NSA Tapped 9/11 Hijackers' Phone Calls for 2 Years - Inside the U.S. → Washingtons Blog
NSA Tapped 9/11 Hijackers' Phone Calls for 2 Years - Inside the U.S. - Washingtons Blog

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

NSA Tapped 9/11 Hijackers' Phone Calls for 2 Years - Inside the U.S.

I've previously pointed out that the U.S. government heard the 9/11 plans from the hijackers' own mouth. Most of what I wrote about involved the NSA and other intelligence services tapping top Al Qaeda operatives' phone calls outside the U.S.

However, it turns out that the NSA was also tapping the hijackers' phone calls inside the U.S.

Specifically, hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi lived in San Diego, California, for 2 years before 9/11. Numerous phone calls between al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in San Diego and a high-level Al Qaeda operations base in Yemen were made in those 2 years.

The NSA had been tapping and eavesdropping on all calls made from that Yemen phone for years. So NSA recorded all of these phone calls.

Indeed, the CIA knew as far back as 1999 that al-Mihdhar was coming to the U.S. Specifically, in 1999, CIA operatives tailing al-Mihdha in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, obtained a copy of his passport. It contained visas for both Malaysia and the U.S., so they knew it was likely he would go from Kuala Lumpur to America.

The above information comes from James Bamford, the Washington Investigative Producer for ABC's World News Tonight with Peter Jennings for almost a decade - where he won a number of journalism awards for his coverage national security issues - whose articles have appeared in dozens of publications, including cover stories for the New York Times Magazine, Washington Post Magazine, and the Los Angeles Times Magazine, and is the only author to write any books (he wrote 3) on the NSA.


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