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

For The Record  

FTR #462 Fifth Column Part III: The Subversion of Operation Green Quest

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This broad­cast high­lights the activ­i­ties of an appar­ent Fifth Col­umn with­in the U.S. polit­i­cal, eco­nom­ic and law-enforce­men­t/in­tel­li­gence estab­lish­ments. Par­tic­u­lar empha­sis is on the sub­ver­sion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest—the effort to inter­dict ter­ror­ist financ­ing. Cen­tral to the frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest is the FBI’s refusal to share juris­dic­tion on the oper­a­tion with oth­er agen­cies (the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty in par­tic­u­lar), gen­er­at­ing charges that the bureau is delib­er­ate­ly under­min­ing the inves­ti­ga­tion. In the con­text of the frus­tra­tion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest, it is impor­tant to remem­ber that the tar­gets of the 3/20/2002 Green Quest raids include mem­bers of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s inner cir­cle and that FBI chief Robert Mueller appears com­pro­mised because of his less than vig­or­ous inves­ti­ga­tion of the BCCI case when he was a U.S. attor­ney under George Bush. In part, the sub­ver­sion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest is respon­si­ble for the fact that Al Qaeda’s fund­ing sources remain large­ly intact.

Note that this descrip­tion con­tains mate­r­i­al not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal broad­cast due to the lim­i­ta­tions of time.

Pro­gram High­lights Include: The Ptech case—the inves­ti­ga­tion of a soft­ware com­pa­ny financed in part by alleged Al Qae­da financier Yasin Al-Qadi; the fact that Ptech devel­oped soft­ware for—among oth­er agencies—the FAA and the Air Force; the pos­si­ble role of the Ptech soft­ware in the anom­alous behav­ior of U.S. air defens­es on 9/11; the alleged con­nec­tions of Ptech direc­tor Yaqub Mirza with the high­est lev­els of the FBI; Mirza­’s role in set­ting up the orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed in the 3/20/2002 raids; the harass­ment of Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tors by both FBI and CIA; review of the con­nec­tions between the tar­gets of the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids and the Bush admin­is­tra­tion; the charges of FBI whistle­blow­er Sibel Edmonds that the ter­ror­ist sup­port net­work in this coun­try involved peo­ple in high places with pow­er­ful polit­i­cal con­nec­tions; details of the Sami Al-Ari­an inves­ti­ga­tion that led to the Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002; the “acci­den­tal” destruc­tion of key doc­u­ments in the Al-Ari­an case (this destruc­tion threat­ens the case.

1. Begin­ning dis­cus­sion of the fail­ure to inter­dict ter­ror­ist financ­ing, the pro­gram opens with men­tion of a report from a British intel­li­gence analy­sis think-tank. This report notes that Al Qaeda’s fund­ing con­duits have remained large­ly intact. ” . . . In its annu­al strate­gic sur­vey, the Inter­na­tion­al Insti­tute for Strate­gic Stud­ies (IISS) says al-Qaeda’s finan­cial net­work has sur­vived large­ly intact, and that the war in Iraq has brought new recruits to its ranks. . . .”
(“Al-Qae­da ‘May Have 18,000 Oper­a­tives’ ” by Mark Huband and David Buchan in Lon­don; Finan­cial Times; 5/25/2004.)

2. FBI trans­la­tor Sibel Edmonds has not­ed that her dis­clo­sures con­cern­ing fore­warn­ings of the 9/11 attacks have been muz­zled. Among her dis­clo­sures is the alle­ga­tion that peo­ple in high places are block­ing inves­ti­ga­tion of her charges. She seems to imply that these peo­ple are impli­cat­ed to a cer­tain extent in the financ­ing of ter­ror­ism. ” . . . [Sibel] Edmonds said she had heard the details of the Afghan asset sto­ry in an unclas­si­fied meet­ing at the Capi­tol, but she can­not talk about the specifics because of a Jus­tice Depart­ment gag order that clas­si­fies as secret what she has to say. She said, how­ev­er, that ‘there are a lot of activ­i­ties in the U.S. A lot of mon­ey . . . and these activ­i­ties involve mon­ey laun­der­ing, drugs, a sup­port net­work for ter­ror­ism . . . peo­ple in high places . . . [peo­ple] in the polit­i­cal are­na.’ [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s]”
(“This Made Ashcroft Gag” by James Ridge­way; The Vil­lage Voice; 5/25/2004; p. 1.)

