Combined report by Paul DeRienzo, Frank Morales and Chris Flash From newspaper _The_Shadow_ Oct. 1994/Jan. 1995 Issue
Two cassette tape recordings, obtained by SHADOW reporter Paul DiRienzo of telephone conversations between FBI informant Emad Salem and his Bureau contacts reveal secret U.S. Government complicity in the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City in which six people were killed and more than a thousand were injured.
After careful deliberation, the SHADOW believes the question regarding the bombing boils down to the following: Did the FBI do the bombing, utilizing informant Salem as an "agent provocateur" or did it fail to prevent an independent Salem and his associates from doing it? The taped conversations obtained by the SHADOW seem to indicate the former:
FBI Informant Edam Salem: "...we was start already building the bomb which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the DA and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case!"
Who is Emad Salem? FBI bomber, Arab double-agent or just greedy? Possibly a combination of all three. Salem is a former Egyptian Army officer who is currently the U.S. government's star witness against Egyptian cleric Dr. Omar Abdel Rahman, whom the FBI says was the ringleader in several bombing plots, including the World Trade Center. Shortly after the bombing at the Twin Towers (World Trade Center) the U.S. government moved to take Salem into the Witness Protection program.
According to the FBI, Salem was aware of the plot ostensibly because he had infiltrated Sheik Rahman and his associates. He was recruited as a government informant shortly after the 1991 assassination of of right- wing militant Rabbi Meir Kahane. As an associate of Rahman, Salem traveled in the cleric's inner circle, surreptitiously recording conversations, and selling his information to the Bureau. But unknown to his FBI handlers, Salem was also secretly recording his conversations with them, most likely to protect himself.
According to attorney Ron Kuby, after Salem was taken into the Witness Protection program on June 24, 1993, he told the feds about the more than 1,000 conversations he had recorded sometime between December, 1991 and June, 1993. Kuby says that while some of these tapes are not significant, others contain substantive dealings with Salem and his FBI handlers. Salem was actually bugging the FBI.
The World Trade Center bombing, along with subsequent alleged plots to bomb prominent targets in New York City, spawned a number of federal indictments and trials resulting in the conviction of more than a dozen men, all of Arabic descent. Salem's exposure as a government informant who had a year earlier infiltrated the group of men later charged in the bombing conspiracy caused many to wonder why he and the FBI failed to provide any warning of the pending World Trade Center bombing.
The answer now appears self-evident.
The FBI put an informant named Emad Salem, a 43-year old former Egyptian military officer, smack dab in the middle of the Muslim protestors. Salem worked the group and became bodyguard for the blind Sheik Abdul Rahman, radical Muslim cleric and group leader. The sheik, coincidentally, had been heavily subsidized by the U S government while in Pakistan in the late 1980s, helping to pump up Muslims to fight the Soviets in Afghanistan, sort of a sheik for all seasons and reasons.
Though the evidence that Nosair killed Kahane was damning, the jury somehow found him not guilty for murder but guilty on a firearms charge, i.e., possessing the murder weapon. Work on that one. And Salem, after the trial, continued to work the “terrorist” room as an FBI informant, receiving $500 a week plus expenses.
Right after Nosair was convicted, Salem met regularly with other members of the “cell,” “cadre,” “conspiracy” — hard-line Muslims who banded together during the Kahane trial. As a result, in 1992, Salem warned the FBI repeatedly that the group was planning to pull off a catastrophic bombing in New York City. But the FBI, in its own strange wisdom, was convinced Nosair was making up tall tales and canned him. Work on that one.
When on February 26, 1993, a 1,200-pound bomb in a van exploded in the parking garage under the World Trade Center, purportedly in a government agency parking spot; it was the most destructive terrorist attack on US soil to that time. Its achievement is now supplanted by the 9/11/01 attack. What’s next, a whole city, a region, a blue state?
That dark question aside, the ’93 attack killed six people, injured more than a thousand, and racked up a half billion dollars in damage. It is said that if the van had been parked a few feet closer to one of the pillars, it could have collapsed at least one of the towers onto the other, thereby collapsing both and killing tens of thousands.
But note how the event is clearly an underground explosion. Explosions from under, within, and on top of the Towers that led to their pulverization would be disguised in the 2001 hits as effects of the plane hits and subsequent fires that melted building frames and caused their nine to 10-second, speed-of-gravity free falls. See 911Mysteries and LooseChange for details on how well those infamous hoaxes have been dispelled.
The ’93 case, like the 2001 case, was quickly cracked. Mohammad Salameh, one of the alleged bombers, had repeatedly gone to the Ryder rental office in Jersey City and demanded that Ryder refund his $400 deposit for the van, which he claimed to be stolen. Why didn’t he just confess and ask to be arrested? You remember Mohammed Atta conveniently left a suitcase, in a Maine airport, full of documents in Arabic, maps, plans to destroy buildings, along with wills of fellow conspirators. Also, Atta’s passport miraculously surfaced from the smoldering debris at Ground Zero, shouting look at me, look at me.
Of course back in ’93, ‘law enforcement’ agents had already figured out from fragments at the WTC that the van was the bomb delivery vehicle. Salameh was shuffled off to jail and the FBI quickly snared other plotters. Similarly, the FBI identified almost immediately after the 9/11 hits the 19 Muslim perpertrators and declared that planes were the sole instruments of death. In the first case, Time magazine in all its wisdom, announced that the FBI “looked supremely capable in speedily rounding up suspects in the World Trade Center bombing.” Hurrah, and let’s get back to those basketball and football games.
