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FTR #464 I Told You So—More About the Subversion of Operation Green Quest

Record­ed June 13, 2004
MP3 Side 1 [1] | Side 2 [2]
RealAu­dio [3]

Pre­sent­ing more infor­ma­tion about the sub­ver­sion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest (the inves­ti­ga­tion into ter­ror­ist financ­ing), this pro­gram high­lights the struc­tur­al eco­nom­ic rela­tion­ships that bind the Bush milieu to that of the Saud­is. These rela­tion­ships helped spawn the Islamist ele­ment in the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s eth­nic out­reach wing, which over­laps the milieu tar­get­ed in the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids. Cen­tral to the devel­op­ment of the Bush/Saudi rela­tion­ship is the milieu of the BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion. Not only did key play­ers in BCCI invest in Bush’s unsuc­cess­ful ener­gy busi­ness­es, but that invest­ment almost cer­tain­ly was for the pur­pose of cur­ry­ing favor with “the House of Bush”—the Saud­is did not need to invest in unsuc­cess­ful oil drilling oper­a­tions! More­over, it appears that the Bush/Saudi/BCCI con­nec­tion is a cen­tral fac­tor moti­vat­ing those who are frus­trat­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into Oper­a­tion Green Quest. Cen­tral to the theme of this pro­gram is FBI chief Robert Mueller’s role in cov­er­ing up the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s inves­ti­ga­tion of the BCCI case when he was the US attor­ney in charge of the inves­ti­ga­tion, as well as the role of the bureau in the frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The Sau­di invest­ment in Bush’s Harken Ener­gy; the con­nec­tions of BCCI play­ers such as Khalid bin Mah­fouz in the Sau­di financ­ing of Harken; the role of Abdul­lah Bakhsh of the BCCI in ele­vat­ing the posi­tion of Talat Oth­man to that of direc­tor of Harken Ener­gy; Oth­man’s even­tu­al suc­ces­sion to the posi­tion of advis­er to Bush, Sr.; review of the devel­op­ment of GOP oper­a­tive Grover Norquist’s Islam­ic Insti­tute and the con­nec­tions of the GOP/Islamist milieu to ter­ror­ism; Talat Oth­man’s deliv­ery of a Mus­lim bene­dic­tion at the GOP con­ven­tion in 2000; review of the con­nec­tions between the tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 2002 and the Al Taqwa net­work; the rela­tion­ship between Sami al-Ari­an and the tar­gets of the 3/20/2002 raids; Talat Oth­man’s inter­ces­sion on behalf of the tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids; fed­er­al employ­ees’ “acci­den­tal” destruc­tion of key doc­u­ments in the al-Ari­an inves­ti­ga­tion; review of the FBI’s alleged stonewalling of oth­er fed­er­al agen­cies involved in com­bat­ing ter­ror.

1. Trac­ing the his­to­ry of the Bush/Saudi rela­tion­ship, the broad­cast begins with dis­cus­sion of the role of rich Saud­is in the financ­ing of Harken Energy—one of W’s failed oil ven­tures. For the pur­pos­es of this pro­gram, do not fail to note the pres­ence in the Harken machi­na­tions of peo­ple close­ly asso­ci­at­ed with the BCCI milieu. ” . . . And yet, with the Bush name now on its mar­quee, sud­den­ly all sorts of mar­velous things start­ed to hap­pen to Harken—new invest­ments, unex­pect­ed sources of financ­ing, serendip­i­tous drilling rights in far­away coun­tries. All thanks to peo­ple who now found Harken irresistible—many of them close to BCCI, the Sau­di-dom­i­nat­ed bank that had polit­i­cal con­nec­tions all over the world and whose biggest share­hold­er was Khalid bin Mah­fouz. It was a phan­tom courtship.”
(House of Bush/House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scrib­n­er [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0–7432-5337‑X; p. 118.) [4]

2. The Saud­is’ back­ing of Harken makes no sense in terms of the petro­le­um business—it only makes sense in the con­text of the pur­chas­ing of polit­i­cal influ­ence. “Even if Harken had not had its lia­bil­i­ties, for Sau­di bil­lion­aires, whose wealth came from the biggest oil reserves in the world, invest­ing in Harken was at best tru­ly a case of sell­ing coals to New­cas­tle, ice to the Eski­mos. ‘Think about it,’ explains Bush’s friend and busi­ness part­ner James Bath. ‘It does­n’t make sense. What we would con­sid­er a big oil drill here [in Texas] would be laugh­able to them.’ ” (Idem.)

3. Through the BCCI, the Saud­is were able to gain a sig­nif­i­cant foothold in the U.S. ” ‘You had this ter­ri­bly com­pli­cat­ed dance,’ recalls a for­mer senior Sen­ate inves­ti­ga­tor into BCCI. ‘It was not just that the Saud­is used BCCI to buy pow­er. There were peo­ple in the Unit­ed States who saw the oppor­tu­ni­ty to make scads of mon­ey. They weren’t exact­ly rap­ing the sys­tem. It was more like con­sen­su­al sex.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 119.)

