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1995 or Before: Islamist Extremists Obtain CIA Guide to their Passports[]

Islamist radicals based at the Islamic Cultural Institute in Milan, Italy, obtain the CIA’s Redbook, two Arabic copies of which will be found at the institute in a 1995 raid. Several seals, rubber stamps, blank and counterfeit documents, and other tools used to forge documents are also found in the raid. [9/11 COMMISSION, 8/21/2004, PP. 63 ] The Redbook is a manual produced by the CIA for immigration officials; it helps the officials identify terrorists using telltale signs in their passports (see 1992). The institute is a key support center for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and al-Qaeda-linked radicals fighting in Bosnia (see 1993 and After and Late 1993-1994). It is unclear how the Redbook comes to be at the institute. Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Islamic Cultural Institute Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Al-Qaeda in Italy

1995: Taliban Allies with Organized Crime in Pakistan Border Down The Taliban, while just starting to take over Afghanistan, forms an important alliance with a powerful mafia of truck transporters based in Quetta, Pakistan (near the Afghanistan border) and Kandahar, Afghanistan. [RASHID, 2001, PP. 22] The transporters pay hefty fees to the Taliban, who, in return, suppress any local warlords who interfere with the mafia’s trade. Additionally, the Taliban ensures that roads are kept open so that the transporters can operate freely. Taliban expert and author Ahmed Rashid argues that the alliance between the Taliban and the Quetta mafia becomes so successful that it ultimately destabilizes not only Afghanistan, but Pakistan as well. [RASHID, 2001, PP. 191-195] Entity Tags: Taliban Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Drugs

1995: US Army Explosives Supposedly Handed to Future Embassy Bombers According to Le Figaro, in the wake of the 1998 US embassy bombings in Africa (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998), FBI investigators will discover that the explosives used in the bombings came from the US Army. These explosives are delivered this year to mujaheddin. It has not been reported who exactly gave the explosives to whom, nor for what use they were originally intended. Double agent Ali Mohamed was in the Army Reserves until about this year and had a history of stealing from the Army, but it is not known if he was involved in this incident. [LE FIGARO (PARIS), 10/31/2001] Category Tags: 1998 US Embassy Bombings, Ali Mohamed, US Intel Links to Islamic Militancy

1995: Condoleezza Rice and Future 9/11 Commission Executive Director Zelikow Co-author Book on European Politics

’Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft,’ by Philip Zelikow and Condoleezza Rice. [Source: Harvard University Press] Future National Security Adviser and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and Philip Zelikow, who, as executive director of the 9/11 Commission, will investigate her performance in the run-up to 9/11, co-author a book about the implications of German reunification. The two had worked together on the National Security Council in the 1980s and early 90s, but are both now working at universities. Zelikow is a professor at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and Rice is the provost at Stanford. The book, entitled Germany Unified and Europe Transformed: A Study in Statecraft, is mostly written by Zelikow, who is, in author Philip Shenon’s words, “pleased to share credit with such an obvious up-and-comer as Rice.” [SHENON, 2008, PP. 40-41] Entity Tags: Condoleezza Rice, Philip Shenon, Philip Zelikow Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 9/11 Commission, Role of Philip Zelikow

After 1994-1999: CIA and Bin Laden Train KLA in Albania In 1994 Albanian Premier Sali Berisha reportedly helps bin Laden set up a network in Albania through Saudi charity fronts after bin Laden visits Albania (see Shortly After April 9, 1994). Berisha later uses his property to train the KLA militant group. [LONDON TIMES, 11/29/1998] Entity Tags: Sali Berisha, Kosovo Liberation Army, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1995: Veteran London Extremist Abu Hamza Travels to Bosnia Extremist imam Abu Hamza al-Masri makes three trips to Bosnia to meet the mujaheddin there. Before leaving Britain, where he lives, he changes his name and travels on a passport in his new name, as he is worried about surveillance by the security services. He cannot actually fight, due to injuries suffered in Afghanistan (see 1991-Late 1993), but, after entering the country with a relief convoy, Abu Hamza spends time with groups of radical fighters, in particular those from Algeria. [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 30-31] Entity Tags: Abu Hamza al-Masri Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, Abu Hamza Al-Masri

1995: Passport of 9/11 Hijacker’s Namesake Stolen in Denver

Abdulaziz Alomari studied in Denver. [Source: BBC] A passport belonging to a man with the same first and last name as one of the 9/11 hijackers, Abdulaziz Alomari, is stolen and this will cause some confusion in the weeks following 9/11. Alomari, who studies at the University of Colorado from 1993 to 2000, informs the police of the theft, which occurs when a thief breaks into his apartment. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/21/2001; DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] Although the validity of the stolen passport is not specified, a visa application submitted by another of the Saudi hijackers in 1997 will indicate that his passport was good for five lunar years, so the stolen passport may have been valid for the same period. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 11/2/1997] When the FBI releases lists of the 9/11 hijackers on September 14 and 27, 2001, it will give two birthdates for the hijacker Abdulaziz Alomari. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/14/2001; FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 9/27/2001] One of them, May 28, 1879, will be used by the hijacker, for example on his US visa application. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 6/18/2001] The other, December 24, 1972, belongs to the former Denver student, who will be a telecommunications engineer in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on 9/11 and will comment: “I couldn’t believe it when the FBI put me on their list. They gave my name and my date of birth, but I am not a suicide bomber. I am here. I am alive. I have no idea how to fly a plane. I had nothing to do with this.” [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 9/23/2001] It will be unclear how and why the birth date of Alomari the telecommunications engineer appears on the list of hijackers. However, after finding Alomari’s name on a passenger manifest, the FBI will check various databases to find more information about him. [US DISTRICT COURT FOR PORTLAND, MAINE, 9/12/2001] Alomari the telecommunications engineer is stopped three times by police in Denver for minor offences before 9/11 and gives them the 1972 birth date, so the FBI may obtain it by searching Denver police records. [NEW YORKER, 5/27/2002] Radical Sunni Muslims connected to Osama bin Laden had a presence in Denver from the mid-1990s (see 1994 and March 2000). Entity Tags: Abdulaziz Alomari Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Other 9/11 Hijackers

1995: Hijackers Alhazmi and Almihdhar Fight in Bosnia 9/11 hijackers Khalid Almihdhar and Nawaf Alhazmi fight in the Bosnian civil war against the Serbs. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003, PP. 131 ] The 9/11 Commission will later say that the two “traveled together to fight in Bosnia in a group that journeyed to the Balkans in 1995,” but will not give any other details. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 155] Ramzi bin al-Shibh fights there too, and a witness later recounts traveling to Hamburg from Bosnia with bin al-Shibh in 1996. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 281-282] 9/11 planner Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) fights in Bosnia in 1995 as well (see 1992-1995), but it is not known if any of them are ever there together. Under interrogation, KSM will say that in 1999 he did not know Almihdhar. However, doubts will be expressed about the reliability of statements made by KSM in detention, because of the methods used to extract them (see June 16, 2004). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, 7/31/2006, PP. 17 ] Alhazmi and Almihdhar will later go on to fight in Chechnya (see 1993-1999). Entity Tags: Nawaf Alhazmi, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Khalid Almihdhar, Ramzi bin al-Shibh Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Alhazmi and Almihdhar

1995: Document Hints at Radical Muslim Infiltration of US Government Salon will later write, “A document seized in a 1995 raid of a close [Abdurahman] Alamoudi friend and political ally, University of South Florida professor Sami al-Arian, outlined a plan to ‘infiltrate the sensitive intelligence agencies or the embassies in order to collect information and build close relationships with the people in charge of these establishments.’ The unsigned document, which authorities believe was authored by al-Arian in part because it was found among his papers, added: ‘We are in the center which leads the conspiracy against our Islamic world… Our presence in North America gives us a unique opportunity to monitor, explore and follow up.’ It instructed members of the ‘center,’ thought to refer to an Islamic think tank that al-Arian founded, to ‘collect information from those relatives and friends who work in sensitive positions in government.’” [SALON, 6/22/2004] In 2005, Al-Arian will be acquitted on a number of terrorism-related charges (see December 6, 2005). Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Sami Al-Arian Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Al Taqwa Bank

1995: Bin Laden Investigated for Using European Stock Markets Shortly after 9/11, an Italian newspaper will report, “Six or seven years ago, probably in 1995, secret services from various European countries investigated the possibility that al-Qaeda, Osama bin Laden’s organization, was using a Milan stockbroker firm to operate on Europe’s money markets.” Italian intelligence first brings up the possibility, which is then investigated by other European intelligence agencies as well. However, it is also reported, “We neither know the name of the Milan stockbroker, nor whether the initial suspicions have ever been confirmed.” [BBC, 9/17/2001] It will also be reported shortly after 9/11 that “Italian stock authorities [are] investigating abnormal movements in share prices on the Milan stock exchange prior to the terrorist attacks” (see September 17, 2001). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/18/2001] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Insider Trading/ Foreknowledge, Terrorism Financing, Al Taqwa Bank

1995: Hijacker Atta Still Connected to Group Linked to Muslim Brotherhood

A young Mohamed Atta. [Source: Four Corners] In a three-month trip to his hometown of Cairo, Egypt, 9/11 hijacker Mohamed Atta demonstrates that he is still a member of an engineering syndicate linked to the Muslim Brotherhood (see 1990). He takes the two Germans students he is traveling with, Volker Hauth and Ralph Bodenstein, to the syndicate’s eating club. According to Hauth, Atta does nothing during the trip he knows about that suggests he is a member of the Muslim Brotherhood, but the group’s influence on the club is obvious. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/22/2001; AUSTRALIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 10/15/2001] A former CIA officer who served undercover in Damascus, Syria, will later say, “At every stage in Atta’s journey is the Muslim Brotherhood.” [NEW YORKER, 7/18/2003] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta, Volker Hauth, Muslim Brotherhood, Ralph Bodenstein Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta

1995: KSM Visits Bin Laden in Sudan Sudanese intelligence files indicate that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) visited bin Laden in Sudan. The file on KSM calls him “Khalid Mohammed” and reads, “He visited Sudan for a short period while bin Laden was [here] and met him and went to Qatar.” The file also mentions KSM’s relationship with Ramzi Yousef and says that KSM used to “work in relief and aid” in Peshawar, Pakistan, and took part in the Afghan war in the 1980s. [MINITER, 2003, PP. 251] While most of the Sudanese intelligence files will not be given to the US until shortly before 9/11 (see July-August 2001), apparently Sudan tips off an FBI official about much of what it knows regarding KSM not long after he moves to Qatar (see Shortly Before October 1995). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Osama Bin Laden

1995: Germans Investigate Atta for Petty Drug Crimes According to a book (citing federal law enforcement sources) by Jurgen Roth, described by Newsday as “one of Germany’s top investigative reporters,” in this year the BKA (the German Federal Office for criminal investigations) investigates Mohamed Atta for petty drug crimes and falsifying phone cards whilst he is a student at the Technical University at Hamburg-Harburg. While he isn’t charged, a record of the investigation will prevent him from getting a security job with Lufthansa Airlines in early 2001 (see February 15, 2001). [ROTH, 2001, PP. 9F; NEWSDAY, 1/24/2002] Entity Tags: Germany, Jurgen Roth, Mohamed Atta, Bundeskriminalamt Germany Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Drugs

1995: French Set Up Bin Laden Unit In 2007, a French newspaper will report that the French intelligence agency, the DGSE, set up a unit focusing on bin Laden by 1995. This predates the CIA unit focusing on him established in 1996 (see February 1996). As part of their efforts against bin Laden, the DGSE manipulates and turns “young candidates for the jihad from the suburbs of the big cities of Europe.” They also work with Ahmed Shah Massoud, the leader of the Northern Alliance fighting the Taliban, and intercept satellite telephone conversations. [LE MONDE (PARIS), 4/15/2007] Entity Tags: Ahmed Shah Massoud, Osama bin Laden, Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure Category Tags: Remote Surveillance, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

(1995-2001): Training Exercises Conducted Are Based around Aircraft Hijackings Numerous training exercises are held around the US, based on the scenario of terrorist attacks that involve aircraft hijackings. Richard Clarke, the counterterrorism “tsar” from 1998 until October 2001, will later testify that, before 9/11: “In many, many cities and probably most metropolitan areas, the FBI had worked with the state and local authorities to plan responses to certain kinds of terrorist attacks. We then held a series of exercises around the country. For example, on weapons of mass destruction attacks, we had had a whole series of exercises about hijackings of aircraft.” [US CONGRESS, 6/11/2002 ] Further details of these exercises, such as the specific period over which they occur, are unstated. According to a 1999 report by the General Accounting Office, between June 1995 and June 1998 the FBI leads 24 training exercises in which “some state and local organizations” also participate. These exercises include various scenarios including, among others, “aircraft hijackings” and “terrorist attacks.” [UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 6/25/1999, PP. 1 AND 41 ] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Richard A. Clarke Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Military Exercises

1995-1998: French Learn of Moussaoui’s Trips to Afghanistan Training Camps, Ties to Militants

Zacarias Moussoui’s French national identification card. [Source: FBI] French agents believe Zacarias Moussaoui makes a trip to an al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan in 1995. After this, he goes to Chechnya and joins Muslims radicals fighting Russian troops there. French intelligence learns of this, though when they learn it is not clear. He then attends the Khaldan al-Qaeda camp in Afghanistan around April 1998. French intelligence will apparently learn of this second trip to Afghanistan in 1999 (see 1999). [MSNBC, 12/11/2001; INDEPENDENT, 12/11/2001; CBS NEWS, 5/8/2002] The French additionally come to believe that Moussaoui had been in contact with Farid Melouk, an Algerian suspected of belonging to the GIA, an Algerian militant group. Melouk is arrested in 1998 after a shootout with police in Brussels, Belgium, and later sentenced to nine years of prison. [GUARDIAN, 9/18/2001] Entity Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Farid Melouk, France Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Zacarias Moussaoui, Islamist Militancy in Chechnya

