Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #1006 Robert Mueller and the Subversion of Operation Green Quest

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This broad­cast was record­ed in one, 60-minute seg­ment.

Intro­duc­tion: This pro­gram is a “pre­quel” to upcom­ing analy­sis of the fun­da­men­tal dynam­ics of the “Rus­sia-Gate” psy-op, which is inex­tri­ca­bly linked with the Ukraine cri­sis, the deep pol­i­tics of U.S. “black-ops,” the Under­ground Reich, the 9/11 attacks and the House of Haps­burg [or Habsburg–one will find both spellings.]

As can be read­i­ly imag­ined, this will be quite a bicy­cle ride, and will take a cou­ple of pro­grams, plus some dili­gent fol­low­ing of linked infor­ma­tion, to absorb.

Robert Mueller is a very, very “spe­cial” pros­e­cu­tor indeed. In fact, he is not a “pros­e­cu­tor” at all–he is a fix­er. Charged with the legal untan­gling of numer­ous, over­lap­ping crim­i­nal con­spir­a­cies involv­ing pow­er­ful ele­ments of the intel­li­gence com­mu­ni­ty deal­ing drugs and engag­ing in, or enabling ter­ror­ism, Mueller has been “less than vig­or­ous” in his inves­ti­ga­tions.

Most sig­nif­i­cant­ly for our pur­pos­es, the inves­ti­ga­tions he has overseen–read “overlooked”–are pro­gres­sive­ly over­lapped. From Iran-Con­tra relat­ed inves­ti­ga­tions into the Bank of Com­merce and Cred­it Inter­na­tion­al, the crim­i­nal career of Manuel Nor­ie­ga and the bomb­ing of Pan Am 103, to indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions fig­ur­ing in the nascent ener­gy ven­tures of George W. Bush, to the financ­ing of Al-Qae­da, Mueller’s judi­cial provinces lead direct­ly to the Rus­sia-Gate psy-op, whose ele­ments fig­ure in the mosa­ic of the 9/11 attacks.

Pan Am Flight 103 bomb­ing: alleged­ly assist­ed by Monz­er Al-Kas­sar.

The pro­gres­sion of scan­dals obfus­cat­ed by Mueller include:

  1. BCCI–Dubbed by wags “The Bank of Crooks and Crim­i­nals,” BCCI was used by Oliv­er North and the Iran-Con­tra milieu for some of their oper­a­tions, in addi­tion to serv­ing as a finan­cial vehi­cle for the financ­ing of ter­ror­ism. Mueller did not pur­sue the U.S./Reagan admin­is­tra­tion ele­ments involved in the Bank’s oper­a­tions.
  2. Manuel Noriega–Another of the play­ers in the Iran-Con­tra drug deal­ing, Nor­ie­ga’s pros­e­cu­tion cir­cum­nav­i­gat­ed the Pana­man­ian dic­ta­tor’s oper­a­tions on behalf of the U.S. nation­al estab­lish­ment that orig­i­nal­ly placed him in pow­er.
  3. The bomb­ing of Pan Am 103–alleged by the insur­ance inves­ti­ga­tor’s report to have been exe­cut­ed by Monz­er Al-Kas­sar, the bomb­ing killed a team of mil­i­tary intel­li­gence offi­cers who had come across some of the Iran-Con­tra play­ers and their deal­ings with ter­ror­ists. Al-Kas­sar was report­ed by the DEA to bring 20% of the hero­in into the Unit­ed States. Al-Kas­sar was used by Oliv­er North for some of his ship­ments of weapons to the Con­tras.
  4. Oper­a­tion Green Quest–The inves­ti­ga­tion into the financ­ing of Al-Qae­da, the inquest pro­duced the raids of 3/20/2002. These raids tar­get­ed indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions over­lap­ping both the Bank Al-Taqwa and the Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute of Grover Norquist. The Bank Al-Taqwa held an account with an unlim­it­ed line of cred­it for Al-Qae­da. Incor­po­rat­ed in Liecht­en­stein, Al-Taqwa was head­ed by a for­mer Nazi intel­li­gence offi­cer named Youssef Nada. The dri­ving force behind the Bank Al-Taqwa was Fran­cois Genoud, the heir to the polit­i­cal last will and tes­ta­ment and col­lect­ed lit­er­ary works of Adolf Hitler, Mar­tin Bor­mann and Joseph Goebbels. Talat Oth­man, the oper­at­ing direc­tor of Norquist’s Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute and pro­tege of BCCI king­pin Gaith Pharaon, inter­ced­ed with then Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill on behalf of the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions tar­get­ed by the 3/20/2002 raids. O’Neill was fired lat­er that year. The Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion went nowhere and then FBI direc­tor Robert Mueller did not pur­sue any of the above leads.

This con­cate­na­tion is com­plex and, with­out research, opaque. For more about Oper­a­tion Green Quest, the role of Robert Mueller’s FBI in the sub­ver­sion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest,  see FTR #‘s 356, 357, 415, 433, 454, 456, 462, 464, 467, 498, 499, 513, 569, 603.

 In our next two pro­grams, we will be look­ing at the Al Taqwa com­plex and Liecht­en­stein, where it was incor­po­rat­ed. It was head­ed by Youssef Nada, whose CV we review for con­ve­nience. ” . . . . . . . . But Yussef Nada is even bet­ter-known to the Egypt­ian [intel­li­gence] ser­vices, who have evi­dence of his mem­ber­ship in the armed branch of the fra­ter­ni­ty of the Mus­lim Broth­ers in the 1940’s. At that time, accord­ing to the same sources, he was work­ing for the Abwehr under Admi­ral Canaris and took part in a plot against King Farouk.  Mr. This was not the first time that the path of the Mus­lim Broth­ers crossed that of the ser­vants of the Third Reich. . . . ”

We will also be look­ing at the polit­i­cal envi­ron­ment of the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety, which is allied with the Alfa Fel­low­ship, which appears to be some­thing of an MBA pro­gram for the Alfa Con­glom­er­ate and the Alfa  Bank, major focal points of our upcom­ing inquiry.

The Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety, which shep­herd­ed Atta into the U.S. is now part of the Cul­tur­al Vis­tas orga­ni­za­tion, which includes the Alfa Fel­low­ship. . . . . In the 1920’s, Carl Duis­berg, Gen­er­al Direc­tor of Bay­er AG in Ger­many, envi­sioned send­ing Ger­man stu­dents to the Unit­ed States on work-study pro­grams. Duis­berg was con­vinced that inter­na­tion­al prac­ti­cal train­ing was crit­i­cal to the growth of Ger­man indus­try. Many of the return­ing trainees lat­er rose to promi­nent posi­tions at AEG, Bay­er, Bosch, Daim­ler Benz, and Siemens, bring­ing with them new meth­ods for mass pro­duc­tion, new ideas, and new busi­ness prac­tices. [This places them in the heart of Third Reich indus­try and war production–D.E.] Fol­low­ing World War II, alum­ni from the first exchanges found­ed the Carl Duis­berg Gesellschaft (CDG) in 1949 to help engi­neers, busi­ness­men and farm­ers gain inter­na­tion­al work expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary for the rebuild­ing of Ger­many . . . .”

Of the incor­po­ra­tion of CDS into cul­tur­al Vis­tas and the sub­se­quent devel­op­ment of the orga­ni­za­tion, we read: ” . . . . The orga­ni­za­tion was offi­cial­ly incor­po­rat­ed as a non­prof­it in 1963. In Jan­u­ary 2011, Cul­tur­al Vis­tas was formed after a non­prof­it merg­er between two long­stand­ing exchange orga­ni­za­tions: the Asso­ci­a­tion for Inter­na­tion­al Prac­ti­cal Train­ing (AIPT) and CDS Inter­na­tion­al. . . .

. . . . In 1968, the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety was found­ed in New York City as a non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion designed to rekin­dle Duisberg’s orig­i­nal exchanges and to facil­i­tate inter­na­tion­al career train­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties for Amer­i­cans and Ger­mans. The name was offi­cial­ly changed to CDS Inter­na­tion­al in 1987 to reflect the organization’s increas­ing­ly inter­na­tion­al nature of its pro­grams beyond Ger­many to include part­ners in oth­er Euro­pean coun­tries, Asia and Latin Amer­i­ca. . . .”

