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 DXer on May 18, 2011


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?


Saif Adel


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

  1. DXer said

    “1998 bombing: US offers Sh4.8bn reward for terror suspects,” The Star, Aug 9, 2021

    US offering a reward of up to $25 million for information on Ayman al-Zawahiri.
    In Summary
    • The United States on their website said they are offering a reward of up to $10 million each for information on Sayf al-Adl and Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, and a reward of up to $25 million for information on Ayman al-Zawahiri.

    • Zawahiri was indicted in the United States for his role on August 7, 1998, US Embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania.

  2. DXer said

    Is Dr. Zawahiri dead or not?

    In a newly aired video, he addresses oppression faced by the Uyghur Muslims.

    THOMAS JOSCELYN | March 12, 2021
    Al Qaeda leader threatens Myanmar in new video

    ” The 21-minute propaganda film features undated audio clips of Ayman al Zawahiri, the overall emir of the global terrorist and insurgency organization. “

  3. DXer said

    CLAIM Al-Qaeda now as dangerous as under Osama Bin Laden as new chief dubbed ‘Sword of Revenge’ vows to attack, expert claims
    • Dan Keane
    • Feb 25 2021, 8:18 ET

    This article discusses Saif Al-Adel. He led the Green Team in Somalia. This figured in my interpretation of coding used in the anthrax letters regarding “Greendale School.”

    • DXer said

      In 2011, I wrote:

      “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.”

      2021 Comment:

      In his comment at the time about the 1996 letters to newspapers in New York and DC and people in symbolic positions, was Saif Al-Adel referring to Al Qaeda instead of the Egyptian Islamic Group?

      I don’t know and would have to bear down on the timeline.

      I didn’t see Merrick Garland speak before Congress at his confirmation hearing.

      But I think his reported comment that he was well-suited to deal with the complexities of the job was spot on.

  4. DXer said

    Al-Qaeda’s Soon-To-Be Third Emir? A Profile of Saif al-`Adl
    February 21, 2021 Homeland Security Today

  5. DXer said

    If Ayman al-Zawahiri is really dead, what’s next for al Qaeda?
    By: Ali Ozdogan, Ph.D.

  6. DXer said

    Jolt to Qaeda leadership succession: Only Saif al-Adel from old guard remains to lead
    November 18, 2020, 11:58 AM IST

  7. DXer said

    Al Qaeda loses one of its most experienced leaders in mysterious murder in Tehran
    By Tim Lister, Paul Cruickshank and Ghazi Balkiz, CNN
    Updated 9:05 AM ET, Sun November 15, 2020

  8. DXer said


    Gangster Dutch Schultz’s $150 million treasure is supposedly buried in New York

    By Michael KaplanNovember 14, 2020


    Getman, “The Ongoing Search For Dutch Schultz’s Missing Millions”

    • DXer said


      Secrets of the Dead: “Gangster’s Gold”
      PBS, 10pm
      Join three groups of treasure hunters, armed with modern technology and newly uncovered clues, as they set out to find the lost treasure of notorious Prohibition-era gangster Dutch Schultz and solve an 85-year-old mystery.

    • DXer said

      I just saw that in the New York Post article this pair of Canadian searchers called us “weekend warriors.” That’s giving my daughter and I way too much credit.

      My wife and I, though, did climb five Catskill mountain fire towers the previous summer and got an official pin. I highly recommend it. If you want to search in Phoenicia, I recommend the B&B in nearby Fleischmann’s. We stayed a week (not a weekend) and loved the vibe of the place and the amiability of the proprietor. Excellent price and glorious breakfast. But aside from a bakery in Phoenicia, we didn’t search for Dutch’s treasure for reasons explained in the analysis linked above. Phoenicia was considered and excluded about a quarter century ago based on historical research. I first uploaded the historical research debunking the Phoenicia theory in 2010 in a book freely available on blurb. [I set the entire book is set to preview.] In short, they are confusing 1933 with 1935. Documentary evidence, in the right hands, is your friend.

      But, as to equipment, we use — for example — planes with LIDAR, thank you very much. See History Channel “Code of The Wild” show.

      And Yap FIlms (who filmed the History Show), what about the crushed tea pot we found on the island. Really? You are dismissing the fact that Dutch might have tea with the leading local socialites?

      And we have basements torn up by heavy equipment — only to have the filmed dig (in the Saratoga safe room we identified) halted when a bone was found and the police had to be called.

