from Washington, D.C. to Los Angeles aboard American Airlines Flight 143, their tickets paid for by an unnamed “convicted terrorist.” There, they stayed in a hotel paid for by the same man, where they aroused the suspicion of hotel staff who noticed in their room pilot uniforms and printouts of pilot names, airlines, flight numbers and flight times. Hotel personnel also told investigators of finding packages addressed to several Middle Eastern countries, including Afghanistan, as well as several laptops, a smashed cellphone and another phone connected to a computer.
Here’s where it gets more interesting:
The men were booked to fly back to Washington aboard American Airlines Flight 144 on September 10th, but apparently never boarded. The very Boeing 757 aircraft which operated that flight, registration N644AA, would the next day be used for Flight 77, which was subsequently hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon.
Instead, the cell flew from LAX to London on British Airways Flight 268 on the 10th, and on to Doha on BA Flight 125 on the 13th.
All of the men’s whereabouts were unknown at the time the cable was sent.