US rejected Iraq offer to turn over alleged World Trade Center bomber
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Monday June 3, 3:44 PM

US rejected Iraq offer to turn over alleged World Trade Center bomber

The United States spurned an offer from Iraq to turn over terror bombing suspect Abdul Rahman Yasin, a suspect in the 1993 World Trade Center bombing.

CBS News program "60 Minutes" interviewed Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz who said Washington rejected his country's offer to deliver Yasin, who is the US list of most-wanted terrorists for his alleged role in the bombing.

A native of Bloomington, Indiana, Yasin, 42, grew up in Iraq, where he fled after allegedly taking part in the bombing. He was the only suspect in the case to avoid prosecution by US authorities.

Yasin, who apologized in the interview for his role in the bombing, said he was picked up a few days later by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents in an apartment in Jersey City, New Jersey, that he was sharing with his mother.

He said he was so cooperative the agents later released him and gave him a ride home, allowing him to flee the United States for Iraq.

He was detained by Iraqi in 1994 according to the report. The May 23 interview with Yasin took place at an Iraqi installation where he is being held.

"Twice we ask them to come and take him. They refused," Aziz said in an interview transcript.

"We wanted to show our goodwill to the American people," Aziz said in the report.

US officials did not comply with the network's requests for a comment, CBS said.

Washington has offered a 25-million-dollar reward for information leading to Yasin's capture.

Interviewed in the same broadcast, Yasin told CBS that the bombing plotters originally considered blowing up Jewish neighborhoods in New York, but changed their minds.

"Ramzi Yousef told us to go to the World Trade Center ... 'I have an idea we should do one big explosion rather than do small ones in Jewish neighborhoods,'" Yasin told CBS, referring to the man convicted of masterminding the bombing.

Yasin said Yousef figured the trade center would be a better target.

"The majority of people who work in the World Trade Center are Jews," Yasin said.

Yousef was convicted for his role in the bombing in 1998 and now is serving a life sentence in a US prison.

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