Profile of a Muslim Terror Informant

Meet Osama Eldawoody. He's an informant for the FBI. He goes to mosques and tries to figure out who might view Osama bin Laden favorably and who might, with the right direction, support and supplies, engage in an act of terrorism against the U.S. While working for the FBI, he attended 575 services, sometimes as often as four or five a day. He's now in the witness protection program.

Meet Shahawar Matin Siraj, 24, from Pakistan. With Eldawoody's help, the U.S. convicted him of plotting to blow up a New York subway station and he is serving 30 years in prison.

Siraj's family and supporters say he was simply an angry, foolish young man with no connection to actual terrorists or capacity to obtain bombs, playing along -- for a while -- with a man who he believed was his closest friend. They say Eldawoody effectively goaded Siraj into plotting to plant explosives -- to be supplied by Eldawoody -- in the subway station, just below the Macy's store in midtown Manhattan, and then recorded those conversations.

Here's Eldawoody's role in the plot:


As they discussed possible attacks, it was Eldawoody who suggested getting uranium-235 and using a remote-controlled detonation. It was Eldawoody who suggested obtaining nuclear materials from the Russian mafia. "Oh, we can't find it over here, like in Florida?" asks Siraj, who then suggested looking for nuclear materials near the Rocky Mountains, or calling Pakistani nuclear scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan for advice.

Sometimes the conversations, recorded mostly in Eldawoody's car, included James Elshafay, a 19-year-old diagnosed schizophrenic who later pleaded guilty and testified against Siraj.

On the way to the subway station, here's what Siraj said:

In the last recording, a video, inside Eldawoody's Toyota on Aug. 23, 2004, Siraj said he didn't want to place the bomb himself, and said he would have to ask his mother for permission.

Later, his mother, Shahina Parveen, a nurse, said he never asked.

Eldawoody and his wife and daughter have been relocated. Here's what he's up to now:

He has his dreams. He wonders if he might sell the film rights to his story. And someday he wants to start his own organization, take off on a national speaking tour of mosques and train other Muslims to become informers, like him.

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  • Display: Sort:
    Same old story (none / 0) (#1)
    by Ben Masel on Tue May 29, 2007 at 09:23:11 PM EST
    Snitches get piecerate, so they concoct plots, enlist others, and then sell them off.

    It's the water... (none / 0) (#2)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:49:58 AM EST
    Siraj's family and supporters say he was simply an angry, foolish young man...

    Here we have a young man who can't resist trying to make a dirty bomb. The Ft Dix 6 can't resist attacking an US Army base. The Doctor in FL who just wants to help wounded terrorists but would go on a jihad if a legitimate religous leader told him to...

    There must be something in the water in the US that causes young Moslems to become angry and do foolish things.  

    I mean, what else could it be?? An inability to accept a culture with an emphasis on freedom, women's rights....? Naaaaah.

    It's gotta be the water.

    The thing is Jim.... (5.00 / 1) (#3)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:25:32 AM EST
    We will never know what this dude was really capable of...because the FBI was party to instigating him.

    If it isn't entrapment, its pretty damn close.

    Wouldn't a better course of action be to try and talk some sense into an angry, foolish man than trying to talk him into being a violent, angry, and foolish man?


    kdog (none / 0) (#4)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:48:53 AM EST
    So the problem is we picked this guy up before he killed someone.

    You know, if someone tried to talk me into making a bomb, or killing somebody, etc., I'd run, not walk, to the nearest FBI agent. That they didn't convicts them.

    We aren't talking about robbing a 7-11.

    We have a real problem. Too many young moslems aren't assimilating.

    This leads them to listen to radical religious types and follow their advice.

    No.... (5.00 / 1) (#5)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 09:54:22 AM EST
    thats not the problem.  The problem is we do not know he was gonna kill someone.  We do know that the FBI informant tried to talk him into killing someone....I can only describe that as bad form.

    kdog - And he went along with it. (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2007 at 10:23:20 AM EST
    You know, I'm skeptical about informants. And in run of the mill matters, I'm mostly willing to say, don't use.... don't believe....etc.

    But look. This, as I said, isn't a conspiracy thing about robbing a 7-11. At some point in time every one of the people who became radical Moslems and were involved in the events shown in the link were "talked into" the acts.

    kdog, I believe you are basically a libertarian with some bad law enforcement experiences that give you a bias. No problem here. I was raised to be wary of the police/government. Most poor people are.

    But it is okay to hold the view that "these actions" are ok in this matter, and not okay in the other matter.


    I don't know.... (none / 0) (#7)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 01:10:55 PM EST
    Lets just say its not ok for somebody on the FBI payroll to try and talk anybody into commiting any crime.

    No reason to confuse the issue with its ok "here" and not ok "there".  Lets have the FBI investigate crime, not instigate it.


    kdog - And I don't know (none / 0) (#8)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2007 at 03:02:19 PM EST
    how much "talking" was done.

    Either way, the man could have walked away if he found making a disturbing..


    Fair enough old buddy.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 03:40:45 PM EST
    As you may have guessed, institutionalized shadyness troubles me more than any lone whacko...I know I'm weird.

    Weird? (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Wed May 30, 2007 at 03:48:16 PM EST
    maybe you are, but certainly not for the reasons you mention above.

    No one except the fascists and wannabes like to see the big guy misuse power and take advantage of the little guy.


    squeaky.... (none / 0) (#11)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 05:01:05 PM EST
    Actually I think I am strange in this regard.  

    Ask a 100 people this hypothetical...if executing one innocent man could save 100,000 lives, would it be justified?

    I don't think either of us would like the numbers bro...we're the weirdos.


    Kdog (none / 0) (#12)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2007 at 06:23:11 PM EST
    The lone wacko is the fruit of a group of people teaching him things.

    May both of us... (none / 0) (#13)
    by kdog on Wed May 30, 2007 at 07:34:57 PM EST
    never have an FBI informant infiltrate the group of people we keep around us teaching us things, posing as a friend...lest we become lone whackos, or falsely accused railroaded lone whackos, whatever the case may be.

    kdog (none / 0) (#14)
    by jimakaPPJ on Wed May 30, 2007 at 08:30:37 PM EST
    Sorry Kdog, but I'm not going to feel sorry for someone who has conspired to blow up innocent people.

    All of this is just a battles of a long fight. Iraq makes perfect sense when you understand that.