The Search for Adnan El Shukrijumah
Terrorism Dr. Paul Williams, PhDFebruary 6, 2008
FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft have called Adnan el-Shukrijumah “the next Mohammed Atta,” who represents “a clear and imminent danger to all Americans.”
Shukrijumah’s face has appeared on the front pages of newspapers and every televised news outlet throughout the United States and Canada.
A special office for information that might lead to his arrest -- replete with a 24 hour hotline -- has been set up in Miami, Florida.
Federal investigators have combed South and Central America with the hope of gleaning a scintilla of evidence that might shed light on his whereabouts. They even established an elaborate sting operation in Guyana, Trinidad, and New York (the JFK plot) to snag the elusive fugitive -- but the operation only resulted in the creation of a virulent terrorist organization south of the border.
The Justice Department has placed a $5 million reward for any information leading to Adnan’s apprehension, and the same bounty for each of his alleged accomplices: Amer el-Maati, Jaber A. Elbaneh, Anas al-Liby, and Abderraouf Jdey.
But if you assemble a team of bounty hunters and manage to collar Adnan el-Shukrijumah and his terrorist cronies, you will be hard-pressed to turn them over to law enforcement officials, let alone to collect the aggregate $25 million. The U.S. Department of Justice, even after posting rewards, setting up hotlines, and issuing BOLOs (“Be-on-the-Lookout” alerts) has failed to issue criminal warrants for their arrest. This means that the bounty hunters would have to leave Adnan and his friends strapped to lawn chairs, since members of state and local police departments remain without authorization to detain or question them, let alone take them into custody.
This oversight is mind-boggling. Adnan el-Shukrijumah has worked with Mohammad Atta and the other 9/11 operatives; he has masterminded a plan to launch a nuclear attack on American soil; he has attended leading al Qaeda gatherings, including the Waziristan Summit of 2004; he has conspired with Jose Padilla and others to blow up bridges and infrastructures in New York City; and the search for his present whereabouts is littered with corpses, including that of prominent Guyanese businessman Farouk Razac. Obtaining the necessary warrants would constitute the perfunctory matter of submitting a request to a federal judiciary. But this basic procedural step was not undertaken by the U.S. Attorney General, the FBI Director, or any other official within the Justice Department.
Federal law enforcement officials explain this oversight by insisting that the issuance of a BOLO (Be-on-the-Lookout) and a warrant for Adnan as a material witness is all that is required to collar Adnan. They point out that suspected terrorists, under the guidelines of the Patriot Act, need not be fugitives who have been indicted by grand juries in U.S. District Courts. This is all well and good if Adnan if cornered within the
U.S. But, if he is sitting in a café in Canada or Mexico, neither the BOLO nor the warrant as a material witness will be sufficient to take him into custody and to extradite him for questioning by the FBI or Homeland Security.
“A material witness warrant has no weight at all in Canada,” explains a retired RCMP official who opts to remain anonymous “Our law enforcement officials cannot do anything unless there is a criminal offense that is extraditable.”
The failure to obtain arrest warrants remains coupled with other oversights of equally staggering proportions. On October 31, 2006, members of a counter-terrorist research unit spotted Adnan el-Shukrijumah on the campus of McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. They dutifully reported the sighting to the FBI and CSIS. At this writing, over one year later, they remain waiting for a response.
Similarly, a former Israeli intelligence official claims to have seen Shukrijumah on several occasions at a gas station in Toronto -- less than an hour’s drive from Hamilton. The Israeli says that he contacted FBI officials at four different locations only to be encountered by bureaucratic indifference. The sighting remains to be investigated.
On January 25, 2007, a witness reported to Canadian and US officials that Adnan was living in an apartment complex in southern Ontario and that he made daily visits to the regional airport. This tip also went unheeded despite concerns the witnesses (some of whom resided in the complex) expressed about their safety.
In October 2007, a former member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, a Canadian police official, a computer tracker who served with Canada’s Internal Revenue Service, a licensed private investigator, and a team of journalist managed after months of intense effort to pinpoint Adnan’s present whereabouts. The task was accomplished by tracing e-mails from friends and family members, internet postings from Adnan that were made from various locations in the vicinity of his present address, newly acquired family photos and communiqués, and, of course, actual sightings.
The information was conveyed to high-ranking political figures, military officials, and federal investigators -- all of which expressed scant interest in the findings, and none of whom sought to validate the data. In short, it was cast into the proverbial black-hole that represents the core of U.S. intelligence.
And yet, the threat posed by Adnan el-Shukrijumah remains unaltered. He remains, according to British, Saudi, Pakistani, and Israeli intelligence sources (and even FBI bureaucrats), a “one-man terror cell” -- an al Qaeda operative, trained not only to build radiological weapons and to maintain tactical nukes but also to detonate such devices within major American cities without a logistical backup crew. This same claim has been verified by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the highest ranking al-Qaeda official to be taken into custody, Abu Zubaydah, another leading al-Qaeda op in federal custody, and dozens of detainees at Guantanamo Bay.
