Showing posts with label World Trade Center. Show all posts
Showing posts with label World Trade Center. Show all posts

Saturday, 1 June 2013

A Croydon Haji at Guantanamo Bay's Court

On 4 March 2006, following a Freedom of Information Act request from the Associated Press, 5000 pages of information were released containing the names and home countries of many detainees in Guantanamo Bay. 

Amongst this documentation is a transcript of the hearing at which Feroz Abbasi was present. Mr. Abbasi's session, begins in this way:

Feroz Abbasi asked: 

"May I have my legal representative present, please?"

The tribunal president, a USAF colonel (whose name has been blacked out in the document) replied: 

"No you may not. This is not a legal proceeding. It is a military tribunal."

Feroz Abbasi continued: 
"On the basis that the tribunal can actually hold me here in incarceration or release me, I would consider this a criminal proceeding."

Feroz Abbasi (reading): 

"AKA Malcolm X: 'I am not anti-American and I did not come here to condemn America. I want to make that very clear. I came here to tell the truth and if the truth condemns America, then she stands condemned...'(inaudible) 

The sun rising is splendour. A notice. It is my duty as a Muslim to warn all who are involved in this matter that they are personally responsible for their actions at all times before Allah. 

Allah says in this uncreated word that is the Koran. Is the man who believes no better than the man who is rebellious and wicked? Not equal are they. For those who believe and do righteous deeds are gardeners as hospitable homes for their good deeds. 

As to those who are rebellious or wicked their abode will be the fire. 

Every time they wish to get away from there they will be forced there into and it will be said to them, Take ye the penalty of the fire which ye will want to reject as false. 

And indeed we will make them taste of the penalty of this life prior to the supreme penalty in order that they may repent and return. 

And who does more wrong than one to whom are recited the signs of his lord and who turns away there from. 

Vary from those who transgress we will exact due retribution." 

Chapter 32 Al Sajdah, 
verses 18-22.

Abbasi continues quoting from the Koran.

The president says he: 
"appreciates your concern for our souls".

Following Abbasi's concerns about his classification from the point of Islamic law, the tribunal president states: 
"This is not Islamic law. It has no authority here."

Abbasi then repeatedly brings up his status under international law. The tribunal president says:

"International law does not apply. 
Geneva Conventions do not apply. 
You have been designated an enemy combatant. 
This Tribunal will fairly listen to your explanation of your actions."

After repeated references to international law by Abbasi, the tribunal president states:

"I don't care about international law.
I don't want to hear the word international law again."

Abbasi also asked to be treated as a prisoner of war and declared he would be humbled to be regarded as a combatant, stating:

"Do not be fooled into thinking I am in any way perturbed by you classifying me as a (nonsensical) 'enemy combatant'.

In fact quite to the contrary I am humbled that Allah would honour me so."

Abbasi admitted attending an Al Qaeda training camp visited by Osama Bin Laden:

"Yes, I was present at the very speech when with his own mouth and tongue he told Basic Training that he had received a fax from the Americans!"

Friday, 22 March 2013

Bad Science.

"...Michael Newman, a spokesman for NIST, reportedly said during a recent interview that "none of the NIST scientists would participate in any public debate" with scientists who reject their report. When Newman was asked why NIST would avoid public debate if it had confidence in its report, Newman replied: "Because there is no winning in such debates." "

"...The definitive explanation was supposed to be the third one, issued by the National Institute of Standards and Technology, often simply called NIST. The NIST Report claimed that when the floors collapsed, they, rather than breaking free from the columns, pulled on them, causing the perimeter columns to become unstable. This instability then increased the gravity load on the core columns, which had been weakened by tremendously hot fires in the core, which, NIST claims, reached 1832°F, and this combination of factors resulted in "global collapse."63

