I AM A MUSLIM AND I'M SPYING FOR MI5

Keeping an eye on the media coverage of July 7th, and taking the media to task over their inaccuracies, mis-leading statements and distortions. Post all your complaints and responses here! If you spot inaccuracies in the media coverage, here's the place to tell us about it.

I AM A MUSLIM AND I'M SPYING FOR MI5

Joined: 26 Nov 2005, 01:46

05 May 2007, 13:56 #1

I AM A MUSLIM AND I'M SPYING FOR MI5

By Jon Clements Crime Correspondent 05/05/2007

LYING awake in a cold sweat after another night tossing and turning over the July 7 London bombings, Mohammed decided he had to talk to somebody.

Next morning, the young Muslim from a deeply religious family, walked into a police station in his Midlands town.

Mohammed, whose name the Mirror has changed to protect his identity, said: "I couldn't sleep because of it, I was turning all night, waking up in sweats and having nightmares. I kept thinking what if it was somebody in my family on a train or a bus.

"I went to the police station and asked to speak to somebody from anti-terrorism. Half an hour later a couple of uniform officers saw me. I asked them if they were the antiterrorism and they said no and asked me what it was about.

"I told them that if these guys had been in Pakistan for 40 days or more I would probably know who they were. I told them I had come straight in because I couldn't sleep. I hadn't even brushed my teeth and still had my sandals on."

The uniform police were replaced by two officers from CID who then made way for two anti-terror detectives.

Mohammed added: "I had been there for about three hours when they left and two people came in and said they were from MI5.

"They told me that I was right, that these guys had been to Pakistan and trained in Kashmir. Then they took the police tapes and notes and destroyed them in front of me. They offered me food and drink and were basically sucking up to me.

"I told them I didn't want to work for them, just tell them about these guys and get it over with. So I did and I went home."


But MI5, tackling an unprecedented threat from home-grown terrorists after decades of Cold War spying, was determined to recruit Mohammed, whose story reveals the scale of the challenge the service faces.

He said: "A few days later they called me at home, I hadn't given them my numbers, and they asked again. Then they came round and talked to me. One of them said, 'You just need to step over the line, you're there already really'."

Mohammed agreed and began reporting back to the security service, accused this week of failing to prevent July 7 after having bombers Mohammed Sidique Khan and Shezhad Tanweer under surveillance in early 2004.

He was valuable because he already had contacts among the extremist community after his family forced him to study Islam in hardline centres. "My family sent me to these centres a few years before, basically to straighten me out because of my drinking and smoking and other bad behaviour.

They told the elders to rectify me and make me study my religion more, that is how I got into it. I changed my clothes and grew a beard - I had to as they wouldn't even let me wear jeans.

"I had to read the Koran all the time, they would just tell me, 'Keep reading, keep reading'. I was crying after the second day because it felt like a prison. It was weird, after a while I did care more about reading about my religion than anything else, but I was never into violence.

"Jihad is justified if somebody attacks my religion but those people in London had done nothing, nothing to deserve being killed."

MI5 gave Mohammed a mobile and when he wanted to meet officers, gave him directions and checked he was not being followed.

He said: "They would say, 'Get off at this stop, come out of the station, take the first left, first right, walk up the hill and wait there'. Then a van would pull up. I would be put in the back where you couldn't see anything, be driven into a garage, the doors close behind us, get out and go into a house and there would be a few men with computers and papers.

"They were really ordinary looking, you wouldn't think they were spies or anything. One of them was a bit chubby, it was not James Bond or anything."

After several months, Mohammed quit his job to spy for MI5 full time. It paid him thousands of pounds.

"I was paid straight into my bank account. I asked them what to say if the bank asked me where all the money was coming from. They said, 'Tell them you've sold a car'." But the money brought problems when Mohammed's deeply religious mother asked about it.

"My mum worried I was a drug dealer and kept asking me. Finally she asked me to swear on a relative's life that I wasn't working for the police. I couldn't lie to her because she is my elder so I had to tell her. She wanted to kick me out She was really angry.

"She said I had done wrong and that to atone for what I had done she would give the money to charity. It went to our home country to help sick people and orphans, things like that."

