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For The Record  

FTR #386 “All Around the World” An Update on September 11

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Updating the subject of the 9/11 attacks and related events, this program highlights various aspects of the Underground Reich and the numerous ethnic, religious and political elements and environments that it encompasses or overlaps.

1. An interesting allegation about connections between the Oklahoma City bombing, the first attack on the World Trade Center and the milieu of Al Qaeda was further developed by a writer for the Manilla Times. A deathbed confession by the wife of the late Edwin Angeles provides much food for thought and grounds for further research.  “(NOTE: Basilan Provincial Information Officer Christopher Puno was present in the ward at Basilan Community Hospital when I [Sicat] interviewed Elmina Abdul, less than two weeks prior to her death.) Elmina Abdul, widow of one of the Abu Sayyaf co-founders, Edwin Angeles, died in the pre-dawn hours of Saturday, March 30. Ten days before she died, she talked with this writer in confidence while lying on her deathbed at Basilan Community Hospital. I was the last, if not the only reporter, to ever talk with her.” (“Deathbed Confession: Abu Part of Oklahoma Blast” by Dorian Zumel Sicat; Manilla Times; 4/2/2002.)

In addition to his alleged participation in Abu Sayyaf (a Philippine affiliate of al Qaeda), Angeles claimed to his wife that he also informed for the Philippine military intelligence services. (Note that this claim has neither been confirmed nor disproved. If true, it would suggest that the powers that be in this country have dissembled with regard to what they knew and when they knew it concerning Oklahoma City, the first World Trade Center attack, and 9/11. The large and growing community of “conspiracy geeks” would misinterpret this as meaning that “the government did it”-ignoring the tortuous methodology of counter-intelligence, as well as oversimplifying the concept of “government.” “Elmina was Edwin’s fourth and last wife. She met him in 1995 while he was in the Basilan Provincial Jail. They were married in 1997, almost a year before Angeles was summarily executed in Basilan in 1998. What she told me at that final interview was at once revealing and shocking. Edwin had told Elmina the entire chronicle of his experience as a co-founder of the ASG and a deep-cover agent of the Department of National Defense, beginning in 1991. Edwin told her that he expected to be killed soon and he was.” (Idem.)

2. “Among the most interesting revelations that Angeles shared with Elmina was about a meeting between himself, Ramsey Yousef, Abdul Murad (both of whom are now serving multiple prison terms for terrorist activities, including the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993), Abdurajak Abubakar Janjalani, unidentified members of the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF), and two men who Angeles only identified as Iraqis. The meeting, according to Elmina, was held in a warehouse near a Dole (Phil.) plant in South Cotabato, between General Santos City and Davao del Sur. There were two other men at that meeting: a man who Angeles identified as Nichols and as ‘code name Farmer,’ and another American who he did not identify by name. (It is important to note that most Filipinos commonly describe Caucasians in the country as Americans.) The meeting, according to Elmina took place in 1994. She could not remember the exact date.” (Idem.)

“In that meeting, according to Elmina, Angeles told her that the major topic of the discussion was the bombing of specified targets and how to build bombs. Angeles told Elmina that Nichols was later sent to a place that he (Angeles) didn’t name for more detailed instruction on how Nichols and his other ‘American’ friend could build a bomb to destroy a building in the United States. She did not specify–she could not remember–which building that was to be.” (Idem.)

3. “Elmina also told me that before he was gunned down, Edwin showed her documents that proved that he actually was a deep-cover agent for the Department of National Defense. He said that those documents were presented in court in his defense and that was the reason that he was acquitted of the charges against him. That is a matter of record. But since I have never seen the documents, I will not name the ‘high ranking’ Defense officials whose signatures were said to appear on those documents.” (Idem.)

4. Note that “Bojinka” was the apparent template for the 9/11 attacks. “Angeles also told Elmina about Project Bojenko, an [allegedly] Iraqi-financed operation of terror that targeted several buildings in the US, the bombing of several US airliners, bombing US embassies overseas, and hitting other US interests. Among the buildings in the US, according to Elmina, were another attack on the World Trade Center; the Federal Buildings in San Francisco, and in ‘a place he called Uklahuma (Oklahoma).'” (Idem.)

