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January 1-April 1995: Four Month Truce in Bosnia War Edit

Former US president Jimmy Carter brokers a truce between Bosnian Serbs and Muslims. The truce is set to last four months and does, but then fighting resumes and intensifies. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 12/6/1995; TIME, 12/31/1995] Entity Tags: James Earl “Jimmy” Carter, Jr. Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

1995-April 21, 2000: London-Based Informer Witnesses Illegal Financial Activities at Extremist Mosque, No Action Taken Reda Hassaine, an informer for the Algerian (see Early 1995), French (see Early 1997), and British (see (November 11, 1998)) security services in London, witnesses a “multitude of illegal activities” at the radical Finsbury Park mosque. However, at this time the British authorities take no action against the mosque, which is run by Abu Hamza al-Masri, himself an informer for British intelligence (see Early 1997). Skimming, Credit Cards - Hassaine will later say of illegal activities at the mosque: “It was going on all around you in the evenings and the afternoons. People were selling passports, stolen credit cards, and cloned credit cards. There were black boxes of the kind they used for skimming the numbers. They would recruit people who were working in petrol stations, hotels, restaurants, and give them the black boxes to collect the details from customers’ cards. Then they would use these cloned cards to buy trainers [running shoes], Levi’s 501s, [and] designer clothes which would be sold inside the mosque for cash.… If you wanted, you could buy a credit card for your own use, but it was always a gamble.… even if they were caught they were usually carrying a false identity. The police were never too bothered.” Identity Fraud - The identity documents on sale were key: “The passport was useful because they could use it as proof of identity and then they could set up electricity, gas, or telephone accounts using a temporary address. British Telecom bills were the most useful. Then they would have proof of identity and proof of address, all that was needed to open a bank account. Using several identities they would open several bank accounts, manage them carefully for six months, keep maybe £1,000 in there, and the bank would offer them a credit card. So they would take the legitimate credit card and use it carefully for six months and the bank would offer them a loan. That’s when they strike.… [The banks] must have lost millions to people who were operating scams like that out of Finsbury Park.” Benefit Fraud - Hassaine will add: “Those same people were all claiming income support and sub-letting rooms for which they were receiving housing benefit while living for free in the mosque itself. They had also lodged asylum claims; there were guys who set themselves up as translators and would sit in the mosque coaching people in stories of how they had been persecuted in Algeria or faced torture if they returned home. Once they got their story right they would be taken along to a friendly solicitor who would take on their asylum claim.” 'One Foot in the Mafia' - However: “And don’t believe for one minute that all this money went to the jihad. There are men who were into all these rackets at the mosque during the 1990s, who claimed to be mujaheddin but are now living happily back in Algiers in big houses and driving around in brand new Mercedes cars. The truth is that a lot of them had one foot in the mujaheddin and one foot in the mafia.” Abu Hamza Confessed to Intelligence Handlers - Abu Hamza is never questioned about the the illegal activities, even after some of the people directly involved in it are later jailed. Authors Sean O’Neill and Daniel McGrory will comment, “The British authorities were clearly aware that he was involved in fundraising for terrorism—not least because he confessed it to his contacts in the intelligence services.” [O'NEILL AND MCGRORY, 2006, PP. 71-73, 290] Britain a Fundraising Base - O’Neill and McGrory will also later highlight the importance of the funds raised in Britain for the global Islamist struggle (see March 2000-September 22, 2001): “The mujaheddin groups and terrorist cells around the world that allied themselves to the al-Qaeda ideology were largely autonomous and self-financing. Britain was a key source of that finance.” Entity Tags: Abu Hamza al-Masri, Reda Hassaine, Finsbury Park Mosque Category Tags: Abu Hamza Al-Masri, Reda Hassaine, Terrorism Financing, Londonistan - UK Counterterrorism

January 3, 1995: Philippine Authorities on Red Alert after Bojinka Tip-off; Many Conspirators Involved Two businessmen inform Philippine police that they heard explosions and saw Middle Eastern men engaged in what appeared to be military-type training on a remote beach two hours from Manila. Police quickly investigate and discover a partially burned Bible and pamphlets preaching a radical version of Islam. As a result, police go on red alert and several days later will foil the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995). An investigation conducted the following month will conclude that there were 20 people taking part in military-styled training on the beach from the last week of December until January 2. Fifteen of them were foreign nationals, from Egypt, Palestine, and Pakistan. [VITUG AND GLORIA, 2000, PP. 222-223; RESSA, 2003, PP. 33] Ramzi Yousef is likely elsewhere at the time, but a beach house at this training location was rented by him. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 86] Despite the suggestion that large numbers of people are involved in the Bojinka plot, the US will apparently lose interest in the case after detaining just three of the plotters. Later in 1995, the Philippine government will arrest several dozen suspected foreign terrorists and then let them go (see April 1, 1995-Early 1996). [VITUG AND GLORIA, 2000, PP. 222-223; RESSA, 2003, PP. 33] Entity Tags: Philippine National Police, Operation Bojinka, Ramzi Yousef Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot

January 5, 1995: US Decides to Deport Bin Laden’s Brother-in-Law The US decides to deport Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, who was arrested in the US in mid-December 1994 (see December 16, 1994-May 1995). Khalifa was sentenced to death in Jordan later in December and the Jordanian government wants the US to deport him to face retrial, even though Jordan does not have an extradition treaty with the US. On this day, Secretary of State William Christopher writes a letter to Attorney General Janet Reno: “Jordan is aware of Mr. Khalifa’s presence in the United States and has asked for our assistance in sending him to Jordan so that he may be brought to justice. To permit Mr. Khalifa to remain in the United States in these circumstances would potentially be seen as an affront to Jordan and at odd with many of the basic elements of our cooperative bilateral relationship [and] potentially undermine our longstanding and successful policy of international legal cooperation to bring about the prosecution of terrorists.” The next day, Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick, acting for an absent Janet Reno, sends a letter supporting the deportation request. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 160-161] Gorelick will later be named one of the ten 9/11 Commissioners. The 9/11 Commission will not discuss the decision to deport Khalifa at all. Victim’s relative Monica Gabrielle will later note, “Gorelick was one of those who wanted [the 9/11 Commission] to concentrate only on the last few years.” [LANCE, 2006, PP. 169] In April 1995, Khalifa’s conviction will be overturned in Jordan after a key witness recants, making it highly probable Khalifa will be found innocent if deported there (see Early April 1995). But the US will go ahead with the deportation anyway, and Khalifa will be found innocent and set free (see April 26-May 3, 1995). Entity Tags: Warren Christopher, Jamie Gorelick, Janet Reno, Jordan, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa

Before January 6, 1995: Bojinka Plotters under Surveillance, But Most Will Evade Arrest

The Josefa apartment, where the fire that foiled the Bojinka plot took place. [Source: CBC] It has widely been reported that the Bojinka plot was stopped by pure accident, days before plots to kill the Pope and thousands of airline passengers were to go forward (see January 6, 1995). Philippine policewoman Aida Fariscal is said to have made the first arrest by responding to a routine report of a fire in the Manila apartment where some of the plotters were staying. She chases Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad down the street and arrests him when he trips on a tree stump. [WASHINGTON POST, 12/30/2001] However, shortly after 9/11, the Philippine press will report that while the initial arrest may have been coincidental, Philippine intelligence was already monitoring Ramzi Yousef and the apartment where the fire took place. Rolando San Juan was reportedly an undercover agent monitoring Yousef and his apartment mate Murad. He was passing what he learned to his brother Erick San Juan, a special intelligence. One article concludes, “The role of the San Juan brothers is not known publicly and it is time the Philippine and US governments give them due credit for the unmasking of the activities of Murad and Yousef leading to their capture.” [FILIPINO REPORTER, 10/11/2001] In 2002, the Los Angeles Times will discount the widely reported accidental fire story and say, “The truth about that night and the fire, officials say now, is a bit more complicated.… Government officials now say police, worried about the pope’s imminent arrival, started the fire that set off the alarm at the Josefa. When it sounded, the occupants ran out, the cops walked in and looked around. They then left and hunted down a search warrant.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] It will also be later revealed that an undercover operative named Edwin Angeles actually worked with Yousef on the Bojinka plot while reporting to the Philippine government (see Late 1994-January 1995)), and other key Bojinka plotters such as Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law, and Tariq Javid Rana were under intensive surveillance before the fire as well (see December 1, 1994 and December 1994-April 1995). It is not known what US intelligence may have been told about this surveillance, if anything. Despite all this surveillance, all the Bojinka plotters except Murad manage to escape, although many, such as Yousef, are arrested later (see February 7, 1995). Entity Tags: Tariq Javed Rana, Rolando San Juan, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Operation Bojinka, Edwin Angeles, Aida Fariscal, Erick San Juan, Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot, Remote Surveillance, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