For starters, he is a chameleon. Adnan possesses an uncanny ability to blend into a crowd, to alter his looks, and to assume a multitude of identities. He is the proverbial Mr. Cellophane. Few things about him indicate his Islamic orientation. He is often clean-shaven and never wears a long shirt or chews a toothpick. He has been known to have a beer (like an average American Joe), to smoke a Marlboro, and to carry rosary beads in his pocket. He has posed as an Italian-American, a Mexican-American, a Canadian, a Saudi, a Jamaican, an Arab, and a Latino from Trinidad. He stands somewhere between 5’4” and 5’6”; weighs 140 pounds; and suffers from severe asthma. He has black hair, dark brown eyes, an olive complexion, a mole on one cheek and a very prominent Mediterranean proboscis. A key distinguishing feature is a scar on the left side of his face below and forward of his earlobe.
Adnan is fluent in English, Spanish, Urdu, and Arabic. He is a trained pilot and a computer whiz. But, his central area of interest, training and expertise is nuclear engineering.
The Family Tree
Adnan gives proof to the adage that a rotten apple never falls far from a diseased tree. His father Gulshair was born in Guyana, where his grandfather Mohammad Jumah ran a general store. One of eleven children, Gulshair developed an interest in Arabic and began working as a tailor. At the age of 32, he moved to Cairo, where he studied at the radical al-Azbar University, and then Medina, where he enrolled at al-Madina al Manawarah (The Islamic University of Medina) and became stepped in the fanatical writings of Ibn Taymiyah and Sayyid Qutb.
In Saudi Arabia, Gulshair taught at several madrassahs, and, at the age of 42, met and married Mareed Zubrah Abu Akmed. Mareed, having just celebrated her 14th birthday was barely pubescent. Two years later, on August 4, 1975, Mareed gave birth to their first child Adnan. Three more children would be born to the couple before the family moved to Trinidad, where Gulshair received a monthly stipend of $1,500 from the Saudi government to spread the radical doctrine of Wahhabism. 
Bugaboo In Brooklyn
In 1986, Gulshair moved to Brooklyn where he became the imam of the newly created Majid Nur a-Islam mosque on 21 Church Street. Here he preached death to the West and recruited young blacks from New York’s mean streets. Members of his congregation came to include Abdul Rasheed and Clement Rodney Hampton-El, who were convicted in 1996 of plotting to blow up the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels, the George Washington Bridge, and the United Nations building.
In 1990, Gulshair established close ties with blind sheikh Omar Abel Rahman, who was serving as imam of the Farouq Mosque at 554 Atlantic Avenue, several blocks from Majid Nur a-Islam. On the second floor of the Farouq Mosque, al Qaeda had opened an office under the name of the al-Kifah Refugee Center. It became one of Gulshair’s favorite haunts. When Rahman was taken into custody as the alleged architect of the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center, Gulshair served as the blind sheikh’s translator and chief character witness. He also served as a character witness for Clement Rodney Hampton-El, whom he defended by stating that the defendant had fought in Afghanistan to “help his brothers, the Muslims” and that Hampton-El “was prepared to give his life for that, and that does not mean he was involved in any acts of terror…” 
In Brooklyn, Gulshair re-established ties with Bilal Philips, a Canadian convert to Islam, whom he had tutored in Saudi Arabia. Philips, an un-indicted c-conspirator in the WTC bombing, was credited with converting more than 3,000 US soldiers to Islam by setting up “tent revivals” in Riyadh during the Persian Gulf War. Returning to his home in Toronto, he became a favorite speaker on the Islam circuit by advancing the argument that Friday was the best day to conduct a beheading. 
Under The Saudi Sun
While Gulshair was developing ties with radical black Muslims in Brooklyn, Adnan was living with his maternal grandparents in Saudi Arabia. He completed his elementary and secondary school training in Medina and, like his father, taught at local madrassahs. By 1991, he had attracted the attention of the mujahadeen, newly returned to Saudi Arabia from Afghanistan, received training in guerilla warfare at an al-Qaeda camp in Khost, and assumed the bayat -- the oath of allegiance to Osama bin Laden.
Adnan was sent to Yemen where his paternal grandfather had been born. He was given a code-name (Mohammed Sher Khan) and received training in special operations, including flight lessons. Eventually, Adnan became so adept at aviation that he earned the nickname “Jafar al-Tayar” (“Jafar the Pilot”).
The Family In Florida
In 1995, Adnan, now a full-fledged jihadi, rejoined his family in Brooklyn as a new missionary to the land of the free and the home of the brave, with a monthly stipend -- similar to that received by his father -- from the Saudi government. The reunited Shukrijumah clan now set out for sunny Florida, where Gulshair became the imam of the Masjid al-Hyrah Mosque in Miramar. Gulshair also came to serve as the spiritual leader of the Boca Raton Islamic Center (BRIC), where he established a close friendship with BRIC imam Dr. Ibrahim Dremali. 
Dremali, a professor of geology at Broward Community College, shared Gulshair’s militant fundamentalism. The two attended a rally where Israeli flags were burned and slogans, such as “With jihad we’ll claim our land, Zionist blood will wet the sand,” were shouted. On this occasion, Dremali advised the crowd “not to be sad for those who were martyred and to not be afraid to die for what they believe in” -- a clear reference to suicide bombers. 
In Florida, Adnan received legal permanent residency status -- a “green card,” which permitted him to acquire a federal passport. He never became a naturalized American citizen. In the course of the next five years, Adnan would obtain additional passports from Canada, Trinidad, Yemen, and Saudi Arabia.
