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AL QAIDA IN THE RANKS? Noncitizen (Naval) reservist suspected of ties to terrorist network
Navy Times | July 29, 2002 | Christopher Munsey & Patricia Kime

Posted on 07/26/2002 11:00:47 AM PDT by aristeides

The al-Qaida terrorist network may have infiltrated the U.S. Navy – getting access to bases, uniforms, refueling procedures and more.

Federal authorities in the Seattle area are holding a drilling Naval reservist, a non-U.S. citizen, suspected of having ties to Islamic radicals with known connections to al-Qaida.

Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Semi Osman, 32, was arrested May 17 at his home in Tacoma, Wash., on charges of illegally trying to become a U.S. citizen and possession of a handgun whose serial number was “obliterated or altered,” according to court documents.

Osman pleaded not guilty at a June 5 arraignment before Magistrate Judge John Weinberg. He faces a jury trial before U.S. District Court Judge Thomas Ziley on Aug. 12 in Seattle.

A federal official said Osman could receive a maximum of 10 years in prison on the immigration charge if convicted, and up to 5 years for the weapons charge.

Osman, who also served briefly in the U.S. Army in 1998, apparently first entered the United States in 1988 with a British passport. He has not been formerly (sic) charged as a terrorist, but a search warrant issued May 31 by the U.S. District Court in Seattle asserts that evidence seized from Osman’s apartment constitutes “material support for terrorists or foreign-terrorist organizations.”

If that can be proven, Osman would likely be the first U.S. service member publicly linked to a terrorism group since Sept. 11.

Searches of the apartment turned up Islamic literature, anti-American papers, military instruction manuals, maps, survival gear, handguns, an assault rifle and ammunition – all legal.

But authorities also found and seized a .40-caliber semiautomatic handgun with its serial number filed off, documents said. Other items listed include:

1) A Lebanese passport issued in the name of Sami Samir El-Kassem. The date and place of birth are 1970 in Sierra Leone. The photo appears to be that of Semi Osman as a young child.

2) A book entitled “Acquiring New ID” that contained, between its pages, a Washington state birth certificate in the name of Daniel Anthony McClellan.

3) A document that looked like a scanned version of the Daniel McClellan birth certificate with the name altered to read “Michael McClellan.”

4) A visa application for Yemen.

Joining the Navy

Osman enlisted in the Naval Reserve on June 28, 2001, under the Non-Prior Service Accession Course, a Tacoma Reserve Center spokesman said. Until his arrest, Osman participated in monthly drills at the Tacoma drill center as a member of Supply Support Battalion One, Company F, a fueling unit.

“According to his supervisors, he was just like all our new affiliates – eager to learn the job and get qualified in his position,” said Cmdr. John Croce, a spokesman for Navy Supply Support Battalion One.

In early 1988 (sic), Osman reportedly served briefly in the Army, undergoing basic training at Fort Benning, Ga., from February to March 1998, before discharging as an E-2. Army officials contacted at Fort Benning could not locate records pertaining to Osman’s Army service, saying they likely had been transferred to permanent storage.

As a new Reserve member, Osman spent the bulk of his weekend duty training in Tacoma, though he also attended one field training exercise at Fort Lewis, Wash., Croce said.

“He didn’t actually have access to fuel,” Croce said. “It was an exercise in setting up equipment like a field fuel depot.”

But even that kind of observation could have been valuable to a terrorist organization, said Larry C. Johnson, a former deputy director in the State Department’s Office of Counterterrorism. A terrorist sympathizer holding a relatively benign job in the Navy could gather plenty of intelligence useful for a terrorist attack, he said.

The successful October 2000 terrorist attack on the destroyer Cole, in the port of Aden, Yemen, probably was accomplished with information about fueling times and procedures, Johnson said.

Getting a terrorist or sympathizer into the U.S. military is “an intelligence bonanza,” he said. “They’ll know what type of fuel is being used, what the procedures are.”

Such an individual also would have access to official identification and uniforms, Johnson said.

“If the guy has any type of ties whatsoever, it’s very serious. Military ID could be obtained and copied,” he said. “With access to uniforms, someone could appear to be something they’re not.”

Numerous bases nearby

The Tacoma Reserve Center is plum in the center of a host of military installations located in and around Puget Sound. The region is home to about 35,000 sailors and their families, spread out among four major Navy bases: Naval Submarine Base Bangor, Naval Station Bremerton/Puget Sound Naval Shipyard, Naval Station Everett and Naval Air Station Whidbey Island. Other smaller Navy facilities also are in the region, with the Army’s Fort Lewis, which provides small-arms training and other facilities to sailors in the region, and McChord Air Force Base.

Lt. John Filostrat, a Naval Reserve spokesman in New Orleans, said Naval Reserve officials are cooperating with the federal investigation.

“We’re working with them. . . . Anything they need, we’re there to supply,” he said.

Pending the outcome of his arrest, Osman has been transferred to a non-drilling, non-paid status in a Volunteer Training Unit, Filostrat said.

From Sierra Leone via London

Among the court documents is a deposition given by Immigration and Naturalization Service Agent Darrick Smalley, in which he states that Osman appears to have been born Sami Samir El-Kassem in Sierra Leone. He holds a British passport and immigrated to the United States sometime in the late 1980s, entering te country through New York City in December 1988 on a tourist visa and a British passport in the name of Semi Osman. By June 2001, when he joined the Naval Reserve, he was listed as a permanent legal resident of the United States.

The military services allow noncitizens to enlist. The active-duty Navy has 16,248 noncitizen members. Noncitizens are not allowed to hold certain ratings, including those that require security clearances. Statistics on how many noncitizens are in the Naval Reserve were not available.

Grand jury investigation

The Seattle Times reported July 12 that a federal grand jury was investigating several Seattle Muslims – including Osman – for possible connections to terrorist groups.

Grand juries conduct their work in secret, but the paper quoted sources who asserted the jury is examining whether members of the now-defunct Dar-us-Salaam and Taqwa mosques in Seattle have aligned themselves with Sheik Abu Hamza al-Masri, a radical London cleric suspected by Western officials of recruiting for al-Qaida.

Osman’s civilian attorney, Robert Leen, said his client is not a terrorist and is not cooperating with federal investigators.

“The grand jury is looking into a lot of things,” he said. But Leen acknowledged Osman’s ties to the mosques pose a challenge to his defense. “It’s true he was a member of a mosque where it’s clear there were some things going on that probably bear investigation,” Leen said.

U.S. officials were tipped off to a possible link between the religious centers by a British-born Taliban member in custody at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the paper reported.

The Taliban soldier, Geroz Abassi, told investigators earlier this year that he traveled to Afghanistan from London in 2000 with a Muslim convert with ties to Seattle.

The two men reportedly met at the North London Central Mosque, the religious center led by Abu Hamza that was visited by Zacarias Moussaoui, the only suspect charged in connection with the Sept. 11 attacks, and Richard Reid, the man accused of trying to blow up a U.S. jet liner with explosives hidden in his shoe.

Two men from Abu Hamza’s London mosque then traveled from New York in late November 1999 to a remote ranch in Bly, Ore., where Osman lived with a woman and two children.

Klamath County, Ore., Sheriff Tim Evinger told the Associated Press that Abu Hamza, other men “of Middle Eastern descent” and their guests were on the property for about three months.

“There were some folks living there, and they had some guests. They did some shooting on the property, mostly small-arms practice,” said Evinger, who was on the Klamath Falls police force at the time.


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Foreign Affairs; Government; News/Current Events; US: Oregon; US: Washington; United Kingdom
KEYWORDS: alqaida; anthraxscarelist; cole; infiltration; jihadinamerica; redcross; seattlecell; terrorists; terrorwar; usnavy
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To: Askel5
You ask way too many questions.

What makes you say that?




51 posted on 07/26/2002 6:04:38 PM PDT by Sabertooth
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To: Travis McGee
"This country may be too naive to survive."

I worry.

52 posted on 07/26/2002 6:05:14 PM PDT by blam
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To: habaes corpussel
If the intent was just to have a sleeper in position, I'm not sure any crime was committed that an Article 32 proceeding could punish.
53 posted on 07/26/2002 6:24:32 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
Osman is only a reservist. I doubt if Bush's order would apply to him and give him citizenship.

In certain Army M.O.S. it can give him access to secrets just for being a grunt. {Such as Ammo handler, gun crew ect.} Navy wise most Navy Aviation Bosuns Mates {fuelers} task from what I remember were at best confidential. But he could have befriended quiet a few in more knowing ratings though. I could understand our letting the Phillipines in as we had a long standing alliance with them up till recently or post Marcos. Basically we ran the nation and had sufficent means to do back ground checks. But why in the world are we letting persons from other nations in? I think it's time to make our enlistees who are not U.S. natural citizens subject to a very extensive back ground check. And what about this guys age to rank ratio? It's not adding up.

