Spitfire List Web site and blog of anti-fascist researcher and radio personality Dave Emory.

For The Record  

FTR #415 Campaign Preview

MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

Reviewing information from previous broadcasts about the Al Taqwa milieu and the Muslim Brotherhood, this program sets forth the intersections between Al Taqwa and the Republican Party’s ethnic outreach organization in anticipation of the 2004 presidential campaign. The broadcast presents the observations of a top counterterrorism expert concerning the Bush administration’s “war on terror.” Rand Beers concluded that the administration was making the country less safe, not more safe, and he went to work for John Kerry, a leading Democratic candidate for President. Before highlighting some of the key points of the Al Taqwa/Republican connection, the broadcast underscores the fact that former Bush (Sr.) Secretary of State James Baker’s law firm is representing Prince Sultan in the trillion-dollar lawsuit against the Saudi elite. (Youssef Nada is also a defendant in that lawsuit.) Baker is a key member of the Carlyle Group, and was present at that company’s annual investor conference in Washington, D.C. (along with members of the Bin Laden family.)

Program Highlights Include: Al Taqwa head Youssef Nada’s work on behalf of the Third Reich in World War II; the Al Taqwa connection to the Republican Party; Karl Rove’s role in forming the Al Taqwa milieu’s connections to the Republican Party; the intercession of Bush intimate and business partner Talat Othman on behalf of the Al Taqwa-connected elements targeted in the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002; review of the links between the Saudi elite, the Al Taqwa milieu and the Islamofascist Muslim Brotherhood.

1. The broadcast begins by presenting the observations of a top counterterrorism expert concerning the Bush administration’s “war on terror.” Rand Beers concluded that the administration was making the country less safe, not more safe, and he went to work for John Kerry, a leading Democratic candidate for President. (In connection with this, see-among other programs-FTR#’s 407, 412.) “Five days before the war began in Iraq, as President Bush prepared to raise the terrorism threat level to orange, a top White House counterterrorism adviser unlocked the steel door to his office, an intelligence vault secured by an electronic keypad, a combination lock and an alarm. He sat down and turned to his inbox. ‘Things were dicey,’ said Rand Beers, recalling the stack of classified reports about plots to shoot, bomb, burn and poison Americans. He stared at the color-coded threats for five minutes. Then he called his wife: ‘I’m quitting.’ Beers’s resignation surprised Washington, but what he did next was even more astounding. Eight weeks after leaving the Bush White House, he volunteered as national security adviser for Sen. John F. Kerry (Mass.), a Democratic candidate for president, in a campaign to oust his former boss. All of which points to a question: What does this intelligence insider know?” (“Former Aide Takes Aim at War on Terror” by Laura Blumenfeld; The Washington Post; 6/16/2003; p. 1; accessed at www.washingtonpost.com/ac2/wp-dyn/A62941-2003Jun15? .)

2. ” ‘The administration wasn’t matching its deeds to its words in the war on terrorism. They’re making us less secure, not more secure,’ said Beers, who until now has remained largely silent about leaving his National Security Council job as special assistant to the president for combating terrorism.’ As an insider, I saw the things that weren’t being done. And the longer I sat and watched, the more concerned I became, until I got up and walked out . . .'” (Idem.)

3. ” . . . Much of what he knows is classified and cannot be discussed. Nevertheless, Beers will say that the administration is ‘underestimating the enemy.’ It has failed to address the root causes of terror, he said, ‘The difficult, long-term issues both at home and abroad have been avoided, neglected or shortchanged and generally underfunded.’ The focus on Iraq has robbed domestic security of manpower, brain power and money, he said. The Iraq war created fissures in the United States’ counterterrorism alliances, he said, and could breed a new generation of Al Qaeda recruits. Many of his government colleagues, he said, thought Iraq was an ‘ill-conceived and poorly executed strategy.'” (Idem.)

4. Before delving into review of the Nada/Al Taqwa/Republican party link, the program sets forth the role of Bush associate James Baker’s law firm as the counsel for Saudi Prince Sultan, a defendant (along with Al Taqwa principal Youssef Nada) in the trillion-dollar lawsuit filed against alleged financiers of Al Qaeda on behalf of survivors of the victims of the 9/11 attacks. ” . . . Baker Botts, Sultan’s law firm, for example, still boasts former secretary of State James Baker as one of its senior partners. Its recent alumni include Robert Jordan, the former personal lawyer for President Bush who is now U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia.” (“A Legal Counterattack” by Michael Isikoff and Mark Hosenball; Newsweek Web Exclusive; 4/16/2003; p. 4; accessed at http://stacks.msnbc.com/news/901320 .)

