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

For The Record  

FTR #447 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters

Record­ed Feb­ru­ary 29, 2004
MP3 Side 1 | Side 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


5 comments for “FTR #447 Update on 9/11 and Related Matters”

  1. It sounds like the noto­ri­ous 28 pages of the redact­ed Joint Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Inquiry on 9/11 is quite the page turn­er. Hope­ful­ly it will be avail­able in paper­back soon. Or ever:

    Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times
    9/11 Link To Sau­di Ara­bia Is Top­ic Of 28 Redact­ed Pages In Gov­ern­ment Report; Con­gress­men Push For Release
    By Jamie Reno
    on Decem­ber 09 2013 2:09 PM

    Since ter­ror­ists attacked the Unit­ed States on Sept. 11, 2001, vic­tims’ loved ones, injured sur­vivors, and mem­bers of the media have all tried with­out much suc­cess to dis­cov­er the true nature of the rela­tion­ship between the 19 hijack­ers – 15 of them Sau­di nation­als – and the Sau­di Ara­bi­an gov­ern­ment. Many news orga­ni­za­tions report­ed that some of the ter­ror­ists were linked to the Sau­di roy­als and that they even may have received finan­cial sup­port from them as well as from sev­er­al mys­te­ri­ous, mon­eyed Sau­di men liv­ing in San Diego.

    Sau­di Ara­bia has repeat­ed­ly denied any con­nec­tion, and nei­ther Pres­i­dent George W. Bush nor Pres­i­dent Oba­ma has been forth­com­ing on this issue.

    But ear­li­er this year, Reps. Wal­ter B. Jones, R‑N.C., and Stephen Lynch, D‑Mass., were giv­en access to the 28 redact­ed pages of the Joint Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee Inquiry (JICI) of 9/11 issued in late 2002, which have been thought to hold some answers about the Sau­di con­nec­tion to the attack.

    “I was absolute­ly shocked by what I read,” Jones told Inter­na­tion­al Busi­ness Times. “What was so sur­pris­ing was that those whom we thought we could trust real­ly dis­ap­point­ed me. I can­not go into it any more than that. I had to sign an oath that what I read had to remain con­fi­den­tial. But the infor­ma­tion I read dis­ap­point­ed me great­ly.”

    The pub­lic may soon also get to see these secret doc­u­ments. Last week, Jones and Lynch intro­duced a res­o­lu­tion that urges Pres­i­dent Oba­ma to declas­si­fy the 28 pages, which were orig­i­nal­ly clas­si­fied by Pres­i­dent George W. Bush. It has nev­er been ful­ly explained why the pages were blacked out, but Pres­i­dent Bush stat­ed in 2003 that releas­ing the pages would vio­late nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    While nei­ther Jones nor Lynch would say just what is in the doc­u­ment, some of the infor­ma­tion has leaked out over the years.A mul­ti­tude of sources tell IBTimes, and numer­ous press reports over the years in Newsweek, the New York Times, CBS News and oth­er media con­firm, that the 28 pages in fact clear­ly por­tray that the Sau­di gov­ern­ment had at the very least an indi­rect role in sup­port­ing the ter­ror­ists respon­si­ble for the 9/11 attack. In addi­tion, these clas­si­fied pages clar­i­fy some­what the links between the hijack­ers and at least one Sau­di gov­ern­ment work­er liv­ing in San Diego.

    For­mer Sen. Bob Gra­ham, D‑Fla., who chaired the Joint Inquiry in 2002 and has been beat­ing the drum for more dis­clo­sure about 9/11 since then, has nev­er under­stood why the 28 pages were redact­ed. Gra­ham told IBTimes that based on his involve­ment in the inves­ti­ga­tion and on the now-clas­si­fied infor­ma­tion in the doc­u­ment that his com­mit­tee pro­duced, he is con­vinced that “the Sau­di gov­ern­ment with­out ques­tion was sup­port­ing the hijack­ers who lived in San Diego…. You can’t have 19 peo­ple liv­ing in the Unit­ed States for, in some cas­es, almost two years, tak­ing flight lessons and oth­er prepa­ra­tions, with­out some­one pay­ing for it. But I think it goes much broad­er than that. The agen­cies from CIA and FBI have sup­pressed that infor­ma­tion so Amer­i­can peo­ple don’t have the facts.”

    Jones insists that releas­ing the 28 secret pages would not vio­late nation­al secu­ri­ty.