3. ” . . . . Edmonds can’t tell what she may know because attor­ney Gen­er­al John Ashcroft recent­ly invoked an arcane law to make her state­ments ‘classified’—including pre­vi­ous­ly pub­lic state­ments and jour­nal­ism quot­ing her on the case.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

4. “At a Sen­ate Judi­cia­ry com­mit­tee hear­ing last week, Repub­li­can Chuck Grass­ley of Iowa sum­ma­rized the Edmonds case in ques­tion­ing FBI direc­tor Robert Mueller: ‘I would also like to, on a sec­ond point, fig­ure out why the FBI is going back in time and clas­si­fy­ing some pret­ty basic infor­ma­tion that’s already in the pub­lic sec­tor in regard to clas­si­fi­ca­tion of infor­ma­tion that we have received in Con­gress from a whis­tle-blow­er, Sibel Edmonds. We have, for instance, an e‑mail sent out by the chair­man’s office last week say­ing that the FBI is clas­si­fy­ing two-year-old infor­ma­tion that the com­mit­tee got in two pre­vi­ous brief­in­gs. Ms. Edmonds worked for the FBI as a trans­la­tor and was fired after she report­ed prob­lems. As part of the com­mit­tee’s legit­i­mate over­sight, we looked into that. The e‑mail I have is right here. And so I’m very alarmed with the after-the-fact clas­si­fi­ca­tion. On the one hand, I think it’s ludi­crous, because I under­stand that almost all of this infor­ma­tion’s in the pub­lic domain, and has been very wide­ly avail­able. On the oth­er hand, this clas­si­fi­ca­tion is very seri­ous, because it seems like the FBI would be attempt­ing to put a gag order on Con­gress.’ ” (Ibid.; pp. 2–3.)

5. Sup­ple­ment­ing pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion of the FBI’s fail­ure to coop­er­ate with oth­er agen­cies in pur­su­ing Oper­a­tion Green Quest (FTR#‘s 432, 433), the pro­gram notes that the effort has large­ly been frus­trat­ed, cour­tesy of the FBI. (FTR#‘s 310, 424—among oth­er programs—note that FBI direc­tor Robert Mueller’s back­ground sug­gests that his appoint­ment may well have been intend­ed to block any inves­ti­ga­tions lead­ing in the direc­tion of the Bush/BCCI/Bin Laden nexus that lies at the core of the pres­i­den­t’s past busi­ness rela­tion­ships. The 3/20/2002 Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids led direct­ly to ele­ments con­nect­ed to the GOP. Bush busi­ness asso­ciate Talat Oth­man, him­self con­nect­ed to the BCCI milieu, inter­ced­ed on behalf of the insti­tu­tions tar­get­ed in those raids. For more about the Talat Oth­man inter­ces­sion, see—among oth­er programs—FTR#‘s 356, 357, 390, 454.) “While the U.S. mil­i­tary wages war in Iraq, the FBI and the new Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty are fight­ing their own fierce battle—against each oth­er. The casus bel­li of th

is con­flict is Oper­a­tion Green Quest—the high-pro­file fed­er­al task force set up to tar­get the financiers of Al Qae­da and oth­er inter­na­tion­al ter­ror­ist groups. Ever since Green Quest was cre­at­ed by for­mer U.S. Cus­toms chief Robert Bon­ner just after the Sep­tem­ber 11 ter­ror attacks, Green Quest agents have con­duct­ed some of the Bush admin­is­tra­tion’s best-pub­li­cized and most con­tro­ver­sial ter­ror­ist-finance cases—including a series of raids against the offices of Islam­ic char­i­ties in the Wash­ing­ton area last year that drew strong protests from Amer­i­can Mus­lim and civ­il-rights groups. [These were the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002—D.E.]”
(“Whose War on Ter­ror?”; Newsweek; 12/10/2003; p. 1.)

