Adnan el Shukrijumah
Updated July 9, 2008
a.k.a Mohammed Essagh, Abu Arif, Ja'far Al-Tayer, Jaffar Al-Tayyar, Jafar Tayar, Jaafar Al-Tayyar, "The South American"
Adnan Shukrijumah, an asthmatic computer engineer from Miramar, Florida, has been described by the FBI as"…a grave danger to the security of the United States." Born in June 1975 in either Saudi Arabia or Guyana, Shukrijumah is believed to be one of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's hand picked recruits, raised in the West, fluent in English and easily able to move around without unwanted attention.
Shukrijumah's Guyanese father, Sheikh Gulshair, who passed away in 2004, worked in Guyana for a time as a missionary for the government of Saudi Arabia. In the early 1990s, Sheikh Gulshair took a job with the Al Farouq Mosque in Brooklyn where some congregants were linked to the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and the subsequent foiled plot to blow up New York City landmarks. Gulshair denied any connection to the plotters. In 1995, he moved his family to Miramar, Florida where his son, Adnan, attended Broward Community College.
According to the FBI, in addition to computers, Shukrijumah excelled at biology and chemistry. It appears that Adnan became radicalized sometime in the late 1990s by some men in South Florida who captured his interest with books and videos about various jihads abroad. Since that time, Shukrijumah's name has surfaced frequently in connection to terrorist plots. Shukrijumah first became known to authorities during a 2001 investigation of another Florida man, Imran Mandhai. Mandhai was one of two Florida students convicted of conspiring to bomb electric stations, a National Guard armory, Jewish businesses, and Mt. Rushmore. Shukrijumah's name was mentioned during discussions recorded by undercover agents during the time Mandhai was plotting. Shukrijumah's father says his son knew Mandhai, but the two were not close. Shukrijumah stayed away from the plotters, having correctly assumed that the authorities were monitoring them.
In 2002, Shukrijumah again came to the attention of U.S. authorities. When intelligence officials started questioning detainees at Gunatanamo about still unknown al Qaeda operatives who might carry out attacks, several of the men gave the same answer – Jaffar al-Tayyar, or Jaffar the Pilot, which was one of Shukrijumah's aliases. It wasn't until after Khalid Sheikh Mohammed's capture in 2003 that the feds were able to be sure when Khalid Sheikh Mohammed identified a photo of Adnan Shukrijumah as Jaffar the Pilot. In March 2003, the FBI issues an all points bulletin for Shukrijumah who, at that point, had disappeared almost two years earlier. He is believed to have passports from various countries including Canada, Saudi Arabia, Guyana and Trinidad where he visited in 2001 with "company," according to witnesses.
Shukrijumah's father, said that Adnan left the United States for Trinidad (by way of Panama) about five months before the 9/11 attacks. Adnan, who had lived in Trinindad as a small child, was a permanent resident alien of the U.S., a status he has since lost since being out of the United States for more the six months. It is unclear what he was doing in Trinidad and much about Shukrijumah remains a hazy mystery. In late 1999, he started traveling to Pakistan and Afghanistan. While there, it is believed that he trained in an Al Qaeda training camp (according to the FBI, his sponsor into the camp was a Pakistani believed to be a Lashkar-e-Taiba and al Qaeda member). In March 2004, Shukrijumah was seen at an Al Qaeda summit in Waziristan. One attendee at the 2004 meeting, (potentially Shukkrijumah who had traveled extensively throughout the U.S. before his 2001 trip to Afghanistan), had footage of potential targets in Washington, DC and New York, including the New York financial district, the World Bank and the IMF.