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For The Record  

FTR #376 A View From the Bridge

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As the anniver­sary of 9/11 approach­es, this pro­gram looks at the worlds of two indi­vid­u­als and their con­nec­tions to the milieu of Al Taqwa and Al Qae­da. Those two indi­vid­u­als are Fran­cois Genoud and Talat Oth­man. Genoud was a key Nazi oper­a­tive and banker and Oth­man is a busi­ness part­ner of George Bush. If one rents a suite at the “Vil­la Al Qae­da,” one can rent the Genoud suite and look upon the world of under­ground Nazi con­spir­a­tors and spies, inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ists and mass mur­der. Or, one can rent the Oth­man suite and look out upon the world of Big Oil, the upper ech­e­lons of the GOP and free-wheel­ing cor­po­rate enter­prise. Both suites are acces­si­ble through the Nada cor­ri­dor and the Bin Laden din­ing room. Although the infor­ma­tion set forth in this pro­gram has been aired before, the points of infor­ma­tion are assem­bled in a nov­el con­fig­u­ra­tion. Doing so might be an appro­pri­ate way of doing the impos­si­ble: encap­su­lat­ing this enor­mous event.

1. A recent U.N. report indi­cat­ed that attempts to stem Al Qaeda’s fund­ing have not, in fact, been suc­cess­ful. Bear in mind in this con­text that a con­sor­tium of U.S. finan­cial insti­tu­tions led by Sul­li­van & Cromwell has inter­vened with the Trea­sury Depart­ment in order to weak­en its pro­vi­sions against ter­ror­ist mon­ey laun­der­ing. (Talat Oth­man, as will be seen below, also inter­vened with Trea­sury on behalf of ele­ments of the Al Taqwa milieu that were raid­ed by Depart­ment agents on March 20.) “A glob­al cam­paign to block Al-Qaeda’s access to mon­ey has stalled, enabling the ter­ror­ist net­work to obtain a fresh infu­sion of tens of mil­lions of dol­lars and putting it in posi­tion to finance future attacks, said a draft report. In the months imme­di­ate­ly after the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks, the Unit­ed States and oth­er U.N. mem­bers and sus­pect­ed mem­bers and sup­port­ers of the orga­ni­za­tion. But only $10 mil­lion in addi­tion­al funds has been blocked over the past eight months, said the 43-page draft report, which was writ­ten by a U. N. pan­el respon­si­ble for mon­i­tor­ing enforce­ment of an arms , trav­el and finan­cial embar­go against Al-Qae­da and its asso­ciates . . . ‘Despite ini­tial suc­cess­es in locat­ing and freez­ing’ Al-Qae­da assets, the net­work ‘con­tin­ues to have access to con­sid­er­able finan­cial and oth­er eco­nom­ic resources,’ the report said, adding that it had proven ‘exceed­ing­ly dif­fi­cult’ to iden­ti­fy these funds . . . ‘Al Qae­da is by all accounts ‘fit and well’ and poised to strike again at its leisure,’ it con­tin­ued. ‘The prime tar­gets of the orga­ni­za­tion are like­ly to be per­sons and prop­er­ty of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca and its allies in the fight against Al-Qae­da, as well as Israel.’ ” (“Ter­ror Funds Said to Resurge” by Colum Lynch [Wash­ing­ton Post]; San Jose Mer­cury News; 8/29/2002; p. 14A.)

2. This pro­gram might also be called the Texas Rangers meet Al Qae­da. con­sid­er­able jour­nal­is­tic resources have been devot­ed recent­ly to the threat of a base­ball strike. Some of the press cov­er­age has not­ed that Pres­i­dent Bush was a past own­er of the Texas Rangers base­ball team. As not­ed in FTR#368, the mon­ey Bush used to pur­chase the team came from the sale of his Harken Ener­gy stock. As will be seen below, Talat Oth­man played a key role in the Harken deal­ings in which Bush is impli­cat­ed. “Pres­i­dent George W. Bush famous­ly made his for­tune by sell­ing his share of the Texas Rangers base­ball team.” (“Clubs Offer Own­ers Only a Sport­ing Chance” by Robert Clow; Finan­cial Times; 8/30/2002; p. 22.)

