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 October 26, 2003
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Alleged mastermind says Nine-Eleven attacks were planned for five years
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Washington-AP -- The Nine-Eleven attacks against the U-S were planned for five years and were intended to be even more devastating.

That's what a key terrorism suspect, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (HAH'-leed shayk moh-HAH'-med), has told U-S interrogators, according to reports reviewed by The Associated Press.

Mohammed revealed that he and Osama bin Laden first discussed the plot in 1996. Their original plan called for taking over ten commercial jets -- five on each coast. The plan was modified several times.

Mohammed says some intended hijackers were unable to enter the U-S and that the two men who slammed a plane into the Pentagon were his key operatives -- more important than Mohammed Atta, identified as the likely ringleader of the hijackers.

Mohammed also said he never heard of a Saudi man who provided some rent money and assistance to two hijackers when they arrived in California. Congressional investigators have been looking into that connection.

Authorities say some of Mohammed's claims have been corroborated by other captives.

Copyright 2003 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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