Archive for April, 2007

Twelve years later, justice continues to elude victims of attack in America’s heartland

Investigative Staff Report

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19 April 2007: Twelve years ago today - at 9:02 a.m. CST on April 19, 1995, a blast caused by a truck bomb containing 5000 pounds of a fertilizer-fuel oil mixture took 171 lives - 168 were men, women and children, and three were unborn children and ripped through the heartland of America. That bombing is book-ended by the February 26, 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center and the attacks of September 11, 2001, both which have been attributed to the diabolical work of Islamic terrorists. Clearly, the false peace and security felt by the majority of Americans during the decade of the 1990’s and into the 21st century was nothing more than illusion, but few could - or wanted to see through this false veil of tranquility.

Twelve years after the horrific bombing that shattered the calm of America’s heartland, it appears that the majority of Americans still cling to the illusion that the bombing of the Murrah Federal Building was a vengeful act caused by a disgruntled former US soldier and his American accomplice. Given the unprecedented quality of investigative findings that point directly to Middle Eastern complicity in the Murrah Building bombing, it would seem to defy logic that any reasonable person could continue to discount the omnipresent Middle Eastern perpetrators interwoven within planning and execution of the bombing in Oklahoma City. Arguably, having done so in the moths and years following the 1995 bombing paved, in part, the path to 9/11. Without a doubt, continuing to do so allows the Middle Eastern terrorists to continue to operate within the borders of the United States.

While America rightfully mourns for the students brutally executed at Virginia Tech this week, we must not forget the 171 souls who perished 12 years ago today - who continue to be victimized by the injustices of an incomplete investigation by those in charge of the safety and security of our country.

EXCLUSIVE: Cell phones intentionally jammed at Virginia Tech by authorities

“There was a great deal of concern over the possibility that explosive devices were planted at Virginia Tech.”

By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

19 April 2007: While there appears to be growing criticism over law enforcement’s handling of the events that unfolded Monday at Virginia Tech, they should be commended for covering a number of other potential scenarios that nightmares are made of in this post 9/11 society.

According to a law enforcement source speaking to this investigator this morning, authorities were very concerned that improvised explosive devices were planted at the Virginia Tech campus prior to the shooting by the killer that they used a tool that is frequently employed in Iraq - a device that jams radio signals, including those used by cellular telephones. The tool, known as Warlock Blue, jams radio frequencies intended to detonate hidden, remotely detonated “improvised explosive devices” or IEDs that are often triggered by cell phones, garage-door openers and similar radio controlled devices. The countermeasure could have also prevented any communications between perpetrators if others were involved, added this source.

Our law enforcement source confirmed that Cho Seung-Hui, who also sent a lengthy, profanity laced “manifesto” ranting against US and Western values - one that references al Qaeda and the attacks against the US - has been “connected” to at least one of the bomb threats called in to the University on the day of the carnage. Authorities are also investigating his possible role in the previous 2 bomb threats made earlier in April, suggesting that perhaps he was observing authorities’ response to such threats.

As we reported on Monday, “Following the initial shooting at ‘West A.J.’ early this morning, police believed the suspect left the campus… It was during that investigation that the suspect returned to the campus prepared to kill as many people as possible. This was a premeditated act of mass murder, planned well in advance.”

Iraqi “Sleeper Agent” found guilty by federal jury

18 April 2007: Sami Khoshaba LATCHIN, the Iraqi-born U.S. citizen who was convicted of spying for Iraq under former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein was found guilty on Monday of the 5 charges filed against him in 2004. LATCHIN, formerly of 9399 Bay Colony Dr., Des Plaines, Illinois, arrived in the U.S. as a refugee in 1993 and later got a job as a gate agent at O’Hare International Airport. As we reported in 2004, Iraqi sleeper agents have made their way into the U.S. for the purpose of launching future terror attacks inside this country. This was further substantiated during LATCHIN’S two-week trial, where three officers from the Iraqi Intelligence Service confirmed that LATCHIN was a spy who had been ordered to settle and blend into U.S. society.

