- The Washington Times - Thursday, May 27, 2004

PANAMA CITY — Global intelligence and police agencies are hunting for terrorists with ties to places as disparate as Boston, Islamabad and Panama City, part of a U.S. scramble to head off what officials fear could be a massive attack this summer.

The U.S. Justice Department released a list of seven persons wanted for questioning Wednesday after authorities received a stream of credible intelligence reports pointing to a terror attack of September 11 proportions in the United States this summer.

Foreign governments have been recruited, and the multinational character of the list shows one of the major difficulties in fighting terrorism.

Those on the list include a U.S. citizen who grew up on a goat ranch in California before converting to Islam; a Tunisian who obtained Canadian citizenship; a Pakistani woman who received a biology degree in Boston; and a Saudi who may carry the passports of as many as four nations friendly toward the United States.

Even Panama, a country known more for its canal than terrorism, has been included in the search. Officials said Wednesday they are trying to track down Adnan Gulshair El Shukrijumah of Saudi Arabia.

Panamanian Security Council Chief Ramiro Jarvis said El Shukrijumah arrived in Panama legally from the United States in April 2001 and stayed in Panama for 10 days. He also visited Trinidad and Tobago for six days the next month.

“We don’t know exactly what he did during his stay and it is important to find out,” Mr. Jarvis said.

Records show El Shukrijumah returned to the United States, Interior Department spokesman David Salayandia said. The last place he was seen, however, was in Panama.

U.S. authorities have said El Shukrijumah has many aliases and may be carrying passports from Saudi Arabia, Trinidad and Canada. Police in Guyana have said he also holds a valid passport from that South American country, where his father was born.

The revelation was one of the few indicators that have tied Latin America to the global terrorism threat. Officials have long worried that terrorists would use the region to attack the United States, but little evidence so far supports that fear.

Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Anne McLellan said there was no evidence any terrorists are in Canada, but she urged Canadians to report suspicious activity.

“We know that we are not immune to terrorism, and that we must be vigilant,” she said.

One of the men, Abderraouf Jdey, a Tunisian who obtained Canadian citizenship in 1995, was among five persons who left suicide messages on videotapes recovered in Afghanistan.

Pakistani security officials also are looking for information on Aafia Siddiqui, 32, a Pakistani woman who received a biology degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and wrote a doctoral thesis on neurological sciences at Brandeis University, outside Boston, in 2001.

Authorities say she returned to Pakistan shortly after the September 11 attacks with her husband and three children. Her whereabouts have been a mystery since March 2003, when the FBI issued a global alert for her arrest for suspected links to al Qaeda. The FBI also wants to talk to her husband.

U.S. authorities have not said that Siddiqui is a full-fledged member of al Qaeda, but they think she could be a “fixer” — someone with knowledge of the United States who can assist other operatives.

A senior Pakistani security official said on Wednesday that the United States had made no new request for Pakistan to find Siddiqui but that one issued last year was still in effect despite turning up nothing at the time.

A 25-year-old U.S. citizen, Adam Yahihyi Gadahn, is also a suspect. He goes by the names Adam Pearlman and Abu Suhayb Al-Amriki. FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III said he attended al Qaeda training camps and has served as an al Qaeda translator.

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