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The Terrorists Who Got Away: FBI Hunts 9/11 Suspects Still At Large


In the latest round of disclosures from the online site WikiLeaks, the UK Telegraph reports that the Federal Bureau of Investigation is hunting for three Qatari men who allegedly provided "support" to the 9/11 hijackers.

Three weeks before the attacks of Sept. 11, the three suspected terrorists flew from London to New York, where they carried out surveillance at the World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty. The men are also suspected of traveling to Washington to monitor security at the White House, the Pentagon and possibly the headquarters of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) located in Langley, Va.

Just ten days after arriving in the U.S., the men are believed to have flown to Los Angeles. The FBI has confirmed that their hotel stay and airline tickets were paid for by a "convicted terrorist." Hotel staff also reportedly told investigators that they had seen "pilot type uniforms, several laptops and several cardboard boxes" addressed to Syria, Afghanistan, Jerusalem and Jordan during cleaning visits.

“The men had a smashed cellular phone in the room and a cellular phone attached by wire to a computer. The room also contained pin feed computer paper print outs with headers listing pilot names, airlines, flight numbers, and flight times," the report said.

They paid for the room in cash and during the last few days of their stay requested that the hotel's housekeeping staff not clean the room until they checked out.

According to flight manifests, the men were booked on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C., on Sept. 10, but never boarded the flight. The next day, the same Boeing 757 aircraft was used to crash into the Pentagon, the Telegraph reports.

Instead of boarding that flight, the suspects -- Meshal Alhajiri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid -- boarded a return flight to Qatar with a connecting flight in London. It is at that point investigators reportedly lost their trail.

"It is not known whether the FBI believe that the men were simply assisting the hijackers or were a fifth cell who pulled out at the final moment. Alternatively, they may have been planning an attack on the West Coast of America or even London which was abandoned or went wrong," the Telegraph notes.

In addition, a fourth suspect -- Mohamed Al Mansoori from the United Arab Emirates -- allegedly supported the terrorist cell while they were in the U.S. Mansoori has previously lived in Long Beach, Calif., but his current location is also unknown as investigators continue their search for all four men. According to U.S. officials, he "may pose a threat to aviation in the US and abroad."

The information on the four suspects was sent in a Feb. 11, 2010 classified diplomatic cable sent from the American Embassy in Doha to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, State Department, FBI and CIA, and later obtained by WikiLeaks.

The details of the men's visit to Los Angeles adds to speculation contained in the 9/11 Commission Report which noted that some of the hijackers had previously visited the area. Investigators believe that the three suspects were aided by Mansoori and that the group visited a number of other locations in California during their stay.

Only one other person has been tried and convicted for being involved in the attacks of 9/11. In 2006, a jury convicted Zacarias Moussaoui to life in prison for his role as the "twentieth hijacker," having aided the suicide bombers prior to 9/11.

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