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The Palm Beach Post, September 29, 2001

Randy Glass chatted up diamond wholesalers as easily as shadowy arms dealers looking to buy missiles for terrorists. The former Boca Raton jeweler's talents made him the consummate con man, accused of bilking people out of millions of dollars worldwide. Those skills also suited him for work as a prized government snitch. Facing a substantial federal prison sentence for 13 felonies in 1998, Glass put his skills into overdrive on numerous undercover investigations, transforming himself into what a prosecutor called "one of the most prolific informants the world has ever seen."

He might have gotten close to associates of Osama bin Laden, the most wanted man on Earth whose vast terrorist network has been blamed for the Sept. 11 attacks. Glass was the government's go-to guy in a 31-month investigation into the attempted sale of military weapons -- Stinger anti-aircraft missiles, night-vision goggles, even nuclear weapon components -- to various groups in foreign countries, including Afghanistan's ruling Taliban, which has been secreting bin Laden. The probe led to the arrest of two New Jersey men -- Egyptian national Diaa Badr Mohsen and Pakistani native Mohammed "Mike" Malik -- in June at a West Palm Beach warehouse. Two others were arrested in Fort Lauderdale on related money-laundering charges.

But the attorneys for the two New Jersey men say Glass conned them into thinking they themselves were working for the U.S. government to either facilitate a legitimate arms deal or catch terrorists. It was all part of Glass' scheme to reduce his own sentence, they say. "The more we learn about Mr. Glass, the stronger our case gets," said attorney Val Rodriguez, who represents Mohsen. If Glass was blowing smoke, the government was pouring the fuel for the fire. Members of three federal agencies -- the FBI, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms, and Customs -- went before a federal judge on July 9, 1999, to ask that Glass remain out of prison to work on multiple "undercover matters." They said national security, as well as Glass' life, was at stake, especially now that bin Laden appeared to be involved.

Bin Laden had been tied to the August 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania that killed 224 people. "I mean, he is the most wanted individual in the world at this time," ATF agent Steve Barborini told U.S. District Judge Wilkie D. Ferguson. "And at this point, that is a major concern." Ferguson was skeptical. "National security interests will be triggered, but what we have so far, I guess, is talk," he said. "I can't see that Mr. Glass ever paid the price for any of his misdeeds. He has a way of getting out of everything." But the judge deferred to the agents, allowing Glass to remain free. When it finally came time to sentence Glass last year, prosecutors gushed over his work. "He has met with individuals in Pakistan, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Republic of Congo, in South America and West Africa, as well," Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil Karadbil told a judge on May 19, 2000. "The individuals that Mr. Glass has dealt with are essentially terrorists. They are without question dangerous individuals." Glass, 49, was sentenced to 20 months in prison last year, but remained free while working for the government. After the arrests of the four men in June, Glass' sentence was cut again to seven months, which he is now serving in a prison at Eglin Air Force Base in the Florida Panhandle.

Glass' metamorphosis from con artist to informant started in 1998 when he was arrested for bilking $6 million from diamond and jewelry wholesalers worldwide. Glass wrote worthless checks and made up stories that he had been burglarized or robbed of precious jewels, investigators said. The victims were from South America, Belgium, New York, California, Toronto and South Florida. He was accused of laundering $1 million in drug money and filing a $1 million false burglary claim from Palm Beach Jewelry Center on Okeechobee Boulevard in West Palm Beach and a false report that he was robbed of $250,000 in diamonds on a Chicago street corner by two black men in camouflage. During "Operation Diamondback," as the probe was called, investigators gathered information about other Glass capers. For years, the man known as Randy Goldberg back in his native Baltimore had used his charm as a means to scam.

"He's got that kind of personality that anything he says to anybody, people believe him," said Carolyn Furst, a Lighthouse Point jeweler who worked with Glass briefly in the early 1990s. "I don't know anybody who has been fleeced by him who doesn't think he is a hell of a nice guy." In 1990, he was able to "convince two desperate owners/sellers of a $500,000 Pompano Beach home to take what Randy claimed was $200,000 worth of rare stamps as down payment," according to information gathered by the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office. When the owners discovered the stamps were worthless, they tried to back out of the contract. Glass sued, tying up the property until he received $5,000 in a settlement, according to the PBSO report. In 1993, Glass convinced a 70-year-old man to loan him $200,000, the report said. As collateral, he put up some jewelry that the victim discovered was fake after Glass reneged on the loan. The man sued and got a judgment against Glass, according to the report. In 1995, Glass was charged with luring two Brazilians to a Pompano Beach bank with promises of paying them $1.5 million for rough-cut diamonds. Inside the bank, Glass locked the jewels in a safe deposit box. Detectives said he was trying to steal the gems to pay back some Belgians he had conned in 1993. He pleaded guilty to grand theft and returned the gems. In Glass' shop on Palmetto Park Road in Boca Raton, he would often deal his diamonds and move money from one bank account to another and back again within a few hours, Furst said. When a customer came in, he would order Furst and Jennifer Donnelly -- Glass' wife, co-worker and later codefendant -- into a back room where there was a gun in the safe. "He said if anybody pulls anything, pull out the gun. We were just like there to protect him," Furst said. "It was like the blind leading the blind." Glass and Donnelly hosted champagne auctions to raise money for the United Cerebral Palsy of Palm Beach and other charities, including a home for abused teenagers. Despite his charm, Glass' personal life was often in turmoil. He has been married five times. Police records show that in 1997, one of his ex-wives, Jan Yager, said she was intentionally hit by a red car as she walked on her Boca Raton street. She told police she believed the driver was Glass because she was arguing with him over visitation rights to their son. Glass was not charged. "He has a charisma about him that everybody seemed to love but when you see him on a daily basis, he had a very short temper," Furst said. "He could blow up on a drop of a dime."

Donnelly's attorney, Richard L. Rosenbaum, said it wouldn't surprise him if Glass set up people into thinking they were government operatives. "It wouldn't shock me at all. He's a scammer all day and all night," Rosenbaum said. "He could sell you ice cubes in Alaska. He is not the kind of person you want to see our government rewarding with a reduced sentence." Donnelly pleaded guilty to two fraud counts. Glass, hit with 13 felony charges, started to cooperate with the government. By the time Glass pleaded guilty last year, the 13 felonies had been dropped and two counts of fraud had taken their place. When it came time for sentencing, the prosecutor -- normally the defendant's adversary -- appeared to be in awe of Glass. "He is an individual who is very bright, beyond any kind of degree that a person could have," Karadbil said. "He is someone who is able to move in any type of social circle. . . . He has a tremendous gift of gab, tremendous resourcefulness."

According to Karadbil, Glass:

Provided information for the FBI, the ATF, the Secret Service, Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office.

Helped recover a 30-plus carat diamond stolen in the armed robbery of $2.5 million in jewels from a Palm Beach jewelry store. The FBI was then able to arrest the robbers and their fence.

Worked with the New York City FBI regarding forged Picasso and Reubens paintings and the recovery of two burial masks, said to be more than 30 centuries old, stolen from Egyptian museums.

Helped the Secret Service expose a counterfeit operation of fake $100 bills supplied through Guyana.

The prosecutor also said Glass' son had information about the beating death of Adam Jones that occurred after a Boca Raton birthday party was broken up by police on Feb. 26, 2000. Karadbil said the information led to the arrest of Derrick Acklin, who was convicted of battery for hitting Jones and was sentenced to four years in prison. Most federal investigations are cloaked in secrecy, so it's hard to corroborate Glass' involvement in these cases. Karadbil declined to comment. When Palm Beach police announced the arrest of three men in the robbery of Richters jewelry store on Worth Avenue, it acknowledged the help of an FBI informant. A source close to the Richters investigation confirmed that Glass played a role. However, New York newspapers reported that a stock fraudster had helped police nab members of the Gambino crime family peddling the fake Picasso and Reubens pieces. Glass' lawyer -- his brother, Gerald -- did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Taliban tried to buy weapons

Of all Glass' reported missions, the most wide-reaching by far was the weapons sting. Soon after he was charged in the fraud case, Glass told agents he knew of an arms dealer, a gambling buddy from New Jersey named Diaa Mohsen. Agents fitted Glass with a wire and tapped his phone, according to transcripts of court hearings. Mohsen, an Egyptian national, led Glass to a former Egyptian judge named Shireen Shawky, federal agents told Judge Ferguson in 1999. Shawky, ready to front $2 million of his own money, tried to broker a deal for weapons. Shawky was shopping on behalf of buyers in the civil war-ravaged Congo, but after a peace accord there, he looked for possible buyers elsewhere.

The night before the July 1999 hearing, a phone conversation revealed the interest of the Taliban. "That group is presently seeking arms on behalf of themselves, and maybe for the benefit of bin Laden," ATF agent Barborini told the judge. Shawky had set up a bank account in Boca Raton for the arms deal, Barborini said. Mohsen asked about grenade launchers, machine guns, anti-tank missiles, a component for a nuclear weapon and Stinger missiles, according to a federal arrest report. In the 1980s, Afghan and Muslim rebels, including bin Laden, used U.S.-supplied Stinger missiles to bring down Soviet aircraft. Up to 100 unused Stingers remain in the hands of the Taliban or bin Laden, arms experts believe. Mohsen and Malik were arrested June 12 after inspecting a Stinger missile in a West Palm Beach warehouse. They were charged with violating the Arms Export Control Act. The men who brought the missile to the warehouse were undercover agents. Photographs obtained by The Palm Beach Post show a gloating Glass and a man defense attorneys believe is Shawky holding Stingers and other weapons. One photo also shows Glass counting cash with other men, possibly federal agents.

Agents also nabbed one-time Wall Street high-flyer Kevin Ingram and Connecticut airplane broker Walter Kapij in a related money laundering scheme. Ingram has pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with prosecutors. Prosecutors do not plan to call Glass to testify, according to defense lawyers. Past experience might be why. The last time the government called Glass as a witness in a trial, it backfired. In a 1999 contempt of court hearing for famed defense attorney F. Lee Bailey, who was accused of taking a client's money for legal fees when it should have been forfeited to the government, Glass took the stand and claimed Bailey tried to have Glass fence $1 million in jewelry. Bailey accused Glass of lying and Glass refused to answer questions on cross-examination about his plea deal in the West Palm Beach case. Glass' testimony was tossed out. Bailey was eventually found in contempt of court but wasn't jailed or fined.

Outside of court, Bailey said Glass had asked him to talk to the U.S. secretary of defense about getting Glass a reduced sentence in his West Palm Beach case if Glass turned in an international terrorist. Bailey said he threw him out of his office. Now, in the wake of the worst terrorist attack on American soil, the FBI hasn't even talked to Malik, said his lawyer, James Eisenberg. Mohsen offered on his own to help the government investigate the Sept. 11 attacks, Rodriguez said. When Mohsen was arrested, he had a card in his wallet from an FBI agent working on a terrorism task force, Rodriguez said. "We have every reason to believe Glass duped the government during this investigation," Rodriguez said. "At no time did they have control of what he did."

Rodriguez and Eisenberg say their clients began looking for weapons because Glass fooled them into thinking they all were working for the government. Eisenberg said Malik brought in a Pakistani government official, Mohammed Abbas, and thought the arms deal was legitimate. When prosecutors praised Glass' work to Judge Ferguson last year, the judge was wary. "I don't want to become duped," the judge said, adding he didn't want to end up just another of Glass' marks. He did, however, eventually reduce Glass' sentence to just seven months. Glass had wanted mere house arrest. In a sealed motion, he said the prosecutor downplayed his role. He said his contacts helped the government prevent a bombing at the U.S. Embassy in India and led to the arrest of eight people in Yemen related to last year's suicide bombing of the USS Cole, in which 17 sailors died. This month, the judge refunded Glass' $75,000 bond even though he has been ordered to pay $4 million in restitution to the fraud victims. "It appears that Mr. Glass is one of the more prolific informants the world has ever seen, and one of the more successful, and got one of the best deals the world has ever seen," said Eisenberg, Malik's attorney.


