“I am studying airplanes!”: Abdul al Salam al Hilal

Name: Abdul al Salam al Hilal

ISN #: 1463

Citizenship: Yemen

Birth Date/Year: January 30, 1968

Alleged Affiliation: Al Qaeda Facilitator

Key Allegation: Al Hilal had foreknowledge of the September 11 attacks and was responsible for facilitating the travel of al Qaeda operatives.

Details of Capture: He was reportedly lured to Cairo, Egypt in September of 2002 and detained by Egyptian Intelligence.

Current Status: As of late 2008, al Hilal is reportedly being held at Guantanamo.


During the summer of 2000, Italian authorities kept a close watch over a group of extremists in Milan with known ties al Qaeda™s international terrorist network. The cell operated out of the Islamic Cultural Institute and had organized a camp where the cell™s members and recruits could engage in a variety of activities designed to reinforce their hard-line views. Following the September 11 attack, Italy closed down the Institute, primarily because it housed the Sami Essid Ben Khemais network, which provided forged passports and other assistance to al Qaeda operatives seeking to travel to and from Afghanistan.

During one wiretap session, Italian authorities overheard one bigwig who had flown into Milan to attend the camp™s events. He bragged:

“Well, I am studying airplanes! If it is God™s will, I hope to bring you a window or a piece of a plane next time I see you We are focusing on the air alone It is something terrifying, something that moves from south to north and from east to west: the man who devised the program is a lunatic, but he is a genius. It will leave them stunned we can fight any force using candles and planes. They will not be able to halt us, not even with their heaviest weapons. We just have to strike at them, and hold our heads high. Remember, the danger at the airports. If it comes off, it will be reported in all the world™s papers. The Americans have come into Europe to weaken us, but our target is now the sky.”

Thomas Joscelyn is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Senior Editor for FDD's Long War Journal.

Tags: , , , , ,


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram