Category Archives: WANTED CRIMINALS & POI

The 1993 World Trade Center bombers: Where are they now?

The 1993 World Trade Center bombers: Where are they now?

CBS News
by Joshua Norman
February 26, 2013


A police photographer adjusts a light at the edge of the crater in an underground parking garage at the World Trade Center February 28, 1993.

A police photographer adjusts a light at the edge of the crater in an underground parking garage at the World Trade Center February 28, 1993. 
/ Getty Images


On Feb. 26, 1993, an ugly new phase of terrorism was ushered in when Jordanian Eyad Ismoil drove Kuwaiti Ramzi Yousef and a 1,300-pound nitrate-hydrogen gas enhanced bomb also stuffed with cyanide into the parking garage below the World Trade Center in Manhattan.

Yousef lit a 20-foot fuse, and the two fled quickly enough to evade immediate capture by authorities. The bomb killed six people and injured more than 1,000 that day.

When the bomb went off, their goal of bringing down the Twin Towers failed, but the event was the first in a continuing string of indiscriminate attacks on civilians by terrorists designed solely to kill as many as possible.

1993 World Trade Center, bombers, ramzi yousef
The seven men convicted for the 1993 World Trade Center bombing in New York City


By 1997, seven men had been convicted for the attack: Yousef, Ismoil, Egyptian Mahmud Abouhalima, Palestinian Mohammad Salameh, Kuwaiti Nidal A. Ayyad, Iraqi Abdul Rahman Yasin and Palestinian Ahmad Ajaj. Only six of them, however, had been caught.

The one thing that bound them all was a radical Egyptian cleric, Omar Abdel Rahman, a blind sheik who had once set up shop in Jersey City, New Jersey. Rahman was ultimately convicted of masterminding several attacks — some carried out, some not — on American interests.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed holds up a piece of paper during a court recess at a military tribunal pretrial hearing at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, Oct. 15, 2012, in this picture of a sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin and reviewed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
Khalid Sheikh Mohammed holds up a piece of paper during a court recess at a military tribunal pretrial hearing at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba, Oct. 15, 2012, in this picture of a sketch by courtroom artist Janet Hamlin and reviewed by the U.S. Department of Defense.
/ AP Photo/Janet Hamlin

Rounding out the circle of plotters is the infamous Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, who is not only Yousef’s uncle, but also later claimed to be the mastermind of the 9/11 attacks which ultimately brought the Twin Towers down. Mohammed gave Yousef advice, tips, and cash in the run up to the 1993 bombing.

Five of the seven main bombers are serving life sentences in the federal Supermax prison in Florence, Colo.

Yousef is currently suing for more human contact after 15 years in prison. According to the Los Angeles Times, he wrote to the warden: “I request an immediate end to my solitary confinement and ask to be in a unit in an open prison environment where inmates are allowed outside their cells for no less than 14 hours a day.”

Nidal Ayyad, an alleged Rutgers University graduate, is apparently serving his life sentence in a federal penitentiary in Terre Haute, Indiana

Abdul Yasin was tracked down by “60 Minutes” in May of 2002 in an Iraqi facility outside of Baghdad. He had successfully fled the U.S. after the 1993 bombing and remained high on the most-wanted list the entire time.

Yasin, 40 at the time, expressed regret to Leslie Stahl about the bombing and claimed he was talked into it by his fellow bombers, whom he met for the first time while living in Jersey City.

“[Yousef and Salameh] used to tell me how Arabs suffered a great deal and that we have to send a message that this is not right … to revenge for my Palestinian brothers and my brothers in Saudi Arabia,” Yasin told Stahl. He added that they also prodded him about being an Iraqi who should avenge the defeat of Iraq in the Gulf War.

The “60 Minutes” interview is likely the last time any Westerner officially spoke to Yasin, who by all accounts remains on the lam to this day.

Khaled Sheikh Mohammed is currently on trial in Guantanamo Bay for his role in the 9/11 attacks. Mohammed is kept under such heavy security that his lawyers can’t even reveal routine conversations with their client. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.