New Jersey and Terrorism…Perfect Together; terrorism is operating in NJ unchecked, and Bush's Justice Dept knows about it. a four part series By Allan P. Duncan

September 2, 2004

Introduction

Between the Fall of 1998 and June 2001, a group of Middle Eastern men living in New Jersey is caught on tape in an ATF weapons sting conspiring to buy millions of dollars of weapons including components for nuclear bombs. Three years after the operation ended, all of the people involved in the deal are free.

Federal agents who worked on the case were frustrated because it was handled as a criminal case instead of a Counterterrorism case. In an in depth look at Operation Diamondback I reveal that one of the suspects who was accused of skimming millions of dollars from a fraudulent HMO to offshore accounts where the money allegedly went to finance terrorism, was defended in the HMO case by a lawyer who later became the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Criminal Division, under John Ashcroft. The lawyer, Michael Chertoff, was in his position as Assistant Attorney General when Operation Diamondback ended and his client was never arrested even though an intelligence document claimed he and his brother in Egypt had links to Osama Bin Laden.

Is this why the ATF operation was handled as a criminal case and not a terrorism case by the federal government?

I will also examine the history of terror links to the North Jersey area from before the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center right up until 9-11. Michael Chertoff, by the way, was the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1990-1994 and was in office when the first attack on the World Trade Center took place. For reasons that escape me, the Jersey City area and particularly the Al Salam mosque from which the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman spewed his hatred, was allowed to continue to be one of the major hubs of terrorist activity in the United States .

Part 1: The Jersey City Rat Pack

Recent headlines over the past two weeks announced the arrest of two leaders of an Albany , New York mosque for allegedly laundering money involved in the sale of a shoulder fired missile. The arrests were the result of a year long weapons sting conducted by the FBI. (1)

Anytime someone involved in planning terrorism on US soil is taken off the streets it should be plastered all over the headlines to announce to the world that another terrorist is in the slammer and is unable to hurt, maim or kill innocent American citizens.

This case pales in comparison, however, to a pre-9-11 weapon sting in which a 32 million dollar deal for a ship load of weapons, 500 Stinger Missiles, nuclear triggers, weapons grade plutonium and “heavy water” for a nuclear dirty bomb were the weapons of choice of Middle Eastern men seeking to arm Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. This case never made screaming headlines when it ended in June 2001 and most people have never head about it. The attacks on 9-11 were three months away and the American press was not as eager to pounce on every story that even mentioned the word terrorist. In addition to the weapons deal, the World Trade Center was specifically mentioned as a future target by one of the characters in this drama and yet none of the people involved in this case are currently in prison. Why?

I ran across references to Operation Diamondback while doing research on terrorism and Weapons of Mass Destruction well over a year ago. I found out that a former con man named Randy Glass had posed as an undercover weapons dealer in an attempt to lure Middle Eastern weapons buyers to the US in a sting operation run by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (ATF) with support from the FBI and Customs.

The sting operation was documented in two episodes of Dateline NBC; On the trail of arms merchants, which aired on August 2, 2002 (2), and Stinger missile sting operation, which was broadcast on March 18, 2003 . (3)

The case came to a screeching halt with the arrest of only a handful of suspects in June of 2001 even though there was ample evidence that some of the people who were attempting to buy these weapons had connections with the Taliban, Al Qaeda and Osama Bin Laden himself. The two Dateline NBC stories cited the frustration of Special Agents who worked on the operation and questioned why the case hadn’t received more attention from higher ups in federal law enforcement.

I decided to look deeper into the case myself and discovered some shocking information. I have held onto this information for over a year. I had passed it on to a few lawyers and journalists in hopes that they would follow-up on my discoveries, but to date none of them have, so I have decided to divulge the info myself.

I discovered that the “terror support system supplying U.S. enemies with sophisticated weapons” included three men from New Jersey . As I looked deeper into the story, I realized that one of the men lived in the same county where I worked at the time, and that all of them had worked in the city where one of my closest relatives lives.

Needless to say, I was shocked to think that two of these same men who plotted to secure components for nuclear weapons and one of whom allegedly funneled millions of dollars to Osama Bin Laden in the years leading up to 9-11, were still free and allowed to roam the streets of New Jersey.

Enter the players in the Garden State Soap Opera…


Diaa Moshen

The August 2, 2002 edition of Dateline NBC revealed that Operation Diamondback began in the Fall of 1998 and was a two and a half year investigation. One of the first contacts Randy Glass made was with an American citizen born in Egypt who moved to New Jersey about 32 years ago named Diaa Mohsen. Moshen implied that he represented Arab men and that they needed to be very careful as to how they did business.

As the relationship between Randy Glass and Diaa Moshen developed they talked specifically about what kinds of weapons Moshen’s contacts wanted and who they would be going to. The following quotes are excerpts from taped conversations between Glass and Moshen from the Dateline transcript:

“Diaa Mohsen: “They use rocket grenades. They have howitizer. They have like 120 millimeter howitizer.” Randy Glass: “What is that? That’s like a — what’s a howitizer? It’s like a cannon?” Diaa Mohsen: “Artillery.” Glass: “It’s like artillery like in the movies.” Diaa Mohsen: “Yeah”.”

“And then Glass’s contact tells him where the potential customers can be found. Diaa Mohsen: “I’ll take you to the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan .” Finally, he confirms just what kind of people he’s dealing with. Diaa Mohsen: “You know those f——-g people, they are terrorists.” Randy Glass: “So these are terrorists?” Diaa Mohsen: “Sure.”

Randy Glass: “That’s wonderful.”

And what else do the terrorists want? Special technology, he says, for the deadliest of weapons. Randy Glass: “What is that?” Diaa Mohsen: “One of the components for a nuclear weapon.”” (2)

Mohsen wanted proof that Glass could actually deliver weapons, so on January 21, 1999 a meeting was set up in a parking lot in New Jersey where Randy showed him a Stinger Missile. A photo was taken of Moshen holding the weapon and he was then off to Egypt to prove to his associates that Glass was legit.

Dick Stoltz, a decorated veteran agent with ATF, posed as an associate of Randy’s during the operation. Their initial meeting with some Egyptian men fell through, but they were soon put in touch with more people in Jersey City who were eager to deal with them.


Mohamed Malik

The next person Diaa Moshen put Randy Glass in touch with was, Mohamed “Mike” Malik, a small businessman in Jersey City who owned convenience stores, a laundromat and a long distance phone card company. On the phone with Malik, Randy agrees to travel to New York City to meet a buyer referred to in the Dateline transcript as “Abbas”. I have since determined that the full name of “Abbas” was Raja Ghulam Abbas.

Excerpts from the Dateline transcript:

“On July 22, 1999 , Glass flew to New York for a meeting at the trendy Tribeca Grill, a restaurant partly owned by actor Robert DeNiro. It was dinner for four: Glass, his first contact, Diaa Mohsen; the Jersey City businessman Mike Malik and the mystery man; Abbas.”

“Abbas gave Glass a business card saying he worked for Malik’s long distance phone card company. Glass was wearing a wire.

Mixed in with the dinner crowd were agents from the FBI’s Terrorism Task Force in case anything went wrong. Glass says Abbas was all business. “Basically what he told me was that they were interested in purchasing a large amount of sophisticated weapons systems,” says Glass. “And they wanted an actual ship load, not a small amount.” And who was Abbas representing in this transaction? “Abbas was represented to me as being an ISI agent,” says Glass. ISI is the official intelligence agency, like the CIA, of Pakistan . And this is where the stakes really get high. Because, if Abbas was telling the truth, Randy Glass and the feds were about to cut an illegal weapons deal with a Pakistani intelligence operative linked to terrorists.”

“Then, in the middle of a crowded New York restaurant, Glass says the talk turned to something much more ominous: components for nuclear weapons, triggering devices and plutonium. “They inquired if it was available,” says Glass. What did Glass say? “Yes,” says Glass. And they responded? “They were interested,” says Glass. Dick Stoltz, the veteran undercover agent with the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms who worked the case, confirms Randy Glass’s account. Stoltz had to realize that the people being talked about as customers for these weapons were the most wanted terrorists in the world. “That’s correct,” says Stoltz. Bin Laden? “Correct,” says Stoltz. Did Stoltz think they were serious? “Oh absolutely,” he says. In fact, Stoltz says Randy Glass’s dinner companions were checked out by U.S. intelligence experts and found to have real connections. “We did confirm through various sources that Abbas and Malik did have links to weapons trafficking groups and militant operations,” says Stoltz.” (2)

About this meeting, John Pacenti, in a Palm Beach Post article dated August 2, 2002 titled, Con Man Turned Patriot Tells All states:

"At the meeting Abbas said Americans are the enemy and they will have no problem blowing up this entire restaurant because it’s full of Americans," Glass said. "As we leave the restaurant, Abbas turns and says, 'those towers (the World Trade Center ) are coming down.'"

Despite that information, available to the government two years before the World Trade Center attack, the FBI's terrorism task force didn't appear to take the threat seriously, Glass said.” (4)

So now we have an alleged member of the Pakistani ISI, Raja Ghulam Abbas, meeting with Randy Glass in New York City , talking about buying sophisticated weapons, components for nuclear arms and talking about the World Trade Center towers coming down. Abbas also presents a business card showing that he is in business with Mohamed “Mike” Malik. The entire meeting was recorded and according to Randy, members of the FBI Terrorism Task Force were present in case anything went wrong.

A few weeks after the meeting the buyers flew to Florida to see the weapons for sale. From the August 2nd Dateline transcript we find this:

“Stoltz says that more than anything else they wanted materials for nuclear weapons, especially a substance called heavy water, which is used to make weapons grade plutonium.

Sometimes, as on this tape, Abbas used a code name, referring to heavy water as “sweet water.” Abbas: “And we hook up to the guys which ... in Pakistan work for us . . .” Randy Glass: “Yeah, of course.” Abbas: “So we say to him whatever you need, anything up to the sweet water, you know?” Randy Glass: “Yes.” “They would tell me: ‘The people that I’m dealing with, they have to have the heavy water,’” says Stoltz. And unless they got it, Stoltz was told the deal was off. That was a deal breaker. “That was a deal breaker,” says Stoltz. “They were flexible maybe on military parts for airplanes or small arms or maybe even Stingers, but they always came back to square one. Heavy water.” For nuclear weapons? “Correct,” says Stoltz. And that wasn’t all the arms dealers wanted. “Dateline” has learned that Mike Malik gave the undercover agents a list of radioactive chemicals that could be used to make a so-called dirty bomb — conventional explosives laced with radioactive materials. Bin Laden’s terrorists are believed to have talked about detonating such a bomb in a major U.S. city to spread toxic radiation. Malik and Abbas were so serious about closing a deal, Stoltz says, they went back to Pakistan to talk to their customers in person. Then, Stoltz says, Abbas informed him there was one more condition: he wanted to bring a Pakistani nuclear scientist to America who could inspect the nuclear materials that would be part of the deal. And he told Stoltz the name of the scientist. Did Stoltz check this out? “Of course it was passed up the line and it was confirmed that this person did exist and that’s what he did for the Pakistani government,” says Stoltz. “That he was in the field of atomic weapons. He was a scientist.”” (2)

Now we have Mohamed “Mike” Malik not only traveling with Abbas to Florida with a priority of securing heavy water for a dirty bomb, but Malik himself coming up with a shopping “list of radioactive chemicals that could be used to make a so-called dirty bomb — conventional explosives laced with radioactive materials.”

The group finally reached an agreement in December of 2000.

“The buyers would pay $32 million over several years. The first shipments would be conventional weapons. Nuclear components would come later. A Florida bank account was set up to receive the $32 million wire transfer that was supposed to come from a bank in the Middle Eastern emirate of Dubai . Federal agents waited six months, but the money never came. “And at that point, it was decided that we would take the case down,” says Stoltz. “We thought we had gone about as far as we could with it.”

