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FTR #410 Déjà Vu All Over Again

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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 [4]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 [5] 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 [6]; 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.’”

(Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; p. 238.) [7]

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.”

(Idem.)

4.

“ ‘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.)

5.

“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.”

(Idem.)

7.

“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.”

(Idem.)

8.

“ ‘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.”

(Idem.)

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.)

13.

“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.”

(Idem.)

14.

“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.)

15.

“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.”

(Idem.)

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.”

(Idem.)

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.)

19.

“The Saar Foun­da­tion was cre­at­ed in 1983. Its pres­i­dent is Yaqub Mirza [8] 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.”

(Idem.)

20.

“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.)

26.

“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.”

(Idem.)

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.)

29.

“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.”

(Idem.)

30.

“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.”

(Idem.)

31.

“ ‘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 . . .”

(Idem.)

32.

“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.”

(Idem.)

33.

“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.”

(Idem.)

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.)