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FTR #377 Update on Al-Taqwa and the Post-War Fascist International

Lis­ten:
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
RealAu­dio [3]

Sup­ple­ment­ing pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion about Al Taqwa and its alleged con­tacts to the Bin Laden orga­ni­za­tion, this pro­gram presents more infor­ma­tion about the con­nec­tion between Islam­o­fas­cism and oth­er fas­cist move­ments and ele­ments.

1. The broad­cast high­lights the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s men­tion of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood’s rela­tion­ship to Al Taqwa. It is worth not­ing in this con­text that, rough­ly a year after the 9/11 attacks, the Trea­sury Depart­ment sin­gled out one orga­ni­za­tion, (the Broth­er­hood) and an indi­vid­ual (Youssef Nada) with con­nec­tions to the Third Reich. It is Mr. Emory’s con­tention that the cur­rent war is an exten­sion of the Sec­ond World War. Lis­ten­ers are emphat­i­cal­ly encour­aged to flesh out their under­stand­ing by down­load­ing and perus­ing the oth­er broad­casts and pro­gram descrip­tions about 9/11. In the pas­sage that fol­lows, do not fail to notice that inves­ti­ga­tors are exam­in­ing Al Taqwa’s busi­ness con­tacts in the Unit­ed States. This inves­ti­ga­tion would (if vig­or­ous­ly pur­sued) move in the direc­tion of asso­ciates of George W. Bush and the Repub­li­can eth­nic out­reach [4] orga­ni­za­tion. “As if to rebut a draft U.N. report claim­ing the finan­cial crack­down had lost steam, the Trea­sury Depart­ment announced it was block­ing the assets of 25 new indi­vid­u­als and enti­ties. More than half of these are relat­ed to Al Taqwa, a now defunct off­shore-bank­ing net­work based in Switzer­land. Trea­sury accused the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood, an influ­en­tial (but sup­pos­ed­ly mod­er­ate) Islamist group, of back­ing the Al Taqwa net­work, which the Unit­ed States says fund­ed bin Laden and Al Qae­da before and after 9–11 and financed mil­i­tants in Alge­ria, Tunisia and the Pales­tin­ian ter­ri­to­ries. Newsweek has learned that Amer­i­can crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tors are cur­rent­ly exam­in­ing Al Taqwa’s busi­ness con­tacts in the Unit­ed States.” (“Freez­ing the Ter­ror­ist Cash Stash­es” by Mark Hosen­ball; Newsweek; 9/9/2002; p. 6.)

2. Next, the pro­gram sets forth part of the Trea­sury Depart­men­t’s press release con­cern­ing the Broth­er­hood, Al Taqwa and Ahmed Idris Nasred­din. “Bank Al-Taqwa, for which Nasred­din is a direc­tor, was estab­lished in 1988 with sig­nif­i­cant back­ing from the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood. They have been involved in financ­ing rad­i­cal groups such as the Pales­tin­ian Hamas, Alge­ri­a’s Islam­ic Sal­va­tion Front and Armed Islam­ic Group, Tunisi­a’s An-Nah­da, and Osama bin Laden and his Al Qae­da orga­ni­za­tion. Bank Al Taqwa was estab­lished in the Bahamas and is a close affil­i­ate of the Al Taqwa Man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion, which changed its name in the spring of 2000 to the Nada Man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion. In 1997, it was report­ed that the $60 mil­lion col­lect­ed annu­al­ly for Hamas was moved to Bank Al Taqwa accounts. As of Octo­ber 2000, Bank Al Taqwa appeared to be pro­vid­ing a clan­des­tine line of cred­it to a close asso­ciate of Osama bin Laden and his Al Qae­da orga­ni­za­tion received finan­cial assis­tance from Youssef M. Nada . . . Nasred­din Group Inter­na­tion­al Hold­ing Lim­it­ed-Accord­ing to cor­po­rate doc­u­ments, Ahmed Idris Nasred­din is the Chair­man of the Board of Direc­tors of Nasred­din Group Inter­na­tion­al Hold­ing Lim­it­ed.” (“The Unit­ed States and Italy Des­ig­nate Twen­ty-Five New Financiers of Ter­ror;” Office of Pub­lic Affairs of the Depart­ment of the Trea­sury; pp. 3–5.) [5]

3. A fair amount of the dis­cus­sion of Nasred­din’s oper­a­tions pre­sent­ed in the Trea­sury Depart­ment mate­r­i­al was antic­i­pat­ed in the book Dol­lars for Ter­ror. “The Milanese con­nec­tion orig­i­nates in the Bahamas. Since leav­ing its first head office in Nas­sau, Al Taqwa estab­lished itself at NIGH (Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Group Holdings)-10, Dewaux Street in Nas­sau.”