5. Nada is being represented by King and Spalding in the same lawsuit. ” . . .King and Spalding (the Arab Bank and Youssef Nada.)” (Idem.)

6. Next, the program reviews information from FTR#414 concerning Karl Rove’s role in helping to coalesce the Islamist element in the Republican Party. It should be noted that the Islamist, Al Qaeda and Al Taqwa elements that were raided on 3/20/2002 were linked directly to the Republican party’s ethnic outreach organization. ” . . . That brief conversation [between Norquist and Karl Rove] in Austin, Texas, helped start a new chapter in Mr. Norquist’s career-and in the political lives of Muslims in this country. The following year, Mr. Norquist started the nonprofit Islamic Free Market Institute. In collaboration with Mr. Rove, now Mr. Bush’s chief political adviser, he and other institute leaders courted Muslim voters for the Bush 2000 presidential campaign. Mr. Norquist even credits gains among Muslims with putting Mr. Bush in a position to win the critical Florida contest . . . To run the nonprofit’s day-to-day operations, Mr. Norquist turned to Khalid Saffuri, a Palestinian-American raised in Kuwait who had been an official of the American Muslim Council, a political group in Washington. The institute’s founding chairman was a Palestinian American, Talat Othman, who had served with Mr. Bush on the board of Harken Energy Corp. and later visited the president in the White House, according to records obtained by the National Security News Service.” (“In Difficult Times, Muslims Count On Unlikely Advocate” by Tom Hamburger and Glenn R. Simpson; The Wall Street Journal; pp. A1-A8.)

7. On April 4, Treasury Secretary O’Neill met with powerful Islamist Republicans whose spheres of interest overlap those of the institutions and individuals targeted on March 20. (“O’Neill Met Muslim Activists Tied to Charities” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Journal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.)

8. A principal figure in the group that interceded on behalf of the (alleged) Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa-connected targets of the Operation Green Quest raids was Talat Othman, a close business and political associate of President Bush. (For more about the Bush/Othman relationship, see-among programs-FTR”s 356, 368, 376.) “Among the Muslim leaders attending [the meeting with O’Neill] was Talat Othman, a longtime associate and supporter of President Bush’s family, who gave a benediction at the Republican National Convention in Philadelphia in August 2000. . .But he also serves [with Barzinji] on the board of Amana Mutual funds Trust, an investment firm founded by M. Yacqub Mirza, the Northern Virginia businessman who set up most of the entities targeted by the Treasury and whose tax records were sought in the raid.” (Idem.)

9. As Mr. Emory hypothesized in FTR#353, the Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Republican Party’s ethnic outreach program. “The case also highlights conflicts between the Bush administration’s domestic political goals and its war on terror. GOP officials began courting the U.S. Muslim community intensely in the late 1990’s, seeking to add that ethnic bloc to the party’s political base.” (Idem.) (For more about the fascist heritage of the GOP’s ethnic outreach organization, see, among other programs, RFA #37, FTR#’s 29, 48, 113, 248, 346, 353.)

10. The Amana organization (on the board of which Othman serves) has numerous areas of overlap with organizations described as being implicated in terrorism and the milieu of Al Queda. “Two nonprofits affiliated with Mr. Mirza and named in the search warrant, the SAAR Foundation Inc. and the Heritage Education Trust Inc., held large blocks of shares in Amana’s mutual funds in 1997, according to SEC records. The SEC documents and other records detailing connections between Mr. Othman and the Islamic Institute [on the board of which Mr. Othman serves] and the raided groups were compiled by the National Security News Service, a Washington based nonprofit research group.” (Idem.)

11. Further details have emerged about the links between Al Taqwa and the GOP/Bush administration. “Mr. Othman also is on the board of Mr. Saffuri’s [and Norquist’s] Islamic Institute, the GOP-leaning group that received $20,000.00 from the Safa Trust, one of the raid’s targets. The president of the Safa Trust, Jamal Barzinji, is a former business associate of Switzerland based investor Youssef Nada, whose assets were frozen last fall after the Treasury designated him a person suspected of giving aid to terrorists.” (Idem.)

