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SELECTED NOTES ON GOVT.

APPELLATE BRIEF IN WTC I


Gov't Appellate Brief, U.S. Court of Appeals, 2nd. Circuit, Appeal of original convictions re 1993 WTC
Attack, 94-1312(L) 17January 1997. (Mohammed A. Salameh, Nidal Ayyad, Mahmoud
Aboulima, Ahmad Mohammad Ajaj (aka Khurram Kham) and Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, Abdul Rahman
Yasin (aka Aboud).

[These notes focus heavily on Yousef and Ajaj and the connections to
Afghanistan/Pakistan]

SALAMEH, AYYAD, ABOUHALIMA, AND AJAJ appeal their convictions.


Indictments also named YASIN and YOUSEF, who were fugitives at time of trial, while
BILAL ALKAISI pled guilty to one count of making false statements and was dropped
from indictment.
[Did Alkaisi cooperate?]

Trial went from Sept. 8, 1993, to March 4, 1994. Sentenced to 240 years each. (Govt.
consents to resentencing in this brief because of counsel issue).

• The bombing conspiracy began in spring 1992, when Ajaj attended terrorist
training camp on Afghan-Pakistan border, and met Yousef. After formulating
their plan, Ajaj and Yousef traveled to NY under false names in Sept. 1992. Ajaj
carried a "terrorist kit," including his notes from explosives courses, manuals on
making bombs, materials on how to conduct a terrorist operation, and false id.
Ajaj was detained at airport. (8-9)

• Yousef allowed in and assembled Salameh, Ayyad, Abouhalima, and Yasin to


carry out the plot hatched overseas. Chemicals purchased that had been listed in
Ajaj' materials; ground floor apartment rented that fit specifications in Ajaj'
materials. Chemicals mixed pursuant to Ajaj's recipes. Ajaj stayed in phone
contact with Yousef from jail, they spoke in code, and Ajaj tempted to get his
bomb-making kit into Yousef s hands. After bombing, Ayyad threatened more
bombs, and the conspirators had enuf explosives/chemicals to carry out those
threats. Yousef, Abouhalima, and yasin all fled the country, Abouhalima brought
back, Salameh caught before he could flee. (9-11)

~ Ajaj entered US on Sept. 9,1991, settled in Houston, claimed asylum. On April 24,
1992, hastily leaves country under assumed name to attend terrorist training camp. (Ajaj
was planning to travel to Pakistan in April 1992 with Mohammad Abid and Ibraham
Suleiman, and Ajaj had documents in their names. (12, footnote)).

• Ajaj requested that $ be sent to him at "El Jihad" magazine in Peshawar.

• Ajaj went from Pakistan to Dubai to Saudi, where he obtained a letter of


introduction to Camp Khaldan, dated May 21, 1992, and written on stationery of
"Martyr Abdallah Azzam Hostel". Stated that Ajaj had come to "land of jihad"
for training, and asked camp to provide Ajaj with training in weapons and
explosives. (14)
On or about June 14, 1992, Ajaj returned to Peshawar and then to Camp Khaldan,
where he used the name Abu Malik. Studied explosive devices, took handwritten
notes on bombmaking. While in Pakistan, Ajaj made contact with Yousef, and
studied Ajaj materials. Several sections of the printed materials provide
instructions on the use of explosives to destroy buildings, and on making and
using false id; on using code on phone; on selecting a ground floor location, [are
these materials related to Enc. Of Afghan Jihad or other known AQ materials?].
His instructional materials also advocated hitting the US. Jews, Christians, and
Americans. "The International Islamic Resistance Presents" an explosives
training course. (5-21)
J*2-
In Aug. 1992, Ajaj and Yousef made reservations to fly to US under assumed
names, and created false passports and other id. Aiai and Yousef provided travel
agency with contact number in Pakistan which Yousef later called repeatedly
from US. Ajaj rather than Yousef carried the materials probably because he was
traveling on Swedish passport, which does not need visa. He had, inter alia,
bomb-making manuals and videotapes, passports and other fake documents for
himself and Yousef, a Saudi passport apparently being altered, and letters related
to his attendance at the training camp. (22-23)

