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FTR #447 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

Recorded February 29, 2004
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Introduction: Highlighting various aspects of the continuing investigations into the events in, and around, 9/11, this program focuses primarily on the administrations of the first and second George Bush and their cover-ups of Saudi involvement in terrorist financing and the smuggling of nuclear technology. Particular emphasis is on the role of structural economic relationships in the frustration of various investigations into Islamist terrorism. In addition, the program description also notes the role of Third Reich alumni in the proliferation of nuclear technology in the Muslim world. In addition to the Saudis, the Muslim Brotherhood has also played a pivotal role in Islamist terrorism over the years. This program brings up to date some of the latest information about the Brotherhood’s activities. Note that the program description contains material not included in the original broadcast.

Program Highlights Include: The Bush administration’s backtracking on its stated intention to cooperate fully with the commission investigating 9/11; the ongoing investigation into the Riggs Bank and its alleged links to the financing of 9/11 terrorists; the Bush administration’s sabotaging of Operation Green Quest (the investigation into the financing of Al Qaeda and related elements); review of the GOP connections to the targets of Operation Green Quest; the role of the Afghan mujahadeen support effort in blunting investigations of what was to become Al Qaeda; the expiration of a U.N. task force investigating the financing of terrorism; the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the founding of Bank Al Taqwa; the role of the Muslim Brotherhood in the founding of the Muslim World League (the most important Saudi Islamist outreach organization); the (second) Bush administration’s interdiction of the investigation into Pakistani nuclear smuggling; the role of European elements in the trafficking of nuclear technology; the first Bush administration’s blunting of an early investigation of Pakistani nuclear activity; the possible role of Nazi operative Francois Genoud in the events in and around 9/11.

1. The program begins with discussion of one of many actions on the part of the Bush administration aimed at limiting or frustrating investigations into the events in, and around, September 11. After indicating that he would cooperate with the commission investigating the 9/11 attacks, Bush then severely limited the testimony that would be given. “The White House said Saturday that President Bush plans to meet with only a limited number of representatives from the commission investigating the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, despite a statement issued Friday that suggested he would meet with the whole panel. The new details surprised some commission members—who believed they had secured a promise from Bush for a private meeting with all 10 members—and could add to the tensions that have strained relations between the two sides.” (“Bush Will Meet with Few Sept. 11 Panel Members” [Mercury News wire services]; San Jose Mercury News; 2/15/2004; p. 5A.)

2. In addition, the administration will not permit disclosure of the (potentially compromising) financial connections of panel members who will be investigating intelligence failures in connection with the Iraq war. (For more about the composition of this panel, see FTR#445.) “The White House is declining to make public the financial histories of the commissioners President Bush appointed to investigate American intelligence failures. Administration officials say the arrangement has helped to attract the best-qualified people for the panel, but critics say the White House’s refusal to disclose financial information raises questions about potential conflicts of interest that could cloud the commission’s work. Citing an exemption to federal ethics regulations, the White House says the financial disclosure statements filed by the commission’s nine members will remain confidential because they are not being paid for their work. . . .” (“Intelligence Panel’s Finances Will Stay Private” by Eric Lichtblau; New York Times; 2/15/2004; p. 1; accessed at www.nytimes.com/2004/02/15/politics/15PANE.html.)

3. One of the members of the panel (Lloyd M. Cutler) is a founder of a law firm that has done work for the Carlyle Group, one of the many business ventures that joined the Bush and Bin Laden families. For more about the Carlyle Group, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 284, 329, 347, 406, 438.) ” . . . Also on the panel is Lloyd M. Cutler, a prominent Washington lawyer who has served in several Democratic administrations. The firm he founded, Wilmer Cutler & Pickering, has done work for the Carlyle Group, a large Washington equity firm that has used former President George Bush and other well-connected Republicans to advance its interests in Saudi Arabia and elsewhere. Mr. Cutler said in an interview, however, that he had not personally represented the Carlyle Group.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

4. Investigation of the 9/11 attacks is moving in the direction of the Riggs Bank, one of whose directors is Jonathan Bush, an uncle of the President. (For more about the Riggs bank, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 431, 442.) “Lawyers for the victims of the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks have subpoenaed Riggs National Corp. of Washington, seeking information on its handling of the Embassy of Saudi Arabia’s bank accounts. Attorneys are demanding access to a report by federal banking regulators that accuses Riggs of failing to maintain proper controls on the Saudi accounts, through which hundreds of millions of dollars flow annually for embassy operations and Saudi programs in the U.S. The report by the Office of the Comptroller of Currency details alleged lapses by the bank in connection with funds that flowed to two of the Sept. 11 hijackers. Among other things, regulators found that Riggs failed to file reports on suspicious activity involving tens of millions of dollars of transactions by Saudi diplomats, their families and employees. . . .” (“Lawyers for Victims of 9/11 Seek Riggs Records on Saudi Accounts” by Glenn R. Simpson; Wall Street Journal; 2/26/2004; p. A4.)

5. ” . . . The Federal Bureau of Investigation says that an undetermined sum of money from the accounts of Princess Haifa Al-Faisal, wife of Saudi Ambassador to the U.S. Bandar bin Sultan, flowed to terrorists Nawaf Al Hazmi and Khalid Al Midhar through a third Saudi man, Omar Al-Bayoumi. The Saudis say Princess Haifa didn’t intend to give any money to the two men. According to people familiar with the matter, a discussion of the accounts at Riggs was among the things the Bush administration insisted on removing from the public version of the 850-page congressional intelligence report on the attacks. The accounts are also part of a continuing FBI investigation into Saudi financial activity in the U.S.” (Idem.)

