The following excerpts relate the story of their involvement in the plot and necessary background indicating state sponsorship of terrorism:
... A few days after arriving at JFK with Ajaj, Yousef made contact with Sheik Rahman's followers. He met up with two men who had trained at the rifle range on Long Island in 1989, Abouhalima and Salameh. [Ramzi] Yousef moved into a Jersey City apartment with Salameh.... Abdul Yasin, an American-born engineering student of Iraqi descent, and Nidal Ayyad, a Kuwaiti-born naturalized American citizen, who had studied chemical engineering and worked at ALLIED SIGNAL in Morristown, N.J. In addition to opening bank accounts with more than $16,000, the men began trying to order chemicals, with varying success. By early February, Yousef asked Eyad Ismoil, a childhood friend who lived in Dallas, to fly to New York to help, prosecutors claimed in the trial.
UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SECOND CIRCUIT
August Term, 1997
(Argued: December 18 & 19, 1997 Decided: August 04, 1998 )
Docket Nos. 94-1312, -1313, -1314, -1315
UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,
MOHAMMED A. SALAMEH, NIDAL AYYAD, MAHMOUD ABOUHALIMA, also known as Mahmoud Abu Halima, AHMAD MOHAMMAD AJAJ, also known as Khurram Khan, Defendants-Appellants, RAMZI AHMED YOUSEF, BILAL ALKAISI, also known as Bilal Elqisi, ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN, also known as Aboud, Defendants.
... Once in New York, Yousef assembled a team of trusted criminal associates, including Mohammed Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmoud Abouhalima and Abdul Rahman Yasin. Together, the conspirators implemented the bombing plot that Ajaj and Yousef had hatched overseas. Ayyad and Salameh opened a joint bank account into which they deposited funds to finance the bombing plot.
Some of that money was later used by Salameh to rent a storage shed in Jersey City, New Jersey, where the conspirators stored chemicals for making explosives. Yousef also drew on that account to pay for materials described in Ajaj's manuals as ingredients for bomb making.
The first target of the conspirators' plot was the World Trade Center. Ayyad used his position as an engineer at ALLIED SIGNAL, a large New Jersey chemical company, to order the necessary chemical ingredients for bomb making, and to order hydrogen tanks from ALG Welding Company that would enhance the bomb's destructive force. Abouhalima obtained "smokeless powder," which the conspirators used to make explosives. Smokeless powder, and all the other chemicals procured by the conspirators for the bomb, were stored in the shed rented by Salameh....
ALLIED SIGNAL IS A CIA FRONT. CAST: EDWIN PAULEY (see A. CONSTANTINE, Adnan Khashoggi LINKED TO 911 Terrorists, part II) WAS IN BUSINESS WITH G.H.W. BUSH.
SAM MOSHER IS SEEN TO BE IN CAHOOTS WITH EDWIN PAULEY.
By Linda Minor
18 April 2002, 10:44 am
The pilot who flew Ambassador Joseph Davies to Moscow was a Californian named Robert W. Prescott, who founded the Flying Tiger Line in 1945....
In November, 1944 Prescott had met with a group of Los Angeles businessmen in Acapulco, including one of [Edwin] Pauley's fellow UC Berkeley regents, Samuel B. Mosher, who wanted to establish an air freight line along the U.S. and Mexican west coast, to be called Aero-Azteca. The investors included Signal Oil Company [predecessor of Allied Signal]. They agreed to form a syndicate, with Mosher's group matching whatever Prescott could raise.
Prescott found 14 Navy surplus cargo aircraft from the War Assets Administration and collected cash from friends from the American Volunteer Pilots unit (AVP) who had flown with him in China. This group of American civilians who fought with Chiang Kai-Shek in China before the U.S. entered the war (all of whom received the same commendation Cloud and Banner award given to Pug Winokur's father during his war service) had an important role in the setting up what William Casey would later call an "off-the-shelf" method of financing covert operations for the CIA and other black operations not disclosed to Congress.
The airline was initially called National Skyways Freight Corporation and included General Claire Chennault and others. In 1946 Chennault invited the men to go back to China to work for him at Civil Air Transport, which he was in the process of founding. By 1970 Nixon's attorney Herbert Kalmbach claimed to be representing the Flying Tiger Line, which merged with Seaboard World Airlines in 1980 and into Federal Express in 1989. In the beginning the California airline transported mostly foodstuffs but in late 1946 was awarded its first military contract with Army Air Transport Command--two flights daily to Tokyo and to Honolulu for a total of 1.2 million miles per month. The flights were to leave from San Francisco Fairfield Air Base, but the company remained based at Lockheed in Burbank.
