- Home Page || Flight 587 Page || Your Comments @ U.S.Read's Web Log
|| Send E-Mail to the Editor
|| Search U.S.Read or the Web ||
Canadian Intelligence Report: Al Qaeda Claimed, in May 2002, Flight
Had First Shoe Bomber
September 15, 2004
by Victor Trombettas
Canada's National Post
story on August 27th, written by Stewart Bell, about information that
was gathered from an Al Qaeda operative, Mohammed Mansour
This article revealed that there was a belief at the top levels of Al
Qaeda (no later than May 2002) that a shoe bomber had downed American
Airlines Flight 587 (FL587). That story is available here: http://www.navyseals.com/community/articles/article.cfm?id=4359
Stewart Bell's information for this story came from a classified
Canadian Intelligence report, whose content has been verified by U.S.Read
Intelligence interrogated Jabarah for five days in May 2002.
Jabarah gave the name of Abderraouf Jdey, also known as Farouk the
Tunisian, as the person responsible for the crash of FL587.
Within the United States government, Daniel Pipes serves on the
"Special Task Force on Terrorism and Technology" at the Department of
Defense. He is also director of the Middle East Forum, a member of the
presidentially-appointed board of the U.S. Institute of Peace, and a
prize-winning columnist for the New
and The Jerusalem
. Mr. Pipes responded to this new information (see http://www.danielpipes.org/article/2053
587's crash preceded Richard Reid's attempted bombing by over a month,
so the heightened alert for shoe bombs was not yet in place when AA 587
went down. Reid's later success in getting the explosives on board and
nearly detonating them suggests that if Jdey was on the plane and did
try a shoe bomb, he could well have succeeded."
The most pressing question in response to the National Post
"Was the alleged shoe bomber, Abderraouf Jdey, on Flight 587's
No; there were no Canadian passports on the publicly available
manifest. However, Jdey had access to multiple passports and
aliases. If he had boarded, he might have done so under a different
name and passport. For example, Richard Reid used what was
believed to be a fake British passport to board American Airlines
Flight 63 (FL63). His real name is Tariq Raja and he is from Sri
Lanka. Other aliases he had used were Abdel Rahim and Abu Ibrahim.
Alternatively, Jdey may have recruited someone else to conduct the
bombing. What is chilling is that Jdey left Canada less than two
months after 9/11 (apparently before Nov. 12, 2001), never to
return. The FBI believes Jdey is still alive because he is
currently one of their top "BOLO's" (B
n the L
for). His picture and profile are at the FBI's web site:
Mr. Jdey recorded a suicide
mission video in 1999 which was found in an
Al Qaeda safe-house in Afghanistan. It is generally believed he
was a candidate for the 9/11 hijackings, and had trained with some of
the 9/11 hijackers, but was placed in reserve for a second wave of
attacks after 9/11. It appears that is why he left Canada –– to
work on the "second wave".
Mohammed Mansour Jabarah was trained by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (KSM)
and Usama Bin Laden (UBL). Jabarah had KSM's phone number in
Pakistan –– where he would call for his assignments. Jabarah was
arrested in Oman in 2002 when he was on a mission for KSM and had been
working on bombing soft targets in Southeast Asia. At the time of
his capture by Oman police, KSM was using him to provide safe passage
for approximately 15 Al Qaeda fighters from Afghanistan trying to work
their way to Al Qaeda's new base in Yemen. One reason UBL liked
Jabarah was because he spoke fluent English and had a clean Canadian
Jabarah surrendered this information about Flight 587 to Canadian
Intelligence no later than May of 2002, and that information was made
available to the FBI at the same time. Jabarah was transferred to
the FBI in New York City no later than July 2002 and pleaded guilty to
multiple counts in secret proceedings. He is cooperating, and has
provided useful information to the FBI.
Jabarah was not involved in the FL587 plot himself, but he learned of
it from another top KSM deputy, Abu Abdelrahman. Sometime in the
spring of 2002, Abdelrahman told Jabarah that Afghanistan's Northern
Alliance leader, Massoud, had been killed by an Al Qaeda action. This
is now known to be true. During that conversation, Abdelrahman
added that FL587 was also an Al Qaeda action.
At the time of his initial interrogation by Canadian Intelligence,
Jabarah's credibility was unknown. That was about to change.
After his handover to the FBI
and before the October 12, 2002 deadly
bombing in Bali, Jabarah told U.S. investigators that an operative by
the name of "Hambali" was planning to conduct bombings in bars, cafes,
or nightclubs frequented by Westerners in Thailand, Malaysia,
Singapore, the Philippines, and Indonesia. (http://www.theage.com.au/articles/2003/01/22/1042911437337.html
Jabarah provided evidence linking Richard Reid to Al Qaeda. Reid
attempted to use a shoe bomb on American Airlines FL63 on December 22,
2001. Additionally, after Jabarah's transfer to the FBI, it was
believed he could provide useful information against Zacarias Moussaoui
and Jose Padilla (the alleged "dirty bomber"). His own
involvement in Al Qaeda, his knowledge of the involvement of others,
and his direct link
established Jabarah as a very credible and useful witness.