1995-2001: Persian Gulf Elite Go Hunting with Bin Laden and Mullah Omar in Afghanistan After the Taliban takes control of the area around Kandahar, Afghanistan, in September 1994, prominent Persian Gulf state officials and businessmen, including high-ranking United Arab Emirates and Saudi government ministers such as Saudi Intelligence Minister Prince Turki al-Faisal, frequently secretly fly into Kandahar on state and private jets for bird hunting expeditions. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11/18/2001] General Wayne Downing, who will later serve as one of President Bush’s counterterrorism “tsars,” says: “They would go out and see Osama, spend some time with him, talk with him, you know, live out in the tents, eat the simple food, engage in falconing, some other pursuits, ride horses.” [MSNBC, 9/5/2003] One noted visitor is Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Defense Minister and Crown Prince for the emirate of Dubai. Another is Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, ruler of the UAE. While there, some develop ties to the Taliban and al-Qaeda and give them money. Both Osama bin Laden and Taliban ruler Mullah Omar sometimes participate in these hunting trips. Al Maktoum allegedly hunts with bin Laden once in 1999 (see 1999). [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11/18/2001; FARAH AND BRAUN, 2007, PP. 120-121] On one occasion in 1999, the US will decide not to attack bin Laden with a missile because he’s bird hunting with important members of the UAE’s royal family (see February 11, 1999). US and Afghan officials suspect that the dignitaries’ outbound jets may also have smuggle out al-Qaeda and Taliban personnel. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 11/18/2001] The CIA also develops suspicions that many royals use the hunting trips as cover to fly out of Afghanistan with large amounts of heroin, but they are unable to prove it (see 1998). Entity Tags: Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, Turki al-Faisal, Taliban, Al-Qaeda, United Arab Emirates, Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Osama bin Laden, Mullah Omar, Wayne Downing Category Tags: Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia

1995-1996: Reports: FBI Watches Hamas Supporters But Make No Arrests In January 1995, the New York Times reports, “For more than a year the Federal Bureau of Investigation has closely monitored supporters of the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in several cities, including Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, Detroit, and Dallas.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/26/1995] In August 1995, the Times reports, “For well over a year, the FBI has monitored Hamas supporters in several American cities.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/16/1995] On March 12, 1996, FBI Director Louis Freeh says to Congress, “We have several instances where we have been able to show the transfer of substantial cash funds from the US to areas in the Mideast where we could show Hamas received, and even made expenditure of, those funds.” He says some of the money raised is sent back from the Middle East to the US to support and expand phony front organizations for Hamas. The FBI, he adds, has a “very inadequate picture of what perhaps is much greater activity” in the US. He notes the difficulty of tracing “those funds to actual military or terrorist operations anywhere outside the US.” Hamas leaders say any such money raised is used for charitable and humanitarian purposes. (Legally, after 1995 it became a crime in the US to fund Hamas, no matter how they spent their money (see January 1995)) In 1997, a Congressional analyst will say it is estimated Hamas receives from 30 percent to 80 percent of its budget from sources inside the US. [NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 3/13/1996; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 5/26/1997] But in 2002, FBI agent Robert Wright will claim, “Against the wishes of some at the FBI in 1995, when I uncovered criminal violations in several of my cases, I promptly initiated active terrorism criminal investigations on these subjects. I developed probable cause to believe that some of these transfers or transmissions had been of money intended to be used in the support of domestic and international terrorism activities. The illegal transfers that supported specific terrorist activities involving extortion, kidnapping, and murder…” Much of Wright’s evidence will focus on Hamas figures Mohammad Salah and Mousa Abu Marzouk. [FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, 5/30/2002] FBI agent Joe Hummel will say in 1997 that he has evidence “millions of dollars” passed through the bank accounts of Marzouk. But even though Marzouk is in US custody, he will merely be deported later in 1997 (see July 5, 1995-May 1997). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 5/26/1997] Federal prosecutor Mark Flessner will later claim that Wright and others in the Vulgar Betrayal investigation were building a strong criminal case against some in this Hamas support network, but they were not allowed to charge anyone no matter how strong their evidence was (see October 1998). [FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, 5/30/2002] In March 2002, the FBI will still publicly claim that it is watching an “elaborate network” of Hamas supporters in the US (see March 15, 2002). Entity Tags: Mark Flessner, Robert Wright, Joe Hummel, Vulgar Betrayal, Louis J. Freeh, Mohammad Salah, Mousa Abu Marzouk, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hamas Category Tags: Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing

1995-1998: Alleged Ties Between Al-Qadi Charity and Terrorist Groups Are Uncovered; No Action Taken Beginning in 1995, evidence begins to appear in the media suggesting that a Saudi charity named the Muwafaq Foundation has ties to radical militants. The foundation is run by a Saudi multimillionaire named Yassin al-Qadi.

In 1995, media reports claim that Muwafaq is being used to fund mujaheddin fighters in Bosnia (see 1991-1995). 
Also in 1995, Pakistani police raid the foundation’s Pakistan branch in the wake of the arrest of WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef (see February 7, 1995). The head of the branch is held for several months, and then the branch is closed down. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/29/2001] 
A secret CIA report in January 1996 says that Muwafaq is has ties to the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya militant group and helps fund mujaheddin fighting in Bosnia and at least one training camp in Afghanistan (see January 1996). 
In February 1996, bin Laden says in an interview that he supports the Muwafaq branch in Zagreb, Croatia (which is close to the fighting in neighboring Bosnia). [GUARDIAN, 10/16/2001] 
A senior US official will later claim that in 1998, the National Commercial Bank, one of the largest banks in Saudi Arabia, ran an audit and determined that the Muwafaq Foundation gave $3 million to al-Qaeda. Both al-Qadi and the bank later claim that the audit never existed. Al-Qadi asserts he has no ties to any terrorist group. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/29/2001] In 2003, former counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will elaborate on this allegation, saying to a Senate committee, “Al-Qadi was the head of Muwafaq, a Saudi ‘relief organization’ that reportedly transferred at least $3 million, on behalf of Khalid bin Mahfouz, to Osama bin Laden and assisted al-Qaeda fighters in Bosnia.” [US CONGRESS, 10/22/2003] (Note that bin Mahfouz, a Saudi billionaire, denies that he ever had any sort of tie to bin Laden or al-Qaeda and has not been officially charged of such ties anywhere.) [BIN MAHFOUZ INFO, 11/22/2005] 
Al-Qadi will claim that he shut down Muwafaq in 1996, but it is referred to in UN and German charity documents as doing work in Sudan and Bosnia through 1998. [GUARDIAN, 10/16/2001; BBC, 10/20/2001] 
Shortly after 9/11, the US Treasury Department will claim that Muwafaq funded Maktab al-Khidamat (MAK)/Al-Kifah (the predecessor of al-Qaeda), al-Qaeda, Hamas, and Abu Sayyaf (a Philippines militant group with ties to al-Qaeda), and other militant Islamic groups. [FRONTPAGE MAGAZINE, 6/17/2005] 

However, despite all of these alleged connections, and the fact that the US will officially label al-Qadi a terrorism financier shortly after 9/11 (see October 12, 2001), the Muwafaq Foundation has never been officially declared a terrorist supporting entity. An October 2001 New York Times article will say that the reason, “administration officials said, was the inability of United States officials to locate the charity or determine whether it is still in operation.” But the same article will also quote a news editor, who calls Muwafaq’s board of directors “the creme de la creme of Saudi society.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/13/2001] Entity Tags: Yassin al-Qadi, United Nations, US Department of the Treasury, Osama bin Laden, Hamas, Muwafaq Foundation, National Commercial Bank, Abu Sayyaf, Khalid bin Mahfouz, Switzerland, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing, BMI and Ptech

1995-1997: Swiss Block Investigation into Bank that Funds Suspicious Italian Mosque[]

Ahmed Idris Nasreddin. [Source: NBC News] A 1995 Italian intelligence report alleges the Switzerland-based Al Taqwa Bank is funding radical groups in Algeria, Tunisia, and Sudan, and is a major backer of Hamas, but Swiss authorities are slow to investigate. [SALON, 3/15/2002; FORWARD, 10/17/2003] The Italians are interested in Al Taqwa because of its connection to a radical Italian mosque, the Islamic Cultural Institute in Milan, which Al Taqwa founder and director Ahmed Idris Nasreddin helped create and finance in the early 1990s. The mosque is close to Al Taqwa’s headquarters in Lugano, a town on the border between Switzerland and Italy. It is also connected to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and extremists fighting in Bosnia (see Late 1993-1994) and European investigators increasingly suspect that the Milan mosque is an important general recruiting and supply center for al-Qaeda and other radical militant groups. [NEWSWEEK, 3/18/2002] Reportedly, the Italians tell a Swiss prosecutor that Al Taqwa “comprises the most important financial structure of the Muslim Brotherhood and Islamic terrorist organizations.” Italian intelligence also finds links between Al Taqwa and the Milan mosque through Nasreddin. Additionally, two other top officials in the mosque are Al Taqwa shareholders. [SALON, 3/15/2002; FORWARD, 10/17/2003] Italian officials get the impression that Swiss officials are loathe to look into Al Taqwa. In 1997, the Italians convince a Swiss prosecutor to start questioning Al Taqwa officials. But reportedly, an Al Taqwa lawyer is able to make phone calls to influential people and have the investigation stopped. [SALON, 3/15/2002] Entity Tags: Muslim Brotherhood, Islamic Cultural Institute, Hamas, Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, Al Taqwa Bank, Al-Qaeda, Italy, Switzerland Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Italy, Terrorism Financing, Al Taqwa Bank

1995-2000: Monitored Al Jazeera Reporter Allegedly Couriers Money from Spain to Turkey, Chechnya, and Afghanistan for Militants

Tayseer Allouni. [Source: Public domain / Antonio Casas] Al Jazeera reporter Tayseer Allouni makes several trips to Turkey and Afghanistan, taking money with him and giving it to people who are later said to be militants. Allouni, some of whose telephone conversations are recorded by Spanish authorities from the mid-1990s (see 1995 and After), makes numerous trips to Turkey and Afghanistan, carrying no more than $4,000 each time. Allouni’s associates include Mamoun Darkazanli and Mohammed Haydar Zammar, who are linked to 9/11 hijackers Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, and Ziad Jarrah (see November 1, 1998-February 2001 and October 9, 1999), as well as Spain-based al-Qaeda operative Barakat Yarkas, who also is in contact with Darkazanli and Zammar (see August 1998-September 11, 2001). [MILES, 2005, PP. 306-313] In 2000, Allouni is monitored by the Spanish government as he makes several trips to Afghanistan. His lawyer will later concede that he was given $35,000 by Yarkas, and Allouni will acknowledge that he did carry thousands of dollars from Yarkas to Afghanistan, Turkey, and Chechnya. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/19/2003] However, Allouni will later say he is not a member of al-Qaeda and was only taking the money to friends and other Syrian exiles. He will later interview Osama bin Laden (see October 20, 2001) and be sentenced to jail for his alleged al-Qaeda membership (see September 26, 2005). [MILES, 2005, PP. 306-313] Entity Tags: Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Barakat Yarkas, Mamoun Darkazanli, Al Jazeera, Tayseer Allouni, Spain Category Tags: Mamoun Darkazanli, Al-Qaeda in Germany, Remote Surveillance, Al-Qaeda in Spain, Islamist Militancy in Chechnya

1995-1998: FBI Prohibits Probe of Suspected Terrorism Finance Network

Sami al-Arian. [Source: Chris O'Meara] In 1995, investigators raid two groups in Tampa, Florida, associated with Sami al-Arian, a university professor who some claim has been a supporter of terrorist groups. These raids alert investigators to a group of Muslim charities in Herndon, Virginia, known as the SAAR network (see July 29, 1983). An investigation into that network’s alleged terrorism financing begins. In 1998, National Security Council aides in the Clinton White House push the FBI to intensify the SAAR investigation. However, the FBI declines, claiming that an aggressive probe would be seen as ethnic profiling. The SAAR network will not be raided until early 2002 (see March 20, 2002). [WASHINGTON POST, 10/7/2002] Al-Arian will not be arrested until 2003, largely on the basis of activities from 1995 and before. He will eventually be sentenced to almost five years in prison and will admit to aiding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (see December 6, 2005), which the US has officially designated as a terrorist group. Entity Tags: Sami Al-Arian, National Security Council, SAAR Foundation, Federal Bureau of Investigation Category Tags: Terrorism Financing

1995-1998: Al-Qaeda Leader Based in Philippines Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, one of the founders and top leaders of al-Qaeda (see August 11-20, 1988), periodically lives in the Philippines during these years. Philippine officials will later note that their country makes a good place for Islamic militants to hide out due to lax immigration and “places of refuge” in the southern Philippines where a number of Islamic groups are fighting the government. [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 10/1/2001; CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIA, 12/1/2002] In addition, Salim is believed to have visited Ramzi Yousef and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) in 1994 while they were working on the Bojinka plot in the Philippines. It is thought that he already had close ties to KSM by that time. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 139] Salim will be arrested in Germany in late 1998 (see September 20, 1998) and charged with helping to plan the 1998 US embassy bombings (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998). Between 1994 and his 1998 arrest, it is believed he traveled to more than 20 countries, including Russia and Canada. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/5/1998] Entity Tags: Mamdouh Mahmud Salim, Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, Ramzi Yousef, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1995-1998: Darkazanli Receives Large Sums From Saudi Intelligence Front Company A Saudi company called the Twaik Group deposits more than $250,000 in bank accounts controlled by Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian-born businessman suspected of belonging to the Hamburg, Germany, al-Qaeda cell that Mohamed Atta is also a part of. In 2004, the Chicago Tribune will reveal evidence that German intelligence has concluded that Twaik, a $100 million-a-year conglomerate, serves as a front for the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency. It has ties to that agency’s longtime chief, Prince Turki al-Faisal. Before 9/11, at least two of Twaik’s managers are suspected by various countries’ intelligence agencies of working for al-Qaeda. One Twaik employee, who is later accused of helping to finance the financing of the 2002 Bali bombings (see October 12, 2002), repeatedly flies on aircraft operated by Saudi intelligence. In roughly the same time period, hundreds of thousands of additional dollars are deposited into Darkazanli’s accounts from a variety of suspicious entities, including a Swiss bank owned by Middle Eastern interests with links to terrorism and a radical Berlin imam. Darkazanli is later accused not just of financially helping the Hamburg 9/11 hijackers, but also of helping to choose them for al-Qaeda. [CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/12/2003; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 3/31/2004] Entity Tags: Turki al-Faisal, Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda, Twaik Group, Mamoun Darkazanli Category Tags: Mamoun Darkazanli, Al-Qaeda in Germany, Saudi Arabia