Mohammed was also troubled by the act of spying. He said: "We were talking about the bombings and those under surveillance asked me for my opinion and I said, 'I think it was a brilliant thing that happened, those brothers will surely go to heaven', it was a role play.

"But I always felt guilty about what I was doing because I was betraying my religion, even if the cause was right or wrong."

His greatest fear was not exposure but being arrested in a police raid on a radical centre.

"I was really scared one time in London because the speaker was saying some really dangerous things.

"MI5 had told me if I was arrested not to say anything to the police and they would get me out of there.

"But I had to take that on trust and the more I thought about it the more it worried me." After several months, MI5 sent him on a training course at a provincial town in South East England. But it was no Q-style briefing with all the gadgets.

"They asked me, 'Do you know how to tell how many people live in a house? It's easy. When you're in there make an excuse to go to the toilet and when you wash your hands count how many toothbrushes there are.

They told me what to make notes of, like whether people let themselves into a house or are let in. I made profiles for them.

"I had my own system so I wrote down their name, height, language, origin - stuff like that. They would show me pictures of people they were interested in and ask me if I knew them. They must have showed me about 500 pictures and I knew about 50 or 60 of them."

This was Mohammed's routine for months but it ended after he and MI5 feared he had been compromised.

AFTER a final pay-off, he and his handlers parted company and within hours the MI5 telephone numbers he had called were disconnected.

He returned to work but is still in touch with many extremists who remain unaware he spied on them.

Mohammed said: "I have to be very careful because some of the brothers would kill me without hesitating. They're from all over, Palestine, Syria - lots of them are from Somalia and they're over here.

"MI5 say they are looking at 1,500 people but, believe me, they have at least 5,000 on their books. Some study chemistry, engineering and physics at university. You don't have to be a genius to work out they have the potential to build a chemical bomb."

Mohammed insists that attacks by British terror cells are co-ordinated from abroad. "What you've got to realise is the order comes from Pakistan - it never comes from England.

"There are people waiting for the go-ahead to do what they want to do."


And he warned that even if MI5 had learned from Operation Crevice, which caught Bluewater bomb plotter Omar Khyam, so have the terrorists.

"I will tell you this, MI5 will not be able to stop all the plots and all the fanatics - there are just too many of them and they learn things quickly.

"Omar Khyam was caught because he stored the fertiliser and the company called the police. Well, these guys don't store things any more, so it will be much harder to catch them now."

IF you are suspicious about something or somebody you have seen please call the police Anti Terrorist Hotline on 0800 789 321. Calls are taken 24 hours a day in confidence. For more information on terrorism visit www.mi5.gov.uk

Jon.Clements@Mirror.Co.Uk
�To those who are afraid of the truth, I wish to offer a few scary truths; and to those who are not afraid of the truth, I wish to offer proof that the terrorism of truth is the only one that can be of benefit to the proletariat.� -- On Terrorism and the State, Gianfranco Sanguinetti
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Joined: 17 Oct 2006, 16:31

05 May 2007, 14:59 #2

They're getting really desperate now aren't they? So desperate they put out dribble like that!
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Joined: 01 Apr 2008, 12:34

09 Feb 2014, 19:03 #3

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... arges.html

Spy who hunted 7/7 bombers has to fight to stay in the UK: MI5 agent praised by Blair faces deportation over criminal record
Morrocan-born agent infiltrated extremist cells on behalf of British spies
He investigated 7/7 attacks in London and Madrid bombings
But his work for MI5 was terminated in 2006 because he 'wasn't needed'
Now he is fighting deportation to Morocco where he could face torture


Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... z2sqwc9dzD
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook


Interesting story
His appeal should throw up some more news stories
Doubt if much truth will be revealed .
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

10 Feb 2014, 04:15 #4

Spy who hunted 7/7 bombers has to fight to stay in the UK: MI5 agent praised by Blair faces deportation over criminal record

Morrocan-born agent infiltrated extremist cells on behalf of British spies
He investigated 7/7 attacks in London and Madrid bombings
But his work for MI5 was terminated in 2006 because he 'wasn't needed'
Now he is fighting deportation to Morocco where he could face torture

By Robert Verkaik

PUBLISHED: 23:32, 8 February 2014 | UPDATED: 00:59, 9 February 2014

An MI5 agent praised by Tony Blair for playing a key role in the UK’s war on terror is suing the Government after being told that he can no longer live in Britain.

