Connecting the Dots, the Padillas, and the Bisharas
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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.
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
"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
The question must be asked, why isn¹t 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. We¹re
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
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.
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 O¹Hare. "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
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
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 Nichols¹ 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
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 soldier¹s 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
Don't look in Time or Newsweek for this; it¹s not there. You
will only find the likes of the actual note at such sites as The
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? Let¹s 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:
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
If ever there was a time to think outside the box, it's now.
©Loren 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
Texan¹s 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.
Coleman¹s third book of 2002, The Copycat Effect, is due out before
year¹s end, from Paraview Press.
He can be contacted at Dots@...
* 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 WorldNetDaily.com 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."
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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