5. The Hammer Starts to Come Down

On August 10, 2001, a judge signed off on warrants to search Ali Abdelaziz’s home and to arrest him. 

During the search, it was discovered that he and his fiancé were getting married in Egypt. They had acquired passports and booked plane tickets using false identities.

She had only met Abdelaziz in the second half of June 2001, via a mutual fund who knew him from his work as a bouncer at the Celebrity’s bar. She went with him to Egypt and they got married on August 22, 2001.

The police also found an Egyptian government document that identified Abdelaziz as a student named “Alaa Ragab Fekry Abd Al Aziz Ahmed.” This name didn’t include the “Ibrahim” surname he used when he participated in judo matches. His cousin also sometimes used the last name of “Ahmed.”

In addition to using stolen and fictitious identities, Abdelaziz and his associates used many different versions of their names in an apparent effort to escape detection. Surnames would vary. Misspellings were common. First, middle and last names were presented in different orders. Fragments of their full names were presented as their complete identities.

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.