The 33-year-old Moroccan-born agent worked for MI5 for six years, risking his life to prevent terror attacks on the UK.

He infiltrated Islamic extremist cells and worked on investigations into the 7/7 attacks on London and the Madrid bombings as well as providing intelligence which led to the arrest of Al Qaeda terror suspects.

Now the Home Office has told him he has no right to remain in Britain because ministers say he has a criminal record.

His case is due to be heard at a high-profile immigration hearing in May, where MI5 has been asked to give evidence.

The agent, who married a British citizen with whom he has a five-year-old daughter, says he faces arrest and torture in his home country of Morocco if forced to leave.

The man left Morocco when he was 15 and arrived in Britain three years later.

He stayed in Finsbury Park Mosque where he met radical preacher Abu Hamza, whose followers sent him to Georgia and then Chechnya.

According to legal papers seen by The Mail on Sunday, he claims that when he returned from Georgia to the UK in 2000 he was approached by MI5 and recruited as an agent. In December 2001 he was sent on a mission to Belgium to infiltrate an extremist cell but was arrested by Belgian security services.

He was held in solitary confinement without charge for two years before being convicted for associating with terrorists and possessing a false travel document.

But in January 2004, when he faced a further two years in prison, he claims he was visited by an MI5 officer who told him then-Home Secretary David Blunkett had authorised his transfer to Britain.

He claims he was offered the choice of remaining in prison in Belgium, returning to Morocco – where he faced arrest and torture – or continuing his work for MI5.

The agent arrived in Britain in April on a specially chartered jet and immediately began training with MI5, including how to use fake documents and infiltrate extremist groups.

He provided vital intelligence on the detonation system used by the terrorists in the 2004 Madrid bombings and helped track down extremists linked to the bombers in the 7/7 attacks in 2005. He was also sent on a mission to Ireland to infiltrate a suspected Al Qaeda cell.

For this work he claims he was repeatedly told by MI5 that David Blunkett and Tony Blair were very pleased and that Mr Blair had personally made use of the intelligence he gathered from extremist groups.

But in February 2006 MI5 summoned him to a meeting in a hotel in Surrey, where he was told the relationship was being terminated because he was no longer any use to them.

He was offered a £10,000 bribe to leave the UK for Morocco and says in his legal claim that he chose to stay in the UK because he was promised he would be granted permanent residency if he remained.

But he alleges that since he left MI5 he has been betrayed, with MI5 refusing to return his calls and the Home Office rejecting his claims for residency. He says this has caused his marriage to end.

Last night David Blunkett denied he had any knowledge of the case.

The man’s Belgian lawyer, Christophe Marchand, said he ‘believed he had no choice’ but to work for MI5.

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http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2554925/Spy-hunted-7-7-bombers-fight-stay-UK-MI5-agent-praised-Blair-faces-terror-charges.html
A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SUSPECTS
A NATION CHALLENGED: THE SUSPECTS; Arrests in Belgium Highlight Its Role as a Militants' Base
By JOHN TAGLIABUE
Published: December 20, 2001

PARIS, Dec. 19— Belgian police have arrested a Tunisian-born man they say had intense contacts with Muslim militants across Europe and recruited men for training in the camps of Al Qaeda, Osama bin Laden's network.

It is the latest in a string of recent Belgian arrests that have highlighted the country's role as a base of operations for militant Muslims, including some who may have been involved in Al Qaeda's preparations for the Sept. 11 attacks.

Tarek Maaroufi, 36, a Belgian who was born in Tunisia and lives with his wife in a high-rise in the Schaerbeek section of Brussels, was arrested early today. He faces charges of belonging to a criminal organization, using false document stamps and violating a 1979 Belgian law against recruiting for the armed forces of a foreign country. Belgian officials said that charge referred to Al Qaeda and Afghanistan. A second man, identified only as an Arab of North African origin, was also arrested on charges of belonging to a criminal organization.

Law enforcement officials in several European countries have identified Mr. Maaroufi as a key figure in militant Muslim circles. This fall, Italian officials said that they had petitioned Belgium for his extradition on charges of belonging to a terrorist organization, with branches in Italy, Germany and other European countries. Belgian law forbids the extradition of Belgian nationals, but Belgian officials have said they would investigate the charges against Mr. Maaroufi and try him in Belgium if Italy provided the evidence against him. They are obviously hoping he will help cast light on a complex network of militant Muslim groups operating in Belgium and beyond.

Earlier this month, Belgian officials disclosed that the two suicide bombers who posed as journalists to murder the Afghan leader of the Northern Alliance, Ahmed Shah Massoud, were Tunisians who had lived in Belgium. American intelligence officials described the murder as a pre-emptive strike by Mr. bin Laden in expectation of the United States turning to the Northern Alliance after the attacks in September.

A spokesman for the Belgian federal prosecutor, Christian de Valkeneer, said that while officials did know ''that forged Belgian passports were used'' by Mr. Massoud's assassins, there was ''no direct link'' between Mr. Maaroufi's arrest and the assassination plot.


In London today, the Home Office said immigration officials backed by the police had detained eight foreign nationals suspected of being international terrorists. They were the first detentions under tough new laws enabling the government to hold foreign terrorism suspects. A Home Office spokesman said the men were detained in London, in Luton north of London, and in the West Midlands. He would not comment on British news reports that the men detained were Arabs of North African origin, mainly Algerians.

In the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks, the British government argued that detention without trial was necessary for the small number of people who posed a security threat but who could not be deported because they faced the death penalty in their home countries.

Under the new British law, foreigners can be held for up to six months before the Home Office must justify keeping them in custody.

The man arrested in Belgium, Mr. Maaroufi, came to the attention of the Belgian authorities in 1995, when he was convicted and given a three-year suspended sentence in a trial of suspected members of the militant Algerian Armed Islamic Group. In October, Italian law enforcement officials issued an international arrest warrant for Mr. Maaroufi after phone taps and apartment buggings revealed that he collaborated closely with a Tunisian-run terrorist group operating in towns around Milan. Italian officials have said they were informed by United States intelligence agencies that Mr. Maaroufi was involved in planning an armed attack on the United States Embassy in Rome in January. Tunisian intelligence officials, in recent interviews, accused Mr. Maaroufi of visiting camps in Afghanistan at least twice in the 1990's for paramilitary training.

Mr. Maaroufi, a compact, bearded man, accuses the Tunisian government of fomenting the charges against him and refused on a recent evening to discuss them with a reporter. Roland Menschaert, his lawyer, said, ''Yes, he admits he is a devout Muslim, and yes, he opposes the regime in Tunisia. But no, he is not a Taliban, and no, he is not a follower of Osama bin Laden. He has nothing more to say.''

Last month, Spanish investigators said they had evidence that Mr. Maaroufi had met the head of a Spanish Al Qaeda cell, Eddin Barakat Yarkas, also known as Abu Dahdah, in Belgium on one of dozens of trips Mr. Yarkas made in recent years to meet militant groups in several European countries. They did not elaborate.

Another Tunisian, Nizar Trabelsi, a former professional soccer player accused of having been recruited to be a suicide bomber in an attack on the American Embassy in Paris, is also being held in Belgium. Mr. Trabelsi admits to having spent six to seven months in Afghanistan last year, though he says it was for charitable purposes, to help rebuild mosques and schools. But the suspected organizer of the plot, an Algerian-born Frenchman who is under arrest in France, identified him as the intended bomber. Mr. Trabelsi said this week, through his lawyer, Didier de Quevy, that he was dragged into the plot to mask the actual participants. Mr. de Quevy said in an interview that Mr. Trabelsi denied knowing either Mr. Maaroufi or the planners of the Massoud assassination.