But, as physicists Jim Hoffman and Steven Jones have shown, this account is riddled with problems. One of these is that NIST's claim about tremendously hot fires in the core is completely unsupported by evidence. NIST's own studies found no evidence that any of the core columns had reached temperatures of even 482°F (250°C).64 A second problem is that, even if this sequence of events had occurred, NIST provided no explanation as to why it would have produced global—that is, total—collapse. The NIST Report asserts that "column failure" occurred in the core as well as the perimeter columns. But this remains a bare assertion. There is no plausible explanation of why the core columns would have broken, or even buckled, so as to produce global collapse.65

And this is only to begin to enumerate the problems in NIST's theory, all of which follow from the fact that it, like the previous two theories, is essentially a fire theory, according to which the buildings were brought down primarily by fire. In the case of the Twin Towers, of course, the impact of the airplanes is said to have played a role. But most experts who support the official theory attribute the collapses primarily to the fires. NIST, for example, says that the main contribution of the airplanes, aside from providing jet fuel, was to dislodge a lot of the fire-proofing from the steel, thereby making it vulnerable to the fires.66 But these fire-theories face several formidable problems.

First, the fires in these three buildings were not very hot, very big, or very long-lasting, compared with fires in some steel-frame high-rises that did not collapse. A 1991 fire in Philadelphia burned 18 hours, and a 2004 fire in Caracas burned 17 hours, without causing even a partial collapse.67 By contrast, the fires in the north and south towers burned only 102 and 56 minutes, respectively, before they collapsed, and neither fire, unlike the Philadelphia and Caracas fires, was hot enough to break windows.

Second, total collapses of steel-frame high-rise buildings have never—either before or after 9/11—been brought about by fire alone, or fire combined with externally produced structural damage. The collapse of Building 7 has been recognized as especially difficult to explain. It was not hit by a plane, so the explanation has to rely on fire alone, and yet, because there was no jet fuel to get a big fire started, this building had fires on only two or three floors, according to several witnesses68 and all the photographic evidence.69 FEMA admitted that the best explanation it could come up with it had "only a low probability of occurrence."70 The 9/11 Commission Report implicitly admitted that it could not explain the collapse of Building 7 by not even mentioning it. The NIST Report, which could not claim that the fire-proofing had gotten knocked off the steel of this building, has yet to offer an explanation as to why it collapsed.

And NIST, like the 9/11 Commission, evidently did not want citizens asking why Building 7 collapsed even though it was not hit by a plane. On its Website, it says that one of its objectives is to determine "why and how World Trade Center buildings 1, 2, and 7 collapsed after the initial impact of the aircraft"—thereby implying that building 7, like the Twin Towers, was hit by a plane.71

In any case, a third problem with the official account of the collapse of these three buildings is that all prior and subsequent total collapses of steel-frame high-rises have been caused by explosives in the procedure known as "controlled demolition." This problem is made even more severe by the fact that the collapses of these three buildings manifested many standard features of the most difficult type of controlled demolition, known as implosion. I will mention seven such features.

First, the collapses began suddenly. Steel, if weakened by fire, would gradually begin to sag. But as one can see from videos available on the Web,72 all three buildings are completely motionless up to the moment they begin to collapse.

Second, if these huge buildings had toppled over, they would have caused enormous death and destruction. But they came straight down. This straight-down collapse is the whole point of the type of controlled demolition called implosion, which only a few companies in the world can perform.73

Third, these buildings collapsed at virtually free-fall speed, which means that the lower floors, with all their steel and concrete, were offering no resistance to the upper floors.

Fourth, as mentioned earlier, the collapses were total collapses, resulting in piles of rubble only a few stories high. This means that the enormous steel columns in the core of each building had to be broken into rather short segments—which is what explosives do.

