An active-duty Navy captain has become the second military officer to come forward publicly to say that a secret intelligence program tagged the ringleader of the Sept. 11 attacks as a possible terrorist more than a year before the attacks.
The officer, Scott J. Phillpott, said in a statement on Monday that he could not discuss details of the military program, which was called Able Danger, but confirmed that its analysts had identified the Sept. 11 ringleader, Mohamed Atta, by name by early 2000. “My story is consistent,” said Captain Phillpott, who managed the program for the Pentagon’s Special Operations Command. “Atta was identified by Able Danger by January-February of 2000.”
His comments came on the same day that the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, Lawrence Di Rita, told reporters that the Defense Department had been unable to validate the assertions made by an Army intelligence veteran, Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, and now backed up by Captain Phillpott, about the early identification of Mr. Atta.
More on this from Captain’s Quarters:
Not only did Philpott come forward and confirm that identification, Rep. Weldon also found and named a contractor who created the chart in 2000 that included Atta as an identified potential threat. James Smith recalled the identification because he retained a copy of the chart created for Able Danger …
And from John at Powerline:
If Mohammed Atta really was in the United States in early 2000, he was traveling under another name—big shock, right?—and the September 11 commission’s carefully constructed timetable under which, among other things, he couldn’t possibly have traveled to Prague to meet with an Iraqi intelligence agent in 2001, is shot to hell.
If the Able Danger story is true, it’s a whole new ball game, in more ways than one. And if I were Jamie Gorelick, I’d be quietly applying for Canadian citizenship.