4. “Nei­ther George W. Bush nor Harken, it should be said, had any direct con­tact of any kind with bin Mah­fouz or BCCI. Bin Mah­fouz pro­fessed no knowl­edge of any inten­tion to cre­ate a spe­cial rela­tion­ship with Bush or Harken and, accord­ing to his attor­ney, ‘does not recall that the mat­ter of BCCI’s rela­tion­ship with Harken’ was brought up at BCCI board meet­ings or ‘in any oth­er fash­ion.’ Like­wise, Harken offi­cials, includ­ing George W. Bush, said they were unaware of their new investors’ links to BCCI. On paper, there was no rela­tion­ship what­so­ev­er between the two insti­tu­tions or their prin­ci­pals.” (Idem.)

5. “But like so much of what went on with BCCI, this elab­o­rate dance often took place through con­vo­lut­ed finan­cial trans­ac­tions and third par­ties. It was not essen­tial for the key play­ers in this aspect of the Sau­di-Bush dra­ma even to know each oth­er to have pro­duc­tive rela­tion­ships. In fact, for many of the par­tic­i­pants, the less they knew the bet­ter.” (Idem.)

6. Exam­in­ing the his­to­ry of the evo­lu­tion of the Harken/Saudi/BCCI milieu and its influ­ence on Bush and events that took place dur­ing his pres­i­den­cy, the broad­cast high­lights Abdul­lah Taha Bakhsh. It was as Bakhsh’s pro­tégé that Talat Oth­man made his entrée into the Bush camp. Oth­man is a key play­er in the sce­nario we are exam­in­ing in this pro­gram. “Before the deal could be final­ized, how­ev­er, the financ­ing from UBS ran into unre­lat­ed dif­fi­cul­ties and fell apart. As a result, still anoth­er financier was need­ed to res­cue Harken. This time, Stephens intro­duced Harken to a new investor, Abdul­lah Taha Bakhsh, a real estate mag­nate from Jed­dah, whose sub­se­quent injec­tion of cap­i­tal result­ed in his own­er­ship of 17.6 per­cent of Harken’s stock.” (Ibid.; p. 121.)

7. “A well-known Sau­di investor, Bakhsh had been a found­ing mem­ber of the board of Invest­corp, the enor­mous glob­al invest­ment group. Bakhsh had had busi­ness deal­ings with the most promi­nent peo­ple in Sau­di Ara­bia, includ­ing mem­bers of the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly. He also had at least two ties to BCCI. Accord­ing to the [Wall Street] Jour­nal, he had been chair­man of the Sau­di Finance Co., a hold­ing com­pa­ny part­ly con­trolled by BCCI share­hold­ers. In addi­tion, he was well acquaint­ed with bin Mah­fouz.” (Idem.)

8. There were denials all around con­cern­ing a causal rela­tion­ship between Bakhsh’s role on Harken’s board and the BCCI rela­tion­ship. Note that bin Mah­fouz’s lawyer is Cherif Sed­ky, whom we will view lat­er on in con­nec­tion with the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids. “All par­ties concerned—bin Mah­fouz, Bakhsh, and Harken—have denied that Bakhsh’s role in Harken had any­thing to do with BCCI or his rela­tion­ship to bin Mah­fouz. ‘Mr. Bakhsh was not in any way rep­re­sent­ing Khalid bin Mah­fouz’s inter­ests in any invest­ment by Mr. Bakhsh in Harken Ener­gy,’ says Cherif Sed­ky. . . .” (Idem.)

9. More about the Bakhsh/Harken/Bush/Othman rela­tion­ship: ” . . . Yet there is evi­dence that Sau­di favors to Bush inter­ests had begun to pay off. In August 1990, Talat Oth­man, a Chica­go investor of Arab descent who rep­re­sent­ed the inter­ests of Abdul­lah Taha Bakhsh on the board of Harken Ener­gy, was grant­ed unusu­al access to the pres­i­dent and attend­ed White House meet­ings with him to dis­cuss Mid­dle East policy—at a time of cri­sis dur­ing which the Gulf War was brew­ing. [Empha­sis added.] The White House, George W. Bush, and Harken all denied that Oth­man’s pres­ence was relat­ed to Bakhsh’s invest­ment.” (Ibid.; p. 125.)

10. Next, the pro­gram high­lights the role of then US Attor­ney Robert Mueller in help­ing to derail the BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion. Mueller is now head of the FBI. ” . . . In addi­tion, accord­ing to the 1992 Sen­ate BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion, the Bush Jus­tice Depart­ment went to great lengths to block pros­e­cu­tion of BCCI. The Sen­ate probe deter­mined that fed­er­al offi­cials repeat­ed­ly obstruct­ed con­gres­sion­al and local inves­ti­ga­tions into BCCI, and for three years thwart­ed attempts by Man­hat­tan dis­trict attor­ney Robert Mor­gen­thau to obtain crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion about the bank.” (Ibid.; p. 126.)

