By CURT ANDERSON, Associated Press Writer
WASHINGTON - Sept. 11 plot mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed originally envisioned an attack involving 10 hijacked planes with himself as the pilot of one in which all male passengers would be killed and he would deliver an anti-American harangue upon landing. Based on interviews with government officials and documents they reviewed, said Mohammed initially proposed hitting CIA (news - web sites) and FBI (news - web sites) headquarters, unidentified nuclear plants and tall buildings in California and Washington state, in addition to the World Trade Center, Pentagon (news - web sites) and White House or Capitol.
Mohammed, who is in U.S. custody at an undisclosed overseas location, told interrogators that rather than crashing his hijacked plane into a target, he wanted to land and make a political statement. Mohammed proposed killing every male passenger aboard, landing at a U.S. airport and making a "speech denouncing U.S. policies in the Middle East before releasing all the women and children."
_Bin Laden wanted the fourth plane to strike the White House, but Atta believed the White House was too difficult to hit. Eventually, Atta agreed to the White House but kept the Capitol in reserve. However, based on other exchanges between the hijackers, it remains unclear exactly which was the target on Sept 11.
_Atta said the hijackers planned to crash their planes to the ground if problems arose during the flights. Atta himself planned to crash his into the streets of New York if he couldn't strike the World Trade Center. The fourth plane crashed into a Pennsylvania field after passengers fought back against the hijackers.