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Sources: Reid is al Qaeda operative

From Maria Ressa

Documents obtained by CNN link Richard Reid, left, to top al Qaeda figure Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.
Documents obtained by CNN link Richard Reid, left, to top al Qaeda figure Khalid Shaikh Mohammed.

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Intelligence documents obtained by CNN provide details about Richard Reid's al Qaeda activities, CNN's Maria Ressa reports (January 30)
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MANILA, Philippines (CNN) Richard Reid, the British drifter sentenced to life in prison Friday for trying to blow up a U.S. jetliner, was an al Qaeda operative, according to intelligence documents.

Reid reported to Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, chief of al Qaeda's military committee, the documents CNN obtained from two western nations show.

Among those documents are the interrogation reports of Mohammed Mansour Jabarah, another al Qaeda operative who was arrested last year in Oman and is now in custody at a U.S. military base.

The Kuwaiti-born Jabarah, who traveled on a Canadian passport, told his interrogators that he saw Reid in Afghanistan preparing for his shoe bomb attempt.

Reid and Jabarah, intelligence sources said, both reported to Mohammed, whom U.S. authorities call a key planner of the September 11 attacks.

"Richard Reid was in Afghanistan at the time Mohammed Mansour Jabarah was in Afghanistan, and Richard Reid was an operative who was controlled by Khalid Shaikh Mohammed," international terror expert Rohan Gunaratna said.

Reid was at the Khalden training camp in Afghanistan in 1998. He trained at the same time as Ahmed Ressam, the millennium bomber, convicted in April, 2001. Also in Khalden at the same time, was Zacarias Moussaoui, who faces trial this June in a U.S. court on September 11-related charges.

Jabarah met with Osama bin Laden two months before being sent to Southeast Asia by Mohammed, intelligence sources have told CNN.

Mohammed has been linked to every major al Qaeda attack, beginning with the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center. He was indicted in the Southern District of New York in January of 1996.

The FBI has put the Kuwaiti-born Mohammed on its list of most wanted terrorists and is offering a reward of up to $25 million for his apprehension or conviction.

Mohammed remains at large.

Intelligence documents show that even as he was working on the final details of the September 11 attacks, Mohammed was already thinking ahead, sending Jabarah to Southeast Asia to plan suicide truck bomb attacks against U.S. embassies and other western interests in the region.

That plot was foiled and Jabarah was captured.

Aside from Jabarah, Mohammed handled five other agents, including Reid, whom he sent on a target scouting trip to Israel and Egypt.

The search for Reid led Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl on a fatal trip Pakistan.

"Daniel Pearl was going in search of the al Qaeda network that was operational in Karachi, and it was at the instruction of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed that Daniel Pearl was killed," said Gunaratna.

Ahmad Omar Saeed Sheikh, a British-born Islamic militant, was sentenced to death by hanging by an anti-terrorism court in Hyderabad, Pakistan, for Pearl's murder.

Three accomplices received life sentences, which in Pakistan usually means 25 years.

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