In the years leading to the 9/11 attacks, no single agent of al Qaeda was more successful in compromising the U.S. intelligence community than a former Egyptian army captain turned CIA operative, Special Forces advisor, and FBI informant named Ali Aboeulseoud Mohamed.
Spying first for the Central Intelligence Agency and later the FBI, Mohamed even succeeded in penetrating the John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center at Fort Bragg--while simultaneously training the cell that blew up the World Trade Center in 1993.
He went on to train Osama bin Laden's personal bodyguard, and photographed the U.S. embassy in Kenya taking the surveillance pictures bin Laden himself used to target the suicide truck bomb that killed 224 and injured thousands there in 1998.
Mohamed accomplished all that fully nine years after the FBI first photographed the cell he trained using automatic weapons at a firing range on Long Island. He lived the quiet life of a Silicon Valley computer executive while slipping off to Afghanistan and the Sudan to train some of al Qaeda's most lethal terrorists in bomb-making and assassination tradecraft.
He was so trusted by bin Laden that Ali was given the job of moving the Saudi "Emir" from Afghanistan to Khartoum in 1991 and then back to Jalalabad in 1996--much of that time maintaining his status as an FBI informant who worked his Bureau control agent like a mole.
Mohamed twice played host to al Qaeda's second-in-command, Dr. Ayman al-Zawahiri, who traveled to the U.S. in the 1990s to raise money for the Jihad. He used his Army vacation to hunt down elite Soviet Spetsnaz commandos in Afghanistan, and later toyed with gullible special agents in New York and San Francisco while he learned the inner workings of the FBI's al Qaeda playbook.
In the annals of espionage, few men have moved in an out of the deep black world between the hunters and the hunted with as much audacity as Ali Mohamed--known to his al Qaeda brothers as Ali Amiriki, or "Ali the American."
A deep-penetration al Qaeda sleeper, he succeeded as a triple agent, gaining access to the most sensitive intelligence in the U.S. counter-terrorism arsenal. Next to Ramzi Yousef, the bomb maker who plotted both attacks on The Twin Towers, Mohamed remains the greatest enigma in the war on terror.
Brazenly slipping past watch lists, he moved in and out of the U.S. with impunity for years, marrying an American woman, becoming a naturalized citizen, seeking top secret security clearance from a Silicon Valley defense contractor and working for the FBI while servicing the top echelons of al Qaeda.
And in a training video taped while he was a U.S. Army sergeant at Fort Bragg, NC in 1987 Mohamed openly states what has now become the goal of ISIS: the creation of an Islamic state.
This is a direct quote from Mohamed in that video first reported in my HarperCollins investigative book TRIPLE CROSS in 2006.
"Islam cannot survive in an area without political domination. Islam itself, as a religion, cannot survive. If I live in one area, we have to establish an Islamic state, because Islam without political domination cannot survive.
"We have what we call a dar ul harp, which is the world of war, and dar ul Islam, which is the world of Islam. Dar ul harp, the world of war, comprises all the territory that doesn't have Islamic law.
"So if I live in an area of Egypt, for example, or in the Middle East, I will consider it dar ul harp. I will consider it the world of war, because actually it doesn't apply the Islamic law one hundred percent. As a Muslim I have an obligation to change dar ul harp to dar ul Islam and establish Islamic law. It's an obligation. It's not a choice."