Qatari men may have coordinated with 9/11 terrorists: WikiLeaks cable
Three Qataris, aided by a man from California, conducted surveillance of future terrorist attack sites in the weeks before 9/11, according to a newly released US diplomatic cable from WikiLeaks.
More people may have participated in the 9/11 terrorist attacks than previously disclosed, according to a confidential US diplomatic cable obtained and published this week by antisecrecy group WikiLeaks.Skip to next paragraph
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The year-old cable described three Qatari men who were under investigation for activities in the months prior to the attacks. According to the cable, which is viewable at WikiLeaks.ch, the men entered the US on Aug. 15, 2001, and visited "the World Trade Center, the Statue of Liberty, the White House, and various areas in Virginia" before flying on to Los Angeles.
The cable was first published by British newspaper The Telegraph, which on Monday published a report under the headline: "The FBI has launched a manhunt for a previously unknown team of men suspected to be part of the 9/11 attacks, the Daily Telegraph can disclose."
But US officials were quick to throw cold water on that report. An unnamed US official told The Washington Post that investigators already concluded that the men could not be charged. "There is no manhunt," said the official. "There is no active case. They were looked at, but it washed out."
At the same time, the Post adds: "The existence of a surveillance team supporting the 19 hijackers led by Mohammed Atta appears to add a new element to the narrative of the plot's execution."
This appeared to be the first time that The Telegraph has been the first to claim an "exclusive" story from WikiLeaks, which has been gradually releasing a cache of some 250,000 secret US diplomatic cables since November. It was unclear why The Telegraph received this "exclusive."
WikiLeaks initially coordinated all its leaks with The New York Times, the Guardian, and others. But group founder Julian Assange appeared to have a falling out with those newspapers over their coverage of recent sexual allegations brought against the Australian. In the recent Times article "Dealing with Assange and the WikiLeaks Secrets," executive editor Bill Keller says "Assange was transformed by his outlaw celebrity."
Neither the Guardian nor the Times had articles today about the newly leaked cable.