4. “The NIGH hold­ing com­pa­ny deserves close atten­tion. Yussef Nada’s assis­tant Ali Ghaleb Him­mat works there. The Bank of Gothard is NIGH’s bank, through account CC/B No. 313656, through the agency of Chi­as­so, in the name of a Char­i­ty foun­da­tion. The Bank of Gothard also appears, in a con­fi­den­tial report on Al Taqwa’s activ­i­ty, under the head­ing of busi­ness con­nec­tions. The bank man­ag­er at Gothard, Clau­dio Gen­erale, told me, how­ev­er, that he does not know either Al Taqwa or its direc­tor, much less the hold­ing com­pa­ny NIGH.” (Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 150.)

5. “The pres­i­dent and cre­ator of NIGH, Nasred­din Ahmed Idris, who also appears on the list of the first share­hold­ers in Al Taqwa, is hon­orary con­sul of Kuwait in Milan. Liv­ing in Italy, Switzer­land and Moroc­co, this busi­ness­man directs a mul­ti­tude of finan­cial com­pa­nies, most of which end up lead­ing again to the neb­u­la of Al Taqwa. One of them, Gulf Office (Asso­ci­a­tion for Com­mer­cial, Indus­tri­al and Tourist Devel­op­ment between the Gulf States and Switzer­land), cur­rent­ly dor­mant, had been housed in the same build­ing as the mosque of Lugano. In 1994, the Ital­ian judi­cial sys­tem had its sights on Gulf Office and con­duct­ed an inquiry into its activ­i­ties in the con­text of the oper­a­tion ‘clean hands.’ ” (Idem.)

6. The bal­ance of the broad­cast con­sists of a pre­sen­ta­tion of a paper by Kevin Coogan which sum­ma­rizes infor­ma­tion from a recent Swiss book on Al Qae­da, as well as high­light­ing key ques­tions about the Nazi/Islamist con­nec­tion. “The first part of this report will pri­mar­i­ly sum­ma­rize infor­ma­tion from an impor­tant new book by Johannes and Ger­mana von Dohnanyi enti­tled Schmutzige Geschafte und Heiliger Krieg: Al-Qai­da in Europa (Dirty Busi­ness and Holy War: Al-Qai­da in Europe) pub­lished by Pen­do Ver­lag (Zurich, 2002). The von Dohnanyis are long­time inves­tiga­tive reporters based in Milan. I will con­cen­trate on part of Chap­ter 4 (“The Financ­ing of Jihad”) and all of chap­ter 5 (“A Fatal Mix­ture”), which sum­ma­rizes pages 216–264. The sec­ond part of this report will focus more on Al-Taqwa mem­ber Achmed Huber and his pos­si­ble links to Said Ramadan, one of the most impor­tant Islamists in Europe but whose 1995 death has made him almost invis­i­ble in con­tem­po­rary accounts.” (“Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” by Kevin Coogan; pri­vate­ly pub­lished and dis­trib­uted by the author; p. 1.) [6]

7. After sum­ma­riz­ing many of the links between Sau­di char­i­ties and Al Qae­da, Kevin notes Yeslam bin Laden [7]’s curi­ous trav­el itin­er­ary, and some of the mys­te­ri­ous per­son­ages that accom­pa­nied him. “Yeslam bin Laden knows his life is now under the micro­scope. Why did he fly, for exam­ple, nine times to Milan? Each stop was so short, reports a mem­ber of the main­te­nance team at the pri­vate For­lani­ni air­port, that it could­n’t be for shop­ping. Six times bin Laden came to Milan from his domi­cile in Cannes and, because of EU reg­u­la­tions, these flights were con­sid­ered domes­tic and no list of pas­sen­gers was required to be filed. But three times he flew in from Zurich and Ital­ian bor­der police have copies of the pas­sen­ger list. Here there is a puz­zle as one name is ‘Car­los Rochat’ but there is no Car­los Rochat known to inves­ti­ga­tors. How­ev­er there is a Charles Rochat who is on the SICO advi­so­ry board. Is this a typo or is there some­one else using a false pass­port? They can’t get an answer from Yeslam bin Laden who is silent on this mat­ter.” (Ibid.; pp. 6–7.)

