The man alleged to be the mastermind of a plot to bomb the
United Nations said he was told to kidnap Henry A. Kissinger as
trade bait to free those charged in the World Trade Center bombing,
according to secretly taped conversations.
Several hundred pages of transcripts, reviewed by The
Associated Press, give the clearest view yet of an alleged
conspiracy that prosecutors say included the bombing. Fifteen men
will stand trial in the conspiracy case in September.
Four men were convicted Friday in the bombing of the World
Trade Center. They face up to life in prison without parole at
their sentencing May 4.
The conversations were secretly recorded by Emad Salem, a
government informer who is expected to be the prosecution's star
witness in the coming trial. So far, lawyers in the case have filed
about 500 pages of the roughly 1,000 pages of transcripts in U.S.
District Court in Manhattan. Several dozen pages had been leaked to
According to transcripts:
A plot to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak outside
the Waldorf Astoria Hotel was thwarted when the FBI learned of the
Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, 55, a blind Egyptian cleric who
prosecutors say inspired and authorized the conspirators, told the
men "to inflict damage to the American Army."
Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, said to be the mastermind, wanted to
kill a man because he thought the man was an FBI informer. That
man, Abdo Mohammed Haggag, is expected to testify against the other
Siddig Ali suggested sniper attacks on Jewish leaders in
Manhattan, including state Assemblyman Dov Hikind, who at one point
had pushed to have El Sayyid A. Nosair retried in the killing of
extremist Rabbi Meir Kahane. Nosair was convicted of related
weapons charges and is charged in the plot to bomb the United
When the defendants were arrested in the trade-center case,
Siddig Ali suggested to Salem that they could kill some FBI agents
in retaliation. He also said that if the defendants were sentenced
to life in prison, "We'll hit them with missiles, and we will take
William Kunstler, Siddig Ali's lawyer, said the defendants had
been manipulated by Salem.
"These guys are hopped-up guys, Islamic fundamentalists,"
Kunstler said Sunday. "They have wild thoughts, no questions about
it. But wild thoughts are not a crime."
The defendants in the conspiracy case were arrested June 24
during a raid on a garage where some of the men were found mixing
chemicals, alleged to be for a bomb. …