Fifth, great quantities of molten steel were produced, which means that the steel had been heated up to several thousand degrees. Witnesses during the clean-up reported, moreover, that sometimes when a piece of steel was lifted out of the rubble, molten metal would be dripping from the end.74

Sixth, according to many fire fighters, medical workers, journalists, and World Trade Center employees, many explosions went off before and after the collapses. For example, Fire Captain Dennis Tardio, speaking of the south tower, said: "I hear an explosion and I look up. It is as if the building is being imploded, from the top floor down, one after another, boom, boom, boom."75Firefighter Richard Banaciski said: "It seemed like on television [when] they blow up these buildings. It seemed like it was going all the way around like a belt, all these explosions."76 Thanks to the release in August of 2005 of the oral histories recorded by the Fire Department of New York shortly after 9/11, dozens of testimonies of this type are now available. I have published an essay on them, which will be included—along with an essay on "The Destruction of the World Trade Center," which I am here summarizing—in a forthcoming book on 9/11 and Christian faith.77

A seventh feature of controlled implosions is the production of large quantities of dust. In the case of the Twin Towers, virtually everything except the steel—all the concrete, desks, computers—was pulverized into very tiny dust particles.78

The official theory cannot explain one, let alone all seven, of these features—at least, as Jim Hoffman and Steven Jones have pointed out, without violating several basic laws of physics.79 But the theory of controlled demolition easily explains all these features.

These facts are inconsistent with the idea that al-Qaeda terrorists were responsible. Foreign terrorists could not have obtained access to the buildings for the hours needed to plant the explosives. Terrorists working for the Bush-Cheney administration, by contrast, could have gotten such access, given the fact that Marvin Bush and Wirt Walker III—the president's brother and cousin, respectively—were principals of the company in charge of security for the World Trade Center.80 Al-Qaeda terrorists would also probably not have had the courtesy to ensure that these huge buildings came straight down, rather than falling over onto other buildings. They also would not have had the necessary expertise.

Another relevant fact is that evidence was destroyed. An examination of the buildings' steel beams and columns could have shown whether explosives had been used to slice them. But virtually all of the steel was removed before it could be properly examined,81 then put on ships to Asia to be melted down.82 It is usually a federal offense to remove anything from a crime scene. But here the removal of over 100 tons of steel, the biggest destruction of evidence in history, was carried out under the supervision of federal officials.83

Evidence was also apparently planted. The passport of one of the hijackers on Flight 11 was allegedly found in the rubble, having survived the fire caused by the crash into the north tower and also whatever caused everything else in this building except the steel to be pulverized.84 As a story in theGuardian said, "the idea that [this] passport had escaped from that inferno unsinged would [test] the credulity of the staunchest supporter of the FBI's crackdown on terrorism."85

To sum up: The idea that US officials have given a satisfactory, or even close to satisfactory, explanation of the collapse of the World Trade Center buildings is a myth. And they have implicitly admitted this by refusing to engage in rational debate about it. For example, Michael Newman, a spokesman for NIST, reportedly said during a recent interview that "none of the NIST scientists would participate in any public debate" with scientists who reject their report. When Newman was asked why NIST would avoid public debate if it had confidence in its report, Newman replied: "Because there is no winning in such debates."85 In that same interview, Newman had compared people who reject the government's account of the collapses with people who believe in Bigfoot and a flat earth.86 And yet he fears that his scientists would not be able to show up these fools in a public debate!

63. Final Report of the National Construction Safety Team on the Collapses of the World Trade Center Towers (Draft), June, 2005, usually called the NIST Report, 28, 143.

64. And, as Jim Hoffman says, NIST's claim about these tremendously hot fires in the core is especially absurd given the fact that the core "had very little fuel; was far from any source of fresh air; had huge steel columns to wick away the heat; [and] does not show evidence of fires in any of the photographs or videos." All the evidence, in other words, suggests that none of the core columns would have reached the temperatures of some of the perimeter columns ("Building a Better Mirage: NIST's 3-Year $20,000,000 Cover-Up of the Crime of the Century," 911 Research, Dec. 8, 2005 (

65. See Hoffman, ibid., and Stephen E. Jones, "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?" in David Ray Griffin and Peter Dale Scott, eds., 9/11 and the American Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out (Northampton: Interlink, 2006); also available at

66. The NIST Report (xliii and 171) says: "the towers withstood the impacts and would have remained standing were it not for the dislodged insulation (fireproofing) and the subsequent multifloor fires."

