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

For The Record  

FTR #603 I Told You So Part III Update on the Subversion of Operation Green Quest

Recorded July 8, 2007
MP3: Side 1 | Side 2

Illustrating investigative and historical methodology, this program excerpts several of Mr. Emory’s broadcasts recorded from 2001 to 2004. The excerpts document the suppression of the 9/11 money trail. Beginning with FTR#310, the program highlights the consequences of the appointment of Robert Mueller as FBI director. In that program, Mr. Emory suggested that Mueller’s appointment may have been realized in order to cover up the BCCI milieu. If properly investigated, the BCCI case would have revealed the elder George Bush’s involvement with drug and weapons trafficking and the younger George Bush’s business connections to the family of Osama bin Laden. In the Justice Department of the elder Bush, Mueller proved less than vigorous in pursuing the investigation. In the spring of 2002, Mr. Emory recorded FTR#356, which noted the profound links between the Bush administration, the GOP hierarchy and the individuals and institutions busted in the 3/20/2002 Operation Green Quest raids on suspected terrorist funding sources. Bush associate Talat Othman interceded with then Treasury Secretary O’Neill on behalf of the targets of the raid. (Othman himself is a protégé of the BCCI milieu.) Much of this broadcast consists of excerpts from subsequent For The Record broadcasts chronicling the FBI and Justice Department obstruction of Operation Green Quest, just as Mr. Emory foreshadowed in FTR#310. Note: this material is presented to illustrate investigative methodology, as well as critical information linking the 9/11 money trail to associates of the Bush administration. It is not presented as an exercise in conceit or puffery.

Program Highlights Include: The fact that Mr. Emory’s prediction about Mueller’s appointment aired right across the river from the World Trade Center the night before the attacks; discussion of the frustration of John O’Neill’s investigation of the attack on the U.S.S. Cole; O’Neill’s death the night after the airing of FTR#310 on WFMU; Bush associate Talat Othman’s links to GOP bigwig Grover Norquist and his Islamic Institute; the FBI and CIA’s surveillance and harassment of Rita Katz and other Green Quest investigators; the continuing cover-up of the 9/11 money trail by elements of the Department of Homeland Security; the Bush administration’s early attempts at frustrating investigations of Saudi financing of terrorism.

1. The program begins by reviewing information from FTR#310. Recorded in early July of 2001, the program was broadcast on Monday, 9/10/2001 at 6pm on WFMU-FM, right across the river from what was to become Ground Zero the next day. Note that John O’Neill died in the attacks on 9/11. Mr. Emory’s broadcast foreshadowed many aspects of the 9/11 investigation. In the early summer of 2001, George W. 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.)

2. 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 and the elder Bush was principally involved in the Iran-Contra imbroglio. Full disclosure concerning the BCCI case could lead 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. (See also: FTR #’s 182, 186, 248, 256, 277, 292, 308, 315.) Bin Laden’s forces have formally taken credit for bombing the U.S.S. Cole during the campaign.
(“Islamic Militants Brag They Bombed Warship Cole” by Diana Elias [AP]; San Francisco Chronicle; 6/20/2001; p. A8.) Mr. Emory has speculated (here and here) that the Cole bombing may have been executed for the benefit of the Bush campaign.

3. In that context, the broadcast suggests the possibility that some of the difficulties that the FBI (among other institutions) has encountered in connection with the investigation of the Cole bombing may result from obstruction by the Bush camp. An investigation of the Saudi backers of Osama bin Laden leads to individuals and institutions connected to the GOP and powerful American-based transnational corporations.
(“U.S. Faces Hurdles in Approach to USS Cole Probe” by David S. Cloud and Neil King, Jr.; Wall Street Journal; 7/6/2001; p. A10.)

4. Next, the program highlights information originally presented in FTR#356, recorded in April of 2002. On April 4 of 2002, Treasury Secretary O’Neill met with powerful Islamist Republicans, whose spheres of interest overlap those of the institutions and individuals targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids on March 20, 2002.
(“O’Neill Met Muslim Activists Tied to Charities” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Journal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.)

5. 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. As Mr. Emory foreshadowed in FTR#310, when the money trail to 9/11 was investigated, it revealed links between the terror financing structure and the milieu of the Bush administration. Othman is deeply involved with the BCCI milieu. Again, for more about the Othman/BCCI milieu, see FTR#356 (For more about the Bush/Othman relationship and the GOP/Islamist connection, see—among programs—FTRs 356, 368, 447, 454, 462, 464, 467, 515.) “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.)