The Dateline story states that, “A Florida bank account was set up to receive the $32 million wire transfer that was supposed to come from a bank in the Middle Eastern emirate of Dubai .”

In an interesting parallel, in an article titled Al Qaeda Moneyman Caught, by Elaine Shannon, published by Time Magazine on May 1, 2003 (5), Shannon states:

“A Pakistani police roundup of al-Qaeda figures in Karachi Tuesday has netted a Bin Laden bagman who funneled nearly $120,000 to ringleader Mohammed Atta and other 9/11 hijackers to finance their flight lessons and living expenses in the US , according to FBI and U.S. intelligence officials.

Ali Abd al-Aziz (also known as Ammar al-Baluchi), a nephew of captured al-Qaeda operations boss Khalid Shaikh Mohammed and first cousin of 1993 World Trade Center bombing mastermind Ramzi Yousef, was arrested with a higher-ranking al-Qaeda lieutenant, Walid Ba 'Attash, aka "Khallad" or Tawfiq Bin Attash an Osama bin Laden intimate who is believed to have organized the October 2000 bombing of the USS Cole in Yemen.” (5)

Further on Shannon writes about the arrangements made to transfer the money from Dubai to a bank in Florida .

“From July 18 to September 18, 2000, Aziz, using the Mansur alias or calling himself "Mr. Ali" or "Hani" of "Fawaz Trding" (SIC), wired another $109,500 from the UAE Exchange Centre in Dubai to an account at Sun Trust Bank held jointly by Al Shehhi and 9/11 hijack team leader Mohammed Atta, while both men were attending Huffman Aviation school in Venice, Florida.” (5)

So we have both of these plans to wire money originating in Dubai and ending up in banks in Florida . Coincidence?

Another interesting parallel in the two stories is that they both involve members of the Pakistani ISI. We know that Raja Ghulam Abbas represented himself to Randy Glass as being a Pakistani ISI Agent. The Times of India, in an article titled, India helped FBI trace ISI-terrorist links , by Manoj Joshi, dated October 9, 2001, revealed that the head of the Pakistani ISI, General Mahmoud Ahmad, had been fired from his position after it was determined that he had authorized the transfer of $100,000 to Mohamed Atta in Florida shortly before 9-11.

“While the Pakistani Inter Services Public Relations claimed that former ISI director-general Lt-Gen Mahmud Ahmad sought retirement after being superseded on Monday, the truth is more shocking.

Top sources confirmed here on Tuesday, that the general lost his job because of the "evidence" India produced to show his links to one of the suicide bombers that wrecked the World Trade Centre. The US authorities sought his removal after confirming the fact that $100,000 were wired to WTC hijacker Mohammed Atta from Pakistan by Ahmad Umar Sheikh at the instance of Gen Mahumd.” (6)

Further research indicates that Dubai was the place where most Al Qaeda money transfers originated. Atta apparently received a number of money transfers from Dubai and some of them were sent by people other than Ali Abd al-Aziz. Atta’s name will come up again later in this report when I tell the story of another Operation Diamondback player.

So whatever happened to Diaa Mohsen, Mohammed Malik and Raja Ghulam Abbas after Operation Diamondback came to an end? Here are some of the answers from the Dateline transcript:

“In June of last year, the feds moved in and arrested Randy Glass’s original contact, Diaa Mohsen, and Mohamed Mike Malik. That was three months before 9/11. After 9/11 both men pled guilty to violating arms laws. But remarkably — even though they were apparently willing to supply America’s enemies with sophisticated weapons — even nuclear weapons technology — Mohsen was sentenced to just 30 months in prison. And Malik? Mysteriously, his sentence remains under seal. And he appears to be a free man as “Dateline” saw recently when we visited him at his New Jersey convenience store.” (2)

According to my own research, Diaa Mohsen spent time in Allenwood Federal Prison in White Deer, PA and had a projected release date of 9-13-03 .

Mohamed Malik currently lives in Watchung , New Jersey and according to reports, his case has been sealed and all references to Pakistan have been stricken from the documents.

In an article that appeared in the Washington Post titled U.S. Reopens Arms Case In Probe for Taliban Role, lawyers for Moshen and Malik tried to minimize their role and discount their contacts:

“Lawyers for the two men arrested in the sting said their clients have no connections to terrorists or arms dealers, and became involved only when approached by a U.S. government informant.

"None of those people who came over from Pakistan were government officials who could get an arms deal done," said Jim Eisenberg, attorney for Mohammed "Mike" Malik, one of the potential buyers, who remains free and whose case is sealed.

Val Rodriguez, lawyer for Diaa Mohsen, the only man in the case currently imprisoned, said his client also lacked the ties necessary to arrange a secret arms deal. He acknowledged, however, that Mohsen "kept trying to get the connections [the undercover agent] wanted." However, both Mohsen and Malik, he added, "had contact with people who knew terrorists."”

The statements from the lawyers contradict statements made by ATF Special Agent Dick Stoltz and other intelligence people who claim that the contacts Moshen and Malik made were with terror groups known to be enemies of the United States .

What bothers me is that both Moshen and Malik were caught red-handed on tape talking about securing components for nuclear weapons and Malik himself provided a list of specific things they needed to build these weapons. I didn’t hear Randy Glass or Dick Stoltz saying that they had these things for sale. I heard Moshen and Malik asking for them and making their deal contingent on the acquisition of these nuclear weapons related components.

And how does a guy who supposedly just runs a convenience store in Jersey City even know what kind of components are needed to build a nuclear weapon unless he’s involved with people who know what to ask for?

As for Raja Ghulum Abbas, he ended up fleeing the country and intelligence officials claim they have lost him. Dateline NBC was able to locate him easily enough though and talked to him over the phone.

New Jersey and Terrorism…Perfect Together

By Allan P. Duncan September 4, 2004


Part 2: The Good Doctor Who Wasn’t So Good

In Part 1 of this series I introduced you to three men from Jersey City who attempted to set up a weapons deal which included among other things, hundreds of Stinger Missiles and components for nuclear weapons. The weapons deal was part of a two and a half year investigation called Operation Diamondback which culminated with the arrests of two of the Jersey City men in June of 2001.

Diaa Moshen was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Mohamed Malik was freed and had his case sealed and purged of all references to Pakistan . Both men are now free and continue to walk the streets of New Jersey .

The third man, Raja Ghulam Abbas, an alleged Pakistani ISI Agent, fled the country and the last I heard was living in Pakistan .

During a meeting at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill on July 22, 1999 , Abbas pointed towards the World Trade Center and stated “those towers are coming down.” Despite the fact that the meeting was recorded and was being watched by members of the FBI’s Terrorism Task Force, the threat was apparently not taken seriously. (4)

Randy Glass, the former con-man who posed as a weapons dealer during Operation Diamondback, was so upset about the references to the Towers coming down, that after the investigation ended he notified his elected representatives in Florida and reported the threats. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, titled Intelligence Panel Hears from Glass, by John Pacenti published on October 17, 2002 :

“In August 2001, just before Glass started to serve a seven-month sentence for a $6 million jewelry scam, he said he reached out to Sen. Bob Graham and U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. He said he told staffers for both lawmakers that a Pakistani operative working for the Taliban known as R.G. Abbas made three references to imminent plans to attack the World Trade Center during the probe, which ended in June 2001.

At one meeting at New York 's Tribeca Grill caught on tape, Abbas pointed to the World Trade Center and said, "Those towers are coming down," Glass said.” (8)

Further on in the article Pacenti reports:

“Graham acknowledged at news conference in Boca Raton last month that Glass had contact with his office before Sept. 11, 2001, about an attack on the World Trade Center. "I was concerned about that and a dozen other pieces of information which emanated from the summer of 2001," the senator said.” (8)

WPTV, an NBC affiliate in Florida did a news report where Senator Graham is confronted about the Glass info and a video of the story can be viewed online by checking out The Randy Glass Video in the Resources section at the end of this article.

In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned the fact that General Mahmoud Ahmad, the head of the Pakistani ISI, had been sacked from his position after it was determined that he had authorized a wire transfer of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta shortly before 9-11. (6)

On the morning of 9-11, General Ahmad was at a breakfast meeting in Washington D.C. with Senator Bob Graham and Congressman Porter Goss, the Chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. (9) One would think that as soon as Senator Graham heard about the attack on the World Trade Center , he would have remembered the information Randy Glass had shared with him about the threats.

Ironic, isn’t it, that Graham was sitting with the head of the Pakistani ISI at the exact same time the attacks took place when he had already been warned of a threat that had come directly from the lips of an alleged Pakistani ISI Agent? No wonder Senator Graham acted dumb when confronted with the pre 9-11 Glass warning in the WPTV news story.

I’ve also never heard a response from either Senator Bob Graham or Congressman Porter Goss about what their thoughts were when it was revealed that the guy they had breakfast with on 9-11 had actually authorized the transfer of money to Mohammed Atta?

Porter Goss has now been nominated by President Bush to head the CIA. Many people have been lobbying to have Goss questioned about his meeting with General Ahmad on 9-11 but I’m betting that nobody has the guts to even bring it up during his confirmation hearings and it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he will breeze though the hearings with no problem.

I also alluded in Part 1, to frustrations voiced by intelligence professionals over the lack of attention Operation Diamondback received from higher ups in Law Enforcement. ATF Special Agent Dick Stoltz had this to say about Operation Diamondback:

“Stoltz says he’s surprised that all the evidence and intelligence the case generated wasn’t pursued more aggressively at the highest levels of law enforcement in Washington . “Quite frankly, I was always wondering when maybe the case would be taken away from ATF,” says Stoltz. So Stoltz thought that he was on to something so big that ultimately FBI, perhaps CIA might take over? “Oh, FBI at the minimum,” says Stoltz.” (2)

Other federal officials had this to say:

“Some federal officials were frustrated that the FBI, while allowing a Florida agent to work on the probe, did not declare the case a counterterrorism matter. That would have given ATF officials better access to FBI information and U.S. intelligence from around the world, and would have drawn bureaucratic backing from people all the way to the White House, officials said.” (7)

In the same Washington Post article, Dick Stoltz added this:

"Had more attention been paid to this inside the government, the case agents in the trenches would have had more information on who these Pakistani people on U.S. soil were," said Stoltz, who is now retired. "It would have steered us in other directions, and possibly justified continuing the investigation. . . . We couldn't understand why this wasn't treated as a national security matter." (7)

So why was Operation Diamondback handled as a criminal matter and not as a counterterrorism case? I believe I may have discovered the answer which will be revealed in the following section.

The Strange Story of Dr. Magdy Elamir

The August 2, 2002 edition of Dateline NBC, brought to light the story of another North Jersey character named Dr. Magdy Elamir.

“Last fall, “Dateline” obtained information about Magdy Elamir. He’s a prominent doctor, a neurologist with a practice in Jersey City . Born and educated in Egypt , he moved to this country about 20 years ago and since then has built a fortune. He lives in a mansion, is generous to local charities and is an active supporter of both political parties. Should counterterrorism investigators take an interest in Dr. Elamir? Well, “Dateline” obtained a document last fall — foreign intelligence report, that makes a startling allegation about the doctor — that he has had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years. The report was given to a senior member of Congress, Ben Gilman, back in 1998, when he was Chairman of the House International Relations Committee. “We have a former FBI person on our staff and I asked him to look it over,” says Congressman Gilman. “He thought it was credible enough to turn it over to the intelligence people. And we turned it over to the FBI practically immediately.” This was in 1998. The report alleges that an H.M.O. owned by Dr. Elamir in New Jersey was “funded by ben [sic] Laden” and that in turn Dr. Elamir was skimming money from the H.M.O. to fund “terrorist activities.”