1995 and After: Charities Connected to Bojinka Plot Remain Operating in the Philippines In early 1995, the Bojinka plot, an early version of the 9/11 plot that would have killed thousands, is foiled in the Philippines (see January 6, 1995). It is quickly learned that Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, helped fund the plot while living in the Philippines as regional director of the Saudi-based charity, the Islamic International Relief Organization (IIRO). Wali Khan Amin Shah, a known bin Laden associate and Bojinka plotter, also was an employee of the IIRO in the Philippines. Yet the Philippine branch of the IIRO will remain open until 2000, apparently because of political pressure from Saudi Arabia. Even then, the IIRO is allowed to continue funding projects in the Philippines through a branch office in a neighboring country. One Philippine senior intelligence official will later complain, “We could not touch the IIRO.” [INSTITUTE OF DEFENSE AND STRATEGIC STUDIES, 3/7/2003 ] Counterterrorism expert Zachary Abuza will note that the IIRO is a “very well connected charity, whose supporters include the Saudi royal family and the top echelon of Filipino society.” One board member of “the IIRO Philippine office was, not coincidentally, the Saudi Ambassador.” [CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIA, 8/1/2003] In 1996, a secret CIA report will conclude that the IIRO is funding radical militant groups in many countries, including the Philippines, but the US will not move against it either (see January 1996). Another Philippines-based Islamic charity, the International Relations and Information Center (IRIC), is also connected to the Bojinka plot. The IRIC’s director is Ahmad al-Hamwi (better known by his alias Omar Abu Omar), who is the brother of Khalifa’s Philippine wife. Investigators determine that most of the funding for the Bojinka plot went through a bank account controlled by al-Hamwi. As a result, the IRIC is shut down in 1995 and al-Hamwi leaves the country. However, its operations and staff is taken over by another Islamic charity headed by Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari. Al-Ghafari is also a close associate of Khalifa and is believed to have been involved in the Bojinka plot as well (see June 1994). Al-Ghafari will finally be deported in 2002 after years of police protection (see October 8-November 8, 2002). [WASHINGTON POST, 12/30/2001; INSTITUTE OF DEFENSE AND STRATEGIC STUDIES, 3/7/2003 ; AUSTRALIAN, 4/8/2006] Al-Hamwi will be granted asylum in Australia in 1996 and will continue to live there even after media reports expose his presence there and his ties to Islamic militancy (see July 6, 1995-June 26, 1996). [AUSTRALIAN, 4/8/2006] US will finally officially declare the IIRO’s Philippine branch a terrorism funder in late 2006 (see August 3, 2006). Entity Tags: Zachary Abuza, Operation Bojinka, Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari, International Relations and Information Center, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ahmad al-Hamwi, International Islamic Relief Organization, Wali Khan Amin Shah Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Philippine Militant Collusion, Saudi Arabia, Terrorism Financing, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

1995 and After: Britain’s Attempts to Deport Radical Saudi Fail[]

Britain attempts to deport London-based Saudi dissident Mohammed al-Massari, but its efforts are unsuccessful. Al-Massari established a communications line for Osama bin Laden in the mid-1990s (see 1994). The attempt is a result of pressure from the government of Saudi Arabia, to which al-Massari is opposed. The deportation is handled by what the BBC calls an “unusually senior British official,” which is “a sign of how important it was deemed.” However, Britain cannot deport him to his home country, because of torture concerns. Britain asks friendly countries to take him in and the small Caribbean nation of Dominica accepts, but this plan fails after it comes to light that Dominica has signed, but not incorporated the UN Convention on Refugees. [BBC, 7/27/2005] The Saudis continue to urge action be taken against al-Massari, but he carries on operating from London. The Saudi ambassador will still be complaining about him in 2005 (see August 10, 2005). Entity Tags: Mohammed al-Massari, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Dominica Category Tags: Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

1995 and After: Spanish Intelligence Begins Monitoring Al-Qaeda Cell Later Linked to 9/11 Hamburg Cell

Barakat Yarkas. [Source: Public domain] The Spanish government begins monitoring an al-Qaeda cell based in Madrid and led by Barakat Yarkas. The cell members call themselves the “Soldiers of Allah.” The New York Times will later report that a document listing telephone intercepts “makes clear that Spanish intelligence has been watching Mr. Yarkas and listening to him in his interactions with other suspected al-Qaeda operatives around Europe and Asia since at least 1997.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/20/2001] In fact, Spain begins monitoring the cell in 1995, if not earlier. [IRUJO, 2005, PP. 23-40] The cell formed in the early 1990s, and the members distributed literature at a Madrid mosque about the activities of Islamist militants, including communiqués issued by Osama bin Laden. They indoctrinate some young Muslims who were interested, and recruit several to fight in Bosnia. Yarkas and others in the cell pose as middle-class businesspeople, but they also are observed committing a variety of crimes to raise money for al-Qaeda (see Late 1995 and After). Yarkas frequently travels, going to such countries as Turkey, Belgium, Sweden, Jordan, Denmark, Indonesia, and Malaysia. He makes more than 20 trips to Britain. By 1998, he is in contact with members of the same al-Qaeda cell in Hamburg that contains participants in the 9/11 plot such as Mohamed Atta and Marwan Alshehhi. But while Spanish intelligence shares their surveillance with the CIA, they do not inform German intelligence (see August 1998-September 11, 2001). In 1998, a Saudi millionaire named Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi moves to Spain and interacts with members of the cell, and soon the Spanish begin monitoring him too. It will later be alleged that Zouaydi is a key al-Qaeda financier. In July 2001, Spanish intelligence will hear members of the cell planning for a meeting in Spain that is attended by Atta and others, but apparently they will fail to monitor the meeting itself (see Before July 8, 2001 and July 8-19, 2001). In 2003, the Spanish government will charge a number of people they claim are members of the cell. Some will be convicted for having al-Qaeda ties, and some will not. Yarkas will get a 25-year sentence (see September 26, 2005). Most of the evidence against them will actually have been collected before 9/11. [NEW YORK TIMES, 11/20/2001; CHICAGO TRIBUNE, 10/19/2003] Entity Tags: Barakat Yarkas, Al-Qaeda, Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Spain, Remote Surveillance, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

Mid-1990s: Ali Mohamed Associate Said to Recruit 10 Sleeper Agents in US Khaled Abu el-Dahab travels to Afghanistan to be personally congratulated by bin Laden. He is congratulated for recruiting 10 US citizens of Middle Eastern descent into al-Qaeda. Bin Laden was particularly keen to recruit such people so their US passports could be used for international travel by other al-Qaeda operatives. El-Dahab makes this visit with Ali Mohamed; the two of them make up the heart of an al-Qaeda cell based in Santa Clara, California (see 1987-1998). El-Dahab will reveal this information in a 1999 trial in Egypt. The names of the recruits and other details about them apparently are not publicly revealed, and it is unclear if or when they are ever uncovered. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 11/21/2001] Entity Tags: Ali Mohamed, Osama bin Laden, Khaled Abu el-Dahab Category Tags: Ali Mohamed

Early 1995: Iraqi Intelligence Agent Meets with Bin Laden, but No Agreement or Alliance Results

Farouk Hijazi. [Source: CNN] In 2006, a bipartisan Senate report will conclude that only one meeting between representatives of al-Qaeda and Saddam Hussein’s Iraq government took place prior to the Iraq war in 2003. “Debriefings and captured regime documents show that the Intelligence Community accurately assessed that Iraqi intelligence officer Farouq Hijazi met with bin Laden in 1995 in Sudan. Debriefings of Hijazi indicate that, prior to the meeting, Saddam directed Hijazi to “only listen” and not negotiate or promise anything to bin Laden. At the meeting, bin Laden requested an office in Iraq, military training for his followers, Chinese sea mines, and the broadcast of speeches from an anti-Saudi cleric,” Sheikh Salman al-Awdah. Hussein immediately rejected most of the requests, but considered broadcasting the speeches. However, it is unknown if he actually did. Hijazi files a negative report to his superiors, telling them that bin Laden was hostile and insisted on the Islamicization of Iraq, which is not in line with Hussein’s secular rule. Soon after filing the report, Hijazi is told by his superiors that he should not try to meet bin Laden again. [US SENATE AND INTELLIGENCE COMMITTEE, 9/8/2006, PP. 71-73 ] Beginning in 1999, a number of news stories will allege a meeting between Hijazi and bin Laden, but will incorrectly claim the meeting took place in 1998 (see Late December 1998). The Boston Globe will later report, “[I]ntelligence agencies tracked contacts between Iraqi agents and al-Qaeda agents in the ‘90s in Sudan and Afghanistan, where bin Laden is believed to have met with Farouk Hijazi, head of Iraqi intelligence. But current and former intelligence specialists caution that such meetings occur just as often between enemies as friends. Spies frequently make contact with rogue groups to size up their intentions, gauge their strength, or try to infiltrate their ranks, they said.” [BOSTON GLOBE, 8/3/2003] Hijazi, head of the Iraqi Intelligence Service for a time, will be taken into custody by US forces in April 2003 and will make a deal to reactivate his intelligence network to benefit the US occupation. [NEW YORKER, 12/8/2003] Entity Tags: Iraqi Intelligence Service, Osama bin Laden, Farouk Hijazi Timeline Tags: Events Leading to Iraq Invasion Category Tags: Alleged Iraq-Al-Qaeda Links

Early 1995: Mole Helps Algerian Government Monitor GIA in London Algerian journalist Reda Hassaine, who has previously performed one mission for the Algerian security services directed against the militant Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) (see August 1994), persuades the Algerian government to hire him on a more permanent basis. Hassaine approaches the Algerians because gunmen have assassinated a close friend in Algiers and he holds the GIA responsible. He makes the approach in London, where he now lives, by contacting the Algerian embassy. His case is handled by a colonel in the Algerian intelligence service, with whom Hassaine meets in various London pubs for several years. Hassaine is tasked with attending the various extremist mosques, in particular a mosque in Finsbury Park, as well as coffee shops. His job is to keep his eyes and ears open and also to report on specific GIA operatives. Hassaine will later focus on the Finsbury Park Mosque and will say of the extremists who passed through it: “They came from all over the world, spent some time there and went somewhere else—Kashmir, Afghanistan, wherever. And many of them would come back again. The mosque was a rest place for them, they would return from jihad and start telling the younger ones about it, brainwashing another lot of recruits.” Hassaine will be hired by French intelligence in 1997 (see Early 1997), after which he appears to do less for the Algerians. [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 130-134] Entity Tags: Finsbury Park Mosque, Reda Hassaine, Groupe Islamique Armé Category Tags: Reda Hassaine, Algerian Militant Collusion, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

Early 1995: Bosnian Leaders Admit They Are Using Anti-Serb Propaganda to Prompt Intervention Bosnian leaders, including Deputy President Ejup Ganic, tell the BBC that their war strategy is to use anti-Serb propaganda in the mass media to force a massive military intervention. [RIPLEY, 1999, PP. 33] Entity Tags: Ejup Ganic Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

January 1995: Ali Mohamed Gets Defense Contractor Job without Proper Security Clearance Ali Mohamed applies for a US security clearance, so he can become a security guard with a Santa Clara defense contractor. His application fails to mention ever traveling to Pakistan or Afghanistan. Defense Department officials conduct a background check on him and interview him three times. Mohamed claims, “I have never belonged to a terrorist organization, but I have been approached by organizations that could be called terrorist.” These kinds of comments contradict what he has already told the FBI in interviews. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 11/4/2001] He never gets the required clearance, but somehow gets the job anyway. He works with Burns Security as a guard protecting a Northrop-Grumman factory in Sunnyvale, California. The factory makes triggers for the Trident missile. He has access to a computer inside the factory, but the computer is protected with a password so it is unknown if he gained access to the sensitive, classified information on it. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 207-208] Entity Tags: Northrop Grumman Corporation, Burns Security, Ali Mohamed, US Department of Defense Category Tags: Ali Mohamed

January 1995: US Officially Declares Hamas a Terrorist Organization President Clinton issues an executive order making it a felony to raise or transfer funds to designated terrorist groups or their front organizations (see January 24, 1995). He additionally officially declares Hamas to be a terrorist organization and orders a freeze on all Hamas banking assets. It now becomes illegal in the US to donate money to Hamas or its related charities. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/26/1995; NEW YORK TIMES, 8/16/1995] Surprisingly, the US will not declare al-Qaeda a terrorist organization until October 1999 (see October 8, 1999). Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Hamas, William Jefferson (“Bill”) Clinton Category Tags: Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing

1995-February 2001: Monitored Al-Qaeda Leader and British Al-Qaeda Informant Raise Money for Chechen Rebels

Said Chedadi. [Source: Agence France-Presse] Beginning in 1995, Barakat Yarkas, head of an al-Qaeda cell in Madrid, Spain, begins traveling frequently to Britain. Yarkas is being constantly monitored by Spanish intelligence (see 1995 and After) and they learn that his cell is raising money for the Islamist militants in Chechnya who are fighting the Russian army there. Yarkas and fellow cell member Said Chedadi solicit funds from Arab business owners in Madrid and then take the cash to radical imam Abu Qatada in London. Abu Qatada is coordinating fundraising efforts, and from June 1996 onwards, he is also working as an informant for British intelligence, although just how long and how closely he works for them is unclear (see June 1996-February 1997). [IRUJO, 2005, PP. 64-65] According to a later Spanish government indictment, Yarkas makes over 20 trips from Spain to Britain roughly between 1995 and 2000. He mostly meets with Qatada and Abu Walid, who an indictment will later call Abu Qatada’s right-hand man. From 1998 onwards, Spanish militant Jamal Zougam also travels occasionally to London to meet with Qatada. Investigators later suspect he travels with Yarkas on at least one of these trips. [INDEPENDENT, 11/21/2001; EL MUNDO (MADRID), 7/8/2005] From 1996 to 1998, an informant named Omar Nasiri informs on Abu Qatada and Walid for British intelligence (see Summer 1996-August 1998). Nasiri sometimes passes phones messages between the both of them and al-Qaeda leader Abu Zubaida, and also reveals that Walid has been to al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. [NASIRI, 2006, PP. 265-282] Waild, a Saudi, apparently will be killed in Chechnya in 2004. [GUARDIAN, 10/3/2006] In February 2001, British police will raid Abu Qatada’s house and find $250,000, including some marked “for the Mujaheddin in Chechnya” (see February 2001). However, he will not be arrested, and it is not clear if he and/or Yarkas continue raising money for Chechnya after the raid. Chedadi will later be sentenced to eight years and Zougam will get life in prison for roles in the 2004 Madrid train bombings (see October 31, 2007). [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 1/26/2006] Entity Tags: Said Chedadi, Omar Nasiri, Jamal Zougam, Abu Walid, Barakat Yarkas, Abu Qatada Category Tags: Abu Qatada, Al-Qaeda in Spain, Abu Zubaida, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings, Remote Surveillance, Terrorism Financing, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, Islamist Militancy in Chechnya