6. Next, the program highlights the administration’s frustration of Operation Green Quest, the law enforcement/intelligence community operation aimed at interdicting funding for Islamist terrorists. (For more about Operation Green Quest, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356, 357, 359, 382, 387, 389, 406, 423, 425, 432, 433, 435, 439.) In addition to the profound business connections between the Bush milieu and the Saudis implicated in terrorist funding, Operation Green Quest uncovered concrete links between the GOP and Muslim elements involved with the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, Al Taqwa and Hamas. ” . . . But despite those efforts, the United States has made only limited progress in blocking the funding of terrorists. Al Qaeda and other Islamic terrorist groups remain well financed. And one of their major sources of funding, a network of Islamic charities financed by Saudi Arabia, remains relatively uninterrupted. Its tough talk notwithstanding, the Bush Administration has failed to take decisive action against this significant source of terror financing—in part, it seems, to protect the government of Saudi Arabia and its friends in Washington.” (“Charity Cases: Why Has the Bush Administration Failed to Stop Saudi Funding of Terrorism?” by David Armstrong; Harper’s; March/2004; p. 81.)

7. “The Bush Administration has adopted an approach to Saudi terrorist funding that would best be described as hands-off. For example, last summer it censored the twenty-eight pages on the subject from a congressional report on the September 11 attacks and refused to release the names of Saudi entities suspected to be financiers of terrorism. . . .” (Idem.)

8. ” . . . In other cases, the Bush Administration made a conscious decision not to pursue major Saudi conduits for terrorist funding. The clearest example involves two ostensible charities that are long known to have funneled money to Al Qaeda—the International Islamic Relief organization (IIRO) and the Muslim World League (MWL). Both are financed directly by the Saudi government. MWL is an evangelical organization that was created to help spread Wahhabism, the Saudi brand of Islamic fundamentalism; IIRO is a humanitarian relief organization that operates primarily in Muslim countries. Yet a 1996 CIA report alleged that IIRO helped to fund six militant training camps in Afghanistan, and noted that the former head of the group’s Philippines office—Osama bin Laden’s brother-in-law—had been linked to plots to ‘target the pope and U.S. airlines.’ U. S. intelligence officials also believe that MWL employees were involved in the 1998 bombing of two U.S. embassies in Africa. Although both IIRO and MWL were known to have funded Al Qaeda, U.S. government sources indicated to Newsweek in October 2001 that the Bush Administration left the two organizations off the list of designated terrorist group in order to spare the Saudi government from embarrassment.” (Idem.)

9. Among the fish netted by Operation Green Quest is Abdurahman Alamoudi, himself very close to the GOP. (For more about Alamoudi, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 433, 435, 439.) Note that the responsibility for Operation Green Quest has been given to the FBI, which has been less than forthcoming with those involved in the investigation. (For more about this, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 425, 433, 435.) Note that Robert Mueller, head of the FBI, is compromised by his past (and less than vigorous) investigations into the Saudi/Bush/intelligence connection. (For more about this, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 310, 424.) “On top of this, the most promising domestic inquiry into these Saudi groups has been dismantled. In March 2002, as part of a Customs Service investigation known as Operation Green Quest, government investigators raided the Virginia offices of IIRO and MWL, along with a number of other Saudi-backed charities and businesses. Although the raids turned up concrete evidence that elements of the network had funded individuals and groups designated as terrorists by the United States, no assets have been frozen and that the few, belated arrests in this case have been made on charges unrelated to terrorist financing. In particular, Abdurahman Alamoudi, who heads a group called the Success Foundation—which in the late 1990’s absorbed the U.S. operations of IIRO—has been charged only with accepting money from Libya and with immigration violations, despite evidence, seized from the offices of Success and other groups he controls, of their material support not just for Hamas but for two known Al Qaeda fronts. (Alamoudi was once caught on tape remarking that he disapproved of the 1998 bombings of U.S. embassies in Africa only because no Americans were killed, and that instead he preferred more ‘strategic’ targets such as the Jewish community center in Buenos Aires, which had been bombed in 1994.) Now, under an agreement between Attorney General John Ashcroft and department of Homeland Security head Tom Ridge signed in May 2003, the Customs Service—part of Homeland Security since last March—has relinquished control of its counterterrorism investigations to the FBI, which repeatedly had refused to turn over critical investigative files to Green Quest agents. This deal between Ashcroft and Ridge effectively shut down Green Quest, quashing the one serious—if flawed—probe into domestic terrorist financing.” (Ibid.; pp. 81-82.)

10. Among the reasons for the blunting of the Green Quest inquiries is the fact that the funding conduits that nourished Al Qaeda had their genesis during the Reagan administrations and the first Bush administration. Those Islamic charities and businesses that lent financial support to Bin Laden’s cadre had earlier served to fund the Afghan mujahadeen fighting the Soviets in the 1980’s. “Part of the Bush Administration’s reluctance to confront the Saudis over terrorist financing may have less to do with embarrassing a key ally in the Middle East than with embarrassing the United States itself. Cracking down on IIRO and MWL, for example, would threaten to expose not only Saudi support of terrorism but also America’s own role in helping to create what would eventually become part of Al Qaeda’s funding network. During the 1980’s, the United States actively promoted the use of these and other Islamic charities as part of a joint U.S.-Saudi effort to fund the Afghan mujahedeen in their fight against the Soviet Union. The Reagan-Bush Administration, in cooperation with the Saudi government, funneled millions of dollars to the Afghan rebels through these charities to preserve ‘deniability’ of its support for a covert proxy war. When the scheme succeeded and the Soviets withdrew in 1989, the United States simply turned its back, leaving in place the funding apparatus it had helped to create. It also left behind extensive training and logistical facilities, an elaborate network of trans-Islamic organizations, large quantities of military hardware, and, more importantly, a large and experienced army of expert Islamic guerilla fighters anxious to carry on their struggle. It was at that point, in the midst of the first Bush Administration, that Osama bin Laden began transforming the mujahedeen funding network into a into a support structure for his newly created anti-Western jihadist organization—Al Qaeda.” (Ibid.; p. 82.)