11. Note that the Sen­ate probe into BCCI (which was head­ed by John Ker­ry) was high­ly crit­i­cal of the Jus­tice Depart­men­t’s con­duct of the inves­ti­ga­tion. “The Sen­ate inves­ti­ga­tion con­clud­ed that in 1990 and 1991 the Bush Jus­tice Depart­ment, with Assis­tant Attor­ney Gen­er­al Robert Mueller lead­ing the way, con­sis­tent­ly put forth the pub­lic impres­sion that it ws aggres­sive­ly mov­ing against BCCI. But, in fact, the Sen­ate probe said the Jus­tice Depart­ment was actu­al­ly imped­ing ‘the inves­ti­ga­tions of oth­ers through a vari­ety of mech­a­nisms, rang­ing from not mak­ing wit­ness­es avail­able, to not return­ing tele­phone calls, to claim­ing that every aspect of the case was under inves­ti­ga­tion in a peri­od when lit­tle, if any­thing, was being done.’ ” (Idem.)

12. “Specif­i­cal­ly, among oth­er charges, the Sen­ate report alleged that a fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tor lied to Mor­gen­thau’s office about impor­tant mate­r­i­al; that fed­er­al pros­e­cu­tors failed to inves­ti­gate seri­ous alle­ga­tions that BCCI laun­dered drug mon­ey; and that Jus­tice Depart­ment per­son­nel in Wash­ing­ton, Mia­mi, and Tam­pa active­ly obstruct­ed and imped­ed con­gres­sion­al attempts to inves­ti­gate BCCI in 1990 . . .” (Idem.)

13. Much of the rest of the first side of the pro­gram is review of an excerpt from FTR#310 [5] (record­ed on 7/8/2001.) The excerpt focus­es on Robert Mueller’s appoint­ment as head of the FBI, and notes Mueller’s less than enthu­si­as­tic inves­ti­ga­tion of the BCCI case. Mr. Emory notes that, had the BCCI case been thor­ough­ly and prop­er­ly inves­ti­gat­ed, it would have impli­cat­ed the elder Bush in the Iran/Contra and Iraq­gate scan­dals, both of which involved BCCI. Mr. Emory also notes that a prop­er inves­ti­ga­tion of the case might have led to the James R. Bath/George W. Bush/Harken Energy/ Sau­di rela­tion­ship. That rela­tion­ship involved the busi­ness con­nec­tions between George W. Bush and James R. Bath. Bath was an ear­ly investor in Arbus­to Ener­gy, the first of W’s failed oil com­pa­ny ven­tures. He was also the busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Bin Mah­fouz and Bin Laden fam­i­lies in Texas. Those fam­i­lies may well have put up some of the ini­tial cap­i­tal for Arbus­to. With Mueller rul­ing the roost at the FBI, it appeared (on 7/8/2001) that an inves­ti­ga­tion uncov­er­ing the Bush fam­i­ly’s busi­ness deal­ings with the Bin Ladens was unlike­ly. As we saw in FTR#‘s 454, 462, [6] the bureau appears to be derail­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion into Oper­a­tion Green Quest. Bush select­ed Robert Mueller, a mem­ber of his father’s Jus­tice Depart­ment, to be FBI direc­tor.
(“S.F. Pros­e­cu­tor Mueller Picked to Lead FBI, Mend Its Image” by Zachary Coile and Bob Egelko; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/6/2001; pp. A1-A12.)

14. In his work for the Bush Jus­tice Depart­ment, Mueller was less than vig­or­ous in his role over­see­ing the pros­e­cu­tion of Gen­er­al Nor­ie­ga of Pana­ma and the BCCI case. (“In the Run­ning for FBI Direc­tor” by Sta­cy Finz; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 7/1/2001; pp. A1-A6.) Both the BCCI case and the Nor­ie­ga case over­lap the Iran-Con­tra inves­ti­ga­tion.) The elder Bush was prin­ci­pal­ly involved in the Iran-Con­tra imbroglio. Full dis­clo­sure con­cern­ing the BCCI case would have led to inves­ti­ga­tion of James R. Bath, the Texas busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Bin Laden fam­i­ly and one of the financiers of George W.‘s first oil ven­ture. Was Mueller appoint­ed to fore­stall any inves­ti­ga­tion of these links, thus safe­guard­ing the Georges Bush?.)