67. "High-Rise Office Building Fire One Meridian Plaza Philadelphia, Pennsylvania," FEMA (; "Fire Practically Destroys Venezuela's Tallest Building" (

68. Chief Thomas McCarthy of the FDNY said that while the firefighters "were waiting for 7 World Trade to come down," there was "fire on three separate floors" (Oral History of Thomas McCarthy, 10-11). Emergency medical technician Decosta Wright said: "I think the fourth floor was on fire. . . . [W]e were like, are you guys going to put that fire out?" (Oral History of Decosta Wright, 11). These quotations are from the 9/11 oral histories recorded by the New York Fire Department at the end of 2001 but released to the public (after a court battle) only in August 2005, at which time they were made available on aNew York Times website (

69. A photograph taken by Terry Schmidt can be seen on page 63 of Eric Hufschmid's Painful Questions: An Analysis of the September 11th Attack (Goleta, Calif.: Endpoint Software, 2002) or on Schmidt's website ( According to Schmidt, this photo was taken between 3:09 and 3:16 PM, hence only a little over two hours before Building 7 collapsed. It shows that on the north side of the building, fires were visible only on floors 7 and 12. Therefore, if there were more fires on the south side, which faced the Twin Towers, they were not big enough to be seen from the north side.

70. FEMA Report #403, World Trade Center Building Performance Study, May 2002 (, Ch. 5, Sect. 6.2, "Probable Collapse Sequence."

71. Reported in Ed Haas, "Government spokesman says, ‘I Don't Understand the Public's Fascination with World Trade Center Building Seven,'" Muckraker Report, March 21, 200 (, referring to NIST's "Investigation of the Sept. 11 World Trade Center Disaster" (, as accessed on March 20, 2006.

72. See Jim Hoffman's website ( and Jeff King's website (, especially "The World Trade Center Collapse: How Strong is the Evidence for a Controlled Demolition?"

73. Implosion World (

74. Professor Allison Geyh of Johns Hopkins, who was part of a team of public health investigators who visited the site shortly after 9/11, wrote: "In some pockets now being uncovered they are finding molten steel," Magazine of Johns Hopkins Public Health, Late Fall, 2001. Dr. Keith Eaton, who somewhat later toured the site with an engineer, said that he was shown slides of "molten metal, which was still red hot weeks after the event" (The Structural Engineer, Sept. 3, 2002: 6). On the dripping steel, see Trudy Walsh, "Handheld APP Eased Recovery Tasks," Government Computer News, 21/27a, Sept 11, 2002 ( and Jennifer Lin, "Recovery Worker Reflects on Months Spent at Ground Zero," Knight Ridder, May 29, 2002 (

75. Quoted in Dennis Smith, Report from Ground Zero: The Story of the Rescue Efforts at the World Trade Center (New York: Penguin, 2002), 18.

76. Oral History of Richard Banaciski, 3-4. See next note.

"Explosive Testimony: Revelations about the Twin Towers in the 9/11 Oral Histories," in Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11. It is also available at ( The oral histories of 9/11 recorded by the Fire Department of New York are available at a NYT website (

78. Jim Hoffman, "The North Tower's Dust Cloud: Analysis of Energy Requirements for the Expansion of the Dust Cloud Following the Collapse of 1 World Trade Center," Version 3, 9-11, Oct. 16, 2003 ( The available evidence, Hoffman says, suggests that the dust particles were very small indeed—on the order of 10 microns. Also Colonel John O'Dowd of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said: "At the World Trade Center sites, it seemed like everything was pulverized" ("The World Trade Center: Rise and Fall of an American Icon," The History Channel, September 8, 2002).

