Feb. 9 (Bloomberg) — President George W. Bush said the U.S. and its allies foiled a plot hatched a month after the Sept. 11 attacks to hijack a commercial jet and fly it into a Los Angeles building that is the tallest on the West Coast.
Bush said the planned attack, involving al-Qaeda sympathizers in Southeast Asia, was thwarted in early 2002 after the capture of the suspected terrorists. The arrests, he said, were the result of international cooperation fostered by the global U.S. offensive against terrorism.
“By working together we stopped a catastrophic attack on our homeland,” Bush said in a speech today at the National Guard Memorial Building in Washington. “By striking the terrorists where they live, we’re protecting the American homeland.’
Bush offered what his spokesman said were previously unreleased details about the disrupted plot to illustrate “the true global nature” of the war against terrorism. The president was highlighting a success in the battle against terrorists as some members of Congress are questioning U.S. tactics, such as the indefinite detention of suspects and National Security Agency spying on telephone calls and e-mails without a warrant.