THE NEW YORK TIMES
* * * * *
Thursday October 28, 1993 Page A1
"Tapes Depict Proposal to Thwart
Bomb Used in Trade Center Blast"
By Ralph Blumenthal
Law-enforcement officials were told that terrorists
a bomb that was eventually used to blow up the World
and they planned to thwart the plotters by secretly
harmless powder for the explosives, an informer said
The informer was to have helped the plotters build the
and supply the fake powder, but the plan was called off
an F.B.I. supervisor who had other ideas about how the
Emad Salem, should be used, the informer said.
The account, which is given in the transcript of
hours of tape recordings that Mr. Salem secretly made of
talks with law-enforcement agents, portrays the
being in a far better position than previously known to
the February 26th bombing of New York City's tallest
The explosion left six people dead, more than a
injured, and damages in excess of half-a-billion dollars.
Four men are now on trial in Manhattan Federal Court
[on charges of involvement] in that attack.
Mr. Salem, a 43-year-old former Egyptian Army officer,
by the Government [of the United States] to penetrate a
of Muslim extremists who are now charged in two bombing
the World Trade Center attack, and a foiled plot to
the United Nations, the Hudson River tunnels, and other
New York City landmarks. He is the crucial witness in the
second bombing case, but his work for the Government was
erratic, and for months before the World Trade Center
he was feuding with th F.B.I.
Supervisor `Messed It Up'
After the bombing, he resumed his undercover work. In
undated transcript of a conversation from that period,
Mr. Salem recounts a talk he had had earlier with an
about an unnamed F.B.I. supervisor who, he said,
"came and messed it up."
"He requested to meet me in the hotel,"
Mr. Salem says of the supervisor.
"He requested to make me to testify, and if he
push for that, we'll be going building the bomb with
a phony powder, and grabbing the people who was
involved in it. But since you, we didn't do that."
The transcript quotes Mr. Salem as saying that he
complain to F.B.I. Headquarters in Washington about the
Bureau's failure to stop the bombing, but was dissuaded
an agent identified as John Anticev.
Mr. Salem said Mr. Anticev had told him,
"He said, I don't think that the New York people
like the things out of the New York Office to go to
Another agent, identified as Nancy Floyd, does not
Mr. Salem's account, but rather, appears to agree with
saying of the `New York people':
"Well, of course not, because they don't want to
get their butts chewed."