January 1995-April 1996: FBI and Treasury Cancel Raid on Suspected Charity[]

As President Clinton issues an executive order making it a felony to raise or transfer funds to designated terrorist groups or their front organizations (see January 1995), counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke and Treasury official Richard Newcomb look for opportunities to use the new power. They review files to see if there are any clear cut cases to use it on. They decide that the Holy Land Foundation is in violation of the new order. Customs officials prepare to raid Holy Land’s headquarters in Arlington, Texas, and seize all their assets. However, FBI Director Louis Freeh and Treasury Secretary Bob Rubin object. Both claim the executive order might not hold up to legal challenges. Freeh additionally says he is concerned with alienating Arabs in the US, and Rubin is afraid the raid might discourage investment in the US. The raid is cancelled. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/26/1995; CLARKE, 2004, PP. 98] The FBI is also aware of a public event held in January where the leader of Hamas’ political wing is the keynote speaker. He urges the crowd, “I am going to speak the truth to you. It’s simple. Finish off the Israelis. Kill them all! Exterminate them! No peace ever!” Holy Land raises over $200,000 for Hamas from the event. The same speaker helps Holy Land raise money with many other events in the US. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 12/6/2001; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/15/2002] After Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzouk is arrested trying to enter the US in July 1995 (see July 5, 1995-May 1997), agents who search his belongings find financial records showing that he invested $250,000 in Holy Land in 1992. Holy Land continues to pay him monthly profits on his investment even after Hamas was declared a terrorist organization and news of his arrest made the front pages of US newspapers (in fact, Holy Land will continue to pay him through 2001). Although Holy Land is in clear violation of the law, the raid still does not occur. [DALLAS MORNING NEWS, 12/19/2002] In 1996, Congress will pass a law that confirms it is illegal to financially support officially designated terrorism groups such as Hamas. (see April 25, 1996). Clarke has never explained why Holy Land is not raided after the passage of this law, or in subsequent years when yet more evidence of terrorist ties are uncovered (see 1997; September 16, 1998-September 5, 2001). Holy Land will finally be raided after 9/11 (see December 4, 2001), largely on the basis of evidence collected in 1993 (see October 1993). In 2004, the US government will claim that Holy Land raised over $12 million for Hamas between January 1995, when funding Hamas became illegal in the US, and December 2001, when Holy Land was shut down. [IMMIGRATION AND CUSTOMS ENFORCEMENT, 7/27/2004] Entity Tags: Richard A. Clarke, William Jefferson (“Bill”) Clinton, Richard Newcomb, US Department of the Treasury, Louis J. Freeh, Mousa Abu Marzouk, Hamas, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Bob Rubin, Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing

1995-November 2001: US Lobbies India Over Enron Power Plant Enron’s $3 billion Dabhol, India power plant runs into trouble in 1995 when the Indian government temporarily cancels an agreement. The plant is projected to get its energy from the proposed Afghan pipeline and deliver it to the Indian government. Enron leader Ken Lay travels to India with Commerce Secretary Ron Brown the same year, and heavy lobbying by US officials continue in subsequent years. By summer 2001, the National Security Council leads a “Dabhol Working Group” with officials from various cabinet agencies to get the plant completed and functioning. US pressure on India intensifies until shortly before Enron files for bankruptcy in December 2001. US officials later claim their lobbying merely supported the $640 million of US government investment in the plant. But critics say the plant received unusually strong support under both the Clinton and Bush administrations. [NEW YORK DAILY NEWS, 1/18/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 1/19/2002] Entity Tags: Clinton administration, Bush administration, Kenneth Lay, India, Ronald H. Brown, Enron, National Security Council Category Tags: Pipeline Politics

1995-May 2000: Al-Qaeda Leader Connected to British Intelligence Lives Openly in Britain

Anas al-Liby. [Source: FBI] Anas al-Liby, member of a Libyan al-Qaeda affiliate group called Al-Muqatila, lives in Britain during this time. He had stayed with bin Laden in Sudan (see May 18, 1996). In 1995, he moves to Britain and applies for political asylum, claiming to be a political enemy of the Libyan government. He is involved in an al-Qaeda plot (see Late 1993-Late 1994) that will result in the bombing of two US embassies in Africa in 1998 (see 10:35-10:39 a.m., August 7, 1998). The British government suspects he is a high-level al-Qaeda operative, and Egypt tells Britain that he is wanted for an assassination attempt of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (see (Late 1995)). In 1996, he is involved in a plot with the British intelligence agency to assassinate Libyan leader Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi (see 1996), and presumably his ability to live in Britain is connected to cooperation with that plot. [OBSERVER, 11/10/2002; TIMES (LONDON), 1/16/2003] After the failed assassination attempt in 1996, the British allegedly continues to support Al-Muqatila—for instance, the group openly publishes a newsletter from a London office. [BRISARD AND DASQUIE, 2002, PP. 97-98] Whistleblower David Shayler, a British intelligence agent, gives British authorities details of this Libya plot in 1998 and again in 1999, and later will serve a short prison sentence for revealing this information to the public (see November 5, 2002). [OBSERVER, 8/27/2000] In late 1998, al-Liby is monitored calling an al-Qaeda operative in the US and discussing their ties to one of the African embassy bombers, but this results in no action against al-Liby (see Shortly After August 12, 1998). He lives in Manchester until May of 2000 when he eludes a police raid on his house and flees abroad. [OBSERVER, 11/10/2002] His asylum application will still be under review at the time of the raid. [TIMES (LONDON), 1/16/2003] An important al-Qaeda training manual is discovered in the raid on his Manchester house (see May 2000). The US will later post a $25 million reward for al-Liby’s capture. [FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION, 2002; OBSERVER, 11/10/2002] Entity Tags: United Kingdom, Osama bin Laden, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi, Al-Qaeda, Al-Muqatila, David Shayler, Anas al-Liby Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, 1998 US Embassy Bombings, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

Mid 1990s: Hijacker Atta Registers in Germany as UAE National Using Name Variant Although lead hijacker Mohamed Atta is Egyptian and is known to some German acquaintances as such, he registers as a UAE national in Hamburg. This will be confirmed after 9/11 by Hamburg’s interior minister, Olaf Scholz, who will say that his UAE nationality was recorded in the Ausländerzentralregister, a federal data base with personal data of foreign residents and asylum seekers. [BBC, 9/13/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/17/2001; HAMBURG INTERIOR MINISTRY, 9/23/2001] Commenting on this after 9/11, the Observer will say, “In many respects, though, he led not one life, but two. He repeatedly switched names, nationalities and personalities. If… in the US, he was Mohamed Atta, then at the Technical University of Harburg, he was Mohamed el-Amir. For the university authorities, he was an Egyptian, yet for his landlord, as for the US authorities, he was from the United Arab Emirates. And while it is not hard to see Atta, whose face gazes out from the passport photograph released by the FBI, as that of the mass murderer of Manhattan, el-Amir was a shy, considerate man who endeared himself to Western acquaintances.” [OBSERVER, 9/23/2001] It is unclear how or why Atta registered as a UAE national. In addition, throughout most of his time in Germany Atta is registered under a name variant, Mohamed el-Amir, and only registers using his full name after obtaining a new passport (see Late 1999), three weeks before leaving Germany for the US (see June 3, 2000). [US DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA, ALEXANDRIA DIVISION, 7/31/2006] Entity Tags: Mohamed Atta Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Mohamed Atta, Al-Qaeda in Germany

Mid-Late 1990s: Radical Imam Preaches at Hamburg Mosque Attended by 9/11 Pilots

Mohammed Fazazi. [Source: Heise.de] Radical Moroccan imam Mohammed Fazazi gives weekly sermons at the al-Quds mosque in Hamburg, Germany, which is attended by the core members of the 9/11 plot, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ziad Jarrah, and Ramzi bin al-Shibh (see Early 1996 and April 1, 1999). Fazazi, who also makes videotapes that are watched by Islamist radicals throughout Europe, strongly believes that democracy and Western values must be rejected by Muslims living in the West, who should respect only their own Quranic laws. He often preaches that European countries are conducting a war against Islam and that “smiting the head of the infidels” is the duty of all Muslims, mandated by God. He stops preaching at the mosque and leaves Hamburg before 9/11. He is believed to be the spiritual leader of the Moroccan terrorist group Salafia Jihadia, and will later be convicted in Morocco for his part in bombings in Casablanca (see May 16, 2003). [VIDINO, 2006, PP. 225-6] Entity Tags: Ziad Jarrah, Mohamed Atta, Marwan Alshehhi, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Mohammed Fazazi Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Germany

After 1994: Foreign Services Unhappy about Closeness between Yemeni Authorities and Militants After the Yemen civil war in 1994, in which militants helped North Yemen defeat its southern counterpart, there is an effort to absorb extremists into the mainstream (see After July 1994). However, some foreign intelligence services complain that this allows radicals to operate freely in Yemen. Nabil ad-Din, a former officer in Egypt’s state security will later say that “there were always problems” with Yemeni security officials because “they shared the same values of the people they were supposed to be arresting.” US officials will say that although some senior officers in the local Political Security Organization (PSO) take antiterrorism seriously, the organization as a whole tends to see Islamists as useful allies against domestic opponents. In addition, an Italian intelligence report will later state that the PSO even provides “logistical and intelligence assistance” to Islamic Jihad, led by Ayman al-Zawahiri, who frequently visits Yemen (see Mid-1990s-Spring 1998). [WALL STREET JOURNAL, 12/20/2002] Entity Tags: Yemeni Political Security Organization, Nabid ad-Din Category Tags: 2000 USS Cole Bombing, Yemeni Militant Collusion


Q1[]

Main article: Q1 1995

Q2 1995[]

April-May 1995: FBI Learns KSM Has Been in US and Is Planning to Come Back for Flight Training[]

Richmor Aviation logo. [Source: Richmor Aviation] The FBI interrogates Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad and learns that 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) has been in the US and is planning to return for flight training. Murad had already been interrogated in the Philippines by Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza (see February-Early May 1995). The Associated Press will say that KSM “had traveled to Israel and the United States, according to [Mendoza’s] report.” Further, Murad met KSM several times in Pakistan in 1993, and “their conversations focused mainly on aircraft because of Mohammed’s intense interest in pilot training, Mendoza quoted Murad as saying.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/25/2002] After Murad is handed over to the FBI around April, along with Mendoza’s report on him, he repeats much the same information to the FBI and adds more details about a man he calls Abdul Majid (which Mendoza had already learned was one of KSM’s many aliases). [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/25/2002; KNIGHT RIDDER, 9/9/2002] An FBI account of his April 1995 interrogation dated May 11, 1995, states, “Murad also advised that Majid had a United States visa and was planning to travel to the US sometime in the near future. Murad stated that he thought that Majid might go to the Richmor Flying School in Albany, New York, because Majid seemed interested in obtaining his pilots license and Murad suggested the Richmor Flying School.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/25/2002; LANCE, 2006, PP. 501-502] Despite this warning, apparently KSM will still be able to travel to the US, because in the summer of 2001 an al-Qaeda operative will reveal that KSM visited the US at least through the summer of 1998 (see Summer 1998). Entity Tags: Rodolfo Mendoza, Richmor Aviation, Abdul Hakim Murad, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Key Warnings

Early April 1995: Jordan Acquits Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law, But US Still Plans to Deport Him There A Jordanian appeals court overturns the conviction of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law. A Jordanian court had convicted Khalifa and sentenced him to death in December 1994, shortly after he was arrested in the US (see December 16, 1994-May 1995). His conviction hinged on the testimony of one witness, a student at a school in the Philippines run by one of Khalifa’s organizations. The witness claimed that Khalifa had given him $50,000 to finance bombings and assassinations in Jordan. But when the case goes to the appeals court, the witness recants, and the court overturns the conviction. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/9/1995; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/16/1995; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 4/18/1995] Shortly after the court’s ruling, Khalifa’s lawyer says that Khalifa wants to be deported to Jordan and retried in person. He is confident a new trial will end in his acquittal. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/26/1995] The US will deport Khalifa to Jordan about one month later (see April 26-May 3, 1995). He will quickly be retried, found innocent, and set free (see July 19, 1995). Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Jordan Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa

April 1, 1995: Osama’s Bin Laden’s Brother Khaled Said to Be Supporting Him in Financing Militants

Khaled bin Laden. [Source: Straightegyptians(.com)] An article in the respected Jane’s Intelligence Review discusses the growing radical Islamist militant movement around the world and says that “Among the financiers is Osama bin Laden and his brother Khaled…” [JANE'S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW, 4/1/1995] Khaled bin Laden is known as a horse breeder in Saudi Arabia. There apparently have been no further mentions of him in the media regarding financing militants. Entity Tags: Khaled bin Laden, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Bin Laden Family

April 1, 1995-Early 1996: Many Bojinka Plotters Arrested and Then Let Go Many of the Bojinka plotters are arrested in the Philippines and then let go. On April 1, the Philippines police arrest six foreigners, who are from Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Oman, and the United Arab Emirates. They seize a cache of weapons and explosives in their apartments. It is announced the men have ties to Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman and Ramzi Yousef and that they are being charged with stockpiling illegal firearms. [NEW YORK TIMES, 4/3/1995; NEW YORK TIMES, 4/8/1995; SOUTH CHINA MORNING POST, 12/19/1995] On December 30, 15 more suspects are arrested. This group is made up of Iraqi, Sudanese, Saudi, and Pakistani nationals. They are found with guns and explosives. One of them is identified as Ramzi Yousef’s twin brother Abd al-Karim Yousef, who had been using the alias Adel Anon. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/31/1995] Philippine authorities claim that not only were these men involved in the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995), but they were also planning to assassinate President Fidel Ramos and commanders of the Philippines army and national police. [CNN, 1/3/1996] Edwin Angeles had been an undercover operative posing as a top leader in the Abu Sayyaf militant group (see Late 1994-January 1995 and Early February 1995), and now he leads the investigation to capture these men based on what he knew about them when he was in Abu Sayyaf. However, he later claims that not all of them were guilty and that some of them were framed by the planting of weapons and other evidence. He goes public with this complaint in early 1996. All of the men are released on bail and then all of them jump bail. Some flee the Philippines while others stay and go into hiding. [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 7/10/2001; CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIA, 12/1/2002] It is not known what happens to most of these men after their release. But one of the men arrested in March 1995, Hadi Yousef Alghoul, will be arrested in the Philippines again in late 2001. He will be found with nearly 300 sticks of dynamite and accused of involvement in other plots as well (see December 26, 2001). In 2003, it will be reported that Abd al-Karim Yousef was recently traveling with Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), and in the wake of KSM’s 2003 arrest he is capable of taking over as al-Qaeda’s operational commander. [WASHINGTON POST, 3/4/2003; TIME, 3/8/2003] It has not been explained why the Philippines did not turn him over to the US, since the US had put out an alert for him in March 1995, shortly after his brother Ramzi Yousef was arrested. [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/20/1995] Entity Tags: Hadi Yousef Alghoul, Edwin Angeles, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Abd al-Karim Yousef, Ramzi Yousef Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