      (We pulled out of that show at the last minute because Dixie Davis’ grandson was interviewed. And Dixie was a lawyer for the mob and I don’t feel comfortable around lawyers.

      Heck, we bought an excavator and transported it to an island earlier this Fall. As for any ground penetrating radar borrowed from the FBI, ours is needed first headed to confirm the Isabella Gardner heist. Ah, having fun is a full-time job.

      I hope the PBS folks (the producer, Phoenicia private detective, and Canadian searchers) realize that Burrough’s screen play is a fictionalized account. Dutch’s “Last Words” were not what he actually said (compare with the court reporter’s transcript). Ah, what a difference a made-up sentence can make to analysis.

      Getman, “The Ongoing Search For Dutch Schultz’s Missing Millions”

    • DXer said

      New documentary seeks to find New York Jewish gangster’s buried treasure, By AARON REICH NOVEMBER 15, 2020 12:04


      I don’t know anything about religion (of any flavor), but Dutch was a jewish gangster who converted to Catholicism and called his priest to administer last rites.

      On a minor note, the idea that the anecdotes of the family lead to the tunnel in Bronxville [Eastchester] is nonsense.

      See my discussion and the news articles in my 2010 book cited above providing the uploaded historical background of that tunnel.

      Of course, I am quibbling with minor aspects of the phrasing of a news story and have not seen the show itself.

      I certainly wish all searchers good luck and a good time wherever they choose to search.

      Getman and Getman, “The Ongoing Search For Dutch Schultz’s Missing Millions”

      • DXer said

        Wikipedia describes the reliability of the source that these searchers use for Schultz’s last words

        The Last Words of Dutch Schultz
        From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

        “Burroughs creates his own dying words for Schultz to actually speak, and which reflect Burrough’s narrative; occasionally, these made-up snippets of speech include Schultz’s actual words.”

        If people value their time, they should rely on reliable historical evidence and not fiction.

        • DXer said

          Did the Canadian searchers in the upcoming PBS show on Dutch Schultz’s treasure notice the full title of the source they are said in news reports to have relied upon? The Last Words of Dutch Schultz: A FICTION in the Form of Film Script. (See listing on Amazon).

          The very nature of a treasure hunt is to discover truth: to distinguish between fact and fiction.

          A show on PBS should be relying on historical fact — not fiction. Entertainment is fine but people should be more careful with their facts.

          As long as I am on a rant, I am so tired of ghosts and psychics, including the psychic ridiculously (and secretly) relied on by the FBI as a key witness against Bruce Ivins in Amerithrax.

          p.s. My wife’s grandfather was asked to be Dutch Schultz’s accountant. (I am pleased to say he declined).

  9. DXer said

    What does Saif Al-Adel say about the report that Dr. Ayman Zawahiri died of natural causes and that his possible successor had been killed on August 7 by an assassin on a motorbike? Did he perceive a message that the killing was said to have occurred on the date of the 1998 embassy bombing?

    • DXer said

      This strikes me as some seriously accomplished reporting by the New York Times. Unrelatedly, I recommend the tv series “Tehran”.

      Al-Qaida’s No. 2, Accused in U.S. Embassy Attacks, Is Secretly Killed in Iran

      Adam Goldman, Eric Schmitt, Farnaz Fassihi and Ronen Bergman
      ,The New York Times•November 14, 2020

      WASHINGTON — Al-Qaida’s second-highest leader, accused of being one of the masterminds of the deadly 1998 attacks on U.S. embassies in Africa, was killed in Iran three months ago, intelligence officials have confirmed. ….

      Abdullah Ahmed Abdullah, who went by the nom de guerre Abu Muhammad al-Masri, was gunned down on the streets of Tehran by two assassins on a motorcycle on Aug. 7, the anniversary of the embassy attacks.

      The attack was carried out by Israeli operatives at the behest of the United States, according to four of the officials. It is unclear what role if any was played by the United States, which had been tracking the movements of al-Masri and other Qaida operatives in Iran for years.

      The killing occurred in such a netherworld of geopolitical intrigue and counterterrorism spycraft that al-Masri’s death had been rumored but never confirmed until now. For reasons that are still obscure, al-Qaida has not announced the death of one of its top leaders, Iranian officials covered it up, and no country has publicly claimed responsibility for it.

      Al-Masri, who was about 58, was one of al-Qaida’s founding leaders and was thought to be first in line to lead the organization after its current leader, Ayman al-Zawahri.

