Episode 3: The Bomb
It’s February 1993. 8 years before the 9/11 attacks. New York City.
FBI Agent John Anticev and NYPD Detective Louis Napoli are at their desks in the offices of the Joint Terrorism Task Force in Lower Manhattan. They are not happy. How could they be? They’re trapped inside a professional nightmare.
They had an informant who told them a homegrown terror cell is planning an attack...but FBI supervisors cut him loose.
Anticev and Napoli had rounded up possible suspects and tried to scare them into giving up the plan. But the suspects were battle-scarred veterans of the Afghan War: those guys don’t crack. So they had to let them go.
Now, on this mid-winter day, the agents are on edge, back to square one, working the phones in an office just blocks...from the World Trade Center.
John Miller covered the New York City crime beat for NBC in the 1990s. He remembers this one day down to the weather. That’s not surprising.
JOHN MILLER: February 26, 1993 is a cold, blustery day. It’s windy. It’s gray. It’s snowing. And at the World Trade Center on that morning, you had the fifty-some odd thousand people, you know, that made up the small city that those two towers seemed to hold.
LOUIS NAPOLI: I was in the office. It was a normal day.
LOUIS NAPOLI: Working on information that we had gathered on Nosair, Sheikh Rahman. So, we were just doing normal investigation work, uh, when...
NBC NEWS REPORTER: This is an NBC News Special Report an explosion earlier this afternoon tore through the basement of the World Trade Center complex.
LOUIS NAPOLI: …news came that there had been an explosion in the World Trade Center.
John Miller rushed to the scene.
JOHN MILLER: There’s fire, and there’s smoke, and it is billowing up. The medical team that was on duty that day, just upstairs from the blast, was literally blown out of the chairs they were sitting in and picked up their gear and started to head towards what was a seemingly unending pool of victims.
CHUCK SCARBOROUGH: John Miller is live on the scene right now. John?
JOHN MILLER: Well, Chuck, uh, actually things are still developing here fast and furiously. There’s, uh, police helicopters making shuttle flights to the roof to, uh, remove those who are most seriously affected by the smoke.
JOHN MILLER: People are trying to find their way out from a building that’s, you know, a hundred and ten stories tall, down fire stairways and through hallways and you’re watching them spill onto the street, coughing and hacking, their noses covered with black soot.
MAN ON STREET: It was chaos because you didn’t know whether the fire was below you or above you. You didn’t know which way to go.
WOMAN ON STREET: I figured they’d just come and find 150 dead bodies up here. We didn’t think we were going to get out. We didn’t think we were going to get out at all.
This is Blindspot: The Road to 9/11. The story of the long, strange wind-up to the attack that remade the world … and the chances we had to stop it. I’m Jim O’Grady.
WATERFALL OF UPCOMING CUTS FROM EPISODE:
JOHN ANTICEV: He had hurt feelings.
EMAD SALEM: I felt guilty for so long.
BRAD GARRETT: You’ve now overstepped yourself, and we’re going to do something about it.
MARY JO WHITE: Look, it’s always easy in hindsight to say it’s a big mistake.
Episode Three: The Bomb
The assassination of Rabbi Meir Kahane in 1990 had been the first strike in the U.S. by a terrorist linked to Al Qaeda. The World Trade Center bombing in 1993, just 28 months later, was the second.
As first responders swarmed the scene, The National Security Office at The White House fixed on a leading suspect for the bombing.
Ready? Serbia. This is not as bananas as it sounds. A civil war was raging in the former Yugoslavia, and the U.S. had chosen sides. American diplomats supported economic sanctions on the Serbs -- and were threatening to bomb their army -- as punishment for ethnic cleansing. So the theory went like this: a pro-Serbian group had set off a bomb in New York as a way of registering their objection. That was a thing in the 1990s. John Miller said it before:
JOHN MILLER: New York was kind of the United Nations of terrorism...
...with violent extremists competing to get their grievances on the air. After the World Trade Center bombing, the FBI sent its one agent who spoke Croatian to JFK Airport and told him to interview passengers arriving from the Balkans … see what you can find. As it happened, that agent was John Anticev … and he found nothing.
That’s really the point. The U.S. intelligence community was totally caught off guard by this bombing. Not since Pearl Harbor had a foreign attack like this occurred on U.S. soil.
PETER BERGEN: Americans tended to assume that threats from overseas were highly unlikely to come to the United States.