Ajaj detained, terrorist materials discovered. [According to NYPD/JTTF officer


Louis Napoli, in an interview by DM and EG in New York on 4 Sept. 03, Ajaj was
initially released after his interrogation at the airport, and it was only a day later
- when the JTTFread an account of the interrogation and the description of the
materials that Ajaj was carrying, that they ordered his arrest, and Ajaj had
foolishly remained where he could be found quickly.] Yousef produced Iraqi
passport, claimed asylum. Yousef also had various materials that connected him
to Ajaj, if the materials had been compared at that time, but both men claimed to
be traveling alone. Yousef allowed in, and by September 4, 1992, had made
contact with Salameh and Yasin, and began living with Salameh. (24-27)

Although Ajaj was jailed from Sept. 1992 until March 1, 1993, he remained in
contact with Yousef, thru Mohammad Abukhdeir, who either relayed messages to
Yousef or patched three-way calls through to Yousef. Ajaj called Abukhdeir's
number more than 100 times. Ajaj warned Abukhdeir that the phone was bugged,
and gave him code, e.g., Yousef studying "engineering" and might need Ajaj'
papers.(Appellate brief Ajaj 27-28)

In Dec. 1992, when building bomb, yousef reaches out to Ajaj thru Ajaj' lawyer
and his friend Abukhdeir. After looking for boosters, Yousef reached out again.
Ajaj told Yousef that a court had ordered the govt. to release his belongings and
agreed to give them to Yousef, but cautioned Yousef not to personally take
possession because it might jeopardize Yousef s "business." Yousef said he
would send a friend. [Apparently, the items seized either remained in US custody
or were sent to Ajaj' lawyer in Texas, see 440]
Abouhalima studied a book, identical to one of Ajaj', on blowing up buildings.

WTC site repeatedly surveilled (47-48) and bombed on Feb. 26

Ayyad called and wrote newspapers claiming responsibility on behalf of


"Liberation Army," demanding changes in US Mideast policy and threatening
more attacks. Specifically, letter to NY Times demanded end to aid to Israel and
cutoff of diplomatic relations; and noninterference with other Mid-east countries'
internal affairs. Threatened, inter alia, nuclear targets, and claimed more than 150
suicide soldiers. Americans must know that they are not better than others getting
killed with US support. Invite all people from all countries, and all
revolutionaries in the world, to participate in this action. Another version of the
letter that Ayyad deleted on his computer warned that WTC would be targeted
again if demands not met, and indicated that this bomb had not caused as much
damage as intended. (58-61)

Yousef flew to Karachi under the name "Abdul Basit" on Feb. 26, and then to
Quetta on Afghan border, based on Salameh's address book, which listed
Yousef s alias" Abu Na'im" in Quetta. (into Afghanistan?) (62-63)

On March 2, Abouhalima fled to Sudan without family or luggage. Ultimately


apprehended in Egypt and rendered to US on march 24,1993. (64)

Yasin fled on March 5 to Amman, and Salameh had a ticket on a March 5 flight to
Amsterdam. Salameh arrested on March 4. (65-67)

In early March 1993, Ayyad was preparing to commit additional terrorist


bombings (based on search for lead nitrate). Ayyad arrested at home on March 10
(72-73)

Following his arrest by FBI, Abouhalima asked whether FBI knew about
"Rashid" (i.e., Yousef). His apartment contained two books identical to those
Ajaj had tried to bring in: one one explosives, and one advocating terror against
the enemies of Islam.