Has the FBI answered those questions? Not to Congressman Gilman’s satisfaction. But what “Dateline” found intriguing is that less than a year after the congressman says the FBI received the report, Dr. Elamir’s HMO was taken over by the state of New Jersey , which opened a fraud investigation. Why? Because, according to sources close to the investigation, more than $15 million is unaccounted for. Where did the money go? “Dateline” has reviewed documents that show at least some of it went into hard-to-trace offshore bank accounts. Does that mean any of the missing money went, as the intelligence report suggests, to fund terrorist activities? We don’t know.” (2)

This story really caught my attention since allegations were made that Dr. Elamir had financial ties to Osama Bin Laden for years and that Bin Laden had funded an HMO that Elamir was operating in New Jersey . The intelligence report that Dateline refers to also infers that Dr. Elamir may have skimmed money from the HMO to fund “terrorist activities”.

I decided to look deeper into this story and found the following information about Dr. Elamir:

“Magdy El Sayed El Amir, a native of Egypt, received his medical degree from the University of Cairo in 1977. After moving to the US with his family, he completed his neurology and psychiatry residency before opening a storefront neurology practice in Jersey City , NJ , in 1982. The practice catered to the area's poor, many of whom were fee-for-service Medicaid beneficiaries.

Elamir (in this country, he'd begun eliding the two parts of his last name) did a brisk business. Before long, his medical practice became the nucleus for other health-related enterprises, including several MRI centers, a limousine and ambulance company, and a physician billing and management service. He also acquired real estate in Hudson County , where he practiced, and in several adjoining counties.” (10)

I also found out that in addition to the HMO fraud case referred to in the Dateline story, that Dr. Elamir had a history of involvement in other fraud cases.

“In 1996 and 1997, Maryland Casualty Insurance Co., National Consumer Insurance Co., and Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co. cited Elamir and numerous other defendants in lawsuits alleging that they performed unnecessary medical procedures on "victims” of staged auto accidents. As a result, Allstate stopped paying for MRIs at Elamir's unlicensed centers, and his cash flow dropped, Elamir's attorneys have said.

Elamir ran afoul of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1997 after applying for a license to perform radioactive imaging in another of his offices. The NRC found that he had listed a Long Island doctor as his office's radiation safety officer and the sole authorized user of the material without the doctor's knowledge, NRC disciplinary records show. The physician was not licensed in New Jersey , according to the state Board of Medical Examiners.

As a result, the NRC has prohibited Elamir from any involvement with nuclear medicine until 2002.” (11)

In 2001 Dr. Elamir was involved in another accident fraud case in New Jersey :

“A Clifton lawyer and three doctors were arrested in Wednesday's roundup of 192 defendants charged as part of an auto insurance fraud ring, making them the first professionals to be arrested under New Jersey 's anti-runner statute.

Hudson County prosecutors said the ring staged accidents in Hudson, Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties to try to collect $5 million in phony claims, a few of which were paid by carriers cooperating in the 19-month-long sting operation.” (12)

Further on in the article:

“The other doctor charged under the statute is neurologist Magdy Elamir of Saddle River . He is accused of paying Poller in exchange for his sending patients to Elamir's clinics for unnecessary and expensive MRIs.

Neurologist Elamir, who operates clinics in several cities, is no stranger to authorities. In June 2000, he was sued by the state for allegedly draining $16.7 million from the assets of a Newark-based HMO he and his associates ran. The now-defunct HMO, American Preferred Provider Plan, served 44,000 poor, mostly Medicaid patients.

State Banking and Insurance Commissioner Karen Suter said at the time that the assets were diverted to Elamir, his relatives and associates, and other enterprises he controlled, including HMOs in Michigan and Washington , D.C.

Bill Hine, a spokesman for Suter, says the suit against Elamir is in discovery. The state is liquidating the Washington HMO and has taken over the Michigan operation and sold the assets, he adds.

Elamir's clinics also came up in the discipline case against former Newark solo practitioner Patrick Pajerowski, disbarred by the state Supreme Court in 1998 for using a runner. In that ethics case, two accident victims were visited by the runner -- Pajerowski's office manager -- who referred them to a Jersey City clinic operated by Elamir, even though they told him they were not injured. No criminal charges were filed.” (12)

If that wasn’t enough, I also found that in 1999, Dr. Elamir was running a number of unlicensed MRI centers:

“A Saddle River man accused by the state of siphoning more than $ 9 million from his financially ailing health maintenance organization also owns five unlicensed MRI centers that are not subject to health and safety standards, state officials say.

Dr. Magdy Elamir, owner of the American Preferred Provider Plan (APPP), which was taken over by the state last month, owns magnetic resonance imaging centers in Paterson , Passaic , Jersey City , Irvington , and Newark .” (13)

So here we have a prominent neurologist who is alleged to have funneled money to Osama Bin Laden through his fraudulent HMO, and we also discover that he has been involved in at least two accident fraud schemes, operated unlicensed MRI centers and had a license revoked by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC license revocation is especially troubling since unauthorized and unlicensed personnel at Dr. Elamir’s clinics were handling nuclear materials.

In a document I found titled Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issuances, dated July 1- December 31, 1998 , Volume 48 pages 1-415, on page 7 is listed:

Magdy Elamir , MD

( Newark , New Jersey )

Docket 1A 97-070

Memorandum and Order, LBP 98-25, October 8, 1998 ……226


This document is in the form of a PDF file and when I scrolled down to page 226, I found five pages of information concerning the suspension of Byproducts Material License # 29-30282-01. (14)

In an NRC News article published by the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on April 4, 1997 , it states:

“An NRC inspection in January found that the individuals acting as the authorized user of radioactive materials at Newark Medical Associates and as its radiation safety officer were not listed on the license, as NRC requires. A subsequent investigation by the NRC's Office of Investigations determined that the application for the license listed an individual as the sole authorized user and radiation safety officer without that individual's consent or knowledge. Investigators further found that the individual has never been associated with Newark Medical Associates.” (15)

To make matters worse, Dr. Elamir’s own brother, Mohamed El Amir, was implicated in Operation Diamondback:

Dateline has found another reason why federal investigators might want to pay close attention to Dr. Elamir and his family. It’s something we learned when we interviewed Randy Glass, the con-man turned undercover operative who helped the government break up an illegal weapons ring allegedly tied to terrorist groups. It turns out that one of the people recorded trying to arrange an arms deal with Randy Glass was Dr. Elamir’s own brother, Mohamed, an engineer, also a U.S. citizen now living in Egypt. And just listen to what he was interested in.

“There was a warehouse full of weapons in Italy that they needed shipped,” says Glass. It was the spring of 1999. Mohamed Elamir explains that he wants false papers that would identify a shipment of weapons — as vegetables. Randy Glass: “ But you’re talking about, they’re saying they wanna ship vegetables, right? Is what they want — is what they want on the paperwork, correct?” Mohamed El Amir: “Yep.” Then Randy Glass cuts to the chase. Randy Glass: “Listen. My phone line is secure. And so I’m just gonna talk very open with you, OK?” Mohamed El Amir: “Yep.” Randy Glass: “OK. They want to ship things like tanks, correct?” Mohamed El Amir: “Uh-huh.” Glass: “OK. How... OK. In or— ” Mohamed El Amir: “No, no, no, no. Just ammunition, not tanks.” Randy Glass: “So they just wanna do basically, small arms and ammunition, right?” Mohamed El Amir: “Yes.” Did Mohamed give Glass any indication as to who was going to get these arms? “Never got a chance to ask him,” says Glass. Glass says federal agents told him to drop the matter. So, what happened to the case? “Nothing,” says Glass. There was no follow-up. “No,” says Glass. Was this a missed opportunity? “Hundred percent,” says Glass.

And Randy Glass doesn’t know the half of it, because that same intelligence report that talks about Dr. Elamir also names his brother Mohamed as having ties to Osama bin Laden.” (2)

So at this point we now have information that Dr. Magdy Elamir along with his brother Mohamed El Amir have ties to Osama Bin Laden and yet neither one of them is arrested. Randy Glass says in fact that “federal agents told him to drop the matter.”

All of this information made me wonder what a person has to do in New Jersey to lose his or her medical license? I also wondered why Dr. Elamir had never been arrested for his connections to Osama Bin Laden? The only logical reason I could figure that Dr. Magdy Elamir was still practicing medicine was that he must have had one fine well connected lawyer.

I then took a closer look at the articles and court documents I had collected on Dr. Magdy Elamir and they revealed who his lawyer was.

“Elamir did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment. But his attorney, Michael Chertoff, said several of the five MRI centers may be exempt from licensing requirements, a position questioned by state health officials.” (13)

The same article states that Dr. Elamir’s lawyer, Michael Chertoff, also represented him in the fraudulent HMO case:

”Chertoff, who has represented Elamir at court hearings on the state takeover of APPP, said he did not know why the MRI centers did not provide financial help for the troubled HMO, as envisioned in the agreement.

Elamir has been accused by the state of diverting state Medicaid funds to other businesses he owns. In a civil proceeding, the state alleges that American Preferred Provider illegally"loaned"more than $ 4 million to two start-up HMOs in Michigan and Washington , D.C. , also owned by Elamir, and that APPP paid Elamir and various other businesses he owned more than $ 5 million out of Medicaid funds.” (13)

I didn’t know who Michael Chertoff was when I ran across his name as the attorney who defended Dr. Elamir in his fraudulent HMO and MRI cases, so I did some research. I was completely blown away by what I discovered about Michael Chertoff.

As it turns out, Michael Chertoff was appointed Assistant Attorney General, under John Ashcroft, in early 2001 and was placed in charge of the Criminal Division. (16) Since Operation Diamondback was an active case when he took office, and culminated in arrests in June of 2001, the case would have fallen under his pervue since it was handled as a criminal case and not as a counterterrorism case. This means that one of his former clients, Dr. Magdy Elamir, along with his brother Mohamed El Amir, were now involved in a case under his supervision.

When the attacks on 9-11 occurred, Michael Chertoff was placed in charge of the investigation. On Oct. 25, 2001 , CBS reported that the Feds had launched Operation Green Quest in an attempt to stop the financing of terrorism. Here’s what Dr. Magdy Elamir’s former attorney had to say on the subject:

"The lifeblood of terrorism is money, and if we cut the money we cut the blood supply," said assistant attorney general Michael Chertoff, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division. (17)

The next day, on October 26, 2001 , Michael Chertoff testified before Congress and had this to say:

“As an integral part of this national effort, the Department of Justice and the FBI have established an interagency Financial Review Group to coordinate the investigation of the financial aspects surrounding the terrorist events of September 11th and beyond. All members of this Committee recognize the importance of understanding the financial components of terrorist and criminal organizations. These financial links will be critical to the larger criminal investigation, while also providing a trail to the sources of funding for these heinous crimes. The importance of "following the money," in this instance, as well as in the investigation of all criminal enterprises, cannot be overstated.

The members of this Committee are also well aware that money laundering constitutes a threat to the safety of our communities, to the integrity of our financial institutions and to our national security.” (18)

On March 25, 2002 , CNN reported:

“Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff is the Dick Cheney of the Justice Department. Brainy, intense and well connected, the former federal prosecutor can usually be found at Attorney General John Ashcroft's elbow as the department's top counterterrorism tactician. And last week Chertoff vanished to an undisclosed location.

With no deputies along and no publicity, Chertoff was on a stealthy swing through France , Belgium and the Netherlands . His mission: sell Western European governments on a new Bush Administration plan to post U.S. Justice Department prosecutors overseas in unprecedented numbers. "The sinews that hold a terrorist network together are money, communications and transportation," Chertoff told TIME before his trip. To help sever those sinews, Chertoff wants to have American prosecutors stationed in key capitals, where they can work behind the scenes with their counterparts to overcome the legal and cultural obstacles to shipping evidence to the U.S. for use in court.”

Perhaps Chertoff could have saved some time and effort and looked in his own backyard for evidence of terrorist financing. To date, Dr. Magdy Elamir and his brother have not been arrested and are still free.

I have a theory that Elamir was not arrested, because if his case did come to court, then Chertoff’s role as his lawyer in the HMO case might have been exposed. Since Elamir’s HMO was supposedly a front for Bin Laden and millions of dollars were allegedly skimmed from the HMO to fund terrorism, Chertoff himself might be implicated in some way since he had to have had access to the HMO’s books and Elamir’s finances when he defended him.

