FEBRUARY 11, 2015
The narco-terror ringleader who planned the 2009 bombing of Oprah Winfrey’s Chicago studios and the iconic Sears Tower has been released from jail, his newfound freedom facilitated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Emad Karakrah was incarcerated in Cook County Jail since taking police on a high-speed chase through Chicago streets in late August and threatening to blow up his car. An Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) flag waved from the vehicle and Karakrah got charged with making a false car bomb threat. But on January 7, 2015 Karakrah reached a plea deal in Cook County Court and was released from prison.
Karakrah’s role in a sophisticated narco-terror ring, centered in El Paso, Texas, has been extensively reported by Judicial Watch over the past four months. The operation, uncovered with Judicial Watch’s help, has connections running from Chicago to New York City and involves two of the FBI’s “most wanted.”
Karakrah was reportedly recruited as an FBI confidential informant (CI) in 2009 after his plot to bomb Winfrey’s Harpo Studios and the Sears Tower (renamed Willis Tower) with a truck bomb was foiled. It wasn’t long before he broke contact with his FBI handlers, according to Judicial Watch’s sources, and for years he successfully evaded them.
It is not clear why the FBI would have any interest or confidence in its ability to control or direct Karakrah. The agency was contacted for comment on this report and failed to respond as it has when reached for comment on other stories in this ongoing narco-terror series.
Judicial Watch covered Karakrah’s January plea hearing before Judge Evelyn B. Clay and has obtained the official court transcript. Conspicuously absent from the official record is the presence of what appeared to be an FBI agent who waved and nodded to Karakrah during the proceeding. A white male in his 40s with short brown hair and an official identification badge hanging from his neck, the agent spoke to the county prosecutor handling Karakrah’s case.
Judicial Watch has verified that Karakrah is no longer in the custody of Cook County Jail. The Illinois Department of Corrections has also confirmed in writing, that Karakrah is not in its custody. Judicial Watch’s efforts to independently ascertain Karakrah’s whereabouts have been unsuccessful.
However, Judicial Watch has established, through a number of sources close to the investigation, that Karakrah spent time this past summer as a truck driver for militant Islamists, delivering supplies and materiel to terror cells operating in Brooklyn, New York and Saddle Brook, New Jersey.
Among Karakrah’s close allies and accomplice in the 2009 truck bomb plot is Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah — Al Qaeda’s Director of North American Operations, who flew in and out of the United States as “Javier Robles” – most recently in March 2014 in Anthony, New Mexico. Shukrijumah was killed in a Pakistani Army raid in the northwestern territory of Pakistan in early December 2014.
With the Public Defender claiming Karakrah’s bomb threats were merely: “Acting out to gain attention in hopes of getting help,” and an FBI agent nodding and waving to a man who made a bomb threat after leading police on a high-speed chase through Chicago streets, it’s clear that the justice system is working against the best interests and safety of the American public.
Next week, we will have a detailed report on Karakrah’s side-kick and partner in terror plotting – Hector Pedroza-Huerta. Pedroza-Huerta is currently in El Paso County Jail. Earlier reporting on Pedroza-Huerta can be found here.
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