The plot to assassinate Mr. Massoud is clearly a cornerstone of Muslim militancy in Belgium. Officials suspect that the mission was entrusted to a group of Tunisians in Belgium, including the two suicide bombers who traveled to Afghanistan with falsified Belgian passports to carry out the murder.

Photo: Tarek Maaroufi, shown here in 1996, was arrested yesterday. (Agence France-Presse)

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http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/20/world/nation-challenged-suspects-arrests-belgium-highlight-its-role-militants-base.html
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

10 Feb 2014, 04:23 #5

A NATION CHALLENGED: THE TANGLED WEB
A NATION CHALLENGED: THE TANGLED WEB; European Cell Of Al Qaeda Cited in Killing Of Massoud
By JOHN TAGLIABUE with SUSAN SACHS
Published: December 8, 2001

PARIS, Dec. 7— Investigators piecing together the suicide-bomb assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Afghan rebel leader, say they believe the plot was carried out by members of a European-based cell of Al Qaeda that on remote-control command from Osama bin Laden reached back to Afghanistan to destroy its prey.

One of the assassins, Belgian officials said today, was the cell's presumed leader, a Tunisian who, like several leaders of the Sept. 11 hijackings, came to Europe as students only to be drawn into the bin Laden terror network. The Tunisian lived in Belgium from the late 1980's until he departed on his suicide mission.

Mr. Massoud was killed on Sept. 9 by two suicide bombers posing as journalists, and from early on, American intelligence officials have said the killing was part of the overall terror scheme that unfolded in America two days later.

Now, for the first time, investigators in Europe and North Africa say they have uncovered evidence to support that idea. And they say the plot's use of a distant cell fits Mr. bin Laden's pattern of reaching out to assimilated Arab radicals living in Europe and North America as a means of masking his activities.

This week the police in Belgium arrested two men, identified only as a Moroccan and a Tunisian, bringing to at least five the number of people being held in Belgium and France. They are suspected of having supplied the forged documents used by Mr. Massoud's killers.

Today, Belgian officials identified the Tunisian assassin as Dahmane Abd al-Sattar, 39. They said he was the leader of a cluster of men, mainly North Africans, who were part of Mr. bin Laden's network, Al Qaeda. The Belgians said the identity of the second killer could be determined within days.

Posing as journalists and photographers, the killers detonated bombs on their bodies and in a camera at the start of what was to have been an interview in northern Afghanistan.

Early in the investigation, American intelligence officials described the killing as a pre-emptive strike by Mr. bin Laden in anticipation that the United States would turn to the Northern Alliance after the attacks on Sept. 11.

If Mr. Sattar is proved to be linked to Al Qaeda, it would provide the first evidence of that. What little was revealed about Mr. Sattar, who was first identified today by the Belgian daily Le Soir, fit a familiar pattern.

Tunisian officials with access to intelligence reports said tonight that Mr. Sattar had left for Belgium in 1987 after obtaining a journalism degree, planning to pursue studies at the Free University of Brussels and the Catholic University in Leuven.

Christel Lejeune, a spokeswoman for the Free University, said Mr. Sattar enrolled there in 1990 but left after a year without taking exams. A spokeswoman for the Catholic University said officials who might confirm his attendance were not available.

According to the Tunisian officials, Mr. Sattar went underground in 1999, after the Belgian authorities sought to expel him because his residence permit had expired. He next surfaced in Britain in June of last year, when he was detained at Heathrow Airport for using a fake Belgian passport, they said.

Françoise Caussé, a French journalist who spent several days with Mr. Sattar and his fellow assassin in a Northern Alliance guest house before the suicide attack, described him as the friendlier and more open of the two. She said he spoke accent-free French and good English.

Nasrine Gross, an Afghan-American from Washington and a proponent of Afghan women's rights, who was also there, said Mr. Sattar had stood out for his dapper dress.


''We were the grunge of the world,'' she said in an interview. ''He was dressed to a T.'' Though both men said they were Moroccans, Mr. Sattar did not betray a Moroccan accent when speaking Arabic with her, she said.

As reconstructed by investigators, Mr. Massoud's killers used Belgian passports stolen in 1999 from the Belgian Consulate in Strasbourg, France, and the embassy in The Hague. Mr. Sattar used a passport issued to Karim Touzani, 34, while that used by his accomplice had been issued to Kacem Bakkali, 26.

