(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The man who killed Meir Kahane in 1990 claims he did not carry out the shooting
alone, as previously thought, but was part of a three-man terrorist cell with
links to al-Qaida. Its original target was future prime minister Ariel Sharon,
according to a newly-leaked US government document.
investigation for an article into alleged counter- terrorism blunders published
in Playboy magazine on Friday, freelance journalist Peter Lance uncovered
official FBI memos which bring new information to light about the murder of the
Israeli politician in New York.
According to the documents, Kahane’s
killer, El-Sayyid Nosair, told detectives in 2005 that he had planned to
assassinate Sharon, who was then Israel’s minister of housing and
“Nosair further stated that Ariel Sharon was his original
target and that he went to a hotel prior to Sharon’s coming to visit, but
decided against it,” the document read.
He added that on the night he
shot Kahane dead, he was accompanied by two co-conspirators to the Marriot Hotel
in Manhattan where Kahane was speaking – one of whom was also carrying a
The men, Bilal al-Kaisi of Jordan and Mohammed Salameh, a
Palestinian illegal alien later involved in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing,
have never been charged for their part in the slaying.
stated that on the night of Kahane’s murder he was in the auto[mobile] with
Alkaisi and Salameh three blocks from the hotel where Kahane was speaking that
evening,” the FBI report read.
“Nosair possessed two guns and gave one of the guns to Alkaisi. He further
stated that on the night of the murder, Kahane had just finished speaking to the
crowd and Nosair said to Alkaisi that ‘this is the moment,’ (meaning they were
going to kill him). Alkaisi told Nosair to ‘be patient, let’s take our time.’
Nosair further stated the opportunity to shoot Kahane presented itself, and he
shot Kahane. At the time of the shooting Nosair did not know Alkaisi’s
Salameh is currently behind bars in the US for carrying out
the 1993 World Trade Center bombing, which left six dead and 1,042 wounded. Al-
Kaisi’s whereabouts, however, are unknown.
“In my opinion, [the FBI is]
embarrassed because they let this al-Qaida terrorist go in 1994,” Lance told The
Jerusalem Post on Friday. “He did a few months and now he’s out in the wind, as
Kahane was the leader of Kach, a right-wing political party
banned by Israel because it incited racism against Arabs.
tried in court for the killing of Kahane alone. The Egyptian- born US citizen
was initially acquitted of the murder, but convicted of assault and possession
of a firearm in a highly controversial decision by the jury. The ruling was
overturned in a retrial after new information came to light regarding his
membership in al-Qaida. He later confessed to carrying out the killing, and is
serving a life sentence.