New York Post Online Edition: news
SENATE PROBERS TALK TO 'PRE-9/11' WHISTLEBLOWER
By NILES LATHEM
WASHINGTON — The military intelligence official who recently disclosed that a secret Pentagon computer unit was blocked from alerting the FBI to the presence of the 9/11 hijackers in the United States has met with Senate investigators, in advance of possible hearings this fall.
Mark Zaid, a lawyer for Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, confirmed to The Post his client briefed the staff of Senate Judiciary Committee chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) about Able Danger, the Pentagon unit set up to look for terror threats within the states.
Shaffer's claims that Able Danger detected the presence of 9/11 lead hijacker Mohamed Atta and three other hijackers has created an uproar.
The 9/11 commission and the Pentagon say they've seen no documentary evidence to support Shaffer's claims.
But Republicans in Congress are interested in probing Shaffer's claim that Able Danger managers were blocked by the Clinton administration from disclosing their evidence to the FBI.
The information was supposedly blocked for fear of violating laws barring the military from domestic spying.
Able Danger — whose work remains classified — was run out of the Special Operations Command in Tampa, Fla., in 2000. It was shut down after nine months.
Shaffer, the Defense Intelligence Agency liaison to the unit, also claims there are other members of Able Danger who want to come forward but are still on active duty and may be barred from speaking.
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