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CIA told of al-Qaeda hijack plot before 9/11

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From correspondents in Paris

April 16, 2007 09:29pm

Article from: Agence France-Presse

FRENCH intelligence services warned their US counterparts, eight months before the attacks of September 11, 2001, that al-Qaeda was planning to hijack a US-bound plane, a media report said today.

The information that Osama bin Laden’s group, working with Taliban militants and Chechen rebels, had been plotting the move was passed on to Bill Murray, head of the Central Intelligence Agency’s Paris bureau, Le Monde daily said.

The paper published a copy of the first page of a five-page document which it said had been handed over to the CIA in January 2001 by the French foreign intelligence agency, the DGSE.

Le Monde said the document, titled “Aircaft hijack plan by radical Islamists,” was part of 328 pages of a DGSE file on al-Qaeda leaked to the paper which it said was practically the entirety of the French intelligence services’ dossier on the network.

The five-page document said the plotters began working on the plan in 2000.

Their plan was to hijack a plane flying from the German city of Frankfurt, where there was an al-Qaeda cell, towards an American airport.

The DGSE document said the plotters considered seven airlines, two of which — American and United Airlines — had planes hijacked in the September 2001 attacks and flown into buildings in US cities.

Source URL: http://www.news.com.au/story/0,23599,21568776-1702,00.html