Early Warning Signs
On October 12, 1997, Adnan became a blip on the radar screen when screams came from the Shukrijumah squat stucco house at SW 27th Street and the neighbors summoned the Miramar police. The younger siblings, Officer David Goetz wrote in the police report, had ‘’locked themselves in the bedrooms to protect themselves from their brother, Adnan, who had come home and found clothes laying all over the place, so he hit them.’’ Adnan’s 13-year-old sister Aida had a bite wound on her arm, according to the report, and Areeza, his youngest sister, had been struck in the face. Zubrah, the mother, Goetz added, ‘’conveyed to me that her son being male, he was expected to carry the role of disciplinarian.”
During this time, Adnan taught Arabic at his father’s mosque and became engaged in raising funds the Global Relief Fund (GRF), a front for terrorist organizations. GRF, according to the Treasury Department, was responsible for funding the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. He enrolled as an engineering/computer science major at Broward Community College, where Ibrahim Dremali served as his academic advisor. Adnan also made several trips to Saudi Arabia where he met with his al Qaeda mentors Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and terror financier Ramzi Binalshibh. 
The Jihad Club
Spreading the fire of jihad, Adnan attended services at the Masjid al-Iman mosque in Fort Lauderdale, where he became acquainted with a host of wannabe terrorists, including Jose Padilla, who planned to detonate a radiological bomb in midtown Manhattan; Imran Mandhai, who was convicted of attempting to blow up nuclear power plants in southern Florida; Moessa Shuyeb Jokham, who was arrested for plotting terrorist attacks against Jewish community centers and businesses; and Hakki Akksoy, who was jailed for ten years when a cache of deadly explosives was found in his home. 
Questioned about the aspiring terrorists, Sofian Abdelaziz Zakout, director of the American Muslim Association and a friend of the Shukrijumah family, said: “I saw [Adnan el Shukrijumah, Padilla and Mandhai] at different times in different mosques, and I always said hello. Does that make me a terrorist?” 
Zakout’s statement contains more than a hint of irony. He had served as the Vice President of a now defunct “charity” called Health Resource Center Palestine which served to solicit funding for the Islamic Association of Palestine (IAP), a virulently anti-Semitic group that serves terrorist groups. “I am in support of the Hamas movement,” Nihad Awad, the former public relations director of the IAP, announced to the press. The Health Resource Center Palestine also listed Ibrahim Dremali as its Gaza coordinator. Both Dremali and Zakkout testified as character witnesses on behalf of Adham Hassoun, who was accused of using Benevolence International as a front for funding al-Qaeda. 
Another Alarm Unheeded
Adnan produced another blip on the crime monitor in March, 2001, when FBI special agents in Miami launched an investigation of the Darul Uloom Mosque in Pembroke Pines. The agents became interested in the activities of Imran Mandhai, a member of the mosque and another student at Broward Community College, who had stated his intention to create a jihad cell that would consist of 25 or 30 men, including Adnan el Shukrijumah. The cell, Mandhai maintained, would target electric substations, Jewish institutions, a National Guard armory, even Mount Rushmore. “It was no secret that [Adnan] was pretty radical,” says a federal law enforcement source, “and that Mandhai thought he would be interested in what they were doing.” 
But Shukrijumah was too slick and smart to become involved in the creation of a cell with a loudmouth like Mandhai. He declined to join their plans for jihad, correctly surmising that Mandhai already had attracted too much attention. But his name had been mentioned, and the federal investigators discovered that Shukrijumah had lied on his green-card application regarding a prior arrest. For this reason, a confidential report with cursory information in his name was opened at FBI headquarters. The record was filed and quickly forgotten. 
Adnan Unites With Atta
By 2000, Adnan had formed a fast friendship with two new Muslim arrivals to southern Florida -- Mohamed Atta and Marwan al-Shehhi, who began to attend Gulshair’s mosque. Adnan made arrangements for Atta and Shehhi to receive flight training at Hoffman Aviation in Venice. This site was ideal. 80% of the students at Hoffman were foreign nationals -- many from the Middle East. It was a facility that served Yeslam bin Laden, Osama’s brother, and his employees. It was also a place where Atta and Shehhi could obtain student visas to prolong their stay in the US. The two 9/11 ops registered on July 3, 2000.
Following the training at Hoffman, Adnan accompanied Atta and Shehhi to the Airman Flight School in Norman, Oklahoma, where Atta and Shehhi signed up for advanced training on commercial jet airliners.  In Norman, Adnan bunked up with Shehhi at the apartment of Majahid Abdul Quaadir Menepta. Menepta (Melvin Lattimore), an African-American convert to Islam. Menepta, who was finishing his studies in biochemistry at The University of Oklahoma, was a member of Jamaat ul-Fuqra, a terrorist agency with ties to al-Qaeda that had established paramilitary training compounds in rural areas throughout the United States. Also living in Menepta’s apartment was Zacarias Moussaoui, the so-called “20th terrorist” of 9/11. During this time, Adnan appears to have met and befriended Wael Rabeh and Muhanned Debeh, two students from The University of Oklahoma with ties to an al-Qaeda cell in Toronto.
