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Terrorists of al-Qaida grew bitter while in West [KSM in NC -- A Compendium]
The Baltimore Sun | 6 March 2003 | Scott Shane

Posted on 03/09/2003 6:53:32 AM PST by Wallaby

Edited on 03/09/2003 7:11:49 AM PST by Admin Moderator. [history]

Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Terrorists of al-Qaida grew bitter while in West;
Uprooted by Afghan war, many lived in U.S., Europe

Scott Shane, SUN STAFF
The Baltimore Sun
TELEGRAPH, Pg. 1A
March 6, 2003 Thursday FINAL Edition


One unnerving detail in the biography of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, whose alleged career killing Americans was cut off Saturday by his arrest in Pakistan, shows that he is very familiar with the U.S. society he evidently hates: He went to college in North Carolina.


"To this day it doesn't make any sense."

"He was very quiet, but friendly when we talked," recalls Sammy I. Zitawi, a classmate at North Carolina Agricultural and Technical University in Greensboro, where Mohammed earned a degree in mechanical engineering in 1986. "He was religious. He always wore a beard. ... He was one of the ones we called 'the mullahs' as a sort of joke, a nickname."

When Zitawi heard last fall that his old acquaintance was the alleged mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks and other terrorist plots, his reaction was "total shock," he says. "To this day it doesn't make any sense."

Mohammed's years in America are part of a striking pattern among the terrorists of al-Qaida: Many have lived in the Western societies they now despise.

"They come from relatively affluent backgrounds," says John Calvert, a historian at Creighton University in Omaha who studies Islamist ideology. "They're well-educated. They're fluent in a Western language. But there's something about Western politics, Western culture, that makes them uneasy."

(Admin Moderator's note: excerpted per Washington Post/LA Times settlement.)

GRAPHIC: Photo(s), Suspected al-Qaida mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed earned an engineering degree in 1986 at a North Carolina college.; ASSOCIATED PRESS


Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Three accused in terror activity were educated in North Carolina


The Associated Press State & Local Wire
State and Regional
March 4, 2003, Tuesday, BC cycle

GREENSBORO, N.C.

The suspected mastermind behind the Sept. 11 terror attacks graduated from North Carolina A&T State University 17 years ago, the school confirmed Tuesday.


N.C. A&T also graduated Mazen Al-Najjar, who spent more than 3 1/2 years in jail on secret evidence linking him to terrorists. He was deported last August to an undisclosed Arab country.
Khalid Shaikh Mohammed - who President Bush on Tuesday called the "top killer" of the al-Qaida terror network - graduated in 1986 with a mechanical engineering degree, spokeswoman Nettie Rowland said.

"We have confirmed that he was a student at N.C. A&T," she said.

In December, school officials said records showed a Khalid A. Mohammed graduated in 1986, but declined to address whether it the same person as Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

Campus records show Mohammed gave a post office box for his address while attending N.C. A&T. David Klett, a mechanical engineering professor, had said in December he advised Mohammed. Klett was the undergraduate coordinator of N.C. A&T's mechanical engineering program for about a year when Mohammed enrolled in 1984.

"He didn't stick out," Klett said.

Klett said Mohammed's name was unfamiliar to him until a Los Angeles Times reporter visited his office last fall with a photo of Mohammed released by the FBI. The picture of a bearded Arab man triggered a memory.

"That blew me away," Klett said. "I couldn't believe one of our students was wanted for terrorist activities."

Mohammed was born in Kuwait and came to the United States in 1984 to attend Chowan College in Murfreesboro. He was there for only the spring semester of 1984, the school said, before transferring to N.C. A&T.

Mohammed is alleged to have organized the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks that killed some 3,000 people in New York, at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. He was linked to a 1995 plot to bomb trans-Pacific airliners and crash a plane into CIA headquarters and to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

Mohammed, who is in his late 30s, is perhaps the most senior al-Qaida member after Osama bin Laden and his deputy, Ayman al-Zawahri.

N.C. A&T also graduated Mazen Al-Najjar, who spent more than 3 1/2 years in jail on secret evidence linking him to terrorists. He was deported last August to an undisclosed Arab country.

After earning a master's degree in industrial engineering from N.C. A&T in 1984, Al-Najjar taught at the University of South Florida in Tampa with his brother-in-law, Sami Al-Arian. The two men founded the World and Islam Studies Enterprises, a now-defunct Islamic think tank that was raided by the FBI in 1995.

Al-Arian was arrested last month with seven others on charges that they established up a terrorist cell at the university and funneled support to the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which the government says has killed more than 100 people in Israel and its territories.

