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Semi Osman

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SAMI SAMIR EL-KASSEM, born 1970 in Sierra Leone; alias SEMI OSMAN, permanent legal resident living in Tacoma, Washington; alias Daniel Anthony McClellan of Washington state; alias Michael McClellan of Washington state.

1970 : Apparent birthdate of Sami Samir El-Kassem, alias Semi Osman, in Sierra Leone, according to court documents of a deposition given by Immigration and Naturalization Service Agent Darrick Smalley.

DECEMBER 1988 : Semi Osman apparently first entered the US in 1988 with a British passport through New York City.

FEBRUARY - MARCH 1988 (early) : Osman reportedly served briefly in the Army, undergoing basic training at Fort Benning, Ga.and was discharged as an E-2. Army officials contacted at Fort Benning could not locate records pertaining to Osman’s Army service, saying they likely had been transferred to permanent storage.

1998 : Semi Osman served briefly in the U.S. Army.

NOVEMBER 1999, late : Two men from Abu Hamza’s London mosque then traveled from New York to a remote ranch in Bly, Ore., where Semi Osman lived with a woman and two children. Klamath County, Ore., Sheriff Tim Evinger told the AP that Abu Hamza, other men “of Middle Eastern descent” and their guests were on the property for about three months. “There were some folks living there, and they had some guests. They did some shooting on the property, mostly small-arms practice,” said Evinger, who was on the Klamath Falls police force at the time.- info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

2000 : A British-born Taliban soldier at Gitmo, Geroz Abassi traveled to Afghanistan from London in 2000 with a Muslim convert with ties to Seattle, Semi Osman, according to Abassi. The two (Geroz Abassi and Semi Osman) men reportedly met at the North London Central Mosque, the religious center led by Abu Hamza that was visited by Zacarias Moussaoui, the only suspect charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, and Richard Reid, the man accused of trying to blow up a U.S. jet liner with explosives hidden in his shoe. - info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

JUNE 28, 2001 : Osman enlisted in the Naval Reserve under the Non-Prior Service Accession Course, a Tacoma Reserve Center spokesman said. He was listed as a permanent legal resident of the US. Until his arrest, Osman participated in monthly drills at the Tacoma drill center as a member of Supply Support Battalion One, Company F, a fueling unit. As a new Naval Reserve member, Osman spent the bulk of his weekend duty training in Tacoma, though he also attended one field training exercise at Fort Lewis, Wash., Croce said. “He didn’t actually have access to fuel,” Croce said. “It was an exercise in setting up equipment like a field fuel depot.” The Tacoma Reserve Center is plum in the center of a host of military installations located in and around Puget Sound. The region is home to about 35,000 sailors and their families, spread out among four major Navy bases: Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Naval Station Bremerton/Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Other smaller Navy facilities also are in the region, with the Army’s Fort Lewis, which provides small-arms training and other facilities to sailors in the region, and McChord Air Force Base. Pending the outcome of his arrest, Osman has been transferred to a non-drilling, non-paid status in a Volunteer Training Unit, Filostrat said.- info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

MAY 17, 2002 : Arrest of Semi Osman: Construction Mechanic 3rd Class. 32 years old, at his home in Tacoma, Washington. Charged with illegally trying to become a US citizen and being in possession of a handgun with an "obliterated or altered" serial number. - info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

MAY 31, 2002 : A search warrant was issued by the U.S. District Court in Seattle that asserts that evidence seized from Osman’s apartment constitutes “material support for terrorists or foreign-terrorist organizations.” Searches of the apartment turned up Islamic literature, anti-American papers, military instruction manuals, maps, survival gear, handguns, an assault rifle and ammunition – all legal. But authorities also found and seized a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with its serial number filed off, documents said. Other items listed include: 1) A Lebanese passport issued in the name of Sami Samir El-Kassem. The date and place of birth are 1970 in Sierra Leone. The photo appears to be that of Semi Osman as a young child. 2) A book entitled “Acquiring New ID” that contained, between its pages, a Washington state birth certificate in the name of Daniel Anthony McClellan. 3) A document that looked like a scanned version of the Daniel McClellan birth certificate with the name altered to read “Michael McClellan.” 4) A visa application for Yemen.- info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