The Lure Of Canada
Southern Ontario now begins to loom large in the story of the quest. Menepta would head off to Toronto in the wake of 9/11 to further his studies into biochemistry. Toronto was also the headquarters of Dr. Bilal Philips, Gulshair’s old friend, and the mission to convert African-Americans into rabid Wahhabis. It was also a favorite place for the Shukrijumahs to visit. The family album contains photos of Gulshair and his smiling clan in front of the Canadian Security Intelligence Service in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Moreover, McMaster University in Hamilton -- less than an hour’s drive from Toronto -- housed a five megawatt nuclear reactor, one of the largest for educational purposes in North America, and boosted an engineering faculty that consisted of a disproportionate number of Egyptian nationals with degrees from the University of Cairo and the University of Alexandria -- whose schools of engineering remained under the tight control of the Trade Union of Engineers, a stronghold of the Muslim Brotherhood.  It presumably would serve as a magnet for any jihadi interested in launching a nuclear attack on a major American city.
Canada offered more allure for terrorists and terrorists’ wannabes. Anyone who arrives in the land of the maple leaf and requests political asylum (for any reason} is granted immediate entry and temporary residency status with no questions asked by customs officials and no documentation required by law enforcement officials. Forty thousand “refugees” -- many from terror-sponsoring countries -- have entered Canada during the past decade by making this request. None are screened for criminality, security, or health problems and even a bogus passport constitutes an entrance ticket. The new arrivals are simply given dates for hearings that may not take place for eighteen months. 
Meanwhile, In Miami
On January 10, 2001, Adnan was seen in the company of Atta and Ziad Jarrah, yet another 9/11 operative, at the Miami District Immigration Office, where Atta and Jarrah applied for visa extensions.  On May 2, 2001, he accompanied Atta to the Lake Lauderdale office of the Florida Department of Highway Safety, where Atta produced his Egyptian passport and an I-94 immigration form, took a driving test, and received his license.
In his spare time, Adnan established a website appropriately titled “Master Arabic,” so that his father Gulshair could discover a new market for his tapes and books. On the site Adnan proclaimed: “My father is the narrator of a system designed to take you from as basic as the alphabet to constructing words to conversation to Arabic grammer [sic]… Go ahead and click your way to mastering Arabic.”
The Gulshair website contained a guestbook where friends and admirers of the radical imam could post their encomiums. One of the first to sign the book was Bilal Philips, who wrote: “Salaam alaykum Ibn Shukri, Mabrook on the website and special salaams to your father and prayers for his good spiritual and physical health. He was one of my first teachers in Arabic and is a dear friend, though geography and world politics has separated us. Tell him that, as always, I love him for the sake of Allah. Was salaam, Bilal.”
From Panama To Pakistan
In April 2001, Adnan spent 10 days in Panama, where he met with al Qaeda officials to assist in the planning of 9-11. He went on to stay with his relatives in Charlieville on the island of Trinidad.  He also visited the Darul Uloom Islamic Center in Cunupia, a 45 minute drive from Port-of Spain, Trinidad’s capital, and made a trip to Georgetown in nearby Guyana, where he allegedly received funds from Swiss House Cambio, a money exchange owned by Faouk Razac.
Razac represented the Muslim godfather in Guyana. He not only ran an elaborate death squad but also engaged in such nefarious activities as money laundering, arms running, and drug trafficking, most specifically, the cocaine route from Guinea, Trinidad, and Tobago to Canada. As a radical Sunni, Razac became affiliated with Jamaat ul-Muslimeen, Trinidad’s homegrown terrorist group, and served to secure funding for jihadi ventures
Returning to the US, Adnan visited New York (including the Farouq mosque in Brooklyn), Washington, DC and the infamous Dar al-Hijrah Mosque in Falls Church, Virginia), Chicago, and Canada, where he made contact with Abderraouf Jdey, the head of a large al Qaeda cell in Montreal, and Abdelazziz Boussora, another member of the Montreal cell and a trained pilot. The purpose of the meetings with Jdey and Boussora was to arrange a second wave of attacks on US soil.
In June, he traveled to a Pakistan for advanced training in explosives under Muhammed Atef, the co-founder of al-Qaeda who was killed in Afghanistan during the first wave of Operation Enduring Freedom. At the training camp on the outskirts of Kandahar, Adnan met Jose Padilla, his friend from Florida. But the two quickly got on each other’s nerves, and Padilla was forced to admit that he couldn’t work with Adnan on a mission. 
The Nuclear Mission
In Pakistan, Shukrijumah became singled out by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to spearhead the next great attack on America – a nuclear attack that would take place simultaneously in seven U.S. cities (New York, Boston, Miami, Houston, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, and Washington D.C.), leaving millions dead and the richest and most powerful nation on earth in ashes. 
To prepare for this mission, a team of al-Qaeda operatives reportedly were sent by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed to McMaster University in order to gain knowledge of nuclear technology and to obtain access to the reactor. Along with Adnan, the team consisted of Anas al Liby, an engineer from Libya and member of the al-Qaeda high command; Jaber A. Elbaneh, a Yemeni national and naturalized American citizen who worked closely with the Lackawanna Six domestic cell near Buffalo, New York; and Amer el Matti, a Canadian national and licensed pilot. Another visitor to the campus, according to several sources, was Abderraouf Jdey from the Montreal cell.
At McMaster, Adnan purportedly kept to himself, made few new friends or acquaintances, kept strictly to his studies, and left the facility at the same time as his colleagues.  He also managed to obtain employment at the reactor -- allegedly as a guide.  Adnan’s “normal’ behavior on the Hamilton campus, a source said, gave him entry to places where dangerous materials were stored without raising undue suspicion. Bit by bit, the al-Qaeda operative allegedly managed to pilfer approximately 180 pounds of nuclear material from the university -- enough to build several radiological bombs. 
