Focusing on an apparent resumption of Al Qaeda terrorist attacks in the Middle East, the program highlights the influence of the Iraq war on Al Qaeda efforts. Much of the broadcast centers on Saudi “Islamo-imperialism”—the profound influence that benighted country has engineered from the dual influences of its tremendous petroleum-derived wealth and the presence of two of Islam’s holiest sites within its borders (Mecca and Medina.) These factors, in addition to the poverty of most Muslim congregations around the world, have enabled the house of Saud to wield its totalitarian influence with very little hindrance. After setting forth an apparent upsurge of radical Islamist sentiment around the world, the broadcast details the Saudis’ promotion of their extremist Wahhabiism around the world. In addition to religion, the wealth derived from oil has enabled the Saudis to fund terrorists with relative impunity. In addition to reviewing the powerful Al Rajhi  family’s alleged involvement with terror financing and the milieu of the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, the broadcast underscores the use of Saudi religious charities and business fronts to finance groups like Al Qaeda. This has presented great obstacles to investigators and legal systems around the world, who have been impeded in their pursuit of terrorists by the legal quandaries presented by the Islamofascist abuse of religion and business.
Program Highlights Include: Recent attacks on US compounds in Saudi Arabia; the Saudis’ failure to apprehend the suspects in a raid shortly before the attacks; indications that the attackers had “connections on the inside;” Saudi failure to heed US warnings about an impending attack; Yemeni authorities’ permission of an escape of Al Qaeda suspects in the attack on the USS Cole; Germany’s shocking failure to prosecute Al Qaeda suspect Christian Ganczarski ; the ominous looting of the Iraqi Al Tawaitha nuclear facility and the possibility that it could lead to future “dirty bomb” attacks.
1. The program begins with discussion of the apparent regrouping of Al Qaeda, driven by a rise in Islamic fundamentalism, driven by the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
“Leaders and operatives of Al-Qaida have regrouped and set up bases in at least a half-dozen locations, including Kenya, Sudan, Pakistan and Chechnya, senior counter-terrorism officials said Friday . . . Earlier in the year, it seemed as if the group had been seriously and possibly irreparably damaged. But since the United States invaded Iraq in March, officials said, the network had experienced a spike in recruitment. ‘There is an increase in radical fundamentalism all over the world,’ said a senior counter-terrorism official based in Europe.’”
(“Al-Qaida Setting Up New Bases” by David Johnston and Don Van Natta Jr. [New York Times]; San Jose Mercury News; 5/17/2003; p. 12A.)
2. The “regrouping outlined above should come as no surprise, since the areas designated as new Al Qaeda epicenters have previously served as theaters of Al Qaeda operations. At the foundation of Al Qaeda’s existence is Saudi “Islamo-imperialism”—financed with that country’s vast petroleum wealth and realized through its possession of Mecca and Medina. (The latter are two of the three holiest sites in Islam.) It is noteworthy that Saudi Arabia (which finances the PLO) has never signed the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, publishing instead an opposing “Islamic Declaration of Human Rights.” “In order to create a shadow of the U.N.’s system of international organizations with Islamic equivalents, Saudi Arabia sponsored the drafting of ‘an Islamic Declaration of Human Rights,’ opposing the ‘Universal Declaration of Human Rights,’ of 1948. Although it was a founding member of the U.N. in 1945, Saudi Arabia did not ratify this declaration and has no intention of recognizing it. Examining the kingdom’s tools of ‘Muslim diplomacy’ in this way illustrates one of the major principles of the House of Saud. ‘The dynasty and the great families,’ explains a European military attache, ‘share the conviction that the universality of Western culture is factitious and that to escape its influence it is necessary to promote a Muslim counter-culture that will redeem all of humanity.’”
3. Documenting the methodology of Saudi Islamo-imperialism, the broadcast highlights the country’s use of Non-Governmental Organizations and Islamic charities to promote Islamism around the world.
