MP3: Side 1 | Side 2
Reviewing information from FTR #663, the program begins with review of Dick Cheney’s ominous prediction (foreshadowing?) of a terrorist attack on the United States with WMD’s–this (according to Cheney) because of the Obama administration’s abandonment of W’s “anti” terror policies. Successfully leaving office without any serious investigation of the GOP/Muslim Brotherhood/al Qaeda political nexus, the Bush/Cheney camp has left the incoming Obama administration to deal with those very forces.
Comprising the bulk of the first side, the program reviews a very important article indicating that some of those same GOP-connected Muslim Brotherhood elements are the so-called “moderates” reaching out to Obama. Headed by Abubaker Ahmed al-Shingieti (aide to indicted war criminal Omar al-Bashir), the AMCE outreach group features Jamal al-Barzinji and Yaqub Mirza, two of the key figures in the SAAR network and the milieu targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. (The only government presently in power controlled by the Muslim Brotherhood, the murderous Sudanese regime, is perpetrating genocide for the second time in a decade, giving the lie to those who portray the Brotherhood as a “moderate” force.)
The balance of the program highlights intelligence official Dennis Blair‘s stunning appointment of Charles W. Freeman to a key intelligence post in the Obama administration. George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, Freeman is inextricably tied to that benighted country, as well as the al-Taqwa milieu. Freeman heads the Middle East Policy Council, a think tank developed with seed money from Saudi Arabia and featuring many highly dubious figures on its board.
Of the many suspicious and/or malevolent MEPC board members, perhaps the most important is Talat Othman. A protégé of the BCCI milieu, business associate of George Bush, an intimate of (and interlocutor for) the milieu of Youssef Nada and Al Qaeda, as well as a key player in the GOP ethnic outreach organization, MEPC board memeber Talat Othman embodies the overlap of the oil business and the 9/11 Fifth Column. Othman, in turn, is a protégé of Abdullah Bakshs, the U.S. business representative of the Bin Laden family between 1976-1982.
On April 4 (2002), Treasury Secretary O’Neill met with powerful Islamist Republicans whose spheres of interest overlap those of the institutions and individuals targeted by the Treasury Department on the March 20 (2002) counterterror raids. The formidable and Machiavellian Karl Rove and powerful GOP operative Grover Norquist and their Islamic Institute are at the epicenter of this milieu. One of the most important of these interlocutors on behalf of the Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa milieu was Othman. (O’Neill was forced to resign in late 2002, and Operation Green Quest was blunted.)
In addition to Carlyle Group head Frank Carlucci and Othman, other directors of Freeman’s MEPC include Curtis Brand (retired Chairman of ExxonMobil, Saudi Arabia, Inc. and Dr. Fuad A. Ribani, Director, Research and Development of the Saudi Binladin Group.
Arguably the most important and ominous aspect of Freeman’s behavior is the fact that he had contact with, and ran interference for the bin Laden family after 9/11! This is deeply sinister and suggests at least the possibility that Freeman may have been an accessory after the fact in 9/11. The question is–-“What did Charles Freeman know and when did he know it?” In fact the SICO company, run by Yeslam Binladen, is at the epicenter of the investigation into 9/11.
Program Highlights Include: Review of the Operation Green Quest targets and their relationship to elements with which Obama is faced and with which he is being badjacketed; the bizarre and anti-Semitic manifestations of Freeman’s Middle East Policy Council; the MEPC’s publication of the Mearsheimer/Walt paper on the “Israel Lobby;” the fact that Obama’s diplomatic point man for Syria–Frederic C. Hof–also serves on the Middle East Policy Council; the fact that the Obama administration has continued to prosecute the war against Islamic fascism and terror.
1. Reviewing information from FTR #663, the program sets forth Dick Cheney’s ominous prediction (foreshadowing?) of a terrorist attack on the United States with WMD’s–this because (according to Cheney) because of the Obama administration’s abandonment of W’s “anti” terror policies. NOTE: the material in this broadcast must be evaluated in the context of the other three programs about the badjacketing of Obama, as well as the programs dealing with 9/11 and the Bush administration’s response to it.
“In an interview two weeks after leaving office, former Vice President Dick Cheney predicted a ‘high probability’ of a nuclear or biological attack in the next few years and said the Obama administration was approaching a ‘tough, mean, dirty, nasty business’ of keeping the country safe from terrorists too timidly.
