Title: More on Islamic Jihad Trial Confessions Document Number: FBIS-NES-1999-0309 Document Type: Daily Report Document Title: FBIS Translated Text Document Region: Near East/South Asia Document Date: 07 Mar 1999 Division: Arab Africa Subdivision: Egypt Sourceline: MM0903103099 London Al-Sharq al-Awsat in Arabic 7 Mar 99 p 6 AFS Number: MM0903103099 Citysource: London Al-Sharq al-Awsat Language: Arabic N/A Subslug: Part two of a three-part report by Khalid Sharaf-al-Din from Cairo: "Fundamentalists' Leaders Formed Bogus Organizations To Confuse the Security Organs" [FBIS Translated Text] Ayman al-Zawahiri, leader of the Egyptian Jihad Organization, is at present living somewhere unknown to his colleagues in the international fundamentalist organization or even the Egyptian security services or those that cooperate with it. But according to the defendants' confessions, he is certainly leading this Organization and sending his instructions to his followers by telephone, fax, or e-mail. Al-Zawahiri is keen to keep the Organization in the form of separate cluster groups, each one composed of a limited number of persons led by a trusted member. Each group is trained to carry out specific and small tasks. When a major operation is undertaken, the Organization's leader distributes the tasks among the various groups in total secrecy. The aim of this precise distribution of roles is to avoid having the organization's members uncovered all at once. Should any of the groups be seized, its members cannot give any detailed information other than what they know about their colleagues in that group only. But it appears that when al-Zawahiri laid down this security plan, he did not take into account the possibility that one of the most important cadres would fall into the trap and give details about all the groups and their tasks all over the republic. According to the bill of indictment in the case, Ahmad al-Najjar's main tasks were to contact his followers in Egypt and supervise the Organization's actions inside the country. All its cadres fell when he fell into the hands of Egyptian security. His confessions revealed the nature of the Organization's role abroad and enabled the Egyptian security services to arrest a number of fugitive members who were living in Albania and some Eastern European countries. Al-Najjar revealed another leader living in Albania, defendant Ahmad 'Uthman Isma'il, and defendant 'Isam 'Abd-al-Tawwab who lived in Bulgaria before his arrest. Al-Najjar also revealed the Organization's wing in the United States. His confessions led to the arrest of Khalid Husayn Isma'il and 'Adil 'Alawi, both of whom carry US citizenship. He also revealed the role of 'Ali Abu-al-Sa'ud, an American of Egyptian origin who remains at large, in building the Organization and helping it with funds and media services. THE ALBANIAN NETWORK [subhead] We go back to the Albanian network, where the confessions of defendant Ahmad 'Uthman Isma'il, who was arrested in Albania too and handed back to the Egyptian security services, show that the Organization's group that resided in Albania for four years did not receive instructions to get involved in the war between Kosovo's Albanians and the Serbs, specially after their experience in the Bosnian war which uncovered a large number of the Organization's members. Bosnia was an open field for the arrest of many Jihad and Islamic Group [IG] members when they tried to turn Bosnia into another Afghanistan at heart of Europe and to move the phenomenon of Arab Afghans to it. The most prominent leader arrested there was Tal'at Fu'ad Qasim, the former official spokesman of the IG, which is banned in Egypt. He was arrested in Croatia as he was crossing into Bosnia in August 1995. According to IG sources, he was extradited to Egypt but the latter's security authorities categorically denied this. The Egyptian security services' memorandum, which was added to the defendants' confessions in the case now being tried before the Higher Military Court, said that the purpose of the emigration was to collect the necessary funds for financing terrorist actions, exploit the loopholes in European laws in order to carry out acts hostile to the Egyptian regime, and provide a secure environment for the Organization's leaders so as to facilitate their communications with their elements inside Egypt and arrange armed acts of violence to achieve their Organization's objectives. The case papers said that the defendants were planning to undermine stability in Egypt by threatening its interests and installations abroad. Members inside the country were given the role of reviving the Jihad's organizational formations under the leadership of fugitive defendant Ayman al-Zawahiri and of preparing for instructions to stage a coup against the regime and disrupt the country's constitution and laws. The papers also revealed that the IG, whose spiritual leader is Dr. 