Read an excerpt of the explosive new book “Triple Cross,” which tells the story of Ali Abdel Saoud Mohamed, Osama bin Laden’s most trusted security adviser, who infiltrated the U.S. Army Special Forces and served as an FBI informant—all the while overseeing some of the most infamous Al Qaeda terror strikes of the last decade.
Peter Lance at Huffington Post:
On October 20, 2000, after tricking the U.S. intelligence establishment for years, Ali Mohamed stood in handcuffs, leg irons, and a blue prison jumpsuit before Judge Leonard B. Sand in a Federal District courtroom in Lower Manhattan. Over the next thirty minutes he pleaded guilty five times, admitting to his involvement in plots to kill U.S. soldiers in Somalia and Saudi Arabia, U.S. ambassadors in Africa, and American civilians “anywhere in the world.” The goal of the al Qaeda terrorists he trained, he said, was to “kidnap, murder and maim.” His career in espionage had earned him a death sentence in an Egyptian trial the year before. But now, before the federal judge, Ali was seeking mercy.
In short but deliberate sentences, Mohamed peeled back the top layer of the secret life he’d led since 1981, when radical members of his Egyptian army unit gunned down Nobel Prize winner Anwar Sadat. A highly educated master spy, fluent in four languages, Mohamed told of how he had risen from a young recruit in the virulently anti-American Egyptian Islamic Jihad to become Osama bin Laden’s most trusted security advisor. He described how al Qaeda cell members from Kenya had infiltrated Mogadishu, Somalia, in the 1993 campaign that ultimately downed two U.S. Black Hawk helicopters; how he had brokered a terror summit between al Qaeda and the hyper-violent Iranian Party of God known as Hezbollah; and how he had trained al Qaeda jihadis in Afghanistan and Sudan, teaching them improvised bomb building and schooling them in the creation of secret cells so that they could operate in the shadows.
On this last bit of tradecraft, he’d literally written the book. If there was ever a shadow man in the dark reaches of al Qaeda, it was the triple spy born Ali Abdel Saoud Mohamed.
But the most important aspect of that plea session was what was left unsaid. In that Southern District Courtroom nearly two years before the attacks of September 11, Ali Mohamed uttered nothing on the record about his most stunning achievements: how he had slipped past a State Department watch list and into America, seduced a Silicon Valley medical technician into marriage, joined the U.S. Army, and gotten himself posted to the highly secure base where the Green Berets and Delta Force train. He didn’t say a word about how he’d moved in and out of contract spy work for the CIA and fooled FBI agents for six years as he smuggled terrorists across U.S. borders, and guarded the tall Saudi billionaire who had personally declared war on America: Osama bin Laden.