6. “But as the Green Quest team made head­lines, its inves­ti­ga­tions trig­gered a bit­ter dis­pute with­in the gov­ern­ment. Inter­nal­ly, FBI offi­cials have derid­ed Green Quest agents as a bunch of ‘cow­boys’ whose actions have under­mined more impor­tant, long-range FBI inves­ti­ga­tions into ter­ror­ist financ­ing. Green Quest sources, in turn, accuse the FBI of jeal­ousy. Now that the Cus­toms-led Green Quest oper­a­tion has been fold­ed into the new Home­land Secu­ri­ty Depart­ment, Newsweek has learned, the FBI and its par­ent agency, the Jus­tice Depart­ment, have demand­ed that the White House instead give the FBI total con­trol over Green Quest.” (Idem.)

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

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

9. ” ‘They [The FBI] won’t share any­thing with us,’ said a Home­land Secu­ri­ty offi­cial. ‘Then they go to the White House and they accuse us of not shar­ing . . . If they can’t take it over, they want to kill it.’ If noth­ing else, the bat­tle over Green Quest illus­trates the bureau­crat­ic ten­sions that still plague the war on ter­ror. The cre­ation of the Home­land Secu­ri­ty Depart­ment was sup­posed to put an end to such turf fights. The new depart­ment took over a diverse assort­ment of fed­er­al agen­cies that had var­i­ous respon­si­bil­i­ties for com­bat­ing ter­ror­ism, includ­ing the Cus­toms Ser­vice, the Immi­gra­tion and Nat­u­ral­iza­tion Ser­vice and the U.S. Bor­der Patrol.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

10. Among the inves­ti­ga­tions weak­ened by the inter­a­gency fric­tion is the Ptech inves­ti­ga­tion. Accused ter­ror­ist financier Yasin Al-Qadi is one of the main investors in Ptech, which devel­ops com­put­er soft­ware for, among oth­er agen­cies, the Air Force and the FAA. One of the ques­tions that sug­gests itself in this regard con­cerns the pos­si­bil­i­ty that the anom­alies in the per­for­mance of air-defense units on 9/11 may be due, in part, to soft­ware sab­o­tage by Ptech. “But even while the White House was preach­ing coop­er­a­tion, the var­i­ous agen­cies that were being fold­ed into Home­land Secu­ri­ty were squab­bling with the FBI—the behe­moth in the domes­tic war on ter­ror. One prime exam­ple of the ten­sion is the inves­ti­ga­tion into Ptech, the Boston-area com­put­er soft­ware firm that had mil­lions of dol­lars in sen­si­tive gov­ern­ment con­tracts with the Air Force, the Ener­gy Depart­ment and, iron­i­cal­ly enough, the FBI. In what turned into a minor embar­rass­ment for the bureau, the fir­m’s main investors includ­ed Yasin Al-Qadi, a wealthy Sau­di busi­ness­man whom the Bush admin­is­tra­tion had for­mal­ly des­ig­nat­ed a ter­ror­ist financier under the Inter­na­tion­al Emer­gency Eco­nom­ic Pow­ers Act. Al-Qadi has vig­or­ous­ly denied any con­nec­tion to ter­ror­ism.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

11. “The Ptech case turned into an ugly dis­pute last year when com­pa­ny whistle­blow­ers told Green Quest agents about their own sus­pi­cions about the fir­m’s own­ers. Sources close to the case say those same whistle­blow­ers had first approached FBI agents, but the bureau appar­ent­ly did lit­tle or noth­ing in response. With back­ing from the Nation­al Secu­ri­ty Coun­cil, Green Quest agents then mount­ed a full-scale inves­ti­ga­tion that cul­mi­nat­ed in a raid on the com­pa­ny’s office last Decem­ber. After get­ting wind of the Green Quest probe, the FBI stepped in and unsuc­cess­ful­ly tried to take con­trol of the case.” (Idem.)