    “It does not deal with nation­al secu­ri­ty per se; it is more about rela­tion­ships,” he said. “The infor­ma­tion is crit­i­cal to our for­eign pol­i­cy mov­ing for­ward and should thus be avail­able to the Amer­i­can peo­ple. If the 9/11 hijack­ers had out­side help – par­tic­u­lar­ly from one or more for­eign gov­ern­ments – the press and the pub­lic have a right to know what our gov­ern­ment has or has not done to bring jus­tice to the per­pe­tra­tors.”

    It took Jones six weeks and sev­er­al let­ters to the House Intel­li­gence Com­mit­tee before the clas­si­fied pages from the 9/11 report were made avail­able to him. Jones was so stunned by what he saw that he approached Rep. Lynch, ask­ing him to look at the 28 pages as well. He knew that Lynch would be aston­ished by the con­tents of the doc­u­ments and per­haps would join in a bipar­ti­san effort to declas­si­fy the papers.

    “He came back to me about a week ago and told me that he, too, was very shocked by what he read,” Jones said. “I told him we need to join togeth­er and put in a res­o­lu­tion and get more mem­bers on both sides of the aisle involved and demand that the White House release this infor­ma­tion to the pub­lic. The Amer­i­can peo­ple have a right to know this infor­ma­tion.”

    A decade ago, 46 sen­a­tors, led by Sen. Charles Schumer, D‑N.Y., demand­ed in a let­ter to Pres­i­dent Bush that he declas­si­fy the 28 pages.

    The let­ter read, in part, “It has been wide­ly report­ed in the press that the for­eign sources referred to in this por­tion of the Joint Inquiry analy­sis reside pri­mar­i­ly in Sau­di Ara­bia. As a result, the deci­sion to clas­si­fy this infor­ma­tion sends the wrong mes­sage to the Amer­i­can peo­ple about our nation’s antiter­ror effort and makes it seem as if there will be no penal­ty for for­eign abet­tors of the hijack­ers. Pro­tect­ing the Sau­di regime by elim­i­nat­ing any pub­lic penal­ty for the sup­port giv­en to ter­ror­ists from with­in its bor­ders would be a mis­take.... We respect­ful­ly urge you to declas­si­fy the 28-page sec­tion that deals with for­eign sources of sup­port for the 9/11 hijack­ers.”

    All of the sen­a­tors who signed that let­ter but one, Sen. Sam Brown­back (R‑Kansas), were Democ­rats.

    Lynch, who won the Demo­c­ra­t­ic pri­ma­ry for his con­gres­sion­al seat on that fate­ful day of Sept. 11, 2001, told IBTimes that he and Jones are in the process of writ­ing a “Dear Col­league” let­ter call­ing on all House mem­bers to read the 28 pages and join their effort.

    “Once a mem­ber reads the 28 pages, I think whether they are Demo­c­rat or Repub­li­can they will reach the same con­clu­sion that Wal­ter and I reached, which is that Amer­i­cans have the right to know this infor­ma­tion,” Lynch said. “These doc­u­ments speak for them­selves. We have a sit­u­a­tion where an exten­sive inves­ti­ga­tion was con­duct­ed, but then the Bush [admin­is­tra­tion] decid­ed for what­ev­er pur­pos­es to excise 28 pages from the report. I’m not pass­ing judg­ment. That was a dif­fer­ent time. Maybe there were legit­i­mate rea­sons to keep this clas­si­fied. But that time has long passed.”

    Most of the alle­ga­tions of links between the Sau­di gov­ern­ment and the 9/11 hijack­ers revolve around two enig­mat­ic Sau­di men who lived in San Diego: Omar al-Bay­ou­mi and Osama Bas­nan, both of whom have long since left the Unit­ed States.

    In ear­ly 2000, al-Bay­ou­mi, who had pre­vi­ous­ly worked for the Sau­di gov­ern­ment in civ­il avi­a­tion (a part of the Sau­di defense depart­ment), invit­ed two of the hijack­ers, Khalid Almi­hd­har and Nawaf Alhaz­mi, to San Diego from Los Ange­les. He told author­i­ties he met the two men by chance when he sat next to them at a restau­rant.

    Newsweek report­ed in 2002 that al-Bayoumi’s invi­ta­tion was extend­ed on the same day that he vis­it­ed the Sau­di Con­sulate in Los Ange­les for a pri­vate meet­ing.

    Al-Bay­ou­mi arranged for the two future hijack­ers to live in an apart­ment and paid $1,500 to cov­er their first two months of rent. Al-Bay­ou­mi was briefly inter­viewed in Britain but was nev­er brought back to the Unit­ed States for ques­tion­ing.

