Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan & 9/11: foreknowledge of an attack?

INVESTIGATIVE REPORT By Douglas J. Hagmann, Director

“According to the former prison guard at Corcoran, Sirhan Sihan, did something in the months before 9/11 he had not done at any other time during his decades of incarceration – he ordered a television set for his cell.”

20 May 2007: Sirhan Bishara Sirhan is the convicted assassin of U.S. Senator and 1968 presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy. He is currently serving a life sentence at the state penitentiary in Corcoran, California, having escaped a death sentence due to a 1972 California Supreme Court ruling that invalidated all pending death sentences imposed prior to 1972. Sirhan’s motives for killing Kennedy remain a looming question among academics and conspiracy theorists alike. Many believe that Sirhan killed Kennedy due to his pro-Israel stance and the support he would likely provide Israel as the future president of the United States. Most notably, Kennedy was assassinated exactly one year after the start of the 1967 Six-Day war, a date considered less than coincidental by most. Some consider the assassination as one of the first cases of personal jihad in contemporary history.

Whatever the motive, I had the benefit of reviewing the assassination case from the perspective of a criminalist while I was at the Laboratory of Forensic Science under the instruction of Professor Herbert MacDonell. Mr. MacDonell is the Professor of Criminalistics and head of the Laboratory of Forensic Science in Corning, NY where I attended. Knowing that he extensively reviewed evidence first-hand of the Kennedy assassination, I am convinced that based on the evidence alone, that there is much more to this assassination that will ever be made known. Perhaps then, it was more than serendipitous that I received information this week from a former guard at the prison in Corcoran, California about the curious behavior of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan in the months, weeks and days preceding the 9/11 attacks.

Because of the commutation of his death sentence, Sirhan Sirhan has had the luxury of observing world events from his prison cell. According to one of the former guards at Corcoran, Sirhan not only had the ability to communicate with others outside of prison, he did so regularly. According to this former guard who watched over and spoke to the prisoner on numerous occasions, and had close access to him from the mid-1990’s to well after September 11, 2001, Sirhan Sirhan received a lot of mail from addresses in the Middle East, almost all written in Arabic.

It is important to note here that since 9/11, the U.S. prison system has come under sharp criticism for failing to adequately monitor terrorist inmates’ communications - both incoming and outgoing. A 2006 Justice Department’s inspector general report noted that three terrorists imprisoned for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing had sent nearly 100 letters to alleged terrorists overseas from the maximum-security facility in Colorado where they were being held. The cases of Islamic Imams serving as prison counselors in New York and other states acting as communications conduits are also prolific, illustrating not only a bilateral communications system between prisoners and known and potential terrorists, but a system of potential prisoner recruitment into the Islamic-jihad terrorist cause.

One of the more recent examples of such communications is illustrated in the case of attorney Lynne Stewart, an attorney who represented the blind Egyptian Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Muslim terrorist who was convicted in 1996 of plotting attacks against various sites in the New York City area. The attorney for the blind Sheikh reportedly passed instructional messages from Rahman to his terrorist operatives that resulted in the resumption of terrorist operations in Egypt. In a case mired in controversy, Stewart was found guilty of conspiracy, providing material support to terrorists on February 10, 2005.

It is therefore not unthinkable that Sirhan Sirhan has not only maintained, but perhaps developed contacts with Islamic terrorists or at the very least, sympathizers to the common cause of Islamic jihad and the destruction of Israel and the U.S. Again, there are those who will dispute the motives of Sirhan Sirhan and even dispute his guilt in the actual assassination. Based on the evidence I have seen and from the first-hand accounts of Professor MacDonell, I absolutely concur that there remain a lot of important unanswered questions and evidence that conflicts with the published facts of this case. That, however, is another article altogether. The bottom line is that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan has been incarcerated for the last 30-plus years and has substantial Middle Eastern connections that existed before and concurrent with the attacks of 9/11.

According to the former prison guard at Corcoran, Sirhan Sihan, did something in the months before 9/11 he had not done at any other time during his decades of incarceration - he ordered a television set for his cell. Interestingly, he showed no interest in watching television, only to occasionally check to make sure that the TV worked.

Then, on September 10, 2001, Sirhan Sirhan did something else he had not done before - he shaved his head. Although he was always a “clean cut” inmate according to this prison guard, he had never shaved his head. According to the prison guard, inmates in California often shave their heads immediately before their gangs go to war against other factions to show their solidarity and support.

Then, on the morning of 9/11 Sirhan was up early in his cell watching his TV for the first time when the news broke about the planes hitting the World Trade Center. In some manner, it is obvious that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, 33 years after the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy and a guest of the California prison system, had advance knowledge of the events of September 11, 2001.

A great number of questions remain, from the events of the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy to the events of 9/11. Based on the information from one prison guard, who was advised not to talk about the actions of Sirhan Sirhan or the FBI’s extensive questioning of the prisoner beginning on September 12, 2001 and lasting for 3 weeks, it appears that a California prisoner who changed the course of history has at least some of the answers.

Why isn’t there anyone in government asking the questions?