11. “Meanwhile, elements of the erstwhile mujahedeen funding network, most notably IIRO and MWL, were expanding their operations and establishing offices worldwide, including the United States. During the next decade these organizations became prime conduits for Saudi financing of groups, including al Qaeda, now regarded by the United States as terrorist organizations. Thus the Islamic terrorism financing structure that the Bush Administration now proposes to crush is, in part, an outgrowth of the Reagan-Bush Administration’s Cold War effort to undermine the Soviet Union—a classic example of ‘blowback.’ For the Bush Administration to designate groups such as IIRO and MWL as terrorist financiers would risk unwelcome questions about the wisdom of having funded and trained an army of Islamic militants. Doing so would also expose the intelligence community to criticism for its failure to adequately monitor these former allies and their extensive funding network.” (Idem.)

12. In the context of the frustration of Operation Green Quest, the program notes the connections between the institutions and individuals targeted in the 3/20/2002 raids and the GOP. (For more about this subject, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 356, 357, 368, 376, 415, 433, 435.) “But the dilemma, for the Bush Administration, extends far beyond issues of history. Many prominent politicians—not least among them the Bushes—have for years maintained close political, business, and personal dealings with the Saudi royal family and, more generally, Saudi interests. The extent of the administration’s difficulties on this front became clear shortly after the Green Quest raids in March 2002. Just two weeks after the Customs task force raided the Saudi-backed groups in northern Virginia, two leading Muslim activists with ties to the groups were allowed to meet with Paul O’Neill, then secretary of the Treasury Department (which, at the time, controlled Customs) to complain about the conduct of the raids. The meeting was arranged by Grover Norquist, the influential Republican activist; Norquist is also the founder and former chair of the Islamic Institute, a conservative Muslim outreach group in which both of the men who met with O’Neill are officers and which has received funding from some of the raided individuals and groups, including Abdurahman Alamoudi.” (Idem.)

13. Talat Othman (a close associate of both Georges Bush) interceded on behalf of the targets of Operation Green Quest. (For more about this, see FTR#’s 356, 376, 415.) “And the connections do not end there. One of the Muslim activists who met with O’Neill was Talat Othman, a longtime friend and former business associate of President Bush. The two served together on the board of the Texas-based oil company Harken Energy starting in the late 1980’s and have remained close ever since. Othman sat on Harken’s board as the representative of Abdullah Taha Bakhsh, a Saudi business magnate and a close associate of suspected terrorist financier Khalid bin Mahfouz. Bakhsh now heads an oil company that is a subsidiary of Halliburton, the energy giant formerly run by Vice President Dick Cheney.” (Idem.)

14. “In addition to his work at the Islamic Institute, Othman serves on the board of Amana Mutual Funds Trust, an Islamic investment group that had close ties to raided entities and yet was not itself targeted. At the time of the Green Quest raids, in March 2002, at least four figures from the targeted groups were affiliated with Amana, icluding M. Yaqub Mirza, the individual who set up the U.S. branch of MWL, the fund-raising arm of the U.S. branch of IIRO, and many of the other raided organizations. Despite Mirza’s presence on the board, and despite the fact that large sums of money from the suspect groups have moved through Amana, Green Quest agents chose not to raid the firm.” (Idem.)

15. As noted above and in—among other broadcasts—FTR#’s 356, 357, 376, 390, 415, 423, 433, 435, the milieu of the SAAR network and the other objects of the Green Quest raids significantly overlaps the GOP’s ethnic outreach organization and the Bush administration. The fact that elements of the Al Qaeda milieu appear to have been involved in Western intelligence covert operations in the Balkans, as well as the GOP ethnic/Green Quest connection may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hostile interest in the investigators of Operation Green Quest. The investigators who were so harassed included Rita Katz, A.K.A. “Anonymous.” “The CIA was investigating me and the SAAR investigators from Green Quest and Customs. The CIA and the FBI investigated everyone who had anything to do with the SAAR investigation. White vans and SUV’s with dark windows appeared near all the homes of the SAAR investigators. All agents, some of whom were very experienced with surveillance, knew they were being followed. So was I. I felt that I was being followed everywhere and watched at home, in the supermarket, on the way to work . . . and for what? . . .” (Terrorist Hunter by “Anonymous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harper Collins]; Copyright 2003 by Harper Collins [HC]; ISBN 0-06-052819-2; p. 328.)

16. ” . . . The Customs agents were questioned. So were their supervisors. So was the U.S. attorney on the SAAR case. One of the questions they were all asked was whether they’d leaked material to me. They all kept saying that this was the most preposterous idea; they all said that before I came, none of them had the slightest clue about SAAR and 555. They said that there was nothing of value they could give me that I didn’t have already. That it was I who gave them the material, not the other way around. None of the investigated parties has the slightest clue as to the real reason they were being investigated.” (Ibid.; p. 329.)

17. “Risking criticism for being unfoundedly paranoid, I must convey my theory about the investigation and CIA’s involvement in it, I don’t know for certain what’s the deal with the CIA investigating the SAAR investigators, but it sure feels as if someone up in that agency doesn’t like the idea that the Saudi Arabian boat is rocked. The raids on 555 had taken place already—the CIA couldn’t change that—but investigating and giving the people behind the raids a hard time is a most efficient way of making sure the SAAR investigation stops there. Which, come to think of it, may be the reason the government looks so unfavorably on the lawsuit filed by 9-11 victims’ families against several Saudi entities and individuals, accusing them of funding terrorism and seeking damages.” (Idem.)

18. A disturbing fact concerns the expiration of a U.N. task force that had been enforcing regulations against the financing of terrorism. Among the institutions that appears to have survived attempts at interdiction is the Al Taqwa network. (For more about the Al Taqwa network’s continued operations, see FTR#’s 433. 435, 442. For more about Al Taqwa, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 343, 352, 354, 356, 357, 359, 377, 378, 382, 413, 415, 416, 423, 425, 432, 433, 435, 439, 442. See also: three very important articles by Kevin Coogan: “The Mysterious Achmed Huber: Friend to Hitler, Allah and Ibn Ladin?” [4] ; “Report on Islamists, The Far Right, and Al Taqwa” [5] ; and “Achmed Huber, The Avalon Gemeinschaft, and the Swiss ‘New Right'” [6].) “A U.N. task force that fought the flow of money to Al Qaeda expired last month. After 9/11, U.N. members were required to freeze the assets of companies, charities and individuals who law-enforcement and intelligence agencies believed were funneling cash to Osama bin Laden’s network of the Taliban regime. The monitoring group ruffled feathers last year when it complained that some suspect individuals and groups continued to operate—including branches of a major Saudi charity, the Al-Haramain Foundation. Last week the Saudis and Treasury Secretary John Snow announced that a handful of Al-Haramain offices, including two branches linked to the U.S. Embasy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania, only now are being closed. Al-Haramain’s Saudi HQ remains open. U.N. monitors also noted that principals in Al Taqwa, a Swiss-based Islamic financial network linked to bin Laden, stayed in business by renaming a couple of companies in Liechtenstein. A resolution to reestablish the task force may be introduced this week. But some U.N. officials fear the monitors’ power to criticize member countries may be sharply curtailed.” (“No More Watchdog” by Mark Hosenball; Newsweek; 2/2/2004; p. 8.)

19. Next, the program turns to the role of the Muslim Brotherhood, and its pivotal role in the founding of Al Taqwa. (For more about the Muslim Brotherhood, see—among other programs–FTR#’s 343, 344, 350, 351, 377, 381, 382, 414, 416, 439, 442. In addition, see “Islamism, Fascism and Terrorism” by Marc Erikson [Asia Times]; Parts I-IV. Parts I and II can be accessed at www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DK08Ak03.html; Part III can be accessed at www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DL04Ak01.html; Part IV can be accessed at www.atimes.com/atimes/Middle_East/DL05Ak01.html.) This part of the program accesses information from an interview with Richard Labeviere, author of Dollars for Terror. Note the central role of the leadership of the Brotherhood (Said Ramadan in particular) in the founding of Bank Al Taqwa. “LE NOUVEL OBSERVATEUR:–In one of your works, you claim that the father of Tariq Ramadan, Said, was one of the founders of bank Al Taqwa, suspected by the United States to have financed Al Qaeda. RICHARD LABEVIERE:–In April 1998 in Cairo, I interviewed Mustapha Masshur, the Guide of the Brotherhood of the Moslem Brothers, at the seat of this organization, located at the edge of the Nile. One had then evoked the operation of the Islamic banks. The Guide assured me that Youssef Nada, the financier of the Moslem Brothers, and Said Ramadan, the father of Tariq Ramadan, were friendly since their escape from Egypt, in the middle of the 1950’s and that they were at the origin of the creation of bank Al Taqwa, the fiduciary company based in Lugano, whose seat was in the Bahamas. This establishment managed the money of the members of the Brotherhood. The Guide, now deceased, said to me that the Ramadan brothers always acted in the logic of their great father—Hassan el Banna, and that they were regarded as agents of the interests of the founder of the Brotherhood.” (“Secrets of the Financial Holy War [Interview with Richard Labeviere]”; La Nouvel Observateur; 1/31/2004; pp. 1-2; accessed at: http://www.bethel-fr.com/voxdei/infos/afficher_info.php3?cle+8439 .)

20. “N.O.:–That does not make any [of them], therefore, the accomplices of Bin Laden. R. LABEVIERE:–No, of course, But this bank, Al Taqwa, is suspect by the FBI, this shortly after the 11th of September, to have taken part in the financing of Bin Laden. It [Al Taqwa] is reproduced on the black list of the Americans. However, this kind of Islamic bank is quasi-impenetrable. It does not have the right to make interest, it thus makes assemblages of risk capital.—Translation: it invests in concrete operations, financing of NGO, etc. In fact, multi-stage financial arrangements feed a myriad of charitable organizations. It is what the specialists call bleaching back [laundering]—it is a zigzag a labyrinth in which the investigators lose themselves, inevitably. When one examines the financial exercises of these establishments, a whole fringe of their activities is registered under the heading of zakat, the religious tax, the obligation of charity, a truly forbidden zone. However one knows that the zakat is used to finance offshore companies, protected perfectly by the same bank secrecy, and also the Islamic NGO’s, which are completely unverifiable and uncontrolled. Thus, since November 2001, bank Al Taqwa changed names but Youssef Nada, the friend of Said Ramadan, continues its activities. The investigation does nothing create publicity.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

21. The program highlights the power of Saudi capital in preventing the interdiction of Islamist funding sources. Note the failure of Carla del Ponte to move successfully against Saudi capital in Swiss banks. Del Ponte is a law partner of Pier Felice Barchi, the lawyer for Youssef Nada. (For more about del Ponte, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 359, 446.) “N.O.—What can make the Swiss authorities wrap up the matter? R. LABEVIERE:–The problem is that in Switzerland, the banking interests are the absolute priority. For the Federal government. It is imperative not to annoy the Saudis and their bankers. The experts of FATF (Group of Financial Action) consider the Saudi assets placed in Switzerland at between 30-60 billion dollars. It is a vital activity for this country [Switzerland]. So, nobody really wants to unearth a scandal which could kill the hen that lays the golden eggs. Judge Carla del Ponte even (when she was Attorney General of the Confederation) after the attack at Luxor in 1997, was accused of dragging her feat. To defend herself, she explained that she was confronted with a wall of money.” (Ibid.; pp. 2-3.)