    As for Bas­nan, Newsweek report­ed that he received month­ly checks for sev­er­al years total­ing as much as $73,000 from the Sau­di ambas­sador to the Unit­ed States, Prince Ban­dar, and his wife, Princess Haifa Faisal. Although the checks were sent to pay for thy­roid surgery for Basnan’s wife, Maje­da Dweikat, Dweikat signed many of the checks over to al-Bayoumi’s wife, Man­al Bajadr. This mon­ey alleged­ly made its way into the hands of hijack­ers, accord­ing to the 9/11 report.

    Despite all this, Bas­nan was ulti­mate­ly allowed to return to Sau­di Ara­bia, and Dweikat was deport­ed to Jor­dan.

    0Sources and numer­ous press reports also sug­gest that the 28 pages include more infor­ma­tion about Abdus­sat­tar Shaikh, an FBI asset in San Diego who Newsweek report­ed was friends with al-Bay­ou­mi and invit­ed two of the San Diego-based hijack­ers to live in his house.

    Shaikh was not allowed by the FBI or the Bush admin­is­tra­tion to tes­ti­fy before the 9/11 Com­mis­sion or the JICI.

    Gra­ham notes that there was a sig­nif­i­cant 9/11 inves­ti­ga­tion in Sara­so­ta, Fla., which also sug­gests a con­nec­tion between the hijack­ers and the Sau­di gov­ern­ment that most Amer­i­cans don’t know about.

    The inves­ti­ga­tion, which occurred in 2002, focused on Sau­di mil­lion­aire Abdu­laz­iz al-Hijji and his wife, Anoud, whose upscale home was owned by Anoud al-Hijji’s father, Esam Ghaz­za­wi, an advis­er to Prince Fahd bin Salman bin Abdu­laz­iz al-Saud, the nephew of Sau­di King Fahd.

    The al-Hijji fam­i­ly report­ed­ly moved out of their Sara­so­ta house and left the coun­try abrupt­ly in the weeks before 9/11, leav­ing behind three lux­u­ry cars and per­son­al belong­ings includ­ing cloth­ing, fur­ni­ture and fresh food. They also left the swim­ming-pool water cir­cu­lat­ing.

    Numer­ous news reports in Flori­da have said that the gat­ed community’s vis­i­tor logs and pho­tos of license tags showed that vehi­cles dri­ven by sev­er­al of the future 9/11 hijack­ers had vis­it­ed the al-Hijji home.

    Gra­ham said that like the 28 pages in the 9/11 inquiry, the Sara­so­ta case is being “cov­ered up” by U.S. intel­li­gence. Gra­ham has been fight­ing to get the FBI to release the details of this inves­ti­ga­tion with Free­dom of Infor­ma­tion Act (FOIA) requests and lit­i­ga­tion. But so far the bureau has stalled and stonewalled, he said.

    Lynch said he didn’t know how the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion would respond to the con­gres­sion­al res­o­lu­tion urg­ing declas­si­fi­ca­tion, if it pass­es the House and Sen­ate.

    “But if we raise the issue, and get enough mem­bers to read it, we think we can get the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion to revis­it this issue. I am very opti­mistic,” he said. “I’ve talked to some of my Demo­c­ra­t­ic mem­bers already, and there has been recep­tiv­i­ty there. They have agreed to look at it.”


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | December 16, 2013, 8:55 pm
  2. The wheel of time keeps turn­ing and right now it’s look­ing like it’s once again time for blow­back:

    Sau­di Ara­bia says uncov­ers al Qae­da cell plot­ting attacks

    By Rania El Gamal and Yara Bay­oumy

    RIYADH Tue May 6, 2014 1:10pm EDT

    (Reuters) — Sau­di Ara­bia has detained 62 sus­pect­ed al Qae­da mil­i­tants with links to rad­i­cals in Syr­ia and Yemen who were plot­ting attacks on gov­ern­ment and for­eign tar­gets in the king­dom, its Inte­ri­or Min­istry said on Tues­day.

    The world’s No. 1 oil exporter is increas­ing­ly con­cerned that Syr­i­a’s civ­il war is rad­i­cal­iz­ing more of its own cit­i­zens and has announced tough new mea­sures to counter mil­i­tan­cy.

    The 62 rep­re­sent the largest group of peo­ple said by author­i­ties to have been detained on sus­pi­cion of Islamist mil­i­tan­cy for at least two years in the con­ser­v­a­tive Islam­ic king­dom, which has impris­oned thou­sands over the past decade in its bat­tle against al Qae­da.

    Some 35 of the detainees had pre­vi­ous­ly been held by the Sau­di author­i­ties on secu­ri­ty charges before being released, Major Gen­er­al Man­sour Tur­ki, the Inte­ri­or Min­istry’s secu­ri­ty spokesman, told a tele­vised news con­fer­ence.

