18. The Spy Game Comes to an End

As Ali Abdelaziz’s relationship with MOA became strained, so did his relationships with the NYPD and FBI.

According to Enemies Within, the FBI’s skepticism of Abdelaziz grew after he was detained by the Egyptian authorities. The FBI pressured the NYPD into bringing him to a local FBI office to take a polygraph on April 8, 2008, conducted by agent Michael Templeton. 

The polygraph indicted he answered deceptively about whether he intended to be truthful. When asked whether he disclosed his covert work for the U.S. government to someone in Egypt, the polygraph indicated he was being deceptive. He was also believed to be lying about some undisclosed activity in New Mexico.

With the pressure on, Abdelaziz asked for a bathroom break.

While he was in the bathroom, the FBI and NYPD clashed. The FBI told the NYPD that Abdelaziz was disloyal. The NYPD defended him, offering potential explanations for the polygraph’s detections of deception. Ultimately, the NYPD intervened and ended the polygraph.

The FBI wrote in its summary of its test results, “Deceptive with no admissions, interrupted and terminated by the NYPD.”

The FBI stopped using him as an informant and began trying to deport him back to Egypt.

Abdelaziz’s version of the story differs:

“When I went to Egypt, I didn’t want to go to Egypt. I was contacted by the CIA and FBI in Egypt. The FBI, they took my visas and after that, it went crazy. They make me take a lie detector test. I come back with them to an office in Manhattan. I took a lie detector test and I failed the lie detector test. A lie detector test normally takes an hour. It was not a lie detector test, it was an interrogation. I was there for 14 hours.

For 14 hours, I tried to stay cool, they asked me questions and after that they let me go but things are happening. Again, two months later, they want to do another lie detector test. Same guy. I failed it again. I failed one question. They wanna prove to the NYPD that I was dirty. They make me fail it. Then, I go to the NYPD, take a test and pass it.”

He also claimed that the FBI launched an investigation of the NYPD detectives who handled him.

That same year, Abdelaziz founded Dominance MMA Management, according to the company’s LinkedIn page.

Abdelaziz might have been arrested in 2009. Public records that appear to match him indicate that unspecified charges were filed in North Carolina.

Russell reported that the NYPD cut Abdelaziz off in April 2010 after he disobeyed the NYPD’s orders by traveling to Abu Dhabi for UFC 112. He used the special green card that the government issued to him in order to get a legitimate passport. Upon his return home, he was detained for unlawful departure and re-entry.

Abdelaziz claimed to Mawyer that he told the NYPD he was “quitting” his service as an informant. He then learned that his green card was no longer valid when he tried to come back into the U.S. from Vancouver. He depicts this as retaliation by the U.S. government because he didn’t want to be an informant anymore.

He was detained by the authorities and placed into an immigration holding cell. He said he was imprisoned for a few months and then released because he has epilepsy. The government monitored his movements by requiring him to wear an ankle bracelet. 

A deportation hearing was scheduled for January 2011. 

That’s when he reached out to Martin Mawyer to come forward with part of his story.

Ryan Mauro

Professor Ryan Mauro is the National Security Analyst for the Clarion Project, a nonprofit organization that educates the public about the threat of Islamic extremism and provides a platform for voices of moderation and tolerance within the Muslim community. Clarion Project films have been seen by over 50 million people. Mauro is a frequent contributor to Clarion’s dynamic website ClarionProject.org, providing insightful analysis of the latest news around the global on this subject. The site is viewed by over 250,000 visitors per month.