According to the New York Times, Senator Carl Levin (Democrat-Michigan) stated in late October 2004 that the C.I.A. had become skeptical by June 2002 "about a supposed meeting in April 2001 in Prague between Mohamed Atta."   Senator Levin is in a position to know since the CIA Director testified on this very issue a number of times between June 2002 and February 2004.  Does CIA director George Tenet's testimony support the senator's allegation or is the Senator rewriting history?
't prove that one way or another.


     Senator Levin is rewriting history. On June 18, 2002, Tenet testified before a Joint Committee of Congress :  “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.”
     So it was still, according to Tenet, an opened investigation. The leads included an eye witness who saw Atta and the Iraqi Consul, al-Ani, together on April 9, 2001, and the fact that Atta withdrew $8,000 in cash from his SunTrust account after he checked out of the Diplomat Inn in Virginia Beach on April 4, 2001.  Since the FBI could not account for why Atta withdrew the money, Atta had made two previous trips to Prague, and no witnesses (except the one in Prague) had seen Atta between April 4 and April 11, 2001, it was "possible," as Tenet testified, Atta was in Prague at the time of the alleged meeting.

       Some 20 months later, on Feb 24, 2004, CIA director Tenet again testified on the status of the case before the Senate Armed service Committee, and was question by Senator Levin.
SENATOR LEVIN: What is the Intelligence Committee's assessment of whether or not 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta met with Ahmed al-Ani, an alleged Iraq intelligence officer in Iraq in April of 2001. What is your assessment?

MR. TENET: Sir, I know you have a paper up here that outlines all that for you. It's a classified paper. My recollection is we can't prove that one way or another.

     So again, Tenet testified again that the CIA was not aware of any evidence that either conforms or refutes the alleged meeting.

    Five months later, Senator Levin asked Tenet in a letter a very different question.  He asked him not whether the CIA had evidence disproving the possibility of the alleged Prague meeting, but whether it was likely that Atta had met al-Ani in Prague. 

    On July 1, 2004, Tenet answered:  "Although we cannot rule it out, we are increasingly skeptical such a meeting occurred."  Tenet gave a number of reasons for his assessment of the probability, including the uncertain veracity of the eye witness, the denial of al-Ani that he met Atta, and his opinion "that Atta would have been unlikely to undertake the substantial risk of contacting any Iraqi official as late as April 2001, with the plot well along to execution."

   So Tenet at this late date did not exclude the possibility the meeting took place (since unlikely events can occur.)


This is a totally commerce-free site. No charges, no advertising.