The Federal Bureau of Investigation had infiltrated the Al Qaeda terrorist organisation and had a human source in direct contact with Osama bin Laden as far back as 1993, according to court records reviewed by The Washington Times.
Years before the devastating attacks on the World Trade Center and Pentagon on Sep. 11, 2001, an FBI source received specific information about an upcoming attack in the Los Angeles area that was later able to be defused.
“It was the only source I know in the bureau where we had a source right in al Qaeda, directly involved,” Edward J. Curran, a former top official in the FBI’s Los Angeles office, told the court in support of a discrimination lawsuit filed against the bureau by his former agent Bassem Youssef.
Although the case happened in 2010, the shocking testimony escaped notice from the media or terror experts since it was given to what was an essentially an empty courtroom at the time.
The Times has more:
The former supervisor testified that Mr. Youssef developed a confidential source connected to the infamous “Blind Sheik,” Omar Abdel-Rahman, the mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and that he managed to get that source to go overseas and meet personally with bin Laden.
The source was “very in tight, close,” to the leadership of al Qaeda, which was then known as the Islamic Group, Mr. Curran testified.
“The one source came back, had direct contact with bin Laden,” Mr. Curran testified, adding that upon returning to the U.S., the source indicated to the Blind Sheik that bin Laden “had a target picked out for an explosion in the Los Angeles area. I believe it was a Masonic lodge.”
The revelation is interesting, considering the difficulty the U.S. intelligence community has had in understanding the terror network’s goals and likely next steps over the years. Although the first World Trade Center bombing occurred in 1993, the CIA didn’t begin to really focus on Bin Laden until 1996.
Neither the agent’s testimony or U.S. officials asked by The Times offer mention of what happened to the human source after 1994.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.