Building super identifies terrorist Adnan El Shukrijumah as McMasters student Ciro Vitolo
By Judi McLeod- Monday, May 8, 2006
A photograph of Al Qaeda terrorist Adnan El Shukrijumah, aka "Jafar the Pilot"--posted to the Internet by the FBI--has been identified as Ciro Vitolo by the former superintendent of the Hamilton apartment building where he lived.
"I can verify that yes, thats him in the third photograph," Neil Train told Canada Free Press, (CFP) Saturday night.
Train, who was the superintendent of the David Apartments at 47 Duke St., Hamilton, Ont., where El Shukrijumah lived between 1995 and 1998 as Ciro Vitolo, said he had no doubt about making the identity, exclaiming upon seeing the FBI-posted photo, "Thats him, thats my tenant!"
"He was always sweating and had these shiny ears. The ears are even shiny in the photo", Train said.
Last Sunday evening, (CFP) discovered a photograph identified as "Ciro Vitolo"--a dead ringer for El Shukrijumah--in a framed picture with the graduating engineering Class of 1998 on display in the hallway of the third floor in McMaster Universitys John Hodgins engineering building.
CFP had been following up on a story heard at last weekends Washington, D.C. symposium on terrorism, sponsored by Americas Truth Forum in association with Basics Project.
Theres a $5-million bounty on the head of El Shukrijumah, who is being sought by the FBI and CIA in connection with a plot to detonate a dirty bomb--a conventional explosive laced with radioactive material. El Shukrijumah has been described as "the next Mohammad Atta" by American authorities.
First to report that an FBI informant had tipped off authorities that El Shukrijumah had been spotted in Hamilton, Ont., in 2002, posing as a student at McMaster University, which has a 5-megawatt research reactor on campus, was Bill Gertz, national security reporter for the Washington Times.
"In addition, the informant said at least three other al Qaida terrorists were seen in Hamilton in 2002. They include Anas al-Liby, one of the FBIs most wanted terrorists, Jaber A. Elbaneh and Amer El-Maati," Gertz wrote on Oct. 17, 2003.
McMasters online student records for the Year 2000 list BSc graduate Ciro Vincente Vitolo studying Physics at the Faculty of Science. The word `Lost appears in brackets beside his name. Vitolos record is the only one marked `Lost among the ones viewed.
The Vernon Director at Hamilton Public Library shows Ciro Vitolo as a resident of 47 Duke St. between 1995 and 1998, and shows no record of his address after 1998.
CFP was able to trace Train through a Hamilton Spectator story in a Lexis Nexus search.
El Shukrijumah, who lived at 47 Duke St. as Ciro Vitolo, was the only tenant who paid his rent directly to landlord Frank Tofano. Tofano sold the building in late 1998. Train is now retired.
"When I was super at the David Apartments, Ciro, who told me his name was Richard, had a wife and a couple of kids. He was the only tenant who paid his rent directly to Frank," Train said. "She (his wife) had a nickname for him. She called him Jaf."
"He was always very cordial with me and I had no reason to be suspicious of him. He never seemed to work, but he did tell me that he had some sort of association with McMaster. "
Train recalled both tenants as chain smokers.
"They lived in the basement apartment and he had lots of male, Middle-Eastern visitors, who never seemed to stay very long when they visited him. He would come and find me if I happened to be working in the basement area and ask me, politely to leave. When I asked him why, he told me he had friends coming over and had something to talk over with them privately. If I had to take my time with something I was working on, they wouldnt talk while I was there."
Vitolo-Richard-El Shukrijumah-Jaf spoke fluent English, and once when he fell behind in the rent, the landlord asked Train to collect it.
"Frank (Tofano) had taken over the top two floors of the building while waiting for a new home to be built. I asked him why he couldnt just ask for his rent as the landlord and he told me, the only way Ill get it is if you collect it, because this guy will never go to court." "I dont know why he tried to keep in touch," said Train. "But he always had been ingratiating with me, and when I asked him why he was calling, he told me, `Youre the best Canadian I met."
Forty-seven Duke St. is a four-storey, eight-unit building within easy walking distance of the downtown Hamilton Musalla Mosque.
Described by the Spectators Jon Wells as "architecturally appealing", featuring dark brick, wood-pane windows, and blue-gray awning over the front door, 47 Duke had a poor record with the local fire department.
There were $11,000 in fire code fines, dating back to 1994 registered against Frank and Sylvia Tofano when they owned the building.
A Province of Ontario Corporate Profile on the building indicates that the property is now owned by 1315734 Ontario Inc., with Lisa Marie Borkovich, of Hamilton and Kimberley A. Squissato, of Copeland, Ont. Listed as administrators of the numbered company.
When the Washington Times Bill Gertz began asking questions about El Shukrijumah attending classes at McMaster University, he was given the proverbial bums rush by university administration.
"Jane Johnson, a spokesperson for McMaster University, declined to comment on whether El Shukrijumah was ever a student at the school," said Gertz. "She said such information was confidential."
McMaster officials also told the Toronto Sun they have no record of a suspected Al Qaida operative posing as a student or casing their nuclear reactor facility.
"Adnan El Shukrijumah never enrolled under that name or any of his aliases," a school official told The Sun.
Problem is, terrorist Adnan El Shurkijumah seems to have enrolled at McMaster Universitys engineering and physics departments under the name, Ciro Vitolo.
Hairline is different.
By Judi McLeod - Friday, May 12, 2006
Ciro Vitolo has come forward to say he is not the FBI-hunted Al Qaeda terrorist Adnan "Jafar the Pilot" El Shukrijumah, who is believed to have posed as a student at Hamiltons McMaster University.