Al-Arian, a Palestinian born in Kuwait, said he is a victim of post-Sept. 11 hysteria. He earned master's and doctoral degrees at North Carolina State University in Raleigh in the early 1980s. Wajeh Muhammad, treasurer of the Islamic Center of the Triad, said he recalls both Al-Arian and Al-Najjar fondly. They were all part of a Muslim-American community with common interests in reading, writing, good food and better conditions for Palestinians living in the Middle East. "I had high admiration for both of them," Muhammad said.

Badi Ali, president of the Islamic Center of the Triad, said Middle Eastern students have attended universities in the Greensboro and Raleigh areas because both cities have been accepting.

"We have a wonderful school, and we have graduated over 40,000 people who have made a difference across the country and the world," said Mable Scott, N.C. A&T's chief spokeswoman. "After they graduate, we hope and pray they do what's best."


Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

PROFESSOR RECALLS NOW NOTORIOUS A&T STUDENT


BY JOHN NEWSOM Staff Writer
News & Record (Greensboro, NC)
GENERAL NEWS; Pg. A1
March 4, 2003 Tuesday ALL EDITIONS


The last time N.C. A&T got so many calls from the national media, the university was unveiling a statue of the Greensboro Four, four students who refused to leave a whites-only lunch counter and launched the sit-in movement.


Al-Najjar is the brother-in-law of Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor who was indicted last month for allegedly running the American arm of a group called Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
But none of the reporters contacting A&T lately have wanted to discuss this civil rights milestone or A&T's most famous graduate, Jesse Jackson.

Instead, they want to know about A&T graduate Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, a suspected terrorist with a $25 million bounty on his head who was arrested Saturday a world away from the leafy Greensboro campus.

A few other media sources have inquired about a second man, also an engineering graduate, Mazen Al-Najjar. Federal authorities have tried to link Al-Najjar to a Palestinian group responsible for suicide bombings against Israel.

Both Mohammed and Al-Najjar got engineering degrees in the 1980s, when the historically black A&T apparently had attracted some Middle Eastern students. But the two men's time at A&T did not overlap, and it is not known if the two knew each other.

Federal authorities say Mohammed was the mastermind of the Sept. 11 attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. They also say he was involved in several significant al-Qaida operations - the bombing of the USS Cole in 2000, the recent bombings of a synagogue in Tunisia and a nightclub in Bali.

When he was arrested early Saturday in Pakistan, federal officials said Mohammed was plotting attacks against targets in the U.S. and the Arabian peninsula.

Mohammed was born in Kuwait and came to the United States in 1984 to attend Chowan College in Murfreesboro. Media reports say he was there for only a semester before coming to A&T, which issued him a mechanical engineering degree in December 1986.

A&T records show he gave a post office box for his address. A public records search shows that Mohammed might have lived in an apartment complex on Montrose Drive, off of West Market Street. Professor David Klett knew of Mohammed.

Klett had been the undergraduate coordinator of A&T's mechanical engineering program for about a year when Mohammed enrolled in the summer of 1984. The mechanical engineering professor briefed incoming transfer students on A&T's rules and assigned them to a permanent adviser. Klett also taught a thermodynamics class in which Mohammed enrolled.

Klett on Monday recalled Mohammed as "a low-key person. He didn't stick out."

Klett might not have recalled Mohammed at all except for a reporter from the Los Angeles Times, who came by Klett's office last fall with a list of 1986 A&T graduates and a picture of Mohammed sent out by the FBI. The name rang no bells. But the picture of a bearded Arab man triggered a memory.

"That blew me away," Klett said. "I couldn't believe one of our students was wanted for terrorist activities."

Klett was not quoted in the Los Angeles Times story, which ran in December. But the story, a profile of Mohammed, describes A&T's Middle Eastern students at the time as a group apart, one that lived off campus and shared soccer games and frequent dinners. Fewer than 300 A&T students back then came from overseas, A&T records show.

Mohammed was reportedly what fellow students called a "mullah," a Muslim who prayed five times a day and adhered strictly to the Quran's prohibition against alcohol, adultery and other vices. Though former friends told the Times that Mohammed was studious and private, he also was friendly and capable of laughter. Friends said he appeared to hold no anti-American views at the time.

Klett said Monday he does not recall Al-Najjar. School records show he entered A&T in the spring of 1983. Al-Najjar was there two years and got his master's degree in industrial engineering in Dec. 1984. He finished his studies the semester before Mohammed arrived there, records show.

Al-Najjar is the brother-in-law of Sami Al-Arian, a University of South Florida professor who was indicted last month for allegedly running the American arm of a group called Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Federal authorities charged Al-Arian and seven others on Feb. 20 with 50 criminal counts. Among them were conspiracy to kill and maim people abroad and to provide support and money for Palestinian Islamic Jihad.

