Ali Abdullah Saleh: President of Yemen who, during the Yemeni civil war, built a relationship with mujahideen fighters; they helped him lead the North to defeat the socialist South. That began a complex relationship with extremists and al-Qaeda that continues to this day.
Mohammed Saleh: Egyptian Islamic Jihad shura council member and close associate of Ayman al-Zawahiri who joined the al-Qaeda shura council following the March 2001 official merger of the two groups. On 9/11 al-Qaeda held a celebration of the attacks in his house. He was killed by a U.S. missile.
Marwan al-Shehhi: A member of the Hamburg cell and roommate of 9/11 lead hijacker Mohammed Atta and facilitator Ramzi Binalshibh, he was one of the hijackers on United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Fahd al-Quso’s confession to NCIS special agent Robert McFadden and me that Shehhi had stayed at one point in Abu Jandal’s guesthouse enabled us to convince the Yemenis to let us question Abu Jandal.
[2 words redacted]: CIA’s chief operational psychologist with whom [1 word redacted] worked during the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah [3 words redacted]. He left the interrogation of Abu Zubaydah after CIA contractors made it clear that they intended to use coercive interrogation techniques.
Abdullah Sungkar: Leader of Darul Islam who founded the Southeast Asian terrorist group Jemaah Islamiah with the cleric Abu Bakar Bashir. He arranged for members to travel to Afghanistan in the 1980s to train and fight the Soviets. One of his key followers was Hambali. He died in 1999.
Adbullah Tabarak (alias Abu Assim al-Maghrebi): Close personal friend of bin Laden’s dating back to their days fighting the Soviets together, he followed him to Sudan and was asked by the al-Qaeda leader to head his bodyguard detachment after the 1998 East African embassy bombings. He is the father-in-law of Ibrahim al-Qosi. Arrested with Ali al-Bahlul as part of the “dirty thirty” group after 9/11 and taken to Guantánamo Bay, Cuba. I identified him based on a description Abu Jandal had given me, and I took him out of the general population. Under suspicious circumstances, the FBI was barred from questioning him and he was released. Today he is free in Morocco.
Furqan al-Tajiki (alias of Fawaz al-Rabeiee): Yemeni al-Qaeda operative who was arrested in connection with the Bayt Habra car theft plot and was later involved in other al-Qaeda operations in Yemen. In February 2006 he escaped with other al-Qaeda members from a jail in Saana, and he was killed in October 2006.
Madani al-Tayyib (also known as Abu Fadhl al-Makkee): Al-Qaeda’s first financial chief, he lost a leg during the Soviet jihad and was very close to bin Laden. He ordered Jamal al-Fadl to try to procure uranium for the organization. In the 1990s he traveled to Europe with the help of Khalid al-Fawwaz to get treatment for his leg, and in 1997 it was reported that he had defected from al-Qaeda—causing many operatives, including Harun Fazul, to panic. He cooperated with the Saudi authorities, who said that they shared the information he gave them with the CIA, but this information was never passed along to the FBI. At one point, the U.S. military mistakenly thought that they had him in custody in Guantánamo. Today he is in Saudi Arabia.
George Tenet: Director of the CIA from July 1997 to July 2004. Under his leadership the professional interrogators from the CIA were sidelined, contractors were put in charge of interrogations, and coercive interrogations were introduced.
Tom Ward: An NYPD detective assigned to the Joint Terrorism Task Force in New York whom I picked to be a member of our team for the USS Cole bombing investigation.
Colonel Yassir (not his real name): Yemeni interrogator whom we worked closely with during the USS Cole investigation and in investigations after 9/11.
Ramzi Yousef: Mastermind of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, with whom he plotted the failed Manila Air (Bojinka) attack. He is serving a life sentence in a U.S. prison.
Ayman al-Zawahiri: Originally one of the leaders of Egyptian Islamic Jihad, he supported the group’s merger with al-Qaeda and became bin Laden’s deputy. He helped surround bin Laden with fellow Egyptians, ensuring that they dominated and shaped al-Qaeda. He is suspected of being behind the 1989 assassination of Abdullah Azzam. On June 16, 2011, al-Qaeda announced that he had been appointed the new leader of the group following bin Laden’s death.
Aaron Zebley: FBI special agent with a legal background who was instrumental in apprehending and gaining a confession from Khalfan Khamis Mohamed, an operative involved in the 1998 East African embassy bombings. He was assigned to the 9/11 investigation after the attacks, and with Mike Butsch trailed Ramzi Binalshibh. [22 words redacted]
KEY DOCUMENTS AND ARTICLES CITED
Note: Spellings are as in original.
United States v. Usama Bin Laden, Indictment (unsealed November 4, 1998), http://jya.com/usa-v-laden.htm.
United States v. Usama Bin Laden, Muhammad Atef, Wadih El Hage, Fazul Adbullah Mohammed, Mohamed Saeek Odeh, Mohamed Rasheed Daoud Al-Owhali, Indictment, November 4, 1998, http://jya.com/usa-v-laden+5.htm.
USA v. Usama bin Laden et al. trial in the Southern District of New York (Days 1–76, Pre-Sentencing Hearing, Sentencing Hearing), February 5, 2001–October 18, 2001, http://cryptome.org/usa-v-ubl-dt.htm.
The 9/11 Commission Report: Final Report of the National Commission on Terrorist Attacks Upon the United States (New York: W. W. Norton, 2004), http://www.9-11commission.gov/report/911Report.pdf.
John L. Helgerson, CIA Office of Inspector General Report on CIA Accountability with Respect to the 9/11 Attacks, June 2005, http://www.fas.org/irp/cia/product/oig-911.pdf.
U.S. Department of Justice, Office of the Inspector General Report: A Review of the FBI’s Involvement in and Observations of Detainee Interrogations in Guantánamo Bay, Afghanistan, and Iraq, http://www.justice.gov/oig/special/s0805/final.pdf.
Department of Justice, Office of Professional Responsibility Report—Investigation into the Office of Legal Counsel’s Memoranda Concerning Issues Relating to the Central Intelligence Agency’s Use of “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques” on Suspected Terrorists, http://judiciary.house.gov/hearings/pdf/OPRFinalReport090729.pdf.
CIA Office of Inspector General, Counterterrorism Detention and Interrogation Activities (September 1–October 2003), May 7, 2004, http://luxmedia.com.edgesuite.net/aclu/IG_Report.pdf.
U.S. Senate, Report of the Select Committee on Intelligence on Postwar Findings About Iraq’s WMD Programs and Links to Terrorism and How They Compare with Prewar Assessments, September 8, 2006, http://intelligence.senate.gov/phaseiiaccuracy.pdf.