Thursday, January 05, 2006

An Infamous Anniversary

Today is the sixth anniversary of a summit meeting here in Malaysia. The summit was little noted at the time, but one whose later implications would later be profound beyond measure.

On 5 January 2000, Al Qaeda held a three-day terrorist summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Top level al Qaeda operatives met to plan for a massive escalation of Al Qaeda's global terror war against the United States. Among other operations, the attacks on the USS Cole and 9-11 were planned at this Malaysian summit. Participants of this significant meeting included the following:

Riduan Isamuddin (aka Hambali): the only non-Arab on the al Qaeda leadership council, he served as al Qaeda's southeast Asia operations chief, overseeing attacks in Bali, Jakarta and likely even the 9/11 attacks. He was captured in Ayutthaya, Thailand on 11 August 2003.

Ramzi Binalshibh: met Mohammed Atta through a local mosque in 1997 in Germany. The two became roommates a short time later. He unsuccessfully tried to obtain a U.S. visa four times in the months immediately prior to the 9/11 attacks. On 11 September 2002, Binalshibh was captured after a shootout with Pakistani security forces.

Nawaf al-Hamzi & Khalid al-Mihdhar: both these men boarded Flight 77 in Washington D.C., hijacking it a short time later before it crashed into the Pentagon on 11 September 2001.

Tawfiq bin Attash: in charge of Osama bin Laden's bodyguards, and played a role in recruiting the suicide bomber that bombed the U.S. embassy in Kenya in 1998. Attash would later be identified as the mastermind behind the USS Cole bombing in Aden, Yemen. In May 2003, he was captured in Karachi by Pakistani authorities.

Yazid Sufaat: A Malaysian national, and Hambali's most trusted lieutenant. He recieved a degree in biochemistry from the University of Sacramento. While receiving terrorist training in Afghanistan, Sufaat met with Ayman al-Zawahiri and helped set up a crude chemical lab near the Kandahar airport. He was later assigned the task of overseeing the construction of an al Qaeda bio-weapons plant in Indonesia. He was arrested on 9 December 2001 in Malaysia.

Ahmed Hikmat Shakir: Ahmed Shakir was an Iraqi national who got a job at the Kuala Lumpur airport. Evidence strongly suggests he was a member of Saddam Hussein's intelligence services. Six days after the 9/11 attacks he was arrested in Qatar with contact numbers for al Qaeda operatives. For unknown reasons he was soon released. Four days later he was arrested in Amman, Jordan, where he was trying to catch a flight to Baghdad. Shakir was released in 2002 by Jordan and returned to Iraq, where he has not been heard from or spotted since.


Iran Watch said...

good to see that we've made some progress against Al Qaeda's operatives but I'm still waiting for the capture of bin Laden and Abu Musab al-Zarqawi. I really thought we would have captured al-Zarqawi by now. Supposedly we've come close a couple times.
bin Laden could possibly be dead already.

American Crusader said...

Osama bin Laden has reportedly been in that health due to having kidney problems. Still that is the one most Americans want to see captured. I doubt he would allow himself to be taken alive. Personally I could care less, dead or alive is good enough for me.

dag said...

I'm really pleased that we can get more details on the world-wide jihad from you in situ as you are. Connecting the dots like this makes the whole picture clearer and gives it some genuine crediblity.