12. Othman’s links to Bush are profound. “Mr. Othman has ties to the Bush family going back to the 1980’s, when he served with George W. Bush on the board of a Texas petroleum firm, Harken Oil & Gas Inc. Mr. Othman has visited the White House during the administrations of both President Bush and his father George H.W. Bush.” (Idem.) (For more about Harken Oil and George W. Bush, see FTR’s 284, 355, 368.)

13. Next, the program reviews other areas of intersection between the labyrinthine network attacked in the 3/20 raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and the Republican Party. [FTR#342 documented the role of six members of the Bin Laden family in the founding of Al Taqwa.] A recent Wall Street Journal article described some of the organizations targeted in the raids. “These include Al-Taqwa Management, a recently liquidated Swiss company the U.S. government believes acted as a banker for Osama bin Laden’s al Queda terrorist network. . .Two people affiliated with the companies and charities are linked by records to entities already designated as terrorist by the U.S. government. Hisham Al-Talib, who served as an officer of SAAR, the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Safa Trust Inc., another Mirza charity, during the 1970’s was an officer of firms run by Youssef M. Nada, records show. Mr. Nada is a Switzerland-based businessman whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. for alleged involvement in terrorist financing, and is alleged by U.S. officials to be a key figure in the Taqwa network. . .Jamal Barzinji, an officer of Mr. Mirza’s company Mar-Jac and other entities, also was involved with Mr. Nada’s companies in the 1970’s, according to bank documents from Liechtenstein. A message was left yesterday for Mr. Barzinji at his address in Herndon. Mr. Barzinji and Mr. Talib live across the street from each other. A third business associate of Mr. Nada, Ali Ghaleb Himmat (who also has been designated by the Treasury as aiding terrorism), is listed as an official of the Geneva branch of another charity operated by Mr. Mirza, the International Islamic Charitable Organization.” (“Funds Under Terror Probe Flowed From Offshore” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Journal; 3/22/2002; p. A4.)

14. Reviewing information from FTR#343, Nada himself is alleged to have been agent of the Abwehr, the military intelligence service of the Third Reich. “But Yussef Nada is even better-known to the Egyptian [intelligence] services, who have evidence of his membership in the armed branch of the fraternity of the Muslim Brothers in the 1940’s. At that time, according to the same sources, he was working for the Abwehr under Admiral Canaris and took part in a plot against King Farouk. This was not the first time that the path of the Muslim Brothers crossed that of the servants of the Third Reich.” (Dollars for Terror: The United States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copyright 2000 [SC]; Algora Publishing; ISBN 1-892941-06-6; pp. 140-141.)

15. Information presented in FTR#347 highlights the fact that members of the Bin Laden family were present (along with Bush associate and Prince Sultan counsel James Baker III) at the annual investor conference of the Carlyle Group in Washington D.C. on 9/11. FTR#347 discusses the fact that members of the Bin Laden family were flown out of the United States after 9/11, before they could be questioned by the F.B.I. “Like everyone else in the United States, the group stood transfixed as the events of September 11 unfolded. Present were former secretary of defense Frank Carlucci, former secretary of state James Baker III, and representatives of the Bin Laden family. This was not some underground presidential bunker or Central Intelligence Agency interrogation room. It was the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, C.C., the plush setting for the annual investor conference of one of the most powerful, well-connected, and secretive companies in the world: the Carlyle Group. And since September 11, this little-known company has become unexpectedly important. That the Carlyle Group had its conference on America’s darkest day was mere coincidence, but there is nothing accidental about the cast of characters that this private-equity powerhouse has assembled in the 14 years since its founding. Among those associated with Carlyle are former U.S. President George Bush Sr. [as well as George W. Bush] . . . and Osama bin Laden’s estranged family. . .And as the Carlyle investors watched the World Trade towers go down, the group’s prospects went up.” (“Carlyle’s Way” by Dan Briody; Red Herring; 1/8/2002; accessed at www.redherring.com/vc/2002/0111/947.html.)

