More on Bush’s LA revelations. From Reuters, with thanks to JE:
ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – Malaysia is holding several members of an al Qaeda suicide cell that U.S. President George W. Bush says planned to launch a September 11-style attack on Los Angeles, a security official familiar with the case told Reuters.
The plot to hijack a plane and fly it into Los Angeles’ tallest building was set in motion a month after the 2001 attacks on New York and Washington, and was thwarted in early 2002, according to Bush.
A Southeast Asian intelligence official said at least three members of a Southeast Asian cell earmarked to carry out the attack on the West Coast were being held in Malaysia under the Internal Security Act, which allows detention without trial….
The planned attack on Los Angeles was hatched by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the mastermind of the September 11 attacks, who was arrested in Pakistan in 2003 and is in U.S. custody.
The hijack team was recruited by Jemaah Islamiah commander Riduan Isamuddin, better known as Hambali, who was arrested in August 2003 near Bangkok and is also in U.S. custody.
The hijackers were to use bombs hidden in shoes to breach the cockpit door of an airplane before flying it into Los Angeles’ 1,017-feet (310-meter) high Library Tower, now the US Bank Tower.
The cell was broken and the arrests made between 2002 and 2003.
MORE ALERT TO ARABS
“It was a legit plot,” said Ken Conboy, a Jakarta-based security expert who has written several books on defense, intelligence and security issues. “Whether they would have been able to get these guys actually in the States is another deal.
“It was envisioned as a second wave after 9/11, and he (Khalid Sheikh Mohammed) wanted to use Southeast Asians because he thought they could get into the U.S. and hijack the planes more so than Arabs because the U.S. would be more on alert to Arabs after 9/11,” Conboy said.
No worries about that. That would have been profiling.