Abderraouf Jdey

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Abderraouf Jdey
Born (1965-05-30) 30 May 1965 (age 49)
Grombalia, Tunisia
Occupation student
Children none

A Canadian citizen,[1] Abderraouf bin Habib bin Yousef Jdey (Arabic: عبد الرؤوف جدي‎, ‘Abd ar-Rawūf Jday) (also Farouk al-Tunisi) (born May 30, 1965) was found swearing to die as a shaheed on a series of videotapes found in the rubble of Mohammed Atef's house in Afghanistan.[2][3][4][5] The United States has issued three separate alerts that Jdey was about to attack inside the country, in January 2002, September 2003 and May 2004.[6]

Three years later, the United States announced that he was one of a handful of terrorists actively plotting to attack the country, although none of their predictions ever panned out.

Life[edit]

Jdey moved to Canada, using a false passport and seeking asylum,[7][8] from Tunisia in 1991 and became a Canadian citizen in 1995.[9]

He rented a C$217 monthly apartment in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie near Montreal,[7] and studied biology at the Université de Montréal.[9] In 1999, he wrote a pair of letters to unknown Muslims overseas, explaining how he found religion and speaking with contempt of the United States and United Nations.[10]

American authorities allege that he "may" have trained at Mes Aynak alongside hijackers Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi in Afghanistan, before being assigned to a second wave of attacks. A letter written by Saif al-Adl, and later found by American forces, suggested that Jdey may have originally been slated to have participated in the original September 11 attacks[9][11]

Jdey returned to Montreal, Canada in early 2001. Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, while being harshly interrogated, said that Jdey then backed out of the plan.[12] According to a 2010 Harvard report on al Qaeda by a former CIA officer, Jdey was detained in summer 2001 together with Zacarias Moussaoui. Moussaoui was carrying textbooks on cropdusting; Jdey was carrying textbooks on biology. Jdey was evidently subsequently released.[13] In November 2001 he left Canada, several months after obtaining a replacement passport for one he'd received two years earlier which he claimed to have lost.[6] He was believed to be bound for Europe.[7][9]

November airline crash[edit]

Less than three months after the crash of American Airlines Flight 587 in Queens, New York, rumors were already suggesting that it had been destroyed by an unknown terrorist with a shoe bomb similar to the one found on Richard Reid.[14]

Four months later, Mohammed Mansour Jabarah agreed to cooperate with American authorities in exchange for a reduced sentence. A known colleague of Khalid Sheikh Mohamed, he stated that Mohamed's lieutenant had told him that Reid and Jdey had both been enlisted by the al-Qaeda chief to carry out identical plots as part of a "second wave" of attacks against the United States.[15][16][17][18]

United States 2002 claims[edit]

A still photo from Jdey's video message. His and bin al-Shibh's videos were never released.

On January 14, 2002, a series of five videocassetes were recovered from the rubble of the destroyed home of Mohammad Atef outside of Kabul, Afghanistan. The tapes showed Jdey, Ramzi bin al-Shibh, Muhammad Sa'id Ali Hasan, Abd Al-Rahim, and Khalid Ibn Muhammad Al-Juhani vowing to die as martyrs. It was the first time authorities had reason to suspect him of any wrongdoing.[19] NBC News said the videos had been recorded after the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Three days later, the FBI released to the public the first "Most Wanted Terrorists Seeking Information" list in order to profile the five wanted terrorists about whom very little was known, but who were suspected of plotting additional terrorist attacks in martyrdom operations.[20][21] Already under fire for issuing "excessive and somewhat alarmist" warnings about terrorists plotting against the United States, Attorney General John Ashcroft stated that Jdey and Faker Boussora were likely traveling together and should be considered "extremely dangerous".[22]

A month after Jdey and Boussora were declared fugitives, the Republic of Turkey announced that the pair may be within their borders.[23]

Ramzi bin al-Shibh was interrogated at an American black site in 2003 about his knowledge of Jdey, and confessed that Jdey had recruited by al-Qaeda.[24] The following year Walid bin 'Attash, similarly interrogated under harsh circumstances at The Dark Prison, confirmed that Jdey had been known to him.[25]

United States 2003 claims[edit]

In September 2003, the FBI issued an alert for four people they alleged "pose a threat to U.S. citizens", including Jdey, Adnan G. El Shukrijumah and the previously unknown Zubayr al-Rimi and Karim el-Mejjati.[26]

United States 2004 claims[edit]

A composite image created by the FBI to show how Jdey may try to disguise himself.

On May 26, 2004, Attorney General John Ashcroft and FBI Director Robert Mueller announced that reports indicated that Jdey was one of seven al-Qaeda members who were planning terrorist actions for the summer or fall of 2004. The other six named were Shukrijumah, Ahmed Khalfan Ghailani, Fazul Abdullah Mohammed, Amer El-Maati, Aafia Siddiqui and Adam Yahiye Gadahn.[27] American Democrats labeled the warning "suspicious" and said it was held solely to divert attention from President Bush's plummeting poll numbers and to push the failings of the Invasion of Iraq off the front page.[28] CSIS director Reid Morden voiced similar concerns, saying it seemed more like "election year" politics, than an actual threat - and the New York Times pointed out that one day before the announcement, they had been told by the Department of Homeland Security that there were no current risks.[28]

The day after the announcement, there was a reported sighting of Jdey and Shukrijumah at a Denny's restaurant in Colorado.[dead link][29] The following year, another tip suggested that the pair had been seen driving a car with a Massachusetts license plate in Maine.[dead link][29]

In April, 2005, the U.S. State Department Rewards for Justice Program offered a reward of up to US$5 million for information leading to the capture of Jdey, even though he has not been indicted.[30]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Canadian Security Intelligence Service, Summary of the Security Intelligence Report concerning Hassan Almrei, February 22, 2008.
  2. ^ FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism, Martyrdom Messages/video Seeking Information Alert, VIDEO 2 minutes 11 seconds, mpg (29.1 mb)
  3. ^ FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism, Martyrdom Messages/video Seeking Information Alert, VIDEO 2 minutes 11 seconds, rm (229 kb - stream)
  4. ^ FBI Seeking Information - War on Terrorism, Martyrdom Messages/video Seeking Information Alert, VIDEO 2 minutes 11 seconds, asf (371 kb - stream)
  5. ^ FBI webpage on several people wanted for questioning
  6. ^ a b CBC, Wanted - again, May 27, 2004
  7. ^ a b c Hickerson, Colin. Boston Globe, "US wary of 'time bombs' waiting to strike from north", February 4, 2003
  8. ^ Leiken, Robert S. and Steven Brooke, Matrix of terror suspects
  9. ^ a b c d "Rewards For Justice wanted poster on Jdey". Rewardsforjustice.net. 1965-05-30. Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  10. ^ Ha, Tu Thanh. Globe and Mail, Letters show anger of Canadian terrorism suspect, October 13, 2008
  11. ^ 9/11 Commission, 9/11 Report: Notes to Chapter 7., August 2004
  12. ^ Intelligence report, interrogation of KSM, July 1, 2003
  13. ^ "Al Qaeda Weapons of Mass Destruction Threat: Hype or Reality? p. 16" (PDF). Retrieved 2013-06-10. 
  14. ^ Irvine, Reed. Accuracy in Media, Rumors about Flight 587, February 6, 2002
  15. ^ Mili, Hayder. Securing the Northern Front: Canada and the War on Terror, July 28, 2005
  16. ^ Ressa, Maria. "Sources:Reid is al Qaeda operative.". CNN. January 29, 2003. Retrieved 2006-09-15.  CNN.com, December 6, 2003.
  17. ^ Pipes, Daniel, Why did American Airlines 587 crash?, August 30, 2004
  18. ^ Bell, Stewart. National Post, Montreal man downed US plane, CSIS told, August 27, 2004
  19. ^ CBC, Two Canadians among fugitive al-Qaeda members, January 26, 2002
  20. ^ Most Wanted Terrorists Seeking Information, January 17, 2002, (dead link)
  21. ^ Martyrdom Messages/video, Seeking Information Alert video clips published by the FBI January 17, 2002, and photos of the remaining 4 terrorists, FBI archival after September 2002
  22. ^ Lichtblau, Eric. Los Angeles Times, 2 Canadians tied to terrorist plots, January 26, 2002
  23. ^ Fox News, Turks: Al Qaeda Men Planning Israel Attack, February 20, 2002
  24. ^ Intelligence report, interrogation of bin al-Shibh, Sept. 11 2003
  25. ^ Intelligence report, interrogation of Khallad (Walid bin 'Attash), May 21, 2004
  26. ^ CNN, FBI seeks 4 suspected of terrorist activities, September 2003
  27. ^ Transcript: Ashcroft, Mueller news conference, CNN.com, Wednesday, May 26, 2004 Posted: 8:19 PM EDT (0019 GMT)
  28. ^ a b Pither, Kerry. "Dark Days: The Story of Four Canadians Tortured in the Name of Fighting Terror", 2008.
  29. ^ a b Kupferberg, Chaim. Onlinejournal.com, The 'official' operative clique for the next 9/11?, August 11, 2004
  30. ^ FBI, Rewards for Justice: Jdey