5. “When I asked Elmina why she thought that Angeles was killed, she only told me: ‘The traitors killed him. They used him, then they killed him.'” (Idem.)

I asked her if she meant the Defense officials who recruited him as a deep cover agent, tears fell from her eyes. She waved her hand, indicating that she didn’t want to talk any more. She was weak. I nodded, stroked her head and left Elmina Abdul to rest. That was the last time that I saw her alive.” (Idem.)

6. “Was there an international conspiracy of terror forged in a meeting in an abandoned warehouse in 1994 that included Angeles and Nichols, who he referred to as ‘the Farmer?’ Did that conspiracy include members of Al-Qaeda and the Iraqi government (or at least Iraqis)? Does the ASG actually receive financial and material assistance from Al-Qaeda and [or] Iraq in order to carry on its campaign of terror? Elmina did not give precise, clear answers to those questions. She was relating what Angeles had told her not long before he died.” (Idem.)

“There is one thing clear: Edwin Angeles did meet with Nichols and another ‘American’ along with some state-sponsored international terrorists. Elmina knew that she was dying. She knew that all our efforts to help her recover would not be enough to save her. She told me what she knew to be the truth, as her husband told it to her.” (Idem.)

“At the beginning of the interview I asked Elmina why she was willing to talk to me after such a long silence. She told me: ‘I am going to die soon. I want to tell the truth about my husband so that people will know.'” (Idem.)

7. After visiting the Philippines, we visit South Africa of the apartheid era, and then Southern California. The focal point of our itinerary is the mysterious and sinister Dr. Larry Ford. A right-wing extremist with ties to the CIA, Ford worked for “Project Coast”-an apartheid-era South African biological and chemical warfare program that involved assassinations and (apparently) the exterminations of entire villages. In the wake of the anthrax attacks, questions about Dr. Ford and his milieu grew more pointed. After a failed assassination attempt on Ford’s business partner and Ford’s subsequent suicide, investigators turned up a cache of automatic weapons, chemical and biological weapons and C-4 plastic explosives. ” . . . What the searchers did not find was anthrax, and the fear of what remained unfound, along with dozens of other questions, set off investigations that ranged from Beverly Hills to South Africa and back to the Nevada desert . . . .” (“California Doctor’s Suicide Leaves Many Troubling Mysteries Unsolved” by Jo Thomas; New York Times; 11/3/2002.)

8. “Since then, pieces of Dr. Ford’s other life have begun to emerge. Taken together, they form a troubling and confusing picture – of a man with ties to racist, antigovernment groups in the United States who also developed a relationship with apartheid South Africa’s secret biological and chemical weapons program, Project Coast.” (Idem.)

“For the most part, though, investigators say they are stymied, a long way from understanding what Dr. Ford was doing with his guns and his germs. In South Africa, documents from Project Coast were either destroyed or classified and put on CD-ROM’s in a military vault. The fragments of Larry Ford’s other life remain just that – frightening, tantalizing fragments.” (Idem.)

“Still, while no one is suggesting any link to the anthrax attacks of last fall, the questions Dr. Ford left behind nag deeper now, in the ambient anxiety of the post-Sept. 11 world . . . . ” (Idem.)

9. One of the influences on Dr. Ford was the Nazi tract “The Turner Diaries” — published by the same publisher (National Vanguard Books) that publishes Serpent’s Walk. This is particularly interesting in light of the influence of Turner Diaries on McVeigh, Nichols & their apparent co-conspirators in the Oklahoma City bombing. “After his death, Detective Ray said, the authorities learned that Dr. Ford had been a consultant to Project Coast, which has been accused of creating weapons for use against enemies of apartheid. They also discovered that he had held extreme racist views and had once told a girlfriend that to understand him, she should read ‘The Turner Diaries,’ the anti-Semitic and white supremacist novel, popular among far-right groups, that prosecutors say inspired the Oklahoma City bombing . . . . ” (Idem.)

