CASE CLOSED … what really happened in the 2001 anthrax attacks?

* Who does Saif Adel suggest is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mallings?

Posted by Lew Weinstein on May 18, 2011

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Saif Adel, reported to be Al Qaeda’s new acting head, was on Tenet’s list of those involved in CBRN.   Taking Saif Adel’s comments about the December 1996 mailings to newspapers in New York and DC at face value, Saif Adel might not want to be involved in any operation involving the mailing of lethal letters that seemed mere “flirtation.”  At the time, he seemed to hint that Egyptian Islamic Group, rather than EIJ, was responsible for the 1996 al Hayat letter bombs to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions.  Who does Saif Adel suggest is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mallings?

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Saif Adel

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19 Responses to “* Who does Saif Adel suggest is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mallings?”

  1. DXer said

    Mr. Makkawi would be a fascinating interview. Long before Mr. Makkawi’s arrival at the airport, questions had been raised as to both the identity and picture of the man known as “Saif Adel.”

    Man arrested at Cairo airport ‘not al-Qaeda commander’
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-middle-east-17204128

    • DXer said

      Senior al-Qaeda Militant Saif al-Adel Arrested at Cairo Airport
      http://www.ibtimes.com/articles/306577/20120229/senior-al-qaeda-militant-saif-adel-arrested.htm

    • DXer said

      Years ago Atef appointed Saif Adel head of “The Green Team.” See memo uploaded among Harmony documents.

    • DXer said

      http://www.boston.com/news/world/middleeast/articles/2012/02/29/egypt_arrests_man_said_by_us_to_be_al_qaida_leader/

      Dressed in a gray Arab robe and a jacket, Makkawi bore no resemblance to the man in the photograph of Saif al-Adel distributed by the FBI. Makkawi has receding silver hair and wears glasses.

      Makkawi said that Saif al-Adel’s real name is Mohammed Salah Zidan. Montasser el-Zayat, a lawyer who represented Makkawi in Egypt, also told the AP the same thing last year. A senior Egyptian security official involved in the case said Makkawi was wanted for questioning in Egypt in a case dating back to 1994 that involves the activities of the militant Jihad group, whose members fought the government of ousted president Hosni Mubarak in an insurgency in the early 1990s.

      Al-Adel’s FBI profile was posted in October 2001 when the FBI “Most Wanted Terrorist” list was created — just a month after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks. The name “Mohammed Salah Zidan” is not mentioned in the FBI profile. …

      ***
      Benotman, now an analyst at the London-based Quilliam Foundation, says he has met both Makkawi and al-Adel.

      Benotman, who said he has spoken to security officials in Egypt, said Makkawi flew to Egypt “purposely to clear his name as many former jihadists have been released since all of the political changes in Egypt.”

  2. DXer said

    Above is the FBI’s photograph of Saif Adel.

    But Montasser Al-Zayat, the attorney who announced that Dr. Ayman was going to use anthrax against US targets to retaliate for the rendering of senior EIJ leaders, says the photo is not a photo of Saif Adel.

    http://www.seattlepi.com/news/article/AP-IMPACT-FBI-terror-profile-merges-identities-1445154.php

  3. DXer said

    “It has previously been reported that a Karachi businessman Saud Memon owned the nursery where Pearl had been held captive and allegedly had been in the room for discussion relating to anthrax planning.

    Was there a connection between Pearl kidnapping and anthrax planners? Was Saif Adel involved in Al Qaeda’s anthrax planning along with Ayman Zawahiri, Mohammed Atef, and KSM?

    Posted by Lew Weinstein on January 20, 2011
    http://caseclosedbylewweinstein.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/was-there-a-connection-between-pearl-kidnapping-and-anthrax-planners/

  4. DXer said

    Now that his captured courier is cooperating, will Dr. Zawahiri be captured and asked who he thinks is responsible for the anthrax mailings before the wonderful and hardworking USMRC FOIA Officer uploads 6 more items?

    I predict one more item uploaded today before the next major capture.

    • Roberto said

      http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/nation/7571733.html

      Widow of anthrax victim doubts FBI’s conclusion
      By CURT ANDERSON AP Legal Affairs Writer © 2011 The Associated Press
      May 19, 2011, 10:58AM

      MIAMI — The widow of a Florida tabloid photo editor who died in the 2001 anthrax mailings is casting fresh doubt on the FBI’s conclusion that a lone federal scientist staged the attacks.

