- WASHINGTON (CNN) -- A former
landlord of two of the September 11 hijackers was an FBI informant at the
time, knowledgeable sources confirm to CNN.
- The two hijackers, Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhazmi,
lived in San Diego in the fall of 2000 and were taken in by a Muslim man
after he met them at a local Islamic center. The landlord had been an informant
for the FBI, supplying information about the Islamic terrorist groups Hamas
- The revelation, first reported by Newsweek, focuses renewed
attention on possible mistakes made by U.S. law enforcement and intelligence
prior to September 11. Newsweek reported that the FBI informant lived in
close quarters with the two future hijackers.
- "The FBI concedes that a San Diego case agent appears
to have been at least aware that Saudi visitors were renting rooms in the
informant's house," Newsweek reported.
- Some members of the congressional committee investigating
the intelligence failures and the September 11 attacks knew about the relationship
between the landlord and the FBI, and the point will probably come up when
the panel holds public hearings, expected later this month.
- U.S. intelligence officials said that in January of 2000,
when Almidhar and Alhazmi attended a meeting of known terrorists in Kuala
Lumpur, Malaysia, that fact was communicated by the CIA to the FBI. Yet
it was not until August 23, 2001, that the CIA warned the FBI and other
law enforcement agencies to watch for the two men, and that they might
try to enter the United States.
- By that time, Almidhar and Alhazmi had been in the U.S.
for more than 11 months.
- The FBI contends the agency was never told about the
two men before August 23 and says it can find no record of any such communication
between CIA and FBI to show the information might have been overlooked.
The FBI has maintained that position in its dealings with congressional
investigators and has asked the CIA to document, if possible, having sent
- The San Diego landlord, reached by CNN on Monday, has