Pentagon rejects claim that intelligence unit's information could have stopped 9/11 attacks

Thursday, September 21st 2006, 5:55 am
By: News On 6

WASHINGTON (AP) _ A Pentagon report rejects the idea that intelligence gathered by a secret military unit code named Able Danger could have been used to stop the Sept. 11 terrorist hijackings.

The Pentagon inspector general's office said Thursday its review of records from Able Danger found no evidence that the military unit had identified the plot's ringleader, Mohamed Atta, ``or any of the other terrorists who participated in the 9/11 attack.''

The report was ordered following the assertion last year that the unit had identified four of the 19 hijackers in 2000. That claim was made by a former intelligence officer who worked on Able Danger, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and by Rep. Curt Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services and Homeland Security committees.

Weldon, R-Pa., has said the unit used data mining to link Atta and three other hijackers to al-Qaida more than a year before the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

The report also rejected Weldon's assertion that the intelligence unit wanted the information given to the FBI but Pentagon lawyers would not allow it.