You are on page 1of 7

Notes on Govt. Appellate Brief in U.S. v.

Yousef, Ismoil, and Murad (covering both


Manila Air and second WTC trials)

Other defendants: Salameh, Ayyad, Abouhalima, Alkaisi, Ajaj, Yasin, and Wali Khan
Amin Shah

(Note: I have recent 2nd Cir. Decision in U.S. v. Yousef).

• Consolidated appeal of two separate trials under single indictment. The first trial
was against Yousef, Murad, and Shah based on Bojinka. Second trial was against
Yousef and Ismoil arising out of Feb. 93 bombing of WTC. Each trial was 4
months.

• Counts 1-11, from 2/21796, charged Yousef and Ismoil with crimes relating to
WTC. Counts 12-19 charged Yousef, Murad, and Shah with various offenses
arising from conspiracy to bomb airliners in 1994-1995.

• Salameh, Ayyad, Abouhalima and Ajaj were convicted on 5th superseding


indictment in march 1994, and convictions upheld in U.S. v. Salameh, 152 F.3d
88. 7th superseding indictment of Aug. 8, 1994 added Ismoil as a defendant. 8th
superseding indictment added charges against Yousef and Murad arising out of
airline bombing conspiracy, and 11th superseding indictment of 12/6/95 added
Shah. Appellants went to trial on 12th superseding indictment. 13th superseding
indictment, filed under seal on 1/22/96, and unsealed on 1/8/98, added KSM as a
defendant on the airline bombing counts. KSM and Yasin remain fugitives when
brief as filed.

• Trial on airline bombing counts began in May 1996 and concluded in Sept. 1996
with guilty verdicts on all counts. Trial on WTC charges began on July 15,
1997,and concluded on Nov. 12, 1997, with guilty verdicts on all counts. Yousef,
Ismoil,and Murad all received long sentences; Shah has not yet been sentenced
(still true, according to Dieter).

WTC BOMBING TRIAL (selected notes with emphasis on what was added to first
trial, e.g., evidence based on Yousef s post-arrest statements).

• Yousefl and Ismoil droved retned van with bomb into WTC on 2/26/93, then fled
overseas. Yousef built the bomb. Yousef and Ajaj began plotting the bombing
in Afghan training camp in April 1992. Evidence included "highly incriminating
post-arrest statements by both defendants."

• Yousef and Ajaj came to NY in Sept. 1992, Ajaj had terrorist kit, but was
stopped. Yousef assembled Salameh, Ayyad, Abouhalima, and Yasin. In Dec.
1992, Yousef enlisted Ismoil, then living in Dallas. On Feb. 21, 1993, Ismoil flew
to NY to help with final preparations and to drive the bomb-laden van into the
WTC. Yousef and Ismoil fled and were apprehended approximately two years
later, Yousef in Pakistan and Ismoil in Jordan.

When Yousef got off plane in NY, he presented inspectors with Iraqi passport in
name of Ramzi Yousef (in post arrest statement, said his real name was Abdul Basil
Mahmud Abdul Karim), but did not have visa. Said contact at Iraqi consulate in Pakistan
had helped him board plane without visa. Claimed asylum. At terrorist training camp
(Camp Khaldan) on border of Afghanistan/Pakistan, Yousef and Ajaj received training
"for their mission in the US", (look at underlying tr. cites). (15). After camp, met again
in Pakistan before traveling to NY.

• Yousef told agents on the plane going home that the two men had come to US "to
select bombing targets." (look at these transcript cites), [does this mean WTC had
not yet been selected?]. Yousef explained measures taken to avoid law
enforcement, e.g., traveling in business class plus use of false passports. Yousef s
personal address book is G. Ex. 613. He gave INS officials Dallas contact
number which he later used to maintain contact with Ajaj when Ajaj was jailed.
(15-17)

• goes through contents of terrorist kit Ajaj was carrying (17-19)

• "Within days of his release" by immigration officials, Yousef was living with
Salameh, and upstairs from Yasin. (19)

• Yousef-Abukhdeir-Ajaj phone calls during Ajaj' incarceration (20-22, 24-25)

• After his arrest, Yousef said that his original plan was to use nitro-urea for the
bomb, but had trouble preparing that compound and so switched to urea nitrate
(23).