April 3, 1995: Time Magazine and Senator Highlight Plane as Weapon Idea

Senator Sam Nunn. [Source: Carnegie Corporation of New York] Time magazine’s cover story reports on the potential for anti-American militants to kill thousands in highly destructive acts. It mentions that, three weeks earlier, Senator Sam Nunn (D) had outlined a scenario in which terrorists attack the US Capitol building on the night of a State of the Union address, by crashing a radio-controlled airplane into it, “engulfing it with chemical weapons and causing tremendous death and destruction.” The scenario is “not far-fetched,” and the required technology is readily available, Nunn said. [TIME, 4/3/1995] An almost identical scenario was included in the storyline of the Tom Clancy bestseller Debt of Honor, released the previous year, but this involved a plane guided by a suicide pilot, rather than radio control (see August 17, 1994). High-ranking al-Qaeda leaders will claim later that Flight 93’s target was the Capitol Building. [GUARDIAN, 9/9/2002] Entity Tags: Sam Nunn, Time magazine Category Tags: Warning Signs

April 4, 1995: Philippine Militant Group Attacks Town; Government Alleged to Support the Attack

Devastation after the raid on Ipil. [Source: Romeo Gacad / Agence France-Presse / Getty Images] The Abu Sayyaf, a Muslim militant group, attacks the Christian town of Ipil in the Southern Philippines. About 200 militants burn, loot, and shoot inside the town for hours, killing 53 and withdrawing with 30 hostages. In 2001, the Independent calls this the group’s “bloodiest and most shocking attack.” [WASHINGTON POST, 5/25/1995; INDEPENDENT, 3/4/2001] Edwin Angeles is an undercover operative for the Philippine government while also serving as Abu Sayyaf’s second in command (see 1991-Early February 1995). Although Angeles’ undercover status was exposed in February 1995 (see Early February 1995), he claims to still have been in the group when the raid was planned. He says the raid was to test a new group of recruits recently returned from training in Pakistan, and to rob several banks. [WASHINGTON POST, 5/25/1995] Aquilino Pimentel, president of the Philippines Senate, will later allege that Angeles told him later in 1995 that the Philippine government provided the Abu Sayyaf with military vehicles, mortars, and assorted firearms to assist them with the raid. [SENATOR AQUILINO Q. PIMENTEL WEBSITE, 7/31/2000] At this time, the Philippine government is unpopular due to a recent scandal and is attempting to pass an anti-terrorism bill. The government has sometimes been accused of manipulating the Abu Sayyaf for Machiavellian purposes (see 1994, July 31, 2000, and July 27-28, 2003). Entity Tags: Philippines, Aquilino Pimentel, Edwin Angeles, Abu Sayyaf Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

April 12, 1995: Bojinka Plotter Rendered to US Abdul Hakim Murad, a member of the Bojinka plot exposed in January by Philippine police (see January 6, 1995), is rendered to the US, where he is to stand trial. [GREY, 2007, PP. 245] Murad has been held and tortured by Philippine authorities since January (see After January 6, 1995). Entity Tags: Abdul Hakim Murad Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot

April 16, 1995: Philippine Government and CIA Keep Data on Bojinka Plotters in US and Overseas from the FBI Newsday reports, “Some crucial computer evidence against notorious terrorist suspect Ramzi Yousef has been destroyed, and the FBI has begun an investigation into whether the CIA is responsible…” After the Bojinka plot was foiled in the Philippines (see January 6, 1995), a computer hard drive and several floppy discs were discovered in Yousef’s Manila apartment and found to contain a great deal of useful evidence. Pictures and phone numbers recovered from the hard drive led to the arrest of another Bojinka plotter just days later (see January 7-11, 1995). The computer files were copied by Philippine authorities and then turned over to the CIA. The CIA then “provided the FBI with a summary of the files, indicating they contained detailed information about Yousef’s coconspirators in the United States and overseas, including their names, addresses and in some cases, even phone numbers.… But when the CIA turned over the actual computer and disks, Justice Department experts determined that at least three separate computer deletion programs had been used to erase some of the data, law-enforcement sources said.” One US law-enforcement official complains, “We had teams of investigators frothing at the mouth to get at Yousef’s network. And we get handed an empty computer. It’s as if we’d been tracking a serial killer and someone intentionally shredded the investigative file.” Officials believe it is not likely the files will ever be recovered. Newsday reports that “The FBI is investigating whether CIA agents or their operatives intentionally destroyed the evidence.” Since Philippine authorities made copies of the files, the FBI has tried to get copies directly from them, but without success. [NEWSDAY, 4/16/1995] A search of the Lexis Nexus database shows no follow up to this story. But only three Bojinka plotters—Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, and Wali Khan Amin Shah—are arrested in the years before 9/11, and the rest of the network goes free. Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Philippines, Ramzi Yousef, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Philippine Militant Collusion, Ramzi Yousef, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

April 19, 1995: Bojinka Plotter Takes Credit for Oklahoma City Bombing Abdul Hakim Murad is in a US prison awaiting trial for his alleged role in the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995). Told about the Oklahoma City bombing that took place earlier in the day (see April 19, 1995), he immediately takes credit for the bombing on behalf of his associate Ramzi Yousef. However, Yousef, also in US custody at the time, makes no such claim. An FBI report detailing Murad’s claim is submitted to FBI headquarters the next day. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 163-164] A Philippine undercover operative will later claim that Terry Nichols, who will be convicted for a major role in the Oklahoma City bombing, met with Murad, Yousef, and others in the Philippines in 1994, and discussed blowing up a building in Oklahoma and several other locations (see Late 1992-Early 1993 and Late 1994). Counterterrorism “tsar” Richard Clarke will later comment, “Could [Yousef] have been introduced to [Nichols]? We do not know, despite some FBI investigation. We do know that Nichols’s bombs did not work before his Philippine stay and were deadly when he returned.” [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 127] Mike Johnston, a lawyer representing the Oklahoma City bombing victims’ families, will later comment, “Why should Murad be believed? For one thing, Murad made his ‘confession’ voluntarily and spontaneously. Most important, Murad tied Ramzi Yousef to the Oklahoma City bombing long before Terry Nichols was publicly identified as a suspect.” [INSIGHT, 6/22/2002] Also on this day, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, an associate of Yousef and Murad who is being held in the US, is moved from a low security prison to a maximum security prison. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 164] But despite these potential links to Muslim militants, only five days after the Oklahoma City bombing the New York Times will report, “Federal officials said today that there was no evidence linking people of the Muslim faith or of Arab descent to the bombing here.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 4/24/1995] Murad’s claim apparently will not be reported in any newspaper until two years later. [ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS, 6/17/1995] Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Richard A. Clarke, Mike Johnston, Terry Nichols, Abdul Hakim Murad, Ramzi Yousef Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Philippine Militant Collusion, Ramzi Yousef

April 19, 1995: Oklahoma City Bombing; Possible Middle East Connection

The Alfred P. Murrah Building after being bombed. [Source: CBS News] The Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City is bombed. US citizen Timothy McVeigh is later convicted of the bombing, but some will maintain there is a Middle Eastern connection. For instance, Richard Clarke, counterterrorism “tsar” during the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations, says the possibility is intriguing and he has been unable to disprove it. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 127] Later in the day, Abdul Hakim Murad, an al-Qaeda operative in US custody, takes credit for the bombing. But his associate Ramzi Yousef, also in US custody, does not (see April 19, 1995). The bombing will lead to a surge in concern about terrorism. The Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act becomes law as a result of such concern. However, many anti-terrorism provisions Clinton seeks are not approved by the Republican-controlled Congress. Many politicians agree with the National Rifle Association that proposed restrictions on bomb-making would infringe on the constitutional right to bear arms. [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 98-99] Entity Tags: US Congress, Richard A. Clarke, Timothy McVeigh Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

April 24, 1995: US Denies Philippine President’s Request to Delay Deporting Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law Philippine President Fidel Ramos says he has asked the US to postpone the deportation of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, to Jordan. Khalifa had been arrested in the US in December 1994. Jordan requested his extradition and the US agreed, but earlier in April a Jordanian court overturned a conviction of Khalifa. Ramos says, “We have asked [US authorities] to hold his deportation because we are finding out his links with local terrorists here.” A Philippines intelligence report completed in December 1994 already tied Khalifa to several planned attacks that could have killed thousands (see December 15, 1994). By comparison, he has already been acquitted of attacks in Jordan that injured several but killed no one. [JAPAN ECONOMIC NEWSWIRE, 4/24/1995] Despite the request from Ramos, a US judge will approve Khalifa’s deportation to Jordan two days later (see April 26-May 3, 1995). He will be acquitted again there and then set free (see July 19, 1995). Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Fidel Ramos Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa

April 26-May 3, 1995: Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law Deported from US An immigration judge approves the deportation of Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, saying “his presence in the United States would have potentially serious adverse foreign policy consequences.” Khalifa reportedly leaves the US for Jordan on May 3, although there is some evidence he remains in US custody until August (see May 3, 1995-August 31, 1995). [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 5/5/1995] He will quickly be retried in Jordan, pronounced not guilty of all charges, and set free (see July 19, 1995). Jacob Boesen, an analyst at the CIA’s Counter Terrorism Center, will later recall, “I remember people at the CIA who were ripsh_t at the time. Not even speaking in retrospect, but contemporaneous with what the intelligence community knew about bin Laden, Khalifa’s deportation was unreal.” [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 4/18/1995; ASSOCIATED PRESS, 4/26/1995; NEW YORK TIMES, 5/2/2002; LANCE, 2003, PP. 233-35] Author Peter Lance will later comment, “If this arrest had been properly followed up by the FBI and the Justice Department, it could have led to the seizure of both Ramzi Yousef and his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and stopped the 9/11 plot dead in its tracks.” [LANCE, 2006, PP. 158] Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Jacob Boesen, Peter Lance, Jordan Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Philippine Militant Collusion, Saudi Arabia, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa

May 3, 1995-August 31, 1995: Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law Still in US? Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, is reportedly released from a US prison on May 3, 1995, and deported to Jordan to stand trial there. He had been sentenced to death while outside Jordan, but according to Jordanian law he is allowed a retrial if he shows up in person for it. Media accounts at the time place Khalifa in Jordan, attending his retrial. For instance, according to one article published on May 15, “In San Francisco last week, American police officials quietly placed a slender, bearded man on a plane to the Middle East, where he was taken into custody by Jordanian security guards.” [US NEWS AND WORLD REPORT, 5/15/1995] Another article from July 19 puts him in a Jordanian courtroom, saying, “Khalifa sobbed in relief as the verdict was pronounced….” [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 7/19/1995] However, US prison records released years later will indicate Khalifa was transferred to the custody of another unnamed US government agency on May 3 instead. He then remained in the US or in a remote US facility overseas until leaving the prison system on August 31, 1995, almost four months later. By that time, his trial in Jordan is over and he is allowed to go free there. Whether this contradiction is a clerical error or if there is some other explanation is not known. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 165-166] Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa

May 11, 1995: FBI Memo Fails to Mention Operation Bojinka Second Wave[]

FBI agents, having held Operation Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad for about a month, write a memo containing what they have learned from interrogating him. The memo contains many interesting revelations, including that Ramzi Yousef, a mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, “wanted to return to the United States in the future to bomb the World Trade Center a second time.” However, this memo does not contain a word about the second wave of Operation Bojinka—to fly about 12 hijacked airplanes into prominent US buildings—even though Murad had recently fully confessed this plot to Philippines investigators, who claim they turned over tapes, transcripts, and reports with Murad’s confessions of the plot to the US when they handed over Murad. It has not been explained why this plot is not mentioned in the FBI’s summary of Murad’s interrogation. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 280-82] If the US does not learn of the second wave plot from Murad’s interrogation, it appears the US get the same information from a different source at about the same time (see Spring 1995). After 9/11, a Philippine investigator will refer to this third plot when he says of the 9/11 attacks, “It’s Bojinka. We told the Americans everything about Bojinka. Why didn’t they pay attention?” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001] In an interview after 9/11, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed will claim that the 9/11 attacks were a refinement and resurrection of this plot. [AUSTRALIAN, 9/9/2002] Entity Tags: Abdul Hakim Murad, Operation Bojinka, World Trade Center, Ramzi Yousef, Federal Bureau of Investigation Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Ramzi Yousef

May 24, 1995: Serb Forces Begin Attacking UN Protected Muslim Safe Zones in Bosnia

Bosnian boundaries during the four month cease fire in early 1995. The area controlled by Bosnian Muslims and Croats is shown in gray while the area controlled by Bosnian Serbs is shown in white. UN safe zones are circled in red. [Source: Time / Cowan, Castello, Glanton] Serb forces ignore a UN order to remove heavy weapons from the Sarajevo area of Bosnia. NATO aircraft then attack a Serb ammunition depot. The Serbs begin shelling UN protected Muslim safe areas in response (see April-May 1993). Despite the UN protection, Serbs conquer two of the six safe areas, Zepa and Srebrenica, in July (see July 1995). [TIME, 12/31/1995] Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

Before Summer 1995: CIA Begins Tracking Islamist Militants in Europe The CIA begins a program to track Islamist militants in Europe. The program is operated by local stations in Europe and CIA manager Michael Scheuer, who will go on to found the agency’s bin Laden unit in early 1996 (see February 1996). The program is primarily focused on militants who oppose the Egyptian government. It traces the support network that supplies money and recruits to them and that organizes their propaganda. US Ambassador to Egypt Edward Walker will later say that the operation involves intercepting telephone calls and opening mail. Suspects are identified in Egypt and in European cities such as Milan (see 1993 and After), Oslo, and London (see (Late 1995)). [GREY, 2007, PP. 125] The intelligence gathered as a part of this operation will be used for the CIA’s nascent rendition program (see Summer 1995). Entity Tags: Michael Scheuer, Edward Walker, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Al-Qaeda in Italy, Remote Surveillance, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

