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U.S. federal prosecutors suppressed critical evidence in trial of 1993 World Trade Center bombers

Wayne Madsen | August 28 2006

Flashback: The FBI allowed the 1993 WTC bombing to happen

U.S. federal prosecutors suppressed critical evidence in trial of 1993 World Trade Center bombers. According to U.S. intelligence sources, the FBI and Justice Department sat on volumes of translations of Arabic telephone intercepts gathered before the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center from U.S.- and Sudan-based Muslim militants who once worked for U.S. intelligence in the mujaheddin war against the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. The critical intelligence, which demonstrated a link between the CIA and "Afghan Arab" muhajeddin forces, including those loyal to Osama bin Laden, was never introduced into the trial of the Brooklyn- and Jersey City-based based cell that included the blind Egyptian cleric Shaikh Omar Abdul Rahman, Ramzi Yousef, and Eyad Ismail.. The New York and New Jersey cell also included Ali Mohammed, a graduate of the U.S. Army's Special Forces School at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, who, while an active duty member of the Special Forces, secretly traveled to Afghanistan to train Bin Laden's forces and provide special intelligence on U.S. "soft targets" for terrorist attacks, and Wadih el-Hage, Osama bin Laden's personal secretary, who was also a resident of the United States.

Some of the surveillance intelligence came from decoded diplomatic communications between the Sudanese Mission to the United Nations and Khartoum, Sudan, where Osama Bin Laden then resided. While in Sudan, Bin Laden coordinated attacks on U.S. forces in Somalia and Saudi Arabia. WMR previously reported that a classified French intelligence report stated that Bin Laden and his Afghan forces remained under the operational control of Britain's MI-6 and the CIA until 1995.

Ironically, the two men responsible for the failure to present the surveillance intelligence on the 1993 World Trade Center bombers to the juries and grand juries hearing the charges -- the main federal prosecutors for New York City and New Jersey in the bombing case -- were Patrick J. Fitzgerald and Michael Chertoff, respectively.

According to an FBI source, the chief FBI investigator against Al Qaeda in the 1990s, the late John O'Neill, was upset that the much of the telephone surveillance of the bombers was never introduced as evidence and remained un-translated and classified.

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