-- Yousef eventually made contact with Ismoil, a Jordanian citizen who moved from NY
to Dallas, Texas in late 1991. (Ismoil entered on student visa and overstayed.) On Dec.
9, 1992, Yousef called Ismoil's family in Jordan, apparently to get his Dallas phone
number. Unable to reach Ismoil at that number. Called Ismoil's family again on 12/10,
and made lengthy call to friends of Ismoil whom Ismoil had recently moved in with.
Steady stream of phone calls from Dec. 1992 until Ismoil left for NY in late Feb. 1993 to
help with final preparations, [prearranged to be part of plot? Why was he needed?
Salameh's lack of driving aptitude?] (25-26)

• Frustrated by his inability to obtain the seized bombing manuals from Ajaj,
Yousef turned to an old friend from Kuwait who was studying chemistry in
Canada to seek technical advice on building a bomb. [How did he find this guy?
Who is he?] (31)

• After car crash in late January 1993, Yousef calls Canadian chemistry student
from hospital bed, as well as Ismoil and other conspirators. (33)
• On Feb. 9, Ismoil, while still in Dallas, buys plane ticket from Dallas to NY to
Amman, scheduled to depart NY the night of the bombing. Similarly, Yousef
books flight to Karachi. (36-37)

• Ismoil flies from Dallas to NY on Feb. 21, flight is diverted to Virginia, arrives in
NY on Feb. 22. According to Ismoil's post-arrest statement, Yousef met him at
JFK and they proceeded to Jersey City apartment which served as bomb factory
(38-39).

• In post-arrest statement, Yousef confirmed use of hydrogen tanks to enhance


explosive effect of bomb, and stated that he would have used more hydrogen if he
had had more money. [If UBL financing, why would money be a problem?]

• Ismoil's post-arrest written statement provided to Jordanian authorities (40).

Ismoil and Yousef stay in Brooklyn hotel together night before bombing. (40-41)

• Ismoil admitted in his post-arrest statement to driving the van and his co-
conspirators into Manhattan, [note that Ismoil had worked as driver for car
service in NY, see 25-26 - although Abouhalima was professional driver too.] He
admitted parking the van, and jumping into getaway car.

According to Yousef s after they left Trade Center, they mailed several letters claiming
responsibility for the bombing, (citing transcript). Then yousef flew to Pakistan, and
Ismoil to Jordan. One of the letters sent by Yousef was received at NY Times,
demanding changes in mideast policy and threatening more attacks. Different version
seized from Ayyad's computer (46-47).

• Yasin fled to Jordan on March 5 and remains fugitive. (49-50).

• Yousef stated that he had originally planed to use cyanide in a poison gas attack at
the WTC [contemplated WMD use by AQ?]. Sodium cyanide container found in
storage shed.

• Yousef s confession: On plane back from Pakistan in Feb. 1995, Yousef


discussed the attack "in vivid and chilling detail." Yousef said he met Ajaj at
terrorist training camp in Afghanistan, and they traveled to US "for the purpose of
selecting American targets to bomb in retaliation for American aid to Israel."
Yousef hoped to knowck down the towers and kill 250,000 people (equal to
Hiroshima/Nagasaki casualties). Though reluctant to discuss coconspirators,
mentioned Yasin's mishap mixing acid, Ayyad's limited background in
explosives, and Salameh's stupidity in trying to recover deposit. Yousef told
agents that he was surprised about one member of conspiracy still (he thought)
unknown to law enforcement (referring to Ismoil). Yousef advised the
coconspirators to flee the country. (World Trade Center tr. 4700-4735; G.Ex.
930).

• Ismoild arrested in Jordan on July 31, 1995 and extradited to US in August 1995.
Ismoil wrote up a b.s. story to Jordanian police before extradition (58-60)

(Note: 2nd Cir. Case arising from TerrStop is US v. Abdel Rhman, 189 F.3d 88)

• Detective Corrigan of JTTF testfieid about contents of Salameh briefcase that was
seized, including photos of Salameh, Ayyad, and Nosair. He also id'd
Abouhalima, and testified that Corrigan was aware of Nosair, Abouhalima, and
Ayyad in July 1989 participating in firearms training (62).

