Friday, February 10, 2006

Round and Round

Holden informs us that Townsend is pretty much making stuff up here:

MS. TOWNSEND: We don't know exactly when the plot was scheduled for. The intelligence tells us that Khalid Shaykh Muhammad began to initiate it in October of 2001. We know that between then and when the lead operative was arrested in February of '02, between those two periods of time, they traveled through Afghanistan, they met with bin Laden, they swore biat, they came back, and the lead guy is arrested, which disrupts it in February of '02. So you see what I'm saying? It's during that short window of time, between October of 2001 and February of 2002, but we don't know when they planned -- we don't know when it was planned to actually be executed.

Q Just a question on the timing. You said that the operatives and the leader met with bin Laden in early 2002 in Afghanistan; is that right?

MS. TOWNSEND: It's between October 2001 and February of 2002, when the leader is arrested.

Q But when did they meet with bin Laden in Afghanistan?

MS. TOWNSEND: Hold on, let me see. They're telling me the intelligence community believes it was in October.

Q Of 2001?


Q Before the U.S. invasion?

MS. TOWNSEND: Okay, hold on. I can't be that specific, because we don't know.

Q Okay. So you don't know whether or not they met with bin Laden in Afghanistan while U.S. forces were in the country?

MS. TOWNSEND: I don't know.

Funny. Anyway, there may have been a restarted plot but it's sort of a repeat:

The tallest building in California and other West Coast sites were on an early list of targets for the Sept. 11 plot, the commission investigating the attacks reported Wednesday.

The mastermind of the attacks, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, said he originally envisioned an attack involving 10 hijacked planes. He proposed crashing them into CIA and FBI headquarters, unidentified nuclear power plants and the tallest buildings in California and Washington state. At 1,017 feet, Library Tower in Los Angeles is the tallest building west of the Mississippi.

The expanded plan was rejected by Osama bin Laden, who ultimately approved a mission involving four planes. Training for it began in 1999.

The commission's 20-page outline of the Sept. 11 plot, based on interviews with government officials and documents, filled some of the gaps in the events leading up to the deadliest attacks on U.S. soil and raised fresh questions.

That's from June 2004.