Bin Laden planned Sept. 11 anniversary attack

Intelligence obtained from Osama bin Laden's compound in Pakistan revealed the al-Qaida mastermind, killed in a covert U.S. raid in May, was in the early stages of planning an attack on the U.S. on the 10th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, the Wall Street Journal reports.

U.S. officials said Bin Laden and his operations chief Attiyah Abd al-Rahman did not seem to move beyond early planning for an attack. The al-Qaida leaders were discussing the composition of an attack team, with bin Laden "repeatedly rejecting" names suggested by Rahman.

"Earlier this month in his first meeting with senior staff at the Central Intelligence Agency, acting Director Michael Morell told his staff that one of their top priorities would be to make sure that neither that plan nor any others were carried out," the Journal reports.

Early intelligence gleaned from the raid revealed al-Qaida was considering targeting U.S. rail lines, possibly on the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks.

Other intelligence suggested that al-Qaida was interested in targeting oil and natural gas infrastructure last year, as well as oil tankers and commercial oil infrastructure at sea. Even so, the Homeland Security Department said in May that the group seemed to have no immediate plans to attack.

Stay up-to-date with federal news alerts and analysis — Sign up for GovExec's email newsletters.
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec
X CLOSE Don't show again

Like us on Facebook