'Umar 'Abd-al-Rahman, and the Jihad under Ayman al-Zawahiri had cooperated for the first time since a dispute erupted between them after President al-Sadat's assassination. But the confessions of defendants in the Returnees from Albania case, foremost of them Ahmad al-Najjar, confirmed that Muhammad Shawqi al-Islambuli, an IG leader now living in Afghanistan under the protection of armed groups, cooperated with this Organization and took part in some contacts to provide several services to its members abroad. According to high-level security sources, these confessions, which are mostly restricted to organizational and ideological matters, are a full indictment of the defendants and their leaders abroad and therefore they are liable to receive sentences ranging between execution and life imprisonment. The sources said that members of the defense panel are trying to derail the trial by claiming that the Organization's members were not involved in actual armed actions against the state and society. But the Egyptian security services say that they uncovered this Organization and began the trial of its members before they started any action damaging to Egypt's stability. The fact that no acts of violence had happened does not negate the charge of terrorism leveled against the defendants, who prepared plans and tried to reunite their members inside and outside the country. Activities of the armed fundamentalist groups and organizations also transcended borders and therefore it was reasonable to "globalize" the means of confronting them. This was done by establishing multinational search groups that consisted of the representatives and envoys of various security organs. That is clearly seen in one of the pits of international conflicts where violent fundamentalist groups prefer to operate. A panoramic reading of successive events among the violent fundamentalist groups points to a number of facts and signals that must be noted before detailing the confessions of the defendants in the Returnees from Albania case. The case involves several thousands of pages of the investigations conducted by the Higher State Security Prosecution Office in Egypt. Following the long strides made by the Egyptian security services in monitoring and containing the armed activities of the Islamic groups and organizations inside Egypt and cutting off their leaders's traditional sources of finances and secure sources of armament abroad, the fugitive leaders' chances of achieving their objectives inside Egypt diminished. These fugitives now do not have the opportunity to "declare war" on the Egyptian Government except through the media, the fax, and the Internet. The Egyptian security services describe these attempts as desperate with one aim only, namely to prove that they still exist. THE FAX AND INTERNET WAR [subhead] But what connections do these warring factions have with the acts of physical liquidation or the war of faxes and e-mail? What is their connection with the Returnees from Albania case now before the Egyptian judiciary? The answer can be discerned from reading these organizations' current situation in light of the confessions made by those who went through the experience of trans-border and continental violence. The image becomes still clearer from another angle when an Egyptian security source categorically confirmed that the number of the real fundamentalist leaders who are fugitives abroad does not exceed 40. The sources drew a picture of the scenario being played out by a number of ordinary members who had split from these extremist fundamentalist leaders. They announce the name of a nonexistent bogus group and then start to issue statements and publications in its name or in the name of the organization with the aim of gaining media fame. Or they do so as a result of splits within these groups' ranks or as part of a plan to deceive the security services, divert their efforts to know the source of these statements and publications, or prevent them from reading the map of alliances or splits within the terrorist groups accurately. The security organs lean at present toward the view that the media bodies abroad that represent the real groups are those managed by known fundamentalist elements. The most dangerous of these is the "al-Murabitun Office" of the banned IG in Egypt. This office was established and continued to operate in Denmark's capital Copenhagen until its founder Tal'at Fu'ad Qasim disappeared in mysterious circumstances in Croatia in 1995. Muhammad Shawqi al-Islambuli, an IG leader and brother of al-Sadat's killer, then took over charge of the office and prepared the articles published by the IG on its special al-Murabitun Internet website [www.almurabeton.org]. The Jihad had practically split into a large number of organizations. There is a group that still follows the Organization's historic leaders, like 'Abbud al-Zummar, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in the al-Sadat assassination case. Another group declared its loyalty to Ayman al-Zawahiri, who later established the Vanguards of Conquest Organization. Most of this group's members were arrested by the Egyptian security services in 1993 and 1994. Other groups split from al-Zawahiri and have restricted their activities to issuing statements in the name of bogus organizations, like the Muhammad Makkawi (known as the colonel) group. Some of this group's members are operating in Europe. Others emigrated to South American countries and Africa. They exploit the