I also have a theory that this may be why Operation Diamondback remained a criminal case and not a counterterrorism case. As head of the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice, the case would have been under the control of Michael Chertoff himself. Was this the real reason why the case came to a screeching halt with only a few arrests? Was this the reason why Randy Glass was told to drop the matter by federal agents when the case started focusing on Dr. Elamir’s brother Mohamed El Amir? Was this the reason why so many federal agents were frustrated because they felt the case hadn’t received the attention of higher ups in federal law enforcement? Maybe it had?

On April 22, 2003 President Bush nominated Michael Chertoff to be the Federal Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. Judge Chertoff now presides over federal cases in New Jersey , Pennsylvania , Delaware and the Virgin Islands .


New Jersey and Terrorism…Perfect Together Part 2: The Good Doctor Who Wasn’t So Good

By Allan P. Duncan September 4, 2004

In Part 1 of this series I introduced you to three men from Jersey City who attempted to set up a weapons deal which included among other things, hundreds of Stinger Missiles and components for nuclear weapons. The weapons deal was part of a two and a half year investigation called Operation Diamondback which culminated with the arrests of two of the Jersey City men in June of 2001.

Diaa Moshen was sentenced to 30 months in prison and Mohamed Malik was freed and had his case sealed and purged of all references to Pakistan . Both men are now free and continue to walk the streets of New Jersey .

The third man, Raja Ghulam Abbas, an alleged Pakistani ISI Agent, fled the country and the last I heard was living in Pakistan .

During a meeting at Robert DeNiro’s Tribeca Grill on July 22, 1999 , Abbas pointed towards the World Trade Center and stated “those towers are coming down.” Despite the fact that the meeting was recorded and was being watched by members of the FBI’s Terrorism Task Force, the threat was apparently not taken seriously. (4)

Randy Glass, the former con-man who posed as a weapons dealer during Operation Diamondback, was so upset about the references to the Towers coming down, that after the investigation ended he notified his elected representatives in Florida and reported the threats. According to an article in the Palm Beach Post, titled Intelligence Panel Hears from Glass, by John Pacenti published on October 17, 2002 :

“In August 2001, just before Glass started to serve a seven-month sentence for a $6 million jewelry scam, he said he reached out to Sen. Bob Graham and U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler. He said he told staffers for both lawmakers that a Pakistani operative working for the Taliban known as R.G. Abbas made three references to imminent plans to attack the World Trade Center during the probe, which ended in June 2001.

At one meeting at New York 's Tribeca Grill caught on tape, Abbas pointed to the World Trade Center and said, "Those towers are coming down," Glass said.” (8)

Further on in the article Pacenti reports:

“Graham acknowledged at news conference in Boca Raton last month that Glass had contact with his office before Sept. 11, 2001, about an attack on the World Trade Center. "I was concerned about that and a dozen other pieces of information which emanated from the summer of 2001," the senator said.” (8)

WPTV, an NBC affiliate in Florida did a news report where Senator Graham is confronted about the Glass info and a video of the story can be viewed online by checking out The Randy Glass Video in the Resources section at the end of this article.

In Part 1 of this series, I mentioned the fact that General Mahmoud Ahmad, the head of the Pakistani ISI, had been sacked from his position after it was determined that he had authorized a wire transfer of $100,000 to Mohammed Atta shortly before 9-11. (6)

On the morning of 9-11, General Ahmad was at a breakfast meeting in Washington D.C. with Senator Bob Graham and Congressman Porter Goss, the Chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees. (9) One would think that as soon as Senator Graham heard about the attack on the World Trade Center , he would have remembered the information Randy Glass had shared with him about the threats.

Ironic, isn’t it, that Graham was sitting with the head of the Pakistani ISI at the exact same time the attacks took place when he had already been warned of a threat that had come directly from the lips of an alleged Pakistani ISI Agent? No wonder Senator Graham acted dumb when confronted with the pre 9-11 Glass warning in the WPTV news story.

I’ve also never heard a response from either Senator Bob Graham or Congressman Porter Goss about what their thoughts were when it was revealed that the guy they had breakfast with on 9-11 had actually authorized the transfer of money to Mohammed Atta?

Porter Goss has now been nominated by President Bush to head the CIA. Many people have been lobbying to have Goss questioned about his meeting with General Ahmad on 9-11 but I’m betting that nobody has the guts to even bring it up during his confirmation hearings and it seems to be a foregone conclusion that he will breeze though the hearings with no problem.

I also alluded in Part 1, to frustrations voiced by intelligence professionals over the lack of attention Operation Diamondback received from higher ups in Law Enforcement. ATF Special Agent Dick Stoltz had this to say about Operation Diamondback:

“Stoltz says he’s surprised that all the evidence and intelligence the case generated wasn’t pursued more aggressively at the highest levels of law enforcement in Washington . “Quite frankly, I was always wondering when maybe the case would be taken away from ATF,” says Stoltz. So Stoltz thought that he was on to something so big that ultimately FBI, perhaps CIA might take over? “Oh, FBI at the minimum,” says Stoltz.” (2)

Other federal officials had this to say:

“Some federal officials were frustrated that the FBI, while allowing a Florida agent to work on the probe, did not declare the case a counterterrorism matter. That would have given ATF officials better access to FBI information and U.S. intelligence from around the world, and would have drawn bureaucratic backing from people all the way to the White House, officials said.” (7)

In the same Washington Post article, Dick Stoltz added this:

"Had more attention been paid to this inside the government, the case agents in the trenches would have had more information on who these Pakistani people on U.S. soil were," said Stoltz, who is now retired. "It would have steered us in other directions, and possibly justified continuing the investigation. . . . We couldn't understand why this wasn't treated as a national security matter." (7)

So why was Operation Diamondback handled as a criminal matter and not as a counterterrorism case? I believe I may have discovered the answer which will be revealed in the following section.

The Strange Story of Dr. Magdy Elamir

The August 2, 2002 edition of Dateline NBC, brought to light the story of another North Jersey character named Dr. Magdy Elamir.

“Last fall, “Dateline” obtained information about Magdy Elamir. He’s a prominent doctor, a neurologist with a practice in Jersey City . Born and educated in Egypt , he moved to this country about 20 years ago and since then has built a fortune. He lives in a mansion, is generous to local charities and is an active supporter of both political parties. Should counterterrorism investigators take an interest in Dr. Elamir? Well, “Dateline” obtained a document last fall — foreign intelligence report, that makes a startling allegation about the doctor — that he has had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years. The report was given to a senior member of Congress, Ben Gilman, back in 1998, when he was Chairman of the House International Relations Committee. “We have a former FBI person on our staff and I asked him to look it over,” says Congressman Gilman. “He thought it was credible enough to turn it over to the intelligence people. And we turned it over to the FBI practically immediately.” This was in 1998. The report alleges that an H.M.O. owned by Dr. Elamir in New Jersey was “funded by ben [sic] Laden” and that in turn Dr. Elamir was skimming money from the H.M.O. to fund “terrorist activities.”

Has the FBI answered those questions? Not to Congressman Gilman’s satisfaction. But what “Dateline” found intriguing is that less than a year after the congressman says the FBI received the report, Dr. Elamir’s HMO was taken over by the state of New Jersey , which opened a fraud investigation. Why? Because, according to sources close to the investigation, more than $15 million is unaccounted for. Where did the money go? “Dateline” has reviewed documents that show at least some of it went into hard-to-trace offshore bank accounts. Does that mean any of the missing money went, as the intelligence report suggests, to fund terrorist activities? We don’t know.” (2)

This story really caught my attention since allegations were made that Dr. Elamir had financial ties to Osama Bin Laden for years and that Bin Laden had funded an HMO that Elamir was operating in New Jersey . The intelligence report that Dateline refers to also infers that Dr. Elamir may have skimmed money from the HMO to fund “terrorist activities”.

I decided to look deeper into this story and found the following information about Dr. Elamir:

“Magdy El Sayed El Amir, a native of Egypt, received his medical degree from the University of Cairo in 1977. After moving to the US with his family, he completed his neurology and psychiatry residency before opening a storefront neurology practice in Jersey City , NJ , in 1982. The practice catered to the area's poor, many of whom were fee-for-service Medicaid beneficiaries.

Elamir (in this country, he'd begun eliding the two parts of his last name) did a brisk business. Before long, his medical practice became the nucleus for other health-related enterprises, including several MRI centers, a limousine and ambulance company, and a physician billing and management service. He also acquired real estate in Hudson County , where he practiced, and in several adjoining counties.” (10)

I also found out that in addition to the HMO fraud case referred to in the Dateline story, that Dr. Elamir had a history of involvement in other fraud cases.

“In 1996 and 1997, Maryland Casualty Insurance Co., National Consumer Insurance Co., and Allstate New Jersey Insurance Co. cited Elamir and numerous other defendants in lawsuits alleging that they performed unnecessary medical procedures on "victims” of staged auto accidents. As a result, Allstate stopped paying for MRIs at Elamir's unlicensed centers, and his cash flow dropped, Elamir's attorneys have said.

Elamir ran afoul of the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission in 1997 after applying for a license to perform radioactive imaging in another of his offices. The NRC found that he had listed a Long Island doctor as his office's radiation safety officer and the sole authorized user of the material without the doctor's knowledge, NRC disciplinary records show. The physician was not licensed in New Jersey , according to the state Board of Medical Examiners.

As a result, the NRC has prohibited Elamir from any involvement with nuclear medicine until 2002.” (11)

In 2001 Dr. Elamir was involved in another accident fraud case in New Jersey :

“A Clifton lawyer and three doctors were arrested in Wednesday's roundup of 192 defendants charged as part of an auto insurance fraud ring, making them the first professionals to be arrested under New Jersey 's anti-runner statute.

Hudson County prosecutors said the ring staged accidents in Hudson, Bergen, Passaic and Essex counties to try to collect $5 million in phony claims, a few of which were paid by carriers cooperating in the 19-month-long sting operation.” (12)

Further on in the article:

“The other doctor charged under the statute is neurologist Magdy Elamir of Saddle River . He is accused of paying Poller in exchange for his sending patients to Elamir's clinics for unnecessary and expensive MRIs.

Neurologist Elamir, who operates clinics in several cities, is no stranger to authorities. In June 2000, he was sued by the state for allegedly draining $16.7 million from the assets of a Newark-based HMO he and his associates ran. The now-defunct HMO, American Preferred Provider Plan, served 44,000 poor, mostly Medicaid patients.

State Banking and Insurance Commissioner Karen Suter said at the time that the assets were diverted to Elamir, his relatives and associates, and other enterprises he controlled, including HMOs in Michigan and Washington , D.C.

Bill Hine, a spokesman for Suter, says the suit against Elamir is in discovery. The state is liquidating the Washington HMO and has taken over the Michigan operation and sold the assets, he adds.

Elamir's clinics also came up in the discipline case against former Newark solo practitioner Patrick Pajerowski, disbarred by the state Supreme Court in 1998 for using a runner. In that ethics case, two accident victims were visited by the runner -- Pajerowski's office manager -- who referred them to a Jersey City clinic operated by Elamir, even though they told him they were not injured. No criminal charges were filed.” (12)

If that wasn’t enough, I also found that in 1999, Dr. Elamir was running a number of unlicensed MRI centers:

“A Saddle River man accused by the state of siphoning more than $ 9 million from his financially ailing health maintenance organization also owns five unlicensed MRI centers that are not subject to health and safety standards, state officials say.

Dr. Magdy Elamir, owner of the American Preferred Provider Plan (APPP), which was taken over by the state last month, owns magnetic resonance imaging centers in Paterson , Passaic , Jersey City , Irvington , and Newark .” (13)

So here we have a prominent neurologist who is alleged to have funneled money to Osama Bin Laden through his fraudulent HMO, and we also discover that he has been involved in at least two accident fraud schemes, operated unlicensed MRI centers and had a license revoked by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The NRC license revocation is especially troubling since unauthorized and unlicensed personnel at Dr. Elamir’s clinics were handling nuclear materials.