Assistant US Attorney Andrew McCarthy boasted to a New York jury that the first World Trade Center attack was one of the FBI’s finest hours: “To the rest of the world out there, [the] explosion in all its tragedy was actually a high-water mark for the FBI.” And the New York Times told us that FBI agents had been monitoring two mosques in the New York City area, as well as Sheik Omar Abdul Rahman, although . . .”Federal guidelines had limited their ability to tail them or conduct other close surveillance. Nothing suggesting the purchase of explosives or the assembling of a bomb was detected, the officials said. Even close surveillance might not have picked up a surreptitious act, they said.”
A few months later, FBI director William Sessions said, “Based on what was known to us at the time, we have no reason to believe we could have prevented the bombing of the World Trade Center.” Are these guys kidding or they kidding? They had Emad Salem on the inside in 1992, a year before, warning them a catastrophe was cooking, and they canned him.
After the bombing, the FBI further played Keystone Cops and stumbled over themselves to rehire Salem, offering him a million bucks to discover evidence of more terrorist plots. Salem, being a reasonably smart guy, did not trust the boyz to pay up. So he secretly recorded his conversations with FBI agents. In August, as the case approached its trial, news leaked Salem had made tapes of more than a hundred hours of his conversations with FBI agents and handlers. Yet somehow the transcripts were not helpful to the prosecution.
In a call to an FBI agent shortly after the bombing Salem complained, “We was start already building the bomb, which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built, uh, uh, uh, supervising, supervision from the Bureau [FBI] and the DA [district attorney] and we was all informed about it. And we know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case. And then he ‘the FBI [supervisor]‘ put his head in the sand and said, o no, no, no that’s not true, he is a son of a bitch, okay.”
Not elegant rhetoric, but we get the point. The FBI is playing Salem and he is fully aware of it.
Frustrated, Salem told one FBI agent, “You were informed. Everything is ready. The day and the time. Book. Lock them up and that’s that. That’s why I feel so bad.” Another tape revealed Salem asking an FBI agent, “Do you deny your supervisor is the main reason of bombing the World Trade Center?” The agent did not deny Salem’s charge. Shortly after the bombing, FBI agent Nancy Floyd confided to Salem that her supervisions botched the case: “I felt that the people on the squad, that they didn’t have a clue of how to operate things. That the supervisors didn’t know what was going on. That they hadn’t taken the time to learn the history.”
Purportedly, it was never totally clear to what degree Salem instigated the bombing, in contrast to just reporting on the plot to his FBI controllers. Yet, as James Bovard reports, Salem offered to do a switcheroo on the bombers and substitute harmless powder for deadly explosives and prevent any real catastrophe. The FBI turned down his offer. Why? Salem wasn’t committed to explosives. Why were they?
Salem groused to one FBI man that an FBI supervisor “requested to make me to testify [in public] and if he didn’t push for that, we’ll be going building the bomb with a phony powder and grabbing the people who was involve in it. But . . . we didn’t do that.”
That’s right, the real explosives were used and the reason lands square in the FBI’s lap.
The FBI was also embarrassed by the 47 boxes of explosive plans and information that had been seized from Nosair and left sitting in storage for two years. In fact, the FBI claimed that part of the reason for that was that no one in the New York FBI office spoke or read Arabic. Like no one, not even a UN interpreter who could be borrowed, or a scholar from one of the many universities in town?
One note on one of the boxes read, “We had to thoroughly demoralize the enemies of God. This is to be done by means of destroying and blowing up the towers that constitute the pillars of their civilization, such as the tourist attractions they’re so proud of and the high buildings they’re so proud of.” In fact, a law enforcement official told the Los Angeles Times in 1993 that the materials “described major conspiracies and provided a road map to the bombing of the World Trade Center and the subsequent plot.” All that rhetoric and no response? FBI, shame on you again.
THE NEW YORK TIMES
* * * * *
Thursday October 28, 1993 Page A1
"Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart
Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast"
By Ralph Blumenthal
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists were building a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World Trade Center, and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly substituting harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said after the blast.
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the bomb and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off by an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the informer, Emad Salem, should be used, the informer said.
The account, which is given in the transcript of hundreds of hours of tape recordings that Mr. Salem secretly made of his talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the authorities as being in a far better position than previously known to foil the February 26th bombing of New York City's tallest towers.
The explosion left six people dead, more than a thousand people injured, and damages in excess of half-a-billion dollars. Four men are now on trial in Manhattan Federal Court [on charges of involvement] in that attack.
Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian Army officer, was used by the Government [of the United States] to penetrate a circle of Muslim extremists who are now charged in two bombing cases: the World Trade Center attack, and a foiled plot to destroy the United Nations, the Hudson River tunnels, and other New York City landmarks. He is the crucial witness in the second bombing case, but his work for the Government was erratic, and for months before the World Trade Center blast, he was feuding with the F.B.I.
Supervisor `Messed It Up'
After the bombing, he resumed his undercover work. In an undated transcript of a conversation from that period, Mr. Salem recounts a talk he had had earlier with an agent about an unnamed F.B.I. supervisor who, he said, "came and messed it up."
"He requested to meet me in the hotel," Mr. Salem says of the supervisor.
"He requested to make me to testify, and if he didn't push for that, we'll be going building the bomb with a phony powder, and grabbing the people who was involved in it. But since you, we didn't do that."
The transcript quotes Mr. Salem as saying that he wanted to complain to F.B.I. Headquarters in Washington about the Bureau's failure to stop the bombing, but was dissuaded by an agent identified as John Anticev.
Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev had told him,
"He said, I don't think that the New York people would like the things out of the New York Office to go to Washington, D.C."
Another agent, identified as Nancy Floyd, does not dispute Mr. Salem's account, but rather, appears to agree with it, saying of the `New York people':
"Well, of course not, because they don't want to get their butts chewed."