Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

Skip to comments.

Trial Begins In 1993 WTC Bombing Suit
1010wins ^ | Sep 23, 2005 4:42 pm US/Eastern

Posted on 09/24/2005 9:36:50 AM PDT by Calpernia

Families of the six who were killed and the more than 1,000 injured in the first World Trade Center bombing will see their lawsuits against the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey go to trial on Monday after 12 years of legal delays.

Six main jurors and four alternates were chosen Friday for the trial before State Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Figueroa. The trial is expected to last five weeks.

Lawyers for more than 400 individuals and businesses who filed some 175 lawsuits, say the deadly blast on Feb. 26, 1993, from 1,200 pounds of explosives in a rented van in a public garage under one of the 110-story twin towers, was a foreseeable act.

Figueroa told the lawyers in the case to avoid talking to the news media. But plaintiffs' lawyers have said a 1984 report commissioned by the Port Authority, the bistate agency that owned the 16-acre trade center site, found that the garage was an easy terrorist target.

The plaintiffs' lawyers, led by David J. Dean, must try to prove that the Port Authority negligently failed to establish proper security measures after it was warned that a terrorist attack was possible.

Four people were convicted in March 1994 on charges related to placing and detonating the explosives and causing the deaths, injuries and damage.

Lawyers for the Port Authority have argued that the bombing was not foreseeable or preventable and therefore the agency should not be held responsible for the deaths and injuries.

Justice Stanley Sklar, the previous judge in the litigation, rejected motions by the Port Authority's lawyers to throw the case out. He said the case could proceed, and an appeals court affirmed his ruling.

Sklar agreed with plaintiffs' lawyers who said that as early as 1984 the Port Authority's own Terrorist Planning and Intelligence Section had made an ``eerily accurate'' prediction of the kind of attack that might occur at the World Trade Center.

The appeals judges, in a brief and terse ruling, wrote, ``unanimously affirmed for the reasons stated by Sklar, J(ustice).''

Port Authority spokesman Steve Coleman said at that time that the agency was ``disappointed with this decision'' and was considering further appellate review.

The current trial is meant to determine only whether the Port Authority was negligent and therefore liable for damages. If the Port Authority is found liable, several separate trials will be held to determine money damages.

TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; News/Current Events; US: New Jersey; US: New York; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: gwot; jerseycity; jihadinamerica; lawsuit; newjersey; newyork; newyorkcity; nj; ny; nynjpa; portauthority; ramseyyousef; ramseyyusef; ramsyyousef; ramzi; sheikrahman; terrortrials; wtc1993; wtc93; yusef; yusuf

1 posted on 09/24/2005 9:36:52 AM PDT by Calpernia
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | View Replies]

To: Calpernia

He yelled, "Some plane just hit the Trade Center."

Yousef quickly looked up at the black-and-white TV above his head. Eyes wide at the site of the North Tower burning, he turned up the sound and heard the voice of an eyewitness: "I just saw the entire top part of the World Trade Center explode."

Yousef rocked back, amazed himself at the execution of his plan. He stared at the news footage of racing FDNY engines, terrified evacuees, and bodies dropping from the towers. Then, from the Battery, a camera captured United Airlines Flight 175 slamming into the South Tower.

Another onlooker described it as "a sickening sight." But Yousef, the master terrorist, saw it as the culmination of a dream and the end to some unfinished business. He dropped to the floor, bent over, and gave thanks. "Praise Allah the merciful and the just, the lord of the worlds. We thank you for delivering this message to the apostates."

Later that morning, Yousef's cell door swung open and a pair of FBI agents from the Colorado Springs office came in. They stood in the three-foot-wide anteroom between the solid steel cell door and the bars to the cell.

The convicted terrorist got up from his bed and approached the bars as the two agents presented Bureau IDs and identified themselves.

"Why do you come here?" he demanded.

One of the agents nodded to the TV behind Yousef, still tuned to CNN.

"Did you have anything to do with that?"

Yousef shot back: "How would I possibly know what was going on from in here? Besides, I am represented by counsel. You have no right to question me without my attorney present."

The two agents eyed each other. Now they were facing Yousef the lawyer, the man who had represented himself throughout the entire three months of the Manila airline bombing trial.

"I have nothing else to say to you," snapped Yousef. He turned up the sound on the TV and sat back down on his bed.

The agents withdrew, but within minutes the steel door swung back open and two Bureau of Prisons guards stormed in.

As one began to unlock Yousef's cell bars, the other one shouted, "Get up and face the wall." Yousef stared at him defiantly for a moment, but then the guard slammed a black box and a belly belt chain against the bars, so Yousef got up. Now, as he faced the wall, one guard came in and quickly put the belt around his waist. The other one bent down and snapped on ankle irons and a chain.

"What is this?" shouted Yousef. "What are you doing?"

"Changing cells," said one of the guards. He turned off the TV. The guards turned him around and shuffled him out of the cell, moving him down the corridor of "D" wing, past the cell of the infamous Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. (For a time, this so-called bombers row had also housed convicted Oklahoma City bombers Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols.)

One of the guards unlocked the door to an empty cell and moved Yousef inside as he continued to rant.

When the guards had him locked behind the cell bars, they slammed closed the steel door and went back to Yousef's cell. There they began to toss it, searching around the mattress and on the shelf beside the bed, throwing Yousef's letters, papers and drawings into a plastic garbage bag. The units on the maximum-security "D" wing are supposed to be soundproof, but as the guards worked to clean out Yousef's cell, they could still hear him screaming down the corridor.

"Why are you doing this? Why would you think that I could have any knowledge of this thing that happened? I've been in this place locked down for years. Do you hear me?"

In fact, Yousef's knowledge of the plot was quite precise. He had designed it with his uncle and his best friend back in 1994. It had now been executed almost exactly as he intended. Only the details of the timing had been unknown to him.

Another thing Yousef couldn't possibly know was that across the country, earlier that morning, a woman who'd almost stopped him had watched the devastation firsthand. She had put all of this behind her years ago, or so she thought. But now the terror she'd been so close to preventing was back. For FBI special agent Nancy Floyd, an old wound had just been ripped open.


Nancy Floyd had come within weeks of breaking Yousef's bomb cell in the fall of 1992, but her investigation had been shut down by a Bureau superior in New York. Now, just before 9 a.m., as she drove west across the George Washington Bridge on her way to an off-site surveillance assignment, Agent Floyd heard a report on her car radio about an explosion at the Trade Center.

She hit the brakes. Dozens of cars in front of her skidded to a stop, and traffic on both sides of the bridge ground to a halt as the morning commuters heard the news and spilled out onto the bridge. It was still early in the attack, and the onlookers around her were speculating: "Are they sure it's a plane?"

"Maybe a gas leak?"

Standing there on the bridge, though, the 41-year-old special agent from Texas knew in her gut what it was: an attack by Middle Eastern terrorists -- and not just any attack, but one hatched in the brilliant but deadly mind of Ramzi Yousef.

