How the FBI Protected Al Qaeda’s 9/11 Hijacking Trainer
(From Peter Dale Scott)
"In our book, 9/11 and Empire: Intellectuals Speak Out, I wrote of Ali Mohamed, the close ally of Osama bin Laden and his mentor Ayman al-Zawahiri. It is now generally admitted that Ali Mohamed (known in the al Qaeda camps as Abu Mohamed al Amriki — "Father Mohamed the American") worked for the FBI, the CIA, and U.S. Special Forces. As he later confessed in court, he also aided the terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a co-founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and by then an aide to bin Laden, when he visited America to raise money.
The 9/11 Report mentioned him, and said that the plotters against the U.S. Embassy in Kenya were "led" (their word) by Ali Mohamed. That's the Report's only reference to him, though it's not all they heard.
Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney who negotiated a plea bargain and confession from Ali Mohamed, said this in testimony to the Commission Ali Mohamed. …. trained most of al Qaeda's top leadership – including Bin Laden and Zawahiri – and most of al Qaeda's top trainers. He gave some training to persons who would later carry out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing…. From 1994 until his arrest in 1998, he lived as an American citizen in California, applying for jobs as an FBI translator.
Patrick Fitzgerald knew Ali Mohamed well. In 1994 he had named him as an unindicted co-conspirator in the New York landmarks case, yet allowed him to remain free. This was because, as Fitzgerald knew, Ali Mohamed was an FBI informant, from at least 1993 and maybe 1989. Thus, from 1994 "until his arrest in 1998 [by which time the 9/11 plot was well under way], Mohamed shuttled between California, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia and at least a dozen other countries." Shortly after 9/11, Larry C. Johnson, a former State Department and CIA official, faulted the FBI publicly for using Mohamed as an informant, when it should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist plotting against the United States.
As I say in our book, in 1993 Ali Mohamed had been detained by the Royal
Canadian Mounted Police in Canada, when he inquired at an airport after an incoming al Qaeda terrorist who turned out to be carrying two forged Saudi passports. Mohamed immediately told the RCMP to make a phone call to the United States, and the call secured his release. We've since been told that it was Mohamed's West coast FBI handler, John Zent, "who vouched for Ali and got him released."
This release enabled Ali to go on to Kenya, take pictures of the U.S. Embassy, and deliver them to bin Laden for the Embassy bombing plot.
In August 2006 there was a National Geographic Special on Ali Mohamed. We can take this as the new official fallback position on Ali Mohamed, because John Cloonan, the FBI agent who worked with Fitzgerald on Mohamed, helped narrate it. I didn't see the show, but here's what TV critics said about its contents:
Ali Mohamed manipulated the FBI, CIA and U.S. Army on behalf of Osama bin Laden. Mohamed trained terrorists how to hijack airliners, bomb buildings and assassinate rivals. [D]uring much of this time Mohamed was …, an operative for the CIA and FBI, and a member of the U.S. Army.
…Mohamed turned up in FBI surveillance photos as early as 1989, training radical Muslims who would go on to assassinate Jewish militant Meir Kahane and detonate a truck bomb at the World Trade Center. He not only avoided arrest, but managed to become an FBI informant while writing most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual and helping plan attacks on American troops in Somalia and U.S. embassies in Africa.
That Mohamed trained al Qaeda in hijacking planes and wrote most of the al Qaeda terrorist manual is confirmed in a new book by Lawrence Wright, who has seen US Government records.19 Let me say this again: one of al-Qaeda's top trainers in terrorism and how to hijack airplanes was an operative for FBI, CIA, and the Army.
Yet this TV show, just before the 9/11 anniversary, was itself another cover-up. It suppressed for example the information given it about Mohamed's detention and FBI-ordered release in Canada. According to Peter Lance, the principal author for the show, the show suppressed many other sensational facts. Here is Lance's chief claim: that Fitzgerald and his FBI counterpart on the Bin Laden task force, John Cloonan, learned shortly after 9/11 that Mohamed "knew every twist and turn of" the 9/11 plot.
Within days of 9/11 Cloonan rushed backed from Yemen and interviewed Ali, whom the Feds had allowed to slip into witness protection, and demanded to know the details of the plot. At that point Ali wrote it all out - including details of how he'd counseled would-be hijackers on how to smuggle box cutters on board aircraft and where to sit, to effect the airline seizures.
If all these latest revelations about Ali Mohamed are true, then:
1) a key planner of the 9/11 plot, and trainer in hijacking, was simultaneously an informant for the FBI.
2) This operative trained the members for all of the chief Islamist attacks inside the United States – the first WTC bombing, the New York landmarks plot, and finally 9/11, as well as the attacks against Americans in Somalia and Kenya.
3) And yet for four years Mohamed was allowed to move in and out of the country as an unindicted conspirator. Then, unlike his trainees, he was allowed to plea-bargain. To this day he may still not have been sentenced for any crime."
Last updated 13/05/2008