12. “The result, sources say, has been some­thing of a train wreck. Pri­vate­ly, FBI offi­cials say Green Quest agents botched the probe and jeop­ar­dized oth­er more promis­ing inquiries into Al-Qadi. Green Quest agents dis­miss the charges and say the prob­lem is that the bureau ws slow to respond to legit­i­mate alle­ga­tions that an out­side con­trac­tor with ter­ror­ist ties may have infil­trat­ed gov­ern­ment com­put­ers. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s.] What­ev­er the truth, there is no dis­pute that the case has so far pro­duced no charges and indict­ments against Al-Qadi or any­one else con­nect­ed with Ptech. The com­pa­ny has denied wrong­do­ing.” (Idem.)

13. Still more about the turf war between the FBI and the DHS over Green Quest: “A war has bro­ken out on Amer­i­can soil, large­ly below the pub­lic radar screen. On May 13, 2003, Attor­ney Gen­er­al John Ashcroft and Sec­re­tary of Home­land Secu­ri­ty Tom Ridge signed a ‘mem­o­ran­dum of Agree­ment’ between the Depart­ment of jus­tice and Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty (DHS) that gives the Fed­er­al Bureau of Inves­ti­ga­tion (FBI) unprece­dent­ed uni­lat­er­al con­trol of all ter­ror­ist-financ­ing inves­ti­ga­tions and oper­a­tions. The agree­ment rais­es ques­tions about the need for a Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, if the FBI will be han­dling all rel­e­vant ter­ror inves­ti­ga­tions.”
(“Per­ilous Pow­er Play: FBI vs. Home­land Secu­ri­ty” by Rita Katz & Josh Devon; Nation­al Review; 5/27/2003; p. 1.)

14. “Sev­er­al sea­soned gov­ern­ment agents fear for the nation’s secu­ri­ty should the FBI be tack­ling most ter­ror­ism cas­es, as their inep­ti­tude in pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ism has been estab­lished time and time again. Yet, the mem­o­ran­dum between Ashcroft and Ridge places the FBI in an incred­i­bly pow­er­ful posi­tion over Home­land Secu­ri­ty. Accord­ing to the mem­o­ran­dum, ‘[A]ll appro­pri­ate DHS leads relat­ing to mon­ey laun­der­ing and finan­cial crimes will be checked with the FBI.’ ” (Idem.)

15. “This usurpa­tion cre­ates a gigan­tic imbal­ance of pow­er in crim­i­nal inves­ti­ga­tions, as the FBI now has the pow­er to cre­ate or kill any ter­ror­ist-financ­ing inves­ti­ga­tion it deems appro­pri­ate or inap­pro­pri­ate to inves­ti­gate. This puts the FBI in a posi­tion to con­trol too much and is eeri­ly rem­i­nis­cent of the for­mer Sovi­et Union’s oppres­sive intel­li­gence agency, the KGB. Like the KGB, the FBI seeks to run itself with no checks and bal­ances, a nec­es­sary hall­mark of the Amer­i­can sys­tem of gov­ern­ment and civ­il rights. The mem­o­ran­dum makes the point that FBI agents assigned to work in con­junc­tion with DHS agents ‘are pro­vid­ed full an

d time­ly access to all data devel­oped in ICE’s [Bureau of Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment] mon­ey laun­der­ing and finan­cial crimes cas­es on an ongo­ing basis.’ The rec­i­p­ro­cal is not stat­ed in the agree­ment, con­tin­u­ing the FBI’s long-held pol­i­cy of refus­ing to share their infor­ma­tion with oth­er agen­cies.” (Idem.)