It comes as no sur­prise that, accord­ing to the BKA, Mohamed Atta’s asso­ciates in South Flori­da includ­ed the chil­dren of promi­nent Ger­man indus­tri­al­ists.

Robert Mueller

1.   We begin dis­cus­sion of Robert Mueller with an excerpt from FTR #310.

“S.F. Pros­e­cu­tor Mueller Picked to Lead FBI, Mend Its Image” by Zachary Coile and Bob Egelko; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/6/2001; pp. A1-A12.

Pres­i­dent Bush tapped Robert S. Mueller III, the U.S. attor­ney in San Fran­cis­co, as the new direc­tor of the FBI yes­ter­day, seek­ing a no-non­sense man­ag­er to repair the image of an agency accused of botch­ing sev­er­al recent high-pro­file cas­es.

Mueller, a 56-year-old vet­er­an fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor who helped put Pana­man­ian strong­man Manuel Nor­ie­ga behind bars, was nom­i­nat­ed to suc­ceed Louis Freeh. Freeh, who led the depart­ment through eight tur­bu­lent years under Pres­i­dent Bill Clin­ton, retired last month.

Mueller was picked for the 10-year FBI direc­tor’s term after prov­ing him­self as act­ing deputy attor­ney gen­er­al dur­ing Bush’s pres­i­den­tial tran­si­tion. His nom­i­na­tion requires Sen­ate con­fir­ma­tion. . . .

. . . . Mueller’s mem­o­rable cas­es

While he was head of the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s crim­i­nal divi­sion, Robert S. Mueller III over­saw sev­er­al high-pro­file mat­ters, includ­ing:

– The pros­e­cu­tion of Pana­man­ian strong­man Manuel Nor­ie­ga on drug charges.

– The inquiry into the 1988 bomb­ing of Pan Am flight 103 over Locker­bie, Scot­land. . . .

. . . . .– The inves­ti­ga­tion of the Bank of Cred­it and Com­merce Inter­na­tion­al scan­dal, a huge fraud case.

2. In his work for the Bush Jus­tice Depart­ment, Mueller was less than vig­or­ous in his role over­see­ing the pros­e­cu­tion of Gen­er­al Nor­ie­ga of Pana­ma, the bomb­ing of Pan Am Flight 103,  and the BCCI case. The BCCI case, the bomb­ing of Pan Am Flight 103 and the Nor­ie­ga case over­lap the Iran-Con­tra inves­ti­ga­tion. The elder Bush was prin­ci­pal­ly involved in the Iran-Con­tra imbroglio. Full dis­clo­sure con­cern­ing the BCCI case could lead to inves­ti­ga­tion of James R. Bath, the Texas busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Bin Laden fam­i­ly and one of the financiers of George W.‘s first oil ven­ture, prob­a­bly fronting for the Bin Laden fam­i­ly.

“In the Run­ning for FBI Direc­tor” by Sta­cy Finz; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/1/2001; pp. A1-A6.

. . . . BCCI ALLEGATIONS

Then-Rep. Charles Schumer, D‑N.Y., fired off a report crit­i­cal of the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s treat­ment of the case, say­ing the fail­ure to pur­sue wrong­do­ing might be because too many promi­nent politi­cians had con­nec­tions to

BCCI.

“There is pos­si­bly a coverup or con­spir­a­cy,” Schumer, now a U.S. sen­a­tor, said in 1991. . . .

3. On April 4 [2002], Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill met with pow­er­ful Islamist Repub­li­cans whose spheres of inter­est over­lap those of the insti­tu­tions and indi­vid­u­als tar­get­ed on the March 20, 2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest. A prin­ci­pal fig­ure in the group that inter­ced­ed on behalf of the (alleged) Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa-con­nect­ed tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids was Talat Oth­man, a close busi­ness and polit­i­cal asso­ciate of then Pres­i­dent George W. Bush.

As Mr. Emory hypoth­e­sized in FTR#353, the Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s eth­nic out­reach pro­gram. Again, one should note that these ele­ments are direct­ly con­nect­ed to Al Qae­da and exem­pli­fy the Saudi/petroleum/GOP/Bush struc­tur­al eco­nom­ic and polit­i­cal rela­tion­ships at the core of the cor­rup­tion of inves­ti­ga­tions into Al Qae­da and 9/11.

 “O’Neill Met Mus­lim Activists Tied to Char­i­ties” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.

NB: This arti­cle is no longer avail­able from the Wall Street Jour­nal in its orig­i­nal form! It is repro­duced almost in its  entire­ty below, for the con­ve­nience and use of  our read­ers.

. . . . Among the Mus­lim lead­ers attend­ing [the meet­ing with O’Neill] was Talat Oth­man, a long­time asso­ciate and sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Bush’s fam­i­ly, who gave a bene­dic­tion at the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia in August 2000 . . . But he also serves [with Barz­in­ji] on the board of Amana Mutu­al Funds Trust, an invest­ment firm found­ed by M. Yac­qub Mirza, the North­ern Vir­ginia busi­ness­man who set up most of the enti­ties tar­get­ed by the Trea­sury and whose tax records were sought in the raid.

The case also high­lights con­flicts between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s domes­tic polit­i­cal goals and its war on ter­ror. GOP offi­cials began court­ing the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty intense­ly in the late 1990’s, seek­ing to add that eth­nic bloc to the par­ty’s polit­i­cal base.

4. The Amana orga­ni­za­tion (on the board of which Oth­man serves) has numer­ous areas of over­lap with orga­ni­za­tions described as being impli­cat­ed in ter­ror­ism and the milieu of Al Que­da. Fur­ther details have emerged about the links between Al Taqwa and the GOP/Bush admin­is­tra­tion.

 “O’Neill Met Mus­lim Activists Tied to Char­i­ties” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.

Two non­prof­its affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Mirza and named in the search war­rant, the SAAR Foun­da­tion Inc. and the Her­itage Edu­ca­tion Trust Inc., held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutu­al funds in 1997, accord­ing to SEC records. The SEC doc­u­ments and oth­er records detail­ing con­nec­tions between Mr. Oth­man and the Islam­ic Insti­tute [on the board of which Mr. Oth­man serves] and the raid­ed groups were com­piled by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty News Ser­vice, a Wash­ing­ton based non­prof­it research group.

Mr. Oth­man also is on the board of Mr. Saf­fu­ri’s [and Norquist’s] Islam­ic Insti­tute, the GOP-lean­ing group that received $20,000.00 from the Safa Trust, one of the raid’s tar­gets. The pres­i­dent of the Safa Trust, Jamal Barz­in­ji, is a for­mer busi­ness asso­ciate of Switzer­land based investor Youssef Nada, whose assets were frozen last fall after the Trea­sury des­ig­nat­ed him a per­son sus­pect­ed of giv­ing aid to ter­ror­ists. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.]

5a. Talat Oth­man’s links to Bush are pro­found.

 “O’Neill Met Mus­lim Activists Tied to Char­i­ties” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.

Mr. Oth­man has ties to the Bush fam­i­ly going back to the 1980’s, when he served with George W. Bush on the board of a Texas petro­le­um firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Mr. Oth­man has vis­it­ed the White House dur­ing the admin­is­tra­tions of both Pres­i­dent Bush and his father George H.W. Bush.

5b. We include as much of the orig­i­nal Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle as can be gleaned:

Two weeks after his agents raid­ed the offices of sev­er­al Islam­ic char­i­ties and busi­ness­es sus­pect­ed of financ­ing ter­ror­ism, Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill met with two polit­i­cal­ly con­nect­ed Mus­lim activists, one a long­time Bush fam­i­ly asso­ciate, who each had a tie to the tar­get­ed groups.

The April 4 lun­cheon with Mr. O’Neill was con­vened to allow Mus­lim-Amer­i­cans to voice com­plaints about the March 20 raid on the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Islam­ic Thought and 19 relat­ed enti­ties that oper­ate out of offices at 555 Grove St. in Hern­don, Va., a Wash­ing­ton sub­urb.