January 6, 1995: Pope Assassination and Bojinka Plot to Bomb Dozen Airplanes Is Foiled

One of Ramzi Yousef’s timers seized by Philippines police in January 1995. [Source: Peter Lance] Responding to an apartment fire, Philippine investigators uncover an al-Qaeda plot to assassinate the Pope that is scheduled to take place when he visits the Philippines one week later. While investigating that scheme, they also uncover Operation Bojinka, planned by the same people: 1993 WTC bomber Ramzi Yousef and 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). [INDEPENDENT, 6/6/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 6/24/2002; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Many initial reports after 9/11 will claim the fire was accidental and the police discovery of it was a lucky break, but in 2002 the Los Angeles Times will report that the police started the fire on purpose as an excuse to look around the apartment. In the course of investigating the fire, one of the main plotters, Abdul Hakim Murad, is arrested. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] The plot has two main components. On January 12, Pope John Paul II is scheduled to visit Manila and stay for five days. A series of bombs along his parade route would be detonated by remote control, killing thousands, including the Pope. Yousef’s apartment is only 500 feet from the residence where the Pope will be staying. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 78; LANCE, 2006, PP. 138] Then, starting January 21, a series of bombs would be placed on airplanes. [INSIGHT, 5/27/2002] Five men, Yousef, Wali Khan Amin Shah, Abdul Hakim Murad, Abd al-Karim Yousef (a.k.a., Adel Anon, Yousef’s twin brother), and Khalid Al-Shaikh (thought to be an alias for KSM) would depart to different Asian cities and place a timed bomb on board during the first leg of passenger planes traveling to Los Angeles, San Francisco, Honolulu, and New York. They would then transfer to another flight and place a second bomb on board that flight. In all, 11 to 12 planes would blow up in a two day period over the Pacific. If successful, some 4,000 people would have been killed. [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 12/8/2001; INSIGHT, 5/27/2002; CONTEMPORARY SOUTHEAST ASIA, 12/1/2002] According to another account, some of the bombs would be timed to go off weeks or even months later. Presumably worldwide air travel could be interrupted for months. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 260-61] A second wave of attacks involving crashing airplanes into buildings in the US would go forward later, once the pilots are trained for it (see February-Early May 1995). Entity Tags: Abd al-Karim Yousef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, Wali Khan Amin Shah, Operation Bojinka, Al-Qaeda, Abdul Hakim Murad Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Key Warnings, Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, Philippine Militant Collusion, Alleged Al-Qaeda Linked Attacks, Key Captures and Deaths, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

After January 6, 1995: Bojinka Plotter Allegedly Tortured by Philippine Police Following his arrest after the Bojinka plot was shut down by Philippine police (see January 6, 1995), Abdul Hakim Murad is allegedly tortured. He is reportedly subjected to sleep and food deprivation in the first few hours, and his lawyer will also claim that he is subjected to electric shocks, force-fed, and waterboarded. However, according to author Peter Lance, “these techniques only cause[…] Murad to stonewall.” The interrogation is then turned over to Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza of the Philippine police, who elicits information from Murad using two methods: First, Mendoza ensures that he is extremely hungry when the first interrogation starts, and takes a McDonald’s hamburger, French fries, and a Coke into the interrogation room, placing them in front of Murad. Mendoza says that he must give him some additional information before he can eat. Secondly, Mendoza threatens him by saying that he could be handed over to the Mossad, and claims that fellow Bojinka conspirator Wali Khan Amin Shah is already in their hands (note: this is not true, Shah is on the run—see Shortly After January 11, 1995). These techniques are much more successful and Murad provides a good deal of additional information (see January 20, 1995, February 1995-1996, and February-Early May 1995). [LANCE, 2006, PP. 181-3] Entity Tags: Abdul Hakim Murad, Rodolfo Mendoza, Peter Lance Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot

January 7-11, 1995: ’Intelligence Gold Mine’ Only Leads to Two More Arrests

Bomb making materials found in Yousef’s Manila apartment. [Source: CNN] After a late night raid of the Manila, Philippines, apartment central to the Bojinka plot (see January 6, 1995), investigators find what the Los Angeles Times calls “an intelligence gold mine.” [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] Very quickly, a team of US intelligence agents joins Philippine investigators to sort through the evidence, which fills three police vans. Investigators are able to match fingerprints in the apartment with fingerprints on record for Ramzi Yousef, already believed to be the mastermind behind the 1993 World Trade Center bombing (see February 26, 1993). There are priests’ robes, pipe bombs, a dozen passports, chemicals, maps of the Pope’s planned route through Manila, and more. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001; LOS ANGELES TIMES, 9/1/2002] “The most damning information was gleaned from Yousef’s notebook computer, and four accompanying diskettes.” The data is encrypted and in Arabic, but technicians are quickly able to decipher and translate it. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001] Computer data includes “the names of dozens of associates, and photos of some; a record of five-star hotels; and dealings with a trading corporation in London, a meat market owner in Malaysia, and an Islamic center in Tucson, Ariz.… They describe how money moved through an Abu Dhabi banking firm.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001] Photographs of all five operatives who would place bombs on airplanes are recovered from a deleted computer file. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 5/28/1995] Wali Khan Amin Shah is identified from one of these five photos, plus a list of cell phone numbers found on the hard drive. He is traced to another Manila apartment and arrested on January 11. Under interrogation, Shah, who soon escapes from custody in unexplained circumstances (see Shortly After January 11, 1995), confesses that most of the funds for the Bojinka plot were channeled to Yousef through a bank account belonging to Ahmad al-Hamwi, a Syrian working at the International Relations and Information Center (IRIC), a charity front run by Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, bin Laden’s brother-in-law. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001] But despite these leads, Ramzi Yousef is the only other person successfully arrests based on all this data (and Yousef’s arrest will largely be due to an informant responding to an existing tip off program (see February 7, 1995)). The Philippine government will arrest other Bojinka plotters later in the year, including another one of the five operatives assigned to place bombs on the planes, but they will all be released (see April 1, 1995-Early 1996). Al-Hamwi is never arrested, while Khalifa is actually in US custody at the time of the Bojinka raid but is soon let go (see April 26-May 3, 1995). The IRIC will be closed down, but its operations are immediately taken over by another close associate of Khalifa (see 1995 and After). Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Operation Bojinka, Ahmad al-Hamwi, International Relations and Information Center, Abdul Hakim Murad, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Wali Khan Amin Shah Category Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ramzi Yousef, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Key Captures and Deaths

Shortly After January 7, 1995: Bojinka Plotters Threaten to Attack Inside the US As the Bojinka plot is foiled (see January 6, 1995), a document found on Ramzi Yousef’s computer spells out the Bojinka plotters’ broad objectives. “All people who support the US government are our targets in our future plans and that is because all those people are responsible for their government’s actions and they support the US foreign policy and are satisfied with it.… We will hit all US nuclear targets. If the US government keeps supporting Israel, then we will continue to carry out operations inside and outside the United States to include…” At this point, the document comes to a halt in mid-sentence. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001] Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, much more than Ramzi Yousef, is the mastermind of the Bojinka plot. He will continue to work on the plot until it eventually morphs into the 9/11 attack. [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 6/25/2002] Philippine Gen. Renado De Villa will later state, “They didn’t give up the objective.” Captured Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad “clearly indicated it was a large-scale operation. They were targeting the US. And they had a worldwide network. It was very clear they continued to work on that plan until someone gave the signal to go.” [WASHINGTON POST, 9/23/2001] Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Renado De Villa Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef

Shortly After January 11, 1995: Illegally Held Bojinka Conspirator Somehow Escapes from Philippine Jail Shortly after his detention, Wali Khan Amin Shah, a conspirator in the Bojinka plot that was recently broken up by Philippine police (see January 6, 1995), escapes from the prison where he is being held. The circumstances of the escape are not known in detail. Based on interviews with counterterrorism officials, the New York Times will only write that Shah “somehow escaped from jail.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/13/1995] Shah was one of only two conspirators seized around this time (see January 7-11, 1995), and was being held illegally. At the Bojinka trial in New York in 1996, a Philippine police official will admit that Shah was detained without having been properly arrested, advised of his rights, or arraigned before a judge, all of which is required by Philippine law. The official, Alex Paul Monteagudo, will also admit that a search of Shah’s apartment was conducted without a warrant and the items seized there were not subjected to forensic analysis. [NEW YORK TIMES, 8/1/1996] Entity Tags: Wali Khan Amin Shah, Alex Paul Monteagudo Category Tags: 1995 Bojinka Plot

January 13,1995: Algerian Government Responds to Peace Overtures by Plotting False Flag Attacks in France

The Islamic Salvation Front (FIS) logo. [Source: Public domain] The Italian government hosts a meeting in Rome of Algerian political parties, including the Islamic Salvation Front (FIS), whose probable election win was halted by an army coup in 1992 (see January 11, 1992). Eight political parties representing 80 percent of the vote in the last multi-party election agree on a common platform brokered by the Catholic community of Sant’Egidio, Italy, known as the Sant’Egidio Platform. The militant Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) is the only significant opposition force not to participate in the agreement. The parties agree to a national conference that would precede new multi-party elections. They call for an inquiry into the violence in Algeria, a return to constitutional rule, and the end of the army’s involvement in politics. The Independent notes the agreement “[does] much to bridge the enmity between religious and lay parties and, most significantly, pushe[s] the FIS for the first time into an unequivocal declaration of democratic values.” French President Francois Mitterrand soon proposes a European Union peace initiative to end the fighting in Algeria, but the Algerian government responds by recalling its ambassador to France. [INDEPENDENT, 2/5/1995] The Washington Post notes that the agreement “demonstrate[s] a growing alliance between the Islamic militants [such as the GIA], waging a deadly underground war with government security forces, and the National Liberation Front,” Algeria’s ruling party, as both are opposed to peace with the FIS and other opposition parties. [WASHINGTON POST, 1/14/1995] The Guardian will later report that these peace overtures “left [Algeria’s] generals in an untenable position. In their desperation, and with the help of the DRS [Algeria’s intelligence agency], they hatched a plot to prevent French politicians from ever again withdrawing support for the military junta.” The GIA is heavily infilrated by Algerian government moles at this time and even the GIA’s top leader, Djamel Zitouni, is apparently working for Algerian intelligence (see October 27, 1994-July 16, 1996). Some GIA moles are turned into agent provocateurs. GIA leader Ali Touchent, who the Guardian will say is one of the Algerian moles, begins planning attacks in France in order to turn French public opinion against the Algerian opposition and in favor of the ruling Algerian government (see July-October 1995). The GIA also plots against some of the FIS’s leaders living in Europe. [GUARDIAN, 9/8/2005] Entity Tags: National Liberation Front, Islamic Salvation Front, Algerian army, Groupe Islamique Armé, Département du Renseignement et de la Sécurité, Francois Mitterrand, Ali Touchent Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Algerian Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants

Mid-January 1995: Bojinka Plotter’s Confession Helps to Reveal KSM’s Importance One of the Bojinka plotters, Abdul Hakim Murad, confesses the importance of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) in a number of plots. Murad was arrested on January 6, 1995 (see January 6, 1995), and within days he begins freely confessing a wealth of valuable information to Philippine interrogator Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza. Murad does not know KSM’s real name, but uses an alias known to investigators. Mendoza will write in a January 1995 report given to US officials that KSM was one of the main Bojinka plotters attempting to blow up US-bound airliners over the Pacific Ocean. In addition, he says KSM worked with Ramzi Yousef to “plan the bombing of the World Trade Center in 1993” (see February 26, 1993). He also says that KSM “supervised the plan to assassinate Pope John Paul II with a pipe bomb during a visit to the Philippines,” which was part of the Bojinka plot. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. XXVII] Over the next few months, Murad will give up more information about KSM in further interrogation, for instance revealing that KSM has been in the US and is planning to come back to the US for flight training (see April-May 1995). Yet despite all these revelations, US intelligence will remain curiously uninterested in KSM despite knowing that he is also Yousef’s uncle. Counterterrorism expert Rohan Gunaratna will later comment that Murad’s confessions about KSM “were not taken seriously” by US intelligence. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. XXVII] Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Abdul Hakim Murad, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Rodolfo Mendoza, Pope John Paul II, Rohan Gunaratna Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, 1995 Bojinka Plot

January 20, 1995: First Hints of Bojinka Second Wave Revealed

Abdul Hakim Murad. [Source: Justice Department] Philippine and US investigators learn that Ramzi Yousef, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, and their fellow plotters were actually planning three different attacks when they were foiled in early January. In addition to the planned assassination of the Pope, and the first phase of Operation Bojinka previously discovered, they also planned to crash about a dozen passenger planes into prominent US buildings. It is often mistakenly believed that there is one Bojinka plan to blow up some planes and crash others into buildings, but in fact these different forms of attack are to take place in two separate phases. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 259] Philippine investigator Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza learns about this second phase through the examination of recently captured Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad. On January 20, Mendoza writes a memo about Murad’s latest confession, saying, “With regards to their plan to dive-crash a commercial aircraft at the CIA headquarters, subject alleged that the idea of doing same came out during his casual conversation with [Yousef ] and there is no specific plan yet for its execution. What the subject [has] in his mind is that he will board any American commercial aircraft pretending to be an ordinary passenger. Then he will hijack said aircraft, control its cockpit, and dive it at the CIA headquarters. He will use no bomb or explosives. It is simply a suicidal mission that he is very much willing to execute.” [INSIGHT, 5/27/2002; LANCE, 2003, PP. 277-78] Entity Tags: Abdul Hakim Murad, Operation Bojinka, Rodolfo Mendoza, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef

January 24, 1995: Clinton Tries to Stop Terrorist Funding with Executive Order President Clinton issues Executive Order No. 12947, making it a felony to raise or transfer funds to designated terrorist groups or their front organizations. [US PRESIDENT, 1/24/1995 ; CLARKE, 2004, PP. 98] Entity Tags: William Jefferson (“Bill”) Clinton Category Tags: Terrorism Financing, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

January 30, 1995 and Before: French Informer Smuggles Explosives to North Africa before Bombing Omar Nasiri, an operative of the Algerian Groupe Islamique Armé (GIA) and informer for French intelligence, smuggles explosives into North Africa before a massacre by the GIA in Algeria. Nasiri takes the explosives hidden in a car for a GIA cell in Belgium, for which he works as an ammunition and weapons purchaser (see Mid 1994-March 2, 1995). Nasiri tells his contact at the Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure (DGSE) about the trip beforehand, but refuses to provide the French with updates about his progress while on route to Tangiers, Morocco, where he passes the car and explosives on to another operative. A short while after this, there is a car bombing in Algiers, in neighboring Algeria, killing over 40 people. Nasiri later comments: “I don’t know if the explosives I carried were used in that blast. I will never know. The GIA had lots of suppliers, of course. And yet I kept thinking about the urgency of the trip. The way [an operative] yelled at me, and the frustration in [another operative]‘s voice when I threatened to keep the car. The speed with which the mechanic replaced the engine in Brussels. Was everything timed for this attack? I will never know the truth, but the question still haunts me.” [NASIRI, 2006, PP. 63-81] Entity Tags: Omar Nasiri, Groupe Islamique Armé, Direction Générale de la Sécurité Extérieure Category Tags: Algerian Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants

January 31-February 2, 1995: Ramzi Yousef Attempts to Blow Up Airliners over US with Help of Qatari Diplomat Ramzi Yousef attempts to bomb two US airliners over the US. On January 31, 1995, Yousef flies from Pakistan to Thailand, despite an international manhunt, and meets his associate Istaique Parker there. Yousef has Parker check two suitcases filled with bombs and put one on a Delta Airlines flight and another on a United Airlines flight. Both are timed to blow up over populated areas of the US. Parker spends much of the day at the airport, but is too scared to approach the airlines with the suitcases. Finally he returns to Yousef at a hotel and lies that the airline cargo sections were asking for passports and fingerprints so he could not go through with it. Yousef comes up with another plan. He calls a friend in Qatar who is willing to take the suitcases to London and then fly them to the US where they will explode and destroy the plane. The name of this friend has not been revealed but his father is said to be a very senior politician and leading member of the establishment in Qatar. Yousef plans to use the friend’s diplomatic immunity to make sure the suitcases are not checked. (At this time, Yousef’s uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is living in Qatar as the guest of a Qatari cabinet official (see 1992-1996).) However, a problem develops and the plot cannot be carried out. On February 2, Yousef and Parker return to Pakistan. Parker turns Yousef in for reward money a few days later. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 98-100] Entity Tags: Istaique Parker, Ramzi Yousef Category Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Other Government-Militant Collusion

February 1995: Secret Coconspirator List Proves US Knowledge of Ali Mohamed’s Al-Qaeda Criminal Activity

Sections of the unindicted co-consiprator list for the “Landmarks” plot trial. Osama bin Laden is 95 and Ali Mohamed is 109. [Source: National Geographic] In February 1995, the US government files a confidential court document listing bin Laden and scores of other people as possible co-conspirators in the 1993 New York City “Landmarks” plot (see June 24, 1993). Ali Mohamed’s name is on the list, confirming that investigators are aware of his involvement in al-Qaeda operations. Yet he continues to live openly in California. Mohamed obtains the document, though it is not clear how he obtained it. [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004; 9/11 COMMISSION, 7/24/2004, PP. 472] US prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald will later state that when Mohamed’s California residence is finally searched in 1998 (see August 24, 1998), investigators discover “a sensitive sealed document from the trial of Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman with notations indicating that [he sent it] to the head of the Kenyan al-Qaeda cell for delivery to bin Laden. I shudder to think of the people who may read this statement and where it may be found some day.” [9/11 COMMISSION, 6/16/2004] A later government indictment will say that Mohamed sent the list to Wadih El-Hage in Kenya who was told to hand deliver it to bin Laden in Afghanistan. [WASHINGTON POST, 8/1/1999] If that is not enough to prove Mohamed’s duplicity, when El-Sayyid Nosair is defended in this trial, Nosair’s lawyers will expose more evidence about Mohamed. They argue that Nosair’s activities were part of a US-sponsored covert operation to train and arm the mujaheddin. They argue that Mohamed was the key link in this operation, and present evidence and witnesses showing how Mohamed trained the bomb plotters in 1989 (see July 1989). They mention the classified military manuals that Mohamed stole and gave the group (see November 5, 1990). Mohamed’s name and role in these activities come out publicly during the trial, and the Washington Post reports in 1998 that after hearing this testimony,“the FBI began to focus on Mohamed as a potential terrorism suspect.” Yet both US intelligence and al-Qaeda apparently continue to work with him. [NEW YORK TIMES, 10/30/1998; NEW YORK TIMES, 10/31/1998] Entity Tags: Wadih El-Hage, Patrick Fitzgerald, Osama bin Laden, United States, Ali Mohamed, Omar Abdul-Rahman Category Tags: Ali Mohamed, Wadih El-Hage, 1998 US Embassy Bombings

February 1995: Hamas Operative Given Terrorist Status The US officially designates Hamas operative Mohammad Salah a “Specially Designated Terrorist.” Wright had begun investigating Salah in early 1993 based on Salah’s widely publicized confession (see January 1993). Wright will later claim that he was ready to begin a criminal investigation in 1995, but he was not allowed to do so. Salah, who is serving a five year prison sentence in Israel at this time, will return to Chicago in November 1997 and live openly in the US despite his terrorist designation. Salah will not be charged for the crimes he allegedly committed in the early 1990s (see 1989-January 1993) until 2004 (see August 20, 2004). [FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, 5/30/2002; FEDERAL NEWS SERVICE, 6/2/2003] Entity Tags: Robert Wright, United States Category Tags: Robert Wright and Vulgar Betrayal, Terrorism Financing

February 1995: Albanian Narco-Terrorism Destabilizes the Balkans According to a report in Jane’s Intelligence Review, Albanian narco-terrorism, gun-running, and smuggling organizations are becoming a dominant economic, political, and military force in the Balkans. Jane’s expresses the concern that if left unchecked, the Albanian mafia will become powerful enough to control one or more states in the region. Albanian President Sali Berisha “is now widely suspected of tolerating and even directly profiting from drug-trafficking for wider political-economic reasons, namely the financing of secessionist political parties and other groupings in Kosovo and Macedonia.” [JANE'S INTELLIGENCE REVIEW, 2/1/1995] Entity Tags: Albania, Sali Berisha Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans, Drugs

February-Early May 1995: Bojinka Second Wave Fully Revealed to Philippines Investigators; Information Given to US

Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza. [Source: Australian Broadcasting Corporation] As Colonel Mendoza, the Philippines investigator, continues to interrogate Operation Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad, details of a post-Bojinka “second wave” emerge. Author Peter Lance calls this phase “a virtual blueprint of the 9/11 attacks.” Murad reveals a plan to hijack commercial airliners at some point after the effect of Bojinka dies down. Murad himself had been training in the US for this plot. He names the ten or so buildings that would be targeted for attack:

CIA headquarters. 
The Pentagon. 
An unidentified nuclear power plant. 
The Transamerica Tower in San Francisco. 
The Sears Tower in Chicago. 
The World Trade Center. 
John Hancock Tower in Boston. 
US Congress. 
The White House. [WASHINGTON POST, 12/30/2001; LANCE, 2003, PP. 278-280; PLAYBOY, 6/1/2005] 

Murad continues to reveal more information about this plot until he is handed over to the FBI in April (see April-May 1995). He also mentions that ten suicide pilots have already been chosen and are training in the US (see February 1995-1996). Mendoza uses what he learns from Murad and other sources to make a flow chart connecting many key al-Qaeda figures together (see Spring 1995). Philippine authorities later claim that they provide all of this information to US authorities, but the US fails to follow up on any of it. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 303-4] Sam Karmilowicz, a security official at the US embassy in Manila, Philippines during this time period, will later claim that just before Murad was deported to the US in early May, he picked up an envelope containing all that the Philippine government had learned from Murad. He then sent the envelope to a US Justice Department office in New York City. He believes Mike Garcia and Dietrich Snell, assistant US attorneys who will later prosecute Murad, almost certainly had access to this evidence (see Early 1998). [COUNTERPUNCH, 3/9/2006] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Ramzi Yousef, Rodolfo Mendoza, Hambali, Peter Lance, Dietrich Snell, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Mike Garcia, Abdul Hakim Murad Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Key Warnings