Traveling to Britain, they boarded a flight from Heathrow Airport to Pakistan, which they entered using multiple-entry visas. Attiya Mahmood, Pakistan's deputy high commissioner in London, said a search of records showed that the visas had not been issued by Pakistani consulates in Britain. ''They must have been forged,'' she said.

This week the Belgian police arrested two men, a Tunisian and a Moroccan, accused of altering the stolen passports. Jos Colpin, a spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor's office, said the men had been found in possession of passports with serial numbers corresponding to those stolen in Strasbourg and The Hague. He did not identify the men.

An Algerian man, identified only as Boualem B., is being held on similar charges.


The arrests were the latest in roundups in France and Belgium of Arab men suspected of ties to the forgers' group. One man detained in France, Adel Tebourski, 38, a native of Tunisia, confessed to purchasing the airline ticket used by Mr. Sattar.

He described to investigators the activities of the Belgian group in providing forged travel documents and recruiting young Arabs to travel to Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. But he denied knowledge of the assassination plot.

Last month an Yasser al-Siri, 38, was arrested in London and charged in connection with Mr. Massoud's killing. Mr. Siri runs the Islamic Observation Center in London, and according to investigators, the assassins got close to Mr. Massoud with the help of a letter on the center's stationery saying they were journalists with an Arab news agency.

Mr. Siri says the men altered the text of what he gave them. His lawyer, Gareth Peirce, did not return phone calls.

Photos: The men who reportedly assassinated Ahmed Shah Massoud were photographed by a French journalist flying with them to Mr. Massoud's headquarters. The man facing the camera is said to be Dahmane Abd al-Sattar. (Françoise Caussé/Gamma); Ahmed Shah Massoud, the slain head of the Northern Alliance. (Associated Press)(pg. B3)

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http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/08/world/nation-challenged-tangled-web-european-cell-al-qaeda-cited-killing-massoud.html
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

10 Feb 2014, 04:23 #6

A NATION CHALLENGED: THE TANGLED WEB
A NATION CHALLENGED: THE TANGLED WEB; European Cell Of Al Qaeda Cited in Killing Of Massoud
By JOHN TAGLIABUE with SUSAN SACHS
Published: December 8, 2001

PARIS, Dec. 7— Investigators piecing together the suicide-bomb assassination of Ahmed Shah Massoud, the Afghan rebel leader, say they believe the plot was carried out by members of a European-based cell of Al Qaeda that on remote-control command from Osama bin Laden reached back to Afghanistan to destroy its prey.

One of the assassins, Belgian officials said today, was the cell's presumed leader, a Tunisian who, like several leaders of the Sept. 11 hijackings, came to Europe as students only to be drawn into the bin Laden terror network. The Tunisian lived in Belgium from the late 1980's until he departed on his suicide mission.

Mr. Massoud was killed on Sept. 9 by two suicide bombers posing as journalists, and from early on, American intelligence officials have said the killing was part of the overall terror scheme that unfolded in America two days later.

Now, for the first time, investigators in Europe and North Africa say they have uncovered evidence to support that idea. And they say the plot's use of a distant cell fits Mr. bin Laden's pattern of reaching out to assimilated Arab radicals living in Europe and North America as a means of masking his activities.

This week the police in Belgium arrested two men, identified only as a Moroccan and a Tunisian, bringing to at least five the number of people being held in Belgium and France. They are suspected of having supplied the forged documents used by Mr. Massoud's killers.

Today, Belgian officials identified the Tunisian assassin as Dahmane Abd al-Sattar, 39. They said he was the leader of a cluster of men, mainly North Africans, who were part of Mr. bin Laden's network, Al Qaeda. The Belgians said the identity of the second killer could be determined within days.

Posing as journalists and photographers, the killers detonated bombs on their bodies and in a camera at the start of what was to have been an interview in northern Afghanistan.

Early in the investigation, American intelligence officials described the killing as a pre-emptive strike by Mr. bin Laden in anticipation that the United States would turn to the Northern Alliance after the attacks on Sept. 11.