LATCHIN, who was convicted of lying on a citizenship application, conspiracy to act as an unregistered agent of Iraq, acting as an unregistered agent of Iraq, lying to the FBI and engaging in a prohibited financial transaction with Iraq, could receive up to 40 years in prison, will be sentenced in July.

E-Mails sent by Virginia Tech establish timeline

UPDATED: Killer identified as Cho Seung-Hui, a South Korean native and campus resident.

17 April 2007: The following are E-Mail messages sent by the administration of Virginia Tech to the students and faculty. These establish some insight into their notification process and provide a basic time line of events. (All spelling and grammatical errors remain intact).

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Date: April 16, 2007 9:26:24 AM EDT

To: Multiple recipients

Subject: Shooting on campus.

A shooting incident occurred at West Amber Johnston earlier this morning. Police are on the scene and are investigating.

The university community is urged to be cautious and are asked to contact Virginia Tech Police if you observe anything suspicious or with information on the case. Contact Virginia Tech Police at 231-6411

Stay attuned to the www.vt.edu. We will post as soon as we have more information.

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Date: April 16, 2007 9:50:07 AM EDT

To: Multiple recipients

Subject: PLease stay put

A gunman is loose on campus. Stay in buildings until further notice. Stay away from all windows.

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Date: April 16, 2007 10:16:40 AM EDT

To: Multiple recipients

Subject: All Classes Canceled; Stay where you are

Virginia Tech has canceled all classes. Those on campus are asked to remain where there are, lock their doors and stay away from windows. Persons off campus are asked not to come to campus.

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Date: April 16, 2007 10:52:45 AM EDT

To: Multiple recipients

Subject: Second Shooting Reported; Police have one gunman in custody

In addition to an earlier shooting today in West Ambler Johnston, there has been a multiple shooting with multiple victims in Norris Hall.

Police and EMS are on the scene.

Police have one shooter in custody and as part of routine police procedure, they continue to search for a second shooter.

All people in university buildings are required to stay inside until further notice.

All entrances to campus are closed.

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Date: April 16, 2007 12:41:44 PM EDT

To: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.VT.EDU

Subject: Shooting at Virginia Tech / Statement by President Charles W. Steger

The university was struck today with a tragedy of monumental proportions. There were two shootings on campus. In each case, there were fatalities. The university is shocked and horrified that this would befall our campus. I want to extend my deepest, sincerest and most profound sympathies to the families of these victims which include students There are 22 confirmed deaths.

We currently are in the process of notifying families of victims. The Virginia Tech Police are being assisted by numerous other jurisdictions. Crime scenes are being investigated by the FBI, University Police, and State Police. We continue to work to identify the victims impacted by this tragedy. I cannot begin to covey my own personal sense of loss over this senselessness of such an incomprehensible and heinous act The university will immediately set up counseling centers. So far centers have been identified in Ambler Johnson and the Cook Counseling Center to work with our campus community and families.

Here are some of the facts we know:

At about 7:15 a.m. this morning a 911 call came to the University Police Department concerning an event in West Amber Johnston Hall. There were multiple shooting victims. While in the process of investigating, about two hours later the university received reports of a shooting in Norris Hall. The police immediately responded. Victims have been transported to various hospitals in the immediate area in the region to receive emergency treatment.

We will proceed to contact the families of victims as identities are available.

All classes are cancelled and the university is closed for the remainder for the today. The university will open tomorrow at 8 a.m. but classes will be cancelled on Tuesday. The police are currently staging the release of people from campus buildings.

Families wishing to reunite with the students are suggesed to meet at the Inn at Virginia Tech. We are making plans for a convocation tomorrow (Tuesday) at noon at Cassell Coliseum for the university community to come together to begin to deal with the tragedy.

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Date: April 16, 2007 4:31:29 PM EDT

To: LISTSERV@LISTSERV.VT.EDU

Subject: Campus Update on VT Shootings

Virginia Tech remains closed on Monday, April 16, 2007. Vehicular entrances to campus are severely restricted to essential personnel only. Additional security remains on campus as the investigation continues.

Counseling assistance for students in available at West Ambler Johnston and McComas Hall until 9 p.m. tonight. Students are encouraged to utilize these services. Counseling for faculty and staff is available at the Bowman Room in the Merriman Center (athletic complex). Student may also be together at the Old Dominion Ballroom at Squires Student Center.