Mr. Cheney singled out Mr. Obama’s decision to close the detention facility at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, and to ban coercive interrogation methods as changes in course that could make the country more vulnerable.
He also sought to justify the Bush terrorist surveillance program and the antiterrorism legislation called the USA Patriot Act. . . .”
2. The bulk of the first side of the program consists of review of a very important article indicating that GOP-connected Muslim Brotherhood elements are the so-called “moderates” reaching out to Obama.
“In the 1990s, the extremist Muslim Brotherhood government of Sudan, led by President Omar al-Bashir, was continuing a genocidal jihad against the Christian and animist populations inhabiting the south of the country that killed nearly two million people and forced another four million from their homes. In July 2008, Bashir was indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes related to the regime’s subsequent genocide in Darfur.
As Bashir was waging his holocaust against the Christians during the 1990s, one of his closest advisors and top aides was Abubaker Ahmed al-Shingieti, who from 1993 to 1995 served as spokesman for Bashir’s government (as he was identified in a 1994 New York Times article). According to al-Shingieti’s own published résumé, he later served Bashir as director of public affairs for the presidency from 1995 to 1998, as the genocidal jihad against the Christians was at its height and Sudan was the hub of the international Islamic terror network. As reported by the New York Times, eight individuals charged in the New York landmarks bombing plot in 1993 were traveling on Sudanese passports.
As a result of those arrests, Sudan was added to the U.S. State Department list of state sponsors of terrorism in August 1993. That was not long after al-Shingieti’s boss began sheltering Osama bin Laden, who lived in Khartoum from 1992 to 1996. With the close advisory role that bin Laden had with the Sudanese president and other high-ranking officials, it is highly likely that al-Shingieti would have had regular direct contact with bin Laden, as well as a host of other terrorist leaders who regularly visited Khartoum during al-Shingieti’s tenure.
This is particularly relevant as al-Shingieti will be heading the U.S. Muslim outreach to the Obama administration as the president of American Muslims for Constructive Engagement (AMCE), a collaborative effort by U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood front organizations to infiltrate our federal government. A recent open letter signed by al-Shingieti identifies him as AMCE’s president. The group states its vision as:
The United States Muslim community and the United States government working together constructively in enhancing national security and national interests of the United States of America.
The lead organization in AMCE, the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), which al-Shingieti serves as regional director, is the current focus of a federal grand jury probe into terrorist financing. At least two other AMCE groups, the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), were named by federal prosecutors as unindicted co-conspirators in the recent Holy Land Foundation terrorism finance trial, which resulted in convictions on all 108 counts. And the Muslim American Society (MAS) was identified in federal court briefs by the Department of Justice as ‘the overt arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in America.’. . .”
3. In addition to al-Shingieti, the AMCE features Jamal al-Barzinji and Yaqub Mirza, two of the key figures in the SAAR network and the milieu targeted by the Operation Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002.
” . . . And documents received this past August by the Investigative Project through a Freedom of Information Act request revealed that AMCE steering committee member Jamal al-Barzinji and AMCE advisory council member Yacub Mirza were listed in FBI memos as ‘members and leaders of the Ikhwan’, which is the Arabic term for the Muslim Brotherhood. Department of Homeland Security senior agent David Kane has testified in a federal court affidavit that ‘Barzinji is not only closely associated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad], but also with Hamas.’
A December 2002 Wall Street Journal article relates some additional information about the terrorist connections of AMCE advisory council member Yacub Mirza:
According to court records and Justice Department documents, Mr. Mirza and several associates are suspected of funding the Palestinian Islamic Jihad, which targets Israeli civilians with suicide bombers. U.S. officials privately say Mr. Mirza and his associates also have connections to al-Qaeda and to other entities officially listed by the U.S. as sponsors of terrorism.
Another FBI memo obtained by the Investigative Project states that al-Shingieti’s organization, IIIT, was one of the ‘khwan organizations’ that ‘are involved in organizing political support which involves influencing both public opinion in the United States as well as the United States government.’ This political influence campaign was considered the first phase in a plan ‘to institute the Islamic revolution in the United States,’ according to the FBI document.