79. Jones, "Why Indeed Did the WTC Buildings Collapse?" See also David Ray Griffin, "The Destruction of the World Trade Center: Why the Official Account Cannot Be True," in Paul Zarembka, ed., The Hidden History of 9-11-2001 (Amsterdam: Elsevier, March, 2006), and in Griffin, Christian Faith and the Truth behind 9/11. This essay is also available at, December 9, 2005 []). For Hoffman's analyses, see For videos of the WTC collapses, see in particular "9/11/01 WTC Videos" (

80. See Griffin, The 9/11 Commission Report: Omissions and Distortions, 31-32.

81. The official investigators found that they had less authority than the clean-up crews, a fact that led the Science Committee of the House of Representatives to report that "the lack of authority of investigators to impound pieces of steel for examination before they were recycled led to the loss of important pieces of evidence" (see the report at

82. "Baosteel Will Recycle World Trade Center Debris,", January 24, 2002 (

83. This removal was, moreover, carried out with the utmost care. Each truck was equipped with a Vehicle Location Device, connected to GPS. "The software recorded every trip and location, sending out alerts if the vehicle traveled off course, arrived late at its destination, or deviated from expectations in any other way" (Jacqueline Emigh, "GPS on the Job in Massive World Trade Center Clean-Up," July 1, 2002 []).

84. Another problem with this story is that there were at least two versions of it. One said that the passport was found in the rubble the day after 9/11, the other that it was found minutes after the attack (see Morgan and Henshall, 9/11 Revealed, 68).

85. Anne Karpf, "Uncle Sam's Lucky Finds," Guardian, March 19, 2002 (,11209,669961,00.html).

86. Haas, "Government spokesman says, ‘I Don't Understand the Public's Fascination with World Trade Center Building Seven.'"

87. New York Times, May 4, 2002, and CBS News, May 10, 2002, quoted under "Was Hani Hanjour Even on Flight 77 and Could He Have Really Flown It to Its Doom?" in Killtown's "Did Flight 77 Really Crash into the Pentagon?" (, Oct. 19, 2003. Even The 9/11 Report acknowledge that Hanjour was "a terrible pilot" in some passages (225-26, 242, 520n56).

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Well, there's something you don't see every day...

Things visibile in this raw video feed released by NIST under FOIA:

* The attack run / final approach dive of United 175

* Jumpers seen from a distance

* "Edna Citron" can be seen waving in the plane-hole - her head is not yet on fire, however....

* An awful lot of paper.

* Building 7 (in the foreground) looks absolutely fine.

Sunday, 24 February 2013

The CIA and "Al-Qaeda" in Afghanistan - The 1990s

Abu Hamza al-Masri, 

who will later become a leading Islamic radical in Britain, travels to Afghanistan and, as he is a qualified civil engineer, helps with reconstruction efforts there after the Soviet withdrawal. He later receives paramilitary training at Darunta camp and loses his hands and the sight in one eye while practicing making explosives there. He is taken to Pakistan for emergency treatment, but refuses to hand over a set of passports he has to that country’s ISI intelligence agency, and flees to Britain with his family due to fears of a reprisal."
[O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 21-29]

Gulbuddin Hekmatyar

In a Hollywood movie Hekmatyar would be the evil foil to the heroic Abdul Shah Masud. He would be an angry Islamic fundamentalist dressed in black, throwing acid in the faces of unveiled women and assassinating local tribal leaders that might rival his power. He would be the pawn of foreign secret service paymasters like the ISI, CIA, and Prince Turki of Saudi Arabia. He would unfeelingly sacrifice peasants for his cause, rocket the helpless civilians mixed in with his enemies, and his ruthless ambition would prevent the creation of a new peace. Unfortunately, in real life Hekmatyar was all these things.

Hekmatyar was one of the early Islamic rebels that came out of the University of Kabul. In the beginning Hekmatyar and Masud worked together. During the Soviet occupation Hekmatyar ran one of the two largest mujahideen organizations out of Peshawar in Pakistan. There he became the favorite of the Pakistani secret service, the ISI. Billions of dollars in US aid flowed through the ISI to Hekmatyar. Nervous CIA agents wondered whether Hekmatyar hated the United States as much as the Soviets, but the ISI assured them he was ok. United States money and weapons flowed to our enemy for over a decade.