Minutes later, United Airlines Flight 175 roared across the river from New Jersey. For a moment it looked as if the 175 was pointed toward the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor; then it turned to the left, and slammed into the upper floors of the South Tower.

Back in 1992, through Emad Salem, an Egyptian informant she'd recruited, Nancy Floyd had come so close to the men around Yousef that she could almost smell them. By then, Ramzi Yousef was hard at work at an apartment in Jersey City, building the 1,500-pound urea-nitrate-fuel oil device he would soon plant on the B-2 level beneath the two towers.

Now Nancy watched those towers as they burned, knowing that, though he'd been in federal lockup since 1995, this was somehow the fulfilment of Yousef's plan. For Agent Floyd it was a vindication, but she took little comfort in the thought.

Her attempt to expose the first Trade Center plot had almost ended her career. Only now, years later, had she begun to recover. She'd put in for a transfer to a small FBI regional office in the far west; her request had been granted, and now Nancy was only 18 days away from leaving New York.

Long ago she'd tried to bury thoughts of Yousef and the 1993 bombing, but now she couldn't stop thinking about him -- especially after a call she'd received that past August from her old informant Salem. He'd been in the Federal Witness Protection Program ever since testifying against the cell around Yousef and Sheik Abdel Rahman. Largely on Salem's word, the blind sheik had been convicted of a plot to blow up a series of New York landmarks, including the tunnels leading into Manhattan and the very bridge Nancy Floyd was now standing on.

But years before, Floyd had been prohibited by the Bureau from taking Salem's calls, or ever discussing the details of the original bombing with him.

Then, a few weeks before 9/11, she was working an FBI undercover assignment when Salem sent word that he wanted to talk to her. They never connected. So she never heard what he wanted to say.

Now, as she stood watching the towers burn, Nancy Floyd felt a cold throb at the base of her spine. Could Emad have been calling to warn me about this? she wondered. She would never know. Only in the summer of 2002, months after the attacks, did Nancy Floyd become aware that another investigator had been on a parallel course.


Ronnie Bucca

Along with the word tragedy, Sept. 11 was the day the word hero took on new meaning. For the Fire Department of New York, the statistics were numbing: 343 members of service lost their lives; 90 firefighters in the Department's Special Operations Command were wiped out; Rescue One, the pre-eminent heavy rescue company in the world, lost 11 men in a house of 25. Sept. 11 was a day full of terrible ironies, but one of the cruelest involved a man who was already a bona fide legend in the FDNY 15 years before he raced up the stairs of the South Tower to his death.

Ronnie Bucca was a 47-year-old fire marshal with the FDNY's Bureau of Fire Investigation. A veteran firefighter himself, Bucca had investigated the original WTC bombing in 1993 -- and had come away convinced that the perpetrators would return to finish the job.

Over the next six years, as he educated himself on Islamic fundamentalism, Bucca found himself continually frustrated by the FBI's inability to appreciate the bin Laden threat or share the intel. Despite the fact that he had a top secret security clearance as a warrant officer in a high-level army reserve intelligence unit, Bucca was repeatedly frozen out by members of the NYPD-FBI Joint Terrorist Task Force, one of the key Bureau units hunting Yousef. His frustration reached a fever pitch in 1999, after he uncovered startling evidence that an Egyptian with direct ties to the blind Sheik was actually working inside FDNY headquarters.

Now, astonishingly, on that morning, as Nancy Floyd watched from the George Washington Bridge, Ronnie Bucca was on the 78th floor of the South Tower with a hose in his hand, trying to beat back the flames.

The general consensus in the intelligence community is that the man who became famous as Yousef was born Abdul Basit Mahmud Abdul Karim in Kuwait. His father, an engineer named Mohammed Abdul Karim, had emigrated to Fuhayhil, a Kuwaiti oil-boom town where young Yousef/Basit came of age.

In 1989, he earned a diploma in electronics from the West Glomorgan Institute of Higher Learning in South Wales. At the three-year technical college, he specialized in computer-aided electronics. Yousef was in Kuwait visiting family and friends in August 1990 when Saddam Hussein's tanks rolled in and took the country.

His Iraqi connections would be the subject of debate among intelligence analysts for years to come. But sometime after the invasion, the 23-year-old took off for the University of Dawa and Jihad, an al-Qaida training school located at the Jalozai refugee camp, 48 km east of Peshawar in northwest Pakistan.

There, with 55 other young jihadis from around the world, Yousef took a six-month course, specializing in explosives. He learned how to make slow-burning fuses using gunpowder rolled into cotton, on linen coated with an insulating layer of pitch. He studied the use of electrical switches, discovering that given the proper accelerant, the spark from a simple nine-volt battery would be sufficient to detonate a device of tremendous killing power.
By one account, the gangly young Yousef sat in the back of a tent in the Jalozai camp as an instructor lectured in Arabic on how to build an effective improvised explosive device from an egg timer, some lamp cord and an open can of gasoline.

"You must be careful how you set the timer," the instructor said, splitting the ends of the lamp cord and twisting it around the poles of the small device.

He stripped the other ends into a pig's tail and taped them across the mouth of the gas can. "When the timer rings, it will send a charge along the wire, which will short, causing a spark to ignite the gas vapours." But he took care to admonish them: "These timers are unreliable. Always set them ahead. Five minutes can mean three." He asked for a volunteer.
Without hesitating, Yousef jumped up. He strutted like a young fighting gamecock toward the device. The instructor told him to get behind the sandbags, remove the pairs, reconnect them, and reset the timer.
Yousef nodded, cold as ice. He quickly examined the live divide then deftly removed the pairs. He reconnected them -- then reset the timer for one minute. The timer ticked away. But instead of running, Yousef walked slowly back around the sandbags. When the gas tank suddenly blew, Yousef was knocked to the ground.

Raging, the instructor ran up to him.

"Murtadd!" he said. "Fool! You might have been killed."

But Yousef eyed him defiantly. "Let the man who lacks the courage to do this for Allah go live with the women."
The instructor winced, then smiled at Yousef's reckless bravery. The other students surrounded him. They fired AK-47s into the air in a blizzard of lead. Abdul Basit savoured the triumph, and the legend of Ramzi Yousef was born.

The irony was that Yousef acquired his bomb-building knowledge under the tutelage of men who were funded in part by Uncle Sam. In intelligence circles, they call it blowback, a deadly unintended consequence of a covert op. In this case, Yousef learned his deadly skills from men who, for years, had been supported and sponsored by the CIA.

In the late 1980s the Central Intelligence Agency funnelled billions in arms and munitions to the Afghan mujahedin rebels in their war against the invading Soviets. The U.S. price tag for the covert aid reportedly reached $3 billion. Journalist Mary Anne Weaver noted that the Soviet invasion, begun in 1979, was a kind of Spanish Civil War for Islamics. As many as 25,000 young jihadis like Yousef poured in from around the globe to fight and train in guerrilla tactics.