According to Debka, an internet outlet for Israeli intelligence news, Shukrijumah was under surveillance by Canadian officials in early October 2003, when he suddenly stopped attending classes and failed to show up for work. His disappearance aroused no concern, the sources say, until a few days later when the nuclear material was reported missing. 
Jayne Johnson, a spokesperson for McMaster University, declined to comment on the reports of Shukrijumah and the other al-Qaeda agents at the school. Other McMaster officials denied that any al Qaeda agents were on campus and that any nuclear or radiological material was missing from the campus. But witnesses have verified Shukrijumah’s presence in Hamilton and the school, according to several sources, has experienced radiological “leakage.”  Reliable sources have confirmed that Adnan made use of the internet facilities at McMaster as late as October 2007.
Moreover, Adnan’s stay at McMaster allegedly was facilitated by Dremali, his mentor at Broward Community College. Dremali had formed associations with fellow Egyptian engineers at McMaster and allegedly retained an affiliation with a clandestine club in Ontario that had been formed, in part, to assist newly arrived Arabs in the acculturation process. (The connection between Adnan and Dremali remains to be fully investigated by the FBI. In 2005, Dremali left his teaching position at Broward to become the imam of a mosque in Des Moines, Iowa. He allegedly also left his wife Lamyaa who now resides at in Colombia, Kentucky).
In an interview pertinent to this report, Hamid Mir confirmed that he had received verification that Anas al-Liby was at McMaster and that Liby had been instrumental in the removal of radiological/nuclear material from the reactor. Mir further testified that nuclear weapons and materials had been forward deployed by al-Qaeda to the United States.  Despite Mir’s stature among journalist as the only reporter to interview Osama bin Laden in the wake of 9/11, federal officials have neglected to seek out the bases of his claims.
The Unanswered Questions
Upon investigating the matter, Debka raised the following questions concerning Shukrijumah at McMaster and mind-boggling vanishing act:
A) Why were there no agents observing the subject inside the reactor? These sources did not disclose which security agencies were responsible for the surveillance.
B) Who gave Shukrijumah, a Saudi Arabian under suspicion, access to the reactor? And how is it that no one noticed increasing amounts of nuclear or radiological materials were disappearing over a period of months?
C) How was Shukrijumah able to give his watchers the slip?
D) Was the subject tipped off by an inside source in the U. S. or Canadian security services? 
Upon their departure from Canada, Adnan and his terrorist friends made their way to Buffalo where they may have been harbored by some members of the notorious Lackawanna (LA) Mosque. Jaber A. Elbaneh was a member of the infamous Lackawanna Six, who provided material support to al-Qaeda, and members of the Elbaneh family served in positions of leadership at the LA Mosque. It is also alleged that Adnan and his accomplices received monetary and logistical support from Mohammed Albanna, who managed to escape under the radar of the bust of the Lackawanna Six.
The Pocket Litter
In the wake of Operation Enduring Freedom (the U.S.-led invasion of Afghanistan), CIA and military intelligence officials discovered the reoccurrence of the names of Jaffar al Tayyar (“Jafer the Pilot”) and Mohammed Sher Mohammed Khan in "pocket litter" – documents and scraps taken from prisoners and dead al Qaeda soldiers.  In May 2002, U.S. intelligence and military officials starting asking a pressing question to al Qaeda detainees who were being interrogated at foreign prisons and secret CIA and military facilities abroad. “Whom,” the officials asked, “would al Qaeda pick to lead the next big attack against U.S. targets?” Intelligence sources told U.S. News and World Reports that several of the detainees coughed up the same answer: "Jaffar al Tayyar."  The detainees said they had encountered "the Pilot" during al Qaeda training exercises in Afghanistan. Intelligence officers presented photos of hundreds of suspected al Qaeda operatives to the detainees. Several identified an individual who bore a resemblance to Adnan el Shukrijumah. But the resemblance was not reality, and it would take months before the FBI and CIA teams, with their sophisticated equipment and state-of-the-art search engines, would realize it. "We were pursuing a lead," says one official, "that in the end turned out to be a dead end. We found out we were after the wrong person."  Indeed, the teams might still be searching for the wrong suspects and hitting dead-ends, if not for the fact that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed was captured, quite by accident, in Karachi, Pakistan March 1, 2003.
The Plot Revealed
After days of interrogation, coupled with severe sleep deprivation, Mohammed told U.S. officials that bin Laden was planning to create a "nuclear hell storm" in America.  Unlike other attacks, the terrorist chief said, the chain of command for the nuclear attack answered directly to bin Laden, al-Zawahiri, and a mysterious scientist called "Dr. X." Mohammed later admitted that "Dr. X" was Dr. Abdul Qadeer Khan, the Pakistani father of the Islamic bomb and the godfather of modern nuclear proliferation. He further confessed that the field commander for this operation was a naturalized American citizen whom he also referred to as Mohammed Sher Mohammed Khan and "Jafer al Tayyar" ("Jafer the Pilot").  Both names are aliases of Adnan el Shukrijumah.
