Cable hints at Qatar link in 9/11 attacks
London - US authorities are investigating a group of Qatari men in connection with the terrorist attacks of September 11 2001, according to documents obtained by WikiLeaks, and published by the Daily Telegraph newspaper in London on Wednesday.
A confidential diplomatic cable sent by the US embassy in Doha, the capital of Qatar, to the Department for Homeland Security in Washington, showed that the three men entered the US on a British Airways flight from London on August 15 2001.
The men, named as Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid allegedly visited the World Trade Center and Statue of Liberty in New York, travelled to Washington DC and other locations in Virginia, according to the documents.
On August 24 2001, they flew to Los Angeles where they stayed before checking out of their hotel on September 10.
The cables said hotel staff became alarmed after seeing pilot uniforms and a smashed mobile phone in their room.
"Hotel staff grew suspicious of the men because they noticed pilot type uniforms, several laptops, and several cardboard boxes addressed to Syria,Jerusalem, Afghanistan and Jordan in the room on previous cleaning visits," according to extracts published by the Telegraph.
On September 10, the men were booked on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington, but the men failed to board, the cable said.
The same Boeing 757 plane was hijacked by five terrorists and crashed into the US Pentagon the following day, according to American Airlines records.
The trio then left Los Angeles and flew to Britain on September 10, before returning to Qatar on a flight from London, it was claimed.
A subsequent FBI investigation revealed the men's plane tickets were paid for and their Los Angeles hotel reservation was made by a convicted terrorist.
The FBI was also trying to trace a man named as Mohamed Ali Mohamed Al Mansoori, from the United Arab Emirates, for his alleged support of the trio during their visit, according to the documents.