Though they were all later dubbed "Afghan Arabs," there were blue-eyed Chechens, black South Africans and Filipinos training along with Kurds, Yemenis, Uzbekis and Saudis. They studied bomb making, hijacking and other covert ops. The difference was that the veterans of the anti-fascist campaign in the 1930s, like Hemingway, went to Paris to write books, while the Afghan War jihadis decided to focus their attention on the West and blow things up.

During this period, intelligence officials believe that Yousef first hooked up with three men who would one day carve their names in the history of Islamic terror. Abdurajak Janjalani was a Libyan-trained Filipino whose nom de guerre was Abu Sayyaf. Mahmud Abouhalima was a 6-foot-2 red-headed Egyptian who did two tours in Afghanistan. Known as "the Red," Abouhalima was a disciple of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, leader of the al Gamm'a Islamiya (IG), one of the most virulent Egyptian terror groups.

These Afghan connections would prove crucial to Yousef as his career advanced. Abouhalima would become one of his key operatives as he built the original World Trade Center bomb in 1992. Sheikh Rahman would be at the heart of Yousef's bombing cell, based in Jersey City. Later, the Abu Sayyaf terror group, named for Janjalani, would provide Yousef with the infrastructure he needed when he plotted the 9/11 attacks in Manila in 1995.

But the bomb maker's chief sponsor over the years -- the man who funded and guided him -- was the 17th son of a Saudi construction billionaire named Osama bin Laden. Beginning in the early 1990s, Yousef emerged as the point man for bin Laden's worldwide terror network. Al-Qaida, meaning "the base," sprang directly from a string of refugee centres set up as fundraising conduits for the mujahedin rebels.
In short, when probing the origin of the 9/11 attacks, all roads lead back to Afghanistan and Peshawar in the final days of the Soviet invasion.

But as the two jetliners hit the World Trade Center towers almost two years ago, three strangers knew exactly what had happened. FBI agent Nancy Floyd, FDNY Fire Marshal Ronnie Bucca and Ramzi Yousef, the bomb-making terrorist an American judge once called "an apostle of evil," had been on a collision course for years -- soldiers on opposing sides in a terror war raging since the late 1980s. In the new best-seller 1000 Years For Revenge, Peter Lance reports the untold story of how the FBI failed to prevent the 9/11 attacks. The title of the book is taken from an old expression in the Baluchistan no man's land of Pakistan, Yousef's homeland: "If it takes me 10 centuries to kill my enemy, I will wait a thousand years for revenge."
In the last part of an exclusive three-part series of excerpts in The Toronto Sun, Lance reveals how a terrorist worked in the Fire Department of New York in the 1990s and how the threat of another 9/11 continues to this day.

Among Sheik Rahman's devoted followers at the Brooklyn mosque was a quiet, unassuming accountant named Ahmed Amin Refai. Born in Alexandria, Egypt, Refai had emigrated to the United States in 1970. For the past 16 years he had worked in the Capital Budget Unit of the New York City Fire Department -- or hardly worked, according to Kay Woods, an assistant FDNY commissioner who was Refai's boss at the time.
"Ahmed really had the time of his life," said Woods. "He would come in late. He would call in sick. He would take long lunches. He would make phone calls to Egypt. He literally fell asleep at his desk sometimes."

After Sheik Rahman arrived, Refai would spend hours at the Al Farooq and Abu Bakr mosques, not far from FDNY headquarters in Brooklyn.

For the most part, Refai kept his head down and acted like a nondescript city bureaucrat. His tenure remained uneventful until one day in the early 1990s when Woods decided to empty out a series of filing cabinets left over from an FDNY unit that had once used the office.

"There were these old beat-up green cabinets," said Woods, "full of files that a former FDNY fire captain had reviewed." The file cabinets were loaded with architectural drawings and the plans of various city buildings. To accommodate the discarded files, Woods brought in two dumpsters. She was just coming back from lunch one day when she found Ahmed Refai rifling through them. Along with the blueprints, there were pen-and-ink drawings and some architectural renderings. Woods asked what Refai was doing. He smiled and turned to face her.

"Oh, I was just going to keep those. Do you mind if I keep some?"

"No," she told the immigrant Egyptian. "They're going out in the garbage. Keep whatever you want. Why? What are you gonna do with them?"
Refai just smiled and gathered up the files that he wanted. Among them were detailed drawings and blueprints of the bridges and tunnels around Manhattan and the eight-square-block Port Authority complex between West and Liberty Sts.: The World Trade Center.
Less than an hour after his capture in Pakistan in 1995, Ramzi Yousef seemed compelled to regale the agents with his accomplishments. When asked his name, he gave his latest persona, "Ali Baloch," then added: "I have many."
It was a relatively brief interview. Secret Service Agent Brian Parr and FBI Agent Chuck Stern were on their way to Islamabad aboard a government 707 jet to effect Yousef's transfer to New York. Airborne, they would question him for hours.

But at this point, the bomb maker, dressed in a mustard-coloured jumpsuit, seemed to be as preoccupied with his appearance as his custody status. He asked the agents if he could get a suit coat, dress shirt, tie, trousers, socks and dress shoes on the off chance that he might be exposed to the press.

Ramzi Yousef was one terrorist who kept his own clippings.

He had been a fugitive for almost two years. As al-Qaida's chief bomb maker and operational point man, he was in possession of an extraordinary number of secrets. Yet now, in the course of this first interrogation, Yousef seemed almost casual in his willingness to talk.
"I masterminded the explosion (at the Trade Center)," he boasted, alleging the bomb cost him $20,000 to build. He admitted he'd been wired money by some "friends" in Pakistan, but said nothing more about his sponsors.
As to his motivation, Yousef insisted he was primarily driven to attack America because of U.S. support for Israel.

That issue becomes important when determining who was truly behind him -- Iraq, as many analysts alleged, or Osama bin Laden.

Osama bin Laden

It's quite possible that Yousef gave up the details of the Trade Center bomb to divert the feds' attention from his more ambitious "third plot," to hijack airliners and use them as missiles. But without realizing it, Yousef was giving the agents clues about his true patron. In repeated public announcements and fatwas over the next five years, Osama bin Laden denounced what he called the "Zionist-Crusaders." His closest Egyptian cohorts had suffered humiliating defeats by the Israelis in 1973 and 1967. Yousef's own mother was Palestinian; he later told a reporter that his grandmother had a home in Haifa that was denied him.

Those who believed that Saddam Hussein had sent Yousef to America pointed to the fact that the bombing happened on Feb. 26, 1993, the second anniversary of the Kuwait liberation, and that Yousef had entered JFK airport six months earlier on an Iraqi passport.
The issue of Yousef's sponsorship wasn't a major focus of the interrogation. Bits and pieces of the story surfaced at different points as the bomb maker responded to the agents' questions. Without even intending to, though, Yousef revealed evidence that should have signalled to the FBI his true backers: Osama bin Laden and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.

