Federal Appeals Court Judge Michael Chertoff’s ties to the financiers of the Sept. 11 attacks may prevent his confirmation as Homeland Security Chief.
According to a June 20, 2000 article in the The Record of Bergen County, New Jersey, Chertoff defended accused terrorist financier Dr. Magdy Elamir.
Elamir’s HMO was sued by the State of New Jersey to recoup $16.7 million in losses. At least $5.7 million went “to unknown parties… by means of wire transfers to bank accounts where the beneficial owner of the account is unknown,” according to the article.
Foreign intelligence reports given to then chairman of the House International Relations Committee Ben Gilman, R-New York, in 1998 accused Magdy Elamir of having “had financial ties with Osama bin Laden for years,” according to an Aug. 2, 2002 Dateline NBC broadcast.
In 1999, Magdy Elamir and brother Mohamed were named suspects in Operation Diamondback, an FBI/ATF undercover infiltration of Pakistani arms merchants who sought to arm Osama bin Laden with conventional and nuclear weapons, according to independent researcher and former New Jersey police officer Allan Duncan and taped transcripts with FBI informant Randy Glass.
Mohamed Elamir tried to purchase “small arms and ammunition” in a recorded telephone conversation with Glass, according to Dateline.
Dateline confirmed that Elamir and his corporations had paid at least $5,000 to Egyptian arms dealer Diaa Mohsen, who Elamir referred to on camera as a family friend. Moshen was sentenced to 30 months for his involvement in Operation Diamondback. However, Elamir was never convicted.
Duncan, who was hired by family members of the Sept. 11 victims to research government ties to the attacks, said the reason Magdy Elamir was never convicted was because he was never charged with a crime.
“By the time Operation Diamondback culminated in arrests in the summer of 2001, Michael Chertoff was the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the criminal division and Operation Diamondback would have fallen under his prevue since it was a criminal case and not a counterterrorism case,” Duncan said.
From 1990 to 1994, Chertoff was U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey, during the period when the first attack on the World Trade Center took place.
Omar Abdel-Rahman preached at the Al Salam mosque and was later arrested for his role in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, according to Dateline. Magdy Elamir was one of the Al Salam mosque’s financial supporters.
“The Jersey City area and particularly the Al Salam mosque were allowed to continue to be one of the major hubs of terrorist activity in the United States,” Duncan said.
Whether or not Chertoff had prior knowledge of Elamir’s alleged connections to Diaa Mohsen and bin Laden is unknown. Calls to Chertoff’s office were not returned.