One of the subjects of a Dallas police intelligence bulletin, Asma Al-Homsi, says she's known convicted terrorist Wadih el Hage and his wife for more than two decades.
Mr. el Hage, a former Arlington resident and naturalized U.S. citizen, was the personal secretary of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden before he was sent to prison. But Ms. Al-Homsi said she still considers him and his wife to be close friends.
"I still support my brother and sister 110 percent," Ms. Al-Homsi of Arlington said in an interview Friday.
Just months before the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. el Hage was convicted of taking part in a worldwide conspiracy that included the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. The bombings killed more than 200 people and injured thousands. Mr. el Hage was given a life sentence.
"I don't know the circumstances," Ms. Al-Homsi said, declining to comment on the bombings.
Ms. Al-Homsi and her friend, Aisha Abdul-Rahman Hamad, 50, of Irving were the subject of a March 5 Dallas police intelligence bulletin after the two women, both dressed in camouflage pants under their Muslim robes and scarves, were seen conducting what appeared to be surveillance and acting suspiciously at Dallas Love Field.
Police officials have said they have no direct evidence that the women have ties to terrorism.
After news of the intelligence bulletin became public, Ms. Hamad said she was put on administrative leave Friday from her job at Outsource Partners International. The company did not return calls for comment. Ms. Hamad has never been arrested or charged with a crime.
Ms. Al-Homsi is on probation in connection with a December 2005 road rage incident involving a fake grenade she waved at a motorist.
In an earlier interview, Ms. Al-Homsi bragged about being a trained sniper but denied having any ties to terrorism and said she wasn't a "dangerous individual." She is an accountant who has dual Syrian-U.S. citizenship.
Ms. Al-Homsi also is believed to have explosives training, according to the intelligence bulletin.
On Feb. 25, the two women were spotted at Love Field wearing Muslim robes and camouflage pants and "acting suspiciously," the bulletin states. Surveillance video showed one of the women walking back and forth, apparently pacing off distances. When confronted, the women told officials they were looking for the Frontiers of Flight museum. They then left.
Two days later, Ms. Al-Homsi was spotted sitting on the hood of a car, looking through binoculars at the airplanes.
Cue the violins:
The women deny that they were scouting the airport and say they were watching planes for recreation. They deny any links to terrorist groups. They say the authorities have questioned them repeatedly because of their religious and political views.
"All our rights have been violated since the Patriot Act came in. All our rights violated," Ms. Hamad said.
"Religious, racial profiling is what it is called. Guilt by association," Ms. Al-Homsi said.
Much more information in a video interview, also by Rebecca Lopez, for WFAA.