“The World Islamic League is one of the principal tools by which they exploit Islam at the international level. Created in December 1962, as an outgrowth of the ‘Islamic summit’ convened that year in Mecca by King Faycal bin Abdelaziz, its statutes provide that its General Secretary must be of Saudi nationality and have a diplomatic passport. In 1995, King Fahd himself nominated Abdullah bin Saleh al-Obaid. One of his predecessors became the vice-president of the Majlis al-Choura (the Consultative Assembly); the grand mufti of the kingdom Abdulaziz Bin Baz, is president of its legal committee. Represented in 120 countries, it remains an essential foreign policy tool of the Saudis.”
“ ‘The League, or the organizations that depend on it, has to its credit several spectacular constructions in Europe: the Islamic Center of Brussels and the mosques of Madrid, Rome, Kensington and Copenhagen,’ writes the journalist Antoine Sfeir, editor of Books of the East. ‘In France, the League does not directly intervene in financial arrangements. It is used as an intermediary for advising and directing possible investors. It is used as an intermediary for advising and directing possible investors. It thus lent a hand to the National Federation of Muslims of France (FNMF) when it needed it. It helps projects that are on the verge of bankruptcy: the mosque of Mantes-la-Jolie, launched with the joint generosity of Morocco and Libya, was finished thanks to that of the Saudis. Similarly, the mosque in Evry proved to be a financial blackhole and cost the League nearly $5 million.’”
(Ibid.; pp. 238–239.)
“A small part of the oil revenue is thus devoted to the construction of mosques and Islamic centers everywhere in the world: Ottawa, Quebec, Toronto, Brasilia, Lisbon, Gibraltar and Zanzibar . . . the mosque of the Islamic Center of Rome caused a great fuss because the plan for its minaret was higher than the dome of Saint-Peter (as well as the giant mosque of Bethlehem). Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, New Zealand, the Fiji Islands, Argentina, Mauritania and Djibouti have also benefited from Saudi generosity. Today, the kingdom finances 875 Islamic societies and centers in the world.”
(Ibid.; p. 239.)
6. Note that the WAMY and the IIRO have been deeply implicated in the funding of Islamist terrorism.
“The Sauds’ ‘Muslim diplomacy’ is also expressed through the financing of charitable societies and other charitable institutions whose activities always fall somewhere between the religious, the political and the humanitarian. It would be tiresome as well as useless to enumerate an exhaustive list. Let us cite only the World Association of Muslim Youth, and the Organization of the International Islamic Relief Organization—IIRO, whose publications are particularly aggressive with respect to other religions, especially Christianity.”
“This last organization, which funds many ‘missionaries’ abroad, uses them as the intermediary in maintaining relationships with most, if not all, of the known Islamist groups. A subsidiary organization of the World Islamic League, the IIRO was deeply involved in Bosnia, and President Izetbegovic regularly traveled to Riyadh to request financial aid from his co-religionists. The material and financial support available to these ‘missionaries’ makes one wonder whether one of their roles, and perhaps their primary objective, is to acquire the favor or the neutrality of the impoverished countries toward which they are directed, toward the Iranian intrigues and competition from Shiite expansion.”
“ ‘In the same way, Saudi ‘charity’ with regard to ‘minority or oppressed Muslim populations’ in Palestine, Afghanistan, Somalia, in Bosnia at one time, in Chechnya and Kosovo today, is hard to see as being disinterested,’ explains an expert in Islamic finances. He adds: ‘Nevermind what all the official statements claim, it is not Islam but money that is at the heart of the Saudi system.’ In addition to the State apparatuses and the official foundations, these ‘diplomatic funds’ require such fluidity and such silence in the face of any probing that it became necessary to create banking fronts as discreet they are effective.’”
(Ibid.; pp. 239–240.)
9. The next portion of the program consists of the reading of three articles in the same issue of The Wall Street Journal. Although it was buried deep in the paper, an article about the BCCI case touched on that pivotal institution. The BCCI case is at the core of the Saudi/Islamist/intelligence nexus, and is inseparable from the investigation into Al Qaeda.
“The liquidators of Bank of Credit & Commerce International, which collapsed in 1991, said they will pay a further $1.2 billion to creditors following a settlement with former employees of the bank.”
(“BCCI Liquidators Plan to Pay $1.2 Billion More to Creditors” by David Pringle; The Wall Street Journal; 5/15/2003; p. C13.)
