Adapted from Thomas Paine’s book — How We Dismantled the FBI in Our Pajamas
(WARNING: There is Graphic Language in this story.)
The FBI was in the catbird seat. It’s 2000 and Bill Clinton is President. Louis Freeh is FBI Director, and things are going swimmingly for an undercover FBI operation that has cracked and infiltrated al-Qaeda. That is no easy feat, mainly because these FBI agents and operators haven’t even left the United States. Instead, working on a little-known and top-secret operation FBI Intel folks have finally convinced Osama bin Laden’s henchmen and terror captains that they are radical Muslims willing to wage Jihad in the United States in the name of the terror mastermind.
After working three years undercover, exchanging thousands of emails and online chats with al-Qaeda’s hierarchy in the Middle East, one FBI operator has really stood out to al-Qaeda management. Showing true disdain for American infidels and all the hallmarks of a radicalized Muslim, the undercover FBI operator has conned the brightest terrorists in the business. And that’s incredible news for the FBI and CIA who – at the time – were struggling to find a foothold and HUMINT (Human Intelligence) peg inside the global terror faction and its related cell known as Al Qaeda.
But that had all changed now.
In fact, the FBI was not only finally inside al-Qaeda, its undercover moles were invited to join its board of directors. And yes, bin Laden did run the radicalized group much like a corporation, insiders confirm. But bin Laden wanted to expand and he had big plans for the United States. First and foremost – beyond the killing of innocent Americans, he tried to domesticate millions of al-Qaeda funds in banks and brokerage houses in the United States. And by domesticate, we mean laundering money. Osama bin Laden recognized the challenge of financing terror and propaganda campaigns in any country absent domestic payment routes. Blind Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman learned this the hard way after masterminding the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Centers in New York. The “first” strike in lower Manhattan. The warm-up strike. Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman used German banks to finance the 1993 bombing, and it was one wire from a German bank that helped lead the FBI to the Jersey City, NJ doorsteps of the men who blew up one of the twin towers. And also lead them to Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman. I was there as FBI executives negotiated with my newspaper’s brass to keep that Intel quiet – about the German bank – until they could trace the wire and its proceeds in a journey to find and arrest the perpetrators.
This was my newspaper at the time, so I had a front-row seat. It was the first time I saw how the game was REALLY played. Wait, media companies cut deals with the Feds, I thought? My newspaper is playing nice with these guys? What was that about? If you have dirt on terror suspects, I was adamant, print it and let the Feds sort it out. Scoop the FBI. Fuck the Feds. I was a rookie. I remember the FBI executives from the New York field office laughing as they exited the conference room. And I thought about those same agents chuckling less than a month later when an FBI “negotiation” torched children in Waco, TX. And these editors thought they cut a favorable deal with the FBI, I thought? This was sharks and minnows, and I was employed by the minnows.
Newspapers and television always buckle to the FBI, State Department, et al because these agencies threaten to jail editors and publishers over “national security” breaches if they do not do exactly as the Feds say. And the cowards in the media almost always buckle. I would see this scenario play out time and time again during my newspaper career. When we had eyewitness testimony from DOZENS of New York residents who reported a fast-moving projectile was flying at TWA Flight 800 seconds before it went down – that story was killed too, just like the World Trade Center story. The State Department had threatened to lock me up personally on the TWA 800 story. And the newspaper bosses killed it. The FBI and State Department (CIA) were steamed I had, a day earlier, snuck in an eyewitness account of a major in the New York Air National Guard who flew sorties in Vietnam. He was flying maneuvers at the time Flight 800 went down and told me he too spotted what appeared to be a missile strike the TWA flight. And we printed that and it set off a shit storm in D.C. The source – who was on the record – was all but put in the federal witness protection program and the Feds leaned on the paper for a retraction and correction. And clamped down on my ass after that one. I had scored one for the good guys sneaking his testimony into the paper. But it was one of the last statements the Major gave. I don’t believe he ever spoke of what he saw in the July sky that evening. They shut him up faster than they did my newspaper.
NBC’s Bryant Gumbel was standing beside me during the same interview on the beach dunes in East Moriches, New York. The sun had just come up the day after the crash. And the sunrise that morning was indeed a beautiful thing that day, a strange backdrop as first responders were fishing 400 or so bodies out of the water and putting them in refrigerated trucks.