16. A point of infor­ma­tion that rais­es seri­ous ques­tions about the FBI’s moti­va­tion for attempt­ing to monop­o­lize Green Quest inves­ti­ga­tions con­cerns the bureau’s admis­sion that it did not have the abil­i­ty to han­dle coun­tert­er­ror­ism cas­es! “Amaz­ing­ly, though, just after 9/11 the FBI admit­ted it did not have the abil­i­ty to han­dle coun­tert­er­ror­ism cas­es. Accord­ing to a May 2003 Gen­er­al Account­ing Office (GAO) Report about inter­a­gency infor­ma­tion shar­ing, ‘the Direc­tor of the FBI tes­ti­fied in June 2002 that imple­ment­ing a more proac­tive approach to pre­vent­ing ter­ror­ist acts and deny­ing ter­ror­ist groups the abil­i­ty to oper­ate and raise funds require a cen­tral­ized and robust ana­lyt­i­cal capac­i­ty that did not exist in the FBI’s Coun­tert­er­ror­ism Divi­sion.’ Yet, because the FBI is so well fund­ed and staffed com­pared to the oth­er agen­cies, the bureau can play the PR game bet­ter than any oth­er agency. Thus, while strong-arm­ing oth­er agen­cies and bul­ly­ing them out of inves­ti­ga­tions, the FBI main­tains a pos­i­tive face in the eyes of the Amer­i­can pub­lic and takes cred­it for inves­ti­ga­tions in which they were only tan­gen­tial­ly involved.” (Ibid.; pp. 1–2.)

17. “For those who do not fear that the FBI will be han­dling future ter­ror­ist financ­ing inves­ti­ga­tions, let’s look at the agen­cy’s track record when it comes to pro­tect­ing the Unit­ed States from ter­ror­ist financ­ing: Even after the Sep­tem­ber 11 attacks, the FBI failed to pur­sue obvi­ous ter­ror­ist financ­ing leads. In a huge­ly embar­rass­ing moment, the FBI failed to do any­thing about Ptech, Inc. a com­pa­ny whose prime investor was a Spe­cial­ly Des­ig­nat­ed Glob­al Ter­ror­ist enti­ty, Sau­di Yassin al-Qadi. In des­per­a­tion, the vice pres­i­dent of sales at Ptech con­tact­ed the FBI and plead­ed with them to look into the orga­ni­za­tion, as he saw in the news that Qadi was alleged­ly con­nect­ed to fund­ing al Qae­da. After repeat­ed meet­ings with increas­ing­ly high­er-rank­ing FBI offi­cials where the employ­ees beseeched the agency to look into the com­pa­ny, the bureau did noth­ing, despite know­ing that Qadi was a pri­ma­ry financier of Ptech.” (Ibid.; p. 2.)

18. Among the more alarm­ing details about the Ptech deba­cle con­cerns a state­ment attrib­uted to the pres­i­dent of Ptech. He alleged­ly told a sub­or­di­nate that Yaqub Mirza—a mem­ber of the board of directors—had con­nec­tions high up in the FBI! Mirza set up the orga­ni­za­tions tar­get­ed in the Oper­a­tion Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002! “Fur­ther­more, the FBI was aware that Ptech pro­vid­ed com­put­er soft­ware for sev­er­al gov­ern­ment agen­cies, includ­ing the FBI itself, the FAA, the U.S. Trea­sury, the Depart­ment of Defense, the IRS, and the White House, prov­ing a vis­i­ble and viable threat to nation­al secu­ri­ty. The FBI ignored the repeat­ed requests of con­cerned employ­ees. Fright­en­ing­ly, when an employ­ee told the Pres­i­dent of Ptech he felt he had to con­tact the FBI regard­ing Qadi’s involve­ment in the com­pa­ny, the pres­i­dent alleged­ly told him not to wor­ry because Yaqub Mirza, who was on the board of direc­tors of the com­pa­ny and was him­self a tar­get of a ter­ror­ist financ­ing raid in March 2002, had con­tacts high with­in the FBI. [Ital­ics are Mr. Emory’s].” (Idem.)

19. “After months of the FBI refus­ing to do any­thing sub­stan­tive, it took the efforts of U.S. Cus­toms, now a part of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, to raid the busi­ness in Decem­ber 2002 and jump­start the inves­ti­ga­tion into the alleged ter­ror­ist finan­cial net­work.” (Idem.)