What does the FBI think of Jabarah's claim regarding FL587? The
FBI has not returned our calls. Whatever their opinion, the FBI
cannot have their cake and eat it too. If the FBI views his FL587
claims as "not credible" how do they make such a determination when it
seems the other intelligence they have garnered from him was very
credible? For example, his foretelling of the Indonesia bombing and the
involvement of "Hambali" proved totally correct.
Did the FBI tell the NTSB in the summer of 2002 of this intelligence
from Jabarah? Did this lead to a second look at the wreckage for
any possible evidence of a small bomb being detonated on board
FL587? Richard Reid had no more than 6 to 8 ounces of explosives
in his shoes. The NTSB has not responded to any of our questions
on this issue.
Who is Abu Abdelrahman?
Abu Abdelrahman, a top KSM affiliate, was Jabarah's source for the
FL587 claim. Steven Emerson, a well-known terrorism expert,
testified before the 9/11 Commission and had this to say about
Abdelrahman, a.k.a. Hassan Al-Suraihi (emphasis ours):
Al-Suraihi (a.k.a. Abu Abdelrahman) is a former Imam of Shaykh
Abdelaziz Bin Baz's mosque in the Al-Shashah neighborhood of Mecca.
Al-Suraihi is a veteran Arab-Afghan, having fought alongside Usama Bin Laden in
Afghanistan and "witnessed the birth" of Al-Qaeda. Al-Suraihi
later served six years in a Saudi jail for an undisclosed number of
"state security violations."
What we cannot ignore is –– this claim about FL587 came from the
highest operatives in Al Qaeda very soon after the crash.
Could a Shoe Bomb Explain Events On
As we outlined in the Summary of our Preliminary Report, the NTSB's
conclusions about FL587 do not square well with the physical evidence
and eyewitness accounts. The evidence suggests that the tail
separation was not the cause of the crash, and that there was something
very wrong with the aircraft during the time the pilot was aggressively
controlling it. Specifically, there were electrical interruptions
on board during that time along with ground and Bay witnesses reporting
the aircraft having exploded and/or being on fire before tail
separation. Also, the tail departed several seconds after the
NTSB's timeline suggests it did, yet the crew had lost control of the
aircraft before tail separation. Therefore, it appears tail
separation was not the cause of the crash any more than the engine
The cockpit voice recorder (CVR) likely holds the most important clues.
The NTSB has never explained the airframe rattles heard before tail
separation, or the unusual spikes of noise energy, or the malfunctions
of the CVR (stop/starts) –– all which occurred before the tail
separated. Something must account for these and other
anomalies. The NTSB's statements thus far don't even acknowledge
these anomalies, much less explain them.
has not bought into
any one particular theory about why FL587 crashed. We have
remained focused on the evidence and based our Preliminary Report
evidence. We have stated clearly in the Summary of our Preliminary Report
that the evidence suggests an explosion/fire before the tail
separated. We did not speculate about the source (terrorism or
accident) of that explosion/fire. That said, we depart from our
previous practice and make the following statement, which is our best
judgment given the facts in hand to date:
• The most likely initiating event was
a terrorist attack (be it a bomb or mechanical sabotage).
• The second most likely cause is an accidental explosion/fire caused
by faulty wiring, or some other accidental mechanical cause.
• The least likely scenario is that which has been put forth by the
NTSB investigation. We consider it not impossible, but least
likely, because the NTSB scenario does not reconcile well with the
majority of the physical evidence, and completely ignores some physical
evidence, including the eyewitness accounts.
We are not declaring that FL587 was downed by terrorists –– only that
we believe that is the most likely explanation given all the evidence,
especially in light of the new information which was acquired by
U.S.Read has learned from a source within the FL587 investigation that
there were indicators of a high velocity explosion (bomb) discovered in
the wreckage of FL587 soon after the crash –– even before the flight
recorders were recovered. Immediately, the official reaction was
that this potential evidence was not significant. We do not know
if residue testing was performed, although the NTSB implies such
testing was performed. The NTSB has stated that no explosive residue
traces were found in any of the wreckage but they offered no details
about how much of the wreckage was tested.
