Al Qaeda plotted aircraft strikes on the West Coast post 9/11

Al Qaeda plotted a slew of new attacks against US, post deadly 9/11 attacks.

Updated: Apr 26, 2011, 23:02 PM IST

New York: Post sensational 9/11 attacks,
al Qaeda masterminds were plotting a range of new attacks
against the United States including similar aircraft strikes
on the West Coast and sabotaging the landmark Brooklyn Bridge.

Other plots, none of which were executed, included
filling an apartment with leaked natural gas and detonating
it, blowing up gas stations and even cutting the cables
holding up the Brooklyn Bridge, New York Times reported
quoting leaked Guantanamo Bay files.

According to the classified military files, the
plotter was 63-year-old Pakistani American national Saifullah
Paracha who told his military interrogators that he had met al
Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden in a trip to Afghanistan in
December 1999 or January 2000.

Paracha said new terror schemes were explored to
follow up on the 9/11 hijack attacks and he had worked closely
with the September 11 attacks mastermind Khaled Shaikh
Mohammad who gave him USD 500,000 to 600,000 for safekeeping.

Paracha also discussed obtaining biological or nuclear
weapons but had been deterred by detectors at ports which
would make it difficult to smuggle radioactive material into
the country.

However, most of the plots fizzled out after Shaikh
Mohammad was captured by the CIA.

The Guantanamo Bay files said it appeared that all the
plots were almost family affair as Khalid Shaikh, the
terrorist network`s top plotter, and his nephew Ammar
al-Balochi who was married to another militant American
trained neuroscientist Asfia Siddiqi. And then there was
Paracha and his son Uzair.

Times said the portrait of Paracha was one of the
striking ones to emerge from the files, having attended the
New York Institute of Technology in the early seventies and
set up a travel agency in the city for 13 years.

Paracha was arrested in Bangkok in July 2003 on
information given by his son Uzair who was already in FBI

The Pakistani told the interrogators that he had
offered his broadcasting business in Pakistan to generate
propaganda films for al Qaeda when he met bin Laden.

After 9/11 Paracha focused on new plots and also told
his interrogators that he had worked with disgraced Pakistani
nuclear scientist A Q Khan.