      Long featured on the FBI’s Most Wanted Terrorist list, he had been indicted in the United States for crimes related to the bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, which killed 224 people and wounded hundreds. The FBI offered a $10 million reward for information leading to his capture, and as of Friday, his picture was still on the Most Wanted list.

      American intelligence officials say that al-Masri had been in Iran’s “custody” since 2003, but that he had been living freely in the Pasdaran district of Tehran, an upscale suburb, since at least 2015.

      Around 9 on a warm summer night, he was driving his white Renault L90 sedan with his daughter near his home when two gunmen on a motorcycle drew up beside him. Five shots were fired from a pistol fitted with a silencer. Four bullets entered the car through the driver’s side and a fifth hit a nearby car.

      As news of the shooting broke, Iran’s official news media identified the victims as Habib Daoud, a Lebanese history professor, and his 27-year-old daughter Maryam. The Lebanese news channel MTV and social media accounts affiliated with Iran&aposs Revolutionary Guard reported that Daoud was a member of Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant organization in Lebanon.

      It seemed plausible.

      The killing came amid a summer of frequent explosions in Iran, mounting tensions with the United States, days after an enormous explosion in the port of Beirut and a week before the U.N. Security Council was to consider extending an arms embargo against Iran. There was speculation that the killing may have been a Western provocation intended to elicit a violent Iranian reaction in advance of the Security Council vote.

      And the targeted killing by two gunmen on a motorcycle fit the modus operandi of previous Israeli assassinations of Iranian nuclear scientists. That Israel would kill an official of Hezbollah, which is committed to fighting Israel, also seemed to make sense, except for the fact that Israel had been consciously avoiding killing Hezbollah operatives so as not to provoke a war.

      In fact, there was no Habib Daoud.

      Several Lebanese with close ties to Iran said they had not heard of him or his killing. A search of Lebanese news media found no reports of a Lebanese history professor killed in Iran last summer. And an education researcher with access to lists of all history professors in the country said there was no record of a Habib Daoud.

      One of the intelligence officials said that Habib Daoud was an alias Iranian officials gave al-Masri and the history teaching job was a cover story. In October, the former leader of Egypt’s Islamic Jihad, Nabil Naeem, who called al-Masri a longtime friend, told the Saudi news channel Al-Arabiya the same thing.

      Iran may have had good reason for wanting to hide the fact that it was harboring an avowed enemy, but it was less clear why Iranian officials would have taken in the Qaida leader to begin with.

      Some terrorism experts suggested that keeping Qaida officials in Tehran might provide some insurance that the group would not conduct operations inside Iran. American counterterrorism officials believe Iran may have allowed them to stay to run operations against the United States, a common adversary.

      It would not be the first time that Iran had joined forces with Sunni militants, having supported Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and the Taliban.

      “Iran uses sectarianism as a cudgel when it suits the regime, but is also willing to overlook the Sunni-Shia divide when it suits Iranian interests,” said Colin P. Clarke, a counterterrorism analyst at the Soufan Center.

      Iran has consistently denied housing the Qaida officials. In 2018, the Foreign Ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said that because of Iran’s long, porous border with Afghanistan, some Qaida members had entered Iran, but they had been detained and returned to their home countries.

      However, Western intelligence officials said the Qaida leaders had been kept under house arrest by the Iranian government, which then made at least two deals with al-Qaida to free some of them in 2011 and 2015.

      Although al-Qaida has been overshadowed in recent years by the rise of the Islamic State, it remains resilient and has active affiliates around the globe, a U.N. counterterrorism report issued in July concluded.

      Iranian officials did not respond to a request for comment for this article. Spokesmen for the Israeli prime minister’s office and the Trump administration’s National Security Council declined to comment.

      Al-Masri was a longtime member of al-Qaida’s highly secretive management council, along with Saif al-Adl, who was also held in Iran at one point. The pair, along with Hamza bin Laden, who was being groomed to take over the organization, were part of a group of senior Qaida leaders who sought refuge in Iran after the 9/11 attacks on the United States forced them to flee Afghanistan.

      According to a highly classified document produced by the U.S. National Counterterrorism Center in 2008, al-Masri was the “most experienced and capable operational planner not in U.S. or allied custody.” The document described him as the “former chief of training” who “worked closely” with al-Adl.

      In Iran, al-Masri mentored Hamza bin Laden, according to terrorism experts. Hamza bin Laden later married al-Masri’s daughter, Miriam.

