From the Middle East to the U.S. Heartland

Friday, July 20, 2007

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al Marri Map

Marri’s father moves family from Saudi Arabia to Qatar. He becomes a citizen; children qualify for free education in West.


Marri, 17, arrives in U.S. to study at several Illinois colleges. He stays for nearly a decade, earning business degree from Bradley University in 1991.


1992-93: Back in Qatar, Marri works for Qatar Islamic Bank and the government audit bureau.


February: Truck bombing of World Trade Center, masterminded by Ramzi Yusef with financing help from his uncle, Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who in mid-'90s finds refuge in Quatar.


Son of Quatari emir stages coup against his father. Months later, members of Marri clan are among those publicly implicated in failed attempt to return the father to power.


MAY: Osama Bin Laden and entourage of 150 fighters leave Sudan for Afghanistan to set up terrorist training camps. During this time, Marri leaves Qatar for Afghanistan, trains for 15 to 19 months in al-Qaeda camps, receiving instruction about poisons and toxins, according to Pentagon.


(Time approximate) Marri returns to Qatar a jihadi, U.S. officials and faimly acquaintances say.


In Qatar, investigation of 1996 coup attempt implicates members of Marri clan. Some lose citizenship and government paychecks; Marri family returns to camel farm in Saudi Arabia.


MAY: Marri flies from Saudi Arabia to Chicago under assumed name, U.S. officials say. Surfaces in July at a Macomb, Ill., motel, where government alleges he establishes phony carpet business and uses stolen credit card numbers. He stays for a month.

AUGUST 17: Dhiren Barot, al Qaeda leader in U.K., and associate, arrive in New York to do surveillance on buildings including the New York Stock Exchange, the Prudential building in Newark and the World Bank in Washington.

AUGUST 18: Al Marri flies to New York for one day, according to FBI documents filed in court.


SUMMER: According to Pentagon version of events, Mohammed introduces Marri to bin Laden in Afghanistan and Marri is told he must arrive in the United States prior to 9/11.

AUGUST: Marri travels to United Arab Emirates, receives more than $13,000 in cash from Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi, alleged paymaster to the 9/11 hijackers, according to Pentagon.

SEPT. 10: Marri and family arrive in Chicago.

SEPT. 11: Marri famlily travels by taxi to Peoria. Al-Qaeda hijackers fly jets into the World Trade Center towers and the Pentagon.

SEPT. 13: Peoria police traffic officer stops Marri for violations.

OCT. 2: FBI agents visit Marri at his home in Peoria to question him after receiving several tips.

NOV. 4: Government tracks attempted calls to Hawsawi’s number and other numbers in Saudi Arabia and Pakistan.

NOV. 15: Al-Qaeda military commander Mohammed Atef is killed in Afghanistan.

DEC. 11: FBI agents return to Marri's home; they arrest him the next day. He is later charged with credit card fraud.


DEC. 23: Government charges Marri anew, with lying to federal agents about his phone calls and travel.


FEB.:CIA learns Saudi al-Qaeda leaders have positioned unknown operatives in the United States for an attack on subways. Homeland Security raises national threat level to high.

MARCH 1: Mohammed and Hawsawi captured in Pakistan. Mohammed eventually gives information about al-Qaeda’s plans and operatives, including Marri, according to sources. Mohammed’s computers yield a trove of information.

MAY 12: Marri criminal cases moved from New York back to Illinois, trial set for July.

MAY 31: Saudi al-Qaeda leader “Swift Sword” is killed.

JUNE 23: President Bush declares Marri an enemy combatant.


JUNE: Supreme Court rules that enemy combatants captured on U.S. soil are entitled to legal counsel. Pentagon soon stops trying to question Marri.


AUGUST: Marri’s lawyers sue government, saying that Marri was kept in "complete isolation from the world" and denied appropriate care for physical and mental symptoms he developed while in military custody. They later say his treatment improved markedly after the suit was filed.


APRIL 5: Pentagon document filed in court says Marri “currently possesses information of high intelligence value, including information about personnel and activities of al Qaeda.”


JUNE 11: Federal appeals court panel rules that Bush cannot indefinitely imprison a U.S. resident on suspicion alone, ordering the government either to charge Marri in a civilian court or release him. Government appeals; decision pending.


New York Stock Exchange

Time Out Motel in Macomb, Ill.

Macomb, Ill. mosque.

Kahlid Sheik Mohammed

Gate to Navy brig facility in South Carolina where al Marri is held.

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