In a document I found titled Nuclear Regulatory Commission Issuances, dated July 1- December 31, 1998 , Volume 48 pages 1-415, on page 7 is listed:


Magdy Elamir , MD

( Newark , New Jersey )

Docket 1A 97-070

Memorandum and Order, LBP 98-25, October 8, 1998 ……226


This document is in the form of a PDF file and when I scrolled down to page 226, I found five pages of information concerning the suspension of Byproducts Material License # 29-30282-01. (14)

In an NRC News article published by the U. S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission on April 4, 1997 , it states:

“An NRC inspection in January found that the individuals acting as the authorized user of radioactive materials at Newark Medical Associates and as its radiation safety officer were not listed on the license, as NRC requires. A subsequent investigation by the NRC's Office of Investigations determined that the application for the license listed an individual as the sole authorized user and radiation safety officer without that individual's consent or knowledge. Investigators further found that the individual has never been associated with Newark Medical Associates.” (15)

To make matters worse, Dr. Elamir’s own brother, Mohamed El Amir, was implicated in Operation Diamondback:

“Dateline” has found another reason why federal investigators might want to pay close attention to Dr. Elamir and his family. It’s something we learned when we interviewed Randy Glass, the con-man turned undercover operative who helped the government break up an illegal weapons ring allegedly tied to terrorist groups. It turns out that one of the people recorded trying to arrange an arms deal with Randy Glass was Dr. Elamir’s own brother, Mohamed, an engineer, also a U.S. citizen now living in Egypt. And just listen to what he was interested in.

"There was a warehouse full of weapons in Italy that they needed shipped,” says Glass. It was the spring of 1999. Mohamed Elamir explains that he wants false papers that would identify a shipment of weapons — as vegetables. Randy Glass: “ But you’re talking about, they’re saying they wanna ship vegetables, right? Is what they want — is what they want on the paperwork, correct?” Mohamed El Amir: “Yep.” Then Randy Glass cuts to the chase. Randy Glass: “Listen. My phone line is secure. And so I’m just gonna talk very open with you, OK?” Mohamed El Amir: “Yep.” Randy Glass: “OK. They want to ship things like tanks, correct?” Mohamed El Amir: “Uh-huh.” Glass: “OK. How... OK. In or— ” Mohamed El Amir: “No, no, no, no. Just ammunition, not tanks.” Randy Glass: “So they just wanna do basically, small arms and ammunition, right?” Mohamed El Amir: “Yes.” Did Mohamed give Glass any indication as to who was going to get these arms? “Never got a chance to ask him,” says Glass. Glass says federal agents told him to drop the matter. So, what happened to the case? “Nothing,” says Glass. There was no follow-up. “No,” says Glass. Was this a missed opportunity? “Hundred percent,” says Glass.

And Randy Glass doesn’t know the half of it, because that same intelligence report that talks about Dr. Elamir also names his brother Mohamed as having ties to Osama bin Laden.” (2)

So at this point we now have information that Dr. Magdy Elamir along with his brother Mohamed El Amir have ties to Osama Bin Laden and yet neither one of them is arrested. Randy Glass says in fact that “federal agents told him to drop the matter.”

All of this information made me wonder what a person has to do in New Jersey to lose his or her medical license? I also wondered why Dr. Elamir had never been arrested for his connections to Osama Bin Laden? The only logical reason I could figure that Dr. Magdy Elamir was still practicing medicine was that he must have had one fine well connected lawyer.

I then took a closer look at the articles and court documents I had collected on Dr. Magdy Elamir and they revealed who his lawyer was.

“Elamir did not return repeated phone calls seeking comment. But his attorney, Michael Chertoff, said several of the five MRI centers may be exempt from licensing requirements, a position questioned by state health officials.” (13)

The same article states that Dr. Elamir’s lawyer, Michael Chertoff, also represented him in the fraudulent HMO case:

”Chertoff, who has represented Elamir at court hearings on the state takeover of APPP, said he did not know why the MRI centers did not provide financial help for the troubled HMO, as envisioned in the agreement.

Elamir has been accused by the state of diverting state Medicaid funds to other businesses he owns. In a civil proceeding, the state alleges that American Preferred Provider illegally"loaned"more than $ 4 million to two start-up HMOs in Michigan and Washington , D.C. , also owned by Elamir, and that APPP paid Elamir and various other businesses he owned more than $ 5 million out of Medicaid funds.” (13)

I didn’t know who Michael Chertoff was when I ran across his name as the attorney who defended Dr. Elamir in his fraudulent HMO and MRI cases, so I did some research. I was completely blown away by what I discovered about Michael Chertoff. As it turns out, Michael Chertoff was appointed Assistant Attorney General, under John Ashcroft, in early 2001 and was placed in charge of the Criminal Division. (16) Since Operation Diamondback was an active case when he took office, and culminated in arrests in June of 2001, the case would have fallen under his pervue since it was handled as a criminal case and not as a counterterrorism case. This means that one of his former clients, Dr. Magdy Elamir, along with his brother Mohamed El Amir, were now involved in a case under his supervision.

When the attacks on 9-11 occurred, Michael Chertoff was placed in charge of the investigation. On Oct. 25, 2001 , CBS reported that the Feds had launched Operation Green Quest in an attempt to stop the financing of terrorism. Here’s what Dr. Magdy Elamir’s former attorney had to say on the subject:

"The lifeblood of terrorism is money, and if we cut the money we cut the blood supply," said assistant attorney general Michael Chertoff, the head of the Justice Department's criminal division. (17)

The next day, on October 26, 2001 , Michael Chertoff testified before Congress and had this to say:

“As an integral part of this national effort, the Department of Justice and the FBI have established an interagency Financial Review Group to coordinate the investigation of the financial aspects surrounding the terrorist events of September 11th and beyond. All members of this Committee recognize the importance of understanding the financial components of terrorist and criminal organizations. These financial links will be critical to the larger criminal investigation, while also providing a trail to the sources of funding for these heinous crimes. The importance of "following the money," in this instance, as well as in the investigation of all criminal enterprises, cannot be overstated.

The members of this Committee are also well aware that money laundering constitutes a threat to the safety of our communities, to the integrity of our financial institutions and to our national security.” (18)

On March 25, 2002 , CNN reported:

“Assistant Attorney General Michael Chertoff is the Dick Cheney of the Justice Department. Brainy, intense and well connected, the former federal prosecutor can usually be found at Attorney General John Ashcroft's elbow as the department's top counterterrorism tactician. And last week Chertoff vanished to an undisclosed location.

With no deputies along and no publicity, Chertoff was on a stealthy swing through France , Belgium and the Netherlands . His mission: sell Western European governments on a new Bush Administration plan to post U.S. Justice Department prosecutors overseas in unprecedented numbers. "The sinews that hold a terrorist network together are money, communications and transportation," Chertoff told TIME before his trip. To help sever those sinews, Chertoff wants to have American prosecutors stationed in key capitals, where they can work behind the scenes with their counterparts to overcome the legal and cultural obstacles to shipping evidence to the U.S. for use in court.”

Perhaps Chertoff could have saved some time and effort and looked in his own backyard for evidence of terrorist financing. To date, Dr. Magdy Elamir and his brother have not been arrested and are still free.

I have a theory that Elamir was not arrested, because if his case did come to court, then Chertoff’s role as his lawyer in the HMO case might have been exposed. Since Elamir’s HMO was supposedly a front for Bin Laden and millions of dollars were allegedly skimmed from the HMO to fund terrorism, Chertoff himself might be implicated in some way since he had to have had access to the HMO’s books and Elamir’s finances when he defended him.

I also have a theory that this may be why Operation Diamondback remained a criminal case and not a counterterrorism case. As head of the Criminal Division in the Department of Justice, the case would have been under the control of Michael Chertoff himself. Was this the real reason why the case came to a screeching halt with only a few arrests? Was this the reason why Randy Glass was told to drop the matter by federal agents when the case started focusing on Dr. Elamir’s brother Mohamed El Amir? Was this the reason why so many federal agents were frustrated because they felt the case hadn’t received the attention of higher ups in federal law enforcement? Maybe it had?

On April 22, 2003 President Bush nominated Michael Chertoff to be the Federal Circuit Judge for the Third Circuit. Judge Chertoff now presides over federal cases in New Jersey , Pennsylvania , Delaware and the Virgin Islands



Series: New Jersey and Terrorism… Perfect Together By Allan P. Duncan Part 3: Another Mohamed El Amir, AKA Mohamed Atta In Part 2 of this series you had a chance to meet Dr. Magdy Elamir and his brother Mohamed El Amir. According to an intelligence document that Congressman Ben Gilman had been given in 1998 and a copy of which Dateline NBC also had a chance to review, both of the brothers had ties to Osama Bin Laden. (2) Neither Magdy, nor his brother Mohamed, were ever arrested by US authorities even though Magdy allegedly funneled millions of dollars from a fraudulent HMO to fund “terrorist activities”, and Mohamed tried to get false papers to cover up a shipload of weapons during Operation Diamondback. I had already done a lot of research on Dr. Magdy Elamir but didn’t know a lot about his brother so I started searching the internet for references to Mohamed El Amir and was lead to of all people…Mohamed Atta! I discovered that while Mohamed Atta was a student at Cairo University , and also while he was living in Hamburg , he was known to his close friends and associates as Mohamed El Amir. ABC in Sydney , Australia produced a documentary on 9-11 titled A Mission to Die For, and reporter Liz Jackson interviewed Mohamed Mokhtar El Rafei, one of Atta’s classmates at Cairo University in the 90’s: ““Can you tell us your reaction when you first read in the newspaper, or saw the photograph that said the Mohamed that you knew was supposed to be the man who flew the first plane into the World Trade Centre?” “Well, for the first time I saw his picture in the newspaper, and I read his name, I had a doubt that the Mohamed what I know, because I knew him as Mohamed El-Amir, and for the first time, I said oh, no, no, this is Mohamed Atta. He's not Mohamed El-Amir, but… this is completely close to his face. But for my feelings, I refused … from my inner believes that this is not Mohamed El-Amir. Of course, he is someone similar to him. And afterwards… when the newspaper that Mohamed El-Amir is called Mohamed Atta in America , I was confused really, because this is not Mohamed El-Amir what I knew, while we were in the faculty.”” Further on: “If I go back 10 years ago, while we were in the faculty of engineering - by the way, Mohamed El-Amir was close to my bench number, because his name is Mohamed, the same as me - and we joined together in so many occasions to do something.”” (20) In a Telegraph article by Hannah Cleaver, published on September 17, 2001 , I also ran across references to Atta as Mohamed El Amir. Here are some excerpts: “MOHAMED ATTA had plans for the future. If he had been scheming for years to kill himself and thousands of others in an act of terrorism, he did nothing to betray that intention during his eight-year stay in Germany . The 33-year-old, who used a different part of his name, El Amir, while in Hamburg, said he wanted to work for charity to improve the poor areas of Cairo, the city he told friends in Germany that was his birthplace and his home, where his family still lived, and where he trained as an architect. Prof Diettmar Machule said: "Mohamed El Amir was someone who was in no way extreme. He was helpful, upstanding and correct, hard-working, intellectual and devout in his belief. That is something you would notice. But it was not an extreme kind of belief. "The man in the photograph is the Mohamed El Amir that I knew, but I cannot believe that he would do such a terrible thing," said the friend, a Protestant German. He added that El Amir seemed to lead a deeply devout and earnest but otherwise unremarkable life during his time in Hamburg . Marwan Al Shehhi, 23, from the United Arab Emirates, the man thought to have steered the second jet into the World Trade Centre, was registered at the same university and shared El Amir's flat. But, while El Amir was well-known on campus and was devoted to his studies, Al Shehhi rarely turned up for lectures or seminars. "It seems he was a phantom student," a college spokesman said.” (21) In another story that ran on CTV News, Lorraine Passchier also refers to the El Amir surname and also names Atta’s father: “Throughout his stay in Hamburg , Atta used his family surname of El Amir, one of eight names authorities have traced to him. But as he traveled across the United States and to Europe over the past year, it appears he stuck with the name Atta as he put his suicide mission in motion. His father, Cairo lawyer Mohammed El Amir, told a news conference that his son was innocent following the suicide hijackings. He called the United States the "root of terrorism" and blamed Israel for the September attacks.” (22) In a Press Release from the FBI on September 27, 2001 , the name Mohammad El Amir is listed as an alias of Atta’s.