15. The GOP recruit­ed Islamists to its cause for the 2000 cam­paign. A num­ber of the indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions recruit­ed by Norquist are impli­cat­ed in the events in, and around, 9/11. Many of them were also focal points of Oper­a­tion Green Quest. The Norquist/Islamist milieu also over­laps the Harken/Bush/BCCI milieu. “As a result, Norquist’s Mus­lim strat­e­gy was some­times criticized—usually from the right—for giv­ing cred­i­bil­i­ty to Mus­lim groups that seemed harm­less, but were in fact sup­port­ing extrem­ist inter­ests. . . . Nev­er­the­less, with Norquist work­ing behind the scenes, Bush aggres­sive­ly pur­sued the Islamists in hopes of win­ning their endorse­ments. In appear­ances on TV, Bush and fel­low cam­paign staffers referred not just to church­es and syn­a­gogues as places of wor­ship, but to mosques as well. Again and again, Gov­er­nor Bush sought out meet­ings with Mus­lim leaders—often with­out look­ing into their back­grounds. He invit­ed the founder of the Amer­i­can Mus­lim Coun­cil, Abdu­rah­man Alam­ou­di, to the gov­er­nor’s man­sion in Austin. In the mid-1990’s, Alam­ou­di had played an impor­tant role in recruit­ing as many as a hun­dred ‘Islam­ic lay lead­ers’ for the U.S. mil­i­tary. The Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed that he had arranged for ‘an arm of the Sau­di gov­ern­ment’ called the Insti­tute of Islam­ic and Ara­bic Sci­ences to train ‘sol­diers and civil­ians to pro­vide spir­i­tu­al guid­ance when paid Mus­lim chap­lains aren’t avail­able.’ The Jour­nal added that there were indi­ca­tions that there were indi­ca­tions that ‘the school . . . dis­sem­i­nates the intol­er­ant and anti-West­ern strain of Islam espoused by the [Sau­di] king­dom’s reli­gious estab­lish­ment.’ A self-pro­claimed sup­port­er of Hamas and Hezbol­lah, Alam­ou­di report­ed­ly attend­ed a ter­ror­ist sum­mit in Beirut lat­er in 2000 with lead­ers of Hamas, Hezbol­lah, and Al Qae­da. But such a mil­i­tant back­ground did not keep Alam­ou­di away from Norquist and Bush. Accord­ing to an arti­cle by Frank Gaffney, Alam­ou­di wrote two checks for $10,000 each, one an appar­ent loan, to help found Norquist’s Islam­ic Insti­tute.”

(House of Bush/House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scrib­n­er [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0–7432-5337‑X; pp. 205–206.) [4]

16. “On March 12, 2000, Bush and his wife, Lau­ra, met with more Mus­lim lead­ers at a local mosque in Tam­pa, Flori­da. Among them was Sami Al-Ari­an, a Kuwaiti-born Pales­tin­ian who was an asso­ciate pro­fes­sor of engi­neer­ing at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da. . . . But Al-Ari­an had unusu­al cre­den­tials for a Bush cam­paign­er. Since 1995, as the founder and chair­man of the board of World and Islam enter­prise (WISE), a Mus­lim think tank, Al-Ari­an had been under inves­ti­ga­tion by the FBI for his asso­ci­a­tions with Islam­ic Jihad, the Pales­tin­ian ter­ror­ist group. Al-Ari­an brought in Ramadan Abdul­lah Shal­lah, the num­ber-two leader in Islam­ic Jihad, to be the direc­tor of WISE. A strong advo­cate of sui­cide bomb­ings against Israel, Shal­lah was alleged­ly respon­si­ble for killing scores of Israelis in such attacks.” (Ibid.; pp. 206–207.)

17. “Al-Ari­an also brought to Tam­pa as a guest speak­er for WISE none oth­er than Has­san Tura­bi, the pow­er­ful Islam­ic ruler of Sudan who had wel­comed Osama bin Laden and helped nur­ture al Qae­da in the ear­ly nineties. . . .Nor were those Al-Ari­an’s only ties to ter­ror­ists Accord­ing to Amer­i­can Jihad [7] by Steven Emer­son, in may 1998 a WISE board mem­ber named Tarik Ham­di per­son­al­ly trav­eled to Afghanistan to deliv­er a satel­lite tele­phone and bat­tery to Osama bin Laden. In addi­tion, Newsweek report­ed that Al-Ari­an had ties to the 1993 attack on the World Trade Cen­ter. Among his claims to fame, the mag­a­zine said, Al-Ari­an had ‘made many phone calls to two New York-area Arabs who fig­ured in the World Trade Cen­ter bomb­ing inves­ti­ga­tion.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 207.)

18. “There were also Al-Ari­an’s own state­ments. In 1998, he appeared as a guest speak­er before the Amer­i­can Mus­lim Coun­cil. Accord­ing to con­ser­v­a­tive author Ken­neth Tim­mer­man, Al-Ari­an referred to Jews as ‘mon­keys and pigs’ and added, ‘Jihad is our path. Vic­to­ry to Islam. Death to Israel. Rev­o­lu­tion! Rev­o­lu­tion! Until vic­to­ry! Rolling, rolling to Jerusalem!’ That speech was part of a dossier com­piled on al-Ari­an by fed­er­al agents who have had him under sur­veil­lance for many years because of sus­pect­ed ties to ter­ror­ist orga­ni­za­tions. In a video­tape in that file, al-Ari­an was more explic­it. When he appeared at a fund-rais­ing event, Tim­mer­man says, he’ begged for $500 to kill a Jew.’ ” (Idem.)

19. “Al-Ari­an would be arrest­ed in Flori­da in Feb­ru­ary 2003 on dozens of charges, among them con­spir­a­cy to finance ter­ror­ist attacks that killed more than one hun­dred people—including two Amer­i­cans. The indict­ment alleged that ‘he direct­ed the audit of all mon­eys and prop­er­ty of the PIJ [Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad] through­out the world and was the leader of the PIJ in the Unit­ed States.’ The charges refer to the Islam­ic Jihad as ‘a crim­i­nal orga­ni­za­tion whose mem­bers and asso­ciates engaged in acts of vio­lence includ­ing mur­der, extor­tion, mon­ey laun­der­ing, fraud, and mis­use of visas, and oper­at­ed world­wide includ­ing in the Mid­dle Dis­trict of Flori­da.’ Al-Ari­an was still fac­ing pros­e­cu­tion in Decem­ber 2003.” (Ibid.; p. 208.)