10. Ford’s work in South Africa involved, among other things, work collecting amniotic fluid from South African women-apparently in conjunction with his work on AIDS. “Ultimately, he was given space in an aerospace medicine laboratory to work on several projects using amniotic fluid collected from thousands of women in South African military hospitals. Why these projects were sponsored by the military, and what became of them, is unclear.” (Idem.)

[Wouter Basson was the overseer of Project Coast.] “However, a South African military document about AIDS research, found in Dr. Basson’s possession by investigators, mentioned ‘the acquisition of any relevant C.B.W. literature from Dr. Ford.’ The abbreviation C.B.W. is commonly used to refer to chemical and biological weapons . . . . ” (Idem.)

11. It should be noted that Ford’s tracks led to Nevada, where he apparently had been in contact with right-wing extremist groups. [Nevada was also where Larry Ford, an Aryan Nations activist, had been apprehended trying to transport weapons-grade anthrax. See FTR #89.] “Perhaps the deepest fear in the entire affair was that Dr. Ford had been working with anthrax. That trail, too, has run cold.” (Idem.)

“After Dr. Ford’s suicide, the police got tips that he had buried anthrax in a gold mine. They searched fruitlessly in California. Four months later, documents in a Nevada trash dump showed that Dr. Ford had been in touch with people involved in anti-tax and antigovernment groups. Some of them had tried to use bacteria to extract gold from dirt.” (Idem.)

“In December 2000, investigators searched a derelict gold milling site outside Henderson, Nev. They found a separator funnel, a white liquid and Dr. Ford’s business card. A federal agent said they also found directions for making chemical and biological weapons, including anthrax. But that was all. The site’s proprietor had recently died of unrelated causes.” (Idem.)

12. After our trip to Nevada, we travel to Italy, where investigators have uncovered information further developing the Underground Reich/”neo”-Nazi/Islamist link that we saw in our stopover in Manilla. One of the principal figures in the investigation of Al Taqwa (an alleged element of the al Qaeda network) is the remarkable Achmed Huber. Huber was alleged to have brokered a deal for Russian weapons on behalf of the Al Qaeda milieu. “A Tunisian-born terrorism suspect placed two weeks ago on Washington’s list of most-wanted militants confessed two years before to Italian police that he helped run an elaborate arms smuggling ring that aided Islamic militants, but it’s not clear whether Italian and U.S. officials acted on the information. The case, revealed in a confidential document obtained by MSNBC.com, raises new questions about intelligence gathering in the war on al-Qaida.” (“Police Spoke to U.S. Terror Suspect” by Lucy Komisar; MSNBC.COM; 9/16/2002.)

Interestingly (and perhaps significantly) the account presented here was apparently known the authorities in Italy two years ago. As noted in the previous paragraph, this underscores the on-going question of “what did they know and when did they know it?” “According to the confidential document obtained by MSNBC.com, the Tunisian who the U.S. Treasury Department recently added to its terrorist blacklist had two years ago reported to Italian authorities a scheme for moving weapons from Russia through Uzbekistan to Pakistan where they ‘would end in the military training camps for Islamic terrorists in Pakistan, Iraq and Afghanistan.'” (Idem.)

“The informant, Sekseka Habib Waddani, 32, then living in Milan, told Italian police that the arms were being ‘sold by the Russian Republic’ because they were no longer modern. He said the weapons included pistols, Kalashnikov machine guns, missiles and grenades. The classified Italian police report prompts questions about when the United States learned of Waddani, and whether any action was taken by Italian or U.S. officials after Waddani’s claim that large amounts of weapons were being sold to Islamic terrorists.” (Idem.)

13. “On Aug. 29 of this year, the U.S. Treasury Department announced it was adding Waddani to its list of top suspected terrorists, noting Italy’s charges against him – for involvement with the Algerian-based Salafist Group for Call and Combat, which operates in North Africa, Spain and Italy and ‘has supported al-Qaida activities.’ The Treasury Department said Waddani was indicted by the Italians for trafficking in arms, explosives, chemical weapons, identity papers, receiving stolen goods and aiding illegal immigration. Judge Luca Pistorelli in Milan told MSNBC.com that Waddani is at large: ‘We suppose he is in France; or maybe he went back to Tunisia.'” (Idem.)

“It was not immediately clear whether Italian officials acted on the weapons smuggling information Waddani provided, or whether U.S. investigators had been notified by their Italian counterparts of the encounter with the Tunisian suspect. When contacted by MSNBC.com, a CIA spokesman said the agency ‘respectfully declines to comment.'” (Idem.)

“At the Treasury Department, Deputy Assistant Secretary for Public Affairs Rob Nichols said, ‘I checked with our war room. I cannot answer your questions, as they contain sensitive or classified information . . . .'” (Idem.)

14. “The weapons smuggling in Europe, Waddani said, flowed through a maze of companies and cities. Waddani told the Italian police that transactions in Switzerland were handled by HSS, a ‘trading company’ that ‘belongs to a Pakistani named Haji Agka and to a Tunisian family of Zurich, Ahmed and Shoyab Sharifi. These latter are intimate friends of the head of the Muslim community of Zurich, [Albert] Achmed Huber,’ who facilitated ‘periodic and regular’ shipments of weapons, Waddani said.” (Idem.)

“The United States put Huber on its al-Qaida terrorist blacklist last November, citing his membership on the board of al-Taqwa, the Lugano, Switzerland-based bank accused of moving bin Laden’s money.” (Idem.)

15. From Italy and Zurich (with a layover in Russia), we fly across the Mediterranean to the burning sands of Saudi Arabia. As discussed in so many of the programs dealing with Saudi charities utilized to support Al Qaeda, the efforts of the United States to interdict the flow of funds to terrorists has been inadequate. The profound connections between the petroleum industry, the Bush administration and the Saudi elite have apparently led to a less-than-vigorous effort in that regard. (For more about al-Haramain, see FTR #381.) “Last March, just days after a visit by Paul O’Neill, US Treasury Secretary, Saudi Arabia blocked the funds of the Somalian and Bosnian branches of al-Haramain Islamic Foundation. The group, whose headquarters are in Riyadh, was ‘diverting charitable funds’ to terrorist groups linked to al-Qaeda, authorities alleged. It was the first time since the terrorist attacks of September 11 last year that Saudi Arabia had moved against one of the charities thought to be the biggest source of funding for al-Qaeda. The crackdown, the two governments declared, would ‘open a new phase in international co-operation to destroy the terrorist financing network.'” (“The Money Trail: How a Crackdown on Suspect Charities Is Failing to Stem the Flow of Funds to Al-Qaeda” by Edward Alden; Financial Times; 10/18/2002; p. 11.)

16. Even the modest efforts reported above appear to have been (to a certain extent) illusory. “Last month, however, Saudi newspapers reported that the al-Haramain Islamic Foundation was expanding its operations in both Bosnia and Somalia, and had opened a $530,000 Islamic centre in Sarajevo. US officials are aware of the developments and are investigating. The failure to curb al-Haramain-to date the only charity targeted jointly by the US and Saudi Arabia-is the latest sign that Mr. O’Neill’s pledge to shut down ‘the quartermasters of terror’ is foundering.” (Idem.)

17. A study by the Council on Foreign Relations concluded that the attempts at interdicting terrorist funding were inadequate. (More information about the CFR report is presented below.) “The executive order issued by George W. Bush after September 11, calling for a worldwide crackdown on funding for terrorist groups, remains a key element of the US war on terrorism. But according to a study by the Council on Foreign Relations, released yesterday, a lack of co-operation by Saudi Arabia and some other US allies resulted in little disruption to the web of charities, businesses and other fund-raising ventures that provide al-Qaeda with huge sums of money.” (Idem.)