When Masud finally defeated Najibullah in 1992, all the mujahideen factions converged on Kabul. Masud outwitted Hekmatyar and slipped into the city before him. A round robin of side-swapping, backstabbing, and massacre among Hekmatyar, Masud, Dostum, and Mazari followed. The citizens and buildings of Kabul were the big losers. The problem was that Masud could not be president as he was a Tajik, not a Pashtun. Afghan kings had been Pashtun for hundreds of years. Hekmatyar was the most powerful Pashtun, and had he not been such an evil sod, Masud might have accepted some kind of deal. In the end neither prevailed. The ISI switched support from the stalemated Hekmatyar and backed Mullah Omar, the new leader of the Taliban. Without ISI support, Hekmatyar’s men deserted wholesale to Mullah Omar, and he was a contender no longer.

Today Hekmatyar is finally the enemy of the United States that he should have been all along. He either took refuge in Iran, or sneaks around the tribal zone, periodically calling for holy war against the Americans. Sometimes his name is used by others, mostly as someone to blame for car bombs and other such mischief.

Osama bin Laden and Hassan al-Turabi in Sudan in the early 1990s. [Source: PBS]Hassan al-Turabi comes to power in Sudan in 1989, and his beliefs are ideologically compatible with bin Laden’s. With the Afghan war ending and the Afghans beginning to fight amongst themselves, al-Turabi sends a delegation and a letter to bin Laden, inviting him to collaborate and move to Sudan. Bin Laden agrees to the offer, but moves slowly. He sends advance teams to buy businesses and houses. He also visits Sudan himself to establish a relationship with al-Turabi. Gradually, about 1,000 bin Laden supporters move to Sudan. But bin Laden also keeps offices and guest houses in Pakistan, as well as training camps in Afghanistan, including the Darunta, Jihad Wal, Khaldan, Sadeek, Al Farooq, and Khalid ibn Walid camps. US-al-Qaeda double agent Ali Mohamed plays an important role in the move (see Summer 1991). [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. 39-41]

Abu Hamza al-Masri, who will later become a leading Islamic radical in Britain, travels to Afghanistan and, as he is a qualified civil engineer, helps with reconstruction efforts there after the Soviet withdrawal. He later receives paramilitary training at Darunta camp and loses his hands and the sight in one eye while practicing making explosives there. He is taken to Pakistan for emergency treatment, but refuses to hand over a set of passports he has to that country’s ISI intelligence agency, and flees to Britain with his family due to fears of a reprisal.[O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 21-29]

Mahmoud Jaballah.Mahmoud Jaballah. [Source: Public domain via Toronto Star]I

slamic Jihad operative Mahmoud Jaballah enters Canada on May 11, 1996 and applies for refugee status. There is evidence Canadian intelligence, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS), begins monitoring him shortly after his arrival. A 2008 CSIS report mentions details of phone calls Jaballah makes to high-ranking Islamic Jihad leaders as early as June 1996. The CSIS will later conclude that his “primary objective incoming to Canada was to acquire permanent status in a country where he would feel secure in maintaining communications with other [Islamic Jihad] members.” Jaballah is wary his calls may be monitored, and uses code words to discuss sensitive topics. But the CSIS is able to figure out many of the code words, for instance the mention of clothes to refer to travel documents. 

Jaballah frequently calls Thirwat Salah Shehata, one of nine members of Islamic Jihad’s ruling council; the Egyptian government will later also call Shehata “a key figure in bin Laden’s organization.” They are in regular contact until August 1998, when Shehata moves to a new location in Lebanon but does not give Jaballah his new phone number. 

Jaballah also stays in frequent contact with Ahmad Salama Mabruk, another member of Islamic Jihad’s ruling council. Mabruk is arrested in 1998. 