20. Note that Harken direc­tor and polit­i­cal ally of George Bush Sr. and George Bush Jr. Talat Oth­man gave a Mus­lim bene­dic­tion at the Repub­li­can con­ven­tion. Be sure to review the dis­cus­sion of Oth­man above, and note Oth­man’s role in inter­ced­ing with then Trea­sury Sec­re­tary Paul O’Neill on behalf of the tar­gets of the 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids. ” . . . ‘The Al-Ari­an case was not a soli­tary lapse. . . . That out­reach cam­paign opened rela­tion­ships between the Bush cam­paign and some very dis­turb­ing per­sons in the Mus­lim-Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ty.’ Nev­er­the­less, Norquist con­tin­ued to build a coali­tion of Islamist groups to sup­port Bush. On July 31, 2000, the Repub­li­can Nation­al Con­ven­tion opened in Philadel­phia with a prayer by a Mus­lim, Talat Oth­man, in which Oth­man offered a duaa, a Mus­lim bene­dic­tion. It was the first time a Mus­lim had addressed any major U.S. polit­i­cal gath­er­ing. A third-gen­er­a­tion Amer­i­can and a busi­ness­man from Chica­go of Mus­lim-Arab descent, Oth­man was chair­man of the Islam­ic Insti­tute. He had also been the board mem­ber of Harken Ener­gy rep­re­sent­ing the inter­ests of Abdul­lah Taha Bakhsh, the Sau­di investor who had helped Bush make his for­tune by bail­ing out Harken in the late eight­ies. [Empha­sis added] When the con­ven­tion end­ed on August 3, after George W. Bush had for­mal­ly been nom­i­nat­ed for pres­i­dent, between his fam­i­ly’s extend­ed per­son­al and finan­cial ties to the House of Saud and his cam­paign’s ties to Islamists, it could be said that he was tru­ly the Ara­bi­an Can­di­date. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 208–209.)

21. Norquist’s Islam­ic Insti­tute sig­nif­i­cant­ly over­lapped indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions tar­get­ed in the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. A sum­ma­ry account of those raids and the inves­ti­ga­tion into the SAAR foun­da­tion and the Safa trust fol­lows: ” . . . In the ear­ly morn­ing hours of Wednes­day, March 20, 2002, 150 fed­er­al agents—many with their guns drawn—raided four­teen offices and homes in the sub­urbs of Wash­ing­ton, D.C. FBI and Cus­toms agents loaded sev­en pan­el trucks with more than five hun­dred box­es of doc­u­ments, com­put­ers, and finan­cial records of more than one hun­dred char­i­ties, think tanks, and busi­ness­es affil­i­at­ed with the Hern­don, Virginia—based SAAR Foun­da­tion. Most of the inter­re­lat­ed busi­ness­es and char­i­ties were run out of a sin­gle office at 555 Grove Street, a brown brick and glass three-sto­ry office com­plex on a qui­et street.”
(Blood from Stones: The Secret Finan­cial Net­work of Ter­ror; by Dou­glas Farah; Broad­way Books [HC] {sub­sidiary of Ran­dom House}; Copy­right 2004 by Dou­glas Farah; ISBN 0–7679-15262–3; p. 152.) [8]

22. “The SAAR Foun­da­tion, the back­bone of the clus­ter, takes its name from Sulaiman Abdul Aziz al Rajhi, head of one of Sau­di Ara­bi­a’s wealth­i­est fam­i­lies, who fun­neled mil­lions of dol­lars through the clus­ter of busi­ness­es and char­i­ties. The al Rajhi name was on the Gold­en Chain list of ear­ly al Qae­da sup­port­ers that was found in the Benev­o­lence files in Sara­je­vo.” (Ibid.; pp. 152–153.)

23. “The SAAR Foun­da­tion was incor­po­rat­ed in Hern­don, Vir­ginia, on July 29, 1983, and for­mal­ly dis­solved on Decem­ber 28, 2000. How­ev­er, many of the foun­da­tion’s func­tions were tak­en over by the Safa Trust, an orga­ni­za­tion reg­is­tered at the same address and run by sev­er­al of the same board mem­bers. Law enforce­ment offi­cials dubbed the maze of the over­lap­ping com­pa­nies, with shared direc­tors, the Safa Group. The groups often financed each oth­er, send­ing the mon­ey in cir­cles. The scores of Safa orga­ni­za­tions are con­trolled by about fif­teen Mid­dle East­ern and Pak­istani men who serve with each oth­er on a host of insti­tu­tion­al boards. Four senior lead­ers of the net­work are Iraqis who had lived in Sau­di Ara­bia, and have been mem­bers of the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood.” (Ibid.; p. 153.)