3. On the heels of the U.N. report on Al Qae­da came an announce­ment by the Trea­sury Depart­ment that the assets of more indi­vid­u­als and insti­tu­tions had been frozen. It is note­wor­thy that the Al Taqwa milieu once again was tar­get­ed in the raids. “The Unit­ed States and Italy act­ed in con­cert Thurs­day to freeze the assets of 25 indi­vid­u­als and finan­cial enti­ties with alleged ties to the Al Qae­da ter­ror­ist group. The joint offen­sive was the biggest col­lab­o­ra­tive effort of its kind, U.S. offi­cials said, and came amid grow­ing con­cern about a per­ceived lack of progress in cut­ting off the flow of funds to ter­ror­ists. . . . The U.S. and Italy issued block­ing orders that require com­mer­cial banks to search for assets belong­ing to the indi­vid­u­als and enti­ties and to freeze any they find. The list includes 11 peo­ple asso­ci­at­ed with the Salafist Group for Call and Com­bat, described by U.S. offi­cials as ‘a lethal ter­ror group’ with ties to Al Qae­da. The oth­er 14 are enti­ties owned or con­trolled by Ahmed Idris Nasred­din and Youssef Nada, both of whom have been accused of bankrolling ter­ror­ists. . . . Trea­sury offi­cials said Thurs­day’s action was sig­nif­i­cant because it was the largest asset-freez­ing oper­a­tion to date involv­ing col­lab­o­ra­tive efforts by sev­er­al coun­tries. In addi­tion to the U.S. and Italy, Lux­em­bourg and the Bahamas par­tic­i­pat­ed in the effort. . . . The 14 enti­ties are part of the hold­ings of Nada and Nasred­din, both of whom were already on the list of alleged financiers. U.S. offi­cials said the men have worked togeth­er for many years and exer­cise con­trol over Bank Al Taqwa and Aki­da Bank, shell com­pa­nies that share the same postal address in the Bahamas.” (“U.S., Italy Act Against Ter­ror Sus­pects” by War­ren Vieth; Los Ange­les Times; 8/30/2002; p. A7.)

4. The rela­tion­ship between the GOP, the Bush fam­i­ly, the Saud­is, and the oil indus­try is illus­trat­ed by Talat Oth­man, Abdul­lah Bak­shs, and Harken ener­gy. 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, Oth­man embod­ies the over­lap of the oil busi­ness and the 9/11 Fifth Col­umn. (For­bid­den Truth; Jean-Charles Bris­ard & Guil­laume Dasquie; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Thun­der’s Mouth/Nation Books; ISBN 1–56025-414–9; p. 132.)

5. “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.” (Ibid.; p. 133.)

6. Oth­man, in turn, is a pro­tégé of Abdul­lah Bak­shs, the U.S. busi­ness rep­re­sen­ta­tive of the Bin Laden fam­i­ly between 1976–1982. 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.) “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.)

7. Next, the pro­gram takes up Bush’s role in Harken’s ques­tion­able deals. Bear in mind that (as will be reviewed below) Talat Oth­man was involved in this deal as a mem­ber of the audit com­mit­tee. “In ear­ly 1989, George W. Bush and his fel­low board mem­bers at Harken Ener­gy Corp. were pre­sid­ing over a com­pa­ny that was head­ed south in a hur­ry. The Dal­las-based oil firm had lost mil­lions of dol­lars plac­ing bad bets on com­mod­i­ty futures. Debt was pil­ing up; red ink was begin­ning to flow.” (“Bush Ok’s Deal Like Enron’s” by War­ren Vieth; Los Ange­les Times; 7/12/2002; p. A13.)

