A "PRIMETIME LIVE" EXCLUSIVE: BRIAN ROSS INTERVIEWS AN AMERICAN WOMAN
WHO SAYS SHE WAS MARRIED TO A SUSPECTED AL QAEDA OPERATIVE,
WHO WAS PART OF A TERRORIST SLEEPER CELL
Also: Why Carly Simon is Speaking Out Against Mandatory Minimum Prison Sentences
And: Two Families Team Up to Save a Russian Orphan with a Rare Genetic Skin Disease
"Primetime Live" Airs Thursday, December 23 at 10:00 p.m., ET
Saraah Olson thought she had found the man of her dreams when she wed Egyptian national Hisham Diab. But she had no clue about who her new husband actually was, or the terrible direction her life was about to take. In an exclusive interview with ABC News Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross, Olson says Diab was a terrorist, a man who authorities say formed one of al Qaeda's first American sleeper cells in Anaheim, CA, and a co-hort of some of the world's most notorious men. And their marriage, she says, was part of a front, used to disguise Diab's nefarious activities. "PRIMETIME LIVE" airs THURSDAY, DECEMBER 23 (10:00-11:00 p.m., ET) on the ABC Television Network.
Olson tells Ross she unwittingly helped Diab and his neighbor form a bogus charity that funded terrorist activities. She says she witnessed Diab recruit Adam Gadahn, believed by authorities to be the "American Al Qaeda," and even cooked for dinner guest Sheik Omar Rahman, who would later go to prison for his role in organizing terrorist plots against the United States. Olson says she converted to Islam after marriage, and when her domineering husband believed she had violated his strict rules of conduct, she was beaten. Once she connected the dots about Diab's activities, she was too fearful to speak out. "With all the things that he had been doing and that I knew he had been doing, I would have been found on the side of the road," she says.
When they met, Olson was a student visa administrator at a local university. She now realizes Diab was just using her from the beginning. She hasn't seen her husband in five years. Today, intelligence officials believe he's hiding with top al Qaeda leaders somewhere in Pakistan.
Also: Cynthia McFadden talks with singer/songwriter Carly Simon, who has become a vocal opponent of mandatory minimum prison sentences. Simon's passion is motivated by the predicament of John Forte, a close family friend who achieved fame as a Grammy-winning rap producer. But when his career hit a bump, Forte made a terrible decision that landed him in federal prison for fourteen years -- all for a crime he claims he committed unknowingly.
And: Eight-year-old Genia led a sad existence in a Siberian orphanage until a trip to America changed her life, reports John Quiqones. Genia met David and Terri Young, a compassionate Charlotte, NC, couple who was set to adopt her until she was diagnosed with Epidermolysis Bullosa (EB), a rare and sometimes fatal genetic skin disease. The couple, having already lost one daughter in a tragic accident, was not prepared to deal with the possibility of another painful loss. But they were also determined to keep Genia from being returned to the orphanage. That's when they found the Plummers, a family with a unique understanding of Genia's condition who would, once again, alter this young girl's fate.
DIANE SAWYER, CHRIS CUOMO, CYNTHIA McFADDEN and JOHN QUIQONES are the anchors of "PRIMETIME LIVE." SHELLEY ROSS is the executive producer.