54 posted on 07/26/2002 6:24:56 PM PDT by cva66snipe
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To: cva66snipe
I suspect that, until 9/11, military organizations, including reserve ones, were happy to get any warm bodies they could. I also suspect that 9/11 changed the situation totally, and has made it possible for them to be much more selective. So probably the worry now is basically about those let in in the past.
55 posted on 07/26/2002 6:29:51 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: cva66snipe
"And what about this guys age to rank ratio?"

I noticed that as well. First thought was we must be scraping bottom. But last I knew the cutoff age was 35.

56 posted on 07/26/2002 6:34:25 PM PDT by rdavis84
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To: rdb3; Khepera; elwoodp; MAKnight; South40; condolinda; mafree; Trueblackman; FRlurker; ...
Black conservative ping

If you want on (or off) of my black conservative ping list, please let me know via FREEPmail. (And no, you don't have to be black to be on the list!)

Extra warning: this is a high-volume ping list.

57 posted on 07/26/2002 6:35:27 PM PDT by mhking
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To: rdavis84
The Navy Times article conspicuously lacks a photo of Osman. If he's from Sierra Leone, he's presumably black. Maybe that's the reason.

By the way, I've been reading a book about the settlement of Tories in Canada after the American Revolution. Some of those settled initially in New Brunswick were American blacks who had fought on the British side. Shortly after their settlement in New Brunswick, a lot of them were resettled in Sierra Leone, I take it because they found the Canadian climate hard to take.

58 posted on 07/26/2002 6:36:43 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
I just caught this he was a Sea Bee. My bad! This indeed is not good news folks. For those who don't know he would be in a first deploy unit to set up air strips roads ect. Lot's of classified stuff there like plans ect. Wonder if he's been to the PI's we have Sea Bee's deployed there now also.
59 posted on 07/26/2002 6:40:22 PM PDT by cva66snipe
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To: aristeides
"If the intent was just to have a sleeper in position, I'm not sure any crime was committed that an Article 32 proceeding could punish."

That all depends on what Naval Investigations and the federal agencies find out. But there is plenty for an Arty 32.

60 posted on 07/26/2002 6:42:37 PM PDT by habaes corpussel
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To: cva66snipe; rdavis84
Particularly odd that the chief preacher at a mosque should want to be an E-1 reservist at that age.
61 posted on 07/26/2002 6:44:42 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: cva66snipe; rdavis84
On second thought, since he was an E-4 less than a year after joining up, he probably affiliated at that rank. But still...
62 posted on 07/26/2002 6:47:53 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: Sabertooth
If that can be proven, Osman would likely be the first U.S. service member publicly linked to a terrorism group since Sept. 11.

Uh-oh.

63 posted on 07/26/2002 6:52:24 PM PDT by Victoria Delsoul
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To: christine11
Thanks for the ping. This does not surprise me, but it's a revealing story, in many ways.
64 posted on 07/26/2002 6:55:13 PM PDT by agrandis
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To: christine11
Thanks for the ping

Why would anyone be surprised that there are Al-Quaida so called moles in the ranks?

You know that since the last Administration, we had(and still have) many in this gov't that gladly accepted political donations from Red China. The same China that still holds most favored nation status(trading)...along the while committing crime after crime against it's own citizens.

Oh, btw is there any reason to keep Saudi Arabia as a fav? (besides oil and political donations)?
65 posted on 07/26/2002 7:24:48 PM PDT by JustSayNoNWO
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To: pitinkie
It's common and a good way for many to gain citizenship... MOST who do are loyal and quite motivated. Some few, like this one, would make it hard for the good ones...
66 posted on 07/26/2002 7:25:04 PM PDT by dcwusmc
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To: Sabertooth
We should make them wait and once they have fully served and shot the enemy down from positions placed by our actual military citizens. Then perhaps we should consider it, but only on a case by case basis and judged by their military and civilian peers. It should be something special not a wholesale bulk item.
67 posted on 07/26/2002 7:30:52 PM PDT by CJ Wolf
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To: aristeides
Absolute need to require a complete background check on every military inductee before their placement in critical positions of trust. The entrance national agency check is a joke.

The military is able to "profile" for certain categories that require background updates and remove access to information and position. They do so for excess debt, drug use, AFFILIATION with particular groups.

If I remember the group listing accurately, certain religious groups were on the restricted listing. Adherence to any wahhabi Islamic sect should require loss of access.