Blind sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman sits and prays inside an iron cage at the opening of court session in Cairo Aug. 6, 1989.
Blind sheik Omar Abdel Rahman sits and prays inside an iron cage at the opening of court session in Cairo Aug. 6, 1989.
/ AFP/Getty Images

The true “celebrity” of the attacks, for lack of a better term, is the so-called “Blind Sheik,” Omar Abdel Rahman. His name and his teachings are repeatedly invoked by jihadists and conservative Muslims the world over as inspiration.

In September 2003, he was transferred from the federal Supermax prison in Colorado to a medical prison in Springfield, Mo., after officials said Rahman might lose his limbs to diabetes.

Militants who attacked the Ain Amenas gas field in the Sahara in January of this year had offered to release two of the three Americans eventually killed in the attack in exchange for the freedom of Rahman and Aafia Siddiqui, a Pakistani scientist convicted of shooting at two U.S. soldiers in Afghanistan. The Obama administration rejected the offer outright.

Al Qaeda’s current leader, Ayman Al-Zawahri, has repeatedly invoked Rahman as a reason for kidnapping and killing Westerners. In an undated two-hour videotape posted last October on militant forums, he said that abducting nationals of “countries waging wars on Muslims” is the only way to free “our captives, and Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman.”

Even more moderate Muslims appear to revere the Blind Sheik. In his first public speech last June addressing tens of thousands of mostly Islamist supporters, Egypt’s then-president-elect Mohammed Morsi vowed to free Rahman.

The U.S. has not budged in its refusal to consider freeing Rahman in any negotiations so far, so it is highly unlikely Morsi will succeed.


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123 sexually exploited children identified by HSI during ‘Operation Sunflower’ Operation commemorates anniversary of an 11-year-old girl rescued in Kansas; reflects the agency’s growing focus on victim-centered investigations

123 sexually exploited children identified by HSI during ‘Operation Sunflower’

Operation commemorates anniversary of an 11-year-old girl rescued in Kansas; reflects the agency’s growing focus on victim-centered investigations

U.S. Dept of Homeland Security
Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Washington D.C.
January 3, 2013

123 sexually exploited children identified by HSI during 'Operation Sunflower'
123 sexually exploited children identified by HSI during ‘Operation Sunflower’



One hundred twenty-three victims of child sexual exploitation were identified by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents during an international operation aimed at rescuing victims and targeting individuals who own, trade and produce images of child pornography. Of that number, 44 children were directly rescued from their abusers and 79 were identified as either being exploited by others outside of their home or are now adults who were victimized as children.

HSI launched Operation Sunflower in November 2012 to commemorate the one-year anniversary in which the identification of a sunflower-shaped highway road sign led to the rescue of an 11-year-old girl in Kansas. Operation Sunflower was executed through the first week of December 2012, but victim identification and rescue efforts continue under HSI’s Operation Predator.

“The sexual abuse of young children, often at the hands of people they trust, is a particular wrong,” said ICE Director John Morton. “Whenever our investigations reveal the production and distribution of new child pornography online, we will do everything we can to rescue the victim and prosecute the abuser even if takes us years or around the world to do it. A relentless fight against child exploitation is the only answer.”

HSI and partner law enforcement agencies arrested 245 individuals during the operation, which took place Nov. 1 to Dec. 7. Of the 123 victims, 110 were identified in 19 U.S. states.

Of the 123 victims identified during Operation Sunflower: five were under the age of 3, nine were ages 4 to 6; 21 were ages 7 to 9; 11 were ages 10 to 12; 38 were ages 13 to 15; and 15 were ages 16 to 17. Twenty-four of the victims identified are now adults who were victimized as children. Seventy were female and 53 were male.

HSI victim assistance specialists, located in offices around the country, provide direct assistance to victims and families, and work with both child and adult victims to provide referrals for services and resources in their area. The specialists remain involved during the investigation and often beyond the sentencing of the perpetrator.

Focusing on Victim Identification

In 2012, HSI special agents, working closely with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC), partially identified multiple individuals across the country who were sexually abusing young children and taking photos or videos of the acts. Special agents worked with the Department of Justice and its Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section to issue national Jane and John Doe warrants to arrest these perpetrators and rescue their victims. The most recent case was solved two weeks ago in Florida.