      Attorneys for Maureen Stevens have filed new sworn statements from two of Bruce Ivins’ superiors saying they don’t believe he committed the crimes. The statements were filed as part of Stevens’ lawsuit against the government over the death of her husband, Robert Stevens. He was one of five people who died in the attacks.

      The Justice Department formally closed the case last year after the FBI concluded Ivins was the sole perpetrator. Ivins committed suicide in 2008.

      Ivins’ former bosses raised numerous questions about his guilt in their depositions taken earlier this year.

      • Anonymous said

        When Hatfill was suing the government we saw FBI, DOJ officials and even the Attorney General (Ashcroft) deposed.

        We may yet see FBI scientists deposed under oath. I have a few questions I’d like to suggest they are asked.

  5. DXer said

    Hallmark Greetings: Egyptian Islamists’ Earlier WTC Letter Bombs To Washington DC And New York City Newspapers And Symbolic Targets

    A memo seized in the 1995 arrest proposed flying an explosive laden plane into CIA headquarters. Anyone reading the Washington Post in the mid-1990s read about the plan to fly a plane into CIA headquarters over their morning coffee. The earlier plot to fly an airliner into the Eiffel tower by some Algerians connected to Bin Laden was also notable. Condi Rice professes not to have imagined the threat even though it was publicly known and even a threat at the G-8 conference.It’s important that as a country we learn from our mistakes and not pay short shrift to the evidence on the issue of modus operandi relating to Zawahiri’s planned use of anthrax.

    This was not the first time the Egyptian islamists sent letter bombs to newspaper offices in connection with an attack on the World Trade Center. NPR set the scene. It was January 2, 1997, at 9:15 a.m. at the National Press Building in Washington, D.C. The employee of the Saudi-owned newspaper Al Hayat began to open a letter. It was a Christmas card — the kind that plays a musical tune. It was white envelope, five and a half inches by six and a half inches, with a computer-generated address label attached. It had foreign postage and a post mark — a postmark appearing to be from Alexandria, Egypt. It looked suspiciously bulky, so he set it down and called the police. Minutes later they found a similar envelope. These were the first two of four letter bombs that would arrive at Al Hayat during the day. A fifth letter bomb addressed to the paper was intercepted at a nearby post office. They all looked the same. Two similar letter bombs addressed to the “parole officer” (a position that does not exist) arrived at the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth. It seemed evident how some Grinch had spent the holidays in Alexandria, Egypt.

    Egyptian Saif Adel (Makawwi), thought to be in Iran, was involved in military planning. Adel was a colonel in the Egyptian Army’s Special Forces before joining Al Qaeda. He helped plan the 1998 attacks on the US embassies in Africa. He was also a planner in the attack on the USS Cole and has served as the liaison officer between Hezbollah and Al Qaeda. Adel assisted Atef, who had overall responsibility for Al Qaeda’s operations. According to Cairo Attorney Al-Zayyat, Makkawi had many times claimed responsibility for operations that were carried out inside Egypt but when the perpetrators were arrested, it would be al-Zawahiri’s name whose name they shouted loyalty to from the docks. After the letter al-Hayat letter bombs were sent in January 1997, Saif Adel (Makawwi) gave a statement denying responsibility on behalf of the Vanguards of Conquest.

    On January 7, 1997 Saif Adel purporting to be speaking for the Egyptian Vanguards of Islamic Conquest said: “Those are messages of admonishment. There is no flirtation between us and the Americans in order for us to send them such alarming messages in such a manner.” Adel said that “the Vanguards of Conquest “are heavyweight and would not embark on such childish actions.” US press and political commentaries had hinted at the Vanguards of Conquest organization’s involvement in these attempts. In his statement to Al-Hayat, perhaps referring to the Egyptian Islamic Group, Adel added “I am surprised that we in particular, and not other parties, should be accused of such an operation.”

    He got admonished by the unnamed but official spokesman for the Vanguards organization. This other spokesmanchastisied him as not being authorized to speak for the organization (or even being a member). “We welcome any Muslim who wants to join us, and if Makkawi wants to [join us], he will be welcomed to the Vanguards march, but through the organizational channels. But if words are not coupled with actions, we tell him: Fear God, and you can use a different name other than the Vanguards to speak on its behalf.” The spokesman denounced Makkawi’s authority to speak for the group, referring to the January 5th statement it had made denying responsibility. The spokesperson for the Vanguards of Conquest apparently was Post Office employee Sattar’s friend, Al-Sirri, based in London.