68 posted on 07/26/2002 7:47:27 PM PDT by xzins
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To: mhking
I still can't get over allowing non US citizens to serve in the armed forces, even in the reserves or some auxiliary.
69 posted on 07/26/2002 7:55:36 PM PDT by mafree
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To: mafree; xzins
It's a good way for noncitizens to get citizenship, but I think xzins is right that they should first pass the kind of security check that he suggests.
70 posted on 07/26/2002 7:57:31 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: bvw; *Anthrax_Scare_List
Well, if the Pakis are out of West Trenton, maybe that means no more anthrax.
71 posted on 07/26/2002 8:04:41 PM PDT by aristeides
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To: pitinkie; christine11
I still can't figure out how a non citizen can be in our military!!! Why???

Because our dumb government says so. Check out this link from the Selective Service System.

Almost all other male noncitizens are required to register, including illegal aliens, legal permanent residents, and refugees.

The United States doesn't need any help from any of the above but our diversity crazed multicuturalist leaders seem to think nothing of putting American lives in harms way for a vote to save the party.

Election time is coming up. Make your statement to these people at the polls.

Thanks for the ping C11.

72 posted on 07/26/2002 8:28:43 PM PDT by Brownie74
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To: Sabertooth; Victoria Delsoul
Thank you Saber for the ping to this.
73 posted on 07/26/2002 9:31:24 PM PDT by Snow Bunny
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To: Honorary Serb
When a "moderate muslim" is smiling at you, he is thinking about Danny Pearl.
74 posted on 07/26/2002 10:03:38 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: cva66snipe; blam
A suicide sleeper Islamikazi on a Navy ship could easily blow it up by sneaking a small explosive device into a magazine etc.

The biggest explosion in French history was done by an Islamikazi a few weeks after he got a job in a fertilizer plant.

75 posted on 07/26/2002 10:07:03 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: bvw
I think a lot of islamikazis have been disappearing lately, either to go home, or hide underground.
76 posted on 07/26/2002 10:11:53 PM PDT by Travis McGee
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To: aristeides
I worry about those problems here. I worry about the fact that some of our assets aren't so secretive anymore. ( I won't mention which ones out of respect for our AWESOME COUNTRY) However, it's scary!
77 posted on 07/26/2002 10:14:33 PM PDT by MoJo2001
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To: aristeides
Trouble indeed. We shouldn't allow Muslims in our armed forces.
78 posted on 07/26/2002 10:39:16 PM PDT by Michael2001
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To: rdavis84
"I still can't figure out how a non citizen can be in our military!!! Why???"

It's becoming more prevalent. When I joined the Army 20 years ago I don't recall any non-native born soldiers in Basic, AIT, or my first duty station. Now I see it all the time. We have soldiers from Pakistan, Nigeria, Surinam, you name it. Most enlist as green card holders. I don't like it and I was just as shocked as you when I found out we do this. It reminds me of the waning days of the Roman Empire when the Roman Army relied on Gauls, Goths and Vandals to fill-out the ranks.

79 posted on 07/26/2002 10:59:12 PM PDT by arm958
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To: xzins
Absolute need to require a complete background check on every military inductee before their placement in critical positions of trust. The entrance national agency check is a joke.

Good point, but how do you do a complete background check on someone who has only been in the U.S. for two years and spent the first 20 in Lahore, Pakistan (like one guy I recently served with)? Answer: You can't.

80 posted on 07/26/2002 11:08:08 PM PDT by arm958
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To: aristeides; MarMema; Judai; big ern; Ramius; MarkM; GretchenEE; anniegetyourgun; cmsgop; ...
Ping to WA FReepers. Apologies if you've already been pinged on a list. Ramius, are you still on sub watch on the peninusula?
81 posted on 07/26/2002 11:14:52 PM PDT by Libertina
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To: aristeides; Sabertooth; Squantos; SpookBrat; CaTexan; anymouse; Allegra; archy; bexardave; ...
AL QAIDA IN THE RANKS?
Noncitizen (Naval) reservist
suspected of ties to terrorist network

Excerpt:

The al-Qaida terrorist network may have infiltrated the U.S. Navy – getting access to bases, uniforms, refueling procedures and more.

Federal authorities in the Seattle area are holding a drilling Naval reservist, a non-U.S. citizen, suspected of having ties to Islamic radicals with known connections to al-Qaida.

Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Semi Osman, 32, was arrested May 17 at his home in Tacoma, Wash., on charges of illegally trying to become a U.S. citizen and possession of a handgun whose serial number was “obliterated or altered,” according to court documents.


Gasp !
Thanks for the post and ping, folks!


Please let me know if you want ON or OFF my ping list!. . .don't be shy.

