3. The Police Come Onto Ali’s Trail

Public records and source testimony show that Abdelaziz lived in New York in 1996. One MOA-affiliated source places him at a radical mosque in Brooklyn named Masjid at-Taqwa, led by a powerful extremist cleric named Siraj Wahhaj. The mosque is sometimes attended by MOA members.

The records also show that Abdelaziz then lived in Georgia, where MOA has two “villages.” Abdelaziz became close to key members of MOA’s branch there. As of 1998, he was living in Colorado Springs.

Russell reported that Abdelaziz married a 42-year old woman in March 1998, when he was only 20 years old. He married another woman he met at a shopping mall in 1999. The alleged purpose of these marriages were to enable him to get a green card so he could remain in the United States.

Abdelaziz became increasingly involved with MOA associates of James D. Williams in Colorado, particularly those involved in criminal activity that stretched across the country.

Colorado law enforcement first came onto Abdelaziz’s trail in the summer of 2001.

On June 8, 2001, Ali Abdelaziz used a fraudulent credit card to purchase $2,000 of Home Depot gift certificates. He and another Egyptian, later identified as his cousin named Mohammad Hassan, were seen going to Home Depots in the Colorado Springs area to buy small items and then cash out the balance that remained on the gift cards.

He explained away his possession of so many Home Depot gift cards to his then-girlfriend by claiming that Home Depot was sponsoring his stay at the OTC as an Olympic Judo athlete. 

The police discovered that Abdelaziz and his Egyptian cousin were living in the country illegally and employed together as bouncers and door checkers. They were engaged in a wide range of identity fraud, including obtaining real and fictitious birth certificates and social security cards and using the documents to apply for passports.

Some of the identities were stolen from patrons of the bar that Abdelaziz worked at. The police were told that he’d question some entrants’ identifications and ask them to state their social security numbers and addresses for verification. One victim believed that his social security card was taken from his wallet during this interaction.

Ali Abdelaziz was also found to be acquiring and using banned substances. 

The police documented that they found two liquid vials of testosterone in Abdelaziz’s home. Another says it was one vial of testosterone and one of the Norandren steroid, both produced by a lab in Mexico.

When he spoke to the police, Abdelaziz mentioned that he had made a trip to Mexico but did not mention anything about the substances.

The OTC’s security chief told investigators that its athletes were forbidden from using or possessing such substances, but that there were no regular drug tests.

Abdelaziz’s ex-wife told the police of a time when she “gave him an injection in the bum.”

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.