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Ali Abdul Saoud Mohamed, (Ali Abdelsoud Mohammed) also known as Ali Mohammed (علي محمد) (born June 3, 1952) (sometimes called "al-Amriki", the American) is a militant who fits the profile of a double agent, according to Larry Johnson (former deputy chief of counter-terrorism at the US State Department).[1] Mohamed worked for the CIA, and US special forces, at different times during the 1980s and 1990s. In the same period, he also co-operated with Egyptian Islamic Jihad and al-Qaeda. In the 1980s Mohamed trained anti-Soviet fighters en route to Afghanistan. FBI special agent Jack Cloonan called him "bin Laden's first trainer".[2] Mohamed was charged with the August 7, 1998 bombings of the United States' embassies in Nairobi, Kenya and in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. In October 2000, he pleaded guilty to five counts of conspiracy to kill nationals of the United States and officers or employees of the U.S. government on account of their official duties, to murder and kidnap, and to destroy U.S. property.

Mohamed has been described as "Six-foot one, 200 pounds, and exceptionally fit, ... a martial artist and skilled linguist who spoke fluent English, French, and Hebrew in addition to his native Arabic. He was disciplined, clever, and gregarious, with a marked facility for making friends."[3]

Mohamed was a major in the Egyptian army's military intelligence unit, until being discharged for suspected fundamentalism in 1984. A member of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad (EIJ), he is reported to have been given the task of penetrating American intelligence by EIJ leader Ayman Zawahiri. He was not successful in that but did succeed in enlisting in the U.S. Army and using U.S. military information to train al-Qaeda and other Muslim militants, and write al-Qaeda's multivolume terrorist training guide. [3]

Contents

In the United States

In 1984 Mohamed offered his services to the CIA in Cairo station and was stationed in Hamburg Germany. There he "entered a mosque associated with Hezbollah and immediately told the Iranian cleric in charge that he was an American spy assigned to infiltrate the community." The mosque had already been penetrated and his announcement was passed on to the CIA, which, according to Lawrence Wright, "terminated Mohamed" and "sent out cables labeling him highly untrustworthy." By this "time, however, Mohamed was already in California on a visa-waiver program that was sponsored by the agency itself, one designed to shield valuable assets or those who have performed important services for the country." [3]

In America he married an American woman from Santa Clara, California after a 6 week courtship and became a U.S. citizen.[4] He enlisted in the U.S. Army and managed to get stationed at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center and School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina until 1989.[1] "His awed superiors found him 'beyond reproach' and 'consistently accomplished'." [3]

According to Cooperative Research, Mohamed was a Drill sergeant at Fort Bragg, and was hired to teach courses on Arabic culture at the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center.

In 1988 Mohamed informed his superior officers in the U.S. Army that he was taking some leave time to fight Soviets in Afghanistan. "A month later, he returned, boasting that he had killed two Soviet soldiers and giving away as souvenirs what he claimed were their uniform belts."

Mohamed's commanding officer, Lt. Col. Robert Anderson, said he wrote detailed reports aimed at getting Army intelligence to investigate Mohamed — and have him court-martialed — but the reports were ignored.

"I think you or I would have a better chance of winning Powerball, than an Egyptian major in the unit that assassinated Sadat would have getting a visa, getting to California ... getting into the Army and getting assigned to a Special Forces unit," he said. "That just doesn't happen."

It was equally unthinkable that an ordinary American GI would go unpunished after fighting in a foreign war, he said.

Anderson said all this convinced him that Mohamed was "sponsored" by a U.S. intelligence service. "I assumed the CIA," he said.[5]

Mohamed also took maps and training manuals off base to downsize and copy at Kinko's and used them to write al-Qaeda's multivolume terrorist training guide that became playbook.[3]

Mohamed also conducted clandestine military and demolition training through the Al Kifah Refugee Center. While in the United States, he helped train a number of jihadis, like El Sayyid Nosair and Mahmud Abouhalima, who assisted Ramzi Yousef in his 1993 attack on the World Trade Center.[6]

In the early 1990s Mohamed returned to Afghanistan, where "he trained the first al-Qaeda volunteers in techniques of unconventional warfare including kidnappings, assassinations, and hijacking planes, which he had learned from the American Special Forces." According to FBI special agent Jack Cloonan, in one of Mohamed's first classes were Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawahiri, and other al-Qaeda leaders.[2][7]

In 1993 Mohamed also traveled to Africa to survey embassies in Africa such as the Nairobi, (Kenya) embassy which Al-Qaeda later bombed.[8] He became an FBI informant.

