Weldon: 'Able Danger' identified Atta 13 times
Updated: 2006-02-15 11:52
Pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted by a secret military unit identified
terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13 different times, a congressman said
Rep. Curt Weldon,
R-Pa., speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday, Feb. 14,
2006, in Washington. Weldon said that pre-Sept. 11 intelligence conducted
by a secret military unit identified terrorist ringleader Mohamed Atta 13
different times. Weldon said the unit, code-named 'Able Danger,' also
identified 'a problem' in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS
During a Capitol Hill news conference, Rep. Curt Weldon (news, bio, voting
record), R-Pa., said the unit ¡ª code-named "Able Danger" ¡ª also identified "a
problem" in Yemen two weeks before the attack on the USS Cole. It knew the
problem was tied into the port of Aden and involved a U.S. platform, but the
ship commander was not made aware of it, Weldon said.
The suicide bombing of the Cole killed 17 sailors on Oct. 12, 2000.
If anyone had told the Cole's commander that there was any indication of a
problem in Aden, "he would not have gone there," Weldon told reporters. "He had
Weldon would not say who provided evidence of such intelligence to him.
Since August, Weldon, vice chairman of the House Armed Services Committee,
has pushed Congress and the Pentagon to investigate the workings of Able Danger,
which used data mining to identify links that might indicate the workings of
terrorists. If he is correct, it would change the timeline for when government
officials first became aware of Atta's links to al-Qaida.
Former members of the Sept. 11 commission have dismissed Weldon's findings.
Cmdr. Greg Hicks, a Pentagon spokesman, released a statement saying that
Pentagon officials welcome the opportunity to address these issues during a
hearing scheduled Wednesday before a subcommittee of the House Armed Services