AIRLINE BOMBING TRIAL:

Yousef conspired with Murad and Wali Khan Amin Shah to plant bombs aboard a dozen
US civil aircraft, to change US mideast policy. Fire led to discovery of chemicals, bomb
components, and laptop computer with plans. Murad and Shah arrested. Shah escaped
and recaptured a year later in Malaysia. Yousef caught a month later in Pakistan.

• Airplane plot originated in 1994, when Yousef traveled to Manila under an alias.
By Setpt., has mapped out bombing plan on hiscomputer. Each participant
woujld board a US flag airliner in Southeast Asia, which would make one stop
before flying on. The bombs woujld be assembled aboard the planes, using a
unique timing system devisted y Yousef. The conspirators would disembark, and
the bombs would go off on the next leg.

• test bombs in movie theater and on Phillippine Air flight. After these tests, Murad
- who had received extensive explosives training in Pakistan in Oct. 1994
[where? AQ guesthouse?] traveled to Phillippines. And Shah, who had left
Phillippines, came back. Proof included Yousef s laptop computer, which had
details of plan as well as letter claiming responsibility; modified watch timers;
explosives; checmicals; and Murad's notebook from explosives training course.
Murad and Yousef also made extensive post-arrest statements to FBI agents.
Yousef admitted making the Casio timing devices and said that the airline
bombings would have taken place within weeks. Murad named the flights he was
going to bomb. (70-71)

• In August 1994, Yousef sends letters (found on his computer) requesting that
money be sent to specified bank accounts in Manila, [who were these letters sent
to??]. One of the letters was signed, "Khalid Shaikh & Bojenka." KSM was a
coconspirator, in Phillippines with Yousef ni August and Sept. 1994. (72).

• By mid-Sept., Yousef had drafted the blueprint on his computer for the bombings,
including flights, itineraries, and explosion times for 5 bombers, [who are the
other bombers?]. The plan also listed flights to take the 5 bombers to karachi
after their bombing runs, [and then onto Afghanistan?]

Yousef left Phillippines at end of September 1994 and returned to Pakistan, where
he met with Murad and Shah. Yousef admitted training the others in how to carry
out the plots, and Murad acknowledged receiving extensive training in explosives
in Pakistan in October 1994. Murad's notebook from this time later recovered in
Manila. Yousef designed Casio timing device to evade airport security. (77-78).
Fraudulent id card created for Shah. (80).

At the end of October 1994, Yousef and Shah went to Singapore. Shah went on
to Malaysia, then returned to Singapore. Yousef flew to Manila on Nov. 3, 1994.
Shah returned to Malaysia on Nov. 3, and flew from Malaysia to Manila on Nov.
5. [this Malaysia stuff seems odd]

Yousef starts to buy chemicals

Another document on his computer spells out the conspirators' demands. The
letter states that "We the Fifth Division of the Liberation Army" take
responsibility for attacking US targets "in the near future" in retaliation for
support of Israel (very similar to WTC I letter) (full text of letter in government's
supplemental appendix)

On December 1,1994, test explosive device at manila movie theater. (85-86)


The next day, Shah left the phillippines for Malaysia, and later in December
traveled to Pakistan.

On Dec. 7, 1994, Yousef rented apartment in Josefa apartment and turned it into a
bomb factory. On Dec. 11, 1994, he does test-bombing on Phillippines Air Flight
from Manila to Cebu to Tokyo. (88-91)

Murad arrives in Manila: As he admitted after his arrest, Murad received a call
later in December to go to Manila. He was sent $1200. [who sent the money and
who called him?] Flew from Dubai to Manila. Murad had been advised of the
plot in August 1994 and knew he was going to participate in a bombing. Murad
travels from Dubai to Manila on Dec. 26, assists Yousef in buying additional
chemicals and Casio watches. (92).

On Jan. 2, 1995, Shah traveled from Karachi to Singapore, buys a Casio watch,
flies to Malaysia, and on Jan. 4, travels to Manila. (His escape plans were
similarly Manila to Singapore to Malaysia to Karachi).