82 posted on 07/27/2002 3:11:29 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: Howlin; Miss Marple; PhiKapMom; dubyaismypresident; Wphile; Lorena; luv2lurkhere; Old Mare; ...
See number #82.........
83 posted on 07/27/2002 3:14:12 AM PDT by MeekOneGOP
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To: MeeknMing
The military services allow noncitizens to enlist. The active-duty Navy has 16,248 noncitizen members. Noncitizens are not allowed to hold certain ratings, including those that require security clearances. Statistics on how many noncitizens are in the Naval Reserve were not available.

Praying hard for our country...

84 posted on 07/27/2002 4:35:48 AM PDT by TxBec
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To: Travis McGee
In ten or 15 years, we are going to be "shocked" (!!??) to discover that a high % of our Arab Muslim recruits to the FBI and CIA back in the 2000s are traitors and spies.

If we have that long.

Let's face it, we are incredibly vulnerable. If someone wanted to commit a bio-warfare atrocity, they don't need bombs or expensive delivery systems. A food booth at a well attended parade in a large city would suffice....

And I wonder how many ambulance drivers, reserve police officers, telephone installers, municipal utility (water/electricity) workers, and FEMA officials are mo-slimes? No, I guess I shouldn't think about that...

85 posted on 07/27/2002 5:15:14 AM PDT by neutrino
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To: aristeides
It's always such a great idea to enlist foreigners into the military, they can all be counted on to be loyal to the USofA and it's citizens.=o)
86 posted on 07/27/2002 6:19:19 AM PDT by MissAmericanPie
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To: pitinkie
My husband served in the airforce and is a Canadian citizen.
87 posted on 07/27/2002 9:21:18 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: Libertina
Thanks for the neighbor ping.
88 posted on 07/27/2002 9:25:18 AM PDT by MarMema
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To: rdavis84
"Construction Mechanic 3rd Class Semi Osman, 32,"

Archy, think you can find a photo of this turkey?

There ought to be an arrest photo available. I'll see what I can dig up, abnd check and see if anything is on the wires.

-archy-/-

89 posted on 07/27/2002 9:34:31 AM PDT by archy
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To: arm958; aristeides; Blueflag; Travis McGee
Good point, but how do you do a complete background check on someone who has only been in the U.S. for two years and spent the first 20 in Lahore, Pakistan (like one guy I recently served with)? Answer: You can't.

An incomplete background check is the same as a failed background check.

Those who fail background checks should be denied positions of trust and responsibility. If they are from any group, not just a profiled group, I would deny them any entrance to the military or to other positions of trust & responsibility BECAUSE they will have been ASKED to assist in completing a total background check. If they will not assist to the total satisfaction of all questions, then they have self-disqualified.

90 posted on 07/27/2002 9:44:55 AM PDT by xzins
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To: aristeides
The Navy Times article conspicuously lacks a photo of Osman. If he's from Sierra Leone, he's presumably black. Maybe that's the reason.

That's part of it, I think. But there's more:

Seattle Muslim denies allegations of ties to terror network

'I'd never heard of al-Qaida until 9/11,' he says, breaking silence

Wednesday, July 17, 2002

By CHRIS McGANN AND ROBERT L. JAMIESON Jr.
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTERS

A Seattle Muslim now under FBI investigation for possible ties to Osama bin Laden's terror network says federal authorities and the media never bothered to contact him or his brother before the allegations were circulated within government circles or printed in headlines.

Had he been given a chance, Mustafa Ujaama, 34, says he would have told them:

"I'd never heard of al-Qaida until 9/11," he said, adding that when he learned that terrorists had acted in the name of Islam, he responded, "That's not Islam."

In his first interview with any news media, Ujaama said he and his brother, James, are the victims of a misplaced government crackdown on terrorism -- and he maintains that neither did anything wrong.

In fact, neither has been charged, detained or even interviewed by federal agents.

"I have not been invited by the FBI to answer any questions," said Ujaama, adding that he feels he's already been convicted in the media.

"Muslims have become the new victims of this modern-day McCarthyism," said Ujaama, an auto mechanic and car salesman who helped found the now-defunct Dar-us-Salaam Mosque, which has been the center of a federal investigation that included 100 Seattle-area Muslims but has narrowed to a half-dozen members of the mosque. Senior government officials have confirmed that a grand jury investigation is under way.

The brothers, born with the surname Thompson, are widely known in the Central District, where James Ujaama once helped form a group to encourage black youths to start their own businesses.

