February 9, 2006

Bush: Qaeda planned plane attack on LA

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The United States and its allies
thwarted an al Qaeda plot after the September 11 attacks to use
bombs hidden in shoes to breach the cockpit door of an airplane
and fly it into the tallest building in Los Angeles, President
George W. Bush said on Thursday.

"The plot was derailed in early 2002 when a southeast Asian
nation arrested a key al Qaeda operative," Bush said in a

Last October, the Bush administration had disclosed a plot
to attack targets on the West Coast using hijacked planes,
saying this was among 10 disrupted al Qaeda plots, but Bush
provided more details on Thursday.

Bush referred to the plot as targeting the Liberty Tower in
Los Angeles, but White House aides afterward said Bush had

meant to say the intended target was the city's Library

Bush said that in October 2001, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the
mastermind of the September 11 attacks that year, had set in
motion a plot for another attack inside the United States using
shoe bombs to hijack an airplane and fly it into the tallest
building on the U.S. West Coast.

Rather than use Arab hijackers as in the September 11
attack, Mohammed "sought out young men from southeast Asia whom
he believed would not arouse as much suspicion," Bush said.