The millennium plotting in Canada in 1999 may have been part of Bin Ladin's first serious attempt to implement a terrorist strike in the US. Convicted plotter Ahmed Ressam has told the FBI that he conceived the idea to attack Los Angeles International Airport himself, but that Bin Ladin lieutenant Abu Zubaydah encouraged him and helped facilitate the operation. Ressam also said that in 1998 Abu Zubaydah was planning his own US attack.Ressam, an Algerian, was arrested in Port Angeles, near Seattle, on 14 December 2000. He has since been convicted, remains in US custody and has cooperated with US intelligence in providing information about al-Qa'ida.
Ressam says Bin Ladin was aware of the Los Angeles operation.
The Seattle Times in depth report on the Millennium plot says:
Humphries was eager to question Ressam about what he might know about the attacks on New York and Washington. But it took the agent five days to make it home to Seattle.
When Humphries was able to show Ressam a photograph of Moussaoui, Ressam said he recognized the French national as having been with him at the Khalden camp in 1998.
Given the opportunity, might Ressam have identified Moussaoui earlier, spurring the FBI in Washington to pursue the Moussaoui search warrant?
Might that warrant have yielded information that could have helped the bureau disrupt the Sept. 11 plot?
Humphries was haunted by the possibilities.
One wonders what FBI Agent Humphries thinks now.
According to MSNBC:
At the time of his [Moussaoui's] arrest FBI agents found flight manuals for the Boeing 747-400, a flight-simulator computer program, binoculars, two knives, fighting shields and a laptop computer.
Moussaoui was arrested on 16 August 2001. A government on battle stations, as Rice claims, had only to connect the Ressam dot and the Moussaoui dot and they had a straight line to al-Qa'ida, planes and a major attack inside the US.
That is really not a lot of dots to connect. It's not even 6 dots of separation.