October 4, 2002
1105 IST

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Sept 11 only the first in a series of attacks planned: Report

The September 11 attacks were only the first in a series of terrorist strikes planned against the United States, John Walker Lindh, the captured American Taliban fighter, is believed to have told military and Federal Bureau of Investigation questioners.

Lindh is in custody at the Guantanamo Bay naval base, Cuba. He was among a group of Taliban soldiers who surrendered to the Northern Alliance in late November 2001.

According to secret documents obtained by the CNN, Lindh is also believed to have told his questioners that he refused to take part in the suicide attacks planned against the US. The documents, CNN said, also revealed that as many 50 operatives have infiltrated the US and Israel for suicide missions.

The documents, CNN said, contain summaries of Lindh's interrogation by U S Special Forces troops on December 1, 2001 and by the FBI in Afghanistan on December 9 and 10.

The FBI's interrogation report said Lindh quoted one of his former Al Qaeda training camp instructors, after the September 11 attacks, as saying, "That UBL [Osama bin Laden] said this was the first attack... the group speculated that the second attack would involve attacking nuclear facilities, oil/gas pipe lines, or some kind of biological attack."

The instructor, according to Lindh, said the second wave [attack] would come at the beginning of Ramzan, in mid-November, and 'make America forget about the first attack'. The instructor also talked of a third wave, in early 2002, but provided no details.

Lindh was on the Afghan front lines with a Taliban unit, when the September 11 attacks took place. The FBI report, according to CNN, said, "Source [Lindh] showed remorse and signs of regret when he was asked about the attacks."

Lindh described UBL [Osama bin Laden] as being 'approximately 6'4", well built, sits down a lot, drinks a lot of water, tires easily, sometimes stops talking and excuses himself, mild mannered, and a quiet speaker'.

CNN said Lindh's lawyers had initially sought to suppress these documents as evidence, saying they were made under duress. But they relented after reaching a plea bargain with federal prosecutors in July, in which Lindh agreed to plead guilty to charges that he supplied services to the Taliban and carried an explosive during the commission of a felony.

The interrogation reports, according to CNN, also detailed Lindh's seven-week stint at al Farooq, an Al Qaeda training camp, where the American learnt assassination techniques, battlefield tactics, handling of weapons and explosives, and the study of topography and maps.

Lindh told his FBI questioners that bin Laden visited the camp three to five times while he was there, usually with one of his sons. He said he met bin Laden once, for five minutes, with other recruits and that bin Laden 'made small talk and thanked them all for taking part in the jihad'.

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

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