FBI eMails concerning Moussaoui

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Trail One[edit]

"Our duty agent received a call..."[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: W. Jay Abbott
  • Date: 8/15/01 08:53PM
  • Subject: Short Notice Legat Checks

Minneapolis has a short notice check request for info on a French citizen. We don't really know what we have here, but here's the (weird) story.

Our duty agent received a call from a company that does flight simulator training for Boeing 747 Series 400 pilots. They are now training a student who just showed up to learn to fly the 747. He has no pilot's license and minimal previous flight experience (in any aircraft type). He paid between $6000 and $8000 dollars to essentially learn to take off and land the 747-400. His excuse is weak: he just wants to learn how to do it! That's pretty ominous and obviously suggests some sort of a hijacking plan.

He's in the U.S. since 02/2001 on a visa waiver from the UK, where he claims to reside. He's traveling on a French passport, although the flight instructor who has been with him for the last few days believes he's Middle Eastern. Indices show that his last name is Lebanese,  .

I'm not even sure if you can run checks on French citizens, but if so, here he is:

  • Zacarias Moussaoui, DOB 05/30/1969
  • French Passport 00AE27016

Can you determine if he is known to   or other  . I will do an EC to follow up if you need one, but we're working on fairly short notice since his training is only scheduled to go for a few more days and we don't want him to depart this area. Our INS guy on the JTTF is pretty sure we can arrest him on a visa overstay, but we want to get all we can on him first.

Thanks in advance for anything you can do.

Harry Samit
(612) 376-3365
(612) 490-5192 (Cell)


  • From: W. Jay Abbott
  • To: Harry Samit
  • Date: 8/16/01 04:50AM
  • Subject: Re: Short Notice Legat Checks

I'll get something written up today and try to walk it over   by tomorrow. When the ec is written, e-mail me. If I haven't already received it, I'll pull it off of the ACS.[1]

Weird one.

Regards, Jay Abbott, alat paris.

Trail Two[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: Cynthia McGrath, David Rapp, Greg Jones, John Wees
  • CC: Scott Billings, W. Jay Abbott
  • Date: Fri, Aug 17, 2001 10:08 AM
  • Subject: 747 Documents (199M-MP-60130)

Hello all,
As discussed, here are the numbers for the two individuals connected to the 747 Matter. Please note that Al-Attas gave us consent to search the room and full access to his stuff. Moussaoui (who is the subject of the case and contracted for the 747 training) denied consent to search anything, so consequently anything we have on him he voluntarily provided to INS in his passport case.

We have not accessed Moussaoui's other items, including his cell phone and laptop. I'm sure once this is done (following a criminal or FISA search warrant) we'll have more.

  • Zacaraias Moussaoui, 05/30/1968
  • Claims to have been born in France to Moroccan Parents
  • (NONUSPER) Here on a Visa waiver and is in INS custody as an overstay. Will be held until returned to country of origin.
  • Numbers on French Passport:
  • 00AE27016
  • 10387901 (handwritten)
  • Issued: 10/31/2000
  • Address on French Passport:
  • 23A Lambert Road
  • Londres SW2 5BB

Moussaoui claims that he hsa been resident in London for the last six years and advised that his current passport is a replacement document for an original passport that went through the washing machine.

He also had a card issued by the French Consulate in London with the number 10387901

  • UK Driving License# MOUSS605308Z99PL 02
  • Address: 23A Lambert Road, London SW2 5BB
  • UK Banking Info
    • Barclays Bank PLC
    • Dulwich Group
    • 223/229 Rye Lane, Peckham, London SE 15 4TY
    • 0171-639-6411
    • Account# 30520055

Pakistan Entry Visa issued by the High Commission For Pakistan in London

  • line of data illegible
  • line of data illegible
  • line of data illegible
  • line of data illegible

Hussein Al-Hassan Al-Attas, DOB 01/23/1978

Was born in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia to Yemeni Parents. Consequently holds a Yemeni Passport (though he claims never to have been there).

  • Yemeni Passport#0503683
  • Admitted to U.S. on F1 visa
  • Is in the process of applying for a Pakistani visa

Interviews of the above individuals indicate radical Islamic Fundementalist beliefs held at least by Moussaoui.

There will be an EC/LHM[2] to follow, hopefully tomorrow. This info is being provided to recipients for any investigation they can help us with. Leads will be set in the EC when we have a better picture of what's going on!

Harry Samit
(612) 376-3365
(612) 490-5192 (cell)

Trail Three[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: CYynthia McGrath, David Rapp, Greg Jones, John Wees
  • Date: 8/18/01 6:33PM
  • Subject: BAP

What does everyone think of calling in the NSD Behavioral Assessment quacks? They probably have a psych profile for an Islamic Martyr and could tell us if our 747 guys fit.

If anyone has a contact there, let me know, otherwise, I can call the guy who came to an in-service I was at who is a field BAP guy in Tampa.


Trail Four[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: Greg Jones, Joseph Hummel, John Wees
  • Date: 8/18/01 6:33PM
  • Subject: BAP

I saw in ACS that you already sent an outlet to ^British authorities^. Thank you very much for your extremely prompt attention in this matter.

I just wanted to update you on where we stand. It seems that thus far ITOS/RFU has determined that we have neither reasonable suspicion that a federal fellony was in progress (as needed to open a 255 and pursue search warrants for Moussaoui's effects), or a connection to a foreign power (as neccessary to apply for a FISA-authorized search warrant for his effects), I don't agree, but they're in charge.