advanced communications technology and the Internet to send bogus statements, express their views, and fight their adversaries in the Organization. TIES AND CONFESSIONS [subhead] In his confessions during the investigations into the Returnees from Albania case which Al-Sharq al-Awsat had seen, defendant Sabri al-'Attar dispelled the ambiguity that surrounded the connection between these bogus media units, as described by the security sources, and the prominent names in the large fundamentalist organizations. He also uncovered their link with other fundamentalist groups and organizations which are carrying out their activities in a number of major world capitals and which have dozens of members from various nationalities, most of them Arabs. The trip of Sabri Ibrahim al-'Attar, a member of the Returnees from Albania group, is a long and arduous one that began in Egypt and ended in Albania after going through several stages that included Sudan, Yemen, and Afghanistan. During this long trip, he saw, heard, and took part in creating myth-like events. He related them in his confessions before Egypt's Higher State Security Prosecution Office before he and other members of the international Organization were referred to the Higher Military Court in Cairo. In addition to the official charges against him in the official documents, he was also charged in other cases. His trip with the Islamic groups and organizations started 13 years ago, specifically in 1986 when he used to go to the 'Ibad-al-Rahman Mosque in one of al-Jizah's suburbs. He became acquainted with Khalid al-Tahir who undertook the task of educating him in shari'ah. He studied a booklet called The Islamic Action Charter, regarded as the IG's organizational constitution. Al-'Attar then grew a beard, wore the Afghan dress, and became an active IG member. He was called Abu-al-Miqdad for his hard-line views and constant involvement in all the IG activities and even the plans it was preparing. Al-'Attar's trip with the trans-border organizations began in 1991. In accordance with the very traditional scenario that was followed at that time, he went at first to perform the minor pilgrimage. During his stay in Saudi Arabia, he met one of the Afghan Arabs for whom he was carrying a message from the IG leaders in Egypt. This person, alias Abu-Ahmad, later discovered to be one of Usamah Bin-Ladin's men, gave him a forged passport to travel to Afghanistan. Al-'Attar joined the al-Ansar House in Hayderabad and then moved to the Muslim Brotherhood's [MB] al-Khalidiyah camp where members were prepared militarily. He went from Afghanistan, where conditions were not agreeable anymore, to the Balkan at the end of 1996. He arrived in Bosnia with the help of a Palestinian fundamentalist, a forged passport, and $5,000. He stayed for more than a year in Bosnia until he left, or tried to leave, for Albania but fell into the hands of the European and US intelligence services before he could so. Defendant al-'Attar made many and sensational confessions. He said: Mustafa Hamza, the prominent defendant who reportedly fled to Sudan before returning to Afghanistan according to the latest information available about him, admitted to him that he was responsible for the attempt to assassinate Egyptian President Husni Mubarak, in Addis Ababa. Al-'Attar also revealed the names of members of the IG's so-called Shura Council under Dr. 'Umar 'Abd-al-Rahman and also much about what went on inside the Khaldin [as transliterated] Camp in Afghanistan. Preliminary information from the file of the massive investigation conducted with him inside the Higher State Security Prosecution Office says that his full name is Sabri Ibrahim al-'Attar who obtained a technical-industrial diploma from the Technical Institute. He comes from a humble family and is the second of five brothers and sisters. Al-'Attar began to frequent the 'Ibad-al-Rahman Mosque in 1986. According to those who knew him, he stayed silent, did not speak to anyone, and left the mosque immediately after prayers until the day he joined the IG. The defendant said in his confessions: I minded my own business and was a religious fellow until I met someone called Khalid al-Tahir. He was a very religious man, had a beard, and wore a gelbab [Egyptian national dress]. I liked his personality and behavior. I knew that very religious people prayed in that mosque. He added: By the way, the jihad current was the prevailing one among the brothers 10 years ago. I went along at first with the peaceful Salafists and admired them. But I did not like their refusal to fight jihad for God. Their creed of loyalty and acquittal was very weak and therefore I thought of joining the IG. He went on to say that the IG first asked him to read its charter before he embarked on the trip of violence in 1991. He first traveled to Saudi Arabia during Ramadan to perform the minor pilgrimage. He met there a group of what he called mujahidin. He told them about his inability to find a job and to stay in Saudi Arabia. One of them, an Yemeni called Muhammad al-Ruwaysi, convinced him to take part in the Afghans' jihad. Al-'Attar said: This person sent me and another fellow, whose name was I believe Amin