24. Note the role of Yaqub Mirza in the gen­e­sis of the orga­ni­za­tions asso­ci­at­ed with SAAR and Safa Trust. “In the Unit­ed States, the men used Sau­di mon­ey to launch some of the nation’s lead­ing Mus­lim orga­ni­za­tions. In 1983, with mon­ey from the al Rajhi fam­i­ly, the SAAR Foun­da­tion was born. The direc­tor was Yaqub Mirza, a Pak­istani native with a Ph.D. in physics from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Texas. Oth­er groups were formed short­ly after­ward. Five of the top Safa exec­u­tives live in spa­cious homes on adjoin­ing lots in Safa Court in Hern­don, a twen­ty-two-acre par­cel of land bought by one of the SAAR-affil­i­at­ed firms in 1987.” (Idem.)

25. “In time, the Safa net­work owned or invest­ed in scores of busi­ness­es world­wide: dairy farms in Zim­bab­we; schools in Ivory Coast; a huge poul­try busi­ness in the state of Geor­gia; an Islam­ic mutu­al fund in Wash­ing­ton state; an invest­ment com­pa­ny in Malaysia; shell com­pa­nies in Pana­ma; and com­mer­cial apple orchards in Chile. By the late 1980’s, the SAAR Foun­da­tion had become one of the Wash­ing­ton, D.C., region’s biggest land­lords. ‘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.’ At the same time, the lead­ers of the SAAR Foun­da­tion incor­po­rat­ed and sat on the boards of char­i­ties and non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions. Many were branch­es of Sau­di char­i­ties that oper­ate world­wide. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 153–154.)

26. The pro­gram notes the sig­nif­i­cant over­laps between the SAAR net­work and the Al Taqwa net­work. ” . . . Oper­a­tion Green Quest was launched in Octo­ber 2001 as part of the Cus­toms Ser­vice ini­tia­tive to track bin Laden’s finan­cial empire. In a small, win­dow­less con­fer­ence room Green Quest agents chart­ed the Byzan­tine rela­tion­ships among the more than one hun­dred Safa net­work enti­ties, a spi­der­web of over­lap­ping names and orga­ni­za­tions. Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tors also chart­ed the rela­tion­ship among the Safa net­work enti­ties and the Mus­lim Broth­er­hood through the Al Taqwa Man­age­ment empire of Yousef Nada. U.S. offi­cials said they had tracked about $20 mil­lion from Safa enti­ties flow­ing through Nada’s Bank al Taqwa, but said the total could be much high­er.” (Ibid.; pp. 154–155.)

27. “The ties between Nada and Safa lead­ers were many and long-stand­ing, as were their ties to oth­er Broth­er­hood lead­ers. Two mem­bers of the Safa Group helped set up Bank al Taqwa in the Bahamas and sev­er­al Safa lead­ers loaned Nada mon­ey. In 1976, two oth­er men who lat­er became promi­nent in the Safa Group found­ed Nada Inter­na­tion­al, a Broth­er­hood bank in Liecht­en­stein. For a time, Sulaiman Abdul al Rajhi, the SAAR Foun­da­tion founder, worked for Nada at that bank. Nada Inter­na­tion­al was des­ig­nat­ed a ter­ror­ist financier by the Trea­sury Depart­ment after 9/11. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 155.)

28. Do not Fail to take note of the role in the SAAR/Safa Trust milieu of Cherif Sed­ky, the above-men­tioned lawyer for Khalid bin Mah­fouz. The milieu tar­get­ed by the 3/20/2002 Green Quest raids is the BCCI/Harken milieu. It should not be sur­pris­ing, there­fore, to see the FBI, under Mueller, cov­er­ing up Oper­a­tion Green Quest. ” . . . SAAR lawyers said the $1.8 bil­lion was report­ed because of a cler­i­cal error, despite the fact that the ten-dig­it num­ber, $1,783,545,883, was repeat­ed at least sev­en times on the form. Cherif Sed­ky, the foun­da­tion’s trea­sur­er, said that he ‘did not recall’ that amount of mon­ey flow­ing through the com­pa­ny. . . . There is anoth­er thread in the Safa net­work that has drawn scruti­ny from fed­er­al inves­ti­ga­tors, For the last five years of its exis­tence, the trea­sur­er of the SAAR Foun­da­tion, the group’s cen­tral enti­ty, was Cherif Sed­ky, an Amer­i­can lawyer rep­re­sent­ing the al Rajhi fam­i­ly. Sed­ky is also the rep­re­sen­ta­tive and busi­ness part­ner of Khalid bin Mah­fouz, one of the wealth­i­est men in the world and long­time banker to the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 156.)

29. The Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids were trig­gered by a raid on the afore­men­tioned Sami al-Ari­an, the sup­port­er of Bush and asso­ciate of Grover Norquist. ” . . . The Safa Group might have escaped scruti­ny in 2001, if not for a raid that occurred sev­en years ear­li­er, lead­ing to anoth­er thread of inves­ti­ga­tion. In 1995, the FBI raid­ed the home and offices of Sami al-Ari­an, a Kuwaiti-Pales­tin­ian com­put­er sci­ence pro­fes­sor at the Uni­ver­si­ty of South Flori­da in Tam­pa. The feds sus­pect­ed al-Ari­an, a slight, beard­ed, and bald­ing man, was secret­ly fun­nel­ing mon­ey to ter­ror­ists. They believed he was a senior mem­ber of the Pales­tin­ian Islam­ic Jihad, a group that unleash­es sui­cide bombers against Israelis.” (Ibid.; p. 158.)

30. “Al-Ari­an was a vocal activist on Pales­tin­ian caus­es, and he fre­quent­ly spoke at Islam­ic con­fer­ences. At one 1991 con­fer­ence, al-Ari­an, dressed in the flow­ing robes of an imam, was video­taped shout­ing in Ara­bic ‘Let us Damn Amer­i­ca, let us damn Israel. Let us damn their allies until death.’ In the ear­ly 1990s, al-Ari­an set up orga­ni­za­tions to raise mon­ey for orphans and wid­ows and the study of Islam. He used the orga­ni­za­tions to spon­sor Mus­lim con­fer­ences, includ­ing one that fea­tured Omar Abdul Rah­man, the blind Sheik who insti­gat­ed the 1993 World Trade Cen­ter attack.” (Idem.)

31. “Al-Ari­an also spon­sored the U.S. visa of Ramadan Abdul­lah Shal­lah, who joined al-Ari­an on the uni­ver­si­ty fac­ul­ty from 1992 to 1994. But Shal­lah sud­den­ly dis­ap­peared in Octo­ber 1995, imme­di­ate­ly fol­low­ing the assas­si­na­tion of PIJ leader Fat’hi Ibrahim Shika­ki. Shal­lah resur­faced a few days lat­er at Shikak­i’s funer­al in Dam­as­cus, where the slain lead­er’s body was tak­en with full mil­i­tary hon­ors. Shal­lah, stand­ing by the cas­ket, had been named Shikak­i’s suc­ces­sor. Al-Ari­an said he was ‘shocked’ at Shal­lah’s ties to PIJ. But the FBI final­ly swooped in.” (Ibid.; pp. 158–159.)

32. “The raid on al-Ari­an led to the Safa Group. The FBI found let­ters doc­u­ment­ing Safa enti­ties’ finan­cial sup­port of al-Ari­an to the tune of tens of thou­sands of dol­lars a year. In a Sep­tem­ber 7, 1993, let­ter, Safa Group lead­ers told one al-Ari­an-led group: ‘We con­sid­er you a part of us and an exten­sion of us and we as a part of you,’ adding that their finan­cial dona­tion of tens of thou­sands of dol­lars was ‘for you as a group, regard­less of the par­ty or façade you use the dona­tion for.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 159.)

33. “But the al-Ari­an and Safa Group inves­ti­ga­tions lan­guished. In the 2000 elec­tions al-Ari­an sup­port­ed George W. Bush, urg­ing Mus­lims to vote Repub­li­can as the best hope of end­ing dis­crim­i­na­tion against Arab-Amer­i­cans. Al-Ari­an and his fam­i­ly were pho­tographed with a beam­ing Bush and his wife, Lau­ra, dur­ing a Flori­da cam­paign stop. Al-Ari­an liked to boast that he had deliv­ered ‘con­sid­er­ably more’ than the 537 votes that gave Bush his vic­to­ry in Flori­da and allowed him to cap­ture the White House. On June 20, 2001, al-Ari­an was invit­ed to the White House as part of a large del­e­ga­tion of Mus­lims to be briefed by pres­i­den­tial advis­er Karl Rove.” (Idem.)

34. Bush asso­ciate Talat Oth­man, a direc­tor of Norquist’s Islam­ic Insti­tute, went to bat on behalf of the tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 2002. “In 2002, dur­ing the pres­i­den­cy of George W. Bush, Oth­man again won access to the White House and met with Sec­re­tary of the Trea­sury Paul O’Neill to dis­cuss U.S. gov­ern­ment raids on Mus­lim char­i­ties that were alleged­ly fund­ing ter­ror.”
(House of Bush/House of Saud; p. 125.) [4]

35. Is it a “coin­ci­dence” that fed­er­al employ­ees in Tam­pa “acci­den­tal­ly” destroyed key paper­work in the al-Ari­an case?! ” . . . In Decem­ber 2003, clerks at a fed­er­al cour­t­house in Tam­pa acci­den­tal­ly destroyed search war­rants in the Al-Ari­an case. The doc­u­ments con­tained affi­davits from fed­er­al agents that sup­port­ed 1995 search­es of Al-Ari­an’s home and offices and were among thou­sands of doc­u­ments shred­ded some­time between 1998 and 2002. As this book went to press, there were seri­ous ques­tions as to whether the destruc­tion of the doc­u­ments might affect his pros­e­cu­tion.” (Ibid.; p. 208.)