Ajaj released from jail for passport fraud on March 1,1993, calls Abukhdeir,
returned to custody on March 9, 1993 on INS detainer [why was he released for 8
days? - see 77-78 - another screwup!], and subsequently indicted. Interestingly,
Ajaj did report to his probation officer on March 2, 1992.

the bombing conspiracy alleged in the indictment alleged that from at least April
1992 through Sept. 1,1993, the defendants conspired to commit certain types of
bombings. No need for govt. to prove precise target of bombing. (157-158). The
substantive offenses related directly to the 2/26/93 bombing of WTC, as well as
Ajaj' traveling to US to commit arson. (159).
• Abouhalima visited Nosair on Feb. 7, 1993, in Attica. (172)

Govt. lays out trial evidence against Ajaj. First, that he surreptitiously left US in
April 1992 and attended terrorist training camp (Camp Khaldan) on Afghan/Pakistan
border, where he took notes on weapons and explosives. (179-181). (Note letter of
introduction to camp, admitted as Govt. Ex. 2803-6T and/or 2803-6) Second, that Ajaj
met yousef overseas and agreed to bomb targets in US, motivated by anger against US
foreign policy -- evidence includes instructional videos in his possession showing
bombing of US embassy and saying hurrah to Jihad against the Jews, Christians,
Americans, and Arab rulers who strengthen these oppressors, plus Yousef s fingerprints
on Ajaj' materials, their joint travel to US, their possession of identical id cards, and their
conversations in US. Also, other conspirators had some of the same materials and anti-
US sentiments, and the bomb was consistent with Ajaj' materials. Finally, Ajaj lied about
traveling alone when stopped at JFK, spoke to Yousef in code, and tried to get the
terrorist materials to Yousef. (178-186)

• certain materials embodying anti-US sentiments that were seized from Ajaj and/or
Abouhalima were excluded from evidence. (213). What was admitted from Ajaj'
materials included books and instructional videotapes on bombings and
explosives, and a document urging terrorism against enemies of Islam. As noted
above, Abouhalima had his own copy of two of these items.

• evidence admitted of 1) photo showing Salameh, Ayyad and Nosair (GX 90), 2)
photo of Salameh, Nosair, and Mohammed Abdul Hamed, tenant of apartment
where Abouhalima's fridge (containing traces of nitroglycerine) was found after
the bombing (GX 90-l),and of 3) Attica prison log showing Abouhalima's visit to
Nosair in jail in Feb. 1993. However, no evidence on Nosair adduced in this trial,
although he was listed as a coconspirator on a list furnished to the defense by the
govt. (229) [who is this character Mohammed Abdul Hamed?]

• Ashraft Moneed testified that he lived with Salameh and Ramzi Yousef in Jersey
City during fall 1992. (291).

• Wahed Moharam, a former employer of Abouhalima, had provided the FBI with
certain information about Sheikh Rahman between June 1991 and July 1992.
Sheik Rahman was included on a list of unindicted coconspirators furnished to the
defense. (297-298) [should we get this list?]

• Govt. suggests that there is abundant evidence to conclude that Abukhdeir was a
member of the conspiracy (332)

• Ajaj apparently produced fingerprint experts in motion for new trial claiming that
he did not write the handwritten explosive manual, but Ajaj told his counsel that
he had written the manual. (336,363). Ajaj' books continuously in govt's
possession after being confiscated. (337 - compare 440).
• Ajaj' defense at trial was that the bomb books related to the military conflict
between the USSR and Afghanistan, that the material was publicly available, that
he was carrying some of the material for others, and that he was headed to
Houston, not NY. (359)

• conspiracy charge in indictment not limited to WTC, and proof at trial established
intent for more bombings, including additional chemicals recovered in the shed,
Ayyad's continauing attempts to procure explosives, and the letter he sent to the
NY Times. (374 footnote).

• Govt. consents to a remand for resentencing with new counsel (or a clear decision
to go pro se).

In Yousef s post-arrest statement (on the airplane from Pakistan?), at least part of
which is in the government's supplemental appendix on appeal in this case, Yousef
admits meeting Ajaj in Afghan terrorist training camp, and again in Peshawar in August
1992. Yousef claimed the bombing materials had been purchased by Ajaj in Peshawar.
And Yousef said that Ajaj was trying to help Yousef get the bombmaking materials,
which Yousef needed to construct the WTC bomb, but Yousef rejected the idea of getting
them from Ajaj' attorney.