September 11 attackers 'passed through Iran'

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The Independent US

Eight of the 11 September 2001, hijackers passed through Iran before attacking the US, but there is no sign of official Iranian complicity, the CIA's acting director said yesterday.

Eight of the 11 September 2001, hijackers passed through Iran before attacking the US, but there is no sign of official Iranian complicity, the CIA's acting director said yesterday.

"We have no evidence that there is some sort of official connection between Iran and 9/11," John McLaughlin, acting director of the CIA, said.

The disclosure that the hijackers transited Iran raises the question of whether the Bush administration has been too focused on Iraq in seeking state connections to the attacks, said a Democratic member of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Iran acknowledged some of the 9/11 attackers may have passed through illegally, but said it had since tightened border controls. It said any attempts to tie the country to al-Qa'ida, the militant network which carried out the attacks, were part of US election-year "news propaganda."

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