16. A very important article from the Washington Post draws more closely the connecting links between Al Taqwa, the Muslim Brotherhood, the targets of the 3/20 raids, and Al Qaeda. (This article is presented as supplemental information to underscore the broader links of the milieu linked to the Republican ethnic outreach committee. This article is reprised from FTR#382.) “Six months after they raided the Northern Virginia headquarters of some of the nation’s most respected Muslim leaders, federal agents say they are pursuing a trail of intriguing clues in a top-priority search for evidence of tax evasion and financial ties to terrorists. Federal and European investigators say that several lines of inquiry have emerged from their review of documents and computer files they carted off in a dozen panel trucks from offices and homes affiliated with the Herndon-based SAAR Foundation, a tight-knit cluster of prominent Muslim groups funded by wealthy Saudis. One avenue of investigation is the alleged transfer of millions of dollars from the SAAR network to two overseas bankers who have been designated by the U.S. government as terrorist financiers. Another is the network officials’ history of ties to the militant Muslim Brotherhood.” (“U.S. Trails Va. Muslim Money, Ties” by Douglas Farah and John Mintz; Washington Post; 10/7/2002; p.1; accessed at www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A52054-2002Oct6.html .)
17. Note the connections between the SAAR Foundation, its founder al-Rajhi and the Third Reich-connected milieu that we have examined in connection with al Taqwa and the Muslim Brotherhood. “A third part of the investigation concerns a key mystery: whether an astonishing $1.8 billion in gifts passed through the SAAR Foundation in a single year, 1998. SAAR leaders reported that sum on a tax form, but later said it was a clerical error. Agents are struggling to sort through and translate rooms full of documents — many in Arabic — and chasing leads in 17 countries. U.S. officials call the investigation one of the highest priorities of Operation Green Quest, the U.S. Customs Service task force formed after the Sept. 11 attacks to wage a financial war on terror. The probe is part of a global crackdown the U.S. government has launched to stem the funding of terror groups since Sept. 11, 2001. That crackdown has targeted a number of large Muslim charities here and abroad. The SAAR network consists of more than 100 Muslim think tanks, charities and companies, many of which are linked by overlapping boards of directors, shared offices and the circular movement of money, according to tax forms and federal investigators. The network, named for Sulaiman Abdul Aziz Rajhi, the patriarch of the Saudi family that funded it, gives to charities, invests in companies and sponsors research, all with a goal of fostering the growth of Islam.  The SAAR Foundation officially dissolved in December 2000, and many of its functions were taken over by another group, Safa Trust, run by many of the same people.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)
18. Touching on the Florida lawsuit filed by the heroic John Loftus, culminating in the 3/20 raids against the SAAR-related entities, the program sets forth some of the particulars about the connections to Youssef Nada and the Al Taqwa milieu. (For more on this lawsuit, see FTR#’s 357, 362.) “Government officials say the investigation of the SAAR groups, which began with a probe of anti-Israel activists in Florida in 1996 and intensified after the Sept. 11 attacks, has not traced money from the SAAR entities to the al Qaeda terrorist network. But U.S. and European investigators say they have uncovered information in the Bahamas and Europe that in recent years some SAAR entities’ funds have moved to two men, Youssef Nada and Ahmed Idris Nasreddin, designated by the United States as terrorist financiers.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)