June 1995-June 1998: Number of Counterterrorism Exercises Increases Dramatically, but Most Practice Unlikely WMD Scenarios After Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39), issued in June 1995 (see June 21, 1995), requires key federal agencies to maintain well-exercised counterterrorist capabilities, the number of counterterrorism exercises being conducted increases significantly. According to a 1999 report by the General Accounting Office, whereas 32 counterterrorist exercises are held between June 1995 and June 1996, from June 1997 to June 1998, 116 such exercises are conducted. Some of the exercises held between June 1995 and June 1998 are “tabletop exercises,” where participants work through a scenario around a table or in a classroom and discuss how their agency might react; others are “field exercises,” where an agency’s leadership and operational units practice their skills in a realistic field setting. Four exercises during this period are “no-notice” exercises, where participants have no advance notice of the exercise. These four exercises are conducted by either the Department of Defense (DoD) or the Department of Energy. DoD leads 97 of the exercises—almost half of the total—held between June 1995 and June 1998. The Secret Service leads 46, the FBI 24, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) leads 16. Most of the exercises are conducted in the US and are based around the scenario of a domestic terrorist attack. Although intelligence agencies have determined that conventional explosives and firearms continue to be the weapons of choice for terrorists, the majority of exercises are based around scenarios involving weapons of mass destruction (WMD)—chemical, biological, or nuclear weapons or agents. More than two-thirds of the exercises have WMD scenarios, with the most common WMD being chemical agents, such as sarin. The other exercises have more traditional and more likely scenarios involving conventional weapons and explosives. [UNITED STATES GENERAL ACCOUNTING OFFICE, 6/25/1999 ; WASHINGTON POST, 10/2/2001] Entity Tags: Government Accountability Office, Federal Emergency Management Agency, Secret Service, US Department of Defense, Federal Bureau of Investigation, US Department of Energy Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Military Exercises

June 1995-Early 1999: Boston Al-Qaeda Sleeper Cell Emerges Nabil al-Marabh returned to Canada from Afghanistan in February 1994 using a fraudulent Saudi Arabian passport. But his request for asylum was eventually denied. He then enters the US in June 1995 and applies for asylum there. That too is denied, and he is ordered deported in 1997. But the order is not enforced and he continues to live in the US and Canada illegally until 9/11. [CANADIAN BROADCASTING CORPORATION, 10/22/2001; KNIGHT RIDDER, 5/23/2003] Al-Marabh moves to Boston and gets a job as a taxi driver. He had known al-Qaeda operatives Bassam Kanj, Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, and Raed Hijazi in training camps in Afghanistan (see Late 1980s; 1989-1994), and this group of four regathers in Boston. Kanj has been there since 1995, driving taxis at the same company that hires al-Marabh. Elzahabi moves to Boston from New York City in 1997 and also gets a job at this same taxi company. There are conflicting accounts as to who brings Raed Hijazi to Boston and why he goes there, but by the beginning of 1998 he is also working for this taxi company. [BOSTON GLOBE, 2/5/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 9/18/2001; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/14/2001; WASHINGTON POST, 9/4/2002] Al-Marabh and Hijazi are roommates for at least two months. While they work together driving taxis, Hijazi is saving his earnings to spend on bomb plots and is working on an al-Qaeda plot to attack a US warship. That plot will develop into the attack on the USS Cole in 2000. [ABC NEWS 7 (CHICAGO), 1/31/2002; WASHINGTON POST, 9/4/2002] Around the end of 1998, Kanj and Hijazi leave Boston to work on al-Qaeda plots overseas while Elzahabi leaves in 1999 to fight as a sniper in Chechnya. Al-Marabh will also leave, moving to Florida in early 1999 (see February 1999-February 2000), but he periodically returns to his Boston residence for some time, as his wife and son continue to live there. These four men will continue to help each other in various al-Qaeda plots. [BOSTON GLOBE, 2/5/2001; BOSTON GLOBE, 6/26/2004] Apparently, al-Qaeda recruiter Kamal Derwish also works at the same Boston taxi company, though the timing is not clear. He trained in Afghanistan in 1992, a time when al-Marabh was also there. He will be killed by a US missile strike in November 2002 (see November 3, 2002). [CHRISTIAN SCIENCE MONITOR, 5/23/2003] Even though the Boston FBI is aware long before 9/11 that at least four of the men are connected to al-Qaeda (see January 2001), the FBI will officially deny the possibility of any al-Qaeda cell in Boston until 2004 (see June 27, 2004). Entity Tags: Bassam Kanj, Al-Qaeda, Nabil al-Marabh, Mohamad Kamal Elzahabi, Kamal Derwish, Raed Hijazi Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Millennium Bomb Plots, Nabil Al-Marabh

Summer 1995: CIA Designs Program to Abduct Islamist Militants and Send them to Egypt The CIA proposes a policy of abducting Islamic Jihad militants and sending them to Egypt which will soon be approved by President Bill Clinton (see June 21, 1995). The Clinton administration began a policy of allowing abductions, known as “renditions,” in 1993 (see 1993). At first, renditions were rarely used because few countries wanted the suspects. Michael Scheuer, head of the CIA’s bin Laden unit, is one of the architects of a 1995 agreement with Egypt to send rendered militants there. He will later recall: “It was begun in desperation.… We were turning into voyeurs. We knew where these people were, but we couldn’t capture them because we had nowhere to take them,” due to legal and diplomatic complications. The CIA realized that “we had to come up with a third party.” Egypt was the obvious choice because the Islamic Jihad is the prime political enemy of the Egyptian government, and many Islamic Jihad militants also work for al-Qaeda, an enemy of the US. Turning a Blind Eye - However, the Egyptian secret police force, the Mukhabarat, is notorious for its torture of prisoners. As part of the program, the US helps track, capture, and transport suspects to Egypt (see Before Summer 1995) and then turns a blind eye while the Egyptians torture them. Scheuer claims the US could give the Egyptian interrogators questions they wanted put to the detainees in the morning and get answers by the evening. Because torture is illegal in the US, US officials are never present when the torture is done. Further, the CIA only abducts suspects who have already been convicted in absentia. Talaat Fouad Qassem is the first known person the CIA renders to Egypt (see September 13, 1995). But the number of renditions greatly increases in 1998, when the CIA gets a list of Islamic Jihad operatives around the world (see Late August 1998). These renditions result in a big trial in Egypt in 1999 that effectively destroys Islamic Jihad as a major force in that country (see 1999). [NEW YORKER, 2/8/2005] CIA, NSC, Justice Department Lawyers Consulted - Scheuer will say that lawyers inside and outside the CIA are intensively consulted about the program: “There is a large legal department within the Central Intelligence Agency, and there is a section of the Department of Justice that is involved in legal interpretations for intelligence work, and there is a team of lawyers at the National Security Council, and on all of these things those lawyers are involved in one way or another and have signed off on the procedure. The idea that somehow this is a rogue operation that someone has dreamed up is just absurd.” [GREY, 2007, PP. 140-141] Leadership of Program - The rendition program does not focus solely on al-Qaeda-linked extremists, and other suspected terrorists are also abducted. Scheuer will later tell Congress, “I authored it and then ran and managed it against al-Qaeda leaders and other Sunni Islamists from August 1995, until June 1999.” [US CONGRESS, 4/17/2007 ] A dedicated Renditions Branch will be established at CIA headquarters in 1997 (see 1997), but the relationship between Scheuer and its manager is not known—it is unclear whether this manager is a subordinate, superior, or equal of Scheuer, or whether Scheuer takes on this responsibility as well. After Scheuer is fired as unit chief in May 1999 (see June 1999), his role in the rendition program will presumably be passed on to his successor, Richard Blee, who will go on to be involved in rendition after 9/11 (see Shortly After December 19, 2001). In a piece apparently about Blee, journalist Ken Silverstein will say that he “oversaw… the [Counterterrorist Center] branch that directed renditions.” [HARPER'S, 1/28/2007] Entity Tags: Mukhabarat (Egypt), Rich B., Islamic Jihad, Alec Station, Central Intelligence Agency, Egypt, Michael Scheuer Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Counterterrorism Policy/Politics, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

June 3, 1995: Plot to Crash Plane in CIA Headquarters First Mentioned in Media

A 1998 CNN map of likely flights to be hijacked in one version of Operation Bojinka. [Source: CNN] A search of the Lexis-Nexus database indicates that the first media mention of the Bojinka plot to crash an airplane into CIA headquarters occurs on this day. An article in the Advertiser, an Australian newspaper, will first mention the Bojinka plots to assassinate the Pope and then blow up about a dozen airplanes over the Pacific. Then the article states, “Then the ultimate assault on the so-called ‘infidels’: a plane flown by a suicide bomber was to nose-dive and crash into the American headquarters of the CIA, creating carnage.” [ADVERTISER, 6/3/1995] While this first mention may be obscure from a United States point of view, the Bojinka planes as weapons plot will be mentioned in other media outlets in the years to come. In fact, in 2002 CNN correspondent David Ensor will comment about CNN coverage, “[E]veryone, all your viewers who wanted to, could have known that at one point Ramzi Yousef and some others were allegedly plotting to fly an airliner into the CIA headquarters in the United States, that, in fact, the idea of using an airliner as a weapon, that idea at least, had already been aired.…. We talked about it. We’ve done stories about it for years, frankly.” [CNN, 6/5/2002] Entity Tags: Operation Bojinka, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot

June 21, 1995: Clinton Puts FBI in Charge of Managing Terrorism in the US In the wake of the Oklahoma City bombing (see April 19, 1995), President Clinton issues a classified directive on US counterterrorism policy. Presidential Decision Directive 39 (PDD-39) states that the United States should “deter, defeat and respond vigorously to all terrorist attacks on our territory and against our citizens,” and characterizes terrorism as both “a potential threat to national security as well as a criminal act.” [US PRESIDENT, 6/21/1995; 9/11 COMMISSION, 3/24/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 101] The directive makes the State Department the “lead agency for international terrorist incidents that take place outside of US territory,” and the Justice Department, acting through the FBI, the lead agency for threats or acts of terrorism that take place in the United States. It defines “lead agencies” as “those that have the most direct role in and responsibility for implementation of US counterterrorism policy.” [US PRESIDENT, 6/21/1995; WORLDNETDAILY, 8/30/1999; US GOVERNMENT, 1/2001, PP. 8] Journalist and author Murray Weiss later calls the signing of PDD-39, “a defining moment, because it brought representatives from several other federal agencies, including the Federal Emergency Management Administration, the Department of Environmental Protection, and the Department of Health, into the antiterrorism program.” [WEISS, 2003, PP. 105] An April 2001 report by the Congressional Research Service will call this directive “the foundation for current US policy for combating terrorism.” [BRAKE, 4/19/2001, PP. 5 ] Entity Tags: William Jefferson (“Bill”) Clinton Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

June 26, 1995: Al-Qaeda and Egyptian Militants Try to Assassinate Egyptian President Mubarak

Mustafa Hamza. [Source: Public domain] Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak arrives in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, to attend the Organization of African Unity summit. Less than an hour after his arrival, Islamist militants attack his motorcade. Gunmen shoot at his limousine, but the grenade launcher they have malfunctions. Ethiopian soldiers kill five of the assassins and capture three more, while two of Mubarak’s bodyguards are killed. A second ambush is planned further down the road, but the motorcade turns around, probably saving Mubarak’s life. Investigators determine that the Egyptian-based militant groups Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya and Islamic Jihad worked with al-Qaeda on the plot. The leader of the plot was Mustafa Hamza, a leader in both al-Qaeda and Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. Ayman al-Zawahiri was also involved, and personally inspected the planned killing ground. The Sudanese intelligence agency also assisted. For instance, the weapons were smuggled into the country through the Sudanese embassy. Ethiopia and Egypt charge the government of Sudan with complicity in the attack. Bin Laden is living openly in Sudan at the time. Egyptian officials privately tell US intelligence they believe Osama bin Laden funded the attack, and the US agrees. The US contemplates attacking bin Laden in Sudan, but decides against it (see Shortly After June 26, 1995). [MSNBC, 5/2005; WRIGHT, 2006, PP. 213-214] In 1998, Hamza will become overall head of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, running it while in hiding outside of Egypt. In late 2004, he will be extradited from Iran to stand trial in Egypt (see Spring 2002). [REUTERS, 1/9/2005] Entity Tags: Sudan, Osama bin Laden, Mustafa Hamza, Al-Qaeda, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Hosni Mubarak, Islamic Jihad Category Tags: Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

Shortly After June 26, 1995: US Considers Bombing Bin Laden for Sponsoring Assassination Attempt on Egyptian President

Hussan al-Turabi. [Source: CNN] On June 26, 1995, there is a failed assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak as he visits Ethiopia (see June 26, 1995). The CIA soon concludes Osama bin Laden authorized the operation, and they plan a retaliation attack. [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] Evidence suggests that the government of Sudan and Hassan al-Turabi, Sudan’s leader, know where bin Laden is living in Sudan and helped support the plot. The United Nations Security Council places sanctions on Sudan as a result. The US examines options for attacking bin Laden and/or al-Turabi’s facilities in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum. The options developed by the US military are rejected for being unstealthy and a de facto war on Sudan. In the ensuing months, there are reports of Egyptian covert operations against bin Laden and an Egyptian military build-up on the Sudanese border. These factors influence bin Laden’s decision to move to Afghanistan in 1996 (see May 18, 1996). [CLARKE, 2004, PP. 140-41] One suspect in the assassination, Anas al-Liby, moves to Britain. The British government not only refuses to extradite him to Egypt, but secretly hires him to assassinate the leader of Libya (see (Late 1995) and 1996). Entity Tags: United Nations Security Council, Hosni Mubarak, Hassan al-Turabi, Osama bin Laden, Anas al-Liby, Central Intelligence Agency, Sudan Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden

Mid 1995-Spring 1996: French Agent Penetrates Afghan Camps, Meets Top Al-Qaeda Managers A French intelligence asset called Omar Nasiri, who has previously informed on a Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) cell in Brussels (see Mid 1994-March 2, 1995), is given the task of penetrating the network of militant camps in Afghanistan. He flies to Pakistan and soon is in contact with the al-Qaeda network. He is sent to Peshawar, where he meets al-Qaeda leaders Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi and Abu Zubaida. From there he is then taken to al-Libi’s Khaldan camp inside Afghanistan, where he receives physical and weapons training, as well as religious instruction. The training also includes blocks on explosives, tactics, hand-to-hand combat, surveillance, and kidnapping, and is at least partially derived from US army manuals. While at the camp he is told by Kashmiri militants that they have been trained by the Pakistani army (see (Mid 1995-Spring 1996)) and he uses money given to him by French intelligence to purchase weapons for al-Qaeda (see (Late 1995-Spring 1996)). After several months of training at Khaldan and Darunta camps, he returns to Europe via Peshawar. In Peshawar he again meets Abu Zubaida, who gives Nasiri a phone number where he can be reached and asks him to send money from Europe. Upon returning to Europe, Nasiri contacts his handler at French intelligence and tells him about the camps. [NASIRI, 2006, PP. 101-244, 253-7] Entity Tags: Omar Nasiri, Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, Abu Zubaida, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Algerian Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants, Abu Zubaida

