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Fingerprint links Oregon with Spain
Oregonian Live ^ | May 08, 2004 | Marc Larabee, Steven Beaven, Kathleen Blythe, Bryan Denson and Lori Tobias

Posted on 05/08/2004 2:36:59 PM PDT by Grampa Dave

Fingerprint links Oregon with Spain

Officials have been watching Brandon Mayfield of Aloha since two weeks after the March 11 Madrid terror bombings


Federal investigators are examining whether a Washington County lawyer shipped materials later used by terrorists to blow up four commuter trains in Madrid on March 11, a law enforcement official said Friday.

Brandon Mayfield, 37, a former U.S. Army officer and Aloha father of three, was linked to the attack that killed 191 people by a fingerprint on a bag containing detonating devices. The bag was discovered by Spanish investigators inside a van that was near the train station where three of the trains originated, officials said.

Officials told The Oregonian that the U.S. investigation of Mayfield started within two weeks of the Madrid attacks and that Mayfield was put under physical and electronic surveillance. Spanish authorities also had pressed their American counterparts to pick up Mayfield for reasons the officials won't explain.

The FBI is also investigating Mayfield's links to other Portland-area residents who haven't been charged, officials said.

One of Mayfield's attorneys, Tom Nelson, stressed again Friday that Mayfield had not been arrested and is not a defendant in a criminal case. He repeated accusations that the government has leaked damaging information about Mayfield that should be confidential.

"They've painted him largely as associated with terrorists," Nelson said. "The government has been operating very cavalierly with his life and his livelihood."

Mayfield was detained Thursday at his West Slope law office by federal agents and is being held as a material witness under a long-standing federal statute designed to keep secret the identity of grand jury witnesses.

He isn't likely to be taken before a federal grand jury soon because investigators anticipate he would not talk voluntarily, and he won't be given immunity to talk, officials said. Instead, the arrest gives the FBI time to finish their ongoing investigation.

The FBI and federal prosecutors were forced to quickly detain Mayfield -- long before they had planned, several officials said. Although they attempted to tighten the amount of information getting out about the case, authorities eventually decided to detain Mayfield after Spanish authorities leaked news of his connection to the Madrid bombing to reporters in Europe.

Mayfield appeared briefly in U.S. District Court in Portland on Thursday afternoon and is now being held at a Multnomah County jail under a false name.

The material witnesses law is most commonly used when potential witnesses may be reluctant to cooperate, in danger or likely to flee.

Prosecutors used the same law to detain Maher "Mike" Hawash, a former Intel software engineer now serving a federal prison sentence for a failed plot to fight against U.S troops in Afghanistan. He was held as a material witness for weeks before he was charged with a crime by prosecutors in April 2003.

"I would not assume that this is another Mike Hawash case," Nelson said. "I rather feel that they will not bring charges" against Mayfield.

Nelson said authorities told Mayfield the reason he's been held, but he has not been interviewed extensively. Nelson refused to elaborate on specifics of the case, citing a court order. But he said he had a private conversation with Mayfield on Thursday at Portland's federal courthouse.

"He was calm, very concerned and still very sharp," Nelson said. "He's trained as a lawyer, and he's a good lawyer. He was bouncing ideas off me."

He said Mayfield has not been to Spain and "we certainly can prove that he was in his office and meeting with clients" at the time of the attacks in Madrid.

Nelson, who does not specialize in criminal law, said Mayfield is now represented by the Federal Public Defenders Office in Portland. His attorney there did not return phone calls.

FBI interviews family

When AvNell Mayfield's dogs began barking Thursday afternoon, she looked outside and saw two FBI agents walking up to her front porch in Hutchinson, Kan., northwest of Wichita.

They stayed for 30 minutes, asking questions about her son Brandon. She said the agents wanted to know where Brandon Mayfield had gone to school and if he had been to Spain.

"There were a lot of general questions about Brandon, but every once in a while they would ask if he traveled a lot," she said. "I was in shock. They wouldn't tell me what was going on."

Watching the agents walk away from the house, AvNell Mayfield said she had a weird feeling and called her son's house in Aloha. His wife, Mona, picked up.

"She was hysterical," AvNell Mayfield said. "The FBI people had been dumping out drawers in their house, confiscating computers, taking the kids' video games and going through papers. They had already trashed his law office."

AvNell Mayfield said Mona, who works as her husband's paralegal, is a highly intelligent woman and "strong mother" who speaks many languages. Before meeting Brandon, Mona lived in Paris and London and traveled with her father, who was a college professor, AvNell Mayfield said.