Muhammad Amin, to an Afghani fellow who was in Saudi Arabia but whose name I do not know. He told us that it was not easy for him to help us travel but he sent us to another person called Abu-Ahmad. We learned later that he was one of Bin-Ladin's men. I told him that I wanted to stay in Saudi Arabia until I had performed the pilgrimage or to go to Yemen to find a safe haven with brothers who were influential there. Abu-Ahmad immediately approved my trip to Yemen and then sent a friend of mine to Pakistan. He bought me a ticket to Islamabad and set the date for my travel from Yemen to Peshawar two weeks after the pilgrimage. His trip to Afghanistan began after his arrival in Yemen. A car was waiting for him when he arrived at Islamabad Airport and took him to Peshawar, where the al-Ansar House is located. He knew from those who accompanied him that Usamah Bin-Ladin was the one in charge of it. They asked him: Do you have any valuables? "I have only some little money, 50 Riyals only." The first lesson he was taught was the need to change his name and use an alias. He was called Abu-al-Miqdad. Continuing his confessions, al-'Attar said: Some young men from many countries were with me. We sat for days doing nothing, after which they gave us Afghan dress and sent us to a camp near the house called al-Faruq Camp. There I met an Egyptian called Abu-'Ubaydah. I trained for two months on the use of the Kalashnikov, the Gridov [name as transliterated], and heavy weapons like mortars. We also had theoretical exercises on the use of bombs for defense and attack. The trip did not end there. Whenever a round of training ended, he found himself starting another one that was as ambiguous as the others. After two months of constant training, he went with Abu-'Ubaydah to the Khaldin Camp on the Afghan-Pakistan borders. He stayed there around one month and a half during which he trained to carry heavy weapons. He then returned to the al-Ansar House. The training was so violent that he was hit by shrapnel in his back and treated at a Peshawar hospital. During that period, he met three Egyptians who had the aliases Abu-Majid, Abu-Ibrahim, and Abu-Islam. Al-'Attar had not yet at that time joined any specific group until an IG member asked him: How could you an Egyptian be present with us in the Khaldin Camp led by Palestinian Shaykh 'Abdallah 'Azzam and not join our Group? Al-'Attar said: While in the IG house in Peshawar, I met with Shihab-al-Din, who was in charge. He took me and the IG members to a new house in the Hayatabad quarter. We sat and talked about the IG ideas. He asked me: Which of our publications have you read? I said: I have read The Islamic Action Charter. He asked me again: Why do you disagree with us? I answered: I do not disagree with the members who apply what The Islamic Action Charter says, specially on the issue of changing what is disavowed. I believed before that this should be done gradually. I was influenced in this by the MB. Thus the doctrinal debate continued with Shihab-al-Din about disavowal, loyalty, acquittal, labeling rulings and systems infidel, and many other pivotal IG ideas. More training started at the same time and in parallel with this debate. The training involved all kinds of weapons, including an explanation of how bombs were made, the use of dynamite, and protection of IG members. He added that he met at that time with a senior IG official called Abu-Hazim. He later learned from the Egyptian newspapers that his real name was Mustafa Hamzah. He also met another official called Abu-Talal al-Qasimi and found later that he was one of those who went through the experience with him. His real name was Tal'at Fu'ad Qasim. He said that he established close ties with Abu-Hazim or Mustafa Hamzah who helped him go to Yemen and then to Sudan and then brought him back to Afghanistan before al-'Attar left for Bosnia as this will become clear in his confessions later on. THE ROUTE TO BOSNIA [subhead] Al-'Attar's sensational trip continued. He said in his confessions: The first time I thought about going to Bosnia was around the middle of 1994. But when brother Abu-Hazim learned about this he talked to me on the telephone. He opposed the idea and asked me to think deeply before making my decision. But I was very enthusiastic and wanted to travel. A person called Abu-'Ubaydah al-Yamani proposed that I travel overland to Yemen. I went to Sanaa with a person called Hassan. Arrangements were made there with Abu-'Ubaydah al-Yamani for my travel to Bosnia. But Abu-Hazim spoke to me on the telephone and proposed the idea of traveling to Sudan. I agreed after he convinced me. The brothers in Sanaa helped me go to Khartoum where an Egyptian brother was waiting for us. He took us to a farm south of Khartoum which I later learned belonged to the IG and had a five-bedroom house. I met many members there who used aliases, like Jamal 'Abd-al-Tawwab, 'Abd-al-Majid, Mahfuz, Tal'at, Sakhr, Samih, Abu-Hunayfah, Sami, Rabih, Majdi, Yasin, 'Abbud, Safwat, and many others. Continuing his confessions, al-'Attar said: On this farm, I learned how to use electric circuits in explosives and to operate the remote control. After being well prepared for jihad, it