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Homeland Security

Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl

Al-Qaeda Defector

LocationUnited States
SupervisorAbu Ubaidah al-Banshiri
AffiliationMaktab al-Khidamat1
AffiliationAfghan resistance
AffiliationTaba Investments
Full Given NameJamal Ahmed Mohamed al-Fadl
Alias(es)Abu Bakr Sudani1, Junior2,3, Abu Bakr al-Sudani, Abu Kastani6, Abu Kazam
Alternate TransliterationJamal al-Fadl
Date of Birth19631
Place of BirthRuffa City, Sudan1
HistoryVeteran of Afghanistan-Soviet civil war (1980-1989)
HistoryAttended training camp in postwar Afghanistan (1990-2001)
Charging authorityUnited States
Case resolvedNov. 6, 1996
Narrative and Notes
  • Before the Sept. 11 attacks, Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl was probably the U.S. government's best human intelligence source on al-Qaeda, even though his information was dated to 1996, when he left the organization.
  • Al-Fadl, a veteran of the Soviet-Afghan conflict, was with al-Qaeda from its beginnings in that country; he claims he was the third person to sign up to the organization.
  • He functioned as an international operative, moving from country to country in support of al-Qaeda's goals.
  • Around 1993, he was involved in al-Qaeda's apparently unsuccessful attempt to purchase uranium in Sudan.
  • By 1996, Al-Fadl had stolen upwards of $100,000 from al-Qaeda's operations in Sudan; when this was discovered by his superiors, he was asked by Osama bin Laden to repay it. He repaid some of it, then bolted, fearing retribution. He offered information on al-Qaeda to a number of countries, including Lebanon, Eritrea and Saudi Arabia, before coming into a U.S. embassy, possibly in Europe, and providing it there.
  • He was moved to the United States and put into the Witness Protection Program.
  • He was charged and pleaded guilty to some sort of conspiracy, but it does not appear he recieved any punishment. He signed a plea agreement on Nov. 6, 1996.
  • According to defense attorneys in the embassy bombings case, for which he was the U.S. government's star witness, he also received nearly $950,000 from the FBI and Witness Protection Program by 2001.
  • They attempted to portray him as primarily interested in money.
  • Speaks Arabic and English.
  • Lived in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, briefly in 1981.
  • Moved to Brooklyn, United States for schooling in 1986.
  • Raised money for Farouq mosque in Brooklyn, run by Mustafa Shalabi, to aid Afghan resistance in late 1980s. Mosque was part of Maktab al Khidamat.
  • Shalabi sent him and three others to Peshawar in late 1988 or early 1989. He went to Khalid Ibn Walid camp for training in small arms, rocket-propelled grenades.
  • Fought in at least one battle, shooting at Soviet helicopters with an RPG. He missed.
  • Also trained Abu Bakr al Sadeek, Farouq, Jihad Wal camps in Khost area.
  • Traveled to Egypt at some point, helped move al-Qaeda to Sudan in 1991. Travels also included Croatia, Egypt, Pakistan, Turkey and Azerbaijan.
  • Paid $500/month while in Khartoum by al-Qaeda and its affiliated companies.
  • Held joint bank account with Abu Fadhl al Makkee at Bank Shmal, Khartoum, Sudan.
  • Married twice: in United States and in Sudan.1,3,4,5
  • In 1996, he may have discussed a plan with the Saudis to assassinate Osama bin Laden. Al-Fadl said he didn't trust the Saudis he was working with.6
  • Claimed to American agents to have seen Ramzi Yousef training at a camp in Afghanistan at an unclear date. Uncertain if true.6
    1 Testimony of Jamal Al-Fadl. United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript, Day 2, Feb. 6, 2001.
    2 U.S. government code name.
    3 Congressional testimony of Special Agent Mary Deborah Doran, FBI, before the Sept. 11 commission, June 16, 2004.
    4 Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript, Day 3, Feb. 7, 2001.
    5 Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript, Day 4, Feb. 13, 2001.
    6 Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl testimony, United States vs. Osama bin Laden et al, trial transcript Day 7, Feb. 20, 2001.
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    Page last modified: 01-11-2006 17:57:04 ZULU