47 Facts About Ahmed Ressam


Ahmed Ressam is an Algerian al-Qaeda member who lived for a time in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.


Ahmed Ressam was convicted in 2001 of planning to bomb the Los Angeles International Airport on New Year's Eve 1999, as part of the foiled 2000 millennium attack plots.


Ahmed Ressam was initially sentenced to 22 years in prison, after cooperating with the government in testifying about al-Qaeda and associated terrorist networks.


Ahmed Ressam is serving time at ADX Florence in Colorado, US.


The eldest of seven children, Ressam was born in 1967 and grew up in a town west of Algiers; he graduated from high school in 1988.


In 1984, Ahmed Ressam traveled to Paris, France, for special medical treatments; it was his first time out of Algeria.


Ahmed Ressam failed the exams to college and applied for jobs with police or security forces but was turned down.


Ahmed Ressam left Algeria on September 5,1992, due to the civil war in the country, entering France on a forged Moroccan passport in the name of "Nassar Ressam".


Ahmed Ressam was arrested on immigration violations in Corsica, a territorial collectivity of France, in November 1993, and France deported him to Morocco on November 8,1993.


Ahmed Ressam entered Canada on February 20,1994, using a fake, illegally altered French passport in the name of "Anjer Tahar Medjadi".


Ahmed Ressam was released pending a hearing, and approved for up to three years of welfare benefits.


At the time the warrant was issued, Ahmed Ressam was in Afghanistan, attending a terrorist training camp.


Ahmed Ressam supported himself by theft, and through welfare benefits of C$500 per month.


Ahmed Ressam became friends with Raouf Hannachi, an al-Qaeda member who served as the muezzin at Montreal's Assuna Mosque.


Ahmed Ressam told Ressam about the experience and jihad, encouraged him to train as well, and ultimately arranged a trip to the camp for him and his roommate Mustapha Labsi.


On March 17,1998, interested in joining jihad in Algeria, Ahmed Ressam traveled using his fraudulent "Benni Noris" passport from Montreal to Karachi, Pakistan.


Ahmed Ressam trained for six weeks in how to manufacture advanced explosives and make electronic circuits at Derunta training camp, outside Jalalabad, Afghanistan.


Ahmed Ressam said trainees were explicitly instructed to attack only military targets, that it was an offense against Islam to kill or injure innocent civilians.


Ahmed Ressam said Ressam would not have been sent to Khalden if he were thought to be someone who believed Islam justified attacking civilians.


Ahmed Ressam returned to Montreal in February 1999 under the name "Benni Noris", bringing $12,000 in cash he had obtained in Afghanistan to fund the attack.


Ahmed Ressam brought in hexamine and glycol, and a notebook with instructions for making explosives.


Ahmed Ressam was familiar with it and thought it would be a politically and economically sensitive target.


Ahmed Ressam planned to conduct a rehearsal using a luggage cart, putting it in a place that was not suspicious, and observing how long it would take for airport security to notice it.


Ahmed Ressam planned to execute his plan in a passenger waiting area, using one or two suitcases filled with explosives.


In September 1999, Ahmed Ressam purchased electronic equipment and components in order to build detonators, and made four timing devices.


Ahmed Ressam recruited Abdelmajid Dahoumane, an old friend of his, to help him.


Ahmed Ressam had met Mokhtar Haouari in early 1994, when he first arrived in Canada.


Haouari was involved in fraudulent activity that included the theft and sale of stolen passports and creation of fraudulent credit cards, and Ahmed Ressam sold him some stolen identity cards.


Ahmed Ressam called Abu Doha in London, told him that he wanted to return to Algeria after the attack, and was assured he would receive money and documents.


Ahmed Ressam arranged for the English-speaking Meskini to wait for him in Seattle.


Ahmed Ressam rented a dark green 1999 Chrysler 300M luxury sedan, and on the evening of December 13, Ahmed Ressam and Dahoumane hid the explosives and all the related components in the wheel well in the car's trunk.


Ahmed Ressam successfully passed through US Immigration and Naturalization Service checks in Victoria, and boarded the last ferry of the day for the 90-minute crossing to the US.


Ahmed Ressam had a passport, Quebec driver license, and credit cards all in the Noris name, as well as another Quebec driver license with the same date of birth, but in the name "Mario Roig".


Ahmed Ressam was arrested by the US Border Patrol on charges of misrepresentation on entry and failure to be inspected, booked into the Clallam County Jail in Clallam County, Washington, and investigated by the US Federal Bureau of Investigation.


Ahmed Ressam's fingerprints were analyzed by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, who determined that he was "Ahmed Ressam", rather than "Benni Antoine Noris".


Ahmed Ressam's sentencing was delayed for four years, to give counter-terrorism analysts a chance to fully exploit him as an intelligence source.


Ahmed Ressam entered into a June 23,2001, cooperation agreement with the US government.


Ahmed Ressam provided information to law enforcement officials of the US and six other countries with regard to al-Qaeda's organization, recruitment, and training activities.


Ahmed Ressam revealed that al-Qaeda sleeper cells existed within the US This information was included in the President's Daily Brief delivered to President George W Bush on August 6,2001, entitled Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US.


Ahmed Ressam testified in July 2001 against his accomplice and co-conspirator, Haouari.


Ahmed Ressam's accusations were used as the basis of 7 of the 12 unclassified allegations in the Summary of Evidence memo prepared for Abu Zubeida's Combatant Status Review Tribunal.


The Globe and Mail opined that the intelligence analysts' reliance on Ahmed Ressam's confessions was due to wanting unclassified allegations against Abu Zubeida to be based on evidence that was not gained through torture.


Ahmed Ressam had trained with Zacarias Moussaoui at Khalden Camp and was able to identify him when asked.


The Seattle Times described Ahmed Ressam's sentencing hearing as the "gripping climax" to his journey through the US court system.


US Attorney John McKay argued Ahmed Ressam should get a 35-year sentence, because he had declined to cooperate in two cases, which would go unprosecuted.


In November 2006, Ahmed Ressam wrote to Judge Coughenour, recanting his accusations against Zemiri and saying he had not participated at all in the bombing plot.


Ahmed Ressam is serving his sentence at ADX Florence, a maximum security prison in Colorado.