8. “Harken’s exec­u­tives came up with a nov­el plan to ease the pain. They would sell a small chain of Hawai­ian gas sta­tions called Alo­ha Petro­le­um to a group of investors that includ­ed Harken’s chair­man and one of its direc­tors. The buy­ers would pay $1 mil­lion up front, but the accoun­tants would record an imme­di­ate $7.9‑million prof­it, enough to erase most of Harken’s loss­es for the year.” (Idem.)

9. “They made a point of seek­ing the approval of direc­tors who were not par­tic­i­pants in the investor group. Bush, a mem­ber of the board­’s audit com­mit­tee, signed off on the deal, accord­ing to Harken doc­u­ments. So did the com­pa­ny’s out­side audi­tor, Arthur Ander­sen & Co.” (Idem.) In this con­text, one should remem­ber that, just as the Harken deal with Alo­ha resem­bled Enron’s oper­a­tions, Arthur Ander­sen was Enron’s accoun­tant.

10. “But the gov­ern­ment chal­lenged and ulti­mate­ly over­turned the account­ing method used by Harken to post a gain on the sale. Alo­ha was sold a sec­ond time, and the new buy­er extract­ed big con­ces­sions from the com­pa­ny. The ini­tial prof­it record­ed on the sale mor­phed into a big loss. In the midst of all the maneu­ver­ing, Bush sold most of his Harken stock in June 1990.” (Ibid.; pp. A1-A13.)

11. “Based on a review of pub­licly released Secu­ri­ties and Exchange Com­mis­sion fil­ings, meet­ing min­utes, mem­os and cor­re­spon­dence from that peri­od, there is no evi­dence that Bush, or any of the oth­er direc­tors, raised objec­tions or expressed con­cern about the Alo­ha deal. Experts on cor­po­rate gov­er­nance say that as an inde­pen­dent direc­tor and one of only three mem­bers of the audit com­mit­tee, Bush was in a posi­tion to exer­cise an impor­tant over­sight role but appar­ent­ly failed to do so.” (Ibid.; p. A13.)

12. “An audit com­mit­tee’s pri­ma­ry respon­si­bil­i­ty is to ensure that the com­pa­ny’s out­side audi­tors con­duct a thor­ough exam­i­na­tion of the finan­cial records with­out inter­fer­ence from offi­cers and employ­ees.” (Idem.)

13. “The Alo­ha sale was so sim­i­lar to what Enron Corp. did to hide its loss­es that Harken could have served as a mod­el for the now-dis­graced com­pa­ny, one account­ing expert said. ‘The peo­ple at Enron could have gone to school on this thing,’ said Alfred King, for­mer man­ag­ing direc­tor of the Insti­tute of Man­age­ment Accoun­tants, vice chair­man of Mil­wau­kee-based Val­u­a­tion Research Corp. and for­mer advi­sor to the Finan­cial Account­ing Stan­dards Board.” (Idem.)

14. ” ‘They sold to them­selves and record­ed a prof­it,’ King said. ‘That’s exact­ly what Enron did on a num­ber of those off-bal­ance-sheet trans­ac­tions. On this one trans­ac­tion at lest, it’s almost iden­ti­cal.’ ” (Idem.)

15. “Still, account­ing experts, secu­ri­ty law spe­cial­ists and polit­i­cal ana­lysts say there is enough sim­i­lar­i­ty between events at Harken and Enron to keep Bush on the defen­sive about his own actions a decade ago and under­mine his cred­i­bil­i­ty as a cor­po­rate reformer.” (Idem.)

16. “Indeed, Bush would not have been allowed to serve on Harken’s audit com­mit­tee if the reform pro­pos­als he out­lined this week had been in effect then. The pres­i­dent says audit pan­el mem­ber­ship should be lim­it­ed to out­side direc­tors. Besides sit­ting on Harken’s board, Bush had a con­sult­ing con­tract with the com­pa­ny. Accord­ing to account­ing experts, that qual­i­fies him as a cor­po­rate insid­er.” (Idem.)

