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August 17, 2001: Moussaoui Gives FBI Name of Alleged Accomplice Edit
Towards the end of an interview with the FBI [see 1], Zacarias Moussaoui discloses the name of one of his associates, Atif Ahmed. Moussaoui tells the FBI that Ahmed provided him with some money and that he associated with Ahmed’s brother in Pakistan. However, he cannot remember any details, such as Ahmed’s address or employment. The FBI’s Minneapolis field office immediately sends a lead to its legal attaché in London, asking him to follow up. However, information about Ahmed does not arrive in the US until “months later,” possibly November 2001, when Ahmed is arrested in Britain [see 2]..  Moussaoui will later say that Ahmed is a spy working for the British, but the FBI and British authorities will deny this [see 3].
August 17, 2001: Moussaoui’s Roommate Arrested Edit
Zacarias Moussaoui’s roommate, Hussein Al-Attas, reports to the Immigration and Naturalization Service and is arrested when he admits he has worked despite only having a student visa. Al-Attas was with Moussaoui when he was arrested and was questioned the previous day (see August 10-11, 2001, August 16, 2001, and August 16, 2001). Al-Attas also says that Moussaoui follows the teachings of a sheikh, but that Moussaoui has not told him which sheikh because he does not think al-Attas would approve. When asked if the sheikh is Osama bin Laden, al-Attas says he does not think so and only remembers Moussaoui making one reference to bin Laden, when he appeared on television. [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 77-9 ] Entity Tags: Hussein al-Attas, Immigration and Naturalization Service Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui
August 17, 2001: US Plan to Snatch Bin Laden Foiled After It Is Leaked to Media Edit
A US plan to snatch Osama bin Laden inside Afghanistan (see January 19, 2001) is revealed in the Pakistan press, after the US asks Pakistan for assistance with the plot. An article that runs in the Pakistan newspaper The News also says that the US and Pakistan have discussed a sting operation in Afghanistan using US special forces, but that Pakistan has advised Washington against it. After a UN resolution tightening sanctions against the Taliban, General Tommy Franks, commander-in-chief of US Central Command, discussed the plan with his Pakistani counterparts and Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf during a visit to Islamabad in January 2001 (see January 19, 2001). [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 8/17/2001] There is some suggestion that the operation is attempted, but only partially successful, after 9/11 (see (September 26, 2001)). Entity Tags: US Central Command, Osama bin Laden, Thomas Franks, Pervez Musharraf Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Pakistan and the ISI
August 17, 2001: In Phone Call Recorded by FBI, Imam Says Moussaoui Wants to ‘Go on Jihad’ Zacarias Moussaoui’s roommate, Hussein al-Attas, makes thirteen phone calls from jail to El Hadj Ndiaye, the imam of his local mosque in Norman, Oklahoma looking for assistance in raising money for his bond. Al-Attas was arrested and jailed shortly after Moussaoui was detained (see August 16, 2001 and August 16, 2001). Ndiaye reportedly becomes “very upset” when he hears that Moussoaui is going to be deported. According to an FBI translation of one of these conversations, Ndiaye says, “I heard you guys wanted to go on jihad.” Al-Attas responds, “Don’t talk about that now.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 134, 167-8, 201 ; US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 3/1/2006 ; US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006 ] The Radical Fundamentalist Unit (RFU) at FBI headquarters learns of the translated conversation on August 29 (see August 29, 2001), but the RFU chief downplays the significance of the reference to jihad. Two other people involved in posting the bond for al-Attas were the subject of counterterrorism investigations (see August 20, 2001 and August 23, 2001). Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Hussein al-Attas, El Hadj Ndiaye Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui
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