Here's the unpelatable option we face (in about one week) in the absence of either of the above outcomes

  • Under the terms of the visa waiver program, INS deports Moussaoui to the UK (his country of origin) with all of his property, including his 747 manuals (and with nothing searched).
  • Even assuming that ^British authorities^ is ready to pick him up at Heathrow when he arrives (and assuming they have the legal tools to search his effects), he will had had the preceding 5 hours to clean the hard drive on his laptop and to eat/shred or otherwise render illegible all of his paperwork.
  • That puts the UK authorities back where they were before we alerted to Moussaoui, only he's that much more careful.

Therefore, this is a plea to you to see what they the UK authorities have on that will either:

  • Help us to establish that he is acting on behalf of a foreign power (Which RFU seems to think must be a named group or a country)


  • Help us to establish that he is involved in the commission of a federal offence against the U.S. (it's obviously less likely ^British authorities^ will be able to help with this one).

Thanks in advance.

(612) 376-3365

Trail Five[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: Greg Jones, Joseph Rivers, Michael Maltbie
  • Date: Tuesday, August 21, 2001 2:03PM
  • Subject: Secret Service Notification

It's imperative that the USSS be apprised of this threat potential indicated by the evidence contained in the EC. If he seizes an aircraft flying from Heathrow to NYC, it will have the fuel on board to reach DC.


Trail Six[edit]

Here's the info...[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: Charles Frahm
  • Date: 08/24/2001 11:13 AM

Here's the French info on our subject.


Moussaoui is a Chechyan recruiter...[edit]

  • From: Charles Frahm
  • To: Harry Samit
  • CC: Scott Billings, W. Jay Abbott
  • Date: Fri, Aug 24, 2001 10:36 AM
  • Subject: Re: Fwd: 199M-MP-60130(Zacarias Moussaoui)

Harry, a note fdrom       Chuck,

Many thanks for this information - i'm beginning traces on the names/phone numbers asap.

French info also was highly interesting - am not sure why this is not enough to firmly link Moussoui to a terrorist group - Ibn al-Khattab is well known to be the leader of the Chechen Mujahidin movement and to be a close buddy with Bin Ladin from their earlier fighting days. From a read of the   info, Moussoui is a recruiter for Khattab. I can confirm from our own info that in fact the dead guy,  , in fact was a fighter for Khattab who perished in Chechnya in April 2000.

Also, please send us via fax the photos of Moussoui and Attas - this will be very helpful in identifying these guys.

Thx again -


Regards, Chuck

Trail Seven[edit]

Original phonebook request[edit]

  • From: Joseph Rivers
  • To: W. Jay Abbott
  • Date: 8/28/01 12:37AM
  • Subject: Zacarius Moussaoui - 747 training

Heard back from HQ on this FISA search issue. They are concerned that we can not confirm the Zacarius Moussaoui we are dealing with is identical to the one known to  . We know the French believe it's the same person that conducted recruiting for Chechnya.

In an effort to demonstrate the probability, which we believe is low, can you determine just how many Zacarius Moussaoui's are listed in the white pages in France. Mike Maltbie will need a number for the MP FISA package.

Apparently, the FISA will be pursued based on the connections between Moussaoui and Ibn al-Khatab, Commander of the Chechyan Mujihadeen and known UBL associate.

Please e-Mail the number. Thanks.

Joe Rivers.

Response about phonebook[edit]

  • From: W. Jay Abbott
  • To: Joseph Rivers
  • Date: 8/28/01 4:53PM
  • Subject: Re: Zacarius Moussaoui - 747 training

I have access to the "white pages" for Paris, but for all of France may be tooo tall of an order. I go to   tomorrow (Wed) and I've been told   that they are going to try to have more info for me then, hopefully info that will further confirm Moussaoui's identity. I'll advise you on both matters as soon as I get something.

Regards. Jay.

Trail Eight[edit]

Question about Warrant permissions[edit]

  • From: Catherine Kiser
  • To: Harry Samit
  • Date: 09/--/01, -:38PM

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"I am so desparate to get into his computer"[edit]

  • From: Harry Samit
  • To: Catherine Kiser
  • Date: 09/--/01, -:55PM
  • Subject: Request Emergency FISA Search Warrant

ITOS/RFU SSA Maltbie has determined that we do not have enough for either a criminal search warrant or a FISA search warrant of Moussaoui's computer. We did not pursue this further because they have directed that this is an INS matter and that the "FBI does not have a dog in this fight". Of course, I strongly disagree.

The current plan is to deport Moussaoui to France,   has advised that they have the legal authority to hold Moussaoui and search his effects. This search was a distant third in my list of desires, but at this point I am so desparate to get into his computer, I'll take anything.

My big fear is that the French will determine that most, if not all of Moussaoui's criminal activity occurred outside France and they have no ability to convict (he's lived in the UK since circa 1995). In that case, he walks. I don't know if they'll have to return his property in this case (including the 747 flight manuals). but it seems possible.

The current wrangle with unclear acronym over whether John Wees (our INS co-case Agent) and I can go to France to be present for the search. LEGAT Fans [3] relayed  's request for FBI personnel to do just that, but RFU[4] is opposed.

I'll keep you posted, but I am not optimistic. Thanks for your help and assistance.

Take care,

"God help us all"[edit]

  • From: Catherine Kiser
  • To: Harry Samit
  • Date: 09/10/01, 3:45PM
  • Subject: Re: Request Emergency FISA Search Warrant

Thanks for the update. Very sorry this matter was handled the way it was, but you fought the good fight. God Help us all if the next terrorist incident involves the same type of plane.

take care,


  1. The FBI's "Automated Case Support" System
  2. Electronic Communication/Letterhead Memorandum
  3. LEGAT is an FBI term for an international legal attache.
  4. The FBI's special "Radical Fundamentalist Unit"

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).