If Mr. Sattar is proved to be linked to Al Qaeda, it would provide the first evidence of that. What little was revealed about Mr. Sattar, who was first identified today by the Belgian daily Le Soir, fit a familiar pattern.

Tunisian officials with access to intelligence reports said tonight that Mr. Sattar had left for Belgium in 1987 after obtaining a journalism degree, planning to pursue studies at the Free University of Brussels and the Catholic University in Leuven.

Christel Lejeune, a spokeswoman for the Free University, said Mr. Sattar enrolled there in 1990 but left after a year without taking exams. A spokeswoman for the Catholic University said officials who might confirm his attendance were not available.

According to the Tunisian officials, Mr. Sattar went underground in 1999, after the Belgian authorities sought to expel him because his residence permit had expired. He next surfaced in Britain in June of last year, when he was detained at Heathrow Airport for using a fake Belgian passport, they said.

Françoise Caussé, a French journalist who spent several days with Mr. Sattar and his fellow assassin in a Northern Alliance guest house before the suicide attack, described him as the friendlier and more open of the two. She said he spoke accent-free French and good English.

Nasrine Gross, an Afghan-American from Washington and a proponent of Afghan women's rights, who was also there, said Mr. Sattar had stood out for his dapper dress.


''We were the grunge of the world,'' she said in an interview. ''He was dressed to a T.'' Though both men said they were Moroccans, Mr. Sattar did not betray a Moroccan accent when speaking Arabic with her, she said.

As reconstructed by investigators, Mr. Massoud's killers used Belgian passports stolen in 1999 from the Belgian Consulate in Strasbourg, France, and the embassy in The Hague. Mr. Sattar used a passport issued to Karim Touzani, 34, while that used by his accomplice had been issued to Kacem Bakkali, 26.

Traveling to Britain, they boarded a flight from Heathrow Airport to Pakistan, which they entered using multiple-entry visas. Attiya Mahmood, Pakistan's deputy high commissioner in London, said a search of records showed that the visas had not been issued by Pakistani consulates in Britain. ''They must have been forged,'' she said.

This week the Belgian police arrested two men, a Tunisian and a Moroccan, accused of altering the stolen passports. Jos Colpin, a spokesman for the Belgian prosecutor's office, said the men had been found in possession of passports with serial numbers corresponding to those stolen in Strasbourg and The Hague. He did not identify the men.

An Algerian man, identified only as Boualem B., is being held on similar charges.


The arrests were the latest in roundups in France and Belgium of Arab men suspected of ties to the forgers' group. One man detained in France, Adel Tebourski, 38, a native of Tunisia, confessed to purchasing the airline ticket used by Mr. Sattar.

He described to investigators the activities of the Belgian group in providing forged travel documents and recruiting young Arabs to travel to Al Qaeda training camps in Afghanistan. But he denied knowledge of the assassination plot.

Last month an Yasser al-Siri, 38, was arrested in London and charged in connection with Mr. Massoud's killing. Mr. Siri runs the Islamic Observation Center in London, and according to investigators, the assassins got close to Mr. Massoud with the help of a letter on the center's stationery saying they were journalists with an Arab news agency.

Mr. Siri says the men altered the text of what he gave them. His lawyer, Gareth Peirce, did not return phone calls.

Photos: The men who reportedly assassinated Ahmed Shah Massoud were photographed by a French journalist flying with them to Mr. Massoud's headquarters. The man facing the camera is said to be Dahmane Abd al-Sattar. (Françoise Caussé/Gamma); Ahmed Shah Massoud, the slain head of the Northern Alliance. (Associated Press)(pg. B3)

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http://www.nytimes.com/2001/12/08/world/nation-challenged-tangled-web-european-cell-al-qaeda-cited-killing-massoud.html
"No one understood better than Stalin that the true object of propaganda is neither to convince nor even to persuade, but to produce a uniform pattern of public utterance in which the first trace of unorthodox thought immediately reveals itself as a jarring dissonance." Leonard Schapiro
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Joined: 06 Nov 2006, 17:39

10 Feb 2014, 14:47 #7

Tarek Maaroufi

Tarek ben Habib Maaroufi was born in Tunisia in 1965.  He became a naturalized Belgian citizen.

