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Al Qaeda hijackers targeted Big Ben on 9/11

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http://www.sky.com/skynews/article/0,,30000-1054165,00.html

Big Ben: target?

Sep 11: Big Ben Attack Foiled

Suicide hijackers targeted Big Ben on September 11 but were thwarted after flights out of London were grounded following the US attacks, it has been claimed.

A group of al Qaeda operatives were at Heathrow Airport waiting to take over a jet and slam it into the Houses of Parliament when British air space was closed,according to author Rohan Gunaratna.

The plan was intended to show the international reach of al Qaeda, he said.

Airborne suicide attack

"This team assembled at Heathrow Airport on 9/11 to conduct an airborne suicide attack on the Houses of Parliament," Mr Gunaratna, author of Inside al Qaeda, told CBS News in the US.

But the al Qaeda operatives had not expected flights in the UK to be grounded after the attacks on the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon, and left Heathrow without accomplishing their mission.

The alleged would-be Big Ben attacker, Afroz Muhammed, was arrested in India. Security agents in India showed documents to CBS that indicated he had confessed to the London hijack plan. Afroz has since retracted his confession.

Mr Gunaratna said Afroz attended flying schools in Britain, Australia and the US, and received money from al Qaeda-connected sources.

"In terms of who recruited him, how he was recruited, where he was sent for training, it very clearly demonstrates that he was an al Qaeda member and this was his intention."

Intelligence documents

Mr Gunaratna said he studied intelligence documents and had access to serving and former members of Osama bin Laden's terror network when writing the book.

He said his study revealed that al Qaeda had a "lose and learn" doctrine.

The terror group was prepared to lose operatives like Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the 1993 World Trade Centre bomber, in order to learn how to carry out such an attack successfully the next time.

"The Americans should have known that the terrorist organisation that was behind Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, that trained him, that supported him - this organisation would never abandon that idea," he told CBS.

Sky's political editor Adam Boulton said the Government remains sceptical on the claims: ''This comes from one source - the author; the confession was retracted and at the moment, like the dirty bomb allegation - there is little material evidence.''

Last Updated: 15:23 UK, Tuesday June 11, 2002

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i wonder if the french would still lecture us about our 'troubled foreign policy' if al qada would destroy the Eiffel?? or one of the Italian hallmarks? how would they feel? about 3 months ago there was a report about how terrorists wanted to poison Rome's water ways.

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Originally posted by tribal

i wonder if the french would still lecture us about our 'troubled foreign policy' if al qada would destroy the Eiffel?? or one of the Italian hallmarks? how would they feel? about 3 months ago there was a report about how terrorists wanted to poison Rome's water ways.

2 months ago terrorists bombed a hotel filled with french oil workers in pakistan. 11 were killed. notice how the french stopped whining...so much...

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