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Connecting the Dots, the Padillas, and the Bisharas
by Loren Coleman

      On June 6, 2002, Congress began holding hearings on what alleged mistakes the Federal Bureau of Investigation might have made in preventing the 9/11 tragedies. The press had a field day, turning over and over its fifth estate examination of who or what agency could be responsible for the awful assault against America. Setting culpability is one of the psychological states that an individual or a country has to go through after a trauma is experienced.

The Dots

      We were not surprised to soon see that Senator Arlen "Magic Bullet" Specter would be the one getting the first sound bite on the evening news. Feathers ruffled, speaking to the nation's cameras and to FBI director Robert Mueller, Specter was broadcast saying: "It wasn't just a matter of connecting the dots, there was a virtual blueprint."

      "People talk a great deal about connecting the dots," said Rep. Nancy Pelosi of California, ranking Democrat on the House committee. She felt the intelligence agencies "didn't even see the dots, they didn't understand the salience of the dots." Of course, we must ask, does anyone in the mainstream media or government really "get it" at all?

      The question must be asked, why isnıt anyone in the national media talking about the seemingly subtle coincidences turning up in their wall-to-wall public analysis of terrorism in America?

      Americans have short-term memories. We can be excused. Weıre young. Our country lacks a legacy of understanding the complex relationships of political intrigue and religious warfare, which might assist us in these times. Is it any wonder that Europeans laughed at us in the 1960s, when John F. Kennedy was killed, as conspiracy theories were quieted? They took it for granted that the assassination involved more than one person. The establishment press did not.

      So, here we are, post-9/11, in the midst of al Qaeda's holy war, allowing the mass media to play their same old games again, with a new twist. It certainly is amusing to see the attack dogs of the mainstream media, at least for a few days, critiquing the intelligence services for "not connecting the dots." But wait a second, hasn't it been these same news reporters who proudly asserted for years that its special brand of investigative journalism figured out the deeper truths of the John F. Kennedy and Robert F. Kennedy assassinations, and, even, of the Oklahoma City bombing? While all of these events might involve groups of people, the underlying theme was, according to these same journalists, that lone nuts were at the foundation of such things.

      When in America will we understand that to employ the word "conspiracy" in context is not a sin, but actually might be a survival technique we need to learn? It might actually be of benefit if the general public did not whole-heartedly take everything in from the media without a bit more critical thinking along lines of analysis that may be seen as too alternative, in former years.

The Padillas

      Let us examine a couple of recent examples for what we were told, and for what might lie beneath.

      The Defense and Justice Departments picked June 11th to announce that on May 8, 2002, in Chicago, the FBI arrested an al Qaeda terror suspect as he stepped off a plane to begin what was reportedly a scouting mission that would end with the detonating of a dirty bomb, an explosive that would scatter radiation. The man known as Abdullah al Muhajir was born Jose Padilla, in Brooklyn of Puerto Rican heritage, thirty-one years ago. "Pucho," as his Logan Square neighbors called him, because of his chubby cheeks, moved to Chicago at age 5. By the time he was a teen, he allegedly told police he was a member of the Latin Disciples street gang. When he was arrested, he often would use aliases, at least seven of them, including Jose Alicea, Jose Ortiz and Jose Rivera, and provide police with different dates of birth. Padilla graduated from street crime on the West Side of Chicago to more violent incidents in Florida, leading to some juvenile jail time where he converted to Islam and chang ed his name. From there, the journey has been as well publicized as the information allows. In 1997 Padilla's mother, who had moved to Florida, called friends in Chicago to say that her son had married a Muslim woman and "went over there, to the Middle East, I don't know where," although reportedly, she gave out a Cairo, Egypt address to one person. Padilla's mother also said her son had joined a cult. Later, Abdullah al Muhajir left for training in al Qaeda's operations in Pakistan, came back through Zurich, and tried to get back in the USA at OıHare. "Pucho," who still has "Jose" tattooed on his right arm, waits his faith in a Navy brig in South Carolina.

      What are we talking about here, an American patsy for a network of individuals out to use bombs and assassinations to disrupt and defeat? Have we heard of anything like such a crazy thing as this before?

