Thursday, August 11, 2005

FOXNews.com - Politics - Source: 9/11 Panel Staffers Probing Documents on 'Able Danger'

FOXNews.com - Politics - Source: 9/11 Panel Staffers Probing Documents on 'Able Danger'

According to Weldon, Able Danger identified Atta, Marwan al-Shehhi, Khalid al-Mihdar and Nawaf al-Hazmi as members of a cell the unit code-named “Brooklyn” because of some loose connections to New York City.

Weldon said that in September 2000, Able Danger recommended on three separate occasions that its information on the hijackers be given to the FBI “so they could bring that cell in and take out the terrorists.” However, Weldon said Pentagon lawyers rejected the recommendation because they said Atta and the others were in the country legally, so information on them could not be shared with law enforcement.

“Lawyers within the administration — and we’re talking about the Clinton administration, not the Bush administration ... said ‘you can’t do it,’” and put post-its over Atta’s face, Weldon said. “They said they were concerned about the political fallout that occurred after Waco ... and the Branch Davidians.”

But Able Danger was largely using open-source information that was available on the Internet and other public mediums, Weldon said, adding that there was no law prohibiting such information from being passed on to law enforcement.

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