Gumbel never did run that bombshell interview on NBC News or the Today Show. Is anyone surprised? That was a smoking gun and NBC buried that probably somewhere on the beach near where the teddy bears, suitcases and personal belongings of the downed passengers were washing up with the morning tide.
I believed the journalism game was about telling the truth and not playing paddy cake with the Feds. But I had much to learn.
Let us get back to the German money behind the first World Trade Center attack. That $50,000 wire led the FBI to the terrorists and their leader. Bin Laden feared this years before. Absent a network inside of shell companies making wire transfers and deposits inside the United States banking infrastructure, this was bound to happen time and time again.
In fact, per emails — exchanged between undercover FBI operators posing as radicalized Muslims poised to wage jihad in the United States — with al-Qaeda lieutenants and captains, the terror conglomerate was desperately seeking to branch into the United States, employ U.S. banks and also enhance its online backbone of servers so that emails could be shrouded from the NSA, CIA, and U.S. Intel apparatus. And do you remember that undercover FBI agent I described earlier who had caught the attention of bin Laden and his boardroom of terror bosses?
Word spread through al-Qaeda leadership circles in the Middle East. They had found their guy in the United States. He had brains, contacts, a disdain for his country, and the connections to help plan bin Laden’s expansion into the U.S. – both financially and radically.
Now, al-Qaeda had found their man.
Except their man was actually a woman.
Her name is Alijandra Mogilner
The irony here is thick, obviously. Women can’t even show their faces in public in the Middle East – and are often treated and beaten like dogs — but the biggest, baddest terror group in the world had just been compromised by a female FBI operator.
And when al-Qaeda fell for Mogilner, it fell hard. For the Feds, it was a grand slam, with terror leaders offering her and unknowingly the federal government of the United States the keys and recipe to unravel Bin Laden’s entire operation. al-Qaeda wanted Mogilner to handle the money laundering in the United States AND help al-Qaeda to migrate it’s emails and international communications to an offshore server. And she would serve as the administrator and maintain the server. In essence, Mogilner – who was believed to be a radicalized U.S. male – would have every email written to and from top al-Qaeda management. This bombshell – plus the oversight of al-Qaeda’s money laundering inside the United States. Three years of undercover work had struck gold, and this was the mother lode.
“The FBI … we had the opportunity to have Bin Laden’s server and have everything al-Qaeda did online go through our control,” Mogilner said. “And he wanted us to be his treasurer in the United States” to launder money and make state-side payoffs to and for his terror cartel.
“But the FBI thought it was not worth the $50,000 a year that it would cost to do it,” Mogilner told me during an interview.
Mogilner and her FBI-commissioned crew had infiltrated the biggest terror cartel in the world, posing as Muslim males and would-be jihadists. And the FBI walked away from the Op once she and federal operators had broken through a once-impenetrable wall to have an insider’s seat at al-Qaeda’s big table. The FBI walked away from a goldmine of Intel that could have changed the course of history. Literally.
One year later – after the FBI walked away — the Twin Towers crumbled, Pentagon walls tumbled, and a hijacked commercial airliner headed for the White House crashed in western Pennsylvania. All within a matter of an hour on Sept. 11, 2001.
The FBI had sold out. Again. A recurring theme now for decades. Back then, FBI executives could blame it on Bill Clinton. And he indeed was to blame.
But it was the FBI, Bill Clinton’s FBI, that took its own fox out of the al-Qaeda henhouse. And that stunned undercover operatives who broke their asses to pull off what was previously considered impossible.
Mogilner details her groundbreaking undercover work for the FBI:
“They were looking for their own server, al-Qaeda was, so they could have security and have got an exclusive server. And then we had the offer … we ended up being part of their board of directors. Essentially, the heads of each of al-Qaeda’s departments were organized just like a big corporation. They wanted us to be treasurer for all of his money in the United States and to provide the server to keep tabs on al-Qaeda.”
Mogilner said between 1999 and 2000 FBI executives calculated it would cost the equivalent of a mid-level agent’s salary to pull off this coup, or roughly $52,000 a year.
“They said it wasn’t worth it,” Mogilner recalls with disgust.
Mogliner’s famous — and now infamous — Op and group were dubbed the ‘Muslim Hacker’s Club.’ It doesn’t have a rock-n-roll ring to it like ‘Crossfire Hurricane,’ but the difference here is one was an actual operation, and one was a fabrication of the mainstream media and corrupt FBI brass running for cover.