8. Next, the pro­gram notes the rela­tion­ship between SICO direc­tor Rochat and Bau­doin Dunand, as well as their mutu­al rela­tion­ship to Willard Zuck­er, a key play­er in the Iran-Con­tra scan­dal. One of the con­sid­er­a­tions to be weighed involves the extent to which the Islamofascist/Underground Reich axis may have been involved in some of the Iran-Con­tra machi­na­tions. (Recall the alle­ga­tion aired in FTR#352 that Fran­cois Genoud helped finance the exile of Aya­tol­lah Khome­i­ni in France. Monz­er Al-Kas­sar uti­lized the Merex firm for some of his weapons trans­ac­tions with the Enter­prise. (Merex was found­ed by Otto Sko­rzeny asso­ciate Ger­hard Mertins and was close to the BND, the Ger­man intel­li­gence ser­vice evolved from the Gehlen orga­ni­za­tion.) “It is equal­ly pos­si­ble that bin Laden’s silence about Rochat is meant to avoid oth­er prob­lems that might arise. Such as why Charles Rochat and Bau­doin Dunand, two mem­bers of the SICO advi­so­ry board who are attor­neys, on May 21, 2001 liq­ui­dat­ed the busi­ness Tyn­dall Trust that had first been reg­is­tered in Vil­lars-sur-Glade near Fri­bourg in Jan­u­ary of 1986. They ful­filled the same func­tion for a sis­ter soci­ety of the Tyn­dall Trust that shared the same name and that was opened up in 1990 in Gene­va and liq­ui­dat­ed in Jan­u­ary 2001. One of the top man­agers of the Tyn­dall Trust since its found­ing was the Amer­i­can tax attor­ney Willard Zuck­er who lives in Gene­va. Zuck­er also con­trols the Lake Gene­va-reg­is­tered Com­pag­nie de Ser­vice Fidu­ci­aires (CSF). And CFS had, along with par­tic­i­pa­tion from Tyn­dall Trust, assumed finan­cial man­age­ment for a cor­po­rate group named Enter­prise.” (Ibid.; p. 7.)

9. “Enter­prise, how­ev­er, had noth­ing to do with the suc­ces­sor com­pa­ny to the 1983-found­ed suc­ces­sor to the Albert Hakim and U.S. Gen­er­al Richard Sec­ord-found­ed Stan­ford Tech­nolo­gies Trad­ing Group Inter­na­tion­al (STTGI), which lat­er changed its name to Enter­prise and admin­is­tered secret and ille­gal weapons ship­ments with Iran and the Con­tras. The same Willard Zuck­er arranged pay­ments from the enter­prise account for Oliv­er North. In 1986, the Syr­i­an Monz­er Al-Kas­sar was not only one of the world’s great weapons deal­ers. He also had close ties with Islam­ic fun­da­men­tal­ist and ter­ror­ist groups in the Mid East. Al-Kas­sar also worked with an inter­na­tion­al group inter­est­ed in send­ing tox­ic and atom­ic waste mate­ri­als by ship to Mozam­bique.” (Idem.) (For more about Al-Kas­sar, see RFA#‘s 32, 35, 38, FTR#‘s 5, 109, 328, 341

7. Fur­ther devel­op­ing the rela­tion­ship between Dunand and Fran­cois Genoud, the pro­gram notes that the two were close friends. “What is even more sur­pris­ing than find­ing out the links between Rochat and Dunand with a rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Iran-Con­tra affair like Zuck­er is find­ing a con­nec­tion point between Islam­ic ter­ror­ism and the far right. For it turns out that Bau­doin Dunand was not only the attor­ney for Fran­cois Genoud, the Swiss old Nazi who died in 1996, but also his close friend.” (Idem.)

