Feds Hunt Possible 5th 9/11 Terrorist Cell
Suspected terrorists got away, WikiLeaks reveals
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 2, 2011 7:51 AM CST
Smoke spews from a tower of the World Trade Center September 11, 2001 after two hijacked airplanes hit the twin towers in an alleged terrorist attack on New York City.   (Getty Images)

(Newser) – The FBI is looking for a team of suspected terrorists that may have been involved in the 9/11 attacks but got away, newly released WikiLeaks documents reveal. The three Qatari men flew from London to New York three weeks before the attacks, conducted surveillance on the targets and other locations including the Statue of Liberty, then flew to Los Angeles and stayed in a hotel room paid for by a convicted terrorist. They were scheduled to fly back to Washington DC on the eve of the attacks, but never boarded—they instead flew back to London, then returned to Qatar, the Telegraph reports.

It is not publicly known whether the men—Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla, and Ali Alfehaid—were simply assistants, or were a fifth cell whose plans went wrong or who pulled out at the last minute. The FBI is also hunting Mohamed Al Mansoori, who allegedly helped the three others while they were in the US. Toward the end of the three men’s stay in Los Angeles, hotel staff had become suspicious of them because staff members noted pilot uniforms, flight information, and other suspicious items in their room. The flight they were booked on, but never took, to DC was American Airlines Flight 144: The same plane that, the very next day, was hijacked and crashed into the Pentagon as it returned to LA.

 

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