Mogilner had brought bin Laden’s operation on a silver platter to her FBI overlords, and they punted.
“I was basically on al-Qaeda’s board of directors and invited to be its U.S. treasurer,” she said. “We volunteered to provide bin Laden with a computer server. I said we’ll provide you with a server and we’d make it look like it was located outside the United States, Canada or Mexico.
We would have known everything al-Qaeda was doing, what they were planning. But the FBI decided bin Laden wasn’t very important. We were (already) inside for two years, beginning in 1998. We did obtain a lot of their emails.”
But Mogilner stresses the FBI and the U.S. intelligence apparatus could have had ALL al-Qaeda’s emails. That’s a massive difference compared to merely a small sampling of emails. And the difference between Intel gleaned from such emails could literally save lives and help put a severe dent in al-Qaeda’s global terror network and radical mayhem. And potentially pinpoint many mainstream players linked to bin Laden who were hiding in plain sight, in “normal,” traditional careers.
“The guy who was doing their (al-Qaeda) online stuff, money laundering and running their online presence actually worked at JP Morgan in London,” she admitted.
Mogilner would not identify the subject but said he was a key IT worker for the bank who was fired after the financial conglomerate learned of his alleged connection to al-Qaeda. Stunningly, however, Mogilner said the FBI did not pursue the man, nor did British Intelligence arms MI5 or MI6 who are tasked with investigating terrorism. She said he took a job with another company and was never charged – or even interrogated to her knowledge.
“He was a member of al-Qaeda, running their money laundering, running their empire if you want to call it that,” she said. “It was all very international and very large. They (FBI) weren’t interested in him and never did anything that I know of.”
How in the hell would the FBI or CIA walk away from such a gem, like the JP Morgan connection?
“Well, they just didn’t care,” Mogilner said. “They didn’t want to spend the money. Al Qaeda wasn’t important, and they said that everybody knew bin Laden wasn’t important. Bin Laden had other operations going that were considered, by the FBI, to be very unimportant. But that he (Bin Laden) considered tremendously important. And I think bin Laden was correct.”
And the FBI, again, was on the wrong side of yet another case to protect America’s best interests. And on the wrong side of history. Again.
“Bin Laden had big propaganda, publicity programs going in Bosnia, Chechnya, and many other locales like the United States,” Mogilner said. “He was trying to turn public opinion about his operations, and he did a pretty darn good job of it.”
But this wasn’t merely any public relations firm prepping news releases and coaxing reporters to shower a political figure with good press. Quite the opposite. Bin Laden was running a cartel of skullduggery, planting fake news, and putting cash behind his causes. Hired muscle to steer his “propaganda” campaigns via force and good old-fashioned terrorism.
“For example, in Bosnia they backed Hezbollah and Chechnyan fighters that came in,” Mogilner said. “They would put out “news” stories. They attacked people. They saw that there were going to have to be new leadership, so they backed people they wanted for leaders after the war and did all kinds of things. And to a great extent, it worked.”
Sounds like many U.S. Democratic politicians might have read bin Laden’s guide to political skullduggery. And what you’re reading here folks indeed is a rare look behind the curtain. Very rare. Don’t let this gem slip through your fingers. Mogilner, the American woman who infiltrated al-Qaeda posing a Muslim man, was interested in pursuing bin Laden’s connection to politics and politicians – and elections – in countries that included the United States.
But the FBI didn’t want anything to do with bin Laden’s potential infiltration of Washington D.C. or to ascertain if portions of the news media – and elected officials – were receiving terror-backed financing. Is this why Bill Clinton’s administration and his FBI walked away from the ‘Muslim Hacker’s Club?’ Was Osama bin Laden financing U.S. politicians and news agencies or public relations firms? Or even worse: Was bin Laden using his banking contacts – in companies like JP Morgan – to dig up dirt on politicians worldwide to use the damaging information to blackmail politicians? Or media executives?
The FBI pulled the plug on the operation that could have answered all those questions. It’s appears to be another case where the FBI and it’s Deep State overlords did not want such vital intelligence to fall into the hands of the Bureau’s rank-and-file agents. That is always a concern during institutionalized corruption. Honest agents could blow the whistle on malfeasance and wrongdoing.