6. Othman has links to Gaith Pharoan of the BCCI. “Sheikh Abdullah Bakhsh, in turn, was a business associate of BCCI front man Gaith Pharoan; he bought a chunk of Harken’s stock and placed his representative, Talat Othman, on Harken Energy’s board of directors.” (“Bush Family Value$: The Bush Clan’s Family Business” by Stephen Pizzo; Mother Jones; September/October 1992; accessed at www.motherjones.com/news_wire/bushboys.html .)

7. As Mr. Emory hypothesized in FTR#353, the Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Republican Party’s ethnic outreach program. Again, one should note that these elements are directly connected to Al Qaeda and exemplify the Saudi/petroleum/GOP/Bush structural economic and political relationships at the core of the corruption of investigations into Al Qaeda and 9/11. “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.)

8. 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.)

9. 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. [Emphasis added.]” (Idem.)

10. 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.)

11. 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. [Emphasis added.]” (“Funds Under Terror Probe Flowed From Offshore” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Journal; 3/22/2002; p. A4.)

12. Reviewing information from FTR#343, we note that 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. [Emphasis added.] 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.)

13. Next, the program reviews information first presented in FTR#432 [5/30/04], and analyzed at greater length in 454 [4/4/04]. This part of the broadcast highlights the administration’s frustration of Operation Green Quest–the law enforcement/intelligence community operation aimed at interdicting funding for Islamist terrorists, including Al Qaeda. 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.)

14. Among the many concrete efforts by the Bush administration on behalf of Saudi-related elements implicated in Al Qaeda activities was the administration’s redaction of 28 pages of a congressional report on 9/11. Those pages related to Saudi charities and individuals believed to be financing Al Qaeda and other terrorist organizations. “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.)

15. ” . . . 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.)

16. 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—FTRs 433, 435.) 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. This has largely neutralized the Operation Green Quest investigation. (For more about this, see—among other programs—FTRs 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. As foreshadowed by Mr. Emory, Mueller and his bureau have been less than vigorous in their investigation of the financial trail to the 9/11 attacks, as well. “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.)

17. In the context of the frustration of Operation Green Quest, the program notes again the connections between the institutions and individuals targeted in the 3/20/2002 raids and the GOP. ” . . . 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.)

18. As discussed above, Talat Othman (a close associate of Both Georges Bush) interceded on behalf of the targets of Operation Green Quest. “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.)

19. “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, including 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.)

20. Recapping information presented in FTRs 425, 569 (among other programs), the broadcast notes how the FBI and CIA turned on the investigators of Operation Green Quest, including investigator Rita Katz, the author of Terrorist Hunter. Rita’s associates in Green Quest were investigated and harassed by the FBI. In FTR#310 (recorded in July of 2001) Mr. Emory hypothesized that Robert Mueller was appointed head of the FBI in order to safeguard the Bush administration’s links with the milieu of the BCCI and George W. Bush’s business links to the Bin Laden family. ” . . . For two months after the raids I didn’t hear a word from Green Quest. Then one day Mark suddenly called and asked to see me. ‘Why?’ I said cynically. ‘Your investigation is over. You don’t need me anymore.’ He understood. ‘Please don’t be cross,’ he said. ‘I couldn’t talk to you. I too was under investigation. I was being followed, my phones were tapped, and I was questioned. I was miserable. They gave me a very hard time. Please don’t give any more grief. I don’t deserve it.’ What was this, I thought, another rerun of the story with John Canfield? What’s wrong with these people who keep investigating the investigators? ‘If you don’t believe me,’ he continued, ‘talk to the U.S. attorney you worked with. He’ll tell you. He and everyone else on the team were under investigation.’ Mark, I knew, was not a guy to make something like that up. But I was curious, and I called the U.S. attorney to get his take. I didn’t press him too, much, because the whole thing was—and probably still is—under investigation. But he did verify everything Mark had told me. Practically everyone involved with the SAAR investigation had been under surveillance. The FBI was among the agencies conducting that investigation.” (Terrorist Hunter by “Anonymous” [Rita Katz]; CCC [imprint of Harper Collins]; Copyright 2003 by Harper Collins [HC]; ISBN 0-06-052819-2; p. 327.)

21. Note that the FBI gave more documents to Zacarias Moussaoui for his defense than to the Green Quest investigators. “No wonder! The FBI had long set its sights on this investigation, which became so major and so famous. The Bureau had already been meddling in the SAAR investigation in a manner less than gentlemanly; after the raids, people who had information about the SAAR network called to offer their tips. Unaware of who was in charge of the investigation, some of those people called and gave their tips to the FBI. The FBI, instead of forwarding the tips to the people in charge—Green Quest—kept the leads to themselves and initiated their own probes into those leads, sharing neither with Customs. Moreover, at some point, the two FBI agents in Virginia stopped helping Green Quest abruptly and completely. It was obvious that they’d been instructed to do that. The FBI continues to refuse to give Green Quest documents needed for its investigation. The FBI treats Green Quest worse than it does the enemy; Zacarias Moussaoui received from the FBI more documents pertaining to his investigation—including a good number of classified documents—than did Green Quest! And of course the ultimate scandal is that all this is taking place after 9-11. . . .” (Idem.)