For example, Yousef revealed that the date of the WTC bombing was capricious. He struck when he did, he insisted, because the rent was coming due on the bomb factory in Jersey City and the cell had run out of money. The Iraqi passport, he explained, was a cheap $100 item he'd picked up in Peshawar, where they were plentiful because of the number of Iraqi rebels who had raided passport offices in northern Iraq. As to the theory that he'd hijacked a Kuwaiti's identity with the help of Saddam's intelligence agents, Yousef said that he'd actually worked in the Kuwaiti ministry of planning, but was forced to flee the country when Iraqi troops invaded in August 1990.

He also confessed to the agents that he was "interested" in Sheik Rahman, who had just gone on trial in New York for the Day of Terror plot. Yousef said he'd requested an audience with the cleric and he'd had dinner with the blind sheik at his Jersey City apartment.

But potential ties between Abdel Rahman and Saddam Hussein were unlikely: In 1991 the sheik had been booed off the pulpit of the Al Farooq Mosque in Brooklyn for a blistering speech attacking the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait. Saddam was just the sort of Arab leader fundamentalists like Rahman and bin Laden abhorred. Their mutual mentor, Sayyid Qutb, had railed against pan-Arabists. Secular Islamists like Saddam Hussein ranked third on their enemies list, behind Jews and Christians. As the sheik and bin Laden saw it, rulers like Saddam, who permitted Western dress and the consumption of alcohol, had created what Qutb called a "schizophrenia" among Muslims.

Still, the myth that Yousef and al-Qaida got their marching orders from Iraq would persist right up through the capture of Baghdad in April 2003.

It was after dark Eastern time when the 707 touched down at Stewart Airport in Orange County, N.Y. Yousef was transferred to a Sikorsky helicopter for the trip south to the Metropolitan Correctional Center in Lower Manhattan. While the chopper approached the heliport, Yousef gave FBI agents a chilling warning of what was to come. As the Sikorsky descended past the gleaming 110-storey skyscrapers, one of the agents lifted Yousef's blindfold and gestured toward the twin towers. "See," he said. "You didn't get them after all." Yousef eyed him, then fidgeted in his heavy cuffs and snapped back: "Not yet."

Much of the history of modern terrorism was written by Ramzi Yousef. But on April 4, 2003, in a sweeping 186-page opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit turned down his appeal of his bombing convictions. Ruling on 43 separate issues, the court acknowledged some error at the trial level, but effectively denied all the terrorist's claims.

Yousef's attorney, Bernie Kleinman, has filed a notice of appeal and will seek a writ of certiorari from the U.S. Supreme Court. But for now, the Special Administrative Measure that has kept Yousef in restricted solitary confinement remains in place. Every day, the deadliest terrorist in captivity sits in a stark underground concrete cell in the Supermax prison in Colorado. Since 9/11 he has been allowed no television, no radio and no reading material of any kind that would give him a hint of events in the outside world.

Yet Yousef still casts a long shadow over the United States. On May 16, 2003, in a chilling reminder of his "third plot," The New York Times reported that his uncle, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, had confessed to interrogators that "landmarks in New York and Washington, previously selected by Mr. bin Laden, remain on al-Qaida's target list." Included on that list was the Sears Tower in Chicago, which Yousef had marked for demolition as early as 1994.

2 posted on 09/24/2005 9:42:55 AM PDT by Calpernia (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 1 | View Replies]

To: Calpernia

Senate Judiciary Committee

Subcommittee on Technology, Terrorism, and Government Information

Hearing on

"Foreign Terrorists in America: Five Years After the World Trade


February 24, 1998


As you know, we are here to discuss the trial of the terrorists

who bombed the World Trade Center. The trial of four of the

conspirators began approximately six months after the bombing.

After a six-month jury trial, each defendant was found guilty on

all counts. Last fall, Ramzi Yousef, who was a fugitive during

the first trial, was also tried and convicted for the World Trade

Center bombing. Each defendant was sentenced to a total of 240

years' imprisonment.

The defendants' respective roles in the terrorist plot - and

their participation in the World Trade Center bombing - were

reconstructed using over 1,000 exhibits and the testimony of more

than 200 witnesses. In the end, the evidence overwhelmingly

established that Ramzi Yousef, Mohammed Salameh, Nidal Ayyad,

Mahmud Abouhalima, Ahmad Ajaj and Abdul Rahman Yasin conspired to

bomb targets in the United States and that, as part of their

terrorist scheme, they participated in the February 26, 1993

bombing of the World Trade Center.

1. September 9, 1991 Through September 2, 1992; Ajaj Enters The

United States, Leaves To Obtain Explosives Training, And Plots

With Yousef To Bomb Targets In The United States.

Ahmad Ajaj first entered the United States on September 9, 1991.

He settled in Houston, Texas, and filed a petition for political

asylum, claiming that the Israeli government had imprisoned and

tortured him in retaliation for his peaceful opposition to the

Israeli occupation of Palestine.

Ajaj never appeared for an INS hearing on his asylum claim.

Instead, Ajaj relinquished his Houston apartment and, in April

1992, hastily left the country under an assumed name to attend a

terrorist training camp on the border of Afghanistan and


After arriving in Pakistan, Ajaj traveled to Dubai and then to

Saudi Arabia. In Saudi Arabia, Ajaj obtained a letter of

introduction to "Camp Khaldan," a terrorist training camp located

just across the border from Peshawar, Pakistan, in Afghanistan.

The letter of introduction stated that the bearer, Ajaj, had come

to the "land of jihad" for training, and asked the leader of the

camp to provide Ajaj with training in weapons and explosives.

With the letter in hand, Ajaj traveled to the Afghanistan border

to attend Camp Khaldan. While at the terrorist training camp,

Ajaj studied the construction of a number of explosive devices.

Also while in Pakistan, Ajaj made contact with Ramzi Yousef.

Together, Ajaj and Yousef plotted to apply their collective

explosives training and experience to bomb targets in the United

States. With this objective, Ajaj and Yousef studied the

voluminous materials amassed by Ajaj, including a series of

printed bombmaking manuals with blue covers. Those blue books,

like Ajaj's handwritten notes, contained formulae for various

explosives later used by the conspirators to make the World Trade

Center bomb.

Specifically, in assimilating their knowledge of explosives for

use in the United States, Yousef and Ajaj appear to have focused

on those portions of Ajaj's terrorist materials that explain how

to make a bomb using the explosive compound urea nitrate as the

primary explosive - the same compound later used as the main

charge of the World Trade Center bomb. Formula and instructions

for making a number of other explosives later used as boosters in

the World Trade Center bomb such as nitroglycerin and lead azide

- were contained in Ajaj's blue books as well. In addition, the

blue books set forth formulae and instructions concerning the use

of explosives such as ammonium nitrate dynamite, which can be

made with nitroglycerin. The conspirators were guided by these

teachings when they produced the ammonium nitrate dynamite that

served as a detonator for the World Trade Center bomb.