It is appropriate to revisit these extensive contacts between AMCE member organizations and officials and the international Muslim Brotherhood network, and even activity by AMCE leaders in support of Islamic terrorist organizations, because another Muslim Brotherhood strategic document entered into evidence by federal prosecutors in the Holy Land Foundation trial revealed that the activity of these organizations in the U.S. is part of a “grand jihad” to destroy the West from within:
The process of settlement is a “civilization-jihadist process” with all the word means. The Ikhwan must understand that their work in America is a kind of grand jihad in eliminating and destroying the Western civilization from within and “sabotaging” its miserable house by their hands and the hands of the believers so that it is eliminated and God’s religion is made victorious over all other religions.
These connections and the Muslim Brotherhood’s stated goal of waging a “grand jihad” inside the U.S. raise particular concerns considering statements reported by the Wall Street Journal made by al-Shingieti’s current boss, Jamal al-Barzinji, at a fall 2001 Organization of Islamic Conference meeting in Qatar, bragging how he and his associates had successfully infiltrated Washington:
At this time, the president and his administration are continually seeking the counsel and input of American Muslim leaders. At no other time has the Muslim community in America been more effective in relation to the processes of American government.
When considering the concerted and extensive effort by the Muslim Brotherhood to infiltrate the U.S. government, we can gain insight into how Abubaker al-Shingieti has transitioned from being a top official in the genocidal Sudanese Muslim Brotherhood regime, to a top official in the U.S.-based Muslim Brotherhood network, to leading the U.S. Muslim community’s outreach to the Obama administration as the head of American Muslims for Constructive Engagement. . . .”
4. The balance of the program highlights intelligence official Dennis Blair’s stunning appointment of Charles W. Freeman to a key intelligence post in the Obama administration. George H.W. Bush’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, Freeman is inextricably tied to that benighted country, as well as the al-Taqwa milieu.
“At the request of House Republicans, ais examining whether the new chairman of an influential U.S. intelligence panel has compromising ties to Saudi Arabia’s government.
At issue is the appointment of Charles Freeman, U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War, to lead the National Intelligence Council. It writes the national intelligence estimates, the best judgments on critical security issues from the 16 intelligence agencies, for the president.
The national intelligence director, Dennis Blair, said through a spokeswoman he believes the inspector general reviewing the matter “will put to rest any questions about Ambassador Freeman’s suitability, character and financial history.”
A dozen House Republicans, including Eric Cantor of Virginia, asked this week for a probe into whether Freeman has personal, financial or contractual links with the Saudi government. . . Freeman until recently was president of the , a Washington think tank. The Republicans claim in their letter the Saudi government funds the organization and therefore paid his $87,000 annual salary.”of Ohio and party whip
5. More about Freeman’s background. Note that the MEPC, which he heads, has strong links to Saudi Arabia.
“During the presidential campaign, a constant refrain of Barack Obama and other Democratic candidates was that the Bush administration had severely politicized intelligence, resulting in such disasters as the war in Iraq.
The irony of course is that, if anything, President Bush badly failed at depoliticizing a CIA that was often hostile to his agenda. Witness the repeated leaks of classified information that undercut his policies. It now appears Mr. Obama has appointed a highly controversial figure to head the National Intelligence Council, which is responsible for producing National Intelligence Estimates. The news Web site Politico.com yesterday reported that it could confirm rumors that a former Ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Charles “Chas” Freeman Jr., has been appointed chairman. (My calls to the White House and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence produced neither confirmation nor denial.)
Without question, Mr. Freeman has a distinguished résumé, having served in a long list of State and Defense Department slots. But also without question, he has distinctive political views and affiliations, some of which are more than eyebrow-raising.
In 1997, Mr. Freeman succeeded George McGovern to become the president of the Middle East Policy Council. The MEPC purports to be a nonpartisan, public-affairs group that ‘strives to ensure that a full range of U.S. interests and views are considered by policy makers’ dealing with the Middle East. In fact, its original name until 1991 was the American-Arab Affairs Council, and it is an influential Washington mouthpiece for Saudi Arabia.