      “The marriage of Hamza bin Ladin was not the only dynastic connection Abu Muhammad forged in captivity,” Ali Soufan, a former FBI agent and Qaida expert, wrote in a 2019 article for West Point’s Combating Terrorism Center.

      Another of al-Masri’s daughters married Abu al-Khayr al-Masri, no relation, a member of the management council. He was allowed to leave Iran in 2015 and was killed by a U.S. drone strike in Syria in 2017. At the time, he was the second-ranking Qaida official after Zawahri.

      Hamza and other members of the bin Laden family were freed by Iran in 2011 in exchange for an Iranian diplomat abducted in Pakistan. Last year, the White House said Hamza bin Laden had been killed in a counterterrorism operation in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region.

      Abu Muhammad al-Masri was born in Al Rarbiya district of northern Egypt in 1963. In his youth, according to affidavits filed in lawsuits in the United States, he was a professional soccer player in Egypt’s top league. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979, he joined the jihadi movement that was coalescing to assist the Afghan forces.

      After the Soviets withdrew 10 years later, Egypt refused to allow al-Masri to return. He remained in Afghanistan where he eventually joined bin Laden in the group that was later to become the founding nucleus of al-Qaida. He was listed by the group as the seventh of its 170 founders.

      In the early 1990s, he traveled with bin Laden to Khartoum, Sudan, where he began forming military cells. He also went to Somalia to help the militia loyal to Somali warlord Mohamed Farrah Aidid. There he trained Somali guerrillas in the use of shoulder-borne rocket launchers against helicopters, training they used in the 1993 battle of Mogadishu to shoot down a pair of U.S. helicopters in what is now known as the Black Hawk Down attack.

      “When al-Qaida began to carry out terrorist activities in the late 1990s, al-Masri was one of the three of bin Laden’s closest associates, serving as head of the organization’s operations section,” said Yoram Schweitzer, head of the Terrorism Project of the Institute for National Security Studies in Tel Aviv. “He brought with him know-how and determination and since then was involved in a large part of the organization’s operations, with an emphasis on Africa.”

      Shortly after the Mogadishu battle, bin Laden put al-Masri in charge of planning operations against U.S. targets in Africa. Plotting a dramatic, ambitious operation that, like the 9/11 attacks, would command international attention, they decided to attack two relatively well-defended targets in separate countries simultaneously.

      Shortly after 10:30 a.m. on Aug. 7, 1998, two trucks packed with explosives pulled up in front of the U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. The blasts incinerated people nearby, blew walls off buildings and shattered glass for blocks around.

      In 2000, al-Masri became one of the nine members of al-Qaida’s governing council and headed the organization’s military training.

      He also continued to oversee Africa operations, according to a former Israeli Intelligence official, and ordered the attack in Mombasa, Kenya, in 2002 that killed 13 Kenyans and three Israeli tourists.

      By 2003, al-Masri was among several Qaida leaders who fled to Iran which, although hostile to the group, seemed out of American reach.

      “They believed the United States would find it very difficult to act against them there,” Schweitzer said. “Also because they believed that the chances of the Iranian regime doing an exchange deal with the Americans that would include their heads were very slim.”

      Al-Masri was one of the few high-ranking members of the organization to survive the American hunt for the perpetrators of 9/11 and other attacks. When he and other Qaida leaders fled to Iran, they were initially kept under house arrest.

      In 2015, Iran announced a deal with al-Qaida in which it released five of the organization’s leaders, including al-Masri, in exchange for an Iranian diplomat who had been abducted in Yemen.

      Abdullah’s footprints faded away, but according to one of the intelligence officials, he continued to live in Tehran, under the protection of the Revolutionary Guards and later the Ministry of Intelligence and Security. He was allowed to travel abroad and did, mainly to Afghanistan, Pakistan and Syria.

      Some American analysts said al-Masri’s death would sever connections between one of the last original Qaida leaders and the current generation of Islamist militants, who have grown up after bin Laden’s 2011 death.

      “If true, this further cuts links between old-school al-Qaida and the modern jihad,” said Nicholas J. Rasmussen, a former director of the National Counterterrorism Center. “It just further contributes to the fragmentation and decentralization of the al-Qaida movement.”



      Abu Muhammad al-Masri was born in northern Egypt, and grew up to play soccer in Egypt’s top professional league. After the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, he joined the jihad movement there.