Is the NTSB convinced they have all
NTSB Spokesman Ted Loptakiewicz, in response to queries from the National Post's
has been no evidence found, from what
I can tell -- at least that's been relayed to us -- that there
was any criminality involved here. It appears, at least the evidence we have, is
that a vertical fin came off, not that there was any kind of event in
"At least that's been relayed to us . . . at least the evidence we
have". These are not very confident or definitive words from the
NTSB. In addition to opening the door to the possibility that not
all evidence may have been relayed to the NTSB, the NTSB also seemed to
imply that as the lead agency in this investigation, the NTSB might not
be guardians of all the facts. Instead of conveying with
conviction that there was no terrorist activity and that they have
every shred of evidence that exists, the NTSB instead made a statement
that conveyed doubt.
U.S. Intelligence received a threat
specific to Veteran's Day
Veteran's Day fell on Sunday, November 11th (in 2001) and the holiday
was observed on Monday the 12th, the day FL587 crashed. Bill
Gertz, writing for the Washington
on November 13th, had this to say:
intelligence official said a warning was sent to senior Bush
administration officials last week stating that unidentified terrorists
were planning to carry out some type of mass attack on Nov. 11 -
Veterans Day . . . the intelligence report about the possible attack
was specific enough to raise concerns, this official said. A
second U.S. official confirmed that there were "some reports that
something might happen in connection with Veterans Day".
Of further interest, in light of Jabarah's revelations about Jdey (the
alleged FL587 shoe bomber), is this statement from Gertz:
warning originated in a North African nation that in the past had been
associated with international terrorism.
Gertz did not identify the North African nation. The alleged
FL587 shoe bomber, Abderraouf Jdey, was known to Al Qaeda as Farouk the
Tunisian. Tunisia is on the North African coast. The link
to North Africa from this pre-November 12th intelligence along with the
information about Farouk the Tunisian is interesting, and perhaps more
than a coincidence.
If FL587 was downed by Al Qaeda, why
didn't they take credit for it early on?
Al Qaeda does not always take immediate credit for acts they
perpetrate. For quite a while after 9/11, Al Qaeda denied any
involvement in the 9/11 attacks although they did praise them.
Second, Jabarah told interrogators of the FL587/Al Qaeda connection in
May of 2002, less than 6 months after the crash. The delay in
this information becoming publicized is due to the FBI and U.S.
Intelligence holding it back.
Third, if FL587 was downed by a shoe bomb (or some other type of
incendiary device), this would be the first explosion on board a U.S.
airliner on U.S. soil. Al Qaeda might have been testing a new
technique (e.g. shoe bombs) originally developed by Ramzi Yousef and
KSM. To take immediate public credit might hamper any future
attacks –– like the December 22, 2001 shoe bombing attempt by Richard
Reid. Reid tried to take down an American Airlines
with such a new device. Was his the first attempt to use this new
weapon? Or had they proven the efficacy of this design on American Airlines
Wouldn't the FBI have found explosive
residue if there had been a bomb on board?
The NTSB Structures Report stated that the majority of the fuselage of
the airplane was consumed in the post-crash fire. Therefore, it's
possible, if we take the word "consumed" literally –– that there wasn't
enough of the aircraft left to test for residue.
The FBI has made no specific statement about what tests they did or did
not perform, how much of the aircraft they tested, whether or not the
victim's bodies were tested, or if they received any positive residue
results which were later determined to be false positives. The
only information we have about "residue" is the NTSB's Bob Benzon
saying that there was none found. But the NTSB does not scan for
explosive residue or look for signs of criminal activity. This
would mean the FBI performed those residue tests –– tests for which
there are no reports or public statements. Several months after
the crash, the FBI's Public Affairs Office in New York told U.S.Read
that the FBI "conducted
whatever tests we felt were necessary to conduct," but would not
release any information about what those tests were or what the results
of the tests were.
But if the NTSB has it right –– that there were no residue traces found
(or any evidence of criminality) –– why has the Department of Justice
stated to U.S.Read
is still an "ongoing criminal
FAA Security Circular dated December
Almost a month after the crash of FL587, and 11 days before Richard
Reid's attempt on American Airlines FL63, the FAA issued a security
bulletin to the airlines which included the warning that terrorists
might try to hide weapons in their
The FAA never answered our question, "Where did the intelligence for
this warning come from?" This warning is notable in that it
preceded Richard Reid's attempt but followed FL587. Was something
learned from FL587, or did someone remember Ramzi Yousef's Operation
Bojinka plans from the mid 1990's –– which included hiding parts of a
bomb in shoes?
There is still additional physical evidence and information that will
be released as part of our Preliminary Report on usread.com. With
every additional piece of information, an explosion on board Flight 587
becomes the most consistent and reasonable explanation that we
see. Please read our other sections from the Preliminary Report
available now, and stay tuned for additional sections in the weeks
We welcome your comments and feedback
this article at U.S.Read's new web log at: http://usread.blogspot.com/ or
you can send us an email by clicking