In Triple Cross, the third volume of his investigative trilogy on federal mishandling of the World Trade Center bombing investigation, Peter Lance identifies none other than Plame Game prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald as the FBI official most responsible for allowing a senior Al Qaeda operative closely tied to Bin Laden himself to remain operational and at-large under the protection of the US Government.
In the al-Qaida camps, he was known as Abu Mohamed al Amriki — “Father Mohamed the American.” And, until he was finally arrested and convicted in 2000 — after two decades of high profile terrorism, including helping to plan attacks on American troops in Somalia and U.S. embassies in Africa — Ali Mohamed roamed free and even protected.
He was so untouchable, he was taken from quick-thinking Canadian officials, who suspected he may have been a threat.
In the most intimate and thorough way possible, Triple Cross chronicles one of the most vicious spies of our time.
Mohamed was a U.S. Army sergeant, FBI operative and possible CIA asset, who, on the side, was a friend to Osama bin Laden, trained the leader’s bodyguards, was instrumental in killing Americans and was the middle-man in an historic and vile union between bin Laden’s forces and the Lebanese Hezbollah. His fingerprints can be traced to those who assassinated Jewish militant Meir Kahane and blew up the first truck bomb to hit the World Trade Centre.
He made no real secret about being a die-hard jihadi. But the U.S. refused to accept him for what he really was.
“In the annals of espionage, few men have moved in and out of the deep black world between the hunters and the hunted with as much audacity as Ali Mohamed,” Lance, a former ABC News producer, writes in his book.
Mohamed worked his triple-cross as U.S. authorities were — Lance argues — distracted with inner-politics, their own lives, the mob and even a horiffic murder. But more than he does with anyone else, Lance points an accusing finger at celebrated U.S. attorney Patrick Fitzgerald, who directed the FBI’s elite bin Laden squad, which, Lance argues, allowed Mohamed to remain an active al-Qaida agent.
Lance writes Fitzgerald and other top officials ignored important al-Qaida-related evidence, including proof in 1996 of a liquid-based airliner bomb — a precursor to last August’s plot revealed by British intelligence.
Lance pinpoints how, in 1991, the FBI, knowing of a New Jersey mail box store with direct links to al-Qaida, failed to keep it under watch. Just six years later, two of the 9/11 hijackers got their fake IDs at the same location.
Mohamed himself had come to the FBI’s attention in 1989, when the agency’s Special Operations Group photographed a cell of his trainees firing AK-47s at a Long Island shooting range. The bureau would drop that investigation — as it would in many other cases involving the terror spy.
Peter Dale Scott at Global Research:
It is now generally admitted that Ali Mohamed (known in the al Qaeda camps as Abu Mohamed al Amriki — “Father Mohamed the American”) worked for the FBI, the CIA, and U.S. Special Forces. As he later confessed in court, he also aided the terrorist Ayman al-Zawahiri, a co-founder of the Egyptian Islamic Jihad, and by then an aide to bin Laden, when he visited America to raise money.
The 9/11 Report mentioned him, and said that the plotters against the U.S. Embassy in Kenya were “led” (their word) by Ali Mohamed. That’s the Report’s only reference to him, though it’s not all they heard.
Patrick Fitzgerald, U.S. Attorney who negotiated a plea bargain and confession from Ali Mohamed, said this in testimony to the Commission
Ali Mohamed. …. trained most of al Qaeda’s top leadership — including Bin Laden and Zawahiri — and most of al Qaeda’s top trainers. He gave some training to persons who would later carry out the 1993 World Trade Center bombing…. From 1994 until his arrest in 1998, he lived as an American citizen in California, applying for jobs as an FBI translator.
Patrick Fitzgerald knew Ali Mohamed well. In 1994 he had named him as an unindicted co-conspirator in the New York landmarks case, yet allowed him to remain free. This was because, as Fitzgerald knew, Ali Mohamed was an FBI informant, from at least 1993 and maybe 1989. Thus, from 1994 “until his arrest in 1998 [by which time the 9/11 plot was well under way], Mohamed shuttled between California, Afghanistan, Kenya, Somalia and at least a dozen other countries.” Shortly after 9/11, Larry C. Johnson, a former State Department and CIA official, faulted the FBI publicly for using Mohamed as an informant, when it should have recognized that the man was a high-ranking terrorist plotting against the United States.