The materials Ajaj gathered during his terrorist course of study

also included instructions on making and using false

identification. Following those instructions, Ajaj and Yousef,

while overseas in 1992, collected materials such as photographs,

identification cards, bank records, education records, and

medical records to create the false identifies they would - use

to travel to the United States to carry out the terrorist plot.

Additionally, his materials recommended that a ground floor

location be selected as the base of operations for an urban

terrorist organization in order to facilitate an escape if


Ajaj's terrorist studies abroad also encompassed instructional

videotapes. The videos not only demonstrated how to make

explosives, but also advocated a specific bombing target: the

United States. For example, the opening scene in one of the

videos, obviously intended to be inspirational, shows a van

crashing into the front of a United States embassy. Once inside

the embassy, the suicidal driver of the van detonates a bomb,

which destroys the embassy. Following that introduction, the

video demonstrates how to make a number of explosives.

Having assimilated his explosives training and gathered his kit

of terrorist materials, Ajaj and Yousef made plans illegally to

enter the United States, and to bring with them Ajaj's terrorist

kit. In August 1992, Ajaj and Yousef made reservations together

through a travel agency to fly from Peshawar, Pakistan to New

York City under assumed names. Both Ajaj and Yousef had entire

identities created to support their assumed names, including

passports, identification cards, bank records, education records,

and medical records.

On August 31, 1992, Ajaj and Yousef boarded a flight from

Peshawar to Karachi. On that flight, which constituted the first

leg of their journey to New York, Ajaj and Yousef occupied

adjacent seats in the first class section. When they changed

planes in Karachi for the second leg of their trip to New York,

however, Ajaj and Yousef split up in order to disguise the fact

that they were traveling together. They checked in separately and

sat apart from each other in the first class section of the


Yousef, who was dressed in a multi-colored, three-piece silk

outfit, left Pakistan using a British passport under an assumed

name. Ajaj, who was dressed in a conservative suit and tie,

carried a valid Swedish passport. That passport had been altered

by affixing Ajaj's photograph on top of the original photograph.

Evidently expecting to pass unchallenged through the INS

inspection area at New York's Kennedy Airport - since an

individual bearing a valid Swedish passport does not even need a

visa to enter the United States - it was Ajaj who carried the

kit of terrorist materials.

Specifically, Ajaj carried, among other things: two notebooks

handwritten notes on explosives, six printed bomb-making manuals

with blue covers; two instructional videotapes on making

explosives; anti-American and anti-Israeli materials; and

documents relating to false identifies.

Once Ajaj and Yousef arrived at the INS inspection area at

Kennedy Airport September 1, 1992, however, things did not go as

planned. The first INS on Inspector that Ajaj encountered

determined that Ajaj's Swedish passport was suspicious, and

directed Ajaj to the secondary inspection area. The Inspector

examined the passport and, upon discovering that it had been

altered, opened Ajaj's luggage and found the terrorist kit. Ajaj

was detained as a danger to the United States, and was later

charged with passport fraud in the for using the fake passport.

Ultimately, Ajaj entered a plea of guilty to that charge and was

sentenced to six months, imprisonment.

Meanwhile, at Kennedy Airport on September 1, 1992, Yousef - who

did not have a visa - was sent directly to the secondary

inspection area. Yousef abandoned his British identity upon

reaching the United States, opting instead to use an Iraqi

passport and claim political asylum. When Yousef was interviewed

at the secondary inspection area, he was arrested for entering

the country without a visa.

Yousef asserted, in a sworn statement to INS officials, that he

had succeeded in boarding the flight to New York by bribing an

official in Pakistan. Additionally, rather than divulge that he

was traveling with Ajaj - who was carrying their terrorist kit -

Yousef claimed to be traveling alone. Ajaj also claimed to be

traveling alone. Ajaj's lie, together with the fact that the

terrorist materials were carried by Ajaj rather than by Yousef,

resulted in Yousef being released on his own recognizance. Thus,

although Ajaj was detained and the terrorist material seized,

Yousef succeeded in entering the country to carry out the

bomb plot.

2. September Through December 1992: The Conspirators Obtain

Money, Chemicals, A Storage Locker, And Other Items For The Bomb


Upon entering the United States, Yousef quickly began to work

with other trusted co-conspirators on the bomb plot. Within two

days of his arrival, Yousef had made contact with defendants

Mohammed Salameh and Abdul Rahman Yasin, who both lived in Jersey

City, New Jersey. Yousef began living with Salameh and became

known to his coconspirators as "Rashed.".

a. Ajaj Continues to Assist With The Bomb Plot While


Ajaj was incarcerated from September 2, 1992, when he was

detained by INS officials at Kennedy Airport. Nevertheless, Ajaj

remained in contact with Yousef and other co-conspirators and

continued to be involved in the bomb plot during this period.

During his time in federal custody, Ajaj never contacted Yousef

directly. Rather, Ajaj used a friend in Dallas as an

intermediary. Specifically, Ajaj would call Dallas from prison,

and his friend would then either relay messages to Yousef or

patch three-way calls through to Yousef, thereby rendering law

enforcement efforts to detect contact between Ajaj and Yousef far

more difficult.

During one of those calls, Ajaj told his friend to stay in touch

with Yousef. Referring to the kit of terrorist materials seized

at Kennedy airport, Ajaj told his friend that Yousef might

"pursue my papers ... one of these days."

b. Salameh And Ayyad Provide Money For The Bomb Plot;

The Conspirators Look For The Chemicals Called For In

Ajaj's Terrorist Manuals.

Meanwhile, the other coonspirators proceeded with the plot. In

mid October, Salameh opened a joint bank account with co-

defendant Nidal Ayyad, who worked as a chemical engineer.

Together they deposited approximately $8,500 into the joint

account to fund the bomb plot. A week later, Salameh and Ayyad

withdrew the money from their joint account and transferred the

cash to an individual bank account opened by Salameh that same


By mid November, Salameh and Yousef began to call a series of

chemical companies to obtain what Ajaj's blue books described as

the raw materials for urea nitrate: commercially manufactured

urea (often used for fertilizer) and nitric acid. After they

succeeded in obtaining urea and nitric acid for the "main charge"

of the World Trade Center bomb, the conspirators began to build

"boosters" and detonators for that bomb, again following the

formulae described in Ajaj's blue books and handwritten


C. Salameh Rents A Shed To Store Bomb Components; Yousef Orders

Chemicals For Explosives For Delivery To The Shed; And Abouhalima

Buys Smokeless Powder To Make Boosters.