20. The FBI had pre­vi­ous­ly ignored the orga­ni­za­tions set up by Mirza and tar­get­ed in the 3/20/2002 Green Quest raids (the SAAR net­work). “Per­haps the FBI’s biggest blun­der was in ignor­ing the enor­mous alleged ter­ror­ist finan­cial net­work of com­pa­nies and non­prof­it orga­ni­za­tions most­ly in Hern­don, Vir­ginia, named by inves­ti­ga­tors as the ‘SAAR Net­work.’ The FBI had been aware of the SAAR Net­work was fun­nel­ing mon­ey to al-Ari­an. The FBI chose to ignore the case for unknown rea­sons, though some have spec­u­lat­ed it was due to the SAAR Net­work’s close asso­ci­a­tion to wealthy Saud­is who fund­ed the net­work.” (Idem.)

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

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

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

24. Review­ing infor­ma­tion pre­sent­ed in FTR#460, the pro­gram notes the alle­ga­tion that among the peo­ple enlist­ed by Bin Laden to assist his efforts was the chief of the Pak­istani air force. When tak­en in com­bi­na­tion with the alleged­ly Al Qae­da-linked Ptech (which devel­oped soft­ware for the Air Force and the FAA), this detail may account for some of the anom­alous behav­ior of air defense unites on 9/11. Might ele­ments with­in Ptech, with the assis­tance of Mir, have engi­neered a way to delay inter­cep­tion? “Nor was that the end of it. Dur­ing his inter­ro­ga­tion, Zubay­dah had also said that Osama bin Laden had struck a deal with Pak­istani air force chief Air Mar­shal Mushaf Ali Mir, and had told him that there would be unspec­i­fied attacks on Amer­i­can soil on 9/11. Sev­en months after the Sau­di deaths, on Feb­ru­ary 20, 2003, Mir and six­teen oth­ers were killed when their plane crashed in a north­west province of Pak­istan. Sab­o­tage was wide­ly spec­u­lat­ed to be behind the crash but could not be proved.”
(House of Bush, House of Saud; by Craig Unger; LinkScrib­n­er [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0–7432-5337‑X; p. 269.)

25. As dis­cussed in (among oth­er pro­grams) FTR#‘s 356, 454, Talat Oth­man (a close asso­ciate of both Georges Bush) inter­ced­ed o

n 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. [Bin Mah­fouz was one of the prin­ci­pal fig­ures in the BCCI inves­ti­ga­tion, over­seen by now-FBI chief Robert Mueller—D.E.] Bakhsh now heads an oil com­pa­ny that is a sub­sidiary of Hal­libur­ton, the ener­gy giant for­mer­ly run by Vice Pres­i­dent Dick Cheney.”
(“Char­i­ty Cas­es: Why Has the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion Failed to Stop Sau­di Fund­ing of Ter­ror­ism?” by David Arm­strong; Harper’s; March/2004; p. 82.)

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

27. The milieu of the 3/20-tar­get­ed SAAR net­work sig­nif­i­cant­ly over­laps the GOP’s eth­nic out­reach orga­ni­za­tion and the Bush admin­is­tra­tion. That fact 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.)

28. ” . . . 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.)

29. “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.)

30. Anoth­er exam­ple of the Saudi/Bush-linked Fifth Col­umn for which the pro­gram is named con­cerns an oper­a­tional con­nec­tion between Prince Ban­dar and for­mer FBI direc­tor Louis Freeh. This link was estab­lished behind the back of the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion and served to frus­trate the inves­ti­ga­tion into the 1996 Kho­bar Tow­ers inves­ti­ga­tion. For­mer pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush was Free­h’s liai­son man to Ban­dar. One won­ders if this con­nec­tion may have had some­thing to do with the alle­ga­tion (not­ed above) that M. Yaqub Mirza alleged­ly had links high inside the FBI. “After the Kho­bar Tow­ers bomb­ing in 1996, Clin­ton’s nation­al secu­ri­ty advis­er, Sandy Berg­er, repeat­ed­ly met with Prince Ban­dar to press for bet­ter Sau­di coop­er­a­tion with the FBI. But the Saud­is still refused to allow the FBI access to the sus­pects or rel­e­vant mate­ri­als and tried to blame Iran for the bomb­ing. Berg­er got nowhere. Accord­ing to Ben­jamin and Simon, Ban­dar’s unend­ing eva­sions were so frus­trat­ing that Berg­er described them as ‘Ground­hog Day’ rit­u­als, a ref­er­ence to the Bill Mur­ray movie in which one day repeats itself end­less­ly.”
(House of Bush, House of Saud; by Craig Unger; Scrib­n­er [HC]; Copy­right 2004 by Craig Unger; ISBN 0–7432-5337‑X; p. 176.)

