Ahmed Ressam was born in Algeria on 05/19/1967. In 1984 Ahmed Ressam traveled to Paris, France, for medical treatment and it was his first time out of Algeria. In 1988 Ahmed Ressam failed the exams to college and applied for jobs with police or security forces but was turned down. As a default option he worked in his father’s coffee shop in Algeria City.
In 1992, the early stage of the civil war in Algeria, Ahmed Ressam left to France and worked in Corsica for two years in low paid jobs such as fruit picking. He probably had some illegal connections which helped him to obtain forged documents.
Ahmed Ressam entered Canada in 1994 with a forged French passport. When immigration officials at Montreal airport questioned him, he applied for political asylum, making up a story about persecution in Algeria, although he did not have any militant background and was not persecuted by the Algerian authority. After settling in Montreal, he became a small-time criminal.
In June 1995 Ahmed Ressams’ application was denied and a warrant was issued for his arrest. Ahmed Ressam adopted a new identify using a stolen baptismal certificate with the alias Benni Antoine Noris and obtained a Canadian passport in that name.
In 03/1998 Ahmed Ressam went to Al Qaedas’ training camp in Afghanistan, with Said Atmani and Mustafa Labsi. He returned to Canada under his fake identity – Benni Antoine Noris- after 11 months. According to intelligence sources, he committed himself to Al Qaeda and the would be LOS ANGELES MILLENNIUM plot. Ahmed Ressam became an active member in the Montreal 99 cell.
With the help of Abdelmajid Dahoumane and Mokhtar Haouari, Ahmed Ressam acquired the right chemicals, mixed them to effective explosives and obtained a forged Canadian driving license under the name Mario Riog.
After a tip from Hussein Turi, arrested in Jordan on 12/12/1999, in connection with the JORDANIAN MILLENNIUM plot, Ahmed Ressam was arrested on 12/21/1999 when he tried to enter USA by ferry from Victoria, British Colombia, Canada, with 70 kg explosives in his car.
On 04/06/2001 Ahmed Ressam was convicted on all nine charges related to terror. Probably in order to reduce his sentence Ahmed Ressam began to cooperate with the authority and provided information about more than 100 potential terrorists operating in the Western Democracies. Ahmed Ressam also testified in 06/2001 in New York, USA against his former mate in Montreal 99 cell Mokhtar Haouari. As long as Ahmed Ressam cooperated with the authority his sentencing was delayed time and again.
For an unknown reason, Ahmed Ressam stopped his cooperation with USA authority in early 2005. He caused big frustration to FBI and CIA and failure in prosecuting more Islamic Militants, mainly in Europe.
On 07/27/2005 Ahmed Ressam was sentenced to 22 years imprisonment and is today (07/2007) in USA custody.
* Abdelmajid Dahoumane was born on 01/06/167 in Algeria. He was considered a close associate of Ahmed Ressam . They spent 3 weeks together in a Canadian hotel room prior to Ressam’s arrest. At his trial, Ahmed Ressam testified in 2001 that Abdelmajid Dahoumane had helped to build the explosives at that time, but that he had not told Dahoumane the intended target.
On 03/25/2001, the Algerian authorities confirmed that Abdelmajid Dahoumane was in Algerian custody.
Ahmed Ressam had gone though several transitions from a small-time criminal to a devoted Islamic militant, from an informant to a defiant terrorist. His true motivation remains unclear.
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