22. It is worth noting that Said Ramadan was instrumental in the founding of the Muslim World League, one of the primary Islamist outreach organs of the Saudi government. (See the Harper’s article above, for more about the MWL.) “N.O.:–But the Ramadans are not directly implied in this history. R. LABEVIERE:–Historically, Said Ramadan was one of the founders of the Muslim World League, in 1961. It was he who advised the Saudis to finance the dawa in Europe, the propagation of the faith, by money, a kind of financial holy war. It is one of the key characters of this ideological war. He [Said Ramadan] is a central figure in the international branch of the Muslim Brotherhood. The Egyptian intelligence services suspect him of working directly for the Americans in the 1960’s.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

23. According to the book Dollars for Terror, the original move by Said Ramadan to Switzerland was to coordinate the activities of the Muslim Brotherhood with those of Nazi banker Francois Genoud. It was in this precise time period that Ramadan was instrumental in the formation of the Muslim World League. “Let us mention only the incident of the treasure of the FLN, at the center of which the banker Francois Genoud may be found. [Said] Ramadan and the Muslim Brothers thought that they could play a part in the Algerian process as they had done in Palestine in 1947. Said Ramadan thus left Munich to settle in the city of Calvin.” (Dollars for Terror: The United States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copyright 2000 [SC]; Algora Publishing; ISBN 1-892941-06-6; p. 154; visit www.algora.com .)

24. The program reviews an item of discussion from FTR#352. An article in the San Francisco Chronicle contains an allegation that Francois Genoud is believed to have founded Al Taqwa in order to fund terrorists such as Carlos the Jackal and Bin Laden. “Authorities believe Genoud founded Al Taqwa Bank and allocated its resources to support international terrorists such as Vladimir Ilich Ramirez, alias Carlos the Jackal, and Bin Laden.” (“Swiss Probe Anti-U.S. Neo-Nazi” by Jay Bushinsky; San Francisco Chronicle; 3/12/2002; p. A12; visit http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/03/12/MN192483.DTL.) (For more about Genoud, see Miscellaneous Archive Shows M19 and M21, as well as FTR#’s 333, 341, 343, 344, 350, 351, 354, 371, 377, as well as the FTR interviews with Kevin Coogan.)

25. Reprising an item of discussion from FTR#357, the program cites the opinion of Ernest Backes (one of Europe’s foremost experts on money laundering) concerning the role of Francois Genoud in the development of the events of 9/11. Genoud (who committed suicide in 1996) was very close to Al Taqwa personages, especially Achmed Huber. According to Backes, Genoud was also a financial adviser to the Bin Laden family. “Financial expert Ernest Backes of Luxembourg has [studied] white-collar crime in the field of banking for many years. According to him, there are indications of unusual transactions with which the groups [associated with] bin Laden could have earned money. ‘You can, for example, examine whether, within a certain time period there’s been an attack against the securities of a given airline company. Since these securities are safe in a ‘clearing system,’ you can’t get an overall view, who the owner was at a given time.’ . . .According to Backes’ information, the trail leads to Switzerland, to the accounts of an organization that was founded by the late lawyer Francois Genoud and evidently still survives. Says Backes, ‘One of the grounds for accusation is that this Swiss attorney had the closest connections with the Bin Laden family, that he was an advisor to the family, one of its investment bankers. It’s known for certain, that he supported terrorism and was the estate executor for Hitler and part of the terror milieu.'”
(“Insider Trading Prior to the Terror Attacks in the US?: Speculating on Terror—Who Profited from the Attacks?” by Rolf Bovier & Pierre Matthias; Bayerische Rundfunk Online (BR-Online); 9/25/2001.)

26. Before leaving the subject of Genoud, the program reprises an item of information from FTR#354. The co-chairman of the board of directors of SICO, the holding company that manages the Bin Laden business interests in Europe, is Baudoin Dunant, a friend and professional associate of Francois Genoud. “This company, established by the bin Ladens in 1980, is the flagship for the group’s activities in Europe. It is headed by Yeslam bin Laden, and the board of directors is made up almost exclusively of members of the family clan, except for a Swiss citizen, Baudoin Dunant. This well-known lawyer from French-speaking Switzerland, who is on the boards of several dozen companies, came to public notice in 1983 when he agreed to represent the Swiss banker Francois Genoud, a controversial figure who had been a disciple of Hitler and sole heir of Goebbels’s copyrights before becoming one of the financiers of the FLN during the Algerian War. The friendships of the bin Ladens sometimes seem surprising, but they are logical: Francois Genoud has always been pro-Arab.”
(In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copyright 2002 [SC]; Duke University Press; ISBN 0-8223-2991-3; pp. 17-18.)

27. The balance of the program deals with the recent disclosures of a nuclear smuggling ring, involving Pakistan’s “father of the bomb” Dr. A.Q. Khan and the elements that helped him smuggle the nuclear technology to other countries. The Bush administration blocked investigation of this operation, once again to protect Saudi interests, who were helping to finance the creation of the so-called “Islamic Bomb.” “On November7, 2001, BBC TV and The Guardian of London reported that the Bush administration thwarted investigations of Dr. A.Q. Khan, who this week confessed to selling atomic secrets to Libya, North Korea, and Iran. The Bush Administration has expressed shock at the disclosures that Pakistan, our ally in the war on terror, has been running a nuclear secrets bazaar. In fact, according to the British news team’s sources, Bush did not know of these facts because, shortly after his inauguration, his National Security Agency (NSA) effectively stymied the probe of Khan Research Laboratories. CIA and other agents could not investigate the spread of ‘Islamic Bombs’ through Pakistan because funding appeared to originate in Saudi Arabia.”
(“Khan Job: Bush Spiked Probe of Pakistan’s Dr. Strangelove, BBC Reported in 2001” by Greg Palast; Gregpalast.com; 2/9/2004.) [7]

28. “According to both sources and documents obtained by the BBC, the Bush Administration ‘Spike’ of the investigation of Dr. Khan’s Lab followed from a wider policy of protecting key Saudi Arabians including the bin Laden Family. Despite these tantalizing facts, Abdullah and his operations were A-OK with the FBI chiefs, if not their working agents. Just a dumb SNAFU? Not according to a top-level CIA operative who spoke with us on condition of anonymity. After Bush took office, he said, ‘there was a major policy shift’ at the National Security Agency. Investigators were ordered to ‘back off’ from any inquiries into Saudi Arabian financing of terror networks, especially if they touched on Saudi royals and their retainers. That put the bin Ladens, a family worth a reported $12 billion and a virtual arm of the Saudi royal household, off limits for investigation. Osama was the exception; he remained a wanted man, but agents could not look too closely at how he filled his piggy bank. The key rule of any investigation, ‘follow the money,’ was now violated, and investigations—at least before September 11-began to die.” (Idem.)

29. “And there was a lot to investigate—or, in the case of the CIA and FBI under Bush—a lot to ignore. Through well-known international arms dealers (I’m sorry, but in this business, sinners are better sources than saints) our team was tipped off to a meeting of Saudi billionaires at the Hotel Royale Monceau in Paris in May 1996 with the financial representative of Osama bin Laden’s network. The Saudis, including a key Saudi prince joined by Muslim and non-Muslim gun traffickers, met to determine who would pay how much to Osama. This was not so much an act of support but of protection—a pay-off to keep the mad bomber away from Saudi Arabia.” (Idem.)

30. “The crucial question here is that, if I could learn about this meeting, how did the CIA miss it? In fact, since the first edition of this book, other sources have disclosed that the meeting was monitored by French intelligence. Since U.S. intelligence was thus likely informed, the question becomes why didn’t the government immediately move against the Saudis?” (Idem.)

31. ” I probed our CIA contact for specifics of investigations that were hampered by orders to back off of the Saudis. He told us that the Khan Laboratories investigation had been effectively on hold.” (Idem.)

32. The administration of the first President Bush also turned a blind eye to Pakistan’s nuclear development, once again in order to help shield the Pakistani role in the Afghan mujahadeen war against the Soviets. “Pakistan warned the United States 14 years ago that it might give nuclear technology to Iran, but the administration of President Bush’s father did little to follow up, former Pentagon officials say. Word of the 1990 threat from Pakistan’s top general apparently was not passed along to the Clinton administration when it took office three years later, according to interviews by the Associated Press. . . .” (“Pakistan Threatened to Give Iran Nuclear Know-How in ’90” by Matt Kelley [AP]; San Francisco Chronicle; 2/28/2004; p. A3.)

33. ” . . . But former government arms control officials and declassified documents show the United States knew about Pakistan’s nuclear procurement network since 1983 and suspected the transfers to Iran since the mid-1980’s. The United States had hints of the transfers to North Korea in the mid-1990’s, officials say. The clearest evidence of the Iran link came in January 1990, when Pakistan’s army chief of staff conveyed his threat to arm Iran to a top Pentagon official. Henry Rowen, at the time an assistant defense secretary, said Pakistani Gen. Mirza Aslam Beg had issued the warning in a face-to-face meeting in Pakistan. . . .” (Idem.)

34. ” . . . Sokolski and Rowen said former President George H.W. Bush’s administration had done little to follow up on Beg’s warning. ‘In hindsight, maybe before or after that they did make some transfers,’ Rowen said. . . .” (Idem.)

35. “While Islamabad and Washington squabbled about the evidence, the Khan network provided sophisticated technology to Libya, North Korea and Iran, three countries the United States considered among the most dangerous. A decade earlier, the Reagan administration had looked the other way on Pakistan’s nuclear program, said Stephen Cohen, a State Department expert on the region from 1985 to 1987. Back then, Washington used Pakistan as a conduit for sending weapons and money to guerillas fighting the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. ‘They were covering up our involvement in Afghanistan, pretending we played no role in Afghanistan, so they expected us to cover up their role in procuring a weapons system they saw as vital to their survival,’ said Cohen, now with the Brookings Institution.” (Idem.)

36. Next, the program turns to the role of European elements in the Dr. A.Q. Khan network. “The Pakistani scientist Abdul Qadeer Khan has been demonized in the West for selling atomic secrets and equipment around the world, but the trade began in Europe, not Islamabad, according to court documents and experts who monitor proliferation. The records show that industry scientists and Western intelligence agencies have known for decades that nuclear technology was pouring out of Europe despite national export control efforts to contain it. Many of the names that have turned up among lists of suppliers and middlemen who fed equipment, materials and knowledge to nuclear programs in Pakistan and other aspiring nuclear nations are well-known players in Europe’s uranium enrichment industry, a critical part of many nuclear weapons programs. Some have been convicted of illegal exports before. . . . ” (“Roots of Pakistan Atomic Scandal Traced to Europe” by Craig S. Smith; New York Times; 2/19/2004; p. 1; accessed at www.nytimes.com/2004/02/19/international/europe/NUKE .)

37. ” . . . The problem began with the 1970 Treaty of Almelo, under which Britain, Germany and the Netherlands agreed to develop centrifuges to enrich uranium jointly, ensuring their nuclear power industry a fuel source independent of the United States. Urenco, or the Uranium Enrichment Company, was established the next year with its primary enrichment plant at Almelo, the Netherlands.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

38. “Security at Urenco was by most accounts slipshod. The consortium relied on a network of research centers and subcontractors to build its centrifuges, and top-secret blueprints were passed out to companies bidding on tenders, giving engineers across Europe an opportunity to appropriate designs. Dr. Khan, who worked for a Urenco Dutch subcontractor, Physics Dynamic Research Laboratory, was given access to the most advanced designs, even though he came from Pakistan, which has already known to harbor nuclear ambitions. A 1980 report by the Dutch government on his activities said he visited the Almelo factory in May 1972 and by late 1974 had an office there. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

39. ” . . . That same year [1987], despite American warnings to Germany that such a sale was imminent, a German firm exported to Pakistan a plant for the recovery of tritium, a volatile gas used to increase the power of nuclear bombs. The company simply called the plant something else to obtain an export license. ‘The export control office didn’t even inspect the goods,’ said Reinhard Huebner, the German prosecutor who handled the subsequent trial of the company’s chief, Rudolf Ortmayers, and Peter Finke, a German physicist who went to Pakistan to train engineers there to operate the equipment. Both men were sentenced to jail for violating export control laws.” (Idem.)

40. Among the Urenco figures involved in the smuggling of nuclear material was Karl Heinz Schaab, who smuggled critical nuclear technology to the Iraqis. “But there were clues that the technology had spread even further: a German intelligence investigation determined that Iraq and possibly Iran and North Korea had obtained Uranium-melting expertise stolen from Urenco in 1984, Mr. Hibbs reported in Nucleonics Week several years later. In 1989, two engineers, Bruno Stemmler and Karl Heinz Schaab, who had worked for Germany’s MAN New Technology, another Urenco subcontractor, sold plans for advanced uranium enrichment centrifuges to Iraq. They went to Baghdad to help solve problems in making the equipment work. In 1991, after the first Iraq war, international inspectors were stunned to discover the extent of Saddam Hussein’s hidden program. Mr. Schaab was later convicted of treason but only served a little more than a year in jail. Mr. Stemmler died before he could be tried. . . .” (Idem.)

41. ” . . . As recently as last year, German customs agents seized high-tensile-strength aluminum tubes made by a German company and bound for North Korea. The tubes matched the specifications for the housings of Urenco’s uranium-enriching centrifuges.” (Ibid.; p. 3.)

42. This description concludes with a recap of information about Karl –Heinz Schaab from FTR#395. Note that this information was not in the broadcast of FTR#447, itself. The Schaab/Urenco/Khan connection will be explored at greater length in a future program. “Stealing the Fire is an investigative film that provides staggering evidence showing how a German scientist, Karl Heinz Schaab, who helped develop the centrifuges necessary to extract weapons-grade Uranium 235, sold classified documents in the early 1990’s to Iraq.” (“Stealing the Fire;” Eye Spy; Issue 13; p. 18.)

43. It is interesting to note that the co-producer of the film discovered the “clandestine nuclear trail” while working on a PBS show about the BCCI. The BCCI scandal is inextricably linked with the subject of Saudi Arabia and the events of 9/11. (For a summary account of the significance of the BCCI scandal in the context of 9/11, see FTR#391 and the programs referenced in that program.) ” . . . The investigation started many, many years ago. In 1992, Eric Nadler an investigative journalist, began researching material on the underground trafficking of nuclear weapons. Ten years later, he and co-producer, John S. Friedman, the founder of the Documentary Center at Colombia University have released their findings. Nadler told Paperclips magazine. ‘I was working for Frontline on PBS, and I was doing a story about the BCCI scandal, which was a crooked bank based in Pakistan. I was doing a story called ‘The Arming of Saudi Arabia’ about the hidden history of United States/Saudi relations. I got very disturbed about the hidden history, especially about nuclear stories that weren’t being covered . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 18-19.)

44. According to Mr. Nadler, Saudi Arabia was heavily involved in financing Saddam Hussein’s quest for the bomb. Like the Saudis and the Bush family, Saddam Hussein’s own history is inextricably linked with that of the Third Reich. The For The Record series presents the view that Al Qaeda, the Wahhabi militants, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iraqis and the PLO constitute “proxy warriors” for the Underground Reich, against the USA, Britain and Israel. (For discussion of the Saudi links to the Third Reich, see the discussion and references in FTR#391.) “. . . And I produced for Frontline something that aired in 1992, in which our team got classified CIA and DIA documents, which said the following: ‘We know that Saudi Arabia has given $5 billion to Saddam Hussein’s nuclear program for the express purpose of building a nuclear bomb.’ My investigative team at Frontline got the banks, we got the dates, we got the money transfers, and we put this on American television. [We showed] that America’s biggest ally in the Gulf had given $5 billion to the Hitler of the Gulf to build nuclear weapons. And though USA Today put it on their television page, it caused barely a ripple in the popular culture. I was interested in secret nuclear stories from that moment on . . .” (Ibid.; p. 19.)

45. In Stealing the Fire, the central figure in the Iraqi/German nuclear connection was one Karl Heinz Schaab. ” . . . He was fascinated by Iraq’s determined efforts to create nuclear weapons. By examining the investigation of the United Nations weapons inspectors, he came across a ‘mysterious man’-Karl Heinz Schaab. Nadler and Friedman thought that by researching Schaab, this would open other doors and reveal the companies behind the ‘covert nuclear trading deals . . .'” (Idem.)

