The Jersey City terrorism incubator: Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, Magdy Elamir — and others

Audio of Dave Emory, Sander Hicks and Alan Duncan talking about Magdy Elamir, Michael Chertoff and Osama Bin Laden
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New Jersey and Terrorism…Perfect Together

By Allan P. Duncan
September 2, 2004

Between the Fall of 1998 and June 2001, a group of Middle Eastern men living in New Jersey is caught on tape in an ATF weapons sting conspiring to buy millions of dollars of weapons including components for nuclear bombs. Three years after the operation ended, all of the people involved in the deal are free.
. . .
I will also examine the history of terror links to the North Jersey area from before the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center right up until 9-11. Michael Chertoff, by the way, was the U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey from 1990-1994 and was in office when the first attack on the World Trade Center took place. For reasons that escape me, the Jersey City area and particularly the Al Salam mosque from which the Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman spewed his hatred, was allowed to continue to be one of the major hubs of terrorist activity in the United States .

Part 1: The Jersey City Rat Pack
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This case pales in comparison, however, to a pre-9-11 weapon sting in which a 32 million dollar deal for a ship load of weapons, 500 Stinger Missiles, nuclear triggers, weapons grade plutonium and “heavy water” for a nuclear dirty bomb were the weapons of choice of Middle Eastern men seeking to arm Osama Bin Laden and the Taliban. This case never made screaming headlines when it ended in June 2001 and most people have never head about it. The attacks on 9-11 were three months away and the American press was not as eager to pounce on every story that even mentioned the word terrorist. In addition to the weapons deal, the World Trade Center was specifically mentioned as a future target by one of the characters in this drama and yet none of the people involved in this case are currently in prison. Why?
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The Strange Story of Dr. Magdy Elamir
The August 2, 2002 edition of Dateline NBC, brought to light the story of another North Jersey character named Dr. Magdy Elamir.

“Last fall, “Dateline” obtained information about Magdy Elamir. He’s a prominent doctor, a neurologist with a practice in Jersey City . Born and educated in Egypt , he moved to this country about 20 years ago and since then has built a fortune. He lives in a mansion, is generous to local charities and is an active supporter of both political parties.

Should counterterrorism investigators take an interest in Dr. Elamir? Well, “Dateline” obtained a document last fall — foreign intelligence report, that makes a startling allegation about the doctor — that he has had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years. The report was given to a senior member of Congress, Ben Gilman, back in 1998, when he was Chairman of the House International Relations Committee.

“We have a former FBI person on our staff and I asked him to look it over,” says Congressman Gilman. “He thought it was credible enough to turn it over to the intelligence people. And we turned it over to the FBI practically immediately.”

This was in 1998.

The report alleges that an H.M.O. owned by Dr. Elamir in New Jersey was “funded by ben [sic] Laden” and that in turn Dr. Elamir was skimming money from the H.M.O. to fund “terrorist activities.”
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