Now, the public’s help is being sought with any leads that can help provide clues in several cases and rescue more victims.

“We applaud our partners at ICE for their worldwide work in identifying these victims of child sexual exploitation and for helping to remove these children from extremely dangerous situations,” said NCMEC CEO John Ryan. “We know that there’s more work to be done. Anyone could know these victims, not knowing that they’re being harmed. They could be your neighbors’ children, your child’s classmate, or even your own child. We thank Director Morton and everyone at ICE for their strong commitment to rescuing the most vulnerable of victims.”

Seeking ‘Jane and John Doe’ and Two Other Unknown Suspects

On Monday, HSI special agents in Los Angeles obtained a Jane and John Doe warrant based on a longstanding, unsolved case involving a widely distributed series of child pornography images. The photographs, which authorities believe were taken about 11 years ago, depict a male and female adult sexually molesting a girl who looks to be about 13 years old at the time. Although the male suspect’s face has been purposely obscured by an unknown person, the female suspect’s face can be seen in a number of the images. John Doe appears to be a white male, 40 to 50 years old; Jane Doe appears to be a white female, 35 to 45 years old. The suspects would now be approximately 11 years older. The female suspect has several tattoos, including: a black tattoo on her right hip resembling a butterfly; a tattoo on her right shoulder blade depicting the outline of a curled up cat; a tattoo with words across the top of her left wrist; and a tattoo of unknown design on the upper portion of her left breast.

Based upon detailed forensic analysis, investigators suspect the abuse depicted in the images may have occurred in Los Angeles, possibly in the San Fernando Valley-area. HSI special agents in Los Angeles have interviewed dozens of individuals seeking further leads in the case, but they have yet to confirm the suspects’ or victim’s identities. Although the victim is likely an adult now, HSI continues to investigate the case in the hope that the perpetrators can be located and prosecuted, preventing the abuse of future victims.

The sexual abuse images in this case were first discovered by HSI special agents in Chicago in 2007 in an unrelated child pornography investigation. The material was submitted to NCMEC’s Child Victim Identification Program, which determined the victim had not yet been identified and could be in danger of ongoing sexual exploitation. After determining there was probable cause to believe that the abuse occurred in California in approximately 2001, NCMEC referred the case to HSI Los Angeles for further investigation.

The images of two other unknown suspects, wanted for questioning in other unsolved child pornography investigations, are also being publicized. Anyone with information or tips that can assist in these investigations is encouraged to call 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or visit Tips may be reported anonymously.

The identity and whereabouts of the victims and the perpetrators in these cases remain unknown.

The Sunflower Case

Operation Sunflower is named after the first case conducted one year ago under the agency’s newly created Victim Identification Program. Operation Sunflower commemorates the one-year anniversary of this first successful rescue under the new program.

The Sunflower case began in November 2011 when Danish law enforcement officials shared with HSI their discovery of material and posts on a chat board indicating that a 16-year-old boy was planning to rape an 11-year-old girl. The suspect was soliciting advice on a pedophile board and posting images of the girl. One image held a clue that proved to be invaluable to investigators: a yellow road sign visible from the window of a moving vehicle. The road sign depicted a sunflower graphic that was unique to the State of Kansas.

For days, HSI special agents drove in pairs along Kansas highways, seeking a comparison between the images in the photos and the actual locations. Just 13 days after receiving the material, and by combining sophisticated photo forensics with traditional law enforcement methods, special agents located the residence in a small Kansas town. These efforts made it possible for law enforcement to intervene and rescue the girl before she was further victimized.

Additional Statistics and Information

In fiscal year 2012, 292 victims were identified or rescued as a direct result of HSI child pornography investigations. Fiscal year 2012 is the first year in which HSI tracked the number of victims rescued as part of its child sexual exploitation investigations. This number does not include the hundreds of victims rescued overseas by foreign law enforcement agencies as a result of HSI cases and leads.

Also in fiscal year 2012, a record number of child predators – 1,655 – were arrested on criminal charges related to these types of investigations. Since 2003, HSI has initiated more than 24,000 cases and arrested 8,720 individuals for these types of crimes. HSI arrested 1,335 predators in 2011 and 912 in 2010.