    The FBI would not speculate as to who sent the letters or why. But this was your classic “duck that walks like a duck” situation. As NPR reported at the time, “analysts say that letter bombs are rarely sent in batches, and when they are it’s generally prompted by politics, not personal animus.” Al Hayat was a well respected and moderate newspaper. It was friendly to moderate Arab countries such as Saudi Arabia and Egypt. That, without more, was accurately discerned by observers at the time as sufficient to make the newspaper outlet a target of the militant islamists. The newspaper, its editor explained, does not avoid criticizing militant islamists. The Al Hayat Editor-in-Chief explained: “We’ve been opposed to all extremists in the Arab world, especially the fundamentalists.” Mohammed Salameh, a central defendant in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, was sent to Leavenworth in 1994. The other three Egyptian extremists convicted in the bombing were sent to prisons in California, Indiana and Colorado. Like the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman, Salameh had complained of his conditions and asked to be avenged. The Blind Sheik was particularly irked that the prison officials did not cut his fingernails.

    Abdel-Rahman was convicted in 1995 of seditious conspiracy, bombing conspiracy, soliciting an attack on an U.S. military installation, and soliciting the murder of Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. His followers were indicted for plotting to bomb bridges, tunnels and landmarks in New York for which Rahman allegedly had given his blessings. The mailing of deadly letters in connection with an earlier attack on the World Trade Center was not merely the modus operandi of militant islamists, it was the group’s signature. It’s their calling card. Khaled Abu el-Dahab, a naturalized American, from Silicon Valley, in a confession detailed Egyptian defense ministry document dated October 28, 1998, explained that he was trained to make booby-trapped letters to send to important people, as well as asked to enroll in American aviation schools to learn how to fly gliders and helicopters. He was a friend of Ali Mohammed, the former special forces officer in the Egyptian army and former US Army Sergeant. The modus operandi of these militant supporters of the blind sheik was known to be planes and booby-trapped letters.

    The Al Hayat reporters and editor were not expressing an opinion — though the owner did lay out various possibilities (e.g., Iraq, Iran etc.). The owner of the paper had commanded Saudi forces during the Persian Gulf War, when Bin Laden was so upset about American troops on the Arabian peninsula. Moreover, al Hayat had recently opened up a Bureau in Jerusalem, giving it a dateline of Jerusalem rather than al Quds, which some thought blasphemous. But none of the possibilities would plausibly explain why the letter bomb was sent to Leavensworth where three of the WTC 1993 defendants were imprisoned, including Ramzi Yousef’s lieutenant who had asked that his mistreatment be avenged. (That was the criminal genius who returned to Ryder to reclaim his deposit after blowing up the truck at WTC). Egyptian security officials argued that the letters were sent from outside of Egypt, the stamps were not available in Egypt, and that the postmark was not Alexandria as reported. Whatever the place of mailing, the sender likely was someone who was upset that KSM’s and Ramzi Yousef’s associates had been imprisoned, to include, most notably, the blind sheik. Whoever is responsible for the anthrax mailings, it is a very good bet that they are upset the blind sheik is detained. That should be at the center of any classified profile of the crime.

    On December 31, 1996 Mohammed Youssef was in Egypt — having gone to Egypt months before. The al Hayat letter bombs related to the detention and alleged mistreatment of the blind sheikh and the WTC bombers were sent 10 days earlier — on the Day of Measures. In 2006, he was named as co-defendant with Hassoun, Daher, Padilla and Jayyousi. Youssef was born in Alexandria. Do authorities suspect the “Florida cell” of being involved in the al Hayat letter bombs? Kifah Jayyousi’s “Islam Report” over the years — distributed by Adham Hassoun in Florida and Kassem Daher in Canada — expressed outrage at detention/extradition due to terrorism law and also what he perceived as attacks on his religion by some newspapers. His headlines on the internet groups blazed “Just In! First Muslim Victim of New Terrorism Law!: US Agents Arrest Paralegal Of Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman Without Charge Prepares To Hand Him To Egyptian Regime,” soc.religion.islam, dated April 27, 1996 and “Islam Report (Newspaper Attacks Our Religion! Act Now!,” soc.religion.islam, Apr. 16, 1996

    In connection with the January 1997 letter bombs, Ayman got the know-how to send sophisticated electronic letter bombs from Iraqi intelligence according to one item from the highly controversial Feith memo. In the al Hayat letter bombings, Ayman allowed the finger to be pointed at Libya. In the Amerithrax letters, he allowed the finger to be pointed to a United States biodefense insider by the prosecutor who would have presented to any indictment to the grand jury. Born in Haifa in 1948, the man’s daughter then came to represent microbiologist Al-Timimi pro bono.

