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June 20, 2006
Did Suskind Confuse His Terrorists?

Ron Suskind, whose new book The One Percent Solution revealed spectacular allegations of pending terrorist attacks in the US, may have confused two different terrorists in his research. The error could have led to erroneous conclusions in Suskind's book, ABC News reports, but Suskind stands by his work:

Counter-terrorism officials in the United States and Great Britain say an allegation of a "catastrophic breakdown in communications," reported in a new book on terror, is based on the author's own breakdown in communication.

Officials say author Ron Suskind, in "The One Percent Doctrine," got names confused when he reported that the mastermind of last year's London bombings, Mohammad Siddique Khan, had contacts in the United States, had been placed on a no-fly list and was prevented from boarding a plane to the United States in 2003.

Terror experts say that no evidence shows that M S Khan ever entered the United States. However, Mohammed Amjad Khan fits the description much more closely. M A Khan did have contacts in the US prior to his conviction in the UK on terror-related activities. American and British officials say that Suskind simply got his terrorists confused.

Why is this important? M S Khan masterminded the July 7 London bombings, and Suskind has charged that British intelligence received warnings from American intel services about the danger he represented. If Suskind is correct, his book contradicts official British explanations that the attack from M S Khan could not have been specifically anticipated. However, if Suskind turns out to have confused the two terrorists, then his entire argument regarding a "catastrophic breakdown in communications" will completely fail.

So far, Suskind stands by his reporting. However, it does look like an awfully large coincidence between the two names, and if it turns out to be more than that, then his credibility will take a big hit in the days to come.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 20, 2006 11:15 AM

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