17. ” ‘Hid­ing loss­es in part­ner­ships, play­ing games with account­ing not report­ing forth­right­ly trans­ac­tions as a poten­tial inside trad­er-it’s all eeri­ly rem­i­nis­cent of Enron,’ said Charles Lewis, exec­u­tive direc­tor of the Cen­ter of Pub­lic Integri­ty, a Wash­ing­ton research group. ‘This is not a cor­po­rate exec­u­tive who laid awake at night wor­ry­ing about com­ply­ing with fed­er­al laws, from all appear­ances,’ said Lewis, who has been crit­i­cal of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion.” (Idem.)

18. “Anoth­er trans­ac­tion at Harken would have vio­lat­ed Bush’s reform pro­pos­als as well: On Thurs­day, the White House con­firmed that Harken made two loans to Bush while he served on the board of direc­tors, a prac­tice that Bush now wants pub­licly held com­pa­nies to pro­hib­it.” (Idem.)

19. “The loans, total­ing $180,375, were made in 1986 and 1988 at a below-mar­ket inter­est rate to enable Bush to pur­chase Harken stock under an incen­tive plan for board mem­bers.” (Idem.)

20. “Sus­pi­cions about the Alo­ha Petro­le­um deal have been fueled by the fact that most of the prin­ci­pals refuse to talk.” (Idem.)

21. “Of the sev­en Harken direc­tors who served on the board with Bush, five declined to dis­cuss the deal or did not return calls seek­ing com­ment.” (Idem.)

22. “Exec­u­tives at Alo­ha, now a pri­vate­ly held com­pa­ny, also declined to com­ment. So did past and present offi­cials at Harken, Arthur Ander­sen and the SEC.” (Idem.)

23. One of the cen­tral ele­ments of the dis­cus­sion of the Harken/Aloha insid­er deal is the afore­men­tioned Talat M. Oth­man, a close Bush fam­i­ly asso­ciate, direc­tor of Harken, mem­ber (with Bush) of the audit com­mit­tee and a key play­er in the maneu­ver­ing sur­round­ing the Al Taqwa milieu. “For­mer direc­tor Talat M. Oth­man, who chaired the three-mem­ber audit com­mit­tee, said he did not recall the details of the Alo­ha sale or the com­pa­ny’s rea­sons for arrang­ing it. ‘I’m not sure that our moti­va­tion was to cre­ate instant prof­its,’ said Oth­man, a Pales­tin­ian who rep­re­sent­ed Sau­di investors who owned 13% or Harken’s stock. ‘It was a nor­mal part of the busi­ness to be buy­ing and sell­ing.” (Idem.)

24. “Harken acquired Alo­ha in 1986 when it bought a mul­ti-state gas retail­er called E‑Z Serve. When it announced its plan to sell 80% of Alo­ha in 1989, it said Hawaii was too far away from its oth­er gaso­line mar­kets and required too much man­age­ment atten­tion.” (Idem.)

25. Anoth­er of the sig­nif­i­cant play­ers in Harken was Alan G. Quasha, descend­ed from the milieu of the BCCI. “But the new own­ers looked an awful lot like the old own­ers. The buy­ers were an investor group con­trolled by the fam­i­ly of Harken Chair­man Alan G. Quasha and includ­ed anoth­er Harken direc­tor, Jef­frey Laikind.” (Idem.)

26. “When Harken sold Alo­ha to Quasha’s group, it had agreed to retain lia­bil­i­ty for any envi­ron­men­tal prob­lems asso­ci­at­ed with the chain.” (Idem.)

27. The Aloha/Harken deal appears to antic­i­pate Bush’s deep con­cern with the envi­ron­ment. “In ear­ly 1990, it dis­cov­ered that the com­mit­ment would cost it dear­ly. Alo­ha’s new own­er had 20 gas out­lets test­ed and found that 11 had leaky under­ground tanks requir­ing expen­sive repairs. There were 21 sites still await­ing tests.” (Idem.)

28. 28. On April 4, 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.)

29. 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.” (Idem.)

