In a revelation missing from the official investigations of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, the FBI placed a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden in 1993 and ascertained that the al Qaeda leader was looking to finance terrorist attacks in the United States, according to court testimony in a little-noticed employment dispute case.
The information the FBI gleaned back then was so specific that it helped thwart a terrorist plot against a Masonic lodge in Los Angeles, the court records reviewed by The Washington Times show.
“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.
Mr. Curran gave the testimony in 2010 to an essentially empty courtroom, and thus it escaped notice from the media or terrorism specialists. The Times was recently alerted to the existence of the testimony while working on a broader report about al Qaeda’s origins.
Members of the Sept. 11 commission, congressional intelligence committees and terrorism analysts told The Times they are floored that the information is just now emerging publicly and that it raises questions about what else Americans might not have been told about the origins of al Qaeda and its early interest in attacking the United States.
“I think it raises a lot of questions about why that information didn’t become public and why the 9/11 Commission or the congressional intelligence committees weren’t told about it,” said former Rep. Peter Hoekstra, Michigan Republican, who chaired the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence from 2004 through 2007 when lawmakers dealt with the fallout from the 9/11 Commission’s official report.
“This is just one more of these examples that will go into the conspiracy theorists’ notebooks, who say the authorities are not telling us everything,” Mr. Hoekstra told The Times in an interview last week. “That’s bad for the intelligence community. It’s bad for law enforcement and it’s bad for government.”
……Exactly how the information was omitted from the various congressional reviews and the 9/11 Commission report is a mystery. FBI officials and staff involved in the review said they couldn’t determine definitely so many years later whether the information was kept from the various investigations or whether it was simply overlooked by staff in the thousands of pages of documents and electronic records made available during the exhaustive reviews of al Qaeda’s history.
The wackjob conspiracy nuts salivate at any hint of subterfuge, real or imagined. Their wild-assed theories have been roundly debunked, but there’s no fun in accepting the truth about bureaucratic incompetence.
There are a multitude of reasons why Bin Laden’s 9/11 attack succeeded. Clinton had multiple opportunities to get Bin Laden and failed. Sudan even captured him and offered him up on a goddamned silver platter. Clinton turned it down.
There’s plenty of blame to go around. The State Department, the FBI, and all the three-letter acronym intelligence agencies who didn’t connect the dots or worse, dismissed information outright because they don’t want to “offend” muslims.
Information that should have been shared between the agencies was nixed, thanks to Jamie Gorlick, former Clinton Deputy Attorney General. In 1995, Gorlick wrote a memo directing that counterintelligence efforts be kept separate from criminal intelligence. This action created a wall that prohibited collaboration between agencies like the FBI and the CIA, and impeded the investigation into Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th hijacker”, (pre-9/11) which could have led to the arrest of the other 19.
The bottom line is that Bin Laden’s plot fell through the cracks of government intelligence because of their refusal to share information that would have filled in the gaps and thrown a big fucking monkey wrench into the jihad.