February 1995-1996: Bojinka Plotter Says 10 Suicide Bombers Training in US; Not Much Follow Up Investigation While Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad is being interrogated by Philippine Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza (see February-Early May 1995), he mentions that he had pilot training in the US and ten other operatives are being trained to fly in the US. The second wave of the Bojinka plot required many suicide pilots. Mendoza will later recall that Murad said, “There is really formal training [going on] of suicide bombers. He said that there were other Middle Eastern pilots training and he discussed with me the names and flight training schools they went to.” Murad also mentioned some of their targets had already been picked and included CIA headquarters, the Pentagon, and an unidentified nuclear facility. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 279] The ten other men who met him at US flight schools or were getting similar training came from Sudan, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan. The names of these men have never been publicly released, but apparently none of them match the names of any of the 9/11 hijackers. The Associated Press will later report, “The FBI interviewed people at the flight schools highlighted by Filipino police but did not develop evidence that any of the other Middle Easterners other than Murad were directly plotting terrorism. With no other evidence of a threat, they took no further action…” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/5/2002] Murad also revealed that between November 1991 and July 1992, he had trained at four different flight schools in the US. His friend Nasir Ali Mubarak and another man named Abdullah Nasser Yousef were roommates with Murad as they trained at the same schools at the same time. Mubarak appears to be one of Murad’s ten pilots, because he had served in the United Arab Emirates air force and the Associated Press mentioned one of the ten was “a former soldier in the United Arab Emirates.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/5/2002; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 6/16/2002; SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 1/12/2003] Richard Kaylor, the manager of Richmor Aviation in Albany, New York, later says that FBI agents interviewed him in 1996 about the three men who studied at his school. He says he was told that the FBI was first alerted to his flight school after a Richmor business card was found in the Philippines apartment where Murad, Ramzi Yousef, and KSM had lived. But that is the only time the FBI interviewed him on these matters before 9/11. [WASHINGTON POST, 9/30/2001] An assistant manager at Richmor will later say of Murad and his roommates, “Supposedly they didn’t know each other before, they just happened to show up here at the same time. But they all obviously knew each other.” [ASSOCIATED PRESS, 3/5/2002] The FBI investigates Mubarak in 1995 and does not find that he has any ties to terrorism. Mubarak will continue to openly live and work in the US, marrying an American woman. He will claim the FBI never interviewed him until hours after the 9/11 attacks, so apparently the ten named by Murad may not have been interviewed in 1995 after all. He will be deported in 2002, apparently solely because of his association with Murad ten years earlier. Nothing more is publicly known about Abdullah Nasser Yousef. [SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE, 1/12/2003] Murad will also mention to the FBI a few months later that future 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) had a valid US visa and has been thinking about learning to fly in the US. Murad says he had recommended Richmor Aviation to KSM (see April-May 1995). There appears to have been little knowledge of Murad’s ten pilot claim inside US intelligence before 9/11; for instance FBI agent Ken Williams will not mention it in his July 2001 memo about suspected militants training in US flight schools (see July 10, 2001). Entity Tags: Abdullah Nasser Yousef, Richmor Aviation, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Rodolfo Mendoza, Abdul Hakim Murad, Nasir Ali Mubarak Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Phoenix Memo, Key Warnings

February 1995-1996: Islamist Militants Establish Foothold in Chechnya Conflict

Shamil Basayev (left) and Ibn Khattab. [Source: Associated Press] A Saudi named Ibn Khattab becomes the central point for a foothold gained by radical Islamists in the conflict in Chechnya. Ibn Khattab had fought in Afghanistan in the late 1980s while still in his teens, and also with Arab units in Bosnia in the early 1990s. [NEW YORK TIMES, 12/9/2001] In addition, he had spent some time in Afghanistan in the early 1990s and met Osama bin Laden, whom he will later call “a good man.” [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 2/28/2003] Continuing to follow radical Islamist causes, Khattab led an Arab unit in the civil war in Tajikistan in the early 1990s. In February 1995, he travels with seven other veteran mujaheddin fighters to Chechnya, which had been invaded by Russia two months earlier. At this time, the number of Islamist fighters is quite small, less than 100. But Khattab takes command of this group and the group makes a reputation as fierce fighters. Khattab also befriends Chechen warlord Shamil Basayev, who later declares him his brother. In March 1994, Basayev had attended a training camp in Afghanistan, then come back later in the year, bringing more Chechen fighters to train as well. [US DEPARTMENT OF STATE, 2/28/2003] Khattab extensively videotapes the activities of his small fighting unit, making numerous videotapes and CDs. This gives them an influence far outweighing their numbers, and the video footage is especially effective in raising money for the Chechen cause from rich donors in the Middle East. While Khattab’s military influence is negligible within the larger effort of the first Chechen war, Khattab’s acceptance into the rebel command structure and his alliance with Basayev will allow him to have a larger political and societal influence when the war ends in late 1996. [TERRORISM MONITOR, 1/26/2006] Entity Tags: Shamil Basayev, Osama bin Laden, Ibn Khattab Category Tags: Islamist Militancy in Chechnya

February-March 1995: Frequent Secret Flights Supplying Arms to Bosnian Muslims

Apparent footage of one of the mysterious Tuzla flights, from a BBC documentary on the subject. [Source: BBC] UN observers and others report that frequent flights entering Bosnia are supplying weapons to the Bosnian Muslims in violation of the UN arms embargo. The flights clearly have the support of the US. [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 177- 198] A UN official who witnesses the flights is physically threatened by three American officers and warned to keep silent. [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 192] Journalists are also pressured and threatened by the US embassy, which is later said to have been acting on instructions from the State Department. [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 192] A subsequent investigation conducted with the support of the Netherlands government will conclude that the operation was conducted by a third party, probably Turkey, with “the assent of parts of the US government.” [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 195-198] Tim Ripley, who covers the military conflicts in Yugoslavia for Jane’s Intelligence Review, blames the Tuzla flights and similar operations on “‘covert warriors’ of the NSC [National Security Council] and State Department.” [RIPLEY, 1999, PP. 93] Prof. Cees Wiebes, who conducts the Netherlands investigation, agrees saying that “the State Department and National Security Council (NSC) were involved, but not the CIA or the DIA.” According to a confidential source, “the operation was… paid for from a Pentagon Special Operations budget, with the complete assent of the White House. Probably the most important members of Congress were informed in the deepest of secrecy, and they were therefore ‘in the loop’ concerning the events.” [WIEBES, 2003, PP. 193] Ripley says that US NATO officers were not involved, but points out that NATO Commander Admiral Leighton Smith was careful to only deny “uniformed” US military involvement. Ripley suggests that American “freelance operatives” were brought in by “senior members of the Clinton Administration.” [RIPLEY, 1999, PP. 62-63] According to Ripley, “Senior US military commanders and CIA officials were just staggered by the ‘duplicity’ and ‘deceit’ at the heart of the Clinton Administration’s policies.” [RIPLEY, 1999, PP. 91] Entity Tags: Clinton administration, Central Intelligence Agency, National Security Council, US Department of State Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

Early February 1995: Philippine Undercover Operative Exposed Shortly after Bojinka Plot Was Foiled Edwin Angeles, a Philippine government operative so deeply embedded in the Muslim militant group Abu Sayyaf that he is actually the group’s second in command (see 1991-Early February 1995), surrenders to Philippine authorities. Angeles will later tell a reporter that he was not supposed to surrender yet and was surprised that his military handlers unmasked his cover. [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 7/10/2001] One report suggests a slightly different account: “In early February, rumors began to circulate that Angeles… was, in fact, a deep-penetration agent planted by the Philippine military; Angeles heard the rumors and knew he would be killed,” so he turned himself in. In any case, the timing may have something to do with the Bojinka plot, which he was involved in and was foiled just the month before (see January 6, 1995 and Late 1994-January 1995). Angeles is debriefed for weeks and reveals many details about the Bojinka plot and Abu Sayyaf generally. It is not known what he may have told Philippine intelligence about the Bojinka plot while the plot was still in motion, if anything. [ADVERTISER, 6/3/1995] Angeles leads the military in a number of operations against Abu Sayyaf and helps capture several top leaders, removing any doubt for the group that he was an undercover agent. Angeles then becomes a Philippine intelligence agent but, soon he has a falling out over what he believes are unethical methods and goes public with his complaints later in the year. He is then charged with multiple counts of kidnapping and murder for his actions when he was an Abu Sayyaf leader. However, he will be acquitted after the judge announces Angeles proved the crimes were all done as part of his job as an undercover operative. Hated by both the Philippine government and Abu Sayyaf, Angeles will disappear into the jungle and try to start his own rebel group. However, he will be shot and killed in early 1999. [PHILIPPINE DAILY INQUIRER, 7/10/2001] Entity Tags: Abu Sayyaf, Edwin Angeles, Philippines Timeline Tags: Alleged Use of False Flag Attacks Category Tags: Philippine Militant Collusion, Other Possible Moles or Informants, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