18. Just how alarming and dramatic this failure has been is underscored by a report compiled by Canadian intelligence. “Others have reached similar conclusions. Canadian intelligence agencies estimated in a July 25 report, obtained by the National Post newspaper, that Saudi-based charities alone are funneling between $1 million and $ 2 million a month to al-Qaeda. [Italics are Mr. Emory’s] Last month, the United Nations warned that al-Qaeda continues to have access to between $30 million and $300 million in funds controlled by otherwise legitimate businesses and charities. While about $112 in funds linked to al-Qaeda and the Taliban has been frozen, that figure represents only ‘a small fraction of the funds and resources’ available to those groups, the UN added.” (Idem.)

19. European countries have been less than cooperative with the effort at interdicting terrorist financing. In part, this reflects (in Mr. Emory’s opinion) a geopolitical struggle between the German-dominated European Union and the United States-a struggle that is a continuation of the Second World War. “Despite earlier claims of success in the financial war on terrorism, the US government itself is also starting to acknowledge publicly the problems it faces. As Alan Larson, undersecretary of state for economic affairs, admitted last week, it is ‘unquestionably true’ that al-Qaeda retains the financial means to carry out strikes damaging to the US. ‘I don’t think lack of resources is a major impediment to the operations of terrorist organizations at this stage,’ he said . . . The results, however, have been disappointing. Washington is increasingly frustrated by the refusal of most European countries to ban fundraising for the political arm of Hamas, the radical Palestinian group, and for Hezbollah, the Iranian-backed militant group.” (Idem.)

20. The program touches on the racketeering charges that are being pursued by US prosecutors in connection with some of the Saudi charities. “The most glaring shortfalls, however, have been in Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states. Criminal investigations in the US have turned up a series of incriminating links between Saudi-based charities and al-Qaeda. US prosecutors last week charged the Chicago-based head of the Benevolence International Foundation, a large Islamic charity founded in Saudi Arabia, with operating a ‘racketeering enterprise’ that raised money from wealthy Saudi donors interested in supporting al-Qaeda, and hid the trail by mingling those funds with legitimate charitable donations. Several other charities with strong Saudi ties are also under scrutiny by US law enforcement officials.” (Idem.)

21. “Yet the US and Saudi Arabia have co-operated in only two joint efforts aimed at shutting down suspected terrorist financiers. In the case of al-Haramain, the terrorist designation was limited to the Bosnian and Somalian branches in an effort to avoid embarrassing the Saudis by directly implicating the Riyadh head office of the charity. Since then, evidence uncovered by Russian intelligence and by the US has indicated that funds from al-Haramain have been used to finance combat operations by rebel groups in Chechnya and to support al-Qaeda-linked radicals in Indonesia. In the second case, the two governments in August jointly designated as a terrorist financier wa’el Hamza Julaidan, head of Rabita Trust-a Saudi charity already targeted by the US . . . . ” (Idem.)

22. After our sojourn in the Middle East, we return to the United States, where we revisit the raids in the Washington area conducted as part of Operation Green Quest. “Despite patchy international support, US law enforcement officials are pursuing criminal investigations that could, they say, break the current stalemate in the war against terror financing. The biggest obstacle to co-operation from Saudi Arabia and other US allies is that those countries demand proof that their citizens have been funding terrorist groups before taking action. Such proof, US investigators hope, may not be long in coming.”

“In a series of raids in Virginia and Georgia in March, the FBI and Customs seized computers and documents from 19 organizations and 10 internet service providers suspected of supporting foreign terrorist organizations. A range of Saudi-supported charitable groups ere targeted, including the Muslim World League, the International Islamic Relief Organization and the SAAR Foundation. All the groups deny involvement in terrorism. In its 2000 tax return the Saar Foundation reported charitable contributions totaling $1.7bn, though the foundation has since said this was a clerical error.”

Even though we have left Lugano Switzerland behind us, we’ll have plenty of mementos of our visit to that beautiful city, courtesy of the Al Taqwa subsidiaries connected to the “Green Quest” targets. “Investigators are still sifting through truckloads of seized documents. The picture that is emerging is one of a complex network of charitable groups, front companies, legitimate businesses and money-moving operations that have numerous ties to suspected terrorists or terrorist-supporting groups. Several of the tentacles reach to al-Taqwa, the Swiss-based financial group that was shut down last year on US charges that it was financing Hamas and al-Qaeda.” (Idem.)

