The following is an archived copy of a message sent to a Discussion List run by the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

Views expressed in this archived message are those of the author, not of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.

[Main archive index/search] [List information] [Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]

[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]

[casi] Iraq Offered to Hand Over 1993 WTC Suspect

Television journalist Leslie Stahl strikes again.

In a report that aired Sunday on "60-Minutes" (US - CBS), Stahl revealed that
one of President Bush's most-wanted terrorists -- a man accused in the 1993 WTC
bombing -- has actually been jailed in Iraq for eight years.  Iraq made two
offers to hand him over to the United States, but was rejected both times.

(Stahl, you'll recall, was the journalist who elicited then-UN Ambassador
Madeleine Albright's infamous "price is worth it" comment about the death of
500,000 Iraqi children associated with sanctions.  For an web video (AVI) clip
of this exchange, see

The 1993 WTC bombing is relevant to current attack-Iraq hysteria, because
several proponents - chiefly Laurie Mylroie - has argued that Iraq was behind
the bombing, or that it's sheltered conspirators.  Stahl's report rips a hole in
these arguments.

For details see and
Immediately below is a Mylroie excerpt, and summaries of Stahl's report from
Reuters and the BBC.

Drew Hamre
Golden Valley, MM USA



Q: Did we ever demand from Baghdad the extradition of Yasin?

Laurie Mylroie: Under the Clinton administration, although it was known that
Yasin was in Baghdad, there was no serious effort to demand his extradition.
Perhaps pieces of paper were sent to Baghdad, but there was no serious effort to
pursue it. And if the Iraqis did not cooperate, then to use that to show that
Iraq is a state that harbors terrorists. ... In fact, I suggested to Martin
Indyk, who was NSC adviser in the fall of 1993, that he do exactly that.

I pointed out to him Yasin's presence in Baghdad. I said, "Well, if the Iraqis
aren't going to hand him over -- which you don't expect them to -- then let's
use that to isolate Baghdad and show it's a terrorist state." Martin thought
that was a good idea when I spoke to him, but nothing ever happened.

June 2, 2002

Report: Iraq Offered to Hand Over Terror Suspect
Filed at 10:25 p.m. ET

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Iraq is holding accused World Trade Center bomber Abdul
Rahman Yasin in jail and has made two offers to hand him over to the United
States but was rejected both times, the CBS News program ``60 Minutes'' reported
on Sunday.

CBS broadcast excerpts of an interview with Yasin, who is on the FBI's list of
22 most wanted terrorists, which it conducted last month at the Baghdad prison
where the Iraqis told the network he had been held for eight years.

Yasin, born in the United States of Iraqi parents, moved to Iraq days after
being questioned and released by the FBI in connection with the 1993 bombing of
the World Trade Center in which six people were killed.

His presence in Iraq has been cited as possibly bolstering any case the Bush
administration might make for a military attack on the country, which the U.S.
president has accused of being part of an ``axis of evil.''

Iraq's Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz told ``60 Minutes'' Baghdad had made two
offers to return Yasin to the United States, first in 1994 during the Clinton
administration and again after the Sept. 11 attacks.

``Twice, we ask them to come and take him. They refused,'' Aziz said.

He said Iraq wanted to give up Yasin as proof that it had no involvement in
either the 1993 bombing or the Sept. 11 attacks that killed about 3,000 people.

Yasin, who has a $25 million reward on his head, was the only suspect in the
1993 case to elude the U.S. justice system. The man believed to have been the
mastermind of the bombing, Ramzi Ahmed Yousef, has been jailed for life in

Aziz said Iraq made its second approach to Washington through a third party ``in
October 2001 to tell the Americans that Yasin is in Iraq'' to counter U.S.
suspicions that it had a hand in the Sept. 11 attacks.

He said the Iraqis themselves were suspicious about why U.S. authorities had
allowed Yasin to leave the country after questioning him.

``We fear that -- sending Yasin back to Iraq, after ... interrogating him, was a
sting operation,'' Aziz said.

``To tell people later on, look, this man who participated in that event now is
in Iraq, etc., and use it as they are doing now, using many false pretexts, you
see, to hurt Iraq in their own way.''

CBS quoted an FBI agent who was involved in the 1993 bombing probe that Yasin
had provided useful information but had been released because the agency did not
have enough evidence against him.

Aziz said Yasin, who has not been charged with a crime in Iraq, had not been
turned over to the United States because Washington refused to sign a receipt
for his delivery.

CBS said neither the White House or the State Department had agreed to comment
on Aziz's remarks.

But a U.S. intelligence official told the network that Iraq's offer came with
``extreme conditions,'' including demands that the United States sign a lengthy
document concerning Yasin's whereabouts since 1993.

``We refused to sign because we believe their version was inaccurate,'' the
official said.

Yasin told CBS that Ramzi Yousef's original plan had been to plant bombs in
Jewish neighborhoods in the New York borough of Brooklyn.

``I am very sorry for what happened,'' he said. ``I don't know what to do to
make it up. My father died because of pain and sadness. It caused many troubles.
I don't know how to apologize for it.''


Monday, 3 June, 2002, 12:44 GMT 13:44 UK
US 'refused Iraq's terror suspect offer'

Tariq Aziz says the US refused its offers

Tariq Aziz told the American news programme 60 Minutes that Iraq had twice
offered to hand over Abdul Rahman Yasin, who is in prison in Iraq and is on the
FBI's list of most-wanted terrorists.

And Mr Yasin himself told 60 Minutes that the FBI let him go after interrogating
him in the days following the 1993 bombing - even driving him home.

The CBS television show, broadcast on Sunday, said neither the White House nor
the State Department would comment on Mr Aziz's statements.

But the show quoted a US intelligence source as saying that Iraq had attached
"extreme conditions" to the handing over of the suspect.

The FBI has offered $25m for Yasin's arrest

The programme included an interview conducted in May in a prison near Baghdad
with the US-born Mr Yasin, who apologized for his role in the 1993 bombing.

"I am very sorry for what happened. I don't know what to do to make it up. My
father died because of pain and sadness. It caused many troubles. I don't know
how to apologise for it," Mr Yasin said.

Mr Yasin, who grew up in Iraq, said he was arrested and questioned just days
after the bombing by FBI agents in Jersey City, New Jersey.

But he said he co-operated with the FBI, and they released him. He then fled the
US for Iraq.

He also said that the plotters behind the 1993 bombing had originally planned to
set off explosives in Jewish neighbourhoods in New York, before deciding on the
World Trade Center as a target.

An FBI agent told 60 Minutes that the agency did not believe it had enough
evidence to hold Mr Yasin at that time, but acknowledged that his release was a

Iraqi officials told 60 Minutes that Mr Yasin had been in prison there since
1994, but he has not been charged with any crime.

'Without conditions'

The US has offered a $25m reward for Mr Yasin's capture. He is the only suspect
in the World Trade Center bombing to escape prosecution.

Mr Aziz said the offers to hand him over - first in 1994 and again in 2001 after
the 11 September attacks - were made without conditions.

He said Iraq wanted to prove it was not involved in the 1993 bombing, or in the
11 September attacks that finally brought down the World Trade Center's twin

But the unnamed US intelligence official quoted by 60 Minutes said the Iraqis
wanted the US to sign a document laying out where Mr Yasin had been since 1993,
and that the US did not agree with their version of the facts.

Sent via the discussion list of the Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq.
To unsubscribe, visit
To contact the list manager, email
All postings are archived on CASI's website:

[Campaign Against Sanctions on Iraq Homepage]