Among the Mus­lim lead­ers attend­ing was Talat Oth­man, a long­time asso­ciate and sup­port­er of Pres­i­dent Bush’s fam­i­ly who gave a bene­dic­tion at the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion in Philadel­phia in August 2000. Mr. Oth­man went to the Trea­sury rep­re­sent­ing the Arab-Amer­i­can Busi­ness and Pro­fes­sion­al Asso­ci­a­tion. But he also serves on the board of Amana Mutu­al Funds Trust, an invest­ment firm found­ed by M. Yac­qub Mirza, the North­ern Vir­ginia busi­ness­man who set up most of the enti­ties tar­get­ed by the Trea­sury and whose tax records were sought in the raid. . . .

. . . . Also at the meet­ing was Khaled Saf­fu­ri, head of the Islam­ic Insti­tute, a group he co-found­ed with GOP activist Grover Norquist to orga­nize con­ser­v­a­tive Mus­lims. The insti­tute has accept­ed $20,000 in con­tri­bu­tions from anoth­er Grove Street enti­ty sus­pect­ed of ter­ror­ist con­nec­tions, the Safa Trust, as ear­li­er report­ed by Newsweek. Asked for com­ment, Mr. Norquist, a board mem­ber of the insti­tute, con­firmed the dona­tion. Mr. Saf­fu­ri could­n’t be reached. . . .

. . . . Messrs. Oth­man and Saf­fu­ri weren’t tar­get­ed in the raid. Nan­cy Luque, a lawyer for Mr. Mirza and his enter­pris­es and part­ners, said her client and his part­ners and enter­pris­es have no con­nec­tion to ter­ror­ists. Mr. Mirza did­n’t attend the Trea­sury meet­ing.

The meet­ing reflects the increas­ing com­plex­i­ty of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s crack­down on ter­ror financ­ing. As the glob­al inves­ti­ga­tion broad­ens, the labyrinthine mon­ey trail is lead­ing to more and more seem­ing­ly main­stream enti­ties, gen­er­at­ing polit­i­cal con­tro­ver­sy. Some of the peo­ple tar­get­ed in the March 20 raids in Vir­ginia are well-estab­lished fig­ures in the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty, and their treat­ment has gen­er­at­ed an intense back­lash against the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. Sim­i­lar con­tro­ver­sies have erupt­ed in both the Arab world and in Europe as gov­ern­ments have frozen assets at the behest of the U.S. with­out dis­clos­ing detailed evi­dence to sup­port the moves.

The case also high­lights con­flicts between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s domes­tic polit­i­cal goals and its war on ter­ror. GOP offi­cials began court­ing the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty intense­ly in the late 1990s, seek­ing to add that eth­nic bloc to the par­ty’s polit­i­cal base. But when the war on ter­ror was launched in Sep­tem­ber, the Bush admin­is­tra­tion retreat­ed from some posi­tions Repub­li­cans had tak­en to gain the Mus­lim sup­port, includ­ing oppo­si­tion to the use of secret evi­dence in immi­gra­tion cas­es, and began mass immi­gra­tion-vio­la­tor roundups with­in Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ties. . . .

. . . . Rob Nichols, a Trea­sury spokesman, said the April 4 meet­ing was ini­ti­at­ed by Trea­sury offi­cials in response to the harsh crit­i­cism it has received in the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty in the raid’s after­math. About a dozen Mus­lim lead­ers were asked to attend, includ­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tives of the Mus­lim Pub­lic Affairs Coun­cil, the Amer­i­can-Arab Anti-Dis­crim­i­na­tion Com­mit­tee, the Amer­i­can Mus­lim Coun­cil, and the Arab Amer­i­can Insti­tute.

“We invit­ed to meet with senior Trea­sury offi­cials those who were most crit­i­cal of our effort,” Mr. Nichols said. “We want­ed some hon­est feed­back.” Mr. Nichols said he did­n’t know whether Mr. O’Neill or his aides knew of any con­nec­tions Messrs. Oth­man and Saf­fu­ri might have with the groups under scruti­ny. Anoth­er Trea­sury offi­cial added: “There are many well-inten­tioned, cred­i­ble peo­ple who become unknow­ing­ly asso­ci­at­ed with groups being inves­ti­gat­ed for ter­ror­ist financ­ing activ­i­ties. It would be unfair to shun such peo­ple.” . . . .

. . . . The Islam­ic Insti­tute declared itself pleased with the encounter.“The meet­ing was con­struc­tive, and the lead­ers expressed their con­cerns to Sec­re­tary O’Neill regard­ing the insen­si­tive actions of Trea­sury agents dur­ing the raids against the Mus­lim Amer­i­can orga­ni­za­tions, and con­cerns of the com­mu­ni­ty that civ­il-rights vio­la­tions occurred,” the Islam­ic Insti­tute said on its Web site. “Sec­re­tary O’Neill promised that these con­cerns would be inves­ti­gat­ed.”

Bruce Zagaris, an asset-for­fei­ture lawyer who rep­re­sents clients in sim­i­lar cas­es, said a meet­ing between Trea­sury offi­cials and any­one who might be asso­ci­at­ed with an enti­ty under inves­ti­ga­tion is very unusu­al. “It’s vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble [to arrange such a meet­ing], espe­cial­ly with the Trea­sury sec­re­tary,” Mr. Zagaris said. “It’s very dif­fi­cult to even get phone calls returned.” . . . .

. . . . Accord­ing to a search war­rant jus­ti­fy­ing the raid — which was approved by a fed­er­al judge — Trea­sury agents were look­ing for “any and all infor­ma­tion ref­er­enc­ing in any way” numer­ous ter­ror­ist groups and indi­vid­u­als. Among them were Osama bin Laden and his al Qae­da orga­ni­za­tion and two anti-Israeli groups, Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad, and Hamas.

Mr. Oth­man says he knows Mr. Mirza only slight­ly and agreed to serve on the board of Amana last sum­mer after the two men met at a con­fer­ence. He said he does­n’t believe Amana is part of the fed­er­al probe. He added that trustees such as him­self “have noth­ing real­ly to do with the fund,” which makes invest­ments accord­ing to Islam­ic prin­ci­ples and is man­aged on a dai­ly basis by anoth­er invest­ment firm. Though nei­ther the invest­ment firm nor Mr. Oth­man is named in the search war­rant, it does demand all records relat­ed to “any oth­er enti­ty shar­ing offi­cers, direc­tors, trustees, or employ­ees with the list­ed enti­ties.”

Two non­prof­its affil­i­at­ed with Mr. Mirza and named in the search war­rant, the SAAR Foun­da­tion Inc. and the Her­itage Edu­ca­tion Trust Inc., held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutu­al funds in 1997, accord­ing to SEC records. The SEC doc­u­ments and oth­er records detail­ing con­nec­tions between Mr. Oth­man and the Islam­ic Insti­tute and the raid­ed groups were com­piled by the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty News Ser­vice, a Wash­ing­ton­based non­prof­it research group. . . .

Mr. Oth­man has ties to the Bush fam­i­ly going back to the 1980s, when he served with George W. Bush on the board of a Texas petro­le­um firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Mr. Oth­man has vis­it­ed the White House dur­ing the admin­is­tra­tions of both Pres­i­dent Bush and his father George H.W. Bush. Mr. Oth­man also is a long­time cam­paign donor who gives to both par­ties but tends to favor Repub­li­cans, giv­ing more than $10,000 dur­ing the past decade to GOP groups and sup­port­ing the pres­i­den­tial bids of both Bush­es.

Mr. Oth­man also is on the board of Mr. Saf­fu­ri’s Islam­ic Insti­tute, the GOP-lean­ing group that received $20,000 from the Safa Trust, one of the raid’s tar­getsThe pres­i­dent of the Safa Trust, Jamal Barz­in­ji, is a for­mer busi­ness asso­ciate of Switzer­land-based investor Youssef Nada, whose assets were frozen last fall after the Trea­sury des­ig­nat­ed him a per­son sus­pect­ed of giv­ing aid to ter­ror­ists. A nat­u­ral­ized Amer­i­can, Mr. Barz­in­ji serves as an offi­cer of at least three oth­er Vir­ginia groups list­ed in the search war­rant. Ms. Luque, who also rep­re­sents Mr. Barz­in­ji, denied that he sup­ports ter­ror­ists. . . . .