“US investigators are trying to decipher how these entities fit together, to build a strong criminal case. ‘They have layered businesses with all these revenue-generating arms, some legitimate and some charitable, and all filtering funds into these companies,’ says one official, referring generally to the US investigation of suspected terrorist financiers. ‘It’s been extremely challenging to sort through all this and connect the suspects both directly to the terrorists and the funds.'” (Idem.)

23. After visiting Washington, D.C., we take the shuttle flight to New York, where the aforementioned Council on Foreign Relations report excoriates the Bush administration’s duplicity with regard to George W’s Wahhabi business partners. “Al Qaeda’s terror network derives most of its financing from charities and individuals in Saudi Arabia, but the kingdom has ‘turned a blind eye to this problem,’ according to a new report by experts on terrorist finances. The report faults the United States for failing to confront the Saudis, saying American government officials have asserted that Saudi Arabia is cooperating on stopping terrorist financing ‘when they know very well all the ways in which it is not.’ [Italics are Mr. Emory’s]. The report released Wednesday was prepared by a committee sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. Although examples of the misuse of Saudi donations by terrorists have been previously reported, the council’s study goes further by concluding for the first time that Saudi Arabia is the single largest source of terrorist financing.” (“Other Developments: Saudi Funding Links” [Chronicle news services]; San Francisco Chronicle; 10/17/2002; p. A18.)

24. “While the United Nations and others have recently warned that the financial war on terror was sputtering, analysts inside and out-side government said the conclusions of the panel carry particular weight because it is bipartisan. The Saudi government had no immediate response to the report. But the report drew a sharp rebuttal from the Bush administration.” (Idem.)

25. Efforts to gain European cooperation in the financial war on terror have received impetus from a Treasury Department mission to the continent. “U.S. intelligence has identified about a dozen of al-Qaeda’s principal financial backers, most of them wealthy Saudis, and a top financial investigator is headed to Europe seeking a unified front to freeze their assets in the hope of crippling the terror network senior administration officials said Thursday. Jimmy Gurule, the Treasury Department’s undersecretary for enforcement, said he will begin a six-day visit to Europe on Sunday to present his counterparts with ‘specific information on selective, high-impact targets’ so they can ‘be designated terrorist financiers and have their assets blocked . . .” Moves to Freeze Assets of Wealthy al Qaeda Backers” by Douglas Farah [Washington Post]; San Francisco Chronicle; 10/182002; p. A3.)

“Another senior official said the list targets those who have given tens of millions of dollars to Osama bin Laden’s terrorist organization through the years by routing the money through charities and legitimate businesses around the world.” (Idem.)

“Since the Sept. 11 terror attacks, the United States has frozen $112 million in alleged terrorist assets, designated 240 people and organizations terrorist supporters and moved against several large Islamic charities in the United States. But senior officials said that, until recently, they had not been able to trace the money to its source. Now, they said, recent intelligence gathered through interviews with captured al Qaeda operatives and other methods has given them a clearer picture of where much of al Qaeda’s money comes from.” (Idem.)

The Treasury investigators’ trip to Europe should be altogether absorbing, in light of the profound European connections of many of the Saudi terror conduits. (For more about this, see, among other programs, FTR#’s 355, 359, 377.) “The list, the official said, goes ‘to the check writers who give the money to al Qaeda, not just the facilitators and those who move the money around. We are finally getting to the source. The official said most of the alleged financiers are wealthy Saudi bankers and businessmen. Because the Saudi government has previously proved uncooperative in confronting its prominent citizens about links to terror, the United States has not yet sought its help in the new effort, officials said. Instead, the government hopes to freeze their assets in Europe, where the Saudi financial and business empires have much of their money, and put together the broadest possible consensus to demand that the Saudi government crack down on the alleged terror financiers, they said.” (Idem.)