(Mid 1995-Spring 1996): Militants Tell French Informer they Received Training from Pakistan Military While training at al-Qaeda’s Afghan camps (see Mid 1995-Spring 1996), French intelligence informer Omar Nasiri meets a number of Kashmiri militants who are training to go back and fight the Indians in held Kashmir. The militants say that they received training from the Pakistani military. Nasiri will later write: “The Kashmiris also talked about their route to the camps. They didn’t come like I did through Peshawar. First they trained with a unit of the Pakistani military, which then sent them on to the camps. Every one of them told me the same thing.” [NASIRI, 2006, PP. 175] Entity Tags: Omar Nasiri Category Tags: Pakistan and the ISI, Other Possible Moles or Informants

Q3 1995[]

Main article: Q3 1995

Q4 1995[]

October 1995: FBI and CIA Investigating Bin Laden’s Personal Secretary[]

In 1995, the FBI is given the CIA’s files on bin Laden, and they discover that the CIA has been conducting a vigorous investigation on Wadih El-Hage, bin Laden’s personal secretary and a US citizen (see October 1995). The FBI had already started investigating El-Hage in 1991 (see March 1991), and in 1993 they found out he had bought weapons for one of the 1993 WTC bombers (see Summer 1993). Thanks to the CIA files, the FBI learns that in early 1992 El-Hage moved to Sudan and worked there as bin Laden’s personal secretary. [PBS FRONTLINE, 4/1999; MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 148-149] Then, in 1994, he moved to Nairobi, Kenya, and officially started running a bogus charity there called “Help Africa People.” [PBS FRONTLINE, 4/1999; CNN, 10/16/2001] In fact, El-Hage is running an al-Qaeda cell that will later carry out the 1998 African embassy bombings. He stays in close contact with top al-Qaeda leaders. [PBS FRONTLINE, 4/1999] Apparently El-Hage is under US surveillance in Kenya, or at least people he is calling are under surveillance. For instance, a phone call between El-Hage in Kenya and Ali Mohamed in California is recorded in late 1994 (see Late 1994).and there are many calls recorded between El-Hage and bin Laden in Sudan. FBI agent Dan Coleman will analyze all this information about El-Hage and eventually supervise a raid on his Kenya house in 1997 (see August 21, 1997). [WRIGHT, 2006, PP. 242-244] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Help Africa People, Dan Coleman, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wadih El-Hage Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, 1998 US Embassy Bombings, Remote Surveillance, Wadih El-Hage

October 1995: CIA Learns KSM’s Exact Location in Qatar but No Action Is Taken

Melissa Boyle Mahle. [Source: Publicity photo] According to a later account by CIA agent Melissa Boyle Mahle, “a tidbit received late in the year revealed the location” Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) in Qatar (see 1992-1996). [MAHLE, 2005, PP. 247-248] This presumably is information the FBI learned in Sudan that KSM was traveling to Qatar (see Shortly Before October 1995). However, US intelligence should also have been aware that KSM’s nephew Ramzi Yousef attempted to call him in Qatar in February 1995 while Yousef was in US custody (see After February 7, 1995-January 1996). Mahle is assigned to verify KSM’s identity. She claims that at the time the CIA is aware of KSM’s involvement in the Bojinka plot in the Philippines (see January 6, 1995) and in the 1993 WTC bombing (see February 26, 1993) She is able to match his fingerprints with a set of fingerprints the CIA already has in their files. [GUARDIAN, 3/31/2005] By October 1995, the FBI tracks KSM to a certain apartment building in Qatar. Then, using high-technology surveillance, his presence in the building is confirmed. [MINITER, 2003, PP. 85-86] Mahle argues that KSM should be rendered out of the country in secret. The US began rendering terrorist suspects in 1993 (see 1993), and a prominent Egyptian extremist is rendered by the CIA in September 1995 (see September 13, 1995). She argues her case to CIA headquarters and to the highest reaches of the NSA, but is overruled. [GUARDIAN, 3/31/2005] Instead, the decision is made to wait until KSM can be indicted in a US court and ask Qatar to extradite him to the US. Despite the surveillance on KSM, he apparently is able to leave Qatar and travel to Brazil with bin Laden and then back to Qatar at the end of 1995 (see December 1995). KSM will be indicted in early 1996, but he will escape from Qatar a few months later (see January-May 1996). Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Melissa Boyle Mahle, National Security Agency, Central Intelligence Agency Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

October 1995: FBI Begins Investigating Bin Laden; CIA Already Monitoring Him The FBI opens a case on bin Laden. Dan Coleman and John Ligouri, members of the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF), are sent to the CIA Counterterrorist Center (CTC) to see what the CIA knows about bin Laden. “They were amazed by the amount of material - some forty thick files’ worth - that they found.… Most of the information consisted of raw, unfocused data: itineraries, phone records, associates lists, investment holdings, bank transfers.” The vast majority of the data comes from NSA electronic eavesdropping and most of it has not been properly analyzed (see Early 1990s). They find that the CTC has been conducting a vigorous investigation on Wadih El-Hage, bin Laden’s personal secretary. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 148-149] Coleman will go on to become the FBI’s biggest expert on bin Laden and will help start the bureau’s bin Laden unit. [SUSKIND, 2006, PP. 90] It is not known when the CIA or NSA began monitoring bin Laden or El-Hage. Entity Tags: Wadih El-Hage, Osama bin Laden, Dan Coleman, John Ligouri, Counterterrorist Center, Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Joint Terrorism Task Force Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Wadih El-Hage, Remote Surveillance

October 1, 1995: US Army Officer: Propaganda Machine Whipping Up Support for US Intervention in Bosnia The Foreign Military Studies Office publishes a piece by Army Lt. Col. John E. Sray who writes that advocates of a US intervention in Bosnia have formed a “prolific propaganda machine” to increase public support for deploying NATO forces to Bosnia. The propaganda machine is made up of a “strange combination of three major spin doctors, including public relations (PR) firms in the employ of the Bosniacs, media pundits, and sympathetic elements of the US State Department,” he says, who use “[d]iffering styles, approaches, and emphases” to advance their views. He notes how some of them have gone so far as to attack anti-interventionists as harboring “pro-Serb” or even “Nazi” sympathies. The United States’ European allies, who do not favor an intervention, are informed “from different information and a more realistic historical perspective,” he says. “They retain the advantages of more in-depth, professional, and probing journalism and better reporting from their embassies. Furthermore, they pay less attention to the constant propaganda themes emanating from the Bosniacs [Bosnian Muslim government] and their agents—the PR firms.” [FOREIGN MILITARY STUDIES OFFICE, 10/1995] Entity Tags: John E. Sray Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

October 20, 1995: KSM Possibly Helps with Revenge Bombing in Croatia A suicide bombing destroys the police station in the town of Rijeka, Croatia, wounding 29 people. The Egyptian militant group Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya takes credit for the bombing, saying it is revenge for the abduction of Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya leader Talaat Fouad Qassem in Croatia the month before (see September 13, 1995). The Croatians will later determine that the mastermind, Hassan al-Sharif Mahmud Saad, and the suicide bomber were both tied to Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya. They also were tied to the Islamic Cultural Institute in Milan, Italy, which in turn has ties to many militant attacks, some committed Ramzi Yousef (see 1995-1997). CIA soon discovers that the suicide bomber also worked for the Third World Refugee Center charity front (see January 1996). [KOHLMANN, 2004, PP. 153-155] In 1999, the FBI’s Bojinka investigation will notice that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) was believed to be in neighboring Bosnia at the time and that the timing device of the bomb (a modified Casio watch) closely resembled those used by KSM and his nephew Yousef in the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995). Presumably, this would have increased the importance of catching KSM. [9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 489] Entity Tags: Third World Relief Agency, Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Hassan al-Sharif Mahmud Saad, Talaat Fouad Qassem, Islamic Cultural Institute Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Al-Qaeda in Italy, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

October 21, 1995: Clinton Launches Interagency Effort to Track Bin Laden’s Money; Effort Fizzles President Clinton signs a classified presidential order “directing the Departments of Justice, State and Treasury, the National Security Council, the CIA, and other intelligence agencies to increase and integrate their efforts against international money laundering by terrorists and criminals.” The New York Times will later call this the first serious effort by the US government to track bin Laden’s businesses. However, according to the Times, “They failed.” William Wechsler, a National Security Council staff member during the Clinton administration, will say that the government agencies given the task suffered from “a lack of institutional knowledge, a lack of expertise… We could have been doing much more earlier. It didn’t happen.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 9/20/2001] Entity Tags: National Security Council, William Wechsler, Osama bin Laden, US Department of Justice, US Department of the Treasury, Central Intelligence Agency, William Jefferson (“Bill”) Clinton, US Department of State Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

November 1995: Suspect Spanish Policeman Sells Apartment to Monitored Alleged Al-Qaeda Operative In 1995, a Spanish intelligence agency begins monitoring Moutaz Almallah as it starts monitoring the al-Qaeda Madrid cell led by Barakat Yarkas (see 1995 and After). Almallah is considered Yarkas’s main assistant and also is the “political chief” of the cell. In 1998, Almallah and Yarkas were photographed at an airport in Spain meeting with Mohamed Bahaiah, known to be a courier for bin Laden. Judge Baltasar Garzon leads the investigation. [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 3/2/2005; BBC, 3/24/2005] In November 1995, Spanish police officer Ayman Maussili Kalaji, a Spanish citizen originally from Syria, sells an apartment to Almallah. Kalaji will later admitting to having a long time acquaintance with Almallah. Kalaji has a suspicious background, including a connection to Soviet espionage, and at some point he serves as Garzon’s bodyguard (see May 16, 2005). [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 8/22/2005] In November 2001, Garzon will arrest Yarkas and the main figures in his cell, but Almallah will not be arrested (see November 13, 2001). [EL MUNDO (MADRID), 3/2/2005] Almallah will move to London in 2002 to live with radical imam Abu Qatada (see August 2002). He will be arrested in 2005 for a role in the Madrid bombings. In 2005, a police commissioner will request the arrest of police officer Kalaji, but a judge will deny the request (see May 16, 2005). Entity Tags: Ayman Maussili Kalaji, Mohamed Bahaiah, Baltasar Garzon, Moutaz Almallah, Barakat Yarkas Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Spain, 2004 Madrid Train Bombings

November 1995: Saudi Intelligence Said to Sponsor Assassination Attempt on Bin Laden Around the time of an al-Qaeda attack in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (see November 13, 1995), four Yemeni mercenaries attempt to assassinate Osama bin Laden. The mercenaries jump off a pickup truck in front of bin Laden’s house in Khartoum, Sudan, and engage in a firefight with security guards. Three of the assassins and two of the guards are killed, but bin Laden emerges unscathed. The assassins were apparently employed by Saudi intelligence. There was an assassination attempt on bin Laden in 1994 as well (see February 4-5, 1994 and Shortly Afterwards). Double agent Ali Mohamed trained bin Laden’s bodyguards after that attempt. Now, working with Sudan’s intelligence agency, Mohamed increases bin Laden’s security. It is unknown if the attempt takes place before or after the Riyadh bombing. [MSNBC, 6/22/2005] Entity Tags: Ali Mohamed, Saudi General Intelligence Directorate, Osama bin Laden Category Tags: Ali Mohamed, Osama Bin Laden, Saudi Arabia

November 1995: US Current and Former Officials Play Prominent Roles in Dayton Peace Talks Richard Perle and Douglas Feith act as advisers to the government of Bosnia during the Dayton peace talks. They do not register with the Justice Department, as required by US law. Richard Holbrooke is the chief NATO civilian negotiator and Wesley Clark the chief NATO military negotiator. [WASHINGTON WATCH, 5/13/2001] After the Dayton peace talks, Richard Perle then serves as a military adviser to the Bosnian government. [AFP REPORTER, 1997] Entity Tags: Richard Holbrooke, Douglas Feith, Richard Perle, Wesley Clark Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

(Late 1995-1997): Additional Restrictions Placed on Sharing of Intelligence inside FBI Following the issuance of the “wall” memo, which established procedures to regulate the flow of information from intelligence investigations by the FBI to local criminal prosecutors (see July 19, 1995), an additional information sharing “wall” is erected inside the FBI. After 9/11, the Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General will find, “Although it is unclear exactly when this ‘wall’ within the FBI began, [it was] sometime between 1995 and 1997.” This additional wall segregates FBI intelligence investigations from FBI criminal investigations and restricts the flow of information from agents on intelligence investigations to agents on criminal investigations, because of problems that may occur if the flow is not regulated (see Early 1980s). If an intelligence agent wants to “pass information over the wall” to a criminal agent, he should get approval from one of his superiors, either locally or at FBI headquarters. A description of wall procedures comes to be commonplace in all warrant requests filed under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 30-32 ] However, FBI agents often ignore these restrictions and over a hundred cases where information is shared without permission between intelligence and criminal FBI agents will later be uncovered (see Summer-October 2000 and March 2001). Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, US Department of Justice Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

November 1-22, 1995: Bosnia Peace Talks Result in Agreement

Final boundaries in the Bosnian war. Gray represents the area controlled by Bosnian Muslims and Croats while white represents the area controlled by Bosnian Serbs. [Source: Time / Cowan, Castello, Glanton] On November 1, 1995, peace talks begin Croats, Muslims, and Serbs in Yugoslavia begin at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Dayton, Ohio. A cease-fire holds while the talks continue. On November 22, the leaders of the three factions agree to a settlement. The peace accord is signed several weeks later (see December 14, 1995). [TIME, 12/31/1995] Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

