T.O. Hub of Terror Forgery: Cops

Parkdale Man Allegedly Made Pilots' IDs

by Tom Godfrey
The Toronto Sun
October 16, 2001


A Parkdale refugee claimant played a key role in arranging cash and forged documents for Osama bin Laden terrorists during planning for the Sept. 11 attacks, police say.

Canadian police said Nabil Al-Marabh is suspected of making the suicide pilots' phony identification at Best Copy, a Charles St. W. copy shop owned by his uncle.

He allegedly left a long money trail weeks before the al-Qaida attacks in Washington, D.C., and New York City. Forensic officers said there are similarities in the paper stock, laminates and ink seized from the downtown store and that which was used in identification left behind by the suicide pilots.

"The copy shop is very important," a senior police source said yesterday. "It seems to have been a very busy place."

RCMP Const. Michele Paradis said she couldn't comment on specifics of the case because of the ongoing probe.


Al-Marabh, 35, originally from Syria, lived at the Jameson Ave. apartment of his uncle for most of his six years in Toronto. He was arrested by the FBI in Chicago last month for his alleged role in the terrorist attacks.

Al-Marabh and others are being held in solitary confinement in New York City on immigration violations. They have been denied the use of the Islamic holy book, the Koran, as well as TV and newspapers.

Cult deprogrammers have been brought in and some suspected of involvement in the Sept. 11 attacks have started talking to police, sources said.

Police said Al-Marabh made at least 15 monetary transactions, mostly money transfers to the U.S., at a bank near the Charles St. W. print shop. He deposited $10,000 US and transferred $15,000 US to an account in the U.S. last June, before being caught trying to sneak into the U.S. in the back of a truck.


Police suspect Al-Marabh was using the shop to manufacture bogus identification for al-Qaida members. Officers seized 28 sets of passport pictures and visas and passports at an apartment he kept in Detroit.

Police said they've had "hundreds" of tips of suspicious activities at the shop from clients who did business there.

The RCMP, after raids at addresses in Toronto and Mississauga, seized dozens of identifications and landed immigrant forms at the Parkdale apartment.

Police said Al-Marabh, who had previously been deported from Canada, frequently travelled abroad while a refugee claimant.

Six years ago, he met with admitted al-Qaida operative Raed Hijazi in Afghanistan, police said. Hijazi was arrested in October 2000 for trying to blow up tourist sites in Jordan on the eve of the millennium.

Police probing the money trail said Al-Marabh once sent $10,000 US to Hijazi, who identified him as being a bin Laden agent.

Officers said al-Qaida operatives used the Internet and communicated to each other through e-mail. Police are now checking e-mail and Internet accounts at libraries in Parkdale and downtown Toronto to find those used by Al-Marabh.

Copyright 2001 Sun Media Corporation

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