Washington: Al Qaeda chief Osama Bin
Laden had planned to hijack American planes traveling across
Southeast Asia and crash them into US military facilities in
the region in coordination with 9/11 attacks, according to a
secret interrogation report of one of his bodyguards.
Abd al-Malik Abd al-Wahab, a Yemen national, was
arrested by Pakistani forces on December 15, 2001 while
attempting to cross the Afghanistan-Pakistan border near
Parachinar in Pakistan after fleeing from Bin Laden's Tora
Bora mountain complex.
In December, US forces had bombed the region after
getting reports that Bin Laden was hiding there. He, however,
escaped the onslaught.
"Detainee was captured with a group of 31 other Arab
al Qaeda fighters referred to by US intelligence reporting as
the 'Dirty 30', most of whom are assessed to be UBL (Bin
Laden) bodyguards and other members of UBL's security detail,"
the report published by WikiLeaks said.
The report, signed by a Rear Admiral on April 28,
2008, says that al-Wahab was related, by marriage to Bin
Laden. It however did not elaborate.
Recommending continued detention, the report said,
"Detainee received specialised terrorist training and
was designated to be a suicide operative in an al Qaeda plot
to hijack airplanes in Southeast Asia."
"Detainee trained for an aborted al Qaeda operation in
Southeast Asia to hijack US airliners and crash them into US
military facilities in Asia in coordination with 11 September
"In 1999, detainee and several other al Qaeda members
were designated as suicide operatives in a plot to hijack US
air carriers traveling across Southeast Asia and destroy them
in midair. These attacks were originally intended to occur
simultaneously with those in the US on 11 September 2001."
It said Bin Laden later canceled the operation due to
the difficulty involved in synchronising the attacks.
According to another detainee known by his code
(YM-10014) Bin Laden planned to use Yemenis and Saudis who
could not obtain a US visa for the Asian portion of the plot
because they could easily travel to Malaysia, Thailand,
Singapore, Hong Kong, the Philippines, and South Korea.
The detainee said two months before September 11,
2001, al Qaeda operational planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammad,
took several Bin Laden bodyguards including him to Karachi to
teach them English and American behaviours to prepare them for
the hijacking operation.
The report said according to the Israeli Directorate
of Military Intelligence, in 1999, after receiving permission
from UBL, another detainee established a special training
program in Karachi to prepare for September 11 style terrorist
Al-Yemeni (an alias of al-Wahab) is listed as one of
the operatives taking part in this training.
First Published: Friday, April 29, 2011, 16:44