36. Review­ing infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in FTR#462 [9], the pro­gram high­lights the FBI’s attempts at monop­o­liz­ing the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tion. Oth­er agen­cies allege that the bureau is active­ly sub­vert­ing their efforts at pur­su­ing the case. ” . . . But as the Green Quest team made head­lines, its inves­ti­ga­tions trig­gered a bit­ter dis­pute with­in the gov­ern­ment. Inter­nal­ly, FBI offi­cials have derid­ed Green Quest agents as a bunch of ‘cow­boys’ whose actions have under­mined more impor­tant, long-range FBI inves­ti­ga­tions into ter­ror­ist financ­ing. Green Quest sources, in turn, accuse the FBI of jeal­ousy. Now that the Cus­toms-led Green Quest oper­a­tion has been fold­ed into the new Home­land Secu­ri­ty Depart­ment, Newsweek has learned, t

he FBI and its par­ent agency, the Jus­tice Depart­ment, have demand­ed that the White House instead give the FBI total con­trol over Green Quest.”
(“Whose War on Ter­ror?”; Newsweek; 12/10/2003; p. 1.) [10]

37. “One senior law-enforce­ment offi­cial called the lack of coor­di­na­tion between the FBI and Green Quest ‘an intol­er­a­ble sit­u­a­tion’ and not­ed that the bureau–not Home­land Security—has been for­mal­ly des­ig­nat­ed by Pres­i­dent Bush as the ‘lead agency’ for ter­ror­ism inves­ti­ga­tions. ‘You can’t have two lead agen­cies’ con­duct­ing ter­ror cas­es, the offi­cial said.” (Idem.)

38. “The FBI-Jus­tice move, pushed by DOJ crim­i­nal Divi­sion chief Michael Chertoff and Deputy Attor­ney Gen­er­al Lar­ry Thomp­son, has enraged Home­land Secu­ri­ty offi­cials, how­ev­er. They accuse the bureau of sab­o­tag­ing Green Quest investigations—by fail­ing to turn over crit­i­cal infor­ma­tion to their agents—and try­ing to obscure a decade­long record of lethar­gy in which FBI offices failed to aggres­sive­ly pur­sue ter­ror-finance cas­es.” (Idem.)

39. “ ‘They [The FBI] won’t share any­thing with us,’ said a Home­land Secu­ri­ty offi­cial. ‘Then they go to the White House and they accuse us of not shar­ing . . . If they can’t take it over, they want to kill it.’ . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

40. Note that Yaqub Mirza, who set up the orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed in the inves­ti­ga­tions into SAAR and Safa Trust, is alleged to have influ­ence high inside the FBI. Mirza has not been charged by the Oper­a­tion Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tors. ” . . . Fur­ther­more, the FBI was aware that Ptech pro­vid­ed com­put­er soft­ware for sev­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing the FBI itself, the FAA, the U.S. Trea­sury, the Depart­ment of Defense, the IRS, and the White House, prov­ing a vis­i­ble and viable threat to nation­al secu­ri­ty. The FBI ignored the repeat­ed requests of con­cerned employ­ees. Fright­en­ing­ly, when an employ­ee told the Pres­i­dent of Ptech he felt he had to con­tact the FBI regard­ing Qadi’s involve­ment in the com­pa­ny, the pres­i­dent alleged­ly told him not to wor­ry because Yaqub Mirza, who was on the board of direc­tors of the com­pa­ny and was him­self a tar­get of a ter­ror­ist financ­ing raid in March 2002, had con­tacts high with­in the FBI. [Empha­sis added.]”
(“Per­ilous Pow­er Play: FBI vs. Home­land Secu­ri­ty” by Rita Katz & Josh Devon; Nation­al Review; 5/27/2003; p. 2) [11]

41. “Per­haps the FBI’s biggest blun­der was in ignor­ing the enor­mous alleged ter­ror­ist finan­cial net­work of com­pa­nies and non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions most­ly in Hern­don, Vir­ginia, named by inves­ti­ga­tors as the ‘SAAR Net­work.’ The FBI had been aware that the SAAR Net­work was fun­nel­ing mon­ey to al-Ari­an. The FBI chose to ignore the case for unknown rea­sons, though some have spec­u­lat­ed it was due to the SAAR Net­work’s close asso­ci­a­tion to wealthy Saud­is who fund­ed the net­work.” (Idem.)

42. “It was not until Oper­a­tion Green Quest, a joint task force head­ed by U.S. Cus­toms which sought to dis­rupt ter­ror­ist financ­ing, picked up the scent of the SAAR Net­work that a raid occurred. In March, 2002, Green Quest, in a vic­to­ry for Amer­i­cans every­where, raid­ed the SAAR Net­work in 15 loca­tions in the largest ter­ror­ist finan­cial bust in U.S. his­to­ry. . . .” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

43. ” . . . Now, the FBI is attempt­ing to wrest the SAAR Net­work inves­ti­ga­tion from Green Quest and take all the cred­it for Green Quest’s ded­i­ca­tion and hard work. The agree­ment between Ashcroft and Ridge is a crush­ing blow to Green Quest, as it effec­tive­ly dis­solves the out­stand­ing task force. Accord­ing to the mem­o­ran­dum, ‘The sec­re­tary of [Home­land Secu­ri­ty] agrees that no lat­er than June 30, 2003, Oper­a­tion Green Quest (OGQ) will no longer exist as a pro­gram name.’ [Empha­sis added].” (Ibid.; p. 3.)