. . . . Mr. Barz­in­ji and his Hern­don busi­ness part­ners also are active polit­i­cal givers, donat­ing about $40,000 to fed­er­al can­di­dates since 1990. He also is list­ed in fed­er­al records as a client of the lob­by­ing firm Janus-Mer­ritt Strate­gies LLC, which for­mer­ly employed Mr. Norquist, the GOP activist who co-found­ed the Islam­ic Insti­tute. The firm received $40,000 in 2000 lob­by­ing for human rights and for­eign-pol­i­cy issues, records show. Mr. Norquist did­n’t work on the account, accord­ing to Ms. Luque and Janus-Mer­rit.

In a speech last fall to the Orga­ni­za­tion of Islam­ic Con­fer­ence in Doha, Qatar, Mr. Barz­in­ji boast­ed of the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty’s ris­ing polit­i­cal influ­ence. “At this time, the pres­i­dent and his admin­is­tra­tion are con­tin­u­al­ly seek­ing the coun­sel and input of Amer­i­can Mus­lim lead­ers,” Mr. Barz­in­ji said. “At no oth­er time has the Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty in Amer­i­ca been more effec­tive in rela­tion to the process­es of Amer­i­can gov­ern­ment.

6. Next, we present oth­er areas of inter­sec­tion between the labyrinthine net­work attacked in the 3/20 raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and ele­ments linked to Norquist’s Islam­ic Free Mar­ket Insti­tute. A recent Wall Street Jour­nal arti­cle described some of the orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed in the raids:

“Funds Under Ter­ror Probe Flowed From Off­shore” by Glenn R. Simp­son [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Jour­nal; 3/22/2002; p. A4.

These include Al-Taqwa Man­age­ment, a recent­ly liq­ui­dat­ed Swiss com­pa­ny the U.S. gov­ern­ment believes act­ed as a banker for Osama bin Laden’s al Que­da ter­ror­ist net­work . . . Two peo­ple affil­i­at­ed with the com­pa­nies and char­i­ties are linked by records to enti­ties already des­ig­nat­ed as ter­ror­ist by the U.S. gov­ern­ment. Hisham Al-Tal­ib, who served as an offi­cer of SAAR, the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute of Islam­ic Thought and Safa Trust Inc., anoth­er Mirza char­i­ty, dur­ing the 1970’s was an offi­cer of firms run by Youssef M. Nada, records show. Mr. Nada is a Switzer­land-based busi­ness­man whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. for alleged involve­ment in ter­ror­ist financ­ing, and is alleged by U.S. offi­cials to be a key fig­ure in the Taqwa net­work . . .

. . . . Jamal Barz­in­ji, an offi­cer of Mr. Mirza­’s com­pa­ny Mar-Jac and oth­er enti­ties, also was involved with Mr. Nada’s com­pa­nies in the 1970’s, accord­ing to bank doc­u­ments from Liecht­en­stein. A mes­sage was left yes­ter­day for Mr. Barz­in­ji at his address in Hern­don. Mr. Barz­in­ji and Mr. Tal­ib live across the street from each oth­er. A third busi­ness asso­ciate of Mr. Nada, Ali Ghaleb Him­mat (who also has been des­ig­nat­ed by the Trea­sury as aid­ing ter­ror­ism), is list­ed as an offi­cial of the Gene­va branch of anoth­er char­i­ty oper­at­ed by Mr. Mirza, the Inter­na­tion­al Islam­ic Char­i­ta­ble Orga­ni­za­tion.

7. Review­ing infor­ma­tion from FTR#343, we note that Nada him­self is alleged to have been agent of the Abwehr, the mil­i­tary intel­li­gence ser­vice of the Third Reich.

Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; pp. 140–141.

. . . . But Yussef Nada is even bet­ter-known to the Egypt­ian [intel­li­gence] ser­vices, who have evi­dence of his mem­ber­ship in the armed branch of the fra­ter­ni­ty of the Mus­lim Broth­ers in the 1940’s. At that time, accord­ing to the same sources, he was work­ing for the Abwehr under Admi­ral Canaris and took part in a plot against King Farouk.  Mr. This was not the first time that the path of the Mus­lim Broth­ers crossed that of the ser­vants of the Third Reich. . . . 

8. Atta’s Wikipedia entry notes Atta’s affil­i­a­tion with the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, the BND-affil­i­at­ed Goethe Insti­tute and an unnamed Ger­man cou­ple who shep­herd­ed Atta into Ger­many. This cou­ple was affil­i­at­ed with the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety as dis­cussed in FTR #456.

Mohamed Atta; Wikipedia.

. . . . In 1990, Atta grad­u­at­ed with a degree in architecture,[15] and joined the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood-affil­i­at­ed Engi­neers Syn­di­cate orga­ni­za­tion.[8] For sev­er­al months after grad­u­at­ing, Atta worked at the Urban Devel­op­ment Cen­ter in Cairo, where he worked on archi­tec­tur­al, plan­ning, and build­ing design.[16] In 1990, Atta’s fam­i­ly moved into an 11th floor apart­ment in Giza.[15][17]

Upon grad­u­at­ing from Cairo Uni­ver­si­ty, Atta’s marks were aver­age and insuf­fi­cient to be accept­ed into the Uni­ver­si­ty’s grad­u­ate pro­gram. His father insist­ed he go abroad for grad­u­ate stud­ies, and had Atta enroll in a Ger­man lan­guage pro­gram at the Goethe Insti­tute in Cairo.[18] [Ital­ics added.] In 1992, Atta’s father invit­ed a Ger­man cou­ple over for din­ner while they were vis­it­ing Cairo. The Ger­man cou­ple ran an exchange pro­gram between Ger­many and Egypt, and sug­gest­ed that Atta con­tin­ue his stud­ies in Ger­many. They offered him a tem­po­rary place to live at their house in the city. Mohamed Atta end­ed up in Ger­many two weeks lat­er, in July 1992. . . .

9. The Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety, which shep­herd­ed Atta into the U.S. is described in an entry on a web­site that also fea­tures the Alfa Fel­low­ship, spon­sored by the Alfa con­glom­er­ate.

“His­to­ry of the Carl Duis­berg Soci­ety”

In the 1920’s, Carl Duis­berg, Gen­er­al Direc­tor of Bay­er AG in Ger­many, envi­sioned send­ing Ger­man stu­dents to the Unit­ed States on work-study pro­grams. Duis­berg was con­vinced that inter­na­tion­al prac­ti­cal train­ing was crit­i­cal to the growth of Ger­man indus­try. Many of the return­ing trainees lat­er rose to promi­nent posi­tions at AEG, Bay­er, Bosch, Daim­ler Benz, and Siemens, bring­ing with them new meth­ods for mass pro­duc­tion, new ideas, and new busi­ness prac­tices. Fol­low­ing World War II, alum­ni from the first exchanges found­ed the Carl Duis­berg Gesellschaft (CDG) in 1949 to help engi­neers, busi­ness­men and farm­ers gain inter­na­tion­al work expe­ri­ence nec­es­sary for the rebuild­ing of Ger­many . . . .

10. Daniel Hop­sick­er was inter­viewed by agents for the BKA, the Ger­man Fed­er­al Police. They told Daniel that Atta’s asso­ciates in South Flori­da were the sons, and in one case the daugh­ter, of promi­nent Ger­man indus­tri­al­ists.

Excerpt from the Descrip­tion for FTR #484

. . . . Daniel also notes that some of Atta’s Ger­man asso­ciates in Flori­da were sons and daugh­ters of promi­nent Ger­man indus­tri­al­ists. . . .

11. Richard Clarke has crit­i­cized the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tion. He also dis­cussed the coun­ter­pro­duc­tive effect of turn­ing the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion over to the FBI, head­ed by Robert Mueller.

Of para­mount impor­tance in the con­text of the pro­gram is Clarke’s analy­sis that the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s reor­ga­ni­za­tion of the gov­ern­ment has actu­al­ly ham­pered the fight against ter­ror financ­ing. He specif­i­cal­ly cites the shift­ing of respon­si­bil­i­ty for Oper­a­tion Green Quest to the FBI as a rea­son to fear what is tak­ing place. Recall that the Oper­a­tion Green Quest milieu is inex­tri­ca­bly linked to the GOP/Bush administration/Bush busi­ness nexus. Recall that Bush (Senior) Jus­tice Depart­ment offi­cial Robert Mueller was placed in charge of the FBI in July of 2001. His “over­sight” of the BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion com­pro­mis­es his abil­i­ty to inves­ti­gate Green Quest and the vital­ly impor­tant links between Bush and the Saud­is.