19. Note that Pier Felice Barchi, attorney for Ahmed Idris Nasreddin (as well as Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and Youssef Nada), has some very interesting connections.  Reflect on the Barchi comments below against the information provided about him in FTR#’s 357, 358, 359, 377.) “The funds moved through two offshore banks in the Bahamas that the pair controlled, officials said.  The institutions, Bank al Taqwa and Akida Bank Private Ltd., have been designated conduits for terrorist funds by the U.S. Treasury Department. In recent months they were shut down by Bahamian authorities under U.S. pressure. In an August report, Treasury said that the banks “have been involved in financing radical groups” including Hamas and al Qaeda, both before and after the Sept. 11 attacks. Bank al Taqwa and Akida Bank were described by the Treasury Department on Aug. 29 as “shell companies” that were “not functional banking institutions.” Nada and Nasreddin said they have done nothing wrong and pointed out that thousands of businesses use offshore havens like the Bahamas. In March, Nada told reporters he is a legitimate businessman and has never funded terror. Nasreddin could not be reached for comment, but his Geneva-based lawyer, P.F. Barchi, said in May that his client has no links to terror and abhors violence.” (Idem.)
20. The SAAR/Al Taqwa link is discussed at greater length. “U.S. officials say they believe that the SAAR network moved a total of about $20 million to offshore accounts, much of it through Bank al Taqwa and Akida Bank to Nada and Nasreddin firms.  But because of the complex nature of the wire transfers, which sent money through myriad accounts, officials say they have had difficulty tracking SAAR entities’ money around the world. In 1998, for example, SAAR moved $9 million to the Humana Charitable Trust, which a SAAR tax form said was based in the tax haven of the Isle of Man. U.S. investigators said they found no evidence the trust existed. Panama, another tax haven, was also the destination of millions of dollars.  “Looking at their finances,” one U.S. official involved in the probe said, “is like looking into a black hole.”  Much about the SAAR entities remains in dispute, including the reported $1.8 billion in gifts in 1998. For years, the foundation operated on annual budgets of about $1.5 million. Then it reported on its 2000 tax form that it had taken in $1.8 billion in contributions two years earlier. . . . U.S. officials say that they believe the reference to $1.8 billion was no mistake. “We are still looking at it as a real transaction,” a U.S. official said. But investigators acknowledge that they haven’t found evidence that sums of that size coursed through the network.” (Ibid.; pp. 2-3.)
21. The SAAR links to the Muslim Brotherhood and that institution’s links to other Islamist terror groups are delineated in the passage that follows. “Another focus of the probe is the SAAR leaders’ links to the Muslim Brotherhood, a 74-year-old group which is under investigation by European and Middle Eastern governments for its alleged support of radical Islamic and terrorist groups. For decades the brotherhood has been a wellspring of radical Islamic activity; Hamas, the militant Palestinian group, is an offshoot of it. European officials are particularly interested in the brotherhood’s ties to leading neo-Nazis, including the Swiss Holocaust denier Ahmed Huber. A number of central figures in the SAAR network, including Rajhi, were for decades involved in the brotherhood, where they befriended Nada, said representatives and friends of the SAAR officials. The one-time radicalism of SAAR network members has mellowed since they moved to the United States, SAAR associates said. Nada, 73, a native of Egypt, has been one of the brotherhood’s leading figures for years, and European officials say his network of banks and companies, including Bank al Taqwa and Akida Bank, are intimately tied to the brotherhood. European officials say the two banks handled tens of millions of dollars for the brotherhood over the years.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

