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Profile: Syria

 
  

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Syria actively participated in the following events:

 
  

1989-May 2000: Hijacker Associate al-Marabh Busy Inside US      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Raed Hijazi.
Nabil al-Marabh moves to Boston in 1989 and apparently lives there as a taxi driver and al-Qaeda sleeper agent for the next ten years. [Boston Herald, 9/19/01; New York Times, 9/18/01] In 1992, he learns to use weapons in an Afghan al-Qaeda training camp with an operative named Raed Hijazi. [Chicago Sun-Times, 9/5/02] He and Hijazi live together and drive taxis at the same company in Boston for several years. [Los Angeles Times, 9/21/01] A mutual friend at the same taxi company is later killed participating in a 1999 al-Qaeda attack. [Boston Herald, 9/19/01] Hijazi participates in a failed attempt to bomb a hotel in Jordan in November 1999 and helps plan the USS Cole bombing in October 2000 (see October 12, 2000). In May 1999, the FBI approaches al-Marabh looking for Hijazi, but al-Marabh lies and says he does not know Hijazi. [Washington Post, 9/4/02] Hijazi is arrested in Syria in October 2000 and imprisoned in Jordan for his bomb attempt there. [Toronto Sun, 10/16/01] He begins to cooperate with investigators and identifies al-Marabh as a US al-Qaeda operative. [New York Times, 9/18/01] Operative Ahmed Ressam gives evidence helping to prove that al-Marabh sent money to Hijazi for the Jordan bombing. [ABC News, 1/31/02; Toronto Sun, 11/16/01] By February 1999, al-Marabh is driving taxis in Tampa, Florida, while maintaining a cover of living in Boston. [Toronto Star, 10/26/01; New York Times, 9/18/01; ABC News, 1/31/02] He apparently lives in Tampa at least part time until February 2000; investigators later wonder if he is an advance man for the Florida-based hijackers. [ABC News, 1/31/02; New York Times, 9/18/01] Al-Marabh is living in Detroit by May 2000, though he maintains a Boston address until September 2000. [Boston Herald, 9/19/01]
People and organizations involved: Federal Bureau of Investigation, al-Qaeda, Ahmed Ressam, Jordan, Syria, Nabil al-Marabh, Raed Hijazi
          

October 27, 2001: Zammar Arrested, Detained by US in Syria      Complete 911 Timeline

       Suspected al-Qaeda operative Mohammed Haydar Zammar travels from Germany to Morocco. Not long after, perhaps in December, he is arrested by Moroccan police with US assistance. Although he is a German citizen and under investigation by Germany, German intelligence remain unaware of his arrest, and only learn about it from the newspapers in June 2002. He is sent to Syria, where there are formal charges against him. Zammar reportedly now claims he recruited Mohamed Atta and others into the al-Qaeda Hamburg cell. [Washington Post, 6/19/02 (B)] It is widely suspected that the US arranged for Zammar to be sent to Syria so that he could be more thoroughly interrogated using torture. The Germans are angry that the US has been submitting questions for Zammar and learning answers from Syria, but have not informed Germany of what they have learned [Daily Telegraph, 6/20/02; Christian Science Monitor, 7/26/02]
People and organizations involved: Germany, Mohammed Haydar Zammar, Syria, Mohamed Atta
          

April 23, 2002: Spain Arrests al-Qaeda Financier      Complete 911 Timeline

      
Mohammed Zouaydi.
Spanish authorities arrest Syrian-born Spanish businessman Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, alleging that he is a key al-Qaeda financier. [Chicago Tribune, 5/6/02] An accountant, Zouaydi is considered to be the “big financier” behind the al-Qaeda network in Europe, according to French investigator Jean-Charles Brisard. From 1996 to 2001, Zouaydi lived in Saudi Arabia and funneled money into a series of companies set up to accept donations. (The source of the donations is unknown.) Around $1 million was then forwarded to al-Qaeda agents throughout Europe, especially to Germany. Mohamed Atta's Hamburg apartment telephone number was saved in the cell phone memory of one of Zouaydi's associates. [Agence France-Presse, 9/20/02] Zouaydi also allegedly sent money to Mamoun Darkazanli, a Syrian-born businessman who has admitted knowing Atta and others in the Hamburg al-Qaeda cell. [Chicago Tribune, 5/6/02] One of Zouaydi's employees in Spain visited the WTC in 1997. While there, he extensively videotaped the buildings. Perhaps only coincidentally, while in Saudi Arabia, Zouaydi “was an accountant for the al-Faisal branch of the Saudi royal family, including Prince Mohammed al-Faisal al-Saud and Prince Turki al-Faisal.” [Agence France-Presse, 9/20/02]
People and organizations involved: Mamoun Darkazanli, Mohamed Atta, Syria, World Trade Center, Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi, Turki bin Faisal bin Abdul Aziz al Saud, al-Qaeda, Germany
          

January 2004: Nabil al-Marabh Mysteriously Returns to Syria      Complete 911 Timeline

       After Nabil al-Marabh's eight-month prison sentence is complete in 2003, he remains in a Chicago prison awaiting deportation. However, deportation proceedings are put on hold because federal prosecutors have lodged a material witness warrant against him. When the warrant is dropped, al-Marabh is cleared to be deported to Syria. [Associated Press, 6/3/04; Associated Press, 1/29/03] A footnote in his deportation ruling states, “The FBI has been unable to rule out the possibility that al-Marabh has engaged in terrorist activity or will do so if he is not removed from the United States.” [Associated Press, 6/3/04] Senator Charles Schumer says, “It's hard to believe that the best way to deal with the FBI's 27th most wanted terrorist is to send him back to a terrorist-sponsoring country,” and claims al-Marabh could have been tried in a military tribunal or a classified criminal trial. [Associated Press, 6/3/04]
People and organizations involved: Syria, Nabil al-Marabh, Charles Schumer, Federal Bureau of Investigation
          

'Passive' participant in the following events:

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