      Padilla? Where have we heard that name? We are not talking about racial or ethnic profiling here, but of thoughtful stream of consciousness associations, which may lead us to some underlying themes. Let's see, Padilla, Padilla? Oh yes. It happens to be a last name we heard during the Oklahoma City bombing investigations, one Lana Padilla. She is the ex-wife of Terry Nichols, convicted of being involved in the Murrah Federal Building bombing of April 19, 1995. That two Padillas are in some way tied up in plots to bomb American buildings, of course, is just a coincidence, right? It is merely a coincidence, nothing more, correct? Indeed, it would be intellectual foolishness to assume that the two Padillas are even closely related. But what it does provide is a process of stimulating logical and creative pathways to explore possibilities that lie outside the box, perhaps allowing for some insights into real-time terrorist conspiracies.

      Just for the heck of it, let's see where the leap from Jose to Lana leads us.

      After the Oklahoma City bombing, Lana Padilla, lately of Las Vegas but with relatives and links to Michigan, became an important government witness in the case against Terry Nichols. In 1997, Padilla testified during Nicholsı trial of the mysterious letter and several items in a sealed brown paper bag that Nichols left with her, the mother of his son, when he departed for the Philippines, November 22, 1994. She was only to open the bag if Nichols did not return to the United States by January 25, 1995. Due to scary things Nichols said at the airport about never coming back, Padilla decided the next day to open the package, and a second envelope marked for Jennifer McVeigh, the sister of Timothy McVeigh. What she found in the packages included instructions on how to find $20,000 in $100 bills, a life insurance policy, some keys, emergency numbers, and a list of precious metals (gold, silver and jade that were apparently taken in a robbery to finance the bombing, according to prosecutors). In the envelope addressed to Jennifer McVeigh, Padilla found a second letter addressed to Tim, instructing him to clear out two storage sheds that the government said contained ingredients for the bomb.

      But what was Nichols doing in the Philippines? Jim Keith, in his oft-overlooked book, OKBomb! Conspiracy and Cover-up (IllumiNet, 1996), discusses the suspicions that Terry Nichols "was used as a go-between in the Oklahoma City bombing plot by the Abu Sayyaf, implicated in the World Trade Center bombing, which took place on February 26, 1993." Of course, the similarities to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing and the 1993 World Trade Center bombing are striking, as to even involve the rental of Ryder trucks. Abu Sayyaf is the group that kidnapped the Burnhams, of course, and are said to be part of the worldwide al Qaeda network. Could the late Jim Keith be right? Why has the mainstream media ignored the clues in Keith's book? Is it because Keith was a conspiracy author and "conspiracy," the word, the thought, the idea is still a taboo subject, on many levels, to the mainstream media? But Keith's thoughts now stimulate good questions in 2002.

      Doesn't Terry Nichols sound, in many ways, like Jose Padilla/Abdullah al Muhajir, an American doing the advance work of al Qaeda, on the home front? What was Nichols doing in the Philippines? Why did Nichols take twenty lengthy trips to the Philippines? New York City's 1993 WTC bombing certainly had a Philippines connection, the Pakistani Ramzi Ahmed Yousef. Yousef, the alleged mastermind behind the first WTC bombing, who is quoted as saying after the failed 1993 attempt that they would do it right the second time, was also the brains behind the elaborate Bonjinka, translated as "the explosion." This was a plot to place bombs on 11 American jetliners and have them all explode on the same day, over the Pacific Ocean. Yousef carried out a test run for Bonjinka by having a bomb detonate on Philippines Airlines Flight 434, on December 11, 1994. One tourist was killed, ten injured. Yousef called the Associated Press after this bombing, to give credit to Abu Sayyaf. Looking at it, there sure are an awful lot of 11s in Bonjinka.

      "Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action." Old soldierıs adage.


      As a second example to peruse, let's look at the seemingly simple act of a copycat suicide victim, Charles Bishop. On January 6, 2002, Bishop, a 15-year-old youth crashed the Cessna plane he had stolen earlier in the day, into Tampa, Florida's 42 story Bank of America building, clearly modeling his action on the September 11th terrorists' suicide plane crashes. Bishop left a suicide note behind, which most of the media merely mentioned as admiring Osama bin Laden. On February 6, Tampa authorities released actual copies of the note. Here is the transcription of what Bishop wrote:

      I have prepared this statement in regards to the acts I am about to commit. First of all, Osama bin Laden is absolutely justified in the terror he has caused on 9-11. He has brought a mighty nation to its knees! God blesses him and the others who helped make September 11th happen. The U.S. will have to face the consequences for its horrific actions against the Palestinian people and Iraqis by its allegiance with the monstrous Israelis--who want nothing short of world domination!

      You will pay--God help you--and I will make you pay!

      There will be more coming!

      Al Qaeda and other organizations have met with me several times to discuss the option of me joining. I didn't.

      This is an operation done by me only. I had no other help, although, I am acting on their behalf.

      Osama bin Laden is planning on blowing up the Super Bowl with an antiquated nuclear bomb left over from the 1967 Israeli-Syrian war.

      Don't look in Time or Newsweek for this; itıs not there. You will only find the likes of the actual note at such sites as The Smoking Gun:

      So, is this the rages of an acne-cream poisoned boy (as his mother is now suing the company that produced the medicines her son was taking) or something deeper?

      The name, the name. Start there. A few newspapers quickly mentioned, and darted away from the fact that Charles Bishop's "family name" is Bishara. Apparently his mother did not like the Arab-sounding name during the Gulf War, and changed it to Bishop. It turns out the teenager's father is Charles J. Bishara, half-Sicilian, half-Syrian, who is described as a low-level crime figure in the Boston area, with a penthouse condominium at the new Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort in Naples, Florida. The elder Bishara traces his roots back to the Arab Christian clans of Lebanon.

      Bishara, Bishara? Where have we heard that name before? Oh yes, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan. This has been going on for a long time. Sirhan Sirhan, of course, is the convicted assassin of Robert F. Kennedy. On June 5, 1968, Sirhan, who is generally described in quick history datelines as a "Jordanian Arab", shot RFK in the Hotel Ambassador in Los Angeles. RFK died the following day, but the day he was shot was the first anniversary of the date that The Six Day War between Israel and Egypt began in 1967. A "Jordanian," humm? Letıs see. Yes, Sirhan Bishara Sirhan was born March 19, 1944, in Jerusalem, Palestine, the fifth son of Bishara and Mary (Muzher). The family practiced Jordanian Christianity, but belonged to the Arab-based society in the divided region. When Sirhan was 12, in 1956, his family obtained U.S. visas as Palestinian refugees, and they moved first briefly to New York City, and then to California.

      Much has been written, if you look in the right places, of the "Manchurian Candidate" sense that some investigators see in Sirhan Bishara Sirhan's actions before and during the RFK assassination. Are we seeing more Manchurian Candidates in Charles Bishara Bishop, Jose Padilla, shoe-bomber Robert Reid, and others that are flashes on the television screen? Or like Frank Eugene Corder who is credited with crashing his Cessna into the White House at 2300 hrs on September 11 1994? Interesting choice of a date. See Joe Vialls's discussion of this forgotten September 11th event, at: Roboplanes.

      Take that other recent copycat plane suicide on April 18, 2002, as another example. On that day, a man apparently acting deliberately flew at top speed into Milan's tallest skyscraper, hitting the 25th and 26th floors of the 30-story Pirelli Tower, a government building. (It probably is just a coincidence that Charles Bishara Bishop's plane hit almost at the same height, the 28th and 29th floors of the 42 story BoA building.) Italian Transport Minister Pietro Lunardi and Roberto Formigoni, the president of the region of Lombardy, both said they were convinced that Luigi Fasulo, the pilot of his powerful Rockwell Commander 112TC, had purposely committed suicide, and it was not an accident. While one official would later rule that this was not another copycat airplane-tower suicide, Fasulo's son and others still felt it was a suicidal act. Milan has been spoken of as the seat of al Qaeda connections in Italy.