Jaballah is also in frequent contact with Ibrahim Eidarous and Adel Abdel Bary, two Islamic Jihad operatives living in London and working closely with Khalid al-Fawwaz, Osama bin Laden’s de facto press secretary. He calls them over 60 times between 1996 and 1998. Bin Laden is monitored by Western intelligence agencies as he frequently calls Bary, Eidarous, and al-Fawwaz until all three are arrested one month after the 1998 African embassy bombings (see Early 1994-September 23, 1998). Jaballah presumably becomes more suspicious that he is being monitored in September 1998, when Canadian officials interview him and tell him they are aware of his contacts with the three men arrested in London. 

The CSIS will later call Jaballah an “established contact” for Ahmed Said Khadr, a founding al-Qaeda member living in Canada. Khadr had been arrested in Pakistan in 1995 for suspected involvement in an Islamic Jihad bombing there, but he was released several months later after pressure from the Canadian government. After returning to Canada, Khadr ran his own non-profit organization, Health and Education Projects International (HEPI), and allegedly used the money he raised to help fund the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan. If the CSIS was aware of Khadr’s activities through Jaballah, it is not clear why no action was taken against him or his charity before 9/11. 

Essam Marzouk is an al-Qaeda operative living in Vancouver, Canada. During one call, Jaballah is asked for Marzouk’s phone number. He says he does not have it, but gives the name of another operative, Mohamed Zeki Mahjoub, who is known to be in contact with Marzouk. Marzouk will later leave Canada to train the African embassy bombers, stopping by Toronto to visit Mahjoub on the way out of the country. 

Jaballah is monitored communicating with other Islamic Jihad operatives, including ones in Germany, Yemen, and elsewhere in Canada. 

He is arrested in March 1999, but after his arrest his wife warns him to reduce his communications and offers to help obtain information from his associates. He acquires a post office box in August 1999 and uses it to continue communicating with militants overseas. He is released in November 1999 and the CSIS will later claim he continues to communicate with other militants until he is arrested again in August 2001. [CANADIAN SECURITY INTELLIGENCE SERVICE, 2/22/2008 ]

1997 and 1999: FBI and Canadian Intelligence Investigate Member of Boston Al-Qaeda Cell

In 1997, Canadian intelligence begins investigating Abdullah Almalki, a Canadian exporter originally from Syria. Almalki is working with Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi and Abdelrahman Elzahabi, who are brothers and business partners, to send electronic equipment to Pakistan. Around 1995, the three of them sent large numbers of portable field radios to Pakistan. Apparently, some of them are used by Taliban and al-Qaeda forces (the US will later recover many field radios of the same make and model in Afghanistan after 9/11). 

However, there is no law against exporting the radios, and investigators are unable to prove any crime was committed. Abdelrahman is working in New York City as a mechanic while Mohamad Kamal is working in Boston as a taxi driver. Three other taxi drivers at the same company are al-Qaeda operatives who knew each other and Mohamad Kamal in Afghanistan (see Late 1980s and June 1995-Early 1999), and he will later admit to being a sniper instructor at the Khaldan training camp in Afghanistan in the early 1990s. The FBI in Boston begins investigating him in 1999, but fails to prove he is a terrorist. They lose track of him when he leaves the US later that year to fight the Russians in Chechnya. The FBI later discovers him driving trucks in Minnesota and arrests him for lying to federal agents about his knowledge of the field radios (see Mid-August 2001). [GLOBE AND MAIL, 3/17/2007

It seems probable that the investigation of Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi strengthens suspicions about a Boston al-Qaeda cell. One of his associates at the taxi company, Raed Hijazi, works as an FBI informant starting in 1997 (see Early 1997-Late 1998]), and another, Nabil al-Marabh, is questioned by the FBI in 1999 (see April 1999-August 1999). Almalki is later arrested in Syria while visiting relatives there and severely tortured before eventually being released and returned to Canada (see September 19 or 20, 2003).

