United States: Egyptian information ahead of Sept. 11 did not specify upcoming attacks; Mubarak on way to USA
Washington confirmed Tuesday that Egypt had provided information prior to September 11 about potential operations by Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaeda network, however quickly insisted nothing hinted at the attack by four hijacked aircraft.
State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said that while Cairo and Washington exchanged "credible" information during the year 2001, "those information exchanges have never produced any particular information about any specific airline hijacking or specific attacks in the United States."
"What President Mubarak is saying," the spokesman added, based on his own reading of The New York Times interview with the Egyptian leader, "reflects the kind of situation that we've... described in our public warnings last summer, that said there is a lot of information that indicates that al-Qaeda may carry out attacks", according to AFP.
A senior State Department official, speaking privately, said such information helped authorities in the United States quietly put safeguards in place against a broad spectrum of possible attacks before September 11.
The Egyptian leader "seems to have the same kind of information that we had, " the official said.
Meanwhile, Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak left Wednesday for a four-day visit to Washington, in order to discuss with United States President George W. Bush and other senior officials, the situation in the Middle East.
Talks between the two leaders are due to be held in the Camp David resort during the weekend, and are expected to deal with means for reaching a final settlement for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, KUNA reported.
President Mubarak is expected to stop in London on his way to the US capital, in order to meet with British Prime Minister Tony Blair. (Albawaba.com)
© 2002 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)