As Mr. Freeman acknowledged in a 2006 interview with an outfit called the Saudi-US Relations Information Service, MEPC owes its endowment to the ‘generosity’ of King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz of Saudi Arabia. Asked in the same interview about his organization’s current mission, Mr. Freeman responded, in a revealing non sequitur, that he was ‘delighted that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has, after a long delay, begun to make serious public relations efforts.’
Among MEPC’s recent activities in the public relations realm, it has published what it calls an ‘unabridged’ version of ‘The Israel Lobby and U.S. Foreign Policy’ by professors John J. Mearsheimer and Stephen M. Walt. This controversial 2006 essay argued that American Jews have a ‘stranglehold’ on the U.S. Congress, which they employ to tilt the U.S. toward Israel at the expense of broader American interests. Mr. Freeman has both endorsed the paper’s thesis and boasted of MEPC’s intrepid stance: ‘No one else in the United States has dared to publish this article, given the political penalties that the Lobby imposes on those who criticize it.’ . . .”
6. A protégé of the BCCI milieu, business associate of George Bush, an intimate of (and interlocutor for) the milieu of Youssef Nada and Al Qaeda, as well as a key player in the GOP ethnic outreach organization, MEPC board memeber Talat Othman embodies the overlap of the oil business and the 9/11 Fifth Column. Othman, in turn, is a protégé of Abdullah Bakshs, the U.S. business representative of the Bin Laden family between 1976-1982. Osama’s brother Salem Bin Laden was represented by another Bush business associate, James R. Bath-himself a representative of the Bin Mahfouz business interests (closely linked to the support network underlying Al Qaeda.)
“His [Bakshs] representative within Harken Energy is not unknown either. Talat Othman, is a member alongside Frank Carlucci of one of America’s most prestigious think tanks, the Middle East Policy Council as well as being a leading Arab-American supporter of the Republican party.”
(Forbidden Truth; Jean-Charles Brisard & Guillaume Dasquie; Copyright 2002 [SC]; Thunder’s Mouth/Nation Books; ISBN 1-56025-414-9; p. 133.)
7. More about the background of former Bin Laden family business agent Bakshs, mentor and protector of MEPC borad member Talat Othman:
“Between 1976 and 1982, Abdullah Taha Bakhshs-an investor in Harken energy, recall-was the representative for the Bin Laden family in the United States. He also represents Khalid bin Mahfouz’s financial interests in the Middle East. What’s more, several sources emphasize the fact that he represents the interests of Khalid Salim bin Mahfouz on the board of directors of Investcorp. In fact, Bin Mahfouz holds a 25 percent stake in Investcorp, thanks to Bakhsh’s services.”
(Ibid.; p. 136.)
8. On April 4 (2002), Treasury Secretary O’Neill met with powerful Islamist Republicans whose spheres of interest overlap those of the institutions and individuals targeted by the Treasury Department on the March 20 counterterror raids. Powerful GOP operative Grover Norquist and his Islamic Institute was at the center of this nexus. (”O’Neill Met Muslim Activists Tied to Charities” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Roger Thurow]; Wall Street Journal; 4/18/2002; p. A4.)
9. One of the most important of these interlocutors on behalf of the Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa milieu was Talat Othman.
“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 [Othman] also serves [with Islamic Institute co-founder Jamal 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.”
10. The Amana organization has numerous areas of overlap with organizations described as being implicated in terrorism and the milieu of Al Qaeda/Al Taqwa.
“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.”
11. Further details have emerged about the links between Othman, Al Taqwa and the GOP/Bush administration. Note that Jamal Barzinji is part of the “moderate” Muslim outreach to the Obama 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.”