“A wealthy construction magnate, Nada controls firms across Europe and the Arab world. Nasreddin, of Ethiopian descent, operates a business empire intertwined with Nada’s out of Milan. Founded in Egypt, the Muslim Brotherhood has over the decades helped stir a revival in Islamic pride and militant opposition to secular Arab regimes. Governments in Egypt, Syria and Iraq have harshly cracked down on the group since the 1950s. The organization, viewed as heroic in much of the Arab world, has recently moderated some of its radical stances.” (Idem.)
22. Ibrahim Hassaballa, another of the Al Taqwa-linked individuals, is discussed in connection with the SAAR/Safa Trust nexus. “Investigators said they have also uncovered numerous ties between SAAR entities and Bank al Taqwa. Samir Salah — a founder of the Safa Trust, SAAR’s successor, and an officer of other SAAR companies — helped establish Bank al Taqwa in the Bahamas in the mid-1980s, according to a Treasury document. In a letter to The Washington Post, Salah said he had no role with the bank. Ibrahim Hassaballa, another officer of some SAAR-related companies, also helped set up Bank al Taqwa in the Bahamas, according to the document. Hassaballa did not respond to numerous requests for comment.”  (Ibid.; pp. 3-4.)
23. Underscoring the duplicitous nature of many of the Isamofascist elements associated with the SAAR network, the discussion highlights the use of that nexus by Saudis’ intent on masking their involvement with terrorism. Again-note the links to the Muslim Brotherhood. “Terrorism specialists say the significance of the SAAR network is that it could offer wealthy Persian Gulf financiers a circuitous route for money they don’t want traced. “A rich Saudi who wants to fund radical ideas or terrorists like Hamas and al Qaeda knows he can’t send the money directly, so he filters it through companies and charities, often in the U.S. or Europe,” said Rita Katz, a terrorism expert at the private SITE Institute in Washington. The SAAR organizations are run by approximately 15 Middle Eastern and Pakistani men, a number of whom live in two-story homes on adjoining lots in Herndon that were developed by one of their affiliated firms in 1987. SAAR representatives say most were born into devout Muslim families and some fell under the sway of the Muslim Brotherhood. In the 1960s and 1970s, funded largely by Persian Gulf and particularly Saudi money, the men who would later form the SAAR network fled their homelands amid crackdowns on the brotherhood.” (Ibid.; p. 4.)
24. The World Assembly of Muslim Youth (formerly headed by Al Taqwa associate Jamal Barzinji and a member of the Bin Laden family suspected of helping Al Qaeda) is among the institutions linked to SAAR.  (For more on this link, see FTR#356, 357.) Note also that SAAR became one of the biggest landlords in the Washington, D.C. area in the 1980’s.) “In Saudi Arabia and the United States, they helped launch groups that would evolve into some of the nation’s and the world’s leading Islamic organizations, including the Muslim Students Association, the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the Islamic Society of North America. In 1984, Yaqub Mirza, a Pakistani native who received a PhD in physics from the University of Texas in Dallas, used money from the Rajhis to start SAAR in Virginia, with the goal of spreading Islam and doing charitable work. Mirza also sought out business ventures for SAAR. By investing the Rajhis’ money with Washington real estate developer Mohamed Hadid, he made SAAR one of the region’s biggest landlords in the 1980s. The SAAR network also became one of South America’s biggest apple growers and the owner of one of America’s top poultry firms, Mar-Jac Poultry in Georgia. “The funds came very easily,” said a businessman who dealt with SAAR. “If they wanted a few million dollars, they called the al-Rajhis, who would send it along. . . .” (Idem.)
25. Further developing the discrepancy between the moderate face put forward by SAAR’s defenders and the extremist reality of the organization’s influence, the program revisits the Loftus lawsuit filed in Florida against Sami al-Arian and others. (Be sure to visit Loftus’ website at www.john-loftus.com for more information about the lawsuit and the 3/20 raids.) “Despite their moderate public face, the SAAR groups” leaders have had close dealings with people who were more radical. Among them were Muslim activists who ran two vehemently anti-Israel organizations affiliated with the University of South Florida in Tampa. Despite the Florida activists’ denials, federal officials have been investigating them for years based on suspicions that they organized support for Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which the U.S. government has declared a terrorist group because it organizes suicide bombings in Israel. Steve Emerson, a terrorism expert who has studied SAAR for six years, said that “although the SAAR network presents a moderate profile, they have contacts and connections to Islamic groups here and abroad that are under investigation for ties to terrorism.” (Ibid.; pp. 4-5.)
26. Some of the group’s correspondence belies their “moderate” pretensions. “In a letter to a SAAR official, the Tampa groups described the SAAR network as their main funding source. SAAR allies said the money went only to conferences and publications. Some of the Tampa activists later joined a SAAR affiliate in Virginia. One of them, Bashir Nafi, was deported as an alleged Islamic Jihad operative in 1996.  The investigation of SAAR began after a 1995 raid of the Tampa groups’ offices yielded many documents showing close ties with the SAAR organizations, U.S. officials said. Leesburg scholar Alalwani, in a 1993 letter to the Tampa groups that he said was also on behalf of several other SAAR leaders, described donations sent to the Florida activists. “We consider you a part of us and an extension of us,” the letter said. “All your institutions are considered by us as ours. . . . We make a commitment to you; we do it for you as a group, regardless of the party or facade you use the money for.” After the 1995 Tampa searches, investigators widened that probe, launching a related investigation of the SAAR network, which lasted into the late 1990s.” (Ibid.; p. 5.)
27. In the context of the documented links of the SAAR/Al Taqwa/Muslim Brotherhood/Al Qaeda nexus to the Bush family and the Republican Party, it is interesting to contemplate the fact that the Clinton White House pushed for a more rigorous investigation of the milieu-to no avail. “In 1998, National Security Council aides in the Clinton White House pushed the FBI to intensify that SAAR investigation. But knowledgeable sources said the FBI declined because of fears that a probe would be seen as ethnic profiling. The sources said U.S. officials also pressed senior Saudi officials to investigate SAAR and other Saudi-funded charities.  “At the end of the day the progress can best be described as marginal,” said one U.S. official. . . U.S. officials dispute that account, saying that FBI officials never gave SAAR officials such blanket clearance. Customs revived the probe after the Sept. 11 attacks, with help from Europeans probing Bank al Taqwa’s Italian and Swiss operations.  “We are looking for patterns and connections, so it is very complicated,” said a U.S. official. “The al Taqwa-SAAR nexus is a very high priority.'” (Idem.)


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