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Profile: Mahmoud Es Sayed


Positions that Mahmoud Es Sayed has held:




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Mahmoud Es Sayed actively participated in the following events:


August 12, 2000: Italian Intelligence Wiretap of al-Qaeda Cell Reveals Massive Aircraft-based Strike      Complete 911 Timeline

       Italian intelligence successfully wiretap the al-Qaeda cell in Milan, Italy from late 1999 until summer 2001. [Boston Globe, 8/4/02] In a wiretapped conversation from this day, suspected Yemeni Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman tells wanted Egyptian Mahmoud Es Sayed about a massive strike against the enemies of Islam involving aircraft and the sky, a blow that “will be written about in all the newspapers of the world. This will be one of those strikes that will never be forgotten. ... This is a terrifying thing. This is a thing that will spread from south to north, from east to west: The person who came up with this program is a madman from a madhouse, a madman but a genius.” In another conversation, Abdulrahman tells Es Sayed: “I'm studying airplanes. I hope, God willing, that I can bring you a window or a piece of an airplane the next time we see each other.” The comment is followed by laughter. Beginning in October 2000, FBI experts will help Italian police analyze the intercepts and warnings. Neither Italy nor the FBI understands their meaning until after 9/11, but apparently, the Italians understand enough to give the US an attack warning in March 2001. [Los Angeles Times, 5/29/02; Guardian, 5/30/02; Washington Post, 5/31/02] The Milan cell “is believed to have created a cottage industry in supplying false passports and other bogus documents.” [Boston Globe, 8/4/02]
People and organizations involved: Abdulsalam Ali Abdulrahman, al-Qaeda, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Mahmoud Es Sayed

January 24, 2001: Italians Hear of Brothers Going to US for Very, Very Secret Plan, Other Clues      Complete 911 Timeline

       On this day, Italian intelligence hears an interesting wiretapped conversation eerily similar to the one from August 12, 2000 (see August 12, 2000). This one occurs between al-Qaeda operatives Mahmoud Es Sayed and Ben Soltane Adel, two members of al-Qaeda's Milan cell. Adel asks, in reference to fake documents, “Will these work for the brothers who are going to the United States?” Sayed responds angrily, saying “don't ever say those words again, not even joking! ... If it's necessary ... whatever place we may be, come up and talk in my ear, because these are very important things. You must know ... that this plan is very, very secret, as if you were protecting the security of the state.” This is only one of many clues found from the Italian wiretaps and passed on to US intelligence in March 2001. However, they apparently are not properly understood until after 9/11. Adel is later arrested and convicted of belonging to a terrorist cell, and Es Sayed flees to Afghanistan in July 2001. [Guardian, 5/30/02]
People and organizations involved: Mahmoud Es Sayed, al-Qaeda, Ben Soltane Adel

September 4, 2001: Secret Embedded Messages Help Show Milan Al-Qaeda Have 9/11 Foreknowledge      Complete 911 Timeline

       At least one member of the al-Qaeda cell in Milan, Italy, apparently uses steganography, a method of encoding messages within computerized photographs. In Milan's Via Quaranta mosque in Milan, frequented by Egyptian al-Qaeda operative Mahmoud Es Sayed, pictures of the World Trade Center that have steganographic messages in them are saved on a computer. A number of other pictures of world leaders and pornography are also manipulated in a similar manner. These pictures are not discovered until months after 9/11, but they help suggest that some in the Milan cell had foreknowledge of the 9/11 plot. Es Sayed had been wiretapped on previous occasions, and was heard making comments suggesting he had such foreknowledge (see August 12, 2000) (see January 24, 2001). His current whereabouts are unknown. [ABC News, 5/8/03]
People and organizations involved: Mahmoud Es Sayed, World Trade Center, al-Qaeda

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