A new report from the Washington Times suggests that an FBI agent had direct contact with Osama bin Laden prior to the events of Sept. 11.
According to the publication, an FBI agent’s testimony in a small, Los Angeles-based case reveals that the federal agency placed a mole with bin Laden in 1993, from whom they learned that bin Laden had intent to attack the United States.
The testifying agent, Edward J. Curran, spoke during the court hearing for his fellow FBI employee, Bassem Youssef. The case took place in 2010, when Youssef filed a discrimination lawsuit against the agency. According to RT, Youssef was passed over for a promotion after 9/11 because the agency thought he was a Muslim and questioned his intent.
In reality, according to Curran’s testimony, Youssef was part of a team working to infiltrate terrorist organizations.
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“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in Al-Qaeda, directly involved,” Curran said during his testimony. "The one source came back, had direct contact with Bin Laden."
Curran claimed that this initial contact with bin Laden helped stop a planned attack on a Masonic lodge in the Los Angeles area.
NBC News discovered that Youssef was ultimately killed by al Qaeda operatives in Bosnia after they began to suspect he was an informant.
Although Curran admitted the FBI’s early, direct relationship with al Qaeda’s leader to the Los Angeles court room, the information was never made public. It was also never reported at the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon The United States, or the 9/11 Commission, which began in the fall of 2002 to create an account of the 9/11 attacks and attempt to find those responsible.
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The Times spoke with former Michigan congressman Peter Hoekstra, who explained that the information should have been made public.
“I think it raises a lot of questions about why that information didn’t become public and why the 9/11 Commission or the congressional intelligence committees weren’t told about it,” Hoekstra said. "This is just one more of these examples that will go into the conspiracy theorists’ notebooks, who say the authorities are not telling us everything. That’s bad for the intelligence community. It’s bad for law enforcement and it’s bad for government."
Although the new information does not reveal that the United States had any direct information regarding the Sept. 11 attacks, it does reveal that it was more directly aware of al Qaeda and bin Laden's leadership at an earlier time than was previously believed.