Radical London imam Abu Hamza al-Masri sends money to bin Laden’s Darunta camp, which is part of al-Qaeda’s network of training camps in Afghanistan. Abu Hamza, who is under investigation by Scotland Yard at this time for his involvement in a kidnapping and murder scheme in Yemen, apparently diverts the money from a fund at London’s Finsbury Park Mosque, which he runs. The US will later say it has e-mail traffic that proves the transfer. Abu Hamza trained at the camp in the mid-1990s. [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 74-5]

In the late autumn of 2001, when US-allied forces are overrunning Taliban positions in Afghanistan, the Darunta camp run by al-Qaeda is seized and searched. Al-Qaeda leader Midhat Mursi (a.k.a. Abu Khabab al-Masri) ran al-Qaeda’s WMD program and conducted crude chemical weapons experiments there. The CIA recovers one document there by Mursi that refers to connections between al-Qaeda and Pakistani nuclear scientists. It reads, in part, “As you instructed us you will find attached a summary of the discharges from a traditional nuclear reactor, amongst which are radioactive elements that could be used for military ends. One can use them to contaminate an area or halt the advance of the enemy. It is possible to get more information from our Pakistani friends who have great experience in this sphere.” [BERGEN, 2006, PP. 345; LEVY AND SCOTT-CLARK, 2007, PP. 294] This could be a reference to links between al-Qaeda and the Pakistani nuclear scientists working with the Ummah Tameer-e-Nau charity front (see 2000and Mid-August 2001).

At a Guantanamo Bay tribunal to decide his combat status (see March 9-April 28, 2007), militant Islamist logistics manager Abu Zubaida (see March 28, 2002) is accused of heading Khaldan and Darunta training camps in Afghanistan and of co-ordinating their operation with Osama bin Laden, as well as moving money for al-Qaeda, desiring fraudulently-obtained Canadian passports for a terrorist plot, and making diary entries about planned attacks in the US. [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 3/27/2007

Complaints of Torture, Admission of False Confessions - Zubaida complains of being tortured in US custody (see Mid-May 2002 and After and March 10-April 15, 2007). 

Zubaida’s statements about his treatment in US custody will be redacted from the trial transcripts, but a few remarks remain. In broken English, Zubaida states: “I was nearly before half die plus [because] what they do [to] torture me. There I was not afraid from die because I do believe I will be shahid [martyr], but as God make me as a human and I weak, so they say yes, I say okay, I do I do, but leave me. They say no, we don’t want to. You to admit you do this, we want you to give us more information… they want what’s after more information about more operations, so I can’t. They keep torturing me.” The tribunal president, a colonel whose name is also redacted, asks, “So I understand that during this treatment, you said things to make them stop and then those statements were actually untrue, is that correct?” Zubaida replies, “Yes.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 3/27/2007 ; VANITY FAIR, 12/16/2008

Denies Being Al-Qaeda Member or Enemy of US - He goes on to deny that he is an “enemy combatant,” saying that the Khaldan training camp, which he admits being logistics manager of, was around since the Soviet-Afghan War and was also used to train Muslims who wanted to fight invaders in Muslim lands, such as Chechnya, Kashmir, the Philippines, and Bosnia, where “America helped us.” After he was captured the US administration exaggerated his importance, and some media accounts have suggested his role was greatly exaggerated (see Shortly After March 28, 2002).

He denies being an official member of al-Qaeda and says he disagrees with attacks on civilians. However, he admits some of his trainees subsequently decided to join al-Qaeda and that he did not prevent them from doing this. He also denies moving the money and submits a volume of his diary that apparently shows he was in Pakistan when the charges state he went to Saudi Arabia to collect the money.

He requests the production of other volumes of his diaries, on which some of the charges are based, but they are not made available to the tribunal. In addition, he denies corresponding with bin Laden before 2000 and details a dispute that arose between them after that time. He says his diary entries about military targets are “strictly hypothetical,” and the passports are for non-terrorist travel.

Following the US invasion of Afghanistan, he admits he helped non-aligned fighters escape from South Asia. He states that he is an enemy of the US because of its alliance with Israel, which he claims is oppressing his fellow Palestinians, saying, “A partner of a killer is also a killer.” [US DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, 3/27/2007 ]