12. As seen below, 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.”
13. Highlighting one of the principal focal points of the discussion, the program further delineates major areas of intersection between the labyrinthine network attacked in the 3/20/2002 Operation Green
Quest raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and the Republican Party. A recent Wall Street Journal article described some of the organizations targeted in the raids. Note that Othman associate Yacqub Mirza is–along with Barzinji–one of the “moderates” involved with Muslim outreach to the Obama administration. Barzinji, Othman and Mirza are all part of the milieu targeted by the Operation Green Quest 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 Qaeda terrorist network. . . Two people affiliated with the companies and charities are linked by records to entities already designated as terrorist by the U.S. government. Hisham Al-Talib, who served as an officer of SAAR, the International Institute of Islamic Thought and Safa Trust Inc., another Mirza charity, during the 1970’s was an officer of firms run by Youssef M. Nada, records show. Mr. Nada is a Switzerland-based businessman whose assets have been frozen by the U.S. for alleged involvement in terrorist financing, and is alleged by U.S. officials to be a key figure in the Taqwa network. . .Jamal Barzinji, an officer of Mr. Mirza’s company Mar-Jac and other entities, also was involved with Mr. Nada’s companies in the 1970’s, according to bank documents from Liechtenstein. A message was left yesterday for Mr. Barzinji at his address in Herndon. Mr. Barzinji and Mr. Talib live across the street from each other. A third business associate of Mr. Nada, Ali Ghaleb Himmat (who also has been designated by the Treasury as aiding terrorism), is listed as an official of the Geneva branch of another charity operated by Mr. Mirza, the International Islamic Charitable Organization.”
(”Funds Under Terror Probe Flowed From Offshore” by Glenn R. Simpson [with Michael M. Phillips]; Wall Street Journal; 3/22/2002; p. A4.)
14. In addition to Carlyle Group head Frank Carlucci and Othman, other directors of Freeman’s MEPC include Curtis Brand (retired Chairman of ExxonMobil, Saudi Arabia, Inc. and Dr. Fuad A. Ribani, Director, Research and Development of the Saudi Binladin Group.
15. More about Freeman’s MEPC and the views that they propagate were presented in an op-ed column in The Washington Times. Note that that paper should be approached with the greatest caution, as a general consideration–available information suggests that its parent organization–the Unification Church–is an extension of the Japanese Patriotic Societies that brought fascism to Japan.
“Ambassador Charles W. ‘Chas’ Freeman Jr.’s nomination as chairman of the National Intelligence Council (NIC) has quickly become the Obama administration’s most controversial appointment to date.
Mr. Freeman’s two post-government activities involved being a de facto employee of Saudi Arabia. In exchange, he received lavish support for his Middle East Policy Center (MEPC) and lucrative contracts for the consulting firm he founded to guide international companies into finding royal family-connected partners within the Saudi elite. This raises the reasonable questions as to whether Ambassador Freeman acted as an unregistered Saudi agent. This role has created significant concern about his impartiality as chief U.S. intelligence analyst on matters that will clearly involve Saudi views and interests.
While many former diplomats, especially former Saudi ambassadors, are not known for being big fans of Israel, Mr. Freeman presided over a center and publication featuring hostility to Israel that is beyond the broadest mainstream of U.S. thinking on the region. In addition, his slavish following of the Saudi ‘party line’ has involved Mr. Freeman in some embarrassing situations.
For example the MEPC, which receives major funding from the Saudi royal family, publishes a resource for American teachers called ‘Arab World Studies Notebook.’ This notebook includes bizarre historical anomalies, such as that Muslims inhabited the New World in pre-Columbian times, and English explorers met “Iroquois and Algonquin chiefs with names like Abdul-Rahim and Abdallah Ibn Malik.”
Another MEPC project is the quarterly magazine, Middle East Policy, the editorial pages of which are filled with disturbingly radical anti-Israel polemics. Claims such as the Iraq war was waged for the United States on behalf of Israel (fall 2008 issue) or that the United States allows Israel to ‘call the shots’ on policy in the region, including a strategy of ‘buying off Fatah and starving Hamas’ that is ‘an Israeli plan that Washington has had to accept’ (fall 2007 issue). Mr. Freeman’s willingness to push these extreme positions for financial reward is troubling.
The chairman of the National Intelligence Council serves many of the same functions as the editor of a journal. He must review, edit, add context to and decide what to present in terms of good intelligence.
Mr. Freeman’s judgment may be tainted because of a desire to stay in the good graces of the House of Saud for his post-NIC career. As long as we are fighting a global war on Islamic terrorism, Mr. Freeman’s judgment as a de facto employee of the Saudi government should trouble citizens and supporters of the United States. . . .”
16. Freeman had contact with, and ran interference for, the bin Laden family after 9/11! This is deeply sinister and suggests at least the possibility that Freeman may have been an accessory after the fact in 9/11. The question is–“What did Charles Freeman know and when did he know it?” In fact the SICO company, run by Yeslam Binladen, is at the epicenter of the investigation into 9/11. Other members of the bin Laden family have been linked to al-Qaeda.