The university will also close on Tuesday, April 17. Essential personal are to report for work. Classes will be canceled.

A public gathering will be held Tuesday, April 17 at Cassell Coliseum at 2 p.m. (a time change from the originally scheduled 10 a.m. gathering).

All students are urged to contact their parents as soon as possible to let them know individuals are safe.

Students, faculty, and staff who may have any information related to the incident at West Amber Johnston Hall and Norris Hall are encouraged to go to the Blacksburg Police Department to make statements, or call 540-231-TIPP (8477), or 231-6411.

Parents with concerns are asked to call the Dean of Students Office at 540-231-3787.

Individuals injured in the two shootings have been taken to area hospitals.

VA Tech: “The worst campus shooting in US history”

UPDATED: From law enforcement source at scene

16 April 2007; 9:00 pm: Although not confirmed, one law enforcement source has tentatively identified the shooter as a Chinese national in the US on a student visa, with San Francisco listed as a 2006 point of entry. We are not releasing the name at the strict request of our law enforcement source.

16 April 2007; 5:40 pm: From law enforcement source, speaking under strict condition of anonymity:

“I can tell you that there was only one shooter. Following the initial shooting at ‘West A.J.’ early this morning, police believed the suspect left the campus, and that the suspect was not a resident of the campus. It was during that investigation that the suspect returned to the campus prepared to kill as many people as possible. This was a premeditated act of mass murder, planned well in advance.”

16 April 2007: A male in his 20’s, apparently of Asian origin who opened fire at Virginia Tech is confirmed dead in Blacksburg, Virginia. Fatalities appear to be at least 30, perhaps more. The motive under investigation.

The Northeast Intelligence Network is following this incident closely.

Shooting Timeline

Monday, April 16th 2007 12:23PM: Virginia Tech police have confirmed 22 fatalities resulting from the campus shootings today. The gunman has also been confirmed dead.

Three people were escorted out of Norris Hall by police. The three were handcuffed, separated, questioned, unhandcuffed and then canine teams were sent into Norris Hall said junior computer engineer Nick Saunders who watched the events unfold from the the second floor of Randolph Hall.

According to the university, classes have been cancelled for Tuesday, April 17.

11:57AM: Three people were escorted out of Norris Hall in handcuffs by police. The three were then unhandcuffed and canine teams were sent into Norris Hall.

11:50AM: The Associated Press has reported at least one death and seven injuries stemming from two shooting incidents on the Virginia Tech campus. Police have taken one person into custody and continue to search for another as part of routine procedure.

11:36AM: At this time, University Relations is reporting one individual in custody and is searching for a second shooter. The Collegiate Times will publish information as it is made available.

10:36AM: Due to serious wind helicopters cannot be used to transfer the injured. According to the police scanner, ambulances are being used to transport the victims to Montgomery Regional Hospital.

10:32AM: At this time, one death and one injury have been confirmed. More information will be made available as it breaks.

10:20AM: All classes are canceled.

10:04AM: The university is encouraging everyone to stay indoors and away from windows. West Ambler Johnston and Squires are currently on confirmed lock down.

10:00AM: A gunman is confirmed loose on campus.

Monday, April 16th 2007 9:47AM: Shots were fired on campus in West Ambler Johnson Hall in the early morning hours.

Courtesy VA Collegiate Times

Six weeks ago in Missouri…

Last week at Virginia TechBomb threat closes Torgersen, Durham, Whittemore halls; events relocated; $5,000 reward offered

By Larry Hincker

BLACKSBURG, Va., April 13, 2007: (6:15 p.m. EDT) Virginia Tech is offering a $5,000 reward related to the two recent bomb threats on campus.

The reward will be given for information or leads leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons involved in either bomb threat incidents occurring April 2 or April 13.

Information should be directed to Virginia Tech Police at 232-TIPP (8477).

Virginia Tech Police, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, continue to investigate both incidents.

