Request from Minneapolis FBI to Washington for Search Warrant for Zacarias Moussaoui
(Defense Exhibit in the 2006 Trial of Moussaoui)


Precedence:      IMMEDIATE                                      Date:    08 / 24 / 2001

To:       Counterterrorism                                              Attn:     ITOS/RFU

                                                                                                ssa Michael Maltbie

                                                                                                IOS Rita Flack

From:   Minneapolis

                        Squad 5 / JTTF

                        Contact:           SA Harry M. Samit, ext (612) 375 - 3365

Approved By:   Jones G B

Drafted By:       Samit Harry M:hms

Case ID #:        (s)       

Title:                 MOUSSAOUI, ZACARIAS;

                        IT – OTHER

                        OO : MP

Synopsis:        Set immediate lead to request FBIHQ/CTD/ITOS/RFU secure a search warrant form the Foreign Intelligence Security Court (FISC) for the property and residence of captioned subject.

Administrative:  The “T” symbols listed in the enclosed Letterhead Memorandum (LHM) are described as follows”


                                     This communication references telcal from MP SA Jones to FBIHQ/CTD/ITOS/RFU SSA Maltbie on 08 / 24 / 2001.

Enclosure (s): Enclosed for RFU is an LHM as need to cover the lead set forth below.

To:       Counterterrorism          From: Minneapolis

Re:                                           08 / 24 / 2001

Details: Captioned subject, currently in the custody of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) at St. Paul, Minnesota, has among his property items believed to pertain to his activities in support of International Terrorism.  He has refused requests by Minneapolis for consent to search his effects.

                        As set forth in enclosure, Minneapolis is in possession of intelligence indications that Moussaoui is connected to a radical fundamentalist group operating in Chechnya, whose leader has ties to Usama Bin Laden.  For this reason, it is imperative that his effects be searched in order to gather intelligence relating to these connections and to any plans for terrorist attacks against the United States or United States Persons to which he may be a party.

                        Minneapolis therefore requests that RFU secure, on an emergency basis, authority from the FISC to search Moussaoui’s effects and his residence at 209A Wadsack Drive, Norman, Oklahoma.  An LHM has been enclosed to facilitate this process.  FBIHQ/CTD/ITOS/RFU is reminded that pending matter is urgent as Moussaoui is expected to be deported by INS in the near future.  Further, it is not yet known how far advanced Moussaoui’s plan is or how many unidentified co-conspirators exist. 

To:       Counterterrorism          From:   Minneapolis

Re:                                           08 / 25 / 2001

LEAD (s):

Set Lead 1:


                        AT ITSO/RFU

                                    Will secure, on an emergency basis, authority from the FISC to search Moussaoui’s effects and his residence at 209A Wadsack Drive, Norman, Oklahoma.  An LHM had been enclosed to facilitate this process.  FBIHQ/CTD/ITOS/RFU is reminded that pending matter is urgent as Moussaoui is expected to be deported by INS in the near future.  Further, it is not yet known how far advance Moussaoui’s plan is or how many unidentified co-conspirators exist. 

U. S. Department of Justice
Federal Bureau of Investigation


                                                                                                Minneapolis, Minnesota

                                                                                                August 24, 2001

Moussaoui, Zacarias;



This communication is classified SECRET.

Nature of Investigation:             International Terrorism_________

            Request of Minneapolis: Minneapolis requests that the Foreign Intelligence Security Court (FISC) issue a search warrant for the personal effects and, residence of captioned subject on an emergency basis.

(U) Investigative Background

                        This investigation was initiated after Minneapolis received information from Timothy Nelson, employed by Pan Am International Flight Academy, ___________telephone _______, that he and co-workers were training a student they considered suspicious. 

                        Pan Am International Flight Academy’s Eagan Facility is a fully accredited flight training center which uses flight simulators to train airline pilots form all over the world.  Training conducted there consists exclusively of initial training for persons far advanced in becoming airline pilots.   In both cases the typical student holds a Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Airline Transport Pilot (ATP) rating or foreign equivalent and has at least two thousand flight hours.

                        Nelson indicated that Zacarias Moussaoui, who met neither of the above criteria, had been in contact with his company’s headquarters in Miami, Florida and had paid $ 8,000 - $ 9,000 dollars in cash for training on the Boeing 747 Model 400 aircraft simulator. 

                        What set Moussaoui apart from all other students  in Nelson’s experience was that he had not aviation background, and to Nelson’s knowledge, no pilot’s license.  Nelson also considered it odd that Moussaoui indicated that all he wished to learn was how to take of and land the 747 Model 400, giving the reason that his was an “ego boosting thing”.  At the time Nelson called Minneapolis, Moussaoui had already received two days of classroom training and had been schedule for 4 -5 upcoming simulator sessions over the course of the next few days.  Mousssaoui had received his ground school instruction from a contract instructor named Clarence Prevost, who had also indicated that the thought Moussaouri was unusual.

                        Prevost, who is a retired airline pilot with more that 10,000 flight hours in a wide variety of aircraft, was subsequently interviewed regarding Moussaoui.  Prevost is a contract employee of Pan Am who travels to Minneapolis in order to train students.  He has been doing so for several years and characterized Moussaoui as unlike any other student with whom he has worked. 

                        At the time Prevost was interviewed, Moussaoui had completed the ground school portion and performed one flight in a low fidelity simulator with him.  Prevost was award that he had been schedule for several more sessions in the higher-fidelity simulators in the next few days.  Prevost noted that although Moussaoui lacked aviation experience and knowledge, there were certain 747-400 systems in which has was particularly interested.  Although Prevost himself brought the subject up, he indicated Moussaoui was extremely interested in the aircraft doors and their operation.  Prevost indicated that Moussaoui seemed surprised to learn that the doors cannot normally be opened in flight because of the pressurization of the cabin of the aircraft.

                        The other system in which Moussaoui was interested was the Mode Control Panel (MCP).  This is the portion of the aircraft’s avionics suite which controls the aircraft when flying in an automated mode and what allows the 747-400 Series aircraft to have a two-person flight crew as opposed to earlier models which required additional pilots.  Prevost indicated that at the time they did their one simulator session, Moussaoui already knew how to operate the MCP from previous study.  For information, Prevost indicated that the level of automation provided by the MCP gives the 747-400 the ability to fly, navigate and in some modes land in a fully automated manner. 

                        Prevost stated that for his upcoming high=fidelity simulator sessions, Moussaoui advised that he would “love” to fly a simulated flight from Heathrow Airport in England, to John F. Kennedy airport in New York, to include performing all navigation and communications involved.  He offered no explanation as to why he wished to do this.  Prevost was also aware that Moussaoui was interested in booking, additional simulator sessions after he finished his currently scheduled syllabus.

                        Investigation by Minneapolis Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF) Immigration and Natrualization Service (INS) Special Agents revealed the following information regarding Moussaoui and the individual believed to be traveling with him, Hussein Al-Attas:

-         Moussaoui, a resident of the United Kingdom, traveling on French passport # AE27016, entered the U.S. at Chicago, Illinois on 02/23/2001 on a visa wavier.  He traveled to Norman, Oklahoma shortly after this date, ostensibly for the purpose of taking flying lessons in Cessna aircraft.  Under the terms of the visa waiver program, citizen of certain countries may enter the U.S. without applying for a visa, however they are allowed to remain in the U.S. for no more than 90 days from the date of entry.  According the INS records, Moussaoui was admitted to the U.S. only until 05/22/2001 and was therefore in a overstay status and subject to arrest any time after his date.

-         Al-Attas, a resident of Saudi Arabia, traveling on Yemeni passport # _____ is in the U.S. on a F1 (student) visa, first issued in 1995,  Al-Attas indicated to INS that he is a student at the University of Oklahoma at Norman.