10. Throughout the For The Record series on 9/11 and related events, the economic aspects of the attacks have been a major focal point of discussion. In particular, the effect of the attacks and the Bush administration’s policies on the competition between the dollar and the euro.
“Weak economies are not supposed to have strong currencies, but Europe is economically weak and the euro has been soaring in the foreign exchanges of late—not only against the dollar, but against all major currencies. Against the dollar alone it is up 10.5% since the start of the year. What accounts for this shift?”
(“The Euro Also Rises” by Melvyn Krauss; The Wall Street Journal; 5/15/2003; p. A16.)
11. Assessing Saudi investors’ policies, the author of this article speculates that an acceleration in terror and/or the freezing of Saudi assets in the US may account for the change in the Saudis’ attitude. This is particularly significant in the context of Mr. Emory’s discussion of the Muslim peoples of the Middle East, their manipulation by Islamofascists, and their utilization as proxy warriors by the Underground Reich.
“Part of the euro’s recent strength can be explained by geopolitics. The war to liberate Iraq is having repercussions. For example, we’re closing down our air bases in Saudi Arabia, and Saudi investors who had poured billions of petro-dollars into our economy over the years now are concerned their funds might be frozen at some point. They have decided, foreign-exchange brokers tell me, to buy up euros. Perhaps the Saudis know something we don’t yet about their country’s future behavior, and are hedging their bets.”
12. From the same issue of The Wall Street Journal as the previous two stories, we examine an article about a suspected Al Qaeda financier that underscores the insidious nature of the Saudis’ use of businesses and charities to spread Islamism. Highlighting the difficulty experienced by judicial authorities in prosecuting terrorism under existing laws, the broadcast sets forth the situation of a key Spanish Islamist.
“When Mohammed Galeb Kalaje Zouaydi was arrested here in April 2002, Spanish police thought they had captured an important al Qaeda financier. Along with the suspect, investigators nabbed thousands of pages of records that laid out financial personal contacts with a rogue’s gallery of accused and convicted Islamist terrorists. The contacts included suspected members of the Hamburg cell that helped plot the Sept. 11 attacks.”
(“Mapping the Trail of Terror Money Proves Daunting” by Keith Johnson; The Wall Street Journal; 5/15/2003; p. A1.)
“Over six years, hundreds of thousands of dollars flowed from Mr. Galeb’s bank accounts to alleged radicals throughout Europe, the records show. Here, investigators said, was the al Qaeda paymaster in the West—the key to unraveling the group’s money trail . . . The problem: While investigators suspect Mr. Galeb has helped finance a network of terror, another plausible interpretation of the facts—and the one his backers assert—is that in most instances, he was merely making charitable donations. Some of his seemingly suspicious financial practices may reflect tax cheating, but nothing more, Mr. Galeb’s lawyer says. Mr. Galeb’s alleged tie to the Hamburg cell was in fact a mundane transaction related to the purchase of a used German car, the attorney adds.”
“Investigators in other countries are grappling with similarly ambiguous situations. In Germany, one of Mr. Galeb’s business partners, Mamoun Darkazanli, had financial dealings with suspected members of the Hamburg al Qaeda cell. But there, too, investigators aren’t sure they can prove criminal intent, and, as a result, they haven’t arrested Mr. Darkazanli . . . During trips back to Madrid from Jeddah in the mid-1990’s, Mr. Galeb attended the Abu Bakr mosque, where he struck up a friendship with Imad Eddin Barakat Yarkas. Mr. Yarkas is a fellow Syrian native who worked occasionally as a clothing and used-car merchant. Spanish police say they began watching mr. Yarkas in 1995, after he tried to hand out literature at the mosque encouraging holy war against the West.”
(Ibid.; pp. A1-A7.)
“The police say Mr. Yarkas belonged to a radical Muslim group in Madrid that pushed a hard-line doctrine at the mosque. The imam there, Riay Tatary Bakry, says Mr. Yarkas was outspoken but didn’t promote radical Islam at the mosque—which is what Mr. Yarkas’s lawyer also says. Mr. Galeb moved back to Spain in December 1998, becoming a Spanish citizen in 1999. He started a series of building-and real-estate firms to take advantage of the booming Spanish property market.”
