After the bombing, Salem claimed that the FBI knew about the bombing plot, and agreed to foil it by supplying fake explosives to him. Salem taped his telephone conversations with FBI agents. Those tapes were provided to defense lawyers, although they were not used in the trial. In December 1993, James M. Fox, the head of the FBI's New York Office, denied that the FBI had any foreknowledge of the attacks.
At the request of the FBI, Salem had befriended the group of plotters in 1991, meeting them at El Sayyid Nosair's trial. He had recently worked as a security guard at the Bergdorf Goodman department store, and an engineer at a Best Western hotel in New York.
Claim that the FBI knew about the bombing
- FBI Special Agent John Anticev: But, uh, basically nothing has changed. I'm just telling you for my own sake that nothing, that this isn't a salary, that it's—you know. But you got paid regularly for good information. I mean the expenses were a little bit out of the ordinary and it was really questioned. Don't tell Nancy I told you this. [Nancy Floyd is another FBI Special Agent who worked with Emad A. Salem in his informant capacity.]
- FBI undercover agent Emad A. Salem: Well, I have to tell her of course.
- Anticev: Well then, if you have to, you have to.
- Salem: Yeah, I mean because the lady was being honest and I was being honest and everything was submitted with a receipt and now it's questionable.
- Anticev: It's not questionable, it's like a little out of the ordinary.
- Salem: Okay. Alright. I don't think it was. If that's what you think guys, fine, but I don't think that because we was start already building the bomb which is went off in the World Trade Center. It was built by supervising supervision from the Bureau and the D.A. and we was all informed about it and we know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful, great case!
- Anticev: Well.
- Salem: And then he put his head in the sand and said "Oh, no, no, that's not true, he is son of a bitch." [Deep breath.] Okay. It's built with a different way in another place and that's it.
- Anticev: No, don't make any rash decisions. I'm just trying to be as honest with you as I can.
- Salem: Of course, I appreciate that.
- Anticev: And as far as the payments go, and everything like that, they're there. I guarantee you that they are there.
- "Tapes in Bombing Plot Show Informer and F.B.I. at Odds," Ralph Blumenthal, The New York Times, October 27, 1993, Section A; Page 1; Column 4
- "Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast," Ralph Blumenthal, The New York Times, October 28, 1993, Section A; Page 1; Column 4
- "Paper Says FBI Blocked Plan to Foil N.Y. Blast," Reuters, Los Angeles Times, October 28, 1993, Page 21; Section Part-A; National Desk
- CBS News report about FBI foreknowledge of the World Trade Center bombing, Windows Media Video: video clip
- "Bomb Informer's Tapes Give Rare Glimpse of F.B.I. Dealings," Richard Bernstein with Ralph Blumenthal, The New York Times, October 31, 1993
- "FBI's Tipster Said He Built N.Y. Bomb," Chicago Tribune, December 15, 1993, Page 7; Section NEWS
- "Who Bombed The World Trade Center? FBI Bomb Builders Exposed," Paul DeRienzo, Frank Morales and Chris Flash, The Shadow, October 1994/January 1995 Issue
- WBAI Radio broadcast in the city of New York which aired part of a taped conversation between FBI undercover agent Emad A. Salem and FBI Special Agent John Anticev, MP3: short clip, longer clip
- Profile: Emad Salem, CooperativeResearch.org
- "Tracing terror's roots: How the first World Trade Center plot sowed the seeds for 9/11," Chitra Ragavan, U.S. News & World Report, February 16, 2003
- "FBI Blunders and the First World Trade Center Bombing," James Bovard, Freedom Daily, August 2004
- Benjamin, Daniel & Steven Simon. "The Age of Sacred Terror", 2002