“Shake-Up Amid War on Ter­ror ‘Has Hit Cam­paign’ ” by Edward Alden; Finan­cial Times; 10/23/2003; p. 2.

. . . . The US effort to shut down finan­cial sup­port for ter­ror­ist net­works is being seri­ous­ly ham­pered by a gov­ern­ment reor­ga­ni­za­tion that has left the most expe­ri­enced agen­cies with­out any real pow­er, the US gov­ern­men­t’s for­mer top counter-ter­ror­ism offi­cial said yes­ter­day. Richard Clarke, who head­ed counter-ter­ror­ism at the White House for the Clin­ton and Bush admin­is­tra­tions before leav­ing gov­ern­ment ear­li­er this year, said the deci­sion to put the Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion in charge of ter­ror finance inves­ti­ga­tions, and to give new pow­ers to the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, had set the cam­paign back. . . .

. . . .  ‘Reor­ga­niz­ing the fed­er­al gov­ern­ment in the mid­dle of the war on ter­ror­ism was per­haps not the bright­est thing we could have done,’ he told the com­mit­tee. The admin­is­tra­tion agreed ear­li­er this year to des­ig­nate the FBI as the lead orga­ni­za­tion for inves­ti­gat­ing ter­ror finance net­works, mov­ing a sep­a­rate inves­tiga­tive team, known as Oper­a­tion Green Quest from the Cus­toms Ser­vice to the FBI. In addi­tion, Cus­toms was moved to the new Home­land Secu­ri­ty depart­ment, break­ing it away from oth­er agen­cies in the Trea­sury depart­ment that play a key role in ter­ror finance inves­ti­ga­tions and enforce­ment. The move came at a sen­si­tive time when the Trea­sury was lead­ing a series of actions, includ­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into a broad net­work of Sau­di-backed char­i­ties based in north­ern Vir­ginia. . . .

. . . .  ‘Hav­ing the cur­rent struc­ture where the FBI is in charge and tells every­body else what to do, is a recipe, I think for fail­ure,’ said Mr. Clarke. He added: ‘The FBI by tra­di­tion does­n’t co-oper­ate well with oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies and it does­n’t share infor­ma­tion. It treats oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies as sec­ond-class par­tic­i­pants in the over­all effort.’ . . .

12. This descrip­tion con­cludes with mate­r­i­al not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal pro­gram, due to the lim­i­ta­tions of time.

Again, the milieu of the 3/20-tar­get­ed SAAR net­work and the oth­er objects of the Green Quest raids sig­nif­i­cant­ly over­laps the GOP’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion and the Bush admin­is­tra­tion.

The fact that ele­ments of the Al Qae­da milieu appear to have been involved in West­ern intel­li­gence covert oper­a­tions in the Balka­ns (and now Syr­ia), as well as the incon­ve­nient GOP ethnic/Green Quest con­nec­tion may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hos­tile inter­est in the inves­ti­ga­tors of Oper­a­tion Green Quest. The inves­ti­ga­tors who were so harassed includ­ed Rita Katz, A.K.A. “Anony­mous.”

Ter­ror­ist Hunter by “Anony­mous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harp­er Collins]; Copy­right 2003 by Harp­er Collins [HC]; ISBN 0–06-052819–2; p. 328–329.

. . . . The CIA was inves­ti­gat­ing me and the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors from Green Quest and Cus­toms. The CIA and the FBI inves­ti­gat­ed every­one who had any­thing to do with the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion. White vans and SUV’s with dark win­dows appeared near all the homes of the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors. All agents, some of whom were very expe­ri­enced with sur­veil­lance, knew they were being fol­lowed. So was I. I felt that I was being fol­lowed every­where and watched at home, in the super­mar­ket, on the way to work . . . and for what? . . .

. . . The Cus­toms agents were ques­tioned. So were their super­vi­sors. So was the U.S. attor­ney on the SAAR case. One of the ques­tions they were all asked was whether they’d leaked mate­r­i­al to me. They all kept say­ing that this was the most pre­pos­ter­ous idea; they all said that before I came, none of them had the slight­est clue about SAAR and 555. They said that there was noth­ing of val­ue they could give me that I did­n’t have already. That it was I who gave them the mate­r­i­al, not the oth­er way around. None of the inves­ti­gat­ed par­ties has the slight­est clue as to the real rea­son they were being inves­ti­gat­ed. . . .

. . . . Risk­ing crit­i­cism for being unfound­ed­ly para­noid, I must con­vey my the­o­ry about the inves­ti­ga­tion and CIA’s involve­ment in it, I don’t know for cer­tain what’s the deal with the CIA inves­ti­gat­ing the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tors, but it sure feels as if some­one up in that agency does­n’t like the idea that the Sau­di Ara­bi­an boat is rocked. The raids on 555 had tak­en place already—the CIA could­n’t change that—but inves­ti­gat­ing and giv­ing the peo­ple behind the raids a hard time is a most effi­cient way of mak­ing sure the SAAR inves­ti­ga­tion stops there. Which, come to think of it, may be the rea­son the gov­ern­ment looks so unfa­vor­ably on the law­suit filed by 9–11 vic­tims’ fam­i­lies against sev­er­al Sau­di enti­ties and indi­vid­u­als, accus­ing them of fund­ing ter­ror­ism and seek­ing dam­ages. . . .

 

Discussion

One comment for “FTR #1006 Robert Mueller and the Subversion of Operation Green Quest”

  1. Well, we’ve final­ly learned what Sau­di Ara­bia can do to prompts an out­cry from the US gov­ern­ment: the lur­ing of Sau­di dis­si­dent jour­nal­ist Jamal Khashog­gi, who worked for the Wash­ing­ton Post, to a Sau­di con­sulate to kid­nap him and appar­ent­ly mur­der him. Every­thing else the fas­cist tyran­ni­cal ter­ror-spon­sor­ing insane regime does appears to be ok, but at least some­thing this brazen is trig­ger­ing a back­lash. Bet­ter late than nev­er.

    Although it’s not yet clear whether or not it’s going to be a back­lash mere­ly of unpleas­ant words or some­thing more sub­stan­tive. Inter­est­ing­ly, if it turns out Khashog­gi real­ly was mur­dered this could qual­i­fy the Sau­di regime for sanc­tions based on the Mag­nit­sky Act. But, for now, it does­n’t appear that the Trump admin­is­tra­tion is going to do any­thing oth­er than express its dis­plea­sure. And as the fol­low­ing arti­cles should make clear, we prob­a­bly should­n’t expect much more than some unpleas­ant words from the Trump admin­is­tra­tion because actu­al­ly piss­ing off the Saud­is is bad for busi­ness. Trump’s busi­ness, specif­i­cal­ly:

    Moth­er Jones

    Don­ald Trump Has a Seri­ous Sau­di Ara­bi­an Con­flict of Inter­est
    “They buy apart­ments from me. They spend $40 mil­lion, $50 mil­lion. Am I sup­posed to dis­like them?”

    Russ Choma
    Octo­ber 10, 2018 4:14 PM

    The gris­ly details of an alleged Sau­di gov­ern­ment plot to mur­der dis­si­dent jour­nal­ist Jamal Khashog­gi are roil­ing diplo­mat­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty cir­cles, but the Trump White House’s reac­tion has been strange­ly mut­ed. Asked about the mat­ter on Wednes­day after­noon, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump vague­ly con­demned the “bad sit­u­a­tion,” while also prais­ing King Salman, the Sau­di monarch, as a “fine man.” He stressed that Sau­di offi­cials say it’s unclear what became of Khashog­gi, who dis­ap­peared after enter­ing the Sau­di con­sulate in Istan­bul on Octo­ber 2. Turk­ish offi­cials say he was killed with­in hours of enter­ing the con­sulate by a Sau­di hit squad on the orders of senior Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly mem­bers.

    Asked about Jamal Khashog­gi, Trump says, “This is a bad sit­u­a­tion, we can not let this hap­pen to reporters, to any­one.” Prob­a­bly the kind­est words he’s had for reporters.— Jason Schwartz (@JasonSchwartz) Octo­ber 10, 2018

    ...