Mysterious theft from Buffalo, New York suburb of Tonawanda

15 April 2007: Workers at the Coca-Cola Bottling Co. plant in the Town of Tonawanda placed three stainless steel mixing tanks, each weighing 500 pounds and having a capacity of 550 gallons of liquid, and an eight foot long stainless steel conveyer belt in a corner of the plant’s parking lot at 150 Milens Road, Tonawanda, NY, near Interstate 290 until they could be sold. The last time anyone recalls seeing the items with any degree of certainty was on April 4. Now, along with other miscellaneous production parts, they are missing, and police want to find the stolen items and find out who took them as there is concern over how these items could be used.

According to Town of Tonawanda Detective Lt. Joseph F. Carosi, whoever took these items would have needed at least a forklift and a large flatbed truck to pick up and load the goods, and would need adequate space to store them. He noted that a single tank is about as heavy as two full-size refrigerators. “These goods took planning to steal,” stated Detective Carosi.

“The sheer volume of what these things can hold could make them dangerous in the wrong hands,” added Detective Carosi. The investigation is continuing, and anyone with information related to the theft is asked to contact the Town of Tonawanda Police Department at 716- 879-6613.

Would-be presidential assassin wants to convert to Islam

Also, from our archives: “interesting” media account of incident

14 April 2007: Vladimir ARUTINIAN (also spelled ARUTYUNIAN), the man who attempted to assassinate President George W. Bush at the Freedom Square in downtown Tbilisi (Republic of Georgia) on May 10, 2005 said he wants to convert to Islam, according to his lawyer Onis Meboniya. ARUTINIAN reportedly tossed a RGD-5 hand grenade at a podium where George W. Bush and Georgia’s President Mikheil Saakashvili were addressing a crowd of about ten thousand people. The grenade landed about 150 feet from the dais, but did not explode.

ARUTINIAN was arrested in Tbilisi on July 20, 2005 after a shootout with Georgian police that resulted in the death of Col. Zurab Kvlividze, the head of the Georgian Interior Ministry’s counterintelligence department. He was indicted in September 2005 by a US grand jury on charges of trying to assassinate the president. In January 2006, however, ARUTINIAN was sentenced to life in prison in the Republic of Georgia.

From our archives: “Interesting” media account of incident

The following article describing the event appeared on a major media news site on 11 May 2005.

Grenade Thrown at Bush Speech
Wednesday, May 11, 2005
TBILISI, Georgia - Georgia’s security chief said Wednesday that an inactive grenade was found near the site where President Bush (search) made a speech in Tbilisi.

Gela Bezhuashvili, secretary of the National Security Council, said the Soviet-made RPG-5 grenade was found 100 feet from the tribune where Bush spoke on Tuesday.

U.S. Secret Service spokesman Jonathan Cherry said Tuesday that his agency had been informed that a device - possibly a hand grenade - had been thrown near the stage during Bush’s speech, hit someone in the crowd and fallen to the ground.

Bezhuashvili said, however, that it was not thrown but “found.”

“The goal is clear - to frighten or to scare people and to attract the attention of the mass media,” he said. “The goal has been reached and that is why I’m talking to you now.”

“In any case there was no danger whatsoever for the presidents,” he said, referring to Bush and Georgian President Mikhail Saakashvili.

Investigators are examining the grenade, which Bezhuashvili said was a “so-called engineering grenade,” found in “inactive mode.”

“I am not an expert but it was not possible to detonate it there,” he said. “Nevertheless, this is a subject of close attention and it is being studied jointly by the Georgian and American sides.”

Security was very tight at Bush’s speech in Freedom Square. Georgian police were deployed, and U.S. snipers were visible on the rooftops, scanning the crowd with binoculars. U.S. agents, together with their Georgian counterparts, manned the security gates, making even Georgian performers - who in some cases were decked out with fake ammunition as part of their costumes - remove every piece of metal before passing through the detectors.

Many in the crowd were carrying plastic soda bottles, which they used to squirt water on each other to stave off the heat after hours of standing without shelter under a bright sun. There were many young people horsing around during the speeches - especially when the translation was muffled and the speech unintelligible - and some threw plastic bottles at one another for entertainment.

