Why is Chiefs superfan Helmet Man still on the terrorist watch list?

Why is Chiefs superfan Helmet Man still on the terrorist watch list? 

Why is Chiefs superfan Helmet Man still on the terrorist watch list?

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"Oh, my God, Wahed," Kelso says. "Can I hug you again?" She does before he can reply.

The two say goodbye, and Moharam says he needs to go, too. He has left his phone at home, and his wife has been calling all the time to check on him. "She's worried somebody may try to hurt me," he says.

They're used to this. It's just the latest pain in 19 years of secrecy and uncertainty. He says he desperately loves this country. Certainly he has suffered for it.


When Moharam tells his story, he tells it as a blur of misbehaving FBI handlers, indifferent U.S. Marshals Service bureaucrats, exes who blew his cover, and an endless string of jobs both good and odd.

Moharam had to give up his limo company when he vanished into witness protection. By his count, he has lived in 17 or 18 cities since 1993. He has lost count of the jobs. There was a stint as a car detailer and washer. He was a Little Caesar's manager and regional manager. He has been a nurse's aide.

He got to Kansas City, in 1997, and was handed a peculiar new identity. "They give me 'Edgar Sanchez,' and I don't speak one Mexican word," Moharam says. "And when I speak to anyone ... they say, 'What! You don't have the Mexican accent.' "

He didn't exactly keep a low profile. He appeared in a Kansas City Star story after opening an As Seen on TV store in Bannister Mall. And soon, he was known as the legendary Chiefs superfan "Helmet Man."

His cover finally melted for good in 2002, when an Independence Examiner article delved into his life and an ex-wife (Moharam's current wife is his third) set up the website whoismyhusband.com. "Is he a foreign terrorist whom MY government has protected?" Shannon Sanchez wrote on the site. "That is a question I long to have the answer for." Chronicling a tumultuous personal relationship, she also accused him of fudging facts and seeking attention. (Copyrighted under Who Is My Husband Enterprises, the site is now defunct.)

The Chiefs took notice. The team's management wanted to move his season tickets, for the safety of the fans around him. He refused, believing that racism had motivated the request. The Chiefs voided his tickets. Moharam took the team to court.

He showed up for the hearing in costume, but he didn't get his tickets back. He was in debt. He converted to Christianity. In a 2003 feature that appeared in The Kansas City Star, in which Moharam was still facing problems with law enforcement and his exes, some of his associates said Moharam sometimes had an edgier side to his sunniness.

With a sly smile, he admits that there has been the occasional bout of "temper," as when, he says, a police chief gave him a hard time. And his history shows that he hasn't been one to back down from trouble.

"A lot of his history sounds so far-fetched, like it should be a movie," Kelso says. She's now a chief nurse for Mobile Wound Solutions in Independence, and at a previous job, she employed Moharam as a nurse's aide for another service in 2008. "But it's the truth. He's very open about it, very transparent, so people don't think he's a terrorist or has these ties. He doesn't have anything to hide."

She says Moharam passed an extensive series of background investigations, including checks for abuse or neglect. "If any of those come up at all, you don't work in long-term care," she says. "He was genuinely a joy to work with and brought grace and love into his work." Sometimes, she adds, he got down on his knees and prayed with the dying. (When Moharam goes to pray at the International House of Prayer, he says he always recites Isaiah 19:23, in which a highway unites Egypt with Assyria and the people of the Middle East pray together in peace.)


Moharam, who now lives in Grain Valley, isn't in witness protection anymore, but the government still keeps an eye on him. This month, that was the problem — a problem he has had everywhere he has traveled, and with seemingly every law enforcement agent he has mentioned meeting.

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