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CODE WORDS FOR ´TERROR´ (NEW YORK POST) By KATI CORNELL SMITH 02/03/05)Source: http://www.nypost.com/news/worldnews/21688.htm NEW YORK POST NEW YORK POST Articles-Index-TopPublishers-Index-Top
February 3, 2005 -- Brooklyn jurors on the terror-financing case of a Yemeni sheik yesterday viewed secret tapes of him huddling with an assistant — allegedly to create code words for weapons and ammunition.

Not knowing his German hotel room was wired, Sheik Mohammed Ali Hasan al-Moayad allegedly suggested to his assistant that instead of referring to a shortage of ammunition, they could say, "The corn is running low."

"A person must be clever," al-Moayad, 56, tells Mohammed Mohsen Yahya Zayed, 31, on the tape. "For example, if you wish to buy ammunition . . . ´By God, Sheik Mohammed, we wish to buy corn. The corn is running low, should we buy it or what?´ "

The two men on trial in Brooklyn federal court spoke Arabic during a four-day sting operation in Germany in January 2003, but prosecutors have supplied jurors with English transcripts of their potentially damaging conversations.

The sheik could face more than 60 years behind bars if he is convicted of providing material support to al Qaeda and Hamas in the form of millions of dollars raised through businesses and mosques in Brooklyn.

Al-Moayad was arrested after he traveled to Germany to meet — unwittingly — with two FBI informants, one of whom posed as an Islamic extremist with $2.5 million to invest in terrorism.

In conversations with the informants, Al-Moayad allegedly discusses how to split the donations to terrorist groups and hide the cash, earmarking it for charities that help women, orphans and education.

On earlier tapes, jurors heard the sheik´s alleged boasts that he was Osama bin Laden´s spiritual adviser.

"He called me his sheik," al-Moayad said, according to court transcripts. "I used to teach him some of the Islamic laws."

Asked if he supported bin Laden "with money," al-Moayad responded, "Yes, financially yes, and I sat with him like now."

Defense lawyers have challenged the accuracy of English translations provided by FBI interpreters. (Copyright 2005 NYP Holdings, Inc. 02/03/05)


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