February 3, 1995: Article Exposes Ali Mohamed’s Militant and US Intelligence Connections A Boston Globe article publicly exposes Ali Mohamed, calling him “a shadowy individual described by defense attorneys as a key figure in the largest terrorism trial in US history.” The trial is the prosecution of Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman and others for the 1993 “Landmarks” bombing plot (see June 24, 1993). The Globe article notes that Mohamed was in the US Special Forces and connects him to both Abdul-Rahman’s radical militant group and the CIA. A senior US official claims that Mohamed’s “presence in the country is the result of an action initiated by [the CIA].” The article further states, “Senior officials say Mohamed, who is of Egyptian origin, benefited from a little known visa-waiver program that allows the CIA and other security agencies to bring valuable agents into the country, bypassing the usual immigration formalities. Intelligence sources say that waivers are controlled by the CIA’s Department of Operations, the clandestine side of the agency, and have been used ‘sparingly’ in recent years. Waivers are generally used to bring into the country people who have served the agency in sensitive positions overseas. They come here, an intelligence officer said, because they fear for their lives, have been promised asylum in return for cooperation, or need to be debriefed after an operation.” According to the article, “Mohamed dropped out of sight several years ago, and his whereabouts remain unknown.” But in fact, the FBI interviewed him three months earlier and remains aware of his whereabouts (see December 9, 1994). Mohamed will continue to work with al-Qaeda despite this exposure. [BOSTON GLOBE, 2/3/1995] Entity Tags: Central Intelligence Agency, Omar Abdul-Rahman, Ali Mohamed Category Tags: 1998 US Embassy Bombings, Ali Mohamed, Sheikh Omar Abdul-Rahman

February 3-7, 1995: Accomplice Turns In Ramzi Yousef for Reward Money One day after returning to Pakistan with Ramzi Yousef from a failed attempt to blow up US airliners (see January 31-February 2, 1995), his accomplice Istaique Parker calls the US embassy in Islamabad, Pakistan and tells them he wants to turn in Yousef for reward money. Yousef had just told Parker that Parker’s name was on Yousef’s laptop that he left behind in the Philippines after the foiled Bojinka plot (see January 7-11, 1995). Parker realizes that it is just a matter of time before he is caught and he also had recently purchased a Newsweek magazine that had an article mentioning a $2 million reward for information leading to Yousef’s capture. Parker works with FBI and Pakistani agents and leads them to Yousef on February 7 (see February 7, 1995). Parker gets the reward money and a new identity in the US. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 105-106] Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Istaique Parker Category Tags: Ramzi Yousef

February 7, 1995: Ramzi Yousef Is Arrested in Pakistan

Ramzi Yousef apprehended. [Source: Public domain] Ramzi Yousef is arrested in Pakistan, in a safe house owned by bin Laden (see February 1992-February 7, 1995). At the time, his uncle Khalid Shaikh Mohammed is staying in the same building, and brazenly gives an interview to Time magazine as “Khalid Sheikh,” describing Yousef’s capture. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 328] Yousef had recruited Istaique Parker to implement a limited version of Operation Bojinka, but Parker got cold feet and instead turned in Yousef (see February 3-7, 1995). [LANCE, 2003, PP. 284-85] The New Yorker will later report that the CIA “fought with the FBI over arresting Yousef in Pakistan - the CIA reportedly wanted to continue tracking him - and President Clinton was forced to intervene.” [NEW YORKER, 3/17/1995] Yousef is rendered to the US the next day and makes a partial confession while flying there (see February 8, 1995). Entity Tags: Operation Bojinka, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Istaique Parker, Central Intelligence Agency, Clinton administration Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Ramzi Yousef, 1993 WTC Bombing, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Key Captures and Deaths

After February 7, 1995-January 1996: Ramzi Yousef Arrest Points Investigators to KSM Shortly after bomber Ramzi Yousef is arrested (see February 7, 1995), investigators discover a computer file of a letter on his laptop that is signed by “Khalid Sheikh, and Bojinka.” An eyewitness account of the arrest is given to Time magazine by a “Khalid Sheikh,” who is also staying in the same building. [MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 154, 162] Investigators also discover that Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM) had frequently visited Yousef’s apartment in Manila, Philippines, where the bombs for the Bojinka plot were being made. [PBS FRONTLINE, 10/3/2002] They also find Yousef has multiple fax and phone numbers for a “Khalid Doha.” Doha is the capital of Qatar. KSM has been living there openly since 1992 (see 1992-1995). Shortly after being apprehended, US authorities notice that Yousef calls one of these numbers in Qatar and asks to speak to a “Khalid.” The US already connected KSM to the 1993 WTC bombing just weeks after that attack and knew that he was living in Doha, Qatar (see March 20, 1993). [US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] There is an entry in Yousef’s seized telephone directory for a Zahid Shaikh Mohammed, Yousef’s uncle and KSM’s brother. Not long after this discovery is made, Pakistani investigators raid Zahid’s offices in Peshawar, Pakistan, but Zahid has already fled (see 1988-Spring 1995). In 1993, US investigators already discovered the connections between Yousef, Zahid, and KSM, after raiding Zahid’s house in Pakistan and finding pictures of them (see Spring 1993). [MCDERMOTT, 2005, PP. 154, 162] The FBI successfully arranges for a photograph to be taken of KSM. He is positively identified from the photo in December 1995. This results in his indictment in January 1996 for his role in the 1993 WTC bombing. US intelligence labels him a “top priority,” according the 9/11 Congressional Inquiry. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 12/22/2002; US CONGRESS, 7/24/2003] Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Zahid Shaikh Mohammed, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ramzi Yousef

February 7, 1995: Ramzi Yousef Rendered to US After Ramzi Yousef is arrested in Pakistan (see February 7, 1995), he is rendered to the US. He is read his rights before he boards the rendition flight and, as author Peter Lance will later comment, “at that time, in February 1995, the Justice Department was still quite scrupulous about the due process issues, so much so that after Yousef was led onto the plane [US agents] read him his Miranda warnings a second time.” [LANCE, 2006, PP. 203] The aircraft used for the rendition belongs to the US Air Force and the operation is run by FBI manager Neil Herman. The plane is moved to a “quiet area” of Islamabad airport and, according to author Simon Reeve, Yousef is then “bundled on to the jet.” [REEVE, 1999, PP. 107] National Security Council official Daniel Benjamin will explain why Yousef and Mir Aimal Kasi (see January 25, 1993) are not extradited in the normal manner, but rendered: “Both were apprehended in Pakistan, whose leaders decided that the nation would rather not have those two—folk heroes to some—sitting in jail, awaiting extradition. Pakistan’s leaders feared that cooperating with the United States would be dangerously unpopular, so they wanted the suspects out of the country quickly.” [WASHINGTON POST, 10/21/2007] Yousef makes a partial confession while being flown to the US (see February 8, 1995). Entity Tags: Neil Herman, Ramzi Yousef, Federal Bureau of Investigation Timeline Tags: Torture of US Captives Category Tags: Ramzi Yousef, 1993 WTC Bombing, 1995 Bojinka Plot

February 8, 1995: Yousef Makes Partial Confession but Hides Bojinka Second Wave and Ties to Bin Laden and KSM On day after Ramzi Yousef is arrested in Pakistan (see February 7, 1995), he makes a partial confession while being flown to the US. Due to the speed of events, only two US officials, FBI agent Chuck Stern and Secret Service agent Brian Parr, sit with Yousef during the flight. Both officials had been part of the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) operation to catch him, and they have many questions for him. Confession - Yousef, under the mistaken impression that anything he says to them is not admissible in court if no notes or recordings are taken, talks to them for six hours. He confesses to bombing the WTC (see February 26, 1993). He says he tried to shear the support columns holding up one tower so it could fall into the other and kill up to 250,000 people. When asked who funded him, he says he had been given money by friends and family, but refuses to elaborate. [REEVE, 1999, PP. 107-109] In fact, the agents secretly take notes and they will be used as evidence in Yousef’s trial. Comment on WTC - As Yousef is flying over New York City on his way to a prison cell, an FBI agent asks him, “You see the Trade Centers down there, they’re still standing, aren’t they?” Yousef responds, “They wouldn’t be if I had enough money and enough explosives.” [MSNBC, 9/23/2001; MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 135] Some Information Forthcoming, Other Information Withheld - Yousef also soon admits to ties with Wali Khan Amin Shah, who fought with bin Laden in Afghanistan, and Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, one of bin Laden’s brothers-in-law, who is being held by the US at the time (see December 16, 1994-May 1995). But although Yousef talks freely, he makes no direct mention of bin Laden, or the planned second wave of Operation Bojinka that closely parallels the later 9/11 plot (see Spring 1995). [LANCE, 2003, PP. 297-98] He also fails to mention his uncle, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM), who is still at large and was a co-mastermind in most of Yousef’s plots. When talking about his preparations to assassinate President Clinton in Manila (see September 18-November 14, 1994), Yousef makes a vague mention of an “intermediary” who is actually KSM, but refuses to discuss him any further. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. XXIV-XXV] However, Yousef’s arrest will soon lead investigators to KSM in other ways (see After February 7, 1995-January 1996). Entity Tags: Ramzi Yousef, Operation Bojinka, Osama bin Laden, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Chuck Stern, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Brian Parr, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Wali Khan Amin Shah Category Tags: Ramzi Yousef, 1993 WTC Bombing, 1995 Bojinka Plot

