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|Occupation||California-based FBI informant from 1994 to 2003|
Abdussattar Shaikh' (ar عبد الستار شيخ) was an asset of the FBI’s San Diego Field Office from May 14, 1994 to July 2003, who was called "The FBI's Best Chance to Uncover September 11th Before it Happened" by the Joint Inquiry into Intelligence Community Activities before and after the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001.[not in citation given]
In 2000, two of the hijackers in the September 11 attacks, Nawaf Alhazmi and Khalid Almihdhar, moved in with Shaikh in Lemon Grove, California. However, Shaikh did not provide his FBI contact Steven Butler with any information about the two; Butler claims that the names Nawaf and Khalid were only mentioned in casual conversation as two students who had rented rooms from him, and that once Shaikh had cut a phone call short stating that "Khalid's in the room".
Butler later asked Shaikh for their surnames, but was not given them. He was not told they were pursuing flight training and that the students were non-political and have done nothing to arouse suspicion. The CIA had not provided names to the FBI which could have prevented 9-11.[unreliable source?]
- "They were nice, but not what you call extroverted people" Shaikh told The San Diego Union-Tribune after the attacks. Still, he told reporters he bonded with Alhazmi, helping him open a bank account and place a personal ad on the World Wide Web. "He told me that he wanted to marry a Mexican girl," Shaikh told the Los Angeles Times. "The problem was that he didn't know any Spanish. So I taught him a few Spanish phrases."
The FBI has aroused suspicion of its own for claiming that he was a retired professor of English at San Diego State University (SDSU)[dead link] and Vice President for International Projects at American Commonwealth University (ACU). However it turned out that SDSU had no records of ever staffing him, and ACU was merely a scam, a diploma mill, started by retired Air Force General William Lyon.
Citizens Review Board on Police Practices
Shaikh sat on San Diego's Citizens Review Board on Police Practices (CRBPP) during the time frame of his co-operation with the FBI. Ethical questions arose about his qualifications for city employment, as active police informants are precluded from employment on police oversight committees for obvious reasons. Shaikh was later removed from the board.
- A Review of the FBI's Handling of Intelligence Information Related to the September 11 Attacks (November 2004). U.S Department of Justice - Office of the Inspector General. June 2006.
- Brandon, Karen (September 30, 2001). "San Diego neighbors found nothing suspicious about pair". Chicago tribune.
- PRETEXT For War by James Bamford page 231