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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism


Wednesday, June 30, 2004
 

Report: Jose Padilla Linked To NYC Recruiter Cell

New Report Ties Together OKC-Related Plots



By J.M. Berger

INTELWIRE.com




al Qaeda suspect Jose Padilla may be tied to a New York City sleeper cell that helped recruit Gulf War veterans as terrorists, according to the Miami Herald.



According to the Herald:



Investigators are looking at Padilla's links to Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind sheik convicted in 1995 and serving a life sentence for conspiring to blow up the United Nations, FBI headquarters in New York and two tunnels and a bridge linking New Jersey to Manhattan, the sources said.




One member of Rahman's terror cell, and a participant in bombing plot, was Clement Rodney Hampton-El, a terrorist operative who recruited Gulf War veterans for al Qaeda-linked conspiracies during 1992 and 1993. (related story)



According to the Herald and previous reports, Padilla is also tied to Adham Hassoun, a Fort Lauderdale man who founded an office of the Benevolence International Foundation in Plantation, FL, in February 1993, the same month that Timothy McVeigh visited the area. (related story)



Jose Padilla is a close match with an FBI sketch of "John Doe 2," a suspect in the Oklahoma City bombing who was never apprehended. (related story) Described by multiple witnesses as being Hispanic in appearance, John Doe 2 was never found and the FBI later claimed he had never existed. The FBI said the earlier reports were a case of mistaken identity.



McVeigh stayed in Plantation, just 15 minutes down the road from the Benevolence Office. He arrived at his sister's house the same month that the BIF office opened, and remained for about a month.



A Gulf War vet, McVeigh was briefly stationed in Saudi Arabia in 1991, corresponding to the first stage of the al Qaeda recruiting program later linked to Hampton-El.



Hampton-El was linked to another major al Qaeda recruiter, Mohammed Jamal Khalifa (related story), a brother-in-law of Osama bin Laden who recruited Christians as al Qaeda terrorists in the Philippines and specifically in Cebu City during this time frame. (related story)



Terry Nichols, whose second wife was a "mail order bride" from Cebu City, traveled to the Philippines during key periods prior to the Oklahoma City bombing, including key times when World Trade Center bomber Ramzi Yousef was known to be in the area. (related story)



Yousef designed bombs and worked with recipes nearly identical to that used in the Oklahoma City bombing. (related story)



Padilla had other known links to Hampton-El and the NYC cell. Gulshair Shukrijumah, a South Florida Muslim cleric, was the father of one of Padilla's known associates in the Fort Lauderdale area and served as a character witness during Hampton-El's sentencing for the NYC bomb plot, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel, Newsweek and others.



Gulshair's son, Adnan Shukrijumah, is currently one of the FBI's most wanted terror suspects. Gulshair Shukrijumah, who died a few weeks ago, received payments from the Saudi embassy which are now under federal investigation, according to Newsweek.





AN INTELWIRE SPECIAL REPORT: OKC



OKC Bomb Formulas Found in Al Qaeda Manuals



Exposed: Al Qaeda & Saudi Gov't Plotted To Recruit Gulf War Vets As Terrorists



McVeigh, Nichols made moves on key dates in al Qaeda recruitment plot



INS Deported bin Laden Brother-in-Law Just Days After OKC Bombing



Linking Terry Nichols to Ramzi Yousef: Is There A Case?



al Qaeda Recruited Christians in Key Terry Nichols Locale



Jose Padilla and John Doe 2? A Look At A Long Shot



NEW: Report Links Jose Padilla To al Qaeda NYC Cell And Gulf War Vet Recruiter



RELATED STORIES:



Newsweek: Alleged Yousef-Iraq Link Debunked By Secret Post-9/11 Mission



Ex-Terror Czar Says Feds Couldn't Disprove Nichols-Yousef Link



Khalifa Links run to Al-Zawahiri, Uranium Plot, Terror Finance Network and even 9/11



Bin Laden Brother-in-Law Denies Terror Ties, Asks To Be Dropped From 9/11 Lawsuit



Media Backgrounder: Jose Padilla

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INTELWIRE is a web site edited by J.M. Berger. a researcher, analyst and consultant covering extremism, with a special focus on extremist activities in the U.S. and extremist use of social media. He is a non-resident fellow with the Brookings Institution, Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World, and author of the critically acclaimed Jihad Joe: Americans Who Go to War in the Name of Islam, the only definitive history of the U.S. jihadist movement, and co-author of ISIS: The State of Terror with Jessica Stern.

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