On jan. 6 the fire occurs in bomb factory apartment in which Yousef and Murad
are living. Fire and police are called. Yousef and murad leave, but Yousef tells
Murad to go back and get the computer. Shah gives Yousef $2000. Murad is
arrested back at the apartment. He calls yousef, and yousef goes to airport, flies
to Singapore. (93-98)

Search of apartment also finds photos of John Paul II, bibles, and confession
manuals. Pope due to visit on Jan. 12. pages from book on chemical warfare,
materials on explosives. Eventually Yousef s computer examined, to include
"Khalid Sheikh & Bojenka" letter, demand letter from "Liberation Army," and
Bojinka flight schedules. (98-105)

Shah is arrested on Jan. 7, 1995, and incriminating material found on him and in
girlfriend's apartment. (104-108). Shah remains at large unti his arrest in
Malaysia 11 months later.

Yousef arrested on 2/7/95 at "guest house" in Islamabad. [UBL guest house?]

Search of Yousef s room in Pakistan turned up more incriminating materials,


including letter signed by "Liberation Army, Chief of Staff' demanding Murad's
release, and threatening to target Filipino interests if he was turned over to third
country, and similar letter demanding release and threatening assassination of
Philipino president, using poison gas, and hitting numerous aerial targets. (109-
112)

Yousef confession on flight back to US: Yousef talked about his activities
following WTC bombing, including his experience as an explosives instructor at a
camp near the Pakistani/Afghan border. [Which camp?]. Yousef also admitted to
explosives accident in Pakistan. Yousef acknowledged going to Manila in Nov.
1994, showing an associate how to burn a chemical mixture in Jan., and starting
fire. Yousef instructed associate to return to apt. for computer and other
incriminating docs. Yousef stated that the flights listed on his computer were
possible bombing targets, denied that all listed flights would have been targeted.
(112-113). Refused to specify composition of explosive he intended to use in
Bojinka because did not want to help prevent future bombings. Admitted
devising Casio watch technique, and said bombing of Phillipines flight did more
than it was intended to. Yousef said 4 individuals involved in Bojinka [him,
Shah, Murad,and KSM? Presumably we think there were others and think he
meant to blow up all 12 planes with 5 pilots] He said that several bombings
woujld have occurred within two weeks of Jan. 6. (112-114)

Murad is Rendered into US custody, and confesses his involvement in plot: On


April 12,1995, Murad flown to US from Manila by FBI. (He had been
previously in Philippine custody and allegedly tortured.) Murad said his role was
to put a bomb on two different flights. Liberation Army would take credit for
these attacks, which Murad explained were being done to make the US suffer for
supporting Israel. Admitted that Philippines Air bombing was a test flight.
[Important note: Murad's statement redacted at trial to eliminate references to
Yousef and Shah. Unredacted statement was filled with references to Yousef and
his dominant role in the conspiracy. Government's supplemental appendix may
have unredacted statement] [114-17]

Shah is captured in Malyasia; Shah was recaptured in Malaysia and turned over to US.
He also agreed to talk to FBI and gave abbreviated post-arrest statement. [Note:
obviously this has been supplemented by many more debriefmgs.] (118)

• Yousef had traveld to Thaliand shortly before his arrest in Pakistan (129)

• On Feb. 3, 1995, confidential source gave info. About Youssef to US Embassy's


Regional Security Office. On Feb. 4, FBI Legat Ralph Horton flew to Pakistan to
debrief the source [identified in Gunaratna, I think], who told Yousef that he had
met with Yousef in Bangkok on Feb. 2. Thailand confirmed that Yousef alias had
been in Thailand from Feb. 1, 1995, to Feb. 5, 1995. On Feb. 6, the source
informed RSO that Yousef was in a local guest house for one night. Horton went
with Pakistani officials to Su Casa guest house [any connection to AQ? Doesn't
sound like it], and Yousef was arrested. (129-132)

• Yousef confesses in Pakistan to FBI Agent Garrett re: WTC bombing, claims to
have "masterminded it." (this statement not offered at trial because Miranda
warnings were inadequate). Rendered to US the next AM. Charles Stern was an
FBI agent who interviewed him on way back to US. That interview lasted about 6
hours, with several breaks. (132-136)

Lower court opinions: US v. Yousef, 925 F. Supp. 1063 & 927 F. Supp. 673.

~ brief summary of evidence against Yousef in both WTC and Manila Air cases at 171-
174.

~ Ismoil in post-arrest statement to Jordanian authorities said he had arrived in US in


1989, lived in Kansas, NY, and Texas

Related Interests