6,673. 3/27/2006

9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed’s testimony was read in the trial for alleged terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui on March 27, 2006. “He said [potential 20th hijacker Mohammad al-] Qahtani ‘was sent alone to round out the number of hijackers for the 9/11 attacks.’ But after he was stopped at the Orlando airport, Al Qaeda leaders realized Qahtani was not a good choice because, according to Mohammed, ‘he possessed no operational or basic knowledge that would qualify him for such an operation.’ He said Qahtani had problems communicating in code. He said he did not understand requirements for a U.S. visa. He spoke no English. So even had Qahtani made it into the U.S., it was likely he would have been cut from the plot. Qahtani is an ‘extremely simple man,’ Mohammed testified. He was ‘too much of an unsophisticated *bedouin* to function with ease in a modern, Western society.’ So Al Qaeda cut its losses. ‘The 9/11 operation was left with only 19 operatives,’ Mohammed said.”

 – Richard A. Serrano, “In Court, Two 20th Hijackers Stand Up,” The Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2006

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