But the Feds did not want the keys to al-Qaeda’s Kingdom, as a key player like Mogilner attests. And lives were lost, the unfortunate yet familiar cost of poor or deliberate – or both — FBI decisions that stretch over the last 20 years. At least. (Many of these gaffes are intentional. No one – not even the FBI – could prove this chronically feckless. Mathematically, it’s almost an impossibility. It defies advanced mathematics if these mistakes were by chance or just happenstance.)
And in 2001, Americans watched in sheer horror as the country and world changed forever on September 11. As the media looped footage of the planes crashing into the World Trade Centers before they crumbled to the ground like sand castles washed away by a high tide.
Meanwhile, al-Qaeda was, of course, a household name and global threat. And the FBI had walked away from controlling and crushing bin Laden’s terror conglomerate just months earlier. Like cowards. Or traitors. Or both.
I can attest to this statement personally. Before, during and after 9/11 – while my group was working for the FBI and Feds – we were also working for America Online (AOL). Its director of security was a former CIA spook and friend. And we loved doing AOL’s dirty work. And it was easy money really, because folks, AOL was flush with cash and more importantly, we had access to AOL’s resources which certainly augmented our federal work. Feds need to crack an email address without the hassle of a warrant? Or they need it in 30 minutes because they’re up on a wire or surveilling a target, they come to us, we backchannel the Intel and make a nice dime. AOL’s legal folks approved of the arrangement until the web giant fired its head counsel during its decline. And my contact followed. To this day, somehow I still get blamed for his demise but – spoiler alert: AOL sunk faster than the Titanic. And there are no golden parachutes on a shipwreck.
My point here is this. We knew the al-Qaeda terrorists who hijacked the planes to carry out the 9/11 attack were employing AOL and its AIM (instant message) chat to plan the strike. If the FBI had listened to Mogilner and her groundbreaking ‘al-Qaeda Hacker’s Club’ – the FBI would have known this too BEFORE the strikes. I can hear folks now saying: “Oh, how did you know the terrorists used AOL. Anyone can make a statement like that.” Actually, that’s a valid point. And why I decided to document it within 48 hours after the 9/11 attack in 2001, a fact that angered FBI brass. But I had seen them cover so much shit up in other Ops, I had to put them on notice – as well as the general public – that if the FBI had been monitoring al-Qaeda’s communications – like Mogilner illustrated in this book – perhaps things would have been different.
At the time I knew the FBI had dropped the ball on this and my group issued this intelligence publicly in newswires on Sept. 13, 2001, and it is documented. Forever. It was the first real public confirmation that Osama bin Laden was linked to the 9/11 attacks.
September 13, 2001, Thursday
E-mails Link Osama bin Laden’s Terrorist Network to Tuesday’s Bombings
SECTION: DOMESTIC NEWS
DATELINE: NEW YORK, Sept. 13
The following was issued today by DigDirt.com:
Federal agents have developed what they believe is the first concrete evidence linking Tuesday’s deadly terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon to the terrorist’s network of Osama bin Laden, according to U.S. intelligence officials.
Federal agents have successfully tracked e-mails and electronic correspondences (AIM) regarding Tuesday’s hijacking bombings to known associates of Osama bin Laden, the Saudi exile and known terrorist, who has waged Jihad, or holy war, on the United States.
The FBI served search warrants on Earthlink and America Online Tuesday, targeting electronic correspondences both before and after the bombings by approximately 10 subscribers linked to bin Laden’s terrorist network, sources said. Numerous messages were pinpointed through e-mails, and U.S. intelligence officials said the transmissions were not encrypted and according to certain content, the users believed their messages were stealth and completely untraceable.
By late Tuesday, sources said, agents had been provided with full transcripts of all recent e-mails generated on the accounts of the targeted subscribers.
DigDirt.com has been commissioned to launch private-sector inquiries into the recent terrorist attacks, with company personnel immediately dispatched to New York City on Tuesday.
DigDirt.com, an e-commerce investigative information and public records website, offers global access to critical intelligence searches in 106 countries and access to more than 500 billion records worldwide, ranging from in-depth background and highly specialized intelligence searches in the United States and abroad.
Company founder and CEO Michael Moore is a national award-winning investigative journalist and has covered the TWA Flight 800 explosion, New York City subway explosion, the aftermath of the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, and uncovered serious security lapses at Newark International Airport after working undercover to gain undetected access to planes, the tarmac, baggage areas and other facilities.
— Thomas Paine
Reprinted from Paine’s book — How We Dismantled the FBI in Our Pajamas