(Ibid.; p. A7.)
16. Among the institutions that figures in the dealings of Mr. Galeb is the Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. The Al Rajhis are among the most powerful families of the Saudi elite and their operations were front and center in the targeting of the Operation Green Quest Raids of 3/20/2002.
“The Spanish police records show a complicated pattern of financial dealings beginning in the early 1990’s. In 1993 and 1994, Mr. Galeb wrote two checks drawing a total of $100,000 from his account in the Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. in Jeddah, according to copies of financial records. The checks were made out to his sister Sausan, who was then living in the Canary Islands. Mr. Galeb’s handwritten notes indicate that she was to use the money to invest in apartments being built in Madrid, which she did.”
17. The passage that follows casts grave doubt on the self-professed innocence of these creatures.
“The developer of the apartments, Ghasoub al Abrash Ghalyoun, was acquainted with both Mr. Galeb and Mr. Yarkas, police say. Mr. Abrash was arrested last year after Spanish police searched his house and found hours of videos of New York’s World Trade Center, San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge and other prominent U.S. landmarks. The videos were recorded during a 1997 trip. Transcripts of accompanying audio recordings reveal joking about women and discussion of visiting Michael Jordan’s restaurant in Chicago. But interspersed are darker moments: a fixation on structural elements, such as the supporting pillars of the Golden Gate Bridge and apprehension about unnamed ‘security forces’ confiscating the videos before they could be passed on to the ‘brothers’ in Syria.”
18. Revisiting the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002, the program sets forth the Al Rajhis’ presence in this milieu.
“For those who still doubt the Saudi presence in these networks, what are we to make of the searches undertaken in Virginia in March 2002 aimed at several charitable organizations (including the Saar Foundation, Safa Trust, and the International Institute of Islamic Thought) as well as companies directed by the same people (among them Marjac Investments, Sterling Management, Sterling Poultry, and Sanabel Inc.) suspected of having given their support to terrorism.”
(Forbidden Truth; Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie; Thunder’s Mouth Press/Nation Books [SC]; Copyright 2002 Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie; 2002; p. 57.)
“The Saar Foundation was created in 1983. Its president is Yaqub Mirza  and its treasurer is Mohammad Jaghlit. It turns out that Cherif Sedky, who is a trustee of the Saar Foundation, is the legal counsel to Khalid bin Mahfouz, one of the principal supporters of Osama bin Laden (see Chapter 12), and has recently presented himself as Khalid’s spokesman. What’s more, Cherif Sedky is a member of the board of two companies belonging to Khalid bin Mahfouz, Nimir Petroleum (once associated with the Unocal consortium to construct a pipeline in Afghanistan), and the Credit Libanais SAL bank.”
“At the same time, according to the American authorities, the Saar Foundation and its partners appear to have been financed by the Al Rajhi Saudi family, whose patriarch, Sulaiman bin Abdulaziz Al Rajhi, heads up an important investment bank in Riyadh, Al Rajhi Banking & Investment Corp. It also turns out that Yaqub Mirza is directly tied to these interests, since he heads Sanabel Inc., at the same Virginia address as the Saar Foundation. The Al Rajhi family controls the Saudi holding company Sanabel Trade & Agricultural Industries Co. Ltd. It’s not surprising to discover that the Al Rajhi family holds stock, alongside the Binladin Group and Khalid bin Mahfouz, in the Arabian Cement company in Jeddah, whose president is none other than . . . Prince Turki Abdulaziz Al Saud.”
(Ibid.; pp. 57–58.)
21. The next section of the program documents indications that the Arab authorities in both Yemen and Saudi Arabia are complicit in the Al Qaeda activities in those countries. Yemen was the site of a recent prison breakout of key Al Qaeda suspects, including two who are deeply implicated in the Cole bombing.
“The Justice Department announced the murder and conspiracy charges against Fahd al-Quso and Jamal Ahmed Mohammed Ali al-Badawi. Attorney General John Ashcroft described the two as dedicated al Qaeda terrorists recruited for the Cole attack by Osama bin Laden’s closest associates. The fugitives were among 10 suspected al Qaeda members who escaped from a supposedly high-security jail in Yemen last month.”