22. The inconvenient GOP ethnic/Green Quest connection cited in paragraph #5 may well explain the FBI’s and CIA’s hostile interest in the investigators of Operation Green Quest. “Yet the FBI wasn’t the worst part in that sticky affair. The CIA was. 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? . Now—I was being watched 24/7. It’s a terrible sensation to know that you have no privacy. . . . and no security. That strange clicking of the phones that wasn’t there before. . . the oh-so-crudely opened mail at home in the office. . .and the same man I spied in my neighborhood supermarket, who was also on the train I took to Washington a week ago. . .Life can be miserable when you know that someone’s always breathing down your neck.” (Ibid.; pp. 328-329.)

23. “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.)

24. “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.)

25. The program concludes with review of information from FTR#462 [5/30/04]. Supplementing previous discussion of the FBI’s failure to cooperate with other agencies in pursuing Operation Green Quest (FTRs 432, 433), the program notes that the effort has largely been frustrated, courtesy of the Bureau. “While the U.S. military wages war in Iraq, the FBI and the new Department of Homeland Security are fighting their own fierce battle—against each other. The causus belli of this conflict is Operation Green Quest—the high-profile federal task force set up to target the financiers of Al Qaeda and other international terrorist groups. Ever since Green Quest was created by former U.S. Customs chief Robert Bonner just after the September 11 terror attacks, Green Quest agents have conducted some of the Bush administration’s best-publicized and most controversial terrorist-finance cases—including a series of raids against the offices of Islamic charities in the Washington area last year that drew strong protests from American Muslim and civil-rights groups. [These were the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002—D.E.]” (“Whose War on Terror?”; Newsweek; 12/10/2003; p. 1; accessed at: http://msnbc.msn.com/id/3068377/ .)

26. “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, the FBI and its parent agency, the Justice Department, have demanded that the White House instead give the FBI total control over Green Quest. 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.)

27. Green Quest investigators from the Department of Homeland Security charge that the FBI is deliberately sabotaging their investigations. “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 decades long record of lethargy in which FBI offices failed to aggressively pursue terror-finance cases.” (Idem.)

28. ” ‘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.’ If nothing else, the battle over Green Quest illustrates the bureaucratic tensions that still plague the war on terror. The creation of the Homeland Security Department was supposed to put an end to such turf fights. The new department took over a diverse assortment of federal agencies that had various responsibilities for combating terrorism, including the Customs Service, the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the U.S. Border Patrol.” (Ibid.; pp. 1-2.)

29. Among the more alarming details about the Ptech debacle concerns a statement attributed to the president of Ptech. He allegedly told a subordinate that Yaqub Mirza—a member of the board of directors—had connections high up in the FBI! Mirza set up the organizations targeted in the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002! Ptech developed the threat-assessment software architecture for the Air Force, the FAA, NORAD and the Department of Energy (among other agencies). It is Mr. Emory’s belief that the Ptech situation may well have had much to do with the anomalous performance of air-defense units on 9/11. For more about Ptech, see—among other programs—FTRs 462, 464, 467. Note that the FBI dragged its feet in the Ptech investigation and it was the Customs department that ultimately moved on Ptech, despite indications that the company had been financed by people linked to terrorism, Al Qaeda in particular. “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]. After months of the FBI refusing to do anything substantive, it took the efforts of U.S. Customs, now a part of Homeland Security, to raid the business in December 2002 and jumpstart the investigation into the alleged terrorist financial network.” (Idem.)

30. The FBI had previously ignored the organizations set up by Mirza and targeted in the 3/20/2002 Green Quest raids (the SAAR network). “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 of the SAAR Network was funneling money to [Sami] 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.)

31. “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.)

32. More about the frustration of Operation Green Quest: ” . . . 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.)

33. “Green Quest, the most successful antiterrorist-financing task squad in history of the United States, is being disbanded because of the FBI’s lust for power and glory. At a time when al Qaeda is resurging, the more agencies we have sharing information and investigating terrorism, the better off this nation will be. Given the FBI’s track record, the bureau should be punished, not rewarded for unjustifiably bullying a new department into giving it more power, especially after FBI Director Robert Mueller admitted the bureau does not have the analytical capability to provide effective counterterrorism. . . .” (Idem.)


No comments for “FTR #603 I Told You So Part III Update on the Subversion of Operation Green Quest”

Post a comment