46. Schaab was a protégé of Dr. Gernot Zippe, one of the principal figures involved with developing the Third Reich’s nuclear program. “Schaab was a student of Dr. Gernot Zippe, an Austrian physicist often referred to as the ‘father of the centrifuge.’ And Stealing the Fire is as much about the centrifuge as the dirty deals done to get the technology to Iraq. Nadler says the equipment originated in the research laboratories of wartime Germany. Hence the information supplied by Schaab in 1989 to the Iraqis basically originated from the failed Nazi atomic bomb program.” (Idem.)

47. After discussing Zippe’s capture by the Soviets and his work for the U.S.S.R. on nuclear matters, the program sets forth his return to Degussa, the firm which produced the Zyklon B for the gas chambers in World War II. (For more on Degussa, see—among other programs—FTR#’s 87, 292, 294, 388.) “The nuclear scientist worked at the University of Virginia for a while, and de-briefed the Pentagon on the Russian centrifuge. However, he got homesick and soon returned to Germany and found work at Degussa.” (Idem.)

11. Zippe was not the only Third Reich alumnus associated with Degussa’s nuclear export operations. “Dr. Alfred Boettcher was an SS scientific officer who headed the precious metals division at Degussa in the postwar years. He later became nuclear export attache for the West German Government.” (Ibid.; p. 21.)

48. Degussa subsidiary NUKEM was the division involved with the trafficking of nuclear material to Iraq, as well as other countries attempting to manufacture nuclear weapons. Boettcher and Zippe were joined by yet another Third Reich alumnus in Germany’s work on behalf of Iraq’s nuclear efforts. (For more on NUKEM, see Miscellaneous Archive Show M-8.) “Two transactions that spring heightened fears that Iraq intended to use the Osirak reactor to produce bomb-grade plutonium. An Italian company, in a semi-clandestine deal, sold Iraq six tons of depleted uranium purchased from the West German nuclear consortium NUKEM. Fearing that NUKEM might not deliver the uranium if they knew it was intended for Iraq, the Italians claimed it was for domestic use in Italy. But they needn’t have worried about NUKEM’s scruples. The consortium was a wholly owned subsidiary of the German chemicals giant Degussa, which had invented and manufactured Zyklon B, the powerful cyanide gas that streamed out of the showerheads in Hitler’s death camps, killing millions of European Jews. Degussa had also played a key role in the Nazi effort to build an atom bomb, stopped only when its Oranienburg works near Berlin were flattened by U.S. bombers in 1945. That same year, the Third Reich was going up in flames, Degussa’s chairman, Hermann Schlosser, donated 45,000 reichsmarks to Hitler’s SS. Thirty-five years later Schlosser was still on the Degussa board, and in 1987 he was awarded the German Federal Merit Cross for his services to industry. One of Schlosser’s services was shipping nuclear equipment and materials to almost every developing nation that was known to have a clandestine bomb program. Another was opening the vast Iraqi market to German firms. His readiness to supply nuclear materials to both India and Pakistan had impressed on Saddam Hussein that this was a man he could do business with.” (The Death Lobby: How the West Armed Iraq; Kenneth Timmerman; Copyright 1991 [HC]; Houghton Mifflin Company; p. 70.) (For more on the arming of Iraq, see RFA-20, FTR #’s 16, 24, 31, 52, 87, 287, 295.)

49. “Nadler called Degussa ‘the worst company ever.’ The investigator believes the directors of the company were ‘not prosecuted because of their international connections to several major US corporations.'” (Ibid.; p. 20.)

50. It is significant that, according to Nadler, the Iraqis received software, not hardware. This complicates the issue considerably. As will be noted in future programs, just what happened to this software is a source for concern. In the context of the Underground Reich (heavily involved with Latin America as well as the Middle East), it is worth noting that Schaab was also involved with deals with members of the Brazilian armed forces. “Schaab’s name was actually found on documents recovered by UN weapons inspectors in Iraq. He had been selling the centrifuge secrets to Baghdad. Eye Spy asked Nadler just what exactly the Iraqis received for their money, ‘software not hardware,’ he said. He then confirmed that with this data Iraq could easily build a factory—a production line-for nuclear bombs. The investigators tracked Schaab to Brazil, where he temporarily fled to avoid prosecution. Here also was the location of further obscure deals with high ranking officials of the Brazilian armed forces.” (Ibid.; p. 20.)

51. Nadler notes the role of Germany as the greatest exporter of nuclear technology in the postwar period. (The German role in the development of the Pakistani bomb is discussed in FTR#336. There is documented sympathy among some of the creators of the Pakistani bomb for the Taliban regime.) ” . . . .The investigator’s research tends to support the British intelligence brief on Iraq’s WMD, and highlights a controversial deal between a NATO country and Iraq. Nadler said that between 1945 and 1990, Germany was the ‘greatest proliferator of nuclear weapons technology in the world . . .'” (Idem.)

52. Schaab appears to have been operating with the blessings of the German government. (For more on the German government—and Underground Reich–connection to the Iraqi nuclear program, see FTR#155.) ” . . . On the German Government’s light sentence for Schaab, and the suggestion other people might be involved, Nadler was diplomatic: ‘Schaab had a story and he stuck to it. He said that two other men who are now dead were involved. But it’s quite clear that all this activity had to be monitored and known by the Germans. We can safely say that the case was woefully under-investigated, and, as one person says in our film, the German government just wanted it to go away. . .'” (Idem.)

53. ” . . . Schaab took the secret plans of the centrifuge and sold hundreds of blueprints to the Iraqis. And on a recent television news program on Fox, Nadler said it is possible that Iraq may have sold the plans to al-Qaeda. ‘The fact remains that the classified plans for uranium enrichment technology were stolen and sold to the Iraqis; what they do with it is a mystery. . . .”’ (Idem.)