The informer at the center of the Government's case in the plot to bomb New York City landmarks had a volatile relationship with his handlers, often quarreling with F.B.I. agents who used him to infiltrate a group of Muslim extremists who have been charged in the plot, according to transcripts of secretly taped conversations.
Transcripts of the hundreds of hours of tapes -- which were recorded by the informer, Emad A. Salem, without the knowledge of the F.B.I. -- were distributed to defense lawyers yesterday. Although Judge Michael B. Mukasey ordered the lawyers to keep them secret, a copy of the transcripts was made available to The New York Times.
The tapes offer a rare glimpse into the sensitive relationship between the confidential informer and the law-enforcement officals with whom he worked. They also reveal for the first time how Federal and police agents instructed him to "pump up" a suspect for information and negotiate a $1 million fee from the Government for his services.
Scattered through the hundreds of pages of transcripts are many instances in which the Government agents appear to encourage Mr. Salem to lead the suspects to incriminate themselves. Defense lawyers have long contended that the Government crossed a legal line, instructing Mr. Salem in a fishing expedition that became entrapment. Although the bulk of the transcripts does not appear to show the agents steering Mr. Salem toward improper or illegal conduct, whether they did so finally will be resolved in court. Many New Details
Among the details included in the transcripts are the following:
*A reference by Mr. Salem to 12 possible bombs and hitherto unmentioned targets, including Grand Central Terminal, the Empire State Building and Times Square.
*A New York City police detective working with the F.B.I. told Mr. Salem, who was getting $500 a week from the Government, that if he wanted a $1 million informer's fee, he should press for $1.5 million and then negotiate.
*An unusual suggestion that some of the money sought by Mr. Salem was going to be put up by private individuals.
*A reference from Mr. Salem, in a conversation with an F.B.I. agent, to an argument between F.B.I. officials over whether Mr. Salem should remain an unidentified informer or surface as a witness to testify at trial.
*A major defendant in the World Trade Center trial was tipped off by a neighbor to an elaborate F.B.I. ruse to search the Brooklyn apartment of another suspect, Mahmud Abouhalima, and replace explosives in his apartment with false explosives supplied by the F.B.I.
*Sheik Omar Abdel Rahman, a defendant in the second bombing case, was using a fax machine to command anti-Communist Muslim rebels, moving forces from Pakistan to Afghanistan and dealing with a code-named agent from Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, Mr. Salem told the F.B.I.
The transcripts cover Mr. Salem's dealings with the suspects and his work for the Government over a period of at least two years, going back to the trial in the killing of Rabbi Meir Kahane. Mr. Salem recorded the conversations with Government agents on his own, without the knowledge or consent of his contacts in the F.B.I., apparently to use as an insurance policy to hold the Government to its promises of money and protection.
Some of the most striking passages in the transcripts show Mr. Salem agonizing over what he suggests was the failure of the F.B.I., despite his information, to halt the Feb. 26 bombing of the trade center, in which six people were killed. Although Mr. Salem is not a witness in that case, he was working with the Government at that time.
"They told me that 'we want to set this,' " Mr. Salem said, referring to the bomb in a conversation on April 1 with John Anticev, one of the F.B.I. agents he reported to, and sometimes complained to others about. " 'What's the right place to put this?' "
Then he added, still speaking to the agent: "You were informed. Everything is ready. The day and the time. Boom. Lock them up and that's that. That's why I feel so bad."
Federal officials have acknowledged in the past that they dropped Mr. Salem as an informer sometime before the trade center bombing over what they said was his reluctance to wear a body recorder, as well as other disagreements. They said he never provided detailed information of the attack in advance but that they began using his services again after the bombing and credited him with foiling the related but separate plot to bomb the United Nations, Holland and Lincoln tunnels and the Federal building housing the F.B.I. in Manhattan.
The case is expected to come to trial next year, perhaps shortly after the end of the related trial of four men charged with bombing the World Trade Center. As the most important witness, Mr. Salem is expected to be called upon to verify tapes he made of conversations with suspects and testify on his dealings with them.
In several instances, the transcripts show Mr. Salem lecturing Federal agents on how to do their jobs, criticizing their surveillance and interview techniques. In one instance, he suggests that they tell a possible source that his phone was tapped, when in fact it was not, and that they confront the man and push him hard for information. "Don't give him a chance to think," Mr. Salem is quoted as saying. "If he will think it's, 'I want my lawyer.' Then bingo, you are gone." Aid for Defense?
By creating the so-called bootleg tapes, Mr. Salem has given ammunition to defense lawyers who argue that he entrapped the 15 defendants charged with conspiring to bomb New York City landmarks.
In one instance that shows how Mr. Salem was prompted by Federal agents, Mr. Anticev is quoted as saying, "You know, pump, maybe kind of pump him up a little bit." The agent tells Mr. Salem to stress "the loyalty to his cousin." The target in that instance, Ibrahim A. Elgabrowny, is a cousin of the man who was charged with shooting Mr. Kahane and now a defendant in a plot to bomb New York City targets.
