The Michigan Daily - Monday, September 17, 2001- 3B
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001
Many signs of bin Laden family wealth in Boston area
The Baltimore Sun * * e *. *77* one affected by the attacks in New York and
Relatives of Saudi exile have ivenS 2 million to Harvara outside Washington. So winding up in the
BOSTON - Osama bin Laden's millions spotlight because of a neighbor's identity "is
might or might not have helped pay for last its financial ties to the family, university Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, which comprises nearly said Aleister Saunders, a biochemist who just a double whammy," she said.
week's terrorist attacks But there have long spokesman Joe Wrinn said And in half of the 50 or so bin Laden siblines - but works near the brick Flagshi Wharf condos Four units of'Flashin Wharf are litd in
been signs, seemingly benign, of his family's
wealth in the Boston area.
One relative of the suspected Saudi terror-
ist owns four condominiums on the water-
front in the city's Charlestown section,
according to records. The Flagship Wharf
condos, which sell for $500,000 and up, have
sweeping views of Boston Harbor, the down-
town skyline and Logan International Air-
And the bin Laden family has given $2
million to Harvard University - the coun-
try's richest institution of higher learning
with its $19 billion endowment - for the
study of Islamic law and architecture.
Since the attacks, several Harvard alumni
have called the university to complain about
~'1 i V -1 . .
Charlestown, Boston police officers now keep
an eye on the condominium building, appar-
ently to protect and reassure residents ner-
vous about misguided retribution.
There is no evidence that Osama bin
Laden's personal money underwrote the real
estate purchases or educational endowments,
or that his relatives have any ties to terrorism.
Harvard officials speak of a family rift in an
attempt to show that plenty of distance exists
between the Islamic militant believed to be in
Afghanistan and his many Saudi relatives.
"It's this perception that Harvard takes
blood money," said Wrinn. "We do not."
The university received SI million gifts in
1993 and 1994 from the Saudi bin Laden
Group, a family-owned corporation based in
not Osama bin Laden. Harvard uses interest
generated by the principal to pay for research
fellowships and the like, Wrinn said, all of
which are under the university's control.
"There is absolutely no connection, to our
knowledge, of that money being tied to any
terrorist act or Osama bin Laden in particu-
lar," Wrinn said.
As Boston residents can attest, family ties
are not always the best guide to character.
Still, some Boston residents say they find it
odd that Mohammed M. bin Laden whose
precise relation to Osama bin Laden is not
clear - is a property owner in Charlestown,
an area once largely blue collar but now
home to many well-heeled professionals.
"It's weird, even if he's a really nice guy,"
a short walk from the USS Constitution's
berth and the Bunker Hill Monument.
The sudden attention has unnerved some of
those living at Flagship Wharf and prompted
police to park a patrol cruiser outside. "A
safety matter" is all officer Bill Toner would
say when asked why he was there.
Some residents said they were scared that
vigilantes, fueled by emotion and blind
hatred, might lob a bomb at the building
because someone named bin Laden has a
"We feel threatened," said one resident,
who requested anonymity. "Would you want
some Timothy McVeigh-type coming here?"
The resident said many of the 200 or so
people who live in the building know some-
Mohammed M. bin Laden's name, according
to city property records. One of those is- a
penthouse apartment, for which he paid
S405,000 in April 1995; he bought another
apartment for $780,000 in June of that year.
Calls placed to phone numbers listed for-
two of the units last week were not answered,
and a person who answered a call to a third
unit said it was the wrong number. No one
could be reached in the fourth unit. A build-
ing official declined to comment.
Neighbors said they know little about
Mohammed M. bin Laden and his immediate
family. "They don't come very much," said a
resident, adding that Boston is a cosmopoli-
tan city home to thousands of people from
the Middle East.
for FBI to
Los Angeles Times
PARIS - Mohamed Atta, a student
of urban planning, militant Muslim
and suicidal pilot, was a leader of his
hijacking cell and shuttled among
cities in the United States and abroad,
offering investigators a trail that could
lead to key managers of the conspiracy
to attack America, according to
records reviewed Saturday by the Los
He traveled into the United States
from countries including Germany and
Spain; which have many active terror-
ist cells. In the months before the
assault on the World Trade Center and
the Pentagon, he made two trips from
Miami to Spain, the records showed.
Atta's journeys fit a pattern taught
by trainers for Osama bin Laden, the
Saudi fugitive who runs a terrorist net-
work from Afghanistan. The trainers
teach followers to communicate
instructions in person and to avoid
telephones or any other means subject
to electronic surveillance.
Tracing Atta's journeys could lead
investigators to middle-level handlers
directing what U.S. officials describe
as isolated cells of terrorists who infil-
trated the United States.
They commandeered airliners Tues-
day and piloted them into the Pentagon
and the World Trade Center in the worst
terrorist attack in American history. One
side of the Pentagon was flattened, and
the twin towers of the Trade Center
were destroyed. The death toll is expect-
ed to exceed 5,000 people.
U.S. Secretary of State Colin L. Pow-
ell says bin Laden is the prime suspect.
U.S. and foreign counterterrorism spe-
cialists evaluating last week's events
point to disturbing developments in the
bin Laden organization: The complexi-
ty of its cellular structure has increased.
