Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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October 2, 2003
By: Kevin Drum

PECULIAR TIMING....Via Mark Kleiman, here's an odd Washington Post story about Saleh Ibn Abdul Rahman Hussayen, currently the minister in the Saudi Arabian government who is in charge of its two holy mosques. He came to America to visit on August 20, 2001, and on September 10th he was in Washington DC:

The most intriguing aspect of Hussayen's journey may be entirely coincidental: his brief proximity in a hotel near Dulles International Airport to three of the Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers the night before they crashed Flight 77 into the Pentagon. On the night of Sept. 10, Hani Hanjour, Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi checked into the same hotel, a Marriott Residence Inn.

The FBI has examined hotel videotapes and interviewed employees, but has found no indication that Hussayen and the hijackers interacted, law enforcement sources said. After the attack, an FBI agent interviewed hotel guests, including Hussayen and his wife, but did not get very far.

According to court testimony from FBI agent [Michael] Gneckow earlier this year, the interview was cut short when Hussayen "feigned a seizure, prompting the agents to take him to a hospital, where the attending physicians found nothing wrong with him."

The agent recommended that Hussayen "should not be allowed to leave until a follow-up interview could occur," Gneckow told the court. But "her recommendation, for whatever reason, was not complied with," he said.

On Sept. 19, the day air travel resumed, Hussayen and his wife took off for Saudi Arabia.

For "whatever reason"? It wouldn't be too hard to find out, would it?

Kevin Drum 11:31 AM Permalink | Trackbacks

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