Khalid Mohammed went on to say that Adnan represents a “single-cell” -- a lone agent capable of launching a solo nuclear or radiological attack on a major American city. The news of such a cell reportedly startled U.S. officials who assumed that al Qaeda cells contained several members who were supported by broad logistical back-up crews. 
On March 21, 2003, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller issued a BOLO ("be-on-the-lookout") alert for Shukrijumah, Amer el-Maati, and Abderraouf Jdey. Four other suspected Islamic terrorists were added to the Seeking Information list: Ahmed Kalfan Ghailani (a.k.a., "Foopie"), who took part in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania; Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, another participant in the bombings; Adam Yahiye Gadahn (a.k.a., Adam Pearlman), a Jewish convert to Islam who grew up on a goat ranch in Riverside County, California; and Aafia Siddiqui, who received a biology degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and penned a doctoral thesis on neurological science at Brandeis University. 
Siddiqui, a native of Pakistan, looms of importance in the search. She worked closely with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed as a “fixer,” the central al-Qaeda operative who supported money and logistical support to Adnan and his associates in southern Florida. She also provided monthly payments to Gulshair. The money for the father and son, interesting to note, came from the Saudi embassy. 
'Demanding, Rude, And Obnoxious'
Several days after the BOLO was issued, Adnan and Jdey were spotted at a Denny's restaurant in Avon, Colo., where one ordered a chicken sandwich and a salad. Samuel Mac, the restaurant manager, described them as "demanding, rude and obnoxious."  They told Mac they were from Iran and were driving from New York to the West Coast. Upon calling the FBI headquarters in Washington, D.C., Mac said the agent who answered the telephone said he had to call the bureau’s Denver office and declined to take down any information. When Mac called the Denver office of the FBI, he said he was shuttled to voice mail because “all the agents were busy.”  It was five hours before a seemingly uninterested agent called the restaurant manager. This agent, according to Mac, took a few notes and said she would pass the information along to the field agents who were handling the case. 
This promise represented the full extent of the government’s interest in the By sighting even though Shukrijumah had been labeled by FBI Director Robert Mueller as “the next Mohammad Atta” and even though the FBI had posted a $5 million reward for any information leading to his capture. The federal and state law enforcement officials failed to interview the restaurant workers and the patrons, purportedly even those who were willing to verify the presence of the terrorists in the restaurant. No forensic evidence was obtained from the scene by any law enforcement officials -- not even the utensils that had been used by the suspects. When contacted by The Denver Post, Monique Kelso, spokeswoman for the Denver bureau, said the office had received at least a dozen calls as a result of the BOLO. The calls, Kelo said, were all taken seriously. She added, "We follow up on every lead.” 
The Ghost In GuyanaBy early April, Adnan was -- once again -- safe and secure under the protection of Farouk Razac in Georgetown, Guyana. This time he was spotted at the Swiss House Cambio, Razac’s money exchange, by several witnesses, including George Bacchus, a law enforcement informant.  At the Cambio, Adnan met one of Razac’s closest clients -- Imam Muhammed Hassan Abrahemi, the director of the International Islamic College for Advanced Studies, a small Shiite school in Georgetown that received large amounts of revenue from the government of Iran. He became acquainted with Abdul Nur, a civil engineer, who ran errands for Razac; Abdul Kadir, who served as the assistant director at Abrahemi’s Islamic College; and Russell Defreitas, a member of the Guyanese Parliament and leader of Jamaat ul-Muslimeen. This new association would produce a trial of corpses leading to a plot to a botched FBI sting and an attempt to blow up the fuel line that feeds the JFK International Airport in New York.
The first victim was Abrahemi, who was kidnapped by two masked men as he was leaving the Islamic College on April 2, 2004. Several days later, his body was discovered within a shallow grave on the outskirts of Georgetown. The hit appeared to be professional. Abrahemi had been shot twice in the back of the head while assuming a kneeling position. His mouth had been taped shut with duct tape, and his hands and feet were bound by nylon cords. The perpetuators of the crime have never been caught.
By this time, the FBI had managed to infiltrate Jamaat ul-Muslimeen and made use of undercover agents to pose as jihadis and to work with Nur, Kadir, and Dufreitas in an attempt to lure the elusive Adnan into a trap. The undercover agents provided the terrorist group with money and logistical support, compliments of US taxpayers, to launch a plot to blow up a system of jet fuel supply tanks and pipelines that feed fuel to the JFK International Airport in Queens, New York.
Later, U. S. Attorney Roslynn Mauskoff would appear before the press to say that the planned attack represented “one of the most chilling plots imaginable” -- a plot which might have caused “unthinkable devastation.” In reality, the plot was a ploy since exploding the fuel tanks represented a technical impossibility. Jet fuel does not produce explosive force, and the pipelines and fuel tanks that are buried beneath Queens have safety valves to prevent any mishap. 
The FBI had assumed that a well-oiled scheme to blow up a massive international airport and an entire borough of Manhattan would lure Adnan from his hiding place. The assumption proved to be incorrect. Adnan failed to appear at any of planning sessions in Trinidad and Guyana, and the federal officials were left not only with a hefty bill for the cockamamie scheme but also the creation of a new and financially flush arm of Jamaat ul-Muslimeen.
Nur, Kadir, Dufreitas and Kareem Ibrahim, a fourth operative, were taken into custody albeit several the arrests were a result of entrapment.  “We thought he could be the invisible hand. He's always in the shadows, particularly in [the Caribbean]. He's passed through it, he's known, his name came up in the conversations. He would have been the prize."