(“2 Charged in Cole Attack” by David Stout [New York Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 5/16/2003; p. A12.)
22. The apparent perpetrators of recent Al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia also managed to elude the grasp of Saudi security forces.
“The Islamic militants behind the devastating car bombings in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were part of an al Qaeda cell whose members fought a gunbattle last week with Saudi authorities before escaping arrest, Saudi officials say. At the time, police raided a suspected hideout, uncovering a weapons cache that included 55 hand grenades, 829 pounds of explosives and 2,545 bullets of different caliber. The May 6 raid took place at a safe house ‘several hundred yards from one of the buildings hit’ by the triple bombing, a senior U.S. official said. The cell was formed in the kingdom after the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the United States, officials said. It is led by Khaled Jehani, who left Saudi Arabia when he was 18, later fought in Bosnia and Chechnya and was based at al Qaeda camps in Afghanistan, the officials added.”
(“Gunbattle: Cell Members Escaped After Raid Last Week” by Alan Sipress and Peter Finn [Washington Post]; 5/14/2003; p. A1.)
23. The Saudis also disregarded the substance of recent US warnings concerning security in that country.
“In the month before Monday’s bombings in Riyadh, the United States asked Saudi Arabia on at least five separate occasions to deploy armed uniformed government guards around all Western targets of a possible terrorist attack, Bush administration officials said today. Among those requests, the officials said, was one by Stephen J. Hadley, the deputy national security adviser who was diverted to Saudi Arabia during a trip to Moscow and Israel and was instructed by the White House to meet with Crown Prince Abdullah, the kingdom’s day-to-day leader.”
(“Five Requests to Saudis Went Unheeded, U.S. Says” by Douglas Jehl and David E. Sanger; The New York Times; 5/16/2003; p. A14.)
24. After initially denying that the US had forewarned them, the Saudis have admitted that they were, in fact, warned.
“The top foreign policy adviser to Saudi Arabia’s crown prince admitted yesterday that his government had received an explicit US warning of an imminent attack on one of the three compounds struck on Monday by al-Qaeda. The Saudi government previously insisted that the US warnings, made in personal visits and letters from senior US officials, were too general to act on.”
(“Saudis Admit US Warned of Attack” by Edward Alden; The Financial Times; 5/17–5/18/2003; p. 3.)
25. Underscoring the extent to which the recent Al Qaeda attacks in Saudi Arabia were assisted by “those in the know,” the program documents the excellent field intelligence utilized by the attackers.
“ . . . A US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the estimated 19 men who hit the Al-Hamra Oasis Village, the Jadawel complex and the Vinnell compound late Monday had watched the facilities for weeks or months and knew precisely how to gain entry and do the most damage. They rented villas and apartments near the compounds, where they studied the movements of those inside, he said. Before the assaults, they donned military uniforms to confuse guards at the gates.”
(“Probe of Saudi Bombings Reveals Well-Executed Plot” by David Kelly [Los Angeles Times]; San Jose Mercury News; 5/18/2003; p. 18A.)
“At Vinnell, heavily guarded by Saudi National Guard soldiers, the attackers knew the gate codes used to get inside. They detonated their truck bomb in the most populated area of the facility. ‘The guards at Vinnell were Saudi National Guardsmen with .50 caliber machine guns,’ the official said. ‘The attackers knew all the multiple controls at the gate. It wasn’t like pushing a green button and the gate went up.’ . . . The U.S. official said the assailants were highly motivated and had undergone military training, probably in Afghanistan. Al-Qaida suspects in U.S. custody first revealed information about the plot, the official said.”
27. Recent remarks by the Saudi interior minister indicate that Saudi recalcitrance may not be a thing of the past.
“A team of 60 U.S. investigators scoured three charred blast sites on Saturday where terrorists had detonated car bombs Monday night. The hunt for forensic evidence by the U.S. team at the three Western housing compounds here was noteworthy because the Saudi authorities have in the past severely restricted U.S. access to, and involvement in, the kingdom’s terrorism investigations. But in a sign that the Saudis may be displeased with the presence of the large U.S. contingent, composed mainly of FBI agents, the Saudi interior minister declared that the investigators would be limited to observer roles in the inquiry. ‘They are not investigators,’ Prince Nayef bin Abdul Aziz said in an interview published today by the daily Al Riyadh. ‘They will not probe anything. These officials came to inspect the incidents only.’”