Specifically, Yousef went to City Chemical Corporation, where, he

purchased 1,000 pounds of technical grade urea and 105 gallons of

nitric acid to make urea nitrate for the bomb's main charge, as

prescribed in Ajaj's materials. Yousef also purchased: 60 gallons

of sulfuric acid, packaged in 15-gallon carboys, to make

nitroglycerin for boosters; one gallon of ethyl alcohol to

stabilize nitroglycerin so that it could later be transported;

and a 25-pound bag of sodium carbonate to neutralize acids during

the mixing process. In mid December, Abouhalima, who was in daily

contact with Salameh and Yousef, purchased a 16-ounce can of

smokeless powder to make detonators for the World Trade Center


As the conspirators began to assemble the chemicals necessary to

carry out the plot, Salameh rented a storage shed at the Space

Station Storage Company in Jersey City. All of the bomb making

materials were delivered to the conspirators' shed.

By the end of January, Yousef had placed two more orders with

City Chemical for delivery to the Shed. The purchases included

(i) additional quantities of urea and nitric acid to make more

urea nitrate for the World Trade Center bomb's "main charge";

(ii) five pounds of potassium nitrate, which can be converted

easily into gunpowder; (iii) two gallons of Methyl alcohol for

stabilizing nitroglycerin; and (iv) 100 pounds of aluminum metal

powder, 25 pounds of magnesium metal powder, and 65 pounds of

ferric oxide to be added to the urea nitrate mixture to enhance

the bomb's destructive impact as recommended by Ajaj's manuals.

In all, the conspirators ordered and had delivered to the Shed a

total of enhance the bomb's 1,500 pounds of urea and

approximately 1,672 pounds of nitric acid. They used 1,200 pounds

of urea and almost all of the nitric acid to make the World Trade

Center bomb.

d. Yousef Speaks To Ajaj About Obtaining The Terrorist Kit.

In December 1992, when the conspirators were acquiring urea and

nitric acid for the bomb's main charge of urea nitrate and

looking for chemicals to make boosters and detonators in the

mariner specified by Ajaj's manuals, Yousef began to reach out

for Ajaj. Beginning on December 4, 1992, a few days after Yousef

ordered the first shipment from City Chemical, Yousef placed a

series of calls to Ajaj's lawyer in New York and to Ajaj's friend

in Texas. On December 29, 1992, after Salameh and Yousef had

spent two days calling myriad chemical companies looking for

chemicals to make boosters, Yousef again reached out for Ajaj.

Later that same day, a call from Ajaj was transferred to Yousef,

permitting the two to speak directly. In the conversation, Ajaj

immediately brought up the terrorist kit informing Yousef that

the Court had ordered the Government to return Ajaj's belongings.

When Yousef asked if he could take possession of Ajaj's things,

Ajaj readily agreed at first. He then said that it was not a good

idea for Yousef personally to obtain the materials from the

Government because it might jeopardize Yousef's "business,"

which, Ajaj said, would be "a pity!" As Ajaj well knew, Yousef's

only "business" in the United States was to pursue the bomb plot

the two conspirators had hatched together overseas earlier that

year. Ajaj then suggested that Yousef send someone else to pick

up the materials.

3. January And February 1993: The Conspirators Mix Bomb

Components At 40 Pamrapo.

Mindful of the admonition in Ajaj's materials that, in order to

facilitate escape, terrorist operations should be conducted out

of ground floor apartments, Abouhalima helped Salameh and Yousef

find a ground floor apartment in late December 1992 at 40 Pamrapo

Avenue in Jersey City. After Salameh and Yousef moved into the 40

Pamrapo apartment, the conspirators used that apartment in

January and February 1993 to mix the chemicals they had obtained

from City Chemical and stored at the shed to create explosives

for the World Trade Center bomb, including urea nitrate,

nitroglycerin, ammonium nitrate dynamite, lead azide,

and others. They mixed these chemical concoctions in a manner

consistent with the formulae and other specifications in Ajaj's

materials. The conspirators also prepared explosive mixtures

containing smokeless powder at 40 Pamrapa. Once the explosives

were mixed, the conspirators transported them to the shed, to be

stored until needed.

While the conspirators mixed explosives at 40 Pamrapo, they also

attempted to calculate the size and type of bomb they would need

in order to achieve the desired destructive impact on the World

Trade Center. For these calculations, Abouhalima, who frequently

joined his co-conspirators at 40 Parmapo after finishing work for

the day as a livery car driver for various companies, studied a

book - identical to one of Ajaj's - titled "Rapid Destruction And

Demolition." That book contained a formula not the destruction of


In the course of the mixing process, the conspirators spilled

chemicals on the floors and walls of 40 Pamrapo, on their

clothing, as well as on other items, thereby leaving telltale

traces of their illegal activities. In the back bedroom of 40

Pamrapo, the conspirators mixed large quantities of urea nitrate

for the main charge of the World Trade Center bomb, using

technical grade urea and nitric acid in a roughly one-to-one

ratio as prescribed by Ajaj's blue books. When mixing the urea

nitrate, the conspirators first dissolved the urea in water and

then added the nitric acid. This process created harsh chemical

fumes, which required the conspirators to wear surgical masks

during the mixing process, caused some of the paint on the walls

to change from white to blue, and resulted in corrosion on the

inside of the back bedroom's doorknob and door-hinges.

To enhance the urea nitrate mixture and increase the World Trade

Center bomb's destructive impact, the conspirators added aluminum

powder and other metals, as recommended by Ajaj's bomb-making

manuals. During the mixing process, the urea nitrate overheated

and bubbled, splattering the walls and hitting the ceiling of the

back bedroom. The conspirators flushed some of the excess

chemicals down the toilet, spilling urea nitrate in the bathroom

in the process.

Another explosive mixed in the 40 Pamrapo apartment was

nitroglycerin, which the conspirators used to make boosters for

the World Trade Center bomb. As recommended by Ajaj's manuals,

the conspirators used ethyl alcohol and methyl alcohol to

stabilize the nitroglycerin for transport, and sodium carbonate

to neutralize acids as they mixed. Some of the nitroglycerin was

used by the conspirators to make sticks of ammonium nitrate

dynamite, which were wrapped in duct tape and added to the bomb

as boosters. During the mixing process, the conspirators spilled

nitroglycerin in the apartment and on their clothing, again

leaving revealing traces of the explosive.

4. February 1993: The Conspirators Survey The World Trade

Center Complex And Finalize Their Preparations.

The target of the bomb plot was the World Trade Center Complex, a

sixteen-acre site located in lower Manhattan. Although mostly

known for the Twin Towers, which are 110 stories tall and 1,550

feet high, the World Trade Center consists of seven buildings,

including the Vista Hotel. Present in the World Trade Center

Complex on any given day are roughly 20,000 employees of the

various businesses located in the Complex, as well as

approximately 80,000 additional people who are either visitors to

the Complex or commuters traveling through it.