That’s Peter Bergen, CNN national security analyst.
PETER BERGEN: I think that goes back to the fact that Americans have been insulated from mass-casualty, violent attacks by geography. I mean we, United States is protected by the Pacific and the Atlantic.
It’s an idea woven into our self-mythology. Ronald Reagan was always saying stuff like this.
RONALD REAGAN: I believe this blessed land was set apart in a very special way.
As president, Reagan went so far as to issue a proclamation that took America’s happy accident of geography and gave it a providential spin. He declared, quote: “A divine plan placed this great continent here between the oceans.”
Where, you know, we’d be safe.
The World Trade Center bombing of 1993 was a slap in the face, a warning bell, whatever you want to call it. The toll was shocking: six dead, more than a thousand wounded, 500 million dollars in damages.
But there was one guy not taken by surprise. He was watching from home, like everyone else.
EMAD SALEM: I open the TV and…boom, the bomb went off. I said, “Honey” - I called my wife. I said, “This is it. This is the bomb. They did it!”
The FBI informant who’d infiltrated the small group of jihadists that had just obliterated several underground levels of one of the tallest buildings in New York.
EMAD SALEM: I felt guilty …that there is six people died on my watch. I could have protected them.
Salem had known the group was working with explosives -- they’d even asked him to make bombs for them. And he knew they had an expanding list of potential targets: politicians, judges, and - quote - “Jewish locations” in Brooklyn.
But Salem had refused to wear a wire for the FBI, saying, Uh unh, too dangerous. So a supervisor yanked him from the case. Salem had to walk away before he could find out the actual target. Now, by watching the news, he’d learned what it was. His next thought: They could do it again.
STAND-UP - JERSEY CITY WATERFRONT
I’m standing on the Jersey City waterfront, it’s a peaceful morning, families with kids and strollers, and cyclists are going by. And I’m looking across New York harbor at a spot in the sky where the Twin Towers once stood. In 1993, the Twin Towers were landmarks of daily life especially around here. You’d go about your day and you’d see them. In 1993, Ramzi Yousef stood here. He was 24-years old. And when he saw the Twin Towers, he saw sitting ducks.
Yousef came to the U.S. on an asylum claim and then he linked up with the Blind Sheikh at a Jersey City mosque not that far from here -- inland, uphill. The Blind Sheikh was an imam who urged his followers to wage holy war on the West. He personally approved Yousef’s plan to attack the World Trade Center.
So on the morning of February 26th, Yousef was standing right around here, staring across the water at the Twin Towers, when his massive bomb went off. He took pride in his engineering skills … so he was curious to see whether the blast would deliver the kind of carnage he intended.
JOHN MILLER: Ramzi Yousef as a professional terrorist knew that you don’t wait around after you have set the fuse, you know, on your plot. He went to New Jersey to get his things, but he stopped. And he wanted to see if his plan would go the way he designed it, which was that the first tower would begin to topple, you know, tipping over, falling like a, like a Dunhill lighter, into the other tower, causing them both to crash down on the heart of New York’s financial district - causing, you know, not just 50,000 casualties of the people inside, but thousands on the street.
But that’s not what he saw. What he saw was a big puff of black smoke come up from the garage. And he saw the towers were still standing, and he saw that the clock was still ticking. So he went to the airport and he got out on a plane, and he went on to his next terrorist plot.
So the master bomber is gone. The cops and the FBI don’t know that yet … but Agent Brad Garrett -- who worked the case -- says they’ve got a hunch that more than one guy is involved.
BRAD GARRETT: The bombing of the World Trade Center had the flavor of being more maybe driven by a group of people.
The attack occurred within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. And that office had a brand new boss.
MARY JO WHITE: Mary Jo White. I’m not a legacy person, but if I have a legacy, it’s international terrorism cases.
Veteran prosecutor Mary Jo White, previously known for taking down inside traders on Wall Street and mobster John Gotti.
MARY JO WHITE: Organized crime cases, international drug cases, and white-collar cases.
She assumed her work for the Southern District would be much the same. But on the afternoon of the bombing her boss gave her a new priority.
MARY JO WHITE: Got a call, from Attorney General Janet Reno and she made quite clear I was to take over the supervision of that investigation that day.
