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Informant says he built World Trade Center bomb

Published Oct. 10, 2005

The government informant in the alleged conspiracy to blow up New York City landmarks has said that he built the deadly bomb detonated last February at the World Trade Center, tape transcripts show.

The tapes were recorded secretly by the informant, former Egyptian army officer Emad Salem, during his conversations with FBI agent John Anticev. A copy of the transcripts, which have not been made public, was obtained by Reuters.

Speaking with the agent about his expenses last April, Salem says costs were pushed higher by the building of the trade center bomb.

Told that his expenses had been "a little out of the ordinary," he replies in broken English: "I don't think that because we was start already building the bomb, which is went off in the World Trade Center."

He says the bomb was built "by supervision from the Bureau (Federal Bureau of Investigation) and the D.A. (district attorney)."

"We know that the bomb start to be built. By who? By your confidential informant. What a wonderful great case."

The Feb. 26 blast killed six people and injured more than 1,000.

Defense lawyers said they will use Salem's remarks to undermine his testimony, expected to be a key part of the government's case against 15 Muslim fundamentalist defendants, including Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the fiery Egyptian cleric.