31. “At the same time Prince Ban­dar was stalling Berg­er, how­ev­er, he had secret­ly estab­lished a back chan­nel to FBI direc­tor Louis Freeh. A 1993 Clin­ton appointee, Freeh had nev­er enjoyed a good rela­tion­ship with the White House, part­ly because of the bureau’s dis­as­trous fail­ure in coun­tert­er­ror­ism. Accord­ing to Ben­jamin and Simon, Ban­dar eager­ly exploit­ed Free­h’s well-known antipa­thy toward Clin­ton to ‘under­cut U.S. efforts to pur­sue the inves­ti­ga­tion.’ ” (Idem.)

32. “Notwith­stand­ing Berg­er’s repeat­ed efforts to get Sau­di help, Ban­dar told Freeh again and again that the White House had absolute­ly no inter­est in the inves­ti­ga­tion what­so­ev­er. But Pres­i­dent Clin­ton kept after the Saud­is. When he met with Sau­di crown prince Abdul­lah in 1998, Clin­ton warned Abdul­lah that Sau­di-Amer­i­can rela­tions would suf­fer if the Saud­is did not coop­er­ate on the Kho­bar Tow­ers inves­ti­ga­tion. Nev­er­the­less, Ban­dar con­tin­ued to tell Freeh that he was the only one in Wash­ing­ton who cared about the Amer­i­cans who had died in Kho­bar Tow­ers.” (Idem.)

33. “In response, Freeh did some­thing high­ly irreg­u­lar. He reached out to for­mer pres­i­dent Bush, know­ing full well how Bush was revered by the Saud­is, and asked Bush to be his secret emis­sary to get the Saud­is to coop­er­ate with the inves­ti­ga­tion. Lat­er, Ban­dar invit­ed Freeh to his estate in north­ern Vir­ginia and told him the FBI would be allowed to watch through a one-way mir­ror while Saud­is inter­ro­gat­ed the sus­pects. Accord­ing to Elsa Walsh of the New York­er, Freeh cred­it­ed this sud­den break­through not to the Clin­ton admin­is­tra­tion’s efforts, but to for­mer pres­i­dent George H.W. Bush.” (Ibid.; pp. 176–177.)

34. “Whether it was Bush’s phone call or pres­sure from Clin­ton that actu­al­ly trig­gered the Sau­di coop­er­a­tion is not entire­ly clear. But one thing was cer­tain: the House of Saud pre­ferred Bush, not Clin­ton, in part because the Demo­c­ra­t­ic admin­is­tra­tion was vio­lat­ing the unwrit­ten rule about Sau­di-Amer­i­can rela­tions: Don’t ask any ques­tions about what real­ly goes on in Sau­di Ara­bia. . . .” (Ibid.; p. 177.)