    At a 2015 cam­paign stop, Trump bragged to the crowd about his busi­ness deal­ings with the Saud­is. “Sau­di Ara­bia, I get along with all of them,” Trump said. “They buy apart­ments from me. They spend $40 mil­lion, $50 mil­lion. Am I sup­posed to dis­like them? I like them very much.”

    In 2001, the Sau­di gov­ern­ment bought the 45th floor of the Trump World Plaza build­ing in New York City as part of its mis­sion to the Unit­ed Nations. And short­ly before enter­ing the White House, Trump was aggres­sive­ly pur­su­ing deals with Sau­di investors and attempt­ing to build hotels in the Sau­di Ara­bia. In August 2015, in the midst of his pres­i­den­tial run, Trump reg­is­tered new cor­po­ra­tions to man­age a prospec­tive hotel in Jed­dah, the gate­way city to the Mus­lim holy sites of Mec­ca and Med­i­na. That project nev­er came to fruition, but the Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed that at least two of Trump’s US hotel properties—both called the Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel & Tow­er, in New York and Chicago—have ben­e­fit­ted huge­ly from Sau­di busi­ness.

    At Trump’s New York hotel, room rev­enues declined for two straight years after Trump launched his pres­i­den­tial bid, but they saw a 13 per­cent boost dur­ing the first three months of 2018. The rea­son, accord­ing to hotel man­age­ment, was SaudiPrince Mohammed bin Salman’s vis­it to New York City in March. The crown prince, who is known as M.B.S. and is said to wield most of the pow­er in the Sau­di gov­ern­ment, didn’t stay at the Trump hotel (the rooms are appar­ent­ly not big enough), but mem­bers of his entourage did, and that was enough to give a last-minute shine to the hotel’s quar­ter­ly finances. Trump’s Chica­go hotel, mean­while, has seen a 169 per­cent increase in vis­its from Saud­is since 2016..

    This all rais­es the ques­tion: Are Trump’s per­son­al busi­ness inter­ests influ­enc­ing his han­dling of the unfold­ing diplo­mat­ic cri­sis?

    ———-

    “Don­ald Trump Has a Seri­ous Sau­di Ara­bi­an Con­flict of Inter­est” by Russ Choma; Moth­er Jones; 10/10/2018

    “The gris­ly details of an alleged Sau­di gov­ern­ment plot to mur­der dis­si­dent jour­nal­ist Jamal Khashog­gi are roil­ing diplo­mat­ic and nation­al secu­ri­ty cir­cles, but the Trump White House’s reac­tion has been strange­ly mut­ed. Asked about the mat­ter on Wednes­day after­noon, Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump vague­ly con­demned the “bad sit­u­a­tion,” while also prais­ing King Salman, the Sau­di monarch, as a “fine man.” He stressed that Sau­di offi­cials say it’s unclear what became of Khashog­gi, who dis­ap­peared after enter­ing the Sau­di con­sulate in Istan­bul on Octo­ber 2. Turk­ish offi­cials say he was killed with­in hours of enter­ing the con­sulate by a Sau­di hit squad on the orders of senior Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly mem­bers.

    A Sau­di hit squad takes out a Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed and the White House is large­ly in ‘no com­ment’ mode. At least no mean­ing­ful com­ments. And that prob­a­bly has at least some­thing to do with the fact that the Saud­is have been very lucra­tive friends of the Trumps. Espe­cial­ly in recent years:

    ...
    At a 2015 cam­paign stop, Trump bragged to the crowd about his busi­ness deal­ings with the Saud­is. “Sau­di Ara­bia, I get along with all of them,” Trump said. “They buy apart­ments from me. They spend $40 mil­lion, $50 mil­lion. Am I sup­posed to dis­like them? I like them very much.”

    In 2001, the Sau­di gov­ern­ment bought the 45th floor of the Trump World Plaza build­ing in New York City as part of its mis­sion to the Unit­ed Nations. And short­ly before enter­ing the White House, Trump was aggres­sive­ly pur­su­ing deals with Sau­di investors and attempt­ing to build hotels in the Sau­di Ara­bia. In August 2015, in the midst of his pres­i­den­tial run, Trump reg­is­tered new cor­po­ra­tions to man­age a prospec­tive hotel in Jed­dah, the gate­way city to the Mus­lim holy sites of Mec­ca and Med­i­na. That project nev­er came to fruition, but the Wash­ing­ton Post report­ed that at least two of Trump’s US hotel properties—both called the Trump Inter­na­tion­al Hotel & Tow­er, in New York and Chicago—have ben­e­fit­ted huge­ly from Sau­di busi­ness.

    At Trump’s New York hotel, room rev­enues declined for two straight years after Trump launched his pres­i­den­tial bid, but they saw a 13 per­cent boost dur­ing the first three months of 2018. The rea­son, accord­ing to hotel man­age­ment, was SaudiPrince Mohammed bin Salman’s vis­it to New York City in March. The crown prince, who is known as M.B.S. and is said to wield most of the pow­er in the Sau­di gov­ern­ment, didn’t stay at the Trump hotel (the rooms are appar­ent­ly not big enough), but mem­bers of his entourage did, and that was enough to give a last-minute shine to the hotel’s quar­ter­ly finances. Trump’s Chica­go hotel, mean­while, has seen a 169 per­cent increase in vis­its from Saud­is since 2016..
    ...

    But per­haps the biggest rea­son to assume that the Trump admin­is­tra­tion isn’t real­ly going to do much in response to the kidnapping/murder of Khashog­gi is the fact that when Sau­di Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made his high pro­file vis­it to the US back in March he had to refute accu­sa­tions that he has been telling peo­ple that Jared Kush­n­er was ‘in his pock­et’, and he pre­sum­ably would­n’t be telling peo­ple this if Jared was­n’t actu­al­ly ‘in his pock­et’:

    The Wash­ing­ton Post

    Sau­di prince denies Kush­n­er is ‘in his pock­et’

    By Karen DeY­oung
    March 22, 2018

    Sau­di Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Thurs­day it would be “real­ly insane” for him to trade clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion with pres­i­den­tial son-in-law and White House advis­er Jared Kush­n­er, or to try to use Kush­n­er to pro­mote Sau­di aims with­in the Trump admin­is­tra­tion.

    That kind of rela­tion­ship “will not help us” and does not exist, he said. Speak­ing in a meet­ing with Wash­ing­ton Post edi­tors and reporters, Mohammed denied U.S. media reports that he had claimed Kush­n­er was “in his pock­et,” or that, when the two met in Riyadh in Octo­ber, he had sought or received a green light from Kush­n­er for mas­sive arrests of alleged­ly cor­rupt mem­bers of the roy­al fam­i­ly and Sau­di busi­ness­men that took place in the king­dom short­ly after­ward.

    The deten­tions were sole­ly a domes­tic issue and had been in the works for years, the prince said.

    While “we work togeth­er as friends, more than part­ners,” Mohammed said, his rela­tion­ship with Kush­n­er was with­in the nor­mal con­text of gov­ern­ment-to-gov­ern­ment con­tacts. He not­ed that he also had good rela­tions with Vice Pres­i­dent Pence and oth­ers in the White House.

    In the 75-minute meet­ing at The Post on the last day of his four-day stay in Wash­ing­ton, Mohammed was ani­mat­ed and engaged, field­ing ques­tions on a range of top­ics, from the war in Yemen to the Mid­dle East peace process, Iran, his domes­tic reform agen­da, human rights and Sau­di Arabia’s nuclear plans.

    Although the meet­ing, con­duct­ed in Eng­lish, was held off the record, the Sau­di Embassy lat­er agreed that spec­i­fied por­tions could be used in an arti­cle about the ses­sion.

    The son of King Salman and heir to the Sau­di throne, Mohammed, 32, met with Pres­i­dent Trump on Tues­day in the Oval Office and over lunch. He also spoke with a num­ber of con­gres­sion­al lead­ers — many of whom have been crit­i­cal of the U.S.-aided Sau­di war in Yemen. On Thurs­day, he vis­it­ed Defense Sec­re­tary Jim Mat­tis at the Pen­ta­gon. The crown prince also serves as Sau­di Arabia’s defense min­is­ter.

    But the cen­ter­piece of his near­ly three-week tour of the Unit­ed States will come in sub­se­quent stops in Boston, New York, Seat­tle, Sil­i­con Val­ley, Los Ange­les and Hous­ton.