At the request of Judi McLeod, Ciro Vitolo--whose picture appears with McMasters graduate engineering Class of 98-- checked into Canada Free Presss Elm Street office, late Thursday afternoon.
In real life, Ciro Vitolo--who admits that he bears a striking resemblance to terrorist El Shukrijumah--is a limo driver, whose next door neighbour says puts in 12-hour shifts working at Torontos Pearson International Airport.
"Your missing Ciro Vitolo is not married, does not have children, did attend McMaster and currently drives a limo," Vitolos next-door neighbour, York Region school board trustee, Marg Aldridge wrote in an email to CFP. "He can be reached at (telephone number), please prepare your apology."
Aldridge did not identify herself as an elected public official when CFP responded to her email, but described herself only as "a friend of Ciro Vitolos family".
CFP, who found it odd that a neighbour would complain on behalf of the Vitolos, asked Aldridge to have Ciro Vitolo telephone CFP himself.
"At first I thought it was a joke," said Vitolo, who said a friend had emailed him that his McMasters graduation photo had been posted on the CFP website alongside three FBI photos of El Shukrjumah, who has a $5 million bounty on his head. "Then I got angry."
Vitolo identified himself in photo number four in the rogues gallery, but stressed that the eerie resemblance to the elusive terrorist ends there. Vitolo also said that a photograph that appeared in the Toronto Suns Night Scrawler column by Joe Warmington was he even though CFP maintained in its story (and still does) that the picture seems that of a much older man.
Vitolo explained that the picture might not have looked like him because it had been taken from the back seat of a vehicle, making it difficult to pose for the picture.
Meeting Vitolo in the flesh and seeing different pictures of him made it obvious that he has many different looks. Having a striking resemblance to El Shukrijumah, at a time when it is believed that he may have posed as a McMaster student with other Al Qaeda agents is unfortunate.
"Im a chameleon," the look-alike said during his interview in CFPs office. "But Im happy to just look like me."
Vitolo, the limo driver, did attend classes at McMaster for five years. "But I didnt finish," he said. He did, however receive a Bachelors of Science degree two years later in 2000.
Vitolo readily admitted that he was a resident at 47 Duke St., Hamilton, where he said he was a tenant in the basement, with two Sikh roommates,
"But my name was never on the lease and Manny dealt with Frank (Tofano). Frank Tofano was the owner of the eight-unit low-rise, known as "The David Apartments" when Vitolo lived there in the mid-`90s.
CFP wrote on May 2, "If Ciro Vitolo is not Osama bin Ladens field commander Adnan El Shukrijumah, then its his twin. If the Ciro Vitolo-El Shukrijumah look-alike truly walks among us, and if it is just a coincidence that he looks like the terrorist on the FBI terrorist list, check in with CFP for a prompt and abject apology."
But Vitolos coming forward seemed to bring as many questions as answers.
Although Vitolo says he was a two-year resident at 47 Duke, building management of the day, who viewed a picture Vitolo emailed to CFP on Wednesday night, say theyve never seen him before.
"There was only ever one family living in the two basement apartments at 47 Duke, and only one of the two basement apartments was rented. Those tenants were a married couple with two children. The male was called "Richard" and his wife called him "Jaf".
But Vitolo told CFP he had left 47 Duke in 1996 and commuted to McMaster from a variety of different addresses after moving out. Vernons Directory at Hamilton Public Library lists him as a resident of 47 Duke for 1996, 1997 and 1998, perhaps in error.
When Vitolo was asked whether someone had possibly assumed his identity during the five years he spent at McMaster University, he responded, "Thats a loaded question."
Vitolo did say, however that he may have lost some personal effects 10 years ago and said someone had stolen his wallet from his car five years ago.
Vitolo was polite and courteous during our office interview, indicating, "it would be just my luck" if the terrorist moved into 47 Duke after his departure.
Meanwhile, The Dunces of Doomsday author Paul L. Williams says El Shukrijumah and other Al Qaeda members may have posed as students at McMaster. "In preparation for this mission (American Hiroshima) he, along with fellow Al Qaeda agents Anas al-Liby, Jaber A. Elbaneh and Amer el Maati, was sent to McMaster University in Hamilton, Ont., a facility that housed a 5 megawatt nuclear research reactor, the largest reactor of any educational facility in Canada. At McMaster University, where the Al Qaeda agents may have registered under fictitious names, Shukrijumah and friends wasted no time in gaining access to the nuclear reactor and stealing more than 180 pounds of nuclear material for the creation of radiological bombs."
The reality of terrorists in Canada was outlined in the prepared remarks of Janice L. Kephart, former Counsel, 9/11 commission to the House of Representatives last November.
"The Canadian Security Intelligence Services (CSIS), indicate the threat of terrorist infiltration from Canada is real and dangerous. In July 2005, it was reported that CSIS stated that at least 50 terror groups have a presence in Canada. All types of terrorist activities go on in Canada, including terror financing, weapon and equipment procurement, "manipulating immigrant communities and facilitating travel to and from the United States and other countries."
"Canadian Intelligence is concerned about 350 jihadists in Canada. But these numbers do not necessarily include recent reporting that over 50 terrorist organizations are active in Canada nor that last year saw a sharp rise in terror financing coming from Canadaabout 32 casesthrough March 2005 worth about $2 billion, two and a half times the $70 million of the previous year. Much of this money came from one large business in Canada owned by a Mid East individual with terrorist ties."
And as for the elusive El Shukrijumah and McMaster University? "There are also reports that El Shukrijumah attempted to procure radioactive material from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario," said Kephart. This ones for the FBI.