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Conspirators targeted Kissinger as trade bait

The alleged mastermind of a plot to bomb the United Nations said he was told to kidnap former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger as trade bait to free those charged in the World Trade Center bombing, according to secretly taped conversations.

Several hundred pages of transcripts, reviewed by the Associated Press, give the clearest view yet of an alleged conspiracy that prosecutors say included the bombing. Fifteen men will stand trial in the conspiracy case in September.

The conversations were recorded by Emad Salem, a government informant who is expected to be the prosecution's star witness.

According to transcripts:

A plot to assassinate Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak outside the Waldorf Astoria Hotel was thwarted when the FBI found out.

Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, the Muslim cleric who prosecutors say inspired and authorized the conspirators, told them "to inflict damage to the American Army."

Siddig Ibrahim Siddig Ali, the conspiracy's alleged mastermind, suggested sniper attacks on Jewish leaders in Manhattan.

When the defendants were arrested in the Trade Center case, Siddig Ali suggested killing some FBI agents in retaliation.