Former President George Bush was given a series of direct warnings throughout 2001 about the possibility of a terrorist attack by al-Qaeda – but failed to take them seriously, it The New York Times revealed yesterday.
On the eleventh anniversary of the atrocity, the paper reported that the White House received multiple briefs between May and August that year about an attack with explosives and numerous casualties.
But the president continually failed to take any significant action and questioned the thoroughness of the briefings – leading to huge frustrations within the CIA.
These repeated warnings came before the famous top secret briefing – which has previously been reported – given to Bush on August 6 with the heading ‘Bin Laden Determined to Strike in the US’.
Just a few weeks later on September 11, terrorists smashed planes into the World Trade Center in New York City – killing nearly 3,000 people and horrifying the world.
Details of the other briefings given to Bush and his administration – which have never been made public – have now been revealed. And they paint a startling picture of negligence at the heart of the US government before 9/11.
The White House was made aware of potential attacks in the spring and, by May 1, was told by the CIA that ‘a group presently in the United States’ was planning a terrorist attack, the Times reported.
However, the new neoconservative leaders at the Pentagon told the White House that the CIA had been fooled.
They believed that Bin Laden was pretending to plan an attack to distract the US from Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.
Following this, the CIA prepared another daily brief for June 29 in which they listed over a page the evidence which they had built up.
This included an interview with a journalist from the Middle East in which aides of Bin Laden warned of an upcoming attack.
Source: The Daily Star