In February 1993, Ayyad obtained additional chemicals to make

boosters for the World Trade Center bomb. To obtain the

chemicals, Ayyad used his status as a chemical company employee,

and even faxed a purchase order on his company's letterhead.

Ayyad also procured hydrogen gas in an effort to enhance the

power of the World Trade Center bomb. Gas enhancement involves

the addition of a gas, such as hydrogen, to a bomb in order to

heighten its destructive force.

Initially, Ayyad sought to obtain the hydrogen gas directly from

his employer. When he was refused, Ayyad called a number of

compressed gas companies from his office telephone, including AGL

Welding Supply Co. with whom he ultimately placed an order.

a. Ayyad and Salameh Rent Vehicles And The Conspirators Scout out

The World Trade Center Complex.

In mid February, Ayyad rented an automobile, and listed Salameh

as an additional driver. Salameh drove that rental car to inspect

the B-2 level of the World Trade Center Complex, where the

conspirators would later place the bomb. As it names suggests,

the B-2 level is the second underground level in the Complex, and

at that time was used primarily for parking. The B-2 level also

contained.a section leased by the United States Secret Service

for parking, fenced off from the larger public parking area.

One week later, Ayyad exchanged the automobile for another, and,

again, listed Salameh as an additional driver. Two days before

the bombing, the conspirators used that rental car to survey the

B-2 level of the World Trade Center Complex one more time.

On February 23, 1993, Salameh rented a yellow Ryder Ford

Econoline cargo van. At the time, he said that he would need the

van until at least February 29, 1993.

b. Ayyad Orders A Shipment of Hydrogen Gas, Which Is Received By

Salameh At The Shed.

The day after Salameh obtained the Ryder van to house the bomb,

Ayyad contacted AGL Welding and ordered three tanks of standard

hydrogen to enhance the power of the bomb. Ayyad requested that

the hydrogen be delivered to the storage shed, and said that he

would not be returning the tanks.

The next day, February 25, 1993, AGL Welding delivered the three

hydrogen tanks ordered by Ayyad the previous day. Salameh

accepted delivery. The AGL truck driver tried to bring the tanks

into the storage facility but was stopped by a employee, who

initially would not allow the tanks inside the facility because

of their potential to explode. Only when Salameh advised that a

van was coming to pick up the hydrogen tanks within minutes did

the employee permit the tanks to be brought into the facility. A

short while later, Salameh helped load the hydrogen'tanks into

the Ryder van he had rented on February 23, and then left the

storage facility.

C. The Conspirators Begin To Build A Defense: Salameh

Reports The Ryder Van Stolen.

The night before the bombing in order to distance himself from

the Ryder van, Salameh falsely reported to the police that it had

been stolen. In making this false report, Salameh proffered a

handwritten piece of paper which incorrectly represented the

license number of the van. Without the correct information, the

police could not register a stolen vehicle report for the van.

5. The February 26, 1993 Bombing of The World Trade Center


The day before the bombing the conspirators loaded the bomb into

the cargo area of the Ryder van. The completed bomb contained a

urea nitrate main charge laced with aluminum powder, magnesium

powder and ferric oxide for extra potency; ammonium nitrate

dynamite and lead azide boosters; a smokeless powder booster; and

hobby fuse inside rubber-tubing to prevent early detonation.

Further to enhance the bomb's destructive impact, the

conspirators also placed the AGL hydrogen tanks inside the cargo

area of the Ryder van.

The conspirators then drove the van and its deadly cargo from

Jersey City to Manhattan, eventually making their way into the

red parking lot on the B-2 level of the World Trade Center

Complex, where they parked the van. The conspirators

then exited the van, with the bomb set to explode in the middle

of a busy work day, and fled the World Trade Center Complex.

At approximately 12: 18 p.m., the bomb in the Ryder van exploded,

killing the bomb in the Ryder van exploded, killing six people

inside the World Trade Center Complex. The violent blast injured

more than a thousand others, who suffered injuries ranging from

crushed limbs to smoke inhalation.

The blast blew a huge crater in the B-2 level and destroyed

portions of the B-1 level above it. A steel beam weighing

approximately 3,000 pounds, that it was immediately adjacent to

the point of the explosion, was propelled 30 feet inside Tower

One, into to room were four people were killed. The Visit Hotel,

located directly above the blast area, was almost toppled. The

explosion so badly damaged the water system for the World Trade

Center Complex that two million gallons of water gushed from

severed pipes into the sub-grade levels. In addition, almost all

electricity to the World Trade Center was cut, and the remaining

lines had to be severed to avoid electrocution. Thus, as a of the

bombing, there was no lighting, heat, emergency power or running

water, and no way to communicate with the Complex's numerous

tenants. The explosion also caused approximately $300 million in

property damage to the World Trade Center Complex.

6. After The Explosion.

a. Remnants Of The Blast Are Pieced Together.

Contrary to what the conspirators had hoped, not all traces of

their bomb were destroyed by the blast or irretrievably buried

underneath tons of debris. Instead, critical pieces of the Ryder

van and its tires, as well as portions of the three AGL hydrogen

tanks, were recovered after the blast, providing devastating

proof of the conspirators' heinous crimes.

Specifically, an explosives expert concluded that each of the

pieces recovered from the crime scene that were later identified

by a Ford Motor Company expert as parts of a Ford Econoline cargo

van displayed unique damage that occurred to only one vehicle in

the sub-grade level of the World Trade Center Complex: the

vehicle that held the bomb. Two critical pieces of the Ryder van

that were recovered included sections of the frame rail which

contained a unique confidential VIN number. This information

identified the vehicle containing the bomb as the Ryder van

rented by Salameh.

Further, an expert from AGL was able to identify certain

fragments recovered from the sub-grade levels of the World Trade

Center Complex as pieces of three distinct AGL gas cylinders.

Each of those fragments displayed unique explosive damage,

indicating that the AGL hydrogen cylinders were part of the

World Trade Center bomb.

b. The Conspirators Proclaim Responsibility For The World Trade

Center Bombing And Threaten Future Terrorist Attacks.

On February 27, 1993, the day after the bombing, Ayyad called the

Daily News "tips line" to claim responsibility on behalf of the

"Liberation Army." Specifically, in his spoken message, which the

Daily News tape recorded, Ayyad proclaimed:

This is the Liberation Army. We conducted the explosion at the

World Trade Center. You will get our demands by mail. This is the

Liberation Army.

Consistent with Ayyad's announcement to the Daily News that the

demands of the "Liberation Army" would be sent by mail, the

conspirators sent a letter to the New York Times. The

conspirators' letter stated that the World Trade Center was

bombed in retaliation for American support of Israel, demanded

changes in United States foreign policy in the Middle East, and

threatened that, if these demands were not met, more terrorist

"missions" would be carried out against military and civilian

targets in America and abroad. Specifically, the letter declared:

We are, the fifth battalion in the LIBERATION ARMY, declare our

responsibility for the explosion on the mentioned building. This

action was done in response for the American political,

economical, and military support to Israel the state of terrorism

and to the rest of the dictator countries in the region.


