WASHINGTON, March 20 (UPI) -- The FBI Thursday issued an urgent bulletin to media and law enforcement in regard to a possible al-Qaida operative who may be at large in the United States.
Adnan el-Shukrijumah -- believed to be a 27-year-old Saudi citizen -- is wanted for questioning in regard to a possible domestic terrorist plot.
El-Shukrijumah is thought to have a Guyana passport and to have been trained as a pilot. The possibility that he is in the United States and could pose a threat was developed from questioning key al-Qaida official Khalid Mohammed, who was arrested in Pakistan earlier this month.
Using the alias Ja'far al-Tayar and similar names, el-Shukrijumah is described as standing between 5'3" and 5'5" and weighing at least 130 pounds.
There has been some confusion on the part of intelligence and law enforcement sources about the identity of el-Shukrijumah, who might also be wanted by the FBI under the name Mohammed Sher Mohammed Khan. Khan fits the same physical description as el-Shukrijumah, although the FBI alert -- dated Feb. 7 -- has him as being 36 years old and born in Pakistan. Khan is also a pilot and was last seen in Miami.
Federal agents recently raided a home in Miami where Khan was believed to be living, but failed to apprehend him. The original FBI warning about Khan acknowledged that law enforcement was unsure about his name, age and place of birth. However, Khan is known to use the same aliases as el-Shukrijumah.
"Obviously you can tell how hard it can be to track these guys," said one federal law enforcement official. "Whether they're the same guy or not, we want to talk to them."
"We don't know if they are the same person and, frankly, we're not sure the FBI knows, either," said one terrorism expert. "But we do know this alert was spawned by the interviews with Khalid. There was a warning that Khan entered the U.S. illegally around Sept. 1, 2001. Then we knew he was in Miami. Now we have reason to believe he's a Mohammed Atta-type of guy."
Mohammed Atta is considered the operational ringleader of the 19 Sept. 11, 2001, hijackers who flew hijacked planes into the Pentagon and the World Trade Center, killing around 3,000 people.
The FBI considers both men to be armed and dangerous.