Two Islamic terror suspects released in Canada

Mahmoud JABALLAH — a suspect in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania

Mohamed Zeki MAHJOUB — a former employee of Osama bin Laden

“Children and innocent people were blown to pieces.” Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day, regarding the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania citing JABALLAH’S involvement.

14 April 2007: Two of 5 Muslim illegal immigrants who spent several years fighting deportation attempts, considered to be threats to Canadian security and detained under Canadian federal security certificates were released this week in separate federal court rulings.

Mohamed Zeki MAHJOUB, 47 a member of the Egyptian Islamic terror group the “Vanguards of Conquest,” and who once ran a farming operation in Sudan for al Qaeda terror leader Osama bin Laden, and Mahmoud JABALLAH, a suspect in the 1998 embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, were released from detention under the Canadian federal security certificate law. Canadian Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day has concerns over the release of both suspected terrorists, although was quoted by The Globe and Mail, “We will respect the court ruling and hope that the [house-arrest] safeguards will be enough to keep Canadians safe,”

The case of Mohamed Zeki MAHJOUB-

Of all Canada’s terrorism suspects, Mohamed Zeki MAHJOUB, 47 has the most definitive ties to Osama bin Laden and al Qaeda. Before being granted refugee status in Canada in 1996, MAHJOUB ran a large farming operation for bin Laden in Sudan, at a time when bin laden would have been present at the installation. Although MAHJOUB has never been accused of taking part in any specific terrorist act, the Canadian Security Intelligence Service (CSIS) has asserted that MAHJOUB was part of an Egyptian terror group known as the Vanguards of Conquest and associated with other Islamic terrorists and terror organization. He has been reportedly involved with “a Canadian al-Qaeda financier and an Iraqi identified by the U.S. 9/11 Commission as al-Qaeda’s ‘principal procurement agent for weapons of mass destruction.’”

MAHJOUB was released to his wife Mona EL FOULI in Toronto Thursday, and will be under a “strict form” of house arrest. Although the media was not granted access to MAHJOUB, he was observed at his Toronto apartment through the doorway, sitting in the living room with his hands on his knees. He wore an off-white Islamic tunic and his beard came down to his stomach.

Canada Border Services Agency will monitor MAHJOUB with a GPS ankle bracelet and through video cameras and phone taps at his house. Authorities will also follow the suspect whenever he is permitted to leave his residence.

The case of Mahmoud JABALLAH

Despite “reasonable grounds to believe that Mr. JABALLAH was a senior member of [Egyptian al-Jihad] who acted as a communicator among terrorist cells of the AJ and al-Qaeda” at the time of the deadly 1998 al-Qaeda bombings in Africa, Mahmoud JABALLAH, an Egyptian terrorism suspect, was released from custody yesterday and reunited with his family in Toronto, Ontario. JABALLAH is one of five immigrant suspected Islamic terrorists, and “Islamists considered to be threats to Canadian security” who have been held on Canadian “security certificates.” Instead of detention, JABALLAH will be placed under strict “house arrest,” although his de-facto warden will be none other than his wife, Husnah Al-MASHTOULI, an individual who has previously lied to officials and the courts about her husband’s activities and associations with Islamic terrorists and terrorist groups.

Beginning in 1999, the Canadian government has attempted to use the federal security-certificate process to deport JABALLAH from Canada. Failing that, JABALLAH was arrested in 2001 and has been held in a Kingston prison, although was never formally charged with any crime. Consequently, JABALLAH was released after a 62-page bail decision was filed by Canadian Madame Justice Carolyn Layden-Stevenson. According to published accounts, Judge Layden-Stevenson addressed the issue of security-certificate cases, noting that they rely on “reasonable suspicion” and not criminal standards of proof necessary to detain individual suspects.

At issue are JABALLAH’S late-1990s phone records. It was revealed that JABALLAH made 72 telephone calls to Yemen, 47 calls to Azerbaijan, 75 calls to a known al Qaeda front in London, England, and another 20 calls to the United Kingdom, Yemen, Azerbaijan, and Pakistan, all within a 48 hour period. Officials who interviewed JABALLAH stated that he has been uncooperative, and never “offered any explanation” for the calls that strongly suggest either direct involvement or complicity in Islamic terrorism operations where hundreds of people were murdered.