Mustafa Ujaama said yesterday that his mother, Peggy Thompson, raised him and his brother to be outspoken about their beliefs, and to always follow their heart. He said he and his brother lived by those principles as they worked to launch legitimate businesses and to clean up the drug-ridden neighborhood where they established the mosque.

Last week, the Los Angeles Times reported that federal officials had circulated a report describing activities associated with the Seattle mosque and identified an American and his brother, both Muslim converts, who could be seeking to "locate possible sites for a terrorist operation."

The FBI report also said a British citizen held at Camp X-ray in Guantanamo Bay said that a man, thought to be James Ujaama, recruited him to attend an al-Qaida training camp, the paper reported.

The newspaper did not name the brothers, but reported that militants from the mosque were said to be planning to establish a terrorist training camp in rural Oregon. There, members of the Seattle mosque and others were said to have engaged in target practice.

Another key connection between alleged terrorist activities and the mosque was said to be Semi Osman, a Tacoma car mechanic now in federal custody on immigration and weapons charges. Prosecutors say he entered into sham marriages to become a U.S. citizen and may have done so to facilitate terrorism, though none of the charges against him is specific to terrorist activities.

Osman was stopped by an Oregon police officer, who discovered that two other men in the car were from England. The two men were later identified as associates of a radical cleric in London who has ties to al-Qaida, and federal officials speculated that they were scouting the area for a training camp.

The officials also reported that instructions on how to poison water sources were found in Osman's apartment, the newspaper reported.

"I heard that, and I thought of my daughter and her little friend dying from poison, and it made me sick," Ujaama said. "I would never do anything like that."

Ujaama, on advice of his attorney, would not speak in detail about visits to a ranch near Bly, Ore., but confirmed that he and others from the mosque had spent time there. Osman, his wife and two children lived at the ranch for several months in 1999.

Ujaama said Osman, a West African mechanic with a British passport, had taken his family to Oregon to live the simple life of a potato farmer and planned to raise sheep for use in Muslim religious ceremonies.

Many of the reputed links between the Seattle mosque and known terrorist sympathizers, however, appear to stem from the activities and travels of James Ujaama.

James Ujaama, 36, is a University of Washington graduate who self-published at least three books while living in Seattle. One is a novel, "Coming Up," that charts the course of two friends: Andre and Hakim. The former becomes a drug dealer, the latter a successful businessman.

He also wrote a book on becoming a entrepreneur, and another called "Young People's Guide to Starting a Business Without Selling Drugs."

He has lived in London, off and on, for the past six years. In a brief interview with the Seattle Post-Intelligencer Monday night, he said he builds Web sites for hire and has a software business that has an office Karachi, Pakistan.

Ujaama is also listed as the founder of stopamerica.org, a Web site critical of U.S. foreign policy. The Web site, associated with a group known as Global Alliance for US Foreign Policy Change, lists offices in Los Angeles, Karachi and London.

"America's foreign policy-makers have brought hate to the people of the United States," reads a statement on the site attributed to him. "We the people of the United States charge this government and their coalition with conspiracy to commit genocide and crimes of terrorism against Muslim people in our names."

None of the Web site content espouses violence, although some messages posted to a bulletin board do.

According to various published reports attributed to unnamed federal agents, James Ujaama delivered laptop computers to the Taliban prior to Sept. 11; associated with radical Sheik Abu Hamza Al-Masri, an al-Qaida recruiter wanted in Yemen on terrorist charges; and helped set up a Web site for a radical Muslim in England.

James Ujaama called accusations against him "bogus" but declined to discuss any of the accusations in detail.

Mustafa Ujaama said there was nothing unusual in his brother's activities, including his move to London after failing to sell a screenplay in Los Angeles.

"I told him, 'Man, America is not the place. I know some people (in London) who can help,'" Mustafa Ujaama said.

James Ujaama converted to Islam in England; Mustafa had converted to Islam six years earlier, drawn by its concept that there is "no middleman" between a man and his god. He said their chosen name means "cooperative economics" in Swahili.

James Ujaama is now in the United States, but he has said he wants to clear his name and to return to London to be with his 2-year-old daughter.

"She's my life -- my little girl," he said in a telephone interview.

James Ujaama was arrested in December 1999 by Renton police after he was accused of shoplifting a $170 VCR from a Wal-Mart store. Court records show he failed to appear for a hearing, and a warrant for his arrest is outstanding. At the time, he was reportedly working as a cabdriver during a visit to Seattle.

Neither Mustafa Ujaama nor his mother said they would speak for James' political views or try to explain the details of his life, other than to say that he would never call for violence.