Operation Sunflower was conducted as part of Operation Predator, a nationwide HSI initiative to protect children from sexual predators, including those who travel overseas for sex with minors, Internet child pornographers, criminal alien sex offenders and child sex traffickers. HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE or by completing its online tip form. Both are staffed around the clock by investigators.

Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to NCMEC, an Operation Predator partner, via its toll-free 24-hour hotline, 1-800-THE-LOST.

HSI is a founding member and chair of the Virtual Global Taskforce, an international alliance of law enforcement agencies and private industry sector partners working together to prevent and deter online child sexual abuse. NCMEC is also a member of the VGT.

Fact Sheets

Learn more about Operation Sunflower’s Significant Cases and Unsolved Cases.

Note to Editors:  HD video and still images of this operation may be downloaded from the following website, after completing a brief registration process:

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“9-11” REMEMBRANCE: Watch the 11th Anniversary Ceremony Live Webcast


Watch the 11th Anniversary Ceremony Live Webcast



World Trade Center: Majestic Beauty & Pride!




World Trade Center Under Attack!


World Trace Center… Now Only In Our Memories!


The 9/11 Memorial will provide a live webcast of the New York City ceremony marking the 11th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Join us in remembering and paying tribute at

The live webcast will begin at 8:30 a.m., Tuesday, September 11, 2012.



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Illegal immigrants could reap more than $7B in tax credits this year, senator says

Illegal immigrants could reap more than $7B in tax credits this year, senator says

FOX News
August 22, 2012
March 20, 2012: Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., the ranking Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP)

Illegal immigrants could receive more than $7 billion this year in federal tax credits, according to one estimate, thanks to a loophole in the law that allows people not authorized to work to reap the government payments with no questions asked. 

Sen. Jeff Sessions’ office calculated that, based on recent trends, illegal immigrants could receive roughly $7.4 billion through a provision known as the Additional Child Tax Credit. That’s more than quadruple what the payout was four years ago, but the payments have been steadily increasing over the past decade. 

Though illegal immigrants are prohibited from receiving similar tax credits, a quirk in the law allows them to qualify for the child tax credit. And it’s a “refundable” credit, meaning recipients can reap the money — with average checks totaling about $1,800 — even if they’ve paid no taxes.   

An aide to Sessions, R-Ala., the top Republican on the Senate Budget Committee, said the issue is a “serious matter that deserves attention” and another sign of how “Washington is disconnected from reality.” 

Illegal immigrants can qualify because even people not authorized to work in the U.S. are supposed to file returns with the IRS. If they don’t have a Social Security number, they are provided what’s known as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number in order to file returns. 

And those filers are not excluded from claiming the Additional Child Tax Credit, which is offered to some families with children under 17 years old. 

A report last year by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration found the claims added up to $4.2 billion in 2010. Sessions’ office calculated the $7.4 billion figure based on the IG report numbers and White House budget numbers. 

The IG report last year recommended that Congress pass legislation to “clarify” whether the tax credits should actually be paid to those not authorized to work in the U.S. 

Sessions co-sponsored a bill earlier this year to bar illegal immigrants from receiving the credit, but the bill was blocked from reaching the floor by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. 

Reid at the time said the bill targeted the children of low-income Hispanic families. 

Recent expansions to the credit under the stimulus law are set to expire at the end of the year.

Mexican Drug Trafficking (Mexico’s Drug War)

Mexican Drug Trafficking (Mexico’s Drug War)


New York Times
June 12, 2012


Although Mexico has been a producer and transit route for illegal drugs for generations, the country now finds itself in a pitched battle with powerful and well-financed drug cartels.

In January 2012, the Mexican government reported that 47,515 people had been killed in drug-related violence since President Felipe Calderón began a military assault on criminal cartels soon after taking office in late 2006.

The official tally, provided by the attorney general’s office, included data only through September 2011, and it showed that drug-related killings increased 11 percent, to 12,903, compared with the same nine-month period in 2010. Still, a government statement sought to find a silver lining, asserting that it was the first year since 2006 “that the homicide rate increase has been lower compared to the previous years.”

But that was unlikely to calm a public scared by the arrival of grisly violence in once-safe cities like Guadalajara and in the region around Mexico City. 

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