30. As hypoth­e­sized, the Grover Norquist/GOP/Islamist links are part of the Repub­li­can Par­ty’s eth­nic out­reach pro­gram. “The case also high­lights con­flicts between the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s domes­tic polit­i­cal goals and its war on ter­ror. GOP offi­cials began court­ing the U.S. Mus­lim com­mu­ni­ty intense­ly in the late 1990’s, seek­ing to add that eth­nic bloc to the par­ty’s polit­i­cal base.” (Idem.)

31. The meet­ing between the Islamists and O’Neill was described as high­ly unusu­al. “Bruce Zagaris, an asset-for­fei­ture lawyer, who rep­re­sents clients in sim­i­lar cas­es, said a meet­ing between Trea­sury offi­cials and any­one who might be asso­ci­at­ed with an enti­ty under inves­ti­ga­tion is very unusu­al. ‘It’s vir­tu­al­ly impos­si­ble [to arrange such a meet­ing], espe­cial­ly with the Trea­sury sec­re­tary,’ Mr. Zagaris said. ‘It’s very dif­fi­cult to even get phone calls returned.’ ” (Idem.)

32. 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.” (Idem.)

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

34. As seen above, 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.)

35. 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 raids, the Al Taqwa milieu, and the Repub­li­can Par­ty. 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 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.)

36. 36. Next, the dis­cus­sion turns to a review of Clearstream, a major vehi­cle for the financ­ing of BCCI and, as we shall see, Al Taqwa. (For more about Clearstream, see FTR#‘s 356–360.) In this con­text, one should remem­ber that Clearstream is a sub­sidiary of the Deutsche Borse, the Ger­man stock mar­ket which, in turn, in owned by major Ger­man com­mer­cial banks con­trolled by the Bor­mann orga­ni­za­tion. (See FTR#232.) “A con­tro­ver­sial Euro­pean book that might help author­i­ties track ter­ror­ist fund­ing sources remains unpub­lished and rel­a­tive­ly unknown in the Unit­ed States. Enti­tled Rev­e­la­tion$ [by Ernest Back­es and Denis Robert], it expos­es a secret bank­ing sys­tem that might be used by ter­ror­ists. At the cen­ter is a clear­ing­house in Lux­em­bourg called Clearstream, which trans­fers mon­ey for inter­na­tion­al banks and major com­pa­nies.” (“A Book Too Hot For U.S. to Han­dle? Track­ing Ter­ror­ist Mon­ey” by Lucy Komis­ar; Pacif­ic News Ser­vice; 10/4/2001.)

37. Fur­ther­more, the Clearstream/BCCI link was appar­ent­ly known to Rudy Giu­liani (U.S. attor­ney under the elder George Bush.) “This reporter was shown copies of what Back­es says are records of the secret accounts. He keeps the orig­i­nals in caches out­side Lux­em­bourg. The doc­u­ments are a mine of infor­ma­tion for any finan­cial inquiry, with detailed infor­ma­tion on every cross-bor­der trans­fer in cash or secu­ri­ties. Some U.S. offi­cials-includ­ing New York May­or Rudolph Giu­liani-may well be aware of the sys­tem detailed in the doc­u­ments. . . .When May­or Giu­liani was an assis­tant pros­e­cu­tor in charge of inves­ti­gat­ing the Bank of Cred­it and Com­merce Inter­na­tion­al (BCCI) in the ear­ly 1990’s, he received doc­u­ments from Back­es accord­ing to Rev­e­la­tion$. ‘Giu­liani and agents of the FBI were delight­ed with the offi­cial doc­u­ments [which Back­es sent him],’ the authors wrote.’ ” (Idem.) Note that the cur­rent direc­tor of the FBI, Robert Mueller, was in charge of the BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion and was less than vig­or­ous in his pur­suit of the truth. Mueller may well have been an inside plant, posi­tioned in order to pre­vent an unrav­el­ing of the BCCI mon­ey trail in the direc­tion of George W. Bush.