1 - Stop all military, economical, and

political aid to Israel.

2 - All diplomatic relations with Israel

must stop.

3 - Not to interfere with any of the

Middle East countries interior affairs.

IF our demands are not met, all of our functional groups in the

army will continue to execute our missions against the military

and civilian targets in and out the United States. For your own

information, our army has more than hundred and fifty suicidal

soldiers ready to go ahead. The terrorism that Israel practices

(Which is supported by America) must be faced with a similar one.

The dictatorship and terrorism also supported by America) that

some countries are practicing against their own people must also

be faced with terrorism.

The American people must know, that their civilians who got

killed are not better than those who are getting killed by the

American weapons and support.

The American people are responsible for the actions of their

government and they must question all of the crimes that their

government is committing against other people. Or they -

Americans - will be the targets of our operations that could

diminish them.




The conspirators also drafted a second letter, which was later

recovered from an erased file on a computer disk seized from

Ayyad's office. In this second letter, which the conspirators

apparently did not send, proclaimed that the World Trade Center

bomb did not do as much damage as had been intended, because

their "calculations were not very accurate this time." They

warned, however, that they would be more precise in the future

and would continue to target the World Trade Center if their

demands were not met. After his arrest Ramzi Yousef was more

specific. He said that the conspirators had intended for the bomb

to topple one of the towers and hoped that it would crash into

the other, bringing them both down, and killing one quarter of a

million people.

c. Salameh And Abouhalima Prepare Defenses; Yousef, Yasin And

Abouhalima Flee; Salameh Makes Plans To Flee But Is Arrested.

At the same time as the conspirators were taking credit for the

World Trade Center bombing in the name of the "Liberation Army,"

they also sought to avoid arrest by distancing themselves from

the crime and making escape plans.

On the night of February 26, Yousef fled on a Pakastani

International Airlines flight from Kennedy Airport to Karachi,

Pakistan. From Karachi, Yousef proceeded on to Quetta, Pakistan,

located at the Afghanistan border. It took nearly two years

before he would be apprehended in Pakistan.

Following Yousef's lead, Abouhalima hastily prepared to flee as

well. On February 27, 1993, Aboulialima booked a one-way ticket

on the first available flight to the Sudan. On March 2, 1993,

Abouhalima flew out of JFK to the Sudan via Jeddah, Saudi Arabia,

on a one-way ticket, without his family and without any luggage.

Three weeks later, Abouhalima was brought back to the United

States after having been turned over to the FBI by Egyptian


Yasin also purchased a ticket for a flight from JFK to Amman,

Jordan, and successfully fled the country. He remains a fugitive

to this day.

In the afternoon of February 26, 1993, Salameh - confident that

the Ryder van had been blown to pieces in the World Trade Center

Complex - returned to the rental agency and requested the return

of his $400 security deposit. He was told to fill out a police

report and return after he had done so.

Salameh also began making plans to flee the country. On March 1,

1992, Salameh purchased a ticket for a flight from New York to

Amsterdam and used the ticket to obtain a visa to the

Netherlands. Although he planned to flee, Salameh evidently hoped

to secure the return of his deposit for the Ryder van prior to

leaving the country. Accordingly, on March 4, 1993, Salameh

returned to the rental office to close out his contract and

retrieve his deposit.

Unbeknownst to Salameh, however, FBI agents, having traced the

Ryder van to the rental agency, and having been alerted that

Salameh was coming to claim his deposit, were waiting for him.

That day, Mohammed Salameh was arrested.

In the days that followed, agents obtained and executed a series

of search warrants for various locations linked to the

conspirators and their terrorist plot and ultimately arrested

Ayyad, Abouhalima and Ajaj. Through the evidence seized from

these searches and from the defendants at the time of their

arrest, law enforcement was able to piece together the terrorist


3 posted on 09/24/2005 9:51:52 AM PDT by Calpernia (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Calpernia

>>>>Nancy Floyd had come within weeks of breaking Yousef's bomb cell in the fall of 1992, but her investigation had been shut down by a Bureau superior in New York. Now, just before 9 a.m., as she drove west across the George Washington Bridge on her way to an off-site surveillance assignment, Agent Floyd heard a report on her car radio about an explosion at the Trade Center.


Torricelli said the CIA could hire anyone it wanted to spy for the U.S. - as long as the station chiefs get permission from Washington.

That set O’Reilly off. The popular TV host said the CIA agents had no confidence in Deutch - "They hated him” - and they didn’t want to bother that "extra layer of bureaucracy” in Washington, "where they’re out to lunch half the day anyway.”

"You don’t know that, and I don’t know that,” Torricelli shot back. "But the point is, on the principle, the agency’s hands are not tied. They can hire anybody they want. They’ve got to get permission.”

"Here’s the deal,” retorted O’Reilly. "The terrorists can blow up the World Trade Center. They don’t have to get anybody’s permission, all right? They can just do it. But if we want to hire somebody as a quick tip that that may be coming down, you can’t do that without permission from some pinhead in Washington.”

"I’m not sure the terrorists should set the standard we want to follow,” the New Jersey Democrat countered.

"We’re just defending ourselves!” exclaimed the television journalist.

Torricelli ended up blaming the CIA, saying they "had the authority to do it under law. They just didn’t do it.”

O’Reilly said the station chiefs and field agents believed that Deutch "didn’t know his butt from his elbow.” He added that Torricelli had caused another layer of bureaucracy to be created "within an agency that needs to be nimble and brutal.”

4 posted on 09/24/2005 10:03:28 AM PDT by Calpernia (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 2 | View Replies]

To: Calpernia
but her investigation had been shut down by a Bureau superior in New York >>>

bureaucrats, you just can't depend on them. Look at the mess with Atta, eveyone knew what he had planned to do and did nothing about it. The DOD put post it notes on his face... damn, that did a lot, didn't it?

Torricelli is one of the reasons why the CIA hands are tied. Every agency keeps secrets from the other and some are not allowed, by law, to inform the other.

So, what's going on with the Able Danger case? I hear the is now a gag order preventing some from the DOD to testify at a congressional committee?
5 posted on 09/24/2005 10:58:55 AM PDT by Coleus (Roe v. Wade and Endangered Species Act both passed in 1973, Murder Babies/save trees, birds, algae)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 4 | View Replies]

To: Coleus

I'm a little confused following the Able Danger decisions. I've seen threads saying they were going ahead and/or going ahead by staying behind closed doors to protect current methods.

Since legal and proceedural goes over my head, I'm still waiting.

I've been cutting notes over here to:

I'm getting quite amazed had how Torricelli keeps coming and ties with Clinton.

6 posted on 09/24/2005 11:37:06 AM PDT by Calpernia (
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 5 | View Replies]

Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.

Free Republic
Browse · Search
Topics · Post Article

FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794 is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson