You may have seen the story from the AP, Man Sets Himself on Fire Near White House
, or CNN's version
. Turns out the gentleman in question, Mohamed Alanssi of Yemen, is an FBI informant. He had of recent begun to talk with reporters at the WashPost. This article, Terror Informant Ignites Himself Near White House
will appear on the front page of tomorrow's edition.
A Falls Church man who worked as a federal informant on terrorism set himself on fire in front of the White House yesterday, hours after announcing his suicide attempt and citing his growing despondency over how the FBI managed his case.
More from the article after the fold...
He came forward of his own, wanting to help. He was initially a willing informant. He was not one of Gonzolas' "clients".
Alanssi said that he went to the FBI in New York shortly after the 2001 terrorist attacks and offered information on alleged financers of al Qaeda working in Yemen. He said he quickly became a major informant for the FBI, on occasion traveling to Yemen to gather intelligence.
He was very useful to the FBI. He was instrumental in getting Mohammed Ali Hassan Moayad arrested, "persuading Moayad to travel from Yemen to Frankfort...[where Moayad] boasted of sending money and recruits to al Qaeda."
And what did he get for his troubles?
He volunteered that the FBI paid him $100,000 in 2003. But he said he had been expecting much more because he said some agents told him he would "be a millionaire." And although he was promised permanent residency in this country, he said, he has not received it.
To you or me, this may seem like a lot of money, keep in mind
In the recent interviews, Alanssi expressed anguish over not being able to visit his family in Yemen. He said that he suffers from diabetes and heart problems and that his wife is seriously ill with stomach cancer. Alanssi said he could not travel to his native country because he has no money and because the FBI, which is expecting him to testify at a terrorism trial in New York, was keeping his Yemeni passport.
But wait, it gets better. Not only do they fail to deliever on promises made, keep him from his sick wife, his "identity was leaked, along with details of his role" as an informant. He wrote to FBI agent Robert Fuller: "' Once I testify my family will be killed in Yemen, me too I will be dead man.'"
"It is my big mistake that I have cooperated with FBI," he said in a recent interview. "The FBI have already destroyed my life and my family's life and made us in a very danger position . . . I am not crazy to destroy my life and my family's life to get $100,000," he said.
With this in mind, Mr Alanssi did go to the White House this afternoon and set himself afire. He had communicated this plan to the Post, but did not give enough time for them to act.
I have yet to see this angle of his story be mentioned in the media. The coverage indicates he "repeatedly yelled 'Allah Allah'". Damn, if I set myself on fire, I too would be yelling "God" over and over (or my local variant). I hope Mr Alanssi doesn't get painted as some Islamic nutjob.
So this is how we treat those that come forward to help the FBI. Mr Alanssi was driven to act in a way that will surely cause any other Muslim thinking of helping us to think again. I close with this quote:
"I would like to tell all American People that I love them and I am proud to be a good friend for all American People, and I am asking them: Do you think what FBI did to me is it FARE or UNFAIR."
UPDATE: So, who is this Mohammed Ali Hassan Moayad?
According to Discovery Times
, listed under Successes
Jan. 10, 2003: In Frankfurt, Germany, police arrest Sheik Mohammed al-Hasan al-Moayad, a Yemeni cleric subsequently accused by U.S. authorities of providing recruits and $20 million in funds to al Qaeda.
I did some looking and found an article from September 22, 2004 in the NYT that mentioned his Jan 10 trial. Did the FBI just lose a key witness? In the end, soon will millions of dollars start flowing back toward al Quada?
I want to keep an eye on this story and look for a way to voice this problem so it might trouble the Red States.