James Ujaama may have attended al-Masri's Findlay Park Mosque in North London, but so do thousands of Muslims who cannot, under Islamic law, be turned away, his brother said. Al-Masri, meanwhile, has said that he knows no one in Seattle.

Yesterday, Mustafa Ujaama said he is a U.S. Army veteran who considers America to be "a beautiful place." Yet in recent weeks, he said, he and his family have been "vilified."

"Guilt by association -- that's what's going on," he said.

He said that he has been followed by FBI agents and recently was stopped without cause by Seattle police while driving with his son. The Seattle officer told him, "I'm just trying to figure out what the FBI wants with you," but then let him go without a ticket, saying "OK, Mr. Ujaama, have a nice day."

On another occasion, Mustafa Ujaama said he walked up to a van parked near his home and saw a man inside, operating high-tech equipment that he took to be surveillance gear.

He said some people in his community have been shying away from him since his former mosque was identified in media reports last week.

He said the newspapers and television shows might just as well have listed his name, too.

"There's no such thing as that mosque without Mustafa," he said.

He said he insisted that the mosque remain open around the clock -- an unusual and controversial move -- so people would always have a place to pray, a hot meal and a warm place to sleep. Though he lived miles away in Southeast Seattle, Mustafa Ujaama opened the storefront mosque on a tough block in the Central District because he felt it was needed there most.

On Monday, a longtime family friend, Charlie James, called a news conference, saying the brothers would make a statement in their own defense.

His announcement was the first instance where the brothers were specifically named and publicly linked to the investigation of activities at the mosque.

The event was later canceled, and Mustafa Ujaama said the family friend acted in good faith but without clearing the move.

Yesterday, Peggy Thompson, sitting in a Capitol Hill living room surrounded by more than 100 framed pictures of her family, said news reports about her sons have shaken her family.

The news has been especially hard on her own mother, who is in her 80s and in fragile health.

"All it is, is gossip that destroys people," she said. "Our country attacks first and tries to make up for it later, since Sept. 11.

"I hope the FBI stops playing games, but I'm sure quite a few more people are going to be hurt before this is over."


P-I reporter Chris McGann can be reached at 206-448-8169 or chrismcgann@seattlepi.com

91 posted on 07/27/2002 9:49:55 AM PDT by archy
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To: Victoria Delsoul
If that can be proven, Osman would likely be the first U.S. service member publicly linked to a terrorism group since Sept. 11.

Uh-oh.

Concur. See following:

Seattleite accused of ties to terror in custody

James Ujaama surrendered in Denver, family says

Tuesday, July 23, 2002

By ROBERT L. JAMIESON Jr., PAUL SHUKOVSKY AND SAM SKOLNIK
SEATTLE POST-INTELLIGENCER REPORTERS

Federal agents in Denver yesterday took into custody a Seattle Muslim reportedly under investigation by the FBI for suspected ties to the al-Qaida terrorist network, his family members said.

James Ujaama, a Seattle author and activist well-known in the city's black community, surrendered to police and federal agents who had surrounded his aunt's red-brick home, relatives said.

FBI Special Agent Ray Lauer of the Seattle field office would neither confirm nor deny that the 36-year-old Ujaama had been taken into custody or arrested. An FBI official in Denver declined to comment, saying an announcement would be made this morning.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Floyd Short and Andy Hamilton, who handle terrorism prosecutions in Seattle, also declined to comment late yesterday. Because James Ujaama is from Seattle, his case would likely take place in U.S. District Court here after his transfer from Denver.

A neighbor of Ujaama's aunt, Richard Mertineit, said yesterday afternoon that police had the residential street blocked off.

"There were officers meandering around the street, and they had their guns pulled and aimed at the house," Mertineit said.

In Seattle, Ujaama's mother, Peggi Thompson, contacted the Seattle Post-Intelligencer yesterday to say that her son had been picked up. She got a phone call from another son, Mustafa, who also was in Denver and had been briefly detained.

"Everyone is in shock," Thompson said last night. "We don't know what we need to do now."

Thompson said she spoke with an FBI official who said her son had been picked up as a material witness after a federal warrant was issued by the Eastern District of Virginia. She said she was told he would go before a judge today.

Mustafa Ujaama said: "This had to happen. It's just part of the process. My brother had to get arrested. He's a martyr. A hero. The fall guy."

Family members said James Ujaama was taken to a detention center in the Denver area, a city where the brothers had spent their early years; Mustafa said he had moved into his aunt's house three months ago, but had been spending time in Seattle to take care of family matters.