became our duty to carry out instructions without argument. We only had to listen and obey and carry out what our leaders wanted us to do. The first instructions came in March 1995 when the brothers proposed that I take charge of training the newcomers for jihad in preparation for carrying out actions to destabilize the regime in Egypt by dealing successive blows to the security organs and attacking tourists. This group included Muzfir, Hassan, 'Abd-al-Tawwab, Jamal, and 'Abd-al-Majid. They all used aliases and not their real names, which we were not permitted to use at all. He added: As Abu-Hazim gave me full responsibility for leading the mujahidin group that was to be sent to Cairo, I decided that I should personally pick the sites and the installations that each member or the group would attack, each according to his resources and abilities. The order came to send the group after completion of the training and religious preparations. That was in April 1995. Riding a Toyota pick-up, the group traveled for two days across the desert trails led by a car driven by a Sudanese guide whom no one was allowed to talk to. The group arrived at a certain area and there the guide asked them to walk a short distance, after which they would find themselves in the Idfu railway station. They carried forged identity cards. Al-'Attar confessed here: The group leader was carrying a forged identity card in the name of Samir Muhammad Sulayman and a card on which was written the Maritime Construction Company. The orders they were given by the 'amir [leader] in Sudan instructed them to separate as soon as they arrived in Egypt. I was the only one allowed to contact Abu-Hazim, Mustafa Hamzah, and the 'amir of this group. I blessed the brothers, prayed for them, and gave their 'amir the telephone number of my cousin in al-Matariyah. I and brother Abu-Hazim contacted this cousin before the group arrived to tell him that the brothers were coming and might need his help. He expressed his readiness not only to help but to take part too. Then my cousin and the 'amir set the dates for meeting the members. I had given each one of them a sum of money and kept for myself $2,000 so as to get married. When they learned about my marriage, some of them asked me for large sums of money so as to get married too. I gave some of them and promised the others that my cousin would look for good wives for them in Egypt. THE ADDIS ABABA OPERATION [subhead] Al-'Attar went on to say in his confessions: After the Addis Ababa incident, I spoke to brother Abu-Hazim to assure him about us. I asked him about the incident and he told me that the brothers in the IG were responsible for it. But when I saw his photograph in the newspapers, I knew that he was responsible with it together with a person called 'Umar and a third one called Fathi who was reported to be the mastermind of the Addis Ababa operation. I later learned that his name was Muhammad Siraj. The investigator asked him what books he had read. He said: I read many MB books, like one written by Fathi Bakir in which he relates the MB members' suffering in detention camps. I also read the book "In Nasir's Prisons" in addition to The Islamic Action Charter, and other books and research papers. That was in addition to the books on jurisprudence, interpretation of the Koran, Islamic history, and other books. The investigator asked him again about the reason that prompted him to join the IG in particular and not any other group. He said: I checked this group's course and it became obvious to me that it was the group to which the Prophet's sayings applied. I admired their committed, firm, and uncompromising ideas and also their way of jihad. This depends to a large degree on the jihad revolution against infidels, polytheists, and those violating God's law and His Messenger's sunna. The questions and answers continued. Some of them went on as follows: [Question] What are the IG's means for reaching power? [Answer] The ideal means is to change the regime by force and the use of deterrent weapons. Hitting tourism would weaken Egypt's economy and therefore facilitate its replacement with an Islamic system. Additionally, tourism spreads vice and corrupts the youth. [Question] What was the organizational structure of the IG that you joined? [Answer] It simply started with the general 'amir, that is Dr. 'Umar 'Abd-al-Rahman, then the Shura Council that consisted of 'Isam Darbalah, 'Asim 'Abd-al-Majid, Najih Ibrahim, Usamah Hafiz, Abu-Talal al-Qasimi, and 'Abbud al-Zummar. There was also a military committee. Abu Hazim, Mustafa Hamzah, was in charge of it together with Shihab-al-Din and 'Asim. When the Prosecutor asked him about his training in the use of bombs and explosives and his travel to fight on one of Afghanistan's fronts, al-'Attar revealed many surprises which we represent as they appeared in the investigations: [Question] Were you trained in how to use bombs and explosives? [Answer] Yes. I was trained in the Khaldin Camp in the use of bombs. They came to us and one of the brothers would explain this and list them as either defensive or offensive ones. They also taught us how to throw them. [Question] What were the types of bombs