From Hopeful Immigrant to FBI Informant: The Inside Story of the Other Abu Zubaidah
This is the exclusive story of two brothers. One brother was, according to the government's narrative, dead-set on destroying America, while the other was determined to pursue the American dream.
What is it like to share a surname with an infamous alleged terrorist? Ask Hesham Abu Zubaidah, the younger brother of Zayn al-Abidin Mohamed Husayn, better known to the world as the high-value Guantanamo detainee "Abu Zubaidah," whom the US government has for more than a decade claimed was "one of the highest-ranking members of the al-Qaeda terrorist organization" and "involved in every major terrorist operation carried out by al-Qaeda," including the 9/11 attacks. Hesham, Truthout lead investigative reporter Jason Leopold discovered, has been living in the United States since 1998, but for more than a decade he has been paying a high price for his brother's alleged crimes. He was locked up for two years in immigration jail after 9/11 and later recruited by the FBI as an informant to spy on Muslims. Finally, he was forced to testify against his brother before a federal grand jury in Richmond, Virginia, two years ago.
During the course of Leopold's 14-month investigation, the FBI took the unprecedented step of sending out an agent to speak with Hesham about a Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) request Leopold filed for Hesham's case file to determine if Leopold coerced or bribed him into signing a form authorizing the bureau to release his records to Leopold. The revelation is the subject of a separate report published today along with FBI documents about the incident.
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