26. Meanwhile, back in the “States,” the Bush administration continues to drag its feet on a full investigation of 9/11. “President Bush’s aides won’t say whether he would veto an independent investigation of the Sept. 11 terror attacks if he doesn’t get to pick the chairman or limit the panel’s subpoena power. ‘We’re not interested in issuing ultimatums,’ administration spokesman Scott McClellan said. ‘We’re interested in reaching out to resolve the issue.’ Negotiations to resolve differences between versions of legislation passed by the House of Representatives and the Senate are bogged down over those two demands.” (“Talks on 9/11 Commission My Hinge on Bush Views” by Paul Leavitt with staff and wire reports; USA Today; 10/24/2002; p. 6A.)

“The Bush administration, which initially opposed the commission, now says it favors one, but wants the president to pick the person who will head the panel. Congressional backers favor bipartisan co-chairs. The White House also wants to bar the commission from issuing any subpoenas that aren’t endorsed by members of both parties. Congressional backers say any five members of the 10-member commission should be able to issue a subpoena.” (Idem.)

27. Fear of flying would not appear to be the reason that Bush and company fear a lawsuit that has been filed against powerful (alleged) Saudi backers of Al Qaeda, including members of the Royal family. Rather, it appears that “oiled waters” that are jointly navigated by the Bush family and their Wahhabi buddies might become very choppy indeed if the suit were to be vigorously prosecuted. “The Bush administration is closely monitoring a private lawsuit accusing members of the Saudi royal family of ties to Al Qaeda, and may move in a federal court here to dismiss or delay the suit, which was brought by relatives of Sept. 11 victims, according to administration officials. Government lawyers, the officials said are trying to determine whether the case threatens to damage Saudi-American relations, which would give them reason to block the suit. The suit seeks $1 trillion in damages and is being pursued here by nearly 3,000 of the relatives. A State Department official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said he knew of no plans by the United States to take action in court, but he said the issue of the lawsuit had been raised in recent meetings of top American and Saudi officials. ‘The Saudis have made their concerns known at a senior level,’ he said.” (“U.S. May Ask Court to Dismiss a $1 Trillion Suit Linking Saudis to Al Qaeda and 9/11” by Philip Shenon; The New York Times; 10/25/2002; p. A15.)

28. Does the “W” in George W. Bush” stand for “Wahhabi?” “Bush administration officials say senior Saudi officials have complained to their American counterparts that the suit could damage the already strained relationship between the two countries. The Saudis have been especially alarmed, the Americans say, because the list of defendants includes two of the most prominent members of the Saudi royal family: Prince Sultan bin Abdelaziz al-Saud, the defense minister, and Prince Turki bin Faisal, the former spy chief and the new Saudi ambassador to Britain. The Saudi Embassy in Washington said it had no comment on the lawsuit, and did not respond to requests for comment from Prince Sultan or Prince Turki . . . .” (Idem.)

“The lawsuit repeats accusations that have been widely circulated since September 11 about Saudi financial support for al Qaeda, mostly through Islamic charity groups and Saudi banks.” (Idem.)

29. The itinerary of John Allen Muhammad (the accused sniper) and his traveling companion Lee Malvo is an interesting one. Mr. Emory suggests that one of the investigative possibilities that should be explored concerns the possibility that Muhammad may have been financed and/or manipulated by the Islamofascist networks targeted in Operation Green Quest. Those operations were based largely in the Virginia and Maryland beltway area around Washington D.C. This is one of the primary areas targeted by the sniper. As noted below, Bellingham (Washington)-a long way from the D.C. area-was one of the pair’s geographical bases. As discussed in FTR #356, Bellingham is the epicenter of the operations of Yaqub Mirza, one of the financial wizards who organized the network targeted by the March 20 raids. “But what precipitated the killings, what guided the seemingly random selection of innocents, and even what drew Mr. Mohammad, 41, and the boy to the Washington area is far from clear . . . .” (“Suspects Spent Year Traveling, Nearly Destitute” by Blaine Harden and Tim Golden; The New York Times; 10/25/2002; p. A1.)

