Police 'knew 9/11 suicide pilots were ready'

18th May 2005, Comments 0 comments

18 May 2005, MADRID — The alleged head of a Spanish-based al-Qaeda cell knew of preparations for the 9/11 attacks in the United States, an investigator told a court.

18 May 2005

MADRID — The alleged head of a Spanish-based al-Qaeda cell knew of preparations for the 9/11 attacks in the United States, an investigator told a court.

Police commissioner Rafael Gomez Menor, an expert on Islamic radical groups, Syrian national Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas, alias 'Abu Dahdah', had been informed the attacks were imminent by suspected al-Qaeda member Farid Hilali, alias 'Shakur', in a phone call two weeks beforehand.

In the police-monitored conversation 'Shakur', speaking from the UK, told 'Abu Dahdah': "We have entered the field of aviation" and "we have cut the bird's throat".

The prosecution maintains that the references were code to say that a team of suicide pilots were ready to attack the United States.

Some translations have suggested "eagle" rather than "bird", as a metaphor to signify the United States.

'Shakur' is one of 35 people, including al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, whom Spanish judge Baltasar Garzon charged in September 2003 for alleged Al-Qaeda membership and, in some cases, for implication in the 9/11 attacks.

Gomez Menor was giving evidence to the trial of 24 alleged Islamic militants accused of membership of al-Qaeda. Three are also accused of plotting 9/11.

All deny the charges. The trial continues.

[Copyright EFE with Copyright]

Subject: Spanish news

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