      After the Soviets withdrew, Egypt refused to allow al-Masri to return. He remained in Afghanistan, and eventually joined Osama bin Laden in a group that was later to become the nucleus of al-Qaida.

      EARLY 1990s

      Al-Masri traveled with bin Laden to Khartoum, Sudan, where he began forming military cells. He also went to Somalia, where he helped train the fighters who fought U.S. troops in a battle popularly known as the Black Hawk Down attack.


      Al-Masri was one of the masterminds of the deadly attacks on U.S. embassies in Nairobi, Kenya, and Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.


      Al-Masri became one of the nine members of al-Qaida’s governing council and was put in charge of the organization’s military training activities.


      While overseeing African operations, he issued orders for the attacks in Mombasa, Kenya, that killed 15 people, according to a former Israeli Intelligence official.


      After the 9/11 attacks, al-Masri was among several Qaida leaders who fled to Iran. They were initially held under house arrest.


      Iran and al-Qaida announced a deal in which Iran released five of the organization’s leaders, including al-Masri, from prison in exchange for an Iranian diplomat who had been abducted in Yemen.


      Al-Masri was secretly assassinated in Tehran at the behest of the U.S., officials said. But no one — Iran, al-Qaida, the U.S. or Israel — publicly acknowledged the killing.

      • DXer said

        Iran Denounces Report Al Qaeda’s Number 2 Was Killed in Tehran as ‘White House Lies’
        BY BRENDAN COLE ON 11/14/20 AT 9:48 AM EST

        Comment: Putting aside this issue of the two that were killed in Tehran, there remains the other still-unsettled issue of whether Dr. Ayman has died of natural causes last month. At some point if he is still with us, I expect we will hear from him.

  10. DXer said

    Iran warns US, Israel of ‘devastating’ response after deadly parade attack, report says
    By Edmund DeMarche | Fox News

  11. DXer said

    What has Iran Revolutionary Guard previously done in retaliation ; what magnitude of “devastating” response is anticipated by US authorities?

    Who committed the attack on the Iranian parade?

    LONDON, Sept 24 (Reuters) – The deputy head of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards warned U.S. and Israeli leaders on Monday to expect a “devastating” response from Tehran, accusing them of involvement in an attack on a military parade in the city of Ahvaz.

    “You have seen our revenge before … You will see that our response will be crushing and devastating and you will regret what you have done,” Hossein Salami said in a speech before the funeral of the victims broadcast live on the state television.

  12. DXer said

    UN: Iran-based leaders ‘have grown more prominent’ in al Qaeda’s global network

    BY THOMAS JOSCELYN | August 14, 2018 | | @thomasjoscelyn

    Indeed, according to the UN, Adel and Abdullah are playing crucial roles — helping Ayman al-Zawahiri manage al Qaeda’s global network.

  13. DXer said

    U.S. doubles rewards for info about al Qaeda leaders charged for embassy bombings, CBS/AP August 8, 2018, 4:06 PM

  14. DXer said

    Hey, Dr. Ayman, Is Saif Adel with you? What are you guys up to?

    Pakistan’s spy agency ISI protecting Ayman al-Zawahiri in Karachi: Report
    Updated: Apr 22, 2017, 03.09 PM IST

    “Like everything about his location, there’s no positive proof,” Bruce Riedel, a 30-year CIA veteran who was the top adviser on South Asia and the Middle East for the past four US presidents, told the magazine.

    “There are pretty good indications, including some of the material found in Abbottabad (Pakistan),” where bin Laden was slain, “that point in that direction,” he added.

    “This would be a logical place to hide out, where he would feel pretty comfortable that the Americans can’t come and get him,” he said.

    Riedel told the weekly that Karachi would be a “very hard” place for the US to conduct the kind of commando raid that got bin Laden on May 2, 2011.

    “If he was in someplace along the border with Afghanistan, I think the temptation would be enormous to go after him. But in Karachi, that would be stunning and very difficult,” Riedel said. ..

    According to the weekly, the US had an unsuccessful drone strike against Al-Zawahiri in January 2016.

    But the al-Qaeda chief survived, the weekly said, noting that its information was based on a source from Pakistan who requested anonymity for sharing the information.

    “The drone hit next to the room where al-Zawahiri was staying. The shared wall collapsed, and debris from the explosion showered on him and broke his glasses, but luckily he was safe,” the unnamed man told ..