30. Mr. Muhammad’s conversion to Islam and his tour of duty with the U.S. Army took place in 1985. Another pathway of investigation concerns the fact that the GSISS-one of the institutions in the network raided on 3/20-is the only institution qualified to certify Muslim chaplains for the armed forces. In the mid 1980’s, Muslims from around the world (including African-American Muslims) were being recruited to serve in Afghanistan (the operational birthplace of al Qaeda.) The possible interrelationship between these elements should be explored. “Until the events of this fall in Washington, the pivotal year in Mr. Muhammad’s life appears to have been 1985. That November, he separated from his wife and son and joined the Army. He also converted to Islam . . . ” (Ibid.; p. A24.)

31. Muhammad served in the security detail of the Nation of Islam, an organization that has associated with White Supremacist organizations in the past. What effect, if any, this had on Muhammad’s strange journey constitutes another element to be further investigated. ” ‘The only thing that really sticks out is, he was really excited that he was attending the Million Man March,’ Mr. Dudley said. He said that Mr. Muhammad helped provide security for Louis Farrakhan, the leader of the Nation of Islam, who organized the march in Washington in 1995 . . . . ” (Idem.)

32. The travels of Mr. Muhammad despite his apparent lack of financing attracted the interest of a staff member of a homeless shelter in the Mirza-epicenter, Bellingham. Another consideration to be weighed in this context concerns the fact that the Islamist support network in the Washington beltway area was sufficiently strong to nourish the sojourn of Said Ramadan-the head of the Muslim Brotherhood-during his stay there. While in that area in the 1970’s, he successfully recruited from among radicalized African-Americans in the area. Was Muhammad recruited, or manipulated by similar elements? “By early this year, Mr. Malvo and Mr. Muhammad were living together in the Lighthouse Mission, a homeless shelter in Bellingham. But they did not always seem to belong. ‘I always thought, this guy has no visible means of support, but he’s flying to Jamaica, he’s flying to D.C., to Louisiana,’ said Rory Reublin, a staff member. ‘that one of the nagging suspicions I had in the back of my head.'” (Idem.)


One comment for “FTR #386 “All Around the World” An Update on September 11”

  1. So will this guy also get the money-bags treatment? Let’s hope that’s not case, and not just because the endemic corruption in the Karzai regime has hobbled Afghanistan’s future. This new candidate for Afghanistan’s presidency happens to be really scary:

    Man who brought al Qaeda to Afghanistan now runs for president
    2013-10-03 18:56:51

    KABUL: The man said to be responsible for bringing al Qaeda to Afghanistan announced he was running for president on Thursday, a move likely to be greeted with apprehension by the international community.

    President Hamid Karzai is barred from running by the constitution, and the new government is seen as an opportunity to push the country away from years of damaging allegations of corruption and maladministration.

    “Today I nominate myself in order to serve my countrymen and my nation – I want to stand alongside the true servants of Afghanistan,” Abdul Rassoul Sayyaf told Reuters minutes before he registered at the offices of Kabul’s Independent Election Commission. Next year, millions of Afghans will vote in what is being hailed as the most important election since the United States-led war against the Afghan Taliban began 12 years ago.

    Nato and the US are also pushing for a credible vote ahead of the exit of tens of thousands of foreign combat troops by the end of the next year.

    Western diplomats have previously told Reuters of their concerns regarding Sayyaf’s nomination, given his deeply conservative views regarding women’s rights and social freedoms, and his deep ties to militant Islam.

    The Philippine insurgent group Abu Sayyaf is named after him and he was mentioned in the 9/11 commission reports as “mentor” to Khalid Sheikh Muhammad, the operational mastermind of the September 11, 2001, attacks.

    A conservative Islamic scholar, Sayyaf ran paramilitary training camps in Afghanistan and Pakistan in the 1980s and 1990s, and it was there he meet al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.

    In 1996, Sayyaf helped bin Laden return to Afghanistan after he was ejected from Sudan. Bin Laden stayed in the country under the protection of the Taliban until the American-led invasion of late 2001.

    Sayyaf’s nominee for first vice president, Ismail Khan, will also worry the country’s Western backers.

    Khan, from the country’s west, is a warlord turned politician who has been accused of seeking to re-arm ahead of the Nato withdrawal.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | October 4, 2013, 7:05 pm

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