We are not safe.
Not only will our ports be placed under the control of the United Arab Emirates (a haven of radical Islam) and our borders continue to remain unsecured to the invasion of thousands of Special Interest Aliens, but America’s leading law enforcement agency has demonstrated itself to be non-responsive, functionally inept, and totally lacking in internal organization and communication.
The story concerned a couple from Bakersfield, Calif., who reported the alleged sightings of Adnan el Shukrijumah and several other al-Qaida operatives in the vicinity of Lake Isabella to law enforcement officers, including Kern County Sheriff Mack Wimbish, who failed to give the matter appropriate attention.
This is alarming since Adnan el Shukrijumah represents the most wanted al-Qaida fugitive in the Western hemisphere. The FBI has identified him as the commander of the next 9-11 and placed a $5 million bounty on his head. Indeed, Shukrijumah is a figure of such significance that FBI Director Robert Mueller and former Attorney General John Ashcroft held a national press conference on March 21, 2004, and issued a plea for Americans to convey any and all information regarding the fugitive to a special hotline.
Sen. Specter sleeps
The couple from Bakersfield, having received receiving no response from the sheriff, wrote a letter to me at the address of my publisher – Prometheus Books in Amherst, N.Y.
The letter, dated Dec. 9, 2005, didn’t arrive in my mailbox until Feb. 9, 2006.
Upon interviewing the witnesses and finding them to be totally credible, I contacted the office of Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Penn., in an effort to cut through the red tape at the Bureau. I presented my credentials as an award-winning journalist and a former consultant for the FBI and stressed the urgency of the matter.
That was on Feb. 10. I am still awaiting a response from Specter or one of his aides.
“America’s Most Wanted” takes notice
I obtained the assistance of Dr. Hugh Cort, a physician and political activist, who placed him in contact with Fred Peabody, a producer for “America’s Most Wanted,” the nationally syndicated FOX program that has been responsible for the collaring of nearly 900 fugitives.
Peabody visited the couple in Bakersfield, conducted a preliminary investigation, and found their reports of the sightings of Shukrijumah and the other terrorists in the vicinity of Lake Isabella to be credible.
There was no longer any doubt that the report merited immediate action – but such action was not forthcoming.
The FBI fumbles
On Feb. 21, Peabody and I made contact with FBI Special Agent Joe Ronsisvalle of the Birmingham office, who acted with due alarm. After trying without success to reach the FBI official in charge of the massive manhunt in Miami, Ronsisvalle told me to sit by the phone since Special Agent John Giacalone of the Philadelphia office would be contacting me within five minutes. The call never came.
The suggestion of a congresswoman
I next reached out to Jeff Epstein, president of America’s Truth Forum and the organizer of a major symposium on terrorism that is scheduled to take place on April 29 in Washington, D.C.
Epstein reached out to a host of leading elected officials, only to meet with a total indifference to the matter of the al-Qaida agent, who had been personally commissioned by Osama bin Laden to nuke the USA.
When Epstein and I reached Iliana Ross-Lehtinen, a Republican congresswoman from Florida, we were not offered the assistance of her office in reaching the appropriate officials within the Justice Department, but rather her suggestion that we contact the media.
A chorus of denial
We heeded this advice.
The story about the sighting broke on WorldNetDaily on Thursday, March 3.
Sheriff Mack Wimbish immediately denied that he had ever received a report of the sighting of Shukrijumah or any other al-Qaida agent. “It sounds like somebody is trying to sell a book,” he said of the WND article.
Similarly, Javier Colon, the head of the local FBI in the Bakersfield area, said that the WND article was a complete fabrication and that the agency had not been informed by anyone about the matter. “We have never been contacted by anyone with an allegation the top al-Qaida terrorists were sipping a double latte at a Starbucks in Lake Isabella.”
Based on such statements, The Bakersfield Californian published an article by Christina Sosa that dismissed the sighting as a hoax and took WorldNetDaily to task as a news outlet of “dubious respectability.”
The truth won out
Despite the denials, the story would not go away. By Friday, March 4, Sheriff Wimbish began to change his tune. He now recalled that he had received a report from the witnesses about the alleged sighting, and that his office had failed to act with due alarm.
FBI spokeswoman Laura Eimiller, from the Los Angeles office, came forward to say that the Bureau had, in fact, received the report and had conducted an investigation. “We have checked this information out,” Eimiller said, “and feel confident that the two individuals in question are not these two terrorists.”
Eimiller went on to say that the two men were businessmen who resided in Los Angeles and that one was Jewish.
Her announcement contradicted the statement of Special Agent Colon the previous day.
The wrong suspects
All would be well and good save for the fact that the FBI may have ended up investigating the wrong guys. As of this writing, the couple, who reported the sightings last October, has yet to be interviewed by federal agents or anyone or any law enforcement officials, despite the fact that they possess the addresses of the suspects and the license numbers of their vehicles.
The suspects, according to the couple, did not live in Los Angeles, but at Lake Isabella. They presented themselves not as Jews, but as Persian Muslims. Moreover, one was a woman who bore a striking resemblance to Aafia Siddiqui, another wanted al-Qaida terrorist.
Did a nest of al-Qaida actually exist in Bakersfield?
Thanks to the incompetence of the FBI and the indifference of elected officials, we may never know.
The nest is probably now empty.
Paul L. Williams, Ph.D., is an award-winning journalist and a former consultant for the FBI. He is also the author of “Osama’s Revenge: The Next 9/11: What the Media and the Government Haven’t Told You,” “Al Qaeda Connection: International Terrorism, Organized Crime, and the Coming Apocalypse,”and “Al Qaeda: Brotherhood of Terror.”