November 13, 1995: Islamic Jihad Kills Egyptian Official Investigating Al Taqwa Bank Egyptian diplomat Alaa al-Din Nazmi is shot and killed as he is returning to his house in Geneva, Switzerland. While he is officially said to be negotiating with the World Trade Organization on economic matters, the Independent will later report, “Political sources suggested that Nazmi was working under diplomatic cover, and that his real job was to track down members of Egyptian Islamist armed groups in Europe who have sworn to overthrow President Hosni Mubarak’s regime. Nazmi’s murderers [say] as much two days later,” when they take credit for the killing, using an alias for Islamic Jihad. [INDEPENDENT, 12/6/1995] Swiss authorities seem uninterested in vigorously pursuing political connections to the murder, which is never solved. However, it will later be reported, “According to various sources close to the investigation, the Egyptian diplomat had been handling several sensitive files relating precisely to the financial resources of the Muslim Brotherhood, of which $200 to $500 was managed by various financial organizations” in Switzerland. The diplomat had played a major part in an attempt to recover these funds. He was focusing on the Al Taqwa Bank on the Swiss-Italian border, known to be a major bank for the Muslim Brotherhood. [LABEVIERE, 1999, PP. 63-68] A few months earlier, Nazmi apparently had been in secret discussions with the Egyptian militant Talaat Fouad Qassem, who was then abducted by the CIA and executed in Egypt (see September 13, 1995). So Nazmi’s assassination is seen as revenge for the death of Qassem. [LABEVIERE, 1999, PP. 70-71] Entity Tags: Alaa al-Din Nazmi, Al Taqwa Bank, Islamic Jihad, Muslim Brotherhood, Talaat Fouad Qassem Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Al Taqwa Bank, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

November 13, 1995: Al-Qaeda Bombing in Saudi Arabia, US Realizes Bin Laden Is More than Financier

Destruction at the Saudi National Guard training center, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. [Source: CNN] Two truck bombs kill five Americans and two Indians in the US-operated Saudi National Guard training center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Al-Qaeda is blamed for the attacks. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/19/2002] The attack changes US investigators’ views of the role of bin Laden, from al-Qaeda financier to its leader. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 150] The Vinnell Corporation, thought by some experts to be a CIA front, owns the facility that has been attacked. [LONDON TIMES, 5/14/2003] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Central Intelligence Agency, Al-Qaeda, Vinnell Corporation Category Tags: Warning Signs, Saudi Arabia

November 19, 1995: Islamic Jihad Attacks Egyptian Embassy in Pakistan

Rescue workers removing bodies from the Egyptian embassy in Islamabad. [Source: Canadian Broadcasting Corporation] The Islamic Jihad blows up the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan. Two cars filled with explosives crash through the embassy gates, killing the bombers and sixteen others. Ayman al-Zawahiri will later write in a book, “The bomb left the embassy’s ruined building as an eloquent and clear message.” Islamic Jihad is already closely tied to al-Qaeda by this time. [NEW YORKER, 9/9/2002] The Egyptian government had recently dispatched up to 100 government agents to London with the task of eliminating militants opposed to the Egyptian government. The Independent will later report, “Sources in Cairo said that several of the dead embassy officials were working under cover as diplomats to help the Pakistani authorities track down” militants. In the wake of the attack, plans to send more Egyptian government agents to Pakistan to hunt militants in that region are scuttled. [INDEPENDENT, 12/6/1995] Some of the money for the bombing operation was apparently raised by al-Zawahiri on a fundraising trip to the US (see Late 1994 or 1995). One suspect, a Canadian citizen named Ahmed Said Khadr, will be arrested in Pakistan a short time after the bombings. He will soon be released at the request of the Canadian prime minister, but will later be revealed to be a founding member of al-Qaeda (see January 1996-September 10, 2001). Entity Tags: Ayman al-Zawahiri, Ahmed Said Khadr, Islamic Jihad Category Tags: Ayman Al-Zawahiri, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks

Late 1995: Bin Laden Said to Consider Asylum in Britain

Michael Howard. [Source: BBC] Osama bin Laden is said to be unhappy with his exile in Sudan, where authorities are making noises about expelling him. Consequently, he requests asylum in Britain. Several of his brothers and other relatives, who are members of the bin Laden construction empire, own properties in London. He has already transferred some of his personal fortune to London, to help his followers set up terror cells in Britain and across Europe. Bin Laden employs Khalid al-Fawwaz, a Saudi businessman described as his “de facto ambassador” in Britain (see Early 1994-September 23, 1998), to assess his chances of moving there. British Home Secretary Michael Howard later says, “In truth, I knew little about him, but we picked up information that bin Laden was very interested in coming to Britain. It was apparently a serious request.” After Home Office officials investigate bin Laden, Howard issues an immediate order banning him under Britain’s immigration laws. [LONDON TIMES, 9/29/2005] Bin Laden ends up going to Afghanistan instead in 1996 (see May 18, 1996). There are also later press reports that bin Laden travels frequently to London around this time (see Early 1990s-Late 1996), and even briefly lived there in 1994 (see Early 1994). Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Michael Howard, Khalid al-Fawwaz Category Tags: Hunt for Bin Laden, Osama Bin Laden, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

(Late 1995): Al-Qaeda Leader Allowed to Live in Britain Despite Being Wanted for Attempting to Assassinate Egyptian President In June 1995, al-Qaeda sponsors a failed assassination attempt on Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak (see June 26, 1995 and Shortly After June 26, 1995). Some time in 1995, al-Qaeda leader Anas al-Liby moves to Britain and applies for political asylum. Not long after he arrives, Egypt asks the British government to extradite him for his alleged role in the assassination attempt. They send a detailed file on him, including information on how he had fought with Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan and then moved with him to Sudan. But the extradition request is refused. British officials question whether al-Liby could get a fair trial in Egypt and fear he could face the death penalty. The next year, British intelligence hires al-Liby, a Libyan, to assassinate Libyan ruler Colonel Mu’ammar al-Qadhafi (see 1996). Al-Liby will continue to live openly in Britain until 2000 (see 1995-May 2000 and May 2000). [TIMES (LONDON), 1/16/2003] Entity Tags: Osama bin Laden, Anas al-Liby, Hosni Mubarak, Al-Qaeda Category Tags: Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism, Counterterrorism Action After 9/11

Late 1995-September 11, 2001: Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law Khalifa Still Active in Southeast Asia Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, apparently continues to visit Southeast Asia and fund militant attacks there. Khalifa had run a number of charity fronts in the Philippines (see 1987-1991) until he was arrested in the US in late 1994 (see December 16, 1994) and then let go in 1995 (see April 26-May 3, 1995). It has been widely assumed that he did not risk returning to the Philippines after that, but a 2006 book on terrorism funding will state that he “returned occasionally [to the Philippines] and was often seen elsewhere in Southeast Asia.” [BURR AND COLLINS, 2006, PP. 191] Presumably, these travels come to an end shortly after 9/11 when the Saudi government prohibits him from leaving the country until 2007 (see January 30, 2007). [GUARDIAN, 3/2/2007] Khalifa is also is frequent phone communication with militant groups in the Philippines and elsewhere, at least through the late 1990s (see Late 1990s). Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa Category Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

Late 1995 and After: Spanish Intelligence Merely Watches Madrid Cell Commit Variety of Crimes to Raise Money for Al-Qaeda Spanish intelligence is monitoring an al-Qaeda cell in Madrid led by Barakat Yarkas (see 1995 and After). By late 1995, Spanish authorities discover the cell members are taking part in a variety of criminal acts, including credit card theft, stealing bank account numbers, and selling stolen cars. Some of the money raised is being used to send recruits to al-Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. However, the authorities are content to merely watch this criminal activity and collect information. None of the cell members will be arrested until after 9/11, six years later. [IRUJO, 2005, PP. 23-40] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Centro Nacional de Inteligencia, Barakat Yarkas Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Al-Qaeda in Spain, Remote Surveillance

(Late 1995-Spring 1996): French Intelligence Money Used to Purchase Weapons for Militants’ Training While training at al-Qaeda’s Afghan camps (see Mid 1995-Spring 1996), French intelligence informer Omar Nasiri uses money given to him by his handler to purchase supplies for the training camps. Nasiri received $16,500 from the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) for the mission and gives much of this to Khaldan camp leader Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi for food, ammunition, and other supplies. [NASIRI, 2006, PP. 99, 178-9, 249] Entity Tags: Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure, Omar Nasiri, Ibn al-Shaykh al-Libi Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, Algerian Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants

December 1995: Caspian Sea Said to Contain Two-Thirds of World’s Known Oil Reserves The American Petroleum Institute asserts that the states bordering the Caspian Sea, north of Afghanistan, contain two-thirds of the world’s known reserves, or 659 billion barrels. Such numbers spur demand for an Afghan pipeline. However, by April 1997, estimates drop to 179 billion barrels. [MIDDLE EAST JOURNAL, 9/22/2000] This is still substantial, but the estimates continue to drop in future years (see November 1, 2002). Category Tags: Pipeline Politics, US Dominance

December 1995: Bin Laden and KSM Travel to Brazil Together Bin Laden and Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) apparently travel to Brazil together. After KSM will be captured in 2003, documents in his possession will show he had a twenty-day visa to Brazil during December 1995. Brazilian intelligence sources will later claim that bin Laden travels with KSM, and is caught on video at a meeting in a mosque in the Brazilian town of Foz do Iguacu. This town is in the tri-border area of Brazil, Paraguay, and Argentina, which has the largest Muslim population in South America and has long been known to be a haven for criminal activity. Bin Laden is said to appear in the video with a goatee instead of his usual full beard. [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 5/4/2003] In 1996, US intelligence will learn that KSM and bin Laden traveled together to a foreign country in 1995 (see 1996). It is not known if that is a reference to this trip or if they made other trips together. The Brazilian government will later claim that it told the US about this trip in late 1998. [REUTERS, 3/18/2003] Entity Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Osama bin Laden Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Osama Bin Laden

Shortly After November 19, 1995: Key Al-Qaeda Charity Front Closed in Pakistan, but Operations Continue Under New Names Shortly after Islamic Jihad blows up the Egyptian Embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan in November 1995 (see November 19, 1995), Makhtab Al-Khidamat/Al-Kifah, a very crucial al-Qaeda charity front based in Pakistan, is shut down. This entity is not only helping to fund al-Qaeda, but is also involved in sending recruits to training camps in Afghanistan. But there are no arrests and activities are redirected to other charity fronts. As one book will later note, “[the] recruiting and military training circuit, perfected during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan, was never dismantled, neither at the end of the war nor after the office was officially closed.” [JACQUARD, 2002, PP. 59] Entity Tags: Maktab al-Khidamat Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Al-Kifah/MAK

December 9-12, 1995: Bojinka Plotter Arrested in Malaysia, Rendered to US Bojinka plotter Wali Khan Amin Shah is arrested in Malaysia and rendered to the US. Shah had been on the run in Asia for almost a year, since escaping a Philippine jail (see Shortly After January 11, 1995), and the FBI had hunted him through around half a dozen countries. After his arrest by Malaysian authorities, at the FBI’s request, he is rendered to the US. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/13/1995; LANCE, 2004, PP. 326-7; GREY, 2007, PP. 245] Before his arrest, leading Southeast Asian militant Hambali had supplied Khan with a new identity and cover in Malaysia, where he lived on the resort island of Langkawi using the name Osama Turkestani. However, a 2002 article will say that officials claim they only learn this “years later.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 2/7/2002] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Wali Khan Amin Shah, Hambali Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Hambali, 1995 Bojinka Plot

December 14, 1995: Dayton Accords Brings End to Bosnian War

In the front row from right to left: Slobodan Milosevic, Franjo Tudjman, and Alija Izetbegovic, sign the Dayton accords. In the back row stands, from right to left, Felipe Gonzalez, Bill Clinton, Jacques Chirac, Helmut Kohl, John Major and Viktor Tchernomyrdine. [Source: Reuters] (click image to enlarge) A peace agreement between the Bosnians, Croats, and Serbs fighting in Bosnia is signed in Paris. Known as the Dayton Accords, the agreement was hammered out in Dayton, Ohio, the month before (see November 1-22, 1995). As part of the agreement, thousands of NATO troops begin arriving in Bosnia immediately to help keep the peace. UN peacekeepers turn their job over to NATO forces on December 20. The peace does hold in the Bosnia and Croatia regions, thus ending a war that began in 1992 (see April 6, 1992). It claimed more than 200,000 lives and made six million people homeless. [TIME, 12/31/1995] Fifty-one percent of Bosnia goes to an alliance of Muslims and Croats and 49 percent goes to a Serbian republic. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/20/2003] As part of the deal, all foreign fighters are required to leave Bosnia within 30 days. In practical terms, this means the mujaheddin who have been fighting for the Bosnian Muslims (see January 14, 1996). [WASHINGTON POST, 3/11/2000] Entity Tags: Bosnia, Serbia and Montenegro, North Atlantic Treaty Organization, Croatia Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

December 14, 1995: Militant Leader’s Death Reveals Links between Bosnian Government and Al-Qaeda Leaders Anwar Shaaban, an Islamist militant in charge of logistics for mujaheddin fighting in Bosnia, is killed in Croatia. Shaaban had been based at the Islamic Cultural Institute mosque in Milan, but managed to avoid arrest when it was raided (see Late 1993-December 14, 1995). On December 14, 1995, the same day a peace accord is signed ending the Bosnian war, Shaaban is killed by Croatian troops in what mujaheddin claim is an ambush. Shaaban’s diary is found, and it cites regular meetings between al-Qaeda leaders and leaders of the Bosnian Muslim government, including General Staff Chief Rasim Delic and Interior Minister Bakir Alispahic. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 216-217] Shaaban, a leader of the Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya militant group, had been in regular contact with Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman and al-Qaeda second-in-command Ayman al-Zawahiri. [SCHINDLER, 2007, PP. 163-164] Entity Tags: Rasim Delic, Al-Gama’a al-Islamiyya, Anwar Shaaban, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Ayman al-Zawahiri, Bakir Alispahic Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Al-Qaeda in Italy

Late 1995: Illness of Saudi King Generates Long-Term Power Struggle

Crown Prince Abdullah. [Source: Corbis] King Fahd of Saudi Arabia suffers a severe stroke. Afterwards, he is able to sit in a chair and open his eyes, but little more. He slowly recovers from this condition. The resulting lack of leadership begins a behind-the-scenes struggle for power and leads to increased corruption. Crown Prince Abdullah has been urging his fellow princes to address the problem of corruption in the kingdom—so far unsuccessfully. A former White House adviser says: “The only reason Fahd’s being kept alive is so Abdullah can’t become king.” [NEW YORKER, 10/16/2001] This internal power struggle will continue until King Fahd dies in 2005 and Abdullah becomes the new king (see August 1, 2005). Entity Tags: Abdullah bin Abdulaziz al-Saud, Fahd Bin Abdul Aziz Category Tags: Saudi Arabia

Timeline links[]

September 8 September 9 September 10 September 11

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