Speaking to the Canadian media, Public Safety Minister Stockwell Day said that he remains disturbed by Mr. Jaballah’s presence in Canada. “The court has agreed with the evidence that suggests that Mr. Jaballah had active participation from within Canada of the 1998 bombings in Kenya and Tanzania,” adding that “Children and innocent people were blown to pieces.”

Although JABALLAH has been released to the “watchful eyes” of his wife, his house arrest will be strict, his communications will be closely monitored and federal agents will follow him whenever he leaves his home.

Al Qaeda bombers & statement of responsibility

ABC News Alexis Debat reports: “Officials: Algerian Bombing Is First Wave of New Al Qaeda “Spring Offensive”

12 April 2007: As we reported yesterday, al Qaeda has claimed responsibility for the two large explosions in the Algerian capital that killed at least 24 people and left 222 more wounded. A telephone call to Al Jazeera’s office in Rabat, a man identifying himself as Abu Mohammed SALAH said that three al-Qaeda members had carried out suicide truck-bombings that targeted three sites: the Algerian government building in the capital, the headquarters of Interpol and the judicial police headquarters in Bab Ezzouar.

SALAH added: “We are targeting the alliance of crusaders and their governments, tracing them wherever they are, defending our brothers the oppressed all over the world, and defending our brothers the detainees, prisoners and oppressed ones in Morocco, Algeria, Mauritania or others.”

The group also claimed responsibility in an internet statement and posted photos of the three “martyrs,”Muath bin JABAL, Al-Zubeir Abu SAJEDA, and Abu DUJANA.
Courtesy of Archangel According to the statement:

The first target was the headquarters of the apostate government in the Algerian capital Algiers where the martyr Muath bin JABAL drove a truck filled of 700 kg (approximately 1540 pounds)of explosives into the apostates’ fortress and according to our own sources, killing about 45 and injuring an unknown number of them, destroying part of the building.

The second target was the headquarters of the International INTERPOL in the capital Algiers (the gate of Zuwar) where the martyr Al-Zubeir Abu SAJEDA drove a truck filled with 700 kg (approximately 1540 pounds) of explosives, storming into the den of the tyranny and infidelity and those who are fighting Jihad, and he was able with Allah’s blessing to destroy it completely, killing at least eight apostates and injuring an unknown number of them.

The third target was the headquarters of the special forces of the Police in Ezzouar Gate in the capital where the martyr Abu DUJANA drove a truck filled with 500 kg (approximately 1100 pounds) of explosives, storming the apostate fortress and was able with Allah’s blessing to destroy it completely, killing and injuring a large number of apostates.

Columbus Ohio man indicted on terrorist charges

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Christopher PAUL, a/k/a Abdulmalek Kenyatta

12 April 2007: A federal grand jury in Columbus, Ohio indicted a Columbus man for training and working with al Qaeda and conspiring to bomb targets in Europe and the United States. Christopher PAUL, 43, born Paul Kenyatta Laws, a/k/a PAUL Abdul, Abdul Malek, Abdul Malik, Abdel Malek, Abdul Melik, Abdulmaled, Abdul Malek Kenyatta, Paul Kenyatta Laws, Paul Laws and as Abdulmalek KENYATTA, appeared in federal court today and was ordered to prison without bond pending another hearing. PAUL, a U.S. citizen, was arrested late Wednesday after a four-year investigation of his alleged involvement with al Qaeda in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Germany.

He was charged with providing material support to terrorists, conspiracy to provide support to terrorists and conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction. PAUL joined al-Qaeda in 1991, and trained and supported German co-conspirators planning to bomb European tourist resorts frequented by American citizens, as well as U.S. embassies, consulates and military bases overseas, according to the federal indictment. PAUL also targeted an individual in the United States, and instructed individuals in martial arts at a mosque in Columbus, Ohio.

According to the indictment, a fax machine inside PAUL’S home contained the names, phone numbers and contact information for key al-Qaeda leaders and their associates.

Beginning last year, PAUL began researching the use of remote-controlled boats, model remote-controlled helicopters and flight simulators for commercial aircraft for terrorist purposes.