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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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