you were trained to use? [Answer] Only two types, Chinese and Russian. An Algerian brother called Abu-al-Yasin trained us. He also trained us to use heavy weapons. [Question] How long did you stay in the camp? [Answer] Around one month and a half. Abu-'Ubaydah also trained and prepared us for the front in Afghanistan. [Question] Where did you go after completing your training in Khaldin Camp? [Answer] After successfully completing the training, I and two Saudis, three Yemenis, an Algerian, and others went to the al-Ansar House where we stayed for two weeks. We then moved to the al-Shuhada' House in preparation for our going to field training front which we later learned was called the 'Yaqoubi Front [as transliterated] near Khost. There was no heavy fighting there. [Question] Where is the 'Yaqoubi Front situated? [Answer] Nearly north of Khost inside Afghanistan. It takes around four hours to travel on foot between it and the Khaldin Camp. It takes longer to travel by vehicle because the road is not level but passes through mountains and there are many narrow passes. [Question] What did you see on the 'Yaqoubi Front? [Answer] I saw mujahidin youths from many countries who carried all kinds of weapons. They were highly trained in their use. We were armed with all types of machine guns on the front. [Question] Did you recognize anyone during your presence on the front? [Answer] Yes. I met with the 'amir of the barracks, an Egyptian called Abu-Zayd. He was so cautious and kept silent that I started to believe that he did not belong to any group. He remained aloof but he was strict and apparently was a veteran expert in warfare. [Question] What was your role at the front? [Answer] To apply all that we had learned in the Khaldin Camp, such as the use of mortars and machine guns, sentry duty, and carrying out lighting strikes, which was called town wars. [Question] You said before that fighting on the 'Yaqoubi Front was not heavy. What did you mean by this? [Answer] I meant that there was no direct fighting with the communist enemy or the Afghan forces collaborating with him. We fired shells from our artillery on the enemy during training. The enemy retaliated in the same way. [Question] How long did you stay in the 'Yaqoubi Front? [Answer] Around one month and a half. We returned to the al-Ansar House when our stay ended. We stayed for around 10 days after which my ties with the al-Ansar House were cut off. We went to the al-Shuhada' House and then my ties with it were cut off too but my ties with the people there were not severed as we always met from time at several places on the Afghan front, most often by coincidence. [Question] What was your specific role on the Khost front? [Answer] I was with the BM gun position. I was on the first line of the confrontation with the enemy. But I was injured during the fighting one day. [Question] What happened after you were injured? [Answer] I was treated in one of Peshawar's hospitals. I do not recall its name now. I then left the whole country and went to Yemen as I had agreed with Abu-Hazim before. That was in preparation for my going to Sudan to train some mujahidin brothers from Egypt and teach them what I learned at the Afghanistan front. [Question] Were you able to go to Yemen after you were hit? [Answer] I asked for this from the officials in the al-Ansar House who refused to let me go until I had stayed for one year in Afghanistan. I then went to Yemen and from there to Sudan as I already told you. I returned to Afghanistan again and from there went to Bosnia with the help of a Palestinian brother who had good ties with the mujahidin there. [Question] What happened immediately on your arrival at the old IG house in Peshawar? [Answer] Abu-Islam and Abu-Ibrahim took me to Shihab-al-Din, alias Abu-al-Miqdad. They asked him to listen to me attentively. He spoke to me about many things. He was in his early thirties, of medium height, had a well built body, a white face, and a beard. I and brother Shihab-al-Din discussed the conditions of the IG in Egypt and the Islamic world. [Question] What happened then? Where did you go? [Answer] I discussed the matter with brother Abu-Hazim (Mustafa Hamzah) who used to travel a lot. I met him after my return from Sudan and the success of the brothers I had trained in their mission. I told him that I was not happy with what was happening in the Afghan arena. I also told him of my desire to fight jihad and not to stay in camps like women. He told me that I could go to Bosnia or Albania to fight jihad there but after an appropriate period of time. Conditions worsened between the Arab Afghans and the Taleban, which became the dominant movement in Afghanistan. But after more than a year, I met a mujahid from Palestine called Abu-al-Munzir who facilitated my travel with him from Afghanistan to Bosnia. I stayed there for almost another year during which I took part in the jihad with the Arab brothers under the command of a Muslim mujahid who had US citizenship but of Arab origin. But after the signing of the Dayton peace agreement, we the Arabs felt that our stay in Bosnia was not desirable anymore. CIA agents spread everywhere and we were compelled to flee to Kosovo. On