September 17, 2005 -- WASHINGTON — Members of a secret Pentagon intelligence unit known as Able Danger warned top military generals that it had uncovered information of increased al Qaeda "activity" in Aden harbor less than three weeks before the attack on the USS Cole, The Post has learned.
In the latest explosive revelation in the Able Danger saga, two former members of the data-mining team are expected to testify to the Senate Judiciary Committee next week that they uncovered alarming terrorist activity and associations in Aden weeks before the Oct. 12, 2000, suicide bombing of the U.S. warship that killed 17 sailors.
Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer, the Defense Intelligence Agency's former liaison to Able Danger, told The Post that Capt. Scott Phillpott, Able Danger's leader, briefed Gen. Peter Schoomaker, former head of Special Operations Command and now Army chief of staff, about the findings on Yemen "two or three weeks" before the Cole attack.
"Yemen was elevated by Able Danger to be one of the top three hot spots for al Qaeda in the entire world," Shaffer recalled.
Shaffer and two other officials familiar with Able Danger said contractors uncovered al Qaeda activities in Yemen through a search of Osama bin Laden's business ties.
The Pentagon had no immediate comment.
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