Top Al Qaeda operative Abu Zubaydah, arrested in Pakistan recently, had reportedly requested for six Canadian passports from millennium bomb plotter Ahmed Ressam to launch a series of terror attacks on various American cities prior to September 11 terrorist attacks.
The passports were to facilitate travel for Abu Zubaydah to the United States along with his top deputies, Abu Omar, Farid Al-Jazairi, Abu-Ruwah Al-Maghribi, Abu Suleiman Al-Filistini and Mustapha Al Maghribi.
"According to Ressam, Abu Zubaydah informed Ressam that he wanted to bring the above identified individuals to the United States to conduct terrorist activity, possibly in the form of placing of several bombs in various US cities," documents obtained by ABC television channel said.
Thirty-one-year old Abu Zubaydah is a Palestinian born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. He had trained Ressam at a terrorist camp in Afghanistan before Ressam returned to British
Columbia, Canada, and holed up at a Vancouver motel to make a bomb intended to blow up Los Angeles International Airport.
Ressam, an Algerian, was stopped on December 14, 1999 as he tried to cross into the United States with a truckload of bomb components. He was convicted in April 2001 of nine charges, including smuggling and terrorist conspiracy.
Details of Ressam's statement to authorities show the Algerian militant told the FBI in July 2001that Abu Zubaydah was planning to blow up targets in several US cities. Ressam named people for whom Abu Zubaydah wanted passports.
Abu Zubaydah, also known as Zayn al-Abidin Muhammad Husayn, graduated from Jazeera Secondary School in Riyadh and left his family home 10 years ago to participate in the jihad in Afghanistan. He rapidly rose to the rank of bin Laden's operational director and is believed to have participated in several terror attacks, including the 1998 bombing of two US embassy buildings in East Africa.
He was also said to be the main conduit for Western-based Islamists who made back-and-forth trips to bin Laden's training camps. In fact, Ressam, and many others from several
Western countries, were housed in Abu Zubaydah's guest house in Peshawar, Pakistan, before being allowed into training camps, including one at Khaldan, where Zubaydah was the "emir."
Abu Zubaydah was tracked by the FBI to the small Pakistani city of Faisalabad on Thursday and captured in a raid jointly carried out by US agents and Pakistani police. He was shot in the raid but survived.
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