    “They swore alle­giance to their war­lord and start­ed in con­struct­ing com­po­nents of the orga­ni­za­tion, means of sup­port and plan­ning for ter­ror­ist oper­a­tions tar­get­ing gov­ern­ment instal­la­tions and for­eign inter­ests and the assas­si­na­tion of secu­ri­ty per­son­al­i­ties,” he said.

    He said the group had links to the al Qae­da-affil­i­at­ed Islam­ic State of Iraq and the Lev­ant (ISIL), which is both a pow­er­ful force among rebels in Syr­i­a’s civ­il war and an anti-gov­ern­ment com­bat­ant across the bor­der in tur­bu­lent Iraq.

    Inter­na­tion­al rights groups have said some of the thou­sands of peo­ple detained and jailed by Sau­di Ara­bia on secu­ri­ty grounds over the past decade were peace­ful dis­si­dents, some­thing the author­i­ties deny.

    The groups have also voiced con­cern at a new “anti-ter­ror­ism” law that gives the author­i­ties wide scope to detain and jail peo­ple as mil­i­tants for crit­i­ciz­ing the rul­ing fam­i­ly.

    Tur­ki said mon­i­tor­ing of social media played an impor­tant role in uncov­er­ing the group of 62, and had shown how al Qae­da mem­bers in Yemen and Syr­ia were com­mu­ni­cat­ing with each oth­er in coor­di­na­tion with mem­bers of the group inside Sau­di Ara­bia.


    The author­i­ties found a lab­o­ra­to­ry to make explo­sives and seized funds worth near­ly one mil­lion Sau­di riyals ($266,000) intend­ed for the cell, Tur­ki said. State tele­vi­sion showed dozens of seized mobile phones, lap­tops and tablet com­put­ers.

    He said the cell com­prised 59 Saud­is, a Pak­istani, a Yemeni and a Pales­tin­ian, and that one detainee was the group’s leader.

    Tur­ki added that the author­i­ties were still seek­ing anoth­er 44 peo­ple sus­pect­ed of hav­ing links to the group.

    While Sau­di Ara­bia is a lead­ing sup­port­er of the insur­gency against Syr­i­an Pres­i­dent Bashar al-Assad, it also fears the con­flict could rein­vig­o­rate a threat from mil­i­tants with­in its own bor­ders.

    The Inte­ri­or Min­istry has said that anger at the Syr­i­an con­flict has spurred a surge in online mil­i­tan­cy, and that it fears Saud­is who trav­el to Syr­ia to fight with the rebels might join al Qae­da and return to the king­dom to car­ry out attacks.

    An al Qae­da insur­gency inside Sau­di Ara­bia from 2003-06 was main­ly led by vet­er­ans of civ­il wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and after it was crushed its sur­vivors fled to neigh­bor­ing Yemen where they found­ed a new branch of the move­ment.

    Al Qae­da has thrived in south Yemen since then, exploit­ing weak gov­ern­ment and wide­spread pover­ty, but a Yemeni gov­ern­ment offen­sive oust­ed mil­i­tants from their main region­al strong­hold on Tues­day, the Defense Min­istry said.


    Is blow­back redux in on the way? Or might it be more of a blowout? It blows either way, but the par­tic­u­lars could be pret­ty impor­tant.

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 7, 2014, 12:17 pm
  3. Export­ing weapons can gen­er­ate a lot of prof­its and a lot of ten­sions, espe­cial­ly when the weapons importers are increas­ing­ly oppres­sive theocrats run­ning proxy wars

    Ger­many promis­es change as arms sales draw scruti­ny

    By Alexan­dra Hud­son and Sabine Siebold

    BERLIN Wed Jul 23, 2014 10:16am EDT

    (Reuters) — For law­mak­er Jan van Aken, lit­tle sym­bol­izes more potent­ly all that he finds inde­fen­si­ble about Ger­many’s arms exports than the Ger­man and French-made anti-tank mis­sile that he was shown in north­ern Syr­ia.

    From its ser­i­al num­ber, he believes the 1970s MILAN rock­et was sold legit­i­mate­ly by France to then Syr­i­an leader Hafez al-Assad. After decades in a depot, it fell into the hands of al Qae­da-linked mil­i­tants in the upris­ing against Assad’s son Bashar.

    Ear­li­er this year, the Ger­man politi­cian exam­ined the waist-high green tube left after the mis­sile was fired at the Kurds.

    Van Aken fears the arms that Ger­many exports today may one day share the same fate. Arms exports rose 24 per­cent to 5.85 bil­lion euros in 2013 from 2012 and are increas­ing­ly head­ing to states in volatile ares, such as Sau­di Ara­bia, Qatar and Alge­ria.