“4) Mohamed Atta - Possible Egyptian national

-Date of birth used: September 1, 1968

-Possible residence(s): Hollywood , Florida ; Coral Springs , Florida ; Hamburg , Germany

-Believed to be a pilot

-Alias: Mehan Atta; Mohammad El Amir; Muhammad Atta; Mohamed El Sayed; Mohamed Elsayed; Muhammad Muhammad Al Amir Awag Al Sayyid Atta; Muhammad Muhammad Al-Amir Awad Al Sayad” (23)

So now we know that Mohamed Atta was known as Mohamed El Amir to his friends and associates in Cairo and Hamburg and that his fathers name is also Mohamed El Amir. In addition we find that his father is a lawyer in Cairo .

I don’t know anything about Egyptian names, so I’m not sure if the name El Amir is as common as Smith or Jones in the US . I do find it very interesting that Atta shares the same surname as Dr. Magdy Elamir and the exact same name as Magdy’s brother Mohamed El Amir.

Dateline NBC revealed that Magdy’s brother, Mohamed El Amir was an engineer in Cairo , Egypt . We know that Mohamed Atta studied engineering at Cairo University . Is there a connection? Are they related?

The jury’s still out on that one.



Series: New Jersey and Terrorism… Perfect Together By Allan P. Duncan Part 4: Dr. Elamir, The Blind Sheikh, Ramzi Yousef and the Al Salam Mosque

In Part 3, I revealed that Mohamed Atta was known to his friends and associates in Cairo and Hamburg as Mohamed El Amir. I then wondered if there was any family relationship between Mohamed El Amir Atta and Dr. Magdy Elamir, the Jersey City neurologist who Dateline NBC claimed had ties to Osama Bin Laden. Dateline NBC had also reported that Dr. Elamir had a brother in Cairo named Mohamed El Amir, who tried to secure false paperwork for a warehouse full of weapons in Italy . (2)

Dateline NBC was not apparently aware that Atta had been known as El Amir in the past, so I emailed the information to them well over a year ago in hopes that they might follow-up on their story and see if there was a blood relationship between Mohamed Atta, Dr. Magdy Elamir and Mohamed El Amir. To date I have heard nothing back from anyone so I can only assume that they weren’t interested in my information.

I had read where Mohamed Atta spent time in the North Jersey area prior to 9-11 and I will document that information a bit later on in this story. First of all I’d like to reveal another interesting link between Dr. Magdy Elamir and one of the true hubs of terrorism in the United States :

“Dateline” caught up with Dr. Elamir recently outside his office. He said he couldn’t talk about his HMO and the missing money. But he had this to say about allegations he’s connected to bin Laden and terrorism.

Dr. Elamir: “That’s preposterous. Never."

Chris Hansen: “Why would somebody say something like that about you?"

Dr. Elamir: “I have no idea. I have no idea.”

But the intelligence report suggests one thing that he doesn’t deny. That he has donated money to the mosque where the blind sheik once preached, Omar Abdel Rahman, who is now in prison for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.” (2) The mosque referred to in the above excerpt is the Al Salam Mosque in Jersey City , the same city where Dr. Magdy Elamir has a medical practice. Here’s a bit of history about the mosque: “It is nearly a straight shot from the Jersey City waterfront overlooking the rubble of the twin towers up to Al Salam, the third-floor mosque here that for more than a decade has been tainted with suspicions of terrorism.

First there was the 1990 murder of a militant rabbi, linked to an Al Salam regular. Then there was the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center , spurred, prosecutors said, by the incendiary sermons of blind Egyptian cleric Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman and carried out by his followers.”

“Al Salam had a tradition of passionate preaching against the Egyptian government, which is supported by the United States . Journal Square has a large Egyptian population, and many worship at Al Salam.

The mosque's most famous scholar, Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, was convicted in 1995 along with nine followers of conspiring to bomb the United Nations headquarters in Manhattan and several other buildings, bridges and tunnels in New York .

Prosecutors also said Abdel Rahman had galvanized his followers to carry out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which killed six and wounded 1,000.

Three years later, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, who prosecutors said masterminded the 1993 bombing, was also convicted. Abdul Rahman Yasin, another suspect in the 1993 bombing who lived in Jersey City, fled the country.

In 1990, Al Salam regular El Sayyid Nosair was charged with murdering Rabbi Meir Kahane during a speech in New York . Initially acquitted, Nosair eventually was retried under different charges and convicted.” (24)

Ramzi Yousef, by the way, is the nephew by marriage of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, yet another engineer who was born in Kuwait to Pakistani parents and who is acknowledged as the architect of the 9-11 attacks.

So now that we’ve established a link between the Al Salam Mosque and Dr. Magdy Elamir, I will now document the movements and activities of some of the hijackers involved in the 9-11 attacks and will tie Mohamed Atta to them in the North Jersey area.

The following was reported by CNN:

“During the two weeks since hijacked airliners crashed into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, investigators have focused on New Jersey as a possible hub of terrorist activity.

FBI agents and local police have fanned across the state, conducting searches in more than a dozen cites and towns, some within sight of where the towers used to stand.

Investigators have pored over a top-floor apartment in a three-story, brick building in Paterson, New Jersey, a city 20 miles from Manhattan with a large Arab-American community, said a source with knowledge of one search.

The source said that the suspected hijacker identified by the FBI as Hani Hanjour lived in the apartment for several months this year. Hanjour has been identified as a 29-year-old Saudi national accused of being one of five hijackers aboard an American Airlines flight that crashed into the Pentagon. That flight, bound for Los Angeles , departed from Washington 's Dulles International Airport .

In the first days of the investigation, FBI agents searched the Marriot hotel at Newark 's airport where several hijackers may have stayed the night before the fatal flights. The United Airlines flight that crashed into a Pennsylvania field embarked from Newark at 8 a.m. on September 11.

Two suspected hijackers, identified as Nawaf and Salem al-Hamzi from Saudi Arabia , rented one mailbox at a Mailboxes Etc. franchise in a Fort Lee, New Jersey , mall and also listed as an address another franchise in Wayne , New Jersey .”

“Al-Hamzi, joined by Hanjour, rented cars three times from the Borough Jeep-Chrysler dealership in Wayne . Co-owner Henry Hagedoorn said that al-Hamzi rented a minivan and then two sedans between June and August, returning a Chrysler Concorde on September 1 after 10 days, with 1,000 miles listed as being put on the car.”

“Jersey City has been on investigators' counterterrorism radar for years, a location where some of the 1993 World Trade Center bombers lived and stored explosive chemicals. A mosque there is where Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind Egyptian cleric who was a spiritual leader to past terrorist conspirators, sometimes preached until he was implicated in the conspiracy to bomb the twin towers and other New York City landmarks.” (25)


The New York Times had this to say about the hijackers:

“PATERSON, N.J. -- In this neighborhood of Latinos, African-Americans and recent immigrants speaking dozens of languages, the handful of young Arab men who came and went drew almost no notice. In their apartment above a bodega, they did not play loud music. They appeared not to speak English.

But now that the man who took the lease has been identified as a hijacker, the apartment in the three-story house at 486 Union Avenue has been identified as a hub for those who planned the suicide missions of Sept. 11. Here, hijackers from all four of the flights were able to meet, or at least cross paths, in the months before the attacks.

The discovery of some kind of headquarters or rendezvous point here has helped stitch together earlier reports that placed some hijackers in scattered spots around northern New Jersey . Now it is clear that North Jersey was one of several East Coast staging areas for the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.”

“The one-bedroom apartment was rented in early spring by Hani Hanjour, who is believed to have been at the controls of the flight that hit the Pentagon. His landlord and neighbors said he had at least one roommate. It is not clear how many of the hijackers ever stayed at the apartment, but neighbors identified Salem Alhamzi and Nawaq Alhamzi, who were also on the flight from Dulles International Airport , as visitors and possibly roommates of Mr. Hanjour.

They said they also recognized Saeed Alghamdi, who was on the flight from Newark that crashed in Pennsylvania , and Mohamed Atta, who was on the first flight from Boston to hit the trade center.” (26)

The Associated Press added the following information:

“At least six of the 19 suspected hijackers lived in or visited New Jersey before the attacks, but Carroll said it' s too soon to label the state as a staging area for the nation's deadliest terror attack.

Marwan Alshehhi, who authorities say hijacked United Airlines Flight 175 and flew it into the Trade Center's south tower, worked as an attendant at a gas station in Berkeley Township in Ocean County, according to customers and neighbors.

At a graffiti-sprayed brick building in Paterson where some doors don't have knobs, owner Jimi Nouri said he rented an apartment for six months to a man he identified from a photograph as suspected hijacker Hani Hanjour.

Resident Jamie Diaz, 20, said she often saw suspect Saeed Alghamdi at the apartment, and deli owner Carmen Tejada said that Hanjour came in several times daily to buy milk, juice or doughnuts.

Diaz said suspect Mohammed Atta frequently visited the apartment with several other men who appeared to be of Middle Eastern descent.” (27)

The same article reported that some of the hijackers may have rented small planes to make dry runs to New York City so they could find the best approach patterns to attack the World Trade Center .

In another article on the same subject we find more specific information:

“ NEWARK , N.J. -- The hijackers who slammed two airliners into the Twin Towers practiced their deadly approaches to the World Trade Center in small planes rented from New Jersey airfields, law enforcement sources now believe.

The aerial reconnaissance missions were undertaken on a number of occasions in the weeks before the attacks, sources said, citing the accounts of eyewitnesses who saw the planes fly toward Manhattan and information from Jersey airfield operators.

Sources said the obvious conclusion, from evidence developed so far, is that the flights were practice suicide runs. "We believe that is what happened," said a law enforcement source familiar with the investigation.”

“For the past two weeks, the FBI has been examining the records of dozens of flight schools and aviation centers throughout New Jersey, including Caldwell Flight Academy at the Essex County Airport in Fairfield where the owner has confirmed that several suspects sought by the FBI rented planes from him.”

“Sources would not divulge the type of aircraft that were rented in New Jersey , or specifically who made the flights. Witnesses, though, told The Star-Ledger that Mohamed Atta -- who federal investigators believe was at the controls of American Airlines Flight 11, which crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center -- was a frequent visitor to a Paterson apartment rented by one of the suspected hijackers.

The revelation came amid mounting evidence that New Jersey was a major staging area for the hijacking plot.” (28)

The Record reported on June 20, 2003 that the New Jersey State Police were claiming that Atta had lived in a motel in Wayne , NJ for a year before the attacks. I find this report hard to believe, however, since there were many documented sightings of Atta during this time period, particularly in Florida .

“Mohamed Atta, the mastermind of the Sept. 11 terror attacks, lived in a Wayne motel for about a year before the attacks, state police said Thursday.

The revelation - the first time authorities have placed Atta in the motel - came after state police Superintendent Joseph R. Fuentes testified Thursday afternoon before the Assembly Homeland Security Committee about his agency's efforts to combat terrorism.

In his testimony, Fuentes confirmed what officials had said previously: New Jersey was one of the launching points for the Sept. 11 attacks and that some of the 19 hijackers moved through New Jersey hotels and used New Jersey-based criminal networks to obtain identification documents.

Fuentes would not go into detail, but Sgt. Kevin Rehmann, a state police spokesman, later said Fuentes was referring to Atta. Rehmann said Atta had lived in the Wayne Motor Inn on Route 23 for a year.”

“The Record has previously reported that several of the terrorists were seen in Passaic County and that two unidentified terrorists stayed at the Wayne motel.

Two days after the attacks, FBI agents searched the Wayne Motor Inn 's guest records and took copies of several receipts, hotel employees said at the time.” (29)

Despite the fact that I don’t believe Atta lived at the Wayne Motor Inn for a year prior to the attacks I have found evidence that he traveled in and out of Newark, New Jersey a number of times between June 3, 2000 and September 11, 2001.

“According to INS records, Atta first entered the United States on June 3, 2000 , at Newark International Airport in New Jersey , after flying from Prague International Airport in the Czech Republic . The OIG confirmed that a "hit" or a "lookout" did not appear on the IBIS screen when the inspector swiped Atta's passport. Atta was admitted by the primary INS inspector without being referred to secondary. Atta received a B-2 admission that allowed him to stay in the United States for six months until December 2, 2000 .” (30)

From the 9/11 Commission Report we learn more about who was living in the apartment in Paterson , New Jersey :

“Within a few weeks, Hanjour, Hazmi, and several other operatives moved to Paterson and rented a one-room apartment. When their landlord later paid a visit, he found six men living there-Nawaf al Hamzi, now joined by his younger brother Salem, Hanjour, Moqed, probably Ahmed al Ghamdi, and Abdul Aziz al Omari; Hazmi’s old friend Khalid al Mihdar would soon join them.” (31)

That places seven of the hijackers in one location.

In another excerpt from the 9/11 Commission Report we find two references to Mohamed Atta traveling in and out of Newark , New Jersey in July and August of 2001. It also gives some details on Atta’s actions in New Jersey and also mentions some of the other hijackers who were living in the area and what they were doing to prepare for the attacks. To preface the opening sentence, Atta arrived in Spain on July 8, 2001 to meet with Ramzi Binalshibh and left Spain on July 19th to return to Florida :

“A week after he returned from meeting Binalshibh in Spain, Atta traveled to Newark, probably to coordinate with Hazmi and give him additional funds. Atta spent a few days in the area before returning to Florida on July 30.


On August 7, Atta flew from Fort Lauderdale to Newark , probably to coordinate with Hazmi.Two days later, Ahmed al Ghamdi and Abdul Aziz al Omari, who had been living in New Jersey with Hazmi and Hanjour, flew to Miami --probably signifying that the four hijacking teams had finally been assigned. While Atta was in New Jersey , he, Hazmi, and Hanjour all purchased tickets for another set of surveillance flights. Like Shehhi, Jarrah, Atta, and Waleed al Shehri before them, Hazmi and Hanjour each flew in first class on the same type of aircraft they would hijack on 9/11 (a Boeing 757), and on transcontinental flights that connected to Las Vegas.” (32)

Up to this point we have the Al Salam Mosque in Jersey City , once presided over by Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, identified as a hub for terrorists, in a neighborhood with a large Egyptian population. We also have Dr. Magdy Elamir who was born in Egypt and who has a medical practice in Jersey City and who financially supported the Al Salam Mosque. Finally, we have Mohamed El Amir Atta, an Egyptian, whose father has the exact same name as Dr. Elamir’s brother, who spent time in the same area with at least seven of the hijackers who crashed their planes on 9-11.

Coincidence?

Perhaps…but I don’t believe in coincidences.

Another interesting story that parallels the Operation Diamondback fiasco broke on May 9th of this year and also has links to New Jersey :

“A former waiter in a Manchester curry house was recruited by Al-Qaeda and trained as a hijacker in preparation for the September 11 attacks.

The British Muslim was enlisted at a mosque in Oldham and attended terrorist training school in Pakistan . But he had second thoughts about his suicide mission as he flew to America and surrendered to the police after gambling away thousands of pounds given to him by Al-Qaeda.”

The unnamed man in the article turned out to be Niaz Khan, a Pakistani born Brit who turned himself in to the Atlantic City Police Department who then turned him over the FBI in Newark . From the same article we find out that:

“The FBI’s counter-terrorism taskforce questioned the 29-year-old man for three weeks at Newark , New Jersey , in the spring of 2000. There, agents refused to believe his claim that terrorists were planning to fly passenger jets into buildings, even though he passed lie detector tests.

Other hijackers were entering the United States at about the same time and enrolling at flight schools to learn the skills they would need, only 18 months later, to carry out the world’s most audacious acts of terrorism.

The failure to investigate the Briton’s claims was one of a startling series of missed opportunities that have emerged in inquiries by a US commission examining the September 11 attacks. His case has now been reopened amid wrangling between the FBI and British authorities.”


Further on Khan reported to the FBI that:

“He travelled to Lahore , where he was taught how to carry out a hijacking and familiarised with the inside of a Boeing cockpit. “I knew they wanted me to do some kind of operation in which I would die but my life was such a mess that in my mind I was already dead,” he said.

“On his return to Britain , he was given a further £5,000 and sent to New York , where he was told he would be met at the airport.

But he had got married and during the flight thoughts of his wife and baby helped to change his mind. He gave his contact the slip and instead of going through with his mission, he took a bus to Atlantic City , where he lost his money in casinos and then gave himself up.”

“He now believes that had he not given himself up to the FBI in 2000, he would have become the only British hijacker among those who crashed planes in New York , Washington and Pennsylvania on September 11, 2001 , killing more than 3,000 people.” (33)

NBC News followed up in July with additional information:

“Khan told NBC News that for the next few weeks he was trained by al-Qaida to hijack passenger planes, and then sent to the United States . But when he told the FBI, headquarters was skeptical and, after several weeks, senior FBI officials ordered him released to the custody of British intelligence. Khan said, “I told them before the 9/11, about more than year, be… hijacking in America or on America airline.”

Khan said that at the Lahore training compound he and up to 30 other men were taught hijacking basics, including how to smuggle guns and other weapons through airport security, techniques to overpower passengers and crew and how to get into a cockpit.”

Lisa Myers then gives more details on how Khan was processed by the FBI and British Intelligence:

“For three weeks, FBI counter-terrorist agents in Newark, N.J. interrogated Khan, created composite drawings of his terrorist trainer and a fellow student and then wired Khan up and took him back to JFK airport, hoping to smoke out other conspirators. But they had no luck.

Congress’ 9/11 report confirms that in April, 2000, an unnamed “walk-in” told the FBI he “was to meet five or six persons” — some of them pilots — who would take over a plane and fly to Afghanistan, or blow the plane up. The report adds that the “walk-in” passed a lie-detector test.

NBC News has learned that Khan passed not one but two FBI polygraphs. A former FBI official says Newark agents believed Khan and tried to aggressively follow every lead in the case, but word came from headquarters saying, “return him to London and forget about it” -- which, critics say, is exactly what the FBI did.

But the FBI insists it investigated Khan’s allegations thoroughly, could not confirm them, and had no legal grounds to hold him. Federal prosecutors agreed. FBI officials say they did the right thing in turning Khan over to British authorities, and assumed they would carefully investigate.

But NBC News has learned that New Scotland Yard only interviewed Khan for about two hours, and then released him.”

“Khan remains surprised that, to this day, the FBI, CIA and Scotland Yard have never asked for his help in identifying the street address of the Lahore safe house where he and dozens of other men were trained. He says he saw some identifying signs and might be able to locate it today. “I just surprised because [they] never come back to ask some more things," he said. "[The FBI] believed me, but maybe not seriously.”” (34)

The New York Daily News reported that Khan’s story would be told to the 9-11 Commission:

“A Pakistani Briton who says he warned the FBI in April 2000 that Al Qaeda wanted to attack America with planes could soon be telling his tale to the Sept. 11 commission.

Niaz Khan's lawyer, Ronald Motley, said, "We have communicated with the 9/11 commission through informal channels.”

"Mr. Khan still hasn't told his complete story," Motley told the Daily News yesterday. "When we take his deposition, he will talk about the extent of his Al Qaeda training, what he knew, how things were financed, how they trained him about the inadequacies of the American airport security systems.’’”

“The head of the FBI's Newark office, Joseph Billy, said agents investigated Khan's claims thoroughly and turned over the information to other agencies, even though it was never confirmed.

FBI officials told the bipartisan commission investigating the intelligence failures that allowed the terrorist attacks that they had only vague warnings Al Qaeda might use airliners to attack American targets.” (35)

Niaz Khan was never even mentioned in the final 9-11 Commission Report.

The Kahn case is another example of how a terrorist with links to Pakistan ended up in North Jersey and was allowed to go free even though federal investigators had specific information that he was here to hijack a plane and blow it up. Just as in Operation Diamondback, agents working on the case were told by higher ups to “return him to London and forget about it”.

I am left with a lot of unanswered questions that I hope to find answers for in the future. My research and investigation into Operation Diamondback, and the overall story of terrorist links to North Jersey has been a fascinating journey which has certainly opened my eyes to the spectre of terrorism right in my own back yard. I no longer look naively towards Afghanistan, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia as the bubbling cauldrons from which terrorism is spawned…all I have to do is look towards the northern part of my own home state. I wish at times that I didn’t know what I know, but there’s really nothing I can do about it now. I am the one who chose to look deeper into this story and I’ll have to live with the consequences. I just hope that by finally revealing this information, that someone with some power will pick it up and do something with it. Like I said in the beginning, it bothers me to think that there are people out there walking the streets of New Jersey who conspired to secure heavy arms and nuclear weapons and who had documented links to Osama Bin Laden. Two of these people were present when Raja Ghulam Abbas told Randy Glass at a tape recorded meeting, “those towers are coming down”, yet even after those same towers did fall on 9-11, our government did nothing.

This week we commemorate the third anniversary of 9-11. To date, not one person has been successfully prosecuted in the United States for their involvement in the attacks. Likewise, not one person in the federal government has been held accountable for failing to stop the attacks even though there is overwhelming evidence that attacks were imminent and terrorists identified as being the perpetrators of the attacks had been known by intelligence and law enforcement agencies to have been in the United States before 9-11.

On 9-11 our entire national defense system was brought to its knees by a bunch of guys who “supposedly lived in caves”. The Pentagon, the headquarters of the mightiest military power on the planet was sneak attacked and the Secretary of Defense , Donald Rumsfeld, didn’t even know the Pentagon was about to be attacked until he heard and felt the ensuing explosion while sitting in his office. (36)

As Commander-in-Chief of the military on 9-11, President George W. Bush who prides himself as being a wartime president was anything but a warrior that day. Fighter jets weren’t sent to intercept the hijacked planes until it was already too late and in one instance a pilot who was dispatched to search for Flight 11 wasn’t even aware that it had already crashed into the World Trade Center . President Bush had been told about the crash of Flight 11 before he went into the classroom at Booker Elementary School in Florida , and yet chose read a book with a bunch of students instead of finding out more about the disaster. When he was informed in the middle of the class exercise that Flight 175 had also just crashed into the World Trade Center, he remained seated for another seven minutes while thousands of people were about to experience a horrible death. There is also some confusion about who issued the shootdown order that day. It is the duty of the president to issue an order to shootdown a hijacked plane but evidence points towards Vice President Cheney as being the person who actually gave the order since apparently the president was indisposed and his aides didn’t know what to do. (37)

The fog of war can be a bitch…especially when you’ve never been in one. I can only assume that Bush’s training with the “Champagne Unit” in the Texas Air National Guard didn’t prepare him to make sober decisions when war becomes real and our nation suffered greatly as a consequence of his failure to defend our homeland on 9-11.


My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their loved ones on 9-11. I’ve gotten to know quite a few of the family members over the past three years and my heart breaks for them a little bit more each and every day. I appeal to those of you who are reading this now, to dig and claw and do everything in your power to expose those who were responsible for the deaths of the 9-11 victims and to never stop digging until they are all brought to justice. It’s the least we can for the families.

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