Al-Arian also has North Carolina ties. He got his master's and doctoral degrees at N.C. State in the early 1980s.

Al-Najjar, deported from the U.S. in August on immigration charges, was not among those charged last month. However, several perjury and obstruction of justice charges in the federal indictment stemmed from testimony in Al-Najjar's immigration hearing in 2000. Also, the federal indictment mentions Al-Najjar's wife as being married to an unindicted coconspirator - presumably Al-Najjar.

Wajeh Muhammad, treasurer of the Islamic Center of the Triad, says he recalls both Al-Arian and Al-Najjar fondly. He met them - and another one of those indicted, former Greensboro resident Mohammed Tasir Hassan Al-Khatib - shortly after moving here in the early 1980s. They were all part of a Muslim-American community with common interests in reading, writing, good food and better conditions for Palestinians living in the Middle East.

"I had high admiration for both of them," Muhammad said of Al-Arian and Al-Najjar. "Especially for Sami. He is a leader in the civil rights movement and a respected professor." The charges against them, Muhammad added, are "absolutely not true."

Klett said he does not know why so many Middle Eastern students were attracted to the school in the 1980s. But he suspects that a few students who had good experiences at A&T told others back home, who came to Greensboro to get an education. Back then, Klett said, the Kuwaiti government paid its citizens to attend universities in the United States. Engineering seems to be a draw because, perhaps, of Kuwait's oil production.

"I think they found the campus very hospitable," Klett said. "Then it was word of mouth."

Badi Ali, president of the Islamic Center of the Triad, said the Greensboro and Raleigh areas have long had a history of acceptance of and tolerance toward Muslims and Palestinians.

It is the recent history that has drawn the attention of "NBC Nightly News" and "Inside Edition," which sent camera crews to A&T's campus Monday. The Wall Street Journal, ABC radio and USA Today also have called looking for information.

"It's been very busy," said Mable Scott, A&T's chief spokeswoman. Scott never tires of talking about A&T except, perhaps, on a day when reporters call not to talk about the Greensboro Four but about terrorists.

"We have a wonderful school, and we have graduated over 40,000 people who have made a difference across the country and the world," said a weary-sounding Scott. "After they graduate, we hope and pray they do what's best."


Not for commercial use. Solely to be used for the educational purposes of research and open discussion.

Capture hits home for N.C. colleges


MONI BASU
Cox News Service
March 3, 2003 Monday

GREENSBORO, N.C.

In the seven-story brick building named for astronaut Ronald McNair, fresh flowers adorn a bronze bust of the school's biggest hero, the man who died in the 1986 Challenger tragedy.


His first known involvement in terrorism was in 1992, when he sent money to his nephew Ramzi Yousef, who was plotting the first attack of the World Trade Center.
North Carolina Agricultural and Technical State University has other heroes as well. Among them are the Greensboro Four, the African-American freshmen who bravely challenged segregation in Greensboro in 1960.

Now the school is also known for a decided anti-hero, alleged al-Qaida plotter Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, who graduated in 1986.

At McNair Hall, which houses the school's engineering department, one professor mused Monday about how he might have inadvertently trained Mohammed for terrorism. "I was in complete disbelief," said David Klett, an engineering professor who advised and taught Mohammed in the mid-'80s. "How could this be? It's a shock."

Klett taught Mohammed thermodynamics _ the basics of power plants, combustion reactions and jet engines.

"We try to train our students to be problem-solvers," Klett said. "Just that in itself would have been useful to him. It's hard to say what courses he drew most heavily from. I think he found useful the overall education he got in this department."

Others who taught Mohammed at A&T, or at Chowan College in Murfreesboro, which Mohammed also attended, were equally stunned.

"He is responsible for the lives of 3,000 people. It makes you feel terrible," said Garth Faile, chairman of the science department at Chowan. "At the time he was like any of our other students. He could just have easily won the Nobel.

" Kuwaiti-born Mohammed, 37, is said to have masterminded the Sept. 11 attacks. He has been linked to several incidents including the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993, the bombings of U.S. embassies in Tanzania and Kenya and the USS Cole off the coast of Yemen.

Tiny Chowan College, a small Baptist school, offered Mohammed his first glimpse of the West. "He was a B-type student," Faile said. "He was "very conscientious."

At the time, Chowan was a two-year college. Mohammed went from there to A&T in order to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering. He was one of the first students to take classes in the newly built McNair Hall.

Classmate Sammy Zitawi described him as a quiet, unassuming man. "He kept very much to himself," said Zitawi, also a native of Kuwait who sometimes met Mohammed for coffee or lunch at a Burger King.

In the 1980s, it was not unusual to hear Arabic on spoken on campuses at Chowan or A&T.

Clayton Lewis, former dean of students at Chowan, said he actively recruited international students to diversify the institution. He said area colleges became somewhat of a magnet for students from oil-rich lands who naturally wanted to pursue careers in engineering.


Sometimes the shoes of student worshippers, left outside in accordance to tradition, would be swiped and thrown in the lake as a prank pulled by the locals on the "Abbie Dahbies," as the Arabs were known.
"Students like Mohammed were excellent math and science students," Lewis said. "They really enhanced our programs."

Though Chowan required students including Mohammed to attend weekly Christian services, the school also tried to accommodate the needs of Muslim students, Lewis said.

"We provided a place for them to worship on campus," he said. "I remember we all got along very well."

He said sometimes the shoes of student worshippers, left outside in accordance to tradition, would be swiped and thrown in the lake as a prank pulled by the locals on the "Abbie Dahbies," as the Arabs were known.

Mohammed met with a more serious atmosphere at A&T when he enrolled in 1985. He was part of a sizeable Middle Eastern contingent, who watched soccer instead of football, socialized mostly among themselves and lived off campus.

Mohammed graduated Dec. 18, 1986, in a class of 28 mechanical engineers, almost a third of whom were Arabs. He left North Carolina for Pakistan.

A Kuwaiti newspaper reported that he went to work as secretary to an Afghan warlord. He also reportedly taught at a university and a nearby refugee camp in Peshawar. His first known involvement in terrorism was in 1992, when he sent money to his nephew Ramzi Yousef, who was plotting the first attack of the World Trade Center.

Seventeen years after Mohammed left North Carolina, few remain on either campus who have personal recollections of him. Still, it was difficult to brush aside the man considered the world's biggest threat.

Lewis, the former dean at Chowan, wondered aloud how his school might have turned out such evil. "I would love to talk to this man now," he said. "I would like to know what causes a person to go this way."

Moni Basu writes for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.



TOPICS: Foreign Affairs; Front Page News; News/Current Events; US: North Carolina; War on Terror
KEYWORDS: alqaida; jihadnextdoor; khalid; ksm; mazenalnajjar; mohammed; ramziyousef; samialarian; shaikh; terrorwar; warlist
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first previous 1-5051-56 last
To: birdwoman
Interesting that Al-Najjar finished his Masters
around the same time that KSM started at that school,
huh?

Do ya think they crossed paths?

What do you think?
Not just the same school
the same department.

Apparently there are telephone records
that link both al-Arian and al-Najjar to al Qaeda
and
specifically
to Zawahiri
during a trip he once made to the USA.
51 posted on 03/09/2003 3:35:53 PM PST by Allan
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 49 | View Replies]

To: Wallaby; Sabertooth
Friends Support Arrested Muslim

The Chicago Independent Media Center said Fariz and Ballut are "widely respected in Chicago for their measured, principled support for justice for the Palestinians." It trumpeted a support rally being staged on their behalf - three days after the arrests - that was organized by the mosque both men had led.

This is what Steven Emerson has been talking about for quite a few years. He wrote "American Jihad" warning us about Muslim terrorists and terrorist sympathizers living among us. These terrorists and their sympathizers are supporters of Hamas, Islamic Jihad and other terrorist groups. According to Emerson, we face a real threat from the Muslim groups living in America that have been funding terrorist activities, plotting attacks, infiltrating universities, and recruiting other terrorists through a sophisticated communications network.

52 posted on 03/09/2003 5:28:01 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 46 | View Replies]

To: Ben Hecks; Wallaby; thinden
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/811757/posts
The plots and designs of Al Qaeda's engineer



By the end of 1986, after just 2 1/2 years, Mohammed had completed his work. He graduated Dec. 18, one of 28 mechanical engineering graduates, almost a third of them Middle Easterners. As at Chowan, there is no photo of him in the yearbook.

None of almost a dozen faculty members in the department from that era recalled Mohammed. For most of his classmates and teachers, the future terrorist mastermind with a $25-million price on his head did not cast a long shadow, if any at all.


53 posted on 03/09/2003 7:20:13 PM PST by honway
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 3 | View Replies]

To: honway
Thanks for the link to the most informative article on KSM I've seen.
54 posted on 03/09/2003 8:54:21 PM PST by Wallaby
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 53 | View Replies]

To: Victoria Delsoul; Wallaby
Thanks for the post and the ping. More and more, it looks like we rolled the red carpet for a slew of Islamic fifth columnists. Still are, unfortunately.



55 posted on 03/10/2003 8:31:14 PM PST by Sabertooth
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 52 | View Replies]

To: Sabertooth
Agreed.
56 posted on 03/10/2003 8:53:33 PM PST by Victoria Delsoul
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 55 | View Replies]


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