    These exports have start­ed to stir pub­lic dis­taste. Econ­o­my Min­is­ter Sig­mar Gabriel pledged last month to restrict them, even if that means sac­ri­fic­ing some of the esti­mat­ed 80,000 Ger­man jobs in arms man­u­fac­tur­ing.

    “It’s a dis­grace that Ger­many is among the world’s largest weapons exporters,” Gabriel has said.

    The debate with­in Ger­many mir­rors a broad­er inter­na­tion­al debate over arms exports that has gained urgency since the down­ing of a Malaysian pas­sen­ger air­craft over east­ern Ukraine last week. Wash­ing­ton believes the air­craft was brought down by a sur­face-to-air mis­sile fired from ter­ri­to­ry held by pro-Russ­ian sep­a­ratists.



    Weapons mak­ers say Ger­many risks los­ing jobs and tech­ni­cal know-how and buy­ers will sim­ply buy else­where, leav­ing the world no safer. They want to know what Gabriel’s “more restric­tive” export pol­i­cy means in prac­tice.

    It is an indus­try, how­ev­er, with few pub­lic friends and sup­port­ers, even among the wider busi­ness lob­by.

    “Our total exports are 1,100 bil­lion euros and weapons exports make up only a very small pro­por­tion,” said Anton Boern­er, head of the Ger­man exporters’ asso­ci­a­tion (BGA). “If peo­ple stopped buy­ing Ger­man cars then we would be wor­ried, but the issue of arms exports does­n’t con­cern us.”

    Since Angela Merkel took office in 2005, Ger­many has over­tak­en France to become the world’s third largest arms exporter behind the Unit­ed States and Rus­sia. This is a sur­pris­ing rise for a coun­try that has tra­di­tion­al­ly tak­en a back-seat on glob­al secu­ri­ty affairs and where a paci­fist ethos is ingrained in many after the hor­rors of Nazism.

    Almost two thirds of Ger­mans oppose arms exports, accord­ing to a 2012 poll. Yet just as the cars that Ger­many pro­duces are cov­et­ed the world over for their qual­i­ty engi­neer­ing and reli­a­bil­i­ty, so too are Ger­man tanks and guns.

    Buy­ers out­side of tra­di­tion­al NATO part­ners have lined up to make pur­chas­es, and Ger­many has increas­ing­ly said yes to deals that helped off­set dwin­dling orders from allies.


    In ear­ly 2013, Berlin raised eye­brows by autho­riz­ing Krauss-Maf­fei Weg­man­n’s (KMW) 2 bil­lion euro order from Qatar — 62 tanks for a coun­try of 2 mil­lion peo­ple which is crit­i­cized in the region for back­ing Islamist rebels in Syr­ia and else­where.

    Inter­est from abroad comes at a time when Ger­many’s own mil­i­tary has scaled back, reduc­ing its arse­nal of 4,600 tanks from the Cold War era to just 225 today.

    The SIPRI secu­ri­ty think-tank in Stock­holm says sell­ing arms to ‘part­ner’ coun­tries in the Mid­dle East or North Africa has been part of Ger­many’s response to the Islamist ter­ror threat since 2001. Con­trol over the deliv­ery of spare parts also allows Berlin to wield some soft influ­ence lat­er.

    Gabriel, whose Social Democ­rats (SPD) share pow­er with Merkel’s con­ser­v­a­tives, blames the surge in sales on Merkel’s pre­vi­ous coali­tion with the Free Democ­rats (FDP).

    While 38 per­cent of arms went to EU and NATO coun­tries or oth­er close allies such as Aus­tralia in 2013, 62 per­cent went to oth­er states — up from 55 per­cent in 2012.

    Fur­ther­more, total exports of small arms and light weapons (SALW) — portable arms such as guns, grenade launch­ers and anti-air­craft guns blamed for 60–90 per­cent of deaths in the world’s con­flicts — hit a record 135.1 mil­lion euros, a rise of 43 per­cent, with 40.5 mil­lion worth head­ing to Gulf states.

    “There are no coun­tries to which you can safe­ly export weapons, par­tic­u­lar­ly small arms and light weapons,” said van Aken. “You can nev­er be sure into whose hands they will fall, even if you are sell­ing to friends.”


