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News, documents and analysis on violent extremism

Friday, December 3, 2004

Honduras Explosives Raid Tied To Adnan El-Shukrijumah?

By J.M. Berger

Officials in Honduras have seized a Canadian-owned ship carrying 900 tons of explosives, according to the Associated Press.

Loaded with illegally undeclared explosives, the owner of the MV Abdul Rahman was identified as Hassan Bachacha of Canada. The captain of the boat, an Egyptian, the Sudanese first officer and the captain have all been charged by Honduran authorities.

Several reports have placed alleged al Qaeda operative Adnan El-Shukrijumah in Honduras.

According to the Washington Times and others, Shukrijumah may have recruited Central American gang members to assist in smuggling al Qaeda operatives into the U.S.

Honduran gang members have a channel for smuggling illegals into the U.S. through Vancouver, Canada, according to a 2000 report in the National Post.

al Qaeda has also smuggled illegals into the country through Vancouver. Ali Mohammed, a top AQ operative in the U.S., smuggled illegal aliens into the country through that route during the mid-1990s.

Mohammed, Osama bin Laden's chief of security, was tied to a New York City terror cell led by Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman. Mohammed was also an Egyptian.

Shukrijumah's father was also connected to the NYC terror cell, according to reports in the Florida Sun-Sentinel and other newspapers.

The U.S. has evinced strong interest in the explosives-laden boat, including sending experts to examine the ship.

All this activity, combined with the congruence of factors listed above, suggests that the incident may be connected to Shukrijumah.

If the ship is indeed tied to the Shukrijumah network, its capture could be very good news for U.S. investigators, who have been urgently seeking the Saudi-born operative for years. The story bears watching over the next few weeks.

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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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