June 13, 2001: Egyptian President Mubarak claims that Egyptian intelligence discovers a "communiqué from bin Laden saying he wanted to assassinate George W. Bush and other G8 heads of state during their summit in Italy." The communiqué specifically mentions this would be done via "an airplane stuffed with explosives." The US and Italy are sent urgent warnings of this and the attack is apparently aborted (see July 20-22, 2001). [New York Times, 9/26/01] Mubarak claims that Egyptian intelligence officials informed American intelligence officers between March and May 2001 that an Egyptian agent had penetrated the bin Laden organization. Presumably this explains how Egypt is able to give the US these warnings (see also Late July 2001 (D) and August 30, 2001). [New York Times, 6/4/02]

Mid-July 2001: US intelligence reports another spike in warnings (see June 13, 2001 for a previous warning) related to the July 20-22 G-8 summit in Genoa, Italy (see July 20-22, 2001). The reports include specific threats discovered by the head of Russia's Federal Bodyguard Service that al-Qaeda will try to kill Bush as he attends the summit. [CNN, 3/02] The reports are taken so seriously that Bush stays overnight on an aircraft carrier offshore, and other world leaders stay on a luxury ship. [CNN, 7/18/01] Two days before the summit begins, the BBC reports: "The huge force of officers and equipment which has been assembled to deal with unrest has been spurred on by a warning that supporters of Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden might attempt an air attack on some of the world leaders present." [BBC, 7/18/01]

July 20-22, 2001: The G8 summit is held in Genoa, Italy. Acting on previous warnings that al-Qaeda would attempt to kill Bush and other leaders (see Mid-July 2001), Italy surrounds the summit with antiaircraft guns, keeps fighters in the air, and closes off local airspace to all planes. No attack occurs. US officials at the time state that the warnings were "unsubstantiated" but after 9/11 claim success in preventing an attack. Lying about Genoa keeps the public and the airlines uninformed about the seriousness of the current terrorist threat. [Los Angeles Times, 9/27/01] FTW