RealNews

Al-Qaeda Leader Here in 1995

One of Osama bin Laden’s most trusted lieutenants, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed — now in US custody for masterminding the Sept. 11, 2001 attack on the United States — visited the Philippines in 1995 along with his nephew Ramzi Ahmed Yousef. Sources in the military and police intelligence community said Mohammed was part of a terrorist cell which plotted the assassination of Pope John Paul II during his visit to the Philippines for the World Youth Day in January 1995. The sources described Mohammed as one who “lived lavishly” and met with his associates — including other known terrorists, Abdul Hakim Murad and Wali Khan — in five-star hotels in Metro Manila. Mohammed was said to have courted a Filipina dentist in Manila and even chartered a helicopter to fly over her house while calling over his cellphone just to impress her. Police intelligence sources said Mohammed used Abdul Majib for an alias. “At that time, the attention was focused on Yousef. We did not know immediately that he is in the top hierarchy of the al-Qaeda. It was proven only thereafter,” a ranking police intelligence officer told The STAR. The same police officer disclosed Mohammed first occupied a unit at the Josefa Apartments in Manila where police eventually arrested Murad. Full Story

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