(“U.S. Probes Saudi Blasts” by Don Van Natta [New York Times]; San Francisco Chronicle; 5/18/2003; p. A14.)
28. Supplementing a very important story detailed in FTR#393, the program presents further indications of the German governments’ complicity in Al Qaeda operations. An apparent Al Qaeda functionary has been “cut loose” by the German authorities.
“A German man accused of ties to an al Qaeda attack in Tunisia last year has been released from detention in Saudi Arabia after prosecutors failed to convince a German court to issue an arrest warrant. The case illustrates the continuing difficulties facing prosecutors in the war on terrorism.”
(“German Accused of Terrorist Link is Released” by David Crawford; The Wall Street Journal; 5/14/2003; p. A12.)
“Christian Ganczarski has been linked to the bombing of a synagogue on the island resort of Djerba last April that killed 19 people. A police bug on his phone in Germany recorded that the suicide bomber, Nizar Nawar, called Mr. Ganczarski shortly before the attack, asking that Mr. Ganczarski pray for him. German police said they didn’t have enough evidence to charge the 36-year-old and in November left Germany for Saudi Arabia, where he had previously lived after converting to Islam. Mr. Ganczarski told interrogators that he had no advance knowledge of the bombing or any other terrorist acts.”
“In early April, the Saudi government sent a diplomatic note to Germany saying it was going to deport Mr. Ganczarski, whose visa had expired in December. Germany responded by saying it would try to get an arrest warrant to use upon Mr. Ganczarski’s entry into the country: prosecutors felt they now had enough evidence to prosecute Mr. Ganczarski.”
“ ‘At the end of that phone call, Mr. Banczarski knew a crime would be committed,’ says Frauke-Katrin Scheuten, spokeswoman for Germany’s Federal Prosecutor’s Office. But a German court decided against the government last week, ruling that there wasn’t enough evidence that Mr. Ganczarski knew an attack was imminent. Prosecutors say they are considering an appeal but in the meantime Saudi officials have released him . . .”
“In a deposition made to police last October, Mr. Gancarski described his previous stay in Saudi Arabia, which he first visited in 1993 with the backing of a senior German Islamic official. He and his family lived for more then a year with a university professor named Saud Kalif in Medina. German officials say Mr. Ganczarski has returned to Mr. Khalif’s home, but that he is unhappy there because he is unable to find work.”
“Meanwhile, Mr. Ganczarski’s fate is unclear. His German passport is valid until November 2010, so he could leave Saudi Arabia for any country and simply disappear. Even if he returned to Germany, prosecutors now would have no grounds to detain Mr. Ganczarski or even to require that he speak to investigators. ‘He could wave to us when he gets off the plane,’ Ms. Scheuten says, ‘and all we could do is watch him drive away.”
34. A terrifying loose end in the Iraq war concerns the Al Tawaitha Nuclear Research Center. It was looted after the conclusion of the recent hostilities and the absence of accounting for the materials stored there (including partially enriched uranium) may presage the appearance of dirty bombs at some point in the future.
“Some of the lapses are frightening. The well-known Al Tuwaitha Nuclear Research Center, about 12 miles south of Baghdad, had nearly two tons of partially enriched uranium, along with significant quantities of highly radioactive medical and industrial isotopes, when International Atomic Energy Agency officials made their last visit in January. By the time U.S. troops arrived in early April, armed guards were holding off looters—but the Americans only disarmed the guards, Al Tuwaitha department heads told Newsweek. ‘We told them, ‘This site is out of control. You have to take care of it,’ says Munther Ibrahim, Al Tuwaitha’s head of plasma physics. ‘The soldiers said, ‘We are a small group, We cannot take control of this site.’’ As soon as the Americans left, looters broke in. the staff fled; when they returned, the containment vaults’ seals had been broken, and radioactive material was everywhere.”
(“WMD’s for the Taking” by Rod Nordland; Newsweek; 5/19/2003; p. 30.)