February 21, 1995: Mysterious US Militant Arrested on Minor Charges, Disppears from View Abu Ubaidah Yahya, an ex-US marine tied to many of the “Landmarks” bombers, is arrested and charged with gun running. According to charges, Yahya bought at least six assault weapons at a Virginia gun show in November 1992 and then later distributed them to a group of militants he was training a training camp near New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania (see Late 1992-Early 1993). A number of the “Landmarks” bombers trained there and prosecutors claim the training was part of the overall “Landmarks” conspiracy, but strangely, Yahya is only charged with the gun running and not the training, even though the FBI actually briefly monitored him running the training camp (see January 16-17, 1993). Yahya, a US citizen who changed his name from Karl Dexter Taylor, runs a martial arts school in Brooklyn. [UNITED PRESS INTERNATIONAL, 2/21/1995; NEW YORK TIMES, 2/22/1995] Yahya apparently fought in Bosnia for the Bosnian Muslims while the US government was secretly supporting the Bosnian Muslim cause (see Spring 1993). He was security chief for the Al-Kifah Refugee Center, a charity front linked to both al-Qaeda and the CIA (see 1986-1993). He also transported money for the Third World Relief Agency (TWRA) charity front (see Early April 1993) while the US government was deliberately turning a blind eye to the actions of the TWRA (see 1993). What happens next to Yahya is unclear. While the Lexis Nexus database reveals a number of articles about his arrest, there are no articles mentioning any subsequent trial or imprisonment. Entity Tags: Al-Kifah Refugee Center, Abu Ubaidah Yahya, Third World Relief Agency Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Al-Kifah/MAK

Spring 1995: US Authorities Learn of Bojinka Second Wave Plot from Yousef’s Computer

Rafael Garcia. [Source: Newsbreak Weekly] Rafael Garcia, Chairman and CEO of the Mega Group of Computer Companies in the Philippines, often works with the Philippine National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to decode computer files. He is assigned the task of decoding encrypted files on Ramzi Yousef’s computer. Garcia will later comment to a popular Philippine newsweekly, “This was how we found out about the various plots being hatched by the cell of Ramzi Yousef. First, there was the plot to assassinate Pope John Paul II. Then, we discovered a second, even more sinister plot: Project Bojinka… This was a plot to blow up 11 airlines over the Pacific Ocean, all in a 48-hour period… Then we found another document that discussed a second alternative to crash the 11 planes into selected targets in the United States instead of just blowing them up in the air. These included the CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia; the World Trade Center in New York; the Sears Tower in Chicago; the Transamerica Tower in San Francisco; and the White House in Washington, DC… I submitted my findings to NBI officials, who most certainly turned over the report (and the computer) either to then Senior Superintendent Avelino Razon of the [Philippine National Police] or to Bob Heafner of the FBI… I have since had meetings with certain US authorities and they have confirmed to me that indeed, many things were done in response to my report.” [NEWSBREAK WEEKLY, 11/15/2001] Around the same time, Philippine interrogators were learning the same information from captured Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad (see February-Early May 1995). There has been some question whether Murad’s complete description of Bojinka’s second wave plot reached US authorities (see May 11, 1995), but if it did not, the US appears to have learned the information from Garcia’s report. In fact, after 9/11, Garcia will claim to have spoken to a retired FBI agent who will recall being aware of the Bojinka second wave plot, and says of it, “This was ignored in the preparation of evidence for the trial [of the Bojinka plotters] because there was no actual attempt to crash any plane into a US target.… So there was no crime to complain about.” [VILLAGE VOICE, 9/26/2001] Entity Tags: Federal Bureau of Investigation, Abdul Hakim Murad, Rafael Garcia, National Bureau of Investigation, Ramzi Yousef Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Ramzi Yousef, Key Warnings

Spring 1995: More Evidence that WTC Remains a Target

One of the Bojinka documents found. This Word document apparently lists flight times. [Source: CBC] In the wake of uncovering the Operation Bojinka plot, Philippine authorities find a letter on a computer disc written by the plotters of the failed 1993 WTC bombing. This letter apparently was never sent, but its contents will be revealed in 1998 congressional testimony. [US CONGRESS, 2/24/1998] The Manila police chief also reports discovering a statement from bin Laden around this time that, although they failed to blow up the WTC in 1993, “on the second attempt they would be successful.” [AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, 9/13/2001] Entity Tags: Operation Bojinka Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, 1993 WTC Bombing

Spring 1995: Flow Chart Given to US Connects Key Al-Qaeda Figures, but Not Followed Up

The flow chart made by Colonel Mendoza. [Source: Peter Lance] (click image to enlarge) Philippines investigator Colonel Rodolfo Mendoza makes a remarkably accurate flow chart connecting many key operators in the Bojinka plot, and sends it to US investigators. The chart is based on what he is learning from interrogating Bojinka plotter Abdul Hakim Murad (see February-Early May 1995), while also drawing on a terrorism report he recently finished (see December 15, 1994) and debriefings of a key undercover operative (see Early February 1995). The chart identifies the following key organizations as being involved in the plot:

Al-Harakat al-Islamiya. Meaning “Islamic Movement,” this is an apparently meaningless group name used by Ramzi Yousef and others to disguise their connections to al-Qaeda. Yousef also sometimes uses the equally meaningless name “The Liberation Army.” 
The Abu Sayyaf. This Philippine Muslim militant group is believed to help with the Bojinka plot that is also penetrated by Philippine intelligence (see Late 1994-January 1995). The chart mentions 20 Abu Sayyaf operatives trained by Yousef in 1992 (see December 1991-May 1992). [LANCE, 2003, PP. 303-4] 
IRIC (International Research and Information Center). Most of the money for Bojinka is believed to flow through this charity front. The chart names the only three employees: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa (bin Laden’s brother-in-law), Abu Omar (whose real name is Ahmad al-Hamwi (see 1995 and After), and Dr. Zubair. Mendoza’s 1994 report names Abdul Salam Zubair as an Iraqi working as Khalifa’s assistant in running a number of charity fronts. [JAPAN ECONOMIC NEWSWIRE, 4/24/1995; LANCE, 2003, PP. 303-4] 
Konsonjaya. Money for the Bojinka plot also flows through this Malaysian business front (see June 1994). Amien Mohammed (real name: Mohammed Amin al-Ghafari) is named and is one of the company directors. There is a link to Wali Khan Amin Shah, another company director. Hambali, a major al-Qaeda figure, is also a company director but is not included in the chart. 

The chart also mentions many other key figures in the plot:

Osama bin Laden, who is connected to the IRIC and Yousef’s group. 
“Usama Asmorai / Wali K” is Wali Khan Amin Shah. 
“Yousef / Adam Ali / A Basit” is Ramzi Yousef. 
“Salem Ali / Mohmad” is Khalid Shaikh Mohammed (KSM). 
Abdul Hakin Murad. [LANCE, 2003, PP. 303-4] 
“Ibrahim Muneer / Munir.” Ibrahim Munir, a rich Saudi Arabian businessman, has close ties to bin Laden. He came to the Philippines in November and witnesses say he was Yousef’s constant companion. In 2003, it will be reported he is still wanted by authorities. [MILLER, STONE, AND MITCHELL, 2002, PP. 139; RESSA, 2003, PP. 20] 
The names in hexagonal boxes are the girlfriends of the plotters. Some Bojinka money is transferred in their names. 