On May 7, 2007, two months after the airport plot went array, Farouk Razac was found dead in his Georgetown home with a wound to his head and marks around his neck. An autopsy report concluded that he had died of asphyxiation due to ligature strangulation. Carol Ann Lynch, Razac’s wife, was later charged with the homicide but few observers believed that the petite Lynch, who served as the reigning Miss South America, was capable of the crime. 
The Waziristan Summit
Following the federal botch-up in Colorado, the diminutive Shukrijumah resurfaced at a terrorist summit in the lawless Waziristan Province of Pakistan in April 2004. The summit has been described by the FBI as a "pivotal planning session" in much the same manner as a 2000 meeting was held in Kuala Lumpur for the 9-11 attacks. Attending the summit were Abu Issa al Hindi, a Pakistani technician whose company contained plans for staging attacks at financial institutions in New York, New Jersey, and Washington, D.C., and Mohammed Babar, who has been charged with buying materials to build bombs for attacks in Great Britain.  Babar is an American citizen and resident of Queens, New York, where he was a leading member of the Islamic Thinkers Society, a group that burned the American flag during a demonstration before the Israeli consulate in 2006 and held up placards stating: “The mushroom cloud is on its way.” 
Shukrijumah South Of The Border
On May 27, 2004, Adnan el Shukrijumah was spotted at an Internet café in Tegucigalpa, the hilly capital of Honduras, where he made calls to France, Canada, and the U.S. He was described as badly dressed and bearded. At his table were Mara Salvatrucha leaders (jefes) from Panama, Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador.  According to the café owner, who recognized Adnan from photos in the newspaper, he spoke to the jefes in English and Spanish. Shukrijumah’s presence at the cafe was later verified by the Honduran Security Ministry, who confirmed that the elusive terrorists had made telephone calls from there to France, the U.S., and Canada.  While in Honduras, the Ministry maintained, Adnan became engaged in a plot to blow up the Panama Canal. 
On June 12, Gulshair el Shukrijumah, Adnan’s radical father, died in Miramar as a result of a stroke. Some sources attributed his demise to "the will of Allah." His funeral was attended by around 1,000 people who "prayed for Allah to accept their departed Sheik into his arms." Ibrahim Dremali, the Imam of the Boca Raton Islamic Center, said that Gulshair had “a positive effect on people.” 
From Tegucigalpa, Adnan made his way north to Belize in British Honduras and, from Belize, to Mexico's Quintana Roo State, south of Cancun.  He remained in Mexico for much of the summer of 2004. In early August, he was spotted in the northern Mexican province of Sonora near "terrorist alley," the main passageway for illegal aliens, including OTMs (other than Mexicans) and "Special Interest Aliens" -- to the land of Mickey Mouse, MTV, and George W. Bush. 
On August 18, 2004, Texas and Arizona law enforcement officials were placed on alert for an attempt by Adnan to sneak into the country with the vast hordes of Hispanic illegal immigrants. The alert was issued by the U. S. Consulate in Ciudad Juarez, across the border from El Paso. “We don’t want him crossing into the United States because his plan is to conduct terror operations,” Art Werge, a spokesman for the FBI’s El Paso office told the press. 
Nukes Arrive In Mexico
Concern about Shukrijumah's extended stay in Mexico was heightened in November 2004 with the arrest in Pakistan of Sharif al-Masri, a key al Qaeda operative. Al Masri, an Egyptian national jihadist with close ties to al Zawahiri, bin Laden's No. 2 man, informed interrogators that al-Qaeda had made arrangements to smuggle nuclear supplies and tactical nuclear weapons into Mexico. From Mexico, the weapons were to be transported across the border with the help of a Latino street gang. The gang was later identified as Mara Salvatrucha, the gang that Adnan had trekked across the North American continent to meet in a Honduran café, and the plans that he discussed with the gang leaders were the plans that had been purportedly finalized at the terrorist summit in Waziristan. 
In response to this information, U.S. officials began monitoring all heavy trucks crossing the border, while Mexican officials pledged to keep close watch over flight schools and aviation facilities. Such precautions may have been adopted too late. A Piper PA Pawnee crop duster was stolen from Ejido Queretaro near Mexicali on November 1, 2004. The plane's tail number was XBCYP. The thieves, Mexican officials surmised, were either drug dealers or al-Qaeda operatives, and clearly one was a highly trained pilot. 
In His Brother’s Footsteps
In 2006, Nabil el-Shukrijumah, Adnan’s younger brother, established a new website for Gulshair -- this one to honor his memory. The site contains numerous photos from the family album, including a snapshot of Gulshair teaching young boys at his Brooklyn mosque. The words on the blackboard behind the kindly old jihadi read: “The human being is under the oppression of the kuffar (the unbeliever).” On the site, Nabil posted the following message: “As Salaam Alaikum Dad, you're still living among all of us, [we] will see you later but not that much later.” 
