Adnan el Shukrijumah left his family's Miramar, Fla., home in 2001 and traveled to Trinidad on business, presumably to buy sunglasses and children's clothes for resale in south Florida flea markets.
Ten years later, Shukrijumah is an elusive, globe-trotting fugitive — sometimes called "the Elvis of al Qaida" — wanted by the FBI as one of the terrorist group's alleged leading operatives and the subject of lingering questions about his possible association with 9/11 hijackers before the attacks.
He's also under indictment on charges of directing an alleged suicide-bomb plot in 2009 against the New York subway system. The reward for his capture: $5 million.
"We are still looking for him," said FBI special agent Michael Leverock, who's based in south Florida.
U.S. officials warned that Shukrijumah, 36, is especially dangerous to the nation because of the time he spent in America. The mystery surrounding his whereabouts — and whether he played a direct role in 9/11 — remains among the key unanswered questions a decade after the attacks.
"They are us. They know us intimately," said Michael Scheuer, a former top analyst in the CIA unit created after 9/11 to track down al Qaida founder Osama bin Laden, whom U.S. forces killed May 2 in a raid on his Pakistan hideout.
Shukrijumah is now a leading member and perhaps the head of al Qaida's foreign operations subcommittee, a post that makes decisions on plans and recruitments, said Rohan Gunaratna, a terrorism expert and author of the book "Inside Al Qaeda: Global Network of Terror."
"He has moved up in the ranks because he's very clever and because he knows the main target, the United States," Gunaratna said.
Shukrijumah was born on Aug. 4, 1975, in Saudi Arabia. As the son of two foreigners, he wasn't eligible for Saudi citizenship but obtained citizenship of Guyana, ...