    After the Al Hayat letter bombs to newspapers in DC and NYC and people in symbolic positions, in January 1997, both the Blind Sheikh and his paralegal, Sattar, were quoted in separate articles in Al Hayat (in Arabic) denying that they or their supporters were responsible. The Blind Sheikh commented that al Hayat was fair and balanced in its coverage and his supporters would have no reason to “hit” them. The same sort of counterintuitive theory was raised in connection with the earlier letter bombing of newspapers to DC and New York City and people in symbolic positions. Sattar noted that the bombs were mailed on December 20, one day before the brief in support of the blind sheik on appeal. He questioned whether someone (like the FBI) was trying to undermine the appeal’s prospects. This time, Mr. Sattar did not need any help making the argument with respect to the anthrax letters. Numerous people with political agendas rushed to do it for him to include counsel for Bosnia and Herzogovina and legal advisor to the PLO, professor Francis Boyle. In accusing Dr. Ivins on the occasion of his death, the FBI embraced the same sort of theory — that is, when it was not grasping at other untenable theories relating to college sororities, incorrectly perceived anti-abortion news, or perceived financial motive.

    In September 2006, in a Sahab Media production called “Knowledge is for acting,” there is a clip in which Al Quds editor Atwan refers to his visit with Bin Laden in 1996 (see also his 2006 book The Secret History of al Qaeda). He says that Bin Laden was planning to attack America “and America prisons in particular.” That was an apparent reference to the Al Hayat letter bombs sent to newspapers and prisons in January 1997. There were recurrent references to Abdel-Rahman in the tape.

    • DXer said

      After Ayman and Atef, among senior Egyptian islamists which of these contemporaries of Dr. Hamid and Dr. Hamouda from Cairo over a quarter century likely would have greater culpability in the anthrax mailings
      (assuming for the sake of argument that the FBI’s “Ivins Theory” is eventually left in the dustbin of history along with its “Hatfill Theory”)?

      A. Shehata

      B. Saif Adel

      C. Taha

      D. Hamza

      E. Al-Sirri

      F. Al-Zayat / Mamdouh Ismail

      G. Habib / Sultan

      H. Mahjoub

      I. Jaballah

      J. Islambouli

      K. Dr. Al-Sharif

      L.. None of the above

      M. All of the above.

      N. Some combination of the above.

      O. Who the heck are these people?

    • DXer said

      Thirwat Shehata

      Thirwat Shehata, according to a “Most Wanted” listed posted by the Egyptian State Information website, faces two death sentences in Egypt. According to the information posted by the Egyptian government, Shehata went to Afghanistan in 1995 with Zawahiri and Bin Laden, where he was put in charge of EIJ’s “security committee which provides logistics to the military wing, the special operations, and the individuals involved in terror attacks. He is a key figure in Bin Laden’s organization.” Thirwat Shehata had been one of the ones to go to Russia and get Ayman and Mabruk out of jail. Born in 1960, Shehata briefly took over for Ayman as head of EIJ. He, in another life, was Montasser al Zayat’s law partner. Al-Zayat was the Cairo lawyer who announced Zawahiri’s plan to use anthrax against US targets. Shehata was a member of the 9-member shura council of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service notes that within the ruling council, he was “head of the Security Committee and in charge of collecting intelligence on Egypt’s leading civilian and military figures and on Egyptian interests abroad.” The CSIS has noted that he “also oversaw counter-espionage and organized logistical support for [EIJ] militants and sympathizers in Egypt.” Shehata maintained regular contact with Mahmoud Jaballah in Canada. His wife is Jaballah’s sister. The CSIS alleges that “Jaballah provided Shehata with regular updates on his activities in Canada, as well as financial support.” In December 1997 and throughout 1997, Al Sibai in London relayed information between Shehata and Jaballah. The London islamist al-Sibai assisted in coordinating financial collection efforts to help get Mabruk out of jail in Dagestan. Al Sibai, according to reports, like Shehata, was an EIJ shura member. The Canadian Security Intelligence Service alleges that Shehata left Azerbaijan on or about August 8, 1998. According to some reports, he has been in Iran in recent years.