“That investigation” being the World Trade Center bombing. That night, at 1 a.m., White convened a meeting at the FBI office on Lower Broadway. Agents Anticev and Napoli were in the room and they had news for the U.S. Attorney .. and it was awkward. They told her their informant had gotten “very close” to the probable bombers and had been hearing about an impending attack … but then a supervisor had dropped him from the case.
Excuse me, what?
MARY JO WHITE: Look, it’s always easy in hindsight to say it’s a big mistake. I think it was a mistake. I made it very clear to my prosecutors and to the FBI that he needed to get put back in if at all possible.
JOHN ANTICEV: The supervisor said, “Oh, he’s gonna want a lot of money.” He didn’t want to pay him.
LOUIS NAPOLI: And I think Mary Jo White answers, “I don’t care how much he wants.”
MARY JO WHITE: Get him back in.
The FBI agreed to offer Salem a bit of a salary bump … from $500 a week to a payment of a million dollars. And there would be a bonus: Witness Protection, should that become necessary for Salem or members of his family in Egypt who’d be vulnerable to reprisal. Anticev picked up the phone.
JOHN ANTICEV: I called Emad and he was like,
EMAD SALEM: “Remember what I told you, John?” And he: “Yes, yes, but, uh, I think we need you to come back.”
JOHN ANTICEV: He had hurt feelings. He knew the opportunity missed too.
LOUIS NAPOLI: Emad would have been there. If the Bureau would have allowed us to work him and hopefully talk him into wearing a wire, there’s no doubt in my mind that the first World Trade Center would have never happened.
Working an anti-terrorism job is, by definition, high stakes. Screw-ups mean people die. Followed by recriminations that can last for years. But what else can you do besides try and get ahead of the next one?
EMAD SALEM: I agreed to go back, and I start to open my ears to hear what happened.
So here’s the state of play: Emad Salem is back on the case, angling to re-insert himself as a mole in a terror cell led by Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, also known as the Blind Sheikh. Meanwhile, the JTTF -- … the Joint Terrorism Task Force -- has begun looking for clues … in the gaping hole beneath the North Tower ... gouged out by Yousef’s 1,500-pound bomb.
LEWIS SCHILIRO: I was on scene probably 2 to 3 hours after the device had exploded in the basement of the tower
FBI Assistant Director Lewis Schiliro.
LEWIS SCHILIRO: The initial reaction for those that responded was it was an incredible crater.
Nearly a hundred feet wide.
LEWIS SCHILIRO: So, I was dispatched to help coordinate the evidence collection. We began to, um, send agents down to the Trade Center.
Initial reports said the cause of the blast was a generator explosion. But as Schiliro’s agents picked through the tangle of concrete and mangled rebar and shredded clothes … they found something else.
LEWIS SCHILIRO: They came to the center of the explosion, and it was apparent that it happened in a van because the van was literally blown apart. One of the JTTF members, who was a detective, happened to work in the auto crimes task force before he got to the terrorism side and he was an expert in motor vehicle parts.
JOHN MILLER: And he’s looking down into the hole ...
Reporter John Miller:
JOHN MILLER: … and he says “That is the rear end of a truck that was ripped off. That’s the seat of the blast, and if that rear end is down there, it likely came from the vehicle that carried this bomb. And if we can get to that thing, I know where there’s a hidden VIN number in the rear end of a truck.”
The VIN, or vehicle identification number. The expert was right. The VIN was there. They found it and sent it back to the office.
LOUIS NAPOLI: My supervisor was in the cubicle in front of me, gives me the VIN and says ‘Louis, run the VIN please.’
JOHN MILLER: And it came back to a Ryder rental truck in Jersey City.
LOUIS NAPOLI: Being rented by Mohammad Salameh.
Mohammed Salameh. Palestinian. Twenty-five years old.
LOUIS NAPOLI: And my eyes – like, I just went like this.
The name definitely rang a bell with Anticev and Napoli.
JOHN MILLER: He’s one of the guys they’d been following to the shooting range.
One of the guys from Anticev and Napoli’s original investigation. Guys they’d followed from the Calverton shooting range to a pair of mosques: one in Brooklyn and one in Jersey City.
LOUIS NAPOLI: I got on the phone, and I called John.
JOHN ANTICEV: Louis was beeping me, and he put down a series of 911s after it. Louis said, “It’s ours.” I said, “What do you mean it’s ours?”
LOUIS NAPOLI: “It’s our people, the people that we’ve been doing all this work on that are involved.”