However, despite the accurate information in this chart, only Shah, Yousef, and Murad will be caught before 9/11. Khalifa is actually in US custody at the time the US is given this chart (see December 16, 1994-May 1995), but he is allowed to be deported a short time later (see April 26-May 3, 1995). The US also learns about a connection between Konsonjaya and bin Laden by searching Yousef’s apartment. But the other Konsonjaya directors, including Hambali, will not be apprehended, and the IRIC will be allowed to continue functioning with the same staff after being taken over by another charity front connected to Khalifa (see 1995 and After). [LANCE, 2003, PP. 303-4] Entity Tags: Rodolfo Mendoza, Ramzi Yousef, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Wali Khan Amin Shah, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Ahmad al-Hamwi, Abu Sayyaf, Abdul Salam Zubair, Konsonjaya, Hambali, Abdul Hakim Murad, International Relations and Information Center, Ibrahim Munir Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Warning Signs, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Al-Qaeda Malaysia Summit, Hambali, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, Philippine Militant Collusion, Ramzi Yousef, Al-Qaeda in Southeast Asia

March 1995: US Slow to Show Interest in Al-Qaeda Training Manual Belgian investigators find a CD-ROM of a recently published al-Qaeda training manual and begin translating it a few months later. Versions of the manual will later circulate widely amongst radical militants. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/14/2001] The Arabic manual is called the Encyclopedia of the Afghan Jihad and it is over 7,000 pages long. It explains in simple terms how to build bombs, shoot down aircraft, conduct surveillance, and so on. Much of the material is culled from US and British military manuals. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. 93-94] A former CIA official will later claim the CIA did not obtain a copy of the manual until the end of 1999. “The truth is, they missed for years the largest terrorist guide ever written.” He blames CIA reluctance to scrutinize its support for the anti-Soviet jihad in the 1980s. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/14/2001] ABC News, which was first to report on the manual, also claims the CIA did not get a copy until December 1999 from a suspect in Jordan (see 1998-December 11, 1999 and December 11, 1999). [ABC NEWS, 9/18/2000] The CIA, however, claims that the manual is not that important, and that in any case it had copies for years. [NEW YORK TIMES, 1/14/2001] According to another account, the CIA first received a copy from Jordan in 1997. [GUNARATNA, 2003, PP. 94] Entity Tags: Al-Qaeda, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11

March 1995-February 1996: Hijacker Jarrah Living in New York or Lebanon?

Ziad Jarrah gets down on the dancefloor. [Source: Jarrah family] A man named “Ziad Jarrah” rents an apartment in Brooklyn, New York. [LONGMAN, 2002, PP. 90] The landlords later identify his photograph as being that of the 9/11 hijacker. A Brooklyn apartment lease bears Ziad Jarrah’s name. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25/2001] The Los Angeles Times reports: “Another man named Ihassan Jarrah lived with Ziad, drove a livery cab and paid the 800-dollar monthly rent. The men were quiet, well-mannered, said hello and good-bye. Ziad Jarrah carried a camera and told his landlords that he was a photographer. He would disappear for a few days on occasion, then reappear. Sometimes a woman who appeared to be a prostitute arrived with one of the men. ‘Me and my brother used to crack jokes that they were terrorists,’ said Jason Matos, a construction worker who lived in a basement there, and whose mother owned the house.” However, another Ziad Jarrah is still in his home country of Lebanon at this time. He is studying in a Catholic school in Beirut, and is in frequent contact with the rest of his family. His parents drive him home to be with the family nearly every weekend, and they are in frequent contact by telephone as well. [LOS ANGELES TIMES, 10/23/2001] Not until April 1996 does this Ziad Jarrah leave Lebanon for the first time to study in Germany. [BOSTON GLOBE, 9/25/2001] His family later believes that the New York lease proves that there were two “Ziad Jarrahs.” [CNN, 9/18/2001] Evidence seems to indicate Jarrah is also in two places at the same time from November 2000 to January 2001 (see Late November 2000-January 30, 2001). Entity Tags: Ihassan Jarrah, Ziad Jarrah Timeline Tags: 9/11 Timeline Category Tags: Ziad Jarrah

March 4, 1995: Deputy Attorney General Extends ‘Wall’ for WTC Bombing Cases Deputy Attorney General Jamie Gorelick issues a memo establishing procedures to regulate prosecutors’ and criminal investigators’ access to intelligence information generated in the wake of the 1993 WTC bombing cases (see February 26, 1993). These new procedures effectively extend the so-called “wall” that arose in the early 1980s. During the criminal investigation of the bombing, the FBI came across counterintelligence information related to Islamic extremists operating inside the United States, so it began an intelligence investigation. The new procedures are established because the Justice Department does not want to be perceived as using warrants issued under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA), which are thought to be easier to obtain than criminal warrants, to further the criminal investigations, because this might possibly lead to problems in court (see Early 1980s). In the memo, Gorelick, who will later be a 9/11 Commissioner (see December 16, 2002), acknowledges that the procedures go “beyond what is legally required.” [US DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE, 11/2004, PP. 28 ; LANCE, 2006, PP. 549-550] A similar set of controversial procedures is issued later covering all intelligence investigations (see July 19, 1995). However, Andrew McCarthy, one of the WTC prosecutors cut off from the information, will later say this policy is “excessively prohibitive” and “virtually guaranteed intelligence failure” in the fight against terrorism. McCarthy will also note that there already are procedures in place to prevent the misuse of FISA-derived evidence. [NATIONAL REVIEW, 4/19/2004] Entity Tags: Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Andrew McCarthy, Jamie Gorelick, US Department of Justice Category Tags: 1993 WTC Bombing, Counterterrorism Policy/Politics

March 9, 1995: CIA Report Claims Serbs Responsible for 90% of War Crimes in Bosnia, but Report Is Later Disputed On March 9, 1995, it is revealed in the New York Times that a CIA report completed earlier in the year has concluded that 90 percent of the “ethnic cleansing” in Bosnia has been carried out by the Bosnian Serbs and that leading politicians in Bosnian Serbia and possibly Serbia itself almost certainly played a role in these war crimes. One anonymous US official says, “To those who think the parties are equally guilty, this report is pretty devastating. The scale of what the Serbs did is so different.” [NEW YORK TIMES, 3/9/1995] However, three months later, the Telegraph reports that ” authoritative diplomatic sources in Europe” believe that pro-Bosnian Muslim factions in Washington, including parts of the CIA, are “blatantly distorting” intelligence summaries to push for US intervention on the Bosnian Muslim side. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/2/1995] Peter Viggers, a senior Conservative British Member of Parliament, claims the report was leaked at a diplomatically important moment to influence policy. Viggers is a member of the British House of Commons Defence Committee and says the report conflicted with the committee’s own experience in visits to Bosnia, where it was clear that ethnic cleansing had been carried out by all sides. [DAILY TELEGRAPH, 6/3/1995] The 1999 documentary “Yugoslavia: the Avoidable War” later shown on the History Channel will claim that the CIA report only looked at areas held by the Bosnian Serbs and that international agencies later determined that 40 percent of the war refugees were Serbian, suggesting that Serbians were the target of a similar percentage of “ethnic cleansing” war crimes. [GEORGE BOGDANICH, 4/14/2001] Entity Tags: Peter Viggers, Central Intelligence Agency Category Tags: Al-Qaeda in Balkans

March 23, 1995: US Gives Up ‘Treasure Trove of Al-Qaeda Related Intelligence’ Bin Laden’s brother-in-law Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, who is being detained in the US, files a civil suit to have his possessions returned to him. These possessions, confiscated at the time of his arrest, include an address book and computer files linking him to Islamic militancy (see December 16, 1994-May 1995 and Late December 1994-April 1995). On this day, the Justice Department states that it has no objection to returning his possessions to him. Author Peter Lance will later call these possessions a “treasure trove of al-Qaeda related intelligence” that the US loses access to. While some or all of material may have been copied, having the originals would increase their value in future trials. [LANCE, 2006, PP. 162] Khalifa will be deported from the US with all his possessions in early May 1995 (see April 26-May 3, 1995). Entity Tags: Mohammed Jamal Khalifa, US Department of Justice Category Tags: Counterterrorism Action Before 9/11, 1995 Bojinka Plot, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa

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