8. Flesh­ing out the sto­ry of the found­ing of Al Taqwa, the pro­gram details some of the prin­ci­pal play­ers in this mys­te­ri­ous orga­ni­za­tion. “On July 21, 1988, at the bureau of a Lugano-based notary named Gian­lu­ca Boscaro gath­ered Huber, the Swiss pro­fes­sor (Hochschulle­her) Mohammed Man­sour and his wife Zeinab Man­sour Fat­touh, as well as the Tunisian Youssef Nada and Ali Ghaleb Him­mat, who both live in the Ital­ian enclave of Cam­pi­one d’I­talia in Switer­land. Him­mat had come from Dam­as­cus in 1958 and first set­tled down in Ger­many and then in Aus­tria. The Alexan­dri­an-born Egypt­ian Nada two years lat­er came first to Aus­tria and then to Ger­many. Nada’s old­est daugh­ter mar­ried the son of the direc­tor of the Islamist cen­ter in Aachen, al-Attar Issam, who is con­sid­ered by the Ger­man Office for the Pro­tec­tion of the Con­sti­tu­tion (Ver­fas­sungschutz) one of the most dan­ger­ous Islamists in Ger­many. Nada lat­er set­tled down in Tici­no (Tessin). Both Nada and Him­mat are mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood and in the 1990’s both took Ital­ian cit­i­zen­ship.” (Ibid.; pp. 7–8.)

“The goal of the meet­ing with the notary was the found­ing of ‘al-Taqwa man­age­ment Orga­ni­za­tion SA’ that said it would be con­cerned with import­ing and export­ing var­i­ous goods around the world. 333 of the 1000 shares (at 100 Swiss Francs a share) went to Mohammed Man­sour and his wife. 332 went to Huber. Nada and Him­mat took the rest. Man­sour was named the pres­i­dent but rarely was the clause in the con­tract papers men­tioned that each deci­sion must be co-signed by the minor­i­ty hold­ers Nada and Him­mat . . . Among the 500 share­hold­ers besides Huber, Him­mat and Nada were ‘also a noto­ri­ous right extrem­ist from Italy’ [not fur­ther iden­ti­fied but this is Alessan­dro Karim Abdul Ghe] and three mem­bers of the bin Laden fam­i­ly.” (Ibid.; p. 8.)

9. One of the con­nect­ing links between the Al Taqwa milieu and the milieu of the P‑2 lodge and Sil­vio Berlus­coni involves an Ital­ian fas­cist deputy who is part of the “small cir­cle of friends” around Nasred­din. “Inves­ti­ga­tors were espe­cial­ly inter­est­ed in Youssef Nada’s ties to Aki­ta Bank, which shared the same address as Al Taqwa at Devaux Street, Nr. 10 in Nas­sau. The Aki­ta Bank belongs to the finan­cial Imperi­um of the Milan-based Kuwaiti named Ahmed Idris Nasred­din and his sons. And Nasred­din was not only an impor­tant share­own­er in Al Taqwa Bank. His con­nec­tions to Al Taqwa were so close that their employ­ees worked at the same time in the busi­ness affairs of both oper­a­tions. Nasred­din is a mem­ber of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood as well. And just as Nada has con­nec­tions to think tanks, so Nasred­din has ties to high cir­cles in Ital­ian pol­i­tics.” (Ibid.; p. 9.)

10. “Gus­ta­vo Sel­va belongs to Nasred­din’s wider cir­cle. The for­mer jour­nal­ist and today par­lia­men­tary mem­ber of the post fas­cist Partei Allean­za Nationale, Sel­va was until April 19, 1999, involved in the Roman-based busi­ness, the Arab-Ital­ian Con­sult­ing House. Six months before it went under, on Sep­tem­ber 18, 1998, a cer­tain Ser­gio Mari­ni was named the fir­m’s offi­cial receiv­er. Mari­ni was, togeth­er with the Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Group Lim­it­ed Hold­ings, also part of the Milan-reg­is­tered Line Invest­ment srl. Since 1988, Mari­ni was CEO of ‘L.I.N.E. Devel­op­ment Light Indus­try and Envi­ron­ment Devel­op­ment srl’ in Rome whose admin­is­tra­tive direc­tor was Abduhrahim Nasred­din along with his deputy Ghaleb Him­mat, him­self a founder of Al Taqwa Group.” (Idem

11. Explor­ing the activ­i­ties of Nasred­din, the pro­gram high­lights the high­ly unusu­al nature of his busi­ness activ­i­ties-obvi­ous­ly a front for oth­er, unspec­i­fied activ­i­ties. “Only in the sec­ond half of the 1990’s did any­one begin to pay atten­tion to any of these devel­op­ments when the role the Milan-based Islam­ic Cen­ter on Viale Jen­ner 50 played in the recruit­ment of Mujahid­din dur­ing the Bosn­ian war caught atten­tion. The cen­ter’s Imam had been ‘liq­ui­diert’ by the Croa­t­ian secret ser­vice in 1995 in an oper­a­tion against Islam­ic fight­ers in Bosnia. After the war the back house of the mosque served as a meet­ing point for al-Qai­da fight­ers from around the world. From here again and again there were calls to the cen­tral al-Qai­da group in Afghanistan. And it was Ahmed Idris Nasred­din who paid the rent for the Cen­ter. A series of busi­ness­es of the Nasred­din Group, as well as con­struc­tion work­er coop­er­a­tive ‘Par­a­di­sio,’ also had direct con­tact with the mosque.” (Idem.)