JOHN ANTICEV: You know that feeling you get when something crazy happens, like your cheeks start to tingle and you get like a narrow tunnel vision?
LOUIS NAPOLI: Your stomach is churning. You – You just wanna punch something
JOHN ANTICEV: And that -- that’s what happened to me. I said, “Oh my God.” And then everything just rushed back into my head.
Mohammed Salameh is known to them, as are his associates. Getting his name has given them a jump.
LOUIS NAPOLI: Things started stirring. A war room was set up where all this information was loaded up. You know, analysts came in.
It’s good to have a war room with analysts and everything and to be all organized. But It’s even better to be lucky. Here’s what I mean.
When Mohammed Salameh got his instructions in the World Trade Center plot, one of them was to rent the van that would carry the bomb. So he goes to Ryder Truck in Jersey City … and picks out a Ford Econoline van ... and fills out the paperwork … using his real name.
Coupla lessons here:
Rule number one: Do not use your real name when you rent the van. Your name will be revealed if an investigator finds the VIN. Use a fake name.
Rule number two: Don’t do what Mohammed Salameh did next. Knowing the van would be destroyed and there’d be nothing to return, he called Ryder and reported it stolen. Why’d he do that? Because Mohammed Salameh wanted Ryder to return his $400 deposit.
That brings up rule number three: If you’re broke but directly connected to a terrorist attack that is right then being scrutinized by the FBI, don’t delay your getaway for $400. Because that gives the guys who are trying to find you time to catch up ...
… by locating the Ryder Rental in Jersey City.
JOHN MILLER: If you could throw a rock across the Hudson River from the World Trade Center, you could have hit this place. So they send agents there, and they say, “Yeah, a guy named Mohmmed Salameh rented that truck and it was several days ago and then they reported it stolen.
So the agents say:
JOHN MILLER: “Well, we’re not gonna see him again.”
But the Ryder employee responds:
JOHN MILLER: “Oh no, yes we are, because he wants to get his deposit back, so he’s on his way here.”
Mohammed Salameh is about to break rule number four: Don’t go in person to get the money.
It’s baffling, I know. But consider this description of Salameh by one of his co-conspirators. He is - quote - “the stupidest terrorist in the world. He is the stupidest, the stupidest, the stupidest of God’s creatures.” End quote.
JOHN MILLER: So one of the agents changed into the manager’s outfit and started posing as the manager, and who walks in but Mohammed Salameh.
The agent-disguised-as-the-manager wants to engage the terrorist in conversation and maybe get him to reveal some more information. So he tries to talk him down from $400 to $200. And then he’s like, “Yeah and I don’t believe this van was stolen.” Salameh says:
JOHN MILLER: “Well the truck was stolen, but you know I only want what is fair cause fair is justice, and you know, I gave my deposit, but it’s not my fault it was stolen, and you must have insurance.”
The customer ... grudgingly accepts the $200 and walks outside. That’s when an FBI SWAT team surrounds Mohammed Salameh and places him under arrest.
So that’s settled.
Well … Novel problems, by their nature, are hard to grasp. And once they’re grasped, sometimes even harder to accept. The novel problem in the World Trade Center bombing was fully appreciating that it was more than just an isolated crime. That it was, in fact, a major initiative by an enemy of the United States. And that its roots were international.
One of the plotters, himself a veteran of the Afghan War, said the plan had been hatched in Afghanistan and brought to the U.S. by Ramzi Yousef.
The bombing was the opening of a campaign -- This was a war that had leaped over oceans and landed in New York. Some in the FBI tried to puzzle out the overseas connections … but as The 9/11 Commission report said of anti-terror investigations like this one, it was “not designed to ask if the events might be the harbingers of worse to come.” Instead, the officers and agents focused on doing what they knew how to do: identify the perps and haul ‘em in.
This is Blindspot: The Road to 9/11.
In February 1993, a week after the World Trade Center bombing, a guy who should have scrammed out of town immediately … made a strange decision. He waited around for the chance to pick up his $400 deposit on a rental van that had been turned into a bomb.
His arrest allowed the FBI to start cracking the case … and to start understanding that a new kind of ideological animus was moving through the world. Its adherents were galled by America’s status as the one true superpower … To them, the World Trade Center was not a feat of engineering. To them, as New Yorker writer William Finnegan put it, the towers were “preeminent symbols of cool, godless, Western wealth.”
