The Australian press today (The Australian
; The Daily Telegraph
) is reporting several interesting details about Australian terrorist suspect Mamdouh Habib, one of 35 detainees at Guantanamo Bay whose case is being reviewed for his possible release. The U.S. Government lawyers presented papers to a District Court containing several allegations:
- Habib admitted having prior knowledge of the September 11 attacks.
- He helped move chemical weapons within Afghanistan, near Kabul.
- Habib conducted surveillance of buildings, hospitals and schools.
- He was in telephone contact Ibrahim El-Gabrowny, convicted over the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.Additional connections between Habib and those convicted in the 1993 World Trade Center Bombing were reported in the Australian press last summer:
- In July, it was reported that Habib's lawyer, Steven Hopper, revealed that Habib had been a schoolfriend and neighbor in Egypt of Mahmud Abouhalima, also convicted in the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center ("Habib, WTC bomber 'old schoolfriends'" Lincoln Wright, Canberra times, July 10, 2002).
- The Canberra Times also reported in July that Ibrahim El-Gabrowny telephoned Habib and asked for Habib's financial support for Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, the blind cleric who was convicted for the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.
- In the same July article in the Canberra Times, Habib was also reported to be a close associate of Ramzi Yousef, convicted of planning the 1993 WTC bombing.
- Habib stayed in an al-Qa'ida safe house in the months leading up to September 11.
- He planned to hijack a plane himself.
- Habib trained with al-Qa'ida, and its Kashmir-based offshoot Lashkar-e-Taiba.
- Sheik Mohammad Omran, of Melbourne, alleged earlier this year that Habib had assembled a war chest of $12,000 to send Islamic rebel fighters to Chechnya.
- Habib has claimed he was tortured by the Egyptian secret police before being transfered to Guantanamo Bay in 2003.
Labels: Afghanistan, al Qaeda, Al-Qa'idah, Al-Qaeda, Al-Qaida, Australia, Mamdouh Habib, Ramzi Yousef, September 11, Sheikh Omar Abdel Rahman, World Trade Center