    Posted by Pterrafractyl | July 24, 2014, 2:19 pm
  4. The dri­ve to release the infa­mous “28 pages” that are alleged to con­tain evi­dence of Sau­di gov­ern­ment com­plic­i­ty in the 9/11 attacks just anoth­er push after John Lehman, one of the mem­bers of 9/11 Com­mis­sion, just declared that the 28 pages con­tain clear evi­dence of Sau­di gov­ern­ment sup­port:

    The Guardian

    Sau­di offi­cials were ‘sup­port­ing’ 9/11 hijack­ers, com­mis­sion mem­ber says

    First seri­ous pub­lic split revealed among com­mis­sion­ers over the release of the secret ‘28 pages’ that detail Sau­di ties to 2001 ter­ror­ist attacks

    Philip Shenon

    Thurs­day 12 May 2016 07.00 EDT

    A for­mer Repub­li­can mem­ber of the 9/11 com­mis­sion, break­ing dra­mat­i­cal­ly with the commission’s lead­ers, said Wednes­day he believes there was clear evi­dence that Sau­di gov­ern­ment employ­ees were part of a sup­port net­work for the 9/11 hijack­ers and that the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion should move quick­ly to declas­si­fy a long-secret con­gres­sion­al report on Sau­di ties to the 2001 ter­ror­ist attack.

    The com­ments by John F Lehman, an invest­ment banker in New York who was Navy sec­re­tary in the Rea­gan admin­is­tra­tion, sig­nal the first seri­ous pub­lic split among the 10 com­mis­sion­ers since they issued a 2004 final report that was large­ly read as an exon­er­a­tion of Sau­di Ara­bia, which was home to 15 of the 19 hijack­ers on 9/11.

    “There was an awful lot of par­tic­i­pa­tion by Sau­di indi­vid­u­als in sup­port­ing the hijack­ers, and some of those peo­ple worked in the Sau­di gov­ern­ment,” Lehman said in an inter­view, sug­gest­ing that the com­mis­sion may have made a mis­take by not stat­ing that explic­it­ly in its final report. “Our report should nev­er have been read as an exon­er­a­tion of Sau­di Ara­bia.”

    He was crit­i­cal of a state­ment released late last month by the for­mer chair­man and vice-chair­man of the com­mis­sion, who urged the Oba­ma admin­is­tra­tion to be cau­tious about releas­ing the full con­gres­sion­al report on the Saud­is and 9/11 – “the 28 pages”, as they are wide­ly known in Wash­ing­ton – because they con­tained “raw, unvet­ted” mate­r­i­al that might smear inno­cent peo­ple.

    The 9/11 com­mis­sion chair­man, for­mer Repub­li­can gov­er­nor Tom Kean of New Jer­sey, and vice-chair­man, for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic con­gress­man Lee Hamil­ton of Indi­ana, praised Sau­di Ara­bia as, over­all, “an ally of the Unit­ed States in com­bat­ting ter­ror­ism” and said the commission’s inves­ti­ga­tion, which came after the con­gres­sion­al report was writ­ten, had iden­ti­fied only one Sau­di gov­ern­ment offi­cial – a for­mer diplo­mat in the Sau­di con­sulate in Los Ange­les – as being “impli­cat­ed in the 9/11 plot inves­ti­ga­tion”.

    The diplo­mat, Fahad al-Thu­mairy, who was deport­ed from the US but was nev­er charged with a crime, was sus­pect­ed of involve­ment in a sup­port net­work for two Sau­di hijack­ers who had lived in San Diego the year before the attacks.

    In the inter­view Wednes­day, Lehman said Kean and Hamilton’s state­ment that only one Sau­di gov­ern­ment employ­ee was “impli­cat­ed” in sup­port­ing the hijack­ers in Cal­i­for­nia and else­where was “a game of seman­tics” and that the com­mis­sion had been aware of at least five Sau­di gov­ern­ment offi­cials who were strong­ly sus­pect­ed of involve­ment in the ter­ror­ists’ sup­port net­work.

    “They may not have been indict­ed, but they were cer­tain­ly impli­cat­ed,” he said. “There was an awful lot of cir­cum­stan­tial evi­dence.”

    Although Lehman said he did not believe that the Sau­di roy­al fam­i­ly or the country’s senior civil­ian lead­er­ship had any role in sup­port­ing al-Qai­da or the 9/11 plot, he recalled that a focus of the crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tion after 9/11 was upon employ­ees of the Sau­di min­istry of Islam­ic affairs, which had spon­sored Thu­mairy for his job in Los Ange­les and has long been sus­pect­ed of ties to extrem­ist groups.

    He said “the 28 pages”, which were pre­pared by a spe­cial House-Sen­ate com­mit­tee inves­ti­gat­ing pre‑9/11 intel­li­gence fail­ures, reviewed much of the same mate­r­i­al and ought to be made pub­lic as soon as pos­si­ble, although pos­si­bly with redac­tions to remove the names of a few Sau­di sus­pects who were lat­er cleared of any involve­ment in the ter­ror­ist attacks.

