Technology with attitude

What to Make of This?

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American Future notes an interesting item:

The Sept. 11 hijackers made dozens of telephone calls to Saudi Arabia and Syria in the months before the attacks, according to a classified report from the office of German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

According to the report, 206 international telephone calls were known to have been made by the leaders of the hijacking plot after they arrived in the United States�including 29 to Germany, 32 to Saudi Arabia and 66 to Syria.

The German report contains no information about the timing or recipients of the calls, except that the majority of them were made from a cell phone registered to al-Shehhi, a native of the United Arab Emirates. It said the telephone records were obtained by German intelligence agencies from the FBI.

Note the comments, too. Marc’s building up a following in Germany, and that gives the story some perspective.

Wouldn’t it have been nice to have had an alert government agency monitoring those calls with a legal warrant?

Germany I can understand, since Hamburg was a base for them. But who were they calling in SA?

And Syria? Sixty-six times? Mohammed Haydar, a German citizen from Syria, seems to have been a recruiter of Hamburg cell members, but I don’t think he was in Syria in 2001.

The 9/11 Commission report barely mentions Syria in the context of the hijackers. The one mention I can find using a PDF search is this: “In February 2001, Khalid al Mihdhar may have taken a flight from Syria to Iran, and then traveled further within Iran to a point near the Afghan border.”