Niaz Khan

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Person.png Niaz Khan   History CommonsRdf-entity.pngRdf-icon.png
(waiter, whistleblower)
Niaz Khan.jpg
NationalityUnited Kingdom
Exposedal qaeda
Defected from an al Qaeda plot to hijacker civilian airliners. Warned the FBI in 2000, but they were told by higher ups not to take him seriously.

Niaz Khan defected from al gaeda in 2000, and warned the FBI of al qaeda's plans to attack civilian targets in the United States. The FBI were uninterested.[1][2][3] Khan tells how he grew disillusioned with his gambling debts and his job as a waiter, how he was recruited to travel to Pakistan for training for jihad, outside a London gambling establishment, by a recruiter who offered to pay off his gambling debts. He describes being trained just outside Lahore in how to hijack planes.[3] His trainers had mockups of Boeing aircraft for the training. He was then to travel to New York City, in April 2000, to join a cell intending to attack civilian targets in the USA. However, he described having cold feet, and failing to meet his contact at the airport. He described gambling away all his contingency money, and fearing punishment from his terrorist handlers, how he approached the New York FBI and warned them that al Qaeda was planning to hijack planes to attack civilian targets in the USA.

He was debriefed by the FBI for several weeks and although he passed two lie detector tests, the FBI ignored his evidence and sent him back to the UK, where he was interviewed by UK security officials, who also didn't show interest in his revalations.

The Guardian quoted Khan's reaction to watching the September 11 attacks:[3]

“I could not believe my own eyes. It was like everything I had said, everything I had been told by al-Qaeda. I was in no doubt. Same plan. Perhaps someone from the training camp was on board one of those planes. Perhaps, if I had not run away, I would have been there.”
Niaz Khan[citation needed]

Khan was interviewed by NBC News in 2004, on national TV.[1][2]

  1. a b Lisa Myers (2004-07-26). "The missed opportunities of 9/11: Could the attacks on America have been disrupted or delayed?". NBC News. Retrieved 2010-10-24. April 2000: Niaz Khan, who says he was trained by al-Qaida, walks into an FBI office with an incredible tale. "I've been to Pakistan, I know about this hijacking, something going on. … I told them before 9/11, about more than a year, be … hijacking in America or on an America airline," Khan tells federal agents. He says he was sent to the U.S. to join operatives here. Khan passes two polygraphs, but FBI headquarters doesn’t believe him and lets him go.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto"). mirror
  2. a b Lisa Myers. "Did al-Qaida trainee warn FBI before 9/11?". NBC News. Retrieved 2010-10-24. More than a year before 9/11, a Pakistani-British man told the FBI an incredible tale: that he had been trained by bin Laden’s followers to hijack airplanes and was now in America to carry out an attack. The FBI questioned him for weeks, but then let him go home, and never followed up. Now, the former al-Qaida insider is talking.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto"). mirror
  3. a b c Antony Barnett, Lee Hannon, Martin Bright (2004-06-06). "UK spymasters shrugged off al-Qaeda recruit's warning". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010-10-24. A year before the 11 September attacks, Niaz Khan, 30, walked into the New York office of the FBI and told agents of plans by al-Qaeda to hijack US airliners. The FBI claims it shared the information with other agencies and turned the man over to the British authorities, who allegedly failed to take the warnings seriously.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "Scribunto"). mirror