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USAToday: Malaysia site of Sept. 11 plotting, FBI report says
By Jack Kelley

31/1/2002 1:02 pm Thu

[Seperti biasa, kita siarkan rencana ini juga sebagai bahan rujukan sahaja.... Menurut Times of India tentera Amerika (seramai 600 orang) sudahpun memulakan operasi mereka di Filipina semalam. Kehadiran AS akan membuat rantau ini semakin kacau. Lihatlah apa yang sudah menimpa Vietnam, Iraq dan Afghanistan. - Editor]

01/29/2002 - Updated 09:08 PM ET

Malaysia site of Sept. 11 plotting, FBI report says

By Jack Kelley, USA TODAY

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan - Several al-Qaeda operatives met in Malaysia during 2000 to plan the Sept. 11 attacks on New York and Washington, according to a new FBI report that says the predominantly Muslim nation has emerged as "one of the primary operational launch pads" for the attacks.

Some of the al-Qaeda operatives also planned to blow up the U.S., Israeli, British and Australian embassies in nearby Singapore with 4 tons of explosives, senior U.S. officials say.

Together, the FBI report and interviews with the officials suggest why U.S. leaders increasingly see Malaysia as a key front in the war on terrorism. The FBI report, examined by a USA TODAY reporter, also sheds light on the alleged activities of Zacarias Moussaoui, the French citizen who was the first person charged in the USA in the Sept. 11 investigation.

The report says Moussaoui, 33, got money for flight training in the USA from Yazid Sufaat, an alleged al-Qaeda operative in Malaysia who previously had met with two of the 19 suicide hijackers. U.S. agents have not linked Moussaoui directly to any hijacker, but this is the second time they have tied him to an alleged al-Qaeda paymaster suspected of supporting the hijackers.

The U.S. indictment that charges Moussaoui with being part of an al-Qaeda conspiracy to kill Americans alleges that al-Qaeda operative Ramzi bin al-Shibh, a Yemeni cleric and associate of hijacking leader Mohamed Atta, also sent money to Moussaoui last year. Bin al-Shibh is the subject of an international manhunt.

According to the FBI report and U.S. officials:

  • In January 2000, Khalid Al-Midhar and Nawaq Alhamzi, two hijackers aboard the jet that hit the Pentagon, met with other al-Qaeda members in a condominium in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. The operatives included a suspect in the bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen in October 2000. That attack killed 17 U.S. sailors.

    The meeting was hosted by Sufaat, a member of the militant Muslim group Jemaah Islamiah, which U.S. officials say is linked to Osama bin Laden. Soon after the meeting, Al-Midhar and Alhamzi entered the USA and enrolled at a flight school in San Diego.

  • In October 2000, Sufaat met with Moussaoui in the same condominium. Law enforcement officials allege that he gave Moussaoui papers identifying Moussaoui as a "marketing consultant" for Infocus Tech, a Malaysian company. The papers were signed by "Yazid Sufaat, Managing Director." (Infocus Tech officials say Moussaoui never worked for the company.)

    Sufaat agreed to pay Moussaoui $2,500 a month and $35,000 up front, U.S. authorities say. Moussaoui arrived in the USA in February 2001 and deposited $32,000 in a bank in Norman, Okla. He attended flight schools in Norman and in Minnesota before he was arrested on immigration charges in August. FBI agents found the papers that mentioned Infocus Tech in Moussaoui's apartment in Minneapolis.

    Moussaoui now is being held in Alexandria, Va., awaiting a federal court trial in October. He could face the death penalty if convicted.

    Sufaat, 37, was arrested Dec. 9 as he returned to Kuala Lumpur from Afghanistan, where authorities say he fought against the U.S.-led coalition. He is one of 23 suspected al-Qaeda operatives who have been detained in Malaysia.

  • Also in October 2000, Sufaat received instructions from another alleged al-Qaeda operative, Fathur Rohman Al-Ghozi, to purchase 4 tons of ammonium nitrate, a powerful explosive. Authorities say Ghozi, 30, an Indonesian also known as "Mike" and "Abu Saad," was a demolitions expert for the Moro Islamic Liberation Front, a separatist group seeking to create an Islamic state in the southern Philippines.

Sufaat bought the explosives through a company he owned called Green Laboratory Medicine, according to law enforcement sources. They say he planned to bomb the U.S., Israeli, British, and Australian embassies in Singapore, as well as office buildings that housed U.S.-based companies.

Ghozi was arrested Jan. 15 in Manila by Philippine immigration officials acting on a tip from police in Singapore.

Malaysian officials say the 4 tons of ammonium nitrate - four times the amount used to destroy the Oklahoma City federal building in 1995 - has disappeared from the warehouse where the plotters had been storing it. They say they believe the explosives have been taken out of the country. cat=malaysia&story=020130154934.zmwfo9lh.txt

Suspects met in Malaysia to plan September 11 attacks: report

WASHINGTON, Jan 30 (AFP) - Preparations for the September 11 attacks on the United States took place in Kuala Lumpur, USA Today reported Wednesday, citing an FBI report.

According to the daily, French national Zacarias Moussaoui, whose trial is scheduled for October in Alexandria, Virginia, met an al-Qaeda financier in a condominium in the Malaysian capital.

The man, Yazid Sufaat, provided Moussaoui with false documents stating he was employed by a Malaysian company, USA Today reported.

The firm named in the documents, Infocus Tech, has denied ever having hired Moussaoui, 33, the first person to be indicted in the United States for a role in the September 11 attack, which killed more than 3,000 people in three states.

Sufaat gave Moussaoui 2,500 dollars a month and 35,000 dollars up front, USA Today reported. The FBI had already revealed that Moussaoui had 32,000 dollars in a bank in Norman, Oklahoma shortly after his arrival in the United States in February 2001.

Sufaat -- a member of the al-Qaeda linked militant Muslim movement Jemaah Islamiah -- also met with two of the 19 hijackers who carried out the September 11 attacks.

Moussaoui, whom investigators suspect was to have been the "20th hijacker" aboard four hijacked commercial airliners used in the attacks, was arrested in August on immigration irregularities.

The FBI report states that other al-Qaeda members met in Kuala Lumpur to plot not only the September 11 attacks, but also planned strikes on US, Israeli, British and Australian embassies in Singapore.

Malaysia was "one of the primary operational launch pads" for the attacks, the FBI report said, leading authorities to view the Muslim-majority nation as a potential new front in the war on terrorism.

An FBI official questioned about the report declined to comment.