      Thomas Joscelyn recently described Mr. Shehata’s background here:

      Ayman al Zawahiri’s deputy releases statement in support of Egyptian opposition
      http://www.longwarjournal.org/archives/2011/02/ayman_al_zawahiris_d.php
      By Thomas JoscelynFebruary 5, 2011

    • DXer said

      Yasir Al-Sirri

      The London-based Vanguards of Conquest spokesman Yasir Al-Sirri was alleged by the US to have financed the public relations efforts of the Blind Sheik’s Lynne Stewart and US Postal employee Ahmed Abdel Sattar. In an April 2002 indictment, the United States alleged that the Egyptian Islamic Group has an active membership in the United States, concentrated in the New York City metropolitan area. Al-Sirri certainly might have been acutely affected by the detention of other London EIJ cell members in the late 1990s.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yassir_al-Sirri

    • DXer said

      Mohammed Islambouli

      An equally good guess, however, is Mohammed Islambouli, Sadat’s assassin’s brother: Islambouli was in a cell with KSM planning attacks on the United States using aircraft and other means. Zawahiri recently revealed him to be the leader of the IG members who have joined Al Qaeda. He was head of the blind sheik’s Makhtab Khidmat al-Mujahiden in Peshawar (which had a branch in Brooklyn). The blind sheik stayed with him when he visited Peshawar in 1990. There are the strong pointers to the Sadat assassination. In a December 4, 1998 Presidential Daily Brief to President Clinton, the CIA noted that it was expected that someone sent by Mohammed Islambouli the brother of Sadat’s assassin, was expected to travel to the United States to meet with other Egyptian Islamic Group members to discuss options regarding planned attacks on the United States. The planned attacks included attacks involving the hijacking of aircraft in an attempt to free the blind sheik Abdel-Rahman and an imprisoned dissident Saudi sheik who was allied with Bin Laden. Islambouli had headed Khidmat Services in Peshawar and an Al Qaeda training camp. Washington Times reporter and author Bill Gertz reports in the book Breakdown that in 1996, KSM was in a cell with Islambouli in Qatar, where they were given safe harbor by a high level minister of religious affairs. Bin Laden visited Doha, Qatar in 1994 and again sometime within the next couple years. The 1994 Qatar trip, according to the Egyptian weekly, Al-Ahram, involved a meeting between Zawahiri, bin Laden, Islambouli and Mustafa Hamza. In the Amerithrax investigation, the FBI should have given priority to establishing who the man expected to be sent by Mohammed Islambouli, met with when he traveled to the United States. According to Egyptian intelligence officials, Islambouli himself reportedly had two Egyptian passports, a Qatari passport and an Algerian passport in the name Mahmoud Youssef. Who was the man sent by Mohammed Islambouli to discuss options regarding attacks on the United States? Was it Anwar Awlaki who came to the US about then?

      Alternatively, was it IANA Gamal Sultan who visited the United States and said the hills of Pittsburgh reminded him of the hills around Kandahar? The two main writers for IANA, an Ann Arbor charity, were EIJ founder Kamal Habib and former EIJ member Gamal Sultan. Both had the connection to IANA’s lead speaker Ali Al-Timimi. Kamal Habib knew Ayman well and was in the middle of the attempt to have political parties formed in the Spring of 1999.

    • DXer said

      Taha and Hamza

      Taha and Hamza both have a strong Sattar/Blind Sheik connection. Hamza became head of the Gama’a al-Islamiya group’s shura council in 1998 after an internal split over responsibility for the Luxor massacre of 1997. Iran reportedly handed him over to Egypt as part of trade for information an an exile group living in Egypt. Mustafa Hamza and Jihad leader Ahmed Salama Mabruk had graduated from the same Cairo University class. (Mabruk was the former EIJ military commander who had been Ayman Zawahiri’s confidante and who had known about Ayman’s plan to use anthrax against US targets upon Mabruk’s capture in Baku, Azerbaijan in 1998.) Jailed after Sadat’s assassination, after his release from prison, Hamza went to Afghanistan, from where he paid frequent visits to other countries such as Pakistan, Sudan and Iran.

