U.S. Denies Report That Israel Warned of Militants' Entry
By RICHARD A. SERRANO,
Times Staff Writer
September 21, 2001
An article Thursday
reported that in August, Israeli intelligence warned U.S.
officials that terrorists were preparing a large-scale attack in
this country. The article cited as its source a high-ranking law
enforcement official. The Times has since learned that the
official's account was based on a British newspaper report, not
on independent information.
WASHINGTON--A report in The Times that Israel warned the United States last month that hundreds of Islamic militants were slipping into the country was erroneous, officials said Thursday.
The Times reported Thursday that Israel's intelligence agency warned the CIA and the FBI in August that as many as 200 suspected terrorists were slipping into the United States with indications that they planned to strike a "large-scale target." The Times cited an unnamed senior law enforcement official in Washington as its source.
But the CIA flatly denied the story, and FBI officials said they knew of no such advisory.
"There was no such warning," CIA spokesman Bill Harlow said. "Allegations that there was are complete and utter nonsense."
The law enforcement official who was the source of The Times' story said Thursday that his information came from an intelligence report citing a British newspaper account, not independent data.
He said he had overlooked the information's origin when he first relayed it.
The Sunday Telegraph
this week reported that Israeli intelligence officials had warned
their U.S. counterparts last month that large-scale terrorist
attacks on highly visible targets were imminent. The newspaper
said that two experts with Mossad, the Israeli intelligence
service, traveled to Washington in August to alert the CIA and
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