38. The dura­tion of the broad­cast con­sists of review of Fran­cois Genoud and a num­ber of dif­fer­ent instances in which his name has sur­faced in con­nec­tion with 9/11. Genoud was close to Achmed Huber, one of the lynch­pins of the Al Taqwa net­work. “Dur­ing his many tribu­la­tions, Achmed Huber became acquaint­ed with the neo-Nazi banker Fran­cois Genoud, whose path in life presents a sin­gu­lar sum­ma­ry of the inter­con­nec­tions, the spe­cif­ic alliances that have been tied and untied between Islam and the swasti­ka. Pierre Pean, who thor­ough­ly stud­ied the par­al­lel lives of this enig­mat­ic des­tiny, inter­viewed Achmed Huber at length. Achmed Huber explained to him that he is sym­pa­thet­ic to Fran­cois Genoud because ‘every­one jumps on him.’ ” (Dol­lars for Ter­ror: The Unit­ed States and Islam; by Richard Labeviere; Copy­right 2000 [SC]; Algo­ra Pub­lish­ing; ISBN 1–892941-06–6; pp. 143–144.)

39. “Still refer­ring to the neo-Nazi banker, Achmed Huber told Pean, ‘I nev­er asked him any ques­tions, but I not­ed that, in cir­cles as dif­fer­ent as the Maghreb, peo­ple speak of him with great respect. Every­one told me: he helped us. I have the impres­sion that he played an impor­tant, though dis­creet role. . . . It was I who intro­duced him to the Ira­ni­ans. I said to them: ‘he is a friend, you can trust him.’ Here, in Switzer­land, he was very active in oppos­ing the antiracist law inspired by the Zion­ists who want­ed to crim­i­nal­ize ‘revi­sion­ism.’ Genoud was with us. Offi­cial­ly we lost, but by such a small mar­gin that the law is not applied.’ ” (Ibid.; p. 144.)

40. The pro­gram also notes anoth­er spec­u­la­tive link between Al Qae­da, Nazi banker and oper­a­tive Fran­cois Genoud and the 9/11 attacks. Remem­ber that Back­es was one of the founders of the Clearstream net­work cit­ed above. “Ernest Back­es, a lead­ing Euro­pean expert on mon­ey laun­der­ing, told the Lux­em­bourg-based finan­cial jour­nal Plus Minus that he believed that the 9/11 ter­ror­ist mon­ey trail would ulti­mate­ly lead back to Swiss bank accounts set up by an orga­ni­za­tion found­ed by Genoud. Reports of a pos­si­ble Genoud trail cite the involve­ment of a Swiss lawyer named Bau­doin [Dunand] on the man­age­ment com­mit­tee of the Gene­va branch of the Sau­di Invest­ment Com­pa­ny (SICO), which han­dles much of the bin-Laden fam­i­ly’s invest­ments abroad.” (“The Mys­te­ri­ous Achmed Huber: Friend to Hitler, Allah. . .and Ibn Laden?” by Kevin Coogan: Hit List; April/May 2002 [Vol­ume 3, #4]; p. 125.)

