RealNews

Former Bin Laden friend denies terror ties

A Saudi merchant with links to Al Qaeda speaks to the US press for the first time since 1994. Mohammed Jamal Khalifa is cross-legged on the ground, picnicking on a feast of fish and rice. He is upbeat as he points out the features of the restaurant he runs with his brother Abdullah, built into a park-like setting near the Red Sea coast north of Jeddah. Yet Mr. Khalifa is unsure how long he will enjoy these freedoms. He is a wanted man, believed by analysts and intelligence agencies, including the FBI and CIA, to have links to the heart of Al Qaeda. Using charities in the Philippines as a cover, Khalifa is alleged to have funded the radical Islamic group Abu Sayyaf. He is also said to have spearheaded plots including a foiled 1995 plan to hijack planes and crash them into the Pentagon and CIA headquarters – widely seen as a blueprint for the Sept. 11 attacks. The victims of Sept. 11 have named Khalifa in their multibillion dollar lawsuit for damages. Full Story

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