1,707. 8/12/2000

“Italian authorities recorded a series of conversations between two al Qaeda operatives–an Egyptian cell leader in Milan named Es Sayed and a Yemeni sheik known as al Hilal–that seemed to forecast the September 11 attacks. ‘I’ve been studying airplanes,’ al Hilal told Es Sayed on August 12 [2000], just after al Hilal arrived at the Bologna airport from Yemen. ‘If God wills, I hope to be able to bring you a window or a piece of a plane the next time I see you.’ ‘What, is there a jihadi planned?’ Es Sayed asked. ‘In the future, listen to the news and remember these words: ‘Up above,” al Hilal replied. …’the surprise attack will come from the other country, one of those attacks you will never forget.’ A moment later al Hilal said about the plan, ‘It is something terrifying that goes from south to north, east to west. The person who devised this plan is a madman, but a genius. He will leave them frozen [in shock].’ ”

 – John Miller, Michael Stone, and Chris Mitchell, The Cell, Pages 274-275

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