    Even as Trump has said he is seek­ing increased invest­ment and pur­chas­es of U.S. mil­i­tary equip­ment and oth­er prod­ucts from Sau­di Ara­bia, Mohammed has made clear that his pri­ma­ry mis­sion here is to win U.S. investor con­fi­dence in his coun­try, along with tech­no­log­i­cal and edu­ca­tion assis­tance in his efforts to reform the ultra­con­ser­v­a­tive king­dom.

    Chi­na and Rus­sia are vying with the Unit­ed States to build com­po­nents of new nuclear pow­er plants in the king­dom, amid con­cerns here over a Sau­di desire for ura­ni­um enrich­ment capa­bil­i­ty. In an inter­view with CBS’s “60 Min­utes” broad­cast last Sun­day, Mohammed said that his coun­try would build a nuclear weapon if Iran did.

    At The Post, he said his pri­ma­ry con­cern was being able to enrich and use Sau­di Arabia’s own ura­ni­um for use in pow­er reac­tors, rather than buy­ing it abroad. His coun­try has more than 5 per­cent of the world’s ura­ni­um reserves, and “if we don’t use it, it’s like telling us don’t use oil.” The Unit­ed States, he said, would be invit­ed to put in place laws and struc­tures to make sure enriched ura­ni­um is not mis­used.

    ...

    ———-

    “Sau­di prince denies Kush­n­er is ‘in his pock­et’” by Karen DeY­oung; The Wash­ing­ton Post; 03/22/2018

    “That kind of rela­tion­ship “will not help us” and does not exist, he said. Speak­ing in a meet­ing with Wash­ing­ton Post edi­tors and reporters, Mohammed denied U.S. media reports that he had claimed Kush­n­er was “in his pock­et,” or that, when the two met in Riyadh in Octo­ber, he had sought or received a green light from Kush­n­er for mas­sive arrests of alleged­ly cor­rupt mem­bers of the roy­al fam­i­ly and Sau­di busi­ness­men that took place in the king­dom short­ly after­ward.

    Yes, MSB denied at the time the reports that he claimed Kush­n­er was “in his pock­et”. He also denied that Kush­n­er gave MBS a green­light for the mass arrests of cor­rupt mem­bers of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly and Sau­di busi­ness­men last year. And, of course, these denials mean noth­ing.

    So we’ll see what, if any­thing, the US does in response to this. Trump has already ruled out can­cel­ing the $110 bil­lion in arms sales. It’s also worth not­ing that US intel­li­gence has inter­cepts of Sau­di offi­cials dis­cussing plans to lure Khashog­gi back to Sau­di Ara­bia and MBS report­ed­ly asked to speak direct­ly with Jared Kush­n­er when he called up the White House this week to deny the charges
    :

    CNN

    Saud­is dis­cussed plan to lure Jamal Khashog­gi to Sau­di Ara­bia, US inter­cepts show

    By Elise Labott, Kevin Lip­tak, and Gul Tuy­suz, CNN

    Updat­ed 3:55 PM ET, Thu Octo­ber 11, 2018

    (CNN)The US has inter­cepts of Sau­di offi­cials dis­cussing a plan to lure jour­nal­ist Jamal Khashog­gi back to Sau­di Ara­bia and detain him, accord­ing to a US offi­cial famil­iar with the intel­li­gence.

    Khashog­gi, a promi­nent Sau­di jour­nal­ist and crit­ic of the regime, has been miss­ing for more than a week after going to the Sau­di con­sulate in Istan­bul for an appoint­ment that he had sched­uled to obtain wed­ding papers. Turk­ish offi­cials pri­vate­ly believe he was killed at the con­sulate, an alle­ga­tion denied by Sau­di Ara­bia.

    The offi­cial said it is unclear if the orig­i­nal plan was to mur­der Khashog­gi or if some­thing went wrong at the con­sulate and that he might have been killed dur­ing an attempt to kid­nap him. Get­ting Khashog­gi to the con­sulate appears to have been a back­up plan, the source said, because he could­n’t be per­suad­ed to fly back to Sau­di Ara­bia.

    The offi­cial said there is no hard evi­dence as to whether Khashog­gi, a colum­nist for the Wash­ing­ton Post, is dead or alive.

    The source did not say when the US became aware of the dis­cus­sions. As CNN report­ed ear­li­er this week, inter­cept­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions were being reviewed in the wake of Khashog­gi’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

    The offi­cial would not go so far as to say Sau­di Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the oper­a­tion but said that, although he may not have known the specifics such a plan could­n’t have tak­en place with­out his approval.

    The Wash­ing­ton Post first report­ed the details of the inter­cepts.

    US offi­cials think it’s pos­si­ble the Crown Prince want­ed Khashog­gi silenced, but mis­cal­cu­lat­ed the glob­al impact his dis­ap­pear­ance would have.

    Friends of Khashog­gi, who have asked to stay anony­mous for fear of being con­nect­ed to Khashog­gi, have told CNN that there was an active cam­paign by the Sau­di gov­ern­ment and pro-Sau­di gov­ern­ment think tanks in Wash­ing­ton to con­vince him to stop crit­i­ciz­ing bin Salman and get him back in the fold as an ally of the roy­al court.

    One US-based friend told CNN that when Khashog­gi would go to the Sau­di embassy in Wash­ing­ton, offi­cials would be nice to him and try to con­vince him that it would be safe to return home.

    ...

    An inter­na­tion­al affair

    Ear­li­er this week, bin Salman con­tact­ed the White House after it became clear he and the roy­al court were get­ting blamed for Khashog­gi’s mur­der, accord­ing to a per­son famil­iar with the call. Bin Salman asked specif­i­cal­ly to speak with Jared Kush­n­er, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advi­sor, to deny the accu­sa­tions.

    White House nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er John Bolton also joined the call, and Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo had a sep­a­rate con­ver­sa­tion with the Crown Prince, send­ing a sig­nal to bin Salman that he could not cir­cum­vent Trump’s Cab­i­net offi­cials.

    US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump is fac­ing increased pres­sure over the Khashog­gi case as he walks the US-Sau­di rela­tion­ship tightrope. Late Tues­day, a bipar­ti­san group of sen­a­tors wrote to the Pres­i­dent, call­ing for the White House to deter­mine what hap­pened to Khashog­gi and whether sanc­tions should be imposed on who­ev­er was respon­si­ble for his fate.

    The let­ter, penned by the top Repub­li­can and Demo­c­rat on the Sen­ate For­eign Rela­tions Com­mit­tee, trig­gers an inves­ti­ga­tion under leg­is­la­tion that allows the Pres­i­dent to impose sanc­tions on indi­vid­u­als or coun­tries that are deemed to have com­mit­ted a human rights vio­la­tion. The White House must respond with­in 120 days, set­ting out what actions it pro­pos­es to take.

    Trump told Fox and Friends dur­ing an inter­view on Thurs­day morn­ing that his admin­is­tra­tion was being “very tough” with Sau­di Ara­bia as it inves­ti­gates Khashog­gi’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

    “We have inves­ti­ga­tors over there and we’re work­ing with Turkey and frankly we’re work­ing with Sau­di Ara­bia. We want to find out what hap­pened,” Trump said, adding that US inquiries were mak­ing progress. “We’re prob­a­bly get­ting clos­er than you might think,” he said.

    Asked whether the US has inves­ti­ga­tors on the ground in Turkey, the FBI would not con­firm or com­ment. A Turk­ish diplo­mat­ic offi­cial has denied that the US has sent inves­ti­ga­tors to Turkey to look into Khashog­gi case, say­ing the reports are “not true.”

    On Wednes­day night, Trump told Fox News that it was too ear­ly to say how the US might respond, but that block­ing fur­ther arms sales to Sau­di Ara­bia “would be hurt­ing us.”

    Inves­ti­ga­tion con­tin­ues

    On Thurs­day, a Turk­ish pres­i­den­tial spokesper­son said that a joint work­ing group would be estab­lished “at the request of Sau­di Ara­bia,” accord­ing to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

    Ear­li­er in the day, Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Recep Tayyip Erdo­gan told reporters that Turkey “can­not remain silent” on the dis­ap­pear­ance of Khashog­gi.