12. “The Ital­ian inves­ti­ga­tors of all this did not always under­stand Nasred­din’s invest­ments in an eco­nom­ic sense. There was a ship that was sup­posed to car­ry dates that spent five months going back and forth between the Ital­ian and Adri­at­ic Coast. Or the more than 100 kilos of oranges that were flown into Italy. The inves­ti­ga­tors believed Nasred­din was con­ceal­ing his real oper­a­tions via appar­ent­ly sense­less busi­ness activ­i­ties.” (Idem.)

13. Nasred­din’s pro­fess­sion­al asso­ciates include peo­ple involved with the shady finan­cial deal­ings of Sil­vio Berlus­coni. “The deep­er inves­ti­ga­tors dug, the more sense­less it seemed. For exam­ple: The Liecht­en­stein-reg­is­tered Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Lim­it­ed Hold­ings on Octo­ber 20, 1994, decid­ed to change its name to Mid­dle East and Turkey Invest­ment Hold­ing Ltd. And then eight days lat­er it returned to its orig­i­nal name. There is also the fact that Nasred­din at the found­ing of the Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Group Lim­it­ed Hold­ing in Jan­u­ary 1997 appoint­ed-next to Dr. Enri­co Walser as trustee-of all peo­ple the Tessi­no lawyer Dr. Ercole Doninel­li to the admin­is­tra­tive board. Doninel­li, until his death, was seen as the ‘soul’ of the Lugano finance soci­ety Fimo that was wide­ly involved in the finan­cial scan­dals of the 1990’s. Fimo helped Ital­ians to send up to 250 mil­lion Swiss francs year­ly in cap­i­tal flight. Even more defin­i­tive is the role Fimo has played since 1968 in the financ­ing into the mil­lions the first projects of the (at the time utter­ly unknown) con­struc­tion builder from Milan, Sil­vio Berlus­coni. The knowl­edge of how cap­i­tal from the mar­ried pair of Ercole and Ste­fa­nia Doninel­li went from Eti Hold­ings in Chi­as­so to more stops in the Inter­change Bank and from there to Ital­cantieri, a com­pa­ny head­ed by two Berlus­coni straw men, final­ly end­ed with the mass bank­rupt­cy of Fimo.” (Ibid.; pp. 9–10

12. In addi­tion, Fimo and the pro­fes­sion­al asso­ciates of Nasred­din & com­pa­ny were engaged in the laun­der­ing of mon­ey for orga­nized crime asso­ciates. “Yet the inves­ti­ga­tion of finan­cial ille­gal fund­ing by Fimo of Ital­ian par­ties which was begun in the begin­ning of 1992 was noth­ing in com­par­i­son to the dis­cov­ery that Fimo also washed mon­ey for the Ital­ian mafia, as well as South African drug car­tels. Fimo mem­ber Giuseppe Lot­tusi had no prob­lem trans­fer­ring $12 mil­lion from the Sicil­ian mafia fam­i­ly Mado­nia to the Columbian Medellin car­tel, as the Ita­lo-Amer­i­can mafia mem­ber Joe Cuf­faro told Palmero inves­ti­ga­tor Gio­van­ni Fal­cone in his con­fes­sion. The scan­dal affect­ed the pres­i­dent of Fimo, Gian­fran­co Cot­ti, who was also a mem­ber of the Swiss Nation­al Assem­bly. (His cousin Flavio Cot­ti was a mem­ber of the Swiss fed­er­al coun­cil, where he was Min­is­ter for the Depart­ment of For­eign Affairs.) Gian­fran­co Cot­ti fled Fimo’s admin­is­tra­tive coun­cil in great haste and avoid­ed inves­ti­ga­tion.” (Ibid.; p. 10.)

