Eight years ago a prescient article appeared in The Village Voice, which bears noting in the aftermath of the terror of Sept. 11.
Here are the facts about the Mossad connection to the first attack on the World Trade Center (WTC) revealed by investigative reporter Robert I. Friedman in the Aug. 3, 1993 article in The Village Voice, an independent left-wing New York weekly that has occasionally dared to raise criticisms of Israel.
Friedman reported that Ahmad Ajaj, a 27-year-old West Bank Palestinian held in federal custody for conspiring to bomb the World Trade Center, may have been a Mossad mole, according to Israeli intelligence sources.
Ajaj was arrested at Kennedy Airport on Sept. 1, 1992, after he arrived on a Pakistani International flight from Peshawar carrying a forged Swedish passport and bomb-making manuals. He was taken into custody, and subsequently pleaded guilty to entering the country illegally.
Ajaj's traveling companion was Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, an Iraqi who law enforcement sources say is a "key player" in the World Trade Center bombing.
Although the FBI identified Ajaj as a senior intifada terrorist, with links to Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic fundamentalist organization, Kol Ha'ir, a respected Hebrew-language weekly published in Jerusalem, said Ajaj was never involved in intifada activities or with Hamas or even the Palestine Liberation Organization.
Instead, according to Kol Ha'ir, Ajaj was actually a petty crook arrested in 1988 for counterfeiting U.S. dollars out of East Jerusalem. Ajaj was convicted of counterfeiting and then sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison.
According to Friedman, writing in The Village Voice: "It was during his prison stay that Mossad, Israel's CIA, apparently recruited him, say Israeli intelligence sources. By the time he was released after having served just one year, he had seemingly undergone a radical transformation."
Friedman reports that Ajaj had suddenly become a devout Muslim and an outspoken hard-line nationalist. Then, Ajaj was arrested for smuggling weapons into the West Bank, supposedly for El Fatah, a subdivision of the PLO.
But Friedman's sources in Israeli intelligence say that the arrest and Ajaj's subsequent deportation were "staged by Mossad to establish his credentials as an intifada activist. Mossad allegedly 'tasked' Ajaj to infiltrate radical Palestinian groups operating outside Israel and to report back to Tel Aviv. Israeli intelligence sources say that it is not unusual for Mossad to recruit from the ranks of common criminals."
After Ajaj's "deportation" from Israel, he showed up in Pakistan where he turned up in the company of the anti-Soviet mujahedin rebels in Afghanistan.
This in itself could point further toward Ajaj working for the Mossad, for according to Covert Action Information Bulletin (September 1987) the funding and supply lines for the mujahedin was not only the "the second largest covert operation" in the CIA's history, but it was also, according to former Mossad operative Victor Ostrovsky (writing in The Other Side of Deception) under the direct supervision of the Mossad.
After Ajaj's ventures with the mujahedin, he popped up in New York and purported to befriend members of a small so-called "radical" clique surrounding Sheikh Abdel-Rahman who was accused of being the mastermind of the World Trade Center bombing.
On Feb. 26, 1993, the day of the first World Trade center bombing, Ajaj was "safe" in federal prison serving a six-month sentence for entering the country on a forged passport. Later, he was indicted for conspiracy in the WTC bombing.
Said Robert Friedman:
If Ajaj was recruited by Mossad, it is not known whether he continued to work for the Israeli spy agency after he was deported. One possibility, of course, is that upon leaving Israel and meeting radical Muslims close to the blind Egyptian sheikh, his loyalties shifted.
Friedman reports a second frightening possibility:
Another scenario is that he had advance know ledge of the World Trade Center bombing, which he shared with Mossad, and that Mossad, for whatever reason, kept the secret to itself. If true, U.S. intelligence sources speculate that Mossad might have decided to keep the information closely guarded so as not to compromise its undercover agent.
Friedman broke amazing ground with these revelations that were ignored by the mainstream press.
Exclusive To American Free Press By Michael Collins Piper