41. Clearstream, Al Taqwa and Bin Laden were fur­ther described by the remark­able Mr. Back­es in a recent arti­cle, also by Lucy Komis­ar. “In Novem­ber, U.S. author­i­ties named some banks that had bin Laden accounts, and it put them on a black­list. One was Al Taqwa, ‘Fear of God,’ reg­is­tered in the Bahamas with offices in Lugano, Switzer­land. Al Taqwa had access to the Clearstream sys­tem through its cor­re­spon­dent account with the Ban­ca del Got­tar­do in Lugano, which has a pub­lished Clearstream account (No. 74381). But Bin Laden may have oth­er access to the unpub­lished sys­tem. In what he calls a ‘spec­tac­u­lar dis­cov­ery,’ Ernest Back­es reports that in the weeks before CEO Andre Lus­si was forced to leave Clearstream last May, a series of 16 unpub­lished accounts were opened under the name of the Sau­di Invest­ment Com­pa­ny, or SICO, the Gene­va hold­ing of the Sau­di bin­laden Group, which is run by Osama’s broth­er Yeslam Bin­laden (some fam­i­ly mem­bers spell the name dif­fer­ent­ly.) Yeslam Bin­laden insists hat he has noth­ing to do with his broth­er, but evi­dence sug­gests SICO is tied into Osama’s finan­cial net­work. SICO is asso­ci­at­ed with Dar Al-Maal-Al-Isla­mi (DMI), an Islam­ic finan­cial insti­tu­tion also based in Gene­va and presided over by Prince Muhammed Al Faisal Al Saoud, a cousin of Sau­di King Fahd, that directs mil­lions a year to fun­da­men­tal­ist move­ments. DMI holds a share of the Al Shamal Islam­ic Bank of Sudan, which was set up in 1991 and part­ly financed by $50 mil­lion from Osama bin Laden. Fur­ther­more, one of SICO’s admin­is­tra­tors, Gene­va attor­ney Bau­doin Dunand, is a part­ner in a law firm, Magnin Dunand & Part­ners, that set up the Swiss finan­cial ser­vices com­pa­ny SBA, a sub­sidiary of the SBA Bank in Paris, which is con­trolled by Khaled bin Mah­fouz. Mah­fouz’s younger sis­ter is mar­ried to Osama bin Laden.” (“Bank­ing with Bin Laden” by Lucy Komis­ar [side­bar to “Explo­sive Rev­e­la­tion$”]; In These Times; 3/15/2002.)

42. The broad­cast reviews the fact that Clearstream was recent­ly pur­chased by Deutsche Borse (the Ger­man stock exchange), which had pre­vi­ous­ly owned 50% of the house. (This took place after 9/11.) (“Deutsche Borse Buys Clearstream” by Jonathan Braude; The Deal.com; 2/1/2002.

43. Fur­ther devel­op­ing the Genoud con­nec­tion to the milieu of 9/11, the broad­cast reviews the fact that Genoud’s 1983 coun­sel was none oth­er than Bau­doin Dunant of SICO. Mr. Emory views this con­nec­tion as high­ly impor­tant. Since Genoud’s tri­al was for ter­ror­ist-relat­ed activ­i­ties, it is prob­a­ble that Dunant knew “where the bod­ies were buried” vis a vis Genoud. Genoud was unlike­ly to have trust­ed such a sen­si­tive task to “an out­sider.” “This com­pa­ny [SICO], estab­lished by the Bin Ladens in 1980, is the flag­ship for the group’s activ­i­ties in Europe. It is head­ed by Yeslam bin Laden, and the board of direc­tors is made up almost exclu­sive­ly of mem­bers of the fam­i­ly clan, except for a Swiss cit­i­zen, Bau­doin Dunant. This well-known lawyer from French-speak­ing Switzer­land, who is on the boards of sev­er­al dozen com­pa­nies, came to pub­lic notice in 1983 when he agreed to rep­re­sent the Swiss banker Fran­cois Genoud, a con­tro­ver­sial fig­ure who had been a dis­ci­ple of Hitler and sole heir of Goebbel­s’s copy­rights before becom­ing one of the financiers of the FLN dur­ing the Alger­ian war.” (In the Name of Osama Bin Laden; by Roland Jacquard; Copy­right 2002 [SC]; Duke Uni­ver­si­ty Press; ISBN 0–8223-2991–3; pp. 17–18.)

44. Fur­ther clar­i­fy­ing Dunan­t’s sta­tus on the board of SICO, the pro­gram high­lights the fact that Dunant is the co-chair­man of the board of direc­tors of SICO. “The Sau­di Invest­ment Com­pa­ny is chaired by Beat­rice Dufour, of Iran­ian ori­gin and sis­ter-in-law of one of the bin Laden broth­ers, Yeslam. In 1983, her co-chair­man, Bau­doin Dunant, rep­re­sent­ed Swiss banker Fran­cois Genoud, who had helped finance Arab extrem­ists in Alge­ria and was on tri­al for par­tic­i­pat­ing in inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ism.” (“Fam­i­ly Ties: The Bin Ladens” by Neil MacK­ay; The Sun­day Her­ald; 3/31/2002; p. 6.) His co-chair­man (Beat­rice Dufour) is of Iran­ian extrac­tion and is the sis­ter-in-law of Yeslam Bin Laden, the head of SICO and Osama’s broth­er. (Idem.) (FTR#352 not­ed that Genoud was alleged to have financed Khome­nei’s exile in France. Huber also main­tains exten­sive con­nec­tions to the Iran­ian Islamist milieu.)

