Another suspect arrested in FBI investigation

MOHAMMED SALAMEH, the man accused as an accomplice in the bombing of the World Trade Center, was either constructing a clumsy alibi, or desperate for a few dollars. Those seem to be two possible explanations for his weird behaviour immediately after the blast that shook the 110-storey building and left gaping holes in its foundations.

Late last night, as police continued their investigation into possible motives, it emerged that a second suspect had been arrested. The man, Ibrahim Elgabrowny, was remanded in custody yesterday on federal charges of obstruction of justice for hitting two agents who were trying to search him at his apartment on Thursday in connection with the bombing. When he was arrested, authorities found fraudulent Nicaraguan passports, a 9mm pistol, 150 rounds of ammunition and two stun guns in his apartment.

Mr Salameh, less than two hours after the bomb exploded, killing five and injuring more than 1,000, was at a truck rental office in New Jersey, where he is alleged to have rented the van used to carry the bomb to the centre. He said the van had been stolen outside a supermarket, and he wanted his dollars 400 ( pounds 290) deposit back.

He was advised he had to report the theft to the police, but returned to the rental company on Monday, three days after the bombing, having failed to file a police report but still demanding his money - and dollars 20 on top for the petrol he had put in the tank. The rental agency, still unaware the van had been used to carry the bomb, again refused to give him his money.

On Wednesday, FBI agents sifting through the debris in the basement garage of the centre found the van's crank case with a serial number on it. They quickly traced the van to the truck rental company and to Mr Salameh. Hoping he would call again for his money, two FBI agents posed as employees of the company and on Thursday morning they laid a trap.

On Thursday morning they called Mr Salameh at the number he had written down on the rental agreement, and told him to come and collect the refund. Instead of the dollars 400, the agents gave him dollars 200, but he apparently left satisfied. He had gone a few hundred yards when agents pounced on him and made him the first suspect in the bombing. If he had been constructing an alibi it had gone seriously wrong.

The FBI raided several addresses, prompted by the records of Mr Sala meh's driving licence provided to the rental firm. These showed he had once lived in the same building as El Sayyid Nosair, an Egyptian currently serving up to 23 years for crimes related to the killing of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the Israeli right-wing extremist, in New York in 1990.

Mr Nosair frequently worshipped at a mosque in Jersey City and at the Brooklyn mosque of the blind Muslim cleric, Sheik Omar Abdul-Rahman, who stood trial in Egypt for the assassination of President Anwar al Sadat, a decade ago.

The cleric was acquitted and has since emerged as the spiritual leader of a movement said to be behind dozens of violent attacks in Egypt including the shooting of foreign tourists.

Mr Salameh, 26, also worshipped at the same mosques, apparently, and is said to be a follower of Mr Abdul- Rahman, who has been living in Brooklyn. He came to the US on a tourist visa in 1990, and is now the target of efforts by federal government to deport him on the grounds of 'moral turpitude' - because he has three wives. He has been free while awaiting a decision by a federal judge, but he vanished a week ago, just before the bombing.

The FBI have not said they are looking for the cleric, but they believe several others besides Mr Salameh were involved in the bombing.

The FBI bureau tried to keep Mr Salameh's name out of the news before he was charged with being an accomplice in the bombing on Thursday evening, but they failed. They may now be hunting other suspects who by this time are well alerted.

(Photograph omitted)

Suggested Topics
Arts and Entertainment
Banksy's 'The Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' in Bristol
art'Girl with the Pierced Eardrum' followed hoax reports artist had been arrested and unveiled
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
peopleJust weeks after he created dress for Alamuddin-Clooney wedding
Life and Style
A street vendor in Mexico City sells Dorilocos, which are topped with carrot, jimaca, cucumber, peanuts, pork rinds, spices and hot sauce
food + drink

Trend which requires crisps, a fork and a strong stomach is sweeping Mexico's streets

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
George Lucas poses with a group of Star Wars-inspired Disney characters at Disney's Hollywood Studios in 2010
films

George Lucas criticises the major Hollywood film studios

Sport
football West Brom vs Man Utd match report: Blind grabs point, but away form a problem for Van Gaal
Arts and Entertainment
Bloom Time: Mira Sorvino
tvMira Sorvino on leaving movie roles for 'The Intruders'
Arts and Entertainment
Leonardo DiCaprio talks during the press conference for the film
films

Film follows park rangers in the Congo

Arts and Entertainment
Gotham is coming to UK shores this autumn
tvGotham, episode 2, review
News
i100
Sport
Adel Taraabt in action for QPR against West Ham earlier this month
footballQPR boss says midfielder is 'not fit to play football'
News
First woman: Valentina Tereshkova
peopleNASA guinea pig Kate Greene thinks it might fly
Voices
Chris Grayling, Justice Secretary: 'There are pressures which we are facing but there is not a crisis'
voices

Does Chris Grayling realise what a vague concept he is dealing with?

Life and Style
The charity Sands reports that 11 babies are stillborn everyday in the UK
lifeEleven babies are stillborn every day in the UK, yet no one speaks about this silent tragedy
News
Blackpool is expected to become one of the first places to introduce the Government’s controversial new Public Space Protection Orders (PSPOs)
news

Parties threaten resort's image as a family destination

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

History Teacher

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

** Female PE Teacher Urgently Required In Liverpool **

£120 - £140 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Secon...

** Cover Supervisors Urgently Required In Knowsley **

£60 - £65 per day: Randstad Education Liverpool: Job opportunities for Seconda...

Java developer - (Intershop Enfinity)

£40000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ampersand Consulting LLP: Java Developer...

Day In a Page

Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why
How to dress with authority: Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear

How to dress with authority

Kirsty Wark and Camila Batmanghelidjh discuss the changing role of fashion in women's workwear
New book on Joy Division's Ian Curtis sheds new light on the life of the late singer

New book on Ian Curtis sheds fresh light on the life of the late singer

'Joy Division were making art... Ian was for real' says author Jon Savage
Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

Sean Harris: A rare interview with British acting's secret weapon

The Bafta-winner talks Hollywood, being branded a psycho, and how Barbra Streisand is his true inspiration
Tim Minchin, interview: The musician, comedian and world's favourite ginger is on scorching form

Tim Minchin interview

For a no-holds-barred comedian who is scathing about woolly thinking and oppressive religiosity, he is surprisingly gentle in person
Boris Johnson's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Boris's boozing won't win the puritan vote

Many of us Brits still disapprove of conspicuous consumption – it's the way we were raised, says DJ Taylor
Ash frontman Tim Wheeler reveals how he came to terms with his father's dementia

Tim Wheeler: Alzheimer's, memories and my dad

Wheeler's dad suffered from Alzheimer's for three years. When he died, there was only one way the Ash frontman knew how to respond: with a heartfelt solo album