Until 1991, Tarek  Maaroufi, worked for el-Watan, an Arab radio station in Brussels. Twice, in 1992 and 1996, the Tunisian government asked the Belgian authority to extradite Tarek  Maaroufi because Tunis suspected him to be a member of a-Nahda, a revolutionary movement fighting for the establishment of an Islamic theocracy in Tunisia.

Tarek  Maaroufi associates himself to the Algerian Armed Islamic Group, known in its French acronym – GIA in Europe and was arrested by the Belgian police on 03/1995 with other eleven GIA members suspected of planning terror assaults in Europe. Tarek  Maaroufi was released in 12/1996 and was sentenced by a Belgian judge to three years probation.

In 1997, after his release from jail, Tarek  Maaroufi began to recruit young Muslims in the Brussels mosques for the Islamic Global Jihad in Chechnya. In 1999, Tarek  Maaroufi and Dahmane Abd el-Sattar, another member of the BELGIUM cell and the future suicide assassin of Ahmad Shah Massoud in Afghanistan on 09/09/2001, organized an exhibition about the war in Chechnya in Molenbeek, a suburb of Brussels.

At the end of 2000 Tarek  Maaroufi visited Afghanistan for basic training and briefing before he returned to Belgium.

According to CIA, Tarek  Maaroufi was involved from 01/2001 in the conspiracy to attack USA embassy in Paris scheduled to 11/2001, which was plotted in Dostrum Mosque in Germany by Jamel Beghal, the ringleader, but the Belgian authority refused to let CIA agent to interview Tarek  Maaroufi.

After the arrest of the Frankfurt Group in Germany and the Milan 01 Cell in Italy the Italians asked on 04/18/2001 from Belgium to extradite Tarek  Maaroufi to Italy, but the Belgian authority refused again.

On 09/09/2001, two days before The 9/11, Dahmane Abd el-Sattar and Bouraoui el-Ouaer , both members of the BELGIUM cell, using the names of Karim Toussani and Hassim Bakkali and the assumed identities of Belgian journalists of Moroccan origin, assassinated Ahmad Shah Massoud, the leader of Afghanistan’s Northern Alliance that opposed the Taliban regime.  The documents were stolen from the Belgian consulate in Strasbourg and the Belgian embassy in The Hague in 1999 and were fitted and forged for the mission by Tarek  Maaroufi.

Eventually Tarek  Maaroufi was arrested on 12/18/2001 for his role in facilitating the Ahmad Shah Massoud assassination in Afghanistan and the planed attack on the Kleine Brogel air base near Brussels, Belgium, which houses USA personnel, scheduled to the beginning of 2002 and supposed to be carried out by Nizar Trabelsi. 

On 09/30/2003 Tarek  Maaroufi was sentenced to 6 years imprisonment for his role in supplying forged documents and facilitating the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud and providing material support to Nizar Trabelsi in the planning of the supposed attack on the Kleine Brogel air base near Brussels. On 09/13/2004, Tarek  Maaroufi was sentenced, the second time, for 5 years in jail for his role in the Belgian 04 cell.

Summary

The case of Tarek  Maaroufi is a good example of the unbelievable clemency toward radical Islamism, in Europe in general and specifically in Belgium, which enabled, eventually, the assassination of Ahmad Shah Massoud and in the larger context The 9/11.

* After being released from Belgian prison, Tarek  Maaroufi was deported back to Tunisia, probably in 2009. In Tunisia, along with other Jihadists like Sheikh Abu Ayadh al-Tunisi, who fought the Americans in Afghanistan, and the 30-year-old Sheikh Abu Ayyoub Al-Tunisi , they took advantage on the Jasmine Revolution and formed a Salafist group “Ansar Al-Sharia (Tun)” (soldiers of Shariaa). The group held its first rally attended by thousands , on Sunday 03/25/2012. They called for implementing Shariaa law in Tunisia through the new Tunisian constitution (see - Green-Curtain).

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