Here’s Leon Panetta, former CIA director who was then an advisor to President Clinton:
LEON PANETTA: When the bomb went off in the Trade Center, there was this realization that we are dealing with a whole new threat.
U.S. intelligence was beginning to connect the dots … but had many more to go.
LEON PANETTA: There was no question in my mind there was a growing sense that we were now beginning to deal with an enemy that was much harder to nail down, in terms of just exactly what is the threat here?"
While Washington was wrestling with this novel problem, local law enforcement was rolling up suspects.
JOHN MILLER: In the wake of the World Trade Center bombing, you know, the entire Joint Terrorism Task Force was galvanized.
That’s reporter John Miller.
JOHN MILLER: We're on the hunt now. They’re getting search warrants. They’re booming doors, they’re making arrests.
And Remember Ibrahim El-Gabrowny? He’s the cousin of El-Sayyid Nosair. The guy who traveled to Pakistan to pick up Osama bin Laden’s cash donation to Nosair’s defense fund. $20,000.
The cops arrest Gabrowny in Brooklyn. Fun fact: he’s carrying a fake Nicaraguan passport for Sayyid Nosair -- part of a plan to bust him out of prison, which never happens.
REPORTER: Federal authorities expect to make two more arrests soon.
JOHN MILLER: Each day brought another member of the cell who was captured somewhere. Today an arrest in Brooklyn. Tomorrow another in New Jersey. We’ve got to get them all before they flee the country, and those that fled the country, we’ve got to follow them to the ends of the earth until we have all of them.
LOUIS NAPOLI: One of the individuals that was involved in the bombing was now in Egypt, at his mother’s house. They arrest him, bring him in. I fly over and I bring him back.
REPORTER: The circle is narrowing in the bombing which killed six people.
Turns out the bombing that killed six people was done by seven men. The ringleader, Ramzi Yousef, had hopped on a plane and was still missing. Mohammed Salameh, the man with the van but not much of a plan, was in custody with three of his co-conspirators. Another was caught a couple of years later. That makes six. So who was the seventh man?
A tip came into the FBI about an Abdul Rahman Yasin. They didn’t know it yet but he’d done grunt work like prepping the volatile chemicals for the bomb. Agents rang the bell of his mom’s apartment in Jersey City. Yasin opened the door … and received them politely. When the agents described their business, Yasin said he was shocked -- shocked -- that his friends had somehow been mixed up in this terrible attack. He said he’d be happy to give the agents the phone numbers and addresses of the suspects they were seeking. The agents then thanked Yasin … and let him go. The FBI even labeled him a “cooperating witness.” They should’ve at least taken his passport.
They really should’ve taken his passport. He flew to Baghdad the next day and is still at large.
But, really, Yasin was a minnow. The much bigger fish was Ramzi Yousef. The FBI and CIA were right then launching an international manhunt to go after him. And investigators were coming to believe that the biggest fish was local, and that he’d been hiding in plain sight. They began zeroing in on the man who seemed to be the hub that linked the arrested suspects, the man who appeared to sit at the center of all conspiracies: the Blind Sheikh.
MARY JO WHITE: The Blind Sheikh was known to be a risk. He was preaching fiery rhetoric, anti-U.S. rhetoric in mosques in Brooklyn and New Jersey.
U.S. Attorney Mary Jo White led the operation.
MARY JO WHITE: He seemed to be gathering more and more followers all the time. And so I wanted him neutralized by prosecuting him and jailing him hopefully for life.
News outlets found The Blind Sheikh irresistible, with his red fez and Ray-Bans and clamorous followers. They wanted to know: Was he the ruthless emir of a new brand of terror … or an opinionated but harmless elder? Was he a jihadist whose orders ricocheted around the world … or a misunderstood religious scholar living in a humble Jersey City apartment?
When the Blind Sheikh called a press conference after the World Trade Center bombing, more than 50 reporters jammed into his bare living room. Journalist Jim Dwyer wrote that, “The floor shuddered every time another person or camera crew squeezed in.”
A reporter then asked the Sheikh point-blank: were you part of the World Trade Center plot? He denied it, of course.
SHEIKH: [speaking in Arabic]
TRANSLATOR: I’m saying that Islam does not condone this kind of violence.
STEVE INSKEEP: Speaking through a translator, the blind Muslim cleric denounced Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak.
