Years before 9/11, an LA-mole was gathering al Qaeda intel

Written by


This week marked the 21-year anniversary of the bombing of the World Trade Center in New York City.

On February 26, 1993, terrorists, who were later convicted, detonated a truck full of explosives in the parking garage of the Twin Towers complex in an effort to topple the buildings. Their plan didn’t work.

But it set into motion a serious effort to strike the United States at the heart of its financial power: Lower Manhattan. Eight years later, extremists would succeed in taking the buildings down.

For several years after the first Trade Center attack, the FBI wooed and later employed a former driver (whose name hasn’t been released) to the ringleader of the attack, Omar “the Blind Sheikh” Abdel-Rahman.

The mole reportedly provided a lot of information and intelligence on terrorist group al Qaeda, but he later left the FBI to join the CIA as a spy. After the spy agency sent him to Bosnia, he was killed by al Qaeda.

Many years after his death, the informant’s help to US intelligence is now being reported (in the Washington Times) after being overlooked a few years ago in a little-known employment dispute court case.

And NBC News picked up the story about the mole from there, reporting about his Los Angeles connection. Including information about his help in thwarting a terrorist attack on a Masonic Temple here in LA.

Indeed, the mole’s work for federal law enforcement and intelligence was reportedly never mentioned to 9/11 Commissioners, as they were investigating the lead-up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Richard Esposito from NBC’s Investigative Unit based in LA joined us to talk about the story.