The US President has practically admitted that the terrorist acts of September 11 in New York were not a surprise for the US authorities. Already last summer, several month before the tragic events, President George Bush was informed about possible plans of international terrorist Osama bin Laden to capture a US airliner. This information was released by US intelligence services. However, as White House official Ari Fleischer stated this Wednesday, the US leadership could not have thought that a terrorist would aim the aircraft at the towers of WTC in New York and at Pentagon. According to Fleischer, Bush received only general information about the danger of possible airliners’ capture by bin Laden’s group.
Nevertheless, some questions appear. If the US authorities knew about the possible airliner’s capture, why then weren't additional security measures taken? Of course, the attack of WTC really looked unprecedented as for its impudence, though was it really impossible to foresee that the terrorist would commit something extraordinary? Was it not the main sense of the terrorist acts?
Information about US special services having known about the terrorist acts beforehand arrived each day. It would be naive to suppose that the intelligence did not inform the leadership about this. So, George Bush’s confession should have been expected. However, why did he mention this only 8 months after the tragedy? is the White House holding something else back?
Vasily Bubnov PRAVDA.Ru
Translated by Vera Solovieva
Read the original in Russian: http://pravda.ru/main/2002/05/16/41162.html
The choice of the city of Helsinki is not incidental as the capital of Finland had hosted US-Soviet negotiations on the limitation of nuclear stockpiles in 1969