45. Review­ing an impor­tant arti­cle about Al Taqwa from FTR#352, (“Swiss Probe Anti‑U.S. Neo-Nazi” by Jay Bushin­sky; San Fran­cis­co Chron­i­cle; 3/12/2002; p. A12; vis­it http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/chronicle/archive/2002/03/12/MN192483.DTL.) One of the major break­throughs in the arti­cle is an alle­ga­tion that Third Reich oper­a­tive Fran­cois Genoud is believed to have found­ed Al Taqwa. “Author­i­ties believe Genoud found­ed Al Taqwa Bank and allo­cat­ed its resources to sup­port inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ists such as Vladimir Ilich Ramirez, alias Car­los the Jack­al, and Bin Laden.” (Idem.)

46. The pro­gram fur­ther devel­ops dis­cus­sion of Genoud, Al Qae­da, the Under­ground Reich and some of the insid­er trad­ing involved in the run-up to the 9/11 attacks. “Finan­cial expert Ernest Back­es of Lux­em­bourg has [stud­ied] white-col­lar crime in the field of bank­ing for many years. Accord­ing to him, there are indi­ca­tions of unusu­al trans­ac­tions with which the groups [asso­ci­at­ed with] bin Laden could have earned mon­ey. ‘You can, for exam­ple, exam­ine whether, with­in a cer­tain time peri­od there’s been an attack against the secu­ri­ties of a giv­en air­line com­pa­ny. Since these secu­ri­ties are safe in a ‘clear­ing sys­tem,’ you can’t get an over­all view, who the own­er was at a giv­en time.’ . . .Accord­ing to Back­es’ infor­ma­tion, the trail leads to Switzer­land, to the accounts of an orga­ni­za­tion that was found­ed by the late lawyer Fran­cois Genoud and evi­dent­ly still sur­vives. Says Back­es, ‘One of the grounds for accu­sa­tion is that this Swiss attor­ney had the clos­est con­nec­tions with the Bin Laden fam­i­ly, that he was an advi­sor to the fam­i­ly, one of its invest­ment bankers. It’s known for cer­tain, that he sup­port­ed ter­ror­ism and was the estate execu­tor for Hitler and part of the ter­ror milieu.’ ” (“Insid­er Trad­ing Pri­or to the Ter­ror Attacks in the US?: Spec­u­lat­ing on Ter­ror-Who Prof­it­ed from the Attacks?” by Rolf Bovi­er & Pierre Matthias; Bay­erische Rund­funk Online (BR-Online); 9/25/2001.)

47. Inter­est­ing­ly (and per­haps sig­nif­i­cant­ly), the recent­ly indict­ed alleged Al Qae­da oper­a­tive Zac­cha­rias Mous­saoui is being rep­re­sent­ed in France by Isabelle Coutant-Peyre, “who is well known for rep­re­sent­ing-and lat­er promis­ing to mar­ry-Illych Ramirez Sanchez, bet­ter known as Car­los the Jack­al.” (“ ‘It’s As If He Had Died,’ Moth­er of Sus­pect Says” by David Zucchi­no; Los Ange­les Times; 12/13/2001; p. A5.)

48. As not­ed, Car­los the Jack­al’s attor­ney and future wife, Isabel Coutant Peyre, is the attor­ney for alleged Al Qae­da mem­ber Zac­cha­rias Mous­saoui. Coutant Peyre is a pro­tégé of Verges. (“Buck­ing the Court, Again, to Mar­ry the Jack­al” by Suzanne Daley; New York Times; 1/12/2002; p. A4.) As not­ed in FTR pro­grams about the afore­men­tioned Fran­cois Genoud, Genoud was very close to both Car­los and Verges.


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