    “Closed out of the tribal areas, al-Zawahiri was ‘moved to Karachi under direction of the black leg,'” the Afghan Taliban’s code name for the ISI, according to the group leader who spoke with the magazine.

    “He may well have taken (another al-Qaeda leader) Saif al-Adel, indicted in the US in connection with the 1998 bombing of the US Embassy in Nairobi, Kenya, with him,” the report said.

  15. DXer said

    The Exile: The Flight of Osama bin Laden review – an insider’s account of al-Qaida after 9/11

    Cathy Scott-Clark and Adrian Levy’s gripping history of the terrorist network, from 2001 to the present, reveals a dark web of familial and political machinations

    • DXer said

      Juliette Kayyem would benefit from reading this book, I think.

      • DXer said

        She relies on the fact that Bin Laden did not claim responsibility for the Fall 2001 anthrax mailings — ignoring the fact that he denied responsibility for 9/11.

  16. DXer said

    Mysterious al-Qaida figure emerges in Syria
    WTOP‎ – 10 hours ago

    Saif al-Adel, Al Qaida’s legendary and revered field commander has emerged from the shadows and reportedly has been sent to Syria, as an emissary on behalf …

    WASHINGTON — The conflict in Syria could be taking a turn for the worse. Saif al-Adel, al-Qaida’s revered field commander, was reportedly sent to Syria as an emissary on behalf of al-Qaida leader Ayman Al Zawahri.

    Many in the U.S. intelligence community recognize Adel as the savviest operational terrorist in the world.

    “They’re either going to try to bridge the divide between ISIS and AQ, which is unlikely, or they’re going to try to strengthen the al-Qaida affiliate, Jabhat al Nusrah,” Skinner said. “But if there’s anyone on the planet that can do it, he could.”

    Adel is wanted by the FBI for his alleged role in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and Nairobi, Kenya. The bombings killed 224 civilians and wounded more than 5,000 others.

    Before that, Adel, a former military colonel in Egypt, engineered the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Al Sadat in 1981.

    Skinner said al-Qaida has no one better at all the elements of operational terrorism planning.

    “Saif al-Adel is functionally effectively the number one operational planner in al-Qaida,” Skinner said. Adel is so respected that “he was temporarily in charge right after Osama bin Laden’s death,” he added.

    Current and former U.S. intelligence officials snap to attention when his name is mentioned because, according to Skinner, a former CIA case officer, they recognize the power he wields in the world of terrorism.

  17. DXer said

    Iran released five senior al-Qaida members this year in a move that could re-energize the terrorist group
    The New York Times | September 18, 2015 11:17 AM ET

    Al-Qaida analyst, Michael S. Smith II of Kronos Advisory, who has tracked al-Adl’s rise, describes him as “the biggest fish of the big fish” and argued that al-Qaida’s future would rests on the shoulders of Saif al-Adl.”

    Iran’s release of the five men was part of a prisoner swap in March with al-Qaida’s branch in Yemen, the group holding an Iranian diplomat, Nour Ahmad Nikbakht. Nikbakht was kidnapped in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa in July 2013.

    The Iranian government denied that the five men had been freed in a statement Thursday, after the release was reported by Sky News this week. The U.S. official, who was granted anonymity to discuss the matter, confirmed the release of Saif al-Adl, a senior member of al-Qaida’s ruling body, known as the Shura Council, who oversaw the organization immediately after bin Laden was killed by Navy SEALs in Pakistan in 2011.

  18. DXer said

    Terror Fears As Iran Frees Al Qaeda Members
    Some intelligence agencies warn the five men may travel to Syria and make use of its chaotic landscape to plot attacks elsewhere.

    Alongside him was Saif al Adel – considered Number Three in the al Qaeda hierarchy, according to an intelligence report seen by Sky News.

    The report said: “In the past, he headed up the organisation’s military and security committees and served for years as its leading strategist.

    “He took part in terror attacks against the US embassies in Kenya and Tanzania in 1998 and the kidnapping of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl in Pakistan in 2002, who was later killed by his captors.”

    It continued: “Al Adel began his career in the Egyptian military, before serving as an officer. He then turned to terror and played a role in the assassination of former Egyptian president Anwar Sadat in 1981.”

  19. 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’

    • DXer said

      Senior al-Qaeda Militant Saif al-Adel Arrested at Cairo Airport

    • DXer said

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

    • DXer said

      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.”

  20. 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.

  21. 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

  22. 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

      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.

  23. 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
      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.

    • 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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