late April-middle May, 2000: Atta reportedly has a very strange meeting with Johnelle Bryant of the US Department of Agriculture (incidentally, one month before the official story claims he came to the US for the first time). According to Bryant, in the meeting Atta does all of the following:
1) he initially refuses to speak with one who is "but a female"
2) asks her for a loan of $650,000 to buy and modify a crop-dusting plane
3) mentions that he wants to "build a chemical tank that would fit inside the aircraft and take up every available square inch of the aircraft except for where the pilot would be sitting"
4) uses his real name even as she takes notes
5) says he has just arrived from Afghanistan
6) tells about his travel plans to Spain and Germany
7) expresses an interest in visiting New York
8) asks her about security at the WTC and other US landmarks
9) discusses al-Qaeda and its need for American membership
10) tells her bin Laden "would someday be known as the world's greatest leader"
11) asks to buy the aerial photograph of Washington hanging on her Florida office wall, throwing increasingly large "wads of cash" at her when she refuses to sell it
12) asks her "what would prevent [Atta] from going behind [Bryant's] desk and cutting [her] throat and making off with the millions of dollars" in the safe behind her
13) asks "How would America like it if another country destroyed [Washington] and some of the monuments in it like the cities in [my] country had been destroyed?" (Atta supposedly comes from Egypt - what cities have been destroyed there in recent decades?)
14) gets "very agitated" when he isn't given the money in cash on the spot
Later Atta tries to get the loan again from the same woman, this time "slightly disguised" by wearing glasses (is this whole story a Monty Python comedy sketch?). Three other terrorists also attempt to get such a loan from her, but all of them fail. Bryant turns them down because they don't meet the loan requirements, and fails to notify anyone about these strange encounters until after 9/11. Government officials not only confirm the account and say that Bryant passed a lie detector test, but elaborate that the account jibes with other information they have received from interrogating prisoners. Supposedly, failing to get the loan, the terrorists switched plans from using crop dusters to hijacking aircraft. [ABC News, 6/6/02, London Times, 6/8/02] Why would the terrorists have been depending on such a loan in the first place instead of just spending some of bin Laden's millions to buy the plane? Were the terrorists comically inept, and the US just as inept for not catching them, or is the story government propaganda? Could Atta (or someone impersonating him) have been trying to make himself conspicuous as part of a trail of false evidence?
From the Complete 9-11 Timeline by Paul Thompson. A vital online resource for anyone wanting to investigate 911 and the war on terror.
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