the way there, I was arrested with others by the Serb intelligence services and I believe CIA agents. We could not check the identity of those who arrested us. All I remember was that they were very harsh and treated us inhumanely. We were held for about a month until I was handed over with others to the Egyptian authorities. THE FUNDAMENTALIST MEDIA ORGANIZATIONS [subhead] Of course, al-'Attar's confessions contained lengthy details about the conditions of the Arabs in the fundamentalists' training camps, the violent organizations in Afghanistan, Bosnia, and Albania, the struggles between the organizations' leaders, and the fax and e-mail battles between the first and second generations of the fundamentalists and these groups' leaders. This is something significant which these confessions underline. We reach one single conclusion from either the defendants' confessions or from information provided by the security services that monitor the moves of these groups and their leaders. It became evident during the past two years that the fundamentalist groups' leaders abroad were obviously isolated and having a real crisis in their ranks. Their members began to fall one after the other into the hands of the security services, starting with the Returnees from Afghanistan and ending with the Returnees from Albania. It also became obvious that a state of apprehension, suspicions, and lack of communications between these fugitive leaders had clearly upset the performance of the fundamentalist groups' media machine on which they had greatly depended in the past. The daily routine was established of issuing a statement through the fax or on the Internet site announcing the banned Jihad Organization's responsibility for certain stands when another statement by the same group was issued almost simultaneously refuting what the first statement said. This imbalance and confusion in turn revealed many signals and raised more questions about these organizations' future. They are suffering from successive crises and being pursued everywhere. This is prompting their leaders or the opportunist elements to act in a way that does not reflect their true size, specially to Western observers and intelligence services, which most often exploited these entities until they had exhausted their purpose. The international chase of these trans-border and transcontinental human bombs is continuing. Investigations, monitoring, and analyses most frequently reach a very simple fact, namely that many of the (very big) names in the extremist fundamentalist organizations, specially those operating in Europe and the United States, are just false entities that do not really exist, or are not at least as sizeable as their statements, faxes, and internet sites try to depict and which have become the preferred and "safe" game for these organizations, leaders, and those who split from them. In the security organs' view, a correct reading based on an understanding of events, the organizations' thinking, and correct monitoring of the statements signed by various groups abroad shows that there is nearly 28 Egyptian fundamentalist groups operating in several European capitals and US cities. The sharp language used in these statements gives a first impression that the groups have armies and resources that enable them to reach their objectives within few hours. But the security organs also underline the fact that these statements are issued by some minor leaders of the terrorist groups in an attempt to convince public opinion that they still exist. The danger they represent does not exceed the limits of the fax that carries this statement to the news agencies or some newspapers. Most of these bogus statements and the conflicting statements that carry the name of Islamic Jihad or the Vanguards of Conquest Organization are issued from the British capital, London.(more) 7 Mar irbib/ bennett Balkan Arabs continue to fall into the hands of the multinational security services in this region. Two other Egyptians were recently arrested in Tirana. According to Egyptian sources that helped monitor these elements in the Balkans in coordination with the local security organs there and several international security services, including the FBI and the CIA, these two were IG members. The two Egyptians arrested were Muhammad Najib Yasin and 'Abd-al-Mun'im Na'im who were part of a group that was planning to carry out violent acts in Tirana. The two were also suspected of organizational links and were accused in the past in a number of violent acts perpetrated by the IG in Egypt during the past years. Some of the defendants in the Returnees from Albania case who are now being tried by the Higher Military Court in Egypt spoke about some of these acts. The sources said that these two persons met Bin-Ladin in Tirana in April 1994 during the latter's secret visit there at the head of a delegation of the heads of the armed fundamentalist groups who came from Afghanistan, Kashmir, the Philippines, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia, and other countries. This was confirmed by reports leaked by the US intelligence services that were operating as part of the international team in that region.