She said Brandon is a soft-spoken, intelligent man who has repeatedly talked about his disdain for the USA Patriot Act, a controversial law passed after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks that gave law enforcement agents sweeping new authority.

"He felt it was a violation of people's civil rights" and reminded him of when Japanese Americans were interned after Pearl Harbor and abuses by Nazis during World War II, she said. "But he wasn't angry enough to blow up people."

After 9/11, she said, "Brandon said he was concerned about his children and his wife being targeted."

Mayfields felt watched

Mayfield's father, Bill Mayfield, said his son suspected he was under surveillance by federal authorities.

"He told me over the phone that he figured they were probably watching him," said Bill Mayfield, who lives in Halstead, Kan., where Brandon Mayfield grew up. He was upset about it, the senior Mayfield said, but he "expected it because he's Muslim, plain and simple."

Nelson, the attorney, said it was the family's impression that their Aloha house had been broken into twice recently, though nothing had been stolen. Once, a dead bolt that they never used was locked, and another time, they came home and found digital clocks and the VCR blinking, like someone had tripped the breaker.

"They called and asked the power company about outages, but there hadn't been any," Nelson said. "It's a reasonable assumption that the FBI may have been involved, though I certainly cannot prove that."

Family members said Mayfield hasn't been to Spain and it's been 11 years since he traveled outside the United States, when he and his family took a monthlong trip to Egypt.

"He has nothing to do with Spain," Bill Mayfield said. "He has nothing to do with terrorists. He's a lawyer."

Army was way out of Kansas

In high school, Mayfield was a sprinter on the Halstead track team. But he didn't have many other interests beyond "finding a way out of Halstead," said Mayfield's younger sister, Amy Sikes.

He enlisted in the U.S. Army, and Sikes said the family rarely heard from or saw Mayfield during his first four-year stint in the military.

According to Mayfield's service record, he joined the Army Reserve in Kansas City, Mo., in March 1985 as a combat telecommunications center operator. He enlisted for active duty in July 1985 and re-upped in September 1988 while at Fort Lewis, Wash.

Mayfield met Mona Mohamed on a blind date in 1987, while still stationed at Fort Lewis. Later that year, he brought her home to Kansas, Sikes said. His family liked her from the start. Above all else, she was good-spirited, Sikes said.

"Really bubbly and fun," said Sikes, who is 12 years younger than Mayfield, the only girl among six children. "I was young, and I remember her teaching us some kids' songs."

The Mayfields also learned that Mona was a devout Muslim. Mona was 5 when she and her younger sister moved from Egypt to Washington state with their parents, Sikes said. When Brandon Mayfield told his parents and siblings he was converting to her faith, the clan of non-churchgoers had no problem with it, Sikes said.

"Mona was the love of his life, and he wanted to please her," she said. "Brandon also did what he could to better himself the way he sees fit, and that's how he saw taking her religion."

Mayfield left the Army in August 1989. He graduated from Portland State University in August 1992 with a bachelor of science degree in general studies, a spokeswoman said. The next month he re-enlisted in the Army as an officer, serving some time in Bitburg, Germany, with the 5th Battalion, 7th Division Air Defense Artillery. He ended his Army career as a 2nd lieutenant in May 1994.

He entered the Washburn University School of Law in the fall 1996 semester. During the fall 1998 and spring 1999 semesters he transferred to Lewis and Clark College. His law degree was issued by Washburn on his 33rd birthday, May 15, 1999. He was admitted to the Oregon State Bar in April 2000.

Former partners express surprise

Former law partners were stunned to learn of Mayfield's arrest.

"The evidence they found is something that warrants investigation," said Richard S. Diaz, a partner in the Newport law firm Macpherson Gintner Gordon & Diaz, which hired Mayfield in spring of 2000. "But at this point, he's only been detained as a material witness. He might have some way of being able to point to the culprit."

Mayfield came to the firm right out of law school and was inexperienced but competent, Diaz said. The young lawyer handled 36 cases in Lincoln County Circuit Court -- mostly divorce, custody and probate matters with a smattering of minor criminal proceedings -- between Aug. 11, 2000, and June 18, 2002, records show.

Diaz said he did not learn of Mayfield's faith until after he was hired and "it's not like he was going around espousing radical Muslim views."

It's clear to Diaz that the current allegations warrant further investigation. "Whether intentionally or not," he said, "he came in contact with somebody that was more closely connected with what happened in Madrid."

But he added, "I don't think it proves any intention or direct involvement."

Others who know Mayfield say he is a family man and struggling lawyer dedicated to building his practice.

"I am very, very worried about this," his father said. "This thing is completely hokey. Anybody that knows Brandon, knows anything about him at all, knows how hokey this is. But the FBI is holding him . . . and that scares the devil out of me."

Steven Beaven, Kathleen Blythe, Bryan Denson and Lori Tobias contributed to this story. Mark Larabee: 503-294-7664;

TOPICS: Breaking News; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; US: Oregon; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: 311; alqaeda; alqaedamadrid; alqaedaoregon; balkans; brandonmayfield; jihadinamerica; madridoregon; madridterror; mayfield; nelson; oregon; portland; portland7; portlandcell; portlandgroup; spain; waronterror
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To: Grampa Dave
Terrorist Lawyer
61 posted on 05/08/2004 5:21:32 PM PDT by Shermy
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To: Diddle E. Squat
"The American has the profile of an expert who could have supervised the bomb-making," a high-ranking Spanish police official said.

And this is where the fingerprints will make sense...he probably helped them plan, start to finish. I think it's miracle that the second bomb and deto's did'nt go off...he probably would'n thave been caught..AND God knows what this Liberal Bush hater had planned for November.

He already saw what happens when you bomb before an election.

If I were the DNC, I would be shredding documents with Mayfield's name on them. I bet the National election committee could tell us who the Bush hater donated to.

Liberalism, left unchecked, will condone this type of behavior in search for power. Clinton lowered their bar to allow anything to be done in pursuit of power.
62 posted on 05/08/2004 5:25:00 PM PDT by Shaka
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To: Grampa Dave
I've been called for jury duty about 5 times so far. Picked to serve on 2-3.

(The first one was a murder trial but I didn't get picked. The guy got life).

I hope I don't get called/picked for Grand Jury. Not sure how that works.

I think when they get picked, you are up for months at a time.

63 posted on 05/08/2004 5:28:18 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is ONLY ONE good Democrat: one that has just been voted OUT of POWER ! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: Shaka
this dude is a perfect candidate for Alan Dershowitz idea - court ordered torture. the real deal, not this leash wearing stuff.
64 posted on 05/08/2004 5:29:13 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: Grampa Dave
This is a islamic yellow pages. Under "attorneys" both Nelson and Mayfield are listed. This is for the entire country and only 13 attorneys are listed. Yet, they want us to believe that they are only "moderate" muslims.

65 posted on 05/08/2004 5:33:30 PM PDT by Oorang ( Those who trade liberty for security have neither)
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To: Grampa Dave
Lots of new stuff in here. Thanks for the ping
66 posted on 05/08/2004 5:43:12 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: MeekOneGOP
"I've been called for jury duty about 5 times so far. Picked to serve on 2-3."

I'm 60 years old and have only been called once and picked. (In Texas) The guy was suing an older couple for $206,000 for psychological trauma when their car hit his. We gave him $562.00 for the damage to his car. (I loved it!)

67 posted on 05/08/2004 5:43:54 PM PDT by blam
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To: aposiopetic
"He has nothing to do with terrorists. He's a lawyer."

This is one of the all-time great quotes.

68 posted on 05/08/2004 5:52:54 PM PDT by Malesherbes
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To: Oorang
Looks authentic: "Win a Free Hajj Trip"
69 posted on 05/08/2004 6:01:29 PM PDT by aposiopetic
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To: Grampa Dave
This guy, according to his mother on FOX News was an officer and a communicator.... This guy is of high interest to the government because of his communications training/background. He held a TS Clearance and, in all likelyhood, signed a statement regarding disclosure. Now his is involved, according to his mother in helping low income familys (read, probably Islamic families)....

My guy instinct is that he has an ego which needs to feel important.... I would put money on him selling out his Country to a religion to be "important" in many ways. Former officers and current officers seems to think highly of themselves (not that the enlisted do not suffer from similar fits of grandure:)) - but communicators are generally intelligent folks.

70 posted on 05/08/2004 6:19:10 PM PDT by Jumper
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To: aposiopetic
Mayfield was combat telecommunications during his USA stint and with air defense artillary in Germany.

He took low-income IMMIGRATION cases.

The bombs were detonated by telephone.

Even the mildest association with Battle puts an X on him.

I'm guessing he's had a few clients with terrorist connections.

I can't imagine someone introducing a Muslim woman to a non-Muslim as a blind date, i.e., I think he was a secret Muslim before.

My suspicions are directed at both Mayfields.

Wonder what HER Professor Father is doing these days??

71 posted on 05/08/2004 6:31:12 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Grampa Dave appears to be very damning, evidence wise...

Does anyone know how long fingerprints can last on a plastic bag? I think it will be very difficult to prove that the fingerprint was put on the bag while the detonators were in the bag. I suspect he will argue that he sent a bag to Spain. The bad guys re-used the bag to hold whatever.

Also, I think US cell phones will not work in Europe, so if the claim is that he shipped cell-phone based detonators to Europe, the prosecution is going to have a tough time.

72 posted on 05/08/2004 6:50:40 PM PDT by CurlyDave
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To: CurlyDave
GSM equipment may work in europe.
73 posted on 05/08/2004 6:54:39 PM PDT by oceanview
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To: blam
I'm 60 years old and have only been called once and picked. (In Texas) The guy was suing an older couple for $206,000 for psychological trauma when their car hit his. We gave him $562.00 for the damage to his car. (I loved it!)

LOL! I love it, too!

The co-juror team I got stuck with had some read deadheads. In one case, while we were trying to beat down the lone holdout, the defense attorney was pleading guilty to a lesser charge. Thank goodness. The guy was guilty and got 7 years in state prison. It turns out that the guy had multiple PRIOR burglary and/or robbery convictions.

Did I ever give the knucklehead holdout a stare when the judge told us THAT ! haha!

Another case was a shoplifter that was suing a grocer for injury while being apprehended while walking out. He claimed injury that was shown in testimony to be actually related to a previous injury. The guy was a con-man, Mr. Cotton ! The Judge threw the case out, along with Mr. Cotton. What an arse he was.

74 posted on 05/08/2004 6:57:16 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is ONLY ONE good Democrat: one that has just been voted OUT of POWER ! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: yall
Jeez. read deadheads s/b REAL deadheads. ;^(

How many more typos? *sigh*

75 posted on 05/08/2004 7:05:49 PM PDT by MeekOneGOP (There is ONLY ONE good Democrat: one that has just been voted OUT of POWER ! Straight ticket GOP!)
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To: MeekOneGOP
I have a feeling they found Mayfield's phone number someone as someone to get in touch with if....

Thinking that more will be picked up in Oregon real soon. Same tactic as the Buffalo 6.....They picked up one and then the others a bit later. This may be another cell. Who knows. Time will tell.

76 posted on 05/08/2004 8:10:14 PM PDT by Sacajaweau (God Bless Our Troops!!)
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To: Sacajaweau
The bombs were detonated by telephone.

Good catch, his former commo MOS in the military would have included electronics repair and troubleshooting and isn't it a coincidence that he was in TELEcommunications?
77 posted on 05/08/2004 8:53:59 PM PDT by Tailback
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To: Malesherbes
and evidently also an islamic prick, which is the worst sort of prick, not that just being an islamist is not bad enough.
78 posted on 05/08/2004 8:58:54 PM PDT by mathurine
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To: Grampa Dave
From some of the other articles posted today, it appears to be very damning, evidence wise.

Maybe, maybe not. This guy is certainly a fool for letting the jabbering Ishmaelites sucker him into sharing their bloodthirsty tribal idol-worshipping. But he is still entitled to a presumption of innocence.

Perhaps he dropped off a bag of old clothes or canned food at his mosque, which was then used by some other Mohammedan fiend to send detonators to Madrid. Or perhaps he sent picture postcards of Oregon to a friend in Spain, who then used the bag for detonators. Or maybe the friend threw the bag away, and it was used by someone else.

Certainly it is worthwhile to scrutinize this guy with a microscope, but we must keep in mind that there are dozens of plausible explanations for this fingerprint finding, only one of which is malevolent.


79 posted on 05/08/2004 10:00:21 PM PDT by ccmay
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To: norcalvet
I wasn't clear enough in my post (#14). When the word "authorities" appeared,
what sprang to my mind was the new Socialist goverment official...
not the Spanish cops/intelligence officers doing the heavy lifting.
After that Spanish officer was killed when the cornered terrorist blew themselves up...
and then the poor fellows corpse was dug up and defiled (almost surely by terrorists or
or their fellow travelers), I'd think the Spanish cops/officers wounld do
nothing to risk Mayfield escaping.

BUT, for any new Socialist government officials...I'm not so certain of their commitment
to fighting back against the terrorists.
80 posted on 05/08/2004 10:02:39 PM PDT by VOA
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