JUNE 5, 2002 : Semi Osman pled 'not guilty' at an arraignment before Magistrate Judge John Weinberg. - info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

JULY 12, 2002 : The Seattle Times reported that a federal grand jury was investigating several Seattle Muslims – including Osman – for possible connections to terrorist groups. Grand juries conduct their work in secret, but the paper quoted sources who asserted the jury is examining whether members of the now-defunct Dar-us-Salaam and Taqwa mosques in Seattle have aligned themselves with Sheik Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical London cleric suspected by Western officials of recruiting for al-Qaida. Osman’s civilian attorney, Robert Leen, said his client is not a terrorist and is not cooperating with federal investigators. “The grand jury is looking into a lot of things,” he said. But Leen acknowledged Osman’s ties to the mosques pose a challenge to his defense. “It’s true he was a member of a mosque where it’s clear there were some things going on that probably bear investigation,” Leen said. U.S. officials were tipped off to a possible link between the religious centers by a British-born Taliban member named Geroz Abassi in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the paper reported. - info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts

AUGUST 12, 2002 : Date Semi Osman faces a jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Ziley in Seattle. Osman could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison on the immigration charge if convicted, and up to 5 years for the weapons charge. - info from the Navy Times, http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/722854/posts


Navy Times | July 29, 2002 |

The al-Qaida terrorist network may have infiltrated the U.S. Navy – getting access to bases, uniforms, refueling procedures and more. Federal authorities in the Seattle area are holding a drilling Naval reservist, a non-U.S. citizen, suspected of having ties to Islamic radicals with known connections to al-Qaida.

Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Semi Osman, 32, was arrested May 17 at his home in Tacoma, Wash., on charges of illegally trying to become a U.S. citizen and possession of a handgun whose serial number was “obliterated or altered,” according to court documents.

Osman, who also served briefly in the U.S. Army in 1998, apparently first entered the United States in 1988 with a British passport. He has not been formerly (sic) charged as a terrorist, but a search warrant issued May 31 by the U.S. District Court in Seattle asserts that evidence seized from Osman’s apartment constitutes “material support for terrorists or foreign-terrorist organizations.”

If that can be proven, Osman would likely be the first U.S. service member publicly linked to a terrorism group since Sept. 11.

Searches of the apartment turned up Islamic literature, anti-American papers, military instruction manuals, maps, survival gear, handguns, an assault rifle and ammunition – all legal.

But authorities also found and seized a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with its serial number filed off, documents said. Other items listed include:

1) A Lebanese passport issued in the name of Sami Samir El-Kassem. The date and place of birth are 1970 in Sierra Leone. The photo appears to be that of Semi Osman as a young child.

2) A book entitled “Acquiring New ID” that contained, between its pages, a Washington state birth certificate in the name of Daniel Anthony McClellan.

3) A document that looked like a scanned version of the Daniel McClellan birth certificate with the name altered to read “Michael McClellan.”

4) A visa application for Yemen.

Joining the Navy

Osman enlisted in the Naval Reserve on June 28, 2001, under the Non-Prior Service Accession Course, a Tacoma Reserve Center spokesman said. Until his arrest, Osman participated in monthly drills at the Tacoma drill center as a member of Supply Support Battalion One, Company F, a fueling unit.

“According to his supervisors, he was just like all our new affiliates – eager to learn the job and get qualified in his position,” said Cmdr. John Croce, a spokesman for Navy Supply Support Battalion One.

In early 1988 (sic), Osman reportedly served briefly in the Army, undergoing basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., from February to March 1998, before discharging as an E-2. Army officials contacted at Fort Benning could not locate records pertaining to Osman’s Army service, saying they likely had been transferred to permanent storage.

As a new Reserve member, Osman spent the bulk of his weekend duty training in Tacoma, though he also attended one field training exercise at Fort Lewis, Wash., Croce said.