In Mosher's 1954 Who's Who listing his home address was given as 10401 Wilshire, located just west of the Los Angeles country club and one mile east of the office building David Murdock constructed across the street from the Occidental Petroleum Co. The close proximity is very intriguing, considering the fact that in 1966, the year George Bush left Zapata, Mosher's Signal Oil sold its European refining and marketing arms to Occidental, after Armand Hammer obtained a concession from Libya's King Idris, who would later be replaced by Quaddafi. Mosher's office address in 1954 was given as 811 W. 7th in Los Angeles. This is just over five miles from Pauley's Bandini office. AtlanticRichfield's 12-story office building in Los Angeles was at the corner of 6th and Flower, a mere two blocks from Mosher's location. In 1954 Mosher was also serving as vice president and director for American Independent Oil Co. (whose president was Ralph K. Davies), and as director of the Southwest Exploration Co. and the American
President Lines, as well as numerous oil and gas associations.
By Sara Fritz and Robert L. Jackson
Los Angeles Times
Officials still have not determined the precise amount of money transferred to the suspects or the identity of the benefactors. Furthermore, they said they believed that the total amounted to less than $100,000 -- a relatively small sum in comparison to the money a well-funded international terrorist group could afford to spend. And they acknowledged they had no proof the money was spent in connection with the bombing.
Nonetheless, as authorities followed the widening money trail, sources said they were more inclined to suport the view publicly expressed by FBI Assistant Director James Fox that the Feb. 26 bombing was "organized by a large, well-know terrorist group."
Although the money received by the suspects was wired from a bank in Germany, investigators said they suspect the funds actually originated elsewhere -- possibly Iran or Iraq. In Egypt, according to a knowledgeable source, followers of an Egyptian cleric whose New Jersey mosque has figured in the bombing case are known to be funded with Iranian money funneled through Sudan....
The money was wired to accounts at the National Westminister Bank branch in Jersey City, N.J., just a few blocks from the mosque where Omar's followers -- including at least two of the men arrested in the case -- worshipped.
The two principle suspects, Mohammed A. Salameh and Nidal A. Ayyad, held a joint account at the Jersey City bank that received some of the money from
Germany. In addition, money from the same foreign source also was placed in individual accounts belonging to the men.
On Wednesday, investigators underestimated how much money the suspects had received from abroad because they were only aware of only the single joint account at the time.
Even though the suspects received tens of thousands of dollars, each individual deposit was less than $10,000, sources said. Under federal law, American banks handling transactions of $10,000 or more must report them to the Treasury Department, often prompting money launderers and criminals to break large transfers into smaller amounts.
The transactions provide the first publicly available evidence that those responsible for the bombing may not have been hapless amateurs, as they have sometimes been portrayed...
Ayyad, who was arrested Wednesday, holds a college degree in chemical engineering and was employed as a research engineer at the AlliedSignal Corp. in Morristown, N.J. Authorities said Salameh telephone Ayyad at least four times at his office on the day before the bombing, apparently seeking advice on how to mix the chemicals.
Yousef's terrorist motivations were not those of a militant Muslim fundamentalist, according to Reeve, who describes him as an "evil genius." He seems to have been a playboy, a sadist and someone with a mammoth ego (which proved to be his undoing, as he could have hidden out in the tribal areas of Pakistan undiscovered by the authorities.) Reeve alleges that individuals within Pakistan's ISI may have provided him with the documents that enabled him to enter the United States....
Part Three: "Terrorism," Blowback and US Foreign Policy during the Clinton Years
... Information gleaned from Salameh's pockets, his residence, and the storage facility where the bomb had been prepared led to the arrests of Ahmad Ajaj, Palestinian chemist Nidal Ayyad and Mahmud Abouhalima. (The latter was extradited from Egypt where he had been viciously tortured because of his connections with militants who were attacking Egyptian installations.) Their trial began in September and on May 24, 1994 the four were convicted of conspiracy to commit terrorism and sentenced to 240 years in prison and sent to the top-security US penitentiary in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.
By JOSH MEYER and ERIC LICHTBLAU
Times Staff Writers
WASHINGTON -- A suspected bomber on President Bush's new list of "most wanted" terrorists was in the FBI's grasp eight years ago for allegedly playing a role in the first attack on the World Trade Center, but he was released and then allowed to leave the country, authorities acknowledged Thursday.
Abdul Rahman Yasin, 41, is one of the 22 accused terrorists identified by Bush on Wednesday as murderous extremists wanted by the U.S., whom authorities will aggressively pursue to bring to justice.
