Canadian Report Causes AA 587 Stir
Did Shoe Bomber Cause Belle Harbor Crash?
A respected Canadian newspaper, quoting a secret intelligence report, has said that a shoe bomber may have brought down American Airlines Flight 587 in the streets of Belle Harbor in November of 2001.
According to a report in Canada’s National Post, a captured al Qaeda operative has told intelligence officials in that nation that Abderraouf Jdey, a naturalized Canadian citizen, also known as Farouk the Tunisian, carried a shoe bomb onto the plane at John F. Kennedy Airport and committed an act of suicide to bring the aircraft down, killing all 260 aboard and five Rockaway residents on the ground.
The report says that the source of the information, captured al Qaeda operative Mohammed Mansour Jabarah said, during five days of interrogation, that Jdey, who he termed a “master of disguises,” trained in Afghanistan with a number of the hijackers who destroyed the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.
Jdey reportedly recorded a “martyrdom video,” in which he said that he was going to attack the United States, but was dropped from the 9/11 attack plans after returning to Canada in the summer of 2001. According to the report, he was to be used in a “second wave of attacks” on the United States.
In early 2002, after the 9/11 attacks, American intelligence officials and the Federal Bureau of Investigation issued an alert seeking Jdey’s whereabouts in connection with the attacks. U.S. Attorney General John Ashcroft announced in May that Jdey was one of seven “al-Qaeda associates” sought in connection with possible future terrorist threats against the United States.
Jabarah was reportedly tasked with overseeing a suicide bombing operation in Southeast Asia, but was caught and has pleaded guilty to terrorist charges in the United States.
Despite that, the Canadian report says that Jabarah is a “source of unknown reliability.”
Jabarah says that his information came from another well-known al Qaeda operative working directly with Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (better known as KSM in American intelligence reports), who said, “The New York crash was not an accident, but an operation.”
U.S. Officials, however, discount the Canadian report. Investigators for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) have said that the crash was an accident that occurred when the tail fin of the plane was torn off over Jamaica Bay shortly after the plane’s takeoff.
“We have seen no evidence of anything other than an accident,” says Ted Lopatkiewicz, the chief spokesperson for the NTSB. “It appears from the evidence that we have that a vertical fin came off, not that there was any kind of event in the cabin.”
At a witness meeting hosted by The Wave in July of 2002, however, many eyewitnesses to the crash told stories of seeing an explosion, smoke and fire on the fuselage of the plane.
NTSB officials, called the eyewitness accounts as “unreliable.”
The Canadian report says that Jdey used his Canadian passport to board the fated flight, but passenger records show no such person boarding the plane.
Hector Algarroba, who lost his parents in the crash and has become one of the spokespersons for the families of the victims, declined to comment on the new report.
“We are not making any statements until the NTSB issues its final report,” he told The Wave.
Government sources told reporters in a prepared statement that “it is unlikely that Jdey had anything to do with the crash of American Airlines Flight 587,” although those sources admit that they have been looking for him since May of 2002 with no sightings reported.