Document Type: 
Document Number (FOIA) /ESDN (CREST): 
Release Decision: 
Original Classification: 
Document Page Count: 
Document Creation Date: 
November 4, 2016
Document Release Date: 
May 18, 2000
Sequence Number: 
Case Number: 
Content Type: 
PDF icon CIA-RDP96-00789R003900230005-0.pdf196.52 KB
~~- ~~~ f ~~~~~' ~~~t~~ ~~ I~as o Ryder employees, had arrived ck up the van in a red GM sedan accompanied by a companion. =r officials said that roughly two s after the explosion, Salameh ared at the office and claimed van had been stolen the night re. He asked for his X400 dam- deposit, but was told he must file a police report. ilameh's name was already in the s files. In 1990 he had demon- :ed publicly on behalf of El-Say- vosair, an Islamic firebrand who been charged with, and acquitted he 1991 slaying of Jewish De- League founder Meir Kahane. meh had visited Nosair at the prison in Attica, N.Y., where he serving a sentence on lesser ges. ilameh gave investigators apar- ar suspect to consider, and, as ~rtant, drew their attention to a ip of activists who orbited ugh the larger Islamic commu- in New York and New Jersey attended the Abu Bakr mosque Brooklyn and the Al-Salam que in Jersey City. Rahman had iched at both mosques. he FBI had not previously con- red these activists to be terror- merely passionate militants. Yet FBI had access to intelligence rmation about them gathered as' ?sult of at least three occur- :es: the prosecution of Nosair; emergence of Rahman as a pres- in the New Jersey-New York mic community; and the 1991 'der of Mustafa Shalabi. 'he Nosair trial was a watershed 1t among Middle Eastern milt- s in New York. Kahane, a hero to ry Jewish radicals, was viewed as mbol of Zionist oppression to Is- ic radicals. During the trial, the 1 groups staged demonstrations, nn nnnnsitP RifiPR of the rnnrt- ment blames the Islamic Group far a series of bombings and murders, most especially the assassination of Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in 1981. Egyptian security forces are en- gaged in a massive, nationwide crackdown aimed at fundamentalist militants, including members of the Islamic Group. The government has jailed 700 suspected extremists in response to a wave of violence that has left nearly 150 people dead, at the hands of either police or extrem- ists. Before he emigrated to the United States, Rahman was acquitted of in- volvement in Sadat's death, but an FBI intelligence briefing during the Persian Gulf War persuaded at least one senior official to believe that he posed a potentially serious threat from his new base in New Jersey. When Rahman arrived in the Unit- ING SUSPECTS ....--.-. ~..... ...............,.....t .... .. ix suspects have been charged in connectaon wzt i the or ra e Center bombing; Four were jointly indicted in the bombing and remain in custody: One is being held on obstruction charges and the sixth reportedly has fled the country. M4HAMl9AAD SALAMEH, 25 Jordanian. Jersey City, N.J., handyman arrested March 4. Indicted in the bombing. BILAL ALKAISI, 2S Jordanian. New York area resident arrested March 25. Charged with aiding and abetting the bombing. N1DAL AYYAD, 25 Kuwaiti. Maplewood, N.J., chemical engineer arrested March 10. Indicted in the bombing. IBRAHIM EL6ABIt0~WNY, 42 Held Iraqi pass- port. Brooklyn contractor ar- rested March 4. Charged with obstruction and possessing fraud- ulent passports. I ~-y~' ' i -Compiled by Barbara J. Saftir ~ ed States, Shalabi found him a res- office, agents arrested him. In his idence. Thereafter, they raised funds Pockets, they found the business card for the Afghan resistance, but ulti- of Nidal Ayyad, 25, a chemical engi- mately had a falling out, according to neer. published statements by several as- Eventually, the FBI executed at sociates. In March 1991, Shalabi was least 10 search warrants in Ne~v Jer- found dead in his Brooklyn home, Sey shot and knifed. There have been no Agents found evidence connecting arrests. Salameh to a rental unit at the Space In addition, five months before the 'Station Storage facility in Jersey trade center bombing, about 20 City. Employees identified Salameh members of the two mosques who as the man who rented a shed in No- attended Nosair's trial or visited him vember under the name "Kamal Ibra- at Attica were subpoenaed by a fed- ham." eral grand jury, according to the Upon searching this unit March 5, New York Times. Ahmed A. Satta, a agents discovered several hundred postal worker, told the Times that Pounds of chemicals that, if properly FBI agents grilled him about Nosair, combined and triggered with a small Shalabi and Rahman. explosive, could produce a powerful To officials, then, the circumstan- blast. They also discovered that the tial clues being.gathered by agents in chemicals-hundreds of pounds of New Jersey seemed to fit into a larg- urea and nitric acid=were purchased er cont~erjx~t~{~Fto~,r~er~xyample, Sa]ameh's in November by ~Keampal~Ibgrash~am~.j" Alkiasi. At least one witness told the New Ys`~i{~~"" 5~)g~~'~~~~ddSPf`1~~~;~~~"6 m i~'iFi~-b?~Mt6-~~~~~~~'~' his re i as rospect ar , e a efo in pane alame to e s orage shed 4 W Rrnnklvn-thP hnmP of lhrahirn thev saw a man thev .believe was "nn several nccasinns." Ayyad's office phone. Agents learned that Salameh and Ayyad had a joint account at a local bank. They discov- ered that on Feb. 15 Ayyad had rented from National Car Rental the same type of car that Salameh ar- rived in at the Ryder van rental of- fice. Moreover, "Salameh" was listed as an additional driver on the rental car. A witness from the Ryder office identified Ayyad as the same man who accompanied Salameh when he rented the van. On March 10 agents descended on Ayyad's first-floor apartment at 60 Boyden Ave., Maplewood, N.J. In- side, they found what a prosecutor later described as a modified timing mechanism that an explosives expert described as a time delay firing sys- tem. Ayyad was carrying an Amer- ican Express card in the name of Bilal l1'IAHMUD ABOUHALIMA, 33 Egyptian. Wood- bridge, N.J., cab driver arrested in Egypt and brought to the U.S. March 24. Indicted in the bombing, RAMZI AHIVIED YOUSEF, 25 Jersey City, N.J., resident who reportedly fled the country. Indicted in the bombing. purported involvement with the Af- ghan resistance. Associates said Abouhalima traveled to Pakistan for military training and that he was a follower of Rahman and sometimes served as his driver. Rahman has dis- puted this claim and publicly de- nounced the bombing.) Aside from these characterizations of Abouhalima-which will likely be contested in court-there has been no public disclosure of what direct evidence, if any, connects him to the bombing. He was eventually returned to New York. U.S. officials have re- fused to discuss their knowledge of the arrest or treatment of Abou- halima. For weeks, the trade center bombr ing was an incomplete act of terror~r ism because it lacked a political mes sage. But on March 28 the New Yorl~ Times published a letter it received four days after the bombing. Thy Ti,~~es quoted a -law enforcement;