Mustafa Ujaama had just arrived yesterday in Denver after driving from Seattle. About the time officers were surrounding the house where his brother was, Mustafa said he was in the parking lot of a strip mall.

"We went to get milk," Mustafa Ujaama said in a telephone interview. "Next thing we knew there were cops everywhere. They had their guns drawn and flashlights and everything. It was scary, just like the movies. They said they were going to keep us until my brother was arrested."

When Mustafa asked if he, his wife, Chakira, or a friend -- all of whom were in the same car -- were under arrest, he was told "No."

Back at the house, which is owned by James' aunt, James walked out without incident, his family said. Relatives said he didn't want any harm to come to four children -- the youngest 1 and 4 years old -- who were in the house at the time.

For a week, James Ujaama and Mustafa Ujaama have been linked in the media to a federal investigation of terrorism centered on a Seattle mosque.

Until yesterday, federal agents had made only one arrest and that man has yet to face any terrorism charges. Both Ujaama brothers have denied any links to terrorism.

"My brother and I are not terrorists," James Ujaama said in a seven-page statement released to the P-I on Friday. "and we should not have been charged in the media and harassed."

Mustafa Ujaama said in an interview with the P-I last week: "I'd never heard of al-Qaida until 9/11."

But media reports say a federal investigation has focused on the brothers and the now-defunct Dar-us-Salaam Mosque. Mustafa helped to found the mosque.

Among those who attended the mosque was Semi Osman, who is in federal custody. Osman is accused of filing false immigration papers and owning a gun whose serial number had been rubbed off, but doesn't face any terrorism charges.

The Los Angeles Times has reported that a confidential government report said Osman, a British citizen who says he is from Sierra Leone, was found to have instructions on poisoning water sources, papers by Abu Hamza al-Masri of London, a fundamentalist sheik, and "various other items associated with Islamic radicalism."

Al-Masri is thought to be an al-Qaida recruiter and is wanted in Yemen on terrorist charges.

Federal authorities also say they believe Osman and several Seattle Muslim radicals wanted to set up a terrorist-training camp on a ranch near Bly, Ore.

Mustafa Ujaama has acknowledged that he and others from the Seattle mosque visited the ranch. But heeding the advice of an attorney, he would not offer details.

Published reports attributed to unnamed federal agents have said James Ujaama delivered laptop computers to the Taliban before Sept. 11, associated with al-Masri and helped set up a Web site for him in England.

James and Mustafa Ujaama were born James Ernest and Jon Thompson. Their mother worked for a social service agency and got them involved in community activism.

Mustafa Ujaama, a mechanic and car salesman, converted to Islam several years ago, saying he was drawn to the religion's concept that "no middleman" stands between God and the faithful. His brother converted to Islam after moving to London six years ago.

Peggi Thompson said she was relieved that her son Mustafa was not taken into custody but is worried about James.

"This is all so unreal to me," she said. "It scares the hell out of me."


P-I reporter Scott Sunde contributed to this report

92 posted on 07/27/2002 10:00:36 AM PDT by archy
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To: MarMema
My husband served in the airforce and is a Canadian citizen.

I was surprised a few years ago when I rented an apartment to an Australian that just got out of the U.S. Navy. Before then, I didn't realize the armed forces accepted non citizens.

93 posted on 07/27/2002 10:06:31 AM PDT by muggs
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Comment #94 Removed by Moderator

To: JCaler
I've been asked by RDavis84 to notify certain posters at this site that he has been banned.

Noted. Sounds like he ticked off the raghead supporters once too often.

-archy-/-

95 posted on 07/27/2002 1:21:52 PM PDT by archy
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To: Sabertooth
BUMP
96 posted on 07/28/2002 2:37:10 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: aristeides
If that can be proven, Osman would likely be the first U.S. service member publicly linked to a terrorism group since Sept. 11.
What about before Sept. 11.
Someone "not wanting to go there"?
97 posted on 07/28/2002 5:02:25 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: aristeides
Osman enlisted in the Naval Reserve on June 28, 2001...
Army officials contacted at Fort Benning could not locate records pertaining to Osman’s Army service, saying they likely had been transferred to permanent storage.

His "jacket" would have been reviewed before being allowed into the Reserves. "Permanent storage"? More likely they're "stored permanently".
98 posted on 07/28/2002 5:11:16 AM PDT by philman_36
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To: philman_36
Ali Mohamed was in the Army before 9/11.
99 posted on 07/28/2002 5:11:34 AM PDT by aristeides
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To: aristeides
I know.
100 posted on 07/28/2002 5:20:26 AM PDT by philman_36
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