“This Is for Destroying Airplanes”

Secret video shot by an FBI superinformant on the job.

In November 2003, FBI informant Shahed Hussain met with Mohammed Hossain, a pizzeria owner in Albany, New York. Hussain bragged about supplying weapons to his “mujahid brothers” and showed off a Stinger missile. In January 2004, Hussain gave Hossain $5,000. Yassin Aref, a local imam, was brought into oversee the transaction. Both men are now serving 15 years for money laundering and providing material support to terrorists.

Hussain recorded his conversations with Hossain and Aref in two undercover surveillance videos. In the first, he shows Hossain the missile launcher. “Do you know what this is?” he asks in Urdu. “This is for destroying airplanes.” (Read the full transcript of the video here.) In the second video, Hussein gives Hossain $5,000, which the pizzeria owner seems to think is a loan. Aref counts the cash. “Okay, let’s do some business, okay?” Hussein tells them. “Let’s make some money, okay?” (Read the full transcript of the video here.)

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THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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