    Lehman has sup­port among some of the oth­er com­mis­sion­ers, although none have spo­ken out so blunt­ly in crit­i­ciz­ing the Saud­is. A Demo­c­ra­t­ic com­mis­sion­er, for­mer con­gress­man Tim Roe­mer of Indi­ana, said he wants the con­gres­sion­al report released to end some of the wild spec­u­la­tion about what is in the 28 pages and to see if parts of the inquiry should be reopened. When it comes to the Saud­is, he said, “we still haven’t got­ten to the bot­tom of what hap­pened on 9/11”.

    Anoth­er pan­el mem­ber, speak­ing on con­di­tion of anonymi­ty for fear of offend­ing the oth­er nine, said the 28 pages should be released even though they could dam­age the commission’s lega­cy – “fair­ly or unfair­ly” – by sug­gest­ing lines of inves­ti­ga­tion involv­ing the Sau­di gov­ern­ment that were pur­sued by Con­gress but nev­er ade­quate­ly explored by the com­mis­sion.

    “I think we were tough on the Saud­is, but obvi­ous­ly not tough enough,” the com­mis­sion­er said. “I know some mem­bers of the staff felt we went much too easy on the Saud­is. I didn’t real­ly know the extent of it until after the report came out.”

    The com­mis­sion­er said the renewed pub­lic debate could force a spot­light on a most­ly unknown chap­ter of the his­to­ry of the 9/11 com­mis­sion: behind closed doors, mem­bers of the panel’s staff fierce­ly protest­ed the way the mate­r­i­al about the Saud­is was pre­sent­ed in the final report, say­ing it under­played or ignored evi­dence that Sau­di offi­cials – espe­cial­ly at low­er lev­els of the gov­ern­ment – were part of an al-Qai­da sup­port net­work that had been tasked to assist the hijack­ers after they arrived in the US.

    In fact, there were repeat­ed show­downs, espe­cial­ly over the Saud­is, between the staff and the commission’s hard-charg­ing exec­u­tive direc­tor, Uni­ver­si­ty of Vir­ginia his­to­ri­an Philip Zelikow, who joined the Bush admin­is­tra­tion as a senior advis­er to the sec­re­tary of state, Con­doleez­za Rice, after leav­ing the com­mis­sion. The staff includ­ed expe­ri­enced inves­ti­ga­tors from the FBI, the Depart­ment of Jus­tice and the CIA, as well as the con­gres­sion­al staffer who was the prin­ci­pal author of the 28 pages.

    Zelikow fired a staffer, who had repeat­ed­ly protest­ed over lim­i­ta­tions on the Sau­di inves­ti­ga­tion, after she obtained a copy of the 28 pages out­side of offi­cial chan­nels. Oth­er staffers described an angry scene late one night, near the end of the inves­ti­ga­tion, when two inves­ti­ga­tors who focused on the Sau­di alle­ga­tions were forced to rush back to the commission’s offices after mid­night after learn­ing to their aston­ish­ment that some of the most com­pelling evi­dence about a Sau­di tie to 9/11 was being edit­ed out of the report or was being pushed to tiny, bare­ly read­able foot­notes and end­notes. The staff protests were most­ly over­ruled.

    The 9/11 com­mis­sion did crit­i­cize Sau­di Ara­bia for its spon­sor­ship of a fun­da­men­tal­ist branch of Islam embraced by ter­ror­ists and for the Sau­di roy­al family’s rela­tion­ship with char­i­ty groups that bankrolled al-Qai­da before 9/11.

    How­ev­er, the commission’s final report was still wide­ly read as an exon­er­a­tion, with a cen­tral find­ing by the com­mis­sion that there was “no evi­dence that the Sau­di gov­ern­ment as an insti­tu­tion or senior Sau­di offi­cials indi­vid­u­al­ly” pro­vid­ed finan­cial assis­tance to Osama bin Laden’s ter­ror­ist net­work. The state­ment was hailed by the Sau­di gov­ern­ment as effec­tive­ly clear­ing Sau­di offi­cials of any tie to 9/11.

    Last month Barack Oba­ma, return­ing from a tense state vis­it to Sau­di Ara­bia, dis­closed the admin­is­tra­tion was near­ing a deci­sion on whether to declas­si­fy some or all of the 28 pages, which have been held under lock and key in a secure room beneath the Capi­tol since they were writ­ten in 2002. Just days after the president’s com­ments how­ev­er, his CIA direc­tor, John Bren­nan, announced that he opposed the release of the con­gres­sion­al report, say­ing it con­tained inac­cu­rate mate­r­i­al that might lead to unfair alle­ga­tions that Sau­di Ara­bia was tied to 9/11.