The significance of its targets has
grown. Perhaps most disturbing, the
sophistication of its technology has
escalated year by year.
These experts fear that the logical
next step is chemical, biological or
nuclear terrorism. Intelligence sources
say U.S. reconnaissance satellites
recently spotted numerous dead ani-
mals in fields near one bin Laden
camp, suggesting that the testing of
chemical weapons might be underway.
Atta who studied urban planning,
reportedly co-founded an Islamic
prayer group at the Technical Universi-
ty in Hamburg, Germany, and shared
an apartment there with two men,
including a cousin, who would become
hijackers in his terrorist cell, as well as
with others linked to the bin Laden
He is said to have written a thesis on
the restoration of the old quarter of the
city of Aleppo, which took him to
Syria, long regarded by the United
States as a promoter of international
terrorism. American officials have said
the bin Laden adherents who bombed
the USS Cole last year received mater-
ial support from Iran by way of Syria.
Atta, older and better educated than
other members of his cell, was respon-
sible for paying the rent on the Ham-
burg apartment and used his credit
card to lease cars for himself and at
least one other hijacker in his cell.
He obtained a visa at the U.S. con-
sulate in Berlin on May 18, 2000, and
came to Newark, N.J., on June 3 on a
flight from Prague, Czech Republic.
Bin Laden denies
DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) -
Osama bin Laden, the prime suspect, issued a
statement yesterday denying that he was
behind last week's terror attacks on the United
"I stress that I have not carried out this act,
which appears to have been carried out by indi-
viduals with their own motivation," said the
statement, broadcast by Qatar's Al-Jazeera
In the statement, read out by an Al-Jazeera
announcer, bin Laden said that he was used to
the United States accusing him every time "its
many enemies strike at it-."
Bin Laden, a Saudi exile who has lived in
Afghanistan since 1996, has said on at least
one other occasion that he wasn't behind the
attacks. Jamal Ismail, a Palestinian journalist,
has said a bin Laden aide called him after
Tuesday's attack to say bin Laden denied being
involved but "thanked almighty Allah and
bowed before him when he heard this news."
Bin Laden has often granted interviews to
Al-Jazeera, known in the Arab world for its
wide reach and its independent and aggressive
editorial policies. He also gives AI-Jazeera
videos when he has a message to relay to the
world, such as a tape early this year in which
he was shown reciting an ode to Jerusalem and
decrying Israel's presence in the city, which is
holy to Jews, Christians and Muslims.
In yesterday's statement, which was signed
"Sheik Osama bin Laden," bin Laden said that
he had pledged to the leader of Afghanistan,
Mullah Mohammed Omar, to abide by the
country's laws, and Onar "doesn't allow those
types of acts."
President Bush has said that bin Laden is the
prime suspect in the attacks in which hijackers
battered passenger planes into the two towers
of New York's World Trade Center and a side
of the Pentagon. A fourth hijacked plane
crashed into the ground in Pennsylvania.
Bin Laden has been indicted by the United
States for the 1998 bombings of the U.S.
embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. Days after
the bombings, the United States fired dozens
of Tomahawk cruise missiles on eastern
Afghanistan in an attempt to kill him.
Meanwhile, newspapers in Pakistan reported
receiving an e-mail from a man purporting to
be bin Laden. The message railed against the
United States and said killing Americans and
"their allies, civilian and military" was the
duty of every Muslim.
There was no way to prove the e-mail came
from bin Laden. The Taliban deny bin Laden
has access to any communications.
Exiled Saudi dissident Osama bin Laden is seen in this April 1998 picture in Afghanistan. While bin
Laden, the prime suspect for Tuesday's attacks, likely remains confined to a network of camps and
caves in eastern Afghanistan, tracking him consistently has proven extraordinarily difficult for U.S.
FBI. investigated 2,
prior to the attacks
Los Angeles Times
Three weeks before the catastrophic
attacks on the World Trade Center and
Pentagon, the FBI was warned that
two of the suspected hijackers were
possible associates of Osama bin
Laden and were in the United States,
intelligence and law enforcement
sources said Saturday.
The FBI began to search for the two
men Aug. 21 but did not ask the field
office in San Diego, where the men
had been living,'to help in the investi-
gation until a day or two before the
infernos in Washington and New York,
FBI sources said.
The failed manhunt began after the
CIA warned that one of the pair,
Khalid al-Midhar, might have a link to
the terrorist bombing of the USS Cole
last October in Yemen. Bin Laden is
the prime suspect in both the Cole and
U.S. officials have adamantly insist-
ed that they had no advance warning
of this week's tragedy. The disclosure
that the FBI was looking for two of the
hijackers is likely to spur fresh ques-
tions about the government's intelli-
Al-Midhar appears in a secret
videotape made last year at a meeting
in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, with a
suspect in the Cole bombing. The CIA
on Aug. 21 asked the FBI to find al-
M idhar and an associate, Nawaq
Alhamzi. Al-Midhar and Alhamzi are
believed to have been aboard the
American Airlines plane that crashed
into the Pentagon on Tuesday morn-
T "to o C:'