Who Are The Terrorism Informants In Witness Protection? | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

NPR : News

Who Are The Terrorism Informants In Witness Protection?

Known or suspected terrorists who cooperated with federal investigators in at least six major terrorism investigations over two decades were granted protection under the federal witness protection program –- and two of them temporarily could not be found by federal authorities, according to a report from the Justice Department's inspector general.

Identities of some of the alleged terrorists were not disclosed to the agency that compiles names for the Transportation Security Administration's "no-fly" list of potentially dangerous suspects, the report says. The two missing participants in the program –- whom the U.S. Marshals Service says it has been unable to locate –- are believed to be overseas, according to the report.

In a call with reporters, Justice Department officials said they have determined those two former participants left the U.S. years ago, have not tried to return, and do not present a threat.

Identities were not released, and the total number of protected witnesses in the terrorism cases was not provided. However, the Justice Department report names specific cases in which it says witnesses cooperated. Searches of news archives about those cases identify several informants known to have played a role. They include:

-- Michael Fortier, a co-conspirator and key witness in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, assumed a new identity upon his release in 2006.

-- Jamal Ahmed al-Fadl, a former aide to Osama bin Laden who cooperated in the 1998 East Africa embassy bombing trial, was placed under witness protection and still awaits sentencing.

-- A co-conspirator in the 2007 plot to bomb the JFK airport, Donald Nero, who testified against his co-defendants, was sentenced to four years in prison, but does not appear in the U.S. Bureau of Prisons locator database.

-- Bryant Neal Vinas, who testified as an expert witness in the trial of the 2009 New York City subway bomb plot and cooperated with terrorism prosecutors in Europe, pleaded guilty in 2009 to charges including a plot to attack the Long Island Rail Road but has not yet been sentenced.

Copyright 2013 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

NPR

The Colorful, Blossoming D.C. Arts Scene In The 1950s, '60s

In 1965 the work of six local painters went on exhibit at the now-defunct Washington Gallery of Modern Art. The show launched a movement, and the painters' work now hangs in major museums. One of those artists, now 97, lives in Arlington, Va.
NPR

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

If you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you'll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
NPR

For This Colorado Voter, Oil And Gas Debate Plays Out On His Property

Knocking on doors in Colorado, Steve Inskeep asks Antionio Covello about the election. The successful Denver business owner, a conservative, weighs mineral rights, foreign policy and division at home.
NPR

Selfies With Bears Prompt Warning From Park Rangers

Selfies with bears are showing up on Instagram. Rangers in South Lake Tahoe have been sufficiently worried to issue a warning: Wild bears are unpredictable, and could attack. #bearselfie

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.