The Darkened Hour

The Darkened Hour header image 1

An Interview With Mark Rossini (FBI) (Alec Station)

April 11, 2021

Mark Rossini served as an FBI representative to the CIA’s Counter-terrorist Center (CTC) at CIA Headquarters and he was one of the founding executives of the National Counter-terrorism Center (NCTC). He was then situated in the 1997 NYC joint terrorism task force where he served under the I-48 counter terrorism unit which investigated Hezbollah, which was the unit next to the legendary I-49 unit which was the team investigating Al Qaeda. In January 1999, Rossini was tasked to replace Dan Coleman at the CIA's Bin Laden Issue Station, code named, Alec Station. The Bin Laden Issue Station was under the management of it's station chief Michael Scheuer, which allowed multiple agencies to work within the unit. However the CIA was quite strict about who they shared data with. Rossini would become an important figure in an explosive act of CIA malfeasance when in January 2000 a cable came in which showed two high level Al Qaeda operatives, Khalid al-Mihdhar and Nawaf al-Hazmi were coming to the United States after attending an Al Qaeda Summit Meeting In Malaysia. known to be involved in the 1998 East Africa Embassy bombings , this cable which showed the passport and US visa of the men was read by Rossini's FBI counterpart, Doug Miller, who began immediately drafting a cable to warn FBI headquarters.

The Miller cable was then sent to, Alec Station's Deputy Chief, Tom Wilshire for approval to be shared with the FBI. Wilshire told CIA case officer, Michael Anne Casey, to hold off on sending. With the cable in 'limbo", Rossini inquired to Casey about why the information was being withheld. To which Casey replied

‘Look, the next attack is going to happen in Southeast Asia — it’s not the bureau’s jurisdiction. When we want the FBI to know about it, we’ll let them know. But the next bin Laden attack’s going to happen in Southeast Asia."

This damning information which would have sent the FBI to closely watch the two men was never shared. According to Rossini, this would have helped to stop part of the September 11th 2001 terrorist attacks from happening. Rossini gives his thoughts about his experiences at Alec Station, his relationship with John O'Neill and his personal views about a new investigation including upcoming testimony in the Guantanamo Bay trial of Khalid sheikh Muhammad, the alleged 9/11 mastermind.

Mark Rossini file: