Forbes reports from the trial:

MacMahon displayed a communication addressed to Samit and FBI headquarters agent Mike Maltbie from a bureau agent in Paris relaying word from French intelligence that Moussaoui was “very dangerous,” had been indoctrinated in radical Islamic Fundamentalism at London’s Finnsbury Park mosque, was “completely devoted” to a variety of radical fundamentalism that Osama bin Laden espoused, and had been to Afghanistan.

Based on what he already knew, Samit suspected that meant Moussaoui had been to training camps there, although the communication did not say that.

The communication arrived Aug. 30, 2001. The Sept. 11 Commission reported that British intelligence told U.S. officials on Sept 13, 2001, that Moussaoui had attended an al-Qaida training camp in Afghanistan. “Had this information been available in late August 2001, the Moussaoui case would almost certainly have received intense, high-level attention,” the commission concluded.

But Samit told MacMahon he couldn’t persuade FBI headquarters or the Justice Department to take his fears seriously. No one from Washington called Samit to say this intelligence altered the picture the agent had been painting since Aug. 18 in a running battle with Maltbie and Maltbie’s boss, David Frasca, chief of the radical fundamentalist unit at headquarters.

They fought over Samit’s desire for a warrant to search Moussaoui’s computer and belongings. Maltbie and Frasca said Samit had not established a link between Moussaoui and terrorists.

Samit testified that on Aug. 22 he had learned from the French that Moussaoui had recruited someone to go to Chechnya in 2000 to fight with Islamic radicals under Emir Ibn al-Khattab. He said a CIA official told him on Aug. 22 or 23 that al-Khattab had fought alongside bin Laden in the past. This, too, failed to sway Maltbie or Frasca.

Under questioning from MacMahon, Samit acknowledged that he had told the Justice Department inspector general that “obstructionism, criminal negligence and careerism” on the part of FBI headquarters officials had prevented him from getting a warrant that would have revealed more about Moussaoui’s associates. He said that opposition blocked “a serious opportunity to stop the 9/11 attacks.”

The FBI’s actions between Moussaoui’s arrest, in Minnesota on immigration violations on Aug. 16, 2001, and Sept. 11, 2001, are crucial to his trial because prosecutors allege that Moussaoui’s lies prevented the FBI from discovering the identities of 9/11 hijackers and the Federal Aviation Administration from taking airport security steps.

But MacMahon made clear the Moussaoui’s lies never fooled Samit. The agent sent a memo to FBI headquarters on Aug. 18 accusing Moussaoui of plotting international terrorism and air piracy over the United States, two of the six crimes he pleaded guilty to in 2005.

To obtain a death penalty, prosecutors must prove that Moussaoui’s actions led directly to the death of at least one person on 9/11.

Samit’s name does not appear in THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT. Nor does Maltbie’s and nor does Frasca’s.

Here we have clear evidence of an internal fight within the FBI over whether Moussaoiu was a terrorist and whether agent Samit could get a warrent to search Moussaoiu’s hard drive. Yet, the FBI personnel involved are not mentioned in the THE 9/11 COMMISSION REPORT. This is a serious omission and leads one to the conclusion that the 9/11 Commission was a C.Y.A. operation. Gorelick’s membership on the commission, as opposed to being a witness, merely corroborates that conclusion. It was likely her wall that made Frasca and Maltbie so risk-adverse they couldn’t support Samit. I wonder how well Frasca and Maltbie slept in the months following 9/11. I hope not a wink.

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