                        It was decided to arrest Moussaoui on the overstay violation in order to delay his receiving any further training on the Boeing 747-400 aircraft until he could be interviewed  and his true intentions determined.  He remains in INS custody as of this date pending deportation to his country of origin.  When arrested, Moussaoui was armed with a small sheathed knife in his pocket and admitted that a larger folding-blade knife found under the seat of At-Attas’ car was his.

                        Following his arrest, Moussaoui’s property was brought from the hotel in which he was staying to INS storage at his request.  Included among this was a laptop computer, cellular telephone and numerous spiral notebooks and 747 flight manuals.  He denied requests for consent to search his property. 

                        Subsequent interviews of both men and a consensual search of the effects of Al-Attas revealed the following:

 -         At-Attas, during an interview on the evening of 08/16/2001, described Moussaoui’s beliefs as having characteristics known to be consistent with those held by Radical Islamic Fundamentalists.  He also admitted tha tMoussaoui, whom he knows as Shaqil, is preparing himself to fight and has, in the past, expressed approval of “martyrs.”

 -         During this same interview, Al-Attas indicated that Moussasoui believes that it is acceptable to kill civilians who harm Muslims.  Al-Attas was also asked if he had ever heard moussaoui make a plan to kill those who harm Muslims and in so doing become a martyr himself.  Al-Attas admitted that he may have heard him do so, but that because it is not in his own heart to carry out acts of this nature, he claimed that he kept himself from actually hearing and understanding.

-         In a sworn statement signed on 08/17/2001, Al-Attas indicated that Moussaoui would harm “non-believers”, described as Jews and Christians, secretly if he believed they were harming Muslims.

-         Moussaoui was unable to give a convincing explanation for his paying Pan Am 7- 8,000 for 747-400 training.  Although he indicated that he ad completed approximately 50 hours of instruction at a flying school in Norman, Oklahoma, his level of aviation experience was in no way adequate to qualify him for this training.  His continued insistence that this was indulging a desire for a “joy ride”, clashed with the seriousness with which he was studying and preparing and his anxiousness to return to this when releashed from INS custody.  When arrested, he had among his belongings several Boeing 747-400 Flight Manuals and is believed to have been making provisions to acquire additional date regarding the operation of this type of aircraft through electronic means.

-         Moussaoui had no convincing explanation for the large sum of money known to have been in his possession during his time in the United States.  For information, upon arrival he is know to have opened a checking account with a deposit of $32,000 at a bank in Norman, Oklahoma.  Moussaoui did not provide information of sufficient detail or specificity to allow Minneapolis to account for a legitimate source of this money.  Minneapolis opines that Moussaoui’s income from his self-described employment as a freelance telemarketer in the UK would not be adequate to allow him to spend $ 8,300 for aviation training of no value to his stated goal of becoming a pilot.  Although At-Attas indicated that his is aware that Moussaoui receives money from overseas via a bank in Norman, Oklahoma, he had no information as to the source.

-         Moussaoui was likewise unable to convincingly explain a trip to Pakistan lasting from December 2000 until February 2001, initially informing Agents that is was for “personal reasons”.  He later indicated that he was in Pakistan attempting to find a wife.  Recipients will note that Moussaoui arrived in the U.S. only 16 days after leaving Pakistan, a country determined through other Minneapolis investigations to be a conduit for persons traveling to Afghanistan in order to provide or receive terrorist training and indoctrination.

-         Minneapolis believes that Moussaoui and, to a lesser extent, Al-Attas, were deceptive in their answers regarding their reasons for being the U.S. and their involvement in terrorist activities.  Further, Minneapolils is in possession of intelligence that Moussaouri is an Islamic extremist and believes that his training in the U.S. represents preparation for some future act in furtherance of these goals.

(U) Request of Minneapolis

                                    Minneapolis requests authority be granted on an emergency basis by the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to conduct a search of Moussaoui’s personal property currently in INS custody, and for his residence at 209A Wadsack Drive, Norman, Oklahoma.  Minneapolis wishes to emphasize the urgency of this matter in reminding recipients that Moussaoui is in INS custody pending deportation. Further, it is not yet known how far advanced Moussaouri’s plan is or how many unidentified co-conspirators exist.


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