    “We are cur­rent­ly inves­ti­gat­ing the event in all its dimen­sions. The event took place in our coun­try. We can­not remain silent in the face of an event like this because it is not a nor­mal occur­rence,” Erdo­gan said while return­ing on a flight from Hun­gary. He said secu­ri­ty and intel­li­gence forces “have been look­ing at all dimen­sions of this” and are look­ing espe­cial­ly close­ly at the coun­try’s entry and exit points.

    Turk­ish offi­cials have said that a 15-man team flew from Sau­di Ara­bia into Istan­bul on the day Khashog­gi entered the con­sulate, and were present in the build­ing at the same time as the jour­nal­ist.

    A Sau­di source famil­iar with four of the 15 men told CNN that one is a for­mer diplo­mat in Lon­don and an intel­li­gence offi­cer, and anoth­er is a foren­sics expert.

    In a state­ment to CNN on Wednes­day, a Sau­di offi­cial said the king­dom “cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly” denies “any involve­ment in Jamal’s dis­ap­pear­ance.”

    “At this stage, our pri­or­i­ty is to sup­port the inves­ti­ga­tion, as opposed to respond­ing to evolv­ing com­ments not direct­ly relat­ed to those efforts. Jamal’s well being, as a Sau­di cit­i­zen, is our utmost con­cern and we are focus­ing on the inves­ti­ga­tion as a means to reveal the truth behind his dis­ap­pear­ance. Our sym­pa­thies go out to the fam­i­ly dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” the offi­cial said.

    But a senior Turk­ish offi­cial speak­ing on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty told CNN that the Saud­is were not coop­er­at­ing with the inves­ti­ga­tion: “They are not open to coop­er­at­ing.”

    Hat­ice Cen­giz, Khashog­gi’s fiancée, told CNN that although she is afraid that media reports of his death could be true, she wants to wait for a “final result” and still thinks “any­thing” could have hap­pened to him.

    ———-

    “Saud­is dis­cussed plan to lure Jamal Khashog­gi to Sau­di Ara­bia, US inter­cepts show” by Elise Labott, Kevin Lip­tak, and Gul Tuy­suz; CNN; 10/11/2018

    The US has inter­cepts of Sau­di offi­cials dis­cussing a plan to lure jour­nal­ist Jamal Khashog­gi back to Sau­di Ara­bia and detain him, accord­ing to a US offi­cial famil­iar with the intel­li­gence.”

    That’s right, the US actu­al­ly inter­cept­ed con­ver­sa­tions of Sau­di offi­cials plan­ning lur­ing Khashog­gi back to Sau­di Ara­bia! But we don’t know when exact­ly the US learned about this:

    ...
    Khashog­gi, a promi­nent Sau­di jour­nal­ist and crit­ic of the regime, has been miss­ing for more than a week after going to the Sau­di con­sulate in Istan­bul for an appoint­ment that he had sched­uled to obtain wed­ding papers. Turk­ish offi­cials pri­vate­ly believe he was killed at the con­sulate, an alle­ga­tion denied by Sau­di Ara­bia.

    The offi­cial said it is unclear if the orig­i­nal plan was to mur­der Khashog­gi or if some­thing went wrong at the con­sulate and that he might have been killed dur­ing an attempt to kid­nap him. Get­ting Khashog­gi to the con­sulate appears to have been a back­up plan, the source said, because he could­n’t be per­suad­ed to fly back to Sau­di Ara­bia.

    The offi­cial said there is no hard evi­dence as to whether Khashog­gi, a colum­nist for the Wash­ing­ton Post, is dead or alive.

    The source did not say when the US became aware of the dis­cus­sions. As CNN report­ed ear­li­er this week, inter­cept­ed com­mu­ni­ca­tions were being reviewed in the wake of Khashog­gi’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

    The offi­cial would not go so far as to say Sau­di Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the oper­a­tion but said that, although he may not have known the specifics such a plan could­n’t have tak­en place with­out his approval.

    ...

    So, giv­en MBS’s denials that he received a green­light from Jared last year over MBS’s mass arrest plans, that rais­es the ques­tion of whether or not any of those inter­cept­ed con­ver­sa­tions involved Jared? That would be inter­est­ing to learn. Espe­cial­ly since it sounds like MBS specif­i­cal­ly tried to resolve this issue by speak­ing to direct­ly Jared:

    ...
    An inter­na­tion­al affair

    Ear­li­er this week, bin Salman con­tact­ed the White House after it became clear he and the roy­al court were get­ting blamed for Khashog­gi’s mur­der, accord­ing to a per­son famil­iar with the call. Bin Salman asked specif­i­cal­ly to speak with Jared Kush­n­er, US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump’s son-in-law and senior advi­sor, to deny the accu­sa­tions.

    White House nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er John Bolton also joined the call, and Sec­re­tary of State Mike Pom­peo had a sep­a­rate con­ver­sa­tion with the Crown Prince, send­ing a sig­nal to bin Salman that he could not cir­cum­vent Trump’s Cab­i­net offi­cials.
    ...

    And note note the FBI won’t say whether or not it sent a ground team to Turkey. But Turkey will say and Turkey is say­ing that the US sent no inves­ti­ga­tors:

    ...
    Asked whether the US has inves­ti­ga­tors on the ground in Turkey, the FBI would not con­firm or com­ment. A Turk­ish diplo­mat­ic offi­cial has denied that the US has sent inves­ti­ga­tors to Turkey to look into Khashog­gi case, say­ing the reports are “not true.”
    ...

    And one senior Turk­ish offi­cial is assert­ing that the Saud­is sim­ply aren’t coop­er­at­ing:

    ...
    In a state­ment to CNN on Wednes­day, a Sau­di offi­cial said the king­dom “cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly” denies “any involve­ment in Jamal’s dis­ap­pear­ance.”

    “At this stage, our pri­or­i­ty is to sup­port the inves­ti­ga­tion, as opposed to respond­ing to evolv­ing com­ments not direct­ly relat­ed to those efforts. Jamal’s well being, as a Sau­di cit­i­zen, is our utmost con­cern and we are focus­ing on the inves­ti­ga­tion as a means to reveal the truth behind his dis­ap­pear­ance. Our sym­pa­thies go out to the fam­i­ly dur­ing this dif­fi­cult time,” the offi­cial said.

    But a senior Turk­ish offi­cial speak­ing on the con­di­tion of anonymi­ty told CNN that the Saud­is were not coop­er­at­ing with the inves­ti­ga­tion: “They are not open to coop­er­at­ing.”

    Hat­ice Cen­giz, Khashog­gi’s fiancée, told CNN that although she is afraid that media reports of his death could be true, she wants to wait for a “final result” and still thinks “any­thing” could have hap­pened to him.
    ...

    Recall that the jail­ing of jour­nal­ists of a spe­cial­ty of Turkey these days, so it’s some­what iron­ic to see the Turk­ish gov­ern­ment out­rage of this event. Still, it’s note­wor­thy that Turkey’s gov­ern­ment appears to be hap­py to inform the world that the Saud­is are block­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion and the US isn’t even try­ing.

    So we’ll see what the even­tu­al US response, or lack there­of, is to all this. But it’s worth keep­ing in mind that there’s one very big and obvi­ous issue that could, in part, explain the extreme hes­i­tan­cy to anger­ing the Saud­is on the part of the Trump admin­is­tra­tion: Psy-Group! Don’t for­get that the push to get Psy-Group, the Cam­bridge Ana­lyt­i­ca-style propaganda/digital dirty tricks out­fit, work­ing on behalf of the Trump cam­paign in 2016 was appar­ent­ly a Sau­di and UAE plan! And some­one paid Psy-Group $2 mil­lion for their ser­vices fol­low­ing the 2016 elec­tion. So if Psy-Group did indeed work on behalf of the Trump cam­paign in 2016 and the Saud­is were behind the effort and pos­si­bly financed the effort, that’s poten­tial­ly some pret­ty sig­nif­i­cant lever­age the Sau­di gov­ern­ment would have over the Trump admin­is­tra­tion at this point. Of course, the fact that the US pret­ty much nev­er rebukes Sau­di Ara­bia for any­thing ever for decades is a strong indi­ca­tion that the lack of a US response prob­a­bly isn’t pri­mar­i­ly a Trump cor­rup­tion thing. The Trump cor­rup­tion angle just makes the whole sit­u­a­tion extra poignant.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 11, 2018, 4:12 pm

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