“He didn’t actually have access to fuel,” Croce said. “It was an exercise in setting up equipment like a field fuel depot.”

But even that kind of observation could have been valuable to a terrorist organization, said Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department’s Office of Counterterrorism. A terrorist sympathizer holding a relatively benign job in the Navy could gather plenty of intelligence useful for a terrorist attack, he said.

The successful October 2000 terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole, in the port of Aden, Yemen, probably was accomplished with information about fueling times and procedures, Johnson said.

Getting a terrorist or sympathizer into the U.S. military is “an intelligence bonanza,” he said. “They’ll know what type of fuel is being used, what the procedures are.”

Such an individual also would have access to official identification and uniforms, Johnson said.

“If the guy has any type of ties whatsoever, it’s very serious. Military ID could be obtained and copied,” he said. “With access to uniforms, someone could appear to be something they’re not.”

Numerous bases nearby

The Tacoma Reserve Center is plum in the center of a host of military installations located in and around Puget Sound. The region is home to about 35,000 sailors and their families, spread out among four major Navy bases: Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Naval Station Bremerton/Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Other smaller Navy facilities also are in the region, with the Army’s Fort Lewis, which provides small-arms training and other facilities to sailors in the region, and McChord Air Force Base.

Lt. John Filostrat, a Naval Reserve spokesman in New Orleans, said Naval Reserve officials are cooperating with the federal investigation.

“We’re working with them. . . . Anything they need, we’re there to supply,” he said.

Pending the outcome of his arrest, Osman has been transferred to a non-drilling, non-paid status in a Volunteer Training Unit, Filostrat said.

From Sierra Leone via London

Among the court documents is a deposition given by Immigration and Naturalization Service Agent Darrick Smalley, in which he states that Osman appears to have been born Sami Samir El-Kassem in Sierra Leone. He holds a British passport and immigrated to the United States sometime in the late 1980s, entering te country through New York City in December 1988 on a tourist visa and a British passport in the name of Semi Osman. By June 2001, when he joined the Naval Reserve, he was listed as a permanent legal resident of the United States.

The military services allow noncitizens to enlist. The active-duty Navy has 16,248 noncitizen members. Noncitizens are not allowed to hold certain ratings, including those that require security clearances. Statistics on how many noncitizens are in the Naval Reserve were not available.

Grand jury investigation

The Seattle Times reported July 12 that a federal grand jury was investigating several Seattle Muslims – including Osman – for possible connections to terrorist groups.

Grand juries conduct their work in secret, but the paper quoted sources who asserted the jury is examining whether members of the now-defunct Dar-us-Salaam and Taqwa mosques in Seattle have aligned themselves with Sheik Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical London cleric suspected by Western officials of recruiting for al-Qaida.

Osman’s civilian attorney, Robert Leen, said his client is not a terrorist and is not cooperating with federal investigators.

“The grand jury is looking into a lot of things,” he said. But Leen acknowledged Osman’s ties to the mosques pose a challenge to his defense. “It’s true he was a member of a mosque where it’s clear there were some things going on that probably bear investigation,” Leen said.

U.S. officials were tipped off to a possible link between the religious centers by a British-born Taliban member in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the paper reported.

The Taliban soldier, Geroz Abassi, told investigators earlier this year that he traveled to Afghanistan from London in 2000 with a Muslim convert with ties to Seattle.

The two men reportedly met at the North London Central Mosque, the religious center led by Abu Hamza that was visited by Zacarias Moussaoui, the only suspect charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, and Richard Reid, the man accused of trying to blow up a U.S. jet liner with explosives hidden in his shoe.

Two men from Abu Hamza’s London mosque then traveled from New York in late November 1999 to a remote ranch in Bly, Ore., where Osman lived with a woman and two children.

Klamath County, Ore., Sheriff Tim Evinger told the Associated Press that Abu Hamza, other men “of Middle Eastern descent” and their guests were on the property for about three months.

“There were some folks living there, and they had some guests. They did some shooting on the property, mostly small-arms practice,” said Evinger, who was on the Klamath Falls police force at the time.


Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali: An African-American convert to Islam and former Marine, he awaits trial in prison for supplying a semiautomatic handgun to Semi Osman.


“Dog Cry Ranch”, which was formerly used as a sheep ranch.3 The property owner’s wife was a convert to Islam and a friend of the wife of one of the Seattle-based conspirators, Semi Osman. Osman knew James Ujaama, a native of Seattle and a loyal supporter of Abu Hamza as-Masri, from Seattle’s Dar-us-Salaam mosque. The congregation at Dar-us- Salaam consisted primarily of African-American coverts.4 Osman relocated his family to Bly, Oregon, from Seattle, in September 1999. Osman’s intentions for moving to Oregon are not specified in court documents. A few weeks after his family’s arrival in Bly, Osman invited Ujaama for a visit. Once there, Ujaama moved forward with the idea of transforming the Bly ranch into a jihad training camp, despite the fact that the property did not have any permanent living facilities, bathroom facilities, or electricity. In October1999, Ujaama sent a fax to al-Masri in London pitching the idea of establishing a training camp in Bly. Ujaama wrote that Oregon was a “pro-militia and firearms state” and “it looks just like Afghanistan.”5 Ujaama also led al-Masri to believe that the process of creating a training camp was further along than it actually was by stating there were weapons already available and there was a batch of recruits ready to be trained.

Abu Hamza was persuaded by Ujaama’s idea to establish a training camp in the U.S. In November 1999, al-Masri financed two of his close followers in London, Haroon Aswat and Oussama Kassir, to investigate the proposed location. Prior to leaving for the U.S., al-Masri gave Aswat and Kassir approximately £4,000 (the equivalent of approximately $6,600, according to the 1999 exchange rate) toward development costs and other expenses.8 Al-Masri’s eagerness to explore the possibility of establishing a training camp in the United States is consistent with his constant call to Western Muslims to secure training in order to wage jihad. Aswat and Kassir arrived in New York on November 26, 1999. From New York, the two took a cross-country bus to Seattle and then drove to Bly.9 Aswat and Kassir stayed in the Pacific Northwest for approximately three months to develop the camp and to provide training to members of Seattle’s Dar-us-Salaam mosque.10 Upon their arrival at the property in Bly, Aswat and Kassir established security protocol that involved running patrols around the perimeter of the property.11 They also established the use of passwords and code words to ensure operational security.12 Between the time of their arrival in Bly and their departure in December 1999, the conspirators discussed plans for the future that included the pursuit of further training in Afghanistan, as well as the possibility of killing truck drivers passing through Oregon and stealing their money and cargo to support the training camp,13 the need to build underground bunkers to conceal weapons, and to make poisonous materials.14 Between late November 1999 and December 1999, 10 to 15 trainees came to Bly from Seattle for training.15 Among them were Ujaama’s brother, Mustafa Ujaama, and Abdul Raheem Al Arshad Ali, a convert who was also affiliated with Dar-us-Salaam.16 Kassir instructed at least two of the trainees on how to kill a person by slitting their throat. He also gave instruction on how to fight with a knife in hand-to-hand combat.

Just before 6 a.m. on December 13, 1999, a patrol officer from Klamath Falls, Oregon pulled over Osman, Kassir, and Aswat because a broken brake light.20 While Osman, who was driving, responded calmly, the officer noticed that Aswat appeared nervous and was clutching a black briefcase that had previously been resting on his lap. The officer also noted that all three were wearing military fatigues under their long coats.21 Osman claimed to the officer that although the passengers were from England they did not speak English. Osman told the officer that he was dropping the men off at the bus station because they were traveling to San Francisco to sightsee.22 The men were clearly not dressed for sightseeing, and the officer decided to run a search for warrants on Osman in a national database. The search came up negative, however, the search triggered the attention of the FBI. Osman had been on an FBI watch list in Seattle and had gone missing.23 The police officer’s search from Klamath Falls put Osman back on the FBI’s radar. An agent was sent to Klamath Falls to discuss the car stop with the police officer and to conduct further investigation on the group of men.

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