- WASHINGTON (Reuters) -
following the money trail in the Sept. 11 attacks on the United States
have traced more than $325,000 via credit card receipts, ATM withdrawals
and other transactions connected to the 19 suspected hijackers, The
Post reported on Monday.
- The newspaper said the money was transferred to the
teams from associates in the United Arab Emirates and a handful of other
countries including Pakistan and Germany. Investigators believe the rest
of the expenditures for the $500,000 operation were made in cash, the
- The Post said the central financial figure in the
has been identified by U.S. prosecutors as Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, a
fugitive believed to be al Qaeda's finance chief.
- Al-Hawsawi allegedly transferred most of the money used
to pay for the hijackers' pilot training, living expenses and airline
in the United States, law enforcement officials told the newspaper. The
report said al-Hawsawi disappeared in Karachi, Pakistan shortly before
- The Post said investigators were still uncertain about
the origins of the $500,000 used to plan and carry out the Sept. 11
But it cited U.S. intelligence officials as saying Osama bin Laden's al
Qaeda network has raised money through a variety of means, including credit
card fraud, diamond trafficking and the sale of honey.
- Bin Laden and his al Qaeda network have been blamed for
the attacks using hijacked airliners in which about 3,000 people were
- Officials told the Post that the financial probe also
turned up a number of important patterns in the suspected hijackers'
that could provide warning signs of other plots. Investigators declined
to describe those patterns, but told the newspaper that major U.S. banks
are cooperating in efforts to search for them elsewhere in the financial
- The Post said the findings by investigators at the U.S.
Treasury Department, U.S. Justice Department, FBI and other federal
concluded the first phase of the government's effort to map the financial
backing for the Sept. 11 plot.
- Authorities now have turned their attention to the global
web of individuals and organizations suspected of providing money and
cover for al Qaeda, the newspaper said.
- "In terms of the 19 or 20 individuals and the money
they spent in the United States, we've wound down pretty well in terms
of identifying the records we're going to identify," a senior Justice
Department official told the Post. "In terms of a more global
and putting together a more comprehensive profile of what happened in
and elsewhere, we're just getting started."