      • DXer said

        Rifa’i Taha Musa (Taha) favored a return to armed operations. Taha sets forth his views in an article published in the May 1997 issue off Nida’ul Islam magazine titled “The Islamic State in Egypt is Approaching.” Taha in early 2001 published a book in which he attempted to justify terrorist attacks that would cause mass casualties. Like Mustafa, he was in close telephone contact with post office employee Sattar, who in an indictment announced in April 2002 was described as a “surrogate” for the blind sheik. In her webblog, former blind sheik attorney Lynne Stewart says U.S. Postal employee Sattar came to favor Taha’s view. When the blind sheik’s’ US attorney, radical Lynne Stewart, announced in a press release in mid-June 2000 that Abdel-Rahman was withdrawing his support for the cease-fire, Taha said: “Stopping operations [attacks] is a human decision that can be canceled if a majority of the Gama’a finds this to be in its interest, especially after the sheikh’s latest instructions, in which he withdrew his support for the initiative.” Taha argued that militant groups were never given the opportunity to become political parties. “I have repeatedly said the government will never allow the Islamist trend to play an effective political role through recognised parties.” “It will not let anyone else share in the power game.” He continued: “When the Gama’a announced a halt of armed operations, it did not say it would give up its opposition of the Egyptian government. In my view, the only way for the Islamist movement to achieve victory is for Islamist factions to unite and mobilize the Egyptian people, led by the army, clerics and university professors, in a revolution that should not stop until the regime is overthrown.” In December 1999, the Associated Press reported that Taha threatened in an e-mail published by the Arabic-language newspaper Asharq Al-Awsat “The Egyptian government commits a grave mistake if it believes that the Luxor operation is unrepeatable.” Taha had grown closer to Bin Laden and Zawahiri while in Afghanistan in the 1990s and also had a close connection to the Taliban. In Fall 2001, Ayman had sent him with several others to form Ansar Al-Islam in Kurdish controlled territory of Iraq. He lived for a time in a suburb of Tehran. Taha was rendered to Egypt while in transit through Syria in 2001, at which time Taha’s wife and children lived with Hamza’s family in Mashhad, Iran. Who does Taha think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    • DXer said

      Montasser Al-Zayat / Mamdouh Ismail

      Al-Zayat / Mamdouh Ismail have an Al-Nashar connection. He was the polymerization expert who had the keys to the 7/7 apartment where the bomb was made. Al-Zayat explained at the time that the blind sheik’s US attorney Lynne Stewart announced the Sheikh had withdrawn his support for the cease-fire, that Abdel-Rahman’s statement should be viewed merely as a request for the Gama’a to “reevaluate” its decision of maintaining a unilateral cease-fire with the government. He said it was a personal message sent to him via e-mail to be delivered to the Gama’a’s imprisoned leaders. (There is no disputing, however, that his US attorney issued a press release and the blind sheik later instructed that he did not want anyone denying that he had issued the press release). While Zawahiri has suggested that Montasser Al-Zayat has too cozy a relationship with Egyptian security services, explaining his access to imprisoned IG leaders, someone else knowledgeable about the movement who knew Ayman Zawahiri and the others growing up assures me that is not true. In his letter, Abdel-Rahman criticized the Egyptian government for maintaining its policy of putting Islamist militants on trial before military courts, conducting mass arrests and imposing death sentences against them. Al-Zayat argued that it was in light of these charges that Abdel-Rahman called on the group’s leaders to “reevaluate the policies of the Gama’a.” Al-Zayyat urged that the Blind Sheik’s position was only that the group assess the “positions that best serve the interests of the group.” Al-Zayyat said that Gama’a leaders imprisoned inside Egypt had responded to Abdel-Rahman’s letter by a letter of their own in which they asked him to clarify his position on the cease-fire in order to clear up the controversy. The blind sheik’s son called Sattar and urged the same so as to smooth things over. In a letter to Abdel-Rahman, the jailed shura members informed him that the government had halted extra-judicial killings, mass arrests and military trials and that it had released some 2,500 militants. Al-Zayat basically was in the role of the great negotiator, announcing his prediction that weaponized anthrax would be used against targets in the US because of the detention of senior Egyptian militants, while at the same time, negotiating the release of many hundreds of those militants. The anthrax appears to have served its purpose while the FBI seemed fixated first on anthrax smelling bloodhounds and then on college panty raids. Due to the long lead times in publication, we still have not moved out of the panty raid era.