13. Liecht­en­stein was appar­ent­ly among the numer­ous tran­sit points for dirty monies being moved about by Nasred­din’s col­leagues. “But Ercole Doninel­li was­n’t the only dirty part­ner involved with Nasred­din Inter­na­tion­al Group Hold­ing Lim­it­ed. On Octo­ber 21, 1993, Ercole Doninel­li was replaced in the admin­is­tra­tive coun­cil by his wife Ste­fa­nia. At the same time the trustee was changed. Instead of Enri­co Walser, Nasred­din replaced him with Engel­bert Schreiber Sr. Lat­er Engel­bert Schreiber jr. took over his father’s man­date. On March 3, 1997, the Press and Infor­ma­tion Bureau of Liecht­en­stein received an anony­mous let­ter send­ing infor­ma­tion about Engel­bert Schreiber Sr. and his involve­ment in mon­ey laun­der­ing. The let­ter (about the prin­ci­pal­i­ty’s involve­ment with crim­i­nal groups like the Ital­ian mafia and the Columbian drug car­tel) claimed that the police chief of Liecht­en­stein was, since 1985, in the pay of Medellin boss Pablo Esco­bar. The let­ter said the con­tact came about through Engel­bert Schreiber via the Caracas/Venezuela mafia fam­i­lies Cun­tr­era, Caru­a­na, and Cal­darel­la, with whom Schreiber stands in a close rela­tion­ship.” (Idem.)

14. “Then there was the report from the Ger­man BND that cit­ed Schreiber and oth­ers who were involved in mon­ey laun­der­ing with­out any pun­ish­ment from Liecht­en­stein. The prin­ci­pal­i­ty was upset that the Ger­man secret ser­vice inter­cept­ed tele­phone calls and siphoned off elec­tron­ic data from the banks. But after the pub­li­ca­tion of the BND papers, an out­spo­ken threat to have the Finan­cial Action Task Force (FATF) of the OECD to put Liecht­en­stein on the black list of mon­ey laun­der­ing states worked won­ders. Schreiber and some oth­ers had a peri­od of shame where they had to dis­tance them­selves as trustees in busi­ness groups. Was it an acci­dent, the inves­ti­ga­tors won­dered, why the Mus­lim Broth­er Ahmed Idris Nasred­din-out of the count­less num­ber of Liecht­en­stein trustees-would choose a man of Engel­bert Schreiber’s cal­iber?” (Idem.)

15. Anoth­er per­son bridg­ing the worlds of Berlus­coni and Al Taqwa is Pier Felice Barchi [8], an attor­ney for both Berlus­coni and Yussef Nada. “The Aki­da Bank of Nasred­din was also sup­posed to be con­cerned with the spread­ing of Islam­ic bank­ing prac­tices. The Lugano-reg­is­tered affil­i­ate of the bank list­ed along with its founder Nasred­din, the Tessi­no-based Pier Felice Barchi. This attor­ney had great expe­ri­ence with rich and influ­en­tial for­eign cus­tomers. Barchi was also con­cerned with the Tessi­no finan­cial inter­ests of Ital­ian Prime Min­is­ter Berlus­coni and the Sau­di minor­i­ty part­ner in Berlus­coni’s media group Medi­aset, Prince al-Waleed al Talal.” (Ibid.; pp. 10–11.)

16. Among the activ­i­ties alleged­ly engaged in by Ahmed Huber was the acqui­si­tion of sur­plus Sovi­et weapon­ry for use by Islamist fight­ing for­ma­tions in the Balka­ns and Afghanistan. Dur­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion of Nasred­din and Nada’s cir­cle, Milan inves­ti­ga­tors were no more amazed when on Sep­tem­ber 30, 2000, a Tunisian named Habib Wad­dani sur­faced with the infor­ma­tion about Achmed Huber and his cen­tral role with his Islam­ic friends. Habib Wad­dani in the spring of 1996 had gone with Rodol­fo M., a Zurich-liv­ing attor­ney from Sici­ly, and met a busi­ness­man from the Baltic who made a tempt­ing offer, name­ly access to the weapons sur­plus of the for­mer Red Army. There was even talk of the pos­si­bil­i­ty of widen­ing the deal to nuclear mate­r­i­al from the for­mer USSR. What was lack­ing was a buy­er. The Sicil­ian brought in an Islam­ic attor­ney Kamil B. liv­ing in Zurich for advice and he, in turn, called in his good friend Huber. And there was not only an inter­est in Russ­ian weapons but also a quick solu­tion ready for the logis­tics part.” (Ibid.; p. 11.)

