- The Washington Times - Monday, January 28, 2002

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE
The Southeast Asian nation of Malaysia was a primary operational launchpad for the September 11 terrorist attacks on the United States, Newsweek magazine reported, citing secret FBI data.
The report said U.S. intelligence sources believe a former Malaysian army captain, Yazid Sufaat, who was a member of the Islamic extremist group Jemaah Islamiah, helped develop a support network for Osama bin Laden in Malaysia and throughout Southeast Asia.
Authorities believe Mr. Sufaat and his fellow Jemaah Islamiah radicals planned to blow up the U.S. and Israeli Embassies in Singapore. Malaysian officials have since detained dozens of the members from the group, including Mr. Sufaat, according to the latest edition of Newsweek, which hits newsstands today.
"Kuala Lumpur is the perfect place for Arabs to lie low," Newsweek quotes an intelligence source as saying.
In January 2000, Mr. Sufaat met with top bin Laden associates in Kuala Lumpur in accord with instructions given by an Indonesian cleric with ties to al Qaeda, bin Laden's terror network, the magazine reported.
Two men there Khalid Almidhar and Nawaf Alhamzi later surfaced in the United States, where they enrolled in flight school and later piloted the plane that struck the Pentagon, the report said.
Later in 2000, Mr. Sufaat hosted Frenchman Zacarias Moussaoui, the only man charged so far in the attacks. Mr. Sufaat gave Moussaoui the employment letters found in his Minneapolis apartment and agreed to pay him $2,500 a month during his stay in the United States, along with a lump sum of $35,000, Newsweek reported.

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