In another instance, Mr. Anticev is quoted as instructing Mr. Salem to press to learn whether Mr. Elgabrowny or his associates were hiding explosives. He is quoted as telling Mr. Salem not to worry about being exposed as the source of the information. "We'll just know where stuff exists and where it is," Mr. Anticev is quoted as saying. "And then we'll make our move."
"There's no danger, you know," he says later. "We can be sneaky and take our time."
Mr. Salem has dropped from sight since the June arrests, and an effort to get in touch with him through the witness protection program of the Federal Marshals Service was rejected. But a member of the defense team said he was spotted within the last month in Manhattan.
Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian Army officer and confidant of the radical Egyptian cleric, Mr. Abdel Rahman, surfaced as the Government's mole after a June 24 F.B.I. raid on a Queens garage that the Government said smashed an extremist Muslim plot to blow up the United Nations, Lincoln and Holland tunnels and the Manhattan Federal building housing the F.B.I., and to assassinate Senator Alfonse M. D'Amato and State Assemblyman Dov Hikind, among other targets.
The unauthorized tapes came to light immediately after the raid as Mr. Salem hurriedly evacuated his West Side Manhattan apartment and was quickly identified by associates of the sheik and by law-enforcement authorities as the "confidential informant" who had secretly gathered evidence, including many tape-recorded conversations, against those later charged as conspirators in the case. Tapes Left Behind
In the belongings Mr. Salem left behind either carelessly or by design were cassettes of the tapes he had secretly recorded with the F.B.I.
Because these could shed light on the prosecution's evidence-gathering methods to the point of possible entrapment, defense lawyers convinced Judge Mukasey that they should gain access to this material as well as to Mr. Salem's authorized recordings, turned over earlier.
Even before he came in from the cold of his undercover role in June, the burly, bearded Mr. Salem was an enigmatic figure, a private investigator who supported himself as a jewelry designer, a security guard for the sheik who freely gave interviews to news reporters.
Officials in Cairo say he entered the Egyptian Army as a private and during an 18-year career fought in the 1973 war with Israel and was "pensioned out" as a senior officer while continuing a relationship with Egyptian military intelligence. His American wife, from whom he was divorced this year but to whom he is still close, told New York Newsday last week that he had recently sent a set of the bootleg tapes home to Egyptian authorities with a visiting relative.
In the United States for about six years, he lived most recently in a fifth-floor suite at the Bretton Hall residence hotel at 2350 Broadway.
A news reporter invited to interview him there shortly after the World Trade Center bombing found herself on camera as Mr. Salem insisted videotaping the encounter.
He showed her photographs of what he said was his sandbagged bunker in the 1973 war, the reviewing stand where former President Anwar el-Sadat was assassinated in 1981 and his grave site. He also showed pictures of people who had apparently been tortured: a woman with cigarette burns and a man confined in a cage.
He said that he prayed at the Abu Bakr mosque in Brooklyn and the al-Salaam mosque in Jersey City, where Sheik Omar often preached, and that he had known the cleric from Egypt. He said he was attracted by Mr. Rahman's aura of power and fearlessness. Remembered as Benefactor
Associates in Jersey City said they remembered Mr. Salem as a generous benefactor of the mosques and of the sheik himself. He also collected money for the defense of El Sayyid A. Nosair, an Egyptian contractor charged in the 1990 assassination of the militant Jewish leader, Rabbi Meir Kahane. Mr. Nosair was acquitted of that killing but convicted of related assault and weapons charges. He is also one of the 15 defendants in the bombing conspiracy case.
Mr. Salem also had dealings with Mr.. Elgabrowny, a relative of Mr. Nosair for whom Mr. Salem said he helped obtain a pistol permit from the New York City Police Department.
Associates and lawyers of some of the defendants said that Mr. Salem appeared rather abruptly on the scene around the time of the Kahane killing and that they now suspect he was sent to infiltrate the circle around Mr. Nosair. (10.27.1993, Ralph Blumenthal) http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9F0CEFD71039F934A15753C1A965958260
"To Achieve World
Government it is necessary to remove from the minds of men their individualism,
their loyalty to family traditions and national identification" Brock Chisholm - Director of the World Health Organization
"A society whose citizens refuse to see and investigate the facts, who refuse to believe that their government and their media will routinely lie to them and fabricate a reality contrary to verifiable facts, is a society that chooses and deserves the Police State Dictatorship it's going to get." Ian Williams Goddard
The fact is that "political correctness" is all about creating uniformity. Individualism is one of the biggest obstacles in the way of the New World Order. They want a public that is predictable and conditioned to do as it's told without asking questions.
"The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the Constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the first." Thomas Jefferson