Skip to comments.Nation: FBI suspects Virginia men planned Israel attack
Posted on 03/26/2002 1:49:36 PM PST by ATOMIC_PUNK
Nation: FBI suspects Virginia men planned Israel attack
By TED BRIDIS, Associated Press
WASHINGTON (March 26, 2002 4:51 p.m. EST) - Two men under federal investigation for possible ties to terrorist groups were denied entry to Israel in December after one was found carrying a letter the FBI believes indicated plans to commit a suicide attack there, according to sworn court papers.
The papers, made public by the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, Va., Tuesday, accused one of the two men, Mohammed Osman Idris, 24, of Annandale, Va., of lying to a grand jury. He and his traveling companion, identified as Mohammed El-Yacoubi of Fairfax, Va., were stopped by authorities in New York while trying to fly to Jerusalem, the papers said.
"I can't talk about the case. Sorry," Idris said in a telephone interview. He said he was consulting with a lawyer and might have a statement later.
In the documents filed in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, the FBI said that El-Yacoubi was carrying a four-page letter, written in Arabic, apparently from his younger brother, Abdalmuhssin El-Yacoubi, a student at the University of Virginia at Charlottesville, Va.
The pair also was carrying $2,000 in cash, a cellular telephone, a compass, calculator and video camera, the bureau said in its affidavit.
Although U.S. investigators allowed them to board the El Al flight from JFK International Airport in New York, authorities in Israel denied them entry, and they were subsequently forced to return to the United States.
The affidavit quoted a passage from what it described as a suspicious letter: "When I heard what you are going to carry out, my heart was filled with the feeling of grief and joy because you are the closest human being to my heart."
The letter also said: "It is incumbent upon me to encourage you and help you, because Islam urges Jihad for the sake of Allah," according to the FBI.
"I believe that Abdalmuhssin drafted this extraordinary letter to his brother under these circumstances because, based on his conversations with Mohammed, he believed that his brother was about to engage in terrorist activity that he might not survive," wrote FBI Special Agent John V. Wyman, in the affidavit, submitted in support of a criminal complaint.
Idris alone was accused of a federal crime in connection with the incident. He was accused of lying to a grand jury. A spokesman for the U.S. attorney's office in Alexandria, Frank R. Schults, said Idris has been released on bond.
Idris, Mohammed El-Yacoubi and others were providing or trying to provide support to Hamas or Islamic Jihad, which the U.S. considers terrorist organizations.
"The court documents indicate that a grand jury in northern Alexandria was investigating whether Idris made numerous false statements under oath," Wyman said in his affidavit.
Wyman said he consulted with Arabic and Islamic experts, who analyzed the letter at the FBI's request.
"The references to Jihad in an overwhelmingly violent context cannot be confused with a letter written to someone traveling to Israel solely for the purpose of sightseeing or praying," Wyman said. He added that the "overall tone of the letter clearly implies the use of violence and/or loss of life."
The FBI said Idris told the grand jury that he and El-Yacoubi had considered going to the Vatican, Israel and Saudi Arabia when planning their trip. But Idris' travel agent told the FBI that he was adamant about visiting only Jerusalem, the papers said.
The FBI also accused Idris of lying about his efforts to obtain a new passport for his trip to Israel. The FBI said he lied because his existing passport included entry stamps to Saudi Arabia.
"I ... believe that Idris and El-Yacoubi wanted new passports that lacked references to prior travel to Saudi Arabia in order to enhance the likelihood that they would be allowed into Israel, and to avoid suspicion by Israelis that they were there to commit or support acts of terrorism," Wyman said.
FROM PMSNBC NEWS
|FBI probes martyrdom letter|
|Complaint filed after 2 men flown back to U.S. from Israel|
|WASHINGTON, March 26 A Virginia man was discovered to be carrying a document described as a martyrdom letter after he and another man were refused entry into Israel and flown back to the United States, the FBI said in court documents unsealed Tuesday. Agents said Israeli officials may have prevented a suicide attack.|
For the rest of you, it appears that some more al fuqra ministers of peace will not be walking around!
In any case, Virginia seems to have a lot of them. Of course, I live in Florida, so who am I to say anything about other states?
Possible terrorist associated with foreign involvement. A sane person might think of them as a flight risk and a danger to society. Some federal judge doesn't.
Perhaps the Judge should meet the families of those who died in the Pentagon?
The FBI motto: "Looking good is a full time job."
It is crazy that in our country taxpayers kids who are well qualified get rejected for admission to The University that Mr. Jefferson founded so people who have paid no taxes kids who want to kill us get in. Tom must rolling in his grave.
I believe that Danny Pearl was butchered so that he could not link al Fuqra, al Qeada, the militant Black Muslims and others into the same stinking bag of terrorists and terrorist supporters.
If Pearl had finished his research, and the WSJ had ran articles on the Jihad in America (home grown and foriegn grown) and its connection to terrorism here and around the world. That all hell would have broken out re the Jihad in American.
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