    In their joint state­ment last month, Kean and Hamil­ton sug­gest­ed they agreed with Bren­nan and that there might be dan­ger in releas­ing the full 28 pages.

    The con­gres­sion­al report was “based almost entire­ly on raw, unvet­ted mate­r­i­al that came to the FBI”, they said. “The 28 pages, there­fore, are com­pa­ra­ble to pre­lim­i­nary law enforce­ment notes, which are gen­er­al­ly cov­ered by grand jury secre­cy rules.” If any part of the con­gres­sion­al report is made pub­lic, they said, it should be redact­ed “to pro­tect the iden­ti­ties of any­one who has been ruled out by author­i­ties as hav­ing any con­nec­tion to the 9/11 plot”.

    Zelikow, the commission’s exec­u­tive direc­tor, told NBC News last month that the 28 pages “pro­vide no fur­ther answers about the 9/11 attacks that are not already includ­ed in the 9/11 com­mis­sion report”. Mak­ing them pub­lic “will only make the red her­ring glow red­der”.

    But Kean, Hamil­ton and Zelikow clear­ly do not speak for a num­ber of the oth­er com­mis­sion­ers, who have repeat­ed­ly sug­gest­ed they are uncom­fort­able with the per­cep­tion that the com­mis­sion exon­er­at­ed Sau­di Ara­bia and who have joined in call­ing for pub­lic release of the 28 pages.

    Lehman and anoth­er com­mis­sion­er, for­mer Demo­c­ra­t­ic sen­a­tor Bob Ker­rey of Nebras­ka, filed affi­davits last year in sup­port of a law­suit brought against the Sau­di gov­ern­ment by the fam­i­lies of 9/11 vic­tims. “Sig­nif­i­cant ques­tions remain unan­swered con­cern­ing pos­si­ble involve­ment of Sau­di gov­ern­ment insti­tu­tions and actors,” Ker­rey said. Lehman agreed: “Con­trary to the argu­ment advo­cat­ed by the King­dom, the 9/11 com­mis­sion did not exon­er­ate Sau­di Ara­bia of cul­pa­bil­i­ty for the events of 11 Sep­tem­ber 2001 or the financ­ing of al-Qai­da.” He said he was “deeply trou­bled” by the evi­dence gath­ered about a hijack­ers’ sup­port net­work in Cal­i­for­nia.

    In an inter­view last week, con­gress­man Roe­mer, the Demo­c­ra­t­ic com­mis­sion­er, sug­gest­ed a com­pro­mise in releas­ing the 28 pages. He said that, unlike Kean and Hamil­ton, he was eager to see the full con­gres­sion­al report declas­si­fied and made pub­lic, although the 28 pages should be released along­side a list of per­ti­nent excerpts of the 9/11 commission’s final report. “That would show what alle­ga­tions were and were not proven, so that inno­cent peo­ple are not unfair­ly maligned,” he said. “It would also show there are issues raised in the 28 pages about the Saud­is that are still unre­solved to this day.”


    “The com­mis­sion­er said the renewed pub­lic debate could force a spot­light on a most­ly unknown chap­ter of the his­to­ry of the 9/11 com­mis­sion: behind closed doors, mem­bers of the panel’s staff fierce­ly protest­ed the way the mate­r­i­al about the Saud­is was pre­sent­ed in the final report, say­ing it under­played or ignored evi­dence that Sau­di offi­cials – espe­cial­ly at low­er lev­els of the gov­ern­ment – were part of an al-Qai­da sup­port net­work that had been tasked to assist the hijack­ers after they arrived in the US.
    Well, ok, so it sounds like the 28 pages def­i­nite­ly con­tain evi­dence of at least low-lev­el Sau­di gov­ern­ment involve­ment, which sug­gests that, should these 28 pages actu­al­ly get released, the obvi­ous Sau­di response will be to blame low lev­el gov­ern­ment offi­cials. And then just try to for­get the whole thing. And if that’s the sce­nario that plays out, it rais­es the ques­tion of what should be demand­ed if low lev­el, but not high­er lev­el, involve­ment can be basi­cal­ly proven beyond a rea­son­able doubt. Hmmm....

    Posted by Pterrafractyl | May 12, 2016, 8:36 pm
  5. Just to men­tion, I believe Osama Bas­nan lived next door to a mem­ber of Ismail Elbarasse’s fam­i­ly on South George Mason Dri­ve in Falls Church, Va.

    Posted by Adam | July 12, 2016, 3:07 pm

Post a comment