THE FBI has launched a manhunt for a previously unknown team of men suspected of being part of the September 11 attacks.
Secret documents disclose that the three Qatari men, who had flown into America from London, conducted surveillance on the targets of the atrocities, provided "support" to the plotters and had tickets for a flight to Washington on the eve of the attacks.
They allegedly carried out surveillance at the World Trade Center, the White House and in Virginia, the US state where the Pentagon and CIA headquarters are located.
Ten days later, they flew to Los Angeles, where they stationed themselves in a hotel near the airport which the FBI has now established was paid for by a "convicted terrorist", who had also paid for their airline tickets.
Hotel staff have told investigators they saw pilot uniforms in their room along with computer print-outs detailing pilot names, flight numbers and times, and packages addressed to Syria, Afghanistan, Jerusalem and Jordan.
On September 10 they were booked on an American Airlines flight from Los Angeles to Washington but failed to board.
The following day the same Boeing 757 aircraft was hijacked by five terrorists and crashed into the Pentagon.
Instead of boarding their flight to Washington, the Qatari suspects -- named as Meshal Alhajri, Fahad Abdulla and Ali Alfehaid -- flew back to London on a British Airways flight before returning to Qatar. Their current location is unknown.
Investigators are also hunting a fourth man, Mohamed Ali Mohamed Al Mansoori, who they say supported the alleged terrorist cell while they were in the US.
The man, who is from the United Arab Emirates, previously lived in Long Beach, Los Angeles. His current location is also unknown.
The details of the previously unknown 9/11 team have emerged in a secret US government document obtained by the WikiLeaks website.
Details of the unknown 9/11 alleged plotters have never previously been disclosed. An official inquiry into the 9/11 attacks, which killed almost 3,000 people, indicated that the men may have received assistance in Los Angeles but investigators did not publicly provide more details.
The 9/11 Commission report, published in July 2004, states that at least two of the hijackers previously visited Los Angeles but, at the time, investigators appeared to have little information on their movements.
Only one person, Zacarias Moussaoui, has been tried and convicted over involvement in the 9/11 attacks as all the terrorists died in the crashed planes. Moussaoui, accused of being the "20th hijacker", was sentenced to life in prison.
Last night, a spokesman for the FBI declined to comment.