      • DXer said

        Al-Zayat’s partner in attempting to form a political party, fellow islamist attorney Mamdouh Ismail, was arrested in late March 2007 and alleged to be the chief conduit between Ayman Zawahiri and jihadists in Egypt, Iraq and Egypt. The government alleges he took his instructions, in part, from intermediary al-Sibai based in London. Both he and al-Zayat had worked closely with fellow attorney Shehata, head of the EIJ civilian branch in charge of special operations. This past month, Attorney Mamdouh Ismail reacted angrily to news of Bin Laden’s death:

        “The U.S. “acted like a cowboy, thugs, and not a civilized country,” said Mamdouh Ismail, a defense lawyer for Islamic militants and the founder of Al Nahda, an Islamic fundamentalist party. He was angered by the American violation of Pakistan’s sovereignty by going in to kill bin Laden.

        “What Obama said is untrue. It wasn’t a victory. On the contrary, it is bin Laden who won because he achieved what he said he wanted in his speeches…he said he won’t be arrested and will fight and become a martyr,” said Ismail.
        But it was bin Laden’s reported burial at sea that Ismail found utterly shocking and unforgivable.

        “I think this kind of news will provoke an angry reaction in the whole Islamic world because we have rules about how to bury the dead and this will ignite a furious reaction because they did not follow Islamic practice,” said Ismail. “This is against all human rights, principles and respect for the dead.”

        Who does Attorney Ismail think is responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

    • DXer said

      Mahmoud Mahjoub

      Mahmoud Mahjoub was second in command of the Vanguards of Conquest, after Agiza (who later was succeeded by Zawahiri). Mahjoub worked at the Alternar Almubarakah Agricultural Company as Deputy Director General and Supervisor in the agricultural project at Damazin, Sudan, starting February 1992 until May 1993. A letter confirming the employment was provided by Mamdouh Mahmoud Salim has been described in government documents as a manager of finances for Bin Laden and an intermediary in the group’s efforts to buy arms and material for nuclear weapons. He had met with Bin Laden for about 1-2 hours in interviewing for the job. Bin Laden told him to take a week to study the project. At the end of the week, Mahjoub met with the General Manager of Bin Laden’s company and accepted the position. He reports he met with Bin Laden only on three occasions during his employment. He decided to leave the job because he was offended that people with a lower job title and level of responsibility were being paid more. In the late 1990s, authorities kept Mahjoub under surveillance. In December 1998, he looked over his shoulder three times for no apparent reason before making a call. In January 2000, Mahjoub’s associate asked Mahjoub whether he had any news and Mahjoub said he wanted to talk face to face. His associate asked whether Mahjoub was referring to the civil or the military “Moukhabarat.” Mahjoub replied, “both.”

      Mahjoub had lived with Khadr’s in-laws for 3 weeks when he first arrived in Canada — which was before he met his wife. (Khadr had been head of the so-called “Canadian cell”). Both his wife and Jaballah’s wife were close to Khadr’s in-laws, the Elsamnahs. Jaballah said his wife visited them often. When Mahjoub was arrested, he had the telephone and address “Abu Ahmed 289-2361″, the telephone number associated with Jaballah. Mahjoub had initially denied knowing Essam Hafez Marzouk but his address was found in Mahjoub’s belongings and he eventually admitted knowing him. Telephone records reportedly show several calls in 1997 and 1998 between Mahjoub’s home number and Marzouk. Marzouk was involved in the planning of the 1998 embassy bombings. Marzouk was a veteran of the Soviet war in Afghanistan, where had fought alongside bin Laden. Stationery from Marzouk’s British Columbia “U-Enterprises” turned up in Kabul. In 1997 to fight against the Serbs in Kosovo. Marzouk was arrested in Azerbaijan in August 1998 and handed over to Egyptian authorities. Former Silicon Valley car salesman Dahab and former US Army Sergeant Ali Mohammed went to get Marzouk out of jail when he was stopped trying to cross the border into the US. By the time the anthrax planning got underway in earnest, Mahjoub had been detained.

      Who does Mahmoud Mahjoub think was responsible for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings?

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