The FBI questioned Yasin at length soon after the February 1993 bomb blast at the trade center, which killed six people and injured 1,000. They asked about his sharing of apartments in Jersey City, N.J., with others who were later indicted and convicted in the bombing, and about how explosive chemicals got on one apartment's walls and may have caused a burn mark found on his thigh.
FBI agents also questioned Yasin about his association with Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, the man later convicted of masterminding the plot, according to law enforcement authorities and Stephen Somerstein, Yasin's lawyer.
A week after the bombing, on March 5, 1993, Yasin flew to Amman, Jordan, while other co-conspirators flew to Jordan, Saudia Arabia and Pakistan. He was indicted that August for his role in the bombing.
Officials at the Justice Department and the FBI declined comment.
Secrecy & Government Bulletin
... Examining the FEC filings of key members of the Congressional intelligence committees, one finds them littered with donations from intelligence contractors or their representatives such as the Lockheed Martin Employees Political Action Committee (PAC), the Allied-Signal PAC and, delightfully, the TRW Good Government Fund.
"The amounts of money thrust at members of Congress by such contractors are limited (by law), typically involving no more than a few thousand dollars. It is doubtful that such paltry sums could actually buy votes. What they can buy, however, is access to the policy and budget process, in which industry is heavily represented. Not only are contractor CEOs regularly called upon to testify before the intelligence committees (unlike, dare one say, public interest groups), but contractor lobbyists have essentially unfettered access to lobby for secret programs without fear of contradiction or outside criticism. ... "
The FEC database did not reveal any donations to Congress from advocates of improved public accountability or intelligence budget declassification. ...
Julian Borger in Washington, Brian Whitaker and Vikram Dodd
The Guardian, November 7, 2003
... According to the Knight-Ridder news agency, the Iraqis sought a direct route to the Washington hawks in February. They found a Lebanese-American businessman, IMAD ED-HAGE, who boasted he had a direct line to the Pentagon.
Mr Hage told yesterday's New York Times that he was initially approached by General Habbush's chief of foreign intelligence operations, who turned up in Mr Hage's Beirut office and promptly collapsed, apparently from stress.
When Mr Obeidi recovered, he urged Mr Hage to tell his Washington contacts Iraq was ready to talk about anything, including oil concessions, the Middle East peace process, and banned weapons. The Iraqi official said the "Americans could send 2,000 FBI agents to look wherever they wanted", according to Mr Hage.
A week later Mr Hage travelled to Baghdad and talked to Gen Habbush himself.
The general repeated the invitation to allow Americans to search for weapons and added an offer to hand over a suspected terrorist, ABDUL RAHMAN YASIN, who had been convicted in the US for the 1993 attack on the World Trade Centre. The regime would hold elections within two years, and the intelligence chief even offered to fly to London to discuss the issue in person.
Mr Hage relayed these offers via an intermediary to the Pentagon, but there was NO OFFICIAL RESPONSE. The Lebanese-American businessman persisted, and arranged a meeting with Mr Perle, a member of the Pentagon's advisory board.
It is understood that Mr Hage and Mr Perle met on March 7 in the lobby of the Marlborough hotel in Bloomsbury. They then went to an office nearby where over two hours Mr Hage outlined the Iraqi offer to Mr Perle...
A US intelligence source insisted that the decision not to negotiate came from the White House ... Mr Perle was travelling in Europe yesterday and unavailable for comment. However, he told the New York Times he had been TOLD BY THE CIA not to pursue contacts with the Iraqis....
IRAQ, IN A DESPERATE ATTEMPT TO MAKE PEACE WITH THE U.S. BEFORE THE INVASION, OFFERED ONCE AGAIN TO TURN YASIN OVER. THE OFFER WAS REBUFFED.
IRAQ CONTENDS THAT YASIN FLED TO THE NORTHERN PROVICE ... HOME OF THE CIA-BACKED KURDS, ARCH ENEMIES OF SADDAM HUSSEIN.
Sabri, in a 13-page letter to UN Secretary General Kofi Annan to rebut US Secretary of State Colin Powell's presentation to the Security Council earlier this month, also said Baghdad is offering to hand over to Washington Abdul-Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing who is on the FBI's most-wanted list. Sabri's letter, which was posted on the Iraqi Foreign Ministry's web site Thursday, denied any link between Iraq and Zarqawi or Ansar, saying both operated in NOTHERN IRAQI areas under the control of Kurdish groups allied to Washington and beyond Baghdad's reach.