35. Sup­ple­ment­ing pre­vi­ous dis­cus­sion about the gen­e­sis of the GOP/Islamist link, this descrip­tion presents infor­ma­tion from Craig Under­’s book that was not includ­ed in the orig­i­nal broad­cast. “As a result, Norquist’s Mus­lim strat­e­gy was some­times criticized—usually from the right—for giv­ing cred­i­bil­i­ty to Mus­lim groups that seemed harm­less, but were in fact sup­port­ing extrem­ist inter­ests. . . . Nev­er­the­less, with Norquist work­ing behind the scenes, Bush aggres­sive­ly pur­sued the Islamists in hopes of win­ning their endorse­ments. In appear­ances on TV, Bush and fel­low cam­paign staffers referred not just to church­es and syn­a­gogues as places of wor­ship, but to mosques as well. Again and again, Gov­er­nor Bush sought out meet­ings with Mus­lim leaders—often with­out look­ing into their back­grounds. He invit­ed the founder of the Amer­i­can Mus­lim Coun­cil, Abdu­rah­man Alam­ou­di, to the gov­er­nor’s man­sion in Austin. In the mid-1990’s, Alam­ou­di had played an impor­tant role in recruit­ing as many as a hun­dred ‘Islam­ic lay lead­ers’ for the U.S. mil­i­tary. The Wall Street Jour­nal report­ed that he had arranged for ‘an arm of the Sau­di gov­ern­ment’ called the Insti­tute of Islam­ic and Ara­bic Sci­ences to train ‘sol­diers and civil­ians to pro­vide spir­i­tu­al guid­ance when paid Mus­lim chap­lains aren’t avail­able.’ The Jour­nal added that there were indi­ca­tions that there were indi­ca­tions that ‘the school . . . dis­sem­i­nates the intol­er­ant and anti-West­ern strain of Islam espoused by the [Sau­di] king­dom’s reli­gious estab­lish­ment.’ A self-pro­claimed sup­port­er of Hamas and Hezbol­lah, Alam­ou­di report­ed­ly attend­ed a ter­ror­ist sum­mit in Beirut lat­er in 2000 with lead­ers of Hamas, Hezbol­lah, and Al Qae­da. But such a mil­i­tant back­ground did not keep Alam­ou­di away from Norquist and Bush. Accord­ing to an arti­cle by Frank Gaffney, Alam­ou­di wrote two checks for $10,000 each, one an appar­ent loan, to help found Norquist’s Islam­ic Insti­tute.” (Ibid.; pp. 205–206.)

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

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

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

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

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

41. Again, it was the inves­ti­ga­tion into Al-Ari­an that led to the Green Quest raids of 3/20/2002. In that con­text, it is fright­en­ing to note that search war­rants in the Al-Ari­an case were “acci­den­tal­ly” destroyed. Was this REALLY an acci­dent? The destruc­tion of the doc­u­ments threat­ens the Al-Ari­an case! ” . . . In Decem­ber 2003, clerks at a fed­er­al cour­t­house in Tam­pa acci­den­tal­ly destroyed search war­rants in the Al-Ari­an case. The doc­u­ments con­tained affi­davits from fed­er­al agents that sup­port­ed 1995 search­es of Al-Ari­an’s home and offices and were among thou­sands of doc­u­ments shred­ded some­time between 1998 and 2002. As this book went to press, there were seri­ous ques­tions as to whether the destruc­tion of the doc­u­ments might affect his pros­e­cu­tion.” (Ibid.; p. 208.)


One comment for “FTR #462 Fifth Column Part III: The Subversion of Operation Green Quest”

  1. [...] FTR #462 Fifth Col­umn Part III: The Sub­ver­sion of Oper­a­tion Green Quest This entry was post­ed in Fas­cism, Islamism, Orga­nized Crime and tagged 9/11, Abdu­rah­man Alam­oudi, Al-Qae­da, BCCI, bin Laden Net­work, Bush Admin­is­tra­tion, Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty, FBI, Fifth Col­umn, Grover Norquist, Hamas, Hezbol­lah, House of Saud, Oper­a­tion Green Quest, PTech, Robert Mueller, SAAR Net­work, Sami Al-Aria, Sibel Edmonds, Sub­ver­sion, Talat Oth­man, Yaqub Mirza. Book­mark the perma­link. ← The Mus­lim Broth­er­hood in Amer­i­ca, Part 4 [...]

    Posted by Dave Emory: Fifth Column, Part III, the Subversion of Operation Green Quest | Lys-d'Or | May 17, 2012, 11:34 am

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