In 1994, al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Atef refused to allow Mohamed to know which name and passport he would be traveling under, expressing concerns that Mohamed could be working with the American authorities.[9]

Arrest

While he was subpoenaed in Rahman's trial, Ali Mohamed was not arrested until years later — on 10 September 1998, when he attempted to flee to Egypt after being subpoenaed in the aftermath of the embassy bombings in Nairobi and Tanzania. After eight months of imprisonment, Ali Mohamed entered a guilty plea in May 1999. What happened after that is unclear. The trial proceeded, but there is no record of any sentencing or even a conviction. As late as February 20, 2002, CBS News reported that "Mohammad pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing."[2] There has been no further news of his specific whereabouts or sentencing but he is currently in federal custody at an unspecified location. However, the Federal Department of Prisons Inmate Locater does not show an Ali Mohamed/Mohammed/Mohamad/Muhamed/Muhammed/Muhammad or other variation currently incarcerated.[10]

Patrick Briley, an American op-ed journalist writing for NewsWithViews.com, has reported that Ali Mohamed was given an early release from prison by direct order from the Bush Administration's DOJ, specifically USAG Alberto Gonzales.[11]

Speculated cooperation with US Intelligence

In October 2001, the Raleigh News & Observer noted that Ali Mohamed may be cooperating with the US government. "Defense lawyers and many other observers believe that Mohamed, who has not yet been sentenced, is now cooperating with the United States, though the government has never confirmed this. When he is sentenced he could receive as little as 25 years under his plea agreement."[12]

Further news sources in 2001 seem to suggest that Ali Mohamed is providing information on Bin Laden and al-Qaeda in an attempt to reduce his sentence[13], and that his sentencing "has been postponed indefinitely."[14] In 2006, Mohamed's wife, Linda Sanchez, was reported in 2006 as saying, "He's still not sentenced yet, and without him being sentenced I really can't say much. He can't talk to anybody. Nobody can get to him. They have Ali pretty secretive...it's like he just kinda vanished into thin air."[15]

See also

References

  1. ^ Ton Hays and Sharon Theimer, "Egyptian agent worked with Green Berets, bin Laden", Jerusalem Post, December 31, 2001 (copy). Archived 2009-10-25.
  2. ^ a b Interview with FBI special agent Jack Cloonan, Frontline, PBS, October 18, 2005.
  3. ^ a b c d e Wright, Lawrence (2006). Looming Tower. p. 180. ISBN 1400030846.  
  4. ^ Bin Laden's man in Silicon Valley
  5. ^ Lance Williams and Erik McCormick, "Al Qaeda terrorist worked with FBI ...", San Francisco Chronicle, November 4, 2001.
  6. ^ Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon. "The Age of Sacred Terror", 2002
  7. ^ Wright, Lawrence (2006). Looming Tower. p. 181. ISBN 1400030846.  
  8. ^ 9/11 Commission Report, chapter 2, p.68 (HTML version)
  9. ^ Sullivan, John. Raleigh News and Observer, "Al-Qaeda Terrorist Duped FBI, Army", October 21, 2001
  10. ^ Federal Bureau of Prisons - Inmate Locator
  11. ^ US PROVOCATEUR FOR AL-QAEDA FREED FOR NEW TERROR MISSION?
  12. ^ Raleigh News & Observer 10/21/2001
  13. ^ San Francisco Chronicle 9/21/2001
  14. ^ Associated Press 12/31/2001
  15. ^ Peter Lance, Triple Cross, Harper Collins 2006
  1. ^ Complete 911 Timeline, Cooperative Research
  2. ^ "By The Book", 60 Minutes II, CBS News, February 20, 2002

Bibliography








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