Nabil, who operates a print shop from the family homestead in Miramar, also created his own personal My Space page on the internet. Here he uses the name “El-Shukri.” [Shukrijumah is the combination of Shukri and the last name of the family, Jumah or Juman.] As soon as this page is opened, a visitor is treated to the infamous Soldiers of Allah’s song, “1924.” The song contains these haunting lyrics: “I am not going to give one inch of Palestine to the Jews… I would rather have my flesh be cut up than cut out Palestine from the Muslim land…” and “When the west was training Muslim scholars for hire, Jews were setting Al-Aqsa mosque on fire!” The page also contains a gallery of inspiring pictures. One with the caption, “Oh Jerusalem, we are coming,” shows a terrorist with rifle on horseback watching the City of David erupt in flames. There are also illustrations of the bloated bodies of dead American soldiers in the streets of Baghdad. A centerpiece of Nabil’s My Space is picture of a jihadi holding a US rocket launcher with the image of Saddam Hussein behind him. The picture contains this caption: “These are the armaments of the enemy, who are disgraced.”
The pictures are worrisome not only for what they represent but also for their place of origin. One, in particular, is from www.arab3.com. -- a site registered to Yousif al-Olayyan, a former student at the University of Florida. Al-Olayyan, a former student at the University of South Florida, is the registered agent and the editor-in-chief for www.alsakher.com, which features glowing reports of Al-Qaeda from individuals who claim to have a close ties to Osama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri It is disconcerting to note that, in October of 2002, al-Olayya was invited to a Homeland Security program dealing with “corrosion in reactors and nuclear power systems.” The event was co-organized by the Los Alamos National Laboratory, which, according to its website, “helps to ensure the safety of the nuclear weapons stockpile and reduce the threat of terrorist attacks on our homeland.”
Finally, on his page, Nabil treats all visitors to a videotape of how 9/11 had been staged by the Bush Administration so that they can gain congressional approval for the invasion of Muslim lands.
Meeting With Special Agent Lenzen
On March 7, 2007, Sean Michels, a correspondent for Global TV and a member of this investigative team, met with FBI Special Agent Andrew Lenzen, who has been appointed to spearhead the search for Adnan. The meeting took place in Miami at the request of Mr. Michels.
Mr. Lenzen professes to have the only real insight into Adnan’s training as a jihadi and present whereabouts. “I know him almost like his mother,” he once told the press. “I’ve lived, slept and dreamed him for the past three years.”
During his conversation with Michels, Mr. Lenzen dismissed the findings of several leading investigative journalists and insisted that Adnan was neither a pilot nor an engineer. He further maintained that Gulshair and his family had no ties to southern Ontario not even to Belal Philips) and only made occasional visits to relatives in Montreal.
Mr. Lenzen’s assertions, however, are refuted by Adnan’s appearances at flight schools in Florida and Oklahoma, his academic records at Broward Community College, and the photographs from the Shukrijumah family album. For this reason, the Special Agent is either a disseminator of disinformation to lead the press and the public on a wild goose chase or a victim of the agency’s own misinformation.
Southern Ontario Sightings
In the summer of 2005, Adnan was spotted at a gas station on two occasions in Toronto by a former Israeli intelligence official, who reported the sightings to CIS and the FBI. He continues to wait for a response.
On October 31, 2006 -- The sight of Adnan without a Halloween mask on the campus of McMaster University scared the hell out of members of the Gerard Group, a New England security company. The company officials reported the sighting to the FBI but there calls to the hotline and various regional offices went unanswered.
On January 25, 2007, witnesses testified that Adnan was residing in an apartment complex within the quaint Canadian city of Guelph in southern Ontario. They said that Adnan and nine other Muslim men who lived in the building made daily visits to the regional airport where they believed he was working. The witnesses contacted the authorities and expressed concern about their personal safety, especially since several lived in the complex. But no officials appeared at their doorways to substantiate their claims.
Following the sightings, expert hackers, including a computer wunderkind who served with the government in Ottawa, managed to approximate Adnan’s present whereabouts by securing his screen name and gaining access to Adnan’s communications to family members, including Nabil in Florida and his sister Aida in Arizona, and fellow jihadis, including Gulshair’s former friends and associates in Brooklyn and Miramar. Several communications from Adnan were traced in internet posting sites. These included two universities in southern Ontario, the business center a major hotel, and radical Islamic mosques. Through these efforts, the technicians were able to triangulate Adnan’s whereabouts to an area of one kilometer. Such leads were investigated by former Canadian law enforcement officials, including a retired member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who decided in late October 2007 that the time was right to contact the FBI and to bring the long search to a salubrious end.
But the contact to the FBI was made with the stipulation that a criminal arrest warrant be issued for Adnan so that he could be collared, taken into custody, and extradited to the United States. This condition proved to be too taxing .Upon receiving the information, the federal officials -- once again -- failed to process the findings and to conduct an investigation.
And So It Goes
Despite the alerts and the warnings, the establishment of a hotline and command center, the expenditure of millions in cockamamie plots, Adnan is alive and well and living in southern Ontario. He has married and has several children. He communicates regularly with his friends and loved ones through Skype, a computer telephone service. He meets regularly with a band of radical Islamists at his apartment, attends a neighborhood mosque, and spends several hours every day at a local airport. He does not appear to be hiding from the long arm of the law. He knows, no doubt, that Canada will grant him asylum; that the Bush Administration has obtained no criminal warrant for his arrest; and that the FBI has not secured an order for his extradition.
Friedrich Nietzsche wrote that if you stare into the abyss long enough, the abyss will stare back. This report stands as a refutation to this assertion. The abyss will not stare back. The abyss, truth be told, is an abyss.