- A Whopper of an honor: Local company named top Burger King franchisee (11/15/17)3
- Southern Illinois farmer's grapevines destroyed by dicamba; four years of work lost (10/29/17)2
- Aldi store reopens after renovations (11/14/17)3
- Residents view pedestrian bridge as eyesore; city manager says it's designed to rust (11/13/17)8
- Decisions coming soon on steel mill, smelter in New Madrid (11/17/17)1
- Federal jury finds surgeon Fonn guilty of kickback scheme (11/10/17)4
- State audit: Bollinger County tax levies violate state law; county commission disagrees (11/17/17)3
- Cape native co-directs Thanksgiving-related indie film, 'Drinksgiving' (11/17/17)
- Son of Westboro Baptist Church patriarch discusses abuse, faith (11/15/17)6
- Scott City council hires former SEMO public safety director as city administrator (11/15/17)
Bush warned before Sept. 11 of possible hijacking plot
WASHINGTON -- In the weeks before the Sept. 11 attacks, President Bush was told by U.S. intelligence that Osama bin Laden's terrorist network might hijack American airplanes, prompting the administration to issue a private warning to law-enforcement agencies, the White House acknowledged Wednesday night.
But officials said the president and U.S. intelligence did not know that suicide hijackers were plotting to use planes as missiles, as they did against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
"There has been long-standing speculation, shared with the president, about the potential of hijackings in the traditional sense," White House press secretary Ari Fleischer said. "We had general threats involving Osama bin Laden around the world and including in the United States."
He said the administration, acting on the information received in early August, notified the "appropriate agencies" that hijackings "in the traditional sense" were possible. The warning was never made public, he said.
The development, first reported by CBS News, comes as congressional investigators intensify their study of whether the government failed to adequately respond to warnings of a suicide hijackings before Sept. 11.
Fleischer would not discuss when or how the information was given to Bush, but a senior administration official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the president was made aware of the potential for hijackings of U.S. planes during one or more routine intelligence briefings last summer.