More than three years have passed since the putative
meeting in Prague between hijacker Mohammed Atta and
Iraq Consul al-Ani. What has the CIA, FBI, Czech intelligence
(BIS) and other intelligence services established about
the activities of the alleged participants at this meeting?
Ahmad Khalil Ibrahim Samir al-Ani served as consul at
Iraq's embassy in Prague between March 1999 and April
21, 2001 and he was activity involved in agent-handling
during this period.
2) Mohammed Atta applied for a visa to visit the
Czech Republic on May 26, 2000 in Bonn, Germany. According
to Czech visa records, Atta identified himself as being
a "Hamburg student." Since a visa was not
necessary to catch a Czech plane to the US, Czech intelligence
concluded he had business in the Czech Republic.
3) Just prior to leaving for the U.S., Atta
made 2 trips to the Czech Republic in 2000. The first
was on May 30, where he went without a visa to the transit
lounge of Prague International Airport; the second was
by bus to Prague on June 2 with visa BONN200005260024.
4) On April 4, 2001, Atta checked
out of the Diplomat Inn in Virginia Beach and cashed
a check for $8,000 from a SunTrust account, according
to the FBI. Atta was not seen again in America by any
witness before April 11, 2001.
5) Al-Ani scheduled a meeting in April with
a "Hamburg student" according to an appointment
calendar subsequently turned up by Czech intelligence
in a surreptitious search of the Iraq Embassy (presumably
after the defeat of Iraq in April 2003.)
6) Al-Ani was observed meeting a young Arab-speaking
man on the outskirts of Prague at about 11 am on April
9th by a watcher for Czech counterintelligence.
was expelled from Prague less than 2 weeks after that
8) After seeing
Atta’s picture on September 11th, the Czech watcher
identified the Arab-speaking man meeting al-Ani as Mohammed
9 ) Al-Ani denied that he met Atta , as did the
Baghdad government. Al-Ani repeated that denial after
he was detained by U.S. forces in July 2003.
10 ) According to George Tenet testimony before a Joint
Committee of Congress (June 18, 2002): “Atta allegedly
traveled outside the US in early April 2001 to meet
with an Iraqi intelligence officer in Prague, we are
still working to confirm or deny this allegation. It
is possible that Atta traveled under an unknown alias
since we have been unable to establish that Atta left
the US or entered Europe in April 2001 under his true
name or any known aliases.”
11) Subsequently, Spanish intelligence found evidence
that Algerians Khaled Madani and Moussa Laouar provided
false passports to Mohamed Atta and his associate Ramzi