Charles Freeman, Obama’s reported pick for chairman of the National Intelligence Council, talked business with the Bin Laden family even after September 11.
Amid the criticism that has already emerged about President Obama’s reported pick for the powerful position of chairman of the National Intelligence Council, there is an as-yet unmentioned problem that is likely cause even bigger troubles: He had business ties to the bin Laden family after the 9/11 attacks.
Charles ‘Chas’ Freeman, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia, had business connections with the bin Laden family and their Saudi Binladen Group, a multibillion-dollar construction conglomerate founded by the father of Osama bin Laden. As chairman of Projects International Inc., a company that develops international business deals, Mr. Freeman asserted in an interview with the Associated Press less than a month after September 11 that he was still ‘discussing proposals with the Binladen Group—and that won’t change.’
In an interview, Freeman contested the notion that international companies who had business with the bin Laden family should be ‘running for public-relations cover’, noting that bin Laden was still ‘a very honored name in the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia].’
In the same interview, Freeman also contested the notion that international companies who had business with the bin Laden family should be “running for public-relations cover,” noting that bin Laden was still ‘a very honored name in the kingdom [of Saudi Arabia]’, despite its family tie to the Al-Qaeda leader. (Freeman wasn’t immediately available for comment.)
Mr. Freeman frequently maintained that the larger bin Laden family was closely aligned with American interests. Contrary to the notion that the family was still supporting and even funding Osama bin Laden, the bin Laden family and its business conglomerate were part of the ‘establishment that Osama’s trying to overthrow,’ as Mr. Freeman told The Wall Street Journal in a separate interview less than two weeks after September 11.
However, the Journal also noted that Freeman’s connections with the bin Laden family went beyond business: Freeman’s Middle East Policy Council, a think tank dedicated to Mideast issues, was receiving ‘tens of thousands of dollars a year from the bin Laden family’ at that time. Since the rumors of his appointment broke, Freeman has been criticized because the pro-Saudi MEPC also accepted donations in the millions of dollars from the Saudi royal family.
Subsequent investigation by US intelligence agencies and journalists of bin Laden family ties to Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden raised questions about the authenticity of the family’s claim of financial and emotional distance from the world’s most-wanted terror leader. A number of experts, including Vincent Cannistro, a former CIA counterterrorism specialist, assert that while some members of the bin Laden family have disowned Osama bin Laden in a complete sense, other factions have not. Carmen bin Laden, a sister-in-law of Osama, told Der Spiegel that ‘bin Ladens never disowned Osama; in this family, a brother remains a brother, no matter what he has done.’ . . .”
17. Obama’s diplomatic point man for Syria–Frederic C. Hof–also serves on the Middle East Policy Council.
18. An encouraging sign may be found in Obama’s decision to resist an order from a Bush judicial appointee that would have benefited the jihadist Al-Haramain.
“A federal appeals court rejected the Obama administration’s attempt Friday to stop a judge in San Francisco from reviewing a challenge to the wiretapping program ordered by former President George W. Bush.
Hours later, President Obama’s Justice Department filed papers that appeared to defy the judge’s order to allow lawyers for an Islamic organization to see a classified surveillance document at the heart of the case. The department said the judge had no power to enforce such an order.
Chief U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker had given the department until Friday to explain how it would comply with his order last month that would let attorneys for Al-Haramain Islamic Foundation review the document after obtaining security clearances.
The document reportedly showed that the organization had been wiretapped, evidence the group needs to establish its right to challenge the legality of the surveillance. A government agency inadvertently sent the papers in 2004 to Al-Haramain during an investigation that resulted in its classification as a terrorist organization.
Bush acknowledged in 2005 that he had ordered the National Security Agency to intercept phone calls and e-mails between Americans and suspected foreign terrorists without seeking approval from Congress and the courts. Other suits challenging the surveillance program have been dismissed because plaintiffs were unable to show they were targets.
Al-Haramain returned the classified document to the government and has been barred from relying on it to prove its right to sue. But in a Jan. 5 ruling denying the Bush administration’s request to dismiss the group’s suit, Walker said Al-Haramain had shown through officials’ statements that it had probably been wiretapped. . . .”