Looking Outside the Box

      Who should be connecting the dots? Should it be alternative websites and conspiracy authors or the mainstream media and intelligence services? We speculate that it is about time that everyone engages in this sport because the narrow-minded approach is missing too many of the dots, let along not connecting them. Explore the questions that seemed too radical to even believe a mere year ago. What is happening with Americans made into soldiers of a holy war named Padilla and Bishara? How many other prison converts like Chicago gang-member Jose Padilla turned al-Qaeda terrorist or militia patsies have links to such diverse incidents as the Oklahoma City bombing? Why isn't there more talk about Terry Nichols' Filipino trips, allegedly to visit the al-Qaeda linked kidnapping group that got caught in the crossfire ending in Martin Burnham's death? What is the affection for so many 11s by Ramzi Ahmed Yousef? And what about teenager Charles Bishop who left a note of praise for Osma n bin Laden, and crashed a stolen plane into Tampa's 42 story Bank of America building? Why such neglect in discussing the fact Bishop's real name was Bishara, which just happens to be the middle name of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, America's first Palestinian Manchurian candidate assassin?

      If ever there was a time to think outside the box, it's now.

İLoren Coleman 2002


Loren Coleman, who teaches at the University of Southern Maine, is a well-known investigator and author. His recent books include a biography, Tom Slick: True Life Encounters in Cryptozoology (Fresno, California: Linden, 2002), detailing, among other things, the famed Texanıs cryptozoo-CIA links.

A tour of the inexplicable, Mothman and Other Curious Encounters (NY: Paraview, 2002), looking at the reality behind the recent Mothman motion picture and documentary.

Colemanıs third book of 2002, The Copycat Effect, is due out before yearıs end, from Paraview Press.

He can be contacted at

* Credit for a bit of intellectual stimulation which I turned into this piece must go to writer Patrick Huyghe, who carried on an exchange with me about "dots" during June 2002. When I told Patrick I was thinking about writing some of my ideas down, he warned me: "Holy, moly. You're about to become a conspiracy writer..." So be it. - Loren

Footnote [linked to the name Sirhan Bishara Sirhan]
*Just how important is Sirhan Bishara Sirhan in the scheme of things happening in the Middle East linked to Yassar Arafat?

Joseph Farah, editor of and author of This Land Is Our Land (NY: St. Martin's Press, 1996), has noted that Sirhan Bishara Sirhan has been at the head of lists of "political prisoners" whom Yasser Arafat wishes to get released. The "Nahr al-Bard" incident serves as a good illustration.

Farah writes: "Perhaps the most heinous crime against Americans and America perpetrated by Arafat personally was the kidnapping and machine-gun murder of two U.S. diplomats and a Belgian diplomat in 1973. As I reported last year, and as others have confirmed more recently, on March 2, 1973, Yasser Arafat ordered the cold-blooded, machine-gun murders of U.S. Ambassador Cleo Noel and Charges d'affaires George Curtis in Khartoum, Sudan.

This is no longer a matter of speculation. James J. Welsh, a former National Security Agency operative on Cyprus at the time, was the recipient of communication intercepts between Arafat and his Al-Fatah guerrilla leaders. Eight members of Arafat's Black September organization raided a reception at the Saudi Arabian embassy in Khartoum Feb. 27, 1973, rounded up a group of diplomats and held them hostage for days. The kidnappers, operating on the direct orders of Arafat, says Welsh, demanded the release of Sirhan Bishara Sirhan, the convicted assassin of Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, as well as other Arabs in jails throughout Europe and Israel. President Nixon refused to negotiate. Arafat's deputy, Abu Iyad, transmitted a message to the terrorists containing the codeword 'Nahr al-Bard' Cold River. That, says Welsh, was the signal to kill the Western diplomats, including a Belgian, Guy Eid." (Link)

Tapes exist showing that Arafat called back later during this 1973 hostage situation to make certain that the Black September group understood what he meant by "Nahr al-Bard." The gunmen replied the killings had already taken place but the media had not broadcast word of this on CNN, yet, for Arafat to know.

The origins of Black September began with Arafat's clashes with Jordan due to hijacked planes. On September 6-12, 1970, four TWA, Swissair and BOAC planes were hijacked (the El Al one failed), destroyed, and this was directly tied to Palestine civil uprisings and the resulting suppression that was to be called Jordan's "Black September." We must note that on September 11, 1972, the Munich Summer Olympics ended. Of course, it was at this Olympics that the "Black September" terrorists killed 11 Israeli athletes, on the 5th. This has been going on for a long time.

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