Courtesy Asia Times Online: At 9:37 Eastern Daylight Time on September 11, 2001, American Airlines Flight 77 slammed into the western side of the Pentagon, killing all 59 passengers and 125 others in the building. News of the crash went global within minutes; yet another symbol of American power was ablaze. For the few still struggling to believe that the United States was under attack, doubt evaporated like the bodies of the many dead.
Conspiracists have puzzled for a decade over the failure to intercept the aircraft – or indeed, take even the elementary step of phoning the Pentagon to warn them of the approach. But only recently has wider attention been paid to the failure of the Central Intelligence Agency’s (CIA’s) Bin Laden unit to tell anyone that “muscle” hijackers, Khalid al-Midhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi, were in the country.
The chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Thomas Keane, is now on record  as calling this “one of the most troubling aspects of our entire report”. How is it that, despite having known for several months about al-Midhar and al-Hazmi, nobody at Alec Station saw fit to mention them to the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the counter-terrorism policy board in Washington, Immigration or the Defense Department?
The Bin Laden Issue Station – codenamed Alec by insiders such as US Army Lieutenant Colonel Anthony Shaffer – was the CIA unit dedicated to reporting on al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and militants in Afghanistan. It was this unit that had called on authorities in Malaysia to monitor the Kuala Lumpur “terror summit” at which plans for 9/11 were probably finalized. Both al-Midhar and al-Hazmi were at that meeting.