17. After detail­ing a labyrinthine path that the weapons took, Coogan goes on to com­ment: “The Ital­ian inves­ti­ga­tors were able to ver­i­fy the great­est part of Wad­dani’s state­ments . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 11–12.)

18. Inter­ces­sion by the Sau­di inte­ri­or min­is­ter may well have helped to defer legal action against Nada & com­pa­ny. “In spite of the evi­dence, Youssef Nada and his friends have been left alone. The Euro­peans feel that the U.S. has refused to share infor­ma­tion with them. Also the Swiss inves­ti­ga­tors made no progress against al-Taqwa because they got no infor­ma­tion from Amer­i­ca. There is a final ele­ment in this. In the begin­ning of May 2002, Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s Inte­ri­or Min­is­ter vis­it­ed Switzer­land. Offi­cial­ly Prince Nayif bin Abdu­laz­iz al-Saud went to Switzer­land for health rea­sons. On one evening, the Prince vis­it­ed Bern. Report­ed­ly the Prince and anoth­er lead­ing rep­re­sen­ta­tive of a dif­fer­ent Arab state sent the Swiss a warn­ing that any show­ing of the books and activ­i­ties of Arab finance con­cerns and Islam­ic orga­ni­za­tions would be inju­ri­ous for the Swiss, because deposit­ed cap­i­tal can be moved to anoth­er coun­try. The vis­it appar­ent­ly brought results. After the vis­it the Swiss have said that there is no infor­ma­tion or sug­ges­tion that either al-Taqwa or the Nasred­din Group was finan­cial­ly involved with 9/11.” (Ibid.; p. 12.)

19. Huber recent­ly attend­ed a meet­ing of Euro­pean far-right­ists in Switzer­land. “Per­haps the most recent remark­able sto­ry con­cern­ing Huber comes from a brief item in the Swiss tabloid Blick that in an April 26, 2002 arti­cle by Alexan­der Saut­ter that Huber was involved in a meet­ing of far-right lead­ers from Europe. A pho­to show­ing Huber with Jean Marie Le Pen accom­pa­nies the arti­cle. The Blick sto­ry (avail­able on the web) is as fol­lows: Mon Pelerin VD: Chris­t­ian Cam­buzat, the pro­mot­er (Scharf­mach­er) of the right extrem­ist Jean-Marie Le Pen (73): The guru assem­bles togeth­er some of the top lead­ers of the Euro­pean right. On the idyl­lic Mont Pelerin, they debate their crude ideas. At his secret vis­it to a spa in Switzer­land, Le Pen hard­ly remained alone. Right­ist lead­ers from all over Europe trav­eled to meet the extrem­ist pres­i­den­tial can­di­date who was host­ed by Cam­buzat. Franz Schon­hu­ber (79). Founder of the Repub­li­can Par­ty in Ger­many and a for­mer mem­ber of the SS. He talked with Le Pen who con­sti­tutes togeth­er with Schon­hu­ber the ‘Front Nation­al’ Fac­tion in the Euro­pean par­lia­ment. Gian­fran­co Fini (50). Ital­ian post-fas­cist, Mus­soli­ni admir­er, and founder of the Alleanze Nationale. He also was at the meet­ing with Le Pen and Schon­hu­ber. Ahmed Huber (74). The Swiss is on the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion black­list . . . ‘I met le Pen at Mont Pelerin as he went to Chris­t­ian Cam­buza­t’s spa,’ Huber told Blick yes­ter­day. At the extrem­ist ren­dezvous an Amer­i­can far right politi­cian was also sup­posed to have tak­en part. [Note: the Amer­i­can is not fur­ther identified.-KC] Chris­t­ian Cam­buzat said that Le Pen (after the elec­tion) had again become the sharpest weapon of the ‘Front Nation­al’ because Le Pen changed his image from a ven­omous old man to a ‘kind­ly U.S. TV evan­ge­list.’ Proud­ly Cam­buzat brags, ‘With me Le Pen can relax well’ [from his polit­i­cal endeav­ors-KC]. And open­ly link up with new con­tacts. [Although the Blick sto­ry does not give details, Cam­buzat runs a spa for the very rich, the Lemanique de Revi­tal­i­sa­tion, inside a hotel on the famous Mont Pelerin.]” (Ibid.; pp. 14–15.)