Abdul Rahman Yasin
Born: April 10, 1960;
Place of Birth: Bloomington, Indiana, United States;
Abdul Rahman Yasin is an Iraqi-American fugitive who helped make the bombs used in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing attack. He has been characterized in the American media as “the only participant in the first attempt to blow up the World Trade Center in 1993 who was never caught.” Yasin’s whereabouts remain unknown.
Early life and education:
Yasin was born in Bloomington, Indiana, where his father, originally from Iraq, went to study for a PhD. Yasin is therefore an American citizen. Shortly after his birth, Yasin’s family moved back to Iraq. Yasin’s FBI report states that he is epileptic.
Arrival in United States:
In 1992, Yasin was able to use his American birth citizenship to obtain a US passport and thus enter the United States.
Recruited by Ramzi Yousef, he had acid burns on his legs from bomb chemicals. Soon following investigation of the attack on February 26, 1993, Yasin was picked up by the FBI on March 4, 1993, the same day as the arrest of Mohammed A. Salameh, in a sweep of sites associated with Salameh. Yasin was found in the apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey, that he was sharing with his mother.
Yasin was taken to New Jersey FBI headquarters in Newark, where he was reportedly very cooperative. Agents had Yasin retrace where and how the WTC bomb had been built in New York and New Jersey. Yasin said he was released after giving agents names and addresses, and went to Iraq.
Return to Iraq and Imprisonment:
In March 1993, Yasin boarded Royal Jordanian flight 262 to Amman, Jordan. From Amman, Abdul Rahman Yasin went on to Baghdad. November 1997 marked the month when two others were convicted in a court for their contributions to the bombing, but only “one other man believed to be directly involved in the attack, Iraqi Abdul Rahman Yasin, remained at large.”
In 1994, the Iraqi authorities arrested and imprisoned Yasin, and sent an emissary to the State Department to inform them that they had crucial information about a perpetrator of the World Trade Center attack and were prepared to cooperate. The State Department did not respond to the offer.
In spite of the fact that the U.S. government had been informed of Yasin’s whereabouts, on October 10, 2001 Yasin’s name appeared at the top of the list of the FBI’s 22 Most Wanted Terrorists, which was released to the public by President George W. Bush with a $5 million reward for information leading to his capture.
In 2002, following the 9/11 attacks, Iraq attempted to hand Yasin over to the US government and began negotiating extradition protocols with the Americans via Egypt. However, negotiations hit a snag when US intelligence refused to provide Iraq with a receipt citing unfair demands – an official statement acknowledging Yassin had been handed over.
On May 23, 2002 the Iraqis gave Lesley Stahl of CBS News access to an Iraqi prison to interview Yasin for a segment on 60 Minutes where Yasin appeared in prison pajamas and handcuffs. The Iraqis stated they had held Yasin prisoner on the outskirts of Baghdad since 1994. Yasin hasn’t been seen or heard from since the 2002 prison interview.
After the invasion, large numbers of Iraqi government documents were retrieved by U.S. intelligence. An anonymous US intelligence official claimed to USA Today that “some of the analysts concluded that the documents show that Saddam’s government provided monthly payments and a home for Yasin.” However, intelligence and law enforcement officials disagreed on its conclusiveness.
Al-Qaida sanctions listing:
Despite the fact that a direct al-Qaida role in the 1993 WTC attack was never established, Abdul Rahman Yasin was listed on 17 October 2001 as being associated with the organization known as al-Qaida, the individual named Osama bin Laden and the organization known as the Taliban, for his participation:
“in the financing, planning, facilitating, preparing or perpetrating of acts or activities by, in conjunction with, under the name of, on behalf, or in support of”, “supplying, selling or transferring arms and related materiel to” or “otherwise supporting acts or activities of” Al-Qaida (QDe.004), Osama bin Laden and the Taliban.
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