Thursday, March 15, 2007

Is he for real?

So the local news has started saying that Khalid Sheik Mohammed was planning an attack on Seattle. The Seattle Times says this:

Mohammed said at the Guantánamo hearing that a Washington state landmark was on the list for a second wave of al-Qaida attacks against U.S. targets.

He said the "Plaza Bank [in] Washington State" was targeted along with the Sears Tower in Chicago, the Empire State Building in New York and the Library Tower in Los Angeles. FBI officials have said Mohammed was likely referring to the 76-floor Columbia Center in downtown Seattle.

His statement confirms information about planned al-Qaida attacks on the two tallest buildings on the West Coast referenced in the 9/11 commission's report, released in 2004. Seattle FBI officials confirmed the same year that Mohammed had talked about flying a jetliner into the tallest building in Washington, the 935-foot black skyscraper located at the corner of Cherry Street and Fifth Avenue.
There’s only one problem. Plaza Bank didn’t open for business until last year. Mohammed was captured in 2003. And, incidentally, it’s not in Columbia Center (which is shown on Google Maps as Bank of America Tower), but several blocks away.

Sounds to me like someone would rather go to the chair, than spend the rest of his life in Guantánamo.

The Seattle P-I spells it out more specifically here:
Buried on page 18 of the transcript is the claim that Mohammed's terrorists planned to hit a "Plaza Bank" in Washington state during the second wave of attacks after Sept. 11. The transcript gives no further details.

No Seattle bank went by that name before 2006.
Not that I think they should just let the guy go (unless, of course, he turns out to be completely innocent - which somehow, I REALLY doubt) – but if he’s not really the "terrorist mastermind" they’re looking for – the real culprit is still out there.

And, to continue my habit of harping on the media when they get on my nerves... The AP story in the Post-Intellegencer is headlined "State bank on 9/11 terrorists' hit list" - even though the story comes right out and says that there was no bank by that name in Washington when Mohammed was arrested.

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