And as we know, it was Mubarak who’d succeeded assassinated president Anwar el-Sadat. The Blind Sheikh had inspired Sadat’s killing back in 1981. And there that day to witness it was Emad Salem … who had sworn revenge against the sheikh.
And now who was the Blind Sheikh’s personal assistant?
EMAD SALEM: I used to go to the Blind Sheikh at 6 and 7 o’clock in the morning, clean up his house, cook for him, because I was his servant.
Emad Salem, undercover agent for the FBI.
EMAD SALEM: The sheikh don’t like to sleep in bed. So we drag the comforter to the floor and the pillows and that’s where he sleep.
JOHN MILLER: He re-ingratiated himself within the circle around the Blind Sheikh, you know, who was the spiritual sanctioner, the inspirer of these plots, of this group.
There’s an amazing photo from this time -- I just can’t get over it. The Blind Sheikh, y’know with his forked white beard stands with his arm looped through the elbow of a large man in a trench coat with slicked-back hair. Emad Salem.
EMAD SALEM: I was his bodyguard.
Without realizing it, the sheikh had taken on his enemy as his personal protector. Salem also served as the sheikh’s head of electronic security.
JOHN MILLER: You know, when you see this footage, you see the Blind Sheikh, and the guy who you see as he moves through the crowd … that’s Emad Salem.
And crucially, Salem was the sheikh’s concierge.
EMAD SALEM: We used to send faxes to Osama bin Laden, requesting money, discussing logistics and I was present so many times when he did that.
Salem helped the Blind Sheikh communicate with Osama bin Laden, then living in
Sudan. The sheikh and bin Laden had met during the Afghan War and agreed that secular Arab governments should be toppled and replaced with Islamist leaders … like … themselves.
The sheikh even told Salem to assassinate Egyptian president Hosni Mubarak. But then, the sheikh told a lot of guys to assassinate Hosni Mubarak. And anyway Emad Salem was too busy to assassinate Hosni Mubarak. He was making contact with a fresh crop of jihadists … as Anticev and Napoli had instructed him to do.
JOHN ANTICEV: He meets a guy named Siddig Ali, who was a Sudanese national.
His full name is: Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali. He’s 32 years old. Tall and elegant, fluent in both Arabic and English. He’s the Blind Sheikh’s translator and right-hand man in Jersey City.
JOHN ANTICEV: Very bright, very intelligent.
Siddig Ali actually was conspiring to assassinate Hosni Mubarak. And he expected professionalism from his fellow jihadists. He’s the one who called Mohammed Salameh, “the stupidest of God’s creatures.” But his main goal was to prove to the U.S. that - quote -, "We can get you anytime.”
When Emad Salem met Siddig Ali, he immediately recognized his importance. Salem’s opening gambit was to spew a bit of anti-American bile.
EMAD SALEM: He said, “Brother, you see they arrested our brothers.” I said, “Yeah, these infidels son of a guns.” He said, “We need to do something here and fast!”
And the "something" he had in mind was big.
LOUIS NAPOLI: Emad calls us. He says, “You’re not gonna believe this.” He says, “It’s not over. They want to do more.”
Next time on Blindspot: The Road to 9/11
EMAD SALEM: It was heart wrenching this man joking about destroying the Statue of Liberty.
JOHN ANTICEV: And then when the bomb goes off all the water will rush in and drown all the people in the tunnel.
MARY JO WHITE: in a 24-hour period would have had thousands and thousands of people dying.
Blindspot: the Road to 9/11 is a co-production of HISTORY and WNYC Studios. Our team includes Jenny Lawton, Ursula Sommer, Joe Plourde, David Lewis, and Michelle Harris. The music is by Isaac Jones.
This podcast is based on the TV documentary “Road to 9/11” produced by Left/Right for HISTORY, and was made possible by executive producers Ken Druckerman and Banks Tarver. Special thanks to Eli Lehrer, Jessie Katz, Jennifer Goren, Bill Moss, and Celia Muller. Additional archival footage from AP Archive, ABCNEWS VIDEOSOURCE, and NBC News Archives. All of our Arabic language tape was independently translated by Lara Atallah. I’m Jim O’Grady. Thanks for listening.
[sound of knocking on door]
YAROSH: Can I come in?
JIM: Yeah, hi, Yarosh. Are you gonna go swimming today?
JIM: Okay, that answers that.
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